Get Rid of Unending Fatigue with These Four Powerful Types of Rest

Resting is not about being unmotivated but rather it is one of the best self-care tools to rejuvenate and restore your energy. Healthcare workers and helpers are experiencing compassion fatigue, burnout and vicarious trauma at alarming rates. For this reason alone, rest is more important than ever. Remember, you are worthy of and deserve rest. The more you take care of you, the better you can help others. I will discuss four different types of rest and why you need to practice all of them.

Mental Rest

Our minds were created to think, this is just what the brain does. There is no way to stop your thoughts but you can choose which thoughts you will entertain. Too much thinking about what you should do, all or nothing thinking, or imaging the worst case scenario, can burn you out. When you notice these types of faulty thoughts, stop and refocus the mind on something neutral or positive.

Schedule short breaks throughout your day. Some ways to rest your mind are gazing out the window, going for a short walk or taking a few, conscious deep breaths.

Shut off your phone and social media shortly after dinner. Electronics can overstimulate the mind and cause sensory overload, especially to a mind that has been working overtime all day. Set a shut off schedule and keep to it.

Physical Rest

Are you pushing your body beyond its limits? Many empathic helpers do. Your body speaks to you in many ways through pain, tension and even illness. Learn to listen to your body’s signals and respond in a compassionate way to yourself.

Spend time relaxing and doing nothing. I know this feels lazy especially when you have so much to do but your physical body will thank you for it. If you are not getting adequate sleep, take a nap or lay down for fifteen to twenty minutes. During this time you can focus on your breath or listen to soothing music.

Emotional Rest

Emotional rest is essential for empathic helpers and artists, who people please. When your focus is outwardly directed on feelings, you can have a tendency to absorb too much energy from other people.

You need periods of downtime and solitude. Use this time to connect to your inner most feelings. Write in a journal or simply identify what you are feeling in this moment right now. Also, connect with emotionally supportive people, therapy or healers to help you restore your energy.

Spiritual Rest

Spiritual rest is important for those who connect to the world of spirit. Without proper clearing, protection and channeling techniques, an empathic helper can suffer.

Make time to meditate. Focus on all of those people who accept, love and support you unconditionally throughout your life. Take in this positive energy. Some other ways to restore are pondering about your life purpose, spending time in prayer, attending a silent retreat and walking amongst nature.

You may also be interested in 7 Simple Ways to Calm an Over Stimulated Mind or Important Information About How Your Senses Get Overloaded

What will you do to rest mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually?

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

What You Need to Know About the Silent Treatment

The silent treatment also known as ghosting, stonewalling or even ostracism can be an emotionally painful experience. It has been used since the beginning of time. If a person did not act how society wanted, this person would be sent off to live in isolation and die. Yes, it was and still is this cruel. Exclusion creates mental health distress and symptoms, which can linger for years.

People use the silent treatment when they are angry with someone. It is a passive aggressive way to control the situation. Those with narcissistic personality disorder use the silent treatment to have power over others in relationships.

The silent treatment is a manipulation tactic to blame the other person and create a feeling that he or she is 100% at fault. This person often wants an apology from you, yet he or she does not clearly communicate this. Instead of taking responsibility for their own feelings and initiating a talk, people who act like this withdraw and withhold all communication. The silent treatment is an act of emotional abuse, in which one person feels superior and in control, while the other feels guilty and confused.

When you are the giver of silence

Those who give the silent treatment, often have received the silent treatment. It is not unusual, if you have learned this technique from your family. Dysfunctional patterns of communication can repeat over multiple generations, until you decide to stop the behavior and heal. If you are the person giving the silent treatment, it is important for you to learn how to communicate better and seek a resolution. Be aware that the person you have hurt may not want to continue a relationship with you because of this behavior.

It is important to heal from a silent treatment because you do not want to continue this or attract this type of energy into your life again. Psychotherapy is one way of uncovering, these patterns. If you do not want to have a relationship with someone, communicate this honestly and then walk away. The only time this would not be wise is in cases of extreme abuse. In this instance, just leave. You do not need to communicate or explain.

