The Struggle is Real - My story of Removing the Mask to Move Forward
May 18, 2021 - Episode #66 - The Struggle is Real - My story of Removing the Mask to Move Forward
A friend of mine walked in the other day with a t-shirt that read “It’s fine, I’m fine, everything is fine.” We all thought it was so funny. How often do we say that? It’s fine, I'm fine when everything is NOT fine! Like not at all. When we feel like we are a spiraling, out of control mess yet we wear a mask that says I’m fine, I’m good. A stupid, smiling, fake mask. How much of my life has been spent wearing a mask? It is exhausting wearing a mask!
May is Mental Health Month. But let’s get real. We don’t need a ‘theme” month to tell us that we are struggling.
I’m opening up about some of my struggles and some tips that help me cope. As usual, it’s real talk about real life today, on the Healthy Harmony podcast.
I’ve gotten so skilled at putting on a mask. I know what to do and what to say. It’s simply a habit to smile and put on a good face and act like everything is okay. Wearing a mask is NOT healthy. Not dealing with your issues is NOT healthy. I’ve learned the hard way. It all catches up with you.
One of the reasons that I’m so passionate about helping others is because I know what it feels like. To be struggling inside and saying I’m fine on the outside. I know what it feels like to be in a downward spiral, to be alone in a dark place, to feel hopeless. I know what it feels like to be living in captivity. In this podcast, I discuss the top tips that helped me remove the mask so I could move forward!
We all want to be happy and fulfilled! It's time to remove the mask so you can move forward. This podcast will help you do just that!!
PS>>>>>>>Don't forget the FREE gift that I have for you!!
If you're a mom and you're in survival mode and you feel like your health and your life is spiraling, this will encourage and empower you! The top Five Habits for Spiraling Mom to Gain Inner Peace and Total Control. You can access it by going to https://bit.ly/peaceandcontrol. I know you are going to love this!!
Other links and resources that I promised you........
- FB group for Women - Functional Medicine for Weight Loss - Body, Mind and Soul Wellness
for Women https://bit.ly/FMwomenswellness
- Book a one-hour, virtual, health coaching session here
- Need to connect with my pastor, Ryan Ross, at City Church Melissa?
You can reach him at www.citychurchmelissa.com or on Instagram @ryaneross
Read Full Transcript below
Where else to listen: (note: Google is only available on android devices)
May 18, 2021 - Episode #66 - The Struggle is Real - My story of Removing the Mask to Move Forward
My friend walked in the other day with a t-shirt that read. “It's fine. I'm fine. Everything is fine.” We all thought it was so funny. How often do we say that? It's fine. I'm fine. When everything is not fine, like not at all. When we feel like we're a spiraling out of control mess, yet we wear a mask that says I'm fine. I'm good. As stupid smiling, fake mask. How much of my life has been spent wearing a mask? I know it is exhausting. Wearing a mask may is mental health month, but let's get real. We don't need a theme month to tell us we're struggling. I'm opening up today about some of my struggles and giving you some tips on some things that have helped me cope as usual. It's real talk about real life today on the Healthy Harmony podcast. Hey there. Welcome to the Healthy Harmony podcast.
I'm Jennifer Pickett, your host, your health coach, your friend. If you're ready to tap into the healthiest version of you so you can live life with confidence and intentional harmony. Then my friend you're in the right place. As a Dietitian turned Functional Medicine Health Coach, I'm here to walk beside you and show you how to take control of your complete health body, mind, and soul.
Before we get started, don't forget. I have a free gift for you. If you're a mom and you're in survival mode and you feel like your health and your life is spiraling out of control, then this is for you. I think this will encourage and empower you. It's the top five habits for spiraling moms to gain inner peace and total control. You can access your gift by going to Bitly forward slash peace and control. Again. That's Bitly forward slash peace and control. I know you're going to love this.
Do you hear the deep breath? I wanted to put this podcast off. I almost didn't record it. In fact, I have two episodes with guest ready to air because it's easier for me to interview a guest and have them talk about their struggles, their mental health struggles, their physical health struggles. In fact, that is what you will hear next week. And it's phenomenal. So tune in next week, but I'll tell you it's a different ball game all together. When I talk about my mental and emotional health struggles, why? Because I'm the chick who worries about what everyone else thinks you see for years, I've gotten so skilled at putting on a mask. I know what to do and what to say. It's simply a habit to smile and put on a good face and act like everything is okay. How are you Jennifer? Oh, I'm fine.
