In this episode, Dr. Toni discusses the difficulty that many of us have with connecting to and meeting our own needs. Everyone who has flown in an airplane knows that you must put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, but how often do we meet our own needs on a daily basis? Listen in for ideas on how to start to connect with your needs and actions you can take to achieve them to feel happy, whole and connected.
Many of us are in a state of grieving right now for: the life that we once knew; the loss of a loved one; the loss of a job; a lack of social connection; the end to a relationship; unrequited love… the list goes on and on. Today’s episode will open your eyes up to: the purpose of grieving; different types of grief; how to practice self-compassion; and how to embrace your own, individual grieving process. Dr. Aoife also shares some valuable tips on how to work through your grief using; rituals, physical movement, mementos, and by allowing yourself to find joy and new meaning during the process.
Dr. Toni talks all about grief with Dr. Aoife Earls, a Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Oakville, Ontario. Dr. Aoife has gone through her own, personal grieving process and has extensive undergraduate training in psychology and biology and postgraduate training in psychoneuroimmunology.
In this episode, we cover:
Why you grieve to help your brain feel safe when you lose someone or something you feel attached to
Different types of grief you might be experiencing right now
Bereavement – death of a loved one
Collective – understanding of how we think the world should work
Ambiguous – leaving without saying goodbye or closure, for example with divorce, natural disasters like pandemic, losing relationships with co-workers after being laid off
Anticipatory – when a loved one is seriously or terminally ill
How your mind processes emotions in a non-linear way and grief can show up in different ways years after a loss
The difference between people who get stuck in their grieving process and people who move on with health (hint: it’s self-compassion, which includes self-love and self-care)
Different ways people experience grief, including
Feeling numb, anger, rage, sorrow, fear, despair
Needing connection vs. needing space
Rituals you can use to integrate grief and loss to: release, say goodbye, honour yourself and create a new story about yourself. Some rituals include:
Journaling and destroying your writing by ripping it up and flushing it down the toilet or burning it with fire
Washing your hands
Taking a shower
Connecting with others online or outside with physical distancing during the pandemic
How grief acts like a stressor or fearful problem in the amygdala of your brain that creates physical symptoms
During the first 6 months of grief, there is a rise in cortisol, the stress hormone, resulting in:
The need to pull back to nurture
An Increase in heart rate and blood pressure
A heightened risk of heart attacks or other cardiovascularproblems
A weakened immune system
Digestive issues such as nausea and IBS
Headaches and body pain
Changes to your sleep, energy, mood and memory
How suppressed emotions from trauma and grief can get stuck in your physical body and that you may need to process and release them, physically (see the work of Peter Levine)
How connecting to genuine joy and finding a new meaning after loss is a step in the right direction and not something you need to feel guilty about
How experiencing joy and laughter shuts down sadness and activates the nervous system to rest and rejuvenate, creating more resilience and opportunity for healing
Why using mementos can help to: heal your brain; integrate the old you with the new you; and support a continued connection to your loved one or past life
How cortisol can impact your other hormones resulting in:
Sudden hormonal changes, such as triggering perimenopause or menopause
Night sweats and hot flashes
Shorter menstrual cycles and wonky periods
“Grief is like a door. Once you go through it, you can’t go back”
In today’s episode, Dr. Lisa talks with Registered Psychotherapist and relationship expert Allison Villa about strengthening our relationships even as we’re raising kids during stressful times. They discuss: simple strategies on how to connect with and communicate effectively with your partner; why self-care is so important and how to fit it in daily; how to prepare for meltdowns; a simple challenge to shift your focus to more positivity; and how to fit in dates and romance even when you are exhausted and pressed for time.
In addition to being a mom of 2 young daughters, Allison is also the founder of House and Hook, an online platform specializing in keeping couples thriving throughout parenthood.
In today’s episode, we cover:
Finding time to check-in with your partner for preventive relationship care instead of being 2 ships passing in the night
The benefit of connecting and checking in with your partner first before going through the logistics of everyone’s schedules or expressing and asking for what you need
If you and your partner are both working at home with kids, consider time blocking your day to support each other, work as a team and focus on one thing at a time successfully instead of feeling unsuccessful and guilty trying to work and parent at the same time
Choosing what you want this time to look and feel like
Recognizing that there will be moments of challenge, difficulty and feeling depleted – stress impacts how well you can regulate your emotions
How to have a pre-meltdown conversation with your partner to discuss strategies to support each other when the meltdowns happen (and they will!)
That your body and brain is not designed to consume information constantly
The idea of challenging yourself and your partner to take a 24 hour break from consuming news
How whatever already exists in your relationships will be magnified right now
Being playful and making a game out of the frustrating or mundane things that can be draining every day
How self care is the foundation of every health relationship and how to re-define self care when you don’t have a lot of time on your own
Getting in self-care, as an intentional act of restoring yourself – it doesn’t happen by accident!
Dr. Lisa and Allison both love Joy McCarthy’s Joyous Health website for all of the healthier versions of foods like cookies and banana bread that you can make with your little ones. Find it here: https://www.joyoushealth.com/
Thank you for joining us today!
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