I got overwhelmed

I understand people feel overwhelmed but it cannot be used as an excuse to hurt others. Sometimes I hear, “I got overwhelmed this is why I cut someone off.” Since overwhelm is a temporary state; did you express your overwhelm in the moment or shortly after that? Did you ask for a break to connect with your feelings and tell the person when you would contact them again? When the overwhelm lessened; did you re-engage and apologize?

Silence that lasts for weeks, months and even years, has gone beyond a case of overwhelm. If this is you, I suggest talking to a professional who can help you look deeper into yourself.

A cut off harms both parties

A cut off harms not only the person being given the silent treatment but also the abuser. As humans, we are social beings and have been hard wired to connect with others, when we are not connecting as biology intends, it causes damage within. This affects all of your relationships, the ones you are talking with and those you are not. 

Whether you have been given the silent treatment or you are the giver, know this is an unhealthy way to communicate and creates toxic relationships. I know how painful the silent treatment can be because I have had various family members do it to me. I also know how happy you can be once you process the experience and let it go for good. You do not need to make someone talk to you to heal yourself and move forward in life.

What can you do when someone gives you the cold shoulder?

  1. You can attempt one more round of communication.
  2. Recognize it is not your fault and you do not deserve this treatment from anyone.
  3. Remember this is about them; their lack of communication skills and their emotional immaturity.
  4. Don’t chase them or try to make them talk to you.
  5. Move on.
  6. Find healthy relationships.

You may also like to read: How to Recognize Emotional Abuse & Rise Above It

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

Compassionate People Need Boundaries Now More Than Ever

Boundaries are essential for those people who have big hearts and a desire to help others. As we approach the one year mark since the COVID-19 pandemic began, continuing political unrest, and an awakening of multiple injustices, our society needs all hands on deck.

When I write about the word boundary, I am describing a professional or personal limit. Some examples of professional boundaries are mindfully self-disclosing, leaving work at work and taking your vacation time. Personal limits are your self-care and self-compassion practices. Whether your boundaries are personal or professional, they all represent self-care and self-compassion.

Warning Signs

Stress symptoms indicate a need to increase your boundaries. Stress manifests itself physically (headaches, muscle tension, digestive disorders), emotionally (irritability, restlessness, concentration problems), in relationship with others (communication difficulties or avoiding others), and through behaviors (overeating, increased use of alcohol or drugs). These resulting experiences can set off more stress, leading you into a vicious cycle.

Little or no boundaries can contribute to burnout, illness, and even addiction. Stress is not a sign of failure but rather a warning or indication self-care needs to be increased. Stress reminds us, we are human and we have limits. You can learn how to manage it and feel better.

When You Care Too Much

Too much empathy is not a good thing for compassionate people. Too much sympathy, or working with empathy without proper boundaries drains helpers of energy. This makes you vulnerable to compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and burnout.

Compassion fatigue develops when you care too much and lack boundaries. Empaths often suffer from this type of fatigue when they cannot separate their energy from others. This over connection, leads to exhaustion. It can prevent you from empathizing or having compassion, towards others and even yourself. To remedy compassion fatigue, any personal energy management technique will work well. A starting point you may consider is the book I created, I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers. You could also benefit from assertiveness training, boundary setting and cognitive therapy.

Vicarious trauma– During and after a trauma or period of intense stress, such as living through a pandemic, it is normal to feel shell-shocked and reactive. We have been and are still going through a lot. For some compassionate people, it is traumatizing to hear about others trauma or too much trauma all day long. You may experience the symptoms of posttraumatic stress, even though you have not directly witnessed the trauma. For example, you may experience nightmares, flashbacks or memories of the trauma you heard about. There are several treatments to help you process and integrate trauma. Some are talk therapy, expressive arts therapy or EMDR. (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). Trauma will not go away on its own.

Burnout is the physical and emotional exhaustion compassionate people experience when they have low job satisfaction, feel powerless and overwhelmed at work. This can result from too much work or not enough support from higher ups in the organization you work for. Some people change jobs or their line of work and find burnout goes away. This is different from compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma, which would not lessen with a job change. Some other causes of burnout and compassion fatigue can result from perfectionism or being overly involved with other people’s issues. Cognitive therapy works well with this type of thinking.

