If you've read my blog or have been following me on social media, I've touched on anxiety quite a bit. A few years ago I started to see a therapist because I was suffering from daily anxiety attacks. Death was on my mind more than food was, and food is always on my mind. After countless therapy sessions, now I am able to manage my anxiety, but that doesn't mean that anxiety doesn't hit me every now again. With these recent tragic events, (feels like it's never ending) my anxiety has picked back up. In the blog below I will talk about how I work to calm my nerves.
When bad things happen in the world, I become very emotionally invested. When there is a shooting or terrorist attack, my heart immediately thinks about all of the people who have lost their lives and their loved ones who are impacted. I start to imagine myself in these tragedies, thinking about losing my loved ones or getting hurt myself. I spend the next few days quiet and working to stay calm.
Even though I still have anxious thoughts, I can control them far better than I could pre-therapy. I couldn't imagine being back in that mental space. Every day, multiple times a day, I would think about myself or a loved one getting hurt or dying. Heavy stuff, yes, but used to live like this and it can be totally paralyzing. Now, my anxiety usually calls for a night or day at home, cuddled up with my animals watching a happy TV show like Friends, The Office or Parks and Rec.
If you struggle with anxiety, below are my top three tips to stay somewhat sane post-tragedy.
1. Pray or say a kind word about those who lost their lives and for their families.
This may sound like the political approach where politicians avoid talking about real issues and say, "We pray for the families impacted", but it's really not what I'm going for. This is more of an internal dialogue I have with myself. At the end of the day, I can't control what happens, but I can work to spread positive thoughts and vibes to others. It may feel like nothing, but I find it helps calm my anxiety.
2. Try to focus on the things you can control, not the things you can't control.
I had the hardest time with this tip because if you have anxiety, you want to control everything. When it comes to big picture things, I need to remind myself I can't control what happens but I can control my voice. If something comes up that you feel very strongly about, use your voice to make an impact. There are are plenty of organizations out there that you can get involved with that will enable you to make a change.
3. Find a calming anchor
I like to find anchors that calm my anxiety. Anchors are different for everyone; it could be a piece of jewelry, a quote, a TV show or even a song. My anchor is watching a comforting TV show such as Friends, The Office or Parks and Rec. These shows are shows I've been watching for years and instantly make me feel better.
I think it's important to test out new methods and find what works for you. We all have our own story and our own way of coping with things. Feel free to test some of these tips out and let me know how it went!
I've been fairly absent on social media lately and it's not unintentional. In this blog, I talk about how you can take a step back from the things that aren't bringing you joy so you can recharge.
Are you someone that gets in your own way? I am! I'm the girl that over analyzes everything, leading me to live in a constant state of stress. When I'm stressed, I'm not the best person to be around. I become moody, irritable, tired and I don't enjoy the simple things in life. With a lot on my plate this summer, it was a great time for me to take a step back and prioritize the important things so I could get back on track.
The biggest thing I decided to take a step from was social media. I was spending an unnecessary amount of time on Instagram and it was causing me to stress out. I realized that every picture I posted, I would analyze how many likes, comments or saves it got. Not only was I analyzing everything I put up on social media, I was also analyzing what everyone else was doing. I found myself playing the comparison game every time I opened the app and it wasn't good for my mental state. It was time to take a step back. Yes, I still went on Instagram this summer but my time was significantly cut down.
For me, this was a very liberating experience. Social media can have this weird way of controlling us. For me, it controlled my emotions and it also took over my time. I was wasting an unnecessary amount of time on Instagram every single day and I wasn't enjoying it. Now I feel like I've found a healthy balance and I look forward to opening the app for a few minutes each day to catch up.
I've applied this concept to many different aspects of my life and it seems to be working. Take career, friendships, relationships, technology, education, etc. and ask yourself, is this bringing me joy?
Let me know if you have any eye opening realizations; I'm sure I've got more to come in the future!
Do you ever get so caught up in your day that you forget to eat? Or maybe it’s the case of you want to eat, but you don’t have time to stop and get something that will nourish your body. That’s been my life since I moved to New York 4 months ago. I love the fast paced lifestyle but man it’s hard to nourish your body properly when you’re running around all the time! Enter mēle, an all-natural meal replacement shake.
I was at a wellness event a few months back when I was introduced to mēle shake. Intrigued by the cute packaging and free samples, I worked my way over to the table to learn more about the brand.
