Best Advice Ever- Motherhood 100th Episode!

 

When I was approached by Web Talk Radio, over two years ago, and asked to do a web radio show for them on parenting and motherhood, I was surprised, to say the least! Why me? I had no idea how to host a radio show! How on earth would I make time for a weekly radio program? Would anyone even listen? Would I be able to help more people this way? Was this something I should actually do?

After much thought, family discussion, and humbling prayer, the answer was clear: Yes. This is something you need to do. Looking back, I’m so grateful they saw some spark of potential and reached out and trained me, because even though I’ve since taken the show out on my own, WebTalkRadio started me on this path I would have never otherwise taken, and now “Motherhood” radio/TV is celebrating its 100th episode!

 

Motherhood Radio/TV–100th Episode!

It’s been hard work, with a steep learning curve, but I have loved every minute of it. I love coming up with topics based on what you tell me you need to hear. I love meeting incredible, enlightening guests who have so much to teach me and our listeners. I especially love the listeners, who share their experiences with me–what they’re learning and how they’re growing. It warms me to the core to know these shows are making a difference in mother’s lives around the globe!

Today, in honor of our 100th episode, titled “Mastering Motherhood: Best Advice Ever,” I’d like to share some words of wisdom from a few favorite past guests who were gracious enough to write or record their “best advice ever” to be part of this historic episode, and a couple of my own bits of favorite advice, too.

Of course, I hope you actually watch or listen to the 100th episode (see links below), but in the meantime, here’s some of our best advice ever on how to “master” motherhood, parenthood, and basically–life.

 

 

Mastering Motherhood: Best Advice Ever

When I asked past “Motherhood” guests to submit their “best advice ever” about mastering motherhood, I began with the questions I’ve been asking countless moms across the nation these past months as I’ve been touring to research for my new book, Mastery of MotherhoodThe question is: Do you think “mastery of motherhood” is possible? If so, why? If not, why not Additionally, I asked our guest experts to chime in on, “If so, how?”

The following 20 tips are some of my favorite lines from their wise words, the fulness of which you can watch/listen to on our 100th episode, here, on iTunes, above, or below.

(Oh, and be sure to visit MasteryOfMotherhood.com to take my “Mastery of Motherhood” Survey and chime in with your thoughts and best advice! You may even be featured in my book!) 

 

1. “The fruit of motherhood isn’t how your kids turn out. It’s how you turn out.”

This is some of the best advice I’ve ever heard and learned, and now I share it with you. Let go of the idea that your children (and how they act, turn out, etc) determine your worth. It’s simply not true, and you won’t “master motherhood” until you begin to believe it.

 

2. “Let go of the need to be ‘someone’ or ‘something,’ and just be.”

My second bit of advice, to follow up the first:It’s okay. You can take the mask off and just be real. Be real on Instagram. Be real with your friends. Be real in your PJ’s, with a messy house, feeling like you’re losing it, or watching a movie with your kids instead of cleaning that messy house because you’re not going to let yourself lose it. After all, that’s the best thing you can be–for yourself, and for your children–authentic, real, you. (It’s also the first step to “choosing to grow!”) (Watch the 100th episode video to see some of my ‘realness!’)

 

3. “Progress over perfection.” ~Tenielle Shenae, speaker, coach, mentor, self-worth advocate

Tenielle’s advice is time-tested and true, and is a perfect follow up to the 2 statements above. It’s not about being “perfect” as a mom, parent, or human. It’s about progressing, one foot in front of the other, line upon line.

 

4. “Give yourself credit for what you do. Be confident, value yourself and your gifts you bring to your role as mother.” ~Sharon Martin, LCSW, licensed therapist and counselor

 

5. “Make time and listen, listen, listen.” ~Signe Whitson, author of 8 Keys to End Bullying & the Activity Book for Kids and Teens

 

6. “As you listen to your kids, they will tell you what they need. Sometimes that means listening with your ears. Sometimes that means listening with your heart.” ~Lindsay Hibbert Elmer, (my sister-in-law!), mom of 3 plus one beautiful foster baby

 

7. “Take care of you FIRST.” ~Kathy Kaehler, fitness and better living expert, host of LA Talk Radio’s “Cat & Kaehler” show

So important! We think we must care for our kids first, our partnership/marriage/relationship second, but we are wrong. Putting yourself first isn’t saying, “Me first!!” It’s saying, “Me too.” We moms MUST recognize that we have to be healthy and happy and whole in order to give these important things, including our love, to our children, spouse/partner, and family.

 

8. “#SpeakTheSecret.” ~Karen Kleiman, perinatal mental health pioneer and author of many books including “The Art of Holding in Therapy”

Karen’s powerful #SpeakTheSecret campaign reminds us that, as moms, we will have our hard times, too. We will have scary thoughts. We will have unwanted feelings. And we can and must “speak the secret” and reach out for help. Karen also reminds us that, if we do so, we will eventually be well. Speak your secret, whatever it may be. It is only in speaking up that we begin to overcome our struggle, become our best self, and yes, even flourish, again, too.

Created by Karen Kleiman and Molly McIntyre as part of the #speakthesecret campaign. Share your thoughts and join the campaign at postpartumstress.com.

 

9. “Begin planning early on.” ~Valerie Lynn, author of The Mommy Plan

Yes! Valerie is speaking of postpartum recovery, which is not only physical, but definitely emotional, mental, spiritual, and social healing, as well. The earlier we plan, the better off we will be, especially if we’ve experienced pregnancy or postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, or psychosis before. This great advice also goes for any new phase of motherhood or transitional or challenging time of life.

 

10. “Find small bits of time and fit yourself in.” ~Olivia Baylor, therapist/founder of Life Revisions

I echo this one. Motherhood doesn’t require us to lose ourselves. Instead, we can get creative and pursue our dreams along the way!

 

11. “Time management is really about energy management.” Robyn Pearce, time management expert and author of Getting A Grip on Parenting Time

Just let this one sink in. Then, listen to the 100th episode to hear Robyn’s advice on how to manage your energy. A game changer!

 

12. “How your respond to your child is the key.” ~Michael Mascolo, Ph.D. speaker, coach, author of 8 Keys to Old School Parenting

It’s not about what your child does. It’s how you respond to what s/he does that’s the key. Listen to Michael’s description of how to respond to your child in the best way (“It’s all about MILK,” he says), in the episode. He speaks to the heart of solid parenting with this advice–that parenting is about us learning to be our best so we can respond to our children and teach them our best.

 

13. “Parenting is more about the parent than the child. That’s why it’s called ‘parenting’ and not ‘childing.'” 

Just another favorite piece of parenting advice, which cuts to the core of all these excellent tips and to the core of what we do on Motherhood Radio/TV–that parenting isn’t about changing our children or making them behave. It’s about choosing to “grow” through parenthood, motherhood, fatherhood, instead of just “going” through it so we can give our best to our kids.

 

14. “You can master motherhood, but you can’t master your children. Remember 3 things: teach, love, protect.” ~Becky Squire, mom and Make Mine Happy creator/blogger

I love this advice. Teach your children. Love your children. Protect your children. That is your job as a mom.

 

15. “Identify and love what you’re good at. Love your strengths as a mom and be okay with them.” Nicole Bolden, LSW, doula, therapist and founder of Thriving with Baby

 

16. “What are you doing to take care of you? Pick one thing to implement and start small.” ~Katie Richardson, founder/CEO of Puj, mom, life coach

 

17. “Your body is on your side. Your ‘symptoms’ are communication to you, from you. Trust your body.” ~Sophia Wise One, bodywork and healing practices expert

 

18. “Think of ‘mastery’ in terms of your absolute best effort.” ~Myrna Beth Haskell, writer and editor of Sanctuary Magazine

Amen, Myrna. It’s not about being perfect at motherhood or having all the answers all the time. It’s about giving your best, always. That best will fluctuate from day to day, but whatever your 100% effort is today, just give that.

 

19. “Try your best. If you feel you’ve fallen short, it’s a good learning opportunity for you and your child.~Erin Joyce, Psy.D., psychologist specializing in women’s mental health

Absolutely. That’s what it’s all about–continuing to learn and grow.

 

20. “Don’t try to love them. Just love them.” 

My final piece of advice is a favorite lesson I learned at a conference years ago. So often, we are trying to love our children, spouse/partner, family in the way we think they want or the way we think we want, but it’s just not getting through. If you really want to love your family, then love them. Stop trying and just love them. That, to me, is being a ‘master’ mother.

 

 

BONUS: Want the Best Parenting Advice You’ll Ever Receive? Watch This!