In order to prevent or decrease cases of burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious traumatization among compassionate people, it is important to receive education on the signs and symptoms of each. This increases your awareness and allows you to recognize any early warning signs. The next step is reaching out to a professional psychotherapist to help you learn the skills to protect, restore and rejuvenate your personal energy.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Check out my YouTube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

How to Recognize Emotional Abuse & Rise Above It

Emotional abuse can be difficult to identify. Unlike other forms of abuse, there are no physical wounds. It is subtle, making it difficult to pinpoint the problem. Since, there appears to be a lack of evidence, the person who acts abusively, often denies any type of trauma has taken place. This rejection of reality, can cause long lasting damage to a person’s self-esteem and mental health.

Similar to physical and sexual abuse, emotional abuse is cyclical. This means you will experience a period of emotional abuse followed by what “seems” like a normal relationship.

What is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse is a way to control another person through the manipulation of communication or action. Some overt forms of abuse are criticism, rage or making threats. Others use covert forms of abuse such as withholding communication, money or love.

People who act emotionally abusive seek to dominate all aspects of the relationship. This can include making all of or changing up plans, telling you what you wear and who you spend your time with. They will demand respect and loyalty, yet show you none. It is their way or the highway.

I have experienced both overt and covert forms of emotional abuse from family members, a grade school teacher and people who I thought were friends. When you experience emotional abuse at an early age, you are more likely to experience it as an adult, until you heal the pattern. Here is what I have learned and what I teach others:

Why Empaths are Vulnerable to This Type of Abuse

Many empaths are born to care deeply and find themselves being raised in emotionally restrictive or explosive families. Since, there is a lack of healthy feelings being expressed, the empath becomes the feeler of all the feelings in the family system. You not only carry everyone’s emotions energetically but also feel responsible for them. Talk about exhaustion! Your reactions go into soothing and comforting others, while walking on eggshells. This also reinforces the faulty thought; since you feel other’s emotions, you are supposed to do something about them.

It is not your job to fix others. As children, many empaths, are told they have the power to make others happy by doing what they want. No one asks what makes the empath happy, not even themselves. This is how you get accustomed to others manipulating you, while you become the ultimate people pleaser, at any cost.

How to Rise Above It

Separate Yourself from Those Who Use Emotional Abuse: When someone tries to shame and guilt you, don’t take the bait. Know you deserve better. Spend less time with this person and if the person refuses to take responsibility for their actions, end the relationship.

Learn about the Various Kinds of Emotional Abuse: Education builds your awareness to identify overt and covert signs of abuse.

Step into Your Own Power: Apply empathy and healing to your own wounds. Spend time building your self-esteem and confidence.

Where do you give your power away? Those who act abusive often play on your needs or areas of vulnerability. This can include financial help, how much you value the idea of a relationship or experiencing a sense of belonging and approval.

Forgive yourself for not seeing or recognizing the early signs of abuse and for not knowing better at that time. Remember, this is the most difficult kind of abuse to identify and many people often miss the signs.

If you are struggling, remember you are not alone. Seek out psychotherapy to help you heal past patterns of abuse and find a safe way to leave a current abusive situation.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. She is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

How to be Peaceful in Any Storm

How many times have you wished you were in a different situation? Your storm may come in the form of unrest due to a societal or political event, a specific person who acts chaotic, an illness which disrupts your life, or even an accident.

While you are being tossed about by the winds of change, you look for a quick fix or solution to get out. We all have fallen into the trap of believing life will get easier when you reach a certain destination or goal. Do these thoughts sound familiar? I will be peaceful when I am rich, complete my degree, feel healthy or have better relationships. No matter what external force is causing disorder in your life, you can connect with peace now.

Your distress comes from within

Reaction causes an attachment to the person, event or circumstance and dis-empowers you. Many believe if I just can get my anger and outrage out onto someone else, I will feel better. Some psychological research indicates the more you sit with and express anger, the angrier you feel. Too much anger can keep you stuck.

