Tag Archives: #whyblog #mentalhealth

When Quitting is Actually Winning

It’s ok to be a quitter. I know that we are taught the opposite growing up, but I’m telling you now, that mindset is toxic.

Now let me clarify. I am not talking here about just giving up on something because it’s too hard, or painful or we just don’t wanna. 

I am talking about quitting things when we know that something has run its course. Ending something that is no longer working for us because we listen to our gut, our intuition, however you want to put it.

Listening to your gut instinct, that’s huge. 

It’s not the easy road, in fact it can be pretty freaking painful, but the end result is ALWAYS worth it.

So how do you know the difference between just giving up before it’s time and knowing it’s right?

That’s a tough question to answer.

I think it comes down to a lot of things. You need to ask yourself some tough questions and really sit and listen to the answers. I recommend sitting in meditation for a few minutes before digging in. 

Once you’re in that calm and neutral state, ask yourself the following things:

  • How is this situation serving me?
  • If I stick with this situation, what do I see the outcome being?
  • Is making a change worth the pain that the change could cause?

You can apply this to any situation really.

Romantic relationships, family, friends, jobs, careers..anything that you may be on the fence about.

Self reflection is a gift to yourself. Why would you want to short change your life?

I am only recently grasping this. I have been in so many situations in life for far too long simply because I didn’t love myself enough to make decisions FOR MY WELL BEING. I literally lived in order to make everyone else happy. Changing from that person to where I am today has taken me to a better place. A place where I’m not afraid to change, or speak my mind.

The situation recently for me was switching off a workout program that I was enjoying. It was actually detrimental to my health when I sat and asked myself those questions. And while it may seem like a totally trivial thing, it wasn’t to me. 

As a Beachbody coach, the expectation is to try all the programs when they come out. My OCD brain says that means complete it. I want to know the programs so I can best serve my clients, But, what cost to myself was I really willing to accept? I was looking at quitting as a failure, when in reality in the grand scheme of things, I only have one body. That one body doesn’t give a shit about Beachbody clients. 

It truly was an aha moment that, although I viewed it as quitting and a failure at first, it was me winning at life.

So, as I go off to do a workout for my mental and physical health, one that is best for MY body, I leave you with this:

What are you putting off quitting?

Patti

xo

You can’t fix everything

Waldo

A couple of weeks ago, I did a Facebook post on my page about a turkey that appeared out of nowhere in my neighbourhood. Turkeys are common in my area, however, this one is out of the ordinary as it’s alone, and has shown up in the city rather than a few kilometres up the road in a farmer’s field with it’s buddies. I figured it had strayed from it’s peeps and that it would move on in a few hours. That night, we went for our evening walk and it was roosting on the power line.

The turkey is still hanging out, now he/she has taken up at the busiest intersection of my neighbourhood and all the locals are up in arms. They have named it (Waldo), they are coming up with things to feed it(not recommended) and even have a plan on how to execute a capture and release into the local woods. 

It got me thinking…why do we think it needs to be saved and why do we feel the need to fix others? Maybe the turkey needs alone time, maybe (I did my own research) there’s too many young males in the flock(?) and it’s waiting til mating season is over. Maybe, he or she doesn’t want to be saved..

How does this apply to our lives? Well, we all have those people in our circles that have things about them that WE feel they need to improve upon. And maybe they know they need to improve these things. 

Perhaps they need to lose weight because we want them to be healthy. So, we inundate them with suggestions, recipes, things that work for us, make them food, nag them to come exercise with us..but once we stop nagging, they stop working at it.

Maybe they drink too much. So again, we nag at them, citing articles and imparting our knowledge upon them about why they should cut back. Again, nothing happens.

Are you familiar with this expression “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink”? It’s an old saying, but very true. You can’t change someone’s habits for them. You can HELP them, by providing assistance WHEN ASKED, but you cannot do it for them. If someone has a shitty attitude, you can’t change it for them. They need to want to change these things themselves in order for it to happen.

What we can do, is lead by example, because you never know who is watching and how it may be motivating them. 

So keep on trucking along peeps, and worry about your own shit, and help when someone asks for it.

