How to Get out of a Creative Rut

There are many reasons or theories why we find ourselves blocked creatively. Sometimes you will need to take action, while other times, you will need to heal the underlying root cause first. In this blog, I will discuss a few reasons why the inspirational flow seems to dry up and then you will learn how to get back into the flow again.

Why are you experiencing a creative block?

Fearful thoughts

Many creative blocks are born within your own mind. Faulty or distorted thinking can throw a wrench into any kind of artistic work.

Your thoughts are powerful. If you believe, you aren’t good enough, have a fear of success or even a fear of visibility, you will struggle with these areas. Cognitive therapy works well to restructure insecure thoughts and create a new reality.

Is trauma at play?

For some, the block may not be in their thoughts but rather a trauma reaction. Trauma re-wires your brain away from the creative process into a protective process of fight, flight or freeze syndrome. In this instance; heal the trauma, heal the creative block.

Are you absorbing other’s energy?

When you spent time with a person who is jealous or insecure of your success, you will be on the receiving end of unsupportive comments or actions. If you are dealing with a person who has a personality disorder, these behaviors can be downright abusive.

The problem occurs when you accept their negative thoughts as true or take their behavior personally. In these instances, your creative energy is vulnerable to becoming blocked. Proper energetic boundaries are needed to deflect other’s negativity and lower energies. As an empath or empathic person, you need to ask; Is this me or someone else’s energy I am absorbing and living out?

What can a creative do?

Don’t think, just do.

For some people, it isn’t important to know why their creativity is blocked but rather to take some form of action. If you are amongst this group, exploring thoughts and feelings aren’t as important as moving forward. You know and trust, you are creative. It will return again through taking the proper steps.

Schedule dates in your calendar to be creative. Creativity just doesn’t happen for some of us, it comes through commitment and work. Make a plan each day to write, sing or paint.

Let it all go!

The more you try to make the writing or art happen, the worse it gets. Do anything else but the creative work. Release any resistance and fear.

Try something brand new or something you haven’t done in a really long time.

When you feel bored or stagnant, creativity suffers. Many people have been feeling as if they have been living in a Groundhog Day movie because of the pandemic. You know, the same routine day in and day out. Even though the restrictions are lifted, it does not mean the energy magically shifts. Try a new creative activity or pull out something you haven’t done in a long time.

Go within.

Listen to the wisdom of your soul. What would make you happy right now? Go and do that. Sit and breathe, allow any and all feelings to surface. Feel them and release them.

Don’t give up.

National bestselling author, Julia Cameron, who wrote, The Artist Way said, “It is through quantity that you find quality.” Write down all your ideas and suspend judgment. You need one really good idea for a concept or for your creativity to take off. Believe, hold hope close to your heart and have faith.

Practice being open.

We have all been through a lot this past year. It is challenging to be open and feel when you have experienced heartache. It is through the state of “being”, ideas flow into your mind and heart. Remember, the best creative works come from our darkest hours. You can help others through the struggles you face.

Get support.

Every successful, happy, and healthy creative seeks out support from others. Psychotherapy sessions, with a licensed professional, work with you to help you heal and uncover hidden motivations, faulty thoughts and trauma. Together, we release patterns that block your growth and creativity.

What causes your creative ruts and how do you get out of them?

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

Why You Absolutely Deserve More Alone Time

We have been through a lot this past year, personally and collectively. None of us have had the opportunity to fully process and integrate what has happened. This is because it is difficult to process trauma when you are living in it or in the middle of it. Now is the time, if you haven’t already, to reach out for support, talk to others and strengthen those coping skills. As we move towards “normalcy”, I professionally believe, the compassionate amongst ourselves are going to need more alone time. We want to understand and comprehend all we have lived through.

As a compassionate helper, you may require sudden alone time, in which you feel drained in a social situation. It is also important to have planned downtime. No matter what kind of solitude you crave, it is normal and okay. The irony is empaths or those who are highly sensitive, are often shunned and invalidated for being different, yet you are the ones sought out for your wisdom. You can only access this inner knowing by having time apart from society at large.

Take as much time as you need and remind yourself of these various reasons.

You need a boundary between your inner world and the outer world.

As a sensitive person, you naturally absorb or take in too much input from the people and places around you. By breaking away from the world, you can re-connect within and listen to the wisdom of your soul.

To recharge and rejuvenate your energy.