Anger is a healthy signal indicating something within yourself needs to change, not the other person. People are more receptive to listening when you speak, calmly, from a place of power. Learn how to observe your feelings without getting enmeshed with them.

Peace, like happiness, is not achieved by focusing on what is missing or lacking. Your monkey mind’s thoughts jump around looking for scarcity, judging others and even yourself as wrong. When you wish or try to control others, you resist what is here right now. Let me ask you; What if you could be peaceful in this very moment, with all of its ugly warts and imperfections?

It is not the event or your current circumstances that cause overwhelm, but rather your thoughts, feelings and the stories you make up about it. You assign meaning because you are afraid of living in the unknown. Here is the kicker; sometimes the change you crave is the one you fear the most. If you could sit in this space, wisdom would emerge. Many times you avoid this experience and replay worn out scripts from the past.

What if… You could trust, you are where you need to be

Often when you stop and breathe, you acknowledge how safe and protected you are. There is a greater power at work. The truth is we don’t know what this moment is in the big picture of Life. This does not mean you need to sit around and do nothing. There are experiences to have and lessons to learn in this day. Accepting life as it is, heals you and allows new insights to reveal themselves to you.

Moving forward

Whatever is happening in your life or not, it’s okay. Embrace this extraordinary time and find your peace because it is right there inside of you, just waiting to flow.

You may also be interested in these blogs:

How Can I Get Happy?

How to Regain Balance When Your World Falls Apart

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. She is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

How to not leave anything unsaid with loved ones

Death will touch all of our lives at some point, as it is a part of life. For myself, I learned about death when I was five years old and my Daddy died suddenly. I did not understand death, all I knew was he was here one moment and gone the next. My brother-in-law died when I was fifteen years of age, after three months of becoming ill. I learned early, why it is important to live life to the fullest and express my love to others. By the time, my Mom had her second severe stroke, we didn’t leave anything on the table. She died when I was thirty seven. I miss her but I don’t have any regrets. The same can be said with a couple of close friends of mine who have passed on to the other side.

These losses shaped how I view and live my life.  For example, I am an avid photographer because I enjoy capturing moments to savor later. During this time, I find myself cherishing these visual memories until we can all be together again safely. The most difficult part of social distancing is not hugging or being physically close to those you love. In this in-between time, we need to communicate our deepest feelings.

How to Boost Your Energy Vibration while Social Distancing (1)

Express your love verbally at every chance. Whether you have phone or video chats, tell your loved ones, “I love you.” Be vulnerable and open your heart.

“Be” with one another as much as you can- Talk about other topics besides the virus, politics and the supermarket. Although, these can be good ice breakers, dive deeper and be in the present moment with one another.

What do you personally need to say to your loved one? This answer may be different for each one of you. You may have said these things before but I urge you to say them again and again. If you are more comfortable with the written word, write your friend or loved one a letter or type an email.

Some wording to dive deeper can be:

  1. I love you- Express the warmth in your heart.
  2. Forgive me- Release regrets and move on.
  3. Thank you for__________________________. Express gratitude for who they are or what they have done.
  4. Remember when_______________________. Connect with fun memories.
  5. I admire you for_____________________. Be specific and tell them how proud you are of them.
  6. You have helped me with ___________________. Tell them how they have changed your life for the better.

Life is all about loving and letting go. At first, you may feel awkward having these types of conversations. Keep practicing, it will get easier and you will notice a change in yourself and all of your relationships. Give with all of your heart and you will never regret it.

Stay safe and I am thinking of you all.

Blessings, Lisa

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. She is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

How to Boost Your Energy Vibration while Social Distancing

One of the biggest challenges for sensitive people is maintaining their energy in uncertain times. Living during a pandemic is incredibly stressful. In order to slow the spread or flatten the curve of the Coronavirus, we have been instructed to practice social distancing and stay at home.

Social distancing is a new word and practice for our consciousness in 2020. It is the practice of standing at least six feet apart from others, who are not your household members, when you have to perform essential travel outside of the home. This necessary practice has cancelled in person meetings and events.

