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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

How Stay At Home Moms Can Cope With Depression

Wednesday, November 30, 2022 @ 2:40 PM

Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) depression is taboo to talk about, but common. This depression shows up in moms who are doing continual parenting and household duties, experiencing isolation, and feeling as if they are closed in when it comes to having space to themselves. These moms also tend to feel as if things will fall apart if they are not “everything” to “everyone” in the family. Sticking to a schedule doesn’t help because anything unexpected can happen when you have little ones. It is exhausting. These moms often feel misunderstood and unseen. The false perception that they are playing with the kids all day or that life is easier because they aren’t working a 9-5 job feeds the desire to withdraw and not share the frustrations of the day. Experiencing mom guilt adds to these feelings of hopelessness as it feeds the lie that you are selfish if you are taking care of yourself.

These moms are more likely to report anger and sadness. They are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than mothers who are employed. Age is not a factor, it is the factors surrounding what the mother is experiencing that feed the depression. While being a mother is rewarding, it can also be the most difficult and life-changing role you have ever encountered. There is hope for you today.

Symptoms of Stay-at-Home Mom Depression

· Loss of energy and motivation can bring the lethargy of everything feeling hard. Do you feel like you are dragging to get through the day? Are you experiencing burnout?

· Change in appetite can look like an increase in emotional eating, particularly, the indulgence of sweet or salty snacks.

· Difficulty sleeping or needing more sleep is often hard to detect because moms are typically up with young children at night. This can refer to those moments where there are opportunities to rest but worry, sadness, or feeling overwhelmed intrude on your mind when trying to sleep.

· Feeling overwhelmed. Do you feel like it is difficult to cope? Are you feeling like anything you do is too much?

· Mom guilt creates a cycle where she feels guilty for taking care of herself even as her children are well taken care of. This can be further from the truth as studies show that moms who take care of themselves are more present and have more joy in caring for their children.

· Loss of identity. Before your children, you had a regular schedule and were pursuing dreams and goals. Now, you may be questioning how you will pursue those goals when you have young children.

These symptoms are not just about feeling sad for a moment. This is a sadness that lingers.

How Can a Mom Experiencing Depression Cope?

· Process what you are feeling. It is possible to love everything about being a mother while at the same time acknowledging the difficulties at the same time. Having these feelings don’t make you a bad mother. It makes you human.

· Have a regular morning routine. Your morning routine can be a flexible one, but still have one that requires brushing your teeth, getting dressed, and washing your face. Starting your day fresh can help you in having reset from the prior day.

· Build your tribe and discover other mom friends. Find mom friend groups in your community with similar interests as you. This will help to break down some of the isolation you may be feeling.

· Ask for help. Speaking with a counselor can help you to process what you are experiencing and better adjust to your new life of being a mom.

· Make yourself a priority. Finding and discovering balance is vital in your healing journey. Talking with someone can help with discovering how to get you back on your healing journey.

Taking the step to speak with a counselor can be life-changing. Call 443-860-6870 to schedule an appointment or use the calendar to set up a time to move forward in your healing journey today.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Top Coach Foundation

Tuesday, November 29, 2022 @ 6:11 AM

Blurb " Tara has been recognized as one of the Top Mental-Health Coaches by Coach Foundation."

Friday, November 25, 2022

New Podcast Episode: Nature and Nurture

Friday, November 25, 2022 @ 8:38 AM

Stacey Smith, CEO, and Founder of Blossom and Grow has a conversation with Elisha's Space on the topic of plant therapy and how it can bring healing to survivors of trauma.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

3 concentric circles

Thursday, November 24, 2022 @ 11:33 PM

Michael Henson

You and I are a 3 in 1. Discover how each of these 3 parts are not fully conscientiously explained and evaluated to realize how we behave in REACTING VS. RESPONDING. CALL to schedule your sessions and I will show you how all of this makes sense in honoring the Lord’s pray and becoming a transformed Christian to walk in victory while living a hard life. God never promised it would be easy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Finding a Christian Counselor

Wednesday, November 23, 2022 @ 1:17 PM

It’s the week before Thanksgiving and maybe you’re thinking, “I can’t do the holidays again with some of these get togethers I’ve already committed to.” You are feeling dread in your heart and stomach; the heartburn and stomach troubles you know so well. The people closest to you say, “it’s time to get some help with this, things can be different.”

You start googling for Christian counselors near me. Let’s talk about several things to consider when looking at each website.

· Does the content on the website resonate with your pain, story and struggles?

· Do you feel hope based on being understood, and realistic promises regarding positive changes?

