Remaining Calm While the World is in Chaos

            This year has truly hit us all with some unexpected chaos. On top of the personal day-to-day experiences we have, as a collective we have experienced celebrity deaths, pre-elections, government decisions that impact your life, the Coronavirus, and so much more. The chaos can sometimes make you feel like the resolutions and joy you felt entering into the new year was long ago. You may feel like this year was worse than 2019 or for some you may feel it is better; either way you feel something. There are a lot of us that are living daily in fear, panic, and anxiety. We don’t even know when it is a good time to go to the store anymore because, a lot of people fear they will be without, so they bulk buy. When we are in a state of fear, we are unable to have logical thinking, and we act out of fight or flight response. 

The truth is, we are currently in a state of global crisis! 

Although, the world may be shutting down, that doesn’t mean you have to as well. 

              The reality of most situations is that there is only so much of it that is truly in our control and much more that is out of our control. That can be really scary to come to grips with. There is hope though, because although you may not have all control, you do have power. You have the power to choose how you respond. You get to choose if to live in a state of peace or panic. You get to choose how much news you listen to daily. You get to choose what you consume on social media. You get to choose if you will get angry when you notice the store is out of toilet paper. 

                 One thing that usually happens when the world is in chaos around you, is that you can loose your footing. You begin to drift away with anxious thoughts. You are no longer grounded. Hold on though, there is a gift that most of us have access too (I say most because I am aware some people may have compromises due to health difficulties). That gift is something we do daily on our own; we just don’t pay much attention to it or provide enough gratitude. We often go about our day actually not thinking much of it because, it happens automatically. Keep reading to find out what that gift is.

I would like to offer you one suggestion on how to remain calm when the world is in chaos. 

Use your breath as an anchor!

Yes, breathing is a gift that you were born with, that if utilized to its fullest potential has the ability to calm your nervous system. Help yourself remain grounded by taking deep breaths. Breathing deeply causes you to slow down and reorient yourself. You can think more clearly and react differently. The best part is that it doesn’t cost you a thing. Can somebody say “FREE SELF-CARE!”. Give yourself the opportunity to just be for a moment! There is a lot changing day-by-day, but you don’t have to get swept up in the chaos. Acknowledge all that is going on, ground yourself, and go forth from there. 

Leave me a comment below and let me know if this was easy to do, what made it difficult, and if it made a difference for you. We can survive this!

Psalms 91

Always Live Lovely,

                          Chetina 

Helpful Resources:

For a technique on how to overcome anxiety… read this blog post here.

Considering going to a therapist…read this blog here.

For more information about finding a therapist in your area refer to the resource page https://alwayslivelovely.com/resources/ .

Written : March 15, 2020

***DISCLAIMER***

Although I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), the contents on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the specialized training and judgment of a health care or mental health professional. There is no Therapist-Client relationship created by accessing the information on this blog. Always seek the help of a physician or qualified mental health professional if you have any questions regarding a medical or mental health condition. Always Live Lovely is not held responsible for the use of the information provided. Reliance on any of the information provided by this blog only is solely at your own risk. Please see Health Disclaimer for further information alwayslivelovely.com/health-disclaimer/ .

How to Truly Operate Out of Self-Love

February is known to be advertised as the month of love. For some of us, we get excited about making plans with our honey’s, friend’s, and/or family member’s. There are also those of us that despise the month of February because, it reminds us about heartbreak, being single, and possibly our low self-esteem. Lastly, there is a small group of emerging individuals that have found and grown a new love within themselves that get excited because, they get to treat themselves to all the Valentine goodies. Sounds a bit over the top…well when it comes to loving oneself…it should be. 

Self-love is taught to us by society to be an act that you do to show love, care, comfort to yourself. Most times we are set to believe that our acts of self-love must include bubble baths, vacations, physical grooming, the bar, a night on the town, etc. The reality is that self-love can be the simplest act of making sure you get enough nutrients and water for the day, taking a shower, taking a deep breath through-out the day when you get overwhelmed, saying no, etc. According to Dictonary.com, self-love is “regard for one’s own well-being and happiness”. Wow look at how much room that leaves you to define it for yourself. Quickly ask yourself these questions:

  1. What does happiness mean to you? 
  2. What does happiness look like for you?
  3. Are you taking care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually?
  4. Now, name one thing you did in the last week for each of those categories.