 

 

What’s your “best advice ever” for mastering motherhood, fatherhood, parenthood, or life? Leave a comment and let us know, below!

 

 

For more tips, skills, and tools, listen to Motherhood Radio here, and SUBSCRIBE on SoundCloudiTunes, or YouTube!

New episodes weekly!

Here’s to the next 100!

 

Take my “Mastery of Motherhood” survey and be part of my new book!

Click below to take the 15-20 minute survey, tell me what you think, and share your stories!

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & NobleTarget.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

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Click here for access.

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Motherhood Reality Check: It’s Hard! and I’m Improving

It’s time for a reality check.

It seems with every transition (end of school, summer break, back to school, holidays), we moms have to reconfigure life and reevaluate where we are and where we hope to be. At least, that’s what I do, and I’ve found it helpful to stop for a moment and “get real” with myself during these times. It’s hard to reconfigure and reevaluate all the time, but it’s the process that ultimately leads us to the kind of motherhood “success” we each desire, after all.

As I’ve been on “tour” talking with moms across the US about my forthcoming book, “Mastery Of Motherhood,” I’ve been extra-aware of my own mom reality. Hearing other moms share their thoughts, stresses, worries, fears, and realities about their motherhood experiences has reminded me, once again, that we’re not so different, we moms. We share the same burdens and rejoice in the same joys.

Today, I thought I’d share a few of my “reality checks” in hopes you can relate. Perhaps it might show you some aspect of motherhood you haven’t considered before. Perhaps it might simply remind you you’re not alone. Hopefully, it will show you you’re doing better than you think.

Summer vacation in Oceanside, with a few of my kids. I love vacations!

 

Motherhood Reality: It’s hard! AND I’m Improving!

The following 5 truths are my current “mom reality.”

1) My kids/family/home are my greatest stressors.

I know. This shouldn’t be an epiphany to me. I should know this, should have always known this, right? But I haven’t! This epiphany came last year and was a true “aha!” moment: “My kids and husband and home responsibilities are my greatest stressor? What?! Hmm. Yeah. That makes sense!” I’m superb at helping others see clearly, but apparently not very quick with should-be-obvious realizations when they apply to myself.

I always told myself other things could account for my stress and burnout, but not my precious home and family. Why not? Because, I now admit, admitting this would make me feel like a “bad” mom/wife. So not true. I’d always thought it was my work responsibilities that made life stressful, like if I could just choose not to help others or do what I do for work I’d be without the tremendous stress I so often feel. Not so. And realizing the reality that my family is stressful doesn’t make me a bad mom. It makes me a normal mom!

Now I freely admit it, shouting from top of my computer monitor, “MY KIDS AND HOME AND HUSBAND ARE MY GREATEST STRESSORS!” And you know what else? I love them anyway. I accept this challenge of being a mom every day when I wake up and do it all over again, and I love that I get to choose over and over again to embrace the stress and mess and let it be, for that’s what motherhood is.

This is reality, and it’s hard, and never-ending, and messy, and makes me crazy and exhausted and burned out. And that is my “normal.” It’s the normal of every mom, isn’t it? AND it’s crazy, beautiful, full, overflowing, abundant life. This is life, and I am grateful.

The whole fam, at our 3rd son’s graduation, May 2017. “May-hem” (as I call it) is SO stressful, but it’s all worth it for memories like these!

2) Being “Mom” IS exhausting AND never-ending.

Every mom knows this, or will know this someday. I’ll say it again, “It’s HARD! It’s STRESSFUL!” Being a mother is the most exhausting work on the planet, I am sure, because it’s 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and then some! There may be fragmented breaks here and there, but most of the time moms are on call, go-go, busy, busy, and just plain worn-out.

The truth is we moms not only have the physical responsibilities for feeding and bathing and clothing our children; we have the emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual responsibility for them. Lately, there have been a lot of emotions running high in our home (with 5 adolescents and one that thinks she’s a teen, it’s easy to see why). It’s all I can do to collapse into bed at the end of a very long bedtime routine (because that’s when teens actually want to talk–at night, right before bed), having listened to each child’s problems and tried to offer the best advice and support and love, only to sleep a few hours and wake up at 5:30 or 6 to start it all over again. It’s exhausting! But again, it’s worth it, right? Otherwise, we wouldn’t do all we do.

If we can simply admit, “It’s exhausting and never-ending,” we won’t be fighting ourselves trying to pretend it’s something that it’s not. Doing so has helped me tremendously over the years–to feel less overwhelmed and to take more breaks, naps, and even to get away when I can, because I know it will replenish me, at least for a time, before I come back and wear myself out all over again.

Loving my baby, but exhausted. This is reality.

3) “Being mom” can be incredibly boring.

There, I said it. I feel bored “being mom,” more often than I should.

When they were little and I was a stay-at-home mom, it was hardest for sure. I did my best to do crafts and play toys or go to the park or Target—you know, all the things we moms do to entertain the kids (but really ourselves) when they’re young. But I’ve never been the best “play on the floor with my kids” mom, and it was a struggle.

Now, I’m usually just trying to keep up with my family, but in the summer especially, and even some school day afternoons when I’m home and my kids are busy doing what they’re doing, I feel bored. Allow me to rephrase that: I feel like I’m always waiting, and that, to me, is incredibly boring.

I’m waiting to know everyone’s schedules so I can fit myself in. I’m waiting for the older ones to get home so we can attempt a family dinner. I’m waiting for the youngest to come in begging for a friend to play, or for that friend to get picked up, or for my husband to get home, or etc, etc, etc. Waiting. Boring.

It’s the worst in the summer, when they’re all home and they’re bored, and I feel like I can’t start anything or do anything for myself because inevitably the moment I begin, someone will come in and “Mom, I’m bored,” or “Mom, I need a ride,” or “Mom, can I…?” or “Mom, what should I do?” So, I feel lazy and unproductive and like I’ve “given up” in the summer, because in a way I have so I don’t get frustrated being “interrupted” every 15 minutes.

But in a way, I’ve also reminded myself that I can use a little “bored” down time, just as my kids can. My go-to response for my kids’ “I’m bored-s” is, “Good! I’m glad you’re bored. It’s good for you. It means you have the opportunity to figure some things out for yourself!” The same applies to me.

I learned last year, coping with a very long concussion recovery, that I need more down time than I allow myself, and that it really is good to feel “bored” sometimes. I admit, I used to judge other moms and say, “That mom is bored? Must be nice! I don’t have time to be bored!” Now, I repent: “Forgive me, moms everywhere for my judgmental ways!”

Motherhood inherently includes some “boredom,” and that’s just the way it is. It’s okay to feel bored. Especially if we can use it to rest, relax, nap, or get creative and actually turn our boredom into some new experience or memorable memory.

Motherhood is hard, but on the whole, oh how beautiful! A favorite moment recently, my son getting his mission call to FIJI!

4) It’s easy to get completely burned out “being mom,” and it’s up to us to prevent this by prioritizing self-care.

The past year or two, I’ve been feeling really burned out, mom-wise. My husband has been feeling the same. We’ve been at this parenting thing now for just about 21 years! I now have three who’ve graduated from high school, and it’s hard in a different way to send them off into their futures, but once they’re off I always realize, “Hey, wait. I’m not done. I still have 3 at home!”

Parenting and mothering is forever, and that’s a fact. It can feel easier in some seasons of motherhood than others, but it’s relentless on the whole. That’s why it’s crucial we watch out for signs of burnout so we can prevent or relieve ourselves from such a state.

Over the years, I’ve become progressively better at recognizing when I’m getting burned out and preventing it. I can tell, when I’m way too tired, always feeling overwhelmed, constantly thinking, “I can’t handle this,” and/or saying things like, “You kids are driving me crazy!” that I’m either on the road to burnout, or I’ve already arrived. I’ve had to practice and learn how to stop. How to check in with myself and answer honestly. How to fulfill my needs and practice self-care, for, I have learned, self-care is a form of self-love, and self-love is crucial to fully loving others.

How can you tell if you’re burned out? Some simple questions to start: “Am I getting a relatively “normal” night of sleep most nights?” “Am I feeling emotionally ‘well’? Or am I struggling emotionally?” “Am I practicing self-care?” “Am I regularly feeling overwhelmed, stressed to my limits, completely exhausted, like I desperately need a break, and/or feeling like I just don’t want to be here?” All of these questions can help you determine if you might be getting to the level of burnout. If you find you are close or already there, then it’s crucial to stop and practice self-care immediately, today, right now! Here are some simple ways to begin practicing self-care, today.

5) I’m way too hard on myself, and most moms are, too.