Why it is essential to boost your vibration

An empath’s energetic system, when not properly maintained and protected, is porous, like a sponge. This makes it easy to absorb anxiety, outrage and depression from the people, places and things around you, leaving you feeling fatigued and your immune system vulnerable.

When you vibrate at a higher frequency of energy, you will feel healthier, calmer and happier. Those who take care of their personal energy, report more satisfying interpersonal relationships, a sense of belonging and feeling connected to the Divine or something bigger than themselves. When you boost your energy vibration, this helps you create a world you want to live in. One sign you are on the right track is an awareness of synchronicity because you are connected to Divine not societal energy.

How to Boost Your Energy Vibration while Social Distancing

You cannot control what happens outside of yourself, but you can choose to give your energy vibration a lift with these strategies.

  • Recognize and let go of your draining thoughts, emotions and images

Too much anxiety, guilt, depression and anger will impact your mood and energy in a negative way. Affective therapy (connecting to your feelings) and expressive art techniques can help you, along with other treatments to feel, release and shift your feelings.

Sensitive people can be more at risk to experience trauma through disturbing images and the news. With this information age, it is easy to encounter videos and social media posts you would rather not see. These pictures can remain in your mental field long after the viewing has taken place. If you are struggling with this, here are two blogs about the impact of trauma: We are Living in a Time of Trauma  and How Trauma Gets in the Way of Relationship Success

Faulty thoughts such as; I am not good enough, I should or I must do this, restrict your joy and lower your vibration. Cognitive distortions can be difficult to identify. If you find yourself stuck in thoughts, emotions or images, reach out to a licensed psychotherapist, who can help restructure these thoughts and specializes in post traumatic stress disorder. You can receive therapy from the comfort of your home via phone or computer.

  • Move on from the past

We are living in a new time which requires new habits. I know you miss traveling and hanging out with friends, I do too. At this time, we need let go of the old ways and embrace new habits.

Your mind can get stuck in positive or negative memories. We all have a tendency to remember the negative, this is known as a negativity bias. This bias fuels depressive disorders. Although people and places change, sometimes it is difficult to accept and see a new reality. When you hold on too tight, you miss out on the joys happening right now.  Forgiveness, mindfulness (the practice of being in the present moment), gratefulness and healing old relationship patterns will shift your energy for yourself and with others.

  • Let go of other people’s energy

As a sensitive person, you can pick up on other people’s moods or pain, in addition to your own feelings. When you help others during this pandemic, you may experience stress or trauma, making it difficult to separate what is your energy and what is others. Recognize the signs of emotion overload (compassion fatigue or burnout), identify what is your energy and what is other people’s. My publication I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers can help you identify these kind of energy drains and gives you some helpful information to replenish your vitality.

  • Release clutter in your physical space. 

Let go of old papers, clothes, books and other objects you no longer resonate with. Each item you bring into your home has an energy attached to it. This force can originate from the person who created it, packed it, unpacked it, delivered it or even the cashier.

When you bring something new into your home, disinfect and energetically clear it. Lite a sage or smudge stick to clear the energy.  Open a window and allow the smoke to carry the excess energy away from you and your home. If you have client sessions by phone or computer, clear the house as you end the work day.

Be well. I am here for you by phone or computer, if you are looking for a compassionate therapist during this stressful time.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC  is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. She is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

 

How To Make Authentic Connections In Times Of Crisis

Throughout the world, the coronavirus pandemic has changed how we connect with others. In Massachusetts, many other states and our entire world, restaurants have closed and community events are being postponed or cancelled. We are being asked to social distance and stay home as much as possible. I am reminded of the anxiety we felt after September 11th and how we worked through it individually and as a society. We did it before and we can do it again.

How much anxiety is too much?  

Our routines have been upset and there are many unknowns, this results in an increase in anxiety. If you are feeling some anxiety, it is normal. If anxiety is disrupting your relationships, work or general well being, take some steps now to reduce stress.

Some Signs of Anxiety

  • Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge.
  • Being easily fatigued.
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank.
  • Irritability.
  • Muscle tension.
  • Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep).