You need to unplug, recharge and rejuvenate. Find the activities you enjoy doing. This could be reading, writing, spending time in nature or meditating. Whatever helps you refill your cup, go and do that.

To get personal physical space.

Many empathic people are not looking forward to the end of social distancing. The six feet between people gave us more distance between our energy and others. Now, the limits are relaxed, it is important to take time away and give your body a rest, as you re-acclimate into society. Do not be surprised if you are experiencing more anxiety and fatigue. You are feeling a lot more energy from others, than you have in a long time.

Even though you have a deep connection to certain people, it is important to maintain a deep connection within.

Living with and working with others can be challenging for empaths. For many, our families have been home with us all day. The boundaries between work and rest are blurred.  It is difficult to maintain perfect boundaries, all day long. The increased hours of talking on the phone and holding video chats also stress your energy. There are times you need to get away, take a vacation or even schedule a retreat to connect within.

Now you know why it is important to have time apart from others, you need to work on releasing the guilt. Remember you require time away to take care of you. The more time you devote to yourself, the better able you are to take care of others.

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

5 Powerful Actions to Love the Hard to Love

Right now, you can name at least one person who is hard to love. He or she could be someone who is self- absorbed, emotionally unstable or living with an addiction. Think of how you treat these types of people. Do you ignore, be little or think less of them? Are you harboring anger, resentment and guilt towards them?

When you consider this hard to love person, do you think of yourself? Often the most difficult person to love is the one staring back at us in the mirror. Empathic helpers freely offer love, compassion and kindness to others, even strangers. When it comes to giving to ourselves, we can become stingy.

If you are ready to take action. Read on.

Pray for these people and ourselves. Those who are on the spiritual path believe everyone is in our life for a reason. What do you imagine this person’s behavior is here to teach you? Imagine handing them over to a higher power or the light. Pray for their health and wellness. Pray for your own strength and patience. Remember you are not alone.

Offer them a personal healing intention. You can create a simple sentence or even a one word mantra to repeat internally. When you think of them, repeat to yourself the following words, “love” or “peace.” One of my favorite personal intentions is the Buddhist Loving Kindness Prayer. If you enjoy meditation, you may want to check out my mp3 meditation; Spreading Kindness.

May I be filled with loving kindness.
May I be well.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
May I be happy.

May you be filled with loving kindness.
May you be well.
May you be peaceful and at ease.
May you be happy.

ancient – tibetan buddhist – meditation

Forgive yourself and others. Forgive yourself for not knowing, being judgmental, for all the times you were stuck in your own pain, fear and bitterness. Forgive yourself for not seeing the truth or reality of a situation. Forgive others for their abusive behaviors, all of the times you felt disappointed and hurt.

Repeat the forgiveness process as neededForgiveness is like doing the laundry or washing the dishes, it is rarely completed after one time.

Stop spreading negativity through gossip or tarnishing their name or reputation. I get it, you are hurt. Spreading more hurt, keeps you stuck, victimized and in pain.

Increase you awareness and catch yourself when you think negative thoughts. Before you speak or act on these, just notice the thoughts. Next re-direct your thoughts and actions to something positive for yourself. If you are having difficulty shifting gears, cognitive and cognitive behavioral therapy, can help you with this.

Have empathy- Put yourself in other people’s shoes. You may not agree with their actions but you can come to a new understanding. Maybe this person is insecure, stressed or lonely? Remember there at times in life, you have been hard to love as well.

We can have a kind world, it all depends on how we treat ourselves and others. Choose love, kindness and compassion. It won’t always be easy, but it is worth 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

5 Unacknowledged but Useful Truths to Know about Self-Care

Self-care sounds cozy and pretty but often is not. It is made up of those routine moments you need to dig in deep and motivate yourself, when you would rather be doing anything but self-care. Sometimes, it would be a heck of a lot easier to mindlessly zone out on social media, watch marathon hours of TV, or eat a half gallon of ice cream out of the tub. If you find yourself here, no judgment. We all do what’s easiest when we experience extreme stress. If you are ready to incorporate self-care into your routine, here is what you need to know.

Self-care is not easy to do- Doing what is good for you emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually, often does not come easy. Setting boundaries, eating healthier, and managing your finances are not always fun or relaxing. These types of activities often don’t feel good initially but have long-term benefits.

