Ways to Thrive As You Recover From Tough Times

By being in recovery, you have accomplished something that many never do — you’ve recognized the need to change your life and turned away from the bad stuff. When in recovery, you must take several steps to thrive and lead a healthier life. Hand in hand with services from Stacy Reuille-Dupont, here are more steps you can take to continue on your progress.

Photo via Pixabay

Guest Post by: Melissa Howard from stopsuicide.info

Reaching out

Know that you shouldn’t have to rely wholly on yourself. In order to thrive in your new life, it’s crucial to have a positive support network you can rely on. Counselors, mentors, friends, and family members can all serve as a network to help you when they are feeling vulnerable or alone. 

Repairing broken relationships

As you struggled, you may have been left with damaged relationships. With your recovery, you may find yourself with the overwhelming task of reaching out to those you may have hurt. While not every relationship is salvageable, it’s still possible to mend broken relationships, so don’t lose hope.

Removing triggers

A trigger is anything in your life that initiates the desire to return to negative behavior. When you are in recovery, it’s important to eliminate triggers from your environment that can cause you to slip back into your old ways. Triggers are linked to memories or situations and may include smells, stress, specific people, places, and dates. To remove triggers from your life, you may need to leave old relationships behind, switch careers, or even move to a new area of town. 

In order to begin the process of removing triggers from your home, it’s important to get help. Ask a friend, relative, or professional to assist you in removing everything that you associate with your previous lifestyle. Then, give the space a good cleaning. Scent can be a powerful trigger, so wash all linens, window coverings, and clothes in a new laundry detergent with a different scent than you’re used to.

Rejuvenating your body

Regular physical activity can help those in recovery avoid slipping back to their old ways of life. Vigorous physical activity releases chemicals called endorphins, which alleviate pain and cause feelings of happiness. When you incorporate regular exercise into your routines, you’ll find that you can experience natural joy, decreasing the need to turn to destructive behavior.

Look into practices like meditation, reiki, and yoga to promote the healthy flow of energy through your body. In a nutshell, a balanced flow brings health while an interruption of this flow can bring about illness and the like. By balancing your chakras, you not only heal your body but your life as a whole.

Reinventing yourself

When you’re stuck in a rut, sometimes the best way to pull yourself out is by throwing yourself into an exciting new project. If you have an entrepreneurial side, this could mean starting your own side hustle for supplemental income or even building a business from the ground up. By focusing on a new career move, you’ll be able to channel your energy into something productive.

Know that starting a business means tackling a long to-do list, so you have to be up to the task and challenge. Along with coming up with a unique name for your company, forming an LLC is one of the first items that you can take care of. This is one way to keep your personal assets secure and earn some helpful tax deductions. If you’re not sure how to start this process, connect with a budget-friendly online formation service for assistance.

Yes, you can thrive in health and recovery by keeping in touch with your support network and acknowledging triggers in your lives. Changing your life is a gradual process — it doesn’t happen overnight. But by avoiding triggers, incorporating a healthy lifestyle, and pursuing positive activities, you can pave the way for a successful future. 

Let Studio B Professionals help you along in your journey to recovery. Book a therapy, personal training, nutrition, or wellness coaching session today. 970-422-1761

5 Ways to Hack Your ADHD and Use it To Your Benefit. Plus what’s so great about this diagnosis.

Today we are going to talk about ADHD. Having ADHD can be a positive. It’s something that makes us able to bounce from idea to idea, task to task, and handle a lot at once.

Photo by: Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

Many ancient tribes revered what are suspected to be their ADHD members because they were the ones who found new hunting lands, water sources, and were fierce warriors. 

By nature people with ADHD are often risk takers and willing to go beyond the boundaries others feel contained by. 

The ADHD person forgets they are there or why they exist if it doesn’t make sense to them, before they know it they’ve gone off the beaten path just because they saw something interesting. 

This is still true today it’s just in the classroom, on the work project, or when cooking a meal. Unfortunately many of us were shamed for our inability to stick with a project or task, sit still, stop interrupting, and having lots of ideas at one time. 

