Miscarriage Matters: The Path to Victory

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Recently, The Centered Life therapists, Aneta and Jennifer were asked to be guests on the blog talk radio show on Sirius XM radio, Miscarriage Matters to discuss, “The Path to Victory”. Miscarriage Matters is a radio show dedicated to discussing topics regarding miscarriage, offering support and a listening ear. As the radio show host Danielle Langford mentions, healing can only begin once the decision is made to let go of unforgiveness. In order to be able to move forward with the healing process, it is essential to forgive yourself.

 

Danielle Langford is an empowerment specialist, professional speaker, radio blog host, and workshop facilitator. Her passion is inspiring, teaching and motivating women, teen girls and others with workshops and presentations focused on self-esteem, body image, social media, and healthy relationships. She is the founder of www.pinkempowers.com. Danielle also wrote the book, “Letters For My Son”.

 

Remember that you are not alone! If you feel like you are struggling with the loss, there are services readily available to you. You can chat live with a trained professional at www.mymiscarriagematters.org or call one of our therapists and schedule an appointment to come in and talk in person. We are here to help and support you as you are going through a difficult time in your life!

 

On the Miscarriage Matters show, Aneta and Jennifer discussed:

–       What does victory look like?

–       What’s more important…the victory or the path?

–       Overcoming unhealthy thinking and unhealthy behaviors

–       The ramifications of unforgiveness

–       The process of healing

–       The importance of support and encouragement
Click HERE to the listen to the show!

 

All best,

Aneta and Jennifer

Love Your Body

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The messages are all around us; on social media posts, magazine covers, television, and movies- that beauty is your worth. It is hard not to critique ourselves, when we live in a world that constantly and heavily emphasizes looks and outer appearance. From Kylie Jenner lip kits, to the pressure to look good immediately after having a baby, I’m not surprised I see so many individuals in therapy feeling these unrealistic expectations. Having these expectations can make teen girls and women feel less than their worth, creating low self-esteem. Social media posts of models and celebrities portray a false sense of security with the amount of followers and likes a person has on their Instagram/Facebook page. Is that really an accurate way to measure a person’s beauty? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

 

As a therapist, I often preach self-care to my clients. A part of that is of course loving yourself and loving your body. How do you do that?

 

Here are some tips to help you feel good about YOU and LOVE YOUR BODY:

 

  • Create a list of all the things that your body lets you do. Be sure to read it aloud and add to it weekly.
  • Be your body’s friend, not enemy!
  • Honor your body. Respect your body.Respect and honor other bodies too. When you begin to see others as the beautiful people they are, you will have a much easier time loving who you are.
  • Write positive notes to yourself and post them on your mirror. “You are beautiful” is just one example.
  • Wear comfortable clothes that you like and that feel good to your body.
  • Don’t let your weight keep you from participating in the activities you enjoy.
  • Think about all the things you could enjoy and accomplish with the time and energy you currently spend worrying about your appearance.
  • Reduce time spent on social media. Unfollow accounts that make you think any less of yourself.
  • Increase positive social interactions with people or pets. Increased interactions allow you to talk about goals and dreams with others while listening to their stories. Interactions with pets help as you can focus your energy on that pet and not completely on yourself. You learn to give and take love unconditionally.
  • Treat your body to a massage or a bath. It deserves it!
  • Every night before you go to bed, tell your body how much you appreciate it for what it has allowed you to do throughout the day.

Love your body,

Jennifer

 

SWEAT IT OUT

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It’s a no-brainer that physical exercise is good for your body! As well, it is one of the most effective ways to improve mental health. Speaking from experience, getting in a workout every day has been life changing. I cannot even begin to tell you how great I feel after leaving the gym. That does not mean it is a challenge getting there. Some days I have to really mentally prepare myself and other days my body just goes without thinking. I will tell you one thing- I have never regretted a single workout. The gym “has always been there for me”, whether I am upset, sad, lonely, excited, nervous, happy, etc. No matter what I am feeling, I know I have a healthy outlet available. I always look at it as “ME TIME”. It is done for nobody other than myself.

