Holiday Greetings from sweet Grand-dog Jack.

Here in the midst of the holiday season, many of us are having to release expectations of what we’d hoped our holidays might be like prior to Covid-19. It’s more important than ever to work at being calm, grounded and confident. 

This is challenging for anyone, and for those of you concerned about a loved one in the throes of eating disorders, it’s especially challenging. Yes, you know it,  I’m going to be pushing self care at the very least. 😉 

Even when we are practicing self care and possibly feeling (a wee bit) relaxed and grounded, we can get caught off guard. Today I had a funny reminder of how our brain can quickly get hijacked by stories we make up and worry. 

My 30 year old is on a long road trip to shelter in place with us for a while. I got their voice message while out on a bike ride and instead of listening to the message, I read the little A.I. translation of it on my text messages. Apparently the A.I. thought it heard, “I’m just dragging” instead of, “I’m just driving” from their voice message through the car’s bluetooth. And I had a moment of concern and a bit of panic that just 3-4 hours into a 9 hour drive that exhaustion had set in. So instead of listening to the message…you guessed it, I called right back. LOL. “Are you getting tired?” I asked. “No, I’m just driving and doing fine” was the response. What a relief. Help with looking up a store along the way was all that was being asked of me. We had a chuckle about it. Funny how just reading the A.I.’s mistaken interpretation of the voice message had me concerned so quickly. 

The situation reminded me of the concept of assuming “benign intent” or benign interpretations that was shared by a mom in my weekly online group support. It’s a concept taught in the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder Family Communications course. Here is a short video.  It really can help us remain calm when we assume benign intent instead of going to a not so good scenario. 

I’m sure there is research on a connection between maternal instincts to assume danger and the survival of the species, and I’m not going there today. We are where we are and this is about how to cope with what our brains are doing. 🙂 

Today I let go of making up stories that don’t serve me or others. That doesn’t mean that I’ve nailed it forever. We need to keep working on these things and practicing. 

Here are a few mantras that might help:

  • Today I release the things that make me feel anxious, stressed or over worked. 
  • Today I focus on what I can change and let go of everything else. 
  • Today I will ask myself what I know to be true. 
  • What if I were grounded? 
  • What if I stood firm in believing all is well? 
  • All obstacles are temporary.

Learning about and practicing ‘benign intent’ or holding our interpretations to be benign are a way to practice self care. So are saying those mantras. 

Here are some quick reminders about what self care can look like: (vs. the mani-pedi version we’ve been conditioned to believe constitutes self care)

  • Doing the things YOU want to do
  • Setting boundaries 
  • Asking self; “What is enough?” 
  • Saying, “I am enough”
  • Doing nothing – radical I know. 
  • Reminding self; “I am worthy”
  • Fill spaces with us
  • Accepting we are enough
  • Less is more! 
  • Being Intentional

Saying to oneself:

  • I say NO to: Have to’s and YES to choose to’s
  • I say NO to: volunteer obligations.
  • I say YES to Soft, simple breathing, being peaceful
  • I say YES to PTG – Post Traumatic Growth – In the beginning you will be in simultaneous; hurricane, earthquake, fire, tsunami. AND there is the possibility of PTG. 

We need to remember and embrace these 3 things that Martin Seligman talks about:

  1. Personalization (It’s not YOU, it’s happening AROUND you).
  2. Pervasiveness (belief you’re doomed)
  3. Permanence (belief aftershocks will last forever. 

My holiday season wish for you is to be able to give yourself the grace to embrace some of these concepts to help you cope and have hope. Yes, I’m in a rhyming mood. 🙂 

If you’re in need of more support, check out the services on my website to see which product or service might serve your needs best. 

Take good care.