Self-Care or Self-Destruction Post-Election 2016

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Regardless of whether you supported Donald Trump or not, this election has likely deeply affected you. In this video blog I share my thoughts about picking up the self-care pieces post-election 2016. Self-care is at the center of your ability to be present and effective as the kind of change agent YOU want to be. And during stressful times our best attempts at self-care can unintentionally slip into self-destruction. I encourage you to take a quick self-assessment, commit (or re-commit) to taking charge of your online media usage, and remember that we aren't able to be effective when we are trying to pour from a dry well.

What are you doing to take care of yourself post-election?

Healing the Hate: A Better Body Image for 2016

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Monday, July 25, 2016

This post originally debuted in January and with the heat of summer upon us I had to re-share it.

Key Point: You cannot talk your way to better body image. If you treat yourself with hate you will continue to feel hate towards your body. In this video blog I share with you the why and the how to improve your body image through actionable steps.

After you view this video blog, I hope you will share what you plan to start doing that feels good to your body. What action step or steps will you start making today?

 


Rituals

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Tuesday, December 22, 2015

It’s the holidays! While it’s a time of stress and overwhelm, for many of you it’s also a time of tradition. The holiday season is filled with traditions and rituals and I have been thinking about this quite a bit. A ritual is a ceremony or action performed in a customary way. My extended family has a pre-Christmas ritual of gathering around a big meal of Mexican food. I also listen to the same Christmas album while wrapping my presents. It’s nostalgic and brings happiness to my heart. I look forward to some of my holiday rituals all year round!

Rituals can be powerful determinants of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

 I’m very curious about your rituals. Have you cultivated any daily rituals that keep you grounded and present? Expressions of gratitude before your evening meal and a cup of tea before bed are simple rituals that can instill a feeling of peace and calm amidst a hectic day. Conversely, many of us engage in unconscious daily rituals that deplete our energy and sense of well-being. Frequent Facebook checks and a critical inner monologue are small but insidious ways we become depleted rather than buoyed up in the course of our day.

I would like to encourage you to take stock of your daily rituals. And if you’re up for it, choose one to create, one to keep and one to toss. Consider which rituals generate more peace and clarity as opposed to greater stress and distraction. Getting a good night sleep is incredibly important to me. So I have recently replaced my nightly ritual of scanning social media with a few meditative breaths and a technology-free zone an hour before bed.

Please share the daily rituals that help you stay grounded during particularly stressful times. And I’d love to hear what rituals you plan to create, keep, or toss! Here’s to a slightly less stressful kick-off to the end of the year.

 

Rituals- Your Daily Habits That Help or Hinder

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Tuesday, December 22, 2015

It’s the holidays! While it’s a time of stress and overwhelm, for many of you it’s also a time of tradition. The holiday season is filled with traditions and rituals and I have been thinking about this quite a bit. A ritual is a ceremony or action performed in a customary way. My extended family has a pre-Christmas ritual of gathering around a big meal of Mexican food. I also listen to the same Christmas album while wrapping my presents. It’s nostalgic and brings happiness to my heart. I look forward to some of my holiday rituals all year round!

Rituals can be powerful determinants of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.


I’m very curious about your rituals. Have you cultivated any daily rituals that keep you grounded and present? Expressions of gratitude before your evening meal and a cup of tea before bed are simple rituals that can instill a feeling of peace and calm amidst a hectic day. Conversely, many of us engage in unconscious daily rituals that deplete our energy and sense of well-being. Frequent Facebook checks and a critical inner monologue are small but insidious ways we become depleted rather than buoyed up in the course of our day.

I would like to encourage you to take stock of your daily rituals. And if you’re up for it, choose one to create, one to keep and one to toss. Consider which rituals generate more peace and clarity as opposed to greater stress and distraction. Getting a good night sleep is incredibly important to me. So I have recently replaced my nightly ritual of scanning social media with a few meditative breaths and a technology-free zone and hour before bed.

Please share the daily rituals that help you stay grounded during particularly stressful times. And I’d love to hear what rituals you plan to create, keep, or toss! Here’s to a slightly less stressful kick-off to the end of the year.


May is Mental Health Awareness Month

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Sunday, May 24, 2015

If you struggle with mental health concerns, you’re in really good company. Justin Timberlake  has OCD and ADD and yours truly is a highly anxious lady. I mean, between me and JT, you should feel kind of GOOD about being in this camp. :)

All joking aside, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. And I have spent the past couple of weeks really thinking about what I wanted to write. And while I rarely do this on my blog, I thought it might be helpful to share a little bit about my work around managing my own anxiety. I do this with some trepidation, as I fear that my sharing might be distracting or unhelpful to my clients. But my intention is that my sharing removes some of the stigma associated with mental health struggles.

I’m pretty sure that when I was born I was anxious about whether the doctor was cutting my umbilical cord correctly, the temperature of the room, and when I was going to be able to eat. As a baby I was a pretty crumby sleeper. I was colicky, cried a lot, and I was difficult to sooth. In my early childhood years I threw some pretty wicked tantrums. And by the time I was 6, I was writing notes and posting them on my bedroom door that read “Stay out, I’m organizing!” Fortunately I had my nice moments as well; it wasn’t all tears and frustration. In my early elementary school years I would lay in bed crying at night, worried that my carpool wasn’t going to run on time or that I wouldn’t get enough sleep and would be tired the next day.

As I look back on some of these touchstone moments of my early years I realize, these are indicators that I was a highly anxious kid! And I arrived, totally wired that way. There are some real downsides to being anxious. One of them is that it’s exhausting. Your antennae are turned outward and the volume and quantity of information you process is extraordinarily high! The constant anticipation of potential threats can totally wear you down.

But the optimist in me knows, that there have also been some benefits to my wiring. Some of the traits that make me vulnerable to anxiety are also absolute assets in my life. It’s the same stuff that has allowed me to build a thriving professional practice and enhances my capacity to listen and feel what my clients share with me. It increases my ability to be a loving, feeling, giving, present human being. I’m pretty sure that Justin Timberlake’s OCD and ADD factor into his amazing successes.

As I have gotten older, I have become much more skilled at managing my anxiety. I am more effective at channeling it in a productive way and coaching myself through moments when those feelings of panic rear their ugly head. I’m super grateful to be in a place where I feel pretty grounded and steady most of the time! But it is an on-going practice of learning and work.

Here are a couple of things that I would like you to know about mental illness:

1. It is not a choice and it is strongly rooted in our biology.

2. People with mental health challenges often struggle silently. The lack of a physical manifestation of a problem is confusing and painful.

3. If you are not a mental health expert or have not had personal experience with mental health challenges, don’t offer advice to people in your life who are suffering. Instead you can say, “I don’t understand what you are going through but I am so sorry you are in pain. I love you and I am right here by your side.”

4. Know that despite the immense pain that mental health struggles can bring, they may also shape you in ways that are positive and wonderful. I really love this quote by Emma Thompson and have often found this to be true. “Its unfortunate and I really wish I wouldn't have to say this, but I really like human beings who have suffered. They're kinder.” In my experience, my suffering has made me a kinder, gentler person.

5. Working on managing your own inner struggles is a process and it will look different for you than it does for anyone else. But one thing I know, you cannot “go it” alone. Silence, secrecy, and shame will worsen your pain and your illness. So know you are worthy of support but be wise about how you enlist it and from whom.

I hope my experience and advice are helpful in some way. Given the fact that 1 in 4 people will suffer from some form of mental illness in any given year, let’s commit to being a little kinder and a little less judgmental. We never know the battles that those around us might be facing.

Do you suffer from some form of mental illness? How have you learned to manage it on a day to day basis?