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“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future; it comes from wanting to control it” – unknown


I started this entry off with that particular quote because it resonates with me on so many levels. I will be the first one to tell you that we have zero control over what happens in our life. We can do the things we want to do, plan the things we want to plan and work towards the thing we want to work towards, but when it’s all said and done, if something is going to occur in your life, you can’t stop it.


I hope you can understand that what I am talking about are the things that we really can’t control like mother nature, illnesses, death, heartache, and so on. I am sure some would argue that we can manage all those things in some ways, but most would agree that some things happen and there isn’t anything we can do about it.


I woke up last night at 2 am. I was panicked, confused, and worried sick. If you ask me what I was worried about, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Of course, I justified my feelings by creating a whole bunch of undesirable circumstances in my head that could potentially happen in the next 24hrs. I justified those thoughts because I have experienced worst-case scenarios on more than one occasion, so why wouldn’t that be the case now?


The night before Nick died, I had the worst anxiety. I had no idea it was anxiety at the time, but I now know that it was. I will never understand why my body reacted that way even before anything had happened, am I psychic or just a highly intuned human? I don’t know? The reality is it happened, and that is an experience that I now carry with me, and it’s not always easy.


You see, when I feel anxious now, it is so difficult for me to tell myself that nothing bad is going to happen. How can I tell myself that when it has happened and it happened while at the same time experiencing that anxiety.


If you are someone who suffers from anxiety, you know just how bad it is. It’s not always as simple as telling yourself your thoughts are irrational, but there are a few things that have helped me.


Keep in mind, I am not a doctor and can not prescribe you with any professional techniques. I can only share what has worked for me.

  1. Breathe – The moment I realize I am experiencing anxiety or like last night having a full-blown anxiety attack, I tell myself to breathe. It seems simple, but if you’ve experienced anxiety, you know that sometimes you will literally forget to breathe, or your breathing will be extremely shallow.


    If I don’t take time to be aware of my breathing, my anxiety will last a lot longer. Deep intentional breaths are so important and might be the only thing you need to do to feel better. Everyone is different but breathing is pretty universal.


  2. Welcome the anxiety without judgement – I immediately try to recognize that I am anxious and welcome it without judgment. I realize not everyone can do this, and not everyone can recognize what’s happening right away, but one thing I have always felt grateful for is my insight. I attribute this to constant learning, reading all the time about all of the things, and exposing myself to some brilliant people.

    Anytime I have ever experienced anything undesirable, I have taken the time to learn as much about it as I possibly can, and this is one of those areas.


    If you can first gain awareness of the anxiety, it will help you to focus on what you need to do next to alleviate it.


  3. I tell myself it’s okay – Once I’ve become aware of my anxiety, I tell myself, “it’s okay.” This may seem silly, but there is a lot of shame, embarrassment and panic that can accompany anxiety, and I have experienced all of those things. I remind myself that there are reasons I experience this anxiety, and it’s not my fault. I remind myself what my therapist always used to say and that was, “be gentle on yourself.”


  4. I question my thoughts. – This is important. If you suffer from anxiety, you know damn well how “crazy” some of your thoughts can be. I say the word crazy with pure love and no judgement because I get it, and I have had my share of those crazy thoughts.

    Luckily my partner is open to hearing about some of them and allows me to work through them without judgment. Just because you are thinking about something that could possibly happen, does not mean it’s rational. I had to learn this because I would always tell myself this, “but last time it did happen”.


  5. Do something – This can be as simple as going for a walk around your kitchen or counting items in the room that are the same color.

    This morning when I got up, I was still feeling anxious, so when I dropped my son off at day home, I went for a drive. As much as I wanted to ruminate and analyze what I was worried about, I knew I couldn’t, and I had to step away for a bit.


  6. Acceptance and Focus – One of the things that has helped me significantly is accepting that I don’t get to have control, and all I can do right now is focus on what is occurring right now.


    I do this often and not only when the anxiety is present, as it eventually became a belief that I carry and not just something I was trying to tell myself in the moment.


    Affirmations are great but if you never believe them they can be more damaging than good.


    This is a hard one, but it helps. Because of my history, I am able to rationalize my “irrational” thoughts because the worst-case scenario has happened, and it was when I was feeling anxious.


    I had to learn to tell myself that yes, it might happen, and no amount of anxiety or worry can prevent it from happening.


    I had to learn to accept that my life will play out in a way that it’s meant to play out, and as much as I try to control it, I will never have that ability.


    I am not the almighty controller of this Universe, and I never will be.


    Many times I am guilty of what Brené Brown calls foreboding joy, and even though I completely understand why I am doing it, I also know why I have to take a moment to remember what I am losing if I continue.


    There have been so many times in my life where things were perfect, and I was so happy only to have it crushed by circumstance. It would be so easy to get stuck in that history and believe that my future will be the same.


    It might, but it might not.


    I have to think that so that I can enjoy my life in the NOW. I have to believe that so I can focus on what I CAN control and not get fixated on what I CAN’T.


    I have to remind myself that even if worst case scenario does occur; I WILL be okay and so will you.


It’s hard to say where my anxiety comes from exactly, but accumulated stress is said to be a contributor, and lord knows I have had my share over the years. One thing is for sure, though, it has been a learning curve and something that isn’t always easy to deal with.


Some of the ways I have learned to deal with my anxiety work for me and they work for other people as well, but if you try some of these and you get nowhere, please know that there is no shame in medication, just promise me you see someone you trust and don’t just blindly start medicating.


I have asked Scott on more than one occasion if he thinks I should go on anti-anxiety medication, and I have asked him because I have seriously contemplated it myself. The reason I haven’t yet is because the majority of the time, I function perfectly fine, and my strategies to cope work for me right now.


If you are struggling to function and that significantly impacts your life, it’s okay to seek help, and you are not alone.


For me, February is a tough month, and I have no doubt that it is contributing to my sleepless nights and panic. We all have our triggers, and once you are able to recognize them, I strongly encourage seeking out someone you trust who will be with you in those moments when you are triggered or anxious – without judgment.


Talk soon,


Meg


Meg Roberts is an experienced life coach in Calgary offering grief support and life coaching. As a Grief Recovery Method specialist and as someone who has overcome her share of grief, Meg is an empathetic coach with a unique perspective on love and life. Book a Free Consultation with Meg to get started on the road to healing and recovery.

Are you checking in with yourself?

Megan Roberts | Calgary Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Life Coach

We often assess how our relationships with others are doing or our relationships with work, food, or exercise. We rarely ask ourselves about our relationship with ourselves or our personal desires. 

This practice is so important for our mental health and it must be done regularly. We often give so much of ourselves to our partners, our jobs, and our families that we tend to forget to turn inward and make sure the person who is doing all the giving isn’t just running on fumes. 

I, for one, ask myself these questions below often, and I usually ask my partner as well, so we are both on the same page as to what’s going on. Some of the questions I like to ask myself, and him include:

  1. How are you feeling? – I don’t just ask this as a rhetorical question. I genuinely want to discover the real answer. A memory that comes to my mind often when I think about the question, “How are you” occurred back when my Aunt passed away in 2012.

    She had been battling cancer for about a year, and my family and I were in and out of the hospital regularly, just praying she would get better. Our family is very close, and losing any member of it, especially so young, was something none of us could have prepared for.

    Despite our hopes and prayers and what we thought was a remission, we lost her. I remember going into work shortly after, and as I was walking past a colleague, she asked me, “How are you?” I responded with the usual, “I am fine” and continued on my way. She asked me to follow her into the bathroom as she had something she wanted to ask me about.

    Once we were in the bathroom, she said, “so how are you really?”. I broke down instantly. I had been holding it in every time I went to work, and most people were quite satisfied with the response, “I am fine,” but this lady was not, and for that, I was so grateful. I have shared that story often because those types of interactions don’t happen often. Not with other people and certainly not within ourselves.

    Please take the time regularly to ask yourself how you are doing and allow yourself to hear the real answer. 

    To that colleague, if you are reading this, and you remember that interaction, it made a massive impact on my life and reminded me not to ask people empty questions. If you ask the question, prepare to open your heart up for the answer. 