ADHD is about how the brain processes information1. In the ADHD brain, parts of our brain run a little different than other parts. This makes it hard to concentrate and focus. We bounce from idea to idea sometimes without even noticing it. Here are 5 ways to hack your ADHD and make it work for you3.

First let’s look at impulsivity.

For many with ADHD they are impulsive2. On one hand this is great. We spring into action and aren’t afraid to take risks, however when we are meeting our partner’s boss and we impulsively comment on their outfit without thinking about it first we might find ourselves in trouble. Part of learning to work with our impulsivity is having a few tools for us. 

First notice your own pattern. When and how does your impulsivity show up? Notice which foods make you more antsy, how impulsive you are if you haven’t slept well, and how much movement you need to feel calmer inside. 

My experience with clients learning this path is impulsivity is a product of other things that we can shift to regulate more effectively. These are things like sleep, exercise, dietary choices, and social relationships. Doesn’t mean impulsivity completely goes away, the impulsive ability to shift our attention and focus quickly is a gift in some regards, but we want to work with it rather than be a slave to it. 

Treating ADHD with Therapy, Psychology of ADHD by Neuro Transmissions

Second, Distractibility

The ADHD brain is great at this one. We can be doing one project and suddenly be doing another. We look out the window and start thinking about the tree and then the leaf and then wonder about the root system. The tree next to it and then trees around the world. This can be an amazing skill for putting together abstract and unthought-of-yet patterns and concepts, not so good when you just have to finish and get something done. 

For many of us we don’t realize that working with our brains is better than trying to be like others. As a result of struggles to focus we often procrastinate. We can’t figure out where to start so we don’t, we know if we wait a minute we’ll be thinking about something else anyway. Often the procrastination is about having enough stimulation so that we can focus. 

The ADHD brain needs stimulation to get things going. It needs stimulation to actually focus on one thing. So having music on, dancing a minute, watering the plants, walking in circles around the house for a bit, studying at the bar are all ways we work to build in stimulation so that our brains have enough to focus on. Then it makes it easier to get started. Most of us weren’t taught how to do this. We were told to slow down or to sit still which is the exact opposite of actually helping us focus and learn. 

Third, let’s move.

For people without ADHD what we do seems stressful and overwhelming – our fidgeting, our looking around, our fast speech or speed when we walk. But for us it is a way to get our bodies engaged and help our brains slow down enough to focus. We are giving the brain more information at one time to help it have things to do so we can concentrate. 

Many of us are what is called a kinesthetic learner. We need movement to learn and we live our lives very embodied. We find this all-in sensory experience to be enjoyable and are confused why others wouldn’t want to get moving, go do stuff, or use their hands to make something happen.

Rely on the body to help you ground your thoughts. You might need to tap your toe inside your shoe, or wiggle your hand, stand on your toes so you can slightly bounce. These small movements do not need to be large or distracting to others, in fact working to make them smaller may help you focus more. The extra stimulation helps you slow down a bit and decide if you should say that thing that’s on the tip of your tongue. Feel free to apply a little pressure to that tongue until you are ready to speak … just don’t hurt yourself.

Movement is your medicine. Make sure you don’t skip your workouts. Movement is a friend of those with ADHD. It helps focus the body and mind in rhythm. 

When you have made sure to get your workouts and movement practices in, you will be more able to enjoy a calmer experience throughout the day. For ADHD we often need a combination of movements from fast to slow and back again, we need compound movements, we need a variety of exercises every week, and we usually get a little bored with slow yoga and machine weights. Often doing a quick HITT cardio blast right before weights can help us get our head in the game and give just enough focus so our weight training session is optimized. 

Movement is your medicine. Don’t skip taking your daily dose.

Free Athlete and Fitness Training

With all the unique things about ADHD, many do not know how to communicate their needs to family and friends, teachers and co-workers.

Our fourth hack is learning to communicate more clearly.

We do not know how to express ourselves clearly because our thoughts and words get tripped up in so many thoughts at once, details of the story we can’t figure out how to let go of because we use them to make sense of things, and we don’t always operate with a great filter. 

Communicating with ADHD can be hard. Often thoughts come into our head and out of our mouth in the same breath.