Mēle currently offers three different flavors; cocoa-nut, supergreen and rawberry. Personally, the cocoa-nut is my favorite but I wouldn’t turn down the supergreen or rawberry option; I’m just a sucker for cocoa based drinks. After trying all of the flavors, multiple times, I was relieved when I looked at the ingredients. Mēle shakes are made up of all-natural fruits, veggies, almonds, whey and milk (coconut or dairy); talk about a balanced meal! Excited about the brand, I was eager to incorporate mēle into my everyday life.
Lately, my days have involved a lot of physical movement. For a solid week I would come home feeling famished. I wasn’t eating enough and if I was eating, I wasn’t getting the balance that I needed. By my second week of constantly being on my feet, I started to take mēle shakes with me. Cocoa-nut being my obvious first choice, I used almond milk and water with the powder. I decided to use the whole bag because I would be gone for about 4 hours and I took an RX bar as an additional snack in case I got hungry. I was very pleased with the shake! It tasted great and also kept me from feeling famished. I felt those midday energy dips disappear and by the time I got home for dinner; it was time for me to eat but I wasn’t starving.
For someone who is as active as I am, mēle is a great addition to my daily routine to keep me fueled. I could feel the difference on days that I would drink a mēle shake to days that I went without. On days that I had a shake, I felt like I had a base underneath me; almost like a support system. On days that I went without, I felt groggy, foggy and hangry. Let me just tell you that when I’m hangry, you do not want to be within 5 feet of me; just ask my fiancé!
I recommend mēle shakes to anyone feeling like they are always on the go and can’t get a good meal in. Especially if you’re in the world of fitness and you need more food than the normal Joe, mēle is a great addition to your daily intake.
I recently came back from a Europe trip feeling exhausted physically and emotionally. I'm sure the travel contributed, but I know being constantly surrounded by others played a huge part in my exhaustion. I get very tired when I'm surrounded by others for too long; too many energies for me to take in. Below I explain my biggest learning lesson from my trip.
My trip to Europe was great; I was able to spend time with my loved ones. The biggest downfall was that I didn't have alone time the whole trip. For me, alone time is KEY. I love seeing people and hanging out, but I'm the type of introvert that gets tired from being around others. During the trip, I was constantly going and was always in the company of others. Towards the end of the trip, I could feel my attention span dropping during conversations and my mind starting to wander. Not only did this negatively affect me, but it also affected the people that were with me. I'm sure I came off as uninterested and bored, even though that wasn't the case.
Once returning home from my trip, I was beat. Obviously jet lag and travel contributed, but I believe that spending too much time around others was the biggest reason for my exhaustion. I just wanted a moment alone, free from having a conversation. To recoup, I spent the first few days spending time at home alone.
If you're like me, this type of experience isn't fun. It also is something that is bound to happen, especially when traveling with others. How can we avoid having this exhaustion in the future?
If I could turn back time (any Cher fans here?), I would've made a more conscious effort to block out moments alone. This is easier said than done, but at one point I took a nap while everyone else hung out. That nap gave me life! I spent the rest of the night chatting and having a good time while we had a BBQ. I'm sure I was more enjoyable to be around and I genuinely had a great time.
Going forward I know that I need to put my mental wellness first, even if it means skipping time with others.
This past month, the topic empathy has come up quite a bit. I've had conversations with friends about how they either feel that they aren't being empathetic enough, or they feel that they aren't receiving empathy. As someone that works with clients one-on-one, empathy is a huge part of my practice. It's not always easy and I am nowhere near perfect, but I thought it would be a great blog as we all can relate to this topic in some way or another.
Empathy by definition is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person's frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another's position. Some people have a harder time feeling empathy. This is something that is out of my scope of practice, but if you're interested in learning more I highly suggest checking out Brené Brown; she has some great podcasts around the topic of empathy.
Empathy is something I've become more aware of since my car accident 6 years ago. (You can check out my About Me page for the full story) It was an intense life experience and there have been countless times where I've felt misunderstood or that people in my life haven't shown empathy in the way I was hoping for. Want to know a secret? I've done the same thing! I've had friends who are experiencing something difficult, something I've never experienced, and I've kicked myself in the butt for not showing empathy in the way I'd hoped. Does that mean that we are bad people? Hell no. Being empathetic when loved ones are going through a difficult time, especially when we cannot relate or haven't experienced it, can be really freaking hard.