Self-care takes practice and persistence. When you fall off the horse, dust yourself off and get up again. Self-compassion will become your best friend in moments like these. There is no shame in reaching out for counseling support to keep you on track.

In order to be successful with self-care, you need to become aware of the blocks and obstacles within yourself and in your external world. Once you are aware, acknowledge these and put your self-care plan into action. Self-care means taking responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and actions. It is about embracing your vulnerability and being kind to yourself. If I sound like a broken record, this is not always easy.

You may lose some relationships- People who do not take care of themselves cannot support you in your self-care efforts. You may not notice this kind of relationship discrepancy until you set a self-care boundary. Do not allow other’s guilt or manipulation get in the way of your health and wellness.

Self-care is not selfish, it is self- FULL– It may feel unnatural to put yourself first or even include yourself on your list of priorities, when you are a caregiver or empathic helper. The more you take care of you, the more you can take care of others. We all need times of silence to process and integrate. Time away from others means more quality time together. Remember self-care is for everyone, whether you are a man or woman. We all need a little TLC.

Self-care does not require a lot of time– The more you devote time to self-care, it increases your productivity. When you feel better, you become more engaged and mindful with all you do. Take five to ten minutes each day in the morning or right before bed to engage in a relaxing activity, such as deep breathing, writing in a journal or mindfulness techniques.

The person who says, I don’t have time to do self-care, needs it the most. Do not wait until your body or mind breaks down before you start making your health a priority. Sometimes people say they don’t have the time, when they really don’t want to become quiet and sit with their feelings. Your emotional pain will not heal until it is acknowledged, felt and released. If you don’t make time now, when will you?

Self-care does not make your problems disappear- Self-care does not magically erase your problems or pain but it will help you cope better. It helps your body release stress and tension, which left unchecked can make you feel much worse. When the crisis has resolved, you will be able to bounce back quicker.

Activities involving self-care fill your cup. Self-care can help you gain a clearer perspective and detach from other people’s energies. This way you can focus more on what needs to be done in your life. Self-care can help you feel supported by yourself and others, which helps you feel less alone.

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 Slow Down Impulsive Decisions & Improve Your Relationships

Impulsive decisions can wreak havoc on your boundary setting and relationships. When you act without thinking, you can contradict the very limit you were attempting to set with someone. This leaves you appearing to negate what you previously said or did for others. Understandably, people will question whether you have integrity or if you can be trusted.

People in today’s world are more impulsive. Many of us react to whatever is seen or said, without pausing to think first. We expect and some of us demand, instant gratification. I see impulsive behaviors on social media, whether it is reactions to posts, posting without thinking and even expecting an instant answer or response through messages. Sometimes people get blocked, ghosted or impulsively cut out of others’ lives.

Impulsivity as a Symptom

Addictive behaviors thrive on impulsivity. This can include people pleasing, social media, along with any type of substance or alcohol abuse. Many mental health issues feature impulsivity as a symptom. Some are bipolar/mania, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Cluster B personality disorders (borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, etc.) and impulse control disorders. You can also find people act impulsively when they are anxious or experiencing trauma. If you are suffering from a mental health issue, treatment is available to help decrease these kinds of impulsive behaviors.  

It’s Not All Bad

As with everything, there is a healing and a destructive side. The healing side of impulsivity is taking action whereas you wouldn’t have before. This push can help you step outside of the box and explore new ways of being. Much of our intuition and gut feelings lead us to take immediate action without thought. It is important to trust these drives, which protect and guide us.

What Fuels your Impulsive Behavior?

Often people act impulsively to get rid of anxiety or anger. By acting to remove your discomfort, you end up creating more discomfort.

Ask yourself;

Is my impulsivity from a learned behavior through society, a mental health condition, people pleasing or a combination of these?

Ways to Decrease Impulsive People Pleasing

Growing up and sometimes as an adult, I felt compelled to jump in and help, whenever a need arose. I automatically said yes to all requests, as if I didn’t have a choice. I did not take the time to consider if this was something I wanted to do. This is how impulsive people pleasing cuts you off from your own feelings and thoughts. 

Whether you identify as empath, empathic or a people pleaser, here are some ways to decrease impulsivity and connect within. The next time someone asks you for a favor or help, try these phrases to give yourself the space to process;

1. Let me sleep on it.
2. I will consider it.
3. Give me some time to check my schedule.
4. Let me get back to you. 

These phrases give you the option to make a choice based on what you want. In this space, check in with your body and mind. Observe your thoughts and feelings. 