Over the years, as I’ve counseled and spoken to moms, and as I’ve been doing this “Mastery Of Motherhood” tour lately, the same issue keeps coming up, clearly: We moms are harder on ourselves than anyone could ever be on us, or on themselves.

Why? Because we care. A lot. We are doing the most important work of all, and we want to do it “right.” We want our children to grow up to succeed, to feel loved, to become all we see in them! But, in case you haven’t gotten this point yet, it’s hard being Mom! It’s truly the hardest work on the earth.

We are tireless in our efforts to guide, save, advise, teach, learn from, and love our children. It is endlessly demanding when they are little. We have so little control as they get older. Our hearts break for them over and over. We lose sleep, our minds race with worried thoughts.

And I’m no exception. It’s something I have to work on every single day. Forgiving my flaws. Letting go of the blame baggage and guilt trips. Reminding myself I’m truly working my hardest to do my very best; AND my best isn’t always going to be perfect, or sometimes even good enough, for my children, but that’s okay, because that’s just the way it is. Forgiveness—of them, of myself, from them, from myself, from God—is the only way to master motherhood, and ourselves, in the end.

You can do this, too. Forgive yourself for all you feel you haven’t done “right,” and commit to simply do your best–today, each day, moment by moment. Take time to discover your current “motherhood reality check,” and then go easy on yourself. See how far you have come, how much you have learned. You really are doing so much better than you think.

 

 

 

For more tips, skills, and tools, listen to Motherhood Radio here, on SoundCloudiTunes, or watch on YouTube!

New episodes weekly!

 

 

 

 

Be part of my NEW book, “Mastery of Motherhood” by inviting me to come to you!

In preparation for my newest book, I am heading on tour and taking my “Motherhood” radio/TV showwith me!

I’m looking for women’s and/or mom’s groups, conferences, gatherings, clubs–you name it–to invite me to speak, now through Jan 2018. In return, I ask that your group members talk with me about “Mastery of Motherhood”–about the stresses and successes of “being mom,” and what you most need from a Motherhood book, and that you record a radio episode with me, too! Everyone learns. Everyone has a great time. Everyone wins!

Learn more here, or click the icon above!

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & NobleTarget.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for access.

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SUBSCRIBE, above, “Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram

 

 

 

 

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Overcoming Mom Guilt

If there’s one topic that keeps coming up in my work with mothers (besides the need for self-care!), it’s “mom guilt.” If you’re a mother, you know what I mean. Guilt over our own frustrations, weaknesses, and learning moments and what these might have “done” to our children.Guilt over not doing enough, not being enough. Guilt that maybe we really aren’t good enough.

Last week was Mother’s Day–a day on which moms everywhere should feel celebrated, appreciated, and loved. But in my experience, too many moms, instead, feel guilty. Hearing of other mothers’ successes, they feel like “I’m not as good as that,” like “I shouldn’t be celebrated,” like “I’m failing as a mom.” We’ve all been there. At least, I know I have. So, why is it so easy to fall into the trap of mom guilt?

Mom Guilt: Why is it so Common?

First, we feel guilty because we love our families. We love our children, our spouse/partner, and we want the best for them. It’s therefore easy to feel down on ourselves when that “best” isn’t happening. Postpartum depression, anxiety, motherhood depression, hormone shifts that wreak havoc on our emotions, and major life events and stress can make us feel like we’re “weak,” like we can’t do the job we so desperately want to do in the way we want, need or feel we “should” do it.

When kids make poor choices, we moms often take it upon ourselves, making us feel like we’ve somehow failed as mothers. We feel guilty when we’re exhausted and need a break, when we need help, and even when we’re feeling good and just want some time to ourselves. We feel guilt when we don’t “love” every moment of motherhood, even though that’s just part of the deal of being a mom. And the list goes on…

All of this can lead to feelings of self-doubt, guilt, shame, and even self-loathing that bring us down, down, down in a spiral of negativity and despair. This is what guilt does, and why I always say, “Guilt is good for nothing.”

The 2 Types of Guilt

Actually, I used to say “Guilt is good for nothing..,” but now I add, “…unless you use it for something better.” There are actually two types of guilt, and understanding the difference between these is crucial to overcoming mom guilt.

First is what I call “Depressive Guilt.” Depressive guilt is that downward spiral I described above. It drags us down and makes us feel low and useless. This type of guilt is good for nothing, for the more depressive guilt we have, the worse our situation gets.

The second type of guilt is “Motivational Guilt,” and it is good for somethingif we use it for something good. Motivational guilt comes when we’ve done something wrong and we know it. It comes when we feel remorse for our words, thoughts, or behavior, and we know we need to change. Motivational guilt has the potential to lead to change; in fact, by nature, this type of guilt is meant to help us change.

Allow me to explain, using my favorite metaphor for guilt: gasoline. Gasoline is a good thing when we use it for good things, like helping a car to drive or a lawn mower to mow. But, gasoline is also highly flammable. If we pile up gasoline in our garage, or rather, if we hold on to depressive guilt, allowing it to fester or rot or bury itself deep inside and adding to it over and over, eventually, all it takes is one little spark and “Boom!” the whole thing goes up in flames. If, however, we use that gasoline (or motivational guilt) for some greater purpose; if we put it in our car and drive somewhere beautiful, or if we put it in the lawnmower and make the lawn beautiful, then we’re actually using it for change and growth. Motivational guilt can help us apologize, forgive, repent, and seek a better way, leading us to that “somewhere beautiful” we so long to be.

How to Overcome Mom Guilt

So how can we use this understanding of the two types of guilt to overcome our own mommy guilt?

1) First, acknowledge the guilt. We can’t do anything until we acknowledge something needs doing. Only once we’ve identified, “Yes, I feel guilty,” can we truly begin.

2) After you acknowledge the guilt, examine it. Ask yourself, “What is this guilt all about?” “What am I really feeling guilty for?” This will help you determine if it’s guilt for something you feel remorseful about and want to change or guilt that’s just pointing fingers, filling your heart with despair, and dragging you down.

3) Ask, “Is this depressive guilt or motivational guilt?” Answer honestly. Remember, guilt is a feeling, an emotion. It’s not a reflection of who you are.

4) If it’s motivational guilt, pointing you to change, then it’s time to start the process of change. You might go and say you’re sorry right away; you might take some time to formulate a plan for change in your parenting approach; or you might need to take a whole lot of time as you work on true forgiveness. As long as you use the guilt as fuel for change, it doesn’t matter how long it takes. (Read about the Spiral of Change, here.)

5) If it’s depressive guilt, then the answer is to practice letting go. I know “letting go” is much easier said than done, but it’s an essential element in overcoming mom guilt, much of which tends to be of the depressive sort. How can you let go? That’s a big topic for another day and another post (coming soon), but to start, you can do the following.

  • FEEL. “Freely Experience Emotion, with Love” (This is How We Grow, p.184). You can’t let go of something you haven’t fully experienced yet. You must FEEL the guilt in order to heal from the guilt, in order to let it go. Tell yourself you can feel the guilt and that, even if you don’t like feeling it, you will survive feeling that emotion.
  • Lean back from the emotion. As you FEEL the guilt, lean back from it, reminding yourself that it is not you. (Watch this 3-minute therapy video, “How to Overcome Powerful Emotions: FEEL,” on my YouTube channel.)
  • Remember letting go is a choice we make over and over again. Yes. Letting go is a continual choice only we can make. When I work on letting go, it’s helpful for me to ask myself, “What would I feel like if I didn’t have this emotion? If I didn’t carry this burden? If I could really just let this go?” I then imagine how I’d feel, and let me tell you, it is a hundred times better than carrying things around I can’t change and don’t need. Try this, and then cling to that imagined feeling of release, and choose to let things go. Repeat as often as needed until it has gone.

 

My daughter and me, walking along the beach. It’s moments like this that remind us, “You’re doing better than you think you are.”

Remember...

I hope you realize you ARE better than you think you are. You ARE enough. You ARE worthy of all the time, appreciation, care, and love you and your family wish to give. I hope you realize “Guilt is good for nothing…unless you use it for something better.” And I hope you choose to work on overcoming guilt so you can feel these things I’m telling you and begin to believe them for yourself.

 

 

 

For more tips, skills, and tools, listen to my one-on-one Motherhood Radio “session,” Overcoming Mom Guilt, here,

on SoundCloud, or on iTunes!

New episodes weekly!

 

 

 

 

Be part of my NEW book, “Mastery of Motherhood” by inviting me to come to you!

In preparation for my newest book, I am heading on tour and taking my “Motherhood” radio/TV show with me!