 

Exercise has many benefits including:

  • stress relief
  • memory improvement
  • mental clarity
  • better sleep
  • higher self-esteem
  • more energy
  • anxiety relief
  • stronger resilience
  • overall mood boost

 

New to exercise? Dreading that yoga class? Intimidated by weights? I encourage you to start small. And remember, it is okay to start small! Exercise when you have the most energy during the day.  Have a friend join you. Give yourself time to adjust if this is something new to your weekly routine. You do not need a gym membership to get in some exercise. Step outside and talk a walk/run. Put on some music and dance away. All you need is anywhere from 15-30 minutes at least 2X/week. I guarantee you will feel better!

 

To recap:

  • Start small
  • Exercise when your energy is highest
  • Have a workout buddy
  • Give yourself time to adjust to this new routine!
  • 15-30 minutes of exercise is all that is needed at least 2X/week

 

The Centered Life proudly partners with Knockout Women’s Boxing Club, a women’s only boxing club. The owner, Jessica Storch, takes pride in the friendly, safe, and welcoming atmosphere. If you would like to learn more about Knockout, their classes and services provided, please check visit the website at:

 

http://www.knockoutwomenboxing.com

 

Sweat it out,

Jennifer

Spring Cleaning: Emotions Edition

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Spring brings the urge to clean, purge and get rid of the excess junk piling up in that corner of the room. You know exactly which one I am talking about 😉 However, I encourage you to think about a different type of cleaning. Spring brings the craving to refresh and have a sense of renewal.  It is an opportunity to let go of what is getting in the way, mentally or emotionally. It is difficult to get rid of that mental clutter. How does one simply get rid of something that has been around forever? In this instance, how does someone rid an old belief that is perhaps negative? Or something that has been occupying you for quite some time?

 

We start by releasing those negative thoughts. And with that we must really begin to identify and clarify our wants. Is it that easy? Not really. It is challenging because we are constantly evolving in our thoughts from our to do lists to things that are not that urgent. How do we become more connected to ourselves and our wants? Allow yourself to truly relax and just be. Stillness allows connection with our deeper selves. Meditation can help you with this.

 

As a therapist, I am preaching on a mountaintop about how important self-care is. No, I am not going to tell you to join a yoga class or go get your nails done. Don’t get me wrong, that is considered self-care. What I am really challenging you to do is give your mind some mental clarity by allowing yourself to sit and do nothing. I call this my “stare at the wall time”. Sometimes, you just need to sit back and really allow yourself to be present in that moment and refine your thoughts. Inhale the positive and exhale the negative.

 

With that being said, when stillness is present, we see more clearly how we want to live.  We can then set our intentions for how we want to live: having more positive relationships, focusing on your health, surrounding yourself around good energy and people, etc. Essentially, we are creating the life desired to live.

 

Happy Spring Cleaning,

Jennifer

Miscarriage Matters

Spring is officially here! Hopefully the weather cooperates soon 😉 Spring is a time of renewal, learning to form and embrace a new version of yourself.

The Centered Life recently partnered with the blog talk radio show “Miscarriage Matters” as a part of the series Renewal of Body, Mind, and Soul. I was invited to be a guest by Danielle Langford. Danielle is an Empowerment Specialist and Workshop Facilitator, who created pinkempowers.com and is also the host of Miscarriage Matters. Miscarriage Matters is a radio show educating the public about miscarriage and loss and how it truly affects a person by offering friendship and a listening ear.

Miscarriage is important to talk about as it happens to women and families everywhere. Miscarriage does not discriminate. Through my work with clients who have experienced a miscarriage, I have gathered that there seems to be this attached shame of talking about it and rushed sense of needing to grieve quickly or if at all. Miscarriage Matters radio exists to let you know that you are not alone and to offer support.