Ask yourself;

Does this feel right for me? 
What does my gut tell me?

Ways to Decrease Reactivity in all Situations

When you feel triggered by another person or situation, this is the time to not respond. It may go against everything you feel within and seem wrong, but do not do it. Create a space of calmness and try these activities instead;

Write out all your thoughts and feelings uncensored. Shred the page.

Talk to a trusted friend and ask their opinion.

Go for a walk.

Practice deep breathing and stay in the present moment.

Pray.

Final Thoughts

The more you can build awareness, take responsibility and be specific, the better you can manage impulsivity. When you react out of fear or anger, take responsibility for your part. In unhealthy relationships, we contribute something to keep them going. Look at your own patterns and heal these.

You do not have to say yes to every request on your time and energy. If you are repeating your boundaries multiple times to the same person, it is time to detach and possibly disconnect from this person. You do not need or require another’s permission or approval to heal yourself. Remember, we are all on our own journey of healing. Some people will not be traveling with us.

You do not have to share every thought that comes into your mind. In fact, it is often best when you don’t.

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

Why narcissists avoid you and your boundaries

One surefire way to know if you are dealing with a narcissistic personality is to set a boundary. If the person has an angry outburst or gives you the silent treatment, that is your answer. People who are mentally healthy keep the lines of communication open, respect and honor other’s limits.

What is a narcissistic personality?

In a nut shell, a person with a narcissistic personality disorder has an inflated sense of self-importance, a need for excessive attention and admiration, relationships problems, and a lack of empathy for others. Their behavior occurs the majority of the time, not as an isolated incident. These people have big EGO’s and take offense at the slightest criticism. This can be what you say or you setting a boundary. Either of these may not be a criticism but they perceive it that way.

Below are five specific reasons narcissists hate boundaries and why they avoid them.

1. They have a sense of entitlement and feel superior to others. Narcissistic people think limits or boundaries are beneath them. These rules may apply to other people but not to them because they are special people, who deserve special treatment. They expect favors and unquestioning loyalty. Your boundary, no matter how healthy it is, can cause them to feel offended. How dare you set a boundary with me! Don’t you know who I am?

2. They use chaos as a way to control others. Narcissistic people have to be in control. One way they do this is to either delegate or create chaos. Interestingly, when this type of person delegates work or planning to others, they often change the timing or plan at the last moment to suit them, without any regard for your schedule.

A part of their chaotic presentation is their narcissistic rage. This type of personality has difficulty controlling and regulating their anger. You will experience their outrage, a pouty silence or both. Sometimes they intentionally start drama to see what you will do. They don’t like limits because you can’t have chaotic behavior, if you have healthy boundaries.

3. They refuse to take responsibility for anything. If you assertively point out a narcissist’s poor behavior and set a limit around it, he or she will refuse to acknowledge the behavior as harmful. In fact, they may project their poor behavior onto you. Somehow it is your fault or responsibility, they have acted this way. Don’t take the bait. Either they will rage, cut you off through the silent treatment or disappear completely (ghosting you).

4. They want to be enmeshed with you. They do not know how to be a separate person. Together you are one and they like it this way. This sounds romantic but it is a recipe for disaster. A narcissist feeds off of your energy, in order to feel powerful. Their self-centeredness leads them to believe their feelings are your feelings and vice versa.

When you are enmeshed, they can control your identify, thoughts, feelings, and even opinions. The narcissist wants to mold you to give them an endless supply of whatever they need. They want you to anticipate their needs before they even speak them. This type of personality does not want you to have your own sense of self.

5. They don’t like the word, “no”– Much like a toddler, the narcissistic personality disordered person has a temper tantrum, when a limit is set on his or her behavior. They feel rejected as a person and insulted. No to them says I don’t care about you, when in fact you are saying, I don’t care for this behavior.

Exit stage left

A true narcissist is an opportunist and will use anyone to get what he or she wants. Once they see no usefulness for you to stay in their life, you will be discarded. This is when they avoid or drop you. If this person has a need for you to be in their life, he or she will attempt to manipulate your boundary in order for you to change your mind. The bottom line is, a person with narcissistic personality disorder will not respect you or your boundaries.