When I'm crumbling inside. Wearing a mask is not healthy. Not dealing with your issues is not healthy. I've learned the hard way. It all catches up with you. And you know what? I have a feeling I'm not the only one. I honestly think that I learned at a very young age to put on a mask and act like everything is fine. Like I have it all under control. I think this happens very easily. Like once people compliment gait compliment you or give you undue credit, maybe you do something well. And then a certain standard is set. And inside you feel that you must live up to that standard. Let's be honest. Sometimes that standard is impossible to live up to. So we strive and strive and struggle and struggle and still keep the mask firmly in place. Like everything is fine. I remember a friend teasing me.
Once she was saying, we called you supermom behind your back. You seem to have it all together. And you're doing these special things for your kids and I'm not going to lie at first it made me feel good. Because you're like, yes, people are applauding my efforts and it's such an affirmation, right? Especially when you're trying. And then it's not because you know the truth, you have bad days, you have struggles. And then you end up feeling like a phony. You know, I had this tendency to .. I want to have it all together. There's just this self-imposed pressure of having it all together. Especially when it comes to being healthy. I'm a health professional for the love. Like I should have it all together, all figured out and then just got others to do the same. I've spent an entire career in health.
You want to know the main thing I've learned. It all goes together. Body, mind, and soul. If your mind is not healthy, your body will never be healthy. I had to learn this the hard way. I just didn't recognize it. I didn't pay attention to my mental and emotional health because frankly, I thought I didn't have time. Then it all started catching up with me. So when I look back over the past several years, I see a woman who is intent on growing a business and being a good wife and a good mom. I see someone who is burning the candle at both ends, never dealing with stress see someone who knows what to do, but has a hard time doing it. This person is somebody who practices pretty good nutrition exercises take supplements yet struggles with feeling out of control. Sluggish burned out and overwhelmed.
Someone who struggles with weight and doesn't know why a girl who just knows something is off yet cannot pinpoint it. That someone with me, here's the deal. I know what to do. I know what to do. Lord knows. I've done research. I've been trained. I've been educated. I'm a dietitian with a master's degree in human nutrition. Now I'm a functional medicine, certified health coach. I know what to do. Or at least I thought I did.
I reached a point of total frustration in my health journey. I was failing toxic and sluggish. I wasn't having enough energy feeling bloated after meals fighting the urge to take afternoon naps and just feeling the depression and anxiety pressing in. Yeah, I reached that point of complete burnout. Total complete frustration. That frustration was not just physical. It was mental, emotional, spiritual. You see, in my mind, I had myself convinced that if our struggling with that with my health, then that meant I was a fake, a big old phony.
So guess what I did. I kept at this big smiling persona. So no one would see the struggle within. And let me tell you, it's so exhausting wearing a mask, feeling like a phony and being consumed with thoughts, you will never be enough. I remember thinking, I just don't know what to do. And out of sheer desperation, I started taking God and just crying out to him. Now I shouldn't wait to the point where I'm at desk, where I'm at a desperate point, but I did. And so I started seeking God and just crying out to him and spending time with him in his presence, setting his word and seeing how relevant and life giving those words are that are contained in scripture. Lord knows are prayed, but honestly it was just mostly me talking and telling God everything I needed him to do for me.
I had a laundry list of problems. I just want to guide to solve, heal my marriage, make me more patient mom grow my business, give me some energy, Hey, with a good body to go with it yet. That's what my prayer life consisted of. And then God charted started to change my heart. I continue to get nourishment through spending time with him right around the end of 2018. I started praying about the new year 2019. And I started thinking about what would be my word for the year for 2019. Now in years past, I had powerful words, selected powerful words, like determination, empowered, focused. You know, you know the words, discipline, like all the empowerment words. If you're selecting a word for the year, like you do your resolutions. But as I thought and prayed about my word for the year, it became very clear to me.
My word needed to be reveal. God was speaking to my heart and letting me know that he needed to reveal some things to me that if I truly wanted to help others deal with the crap in their life, guess what? First I needed to deal with the crap in mine.
So my struggles y'all my struggles led me to this to talking to you. This is one of the biggest reasons that I founded healthy harmony and I started coaching. And then started this podcast. I saw the need for real talk. Let's cut through the crap. Let's deal with our stuff. I also saw a need for simple, realistic health strategies to help real women.
I saw the need for women to just be able to get real with each other and say, Hey, I struggle too. By the way, if you're looking for a group of women who are just real with each other, please check out that they spoke group functional medicine for weight loss, body, mind, soul wellness for women. It is so good. You're going to love. You're just going to love it there. So go check that out. You can access it by going to Bitly forward slash F M women's wellness. You know, one of the reasons that I'm so passionate about helping others is because I know what it feels like to be struggling inside and saying, I'm fine on the outside. I know what it feels like to be in a downward spiral to be alone in a dark place, to feel hopeless. I know what it feels like to be living in captivity that you know what?