Effective communication is all about knowing your audience and being clear in your requests and statements. This is often hard for the ADHD brain where we feel like there are so many thoughts, colors, images, and items to explain what we are really thinking and feeling. We think we are eliminating a lot … others’ experience of our detail says otherwise. 

We often express using our hands, remember movement is our friend, and this can be distracting or inappropriate depending on the place and time. 

You want to learn your own communication style. Are you an expressive person or someone who speaks in bullet points? Do you want to have everyone be friends and get along or are you someone who is all about the details of the project? It is important to figure out your communication style strength and then learn about the others. This helps make you effective shifting your communication output to match the other person. Sometimes this means we do a little of ours and theirs to be effective and feel heard. Other times we can just send that email in their style. 

Another big thing for the ADHD communicator is to start learning to notice when others are tuning you out. Many of us have been there where the other person has that glossy-eyed look and we’ve been talking for how long? We have no idea. 

How many times have we interrupted? 

How high has our energy risen as we’ve become more excited about the topic? 

Did we shut down the other person with these pieces of our experience? 

We have no clue.

As you get better at noticing this you can get better at turn taking. Then use the movements to help you stay focused on the other person’s words and concepts. 

If it’s hard to stay focused on what the other person is saying it may be time to take a short break. Walk around the office, excuse yourself for the bathroom, go get more food at the dinner party, move to a new group of people to introduce yourself to. 

Sometimes we just need to shift our focus for a short time to be ready to launch back into an intense or long discussion. 

Fifth, consider time.

For ADHD time often runs on a different schedule than other people’s concept of time. That’s ok, however living in a world of linear time means you have to figure out how to work within that world too. 

You’ll want to set some timers on a day you aren’t rushed and get a true gauge of how long things take for you. 

How long does it really take you to get ready for work? 

How long to really read through that report? 

How much time to you really need to get out the door? 

Often people with ADHD take longer to complete things. The beauty is, it is because they are noticing a lot of other things other people are not seeing, thinking, or hearing.They are good at noticing. Problem, all that noticing takes brain power and makes it hard to remain focused on the task of getting out the door for your morning commute. 

Of course that’s just the time you remember where you put that shirt you wanted to wear today, but couldn’t find, so now you go to get it and low and behold find the shoe you were looking for last week. What luck! 

However all that treasure hunting is not going to get you out the door on time. Once you have an accurate gauge on how much time it really takes you to accomplish your tasks, then we need to plan your schedule around those accurate times. 

Make sure you consider transition times and transportation timing. Often these get forgotten about, It’s good to add in some “time padding” around every item just to allow yourself some joy in noticing your environment. 

All those hacks to say if you have ADHD you need some structure4

However, ADHD folks often hate structure because it is so hard to stick to. They tend to create rigid structures based on how the rest of the world would like them to be and then fail miserably at them. 

For a person with ADHD we can build flexible structure. We have a couple of morning routines, evening wind downs, and daily commutes we know fit within our time needs. We can stick to the timing and the process but change up the actions. This can help make sure we stay on track and focused on creating the life we want, while working with our gifts and helping ourselves stay away from our pitfalls. 

When we approach our mental health from a place of acceptance, we can work with what we have. 

We can use our gifts for our benefit and strengthen our weaknesses. 

We can make sure to choose the right environments for us and say no to activities we know will be disastrous given the way our brains work. 

When we are clear about what we need to be successful we can communicate those needs and behaviors with acceptance and joy to our loved ones and help them work with us rather than against us. 

So today take stock of what is working, what is not, and begin to accept yourself just as you are. Then you can decide which areas you need to focus on to improve upon your current situation and build better patterns for the success you want to experience. 

If you are interested in learning more about how to thrive with ADHD click the link below to read about psychology and physiology or check out our upcoming program for Women with ADHD and hack the way your mind and body create health from the inside out. 

I want to help you work on changing your life one small step at a time. 

If there is something you’d like to see more of in the psychology and physiology realm reach out. I love to create more videos that help people take control of their lives or at least their perspective of how life is going. 

Small changes overtime build …. health from the inside out. 