To learn more about boundaries here are two blogs to read: 3 Ways to Maintain Good Boundaries and How to Stop Being Controlled and Get Empowered Learn more about Narcissistic Personalities with this blog: Why Narcissists Overreact When They Don’t Get Their Way and watch this video: When Narcissists Claim to be Empaths

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

3 Ways to Maintain Good Boundaries

Boundaries are invisible limits that inform people what behavior you will and will not tolerate in your relationship. These parameters are healthy not only for yourself but others. When someone has a negative reaction to a compassionate limit, it reveals more about their character, than yours. Since empaths are natural people pleasers, they often have a difficult time creating limits and sticking to them.

You deserve to be treated respectfully. In order for boundaries to be effective, you need to be clear about what you want, know your values and voice these assertively.  You may want to read this blog; How to Stop Being Controlled and Get Empowered to learn more about your personal rights. 

Now you have communicated your boundaries, the real work begins. This is where you walk your talk. Some people will test your limits, to see if you will hold the line firm. Here are three ways to make your boundaries stick:

1.) Call upon a Higher Power for a Boost 

When a sensitive person speaks up, he or she can feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. Each time you feel tested, either by yourself or someone else, one affirmation you can say is, “God/Divine, give me the strength to value myself.” There is no shame in reaching up for help. Remember, with God/The Divine everything is possible.

2.) Feel All the Emotions but Don’t Act on Them

When you set a boundary, you may feel confused and begin to second guess yourself. Was I too harsh? Maybe it is too much? Did I hurt their feelings? Guilt can sabotage you, if you let it. Process all of these feelings, in your journal or with a counselor, in order to release any unnecessary emotional burdens you carry. Think about how much the other party is considering your feelings at this point. Is he or she offering you the same energetic consideration?

3.) Self-care is Essential

Improve your mental, physical and spiritual health. You give a lot to others, make sure you give to yourself. Have a luxurious cup of tea or do an activity you enjoy. Another aspect of self-care is limiting your time with those you set boundaries with. In order to protect your energy, make an honest assessment and take a hard look at your life. What is your need to stay or be around this type of energy? Take steps to be around this person less and less. You may find my book, I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers, beneficial for you.

Here is an additional resource: My presentation about boundaries on SkinCare Talk Radio: Boundaries, Difficult People & COVID-19

Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach 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 You Tube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

7 Simple Ways to Calm an Overstimulated Mind

We all have experienced an excess of energy, known as an overstimulated mind. This occurs when you exceed your brain’s ability to process information. The result is a lack of clarity with your thoughts, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, headaches, digestive issues and even heart palpitations.

The biggest culprits of overstimulation

Modern Technology-Searching the internet, social media surfing and working too many hours on the computer, all contribute to overstimulation. It is not unusual to have multiple windows open and running in the background. This is symbolic of our own minds, trying to be in the present moment, yet getting distracted by x, y and z.

Obsessive Thinking- Many people believe the more time you think about a problem, the faster you get to a solution. The opposite occurs because you can get stuck in obsessional thinking. Over thinking is an attempt to control and is fueled by anxiety. The more anxious and out of control you feel, the faster you run on the hamster wheel. Getting no where, fast.

Analysis Paralysis- Creative people are blessed and cursed with too many thoughts. Too much head energy can lead to creative and writer’s block. Analysis paralysis is often fueled by perfection. Your mind falsely believes there is only one right action and fears you won’t choose the right one.

How do you get out of this behavioral loop?

No matter what causes overstimulation, the solution is to let go and begin small. Slow your brain down in order to give yourself a chance to pause, think and respond. Now you have the power to choose what to do next. Here, I outline seven ways to get you started.