I also know what it feels like to live in freedom, to bring God’s light into that darkness, to feel hopeful and deeply fulfilled. I know the steps to take, to bring intentional harmony into your life. And that's why I'm sharing this place. This podcast. I want this to be for the weary, for the overwhelmed, for the want to be healthy for the want to be warrior for the done, with defeat and failure, the sick and tired of being sick and tired. You are searching. You're hurting all the while. Holding the mask firmly in place that you're coping, that you somehow have it all together.
How about we do something different? How about we just get real and let the mask fall? We all struggle. We all struggle. We all want to be successful. Moms and wives. We all want to be healthy. We all want to have solid marriages. We want to be successful in our endeavors. We want to be happy and fulfilled. Nobody has it all together. Remember what you're seeing on social media? That's the highlight reel. You're just saying someone's highlights. Nobody has it all together. We're all struggling. And that's, I wanted to be honest with you about my struggles, but here's the thing. I was able to put some things in place that have helped me tremendously. And today I'm sharing those with you. So here's the, here's the eight tips that have made a huge difference with me.
Number one, get real with yourself. You've got to get to that point where you're saying, I'm not doing good here.
I've got to do something different. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Honesty with yourself. It takes courage, but I'm going to remind you. You have what it takes that right now. You're overwhelmed. You need to get honest with your head with yourself and you need to admit, Hey, I need some support. I've got to do something different.
Number two, get some help, counseling, talk to a pastor, health coaching. There's so many options, but it's so hard. Y'all it is so hard for me to admit when I need help. It is the biggest struggle I did this recently at the beginning of this year, such an, a dark dark place. And I set up an with my pastor, Ryan Ross with City Church Melissa, who is the absolute best. He has a heart of gold.
And and then with him and I just, I kind of laid it all out and that's holding him at the beginning. I'm struggling. And just the fact that I'm coming to you is really good for me because I, I have a hard time doing this. And so that meeting was so helpful. He gave me such practical, like advice just means so much wisdom there, but he prayed with me and encouraged me. And it was exactly what I needed. And it's been neat to see the prayers that have been answered since that, that, that took her courage for me to go and say, Hey, I need some help. And currently I'm trying to find a counselor. That's a good fit for me because I see that need and pouring into others. But I know I need some additional support here. When it comes to my mental and emotional health, there are still some things that I need to deal with.
You know, I have a lot of feelings and emotions that come up on Mother’s Day after losing my mom. It's a day that I just, I just, I hate, I hate Mother’s Day. I'm sorry. And my kids understand my husband's lost his mom. I've lost my mom. It's just a difficult day. And so I'm realizing there's just some things that I need to work on. Some things that I need to deal with, I need some additional help. So that's why I'm looking for a great counselor. One, that's a good fit for me. So I want to encourage you to do the same, get some help. Now, when you're looking for someone to help you I want you to do this. First of all, like Burt with counseling, a lot of times your insurance will cover that, go that route first, get recommendations from others.
Okay. be courageous enough to like talk to your pastor. It might even be a pastor. Hey, you can talk to my pastor. Okay. I'm opening it up. Sorry, Ryan. But he would be more than happy to talk with you because he loves encouraging others. If you don't have your own pastor, I'll let you borrow mine.
Okay. it might be that it's time for health coaching for you. You might say, okay, I know I need some help taking control of my health. I need a health coach. So let me tell you what to look for when you're looking for a health coach. Look for someone who has a lot of experience, someone who is educated, okay. Not just someone who woke up one morning and said, I'm going to be a health coach. But look for someone who is educated and experienced, but here's, what's important.
You've got to look for somebody that's a good fit for you. Okay. You've got to have a good rapport. Coaching is a, is a very, it's a, can be a close relationship. So you want to look for somebody that's going to encourage you, not make you feel guilty and ashamed. Okay. So that's my advice. If you're looking for a health coach, if you want to see if we're a good fit, Hey message me and let's talk.
Number three, soul nourishment. This is the most important one. What are you doing to nourish your soul? You know, I realized I was just kind of going through the motions and my soul was not nourished. I was going to church and maybe working in some quiet time, but I was just kind of checking it off like it to do list that wasn't nourishing my soul. I had to get real with myself and get honest and say, wait a minute.
