My baby not allowing me to be great!

So for those of you who don’t know me don’t know that I’d given birth again to a little girl about 15 months ago. She’s my fourth child, first with my new husband. She’s the baby of six, were a blended family. The older kids are ages 22 to 11. So yes I definitely started over.

I’m starting over I had to make some sacrifices that at the time we’re ok. However as the baby turned into a toddler and I grew restless I became more aware of the sacrifices and later became frustrated.

Frustrated?

Yes. Frustrated!

My frustration grew because a part of me was restless and ready to get back to building my dream. The other part couldn’t move because I had a toddler attached to my hip. I felt trapped by responsibilities as a mother and wife and abandoned by my hopes and dreams. Then one day it hit me.

My dreams or even the fire for my passion doesn’t have to burn out. Instead I have to accept that today is my reality of being a repeat mom and that my dream is either on hold or my passion has to be modified.

This means that you can balance your life and the roles you have and still pursue your dreams or passion.

How?

  1. Radical acceptance. Accept your reality. Embrace your role and know that it can’t be changed. It’s a blessing to be a mom, wife, employee or employer, a friend, daughter, etc. This role is something out of your control so let go of the emotional reaction towards it.
  2. Ask yourself what can I do now that will keep my dream alive without losing hope? This is where you look at avenues that will allow you to pursue your dream or perhaps just plan out your dream until the time comes that you can make some things happen. For me I attend trainings, I write out my dreams as a reminder. I do vision boards. I participate in groups that allows me to connect with those who have similar dreams. I may not be able to go full force but the slow and steady is where I’ve come to accept.
  3. Boundaries. Set boundaries in your life that allows you time and space to balance your work- life schedule. When you’re so busy in one role over the other it leaves no time to put up those hats and enjoy yourself. Thus you become stressed, frustrated, and resentful towards your love ones. This is where you say no work calls after 6pm, dinner time is at the table for connecting, kids in bed by 8 so you can have some time with your yourself and then your partner before you end the night. You set the rules. Take care of you.
  4. Communication is always the key. Talk to your spouse/partner about your feelings. Don’t hold it in because again you’ll start to develop resentment. Instead discuss the importance of the dream or passion and how support is viable so that you can achieve your dreams even if you have to modify how to achieve them or move at a slower pace while you finish out your role as a mom to young kids.

So the next time you think your kid isn’t allowing you to be great reframe that and say my kid is allowing me to be a great parent in this moment. My dreams and passion isn’t gone. I just have to change the way I achieve them or my timeline to achieve them has changed and that’s ok.

You’re all great

Xo

Tahiyya

If you need help with your frustration in parenting and want to learn how to balance your needs with the needs of others please contact me to schedule you a FREE 15 minute consultation.

My Vision

Last night I attended an experiential group and was introduced to this little exercise that I want to share with you the results.

But first let me explain what experiential therapy is. Experiential therapy is the concept of how I came up with the name No Couch Needed. When you are working with an experiential therapist like myself and many others you will find that you are spending less time on the couch talking and more time moving around in your session either physically, mentally, and/or spiritually. Experiential is about movement so that you can re-experience and reenact your emotional experiences, uncover hidden or unresolved issues all by using activities such as role play, empty chair, guided imagery, use of props, music, art,  and other active experiences. So as you can see No Couch is Needed in most cases.

No on to the exercise.

I give myself permission to trust the process.

In 2018 I see myself growing into my role as a wife, mother, therapist, and business owner. I see myself starting new habits and letting old ones go such as doubt, inconsistency and obsessive worry. I see myself trusting myself more to be authentic, to be me, and to trust that where I am going is my journey and not me imitating the journey of someone els.e’s journey. Authentic. Imperfect. Me!

In the work, being a part of the therapist training group, I’m learning to be confident and move past my imposter syndrome, to belive in my passion and not the position. It rings me joy to take what I’ve learned and apply to practice. It brings me joy to be with others who are learning just like me and not shaming or judging but loving

I am done with comparing myself, doubting myself and I’m learning to make all my roles my own.

I want to vacation with my family in a cabin, in the woods, in the Fall, sitting by a burning fire enjoying nature and laughter. TOGETHER!!!