I’ll be keeping you up to date on Waldo and all that drama on my Facebook page, also called Wending my Way.

Patti

xo

Control

The workout program I have been doing is called 9 Week Control Freak. It’s a great physical workout but it’s also strong in messaging about being in control of the things you can. It got me thinking a lot and I’m glad I am doing it because I think it’s needed by everyone given the state of the world around us.

You can’t control everything, but there are many things you can control that you may not think you can.

Let me break it down.

Eating Healthy to support your amazing body: 

Disclaimer: I fully acknowledge there are people with very real Eating Disorders out there. This section may be a trigger and I want you to know there is help out there. For the rest of you:

YOU and only you are in control of the way you eat. You make a choice when you pick up the fork. You make the decision when you pull into Mcdonald’s. You make the choices at the grocery store. I have heard so many reasons that people are not in control of their eating choices. The biggest one is it’s too hard to make different meals for the hubby, or if you have kids, for them too. The reality is, it’s not that hard. First of all, why would you feed your family food you know is harmful to them? Beyond that, you can adapt any meal and make it better for you. I challenge you to do so. The other one is that people don’t have time to cook. Please. Just stop saying that. You do. Trust me. 

Exercising to support your amazing body:

You are in control of that too. You can find an activity you LOVE that doesn’t feel like exercise. Dance in your undies in the kitchen, get a bike, buy a jump rope and relive your youth. No money? No problem. Walking is free. Running is free. Dancing is free. Doing jumping jacks and running on the spot is free. See a theme here? No time? I call bullshit. How much time are you spending on your phone? Netflix? You. Have. Time. 

How you react to situations outside of your control

You and ONLY you control your brain. What a concept!! YOU can tell your brain what to think. This does take time and practice but it’s something you can accomplish. I cannot recommend meditation enough. It is legit life altering when you embrace it. It has taught me to pause before letting my emotions get the best of me. You can then evaluate how you’re feeling in reaction to a situation and then, choose how to react. This applies to all sorts of things: disagreements with others, someone being less than kind to you, crazy world events, work situations. All of that stuff.

I’m being very blunt today, but with this stuff, sometimes you need to be. I for one, am always a work in progress and I’m proud of that. I have chosen to take a learning approach to my life, rather than the old me that would make a “mistake” and then proceed to berate myself for days. 

I’m going to leave it at this list for now, but I am positive I will think of more later, so watch for a part 2 down the road. 

You got this guys. You are in control of YOU. Nobody else. YOU. You rock, get out and show the world how amazing you are. 

Patti

xo

Emotions

Last week, I talked about this time of year and how it impacts me and my plan to help myself. I’m carrying out the plan and I’m doing ok, but it’s still hard and there are still so many emotions coming up. 

So that got me thinking about how society tends to look at people having strong emotions.

When we are born, we are just present with our emotions. Hiding and burying emotions is learned from society. We are taught from a young age to suck it up. If we are upset, we are told to stop crying or told that there is nothing to be crying for. We are taught (and this isn’t anyone’s fault) that our emotions are something that a) can be controlled and b) are not valid or important. I say it’s nobody’s fault because if our parents did this, they were taught by their parents who were taught by their parents and so on and so on. 

Then, as adults, since we don’t learn how to deal with these emotions appropriately, we turn to really negative ways of trying to make ourselves better. We bury them deep within, often lashing out at those that try to help us. We plod through life unhappy and depressed. We self medicate: with drugs, food, alcohol, shopping. 

All of the above makes us really ill equipped to handle ourselves when something stressful or traumatic hits, like a loss or a global pandemic. We turn to our coping skills regardless of how negative a coping skill it is, because that is what we know. We live in a culture that is talking out both sides of its face:

The side that says it’s ok to not be ok, let’s do dry February

But then the other side, on social media says it’s ok to self medicate with wine, that it’s ok to curl up in a ball and eat your way through things. 

It’s conflicting information and makes us feel like we should continue on the path of self destruction we are on.

I want us all to be ok with not being ok. I want us to deal with our emotions. I am a classic emotion burier. I have gaps in my memory from different periods in my life because it was easier to block shit out than deal with it. I have been there with the self medication. I started drinking too young and looking back, it was a way to deal with not quite fitting in, and just being unhappy in general.