Did this article resonate with you? Join our mailing list for Women with ADHD

If you are a woman with ADHD struggling to take action in your life, don’t know where to start, or want a guide. Join us for our 30 day Women and ADHD program. We run this program throughout the year and focus on specific needs women with ADHD have. Guys we are working to build one out for you too. 

This program is all about owning what’s great about ADHD. We’ll address the usual difficulties like impulsivity, lack of follow through, and overwhelming idea streams. 

Plus we’ll also look at building our ability to use tools to help us stay on track. We’ll deal with self worth, increase our ability to follow through and feel accomplished, the fatigue that comes with having so many ideas, and the difficulty communicating what our needs are to our friends and family.

Ready to find your tribe of others who can follow multiple threads of thought at once, have lots of energy, and creativity?

Ready to learn how to harness the gifts of your distractible brain and make it work for you rather than against you?

Then this program is for you. Over the course of 4 weeks we’ll target the hardest pieces of ADHD and learn tips and tricks to hack your own patterns. 

Impulsivity

Distractibility

Procrastination

Communication

Movement & Diet Support

Time Management 

&

Our Love / Hate relationship with Structure

This program goes after all those old hurts and helps us heal the shame, frustrations, low self esteem, embarrassment, and guilt as a result of our distractible brain.

Using email, we’ll have a daily focus and skill/task to practice. 

We’ll meet live 1x a week for an hour long coaching session. We’ll focus on the topics of the week and a Q&A session to really target what you are struggling with. 

As part of the program, you’ll get a meal plan, shopping list, and workouts to help make sure you are maximizing the benefits of a healthy body and mind using exercise and nutrition to manage your ADHD. 

References:

  1. Krain, A., L., & Castellanos, F., X. (2006). Brain development and ADHD. Clinical Psychology Review, 26, 433-444.
  1. Wender, P. H., Wolf, L. E., & Wasserstein, J. (N.D.). Adults with ADHD. An overview. Annals New York Academy of Sciences. 1-16.
  1. Weiss, M., D., & Weiss, J. R. (2004). A guide to the treatment of adults with ADHD. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 65[suppl 3], 27-37. 
  2. Weiss, M., Saftren, S., A., Solano, M. V., Hechtman, L., Rostain, A. L., Ramsay, J., R., & Murray, C. (2008). Research forum on psychological treatment of adults with ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 11(6), 642-651. DOI: 10.1177/1087054708315063

Fighting Addiction With Exercise

While recovery from addiction takes many different forms and can be accomplished with many different treatment methods …

Guest Post by: Constance Ray from Recoverywell.org

Photo from: Pixabay

While recovery from addiction takes many different forms and can be accomplished with many different treatment methods, physical fitness is one aspect of the process that benefits just about everyone. You are attempting to help your body recover from a form of abuse, so it only makes sense to get your body in the best shape possible. 

Here are a few tips on how to build and maintain a healthy fitness routine during recovery from addiction, courtesy of Stacy Reuille-Dupont, PhD.

What Your Body Needs

As your body is adjusting to life without drugs or alcohol, it is undergoing some intense changes. While the end result is positive, the symptoms of withdrawal can include shakiness, increased heart rate, sweating, high blood pressure anxiety and more. Exercise can be a great way to fight these symptoms to make the withdrawal bearable; it can also be a healthy routine to continue even after your treatment is complete.

Types of Exercise

There is no one particular type of exercise that works for everyone who is in addiction recovery. Experience Life notes the key is to find a few kinds of physical activity that you enjoy and that helps you get closer to reaching your goals. For some people, this will be lifting weights, for others it will be cardio, for others it will be a sport. Many people find it helpful to mix hard training with activities that are more fun, such as rock climbing, kayaking or water skiing. If you enjoy the exercise, you’re much more likely to stick with it long-term.

Other alternative coping methods such as meditation, yoga and swimming can also relieve stress and anxiety and help you avoid relapse as you continue your fight against addiction. 