I live inside my mind, my soul, my spirit. I live in a house away from others surrounded by nature.

I need to be reminded that…it is ok to be you, ok to not be perfect, ok to grow, ok to trust your instinct, ok to be scared, but most importantly know that you are good enough!

My vision for me for 2018.

What’s your vision for you for 2018?

Want to know the prompts to create your own vision?

Interested in experiential therapy?

Contact me at tahiyyamartin@gmail.com.

 

Tahiyya

xo

http://www.tahiyyamartin.com

 

 

Establishing a healthy mother-daughter relationship 

Having a daughter is such a joy. You have someone to go shopping with, share popcorn with while bonding over your favorite shows, or even play dress up and have tea parties. It’s just great to have that little girl to do the mother-daughter bonding with. Right?

Absolutely! 
So how do we keep the relationship healthy with our daughters?

How do we keep the relationship with our daughters that is full of love and not with conditions to love?

How do we keep the relationship with our daughters that allows us to still have fun but keep you as the parent.

SET BOUNDARIES!!!

1. Be okay with saying no.  Parent guilt is real. However there are just too many Lifetime movies where the mom’s have difficulities with setting boundaries with their daughters and the storyline goes dark. We may even know some moms that have anxiety and have difficulty with setting boundaries including saying no. I will admit as a mom myself it is hard especially when your daughter turns on the guilt trip or when the defiance steps in. However it is very important to set boundaries and be okay with saying no. It is not the end of the world…trust me.

2. Encourage communication without appearing like a friend. Instead appear like the caring mother that you are. Communication is very important when it comes to a relationship between a mother and daughter. The way we communicate with our daughters can establish a healthy foundation for the relationship. We want to focus on the positive. I like the sandwich concept. If there is something that needs to be discussed that is not so good try to cushion it with two positives. I have women come in all the time that says that they never heard anything positive from their mother. This turns into negative self thoughts or self critical thinking if this is not addressed. This opens up your daughter to some challenges as a grown woman. I asked a teenage girl about her communication with her mother and she stated that although she and her mom speaks regularly and have a good relationship the thing she remembers the most that she can be doubtful which leads her to feel doubtful about her own abilities. So the moral of the story is that people will remember the negatives most if that is all they hear is negative, criticizing, and discouraging words verses constructive criticism that also shines on the postive.

3. Don’t get overly involved in your daughter’s social life…you’re not her peer. Having a daughter can be so much fun especially when you are able to go shopping together and hang out. Hang out as mother and daughter and not friends. Yes know who your daughter’s friends are but you do not become one of her friends. In other words you do not need to hang out at the mall with your daughter and her friends and speak like they do and be up on every girl gossip. This creates some muddy waters and the boundaries begin to disappear quickly when you have to step in parent role. If this is about spending time with your daughter than by all means find something you and your daughter like to do that still provides room for you to be a mother and for her to be a daughter…not equals.

4. You don’t have to be your mother! Many of us had mothers that had their own challenges and as their daughter we may have had to experience the effects of their challenges. This can lead you to take on some of the same characteristics (controlling, lack of boundaries, critical, anxious, perfectionism, etc. ). Often times because this has been the norm you may not be aware of how your actions and words can affect the relationship you have with your daughter and yourself. Therefore it is very important to do some self check and some self reflection to evaluate the relationship you had with your own mother and explore where there were challenges. Assess to see if these same challenges occur with you and your daughter and seek out therapy to make some changes. You don’t have to be your mother. You don’t have to repeat the same cycles that lead you to be anxious, critical, controlling, or over compensating. Instead you can create an environment that is loving, nurturing, motivating, encouraging, fun, and leaves room for your daughter to have autonomy and growth.

The best thing about building a healthy mother daughter relationship is that you get to see your daughter blossom into a wonderful young lady who will look back on her relationship with her mother as a guide for how relationships with other women should be.

Resources

http://www.themother-daughterproject.com/welcome.htm

 

If you and your daughter are struggling to have a healthy relationship I can help. Contact me at tahiyyamartin@gmail.com for therapy or relationship coaching.