· Are you able to chat with the counselor before the first meeting to see if this is the right therapist for you?

· For building trust, you may look at the About or Meet page and see what the person’s credentials are, where they were trained, the professional organizations they identify with.

· On the same page look for some personal information regarding their faith and life. Read a blog or two. Do your beliefs align?

· You may see if they are listed on a counseling directory.

· Do they have openings that work for you on a weekly basis?

I realize that is a lot of things to consider, in addition to “what exactly do I want out of therapy?” Please call 720-577-5985 if you have questions or simply want to schedule a free 15 minute consultation. I look forward to connecting with you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Live From Elisha's Space: A Parent's Adoption Story

Wednesday, November 16, 2022 @ 11:09 PM

Robin Bartko is joining Elisha’s Space to discuss her story of how her family dynamics changed when her son was adopted. Hear her as she tells the joys as well as the challenges of international adoption. #RobinBartko #WellnessGirlfriendLLC

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

7 Ways Older Populations Can Manage Anxiety

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 @ 9:02 AM

Everyone has feelings of anxiousness or nervousness. However, when these feelings become overwhelming and affect your everyday life, it could be classified as an anxiety disorder. People of all ages may experience signs of anxiety, however, older adults may experience symptoms that look different from the general population. Studies show that anxiety disorders affect 10-20% of older adults. As you age, more anxiety increases. With that said, many of these anxiety disorders go undiagnosed.

With older adults, anxiety is found more often than cognitive disorders and depression. When diagnosed, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is more commonly associated with this population. Following this diagnosis are phobias, panic disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Anxiety for older adults can look like

· Racing thoughts

· Constant worrying

· Feelings of hopelessness

· Sleep apnea

· Difficulty concentrating

· Nausea

· Hot flashes

· Shortness of breath

· Greater frequency in using the restroom

· Eye and vision problems

· Dizziness

· Chest pain

· Heart palpitations

· Forgetfulness

· Withdrawal

· Change in weight, appetite, or eating habits

How Can Older Adults Manage Their Anxiety?

1. Recognize triggers. Anxiety can come regardless of triggers. It can come because of environmental and situational factors. Since older adults typically deal with frequent change, it can cause more anxiety in their everyday life. Some triggers can include:

· Financial insecurity

· Health problems

· Dementia

· Loss of independence

· Feelings of isolation

· End of life planning

· Grief and loss

Recognition of triggers can help in processing how to move forward when helping your loved ones.

2. Educate yourself. Having an understanding of not only what the triggers are as well as how to cope with them helps to recognize when you feel out of control. Therapy is an avenue you can take to learn how to cope with your anxiety. Through therapy, you can also learn relaxation methods that you can utilize when handling other stressors. You can also learn to recognize how to respond to anxiety when you recognize that the symptoms are beginning.

3. Build your tribe. Family, friends, and connections geographically near you that you trust are helpful resources to turn to when you feel like you are losing control. These connections can also help identify stressful situations and note when you are going in the wrong direction. Your tribe can bring you from a place of feeling helpless to feeling hopeful.

4. Integrate including a healthy balanced lifestyle. Paying attention to how well you sleep as well as the length of time you are rested, eating a balanced meal, and exercising help manage stress levels. In addition, taking active steps to have social interactions and doing activities that you love can also reduce stress in your life. Finding ways to volunteer and giving back can also bring balance and help to lower the stress and anxiety that you may be experiencing. A walk in the neighborhood or in the park should suffice when integrating exercise into your life.

5. Rule out that the problem isn’t biological. If the anxiety issue becomes diagnosed, it can be effectively managed with the combination of counseling, medication, and relaxation techniques.

6. Develop a plan. Developing a plan and sticking to it can alter the feeling of being out of control to being in control. These skills are learned through therapy.

7. Spend time in prayer and other spiritual practices. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Studying Scripture and having a consistent prayer life can help to alleviate stress and anxiety.

Get Help Today

Getting the proper help and counseling support needed can help you have a better quality of life. Call 443-860-6870 today to make an appointment.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Hello, My Name is Phillip

Sunday, November 6, 2022 @ 12:44 AM

My wife, Karen and I, grew up in difficult home environments. Both of us had parents who remained married. And both of us were also abused by others. I’ll write of those experiences in other books. But this book emerged from those experiences because of a deep conviction that every kid deserves safe adults.

The abuse Karen experienced, fragmented her soul. Each soul fragment, a hidden aspect of her personality, had a name. As she walked through 20 plus years of recovery, I began to meet the “kids on the inside,” one after another. One of the first I met was Phillip, a 6-year-old little guy, on the spectrum, who rocked and said colors to calm himself.

