Motivation the struggle can be real some days! In this week’s episode we share our tricks to getting started, keeping our head in the game, and how truly knowing yourself is key to it all (setting effective goals and knowing when you’re getting in your own damn way). Don’t sit on a park bench waiting for things to change or hunt for motivation like it’s an item on your scavenger hunt! Don’t wake up 10 years from now wishing you had started sooner. JUST DO IT!
Love: Loss and Restarting, with Special Guest Candias Berry-Welch
Imagine you wake up one day in your early 20’s, married with two small little girls, and you get a call notifying you that you’re now a widow with two small little girls. Where does one even begin? Candias Berry-Welch graciously shares her story of strength and true love. She is the real deal. This raw glimpse into her life and how she’s learned to cope offer hope and inspiration.
Toxic Relationships: Know When to Go
Like it or lump it, we’ve all experienced a toxic relationship. Recognizing the signs can be tricky, particularly when it’s someone you love. Recognizing the global, harmful effects of toxic relationships is key when determining if something or someone is right for you. This episode takes a deep dive into the differences between unhealthy and toxic relationships, the signs, and what you can do to heal and move on.
Living with Adult ADHD
You’ve heard us mention some of our personal experiences as adults living with ADHD. In this episode, we dive deep into what it was like as kids, our coping strategies then and now; and how we became successful adults despite our neurodivergent brains. If this episode resonates with you, be sure to seek support from a trained professional. Don’t let the World Wide Web diagnose you or dictate your treatment plan.
Back to School: Transition Tips
Back to school brings loads of feelings. Joy for some, apprehension for others. On the heels of all the summer fun and lapse in schedules/routines, it can be emotionally tough to adjust! Kids meeting new friends, transitioning to different schools, maybe even college… but for parents, this process can also be a bit rough (think first day of kindergarten, last day of high school, college move-in day). So how do we all get through these times and best prepare ourselves and our children? We’ve got you covered in this week’s episode!
With each birthday, new year, or time of transition, it can bring some feelings to sort through. This year Jen decided that she was going to embrace the concept of leveling up! To us leveling up means continued growth and development! In the game of life, we’re not getting older, we’re leveling up and taking our wisdom with us!
Meditation & Mindfulness
Yes, “meditation and mindfulness” seem to be the latest buzz words, BUT they have been around as practices for over 2,000 years! Why? Because they work!! In this episode, Jen shares how meditation has helped her escape the ferris wheel of hell and helped her become less reactive to life’s daily frustrations. Sarah shares how her mindfulness practice helps her ground when she’s feeling out of sorts. While these tools may seem intimidating at first, you may find that you are already doing them to some degree!
Let’s Talk Bout Sex!
Sex! Yep. We went there… how to talk about sex with your kids and what’s normative for you and your partner? Our special guest, Michelle Leach, Professional Counselor Associate, MEd, MS, LPCA (specializing in sex therapy) covers it all and provides a ton of helpful tips for communication and how to seek support should you need to.
Being a Mom…with a Disability, Special Guest Niki Stevens
Multiple Sclerosis, aka MS, is a progressive disease that disrupts communication between the brain and body. Niki Stevens was a healthy, highly active student in college when she received this life altering diagnosis. Her story of perseverance, choosing to live life on her terms, and the struggles to fight “the darkness” are beautifully shared in this inspiring reflection of what it’s like to be a mom with a disability.
The Big D as in Divorce
Divorce is tough, but so is staying in an unhappy or unhealthy marriage. If kids are involved, this can be complicated. In this episode, your two besties, both products of divorced parents, and Sarah, who’s been through a divorce herself, share their experiences and provide support for those who may find themselves in this situation.
If you happen to have young kiddos, remember to have developmentally appropriate conversations with them. These books may also be helpful.
The Trauma Talk
“The risk of exposure to trauma has been part of the human condition since we evolved as a species ( Matthew Friedman, MD, PhD, National Center for PTSD).” Yep. That’s a hard but honest way to start this discussion. Just like with addiction, there is hope. This episode is heavy, hopefully validating, and informative.
This site is run by the Department of Veteran Affairs. It’s super comprehensive and helpful.
From first responders to natural disasters, this website has options for everyone.
Lastly, but maybe most helpful, the National Insitute of Mental Health.