You might notice that you were able to answer those questions quickly, with hesitation, or with enlightenment; either way you just gained some self-awareness of where you stand with self-love currently. 

Over the past couple of months, due to life experiences and providing therapy to others, it has come to my realization that it takes one very important thing/act in order to operate out of self-love. This particular thing people often say they have, but in reality aren’t actually putting it into action. People sometimes fake it until they make it. Sometimes people try really hard to have it, but something triggers them and makes it difficult. Sometimes people feel like they are going out like punks if they provide this type of acknowledgement because, they want no one or nothing to take advantage of them. By now I bet you are saying, “okay say what it is already”.

In order to truly operate out of self-love, one must practice acceptance!

Notice I said practice, rather than have acceptance. To have means to be in possession of and to practice means the act of continuing to carry something out to become better at it. Acceptance is usually a daily decision that one has to make, you may have it for a second, then you can choose to no longer have it. In order for one to fully feel freedom in acceptance they must practice it daily, choose it daily, and allow themselves to acknowledge it daily. Acceptance takes commitment. When one accepts, they are allowing themselves to be free from the burden of stress, anxiety, sadness, fear, and so forth. Each situation we have in life can require various acts of love to reach acceptance. Some acts of love you can indulge in are:

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Prayer
  3. Journaling
  4. Therapy
  5. Meditations
  6. Positive Affirmations
  7. Forgiveness

Once you begin practicing acceptance, you allow yourself to be free to move forward and create a new narrative, a new way of living. Acceptance take maintenance, so you can’t move forward with your old way of thinking. You must put a new perspective in place to have a new framework to operate out of. There is beauty in acceptance because, you hold the power to do so. It doesn’t mean certain behaviors or acts are acceptable, it doesn’t mean accepting an unhealthy habit, or anything that negatively impacts you. What it does provide you with is self-awareness and a starting point to build upon. The moment I accepted various situations in the past and present that were impacting me in a negative way, the easier life became. There’s a quote that goes, “life isn’t about what happens to you, but rather how you react”. You get to choose. 

Always Live Lovely,

                          Chetina 

Reference:

Citation. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved from  

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/self-love?s=t

Helpful Resources:

Need tips on how to reach your new year goals…read this blog here.

For a technique on how to overcome anxiety… read this blog post here.

Considering going to a therapist…read this blog here.

For more information about finding a therapist in your area refer to the resource page https://alwayslivelovely.com/resources/ .

Written : February 18, 2020

***DISCLAIMER***

Although I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), the contents on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the specialized training and judgment of a health care or mental health professional. There is no Therapist-Client relationship created by accessing the information on this blog. Always seek the help of a physician or qualified mental health professional if you have any questions regarding a medical or mental health condition. Always Live Lovely is not held responsible for the use of the information provided. Reliance on any of the information provided by this blog only is solely at your own risk. Please see Health Disclaimer for further information alwayslivelovely.com/health-disclaimer/ .

How to Remain Motivated During your Road to Licensure

I am officially a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) ya’ll!!! I am so excited to write this post and share this news with you all, as it was one of my biggest goal accomplishments near the end of 2019. Being licensed opens doors and will allow me to accomplish goals with Always Live Lovely that I have been dreaming of. Deciding to walk in my calling to become a therapist has not been easy, at all, but it has been worth it. Due to my experience, I wanted to write a post that would reach those of you who may also be on a road to licensure, a degree, or even gaining the skills you need that will equip you to walk in your calling. 

