Do Not Be Afraid to Feel Your Feelings

WTYL Episode 39 Welcome To Your Life! Midlife Made Easier Podcast

The world is in chaos it is scary and a bit overwhelming. Before we get started, let us take a collective moment to breathe.  Maybe like me, you have been holding your breath as every one of your body’s senses has been bombarded by emotions too quick to process.

So, I invite you, no, I implore you, find a comfortable seat, relax your shoulders, and plant your feet firmly on the floor. Close your eyes.  Place your left hand on your belly, and your right hand on your heart.  Take a deep breath through your nose, feeling the rise and fall of your belly and chest.  Do this three times.  Now, sit for a moment and just feel the awareness of stillness.

Even when you were not physically moving over the last 12 weeks, your mind has been in constant motion.  I would bet you a butter pecan iced coffee that you are emotionally, financially, and spiritually exhausted. 

Having been hit simultaneously with a global pandemic which has killed over 120,000 people in the United States alone, left 40 million Americans unemployed, plural police shootings which have sparked nationwide protests. Fueled by 400 years of systemic racism, brutal injustice, and downright disrespect of the human rights of black and brown folks in this country.

As women of a certain age, we have become very adept at hiding our feelings; after all, it would be selfish of us to spend time dealing with our own emotions, when we need to be the glue that holds our world together.  So, we pack them away in a little box with the promise that we will unpack them later.  Well, my friend later is now.

Some of us were never taught the importance of examining how we feel, that was a luxury for the rich and famous.  I mean really, “was this not an issue of class in that the higher socioeconomic classes could spend their time contemplating their sadness while the rest of us regular folks had to get to work? How possible was it, really, for the average person, to be with or in their sadness, “sitting still” when things needed to get done? After all, didn’t we all need to get out the door and earn a living?”   Our parents showed us they loved us by providing for us, as a single mom my mother rarely had time to ask us how we felt or really examine how she was feeling, she was too busy trying to put food on the table.  Unfortunately, the cycle continued with me. 

Feeling your feelings is not an easy task, believe me, I know.  I am the queen of holding things in and telling myself that I will deal with it some other time.  When things are not as hectic, when my life is in order, or when I have more time.   I placated myself bingeing on Netflix, alcohol, food, and shopping.  Until being unemployed meant that I had to let go of these vices and deal with my feelings.

When you are focused on numbing your feelings rather than processing them and using healthy coping strategies, you prevent yourself from living a full and meaningful life. Hurt, frustration, pain, sadness, and anger are all-natural and healthy parts of the human experience. When we try to suppress these emotions, we are unable to thrive.”

At the end of a recent yoga class, one of my students exhaling loudly said, “I do not believe that I have taken a real breath all day.”  Your feelings help you decide whether you are in alignment with your wants and needs.  The scary part about taking that deep breathe feeling your emotions and identifying how they show up in your body is that you must submit to being vulnerable.  

Being vulnerable can provide us with the key we need to live a full life. If we’re brave, it will allow us to finally let our guard down and open ourselves up to the sadness, disbelief, and frustration we may be holding on too, which means “more energy and attention we have to devote to our functioning life.”  

Does holding your feelings in lead to emotional eating, shutting yourself off from family or friends, sadness, headaches, gut issues, overspending, or yelling at co-workers?

Your assignment this week is to sit in a quiet place, use the breathing exercise we did at the beginning to anchor your mind.  This process will be as long or as short as you would like it to be, it must be done. At the end of your day, take out a blank piece of paper, set the timer for ten minutes, and just write how you are feeling. My free writing led to me address some things that I had pushed down but that needed to be addressed immediately, such as the daily emotional eating I had been doing to ease my frustrations.  Once you complete the activity, shoot me an email at info@reneereid.net and let me know how this exercise worked or did not work for you.

You can conquer anything if you acknowledge its existence.  The more we try to hide our feelings or put off dealing with them until some arbitrary future date, the more we will use unhealthy coping skills to bottle up our emotions.  It is time to feel again.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

My gift to you, Beating the Midlife Slump! 10 Strategies to Help You Boost Your Self Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

Whenever you are ready, here are two ways I can help you create the future you’ve always wanted:

  1. Join the private Welcome to Your Life Midlife Made Easier Facebook group, a curated community exclusively for fun-loving midlife. Learn from and connect with other midlife women; this is your village, a safe place to vent your concerns and celebrate your wins.  Click here to join (note: you must answer the questions to be considered).