I need to do some things differently. So I've reworked my quiet time. I've realized that I don't need to do a devotion on my phone because I skipped from that straight to social media. That's a disaster I need to do quiet time, like with a Bible study and my Bible, like an actual paper book journaling is something that has been hugely beneficial for me in my quiet time. I notice a difference when I'm consistent with journaling and I'm getting out all those thoughts and feelings in, in my journaling. And in my quiet time, I also notice a difference when I get off track and I put in, I lay that journal to the side and I'm not writing in it. There is a difference in my mental and emotional health when I'm not journaling, the other things that I've done for my soul nourishment, it's getting exactly what my pastor told me to do.
Hey, you need to be in a Bible study. You need to be meeting with other believers and being in a Bible study and be intentional about that. So I did that. I also got in involved what we call a fight club, which is awesome. So for those of you who are like scratching your head, you're like, what is he talking about? A fight club. It's just a small group of individuals. We fight for each other. Okay. We pray for each other. We're fighting for each other for our mental and emotional health, our spiritual health. We realize that we are trying to go into battle alone. So this is a place of encouragement. We study the Bible, we encourage each other. We there's a lot of real talk about real life. It is a place of trust. We're opening. We're opening up about our lives.
It takes a lot of courage, but y'all, we need each other that we have to be intentional about meeting with each other. Okay. And saying, wait a minute, I'm going to get over my hesitation. And I'm just going to try. I'm just going to try. So do that, try out a small group of individuals and do a Bible study together. See if that works for you.
Number four, self-care. Now this is such an important one. And it's one that man, how often does it get overlooked? As mamas? We know we know what we need to be doing that we really, I mean, the reality is we feel like we just don't have time. We don't make it a priority. And then sometimes we through a phase and you know, we implement some self-care. I'm going to tell you self-care cannot be a phase.
You've got to have consistent self-care. When you're taking care of yourself, you're even better equipped to take care of those in your life. So self-care involves take a look at what you're putting in your mouth. You've heard me talk about nutrition and you'll hear me talk about it a lot more. But if we can be honest with ourselves and practice some mindfulness, Hey, how do I feel after I eat that? Because what happens is that mindfulness leads to being a little bit more intentional. Next time. Wait a minute. When I eat this for lunch, I feel like cried all afternoon. Maybe I need to eat something different. Okay. That's mindfulness. And then being intentional, one of the most important concepts that I teach my clients every single day. So my clients are sitting there like nodding their head. Yes. We hear her say this all the time.
Remember when it comes to nutrition, what you feed your body is what you feed your brain. So we've got to look at self-care, moving your body, giving yourself some time for rest and relaxation.
Number five, do something that brings you joy. I want you to pause. Think about it. What brings you joy? What puts a smile on your face? We're so busy with our to-do lists and our crazy busy packed schedules. And so many of you are sitting there. You might be driving the car, listening to this and you're like, wait a minute. I don't, I don't, I don't know what brings me joy. Like I haven't had time for joy. I'm so busy trying to meet everybody's needs. I don't, I don't know. I don't have a hobby. I don't know, but I want you to consider this. How long can you go home like that? You need to do something that brings you joy. For some people that's taking a walk with their dogs and they're enjoying nature. They're walking outside, they're looking at the sunshine, the trees, and it brings them joy. For me, it's puttering around, outside talking to my flowers and my plants are getting my hands dirty and taking care of my, my back deck or, you know, my little courtyard area, just planting flowers. It makes me happy being outside.
You know I was out Friday night when I tell you that I've delayed putting, recording this podcast. I mean, I've delayed it. This is currently Sunday night, the absolute like deadline last minute for my sound editor to, to be doing, putting his finishing touches on this. So Friday night I was at a staples office supply. And I ended up talking to wonderfully sweet elder woman. This short, this short little comments led to this very long discussion. And this woman was absolutely amazing. So a quick shout out to Ruth and she started sharing with me how she writes poetry. And she told me of, you know, her, you know, the heartbreak of divorce and going through a very difficult breast cancer diagnosis. And the poetry is how she copes. And so she's got all these poems from over the years and I thought that is amazing.
You could tell how much joy this brought her and how she has shared that with others sometimes. So I just thought that was such a wonderful example of doing something that brings you joy. For example, here's another example yesterday, I got to help a very, very sweet friend of mine. Dena, her twin daughters are graduating and so big graduation party. And I got to help her decorate and put together little flowers for the table. And I just had so much fun doing that. It was so rewarding for me to get to help out and make that party special for those girls, because they're absolutely amazing that brought me joy. So find something that brings you joy. That puts a smile on your face.