I’m looking for women’s and/or mom’s groups, conferences, gatherings, clubs–you name it–to invite me to speak, now through Jan 2018. In return, I ask that your group members talk with me about “Mastery of Motherhood”–about the stresses and successes of “being mom,” and what you most need from a Motherhood book, and that you record a radio episode with me, too! Everyone learns. Everyone has a great time. Everyone wins!

Learn more here, or click the icon above!

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for access.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

Let’s Connect! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

Essential Oils 101: My Favorite Wellness Benefits for Moms, Kids, & Families

How to Sleep Better (part 2 of BONUS chapter)

 

 

New Year’s ReSOLUTIONS!

 

 

So, did you do it? Did you set New Year’s resolution s? Did you come up with a new vision, goals, or even a yearly theme like I do?

 

If so, I have an important question for you: What is going to make you stick with and achieve those resolutions this year?

 

 

New Year, New Potential

The beginning of a new year is a time of potential. It’s a time of change, growth, transformation—or at least, it has the power to be.

We set goals, make resolutions, or develop a yearly theme to guide our efforts, but do we truly change, grow, transform? Or do we simply set sail only to take a pleasure cruise around the harbor and come right back to port?

We all know the drill. Most of us make a list around New Year’s including things we want to change, to overcome, to quit, to develop, to become! Some of us might have a list pages long of ideas and dreams and goals. Others might have one main focus for the year. It is SO fabulous that we use this time of year to turn our thoughts to self-improvement and personal transformation!

BUT…(and you know what’s coming)… the sad truth is most of us will not actually achieve the things we set out to do. In fact, it’s estimated that only 8% of those who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them. 8%! That’s the problem with this time of year—most of us don’t fully tap into that potential. Most of us set resolutions only to start slacking a few weeks later, to give up and ultimately feel like we’ve “failed.”

Why? Why is it so challenging to make lasting change? And what are the solutions for overcoming this?

 

Why is Personal Transformation So Hard?

To answer the first question, watch the video below. I created this as a New Year’s gift for my newsletter subscribers (subscribe above, right or below), and in it I reveal the 5 main blocks to change, growth, personal transformation. So, click and watch for answers! (It’s the first of a 3-part series and you can find them all on my YouTube channel!)

 

How can we actually Keep our Resolutions this Year?

What can we do to achieve personal growth and transformation in 2017? If you watched the video above you’ll understand why I believe we need the following 4 things if we want new year’s resolution success this, and every, year:

1) We need to be taught/shown how. We need specific ideas relevant to what we’re trying to achieve, and if someone can actually show us how to make the changes we desire, all the better!

2) We need goals that are tailored to our situation and needs. We need to do things our way, in a way that fits with our life circumstances and situation. We can’t just do it someone else’s way: we need our own way if we’re to succeed. In fact, research shows that of those who set specific goals, instead of making resolutions, up to 90% achieve them!

3) We need support. And the right kind of support. We need people to encourage, teach, and help us along our way. We cannot do it alone.

4) We need to learn the skills of mental fortitude to stick with it. This is where most of us really fail. We were never taught the mental skills we need to get and stay motivated, create realistic and achievable goals, overcome the inevitable roadblocks, and empower our thoughts and beliefs to find success!

4 New Year’s ReSOLUTIONS!

That’s what I want to help you do–develop these skills of mental fortitude so you can truly make this your year for mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical transformation! Over the years, I’ve created many programs, articles, and resources to help you do just this, and below are my faves. I hope you’ll pick one, or more, and get started today!

 

1) NEW! Exercise to Mental Health Personal Transformation Program! 

I’m thrilled to announce my BRAND NEW program, Exercise to Mental Health! In this 6-week online course I developed based on my latest book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise, I’m taking the research-based principles of mental fortitude presented in my book and bringing them to life.

This 6 session video course all about the “how” of achieving your personal transformation goals. Not only is this a way for you to work with me to build mental fortitude, but it will also teach you how to overcome the roadblocks to success that you’ll inevitably face.

I won’t go into the details here, because I have a brand new website to tell you all about it (http://www.ExerciseToMentalHealth.com). Click that link and check it out, because this is the BEST solution I’ve found to empower you to: 1) develop the skills of mental fortitude you need to stick with and achieve your goals, 2) understand how to make the lasting change you desire, 3) tailor your plan to your unique life and experiences, and of course, 4) do all this while receiving support from new friends and from me! Don’t wait!

 

2) Join me for the Zion Ponderosa Women’s Adventure Retreat & experience “The Adventure of a Lifetime–discovering yourself!”

Yes, this is happening, and I couldn’t be more excited! This is one of the most fun, rewarding, awe-inspiring adventures I’ve ever been on, and now, I’m bringing it to my friends and followers as an exclusive retreat with me to rediscover yourself, build self-worth, and leave with the skills you need to go for your dreams! And all for an incredible discounted rate! 

Space is limited, and registration has just opened, so don’t hesitate! For more info, visit this post all about it, and follow the instructions for specific details and/or to register

3) This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group

One of my first resources to encourage and show people how to “grow through life,” this online video-based group has been wildly popular! Many have even formed their own, in-person groups, supporting friends and neighbors along the way.

And guess what? I’m back for season 3! Yes, coming later this month, I’ll be starting lessons for season 3 of our group, with a whole new theme, a monthly video lesson, and of course, continuing support in our Facebook group.

If you haven’t already joined, it’s FREE and easy. Just click here for details and to register and you’ll receive all the new lessons, as well as links to our past lessons. Oh how I love growing with you!

3) This is How We Grow 30-Day Personal Growth Plan

Based on my bestselling book, This is How We Grow, my FREE 30-day plan is a great kick start! For 30 days, you’ll receive a daily email with a short inspirational “lesson” and activity to promote your personal growth. A great way to get started on your path to personal growth!

4) Join one of my Facebook Groups!

If you’re lacking support, I have a variety of Facebook groups geared toward just that–helping you know you’re not alone, connecting with others going through similar things, and getting inspired, together. Click on one that interests you and join us!

Growing Through Motherhood

“This is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group

“Motherhood Essentials” Essentials Oils for Family Health & Wellness

Who Am I Without You? Women’s Breakup/Divorce Support

Growing through PPD: Postpartum Depression/Anxiety Support

Women’s Emotions: Overcoming, becoming, flourishing!

Blog to Book Deal: Author Platform Branding

Growing Through Grief, Loss, Trauma

 

Most of all…

The most important thing you can do if you’re struggling to reach your goals is to reach out for help in some way. Check out one of the posts, below, to help you set specific goals and learn skills of personal growth. And don’t quit until you discover the skills, plan, strategies, and support you need to make this your best year yet!

 

 

Bonus: Suggestion 5–Read one of my books! Great for getting you on your way to personal transformation!

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is here!

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

Join my NEW “Exercise to Mental Health” course and make this your year of transformation!

Click below or visit ExerciseToMentalHealth.com.

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Join my “This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! 

 

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goals

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 
  Let’s Connect! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Exercise for Mental Health: How to Get (& Stay Motivated)

40 Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Get Mentally & Physically FITT: How to create an exercise program that works

Exercise as a Family to Build Stronger Relationship, Mental & Physical Health

50 Fun Ways to Exercise as a Family

Exercise to Improve Self-Esteem

Exercise for Mental Health: Key 1, Make it Fun!

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

#LightTheWorld: 25 Days of Christmas Service, 25 Opportunities to Heal, Love, Grow

#LightTheWorld: 25 days of Christmas Service; 25 Opportunities to Heal, Love, Grow www.drchristinahibbert.com www.mormon.org

 

It’s Christmas time again, and that means decorations, lights, gifts, parties, and for most of us, stress. But is this what Christmas is really about? How often do we fail to remember the true meaning of Christmas–the loving–simply because we’re caught up in the doing?

Starting today, December 1st, join me and millions of others as we “Light the World” with 25 days and ways of Christlike service. Each day in December, select one way to love others–to do as Jesus Christ has always done and listen, share, be there, hug, heal, inspire, uplift, love. It doesn’t have to be a huge event; it doesn’t even need to add to your already busy schedule. All it takes is an open heart and eyes to see the needs around you. Then, a willingness to reach out in love.

 

Watch this 2-minute video to for inspiration and to learn more…

 

The Power of Service = The Power of Love

If there’s one thing I have learned through all of my personal trials and setbacks, stresses and burdens, it’s that serving others is one of the very best ways to heal ourselves and to grow. As we offer love, we can’t help but feel it in return; and we could all use a little more love in today’s world.

The Power to Heal

Whether you’re facing grief, loss, heartache, depression, anxiety, parenting stress, marital strain, relationship issues, health

My family with my friend's family, sending balloons to Jody in heaven to remember her one year death anniversary. We need each other.

