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4 posts from January 2009

01/28/2009

A personal note from Sandee Nebel

New President

This is a time of extraordinary change in the United States. With our new President being inaugurated next week and everything that's happening with the economy, our lives are being rewritten from the outside in. But there are always things you can do in your day-to-day personal life to create your own story.

 

And that's especially true when it comes to your inner life.

 

Today's article is about getting proactive with your healing and with your life. It's about getting into action-mode and how that usually starts with deciding what your goals or actions are going to be. Setting doable goals is also the theme of this month's free workshop on January 20th. We hope to see you there!

 

By the way, it's not just President-elect Barack Obama who is being inaugurated this month. I am also stepping into the role of President – of the Eating Disorders Network of Central Florida (EDNCF). This is a not-for-profit network of professionals (mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, dieticians and physicians) dedicated to working together in a team approach with people with eating disorders. I'm honored to be coming in during this historic time, and while I'm glad I don't have the national economy to deal with, I still have quite a big job ahead of me! 

Why it's so hard to get into action

 

In every situation there are two choices – to accept or to change. And change takes action.

 

Getting yourself into action is also known as self-activation, and it can be the hardest thing in the world. After all, with all of the outside advice and resources you may get, it is still YOU who has to put it into place and make it happen.

 

So what happens when we try to self-activate? First, we may feel so uncomfortable or afraid about doing something new that we may revert right back to our old behavior, no matter how ineffective or self-destructive it was. The old behavior becomes a coping mechanism we revert to be default.

 

Second, we may start to feel hopeless, sad or even depressed. We wonder why we can't "just do it."

 

As uncomfortable as these responses are, they're normal and actually a positive sign that you are moving towards growth and change. If you can stay with the process (and get some help), you can work through it until you are consistently taking the action that you set out to take.

 

Consider this example: It's January and you've pledged to reduce your stress – maybe you made a New Year's resolution. So you decide you're going to stop working late and get to bed earlier every night. Ok – decision made.

 

Now, that simple decision can actually trigger all sorts of feelings. Maybe you're afraid you won't be able to do it, maybe you're angry that you weren't able to do it the last time you tried or maybe you're legitimately grieving for the evening activities that you enjoy, like late-night television or time out with friends.

 

Such strong feelings can be hard to deal with. So what can you do to cope? Revert back to your old behaviors for comfort and to distract yourself from the feelings. Then, in turn, you'll likely experience some strong feelings about THAT.

 

It's a vicious cycle and it's why so many people just stay where they are and accept a life they're really not enjoying.

 

Here's another example from my own life. I made a decision to do more yoga, and I was getting into action with my new routines. Then, one of my own coping mechanisms came up – and that's putting other people's needs before my own. My son was in town and there was a conflict between taking him and a friend skydiving (of all things!) and keeping my yoga schedule.

 

If I had reverted back to my old behavior and automatically shelved the date with myself and my own health, I know that I would have probably felt guilty, resentful and unhappy. And who would want to be with someone who was feeling that way?

 

Instead, I kept the date with myself and made an alternate date with my son. And I was a GREAT Mom that day, because I felt great about myself (also peaceful!).

 

The bottom line is that until we're ready to give up our coping mechanisms and work through our strong feelings, the cycle will continue and we won't get better.

 

You can start the self-activation process anytime you like – you just need to make a decision. Then, get into action and get some support to walk through the cycle of actions, feelings and coping mechanisms. It's not always going to be fun and it's not always going to be easy. But in the end, you will get better and you will have a changed life.

Book Review

This month's book is yoganap: Restorative Poses for Deep Relaxation by Kristen Rentz. It's the perfect choice for those of you who want to get into action in a very gentle way. These are restorative yoga poses, designed for complete relaxation. The author is a professional during the week and a yoga instructor on the weekend. Her instructions are easy to understand and the exercises are totally doable. There are even some poses you can do from your desk at work!

Upcoming Events

Setting Goals:  Making Healthy Decisions in the New Year

Free with 2 cans of food for a local food pantry!

Tuesday, January 20th from 2-3pm

 

 

nourish your soul:  Gentle Eating Experiential Workshop

Wednesday, February 11th from 6-8pm

 

 

Stress:  The Link to Emotional Eating

Workshop series

dates tba

let us know your interest here

 

 

Body Image vs. Self Image

Wednesday, March 11th

One hour Lunch and Learn at Jewish Family Services on Lee Road

contact us for more info

 

 

Eating Disorder Recovery Groups

Tuesday and Wednesdays at 5pm to 6:30pm

Watch for notices for the next new sessions to sign up

 

 

WW - For Women of 40 Group has space available on Friday afternoons.

 

 

Sorry, the Compulsive Overeating and Food Addiction Group on Tuesday nights still has a waiting list.