For myself, I made a conscious effort recently to abstain from alcohol for the time being. I feel like there is still stuff I need to deal with mentally with the loss of Kayla and other important family members. I need to deal with my emotions in a healthy way and removing wine from the equation makes it difficult to bury them down like I know I’ve been doing. It’s not been easy -especially during this awful month. In the short term, it’s made me more sad and short tempered than normal but I know I need to do this in order to move forward on my journey to clarity and better mental health. 

I use meditation as a form of therapy to just learn to sit and understand how I’m feeling and why. 

I use physical exercise as a way to channel those emotions into something positive and believe it or not, it also brings them more to the surface. These positive coping mechanisms are helping me figure out my shit.

I am telling you now, that it really is ok to not be ok. I am telling you now that if you’re struggling emotionally, ask someone for help. If you’re struggling with self medication, do whatever you need to do to stop that. 

I have faith in you. I have faith in me. We can move through this and come out better than we started.

Patti

xo

January

I always loved January. It always felt so fresh and clean and new. It signalled a fresh start. A brand spanking new year of possibilities. I saw nothing but opportunity and positivity. When other people struggled with the January blues, I got my shit together and shone!

Then, everything bad that could happen in a month to a mother happened. 

January 23 2017. January 31, 2017. 

I get anxiety just writing those dates. 

As much as I try, as much healing and self care that I do, they are still raw and sad dates. And now we are under a stay at home order and one of my coping mechanisms, spending time with my beautiful grandbabies, is on hold.

What I have learned through all of this though, is that the dreading of the dates arrival is usually worse than the actual days. 

So how have I gotten through the last almost 4 years now? The answer is pretty simple: I don’t have a choice. I’m still here, I am still living and I still have a daughter that is very much alive who needs me, 3 grandsons I see that need me, another granddaughter that needs me that I don’t get to see, a spouse that needs me..I still have living beautiful thriving people here. I have so much to be present for. And sometimes too, that brings some grief guilt.

I often find that January brings with it now a huge lack of mental clarity. It houses a lack of focus and just a pall that lies over my normally very optimistic and positive nature. I am capable of just getting through and figuring shit out once the dark cloud lifts but I don’t want to just get through it. I don’t want to suffer through. That my friends, that is not living. My oldest grandson, who is still grieving and traumatized himself is watching me. He sees how I deal with it and I need to ensure he gains strength from me.

So, I’m devising a plan.

Daily meditation and exercise are an absolute must right now. Meditation allows me to observe my emotions without reacting. I can literally see what I am feeling and examine it. It brings a sense of calm and control which helps to brighten that outlook. The exercise is an outlet. It brings the emotions up and out. It releases a ton of negative energy while creating those beautiful endorphins that light you up inside.

I will be spending even more time outside. Yep, it’s January and cold but I have boots and snowpants and all the shit to warm me up. I plan on purchasing a camera for my upcoming birthday (the big 5.0) so I can take amazing pictures of all my nature and bird stuff. 

I will be writing a lot. I may share it, I may not. Maybe I’ll start writing a book. Writing this blog has been such an amazing emotional healer for me. 

I’m abstaining from alcohol. It makes everything harder to deal with and it makes me feel like crap anyway.

This January, I am more than just ok. I am a phoenix that rises from the ashes.

“All is well in my world.” Louise Hay

Xo 

Patti

This week’s post I dedicate to the following:

My beautiful Kayla (RIP)

My amazing and beautiful Aunt Lori(RIP)

Crazy Otis (RIP)

My awesome famjam and my Mighty Moms 

Motivation

All this week I have been posting on my social media about what motivates us. I’ve talked alot about intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation. 

Just to recap, intrinsic is the internal stuff: pride of a job well done, the need to just do it from the depth of your soul stuff. Extrinsic is the external stuff: the monetary reward dangling, the fear of letting someone down part of it all.

There’s tons of stuff out there about goal setting and if I’m being honest, it’s pretty standard. Think about what you want to accomplish and then set the goals. These are effective methods, however, the failure rate is high unless you figure out what truly motivates you. There is no right or wrong answer, because we are all individuals and what motivates me, will not likely motivate you.