As empaths, we have to be aware of how much anxiety we absorb from others. It is our responsibility to protect and rejuvenate our energy. Remember, connecting through our fear over and over again is not authentically connecting. It is called obsessing and ruminating. In the long term, this damages our health and weakens our immune system. 

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What can I do?

Become aware of what is raising your anxiety. Notice what people and circumstances are triggering anxious thoughts. What feels frightening to you?

Choose your thoughts and responses. I am reminded of my Mom in difficult times like these. She suffered a severe stroke which left her entire right side paralyzed. She taught me an important lesson, nine years ago, this month. No matter what your circumstance in life (whether you are ill, ordered to be in a quarentine, practicing social distancing, are required to travel into work, etc.), you CHOOSE your thoughts and responses.

Take precautions. Do what the CDC recommends which includes washing your hands, not touching your face, covering coughs and sneezes while practicing social distancing, and holding off on non-essential travel.

Feel the fear, don’t dwell. Allow yourself a brief time each day to sit, feel and release your fear. You may do this through writing, talking to others or online/phone counseling. Learn to shift into gratitude, focus on what you have and practice ways to distract your mind. (reading a book, watching a comedy, going for a walk)

Have compassion for yourself and set some new boundaries. You may need to watch less news. Read the news once a day, rather than checking it every few hours. Don’t watch the news before going to bed. Spend less time on social media, which can fuel your fear and spread misinformation.

Start connecting to spirit, yourself and others in alternative ways. You can use phone calls or Skype/Zoom to connect with others. Make more time to pray, meditate, write, be creative and connect within. 

You are all in my thoughts. This is a temporary situation, it will not last forever. I am always available for phone counseling and angel card readings.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC  is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. She is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

 

How to Regain Balance When Your World Falls Apart

“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”-Robert H. Schuller

How to Regain Balance When Your world Falls Apart

From November into December, my sense of security was disrupted. I felt like a shaken snow globe and I didn’t know where all of the pieces swirling around me were going to land. It began with a sudden health issue. While I was going to doctors, changing my diet, taking medications and being prescribed more tests, I had some relationship conflicts and then a sudden death in the family.

The more I tried to control my health situation and relationships, the more my world fell apart. Like many empaths, I shifted into overthinking because the feelings of overwhelm were too much. This was not working. I began to develop a deeper trust in myself and the Divine. I am happy to report, I am feeling better and am optimistic I will continue to improve. Here are a few steps I took to regain equilibrium, perhaps you will find them helpful too.

1.) Admit this sucks. Being a spiritual person, I work to be positive. This isn’t about being cheerful, it is about being real. Sometimes you have to be in the sh**. You will let others down and you will not get to do all the things you want to, right now.

Remember, you are in a place of suffering, but it will pass. Everything in this world is temporary. When you accept and acknowledge this state of the situation, it often shifts.

2.) Accept the out of control aspects of the situation and look for what you can control. Dust off that Serenity Prayer and begin to use it. The only person you can control is you and your choices.

Educate yourself about this situation and ask professionals for their advice. Be aware of too much research, which can turn into an obsession. Get off the Google search engine and step away.

Take steps to nurture yourself. Go to bed early and keep a lighter schedule. Say no to others like never before.

3.) Pray for others and yourself. Often it helps to take the focus off of yourself and help others. Pick five people each day who are in need of healing. Pray for these people specifically by name and in detail. Take five minutes for this practice. This is more than writing a passing thought of care on social media, this is about Divine connection. You can pray for the same person multiple times a week or different people.

If you are stuck on who to pray for scroll through your social media feed to find friends, who are reaching out for support through their posts.

4.) Be mindful. Practice deep breathing and meditate daily. Relaxation practices support health and healing. Stay grounded in your body as much as you can. This will create an inner sense of security. Listen to your inner wisdom and act on it. You may also want to read 6 Ways to Reconnect to the Body & Feel Secure

5.) Seek out supportive relationships. You do not need a lot of people, look for one or two. If you have one or two people, who you can share your difficulties with, this will be a source of healing for you. When you begin to share with too many people, you receive a lot of unsolicited advice, which can drain your energy.

