Posted in autism spectrum disorder, Day in the life of a mom, Kids Activity Ideas, Mental Health, Uncategorized

Since Pursuing a Spectrum Diagnosis

Back In April, I posted about trying to get help for my young son whose spectrum-type behaviors, as well as SPD, some OCD, and anxiety issues were really making daily life exhausting not only for him but for our family. I was quite discouraged after hearing that the wait list for a leading autism resource center was almost a year out, and I knew we needed help before then.  Let down but not about to give up, I finally got ahold of a mental healthcare professional who could diagnose him.

We’ve had 5 months with Dr. B, whom we call our son’s “thought doctor” (and I have told him I have one who helps me, too.  Counseling is good for everybody!).  I knew it was a good fit when my son did not “stink face” him and warmed up immediately…not his usual reaction to new people.  He does connect with safe-feeling adults when he feels comfortable since he finds they listen better than kids to his topics of interest.  To him, “safe” people are generally the quiet ones that don’t approach him too quickly or demand a hug or response, etc. (Or ones with “cool hair” like our pastor, who got invited by my son to his 7th birthday party.)

Later on, the compatibility with the psychologist was confirmed when my son didn’t feel like talking and made his usual chicken “buckaw” sound or other nonsense (it’s called echolalia, basically a stimming behavior) and Dr. B was unfazed and even responded to my son’s question or two the same way in a friendly, bonding manner.  My son really feels accepted by him and is open to what he has to say.

Dr. B wrote up a paper for his school this year and it has been helpful for his teacher to understand him.  It explains why he reacts the way he does, making mention of his generalized anxiety disorder as well as a provisional spectrum diagnosis.  My son is really intelligent and for the most part blends in well, but he is quite inflexible. When he hits an emotional road bump, his strong, usually negative emotional responses would not go over well in a strict private school.

So I am thankful for the diagnosis; I don’t have to worry he’ll be misunderstood and labeled a bad kid, and he has the option to go to an area with a trampoline to self-regulate again.  (So far our only struggles have been getting him to school due to anxiety, clothing issues, etc., but not at school.)

What Counseling Appointments are Like
My son usually goes to appointments wearing some costume or other; He’s worn his police uniform and hat, army helmet and camo, and batman costume among others.  I figure while he’s young enough, why not if it makes him more open to learning new coping skills.

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Since he was little, hats of some sort have made him feel more comfortable. (I wonder if it’s because it provides the feeling of an extra barrier between him and the world that barrages his senses).  Once when he was two or three my husband and I were sitting in church as the little ones were invited to the front for a kids’ time, and we noticed the bright red fire helmet he had on and looked at each other like, “You didn’t have him leave it at home?”  (Survival mode makes life a blur like that, and only when you can sit for a breather do things come into focus.  Then, I thought hats were more of a phase.)

In their time together (and usually I’m there with them, and my daughter as well) they goof off with toys Dr. B has in the office and chit chat about whatever my son wants.  Then, Dr. B discusses struggles of the week that I wrote on a note, so my son doesn’t shut down if he hears me talking about it.  (He struggles in particular with “big emotions”, knowing how to process them without wanting to run away to hide).  It’s usually broached like, “Hey, so was anything hard for you this week?”  And they go from there.  Lots of talk about flexibility, which has been helpful.

Since meeting often, I can tell a big cloud has lifted from over my son.  I think it’s because it’s not just me telling my son he’s alright and that mistakes are ok.  (He has felt his “brain doesn’t work right” because of different struggles, and has really low self esteem, with has perfectionism tendencies).  Dr. B tells us he sees lots of kids who worry a lot or struggle with behavior, etc., and little by little I can see my son relaxing and feeling more confident.

While we have lots more issues to work on, for me as his mom, having weekly or biweekly appointments also helps me to relax when I feel like things are so dysfunctional in our home.  It’s hard to watch a movie as a family without him getting upset (angry, disruptive behavior and running away) when he doesn’t know what to expect, or anticipates something bad happening, or can’t deal with the emotion he sees the characters displaying.