  2. What do you need more of? – When you are going through your day, try to notice the things that make you feel relaxed, even if it’s as simple as a quiet cup of coffee or a good book. These moments of pure bliss will be different for everyone, but try to pinpoint what it is for that makes your day feel content. Our lives get so busy, and we often forget about the process of recharging. Intentionally allocating time to do the things that fuel our soul will make a significant difference in not only how we feel but how we show up. 

  3. What do you need less of? – While you are in the process of figuring out what you need more of, I strongly encourage you to think about what you might need less of. This one might take some serious interpersonal work, and it may require you to step out of denial in some cases. There are things in life like social media, unhealthy foods, alcohol, smoking, drugs, toxic people, Netflix, etc. etc. that just aren’t helping you. 

    This one is tough because often the things we love the most are those things that are the absolute worst for us. We come up with the best excuses for why we think we should keep these things in our lives. Well, I only drink once and a while, when really it’s pretty much every day and sometimes way too much. Or, I can’t completely cut that person off because they are in my family when really, cutting that person out of your life would make the most significant impact on your wellbeing. 

    The excuses can be never-ending, and I am not saying you have to give up on things entirely. If these things are causing a rift in your productivity or day to day functioning, though, you need to consider limiting their existence in your life. This isn’t always easy but maybe if you practice what it feels like without said thing, even just for a week, I am pretty sure you will see how refreshing it is and it just might make it a bit easier to say goodbye. 

    Obviously, those with severe addictions or who are in a relationship that would be dangerous to step away from, I recommend seeking help and not trying to eliminate these things on your own. Still, even in those cases, it is possible. Not easy. Likely very difficult, BUT POSSIBLE. 

  4. Are you on track? – Have you set some goals recently or have deadlines that are slowly creeping up? Are you getting the things done that need to be done? What about that new exercise program? Sometimes we need to check in with ourselves to see if we are on track. If we determine the answer is a firm NO, what is it that has led us off track?

    Is it one thing our a pile of things that just kept accumulating? Once you determine what it is that has created obstacles for you, you can begin to formulate a plan. We all fall off track sometimes, and you need to be gentle on yourself when this happens, but always try to get back on. The longer you spend off track, the harder it will be to gain momentum again.

    We all know this, and yet it can still be so difficult. 

  5. What is the most logical next step? If you have fallen off track or you are stuck, it is essential to figure out what the next logical step is.

    For example, if you own a business or you are in the middle of building one, what is the next thing you need to do to move it forward or to ensure it continues to operate. If you aren’t asking yourself these questions regularly, you or your business can become stagnant. Make a list of what’s next and finally; 

  6. What is one thing you can do today to feel better or to move forward? – Once you have gone through questions one through five, ask yourself this, what is one thing you can do today to feel better or to move forward?

You would be surprised how powerful one fifteen-minute walk outside can be for someone who is drowning. These next steps don’t have to be huge; they just need to be intentional. If you have big dreams or even smaller dreams, tiny steps each day WILL make a difference. If you practice this consistently, YOU WILL see results.

The results may not always be what you want, but a negative result can lead to clarity, and clarity will keep you moving forward.

Negative results that lead you somewhere are better than no results that lead you NOWHERE. 

If you check in with yourself and determine you are, in fact, right on track, content, and going through your days with intention, celebrate. Celebrate those wins and give yourself a massive pat on the back. 

We are so quick to judge ourselves when we fall apart, but we don’t spend nearly enough time recognizing the wins, even the small ones. Life can be so hard sometimes, and we’ve all experienced that, so when you are in a season of your life where things are going great, and you wouldn’t change a thing, embrace it. 

Talk soon, 

Meg

Meg Roberts is an experienced life coach in Calgary offering grief support and life coaching. As a Grief Recovery Method specialist and as someone who has overcome her share of grief over time, Meg is an empathetic coach with a unique perspective on love and life. Book a discovery meeting with Meg to get started on the road to healing and recovery.”

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5 Ways to Reboot Your Life in 2020

Meg Roberts | Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Life Coach

We tend to do the same things over and over and can’t seem to figure out why nothing ever changes. Albert Einstein said it best when defining insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. 

If we often fly by the seat of our pants, just going through the motions, it is tough to allocate time and energy to anything other than the day to day hustle. Also, when we are continually consuming trash on social media or exposing ourselves to negative people, it can be challenging to find inspiration or motivation to work on the things that are important to us. 

What is important is going to look different for everyone. Not everyone is trying to run a business or get a promotion, but almost everyone has at least one thing they would like to have a little bit more of in life, and that requires some consistent changes to be successful. 

Here are five things that I have consciously placed more effort on in my life that has made it significantly easier and more enjoyable. These changes don’t always happen overnight, but when you are aware of them, you can implement them one day at a time. 

1. Have a plan – even though I am someone who hates planning due to learning the hard way that things can drastically change, I still understand the importance of living intentionally and having a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. 

If you are someone who has a goal to accomplish something by a specific date, YOU MUST HAVE A PLAN. Time flies so fast, and our lives are so busy. Before you know it, that predetermined date creeps upon you, and you have done nothing towards your goals. I know this because it’s happened to me on more than one occasion. 

Once I began formulating plans with precise deadlines and action steps, I started seeing success far quicker. Even just one small step every day will help you see results. 

Create the plan and then review it weekly for reminders and to make adjustments when needed. Remember, this can include basic day to day tasks like laundry, cleaning and grocery shopping. The more you have planned the smoother your week will go.

2. Get rid of the toxic stuff in your life (that you can) – When I went back to work after taking bereavement leave, I could not believe the amount of negativity. I mean, it was there before but I had such a different perspective coming back. The negativity seemed like such a waste of precious time and energy.

I was able to remove myself from this, but I understand sometimes you can’t. For those who aren’t in a position to get away from it, at least take a moment to be aware, notice, and intentionally form boundaries to keep yourself from going down that rabbit hole of toxicity. 

Things can become so cynical, and it can be so easy to fall into the trap of “everything sucks” and “no one can do anything right”. Trust me, I worked in one of the most toxic lines of work you could imagine, and it is damn near impossible to stay away from it, but it can be done. If not physically then mentally. 

You have to take control of what you are going to give energy to. This is on you and no one else. If there is absolutely no way to avoid it, YOU MUST make time to clear your mind from it. This time can include things like going for walk, listening to music, journalling or meditating. Whatever you do to relax and recharge, do it after these toxic encounters.

3. Have a routine with non-negotiable items – Sometimes I cringe at the idea of having a routine because anyone with kids knows this is not always possible. Life in general is always changing, but when you have kids, the element of surprise is taken to a whole new level. 

Try to give yourself 3-5 things that you do daily that are non negotiable. Like getting up on time, always getting dressed for success, having breakfast etc. These don’t have to be big things and can be adjusted whenever necessary, but having some kind of morning routine can prevent you from flying by the seat of your pants every single day.

If you are like me, your morning sets the tone for your day. 

4. Self Care – I know this one can seem so cliché, but it is crucial if you want to do more than go through the motions of life. I have always been pretty good at doing the things I love as often as I can, but since having kids, this has become a lot more difficult. 

When going through my grief journey, I found things that helped me stay grounded and inspired, and I began to make these things a daily activity, which in my opinion, made a significant impact on my recovery. 

Once I had kids to take care of, this changed drastically for me. I no longer had the luxury to do as I please whenever I wanted. I had to prioritize, and unfortunately, the things that were keeping my mental health in check were the same things that were not making the priority list. 

I have since changed my way of thinking in terms of what is important. Yes, the kids are right up there on the top of the list, but if I can’t function because of uninvited grief triggers or massive anxiety, I am no good to anyone. I had to make my mental health and personal care a priority so that I could show up better for everyone. 

This is not selfish; it’s the complete opposite. 

5. Try to live in the moment as much as you can – I relive the week leading up to my fiancé Nick’s death over and over and over, and the one thing I am so thankful for is that for some reason I lived in the moment more in that week than I ever had in my life. I do believe the Universe had my back that week and knew that I needed to “just be” so that when I lost Nick, I wouldn’t have regrets. 

