Mornings are Fun! Starting the Day in a Happy, Productive Way

link.medium.com/Xo8IiSXOE6

Here’s an article I wrote for Medium a while ago. While I have switched to herbal tea, the rest is pretty true, even today. I’m in in a different state with different work responsibilities, but still enjoy some hot tea and predictability.

Happy reading!

Changes: Tele-everything

It’s really interesting to see how companies are changing their norms and the way they do things to adapt to the safe-at-home model.

I am wondering which of these new norms may stay in place, and which of them will go away as our risk for the Coronavirus diminishes over time.

My guess is some things will change, and some things will remain the same. 🙂

I would hope that companies would be more open to their employees doing some work from home. Instead of going into a home visit where there may be germs, bugs, or dangerous people, maybe some companies who previously only allowed in person visits will now allow for some of the tele-health that has been going on during the last few weeks.

My guess is that the platform Zoom will continue to do well. They seem to have the market on teleconferencing, and have allowed some therapists to use their features for free (and other fields is my guess, I’m only familiar with my field).

I’m really wondering about how physical touches when people greet each other will change.

Will the handshake go away? Will we no longer hug friends we haven’t seen in a while, or hug to say goodbye?

Will we start having a 6 feet distance between each other as our social norms?

Only time will tell. I’m hoping that a lot of people are able to stay healthy, including those at risk, those who feel they can live forever, and those of us in between.

What are some things that are helping you get through these times of change and uncertainty?

Are you knitting? My grandma taught me to knit many years ago, and if this continues I may try to pick it back up again. My Aunt Rula taught me to crochet, which seemed a little easier at the time. I macrame-ed in Girl Scouts.

So many options. I’ve been face-timing my mom (and dad), which has been really nice. It is nice to see the person I’m talking with, so I’ll probably keep that up as long as my mom continues to carry her iPhone 5s 🙂

What are some habits you have picked up? What are some things you are thinking about doing, but haven’t done yet?

I’ve read a couple of articles about kids feeling that this time could be a memory that is positive. They spent time at home, which many don’t get a lot of chances to do these days. I call them ‘program’ kids, because they have every minute of their day programmed.

This is certainly a social experiment, and a time to remember how to stay safe while those in the health care field are working harder than ever.

I hope you enjoy your weekend. It’s pretty warm here in Texas. Hope you get some spring weather where you are.

Wellness

podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-parke-llcs-podcast/id1460410106

Quieting the Mind: Some Tricks that Work for Me

So….without a doubt the last 12 months have been pretty different for me.

I quit my full time job and joined a private mental health practice, started and stopped seeing kids in a school setting prior to and after a local shooting at a school, had some back/feet issues, and joined the ranks of the uterus free.

Oh yeah, and I moved from my hometown state of Indiana, where I had lived all of my years except the 2 where I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio and moved to McKinney, Texas, to be closer to my husbands work area.

Shoo. Sounds like a lot even when I write it.

I am a fairly structured person.

I have a routine when I wake up (love some hot tea in the mornings), a general routine throughout the day, and a time I go to bed most nights. I’m an early-bird, so falling asleep comes earlier than I wish it did sometimes, but it all works out.

During the last 15 months, I have brushed up on my counseling skills and become a little more current in my knowledge.

One area I find super important both to me and to my clients is using mindfulness to quiet the mind. Like many, I am a really good thinker, which can turn into worry. I can think about what is coming up, imagine what I should or could say in that situation, and then, after it occurs, think about what has been said and what might have been done differently.

When I am working with someone in therapy, we talk a lot about being in tune with their own feelings. We talk about what senses they use to calm themselves down.

I have found that for most people, they have a sense that they are more likely to utilize when their thinking starts to ‘take over’.

For some, that sense is hearing. They may become overstimulated by too many sounds, for instance, which can be a source of frustration for them. They may also be the person who says ‘when I get upset, I put on music and listen to it’.

I find it interesting how some people are calmed by calming, peaceful music. I am an acoustic girl myself. Some acoustic guitar, or some classical piano music, or anything by Peter, Paul and Mary are instant calm-downers for me. If it is really bad, out come The Carpenters. When Karen C and I sing together, it really calms me down.

For others, more intense, loud music with a strong beat is calming. When my husband and I were first dating, we had a constant battle over volume and type of music in the car. One of my friends joked that she liked to watch us constantly turn up and down the music on the radio, which we both did absentmindedly. He is more of a ‘layers’ person, and loves the grunge music of the 90’s. I find that music quite agitating, but for him, it is calming.

For others, their sense of what they see is their go-to for relaxation. They may be the person who looks out the window at the green trees in the summer. They may love to stare at a lake, or a picture of a lake. They may be able to close their eyes and envision a sandy beach and the sunshine beating down, or a forest with the sun peeking through the trees.

For those candle lovers out there, your sense that may be most calming may be your sense of smell. As a person with several seasonal allergies, I am more drawn to food smells in a candle, or the smell of fruits. For others, a clean, cotton smell, or the smell of cookies baking, or lilacs may be a very calming sense for you.

Taste and touch are the last two senses that can be drawn from when you consider the 5 senses.

For me, my clothes are really important to me, for my comfort both in temperature and in being comfortable in my clothes. I do not enjoy tight clothes, or clothes that are rough. For others, they may hate having a tag, or love to wear comfy pants.

Some people carry a rock in their pocket as part of their faith. The smooth edge of the rock can be a calming moment for them. Others wear bands around their wrists, and will snap them as a way to stay calm.