With his misophonia and a sister who is VERY loud and sensory seeking, there is lots of fighting and it can drive me nuts.  However, Dr. B has reassured me that he thinks I’m way ahead of some because I’ve done some much reading up and implementing of strategies to help him, and my son is still very young.

So right now, the plan of action is stress reduction and management for everybody (which will reduce the anxiety and intensity of reactionary responses).  And also I need to talk with insurance about OT for his sensory issues.  So yeah, if your child is a “spirited” child who has anxiety, SPD/OCD or is possibly on the spectrum, please do not despair and find someone who can help you both on your journey so you do not feel overwhelmed and alone. Your child is worth whatever the cost to be in a confident mental space, and as a parent and you need that, too! It is increasing the peace in our home, and I pray the same for you.

 

 

Posted in Day in the life of a mom, DIY, Mental Health

How this Perpetually Late “Hot Mess Mama” Got it Together

From Defeat to

When it was just me back in the day rushing to college classes, it wasn’t that big of a deal.  As long as I wasn’t the last one there, I wasn’t too flustered. But when I had kids, it became completely apparent to me and everyone else.  I was a hot mess.  My friend even gave me a mug with “hot mess mama” written on it.  I laughed when I read it, knowing it was spot on.

(The definition for hot mess is “A person or thing that is spectacularly unsuccessful or disordered, especially one that is a source of peculiar fascination.”)

Life seemed like a breeze to the other moms and there I was…constantly, obviously frazzled. Always late. Defeated.  (Granted, I was in the midst of postpartum adjustment disorder and later hormone health struggles, but that’s another story).

 I had to get it together.  But what was “it”? And how could I get it?

I went looking for answers. Some people get life coaches or mentors…Neither was an option for me at the time, so I discovered Michael Hyatt’s resources. (His audio book Your Best Year Ever is a good place to start if you’re interested.) Michael Hyatt is a success coach and productivity expert.  My overall takeaway from his material is that good time management is basically good self-management, and that is a learned skill.  I didn’t have to be a hot mess mama forever!!  There was hope for improvement if I just applied myself to learning how!

I then read books like Crystal Paine’s Say Goodbye to Survival Mode and other books on organization and productivity, and listened to podcasts or watched Youtube videos on the topics as well.  One guy named Robin Sharma talks about what he calls the “5 a.m. Club,” or being part of the few in the world who put their “mind over mattress” and start their days at 5 a.m., a habit of highly successful people.

So my first goal to get it together was to become a morning personI’d previously believed you innately either were or you weren’t, and I sure wasn’t. (Especially struggling with insomnia, if I was sleeping soundly in the morning, don’t anybody dare wake me up before I have to!  My kids would often jar me awake with their clamoring to get to me.  Which meant I was starting to resent them.  Not good.)

How could I wake up on my own without a dreadful blaring alarm putting me in an awful mood?  A friend who also struggled with sleep issues told me about her wake up light alarm clock, which helps balance your circadian rhythm.  I talked my hubby into getting one for us and I credit it with a less stressful morning routine.  Now I wake up with the gradually increasing light and am out of bed happily before the music ever even plays!

With my morning uninterrupted by kids and distractions (no facebooking allowed in the morning…productivity stealers banned for the first several hours of my day!), my second goal to get it together was daily planning in a productivity journal.  This is essential for me as a homemaker to have direction because a homemaker’s work is never done.  Dishes and laundry and the house get dirty every single day.  But if I have a clear idea of what TODAY’s workload is, I won’t feel overwhelmed by its continual recurrence.

I write my top 3 goals for the day and any appointments and times so I can see the layout of my day.  (Anything else is more flexible and can roll over to the next day’s list.) I started out doing this in the morning, but later preferred to plan the night before, so my morning was solid productivity (after walking the dog).  Either way was an improvement.

