When You Wear Too Many Hats

Sometimes it’s hard to take care of yourself. Life is demanding! You may have a job, kids, a spouse, and volunteer responsibilities. You have to clean the house, take care of the yard, feed the dog, keep the kids from killing each other, manage the finances, plan and prepare healthy meals…. the list goes on and on. How are you supposed to balance everything in your life? Quite often, especially for a busy Mom, taking care of yourself ends up last on your priority list.

The many hats we wear, or roles we play, can become overwhelming. I understand that overwhelm. I was a single mom with three kids. I was trying to juggle building a coaching business while babysitting a precocious little girl, being the Primary President at church, and on the School Site Council and PTA at the school. I was taking a couple of college classes, taking care of the house and yard, and going through a divorce without lawyers. I was spent.

I remember hearing, years ago, that one person can only wear 7 hats. I sat down and counted my hats:
1 – Mom
2 – Student
3 – Babysitter
4 – Homeowner
5 – SSC member
6 – PTA member
7 – Primary President
8 – Life Coach
9 – Lawyer/Paralegal

I was over by a couple, and I could feel it. But more important is that nowhere in that list was there a “take care of me.” As a life coach, I knew that self-care was important, but I wasn’t practicing what I preach.

I had to choose what to let go of. I wanted to be involved with my kid’s school. I felt more connected to my role on SSC than PTA, so I dropped participating in the PTA. I also put aside my coaching business. I knew we were winding down on the divorce proceedings, so that would end soon. Dropping a couple of hats gave me more time to focus on what was important: my self-care.

It hurt to let these things go. But in the long run, I was happier. Not only did I have more time to focus on myself, but I also had more time to spend on things that brought my heart joy.

As a Certified Life Coach, I can help individuals like you whittle down your hat collection. Click here to book a free consultation with me. We will look at your responsibilities and decide what you can let go of. We can also set into place some self-care rituals to keep you present with those that are left.

Click here to read Maurice Harker’s analogy about Barnacles and Self-Care.

Five Things We Can Learn from Pioneer Women about Resilience

Have you ever felt too emotionally exhausted to get everything done you want to? Your house is a mess, there are piles of laundry, and you don’t dust or vacuum near as often as you want to. Every time you muster up the energy to try, it works for a little while. Eventually, though, you give up and it’ll be days, weeks, or even months before you even try again.

For years I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle to be a productive human being. I knew the best way to have the spirit in my home was to keep it clean. But when it came time to do chores, I didn’t have the emotional strength to do anything except sit on the floor with my kids while I numbed out on Facebook. There had to be another way to stay motivated and focused.

In my therapeutic support groups through Life Changing Services, I learned about Maurice Harker’s “Pioneer Woman Mode;” an analogy comparing women who suffer betrayal to pioneers. A woman has to pack her wagon full of emotional, mental, spiritual, and financial tools she’s going to need to make the trek to Zion.

The more I thought about these pioneer women, the more I realized there was something else I needed to learn from them. These women were resilient. When they were emotionally overwhelmed, they couldn’t go back to Nauvoo. They had no choice but to press on. How could I be more like them? 

As I studied, I found five things pioneer women did to be resilient.

Use Their Bodies –The pioneers walked, pushed, pulled, hunted, and gathered all day. We can also use our bodies. Most of us will not be taxed with the challenge of walking thousands of miles. We can, however, walk around the block. We can smell the fresh air. We can dance. We can hand-knead bread. We can do pushups. Pick something that uses your body. Anything.

Resiliency Pauses – Our brains tend to default to the negative. Resiliency pauses can push us back to the positive. The pioneers practiced resiliency pauses every Sabbath. They rested from their labors to worship, read scriptures, and pray. We don’t have to wait for the Sabbath. Along with our spiritual self-care, we can ask ourselves some questions:

What tools have helped me in the past? Are there any I could be using now?
Who has helped me in the past? Can I reach out to them again?
What blessings have I yet to count?

Relationships – The pioneers moved west in teams. We must also have a team. We must not be ashamed to reach out to others to ask for help. Many people love us and want to help us through our trials. Above all, turn to the Savior. He is an essential member of our team, the one who can support us in a way that no one else can.