  1. Unplug from Social Media for at least one day a week. Give your brain a break.
  2. Have a Healing Session– Some examples are: Reiki helps you release energy and restore balance. You may also want to move the excess energy from the head into the heart, through your breath and conscious intention. Place one hand on your forehead and the other on your chest. As you breathe slowly envision the energy balancing between the head and heart. Massage grounds your energy and establishes a connection with the physical body. Psychotherapy can help you gain self-awareness and insight. Find out why you are busy and distracted. Not only will you release stress but also learn new coping strategies. Having a psychological evaluation can determine if other mental health issues are contributing to overstimulation.
  3. Write- Get all of the thoughts in your head out and onto the page in fifteen minutes. Use creativity as a vehicle to transform chaos into calm.
  4. Meditation and Mindfulness– Slowing down the brain and your impulses will help you be in the present moment and make healthier choices. Combine walking with mindfulness, to shift the energy. Do something physical to move the energy from your head into your body. Go for a walk, clean the kitchen or your closets.
  5. Avoid Crowds and Large Gatherings- Minimize shopping online and in stores as much as possible, until your mind feels at peace again.
  6. Rest and Replenish- Create quiet. Turn off the TV, radio, computer and be alone with your thoughts. Create stillness and drink lots of water. Get out into nature.
  7. Pray. Connect to your Higher Self. Ask for healing and guidance from the Divine. Accept and Surrender. Admit you are overthinking and choose to give up control. The serenity prayer can work wonders in this type of situation. The world will not fall apart if you let go of your thoughts. In fact when you let go of busy thoughts, inspiration has room to enter your mind with new ideas.

To further prevent and decrease overstimulation, you may want to read: Important Information about How Your Senses Get Overloaded

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

Check out my You Tube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC

Unlock Your Personal Freedom with Forgiveness

Growing up, I didn’t realize how much power I gave away to others. Each time I held a grudge, was judgmental or critical, I restricted my own energy and flow. What felt contradictory, was the fact that holding onto my anger felt energizing and made me feel strong. This is how the EGO and the hormonal rush we receive from an angry reaction deceives us into believing, our actions are right.

I have experienced a few family members, who have cut me off or ignored me because they felt offended by what I did or said. Growing up, I did what I was taught and followed suit. Throughout the years, I realized deep down, I didn’t feel happy, empowered or free. I began to question the beliefs and assumptions I held about other people and even myself.

Using Detachment

I learned many of the stories we make up in our heads about other people’s motives aren’t even true. People have their beliefs and perceptions, it has nothing to do with you. This is their story and you have your story. You can’t change how someone views you and your actions, as they can’t change your views. All of these conflicts we have with others feels personal, yet they aren’t.

When I began to forgive, I released years of bitterness and pain. In its place, I gained a whole new sense of freedom I never knew. This sense of peace comes from being unaffected by what other people say, do and think of me. Before, I would react and rebel. Now, I feel, let go and move on with my life.

How I Really Began to Heal

Louise Hay often referred to forgiveness as a great healer. Her concepts revolve around self-love, affirmations and forgiveness to heal physical, mental, emotional or spiritual illness. You can learn more about this in her book called, You Can Heal Your Life. This book, inspired me to forgive my step-father.

My step-father and I had no contact for over ten years. I wrote him a letter and he chose not to respond. I summoned up the courage to face him one final time, at his wake. My sister and I saw his scowl was gone and replaced with a peaceful glow. I wouldn’t have believed this, unless I saw it. My thoughts turned to regret because I wished this was the man I could have spent time with. Letting go of what could never be, I read my forgiveness letter and walked out.

A crowd of supporters waited outside the funeral home and remarked how I glowed and looked as if a weight was taken off my shoulders. It was. In that moment, I was free from years of fear, hurt, anger, and resentment. All of the energies which kept me tied to him, were gone. Forgiveness supplies you with a healing balm in which you feel a sensation of lightness or as if you are floating on air.

Going Back to God

Recently, I was reminded of the gift of forgiveness through an online retreat, which connected me to my Catholic roots. I remembered if you pray with a repentant heart, God forgives you as soon as you ask. In other words, the Divine knows when you are being authentic or just going through the motions. Once again, I could practice forgiveness and unhook the chains that bind me. The trick is getting out of the EGO and back into your heart.

Who do you need to forgive today?

Start with Yourself. Forgive yourself for not knowing, being judgmental, for all the times you were stuck in your own pain, fear and bitterness. Forgive yourself for bullying yourself, pushing yourself way beyond your limits and all the times you were harsh and unkind to yourself. Forgive yourself for not seeing the truth or reality of a situation.

Next, forgive the first person who comes into your mind. This is the person you most need to forgive. They may not deserve your forgiveness, remember God’s grace has forgiven you. The more you forgive, the better you feel. Forgive others for their abusive behaviors, all of the times you felt disappointed and hurt.

Keep repeating this process as needed. Forgiveness is like doing the laundry or washing the dishes, it is never completed after one time. This is a practice which must be re-visited time and time again.

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

Check out my You Tube Channel: Lisa Hutchison LMHC