What have been your favorite episodes on The AllMomDoes Podcast Mental Health and Mental Wellness Series? Podcast host Julie Lyles Carr shares her thoughts on some of the ideas that impacted her most in this final episode of the series.
Purposely. Your life. God’s purpose. Listen at onpurposely.com.
Julie Lyles Carr: You’re listening to the AllMomDoes podcast and I’m your host, Julie Lyles Carr. I’m so glad you’ve joined me for this series on mental health and mental wellness. We’re going to take a look today at a few highlights from this series. And I also wanted to share with you some insights I’ve gained from where we started, where I started talking to you and we began this series about burnout, and then the pace picking back up after the last two years of COVID coming into our lives and what needs to change going forward.
You know, we kicked off this series with me, confessing to you that I’ve only recently begun to realize that I’ve had a raging case of burnout. And I know that burnout is something of a buzzword right now, and I know there’s growing conversation about burnout. So let me say this: I’m typically one of those people that if some topic seems to be trendy or seems to be in vogue, I’m usually heading the other direction.
I’ve never wanted to attach myself to an emotion or personality definition based on what seems to be cool or current in the moment, but I also wanna be as self-aware and honest about how I’m experiencing my daily life. And so I’m here to say that regardless of how popular or overused or not, the idea of burnout is right now, I’m there.
And this series we’ve been in and the guests we’ve talked with, it’s helped me identify some key areas I want to make changes in and it’s given me some fresh information to work with. And I hope that’s how it’s been for you too. I wanted to go back and highlight a few things from the series that were particularly meaningful to me and why, as I’ve been on my own journey of overcoming burnout and dealing with some challenges in a tough season, I hope that it’s connected with you as well when it comes to our emotional, our mental health and our mental wellness.
Now, if you haven’t had a chance yet to listen to the episode in this series with Dr. Daniel Emina of the Amen Clinic, I want you to go back in your playlist and check it out. And here’s the message from that episode that I heard loud and clear: my emotional health is connected to my brain health. So often we look at our emotional health in terms of our behavior and the moral choices we make and what our feelings are like.
And that’s all true, but how are we nourishing and caring for our brains? Because that has a direct impact on our emotional health. That’s true for us. That’s true for our kids. I mean, for example, do you know what hangry is? You’ve probably heard this word. It’s a mashed up term of when you’re hungry and angry.
It speaks to the way when we start getting hungry and we find ourselves then with a reduced level of patience and maybe a tendency to get a little or a lot snippy with the people around us. I absolutely embrace and sometimes embody the hangry phenomenon because I experience the connection of getting depleted in nutrition and how it shows up in my irritated and somewhat less than patient behavior.
So why would it be any different when it comes to, say, lack of sleep in my emotions, or if I’ve been eating way too much sugar, and then my feelings seem to be on a tilt-a-whirl, or if I’ve had long periods of focused work, really giving my brain a workout and then I’m more tired as usual. You know, it seems to me that particularly as people of faith who aim not to let the drives of our physical bodies be the drivers of our behaviors, we can forget sometimes that God created us as integrated beings on this side of heaven. And that means that we have a body, a mind, a spirit and a soul. And so taking care of the physical health of your brain can have a positive and powerful impact on your mental wellness. And this side note, I wanna make sure that you know, that you can find a full transcription of each of the mental health, mental wellness series on the show notes for each episode.
I love that Rebecca, she’s our content coordinator, she takes the time to make that available each week, because sometimes I need to go back and read something after hearing it, just to get it deep down. So be sure and check out those full transcriptions if you like to go back over and read something that you’ve heard.
As a result of this series on mental health and mental wellness, I’ve also been reflecting a lot on my conversation with Jeanne Stevens. She talked about how we have a tendency to rehash the past and rehearse the future instead of receiving the present. And as we were recording that episode, I knew that I was having a really important conversation for me because my friend, I am a rehearser for the future like nobody’s business. I’ve gone back and listened to that episode with Jeanne several times, because I just keep finding really important wisdom there. I think some of my sense of burnout comes from always throwing myself into the future. And that means that I feel like I’m not only carrying today’s tasks and needs, I’m also carrying those future ones that I’m projecting will be out there as well. So, double the stress double the responsibility, half of it over stuff that hasn’t even happened yet and may not happen. You know, the more I’ve thought about the things Jeanne has to say, the more I found myself asking her central question: what’s here now?
I’ve shared that question with my husband and several friends, because I think it’s such an important and simple and profound one when we’re sitting down for a family dinner, say, and I’m already into the next couple of days in my head trying to remember what I’ve got in the fridge for the next meal and the next I come back to: what’s here now? On a couple of recent business trips I found myself yet again, already projecting myself into next week’s tasks instead of focusing on the work that was right in front of me. What’s here now? If you haven’t had a chance to listen to Jeanne’s episode, go back and check it out because that one simple question, whether you are someone who finds yourself drifting back into the past or future casting way into the future, I really think that one simple question could unlock some healing and help for you in those seasons where you’re feeling overwhelmed, because I know that question has really helped me.