Addiction, Recovery, and Tips for Supporting the Addict in your life. Featuring Special Guest Craig Hettinger of Huntington Addiction Wellness Center (HAWC)
Addiction knows no boundaries. At some point in our lives every single person will love an addict or be one themselves. We all know someone whose life has been disrupted or ended because of its deadly force. This episode focuses on the hard truths of addiction. We talk about how it affects the addict, their family and friends, and the hopefulness that can come from recovery. There is truly no one better to break down addiction than our former classmate, Craig Hettlinger, owner of Huntington Addiction Wellness Center (HAWC).
If you or someone you love is currently struggling to overcome addiction, check out the HAWC website for help.
Bless Your Heart with Special Guest, Julie Thomm of the American Heart Association
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States. Knowing the risk factors, signs/symptoms, and taking preventative action are all necessary to avoid becoming a statistic.
The American Heart Association is the best place to go for all things heart related, including how to join our guest, JulieThomm, in advocating for healthier hearts in your community!
Welcome to the Rabbit Hole: Cognitive & Behavioral Traps
Welcome to the rabbit hole! Our mind is truly powerful… especially when we treat thoughts and feelings as facts! THOUGHTS and FEELINGS are NOT facts!
Awareness of your cognitive and behavioral traps is key in starting to manage the cycle. The following resource may be helpful in highlighting your patterns, then changing them. This can be tough and might be best to work with a professional if you find it more challenging.
Women’s Health 101
Ladies! Mamas! Question for you, who’s taking care of you? Midlife brings so many new experiences to our mind and body. Given the mental load we carry as women, taking care of ourselves often takes the back burner. The old saying is true, “you can’t pour from an empty cup!” In this week’s episode we break down what our bodies are telling us and when it’s time to seek help. Mammograms, Paps, and Blood work; OH MY! We chat about how to approach health topics with your health care providers and reiterate the importance of taking care of YOU first and foremost. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary!
Love this resource because it is comprehensive; covering teen mamas to grandmamas! Remember: these are general guidelines and do not replace you advocating for yourself and your healthcare needs.
A simple handout to remind you of the healthcare needs for us midlife mamas and women.
4 Tips for talking to your doctor.
Want a deeper dive? Yes, it’s the NIH, but it’s the NIH. Not only does it discuss your run-of-the-mill medical appointment, but it also breaks the topic down into specialty areas, which is so helpful.
Seasonal changes often trigger changes in our lives. Taking the time to reflect on this process and what our current needs are. It’s a natural time to make plans, change goals, and celebrate your accomplishments! Even if you haven’t checked off all your goals, acknowledging the successes along the way helps keep us motivated to reach those big/scary goals!
Mama Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ol’ Days
Reminiscing about the good ol ‘ days can be so much fun! Life is full of endless layers and being able to pull the onion back at times can really pull at all your heartstrings. This episode is a playful, yet thoughtful reminder of what it means to come home.
Living is a process, and self-reflection is a valuable tool for personal growth and overall health. Doing this effectively is aided by taking a nonjudgmental stance toward yourself. Being accountable can be motivating. Holding yourself accountable and without judgment is an art. In this episode, we take a look at our progress towards the personal goals we set for ourselves. Making changes is adaptive and healthy and may help you achieve that work-life balance so many of us are seeking.
I Need A Holiday
Summer is coming, but that also brings the possible stress of planning family vacations… Let’s begin by reframing our own expectations and challenging the “keeping up with the Joneses” thoughts. Also, like nearly everything else, the first place to start is with you, your partner, and whoever else this may involve (kiddos, pets, friends, etc…).
Here are Sarah’s top recommendations for planning travel:
What are the goals of the trip for you and anyone else involved? To relax, explore a new place, “bucket list trip,” etc…
Climate considerations. What? Yes. It’s important to be aware of the role of a place’s climate and how it can affect your temperament. Remember, you control your destination and season if you choose to go someplace. Our family does not do well when traveling in extreme heat, so going to Disney in June … was a huge mistake. Now, we have adapted and tend to go places that serve to decrease emotional vulnerabilities triggered by climate.
Activities for the Ages. When traveling with the kiddos, we try to balance the activities among the ages, which means the kids don’t always get what they want. And that’s okay.