6.) Focus on what you have. Gratitude can be healing. Keep it to five things a day. You can combine this with a few positive affirmations. If this feels forced, go back to steps one through five.

Remember you will get through this, you are strong and you are not alone. 

If you need assistance, support or an empathic ear, I am available for psychotherapy,  spiritual coaching sessions and angel card readings.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Lisa is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach who helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now at http://www.lisahutchison.net

We are Living in a Time of Trauma

Trauma can have a deep and lasting impact not only on the person who directly experiences it, but also for those around them. As a psychotherapist, I have worked with numerous clients processing and releasing trauma, for over seventeen years. The silver lining is, you can heal from trauma but you have to seek treatment for it.

We are Living in Times of Trauma (2)

We are living in traumatic times. No, I did not mean dramatic but traumatic. You may see some people acting out dramatically after experiencing unresolved trauma. In these instances, the body is saying “pay attention to me, something is not in balance.” An important distinction to remember is, drama is not always trauma.

Our current lives have the potential to expose you to trauma on a daily basis. You can witness a trauma simply by being on social media or scrolling through the news on your phone. How many times have you encountered a disturbing image which was difficult to let go of? It is challenging being a sensitive person in today’s world. This is why self-care, boundaries and support are essential.

Trauma symptoms- how many do you currently have?

Physically and Emotionally Reactive (Arousal symptoms)

  • On guard for danger (hyper vigilance)
  • Self-destructive or reckless behaviors
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Concentration problems
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
  • Feelings of guilt or shame
  • Exaggerated startle response

Intrusive memories (intrusive symptoms)

  • Flashbacks- you see pictures of the traumatic event replay in your mind throughout the day, long after the trauma experience occurred.
  • Nightmares

Avoidance

  • Make efforts to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Avoid the places, activities or people that remind you of the event

Changes in your thoughts and mood

  • Feel distrustful of yourself, other people or the world
  • Hopelessness about the future, or feel you will not live long (a foreshortened future)
  • Not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Difficulty enjoying life or connecting with positive emotions
  • Feeling disconnected from others/life and numb

You may say, I have a lot of these symptoms but have never had a trauma event directly happen to me. Next, I will discuss three types of trauma. Out of these three types, two trauma reactions arise when you an outside of the direct trauma.

1.) Directly involved in a Trauma-  You are exposed to a catastrophic event. Some types of trauma involve being in combat, childhood physical, sexual or emotional abuse, sexual violence as an adult, physical assault, an accident, natural disasters, fires, sex trafficking, robbery, terrorist attacks, a shooting or an illness. 

2.)Vicarious Trauma also known as Compassion Fatigue- This type of trauma is the result of hearing other’s trauma stories and witnessing the pain, fear, and terror of the survivor. This can happen to counselors but also coaches who work with trauma. Self- care, awareness and professional support are critical tools for this line of work.

3.) Witness to Trauma- You saw or were in close proximity to a traumatic event happening to someone else. My husband and I witnessed a dating/domestic violence incident, while on vacation, to which we called 911. After the altercation, the woman followed the man as he walked away. This left me feeling unsettled. As we drove down a couple of streets, we saw a female officer talking to the woman involved. I don’t know if she pressed charges, if the couple will change or what will happen.

This uncertainty stayed with me for days until I processed it and decided to let it go. As a sensitive person, I felt many emotions attached to this event. I felt the danger in my own body, to which the man and woman were numbed to. I also felt their helplessness and stuck feelings. I acknowledged these feelings as not my own and released them. I know we did something in response and that is enough. The rest is now up to them.

When should you seek professional help from a licensed counselor? 

If you feel these symptoms are interfering with your daily life, seek help immediately, why wait? If your symptoms last beyond a month, acute stress disorder can become post traumatic stress disorder. Do not hesitate to reach out today, if you have thoughts of  suicide or of harming someone else. Treatment is available in every community.

You may also find this blog helpful: How Trauma Gets in the Way of Relationship Success

Pick up Lisa’s FREE gift 8 Simple Things That Release Chaos from Your Life Now!  at http://www.lisahutchison.net

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist, writing coach and the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals.  She helps sensitive souls not just survive but shine.