Chrissy encourages people to be their true self. A mother of three, Chrissy started sharing about motherhood on instagram years ago, sharing all the seasons and changes she’s been through over the years. Chrissy is a licensed MFT who uses Instagram to share insights about her own experience with relationships, motherhood, mental health, joy while offering others permission to explore their own mental health needs through therapy, coaching and online courses. In this episode we got real about self love and below are some highlights from the conversation.
Destiny: How do you acknowledge what you're going through and balance what’s happening within yourself?
Chrissy: The good thing is, is we all have emotions and emotions are meant to be felt. Whether or not you receive that message growing up, it’s true. I came from a family that was very open emotionally. But we have a lot of people from our generation where their families didn't really teach them about emotions, especially males. They weren't taught to feel emotions and that they were OK. I think our generation is just now starting to become emotionally intelligent.
So just recognizing your emotions are meant to be felt is the first thing. And then identifying what they are. Then identify where you feel it in your body because, you know, we aren't just floating heads. We are an organism with a brain, a heart, a soul and a body. What's going on? Like, whether that's good or bad, it's really good to know what you're feeling and where you feel it in your body.
And once you've identified your emotions, what do you do next?
When it comes to motherhood and you're stressed or anxious, we have what we call a stimulus and a response. And most of the time we can identify that like we need help when there's no space between stimulus and response. That's for me after all of my pregnancies, I knew I needed to have more support and he needed to have medication because I had no fuse. My son would run into me with a toy car and I would just lash out. It was anxiety, it was hormones, it was so much. So I would say when you feel emotion, try to take a bird's eye view. This takes practice. It doesn't happen right away. We take a look like an outward appearance on your life to see what's going on here.
Like what is she feeling? Oh, she's out of balance right now. She's been mothering for like seven days in a row and she needs a break or, you know, hey, my anxiety is really high and I feel it rises up because I feel like I can't control things. So noticing where you feel things, what your triggers are, and then are you able to create that space between stimulus and response to the show up the way you want to show up. And if you're not, that's a really good indicator that you are in need of, you know, help.What can I do in between here to, like, show up and respond in a healthy way?
Well, then there's just seasons. Sometimes you can do all those things. And sometimes I know like I mean, from personal experience, like things can just get very overwhelming when you have so much going on all at once. So what do you do once you've identified it? How do you keep that?
I think it's really important to have a routine of mental wellness. I think it's not just therapy when I've had a mental break. We go to the doctor for preventative care. We eat healthy and we do things for our physical bodies. So really, we all need to be taking care of our mental space just as much, if not more right now, because of the pandemic and what we're living through. Statistically, mental health effects far outweigh the physical ones when we go through an experience, collective trauma like this. So it's really important to have a routine. And that's what I do.
I get up in the morning. I start my day not looking at my phone. I try to read something that's positive or uplifting. I like to journal about what I'm feeling or my response to the thing that I read. And so that I immediately get into that mindset of how do I want to live and then sometimes even do a gratitude journal and write about the things that I'm grateful for to get me into that mindset.
That's wonderful. And what about setting those boundaries?
I can’t express how important boundaries are especially today when there's so much coming at us. If you can’t handle it all, but up a boundary - with a toxic person, Instagram… it’s really important to note how you feel around certain people. Have your boundaries.
I try to use something triggering as my teacher. I ask myself “what is this trying to teach me that I’m working on?”. I think it’s important to take into account that we have control over what we see and how much we allow other people into our energy.
You have to practice to do all those things mentally to prioritize yourself. When you’re in a good place, mind body & soul, you’re better for your children. Acknowledging who you are and that we are proud to be who we are. It’s ok to feel. It’s ok to take a break.
Constantly living in a patriarchal society, we have pressures on us to work like men. We are cyclical and we don’t work like men. We have to take off that pressure to be constantly producing or creative. It’s ok to take off a week. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to talk about how challenging the toddler years are, how tricking WFH is, it’s all ok.
Tell me some practical tips people can use and take home.
Go through triggers, thoughts and behaviors.Notice when you’re triggered. Don’t judge it. Notice what you’re saying to yourself. Often we catastrophize. Notice what you do about it. Do you retreat? Do you do things that aren’t healthy? We can notice a negative cycle of behavior. Then try to insert a different behavior, a different way of coping. Try Box Breathing (4 deep breaths in and out for 6), journaling, Meridian tapping points… so many options.
Links/Resources from the Episode
- Chrissy’s website
- Chrissy’s Instagram
- Create Your Calm Course 15% off with code REDANDOLIVE
- Meridian Tapping Points
If you like this episode, you can check out the whole IGTV series at www.instagram.com/redandoliveco/channel/
Produced in partnership with The Purpose Pilot.