Brainstorm places (without judgment and discounting more local feasible options, like state parks), duration options (several single-day trips instead of one big one), possible barriers (date conflicts) & backup plans, & needs (passport, visas, or planning ahead medically, for example).
Be where you are. If you decide to go somewhere, be there. Try to allow other thoughts about stressors to stay back. For example, thinking about work while on a trip really defeats the purpose of going.
School’s OUT for SUMMER!
The research on retention (i.e., being held back, retained in the same grade) is not favorable. What we do know is it simply does not have the impact adults believe it will, and it actually has negative long-term outcomes. This article linked provides an in-depth look at the research on retention. If your child has recently been recommended for retention and you disagree, this is a great article to bring when you meet with your child’s school to discuss options.
This infographic is great for where to start when discussing your parents’ needs as they age. Having these hard conversations before they are absolutely necessary is key.
A great website for where to start when you’re faced with caregiving for a parent.
This USA Today article is extremely validating for anyone going through this transition.
Lastly, The National Institue on Aging, can be very helpful for practitioners, but the tips shared here can be applicable for all.
This link is a wonderful resource for how to talk spirituality with little kids particularly if you are a family that does not attend church regularly.
Rituals and Routines
Humans thrive in routine. Rituals, daily habits, routines–whatever you want to call them, are essential to everyday functioning and mental wellness. These practices are what bring us back to ourselves and make life predictable. Predictability reduces anxiety. It’s that simple. Kids and adults alike benefit from routines/rituals. In this episode, Jen and Sarah break down their non-negotiable daily routines and habits that help manage their mental wellness.
Inspired by the book Atomic Habits by James Clear and a podcast she was listening to, Jen developed these 5 daily habits that she believed would help her to show up each day as her best self. When choosing your routine/self-care ritual, choose some behaviors you already do each day in addition to behaviors you want to improve or initiate. This will help build success when implementing a new routine.
Jen’s Daily 5:
Hydration– Athletic Greens (AG1), hot H20 w/lemon, then coffee first thing in the morning
Meditation-20 minutes of guided mediation using the Melissa Wood Health app
Movement– move my body in a way that feels good (pilates, circuit, run, etc.)
Gua sha & Gratitude– Gratitude while gua shaing my face/body
Read/Journal/Listen to Podcast
To Botox Or Not To Botox
Whether you have or haven’t, you’ve thought about it. Botox is everywhere and so much more accessible in this day and age. We mid-life mamas are the prime target, and if you haven’t had it, you probably feel as though you are one of the last who hasn’t. Whether you have or you haven’t, we hope that YOU think you’re beautiful and KNOW that “YOU are entirely up to YOU” (to quote the great Melissa Wood Tepperberg).
This article was shared on social media recently by a friend from high school (GO KNIGHTS!) We had just talked about our views on aging and felt validated that so many other mamas like us feel the same way.
Diet culture has been a big part of our lives for so many of us mid-life mamas. Like it or lump it, it’s been in our faces since we were old enough to read. Low fat, Low carb, No carb, Vegan, Carb cycling, Intermittent fasting, Keto, Whole30, Plant-based, I mean, what haven’t we been exposed to?! We grew up watching MTV Spring Break with rock-hard bodies, 90’s pencil-thin model standard, and if you’re like Jen, a step-parent obsessed with dieting and weight loss. It’s really no wonder so many women from our generation have experience with disordered eating. What’s inspiring about women of our generation is our willingness to try something different for our girls. To show them body positivity, inclusivity, and that a healthy, strong body looks different on every BODY.
Tips from the Show:
- Watch your words! The words you use (to yourself in your head, as thoughts) and speak that your kids hear all directly impact our actions (behavior) and feelings.
- The goal is to leave a meal feeling energized, not full. Food is fuel, and having that mindset can help resist non-nutritious foods.
- Food is fuel, not a reward (i.e., “I’ve been good, I can have a cupcake”) or punishment (“I’ve been bad, I have to eat a salad for dinner).”
- Eat a rainbow!
- As a clinical & health psychologist, Sarah (aka Dr. Stevens), recommends reviewing the resources provided here!