Tahiyya xo

New Year Reflections

As I move into the new year I have started to do a lot of self reflection. These self reflections have focused on both my personal and professional life. Well after last night’s group, a Facebook post, today’s periscope message that a client invited me to listen to I have finally made sense of my self reflection.

I want to share with you..

  • I am worthy. I am worthy of all that God is bringing into my life. All that the universe has aligned up to provide me. I am worthy of the love I receive. I am worthy of my practice. I am worthy of my profession. I am worthy despite the trials and tribulations my family goes through or has gone through.
  • I will no longer be inconsistent. I just watched on a periscope about letting loose the spirit of inconsistency. As a mother, wife, therapist, entrepreneur I walk around in busyness which leads to me being very inconsistent but not intentionally. I will walk in consistency and ask my support system to hold me accountable.
  • I will be mindful. As a therapist I had the opportunity to learn about mindfulness and teach it to clients. I practice mindfulness as well to help with my anxiety. As I walk into the new year I will continue to be mindful to stay present and give attention to those that ask for my attention.
  • I will walk in my purpose. Too often we get scared of our gifts and run away. However when there is feeling of worth, consistency, and mindfulness walking in your purpose will come with ease. This year I will walk in my purpose and continue to help couples, families, and women be their best selves!!

I wont’ end with the cliche’ of new year new me however I will end with doing self reflection is a great way to bring about awareness into you life.

Have you done some new year reflections? I would love to hear them. Leave me a response:)

 

Tahiyya xo

 

Five Words

For the next few weeks I am going to write about 5 words that I woke up with this morning and shared with my Facebook Group Victorious Women. These 5 words resonate with me in some way on both the negative side and positive side of my life. I want to share with you these words with hopes that you find them as a prompt to write about the word in your journal.

Freedom 💥

Peace ✌🏾

Creativity 🌈

Love ❤️

Mirror (Reflection) 💠

Each of these words have a place within you. Find that place and write about them. Allow the words to speak to you. Allow yourself to speak to the words.

Follow me in the next five weeks as I write about these words (1 a week) and how they filled me for the week.

#journalPrompts

Tahiyya xo

Who are you


Who are you?
Who are you behind your "best" profile pic that took several tries to get just right?
Who are you behind your family vacation photos where everyone is smiling that "perfect" smile?
Who are you behind your philosophical posts you give everyday?
Who are you behind the awesome victories you post that you definitely deserve?
Who are you behind the phone, the laptop, the keyboard, tablet or iPad?
Who are you?
If you're not who you portray yourself to be or really don't know take the the weekend to unplug and connect to YOU! Your authentic YOU
#unplugged #haveAGreatWeekend #selfReflection #wife #mom #therapist #woman

Tahiyya xo

Looking to do some self discovery to redefine who you are, embrace who you are? Looking to develop the roadmap for your life. Contact Tahiyya at counseling.simplelife@gmail.com

Tahiyya is a wife, mother, therapist, blogger, and human. She loves to help women of all ages with self discovery in her coaching program Life, Love, and Health. Tahiyya also treats anxiety and mood disorders as well as addiction, binge eating, body image issues, maternal mental health, relationship challenges, family challenges, and ADHD in her practice in Matthews, NC. http://www.tahiyyamartin.com

Fried chicken and brownies: Tale of emotional eating 


So it's the weekend and I had Saturday dinner at my mom's. Like all black families when we gather we eat. Yes we eat at funerals. We eat at weddings. We eat at baby showers. We eat at any type of gathering where family and friends get together. Eating has become a source for comfort. Food is comforting.
The foods we eat have become a part of our emotions. You know you that question "what do you feel like eating?". My husband asks this question all the time. Of course I will answer with the food of choice based on how I'm feeling. If I'm feeling sad I want some good 'ol cooking like fried chicken and add the dessert to make everything right…brownies. There have been days where I've needed to calm my anxiety and I'm heading to the local Chinese restaurant for General Tso or Sesame chicken and white rice. Again food choice is based on my emotions. The other night I was mad at my husband and needed a McDonald mango pineapple smoothie. Emotional eating.
Emotional eating is when you're eating to cope with your emotions instead of eating because you're physically hungry. Emotional eating satisfies you and your emotional needs for the moment however the cause for the emotion is still there lingering. It's the same as addiction, self medicating to cope with challenges, emotions, thoughts, and situations.
Recovery from emotional eating does exists. Here's a list of ways to manage the urge to grab that bag of potato chips when you're bored or the gallon of ice cream when you're sad