My family with my friend’s family, sending balloons to Jody in heaven to remember her one year death anniversary. We need each other.

concerns, etc., as you turn your mind to how you can love someone else, you will find your pain, sorrow, despair, burden lift and lighten. This is the gift of service and the gift of love–it heals, not only those we serve, but even more so, it heals us.

The Power to Grow

Love also grows us. It is through loving that we begin to comprehend our true worth, to see our strengths and abilities, and then we can choose to amplify them in the world.

One thing I know for sure is that each of us has a divine purpose and mission in life and this purpose is always about loving, in some form. Perhaps we love through teaching, or perhaps through learning; we may love through listening or through speaking; we may love by laboring with our hands or laboring with our minds and hearts.

Whatever we do, we do it because of love, and as we tap into that love and use it to serve those around us–our friends and family, yes, but also those we don’t yet know at all, we grow.

 

Light the World! In 25 Ways, over 25 Days

Will you join me? 25 days and 25 ways to serve and love others. In return, you’ll receive 25 days and at least 25 ways to experience love, healing and growth. Isn’t it worth your time and energy? I believe it absolutely is.

You can get started by visiting this post, with a free advent calendar you can download and post in your home. For each day in December, this calendar first lists how Jesus helped others and then offers suggestions for how you may do the same. It is a simple way to focus more on Christ this Christmas and to serve all month long and become more like Him.

Get your kids involved. Make it a family effort. Each person can select one item off the calendar each day for their service. And you’ll notice these aren’t difficult things to do: “point out a virtue in someone they don’t see in themselves,” “ask your children what they think you should pray about as a family,” “watch an online tutorial to learn a new skill that can benefit others.”

Watch this 30-second video to get started…

 

 

50 Ways to Offer Christlike Love & Service this Christmas & Holiday Season!

You may also opt to create your own “calendar” of service. Here are 50 suggestions to get you inspired!

  1. Use your mobile device or computer calendar and set a reminder for each day–to look for someone in need and serve them.
  2. Make an effort to smile at everyone you meet, even if you are having a bad day.
  3. Reply to an email from someone in need. I have several I’ve received through my website from those who are grieving and haven’t gotten to yet. My goal for today is to spend 30 minutes replying, to offer support, encouragement, and love.
  4. Listen to your child as s/he tells you about his/her day. Show them how much they matter.canstockphoto7236288
  5. Hug a friend when you see them, just because.
  6. Gather unused clothing items and donate them to a charity, shelter, or family in need.
  7. Call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while. Tell them how much you miss them.
  8. Read to children, at home or as a volunteer in a library, hospital, or school.
  9. Create something beautiful and give it away.
  10. Write a note to someone you love. Tell them how much they mean to you.
  11. Pay for the person behind you’s groceries or food in the drive-through.
  12. Help someone shovel snow or rake leaves/pine needles.
  13. As a family, gather gently used toys and household items and donate them to a shelter.
  14. Make a treat for someone who’s having a rough day and drop them by with a note that says, “Thinking of you.”
  15. Focus on how you serve your family. Notice the tasks, large and small that you’re already doing for them and infuse each one with just a little more love.
  16. Forgive someone.
  17. Write a letter of gratitude to someone who’s made a difference in your life. Show up on their doorstep and read it to them. Dr. Martin Seligman has found this one activity significantly increases happiness in both the giver and the receiver.
  18. Read a book that teaches you about loving, serving, or helping others. A parenting book, self-help book, or a book on a virtue you’re hoping to develop and share.
  19. Visit a Facebook support group or other online support group you’re a part of and offer virtual love and support to someone in need.
  20. If you see someone who looks down while you’re out, smile, ask how they’re doing, and offer a word of encouragement. I
    Loving my baby, but exhausted. This is reality.

    Loving my baby, but exhausted. This is reality.

    always do this with new moms. Simply telling them, “It’s so hard, but it’s so worth it,” or “You’re doing a great job!” to a mom who’s struggling with a baby or young children in a store can make a huge difference.

  21. Look up ways you can help refugees in your area. Lifting Hands International is an incredible organization started by a friend of mine that offers many ways you can get involved. (Listen to my interview about this on “Motherhood,” here.) You can also visit this wishlist on Amazon and purchase items to help refugees.
  22. Teach your children a story from the life of Jesus Christ. Help them understand how to offer Christlike love to others.
  23. Pray as a family to know who needs your help each day.
  24. Watch others when you’re out doing your work or errands. Notice their struggles and offer a hand. Hold a door open, unload groceries for someone, pick up something they drop. Anything to show you see them and care.
  25. Share a message of hope, love, and encouragement on social media.
  26. Look for opportunities to donate to worthy causes and do so according to your family’s means.
  27. As a family, gather items that might be useful for a homeless person, like toothbrush/paste, warm socks/gloves, water, snacks, etc. Put together bags of these items and carry them in your car. When you see someone in need, offer them a care bag.
  28. For 24 hours, refrain from criticising anyone or anything. If you mess up, start over. Give the gift of a positive attitude to yourself and all around you! (P.S. It’s harder than you might think!)
  29. Learn more about a cause that stands out to you. Search for ways you can get involved.
  30. Volunteer for a warmline or hotline. Postpartum Support International is always looking for warmline volunteers, and here in AZ, our Postpartum Support Chapter is as well. (Email me (above right) if you’re interested and I’ll get you hooked up with the right people.)
  31. Sing to a child, to calm them or inspire them.
  32. If you play a musical instrument, volunteer to play at a retirement, assisted-living, or hospice home, or to play for someone who is elderly or ill. My son did this for a friend who is very sick with cancer the other week, and it was a joy for our entire family to see how happy it made her.
  33. Ask a meaningful question on Facebook or Instagram and then offer support. Something like, “What are your biggest struggles today?” or “How are you doing, in 3 words or less?” can open the door to seeing others’ needs and offering your love.
  34. Skype or Facetime with someone you haven’t seen in a while. Or, let your kids do so. My youngest’s best friend moved away a couple years ago, but we help them have “playdates” on Facetime often, to keep their friendship alive!
  35. Write a poem and send it to someone you love, admire, or just want to show you care.
  36. Turn off your phone and spend some time meditating today. Here’s a video to show you how. Focus on how grateful you are for all you’ve been given. Think of Jesus and how he lived. Commit to remember Him more often and strive to be more like Him.
  37. Start thinking about a quality, virtue, or trait you’d like to develop. Make a commitment to work on it for an entire year,
    Going to my daughter's end-of-year presentation, pushed by my son, Tre, in a wheelchair. Even though it felt embarrassing, I asked for help and let it in. Yay, me!

    Going to my daughter’s end-of-year presentation, pushed by my son, Tre, in a wheelchair. Even though it felt embarrassing, I asked for help and let it in. Yay, me!

    starting this January. I do this every year and call it my Yearly Theme. It’s helped me develop and improve myself and become who I truly desire to be.

  38. Help someone who’s in a wheelchair, on crutches, or has a hard time standing or walking to walk.
  39. Call your mom or dad every week this month and tell them you love them.
  40. Make a video that teaches something valuable, to help those in need. Post it to YouTube and share on social media. I love doing this and have many such videos, all of them free, on my YouTube channel.
  41. When hugging your child, spouse, partner, or loved one, hold on extra long. Be the last to let go.
  42. Say, “I love you,” to at least 1 person every single day. The more often, the better!
  43. Adopt a family for Christmas. Get their wishlist and purchase gifts, wrap them, and deliver them as a family. We have done this so many years, and it’s our very favorite part of the holidays every time!
  44. Start a “Christmas Jar.” We do this every year, and it’s our best tradition. Set out a jar. Every family member puts their loose change, extra cash, and any other money they’d like to donate, into the jar. On Christmas Eve, wrap up the jar. Drive around until you find someone who looks down on their luck. We say a prayer before we go, to help us find the right person, and every single year, we know we’ve found the one who needed it most. Have the kids, or you, hop out of the car and hand them the Christmas Jar, saying, “Merry Christmas!” You can make such a difference doing this one activity.
  45. Think of someone you’ve had a hard time loving. Pray for ways to break through. Offer one loving gesture to them.
  46. Set up a family service swap! We love doing this one, too. During December, each of our family members must do one service for every other family member. It could be doing their chores for a night, hanging out with them for a special movie night, or letting them borrow something they’ve been wanting to use (for my teens, this is a biggie!). What a great way to inspire Christlike service in our own homes.
  47. Go caroling with family and friends. Visit the lonely, afflicted, and downtrodden and brighten their day.
  48. Let someone cry on your shoulder. Don’t try to fix things. Just say, “I’m so sorry” and “I am here.”
  49. When you see something good in someone else, tell them. Everybody loves a compliment.
  50. Commit to daily prayer, to express your gratitude and inspire you in the best ways to serve and love others.