Renewal involves establishing the new normal. Specifically, it is learning to form and embrace a “new version” of yourself with the loss now being a part of you; as a part of your identity.

 

Here are 8 helpful aspects to consider as you start your journey towards a “new normal”:

  1. First and foremost, know that you are not alone. You will never get over the miscarriage, but you can get through it.
  1. Allow yourself to grieve! Allow yourself to go through the grieving process by acknowledging the loss and learning to sit with the pain and to seek support.
  2. Increase your self-care by challenging feelings of guilt, getting involved in things that promote empowerment, and embracing self-love.
  1. Find your sense of self again. Give yourself permission to go through the grieving process- no matter what that looks like.
  1. We are emotional beings: express yourself through the process. Allow yourself to cry, be sad, and be angry, etc.
  1. It is okay to laugh! Experiencing joy is okay, even when you feel sadness and pain.
  1. Renewal starts when you are ready; sometimes loss becomes more painful, before it gets better
  1. Know that your experience is unique and grief is not linear. With that being said, there is no time frame or formula for grief. Everyone grieves differently and that is okay. It all depends on the culture, background, experience, situation, and of course the individual.

 

I encourage you to seek counseling as it can be tremendously helpful to validate your experience. Additionally, I encourage you to seek support through a religious or spiritual affiliation, volunteering, joining a club or organization, and from family/friends. As Danielle said in the show, “Sometimes you need to go outside, to get renewed inside”.

Please be sure to tune in weekly on Tuesdays at 7pm CST to listen to Danielle Langford and Miscarriage Matters. You can connect with Danielle and the rest of the Miscarriage Matters team at blogtalkradio.com/miscarriagematters. You can email them mmradio@mymiscarriagematters.org. I also encourage you to check out Danielle’s website here for inspiration and a schedule of her upcoming workshops!

You can listen to this radio show segment HERE .

 

Best,

Jennifer

 

 

 

Fight Stigma


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As a therapist, I am a big proponent of face to face contact and having live conversation.  With that being said, I have really learned social media to be a great tool to spread awareness and shed light to fighting mental health stigma. A few months ago, I stumbled upon the page “schizophrenic.nyc” on Instagram.  Michelle, the founder of the page and clothing line company was kind enough to share her story with me as well as to allow me to share her inspiring story with others.

From her words to your eyes (and ears)-

Walking down the New York city streets it’s not hard to see someone homeless. Also, it’s apparent that most NYC homeless have a mental illness. Sometimes they are yelling or signaling towards people who are imaginary. Their body might be present, but their mind is somewhere else. This upsets me. Why? Because I have Schizophrenia and I’m not homeless. Fortunately, I am lucky enough to have support that makes it possible for me to live a “normal” life. Without the help of my family and friends I could easily be homeless. So I decided I wanted to give back. I wanted to start a company that could start a conversation about Mental Illness as well as help out with the NYC homeless population. This is why I started Schizophrenic.NYC. Schizophrenic.NYC is a clothing line that makes people talk about mental health. When a person with Schizophrenia looks at a plain rorschach test, they see it from a different perspective. By redesigning the test with new patterns and colors, now everyone is forced to look at it from a different perspective. It starts a discussion that most people never had before. We take a portion of the profits and donate to charities in NYC that help out with the mentally ill population. Social change in NYC. Join the movement.

 

I hope by reading Michelle’s story, you will be inspired at some capacity, whether it is internally motivating or it encourages you to spread mental health awareness. Mental illness is not a person’s identity and it certainly does not define them.

 

FIGHT STIGMA!

Jennifer

 

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“Power Posing”

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Do you have an upcoming interview? Nervous about a presentation? Need a boost of confidence? Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows us how our body language not only affects how others view us, but how we view ourselves. In this video, Amy shows us how “power posing” for a few minutes affects testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain.