Mindfulness is a practice individuals and groups can do on a day-to-day basis. It can enable people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences, especially stressful experiences. As a mind-body approach, it can increase one’s ability to manage difficult situations and make wise choices.
A growing body of evidence has found that when people intentionally practice being mindful they feel less stressed, anxious and depressed. Research also shows positive effects on several aspects of whole-person health, including the mind, the brain, the body, and behavior, as well as a person’s relationships with others.
Being daughter to two parents requiring frequent care, wife to a busy, successful surgeon, and mother of two active teenagers doesn’t leave much room for self care. To protect her privacy, I’ll refer to this busy woman as “Anne”. A registered nurse, Anne is considering returning to work part-time. Her days begin early and end late, resulting in a feeling of constant overwhelm.
With so little time to herself, Anne developed a pattern of ending her long, busy days over-indulging in ice cream. With deepening feelings of depression and self-loathing, Anne recognized her midnight cravings were an unhealthy reaction to the many stresses in her life. Anne knew she needed help. Searching online for a disordered eating expert, Anne found my website. Resonating with the wisdom of a mindfulness based approach – my signature work, evident on my website – Anne reached out to me.
THE INTERVENTION: MINDFULNESS PRACTICE FOR SELF-CARE
During our initial phone conversation, Anne felt deeply listened to, inspiring a feeling of encouragement and trust. We began our work together, meeting weekly. Starting with moment-to-moment awareness, a key component of mindfulness, I knew being heard was integral to Anne’s healing. Defining her personal needs and implementing specific mindful strategies helped Anne deal directly with the challenges in her personal life. Adopting an attitude of non-judgmental self-reflection provided deeper insight into the origins of her cravings and disordered eating habits. By identifying priorities in her life that needed to shift, we developed a a strategy that included making time for exercise, mindful meditation, more sleep, connection with friends, and time with her husband. Anne established boundaries around her relationship with her parents by hiring outside help and limiting the amount of time she devoted to their care. Anne’s skills in dealing with her midnight cravings have improved, laying the foundation for her future health and wellness.
As a result of her hard work and determination, Anne has developed a sustainable mindful skill set. Anne is less depressed, laughing and smiling more. She has regained her sense of humor, and a more positive outlook on life. She is maintaining her health by walking and doing yoga. Shifting her priorities, allowing more time for self-care, Anne has hired a driver to taker her teens to appointments and sports.
With more time for self-care, Anne is delighted to have discovered a love of reading, cooking, and gardening. In addition, with her newfound time, Anne is enjoying the pleasure and comfort of her home and family. Working with Anne is a total delight as I watch her regain her sense of self, her ability to dig deep, to recognize her needs and give herself permission to meet those needs. As Anne approaches life in a more mindful manner, she is increasingly prepared to deal daily ups and downs in a healthier, more holistic way.
“I approached Lorrie knowing that I had “work to do”. I was continuing to struggle with sadness, grief and a loss of my adult family members’ health. I knew that I had ” worked on this issue” before, yet my behavior, both with my family and alone was not at rest or at peace. I also was dealing with the stress of child rearing , a busy family life, and night time eating! I could not figure out the WHY of my behavior and after all, I thought there was something wrong with me that I continued to over eat at night. I knew that the foods I was eating were not healthy for me. I had the pattern of over eating followed by dieting. No matter what diet I tried, nothing worked.
Once I met Lorrie, I experienced a feeling of warmth, kindness, and hope. She helped me realize that my feelings can be recognized and honored. Honored? That is a concept that I had not heard before. She helped me realize that in the midst of the feeling of loss and sadness, healing can occur. This brought clarity and calmness to my daily challenges both in my family life, married life and my life as an adult daughter. My overeating, night eating took a back seat and did not dominate my life like it had in the past.
Mindfulness, the popular buzz word that is on many magazine covers. Mindfulness is one of the techniques that Lorrie teaches and uses in her therapy that has been surmountable in my success of healing as well as identifying feelings/ thoughts without judgement. Through mindfulness I have been able to make connections with past emotions and behaviors to my current every day life.
I have experienced joy, happiness, and healing since I have worked with Lorrie. I am more content and at peace with my parents as well as my immediate family. I am grateful and honored to see Lorrie as a therapist. I recommend Lorrie for any issue or challenge in life. She has enhanced my life and I am confident she will do the same for others.”