I loved Phillip, this part of Karen. He was artistic, humorous, intelligent, and the holder of so much faith and joy.

He became for me a picture of a kid who had endured too much for his young years and who at last had found healing.

While in a class I was teaching a couple years ago, when I completed one of the assignments, I made a discovery I never expected. The assignment was to identify something I needed to proclaim, tell what it was and how I would share it. My deep desire to protect and rescue kids from tough environments emerged as a desire to tell a story and help kids in the process. I said to my group that I would write a story.

In that preparation, I saw this picture of a little boy in a dark closet. He sat there with his service animal. He was rocking, and rocking and saying his colors. And I heard the start of his story, as he said, “Hello, my name is Phillip.” I began to write.

Over the next year, I wrote about 15,000 words. A friend then encouraged me with the writing, so with lockdown, I began to get up at 5 am to write daily.

The thirty-chapter story flowed forth over the next nearly three months as this child described his world.
As I wrote, I realized the story went deep. It accessed deep healing in my own heart as character after character emerged in the story.

Sometimes, as I wrote, I wept. Other times, I laughed out loud, almost forgetting I had written what made me laugh. Still others, knowing what was yet to happen, I didn't want to write for I feared "writing about that!"

I want you to know, part of the little boy you'll meet in this book is me emerging from the dark closets of my own past finally finding his voice. And part of the little boy is the other “Phillip,” I first met in Karen. Both of these internal kids, alongside of the story which seemed to write itself about a child who is not either of us, but rather, himself.

Jesus figured into this story, for both my wife and I have experienced His immense mercy, power and grace in our own healings and so, it made sense when suddenly, He quietly, powerfully entered Phillip’s story. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah surprised me as He ushered in powerful forgiveness.

I know there are children out there growing up in tough environments who need to know there is hope. To them I say. “The scary adults around you are not the only adults out there. There are people, real people, who will see you for the wonderful human beings you are and will love you. May Phillip’s story bring you hope, for in Jesus there is always hope.”

And Phillip—I’m grateful to have known and loved you, and to know you still. You have changed my life for the better.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

9 Tips for How to Find Motivation

Tuesday, November 1, 2022 @ 1:06 PM

While it can be difficult to get moving and start making tangible changes when you have no motivation, there’s a lot you can do to get going again.

Here are nine tips for how to be motivated:

1. Create a Routine
By breaking down your day and creating expectations for each day, you are training your body and mind to naturally fall into these behaviors—even if they are incremental.

2. Take Care of Yourself Physically
Good self-care includes proper hygiene, sleep, and nutrition. If it’s been awhile, you might want to schedule a visit with your doctor and get their personalized advice on the best ways to take care of your body.

3. Work Out
When you engage in exercise and other things that make you proud of yourself, your brain produces dopamine. This can make you feel happy, rewarded, and motivated.9

4. Break Large Goals Down Into Smaller Tasks
You may not feel as overwhelmed about completing each small task, and that will help you to change your perspective regarding the goal itself—while before it may have seemed insurmountable, you now have a game plan that you can follow.

5. Reward Yourself for Completing Tasks
Rewarding yourself works because you’re promoting dopamine output as well as motivating yourself to keep going. This could be anything from a nice coffee to a bubble bath to a kind word to yourself, or even a vacation after completing a larger goal.

6. Do Things You Used to Enjoy
For example, reading a fictional book, playing a game, sitting outside, and drawing are all great places to start. Even if you aren’t sure you still enjoy the activity, give it a try and see how you feel afterward.

7. Reach Out to Your Support System
Sometimes, a coffee date, phone call, or FaceTime interaction can help to increase motivation by getting a reminder from people who love you that you’re doing a good job.

8. Practice Gratitude & Mindfulness Skills
Both gratitude and mindfulness have been proven to deepen your appreciation for life and the simple things. They also help to increase your attention to the present and the control you do have.

9. Consider Going to Therapy
If you’ve tried several strategies to dispel your lack of motivation but you’re still struggling, it may be time to consider therapy. Even if you’re not sure what you would talk about in therapy, the therapist could ask the right questions to help you pinpoint the potential reasons for your lack of motivation and help you brainstorm solutions.

What is domestic violence and what can you do about it?

Tuesday, November 1, 2022 @ 1:02 PM

Domestic violence, also referred to as domestic abuse or intimate partner violence, is a global problem that affects both women and men.

Are you concerned that someone dear to you is living in an abusive home or is in an abusive relationship?

Consult for individual growth and development, marriage strengthening and family unity.