Watch this video of my daughter and I singing “The Song of Love” we wrote together! 

What are you waiting for?

Now, get out there and do something. Anything. Start with a desire to try and a hopeful attitude, and even that is a great service you can begin giving today.

 

 

 

 

 

Join my “This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! 

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goals

 

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is here!

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 

 

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

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Click below to register for instant access!

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Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

What are Essential Oils?

What are Essential Oils? "Motherhood Essentials" www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.com

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Essential oils have been used throughout history for their amazing health benefits.  Essential oils are effective! They are highly concentrated and 50-70x more powerful than herbs.

Have you ever wondered what the role of essential oils is in plants? Essential oils play key roles in the reproductive, protective, and regenerative processes of the plant.  Check out this video from doTERRA explaining these powerful potions:

 

 

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Motherhood Radio & TV- Exciting News!

Motherhood Radio News! www.DrchristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #radio #tv #momsIt’s been over a year since I started “Motherhood Radio“–one year, two months, to be exact–and what a ride it has been!

It’s been an absolute delight meeting fabulous guests, sharing incredible products and ideas, and imparting “mom wisdom” from in-the-trenches moms who are getting it done.

But the best part, by far, has been connecting with you–moms of all ages and stages around the globe who have become part of our “Motherhood” community.

 

Now, we’re taking it up a notch.

Today begins a new chapter for Motherhood Radio, as I venture into hosting the show on my own website, SoundCloud, and iTunes accounts!

What does this mean? Basically, it means I will have much more freedom with the show, and that I’ll be able to post it on several other podcast apps/sites, making it easier than ever to find, subscribe to, and access! This means the same fun, engaging, high quality shows will reach more listeners in an easier, more user-friendly way!

 

New episodes will continue to air each Monday morning…

So, be sure to check for new episodes regularly here on my Motherhood Radio page. Or, subscribe to have new episodes automatically delivered to your device through iTunes or SoundCloud or your favorite podcast site. (If you subscribed previously, you’ll need to resubscribe to this new platform.)

Yes, you can still access previous episodes through the WebTalkRadio website and iTunes platforms, and soon, you’ll also be able to access these episodes and subscribe to show updates through my website!

 

This week’s new NEW episode is right here and also on my Motherhood Radio page!

 

Finally, and this is VERY exciting…

Coming soon–Motherhood TV! Yes, I’ve been recording videos of the shows all along, but now we are working on forming an entire network of shows/videos all for YOU wonderful moms!

This is going to be a fun and fabulous way to engage, learn, and grow through motherhood together, and I can’t wait to share it with you! In the meantime, you can watch video of each radio episode on my YouTube channel. Subscribe to automatically receive new videos to your YouTube account, and you can also subscribe to my YouTube “Motherhood TV Playlist” and new episodes will pop up each week.

 

Let’s Grow Through Motherhood Together!

Many exciting things are ahead for our Motherhood community, so be sure to join our “Growing Through Motherhood” Facebook Group, if you haven’t already! Part educational, part support group, part community of moms who are in the thick of it with you, this is THE place for learning and growing as moms. It’s also the place where I post updates and where you can connect with my fabulous guests. Tell your friends, and be sure to share who you are, your questions, frustrations, and joys with us there!

I look forward to sharing this journey with all of you as we “grow through Motherhood” together each week on Motherhood Radio and TV!

 

 

Questions? Comments? Leave a comment, below!

 

 

Listen to my latest episode of “Motherhood” radio here, on  iTunes or here, or watch episodes on YouTube or my NEW webpage, “Motherhood TV!.”

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Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is here!

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

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Join my “This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! 

 

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goals

 

 

 

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

Motherhood Radio News! www.DrchristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #radio #tv #moms
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3 Steps to Enhancing & Trusting Your Intuition

3 Steps to Enhancing & Trusting Intuition www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Years ago, when I was in graduate school, I wanted to see if I really could hear and follow my “conscience,” my intuition, the Spirit, the whispers. So, I did an experiment. I decided that, for one week, I would listen extra carefully to that inner, guiding voice and obey whatever it told me to do. It changed my life.

 

I’ve always been a spiritually-focused person. I pray, meditate, and study scriptures each day. I’ve always felt the bigger, greater purpose in life and have sought to know more about it. Now, however, I was learning in a whole new way–not with my brain, mind, or even my heart, but from the depths of my spirit, my soul. The more I slowed down and paid attention, the more whispers I heard. The more I heard, the more I followed, and quickly I began to see the miracle of trusting my intuition–peace. Peace, because life became so much smoother. Not easier, exactly, but smoother–like following a trail of bread crumbs toward a desired result.

 

Yes, a few of the bigger things felt smoother. Things like big decisions I needed to make about school and family life, or changes in my schedule that led to greater balance in my school, family, and home life with my husband and two children. Even more so, however, it was the little things. “The baby’s crying after his nap, but I just got in the bath. Ugh! I guess I’ll get out,” I’d tell myself. Then, I’d hear, “Wait.” So, I would. And you know what? He’d fall back asleep for another half hour. Or I’d feel I should stop for gas now, even though I still had a quarter tank left and wanted to just get home. But, I would, and the next morning, leaving for a long drive I’d be running late and think, “I’m so glad I don’t have to stop for gas right now!” Life felt so much smoother.

 

These big and little things taught me a valuable lesson: We all have this inner voice–intuition, conscience, the Spirit (whatever you want to call it)–and when we work on enhancing our ability to listen to and trust it, the payoff can be great. As I wrote in This is How We Grow: “We spend so much time and energy trying to do it on our own, do it our way, that we miss the very voice whispering exactly what we need. By submitting, humbling ourselves, and actively listening to those whispers, we receive answers, and by obeying those promptings we receive an ease and certainty about life. As one author so aptly put it: ‘Knock, ask, listen, receive, obey.’ It really is the simplest and most fulfilling way to live.” (p.388-9)

Paddle-boarding on a still lake at dawn--peaceful, quiet, ready to listen.

Paddle-boarding on a still lake at dawn–peaceful, quiet, ready to listen.

 

Yes, following our intuition is the simplest and most fulfilling way to live. It can not only protect us and keep us safe, through warnings and promptings that we heed; it can also lead us down that path of prosperity, peace, and personal power. It can lead us to the life we are meant to live, the work we are meant to do, the person we are destined to become. We will feel the power of following our intuition as we seek to enhance our ability to trust and obey the whispers. (For more, listen to my episode of “Motherhood” on Trusting your Intuition, and hear about a revolutionary home security system, SimpliSafe, too! For safety tips, follow SimpliSafe on Twitter!)

Watch the YouTube video of “Trusting and Following Your Intuition” here.

 

 

3 Steps to Enhancing and Trusting Intuition

The big question, as always, though, is how? How can we enhance our ability to hear, trust, and follow our intuition–in the small and big things of life? I have three simple steps I have found useful. I hope they will do the same for you!

 

1) Decide. First, we must decide we want to live this way–we want to follow our intuition and see where it leads us. That’s what author Gail Harris encouraged in our recent “Motherhood” radio episode on trusting our intuition, and I agree. Until we decide to live by our intuition–to trust and obey those whispers–we simply won’t be committed enough to actually hear and follow them. We must choose to trust that inner voice in order to then practice trusting and following it.

 

2) Experiment and practice. Just like I did years ago, it’s important to experiment and practice hearing and trusting your inner voice. If you’ve already decided this is how you want to live, then you’re well on your way. Next, you can choose to put that desire into daily, hourly, and really, moment-ly practice. It will take time to learn to hear the whispers of the Spirit, your conscience, or your intuition. Give yourself that time. It will take practice, trial and error, to know when it’s trying to tell you something, to stop and pay attention, and to follow. When you don’t listen and follow your intuition, you’ll know, because you’ll come to a block or a challenge or a realization that “I should’ve listened…” We practice, and we learn, and we practice again, and practice makes progress. Practice will eventually enhance our ability to trust, follow, and obey our intuition.

3 Steps to Enhancing and Trusting Intuition www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

3) Listen and obey. This is part of experimenting and practicing, but deserves its own step, because it’s really “the way” we learn to trust and follow our intuition. Moment by moment, listen for the whispers. Hear what they’re telling you. It may not actually sound like words but might be more of a feeling of what to do or not do. Pay attention to this feeling. Remember, intuition is soft and quiet. It’s not a loud shouting voice or feeling; it’s most often gentle but direct guidance. If you’re not still and quiet enough to listen, you will miss many of those promptings. Make stillness a part of your intuition practice. Meditate, pray, ponder, or just sit still and “be” for a while. Journal about what you hear or feel or sense within. All of these can help you develop that ability to more easily hear or feel those whispers as you grow.

