Feeling Swamped? 5 steps to recover from life's storms- Part 1 in 2 Part Series

Are you feeling swamped, overwhelmed, and like you are struggling to keep your head above water?  This feeling can be brought on by any number of factors:

  • too much work, too little time
  • the high intensity of your work setting (trying to help people solve complex problems, struggling to meet the demands of your job, difficult relationships with peers or supervisors)
  • trying to juggle work with family responsibilities & other areas of your life
    worry about financial security or the physical & emotional health of you and your family members

The list goes on and on.  You might even have many factors in your life that combine to create the perfect storm of challenges that makes you feel like you are wading through quicksand.

I live in the Houston metro area and we have experienced two major floods this spring.  The rain and flood conditions had an impact on our family and our farm business.  The floods gave me new opportunities to practice self care at a much...

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Becoming A Beacon

I remember the day like it was yesterday.  I was a sophomore in college and needed to declare my major.  I was lost at sea.  I was a student at Westmont College, a small liberal arts college in Santa Barbara, California.  I knew that I had a heart for service or ministry, but I didn’t have a compass for what that meant in practical terms.  I was considering sociology or religious studies as my major but neither one of them felt right. I flew back to my home state of Texas over spring break to visit colleges.  I wanted to transfer to a new school, partly because I wanted to move closer to family and partly because I was looking for the right educational path for me.

I was standing in the admissions office of TCU (Texas Christian University) in Fort Worth, Texas.  I had just taken a tour of the campus and needed to make 2 major life decisions: was I going to transfer to TCU?  If so, what was I going to declare as my major?  They had a...

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Wide Open Spaces. Heart Wide Open.

Big Bend National Park (where I went on family vacation last week) contains the Chisos Mountains surrounded by desert.  There are miles and miles and miles of wide open spaces.  These wide open spaces gave me a heart wide open.  The best way for me to share my experience with you is through a few words and phrases that have new meaning for me.

Let go. You know what it’s like to finish things at work and pack to leave for a vacation, right?  There’s so much to do that it seems impossible.  I was reminded last week that it is SO WORTH IT!  Once we drove out of the driveway I started to let go.  Every mile, every day, every night that passed allowed me to let go a little more.  I realized during the trip that this is the longest vacation I’ve taken since before my kids were born (and my oldest is 15!)  I needed to let go and just “be”.

Awe. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines awe as “a strong feeling of...

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Renew Yourself. Inspire Others.

My motto and mission with SoYoCo Wellness is “Renew Yourself. Inspire Others.”

If you are a helping professional, parent or simply someone with a heart for service, then you are already inspiring others on a daily basis.  Inspire means “to influence, move or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).  If we look back to its origins, it literally means to “breathe new life” into someone or something.  When you inspire someone through your work or your kindness, it is a form of giving new life to that person.  What an honor and a responsibility at the same time.  If you look at the image with this blog post, you will find 10 synonyms for inspire.  I hope that you will take a moment to read through all of the words  that describe inspiration and let them really sink in to your mind and your heart.  I know that you are aware that you are making a difference in the world, but...

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"Coach: Put Me in the Game!"

My dad played football from the time that he was a young boy all the way through college.  He is one of those guys who identifies himself as a football player, often talking about football before he even mentions his lifelong profession.  He is still in contact with his teammates from years ago.  They love to get together and tell stories from the good ole days of football.

My favorite story is from the football game when my dad broke his arm. (Stick with me and I promise you’ll see the connection to the topic soon.) My dad was a receiver for SMU, but in those days they had to play defense too. On one particular play against Notre Dame Dad tackled a big fullback. He got up and started walking back to his position, when he noticed his left arm was sort of “flopping around.” He went to the referee and showed him the problem. Time out was called and my dad walked to the sideline.  The doctor told my Dad that he had broken both bones in his forearm...