What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence involves intimidation, threats, and using force to control a family member or partner.

Abusive behaviour includes all physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual actions that a person does or threatens to do against another. Perpetrators can attack another person by surprise or even while the other is sleeping.

A person does not need to be a blood relative to be considered a victim of domestic violence. Even violence among people who are dating or in a relationship is considered domestic abuse.

How to Help People Experiencing Domestic Abuse
If you are wondering if someone you know is in an abusive relationship or is experiencing domestic violence, do the following:

Check the following warning signs:
They make excuses for their physical injuries. They may wear long-sleeved clothes even during warm weather to hide bruises.
They are overly fearful about not pleasing their partner or family member.
They excuse themselves from school, work, or social gatherings without reason.
Their personalities suddenly shift. For instance, a confident person suddenly loses self-esteem.
They usually do not have money on hand.
Gather as much information as possible about domestic abuse.
Research about domestic violence and the available programs and services in your area, where you can refer your loved one for support and protection.

Listen without judgment.
If you suspect your friend or loved one is in an abusive relationship, do not force them to open up about the issue. Instead, wait for them to come and confide with you.

Avoid criticising these individuals for what they are experiencing, or do not downplay their fear of potential danger.

Their abuser may have repeatedly told their friends or loved ones that they are dumb, worthless, or defective. Remind your relative or friend of their strengths and skills.

Encourage your friend to get assistance.
Privately share the details you have gathered from support institutions and local community programs when your loved one or friend finally asks you for advice.

Develop a safety plan with your friend.
Help your relative or friend face the reality that they may endanger themselves and their children by choosing to stay with their abuser.

Talk to domestic violence program staff or legal professionals when thinking of a plan to suggest to your loved ones to help protect them and their children ahead of the abuser’s next “attack.”

Advise your loved one to contact the local domestic violence hotline or domestic violence shelter when they decide to leave their home. It is best to place the call when the abuser is not at home or from a safe location.

Suggest that your relative or friend list down names and contact numbers of people they can contact in an emergency. Your loved one should know exactly where to go and how to get there when they need to escape.

Also, recommend that your loved ones pack an emergency bag with their clothing, personal documents, personal items, and money.

Signs That a Family Member Is Abusive
In an abusive relationship, you are likely to fear the perpetrator or abuser due to the following tactics:

Psychological abuse:

Abusers embarrass you in front of other people.
They belittle or put down your accomplishments.
They make you feel incapable of making decisions.
They use threats or intimidation to gain compliance.
Abusers blame you for how they act or feel.
After a fight, they bar you from leaving the house or leaving you somewhere to “teach you a lesson.”
They accuse you of having an affair.
Physical and sexual abuse:

Abusers pressure you into sexual activity.
They physically mistreat you through hitting, pinching, and other physically hurtful actions, including throwing things at you.
They may check on you (through calls or physical appearance) to ensure your location is where you said you would be.
Financial abuse:

They steal your money or keep your cash and credit cards away from you.
They do not give money for your basic needs. If they put you on an allowance, you need to account for every cent you spend.
Social abuse:

Abusers stop you from spending time with family members or friends.
They threaten to hurt or kill you or someone close to you.
Abusive people usually go through a cycle of threatening violence, committing the action, apologising with a promise to change, and making violent threats again.

Factors Behind Abusive Behaviour
Individuals learn abusive behaviour. People who grew up in families where someone was abusive can exhibit the same behaviour in their adulthood.

Perpetrators of abuse also act the way they do due to the following beliefs:

They believe in their right to behave in whatever way they like while at home.
They believe that anger and violence are necessary to keep things in order within the family.
They believe that “real men” should be tough and in control of decision-making, such as household spending.
They blame you, alcohol, or stress for provoking them to anger or violence.
They believe in their entitlement to sex from their partner.
Effects of Domestic Violence in the Home
Children are most affected when they live in a home where domestic violence happens. Some of these emotional and social effects include:

A higher risk of depression, severe anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder in which children are prone to experience nightmares, sleeping, difficulties, and self-enactment of abuse incidents
Learning difficulties (including poor concentration)
Limited social skills
Displays of aggressive, risky, or delinquent behaviour
Moreover, children witnessing abuse can affect their physical health as the stress can cause headaches and stomach pains. Parenting plays an important role in both the mental and physical wellbeing of a child. It’s a must to know the fundamentals to provide safe space for children. Visit Motherhood Community for parenting advice.

Violent homes also make children vulnerable to peer pressure, unsafe sexual behaviour, and drug misuse as they seek an outlet to escape their stressful environments.