  1. Use STOP. I spoke about this skill in another post called STOP. The Stop skill is a DBT skill that is used for distress tolerance or when you're in crisis and need to take a step back in order to problem solve and respond without impulse to urges (https://nocouchneeded.com/2017/07/24/stop/).
  2. Give a name to your emotion. Most time when we are emotional eating we are not even aware that is what we're doing. We get so wound up in our emotions that the eating is done unconsciously. Instead when you're feeling mad, sad, glad, happy, etc. put a name to that emotion. Say I feel…! Sit with the emotion. Allow yourself to feel it. Don't escape from it with food.
  3. Talk it out. Instead of running to get that pineapple mango smoothie talk it out. Express what you're feeling and thinking. Then work on resolving the problem with a solution not with food. You can definitely do this with a friend for support.
  4. Go for a walk. When the emotions hit you and food is on your mind redirect your thoughts to walking, running, jogging, or some form of exercise. Exercise is a form of healthy coping to help fight off the urges.
  5. Listen to your body. The body will tell you when it's hungry. So if you're eating and it's not because you're hungry stop and get in tune with your body. Listen to what it's saying and feeling (I'm bored or I'm sad or I'm stressed). That's your que to use a healthy coping skill to manage the urge to eat and do some problem solving.
  6. Lean in to the urge. If the urge to to eat is becoming overwhelming then lean into the urge with an alternative. Try fruits and vegetables instead of that cake and ice cream or that bag of potatoes chips. It's ok. You will beat it next time.
  7. Develop a stress management plan. Stress is the reason why many of us emotional eat. Talk to a professional about developing a stress management plan that will improve the stress in your life thus leading to urges to emotional eat.
  8. Seek professional help. There are therapists out there that can help you address the root of the issue and help you develop healthier coping skills to overcome emotional eating. It's ok to go to therapy. We're here to help and support you. #noshame #noblame #nojudgment

If you or someone you know struggles with emotional eating or food addiction and would like to know how to start recovery contact me today!
http://www.tahiyyamartin.com

Tahiyya xo

Check out

Breaking Free from Emotional Eating
http://a.co/cHCNPzy

He calls me sister: My dad has dementia

abuThis maybe the first time I’ve written about having a father with dementia. My dad was diagnosed with dementia about 14 years ago. For many, many years it was extremely hard to go see him. I hated to see my father in the condition he was in. I could see his eyes searching for answers as he asked questions and we would provide him answers that he was unfamiliar with or caused more confusion. I hated to see how the spunky, I don’t take no shit, fashionable man was now becoming withdrawn and wearing dickies and a t-shirt as if to be retiring; from life. His spirit seems to be leaving his body.

The hardest part came when we had to put him in a facility about five years ago. He was already depressed but now depression grew as he could not remember any visits from family or friends. Those family and friends visit did become less and less so now he really believed he was all alone. I remember visiting him one day and one of his buddies was sitting with him. He said to my dad, “see you do have family. I told you they come to see you”. I learned that day that he was telling residents that he didn’t have family ☹

This weekend my dad had an episode in which he was not himself. I visited him on yesterday to talk about the incident only to know what I already knew; he would not remember.

Caring for an adult parent can be very hard for a caregiver. Often you feel alone and isolated. You feel overwhelmed with decisions, thoughts, emotions, and trying to balance your own life. Sometimes caregiver guilt seeps in as you find yourself putting off going to see the loved one if they are in a facility or spending less time with your parent because it is hard. For me anxiety was my biggest issue because I was trying to balance making sure everyone was happy and that the right decisions were made or that I would show up to meet everyone’s needs as they related to my dad.

My dad calls me his sister. He sees his daughter but he’s “18” so I can’t be his daughter and be older than him (which is funny every time he says it). So he calls me the next best thing…his sister. Learning this I was sad but I saw the symbolic meaning that he knows that I am so one that cares for him and because I’m not his mom the next person would be a sister.