How do we connect? What can we say to help ease the situation? Below are my top 3 tips on how to practice more empathy:
1. Open up a safe space
The next time you're talking to a loved one that is having a hard time, open up a safe space for them to be how they need to in that moment. If they start the conversation, just quietly listen to what they're saying. If you're able, try to put yourself in their shoes mentally. Try and understand where they are coming from and the feelings they are experiencing. Simply just listen. Remind them that they are in safe place to say what they feel with no judgement.
2. Ask before you give advice
You will find yourself in moments where people are seeking advice, but in my opinion, it's always smart to ask before giving it. I've been in the situation where I've offered a friend unsolicited advice and she told me she knew the solutions and that she needed to hash it out with someone. This is totally valid and I've been on the other end of this situation as well. Now, if someone is venting or talking to me about a hardship, if I have advice to give, I ask before offering it. Simply just saying, "can I offer some advice" or "do you want another persons point of view" are easy ways to ask. Some people may say yes and some may say no. Either response is valid and it's important to respect their decision.
3. If you don't know what to say, tell them
If you don't know how to respond to someone, it's common to get flustered. Some common responses are: not saying anything at all, offering unsolicited advice or even shutting down. When you don't know what to say, I find the easiest thing to do is just to be honest. Next time you don't know how to respond, try: "I'm so sorry to hear that, I wish I knew what to say to make you feel better". In my opinion that's a great response. You can even ask "is there anything I can do to help"? Both of these responses show that you have good intentions and you want to help. More often then not, the person will respect and appreciate your honesty.
These tips are things I've uncovered since working with clients and also just reflecting on past experiences with my family and friends. At the end of the day, people just really want to be heard. Be loving and open up a safe space so they don't feel alone. Remember nobody is perfect, but if you go in with good intentions, that will shine through.
When we think of health, we often fall into the trap of just focusing on one tiny aspect of it. If we want to lose 10 pounds, we focus on cutting out carbs; if we want to meditate more, we block out 10 minutes each day to meditate. While these things are great, they don't take into account the other aspects of your health. In this blog I want to talk about how health is all-encompassing, and where I am with my journey.
I will admit that I haven't done the best job recently focusing on all of my aspects of health. I've been trying to get back into a rhythm since moving to New York and I've been guilty of focusing on only a few areas of my health. Lately, I've been focusing on moving my body, specifically going on runs a few times a week. When anyone works out consistently, they need to properly fuel their body. Wanna know a secret? I haven't! (embarrassed face) I haven't been eating unhealthy per see, I just haven't been eating the proper foods that my body needs. I've been caught numerous times this month skipping lunch because I'm either running around or I'm just too busy. This usually results in me snacking and not getting the balanced meal my body is looking for. And because I'm not fueling my body properly, I get more tired during the day, which means my work starts to suffer. It's like a chain reaction! If I had just eaten a balanced meal for lunch, I wouldn't feel like I need a nap at 3 pm.
Recently, I've also noticed that I need other outlets for my health. I can't just focus on the fitness and food aspects and forget the rest; I need to take care of my mental and emotional state too. A friend of mine recommended journaling every morning when I'm eating breakfast. Write down things such as: what I'm going to do that day, positive affirmations and what I'm grateful for. I've been doing this for the past week and I can already tell how much it's helped my emotional well-being.
These are just some examples from my own personal life, but everyone is different. I've provided some examples below of different areas in your life that are important to your health. Some are more obvious than others.
Looking at this list, do you need to focus on some of these areas more than others? For me, I need to continue to put effort into journaling until it becomes a habit.
What's one thing you can work on this week?
Ever feel like you're constantly doubting yourself? Doubting your abilities, purpose, uniqueness, etc. If you said yes, then I'm right there with you!
These past few months have been crazy for me work wise. I spent months developing and launching a women's wellness company with an amazing business partner. After a few months, I came to the realization that I wanted to help people who are experiencing some of the hardships I faced after my accident. It wasn't an easy decision or easy conversation, but I knew in my heart that this is the direction I needed to go in. The phrase that's consistently come up for me is, "I feel like I survived my accident for a reason" and I know that this is the reason.