 

Many people ask, “How do I know if it’s my intuition or just my brain, telling me what to do?” Here’s what I tell them: Your conscience won’t argue or reason about things; it will simply tell it like it is. “Do this.” “Don’t do that.” If you’re hearing things like, “Maybe I should…,” “I wonder if…” or “But what if…” it’s more likely your mind or brain reasoning things out. While it’s important to use our brains to reason things out sometimes, intuition works in a different way. It says it like it is. No “should’s” or “what if’s,” just direct, simple, soft guidance. Following our intuition is about learning to hear and trust those direct whispers that will lead us to Truth and Love and Joy and Peace–to our ultimate life’s purpose and the fulfillment of it.

 

 

Final Step…Repeat, and Learn

Repeat this process as many times as it takes to trust yourself and the guidance you continually receive. This is a skill, just like learning to play a musical instrument, and it must be practiced daily in order to feel proficient at it. In fact, for most of us I’d say our practice will most likely be life-long.

 

What’s the payoff? You’ll have to discover that for yourself, but from my experience, overall, the payoff of living by trusting and following your intuition is living with greater peace. Peace with knowing you’re doing what is “right” for you at every step, peace with feeling the power of a life of intuition that leads you to who you’re destined to be, and peace with yourself, for letting yourself be led where you ultimately need to go.

 

Listen to my episode of “Motherhood” radio on “Trusting and Following Your Intuition,” and learn about SimpliSafe, too! “Choose to grow through motherhood” with me!  Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe.

Listen to "Motherhood" with Dr. Christina Hibbert! Each week on WebTalkRadio.net & iTunes! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #radio

 

 

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is here!

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

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Join my “This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! 

 

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goals

 

 

 

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

3 Steps to Enhancing & Trusting Intuition www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
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Mother’s Day: The One Thing ALL Moms Need

Mother's Day-The One Thing ALL Moms Need; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

There’s a lot of talk this time of year about what to get Mom for Mother’s Day, of what we moms want, what we deserve, and what we truly desire. While all of these are undoubtedly important, I want to talk for a few minutes about what moms actually need for Mother’s Day.

 

If I asked, “What do you need right now?” the answers would vary. “A nap.” “A shower.” “To go to the bathroom without someone banging on the door!” “A couple hours just to myself.” “To get out of the house and have some fun.” “A hug.” “Encouragement.” “Support.” “Help.” “Love.” Our needs are important; as moms, I’d even say they’re crucial. When we fail to address our needs, we, and those around us (especially our children, spouses and families), suffer. We become worn out, burned out, depressed, and ill. As I often say, “It’s called a need because you need it.” (More on How to Get Your Needs Met, here.)

 

 

The One Thing ALL Moms Need

It’s one thing to be told we’re great. From familyMother's Day-The One Thing ALL Moms Need www.DrChristinaHibbert.com, friends, at church or even on TV on Mother’s Day, we hear praise for mothers. Our children’s poems, gifts, and cards tell us we’re wonderful. The question is, “Do we believe it?” Do we feel it, deep inside? Do we let ourselves feel good about the good job we’re doing as moms?

 

I’ve had many Mother’s Days when I didn’t believe this. Mother’s Days when all that praise backfired drastically, leaving me feeling lower than low, guilty for all I wasn’t doing, unable to see all I was. I believed there was no way I could ever be as good as other moms, or even as good of a mom as I wanted to be. All I could see were my faults, how I didn’t measure up. It’s easy to do–to question, resist, and twist the praise into fuel for self-doubt and self-loathing.

 

It’s a miserable place to be, and yet as a psychologist working with countless moms over the years, I know I’m not the only one who’s felt this way on Mother’s Day. It’s tragic–the one day we’re meant to be built up can put such pressure on us, we end up feeling deflated.

I love spending quality time with my kids, but I love it even more when I've had some time to myself, too. How can I ever doubt my worth as their mother when we love each other so?

I love spending quality time with my kids, but I love it even more when I’ve had some time to myself, too. How can I ever doubt my worth as their mother when we love each other so?

 

Through these experiences, I’ve learned it’s not the holiday itself or the words of others that takes what’s meant to be good and makes it something miserable. It’s something going on inside of me. It’s only when I’ve been focusing too much on my weaknesses, or in a period of anxiety or depression or postpartum depression, or intense grief, trauma or heartache; when I’ve been overcome by a wayward child or struggling with my true worth–these are the times when I couldn’t believe the kind words said. And no amount of reiterating would help. The issue needed to be resolved at a deeper level.

 

My 8 year-old daughter gave me this today. I'm believing what she says--that I'm good at loving, caring, & making them happy!

My 8 year-old daughter gave me this today. I’m believing what she says–that I’m good at loving, caring, & making them happy!

 

How can we believe we’re doing great, good, or even good enough as a mother, when we just don’t?

By focusing on building ourselves and our self-worth as moms. We can:

 

1. Identify the thoughts and feeling that hold us down, telling us we’re not good enough. We can challenge and learn to change them, and as we do, we can progress to tackling the unwanted beliefs we hold, too. (Learn how to tackle unwanted thoughts and beliefs in this post and video.)

 

2. We can let ourselves FEEL (Freely Experience Emotions with Love) what Mother's Day-The One Thing ALL Moms Need, www.DrChristinaHibbert.comcomes, so it doesn’t get all stuck inside, causing blockages to our mind, heart, and soul. (Learn how to FEEL in this post and video and in my memoir, This is How We Grow.)

 

3. We can seek Divine help and guidance, remembering the honor of being a mother, no matter how hard it is. We can remind ourselves that we are being led and cheered on by those on High. As we seek, listen, and obey the whispers, we will find a peace and joy in our role as “Mom,” knowing we are doing an important work, and that we truly are not alone.

 

4. We can actively work to build self-worth, not only for our own benefit, but so we can show our children how to do the same. (Learn how to build self-worth using my “Pyramid of Self-Worth” here and in my books Who Am I Without You and 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise. Listen to How to Teach Your Daughters Self-Esteem & Self-Worth.)

 

5. Finally, we can choose, just for this moment, to believe. “You are good enough.” “You are a good mother.” “You are actually a great mother!” What if you chose to believe any or all of these things, moment by moment this Mother’s Day? How might that change you for the better? 

 

 

This Mother’s Day, Believe…

Mothers, trust me, you are doing better than you think you are. You are loving, Mother's Day--The One Thing ALL Moms Need, www.DrChristinaHibbert.comserving, getting up and trying again and again, and again. You are sacrificing, weeping, rejoicing, and seeking self-improvement through it all. If one of these things feels lacking in your life right now, guess what? It’s okay. It’s an opportunity to open yourself up and become even “better than better”–to eventually flourish!

 

Motherhood is truly the best soil for personal growth. Plant yourself. You’ll be amazed by how vast and high and far you will grow. Choose to believe it this Mother’s Day. Help other mothers believe it: You’re better than you think you are. You’re worthy, you’re remarkable, you’re doing the most important work. Let yourself feel the honor of bearing the name, “Mom.”

 

 

 

“You are good enough.” “You are a good mother.” “You are actually a great mother!” What if you chose to believe any or all of these things, moment by moment this Mother’s Day? How might that change you for the better? Share your thoughts below, by leaving a comment. 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

“Overcome, become, & flourish” with me by subscribing!

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Listen to my latest episode of “Motherhood” radio and “choose to grow through motherhood” with me!  Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe.

Listen to "Motherhood" with Dr. Christina Hibbert! Each week on WebTalkRadio.net & iTunes! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #radio

 

 

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is here!

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

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Join my “This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! 

 

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goals

 

 

 

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

 Mother's Day-The One Thing ALL Moms Need; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
Let’s Connect! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram

 

 

 

 

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8 Keys to Stress Relief–#StressAwarenessMonth

8 Keys to Stress Relief www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #stress #stressawareness month #happiness

 

Happy Stress Awareness month!

When I learned there was such a thing as stress awareness month, I thought two things: first, “We need to be reminded to be aware of stress? Aren’t we already far too aware of it?” and then, “Oh, okay, I get it. We definitely need to be more aware of what stress actually does to us, and of what we can do to find relief.”