Number six, don't isolate. I've done this when I've gotten depressed or anxious. I withdrawal. I isolate and it's even more depressing. I feel sorry for myself. I feel alone. And I hold back. I isolate. I like like a turtle in its shell. I got just kind of holed up in that shell. I've realized I've gotta be intentional instead of like waiting for an invitation, getting my feelings hurt that I'm not getting an invitation. I've gotta be intentional. I've gotta be courageous. I've got to be vulnerable and bold and like spend some time with friends ask, Hey, can we go do lunch? Can we spend some VI, can we go get coffee? Like, can we take a walk around the block? Y'all you've gotta be intentional. Be real fan. Somebody realize that we need each other. You cannot go this alone. It doesn't work. God created us for community. We need each other.
Number seven, recognize when you need a break, a timeout. You're burning the candle at both ends and it's not working. You know, it's not working. Teachers bless your heart. My teachers are sitting there nodding and they're Oh goodness. Yeah. I need a break. I'm about to lose it. And I don't blame you teachers. We love you. We appreciate you. We are forever grateful for you. You don't get paid enough money. But recognize when you need a break, when you need a time out. Okay. That might be as simple as, and I implemented this with one of my clients, Wendy, you know, as things would get crazy, she was homeschooling your kids on Sundays and they were going to school other days. And I mean, it's do is burning the candle at both ends. And so we talked about, Hey, is there a time during the day when the kids are going to be okay and you can take a 30 minute break in your room, away from everybody.
And then what would you do on that break? Would you take a little power nap? Would you read a book? Like what would help you relax and decompress just a little bit. When she did that, she felt better. She was even better equipped to go back out there and face the afternoon. And the evening recognize when you need a break from social media, when you need to put time limits on it. I think this is something we are all struggling with. I know I'm not the only one. Please tell me I'm not the only one social media puts me in a downward spiral. It's it? It just does. Okay. We're seeing people's highlight reel. And if you're already struggling, if you're already depressed and a little bit anxious, I'm here to tell you social media and the news and all of the crap that is out there. And I do mean crap. It will put you in a downward spiral. Do you need to put the phone down? Y'all I need to put the phone down. I'm recognizing it. It has affected me greatly.
Number eight, be grateful. I know it. Doesn't it sound so cliche, but I'm going to tell you, it's hard to focus on everything that's wrong when you take time to be grateful for what's going right. When I take a moment and I just reflect on what God has done in my life and the blessings that he's given me and what's going good. And that might just be that I saw a Cardinal sitting on my bird feeder. Okay. I remember that I had a good morning, you know, with my daughter. I mean little things, be grateful for those little things. Not everything has to be going right for you to be grateful, but that gratitude practice, no matter what that looks like, you know, some people wrap up their day by writing their gratitude in a journal, because then throughout the day, you're looking for something to be grateful for because you don't want to write the same thing down every single night. So I think that's a beautiful gratitude practice. Sometimes you can do that in the morning. What am encouraging us all to do is to take a minute, take appalls, be grateful for what you have in your life. Yes, you have problems. You have struggles. This world is in complete and total chaos. And I don't know that it's going to turn around anytime soon, but y'all, we have people depending on us, on us to be mentally, emotionally, and physically and spiritually. Well, our kids need us to be well. They don't need us to be spiraling.
Gratitude. Taking a moment can really help get you out of that downward spiral. Now that's the ATS. This is not a comprehensive list by any means. But like I told you, I struggled with putting together this podcast. So this is just what came out on top. You know, it's a journey. Our health is truly a journey. It's not a destination. Yes, you and I will fall down. And then we will pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start again. Hear me loud and clear. There is no shame in the struggle. It makes us who we are. And I'm telling you that God will use the struggle. All of those struggles to make beauty from ashes. Thank you for allowing me to just be real and open and honest with you and telling you some of my story and how I'm working on being intentional about that body, mind, and soul harmony in my life.
It all works together, right? So I hope that this has encouraged you today. Maybe even inspired you today. Don't forget if you feel like a next great step in your health journey is talking to a health coach. I'm here for you. So just reach out. Let's see if we're a good fit to work together. I would love to encourage you. Private message me, email me. You can private message me. I'm on Facebook and Instagram @inspirehealthyharmony. If you want to email it's firstname.lastname@example.org. So we can have a conversation and see if we're a good fit to work together either way. I would just love to encourage you now base your end.
Join me next week. As I interview, my friend, Erin Kerry, and she openly discusses her struggles with PTSD and bipolar disorder, you will be shocked at her story of struggle and inspired by what she has overcome.
Until next week. Find something that brings you joy. My friend, be Grateful for what's going right. And I'll see you next week. Bye y'all.