Archive for the ‘Psych Tips’ Category

KISS – Keep It Simple & Silly

Twins on wheels

I am a twin mom, a mom of multiples, a mom of many.  I also have bipolar disorder and Anxiety issues.  There are moments, that I know other moms share, when I want to scream and pull my hair out.  But instead, I KISS myself.

When life is coming at me too hard, too fast, and too strong, and I feel that stress building I (try to) remind myself “Keep It Simple & Silly” (Adapted from the slogan “Keep It Simple, Stupid” I won’t speak stupidity over myself or my kids, regardless of the not-so-smart things we sometimes do). And instead of calling myself “Silly” I try to keep the situation from becoming too serious, because, let’s face it, in the scope of eternity, it probably is silly.

Here are a few easy mom things that can simplify your life and make things a little less hectic (I plan to write a future article with even more helpful tricks, but these relate to keeping things simple during potentially stressful moments.):

1. Invest some time in getting organized.  Get in the habit of putting things back exactly where they belong or you’ll lose your head (along with your keys, cell phone, remote control, diaper bag, etc).

2. For moms with young kids, keep your main diaper bag in the car and only carry around a basics bag when you go places. (Mine has 2 diapers for each baby, a few wipes, 1 juice box per child, and maybe 1 small toy per babe that only comes out with that bag).  Try to keep your basics bag small enough to fit in a bigger purse or small backpack so you only have to carry around one bag for everyone!

3. Have dinner figured out by 10 a.m.  This will help you remember to thaw out anything that needs it and you’ll avoid any evening scrounge sessions.

4.  When you feel like yelling, take a deep breath and whisper instead.  It may take a few tries for your kids to catch on that when you whisper you mean business, but it’s a technique worth trying.  You’d be surprised, even my husband knows I’m serious when I whisper.

5.  Pick your battles.  For example, little one wants to wear her butterfly wings to the store and refuses to put on her socks and shoes.  Make a deal – let her keep the wings but insist on shoes.  Some things just aren’t worth the fit.

6. Finally, KISS your precious little ones – Keep It Simple & Silly – enjoy the ride and don’t get too stressed. Focus on what’s right, not what’s going wrong.  Sometimes that hard to do in the heat of the moment. But ask yourself this:  ten years from now, will this really matter?  The answer is probably “no.”  What will matter is the relationship you have with your children and how they remember you growing up.  You want their childhood experience as well as your parenting experience to be positive ones.

Micaela and Grace

(Twins 2, Mica 8, Hope 7)

Double Talk Story:  I was explaining how to play football when my phone fell.  Mica laughs hysterically, “You dropped your cell phone while charging!” (play on words – I was literally charging)

Bible Verse: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21

Term that had Lost its meaning: date night

Relatable Lyrics:  “Sing” by The Carpenters

Ode to Mania

 

 

Mania, dear, sweet mania, oh how I hath loved thee.  You give me passion, a spark, a zeal for life that’s lacking when you’re not around.  Together, we’ve accomplished so much.  Sure we’ve gotten into quite a bit of trouble.  Yes, we’ve angered and alienated a lot of people.  But still, I love you dearly and I hate when we’re apart.  When you’re not around, I miss the euphoric energy you emanate that allows me to do almost anything.  I miss the grandiose feeling that I have superpowers and can juggle anything that life throws my way.  I miss being me to the 100th power.  I miss having the strength it takes to go days without sleep and not missing a beat; when the concept of time is meaningless.  I miss the floods of creativity you immerse me in, that drown out all the other non-essential, mundane dryness of this world.  I hate the Abilify, Ambien, and Alprazolam that suppress you and weaken your illustrious powers.  I loathe the Lamictal, Seroquel, and Wellbutrin that drive away that aggravated ecstasy that invigorates me to feel so free.  The selfish me wants to flush them all away.  But I can’t.  Alas, dear Mania, we cannot be together, not like before.  Even flirting with you is dangerous.  I know you’ll cause me to fly.  I know I can see the world, I can see the entire universe with you.  But you have to understand, I have responsibilities now.  Responsibilities that I can’t just throw out the window whenever you come around to please me.  I have to stay grounded.  I must remain stable.  Because I know each time we fly together, regardless of how intoxicating the ride, I always, always crash and burn.  You leave me alone in desolated isolation, vulnerable for depression to come and devour my soul.  I can’t afford your thrilling heart breaks anymore.  My sanity depends on it.  So I have to bid you adieu.  Farewell, my bitter-sweet, fair-weather companion.  I did love you.  But now; now I love myself more.

(Written February 2016)

Double Talk Quote: “Mommy, I like me!”  – Bella, “I like you too, baby!” – me

Bible Verse:  “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Word that has Lost its meaning: Superpowers

Relatable Lyrics: Coldplay ft. Beyonce – Hymn For The Weekend

“…You know you make my world light up
When I was down, when I was hurt
You came to lift me up…

…Put your wings on me, wings on me
When I was so heavy…

…Then we’ll shoot across the sky…”

A NEW song for your brain (a second refrain)

IMG_9689.jpg

This past week, one of the pastors at our church preached a sermon about gratitude and thinking patterns, both from a Christian and a scientific perspective.  The sermon really ‘struck a chord’ with me, so to speak.  It was so in-line with what I write about that I just had to repeat This Article  I wrote over a year ago:

In a depressed mind, neurotransmitters do not work properly. Often the problem is complicated by the fact that neural pathways that have already been formed are often the “go-to” route because they have been used so much. They are the “beaten path” so to speak. A tired brain which is not functioning properly anyway says to itself, “Go the way you know.” In a depressed brain that way is usually a depressed path.

Current path: negative thought –→ acceptance of negative thought –→ obsession on negative thought –→ negative feeling –→ possible negative action

It is very difficult to break that pattern. However, brains are very resilient and are abundantly blessed with neuroplasticity. It is like any muscle movement that has become a habit. Have you ever learned to play a particular song on an instrument and always seem to err at one particular place every time? Your fingers have learned to take the wrong pathway. You correct the problem by practicing a new movement. The same is true for our thinking patterns. The brain has hardwired itself to think a certain way, but it can be retrained! Reprogram Neural Synapse Pathways using affirmations and scriptures.

New Path: negative thought → recognition of thought → replace with TRUE thought backed by scripture → positive feelings → positive action

Satan is the author of confusion and a proficient liar. Why do we even think negative thoughts? They are the whispers of Satan to God’s anointed people. Give your brain a new song today!

 

This is the basis of my Think Big, Be Big cards, that helped me get out of a spiral of bipolar depression and mania, which I would like to see published one day (and soon)!

The anointed sermon regarding the power of positive thinking and retraining your brain to be grateful, was delivered by Pastor Eric Freeman and is available via podcast here.

(12/3/2015, Twins 17 months, Mica 7, Hope 6)

IMG_9636

Double Talk Quote: “Hope is not my sibling or my friend, she’s my cousin.” – Mica, justifying why she hadn’t volunteered to “serve” Hope.   (Her God-Time Card had challenged her to secretly serve a sibling or friend.)

Bible Verse:  “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7

Word that has Lost its meaning: ungrateful

Relatable Lyrics:  The Thankfulness Song by Veggie Tales

“…A thankful heart is a happy heart”

(Thanks to Starla Ward for the Starlagraph Photography)

I’m Sorry…But

2015-07-09 I'm sorry but bella butt

I’m sorry… but when you say “I’m sorry” and then follow it with the word “but,” your apology comes off as insincere.

Here’s a pych tip for you:  If you are really sorry but still feel the need to justify your actions or words, do so before you apologize.  For example, you could say, “When I said/did ABC, I was feeling XYZ. I know I was wrong in the way I went about saying/doing it.  I want you to know that I’m truly sorry for ABC.”

Stating your apology this way allows you to indicate your own feelings without negating your apology.  Ending with “I’m sorry.” is more likely to put the person you are apologizing to, in a more accepting state of mind, thus you are more likely to get a more peaceful resolution.   Saying “I’m sorry but…” automatically puts the person you’re apologizing to in a defensive position and then he or she is more likely to simply see you as just a sorry butt.

Double Talk Quote: “I’m sorry…but” – Anyone guilty?  Comment below

Bible Verse: “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” – Ephesians 4:26

Word that has Lost its meaning: sorry

Relatable Lyrics: It’s too late to apologize – Timberland https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gzt6GeNLBk

Think Big and Be Big

you're just like me2 twins

Just before putting his foot in his mouth, Fred Flintstone tells himself “Think big and be big, think big and be big, think big and be big.” Although the episode ends in him feeling pretty small, it’s because his “think big” attitude is based in pride and pretension.

I love the quote, however, because when used in a healthy way, it can promote confidence and positive mental health.

In 2007, I began writing affirmation cards for myself.  They include 3-4 positive, encouraging and self-affirming sentences.  Over the years, as my faith in God has increased and the realization that all the powers I hold within are from Him, I have revised them extensively to incorporate scriptures and Biblical principals in them.  I call them my “Think Big” cards.