My third big step to get it together was improving my timeliness I’ve joked I have “time passage awareness disorder” like Noni from A Slob comes Clean, so setting a timer, alarm, or reminder for my phone and using iPhone Calendar app has done wonders to keep me from scrambling last minute. (The iPhone Calendar provides allowance for drive time as well as first and second reminder alarms, which I use for knowing when the kids should get shoes ready –15 minutes before drive time–and grabbing a drink or snack to go, and then the “out the door” signal–5 minutes before drive time.)  If mommy’s less stressed, kids are less stressed.

My latest application of this is putting the library renewal or return date on my phone…because I just paid $16 in overdue fines last month.  Ugh.  So I’m still in progress.  But let me tell you what, I am so glad I don’t feel like a hot mess mama all the time anymore!

Disclaimer: Links above are affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you make a purchase through it (at no extra cost to you) which helps provide content for this site. Thanks for your support!

 

Posted in Mental Health, minimalism, saving money

My Inner Hoarder can’t Let Go

Yesterday I was prepping for guests, making the bed, and as I put the pale sage fitted sheet on the queen bed I noticed how worn out the fabric was looking.  (That was right after I found that not one, not two, but three of our pillow cases had tiny holes in them. )Screen Shot 2019-08-12 at 5.41.09 AM.png

All of our sheet sets are probably 10 years old, gotten when we married.  Not only were they just worn from age, but this particular fitted sheet had a color-removed stain on it.  (I’d say bleach but I don’t use bleach).

Hmmm, not quite something you’d be delighted to sleep on if you were a guest, eh?  So I swiped the sheet back off and took it up to my hubby, and asked if we should just keep these for use on our own bed.  After all, people can still sleep on a stain, right?  Isn’t it wasteful to throw it away?  Then my hubby asked, “Being wasteful to toss it? Or…Hoarding?”

I kind of wanted him to say, “Eh, no big deal, we can use them on our bed.  It’s good to have second set of flannel sheets anyhow!”  That would have made it easy.  I could have put them away and been content.  But no.  He had to point out that it was decision time.

 He’s the original minimalist in our family, y’all.  Like when I met him he had an entire house and no furniture other than dining table, computer/office chairs, and an air mattress.  So his “what we need” opinion is whack, right?!

Guys, it’s like I have a bag lady on one shoulder and a monk on another or some such ridiculousness going on in my head.  Bag Lady says “Don’t waste anything!” and Monk says, “You need little to be happy.”  And their opposing viewpoints make it so not-zen in my noggin!

So while my little shoulder peeps were arguing, I dug out my circular cutter and cutting mat and made a deal with myself.  I could not bring myself to throwing the sheet away.  It’s not good enough to donate, but I still felt it was useful, ya know?! So I struck a bargain.  I could spare myself the guilt (yes, that is what I experience) of throwing away something useful if I made it into something else useful–disposable cleaning rags.

(Because I could throw them away after cleaning the bathroom and not feel guilty.  Somehow vastly different if I threw the sheet away bit by bit rather than all at once.)  But ONLY IF I cut the sheet into rags RIGHT AWAY. Clutter is delayed decisions! (I’ve learned a few things in my time. Thanks, Clutter Fairy on Youtube!)

So zip zoom, that rotary cutter took 5 minutes.  (I would NOT have agreed to this deal if I had to use fabric scissors–too tedious, and would likely have been tucking the sheets in a far corner of a drawer, telling myself they will be useful as painting drop cloths, and forgetting about them.)

Screen Shot 2019-08-12 at 5.43.33 AM.png

So I shoved those new disposable bathroom rags in the sink cabinet and went back to realize…Dang.  There’s that top sheet.  Ugh.  I do NOT want to cut another whole queen sized sheet.  But I couldn’t toss it, so I wadded it up in my vintage Hoarder Mary Poppins’  Bag of Delayed Obligations (filled with “fix-it-eventually-maybe-because-I-can’t-bring-myself-to-toss-it items).  I love the bag but hate looking in it.  It is always full.  Because I’m a hoarder of stuff that’s “still useful” but not nice enough to give away or donate.