There were times in my journey where I felt great joy, inspiration, purpose, passion, strength, and overall victory. I also experienced moments where I cried, sacrificed, wanted to quit, experienced confusion, resentment, was disrespected by bosses/colleagues, felt under-valued, anger, and overall tired. During those times I leaned on my support system, my strength, and often referenced the song by Mary May called “Can’t Give up Now”; which helped get me through. During those times there were usually 2 thoughts that would always come to mind that helped me remain motivated during my road to licensure

Becoming a mental health therapist was not something I dreamed of when I was a little girl (I actually was training to be an entertainer), it was something I was called to do. My road to licensure took a total of 10 years, a whole decade. If that is not dedication, I don’t know what is! I reflect upon my first experience taking a psychology course my senior year of high school and having to drop the course (for the first time ever) because, I was failing. Just so you have a little more insight into the kind of student I was, I had always been a straight A/ Honor Roll student, so failing a class was a “no go” for me. Nevertheless, I persisted to attend undergrad, where I switched majors from Psychology to Human Development because, I didn’t want to be a science major. I graduated in 4 years with honors and attended graduate school where I graduated in 3 years with a cumulative 4.0 GPA (talk about a testimony in itself since my first psych class senior year). Throughout the journey my overall goal remained the same. 

Grad school was hard, but things became more difficult once I graduated. Not having a roadmap crippled me with fear and experiencing multiple setbacks during my internships began to suck my motivation away. Since I was a trainee, I dealt with something or someone trying to dim my light, but no matter what I persisted. The day then arrived where I submitted my hours, just to wait an extended amount of time, which was totally different than my plans. I was approved, struggled to study, and went to sit for my exam. My personal life had been very stressful for me the few months before my exam and I literally had no choice but to lean on God to get me through. I knew if I failed it would break me, it would be my last straw. The day of my exam, all that could go wrong with the systems did, I had anxiety, but when I received the letter that I passed, I felt victory and wept. I survived the process of becoming a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and it was all because, I remembered my why and knew I was deserving

Now I know you are wondering, “Where are all the juicy details about what was so hard for you?”. The reason I am choosing to not go too in-depth of my personal life is because, I don’t want the time you are taking out to read this post to be about me or you comparing your journey to mines. My hope is for you to get a glimpse into my journey, that it inspires you to reflect on your own journey, and become motivated. Anytime someone speaks with me about feeling they want to give up, I don’t tell them “well let me tell you what I been through”, instead I share with them these 2 tips. I always suggest:

  1. Remember your why!
  2. Acknowledge that you deserve this victory!

Remembering your why will always re-ignited the fire in you that you need to persevere. Usually it was one incident, one book, one talk, one person, one experience that caused you to think that this might be the route to go. Over time you may have received reminders or compliments from others that suggested this was for you. Guess what?! That’s because, it si for you and even if you were to find out it is not, I bet you it will eventually lead you where you are supposed to go. 

Let’s do an exercise! 

I suggest you take a moment right now and identify one reason that fills your soul, not 

out of obligation, that you chose to pursue your particular goal. 

Give yourself a moment to just be. 

Notice the sensation you feel associated with that memory. 

Breathe. Inhale through your nose, hold for 4 seconds, then exhale through your mouth.

Use that to fuel your fire! 

Acknowledging that you deserve this victory needs no explanation. It is simple, you are trying, you are working hard, you are figure things out, so “why not you?”. Before today ends do yourself a favor and just like I did above, reflect on your journey thus far. Identify where your testimony lives. Identify your ups and your downs. Read it whenever you need a reminder. Make a promise to yourself that you will persevere because, YOU DO DESERVE THIS!

A picture of me at my bowling celebration for passing my exam and becoming licensed this past November 2019!

Always Live Lovely,

                          Chetina 

Helpful Resources:

Need tips on how to accomplish your goals this year…read this blog post here.

Starting a new job this year…read this blog post here.

For a technique on how to overcome anxiety… read this blog post here.

Do you experience suicidal thoughts…read this blog post here.

For more information about finding a therapist in your area refer to the resource page https://alwayslivelovely.com/resources/ .

Written : January 18, 2020

***DISCLAIMER***

Although I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), the contents on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the specialized training and judgment of a health care or mental health professional. There is no Therapist-Client relationship created by accessing the information on this blog. Always seek the help of a physician or qualified mental health professional if you have any questions regarding a medical or mental health condition. Always Live Lovely is not held responsible for the use of the information provided. Reliance on any of the information provided by this blog only is solely at your own risk. Please see Health Disclaimer for further information alwayslivelovely.com/health-disclaimer/ .