As his sister I want to share FIVE caregiving tips to help you with self care

  1. Start a daily self care routine. This can be something as simple as meditating for 5 minutes daily; taking a walk alone, getting a hobby, or watching a good movie that has nothing to do with your reality. I like cartoons.
  2. Find a support group for caregivers of parents with… (ie Alzheimer, Dementia, Cancer, Aging, etc.). There is nothing like knowing that you are not alone and can surround yourself around other people who are going through what you are going through. I am a strong believer that people heal through connection.
  3. Ask for help!!!! I was (still am) not a person to ask for help. I would rather get a pulsating headache then ask for help. Over the years this affects your own health when you allow your own issues get in the way. It’s okay to ask for help. Asking for help does not say anything except you care enough to get the best for yourself and meet your caregiving needs.
  4. Accept help. If someone asks to help, accept it. I used to say no thank you. I got it. I got it would lead to more than I can handle and then feeling anxious and later depressed. Again, accepting help does not speak about your character except that you are not stubborn and that you are trying your best to meet your own needs and the needs of your parent.
  5. Take a break. When you feel that things are getting out of control for you emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually take a break. There are respite programs out there that will sit with your love one while you take a break. If they are in a residential facility talk to staff. Trust me. They do understand.

Caregiver stress, anxiety and depression is real. It can be managed if you start caring for yourself. Remember how can you take care of others if you are neglecting caring for yourself.

If you or someone you know needs support with managing the caregiver stress, anxiety, and depression please seek care. Here’s a list of resources. I am also a licensed therapist and I do work with families and individuals with Anxiety and Depression and caregiver stress. I will be honored to help. Contact me.

Resources for caregivers

www.alz.org/care

www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com/

www.alzheimers.net

Tahiyya xoxo

STOP

This week I believe everyone’s anxiety has been through the roof. I have really put my DBT training to use and I have been teaching the STOP skill. Not only have I used it with clients, I have actually had to use it for myself. Often we become so quick to react to our feelings and thoughts instead of mindfully responding. STOP is a skill that will help you respond and not react.

So let’s look at exactly what STOP is.

Stop

STOP is a distress tolerance skill that is taught by DBT trained therapists. A distress tolerance skill is a skill that helps an individual that is heading into an emotional crisis and they need help to tolerate the emotional pain. The STOP skill allows one to become mindfully aware of what is going on and to take a different course of action if possible. In other words I like to say it stops you in your track so that you can step outside yourself in order to bring awareness to the situation that is causing distress and bring awareness to yourself.

S= Stop. Freeze in your tracks. Don’t react to the situation just because your emotions is driving you to do so. 

T= Take a step back. It is time to step away from the siutation. Take a break by breathing in through your nose; out through your mouth. Deep calming breaths. Don’t react. 

O= Observe. Take notice of what is going on with you inside and out. What are you feeling? What are your thoughts? What exactly is the situation? What are others doing and saying that are around you. 

P= Proceed mindfully. You should act mindfully; with awareness. Consider your thoughts and feelings when making a decision. You should also take note of the feelings and thoughts of others and the situation before responding. Ask yourself “Which actions will make matters better or worse?”

This skill can be applied to any situation that you believe is distressing such as relationship conflict, urges to self harm or use substances, urges to participate in an addictive behavior, fear provoking situations, anger provoking situations; or any feelings or thoughts that makes you uncomfortable.

As a therapist I help clients put this skill to practice by practicing in session how to use the skill to respond to situations and not react. Reaction is on impulse and usually driven by our thoughts and feelings. Response is with awareness and driven by being mindful and being informed.

If you find yourself struck with an event that is distressing and need to get yourself in check, try the STOP skill. If you find yourself needing some help, hey I am available by phone or teleconference. I provide skills training, coaching, and DBT therapy.  I’m just an email away so schedule today!

 

Tahiyya xo

Resources

DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets by M. Linehan.

http://www.tahiyyamartin.com

 

If you like what you are reading and want more; hey follow the blog. I love helping others by teaching new skills, educating and bringing awareness, and just being me…Tahiyya:)