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Anybody know how to make me less attached to stuff like this?  Send help.  And new sheets, please.  (Just kidding, I do like shopping. But they are expensive aren’t they?  Have you noticed you have to get at least 400 thread count for them to last well?  Ten years is a good run, eh?)

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links are sometimes used in my posts to share products I love and think you may also enjoy. That means at no extra cost to you, I may earn a commission from any purchases you make through the links, and that helps support my blog and is much appreciated.

 

Posted in Mental Health, minimalism, Uncategorized

Reading, Decluttering, and Craft Rooms make me Happy…Eve Schaub Combines them All!

Did you pick up Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, only to toss it on your pile of stuff and think “That Konmarie method’s not for me”? Don’t let life and your mess overwhelm you.  Chill out, read THIS book instead, and get motivated because you’re not alone!

You’re not the only messy missy out there, and we can conquer our clutter together!  I get it! If you’re a “saver” (or admitted borderline hoarder, possibly) like me and Eve Schaub, the author of one of my favorite books which I highlight in this video, it can be an uphill battle…because we have LOTS of stuff. (Ok, maybe our hill is a MOUNTAIN of stuff!) Feel the camaraderie–savers unite! Let’s fight the battle of the bulging closed-door room!

You can find this awesome book , Year of No Clutter—a Memoir by Eve Schaub
at (*affiliate links to follow–see disclosure below) https://amzn.to/31eQZai .

Nothing can stop us now!  And maybe one day we’ll consider minimalism…

* Disclosure: My site contains affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission that will help support this channel if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I share the links though for your ease and to offer resources that I personally found beneficial in my life and goals, and would love for you to have a similar positive experience with them.

Posted in Day in the life of a mom, DIY, Mental Health, minimalism, Uncategorized

How Minimalism Helped my Mind

Overwhelmed.  Distracted.  Discontent with status quo. Disgusted with myself and my inability to get organized. All that is how I felt a few years ago in the depth of my anxiety and discouragement with where my life was.  It just couldn’t stay that way.  I couldn’t stay that way.

I contemplated getting a professional organizer.  That would hurt the budget bigtime.  So I decided to start thinking like an organizer.  I started watching Lori Marrero videos on youtube.  Then I discovered Clutterbug, Clutter Fairy, and A Slob Comes Clean.  (That last one made me go, Nony the Slob is SO ME!).  I realized you can’t keep organizing if your space is too small for your stuff.

Enter Minimalism.  I dove in, and this was the last holdout: my craft room.  The room I’d close the door to when guests came over.  The room for a good portion of the time I couldn’t even walk in.  The dumping ground for completed project supplies and the graveyard for creative dreams I couldn’t achieve because I cringed at the idea of going in there.

My craft room was the place first place that made me want to get organized and declutter, and yet it was the last place I conquered in my home because I felt SO OVERWHELMED by it!

Check out my journey and how Minimalism helped this momma’s mind!

Posted in Day in the life of a mom, Mental Health, minimalism

If You’re a Mom Struggling with Depression, Fatigue or Other Chronic Health Issues, you’re NOT Alone!

In a perfect world, motherhood would exempt a person from health struggles that really affect functioning.  It’s hard enough to face your own struggles, then on top of that see how your family is affected by them too.  For the past few weeks I’ve been pretty wiped out.  I went back to having practically zero energy, achiness, and lower than usual mood.  I have to combat the fear that I will stay stuck in barely surviving-mode.  I can only guess what took me down was a combo of hormones out of whack again, eating some mystery ingredient(s?) that my body didn’t agree with, and a lot of rain.  It can cause a lot of anxiety to feel like you need to fix this NOW and get your family thriving again.  That pressure just makes things worse if you let it linger.

