Posted in Anxiety, dads, healthy, kids, moms, motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

What to tell your kids about Coronavirus

I don’t want to scare my kids but I want them to be prepared for changes they are going to see in the world around them right now. For my teen, it’s easy to have a pretty frank discussion about what is going on and what precautions to take without freaking out. 


For my 9 year old (who suffers from severe anxiety) its a little trickier. I know I’m not the only parent struggling with this. I’m by no means an expert or a doctor but if you’re wondering what to tell your kids about Coronavirus, here is what I told mine:


We are ok. We are healthy people with strong immune systems. If we catch it, it will feel like a very bad cold or the flu. For us, it will feel like normal winter sick crud. For some people who are old or very young, their bodies aren’t as strong as ours to fight this off as easily. For people who already have major sickness like cancer or lung problems, it will be harder for their bodies to fight it off too. Doctors are going to be very busy taking care of them. 

Our job, as the strong and healthy people, is to wash our hands and follow the directions from doctors.We need to slow down the spread so the doctors have time to help everyone who needs it. We’re basically super heroes right now. We will wash our hands often to kill the germs so they can’t spread to others. We will avoid large crowds so the germs can’t spread. 

Things will look different for awhile because we’re all chipping in to do this to protect the others. But we love everyone and want this to stop as soon as we can so its worth it. We can definitely be strong and kill these germs if we all just work together and take care of each other.


I think it’s decent advice for us all. Stop hoarding the toilet paper (seriously, someone fill me in on the thought process there in the comments), share the soap, follow the recommendations, be cool, and we’ll get through this together. 


Don’t forget your cape, superheroes.

Posted in Anxiety, books, Christian, Depression, healthy, longreads, Mantras, Meditation, moms, motherhood

Mirror Mantras

Update Feb 10, 2020: a lot of people are asking me about positive thoughts and mirror work. Here’s a piece dear to my heart!

I live with anxiety and depression.

I used to hate thinking or saying that out loud. Its not like its something that I’m proud of, but its part of me. I also live with red hair, lots of freckles, and about 20 extra pounds I wish I could lose. Its all just a part of what makes me, me.

It took me a long time to get to a somewhat comfortable place with that. I think its hard for a lot of people to talk about because its been kept in the dark so long. We’re all just supposed to be “ok” (whatever that means) when lots of us just aren’t. But just because you’re not meeting someone else’s definition of “ok”, it doesn’t mean you’re failing at life. Which is exactly how I have felt in the past.

I would tell myself that people who make more money, take more trips, do more work, or have more things are more valuable to society and successful in the world than me. The same went for anyone taller, thinner, tanner, sportier, or with less wrinkles than me. They had clearly figured out some easy way to have everything while I felt I was barely treading water.

I was literally telling myself every day that I was the problem. I wasn’t good enough. I was my own worst critic and enemy. Some days I still am. The nagging, negative words in my head became how I saw myself, no matter how many people tried to tell me otherwise.

This was a major argument I had with my therapist. She would tell me, “just change how you talk to yourself. say nice things.” Uh, yeah, if it was that easy I wouldn’t have been paying her out the nose to try and help me get there. We debated this for weeks, with me leaving her office in tears and frustrated at times. I could not “just do it”. So I decided to really start looking for HOW I could try to do it.

Then, something I had rolled my eyes at (and that you may be rolling your eyes at right now) fell into my lap in all my searching: mantras.

When I first thought of mantras, all I thought of were hippies and bald monks reciting uplifting words while meditating in the woods somewhere (no disrespect to hippies, bald monks, or woods intended). Or, someone staring at themselves in the mirror saying it over and over to get pumped up for the day. It felt too weird and forced for me. Fake even. I mean, I’m pretty good at telling when someone is lying to my face – especially when its me. Faking it to “trick myself” into believing the words wouldn’t cut it.

So instead of saying them in the mirror, I took a dry erase marker and wrote my mantra across the bathroom mirror. I didn’t have to say it or recite. I just had to see while I was brushing my teeth, doing my hair, applying make up, taking a shower, or just using the bathroom. And instead of telling myself how great I already was, I decided to talk to myself like I would to a friend. Build me up slowly and support me. On the mirror.

Are your eyes rolling yet?

I started with a very simple one to start: “You’re doing your best and that’s enough.” I knew I couldn’t fix all of this overnight, but trying was at least a good start. And at that moment, about all I could do. That was up on the mirror for a few weeks. Until I got comfortable with seeing words up there. Then, they started to sink in. I felt calmer and a little kinder to myself – even though I still had a long way to go.

Over the last 12 months I’ve rotated through quite a few “pep talk mantras”. I change them when I feel I need to, to suit where I am in life, and they range from quotes to thoughts to Bible verses or notes from other books I’ve read. There are no rules.Here are a few examples I’ve used or love that you can try:

  • You are enough.

  • Its ok to not be ok.

  • Keep going.

  • Live in the Upside Down (a reference to the piece by Lysa TerKeurst in her book Its Not Supposed to be This Way)

  • You are loved

  • You are clothed in strength and dignity (a twist on Proverbs 31:25)

  • All good things take time

  • “Its been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will” (Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables)

Have you ever tried a mantra? Got one to share? I’m working on a running list and would love YOUR input. Need a mantra? For a specific place? Share that too. Together, we can all build back up.

Posted in Anxiety, coffee, Depression, diet, exercise, happiness, healthy, longreads, Mantras, Meditation, moms, motherhood, selfcare

Stop telling me to take a bath and be happy.

I’m calling out every blog, magazine, and person who keeps telling me that The Secret to happiness is a long list of pampering disguised as self-care. I’m literally starting to get stressed out trying to fit in and afford all of these things people keep claiming I need to do.