Work had been busy, and I had so much on my mind. All these things that were out of my control could have easily taken away from our last moments together. The very last night we spent together I was so frustrated over a situation at work and a personal matter that I couldn’t control that Nick took my phone away from me and refused to let me have it until we got home. We were on a date at the Brad Paisley concert, and he said these words, “Babe, no work talk tonight, just us.” 

That was our last night together. 

As I write this, tears come to my eyes. I know that I am still guilty of forgetting what is important, and ever so often, I forget how quickly our lives can change and that those we love can be gone forever. 

I know life can be chaotic, stressful, and frustrating at times, and I know it can be so hard to let those things go, but I want to encourage you to take a few minutes to LET IT ALL OUT and then LET IT GO. 

Unless you can do something to change the situation in the current moment you are in, then let it go for right now. You will always be able to go back to it if there is something you can do to change it, but if there’s not, LET IT GO. 

While you’re at it, put down your phone. I have made a considerable effort to look at my phone far less. I have boundaries that I stick to, and when I catch myself mindlessly scrolling, I put my phone so far away so that I no longer have the temptation. I have noticed my phone spends a lot more time dead because I don’t have a desire to charge it, and I am far less annoyed with the constant trash and negativity that overwhelms the online world. 

I use social media and other internet programs for my business, so I can’t get rid of it entirely. Still, since setting solid boundaries for myself, I feel I have more control over my life than I have in a very long time. 

I am not an expert at any of these things, but I can confidently say that since being more aware of them, my life has become better. The stress hasn’t disappeared, we are still busy, and I still experience toxicity that I can’t get away from. However, since making the five things listed above a priority in my life, it has helped me manage my life more happily and healthily. 

If you want to implement these in your life, I will encourage you to journal at the same time. You will see the way your mindset and mood shifts, and you will see how your productivity increases in a surprisingly short period of time. 

Good luck and talk soon!

Meg 

What is the Grief Recovery Method?

Calgary Grief Recovery Specialist and Life Coach

If you have never heard of the Grief Recovery Method®, please take a moment to read an excerpt from the day one session description. This program is offered in both group and one on one format and will benefit anyone who may be suffering with loss. Below you will read several examples of loss that you may be experiencing but according to the Grief Recovery Institute, there are over 40 losses that may occur in someone’s life that results in grief. 

Grief Recovery Method® – The Grief Recovery Institute 

Intro to The Grief Recovery Method: 

If you are participating in this program, there is a high probability that your heart is broken.

It may have been caused by a death, either recent or long ago.

It may have been caused by a divorce or the breakup of a romantic relationship.

It may have been caused by any of the more than forty other losses that a person can encounter during a lifetime.

It could be caused by an awareness that your life is not as happy or fulfilling as you want it to be.

Regardless of the cause of your broken heart, you know how you feel, and it probably isn’t good.

We are not going to tell you how you feel. You already know. And, we will not tell you, “We know how you feel,” because we don’t. Neither does anyone else. At best, we remember how we felt when our losses occurred.

Whether grief is caused by a death or another loss, incomplete relationships can have a lifelong negative impact on your capacity for happiness. Recovery from loss is achieved by a series of small and correct choices made by the griever. It is my job, along with The Grief Recovery Handbook, to explain those action choices to you, and guide you in taking them.

If the resources available to you have not helped with your grief, it’s not because of what’s wrong with you. It’s because of a lack of correct information. If you choose to participate in this program it’s because of what’s right with you, not what’s wrong.

The goal of The Grief Recovery Method® is to help you complete your relationship to the pain, isolation, and loneliness caused by significant emotional loss. While death and divorce may seem to be the most obvious losses, these sessions are not limited to those losses. There are more than 40 life events that can produce feelings of grief.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the Grief Recovery Method please contact me at the link below. 

If you or anyone you know may benefit from this type of program, please contact me either through my website www.megroberts.ca or the link below. 

“It is never too soon to start to heal your heart” – John James | Grief Recovery Institute 

https://www.griefrecoverymethod.com/grms/megan-roberts