Keep an Eternal Perspective – The pioneers had a vision of why they were on this journey. They had a testimony of the work. They knew God would reward them for their faithfulness. When we keep an eternal perspective, it can give us the same motivation to move forward.

Exercise Faith – The pioneers knew that God would restore all things unto them, whether in this life or the life to come. When we practice faith in the most genuine sense of performing an action despite not having an assurance of the reward, God will also restore all things to us.

As I have applied these tools, I have become resilient. Instead of taking days, weeks, or months to restart, I wake up every day with fresh energy to move forward in my goals. 

If you are struggling to find the energy to keep going, schedule a free consultation with me to learn how to apply these tools in your life.  

Lost Your Ability to Dream?

Remember when you used to dream? You had romantic visions of how you’d live your life. Somewhere, those dreams stopped happening. As time passed, you watched one dream after another fade away as you realized that in your current situation, they’re not going to happen. I mean, how can they? You’ve hoped and waited for so long, but every direction you turn, something is blocking your way.

I know all too well. You push for your dreams as long as you can, but hope wanes as you just don’t have the strength anymore. You are fatigued. You can’t see how to maneuver around those blocks anymore. You feel trapped.

For years, I allowed my dreams to be blocked by the circumstances of my marriage. I was married to an addict, and I allowed his addiction to disempower me. I lived from day to day, managing the best I could with the emotional strength I was able to muster. I was controlled by the external circumstances of my husband’s behavior, and I lost hope in the future. My low point came shortly after my last child was born and I was diagnosed with depression. In my journey to find a way out of this dark place, a good therapist and a good coach helped me learn how to dream again by learning how to control those things in my life that I could control while giving the rest to God. Not only did I learn to dream again, but I learned how to fight for those dreams despite what was going on around me. Now I do the things I love regardless of circumstances around me.

I believe it’s possible not only to dream again, but to see those dreams realized. As you practice this new level of control, you create new dreams within your realm of being realized. You begin to take back your power and push through the fatigue. Those blocks that trapped you before can easily be moved. You feel powerful.

As a life coach, I help others develop new dreams and fight the fatigue. If you’re struggling to get out of survival mode and reawaken your dreams, schedule a free consultation with me to help you get started.

Click here to schedule a free consultation with me.

Also, if you’d like to learn more about how to break free from disempowering circumstances in your marriage, click here to download Maurice Harker’s free ebook I’m Not Okay, You’re Not Okay, But That’s Okay.

Become Your Best Self

It’s been a long, hard day. You picked up the phone at work and got the brunt of someone’s anger that wasn’t even your fault. Your special someone is working late. (Again!!) There was an accident on the way home and you were late picking up your kid from soccer. You get the other kid from the sitter. Then you get home and stare at the kitchen, feeling overwhelmed: you forgot to defrost the chicken for dinner. A voice in your head tells you, “Forget your healthy dinner. Just go get McDonalds”

“No,” you tell yourself. “I can find something.” You rummage through the cupboards, freezer, and fridge, trying to find something that fits within your idea of a healthy dinner. Alas, nothing.

“It’s fine; go grab fast food. You had a hard day. Once won’t hurt.”

“No; I can go to the store and get a rotisserie chicken.”

“But that would take too long! You’ve had a hard day. You deserve this. It will make you feel better.”

Before you know it, you and the kids are loaded up in the van and are heading to your favorite fast food joint.

It doesn’t just have to be food. It can be alcohol, cigarettes, or just zoning out on your phone instead of being present. It can be yelling at your kids, ignoring your housework, giving in to isolationism, or even pornography or gambling.

Whatever it is, you are working outside of your value system. And it all started with a hard emotion: overwhelm.

So, what do you do about it? I’m here to help. I’ve put together a 7-day challenge on my social media that will teach you how to identify your core values, how to tell when your emotions are running away with you, and what to do about it. As you practice these tools, you will be able to be your best self. Find me on Facebook and Instagram starting March 1st to follow along.