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  1. Work with me privately. I am looking for 10 women over 50 who are looking, to lose weight naturally, reduce their stress, and increase their joy. If this is you, please fill out the form below. All eligible applications will be contacted by phone or email.  Click here to apply! Your first call is free!

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How to Create the New Life You Have Always Wanted

I get it, this was going to be your year.  2020 was the year you were going to lose weight, get a new job, disconnect from distracting or destructive relationships.  Find your soul mate, really take hold of your self-care, and make it a regular thing. Maybe, you were well on your way to making this happen, and then the world fell apart, and you with it.  I am here to tell you and myself that it is not too late to make your new life happen.  You can still make significant changes to your mind, body, and spirit. Guess what! I have a plan to help us do it.

This plan is going to require us to take some baby steps every day because real change does not happen in a day; it occurs when we make small shifts towards what we want.  Make sure that you hit the follow button so that you do not miss a post because, over the next couple of weeks, I am going to share with you 30 easy to implement life-changing tools and tips that will help you to transform your life.  Real self-care is more than just getting a manicure or a massage. It is the culmination of everything you do for yourself physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and financially. 

Some of these tips may sound unnecessary, but hey do them anyway, remember it is the culmination of our efforts that creates real change.

So, let us start. Today, I want you to take out that massive goal list that you prepared at the beginning of the year, focus on one area, and create three smaller goals that will help you to complete the task.  For example, if you want to work out every day instead of focusing on an hour’s workout, try 20 minutes. “Every time you set and achieve a goal, your confidence and sense of competence increases.”  If you have been struggling to get your two-hour writing session done, then opt for 15 minutes a day, in a week you will have written 105 minutes that’s a blog, book chapter, short story, or podcast episode. 

Setting smaller goals will reduce overwhelm and keep your life balanced. So, what do you say what area of your life will you focus on with your three tiny goals? I would love to hear about your success.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Are tired of banging your head against the wall and you need help to figure out your next steps.  Schedule your Soul Transformational call with me, it is completely free, and during our time together we will figure out what barriers are keeping you from the life you want. 

Self-Care is Your Superpower

Self-care and self-love are so intertwined that, to me, they are the same. It’s hard to love yourself when you are not taking care of yourself.  I know that we must take care of others, but real self-care is a conscious desire to take care of our own physical and emotional needs.  We are about to start a new month.  This would be an excellent time for you to set your intention and start or restart your self-care plan.  Self-care is your superpower; without it, we are only half showing up for the people and things we love.

Your self-care can show up in many ways, journaling, meditation, exercising regularly, scheduling your medical appointments. The point is to ensure that your physical and mental well-being is at the top of your crowded “to do” list. When you do this, you can genuinely help others with an open heart. Otherwise, resentment will rise, and you will feel guilty for the genuine feelings emanating from your spirit. Because, self-care is your superpower!

So, take some time today and make a list of all the things you need to feel happy and whole. To have peace and live courageously and connected to the spaces you inhabit. You deserve it-give yourself permission to have it.

We start May 10th are you in!   Let me help you lose your next 10 pounds join the 5k Walking and Clean Eating program get healthy, lose weight, and increase your energy.  Everyone who signs up has the chance to earn a medal during our 5K virtual  walk/run,  and you can bring a friend for free that’s right your registration comes with a free guest pass.

 $5 of your registration will be donated to the Atlanta Mission to help them provide safe housing and meals for homeless mothers and their children:  SIGN UP YOU’RE YOUR MEDAL IS WAITING:        

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Is Your Cell Phone Disturbing Your Sleep?

We cannot live without them, right?  I am talking about your cell phone.  Some of us have even taken to sleeping with our phones.  I am guilty of that, but that could be the worst thing you could do if you want to get a good restful night’s sleep.  Not only does the urge to keep rechecking your social media accounts interrupt your sleep patterns.

😴📱Scientists are just beginning to dig into all the effects cell phone use has on our health … including obesity, heart disease, brain changes, depression, and more. But one thing they do know is that the blue light that comes from screens can severely impact the quality and quantity of our sleep!  If you still have children at home, now is the time to get them in the habit of putting their phones away before going to bed.  If the urge is too high to see who liked, shared, or commented on your last post, I am raising my hand, then recharging them in another room is a great way to break the habit.