 

 

The Consequences of Stress

Stress is associated with a multitude of other physical and mental problems,

This is me, on our family vacation in 2013, finishing my second book proposal, due that day, while my 10 year-old daughter drove the boat (in my husband's lap) back to the dock so I could email it out! Talk about too busy.

This is me, on our family vacation in 2013, finishing my second book proposal, due that day, while my 10 year-old daughter drove the boat (in my husband’s lap) back to the dock so I could email it out! Talk about too busy.

including higher rates of heart disease, cancer, insomnia, headaches, illness, and poorer immune functioning. Stress releases stress hormones, like cortisol, which marinate your brain and body in chronic stress, leading to a breakdown of the body’s health systems, and a breakdown of mental health, too. Depression, anxiety, panic, phobias, and just plain old burnout are associated with chronic stress. So are marriage and family issues, as well as problems with emotional regulation, which leads to anger, yelling, crying, and unwanted outbursts that hurt not only us, but those we love.

And these are just a few. Eventually, chronic stress can kill. That’s the truth! Chronic stress will not only impair our health, happiness, and life satisfaction, but has the potential to eventually take our life if we don’t stop now and make a change.

 

8 Keys to Stress Relief

What are we to do? Stress is part of everyday life today, unfortunately, but it doesn’t have to be a full-time, chronic part of life. As we seek and implement simple strategies to relieve stress, daily, we can prevent the negative long-term consequences of chronic stress and find stress relief right now. Ahh… Who doesn’t want that?

The following are my favorite 8 keys to stress relief, all backed up by research, and with my own strategies for how to actually make them happen and work!

 

Key 1: Daily Activity & Exercise–Get moving!

I can’t say it enough: daily activity is tops when it comes to physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health. As we move our body, it quite literally

The benefits of hiking--incredible views! Mark Wade, from Zion Ponderosa, at Observation Point. www.ZionPonderosa.com

The benefits of hiking–incredible views! Mark Wade, from Zion Ponderosa, at Observation Point. www.ZionPonderosa.com

moves our mind, and spirit. It opens us up to greater peace, love, joy, and light. Walking, jogging, biking, swimming, dancing, and other aerobic activity clears our mind, bringing greater focus, energy, creativity, inspiration, and yes, less stress. Lifting weights (even light ones) and doing muscle conditioning of any type (push-ups, sit-ups, etc) relieves the physical tension that builds up when we are stressed, and flexibility exercises like yoga, pilates, and simple stretching calm the body and the mind and reconnect us to what matters most.

And you can make it fun, too! I’m packing up right now for the Zion Pondersosa Women’s Adventure Retreat--a weeklong activity adventure of hiking, rappelling, horseback-riding, zip-lining, and more! (Watch for my post all about my adventures, and check out this post on “Key 1: Make Exercise fun” for more!) If you want stress relief, move your body. (More on all of these things, and the research behind it, in my new book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise. Read some free excerpts herehere, and here,)

 

Key 2: Quality, Nightly Sleep!

Sleep and activity go hand in hand. A major study in Mental Health and Physical Activity (Cardinal et al, 2011) journal showed that those who Anxiety & Women: Hormones, Sleep & What You Can Do www.DrChristinaHibbert.comincorporate at least 150 minutes of activity into their week experience a 65% increase in sleep quality! And we all know that better sleep means more energy, which makes us more likely to keep moving throughout the day.

Sleep is crucial to stress relief. When we’re too tired, we simply can’t cope with the stressors that come our way. A small stressor can turn  into a chronic one because we’re just too tired to handle it well. 7-9 hours a night is recommended for most of us, but find what’s right for you. Then, clear your nightly schedule, develop a wind-down routine that’s calming and doesn’t include screen time (which stimulates the brain and interferes with relaxation and sleep), get in bed earlier, and work on quality, nightly sleep. (Read Sleep Better, Cope Better 6 Insomnia Causes & Cures, and Anxiety & Women: Hormones, Sleep & What You Can Do)

 

Key 3: Relaxation and Downtime

If you’re too busy or stressed for relaxation and downtime, then there’s a

Give yourself a little love with a break, relaxation, and downtime.

Give yourself a little love with a break, relaxation, and downtime.

problem, because downtime is a must for stress relief. In modern society, the norm is to “go, go, go” with no time for sleep, let alone time to relax! But to what end?

When we forego relaxation, we prevent ourselves from resting our mind and body, from giving ourselves that essential break from the stressors we face. Having time to just “be,” versus having to “do” all the time keeps us physically and mentally balanced. Relaxation can include resting, napping, spending time with loved ones, mindfulness practice (see below), watching a movie or tv show, or simply breathing. The important thing is to prioritize and make downtime in your stressful schedule, and then keep that appointment with yourself! A great place to start is to learn and practice deep breathing. Then, you can implement it throughout your day to help you relax. (For more on relaxation techniques and efficacy, visit NIH.)

 

Infographic created by Casper.com.

Infographic created by Casper.com.

4) Afternoon Power Naps!

I know not everyone is a napper, but perhaps we should be. I’m a huge fan of the power nap. Even 5-10 minutes gives me that much-needed downtime, relaxation, and rest I need to get back out there, refreshed and de-stressed.  The benefits of napping are numerous and the research is plentiful, as you can see from this beautiful “Napping 101” infographic, created by Casper, maker of the incredible Casper mattress. The research is all there, as well as the benefits. Just remember not to sleep too long. A short nap is powerful and energizing, but a longer one can zap your energy and be counterproductive in times of stress. Trust me, as a lifelong power napper, I know!

 

Key 5: Mindfulness & Meditation

I am also a huge believer in the power of mindfulness and meditation to reduce stress. Practicing mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment, taking it all in with our senses, breathing, and taking a time-out from everything else. As we practice mindfulness, we recognize all the good things we otherwise miss when we’re stressed. We calm our body and mind and open our spirit to the beautiful moments of life.

Meditation is another form of mindfulness that I highly recommend. When I practice meditation, I feel calmer, more focused and centered, and spiritually connected, which all leads to a less stressful life. Read Daily Mindfulness: 6 Ways to Put More Being into What You’re Doing, and Meditation for Mental Health, Wellness, & Spiritual Growth, and try my guided “Spirit Meditation” to get you started today.

 

6) Connect with those you Love.

We need each other, and connecting with others and building relationships is

My husband, OJ, and me at my 39th birthday/ "This is How We Grow" book release party! Such a fabulous, fun night with friends & family!

My husband, OJ, and me at my 39th birthday/ “This is How We Grow” book release party! Such a fabulous, fun night with friends & family!

associated with health, happiness, and yes, less stress. There is a multitude of research showing the powerful effects of social connection on increasing happiness, success, peace, family health, and so much more. As we focus on the relationships that matter to us, we find the support we need in times of stress. We can share the emotions we feel, and as we do so with the right person, find relief. We can also serve those we love, which is also linked with stress reduction, physical and mental health, and happiness.

Social connection not only helps us reduce stress; it strengthens all areas, leading to more meaning, purpose, and joy in life. Reach out to someone you love today. (More on strengthening families, and building stronger intimate relationships here, and here.)

 

7) Play!

Play researcher Stuart Brown describes play as “time spent without

Ziplining? Talk about play! All part of the Women's Adventure Retreat at www.ZionPonderosa.com!

Ziplining? Talk about play! All part of the Women’s Adventure Retreat at www.ZionPonderosa.com!

purpose.” How often are you involved in play? Probably not often enough. I am a big supporter of living life with meaning and purpose, of working hard; admittedly that’s what drives me in life. But I’ve come to recognize the crucial importance of play, and I’m working on putting more play into my life. In fact, tomorrow I head to Zion Ponderosa’s Women’s Adventure Retreat (see pic right), and I’ll be playing and making friends all week! (Watch for my post about it soon!)

Research shows that regular play–doing things for fun and no other reason–is essential to healthy human development. It’s not only great for kids; adults need play, too! Play is associated with greater creativity and intuition, can strengthen relationships when done with others (and we’ve already seen how important that is), and leads to greater happiness, and therefore less stress, overall. Play with your family. Play with your friends. Play on your own. Just get out there and play, today!

 

8) Laugh!8 Keys to Stress Relief www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Yes, laugh! A good belly laugh not only relieves tension and stress in the body, it’s associated with a healthier mind, and also better relationships. As we laugh, we remind ourselves that we don’t always have to take life so seriously. We connect with others, feel happiness, and release the stressful concerns that are bottled up inside. Watch a funny movie. Tell jokes with your friends. Try a laughter group! Laughter really is the best medicine for stress relief, so get laughing today!

 

 

For more tips, check out Stress Management: 15 Proven Ways to Stress Less & Smile More!

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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