Need a hand? I’m guessing 99% percent of you reading this post are nodding your head ‘yes’. You guys – this year has been ROUGH … for everyone. Holy guacamole.
I have been on the struggle bus for sure. Along with COVID, virtual schooling, and limited opportunities for socialization, I’ve been dealing with chronic aches and pains from exercising. And trying to solve that anatomy puzzle and limiting my exercise has been difficult. Plus there’s been some other crap I won’t get into here.
Like most of you, I’ve needed a hand this year. Fortunately, I’ve discovered help in new ways and want to share those resources with you today.
- Podcast on burnout and how to complete the stress cycle: Pop in your headphones while on a walk or doing laundry this weekend and listen to this Brene Brown podcast. Stress – your body’s reaction to a challenge or threat – is normal and can be helpful … when it has a beginning and end. The authors of Burnout – featured in this podcast – share that many of us are stuck in the stress cycle; there is no end. Fortunately, they share lots of ways in the podcast to help get unstuck.
- Sh*tbucket: I know I have friends who will happily listen when I’m struggling but sometimes I psych myself out from calling them. Why? One: I think that they can’t DO anything about the problems (and may be struggling with some of them – hello, COVID – too). Two: I feel I’m interrupting or an inconvenience. Like, “Hey, you may be in between work calls or making meals for your family but I’m about to spew verbal diarrhea at you. Cool?” Eek. But, I’ve recently learned a few things to help with this. First: It is extremely valuable and constructive to share your struggles with others, EVEN if they can’t do a single thing about them. There are brain-imaging studies that show how “verbalizing our feelings makes our sadness, anger and pain less intense.” So, that thought that your friends can’t DO anything? Not true. By listening, they ARE helping. Second: If you’re worried about being an inconvenience (like I often am), show a few of your friends this post and ask them to be your “sh*tbucket” in the future and offer to the be theirs. It’s a request to call a friend and dump out all the sh*tty stuff in your life. It’s an agreement that the friend doesn’t need to DO anything. There is no expectation to provide advice or solve problems. The only request is to listen. And the beauty of setting up this agreement ahead of time is you can text that friend and say, “Hey, can you be my sh*tbucket soon? Let me know a good time.” Then the fear of interrupting won’t impede your power to help yourself. (I realized all of the above thanks to Krissie who leads an amazing coaching series called Get Out of Your Own Way that I was fortunate to participate in the past six weeks).
- Therapy: I’ve talked about therapy before (my experience with it, how awesome it is, etc.) but I’ve recently learned about two additional therapy resources that I want to pass along. 1). Better Help: An online counseling platform that matches you to a therapist and connects you with them via messaging, phone, or video. I have NOT used this service but know someone who has and is happy with it. I think it’s also worth sharing because Better Help addresses a few hurdles I’ve seen with therapy: a). Picking a therapist can be time consuming – lots of googling, researching, calling, etc. Better Help has a large pool of therapists and asks you questions online to help match you with a therapist. b). Perhaps you live in a smaller city or town and there are fewer therapists available. Better Help increases your access to mental health resources because it’s online … you can connect with a therapist in a different city. c). It costs less than most therapy options I’ve seen. A lot of therapy has to be paid out of pocket, and this seems like a more affordable option if you have to pay OOP. 2). Two Chairs: If you live in California, Two Chairs is another helpful resource. Similar to Better Help, Two Chairs matches you to a therapist based on your preferences. You have an initial call with a care coordinator (who is a therapist) who asks you lots of different questions to help match you with your own therapist. Two Chairs offers virtual and in-person options and they coordinate with insurance, which is helpful (if your insurance covers mental health). I currently am on week two of therapy with Two Chairs and will keep you posted 🙂
- Free mental health tools: Get mental health tools straight into your inbox or in your social feed, thanks to Tiffany Roe. I discovered her because she has a focus on body image, BUT she shares so much amazing content beyond that like this Can’t Control/Can Control exercise (see image below). You draw circles and fill in your own content and it can help make things feels a bit more manageable. Her newsletter is packed with great affirmations, exercises, podcast episodes, and more.
As Glennon Doyle says, “We Can Do Hard Things.” But that doesn’t mean on our own or without help. So I hope this has helped you a bit during this hard time. Do you have any resources that have helped you? Please share in the comments!