So to really get deep down into this, and build a why that will be so strong, that nothing will get in your way of moving toward your goal when you think of it. 

To get there, you need to take a few steps. First, think of what you want to accomplish and ask why. Let’s look at an example of how the discovery conversation could go:

Person: I want to lose weight

Person: Why?

Person: I want to be healthy so I live a long time

Person: Why?

Person: Well, I have kids and I want to be here with them

Person: What does that look like?

Person: It looks like me living to be 100 and being able to live on my own the entire time and play with my grandkids when they have them.

Person: Can you visualize that?

Person: Yes, I see myself, gray hair wrestling around with kids on the floor.

Person: Perfect, now let’s figure out how we will get there.

The point I am making: You need to keep asking why until you get to something deeper. Saying I want to lose weight isn’t specific enough, you need to go deeper. Just keep asking yourself why until you get to a point that you can come up with a specific goal. Then, once you’re there, write it down, make a vision board, something that you can see at all times. This will keep you focused and help you work toward that goal. It’s all within your grasp. 

Try this method, and let me know. As always, I am here if you need help digging deeper!

Take Care,

Patti 

Xo

How will you emerge?

Image Credit Butterfly Life Cycle Vectors by Vecteezy

It’s the end of 2020. The end of what’s been a very challenging year. We’ve been separated from family, friends, co-workers. People have lost jobs. Too many people have died. It’s just been alot to put it mildly. And now, as we head into a time of year that’s already very difficult for so many, we are once again asked to stay home. We are tired of it all. We want to go out and be social. We want to travel. We just want our lives back to the way they were and I understand all of it.

Once again, I am asking you to shift your perspective on all of it. What if, rather than looking at this stay home order as a negative, we could flip to an opportunity?

Can you, just for a moment, close your eyes and picture how you want to emerge from all of this? Think of the image above. A monarch butterfly starts off as a caterpillar, unable to do anything but inch around. Then it is driven to change. It wraps itself up in it’s constrictive coccoon and waits. About 2 weeks later, that caterpillar emerges as a beautiful butterly. It spreads it’s wings and flies off with newfound freedom.

This is similar to what I want for all of us. We can complain and worry and stress about the unknown and I’m by no means not taking everything seriously or minimizing people’s very real serious situations in all of this. But..if I am being very transparant, I know we will get through this and HOW we come out on the other side is entirely up to us.

For me, I’m planning to come out like that beautiful butterfly, forever changed, but for the better. I am using this time as an opportunity to work on me. I’m still healing from the trauma of losing my oldest child in an incredibly shocking way. I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do about seeing her child since I’ve been presented with that lesson in life for some reason I’m still trying to understand. So for me, it’s learning how to react to stressful and upsetting situations differently, where it doesn’t give me massive anxiety and an emotional meltdown.

I am coming out of all this, fitter and healthier than I’ve ever been, both physically and mentally. Here is my plan:

  • Fuel my body with the nutrition it needs to be the fittest and strongest it can be to support me through the rest of my life
  • Move my body to give me the best fighting chance to live as long as possible
  • Meditate to teach me how to be more intentional with my actions and reactions
  • Grow my side hustle with Beachbody coaching while greatly reducing my screen time
  • Get outside as much as I possibly can
  • Continue to write and grow this blog because it’s helped me more than you could ever know
  • Be kind when nobody’s watching

So, as you see, I have set my intentions for the year. They are not difficult and there are not that many. They are all completely within my control. I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I do think the start of the year is a good time to reassess and formulate a plan for yourself.

Last year, I participated in an end of the year workshop of sorts that was delivered by Rachel Brathen. At the end of all of the work, you were to choose a word that will set your intention for the year. To be honest, I had forgotten all about it until my friend Fiona posted something similar to this exercise the other day which got me thinking about all of this.