Love Yourself Challenge

Starting February 1st, I am hosting a 14-day “Love Yourself” Challenge on Facebook and Instagram. I heard a statistic today that up to 75% of people are single or in crappy marriages, so the desire for a romantic Valentine’s Day falls short year after year. This year, let’s change that! Instead of holding out hopes that a special someone will pop out of nowhere and bring us flowers and chocolate, let’s show ourselves some love!

Every day I will post a challenge on Facebook and Instagram. I invite you to join me as we complete those challenges. I will post a FB and IG story showing how I completed it. I hope that, on the last day of the challenge, you will be able to celebrate the love you have for yourself.

Follow me on Instagram here. Follow me on Facebook here.

I look forward to hearing and seeing all your acts of self love!

Success Streaks

I had a most amazing session with my own life coach on Wednesday. She is excellent at helping me catch my thought processes that might be sabotaging my success in my goals.

Our discussion brought me back to training I attended for my other job as an instructional aide in a Special Ed middle school class. The presenter discussed how students, especially those with behavior challenges like ADHD or ODD, have a hard time feeling successful in their lives because they are so frequently corrected. We ask them over and over again to sit down. Or raise their hand before bursting out an answer. Or stop drumming with your pencil. They really struggle to be successful with these simple tasks.

A key to success, she said, is to give them smaller tasks they will find easier to accomplish. Instead of “sit down,” how about “you can stand, but one hand has to be on your desk at all times.” Instead of “stop drumming your pencil,” how about “drum on your leg instead of your desk because it’s not as loud.”

With these easier-to-accomplish tasks, the students can begin to build a “success streak.” After they build up confidence because of their success, you can start giving them slightly more challenging tasks, and they’ll have the confidence to attempt these tasks and will often succeed at a higher level than before.

We can benefit from the same concept. As my coach and I spoke about one area where I was struggling, she challenged me to change my thinking. When I feel overwhelmed or lonely, I tend to give up on areas of my life where I could be making better choices. I mean, I already sucked at life today. Might as well suck at this, too, right?

Sound familiar? I submit to you, though, that a simple change of mindset can get us out of this funk and making better choices. Find a success streak. Instead of, “I didn’t finish my housework,” how about “I got a good start on my housework.” Instead of “I spent too much time playing Among Us with my kids,” how about “I was really successful about bonding with my kids today.”

Or even, “I got showered today.” “I ate a vegetable with lunch.” “I was successful at putting the ice cream away instead of eating all of it.” Whatever you can do to find your own success streak.

When you can find a success streak, you will realize you CAN continue to make good choices. Then you can finish that housework. Or prepare a good dinner. Or whatever else it is you know you should do but want to give up on.

Are you facing obstacles that minimize your success? Can I help you overcome them? Reach out to me on my “Contact Me” page, and we can set up a free consultation.

When You Can’t Say What You Want To Say

The loss of a dear friend this week prompted this blog post. I have known my friend for over 30 years. He had been sick for a while, and inside I knew he wasn’t going to bounce back this time. I had so much in my heart that I wish I could have said to him.

I turned to one of my favorite tools, a journal I keep on an app on my phone. This is my “Letters” journal. I write letters to people when I have something pressing to tell them that I can’t say to them.

Usually, I write these letters because what I have to say to them would be pointless to say out loud. I have written to people who have misused me, and seeing them again to say goodbye or call them out on their behavior would risk drawing me back into the drama. I have written to people who have disappointed me, and telling them wouldn’t be inappropriate. Occasionally I have even written to myself.

This is the first time I’ve written to someone who’s passed away, but the therapeutic effect was no less effective. Part of the effectiveness is that I use the speech to text feature on my phone. I get the effect of actually saying those words out loud. The other part is that I can go back and “re-write” as often as I need to make sure I say what I need to say in the most effective and precise manner.

I encourage you to try this technique. If you have words swirling in your mind that you can’t get perfect or can’t get out, try writing them down. Some people process best hand-writing on paper. For others, a device is effective. Do what is best for you. This technique brings great peace to my soul and can have the same effect for you.