Friendships In Your Thir-Fourties
It turns out mama was right. Again. Friendships change over time; some evolve, while others run their course. We can all agree that the sign of a true friendship is the ability to pick right up where you’ve left off, whether it’s been a week, month, or year(s). We can also agree that when friendships end, it can be one of the most challenging transitions we experience in adult life. Quality friendships are vital for good mental health; it’s that simple. Research shows that having solid relationships aside from your spouse significantly impacts your mental health. While it may seem tricky at first, making new friends in your 30s and 40s, you are at a slight advantage because, at this point in life, you know what activities bring you joy! As discussed in the podcast, it is the best way to make new friends!
“It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday…” now that one is ringing in your ears! But it’s true, especially when it’s a close friend. Jen described this transition beautifully. This essay reflects on the ending of a friendship and how moving forward can take time.
This article really spoke to me and validated so much of how I (Sarah) feel and see friendships. My favorite advice, which I also practice, is to make yourself a “regular” somewhere doing something you enjoy. This will break down the common interest barrier and help to build a good start to new relationships. After all, relationships were formed from proximity in the first place!
It is a gift to serve as an additional parent in a child’s life and a challenge… keeping it authentic here, lol! If you have some tips or shared experiences, help a sister by contacting us on our webpage!
We love the full-on coverage of this article… it hits on the different developmental stages of the child, relationships, coping, allllllll the things!
The loss of a parent is life-changing. It’s the club no one wants to be a part of. You can’t know the devastation and difficulty until you’ve experienced it. Here are some resources that may support your grief journey.
Lots of graphics on this page, but the content is on-point and mirrors the experiences and coping strategies discussed on the show.
In alignment with the expansiveness of this topic, here is a comprehensive review.
“Imposter Syndrome…” Who doesn’t feel this way at some point? And “isn’t it ironic” (cue Alanis Morissette, lol) that this term was first coined in the ’70s amongst high-achieving women?! Don’t worry; it’s not a diagnosis but it IS a yucky feeling filled with false statements we tell ourselves. No worries though! Below are some tips to help you remove that imposter mask! Most importantly, remember, “You got this!”
This is a great, quick, and helpful read on “Imposter Syndrome” and offers practical tips to “take off the mask.”
If you really want to “geek out” on this topic, here is a relatively short, more research-heavy read on “Imposter Syndrome.” Most importantly, your feelings are valid; but your thoughts may not be.
Not All Who Wander Are Lost
Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. There is no cure. Without insulin, we die. It’s that simple; however, managing the disease is uber complicated. Educating yourself on the signs and symptoms can be lifesaving for you or a loved one… Having a chronic condition does not define you. Sarah is the epitome of that statement.
JDRF has the best comprehensive resources on this condition… for the T1D, their parent, grandparent, school, support system, literally everything.
Episodes 2 & 3
The Somethings Exercise
As you heard on the show, “The Somethings” are fun ways to stay reflective and positive, give some self-affirmations, promote interests/ curiosity, and stay on track with goals. Doing practices like this can serve as grounding when things get tough, and you need a boost, ways to push motivation, and keep that inner cheerleader voice going loud and strong!
If you liked this and tried it, share your “something’s with us!” by visiting our contact us page or comment on social media @thelylaspodcast!
· Something I did last week that I am proud of…
· Something I am still growing in…
· Something I’m interested in… (cool news topic / learning point) …
· Something I loved and wanna support…
· Something I am looking forward to…
Ferris Wheel of Hell
Let’s say it… panic attacks suck. Jen’s heartfelt experience with this highlights they can happen to anyone, the internal struggle is REAL, and there are helpful tools to assist, including getting professional help. Below are a few resources on what panic attacks are and tools you can use to get off the Ferris wheel of hell.
This first is the traditional psych ed resource, a good overview of panic attacks.
This one is great for grounding in the moment. It’s from an empirically supported model of care and these skills are excellent for panic.
Welcome to Canada! Ok, not really, but in opening this link you will notice it is from the Canadian government. Here is why… the US does a great job of talking about “what’s up” not necessarily “what to do,” from a self-help perspective. Check this out:
Jen also mentioned basic grounding. This can be a great tool to use when you think you may have a panic attack coming on. Use your senses (all of them) to focus on what is currently around you. For example, name 5 things you see, hear, taste, smell or feel (tangible like clothing on legs, hard seat). This will serve as a reset for your nervous system and may prevent a full blown panic attack. Sometimes, creating a self-soothe kit can be helpful and discrete.