Whatever activities you choose, you might find it helpful to apply some tech to your program. A fitness watch, for instance, can help you monitor your progress and help you set goals. There are also numerous apps available to help. Some are dedicated to single exercise types — like Strong for weightlifting — and some are lifestyle apps — like MyFitnessPal or Whoop, which coaches your diet and exercise program as a whole. 

Along those lines, incorporating a holistic approach to your recovery is wise. Addressing your diet and adding meditation, time in nature, and time for socializing with supportive family and friends to the mix is wise. By remembering all your mental, emotional and physical self-care needs, you can raise your defenses that much more, and minimize your exposure to triggers.

Benefits of Exercise in Addiction Recovery

As the Chicago Tribune asserts, staying active can benefit you in several ways as you fight substance abuse. It can reduce your stress, improve your amount and quality of sleep, increase your energy levels, protect you against disease and reduce your drive to smoke and seek drugs. It will also keep you busy as you try to find ways to fill your time so you’re not dwelling on old, destructive desires.

In addition, focusing on exercise and physical fitness can improve your mental and psychological health. Studies indicate that exercise can reduce depression, ease anxiety, improve your self-esteem and lift your general mood, which are all important in the fight against addiction. It’s an avenue to release stress from your body and leave you feeling calm and refreshed. 

Keep a Healthy Routine

Once you have found an exercise program or activity that works for you, do your best to get into a regular daily and weekly rhythm so exercise is just part of your recovery program. You want to get to the point where you don’t have to decide whether or not to exercise – the decision has already been made by the way you have set up your life. This routine will not cure your addiction on its own, but it will play a vital role.

No matter what type of addiction you are facing, recovery is a long road. One way to make the trip smoother is to include a regular exercise routine in your daily life. You’ll find the physical and mental benefits invaluable as you fight to return to normal life without substance abuse.

Connect with Stacy Reuille-Dupont for more ideas to encourage your health and well-being.  Get a free WHOOP strap and your first month free when you join with Stacy’s link

Facing Fears and Dealing with Trauma

We all have trauma. Some experiences are worse than others, some easier to deal with. For many we pretend we aren’t dealing with trauma and thus keep our survival brain operating instead of our socially engaged learning brain. This hurts us all and gets worse with time. Trauma impacts your physical health, relationships, and ability to be successful. Is it time you faced your fears and healed your trauma?

As we move through this season of endings and watch mother nature let go, it’s a good reminder to reconnect with parts of ourselves that have been wounded and shunned. 

During this time of year many spiritual practices focus on reconnecting with the past, honoring those who have come before, and remembering we are connected to a much larger system – nature, family, seasons, history, ancestors, and even traumas. 

I am not affiliated with this movie. I just really like it. I like the concept and spirit of how important it is to honor our ancestors and ourselves at the same time while holding space for all that the family story may contain.

Past trauma keeps us stuck and living as though the bad will happen again. This year what might happen if you faced your fears, looked deeper at your family stories, beliefs, patterns, and trauma to truly heal your body and soul?

In honor of Halloween (Samhain/Día de los Muertos) this month, let’s honor the past and reconnect with our true selves even if it scares us. Many of us avoid things we are fearful of. This makes sense. Usually when we feel fear there is danger near and we need to move away from it to survive. 

The way the brain is set up, the amygdala is wired to help us understand danger, where it comes from, and what to do about it. Its signal inspires for us to get away from things we deem as dangerous. Unfortunately sometimes things we believe are dangerous are just what we believe, they truly aren’t dangerous for us, but caught in belief patterns of fear based on past experiences. What they are doing is hitting the danger, danger, danger button of our brains based on past experiences. It is linking to times when we were afraid or when our ancestors were in danger. But it may not be true today. 

When the amygdala gets going it can be hard to break from the cycle of fear. This is part of what is not working in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As a result of a traumatic experience – physical or mental – our nervous system gets highjacked. This highjacking keeps us “looping” in hyper-vigilant states looking for what is wrong, even after the danger is over. 

In addition to being on edge for what danger is coming at us, we can also go into what is known as a hypo-arousal state. This numbed out feeling, lack of connection, and sense of being apart from our experiences is a survival mechanism to keep us alive. Often we bounce between the two states and feel more and more fearful and confused. 