If you want to get a great night’s sleep.  And who doesn’t, 😳📵😴try to put your phone (and tablets and TVs!) away for at least an hour before you go to bed, so your brain gets a break from the blue light, which can make you want to stay awake!

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Let’s connect on the gram  https://www.instagram.com/iamreneereid/

Has your life stalled?  Download the Ultimate Midlife Guide: 

Beating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

The latest episode of Welcome To Your Life Midlife Made Easier Podcast: This podcast is for midlife women who are juggling midlife, wellness, relationship, and work/life balance.  Get the latest tips, tools, and interviews from midlife women just like you.

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What Is The Best Picture You’ve Taken All Week?

The world has gotten so gloomy. It’s important that we make a concerted effort to remember the good things. Because, while we are in the midst of death and dying, life is still going on. 📷🌆👶🏻What’s the best picture you’ve taken this week? Share it in the comments!

No Need For Masks Or Social Distancing!

I took this photo on one of my morning walks. It was cold! But, it was good to get outside away from the news coverage and smell the fresh air and see that nature is still thriving.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Let’s Connect ON the Gram

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Beating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

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The Anniversary of Loss: Three Ways to Get Through the Day

    If you have made it to midlife, you know what it means to lose someone you love.  April 17th would have been my younger brother’s 59th birthday.  Every year, on that day, I am reminded that there is a very noticeable gap between my youngest brother and myself.  David died from the same disease that took our dad, heart disease.  Of course, he was not the first death I’d experienced.  I have buried both of my parents, two grandmothers, and a beloved aunt.  But this is different. David and I were born 11 months apart.  I told people we were twins because between April and June, our respective birth months, we were the same age. 

     David was the balance between my youngest brother and me, he was calm, funny, a gifted artist who loved comic books, sci-fi, and he was the first tech nerd I ever knew.  As the pandemic rages around us, my heart goes out to the families who will celebrate their own anniversaries of loss next year.   Let me share with you three ways that I have found to get through the day.

  1. Cry:  This is not the day to stay in control of your emotions; if you feel like crying, let the waterworks go.  If possible, don’t spend the whole day crying that can be so draining.   Deal with your emotions unapologetically.
  2. Do something in remembrance:  My brother and I shared a love of all things sci-fi.  This year I watched the new Picard series in his honor.  You will never forget the person you lost, you can “empower yourself by proactively anticipating the anniversary and incorporating his or her memory into your plans.”
  3. Connect with others, the first couple of years after David passed away, I admit I shut myself off, worked long hours, or busied myself with my kids.  This year, I shared with them how I was feeling, told stories about when we were growing up, and how I would fight anyone who tried to bully him. Sharing with them helped me to remember David and gave them some insight on our childhood, a topic they tell me I don’t share enough.  My daughter-in-law dropped off a nice bottle of wine, and chocolates her kindness gave me a new memory to add to this anniversary.  On your anniversary, connect with others, share stories and memories.  Start a new tradition to honor your loved one and celebrate their contribution to you and to the world.

     Grief is one of those emotions that never really goes away, a smell, a song, a photo can bring back all the raw feelings of loss.  Take the time to care for yourself and tap into your inner strength.  Take a long walk, write your thoughts in a journal, take a yoga class, or talk to a therapist or coach, don’t suffer in silence.  That is the one thing I am sure your loved one would not want you to do. 

With Love and Peace,

Renee

Has your life stalled?  Download the Ultimate Midlife Guide: 

Beating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

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What Could I Do If I Wasn’t Afraid?

“Love Yourself, Dream Bigger” Teresa Collins

     I am not going to lie to you, midlife can be a scary phase of life.  Questions arise like, who is going to take care of me when I cannot take care of myself.  What if I don’t have enough money to live comfortably? I want to change careers but everyone I talk too tell me I am too old.  And, if these questions, are not enough to handle, what do we tell ourselves when we look at the dreams, we’ve left undone because we were just too afraid to take the first step.   

     If we have learned nothing else from the pandemic it is that we cannot afford to wait until tomorrow to live.  Live Now! Walk the marathon, write the book, start the business, cut people out of your life that no longer support you, acknowledge your mental health issues and get some help. Learn to motivate yourself and follow your own intuition, you got this!

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Have your weight loss goals stalled?  Download The Ultimate Midlife Guide:  Beating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

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Midlifers Tell the Truth: Are You Lonely?

