Mental Health

How Loyalty Can Ruin Your Need for Self-Care

Can Loyalty be a Bad Thing? First, let’s look at the definition of the word loyalty (noun): the quality or state of being loyal. Loyal, the root of loyalty, means the quality of being unswerving in allegiance to a country, person, or cause. On the surface, loyalty looks like a good thing, right? Maybe. I know for a fact that loyalty to my husband caused me to gain 55 pounds and lose my health for three years. When he experienced…

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How to Stand up to a Bully

For Self-care Sunday this month we’ll be talking about all things back-to-school. One of the most important back-to-school topics we need to understand is what to do with a bully. Especially when we discover how close to home the bully might live. The link to the book is an affiliate link. Listening to Myself As I walked on the dirt road behind our house I chastised myself. “Why didn’t you start preparing for this presentation sooner? You can act so…

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Why I Celebrate the Anniversary of a Bad Month

Remember Your Journey August means hummingbird migration. It also means it’s time to celebrate. Not the hummingbirds so much as what happened four years ago. In fact, on this fourth anniversary of our horrible, no good, very bad August, I reflect in wonder at the amazing grace of God. Four years ago, our youngest daughter, Sarah, texted us that she was having horrible thoughts. Thoughts about going for a walk on a lonely country road at night and stepping in…

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How to Find Freedom from Worry in Five Steps

This month, the Self-Care Sunday series will focus on freedom. Join me each Sunday as I show how self-care can bring you freedom. The Negative Effects of Worry Worry wrapped its sticky fingers around me, threatening to pull me under a wave of despair. Big worries—my husband’s health, the mountain of debt built by cancer—that loomed giant and threatening. Small worries—what to fix for supper, grading papers, the girl at school who seemed depressed—that nagged like mosquitos on a hot…

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Why YOU Should Fight the Ocean of Hate

My Ocean of Regret I saw the news in an email from my husband whilst standing in a Starbucks in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. But I couldn’t cry then. My traveling companion had just turned to me to ask a question, and I didn’t want to burst into tears in front of her. The ocean of grief stayed locked inside. As we continued our drive, I caught myself laughing over the horrible mistakes I made speaking Spanish. I breathed in…

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How to Reap the Best Mental Health Benefits of Vacation

This month’s Self-Care Sunday series will focus on vacation. Come back next week for tips on balancing learning with vacation. The Mental Health Benefits of Vacation Vacation can cut down on your stress levels, boost your creativity, and help you bond with your family. It can also cause extra stress, drain you, and cause family arguments. How can you avoid the later and obtain the former? Planning ahead! If you’re single—your imagination is the only thing that limits you. Don’t…

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A Graduation or a Victory Dance?

Return for Graduation “Hey, Mom,” Sarah asked me, “did you get the email from the university telling you that graduation starts at 8:30 and not 8:00?” “Not yet,” I told her, “but I haven’t checked my email lately.” I thumbed through the schedule of graduation weekend events, marveling at the differences between my graduation and my daughter’s graduation. My class had the distinction of holding the first outdoor graduation. Her class will graduate on the Centennial Green—a special outdoor amphitheater…

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Share Your Secret and Save Someone’s Life

Keeping Family Problems a Secret Three years ago, when our youngest daughter agreed to co-write a series with me on her mental health journey, I felt trepidation. Would telling our family secret—that we suffered from a mental illness—change people’s opinions about us? Sure, blog readers and close family friends already know that our family had struggled—one daughter handled her teenage angst by cutting. The other by eating too healthfully (when it becomes an obsession and you lose weight they call…

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A Manual for Life When Bipolar Disorder Invades Your Family

.May is Mental Health Awareness Month. For this week’s edition of Self-Care Sunday, I thought I would reprint a post that first appeared on Blessed (but Stressed). Head knowledge helps us understand and change our heart attitudes. Many of you have contacted me and told me how difficult it is to explain to family members why a person with a mental illness can’t just ‘Pray and get over it.’ This book acts as a manual and provides a valuable resource…

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I’d Rather the Church Remain Silent

It is Better to be Silent… I read a heart-breaking post on Facebook this evening. A woman attends a church where the pastor—whose qualification consists of a seminary degree—has pulpit-shamed his congregation into abandoning their medications for depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. The woman fears for her friend, who followed the pastor’s counsel and has slipped further into depression. I cannot remain silent any longer. Churches should stay silent on the issue of mental health rather than diminish the…

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