Our bodies are pretty brilliant when it comes to making sure the species goes on. However if we do not heal traumatic wounding and reset the nervous system back toward health it wreaks havoc on our immune system, cardiovascular system, our relationships, our ability to work, and our concentration and thoughts to name a few items. Research continues to link trauma to a number of chronic conditions, like chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, obesity, sleep disorders, headaches, and digestive issues. To heal it we must work with our dysregulated state and allow ourselves to build capacity to stay present to what is happening in front of us now, not what we have experienced in the past. 

In therapy we often work using pendulum states – moving between an escalated nervous system presentation to safety – while the therapist helps regulate the whole system. We work to build what is called a window of tolerance for sensitivity and stress while adding healthy coping skills back into the system. 

Once the nervous system is reset and the healthy coping skills learned, it’s not like the trauma didn’t happen, but instead of being a gaping wound that hurts to move, it’s a scar that may be sensitive to similar experiences. It’s not hurt anymore, but it reminds us that we had a scary or terrifying experience in our past. It helps us see how strong we are and helps us learn to be more kind to ourselves and others. 

As we turn toward trauma it does not mean we have to repeat all the details of the event(s). Often we don’t know them. The brain is good at managing states so we don’t even remember all the ugly stuff we experienced, however the body knows. The experience is still categorized in experiences and needs to be “filed into the right chapter” of life. We do this in a variety of ways, but telling the story isn’t necessary.

Click here to visit Therapy-At-Home Workbooks.

As we begin to face what fears we have, we slowly become more free. We learn that not everything that was will happen again, not everyone we meet will hurt us, and not every trip outside our home ends badly. We slowly begin to see that life is full of good things and bad things. Things we like and things we don’t. Little by little we come out of our shell and heal. We get stronger. We get braver. We get more connected to all that is around us. 

During this time of letting go, closing down, honoring ancestors, facing goblins, ghosts, and ghouls. Are you willing to face your own demons? Then let’s get started. 


If you are ready to face your own demons … contact us and we can help you determine the next steps on your personal journey. Studio B ~ Create. Your. Self.

Studio B is the culmination of my journey as an exercise scientist turned psychologist. Visit us and see how we can help you Create. Your.Self

Acceptance of What is vs. Changing What You Don’t Like.

Ever learned how to surf? Surfers will tell you it’s about being patient and accepting the ocean just as she is. You have to be present to the moment if you are to be ready. To ride the next wave as it changes energy and crashes to the shore you have to be open to accept what it is, as it is. Today we are looking at how to use self regulation to bring acceptance to the moment you are in, not the one you wish was happening.

Many people I see in my office are able to regulate themselves when things are going good. When things get challenging however … many struggle to maintain practices that keep them focused on what is working. 

Many ask me how they are supposed to maintain hope when things are hard. It is a tricky dance between acceptance of what is and awareness of what is not wanted. Holding this paradigm in balance can help make sure you are focused on what is working and what needs to be changed. This can be a tough balance to find and relies on maintaining enough self regulation to help yourself be present to what is, just as it is.  

An easy way to remember how to care for yourself is the acronym HALT. Are you:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

If you are any of these things you will be more irritable and struggle more relationships and completing daily activities. As you work on taking care of yourself, making sure these areas are covered goes a long way toward helping you handle difficult situations with grace. 

Let’s break down each of the letters into actionable steps. It is here that you have power and control. You may not be able to change the situation you are in, however you can change how you are orienting to it and how you show up. Thus helping yourself accept what is, just as it is.

H – Are you hungry? Then eat. A nice balance of good fats, protein, and carbohydrate goes a long way to help you regulate your emotional experience. In its basic form, this is about taking care of physical needs, however, it can be about much more. If you have enough to eat but still feel hungry, what are you hungry for? What are you feeding yourself? Is it nutritious? Does it fill you? Think about not only the food you eat but the media, music, social experiences, physical spaces you find yourself in. Are they nourishing or do they feel depleted and bland? Take care to feed all of your senses well. Without nourishing intake you will feel empty and life will lose its sweetness. When those things happen we begin eating for reasons other than physical hunger. 

