Mental Health Over Academics...Understanding Why

I'm going to let the video do it's thing this week...so grab a cup of something yummy and hit play.  Then share it with someone else 💜




How does fear affect our health?

How does fear affect our health?

Experiencing fear is a healthy survival mechanism that is fundamental to our existence...living in fear is unhealthy.


Our bodies hold onto that fear and has negative effects on our physically wellness (ie: crippling our immune systems, screwing with our sleep, eating disorders, muscular pain, etc.) and emotional wellness (ie: dissociation, anxiety, phobias, mood swings, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc.)


And to my midlife mamas...fear raises our cortisol levels and messes with our hormones and we certainly don’t need anything else messing with our hormones! 


Fear puts us in fight, flight freeze mode and shuts down our pre-frontal cortex which makes it difficult for us to engage in executive functioning! 


Are ya hearing all the chatter about not being able to focus, zoning out, stress eating, stress baking, drinking, scrolling endlessly on social media? 


So let’s talk straight about fear…


Zig Ziglar said FEAR had 2 meanings:  Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise


Running from our lives is an unhealthy coping mechanism. 


Believe me, I tried, years of emotionally eating my fears instead of facing them has added up! 


I now choose  to be resilientAF and rise to face my fears.  


I get it.  This shit is hard.   Facing fear head on is intense. 


Choices in life are sometimes gut wrenching.  


Parenting taught me much of what I know about fear- we as parents hold fears for our children’s safety and well being.


The fears in my head were often way worse than the realities and when we hit the deepest darkest moments and real life scary shit was happening- the fear was overpowered by love- a love so intense that fear couldn’t continue to paralyze me. 


I now fully realize  “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”  (Franklin D. Roosevelt)


Action absorbs anxiety and fear- we free ourselves up to live more fully and present to love and gratitude.  Self care is love in action. 


Radical Self Care that I turn to when fear is present:  

  • workout -especially with the boxing gloves on!
  • take a walk, bonus points if the sun is shining
  • dance! sing!
  • gratitude journaling
  • Aroma Freedom session
  • connection with loved ones
  • Kava Stress Relief tea
  • Stress Away and Peace & Calming essential oil blends
  • nurturing whole foods
  • hugs...lots of hugs

Want to bump up your self care game? Come hang with a bunch of resilientAF midlife mamas? You are not alone! We get it!  









Is your teen shut down emotionally or maybe incredibly anxious? (Executive Function Series #6)

  Is your teen shut down emotionally or maybe  incredibly anxious?  (Executive Function Series #6)

Emotional regulation is a sensitive topic for me.  


As a pediatric speech language pathologist, I knew about executive function.  I worked with younger kids so I wasn’t as tuned into it for the older kids. I also didn’t fully understand the emotional regulation behavioral component.  


While in the thick of raising my kids I didn’t acknowledge and comprehend how our nervous systems co-regulate.  


Lots of stuff I didn’t know that I didn’t know!


I’ve done the emotional work to release myself from the guilt of not knowing, of not doing better or different.  I chose to educate myself and share with others, so other families might escape the trauma. 


Emotional regulation is when it's difficult to redirect and refocus when there's a lack of emotional control. This is when we see meltdowns, tantrums, cursing, extreme crying or extreme laughter. Typically unpredictable emotional responses that are out of sync with the situation at hand. 


Emotional regulation also involves co-regulation so if a parent is struggling with their own emotional regulation then they feed off of each other. For example,  if Mom is really stressed out then the kid gets really stressed out. These kids are not able to not take in what is happening in their environment.  Basically our nervous systems are bouncing off of each other and it's a chicken and egg thing. 


One way to explain the emotional regulation is polyvagal theory as shown in this image: 


Another take on it is the “window of tolerance” as in this image: 


Five strategies that can be used to support teens at home and at school: 

  1.  Supporting them in being aware of their outbursts and the consequences of having them on their surroundings.

  2.  Being aware of stressful situations at home and/or in school. 

  3.  Clarifying expectations to reduce their feelings of overwhelm.

  4.  Creating a safe and supportive environment that fosters empathy.

  5.  Using scales to help them monitor where they are emotionally or may be heading as    things escalate.  


We can all widen our window of tolerance by practicing mindfulness, increasing happiness, and building resilience.


**so much more on this topic coming soon! 


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