Tag: mental health

a woman looking away, with a green and gold background and title trauma is not your fault but healing is your responsibility

Trauma is not your fault, but healing is your responsibility.

A few years ago, I went through a trauma that really messed me up. Afterwards, it was like I lost all control of myself. I felt like I couldn’t breathe no matter what I did, and I couldn’t think about anything else. My entire body would shake, panic attacks were constant and I couldn’t close my eyes without seeing what had happened to me. I cried myself to sleep and then woke up screaming from the nightmares. It honestly felt like my whole world had been ripped apart.

Everything I thought I knew felt wrong and I was terrified all of the time. I had trouble finding motivation to get out of bed, lost interest in all of my hobbies, and moved through my life like a zombie for months. I’m pretty sure that everyone could tell that there was something wrong with me long before I was officially diagnosed with PTSD.

My husband convinced me to go to therapy and during my very first session, the therapist said something that changed everything.

“What happened to you was not your fault, but healing is your responsibility.”

At first, I was livid. Why was I the one that had to do the work when I was the one that got hurt? I wasn’t the one who made life-destroying choices, yet I was the only one suffering.  How was that fair?

All I wanted was to go back home, crawl under the covers and continue shutting the world out. But as we talked through it, I realized that he was right. No one else was going to fix me. I could sit around and let myself drown in my misery, wishing things had been different, or I could work towards rebuilding. I’m really proud of myself for choosing to rebuild.

I’ll be honest with you; there are times where I’m still going through it.

I still have bad moments some days where I start thinking about the past and feeling bad for myself. Moments where I am suddenly terrified or angry or wracked with pain.  But while they used to consume me every minute of every day, now they’re few and far between. I’m so much better than I was, and I’m continuing to get better. I’m building a life that fills me with joy and purpose. Because I am so much stronger than my trauma, and once I owned that, I was able to change everything.

Over the years, I have made some MAJOR changes in my life.

The most important change was becoming a mom. My daughter breathed a new life into me and motivated me to work even harder to heal and become stronger. And then my son increased that drive and made me even more determined. Every single moment with them is healing on it’s own.

On top of those little blessings, I cleaned house on all of my toxic relationships, set some major boundaries, and started learning about self-care and empowerment. The relationships that were good for me were strengthened and I found a whole new sense of self-worth. I also traveled, left my full-time job, started my own business, moved to a new state where I’ve been renovating my dream house, and started conneting with other women who want more out of life. I’ve taken a bunch of new classes and got certified in things that have interested me, participated in multiple summits for women who want to take their lives to the next level, learned new skills, and so much more.

Not bad for someone who just a few short years ago had pretty must lost the will to live, right?

The point of all of this?

Basically, I wanted to tell you that if you’ve been through something traumatic or scary or sad that wasn’t your fault…

You didn’t deserve it. How do I know? Because no one deserves to be traumatized. But even if you were a victim- even if you were just the collateral damage of someone else’s horrible choices- you still need to heal. You need to do it for you. That is your responsibility.

Don’t let them take your life from you. Don’t let them win.

Even if it seems like your world has ended and there is no hope of happier days, you need to try. Start with small goals and don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Some days, your goal might just be to get out of bed, and that’s okay. Heal at your own pace and start building a life that you love. I promise you, you will not regret it.

You are stronger than you think.

If you take nothing else from this, please just remember that you matter.

And of course, a reminder that if you need a little extra support, I’m your girl. I offer one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community for support. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.

barefeet in the grass with flowers, a green and gold background and the words Grounding for your health.

Grounding for your health

Have you ever heard of grounding?

With the weather finally warming up, the kids and I have been doing a lot of it. So much so that my daughter thought it was BEYOND strange when my mom came to visit and told her to put shoes on to play out back. That combined with how much I think grounding has helped me, especially while dealing with grief over the last two weeks, made me want to share about the why and how so that you can reap the benefits too.

First I’ll start with the why.

Grounding is amazing for mental and physical health. It’s a way to reconnect with the world and with nature that leads to less stress, lower blood pressure and better immune health. The process itself involves transferring electrons from the earth to your body, which helps with inflammation, circulation and even your sleep quality. Depending on how you do it, it can mean more exercise which means more endorphins while also building muscle. And then of course, there’s the vitamin D boost, the fresh air, and the peaceful feelings.  Some other benefits include better mental clarity, more creativity, and a more regulated nervous system.

How to get started:

  • Set aside 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Find a place in nature that calms you… a park, the woods, the beach, your backyard…
  • Observe your surroundings and try to clear your mind so that you can engage your senses.
  • Stand barefoot in the grass, dirt or sand. Feel the texture beneath your feet.
  • Listen to the sounds and take deep breathes of that nice fresh air.
  • You can add in a walk (remaining barefoot), meditate, do yoga, etc.
  • Just focus on feeling the ground under your feet, let go of everything weighing on you and embrace the beauty of the world around you.

It’s an easy way to get some amazing benefits.

It really is that simple. The hardest part is just being patient with yourself. Allow yourself to relax, grow and heal. If you start to get distracted or frustrated, just acknowledge it and try again. But this simple practice can really help you to draw strength from nature and to feel more at peace. If you have tried grounding before, I’d love to know how it worked for you and your favorite place to do it.

If not, let me know if you give it a shot! And of course, I’m here if you have any questions or would like some additional support of guidance along the way.

And of course, a reminder that if you need a little extra support, I’m your girl. I offer one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community for support. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.


a woman's hand holding flowers. green and gold background and title give yourself grace

Give yourself grace.

Some advice that I have often needed: give yourself grace. You see, I’ve always been an over-achiever, multitasker, etc… And you know where that leads? Burnout!

I’ve written about this before.

You’d think that knowing that overextending myself would lead to burnout would make me reel it in, but that isn’t always the case. My natural instinct (or maybe it’s conditioned?) is to keep pushing. Keep moving forward, don’t give up. Don’t you dare admit defeat or exhaustion. I was taught that I always had to do and give more and that’s not a lesson easily forgotten.

Success doesn’t always come to the one that works the hardest.

I’m not saying that working hard doesn’t pay off. But the expression ‘work smarter, not harder’ exists for a reason. You can work your ass off every minute of every day until you collapse but if you’re not working on the right things, it really won’t matter. What could end up happening is that you are frustrated and exhausted and you start to lose interest and focus. Your relationships might end up jeopardized and your health might be affected. Even if you do end up successful in whatever you’re working towards, you could still end up having these negative affects.

Sometimes you need someone else to tell you to give yourself grace.

When you get into your head that you have to keep going, sometimes even the knowledge that you’re on the brink of burnout isn’t enough to stop you. Having an outside voice actually tell you to give yourself grace or some other variation of the phrase can be monumental in having the ability to take care of yourself. It’s like an override for your inner (demanding) voice, allowing you to put your mental and physical health first.

You can’t pour from an empty cup.

This is a popular phrase that is a popular for a reason. Like many of you, in my life, I’ve got a lot of different things going on. So many personal projects, business projects, and then of course, my family is the priority. But towards the end of last year, that really started to catch up with me.  Despite the fact that I was so exhausted that I could barely keep my eyes open, I was frustrated when I didn’t get everything on my list done each day. I was venting to a friend when she pointed out that I needed to rest.  She reminded me that ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup.’ I laughed at first, but then she got more serious and was like “Seriously Danielle, give yourself grace.”

I remembered that I can’t do it all.

Not only that, but I can’t do anything if I’m burnt out! And so I thought about everything that I had going on and everything that I had wanted to accomplish and I wrote it all out in my journal. Then I went through the list and circled my priorities. You know what those were? Taking care of family. Making sure that we all had a comfortable place to live, food in our bellies and that we got decent amounts of laughter and sleep. My current clients were also circled as a priority of course.

But everything else got moved to a secondary list. The ‘if I get to it’ list. Because my projects will still be here next week. The chores and the errands aren’t going anywhere. If I get that stuff done, there will just be more of it after that. But my family, my health, and my clients who are trusting me to help them? Well, those are much too important to push off. And so after creating this list, not only did I go and take a nap, but then afterwards I spent the rest of the day cuddling my babies and not feeling guilty at all for all of the things I didn’t get done. And then I made the decision to slow down and keep myself in this graceful headspace.

Some days are harder than others.

I’m not going to lie, I did have to write ‘give yourself grace’ on a post it note and put it on my bathroom mirror so that when I wake up each day, I’d remember not to have a panic attack. But doing so means that now I get to have nights where I’m lounging comfortably on my couch writing or working on the things, knowing that the important people and things were taken care of.

Did I get a ton of work done every single day? Nope. Not at all. Am I proud and feeling accomplished anyway? You bet your ass I am!

Because I give myself grace.

I focus on what and who matter. And I don’t let that wanna-be overachieving voice in the back of my head win.

Thanks to a friend for the pep talk, my journal and visuals for processing and reminding me. And thanks to myself, for remembering how strong I am.

If you need a journal or some visual affirmations, head on over to my shop and I’d be happy to hook you up. If you need a friend, reach out here or on my Instagram and say hello!

And if you need some hands-on support, a reminder that I offer one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.

a piece of paper with the word no on soil with leaves and paints near it. green and gold background and title Boundaries are an important part of self care.

Boundaries are an important part of self care.

I talk a lot about self love and self care. It’s really the whole premise of why I got into this business in the first place- to empower women to love themselves and treat themselves well. And so I wanted to write about boundaries, because in my opinion, that’s the most important version of self care that there is.

What are boundaries?

The simplest way I can think to explain boundaries would be rules for how you allow others to treat you. (And for how you treat yourself.) When you set boundaries, you’re telling the people around you what you will accept and what you won’t. They define your needs, your wants and your deal breakers. I firmly believe that these should be put into affect with every relationship in your life- romantic, friendship, professional, stranger, etc… (Though the boundaries you have with one person may be different from the ones you have with another.)