— I use the “Journey” app on my Android phone. I paid a few dollars for the upgraded version, so if I ever get the hankering to print my journal, I can

The Wood Turner

When I need to turn my brain off and numb out, my favorite thing to do is to go on Facebook and watch videos of woodworkers on their lathe. (Well, honestly, my favorite thing to do is watch Big Bang Theory clips, but it’s harder to make spiritual connections from that one.)

As I walk through this analogy, I want you to think about how the Savior works the same process with us.

These woodworkers start with an often abandoned piece of wood that has no real beauty of its own. It might be a burl that’s been cut off a tree or just another random part of a tree trunk that’s no longer standing.

They start with this very rough wood piece with thick bark and no real shape. Sometimes before they put it on a lathe, they use a chainsaw or another tool to start shaping it into their desired finished shape. Sometimes the wood has rotten parts that have to be shaved off. In this case, there may not be enough wood in some areas to obtain the desired shape. The woodturner will resin to fill in these spots.

Once it is attached to the lathe, they start using tools to even it out. They typically start with tools that are stronger and can take off those really rough edges. As the wood begins to smooth out, they switch to more delicate tools for finer details. As this happens, they gently create the shape of the finished bowl or vase.

Now, woodturners have to start working on the inside. Usually they will use a tool that bores a three or four-inch hole down the center. It takes out massive amounts of wood in just one turn. From there, the woodturner repeats the process of removing wood until the desired shape forms. The skill required by woodturners to maintain a consistent thickness never ceases to amaze me.

Then comes my favorite parts. The woodturner starts sanding this piece of wood on the lathe. He begins with rough sandpaper, and then gradually switches to finer grains until the bowl is smooth. Then he uses mineral oil or other kinds of oil to shine the wood and enhance the beautiful grain that’s now showing through the piece of work.

Occasionally, I have even seen a woodturner use a small blow torch before polishing the finished piece to further enhance the grain’s contrast from the wood’s primary color.

What started as a rough and forgotten piece of wood has now turned into a beautiful vase or bowl that can be sold for hundreds of dollars.

The Savior does the same thing for us. We are those rough and rugged pieces of wood, and when we let the Savior work on us, we become beautiful, priceless works of art.

Podcast Week 3

A big thank you to those of you who have been listening to my podcast! I hope that little burst of reflection time starts your day out on the right foot! This week we’re going to talk about self-compassion. Making it through the holiday season during the COVID pandemic could be difficult. Let’s set the groundwork for being compassionate to ourselves. Find Heidi’s Daily Pep Talk in most every podcast streaming service. (Except Apple podcasts. I’m still working on that one.)

I Am The Kind of Woman Who…

Have you ever heard of a personal declaration statement? It is a document that you write which states who you are and what kind of person you want to be. It can be a great tool when overcoming challenges that leave you occasionally functioning out of your value system.

My personal declaration statement was a great tool to aid me in overcoming the challenges of an emotionally abusive marriage. The more I learned how to deal with that trial, and the more I learned to love myself, the more I yearned to change how I lived to align with who I truly was inside and who I wanted to be.

I learned to do this through a document called the “I am the kind of woman who…” document. (In the rare case a man is reading this, feel free to do “I am the kind of person who…” or “I am the kind of man who…”) From here, the only thing to do is to dream. What kind of woman are you? Are you fun-loving? Sensitive? Active? Serious? How would you ideally act in different situations?

What are your hobbies? Are they in line with what you want them to be? Are you using your gifts and talents regularly? What about your self-care? Is there something you should change in your self-care routine? Are you living the tenants of your faith or religion? In what other ways do you wish you were living differently? In what ways are you being authentic and living the way you’d like that you want to remember?

After a serious brainstorming session or two, begin to write them down. I’ll give you a few of mine as examples.

I am the kind of woman who takes the kids hiking a couple of times a month.
I am the kind of woman who takes deep breaths when I’m tempted to yell.
I am the kind of woman who is okay leaving the house without makeup.
I am the kind of woman who enjoys making other people laugh.

Write them all up pretty-like on a paper, and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Read one or two each time you pass it. In time, these reminders will guide you to be the person who you truly can become.

Have you ever made a personal declaration statement? How did it go? Need help getting started? Reach out to me on my contact page. I’d love to help!