My word last year, was Joy. I still managed to find alot of that, even in a crazy pandemic that nobody saw coming on Jan 1 2020. This year, I have chosen Legacy. I have chosen this word because I want everything I do to be reflective of the legacy I want to leave on this world one day. Do I want the legacy that I really loved to drink wine, worked on my days off and was on social media alot? Of course not. I want my legacy to be greater than that. I want my legacy to be that I helped others and was always present with anyone around me. I want to be known as a great mother, spouse, nana, girlfriend and coworker. That’s what I want and that’s what I will leave this world (one day, very far from now).

So after all of this, I ask you again…how will you emerge from your “coccoon” when all of this is said and done? What will your word be for this year? What legacy do you want to leave? I encourage you to take some time over the weekend to reflect on the year that you’ve had, and set some intentions for 2021. I’d love to hear it!

Happy New Year to all!!

Patti

xo

‘Tis the Season

This week is Christmas. In a pandemic. Here in Burlington, ON, we begin our second lockdown on Boxing Day. Right now indoor gatherings are capped at 5 and they’re asking us to only celebrate with our household.

Christmas and holidays for a lot of us, is already HARD. Like really tough. Not because our grief is stronger or deeper or bigger, it’s just triggering. Things happen and memories inevitably pop up and allow the raw emotions, anger, frustration, hurt feelings come to the surface.

It’s the empty chair(s) at the table, the gift you would have given, the traditions that should have been shared. It’s knowing that this was your person’s favorite time of year. It’s all of the above.

This time of year, from October to April, is hard for me. It’s harder than most of the year.

Thanksgiving, was mine and Kayla’s favorite holidays. Kayla loved snow, so when it flies, it sometimes gets me feeling low, especially the first really good snowfall. It’s hanging angel ornaments on the tree as a tribute to her, it’s knowing that I’m not seeing Elena when in reality, were Kayla here, they’d all be at my house. It’s creeping up to January 23 (Elena’s birthday and the last conversation I had with Kayla). It’s January 31st, the day we made the decision to remove the life support. Once all those are passed, then it’s my birthday in February and a month later, Kayla’s.

Now we introduce a pandemic and lockdowns into the equation, and it hits me harder because now, there will be more empty chairs, because my extended family can’t join us in person. Kristina and the boys will be here because we need that mentally.

This all got me thinking when I was determining what to write about today. About all the families that can’t be together this year for Christmas. We are entering a time of year that can be really hard to begin with, let alone giving a small taste of what it’s like to not be with loved ones when you really wish you could be. It’s not the same thing obviously, but it’s a taste.

So what do we do? How have I managed to get through this emotionally charged times for the last 3 years? It’s self care. I am going to share some of the things I do to not absolutely lose my shit. This is in no way shape or form a “professional” opinion or advice, nor does it replace counselling or emergency assistance if that is what you need, just my tips from my personal experience.

  • Gather the support of family and friends. Maybe not in person this year, but this is where technology comes in. Zoom, Google Meets, Google Duo, Houseparty, Whatsapp: these are all video conferencing tools you can use. It’s the next best thing. Tell them how you are feeling. Don’t worry about being a downer. They WANT to support you.
  • Distraction. Read a book, take up painting, knitting, get lost in a movie. I’m not saying don’t think about things, but sometimes your brain needs a break from it all
  • Move your body. Go for a walk (bundle up) do a workout, dance in your living room. Make a TikTok. Do SOMETHING
  • Meditate. There are apps out there to help you. There’s Calm, Headspace, Beachbody on demand. There are free meditations on Youtube.
  • Have a nap.
  • Do your nails, a facial, something that you enjoy to pamper yourself.
  • Eat the ice cream. Just don’t eat the whole container lol.
  • Listen to music. Any music. Just don’t put shit on that makes you wallow in your self pity
  • Reflect on your time with your loved one. Enjoy those happy memories. Talk about them. Post on Social about them
  • Make a memorial donation. Donate to the foodbank in their name in the amount you would have spent on their gift. Pay it forward in the Timmies drivethrough.

These are some suggestions. This post is to support you. Let me know the things you do for yourself when you struggle with those tough emotions. I am always looking for more tools in my toolbox. And, as always, if you need to talk, I am here.

Merry Christmas everyone! Looking forward to seeing everyone’s modified celebrations. Enjoy being cozy at home.

Patti

xo

Self Shaming

This week I want to talk about self shaming because of things you see either on social media, in person or on tv.