If your calendar looks anything like mine it is difficult to even find time to paint your own toenails some days. I definitely can’t run all over making sure I spoiled myself constantly. I don’t think most people can.

I looked up the definition of self-care and found this:

Self care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

It says nothing about manicures, pedicures, expensive purses, spy days, or long candlelit baths will just the right blend of lavender/eucalyptus/hemp calming a oils and mood music to boost brain waves.

The way I see it? Self care is basically hygiene for your brain and happiness. Everyday we brush our teeth, wash, and generally try to make good choices. We want to take care of our bodies. Why don’t we do daily hygiene for our happiness? Wouldn’t that be better self-care then getting some sort of gold foil body wrap once a year, under a waning moon, on a pygmy goat farm in the Himalayas? Just seems like we’re being told to do extraordinary things for happiness, when happiness shouldn’t be a rare, fleeting feeling.

I’m no expert, just a really busy and tired mom who feels sad and lost sometimes but is trying to do her best. So here are my topu for ways to actually practice self care like a normal person:

Take 10 minutes. I don’t have the time or budget for pygmy farm or dsily spa treatments. However, I do have at least 10 minutes each day I can set aside for me. Personally, I get up early for my time but you can just as easily stay up late, hide away for 10 minutes of your lunch hour, DVR your show at night (you can also skip the commercials later than so that’s really a win-win), take a long shower, go for a walk, or just straight up look at everyone around you and tell them that you are about to lose your crap and you need 10 minutes of being left alone before you end up in a straight jacket. It seems extreme but trust me, that one definitely works.

Don’t set a budget. I don’t say this because I feel no amount of money is too much for your happiness. I say this because who actually can afford to go out and spoil themselves all the time? If you can, congratulations and you keep doing you. If not, realize that you don’t need to spend money to be happy. Read a book, drink coffee or tea quietly, talk to a friend, meditate, practice yoga, lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling, think about all you have to be grateful for, plan a random act of kindness you can do, or just set an alarm and take a 10 or 20 minute nap in the middle of the day. I don’t think most people understand how much better their lives are on the days that I get a nap. That’s everyone-care.

Quit putting crap in. I can literally think of some people who manage to bring me down when I am around them for real long. I can’t avoid them all but I can do everything in my power to not let their negativity bring down my happiness. Limit how much time you spend talking with those people, stop gossiping ( I’m working on that, this is a judgment free space so just move along here), think about all the good things in life instead of the bad, think about what could go right instead of what could go wrong. Take in positive messages, quotes, movies, books, shows, articles, or anything else. Remember that whatever you put in is what you were going to get out. We know what happens if we fill our bodies full of Cheetos, icecream, and prime rib four times per day. The same thing happens if you constantly allow negative people, pettiness, and a negative outlook into your mind.

Don’t Be Crazy. I would love to tell you that I eat nothing but healthy foods, practice yoga daily, and read a minimum of 17 inspirational quotes before I get out of bed each day. But none of that is realistic. Don’t set crazy goals and make this another huge thing you need to do each day – that kind of defeats the purpose. Some days my self care is laying in bed, lost in thought, and hitting snooze for half an hour before I get up. Some days it’s yoga. Some days it’s beer in the evening on the porch. Some days it’s Drinking a cup of coffee before it gets cold and I have to microwave it again. Some days its going to bed at early. Basically, just take 10 minutes every day to chill the F out and just be you for a little bit.

Self care does not need to be expensive or monumental. Are spa days, pedicures, and long baths wonderful? Of course! I recommend them whenever you have the time or the budget (feel free to send gift cards!) Are they something practical that we can do every day? I sure can’t. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t find other ways to still take care of myself I bring my best self to the table.

Stop telling me otherwise.

Posted in diet, exercise, healthy, selfcare, Uncategorized, weightwatchers

I Broke Weight Watchers

So I started Weight Watchers on April 1st (no joke) because I hate diets and exercise but want to lose weight. Anyone else? I picked this because it wasn’t going to make me give up all happiness or force me into some insane workout program with a lady named Autumn that I usually just yell swear words at (sorry God).


Signed up, put in my info. And SOMEHOW I managed to tell the good people at Weight Watchers that I weighed 437.8 pounds. That is absolutely not the truth. Two of me don’t weight that! So, I went in and updated the starting weight so the points would be right and so I would actually be on the right track.

Only, somehow (are you noticing how tech savvy I can be?) I told the app that I LOST a ton of weight when I updated my weight, so now I have earned every “milestone award” in the Weight Watchers app in the span of one week. This morning, they congratulated me again for losing more than 200 pounds and asked me to share my success story with the community.

Ugh. No. I didn’t. I have lost 6 pounds and I’m ACTUALLY annoyed that I didn’t get my LEGIT 5 pounds lost milestone award. Turns out that badges in apps are more of an incentive than watching a perky, toned tummy teacher tell me I was getting closer to looking like her. 


Easy enough fix though, right? Just reset something in the app. Nope. Doesn’t work. That’s how I got all these illegal badges. Go to the site online and fix it there? Nope. I have clicked every single clickable thing on that site. There’s nothing there. FAQ? Apparently, I’m the first person to ever do this. And I can’t find a way to get a human. At all.


So for now, this is my badge. I lost 5 pounds! Actually just over 7….but badges go by 5’s. And I don’t hate life, I’m not hungry, and I worked out like twice. WAY less than any other plan would have me doing, which is just fine for me.
But FOR REAL, anyone ever do this? Or am I really the first in WW history? And if so….where’s my badge for that!? Or have you successfully found an email address to contact them for help…I’m striking out over here.