What do I do when I get a big health setback?  I generally

  1. Give myself room to rest.  I let my spouse know what’s going on with me mentally and physically, and I don’t push myself to be super-woman.  I make sure we have gluten free frozen pizza for my kids, or some other fast meal options I don’t have to do much to plan or prepare for.
    Along those lines, I dismiss any timetable pressure.  As much as possible, don’t let that calendar boss you around and stress you out when you’re struggling!  Health and family are more important than losing my mind trying to muster energy I don’t have to accomplish goals that honestly won’t improve my or my family’s life a ton in this season, and others can live without the outcome.  I’ll enjoy setting and accomplishing bigger goals again when they’re flowing from creative energy instead of forcing it during a time of depletion.
  2. Try to walk [the dog] a mile each morning.  If I start the morning walking [the dog] first thing, then I know I’ve gotten serotonin and dopamine going…and it chills out my anxious dog Kody, as well.   I find even on my lowest energy days, I can make a mile walk happen, even if I have to nap later that morning.
  3. Occasionally, if I can’t get out of a funk, I go get a Haircut (or update it myself at home). Psychology might point to how controlling one’s environment, or in my case, haircut, can make a person feel better about the things they can’t control.  But personally, I think the bigger deal is feeling more put-together and polished with a defined haircut–a boost in morale I guess.  I guess some would call this the “treat yourself” method.  Some do shopping therapy, but as a minimalist, this suits me better and I don’t get overwhelmed by more stuff in my house. 6OgmxgZZRBa41JPx0G6gaQ_thumb_3ee8
  4.   Find one thing to improve in my life or perspective. I’m talking about figuring something out that brightens your living environment or makes life easier on a body.  On a long health-journey, you can get so worn out with trudging through the challenges that it is essential to figure out stress reduction and energy-conservation methods.

    Some friends (even those without health struggles, but who are trying to reduce stress and be less irritable mothers, etc) hire a house cleaner, for instance.  I opted to get a little robot vacuum * to clean our laminate wood floors and low-pile carpets, since they can go under the couch and get all the sand a dirt my kids and dog track in from out back.

    This can apply to your health condition specifically as well.  Some reduce stress through massage therapy and other means like acupuncture.  One exciting possibility for me is getting my varicose veins fixed after getting ultrasounds showing I have venous reflux, or blood flowing backward.  (Yes, I am in my 30s and have varicose veins.  They happened after my 2nd pregnancy).  Improved blood flow should increase energy levels and even mental health.

    Getting positive input
    to keep my head above water is crucial.  Some options I like are listening to audible books like Lysa TerKeurst’s  It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way or an encouraging podcast like Risen Motherhood .

    As part of my rest and recover plan, and also for putting myself in a good headspace, I ditched the dishes and laundry and took the kids to a relaxing county park beach during their free admission week.  I thank God for providing that option to me!  The sound of waves and sand on my feet, and a sunny week to recharge did wonders for me.  It was easy to smile with the sun warming my back, the water cooling my toes, pretty shells and tiny crabs to inspire awe at the world once again.  IMG_5421.JPG
    I hope you know whatever you’re facing, there is hope for tomorrow.  Blessings to you, friend.

    *Disclosure: Some links may be affliate links, simply meaning at no cost to you I may earn a commission which will support my blog if you click and make a purchase.

Posted in Featured Inspiration, Mental Health, Quick Project, sensory processing disorder, Uncategorized

Summer Break: Parents, Don’t let it Break You!

Parents, need ideas to keep kiddos occupied so you don’t go insane…without micromanaging their every move this summer?  AND without them being glued to screens?  I’ll be honest…I was kind of dreading summer, until I remembered I’m in charge of the way things go, and if I determine to plan a fun summer, I’ll most likely get it!  Our family vacation will provide a change of scenery (and checking out dinosaur bones!) but after that, I know I will come back to our everyday reality, and when I do, I’m prepared!  I’ll share what we’re up to as we go along!

The key isn’t to smash a billion activities into the weeks during summer.  That will add stress (to mom, especially), even if you are keeping everybody occupied.  The solution is providing opportunities for self-led play, discovery, and creativity.  And I feel really lucky that my daughter received an ideal birthday gift for montessori-type fun just in time for summer!

This kinetic sand gets my vote for most amount of active playtime in one sitting!  So far, they’ve been playing with it more than any other toy or activity opportunity in our house.  This week since we’ve been back from our trip to Ohio over Memorial day (when we weathered a tornado), it’s been out by my kids’ own volition three days in a row, over an hour each day at a time, and for several hours yesterday morning! And it’s already been out this morning again!

My kids are 5 an 6, but I think it would be a hit for younger and older kids as well! I even like playing with it because it doesn’t leave a weird feeling on my hands like play dough can. 

It’s easy to sweep up if some falls on the floor (but if I’d thought to have them use a rimmed tray that wouldn’t have happened), no drying and gunking things up!  (In fact, another part of occupying themselves has been customizing it with glitter…and you know how glitter gets everywhere…and setting them loose with a cordless hand vac like this one:

Which of course with a lot of praise about their skill and thoroughness makes for a proud, happy kiddo…and mom.)  Check out the full kinetic sand assortment on Amazon if you want to see the different varieties…dino digs, sand castles, Paw Patrol, etc.!)

#Summerbreak #summeractivity #notbored

(*For your convenience, I’ve used affiliate links to the products on Amazon. Saves you time finding the product I’ve talked about, no extra cost if you purchase the item, and helps support me in creating more content!  Thanks so much!)

Posted in autism spectrum disorder, Mental Health, sensory processing disorder

Pursuing Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis

When you realize that coping has not improved beyond a certain point for your child, and meltdowns that stress the whole family exhaustingly occur daily, it is heartbreaking not to have an immediate solution.  I’ve read book upon book hoping to find the key to ease my son’s struggle with spectrum and SPD/OCD behaviors.  There has been amazing growth in my understanding of how his brain works, which helps immensely in parenting, but I’ve realized that isn’t enough.  He needs more help than I can give him. 

So several months ago I decided to pursue a diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder.  We did the intake process for Kennedy-Krieger Institute for Autism Research and resources.  They called to say the wait list was 11 months out.  I don’t feel like our family has 11 months.  We’re struggling too much.  The constant stress is causing marital friction because we have no energy left for each other anymore.

A few months ago I called about 15 practitioners’ offices to see if they could help us reach a diagnosis.  I got ahold of a live person for about two of those calls.  They couldn’t help.  Maybe three called me back.  That’s when I got him signed up for Kennedy Krieger.   Waited to find out when we could have him assessed there.  After I heard about the wait time, I kept calling other places.  Thought I had a good option lined up, but they double booked, and I felt like that may not be a good sign, and called another 15 places.  Most called back and said they do not do diagnostics for children.

The ones who do work with kids and called back said the wait list is a few months out.  Because there are that many families struggling with spectrum disorders.  And it’s a hard journey.  It’s lonely.  The main caretaker gets burnt out.  The spouse gets burnt out because the one who stays at home is burnt out.

Not everyone understands.  You feel unsupported by those you would like support from but who question your intuition and the whole idea of autism.  If your kid does not present like Rain Man, your kid surely does not have autism, they think!  I want to tell them, “Guys, it’s a processing difference, and it’s a spectrum.  They can need little support and appear like other kids in classroom on the surface, but come home and have no more energy to hold it all together, and then let their frustration out where they feel safest.  Or they can need a lot of support and be nonverbal.  But both kinds of kids and their families can be in a lot of emotional distress because life is so hard with this disorder.”

But I don’t really have to be understood or to explain it at all to them. My job is to advocate for my child and get him and our family the care we need to do more than just survive.  And right now, it stinks big time, but I guess it’s just waiting for the nearest appointment date even if it feels too far away.  

 

 

Posted in Day in the life of a mom, Mental Health, sensory processing disorder

My Favorite SPD Books and Resources for Families

When my son began having disproportionately large meltdowns around the age of two over how things felt and big emotions, and in turn I was struggling to parent him well, figuring out how his mind works really helped me.  I read all these books and they helped me piece together the puzzle of my precious, smart, but inflexible and easily frustrated child.  I hope you can find encouragement and enlightenment in them as well! But first, check out this helpful checklist of common symptoms of SPD in age-specific groupings: https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/sensory-processing-issues/sensory-processing-issues-what-youre-seeing

( These are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associates member, I hope to save you time searching for something I mention that you may find helpful, too.  If you make a purchase there is no extra cost to you, but it provides me with a small commission that helps me as I continue providing content for you! Thanks for your support!)

Posted in Day in the life of a mom, Mental Health, Ponderings about life

From Survival Mode to Creative Zone Again

When life was just about day-to-day survival and I wasn’t feeling very creative, I knew I needed to do something to get un-stuck. Four years of deeply wading through the weight of everything that was keeping me in survival mode, praying for hope and joy despite my circumstances, and trying to discover what my unique purpose was, and something finally started to grow in me.  It started with me determining to let go of anything that was weighing me down.

First, I got some counseling to uncover the root of my anxiety and start working on better ways to cope with stress.  Soapbox moment: I wish everyone thought of counseling as normal and ok, like a tuneup on your car, instead of viewing it as a stigma. (BTW, if you think you just can’t afford a counselor, there are sometimes scholarship programs available.  You might have to do some digging, but you’re worth the effort! There are also low-fee options like TalkSpace, $25 for a month and be able to text a counselor when you need.  Michael Phelps shares his experience with therapy here: at Talkspace ).

We all have issues (like the pressurizing problem of perfectionism) and limiting beliefs. It’s not a mark of failure, but of wisdom to ask for help to get you optimized.
and having an unbiased individual to help sort them out is kind of like hiring a professional organizer who helps you declutter and put things in a more ideal setup.  

Speaking of which, back before I ever heard of Konmari, I thought I needed to get my house organized, because my mess was overwhelming me.  That ushered me into the idea of decluttering, which ushered me into the realm of minimalism (which, for me, isn’t a strict set of rules, but rather the idea of not keeping more than I can deal with without overwhelm, and only what adds value and beauty to our lives.)  Which is where I am now, trying my utmost to live intentionally.

Intentionality changed me from somebody who could barely peel herself out of bed in the morning at 8 a.m., who dreaded the sound of busy little bodies awake before me (although I love them dearly), and had little to no structure in my day to someone who is awake closer to 5 a.m., who has goals for the day and longer term, and a plan to achieve them.  It changed me from someone who thought it would be a good idea to exercise to someone who regularly walks a mile (and sometimes my kids do it with me).  It changed me from someone who thought I’d like to paint more to someone who gets out the paints and creates.

Intentionality starts with better habits, which create momentum.

As a SAHM, recognizing I’m the CEO and in charge of the way my life and home works has been key to changing what I didn’t like and what wasn’t working.  We all have the same amount of hours in our days, so learning better time management (essentially self-management) has been essential for awakening a dream in me.  Putting plans  into place for better health and productivity has reduced overwhelm and given me the space to be creative.  I feel less like I’m surviving and more like I’m on my way to truly thriving creatively again.  My dream is being able to encourage others to do the same, because it’s powerfully and literally life-changing.

Leave a comment (scroll allll the way down on this post) sharing your dream and one thing you could do to get started on it!  If you don’t have one yet, share what’s weighing you down from getting there, and if you have a step to take to overcome it today!