Since I made my decision, I've been working with clients post-physical setback and I absolutely love it. It's so rewarding to watch people grow in a short amount of time. This is something I have extensive experience in. If you follow me on Instagram or have read my About Me, you know that I was a collegiate volleyball athlete. After recovering from my car accident, I was told by my doctor that I would be back to normal. To me, normal meant being a great volleyball player. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. I couldn't regain the strength I once had and it showed in my abilities. I was crushed. Because I didn't have anyone to talk to, I slowly started to give up. I dwindled from a starter to a bench player within 2 years and I ended my career on a sour note. This is why I'm so passionate about helping people post-physical setback; I know how difficult it can be.
Knowing the type of clients I want to help is a great feeling, but I would be lying if I said that there haven't been moments of self-doubt. Questions like, "will people take me seriously?", "do I know enough?", "do I deserve to have a great job where I get to just help people?" have been circling my brain for the past few weeks. When I write them down in this blog I even think, "how silly are these questions?"! Going through my experience makes me knowledgable on the topic. I know the feelings that can come up and I know what to do and what not to do to start moving forward.
When these moments of self-doubt come up, it can be very debilitating. I've learned that keeping these feelings to myself only makes things worse. For the past few weeks, I've made it a point to verbalize my self-doubt with others. I've found that this is the best way for me to break through my insecurities. When I sweep my fears under the rug and act like they don't exist, I find I'm not as productive.
If you're reading this blog and you are struggling with insecurities, know that you're not alone. Self-doubt is something that everyone experiences! To work through these insecurities, try out different techniques. (i.e. journaling, talking with a friend) Take it from me, bottling up those insecurities is not the best use of your energy!
When we get out of our routine it can be hard as hell to get back into it! The longer we prolong getting back into said routine the harder it becomes. Phrases like, I will start tomorrow become your new routine.
Today I'm going to talk about the 3 things you can do to get back into a routine. Why? Well I just moved to NYC and I'm finding it hard to get back into my own routine. This blog is just as much for me as it is for you!
1. Schedule bits of your routine out
I don't know about you, but if I have a schedule it's important for me to stick to it; especially if I write something down. When something is in writing it holds more weight for me and I feel like I need to do it!
It can be super beneficial to schedule small parts of your routine back into your life. Notice I used the phrase small parts? Overwhelming yourself and doing too much at first is one of the worst things you can do. If you're trying to get back into the swing of things, the last thing you want to do is try and do everything at once. You will end up getting too overwhelmed and you will have a harder time sticking to your routine.
So start with baby steps. If you have a morning routine that you want to get back into, try incorporating one thing for the first few days. Then when you feel like that's turning into a routine, you can add on another bit of your routine. The baby steps will create lasting change!
2. Have someone keep you accountable
Having someone keep you accountable is a great way to get things done. Find a friend or someone close to you that will give you some tough love if you don't keep up your end of the deal. It will help you stay accountable to follow-through with your tasks.
It also helps if you find a friend or find someone else that is also looking for some accountability. You both can keep one another accountable and it won't feel like you have a friend that is constantly nagging you.
My friend is my old business partner. We have weekly calls where we talk about work and set out weekly action steps for one another. When we have our check-ins we make sure the other person has been keeping up and doing their work!
3. Focus on what you've done - not what you haven't done
When getting back into the swing of things, you're going to have some slip ups. You may not hit all the marks in your routine and that's totally fine! Instead of focusing on what you didn't do, focus on what you have done. If you did one solid bit of your routine during the day but didn't do 3 other things, focus on the fact that you even did one part of your routine. You don't need to have it all figured out and be perfect every day. When we focus on the good things we've done, it motivates us to continue to work. When we focus on the bad, it demotivates us.
The most important thing is to remember that you're constantly evolving and changing. Don't get down in the dumps if something doesn't go as expected or you don't do everything you hoped for the day. Keep that positive attitude going and it will fall into place.
Gaining new scars, burns or marks on your body can be a weird experience for some people. I know it was for me. Most of the time, these marks don't go away. They may get better over time, but there is a good chance you may have an everlasting mark on your body. In this blog I want to talk about some of the biggest things I learned about having scars.