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Now of course, I think all of our episodes and guests from this series have been so great. And as always, the whole AllMomDoes podcast team is so thankful for our guest and how they share their time and expertise. It took us a couple of tries to get therapist Nicole Zasowski on the show. And sometimes when that happens, when somebody has to reschedule because of illness and then we have technical difficulties I actually start getting excited with those episodes because it just seems to be an indicator that we are now into some extra special, important content, because we’ve encountered more resistance to get that guest to you. So not to get all, “woo, woo,” but I’m telling you there’s something to it. There really is.
My conversation with Nicole tapped into something that I’ve grappled with for a long time and maybe you have too. She encouraged us to ask, What if it’s wonderful? So the Jeanne Stevens question was: What’s here now? And then Nicole is asking us to say, okay, what if you ask, what if it’s wonderful? Because I don’t know about you, but my planning take care of everyone and everything little self can find it hard to get excited about an upcoming event or project or holiday, or even just next week, because I’m trying to think through and prepare for all the things that might go wrong. I think I’m trying to shield myself from getting disappointed and I’m trying to protect myself from that disappointment by being prepared.
But there is a lot of joy I can miss along the way when I’m living in that head space and not just living by the faith that says God’s going to be there. He’s gonna be with me no matter what. I don’t have to be prepared for everything or anything. That’s not a moral stance. And yet, and somehow in my head, I’ve kind of made it one. That state that I too often live in is what professor and sociologist and bestselling author Brene Brown has identified is what she calls foreboding joy. Have you heard this term foreboding joy, and that’s where we have something we’re excited about, but we also hold back and we have intrusive thoughts that come in and swirl through what should be a happy day or a happy occasion when we are playing every possible scenario, right smack in the middle of real life, present life as a protective strategy. Nicole really helped remind me to let go of feeling like I need to come up with all these contingencies and to remind me to take back a happy joy. What if it’s wonderful?
I’ll tell you another one. My conversation with Jill Savage. Wow. I mean, that was another timely reminder about taking care of ourselves, even in the midst of serious challenges. You know, Jill discovered 10 years ago that her marriage was coming apart. And in addition to some incredible insights about what her journey was like and how she and her husband were able to put their relationship back together, she talked about the importance of taking care of yourself, even in the midst of a storm.
For me, that’s one of the first things to go when I’m dealing with difficult situations. Now, if you’ve been listening for a while, then you may remember that in the middle of the pandemic I lost both my mom and my grandmother within three weeks of each other. And neither of them passed from catching COVID, but the conditions of the pandemic directly affected what kind of care we were able to get for them, how much access we had to them.
The amazing staffs who were caring for them, they were wildly overwhelmed in the assisted living and memory care units in which my mom and grandmother were living. And so my brothers and I had to make agonizing decisions for my grandmother and my mom. One of my brothers and I through distance and through FaceTime and because of travel lock downs. And then my other brother being the person who was on deck 24 7, because he was the one who was there local. And in all of it, I completely lost the thread of taking care of myself. I was eating whatever and whenever, both for comfort and for convenience, I wasn’t sleeping. I didn’t take any time off work.
I did pace my neighborhood walking for hours, but I was usually on phone calls with my brothers, making hard decisions and ultimately funeral arrangements. So that wasn’t exactly time to reset and rejuvenate. Now I’m not telling you all this to weigh you down. I’m telling you this because I was getting the immediate and the important stuff done in a time of crisis, but I can now see that I ultimately made it tougher on myself and my family, because I didn’t also take care of myself.
And a year and a half later, I can see where that situation and my response to it has also played into this extended sense of burnout. I’m slowly but surely making the climb back into better nutrition and exercise. But I definitely created an uphill climb for myself that has made my grief process harder.
And on Jill Savage’s episode, what was such a powerful reminder was that we can, even in the midst of crisis and heartache, continue to care for ourselves, just like we would want for the people we love. The things you would want a friend to do for themselves when they’re going through a difficult time, I wanna encourage you do it for you.
Rest, walk, eat the salad, drink plenty of water, soak in the hot bath, limit your sugar. When you’re emotionally going through a tough time, keeping your body rested and nourished – just like what we talked about with Dr. Emina of the Amen Clinic- it helps your brain process and deal with what’s going on in your life. Kudos to Jill Savage for reminding me of that.
You know, we’ve been at this podcast thing for five seasons now, which is such an honor to be part of your life and to hopefully bring you the conversations and information that help you live abundantly in your relationships, your faith, your work, your marriage, your parenting.
And I really hope that this series on mental health and mental wellness will be a resource for you to return to again and again, as you walk through various seasons of life. And stay tuned, because we’ve got a new upcoming series that I think is going to be absolute FIRE and I am so excited for you to hear it.
If this series has been of help to you, could you do me a favor? I’d love you to grab the link for the podcast, wherever you listen to your podcasts and text it to a couple of your friends. Let them know that it’s something that has helped you and that you thought they might find interesting or helpful.
It’s so amazing when you share the podcast and I really appreciate it. And as always, I’m so thankful for the AllMomDoes podcast team, particularly my beloved sidekick who’s been with me the whole way, Rebecca, who puts together the show notes and makes sure all the sound engineering and posting and links and all the things get done every week so we can get the podcast to you.
Be sure and check out allmomdoes.com and AllMomDoes on the socials. And I love to hear from you too. You can DM me on Instagram where I’m Julie Lyles Carr and I’ll see you next time on the AllMomDoes podcast.