Start Something

Two weeks ago was USANA’s 30th Celebration Convention. (If you don’t already know, I partner with USANA who is the leader in science-based nutritional supplements.) I was unable to attend convention in person, but was able to watch it virtually.

The theme of convention was “Start Something”. The point is to challenge yourself to do something, anything, to get you moving in the right direction and/or make changes to your life. It could be that you want to start inspiring people, so you start a podcast or blog. Or maybe it’s more specific, such as, start eating more vegetables. Whatever it is, I encourage you to think about what you would want to start doing right now.

The past summer I had my own “start something.” For me, I decided to start taking care of my mental health. Now, if you’ve been reading my blog posts and watched me unload and process my thoughts here, you’re probably thinking, “Finally! She needs some help!” 😉😂

In June, in order to help with our stress and anxiety, my 10-year-old daughter and I started knitting! We began with a knitting class at a yarn store, then had my neighbor (who is the GM at the store) come give us private lessons. I never expected to love it as much as I do! And it has been really good for my stress.

Secondly, I finally started seeing a counselor. Past hurts have caused me to create unhealthy walls with people. I hold so much inside me that I was feeling overwhelmed. Too many times, I try to do things on my own instead of utilizing the people around me who love and care for me. I decided I needed a change and God led me to an incredible counselor. So far, it has been a journey of healing and forgiveness…and creating new, better habits.

So, what about you? What’s something you can start doing today? Let me know if the comments!


Not Invisible

May is Mental Health Awareness month and hits close to home.

About a year ago, I wrote a post about my daughter, Elise, and her struggles with anxiety (you can read it here). After the 2020-2021 school year ended, I took her to a counselor. At the time, she was so anxious that her clothes felt weird, she was paranoid, and talked of wanting to kill herself…at 9 years old. We were all struggling and heartbroken.

After her first counseling session, we met with her pediatrician and she was diagnosed with OCD (Obsessive Compulsion Disorder). We put her on some medication and saw a huge change in her disposition…I felt like I was finally getting my sweet, smiling girl back.

Her anxiety and emotions ebb and flow, but we have come so far from where we were last year. I try to remember this as we go through the ups and downs of mental health.

Her Experience

When people hear of OCD, they think of constantly checking locked doors or counting obsessively, etc. That is just one way that OCD manifests itself.

For Elise, it’s more about the obsessive thoughts. When things go wrong or she feels hurt, she can’t stop thinking about it. If she thinks a friend is mad at her, she gets incredibly anxious and worries that they won’t be her friend anymore. Elise loves BIG and is incredibly loyal…and expects the same from others. So, when she feels that a friend doesn’t have her back or care the same way, it tears her up inside.

When she feels overwhelmed, she works on breathing, uses fidgets, or escapes the room to process. Oftentimes, when people don’t allow a person with OCD to use their strategies and get in their personal space, it can lead to anger and frustration.

My little girl is incredible. I’m so proud of her and how hard she works to manage everything. And I desperately want her to know that there is nothing wrong with her — she is amazing.

Being seen and known

Mental health is often an invisible struggle. I want my precious daughter to know that she is seen and known…and loved. As we work through her struggles, I want her to know that I’m always on her side, helping and praying for her. I want her to know that there are so many people looking out for her and caring for her.

My sweet, smart, and kind girl is so incredibly fierce and brave — facing some hard issues. But, I believe, that she is only going to grow stronger and develop an empathy for others and their mental health challenges. I’m hopeful and excited to see how God is going to use her trials now to help others in the future.

Of the Week Uncategorized

Exercise Tip of the Week

Does running reduce depression?

Running and exercise can help reduce depression because exercise releases hormones in the body that help to elevate mood and increase energy. The greater total number of exercise sessions usually leads to a correlating decrease in depression. Greater lengths (months) of exercise also usually mean a greater reduction in depression. On the other hand, an excessive amount of exercise at one time can lead to elevated states of depression. Even though exercise can reduce depression, getting a depressed person to exercise can be difficult because that person may be fatigues, lack motivation, and have low self-esteem. Often their fitness levels are low.