Illustrated by Brianna Gilmartin, Verywell

     It always fascinates me how in 2020, we can be so digitally connected and yet feel so alone.  Loneliness can be a part of midlife for many reasons, divorce, death of a spouse, or an empty nest.  A Psychology Today article contends that loneliness does not depend on your social circle; more than 60% of married people admitted to feeling lonely. In the United States,40% of midlife folks are affected by loneliness, and this could lead to some devastating health outcomes.

     But before we get started, let’s define the difference between loneliness and isolation since many of us use these terms interchangeably.  Isolation ensues when we have very little or no contact with other people, this can happen due to a mental health issue or as a health precaution to fight the spread of COVID-19 which is what many of us are experiencing now.   Loneliness, on the other hand, is an emotional state it can be caused by isolation but can also be due to other things such as the loss of a good friend or moving to a new city.

Health risks associated with loneliness can include higher stress levels, antisocial behavior, increased alcohol or drug consumption, and depression. Studies show that lonely adults are less likely to exercise and consume diets high in fat and calories.

Image: tonyrobbins.com

If you feel lonely, you are not alone. In 2010 AARP commissioned a study that classified loneliness by age; the results were astounding.  Using the UCLA Loneliness Scale, they measured the percent of lonely adults by age group:

  • Ages 40-49 – 43%
  • Ages 50-59 – 41%
  • Ages 60-69 – 32%
  • Ages 70+ – 25%

How can you protect yourself from the devastating effects of loneliness?

  • Nurture existing relationships: this step helped me to combat my loneliness, I make a point each day to contact a family member or friend.  And since we are practicing social distancing due to the virus, I reach out to work colleagues a couple of times each week to stay connected. 
  • Find a hobby: this one was a little bit harder because the things I enjoy don’t necessarily require company, but it has been a real joy cycling with my friend and organizing family walks.   You could start a bowling league or book club and invite family and friends.  Or, do something entirely out of your comfort zone like ballroom dancing and make some new friends.
  • Volunteer:  One of the best ways to get your mind off yourself is to give back to your community.  Find a place to donate your time and gift that organization with your gifts and talents.  Time spent volunteering will put you into social situations that will help you to meet new people in a safe environment.

If your loneliness persists or turns into isolation, don’t be afraid to seek help, many organizations such as Better Help offer online therapeutic services.  As with any service, do your due diligence and research before you commit.  Also, check out the Coalition to End Isolation and Loneliness; this is a non-profit organization that works to assist individuals with local and national resources to end loneliness.   

     It is a myth that the older you get, the lonelier you will become, yes, your life will change, kids grow up and move out, you might get divorced, or your spouse might pass away, maybe your friend of 25 years will move to another state.  I have found that one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to be flexible and to live your life with a curious mind.

With Love and Peace,

Renee

Need some help getting your groove back, download The Ultimate Midlife GuideBeating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Your Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

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Why Am I So Unproductive?

You probably had a list of items you were going to accomplished while being quarantined at home.  I know I did, my cleaning and organizing alone were going to take me through the 30- day shelter at home order our Governor had put into effect.  But I spent the first week with the rest of America lying on the sofa glued to the newsfeed and its unsettling statistics. If that is where you are right now, it is okay. 

While your family and friends are sewing protective masks, planning summer gardens, and hosting fundraisers for the essential workers that keep us fed, protected, and cared for, which are all excellent activities to be involved in right now.   You and I need to take some time to show ourselves some compassion.  The Coronavirus has created an unprecedented time in all our lives.  We need to allow ourselves time to grieve the comforting regularity of our normal routines and for the many families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.

If you would like to get some things done while you’re in isolation, let me share with you how I slowly peeled myself off the sofa.

  1. Break up your large goals into smaller ones. Take your “to do” list and select three items you would like to complete.  Do this each day until the list is complete.  Don’t add any new items to the list until you have completed the current one.
  2. Use the Pomodoro method-this method made it possible for me to blog and complete my podcast.  Even without the virus looming, I have a tough time staying focused.  The technique is simple but powerful.  To begin, “Make a small oath to yourself: I will spend 25 minutes on this task, and I will not interrupt myself. You can do it! After all, it’s just 25 minutes.”
  3. Take a break; these breaks allow you to recharge and refocus and reduce the negative self-talk that can sneak up on you when you are just not in the mood to complete a task.  Negative self-talk starts with something along the lines of “I will never get this done.”  It will break your spirit and make it hard for you to tap into the personal power you need to make it through to the end.  