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Surfing the Tidal Rhythm of Life

I learned how to surf during a week-long surf camp many years ago.  The life lessons from my surfing experience have stayed with me even though I haven’t surfed since the last day of camp.  I was determined to learn how to surf while I was living in California so I signed up for the all-inclusive camp.  I showed up with a couple of swimsuits and a sleeping bag.  They provided the tent, all of my meals, wet suit, surfboard and lessons. Here is what I learned about life from surfing.

1. Show Up

I made a decision to learn to surf and I showed up.  We got all of our supplies ready on the first morning and headed to the beach.  The instructors led us in a short lesson and a few stretches.  I’m not kidding when I say a “short lesson.”  I put my surf board on the sand, lay down on my belly and paddled my arms, then stood up and pretended to surf. That was it.  It makes sense when you think about it: what can you...

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8 Self Care Lessons From The Flash

**A quick note from me to you: If you read my blog because you want to renew yourself and inspire others, then this is for you. Many of my readers are mental health professionals who have chosen a life of service (more than likely, your service chose you). Other readers live a life of service to their own family, from young children to aging parents. And other people serve through business and community involvement. When you read about super heroes, I want you to know that I am talking about you. You are a super hero in my eyes. You have special powers. You need to take care of yourself and your super powers and your humanness because the world needs you. We need you to be our super hero, so here are a few gentle reminders for you.**

I have always loved the universal lessons that we can learn from super heroes. For the sake of this article I will talk about a specific episode of The Flash (based on the DC Comics character Barry Allen/Flash currently airing on The CW). You can find...

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In Case of Emergency

What do you do when you are facing an emergency situation?  How do you handle unexpected events?  Are you prepared for an emergency?

When we think of emergency situations, we know that we need to prepare in multiple ways.  We usually have a first aid kit in our house and in our car. The kit includes standard items, such as band-aids, antiseptic cream, cleaning wipes and alcohol pads.  We assess injuries and medical conditions to determine whether the first aid kit is adequate or if we need medical help.  If we need additional help, we call the doctor or go straight to the closest emergency room.  Medical personnel have a protocol that they follow to determine the source of the problem so that they can offer an appropriate solution.

We know what kind of natural disasters are possible where we live so we follow guidelines for emergency preparedness.  Our kids have fire drills, tornado drills and earthquake drills on a regular basis at school. ...

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Clearing Clutter

Are you doing any New Year’s clearing of clutter? If so, have you checked… the inside of your head lately?  Not what you were expecting me to say? Take a minute to think about your mind in the form of your house.  Do you keep your mind clean and straightened up like your house?  Or do you keep old memories and mistakes and rude comments tucked in the back of your mind?  It’s an interesting way to think about it, right?

One of my all time favorite songs is Inside of My Head by David Wilcox.  (See lyrics below).  He walks through the metaphor of the mind as a house.  He shines a light into the dark corners of our minds – where it’s so easy to be our own worst enemy.

“I got such a mess between my ears
like dishes in the sink
Stuff I don’t believe just tumbles in
until I don’t have room to think”

Why do we do this to ourselves?  Many of us think that holding on to our mistakes will motivate us to...

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Relaxation + Rejuvenation = Renewal

Do you ever feel like you have been going, going, going and just need to get away from it all to relax? Or, do you have times when you feel tired and sluggish and need someone to come along and hook you up to a magic human battery charger?

There are different times in our lives when we need relaxation and other times when we need rejuvenation. This can all happen in a day: I like to have a mug of hot Chai tea to help get me going in the morning and I like to unwind with a hot bath, a glass of wine, a good TV show or a great book at the end of the day.

Our need for relaxation or rejuvenation may be different depending on our phase of life.  This past weekend I went on a fabulous women’s retreat in the Texas hill country with Cypress Yoga.  I was at the retreat with a dear friend who is also a busy mom with multiple kids still living at home. We enjoyed pedicures, a long walk and deep conversation.  We both needed relaxation.  We needed to get away from...

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