A – How are you with your anger? Many of us were taught that anger is bad or violent. That is not true. Anger is only violent when you act out violently to discharge it. It is only “bad” when the results of your actions have created further complications (guilt and shame) to deal with. When we are suppressing anger it leads to all sorts of issues. 

Anger revs up our inflammation system, thus we feel more body aches, joint pain, have concentration issues, memory problems, and heart stress. It wrecks havoc on many of our tissues because all that extra inflammation has no where to go. It cycles through the body looking for an outlet only to circle through the system again and again. 

Emotionally suppressed anger often leads the despair that underlies depression. When you feel so trapped to influence anything well, the world looks pretty hopeless. I often coach people to feel their anger in little bits. This keeps it manageable,. As noted above may of us have seen and experienced negative outbursts of anger. Anger doesn’t have to be explosive, but it does need to move out. Anger’s job is to help you notice something unjust or when a boundary has been crossed. It is a catalystic emotion, one that makes change happen. It wants something done and feels better once expressed. It is in the expression mistakes of acting out are made in ways we are not proud of.  

Learning how to gather the information and then make decisions based on the most effective expression of those emotions is called emotional regulation. Emotional regulation is something we all learn. Emotions are just here to give us information. Once we get the information and respond to them, rather than impulsively react, they dissipate. 

L – Feeling lonely, even in a crowd. There is a great quote on the poster “How to Build a Community” it says, “no one is silent, though many are not heard”.  Often we feel like no one is listening to us even when they ask for our thoughts. Many of us do not have someone in our lives who can deeply hear us, beyond our words and actions, but really hear what underlies our experiences. Sometimes we can’t even hear ourselves at this level. 

Again on a basic level, if you are feeling lonely reach out to your support system. Get around people where you can smile and feel at least a little connected. Notice how you keep yourself disconnected when you are in a crowd. Do you go to the coffee shop and make no eye contact, wear your headphones, and make sure you are nowhere near another body? You might want to take off your headphones and try to make some eye contact, you can decide how close to stand in line, but paying attention to natural connections in our surroundings is a way to begin to reconnect the world. If you are feeling lonely in a crowd it may be time to start doing therapy to experience the sensations of being deeply heard or to learn skills to be more effective in your communication patterns

T – Tired. This could be truly physical, you didn’t sleep well last night or it could be deeper and more extreme like I am tired in my being. If you are feeling physically tired, work to get better quality sleep by practicing sleep hygiene. If you are feeling tired in your being you might want to look at the emotional load you are carrying. Many of us are unaware of our deep sadness, anger, or fear, it has always been there. It may be something that was handed to us by our families and so we know it well. 

Or it might be that life has been hard and you are weary of the burdens related to living or losing. In this case, relieving the fatigue is about taking a life inventory and beginning to get rid of that which no longer serves you, grieve what you have lost, and work to build positive experiences into your day no matter how small. Again, this may require the help of a professional and someone who can really support you through your process. 

As you work to help yourself navigate changes in your life with grace, remember it is acceptance of what is that makes all the difference. It does not mean you have to like it, want it, or agree with it … but you do have to accept it is what you are dealing with if you want to shift. 

By taking care of these 4 areas you are already moving toward being able to move through change with less disruption and strife. 

Want to feel more regulated and in control of yourself? Remember: HALT

  • Hungry – feed yourself well. This included nutritious foods as well as everything you consume – media, social experiences, music, art, nature, anything you let into your body.
  • Angry – feel your feelings, notice what boundary needs to be set and take action in a productive way. Work to let it out a little at a time if it feels too big to do at once. Be patient with yourself. This can be difficult. 
  • Lonely – reach out to a member of your support crew. Notice how you keep yourself separate and defend against connecting. Work to engage with your environment and others with more ease. 
  • Tired – get some rest. Even a small break, short walk, or simple breathing exercise will help shift your mood. Get some sunshine. Sunshine is known to help raise energy levels. If you are feeling the heavy burdens of living life, get some support and help to determine what you can let go of and what to keep. Then learn new skills to cope with in more healthy ways that leave you feeling energetic not depleted.  

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