I have decided that that is just silliness.

Getting caught up in the shaming has impacted how I run my side hustle, which is being a Beachbody coach. I LOVE being a beachbody coach. I love their products and I really love their programs. I have been doing their programs for 5 years now. I workout because it helps my brain. I have WAY less anxiety when I exercise regularly.

I also like the side effect this has on my appearance. I have lost weight and I personally think I look damn good for someone who is turning 50 in 2 months. I like to eat right and for ME, that means I track my food, I use a scale (gasp) I take my measurements and I portion my food out. I also drink wine, coffee and eat cake and baked goods. I love a good chacuterie.

All of this is just fine by me. I have been journalling my food and it’s made me narrow down what food makes my body feel good and what doesn’t. I am happy to be losing weight and staying fit and feeling awesome. These tools help me.

Until I see things online and then the second guessing and self shaming would start. Saying to myself, I’m seeing all these posts that we shouldn’t measure food, I should throw away the scale. These are examples I see alot, but are not directed at one person, nor do I think those messages are negative at all!

What was happening when I was seeing these posts, was I would second guess my OWN journey and doubt what I knew was working for me. I cast doubt on my own passion! I said, well, I’m working on my mindset and mental health so I shouldn’t also want to lose weight because someone somewhere said it’s wrong.

Saying stuff like this to yourself is utter bullshit. Unless of course what you’re doing is putting you in some type of danger. You need to follow your path and be loud and proud! if the scale and portioning your food makes you binge, then don’t do it! If it helps, do that. If you are proud of your physical results, then share if you want!

I have made a concious decision to be loud and proud of what I’m about and the tools that work for me, because I know I can help some of the people. And the people that are not down with how I look at food and exercise can follow the other advice! Neither is wrong or more accurate than the other. It is always YOUR choice on how you want to live.

Shameless plug here:

If any of this resonates with you, and you’d like to like to join my group, let me know. I really hope today finds you well.

Patti

xo

Mindset Growth and Lessons

I’ve been working on my mindset for quite some time, even before Kayla’s passing. I have completely changed as a person. I’ve come a really long way. From being a super submissive housewife in a terrible marriage who had such bad anxiety attacks I would leave the grocery cart in the middle of the grocery store and run out, to the person I am today: Strong, confident, and able to speak up for myself.

I’ve done this through discovering and practiciing meditation, daily exercise, TONS of self help books, counselling, and surrounding myself with like minded individuals.

I had an interesting conversation this week with one of these people and I think we both had a bit of an aha moment. We have been on this mindset journey almost in parallel: we are just on the same page usually within weeks, months or days of each other to finding what is going to work.

We have known each other for years, like over 10. In that time, I have seen her shift from someone that could be seen as aggressive, and very reactive to a positive example of someone who is really trying to embrace the non reactive, live your truth kind of life.

Well, this week, she had an altercation of sorts with a stranger. And we were talking about how angry this person made her. Like you know when you hold onto that anger for HOURS after? When you think of all the smart comebacks you could have made? This was one of those. And to her credit, she really didn’t react to this person. And to ME, that’s growth for her. Like 10 years ago, this would have been a blow up. And this time, it wasn’t.

But, she kept coming back to self blame…saying, I thought I was past this, what is the lesson here. Because, when we are on this mindset journey and growing, we always try to see the lesson in everything. Sometimes it’s right there in your face, and sometimes, you need to hash it out with someone else in order to “get it”.

I thought about it for a few minutes, and then I said to her: We are human. We can’t be fucking zen 100% of the time. That was the lesson people. And I’m writing about it today because it’s important, and a big one.

We are human. We get angry. We get sad. We get disappointed when things don’t go our way. Even when we work so diligently on our mindset. Even when we meditate every day.

You can read all the self help books in the world, and attend every motivational seminar there is but at the end of the day, you will still be a human being with emotions.

Where the true growth comes, is recognizing our feelings. Taking a few minutes to step back and acknowledging where we are at. And how we CHOOSE to react. Or feel.

This is growth friends.

I will leave you with that for this week, try to see how far you’ve come when you have these moments.

Patti

xo