If you write the next great American novel, during the time of COVID-19 congratulations, and if you emerge with your sanity intact, and an organized closet, congratulations to you too.

Wishing you Peace and Love,

Renee

You are worth the time:  learn how to lose weight naturally download The Ultimate Midlife Guide:  Beating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

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How Can I Help My Family Members Understand My Mental Illness?

Note:  Today’s blog has a new format; I will be answering a question from one of readers.  If you have a question you would like to ask about health and wellness, relationships, or life, please email me at info@reneereid.net, and your question could be featured on a future podcast.

Today’s question is from Brandiss, she writes, I am 50 years old and was diagnosed with depression about six years ago.  I am married and have two teenaged daughters, I have been trying to explain my diagnosis to my family, but they don’t seem to understand what I am going through. Now that we are all stuck home together, I thought this would be a good time for us to have an honest conversation.  How should I start?

Brandiss, thank you so much for your question; I know that the pandemic, social isolation, and sheltering in place has been a trigger for many of us suffering from a mental health disorder.  I am so grateful to be out of bed today.  As a Mental Health Practitioner, I worked with families to help them to understand their loved one’s diagnosis so that they can be a natural support for them once our services ended.  Sometimes, it worked.  Sometimes it didn’t.  

I know we have made a lot of progress, but there is still a stigma attached to a mental health diagnosis.  I applaud you and anyone who has the courage not only to face their diagnosis but also to share it with their families so that they can begin to understand and provide valuable help when it is needed.   I have four tips that I think will work well for you and anyone dealing with a chronic illness.  Your mental illness is probably not going to go away but can be managed successfully.  These four steps should get the conversation started.

  1. Education:  Don’t skip this step; it would help if family members had a bird’s eye view of exactly what symptoms and causes of your mental health diagnosis.  They don’t need a dissertation; you can simply give them a pamphlet, article, or book.  You can provide the information and then give them time to digest it and ask you questions.  Check out this TEDx talk by Dr. Lloyd  Sederer entitled When Mental Illness Enters a Family.  You and your family can watch Dr. Sederer’s talk together.
  2. Be Clear on What You Need:  This is not the time to have family members guessing on how to help you, guesswork will just increase the stress for both you and your loved one.  So, tell them, when I feel this way__________, I need you too___________.   Remember that you and your family members are dealing with something that even the medical community doesn’t fully understand.    For example, when I am having an anxiety attack, I need you to remind me of one of my coping strategies, whether that’s journaling, walking, listening to a meditation recording, or yelling into a pillow.  Knowing what to do will empower your family members.
  3. Explain your triggers:  If you have worked with a mental health practitioner, then you’ve heard of triggers.  Discuss yours with your family so that they can be aware that a person, place, thing, or event can trigger an episode for you.   About three years ago, I was working with a client who was diagnosed with OCD.  We sat down with her kids and explained to them that leaving the shoes and bookbags at the front door when they came home from school was a trigger for mom.  Instead, we asked them to take all their belongings to their room.  Because when they dropped them at the door, this triggered mom to want to clean for two or three hours instead of cooking dinner.  If possible, schedule a meeting with you and your family and your therapist.  They can provide real support for you as you try to explain to your family how they can help.
  4. Guard your feelings: sometimes, family members and friends can be very supportive and loving, and sometimes they will just not understand.  You do not have to argue with them or try to convince them that what you are feeling is real.   Remember that Supportive Loved Ones Come in All Shapes and Sizes, if you cannot find natural support from your family and friends, look for it in the form of professional assistance from a therapist, case manager, or coach.  Search for online support groups or start your own.  While you want family members to be there for you, give yourself permission to focus on getting well.

If you are trying to provide support for someone who has been diagnosed with a mental illness check out Nami the National Alliance ON Mental Illness -they have an excellent program called Family to Family that is designed to help family members have a better understanding about mental illness and how they can be supportive. I took this program way back in 2010 and it was a great resource.

Wishing You Peace and Love,

Renee

Download The Ultimate Midlife Guide:  Beating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

#midlifewomen  #wtyl #fitbabyboomer #atlantapodcast #midlifecrisis #genxwomen midlifewellness #midlifeaffirmation #midlifebeauty #fiftyplusbeauty #fortypluswomen #healthandwellness  #diabeticwomen #midlifecrisis #midliferesilience  #selfcare #selflove #midlifedetermination #menopause #hotflashes #bellyfat #inflammation #overfiftyandfit #empoweringwomen #midlifestyle