These cards were inspired by the Lord, as I would do my devotions in the morning.  I’ve never tried to write one.  In the beginning, I wrote them for the sole purpose of motivating myself.  But after seeing both Grandma and my sister, Sarah struggling with depression, I started lending them out.  I even typed a few samples and put them on “to-go” rings for their keys.  I believe these revelations could be helpful to anyone but could especially benefit people of faith who struggle with low self-esteem,  or mental illness, or have problems with life direction.

Over the years, as I’ve struggled for freedom, I believe (at least I hope) that I’ve grown in the Lord.  I’ve written 3 rounds of the cards over time.  I guess you could equate the messages with strategies to manage money.

1.  “Think Big” cards focus on getting out of emotional debt.  Sometimes, especially with mood disorders in particular, it feels like you’re drowning.  These affirmation + scripture combinations focus on adjusting your life view and actually seeing the positive aspects of your life.

2.  “Think Bigger” cards focus on managing day-to-day life and increase capacity to take care of yourself while incorporating God as the number one priority.

3.  “Think Biggest” cards focus on building emotional wealth.  They are about going a step beyond yourself and reaching out to others to bring God glory.

I know I’m not the only one who could benefit from this.  It needs to be shared.  One day these cards will be published and they will be a life-changing blessing to someone who is in emotional need.  My hope is that they will bless many people.  I can see them in print and on peoples’ key chains.  I can see them as a phone app that people read and reread 3-5 times a day.  I can see them meaning something to someone.  Not just me.  I am not alone.  This.  This could would should will happen.  Amen?

 

Double Talk Quote: “That cat roared at me.” – my 5-year-old, bilingual niece, Hope

Verse:  “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  Romans 12:2

Word that has Lost its meaning: pride and pretension (hopefully)

Relatable Episode: summery here: http://www.tv.com/shows/the-flintstones/the-masquerade-ball-59978/

(March 10, 2015 –  twins 8 months)

Little Girls Are Beautiful

Beautiful Girls 3a

Why I never say anything negative about my body in front of my daughters:

 

Because society already has impossible standards that it will try to force on them.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I know that at such a young age, I am the biggest influence they have.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because kids model behavior.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because kids are innocent and impressionable.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I want my daughters to be able to accept a compliment about her appearance without negating it.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I don’t want my daughters to believe a put-down based on her looks.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I want them to be healthy and happy, not perfect.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I don’t want them to go through what I went through.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because people with high self-esteem make better life choices.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I don’t want them to feel they have to “settle” when they start dating.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I want my daughters to love and respect the body God blessed them with.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because the pressures of this world are brutal.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I want them to be empowered by “flaws” and rise above adversity.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because accepting myself teaches them to accept themselves.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I don’t want them to learn that their self-worth is based on their looks.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because girls grow up to become women.

And I want my beautiful little girls to grow into beautiful, confident women

who will teach their little girls

that they are beautiful.

Double Talk Quote: “You look beautiful, Mommy!” – Mica, when I was 6 weeks postpartum

Verse: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are beautiful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

Word that has Lost its meaning: ugly

Relatable Lyrics: “This One’s For The Girls” by Martina McBride https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl7W77cYfNU

January 17, 2015 (6 months old)

Dedicated to Mica, Bella, & Hope

Princess Micaela Bella Sunday Best Princess Grace

A NEW song for your brain

A new song for your brain

In a depressed mind, neurotransmitters do not work properly. Often the problem is complicated by the fact that neural pathways that have already been formed are often the “go-to” route because they have been used so much. They are the “beaten path” so to speak. A tired brain which is not functioning properly anyway says to itself, “Go the way you know.” In a depressed brain that way is usually a depressed path.

Current path: negative thought –→ acceptance of negative thought –→ obsession on negative thought –→ negative feeling –→ possible negative action

It is very difficult to break that pattern. However, brains are very resilient and are abundantly blessed with neuroplasticity. It is like any muscle movement that has become a habit. Have you ever learned to play a particular song on an instrument and always seem to err at one particular place every time? Your fingers have learned to take the wrong pathway. You correct the problem by practicing a new movement. The same is true for our thinking patterns. The brain has hardwired itself to think a certain way, but it can be retrained! Reprogram Neural Synapse Pathways using affirmations and scriptures.

New Path: negative thought → recognition of thought → replace with TRUE thought backed by scripture → positive feelings → positive action

Satan is the author of confusion and a proficient liar. Why do we even think negative thoughts? They are the whispers of Satan to God’s anointed people. Give your brain a new song today!

Tag Cloud