Boundaries are something that everyone should have.

It should be a given that everyone would have boundaries, but that isn’t always the case. For instance, I didn’t really have any boundaries at all for the first 29 years of my life. I’m an empath and I was a chronic people pleaser so I let people walk all over me and take advantage all of the time. It was rare that I stood up for myself or expressed my needs, and when I did, I felt guilty. It took me a really long time to realize how important boundaries were, and that they’re actually a necessity for every person looking to live a healthy life.

You’re allowed to say no.

The biggest change in going from someone without boundaries to someone with boundaries is realizing that you can say no. You don’t have to be everything for everyone anymore. Just because you’re capable of doing something doesn’t mean that you have to. Even if it wouldn’t be that hard or you can do it better than someone else, you can still say no. But it isn’t limited to just saying no, I don’t want to do that. It also involves saying no, I will not allow that or no, I’m not going to think about this or even just plain no. No is a complete sentence.

At first, it might feel selfish.

This doesn’t mean that it is. But when you’re used to saying yes all of the time, no feels uncomfortable. Give it some time and some practice and you’ll be amazed at how easy it starts to become. Eventually, you’ll accept that saying no to someone else can mean saying yes to you. You’ll realize that you have more time and energy that you can spend doing the things that you want to do rather than being stressed about situations you may have been guilted into. This doesn’t mean that you can never help anyone ever again- it means you get to decide. To pick and choose.

If you always say yes to everyone else and you allow people to get away with anything and everything regardless of how you feel, you will be the one that suffers. Odds are you will find yourself exhausted, stressed and maybe even resentful. You’ll probably burn out and not be able to help anyone at all after a while, and then you’ll have to watch as the users and abusers start to disappear and leave you to fall apart because they can no longer get what they need from you.

Boundaries are a way of valuing yourself.

By setting boundaries, you’re putting an emphasis on your values and your own beliefs. You’re standing up for yourself, asking to be treated well and not settling for anything less. By saying you won’t tolerate a certain type of behavior, you’re also saying that you know you deserve better. By stating what you are comfortable with and what you are not, you’re recognizing that your feelings and opinions matter. (This is important, because it’s true!) By enforcing your boundaries, you’re requiring respect from those around you. You’re stating that you are just as worthy as the next person of being treated with consideration.

Not all boundaries need to be rigid.

There are different types of boundaries depending on the situation. Some may be make or break, absolute requirements. Others may just require some discussion or be open to compromise. The easiest way to navigate this is communication.

By communicating your boundaries with the people involved in the situation, you can figure out the best way to move forward. You may have to take other people’s boundaries into account here as well. Sometimes, a compromise may be in order. Other times, maybe it’s best to just go your separate ways. Again, it depends on the situation.

How to set boundaries

The first step would be to look at your life currently. How do people talk to you? Touch you? Interact with you? Does any of this make you uncomfortable? If so, that would be a good indication that you need to set some new boundaries. Figure out what you are comfortable with as well as what makes you anxious and start making a list. What is okay and what is not? Maybe somethings are okay with one person, but not another. As you go through the different areas of your life, you may see a need for different boundaries. That’s perfectly okay. Figure out what’s already there and what needs to change. What do  you want? And what do you need?

Once you’ve figured this out, you can start to communicate those wants and needs to the people around you.

Some people are going to give you a hard time. Some may be offended and maybe even get a little hostile. That my friends, is usually a giant red flag. In my experience, the people who get mad at you for setting boundaries are often the people who would benefit from crossing them. They don’t want you to be strong and stand up for yourself because it means that they have to change and can no longer take advantage of you.

On the flip side, there are going to be others in your life who will embrace your new boundaries. They may even applaud you for them! Even if the new rules require some changes and effort on their end, they’ll try for you. Those are your people. Hold onto them. Because these are the people who want you to succeed. They want you to be happy and to have what’s best for you.

Boundaries can be a neat little tool for figuring out who’s who.

Boundaries can change.

Your boundaries at 20 are going to look different than your boundaries at 30 and at 40 and so on. As you go through life, you will have different experiences, different challenges, different feelings, etc. The things you go through will change your wants and needs, which means you will have to adjust your boundaries. This is totally okay. You can literally wake up one day and decide you want something different. That just means you have to set a new boundary, and be sure to communicate it to the people in your life that may need to adjust a certain behavior or expectation.

It’s really important to show yourself some compassion and patience as you figure out what you want your boundaries to be and how to enforce them. But you do have to enforce them and have actual consequences! Otherwise, people will just keep crossing them and they will inevitably be pointless. By enforcing your boundaries, you’re choosing yourself. And that’s really the best choice you could make.

I hope you choose yourself today. You deserve it.

If you’re struggling with boundaries and would like someone to work one on one with you to move forward, I’d love to work with you. I offer one on one coaching as well as a free facebook community for support. You can check get more info by clicking the links, and of course feel free to reach out to me with any additional questions.