I want to start off by saying that your feelings towards your new marks on our body are valid. One of my big frustration points when I got my scars 6 years ago was that I would hear phrases like, well at least it's not on your face quite often. Yes, of course I'm lucky my scars aren't on my face and there is ALWAYS a situation that is worse, but that doesn't mean I wasn't allowed to feel self-conscious and uncomfortable about my scars. By hearing that phrase from people it made me feel like I was foolish for having those feelings, so I never really liked to talk about my scars. I didn't want to seem like an ungrateful person. However, I know that people tend to say those things when they don't know what else to say. I may not have known that at the time, but I've learned that over the years. So however you're feeling towards your marks is totally valid, and you shouldn't let someone make you feel otherwise. As I said, there will always be someone that has it worse than you, but that doesn't mean feelings you have should be diminished.
You may also feel like there is something wrong with having marks, especially ones that are visible for others to see. There are a few reasons why that is, but one thing that happened often was people offering unsolicited advice on how to get rid of my scars or make them less noticeable. Now, I know that some people that offered advice meant it in a kind way with no harmful intention, but when you're offered advice without asking, it makes you start to feel like there is something wrong with you. This still happens to me from time to time. The old Molly would think, I guess maybe I should try and lessen these scars if they look that bad. The new Molly will just respond saying thanks, I'm fine with my scars though. People that offer such advice don't realize that you've probably already Googled a zillion times how to get rid of marks. Unfortunately, you will always be offered unsolicited advice, even from complete strangers or companies trying to sell you their product. Just know that it's okay to have marks on your body and that people are usually coming from a place of love or maybe even discomfort because they don't know what else to say.
A last bit of advice for this blog is do what makes YOU feel comfortable and don't let anyone make you feel less than for doing so. For me, that was walking into a room with a cardigan first before unveiling my scars to a group of people who had never seen them. My mind was always racing thinking, what if I make someone uncomfortable? But looking back on it, it wasn't about them, it was about making myself comfortable. Wearing a cardigan into a room made me feel that everyone's first impression of me wouldn't be of my scars, it would just be me. This doesn't mean I wasn't still uncomfortable when I took off my cardigan but it did help me build the confidence up to do it. Now I wouldn't even think about wearing a cardigan for that reason. But it's all about baby steps.
These were a few of my biggest learning lessons over the years. These may not apply to everyone and they may not work for everyone, but even opening yourself up to other ideas and solutions will help. It's always great to read or talk to other people who also have scars because it reminds you that you're not alone.
If you're having a hard time with your new marks, feel free to shoot me an email so we can chat.
It's been almost a month since I wrote a blog - holy smokes! I wanted to write a blog and provide an update on what I've been up to for those of you who are interested.
I've been so silent on the blog because for the past month I've been planning a move to NYC. We had been talking about moving back to New York since the summer, but just kept pushing off the date. We gave ourselves a month to get everything done. Thanks to my sister for the little extra push, we made a move date, booked a ticket, and everything just started to fall into place.
While getting ready for our big move, my fiancé and I were on a run in the evening. We saw a man off his bike, with a cute little puppy ahead of us. We started to run by and we asked if we could pet the puppy. To our surprise, the man said that the puppy wasn't his. There was no one in the area. It was just us, this man and a cute little puppy. The man explained he couldn't take the puppy home and call the ACC because he was on a bike and lived too far. Instead, we called my mom and had her come pick us up with the puppy. It was raining and cold out. This puppy had clearly been out in the rain for awhile. We came home and went through all of the motions. Called the ACC, posted on NextDoor, checked Craigslist daily, took him to a vet to see if he was chipped and no luck. The ACC said it sounded like an abandoned puppy based on the description and the fact that no one had already called for him. But to make sure, we checked back with the ACC to see if we had any bites on the report, but no one had. The puppy had gotten so attached to us, we had gotten so attached to him, and no one claimed him so we took the little guy in. Now we were making a move across the country with all of our stuff, our cat and this new little pup. In case you didn't know, flying with animals is a lot of extra work!
Thankfully, the cat and dog (Tubs and Spuds) were able to make the trip with us and were beyond easy on the flight. After a delayed red eye with two animals, 10 checked bags and navigating a big car through NYC, I'm glad to say the hard part was over.
And to end our big stressful move, we both ended up getting sick about 4 days after being in NYC. I definitely attribute it to stress, as well as consistently being on the go, while being jet lagged from an overnight flight. After a week of being sick, I'm finally starting to get better.
So that's what I've been up to for the past month and a half, and is the reason I've been so quiet on my blog. But now that I'm settled, I'm excited to write again!
Stay tuned. :)
Just a girl writing down her thoughts on life post-physical setback, body acceptance and wellness.