Many of us have all kinds of memories around taste. The taste of sweet may remind you of childhood in a positive way. The taste of something bitter may be how you wake up in the morning, and associate that taste with the smell of coffee.

Our senses are really intertwined-it is hard to imagine a taste without having a smell associated with it, and some things we see are very associated with what we hear.

I encourage you to use some time, as you finish reading this, to think about which senses help you quiet your mind and slow down from all of the tasks that are required of us.

Now imagine that you are seeing that thing that is a favorite, or listening to that sound of the waves crashing, or smelling the smell of cookies baking.

As you imagine hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, or smelling, think about things you have fond memories of. As you are imagine those smells, touches, etc., now breathe in for a count of 4.

Now wait for 2

and breathe out for 4.

and wait for 2 again.

As you do this continue to imagine you are hearing the familiar sounds that are helpful as you quiet the worries and the stresses in your mind.

Now look around you for something you can see. As you look, look at every piece of it. Notice the outside edges, the colors, and how the shadows surround it.

Continue breathing in and out, waiting for a beat of 2 in between each breath.

For me these steps are helpful in quieting some of those stressors, whether they are about work, family, the weather, or things we cannot or do not want to change.

Enjoy your day!

Moving to McKinney! Pain Free Acupuncture Clinic, Office Space, but first…… Ranch in Argyle

At about 4:30pm Central Time on June 6th we drove into McKinney, Texas; well I drove into McKinney.

I had our puppy, and my husband went directly to the AirBNB ranch, in Copper Canyon, Texas, where we would be staying for three weeks until we got possession of our newly purchased home.

Matt went to check in, meet Pam the owner, and drop off a couple of things.

After 2 days of driving, and one full hour of Oklahoma rainstorms where we met for lunch at two separate Chick Filas, we had made it to our new-to-us home in time for our final walk through. The next day, we signed the papers to purchase it.

Earlier in the week, prior to leaving Noblesville, Indiana; we took some pictures of our previous home.

Just as we were about to leave Noblesville to stay in our first hotel, Matt came through as photographer-suggester. He suggested we take a selfie at our home in Noblesville before we left.

I agreed with that suggestion, and took several pics through the home, including our view of the beautiful grass we grow so easily in Indiana.

View from the front porch

Our Noblesville home had been cleaned, all of our belongings that survived the purge had been loaded onto a truck, and we had put the final remaining items into our 2 vehicles so that we’d have clothes, some chairs, and some food/hygiene items for the coming weeks.

When we arrived in Texas for our final walk through, we walked around, and I took pics of the home with the previous owners’ belongings in it. I enjoy their decorating style, and wanted to be able to replicate a couple of things once they had their things out of it.

Wayfair Floor covering in kitchen

It was a great relief to see our home again, and then to close without incident on it on 6/7.

Even better, the ranch our realtor had connected us with in Copper Canyon, Texas, is an Air BNB that is lovely.

Sitting poolside at Sparrow Ranch

We became Texas landowners on 6/7/2019, and settled in to enjoy our stay in Copper Canyon, and to begin preparing to move into our home at the end of the month.

My childhood friends, Cara and her twin sister Sara, live in the area to which we are moving.

I have been communicating with them about re-connecting, particularly asking for help with finding a hair dresser, help with mental health office space, etc., and help finding medical/chiropractic care.

They definitely came through for me. Cara and Sara have been advising me from Texas through many of our decisions, and had told me in 2016 that they could work to connect me with people they knew. They both were true to their word and I really appreciate it.

I am excited to say that on June 18th, which also happens to be our 25th wedding anniversary, I signed on the dotted line and began renting space at the Pain Free Acupuncture Clinic in McKinney (Craig Ranch) Texas. I am writing this blog from the desk that I share with Gail, the clinical manager.

new office door
Office door, Pain Free Acupuncture Clinic

We wrap up our stay at Sparrow Ranch later this week, our 21 year old boys come over the weekend, and the furniture truck arrives late next week.

When I think about all of the anticipation and the change we have had, I think about new beginnings.

I think about my opportunity to work alongside those who help with physical pain, as I work to help from the mental health side of both emotional and physical pain. I am excited for new and old friends, new opportunities, and new beginnings.

I think about heartfelt ‘see you soons’. I think about the friendships I have in Indiana and beyond, which I will continue to have. I think about relationships I have through the work I have participated in, and I think about my close relationships with family members. I am excited to be able to continue to travel home and to accept guests into my home to continue those relationships.

I think about so many new opportunities

Now I’d like for you to think about changes that you are considering in your own life.

Think about things you like just the way they are. Think about things/people that cause you a bit of discomfort. People you may wish to reconnect with, and those you wish for a little more separation from.

As you think about changes you would like to make, or changes you have made, think about things you love, things that make you unsettled, and your plan for change

Think about ‘how can I improve what I have and love, and what can I do to make things better and sometimes harder’, at least in the short term. Think about how you can make decisions, like starting over in a new state, opening a business, drawing a picture of what you envision, or even reaching out to an old friend.

Now…think of something you can do this week, or at least in the short term.

Can you commit to it? I know I can. These changes are here, I’m excited about them, and every day is kind of like wearing a new outfit, which is something else I like to do.

Change isn’t easy….but it sure is exciting! Good luck with your commitment to change, and I’m so glad you were able to think about things you love and wish to alter in your own life.

Sunset in Grapevine
%d bloggers like this: