According to my website analytics, these are the top 21 books ordered by our fellow survivors. Have you read any and if so, which were your favorites? Let me know in the comments. (more…)
“No matter what you’re going through, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it may seem hard to get to it but you can do it and just keep working towards it and you’ll find the positive side of things.” ~Demi Lovato
The Brick Wall in Narcissistic Abuse and Toxic Relationships
If you ask me, being in a relationship with a narcissist feels a lot like running your head into the same brick wall, over and over. And despite the fact that it gets bloody and beaten, you don’t stop. You just keep running your head into the wall, hoping to get through it (and make it happy) – and while you logically realize, eventually, that there’s no breaking that wall down, and that the wall is not capable of change, something in you makes you keep hitting the wall, bloodying your head and hoping for different results.
When you look at it that way, it seems literally insane, right? After all, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things but to expect different results. But in the case of a narcissist, it’s not as simple as a brick wall. It’s a convoluted mess! If you want to learn more about narcissistic abuse, you can do so here – check out these articles or this resource page. Or, start your narcissistic abuse recovery right now.
For now, let’s talk about recovery from narcissistic abuse.
How do you find hope when you’re dealing with narcissistic abuse?
So let’s talk about the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m about to wax philosophical on your ass, so get ready. If you’ve ever been in a relationship with a narcissist, you can probably agree that eventually, you stop living for yourself and start living to avoid the next blow-up, drama, or manipulation.
Narcissistic abuse makes you forget who you are.
When you’re dealing with gaslighting and the other ways a narcissist will abuse you, you’re almost always just “existing,” and while you might not admit this to many people, you sort of forget who you really are.
So many people have come to me as they were beginning the process of recovering from an abusive narcissist asking me how I was able to redefine and rediscover myself after escaping my own narcissistic abuse situation. And this is what I tell them.
Life with a narcissist is life in the dark.
Living with a narcissist means living without real passion – not the kind that drives you to do great things, anyway.
As I see it, living without that kind of passion is sort of like living in the dark. Food doesn’t taste as good, the air doesn’t smell as nice, the colors don’t seem as bright.
Without passion in our lives, it’s as though there’s a barrier between our senses and the world around us, one which doesn’t allow us to fully experience our lives.
This barrier could present itself in the way of depression, anger, fear, or any number of debilitating emotions. Or maybe there’s a certain situation in our lives of which we’ve lost control. Maybe it’s simply that we’re bored, and that we’ve begun to take our blessings for granted.
This can lead to a very toxic state for our souls and even our bodies. But we can change our minds, and this can change our lives. Start now by trying this Bliss Mission.
Bliss Mission: Discover What Inspires You
Begin with figuring out what inspires you. Then, find a way to make it happen. This can help you to start living with passion, and living with passion is one of the first steps to becoming whole, to becoming truly happy.
Whatever your passion or inspiration, take some small step toward it today, and let the rest flow. If you’re not sure where to start, consider taking a walk to clear your head, or writing in a journal to work it out. You could draw or paint a picture, or cook your favorite meal. Take a bath or do a little yoga. Whatever works for you.
Tell yourself that today is the day that you begin living with passion and purpose. And then, my friends, do it. Your life will be richer and your heart will be happier.
Feel good! You ready? Let’s do this.
Resources to Help with Gaslighting in Narcissistic Abuse
If you feel you need additional help and support in your narcissistic abuse recovery, look for a trauma-informed professional who is trained in helping people who are dealing with overcoming narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships. Depending on your particular situation, you might benefit from Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching, or you might do better with a therapist. You have to decide what to do from here – if you’re not sure, start with my free Narcissistic Abuse Recovery quiz. With your results will come recommended resources for your situation. It’s totally free.
More Help for Dealing with Gaslighting in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
- Think you’re dealing with gaslighting in narcissistic abuse? Take this self-assessment and find out.
- What is Gaslighting? A Comprehensive Definition
- Can Gaslighting Be Unintentional?
- Things Narcissists Say When Gaslighting
- Support Yourself in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
- Dissociation in Narcissistic Abuse
- Narcissistic Abuse Recovery FAQ Pages
- Free Support Groups
Do you suppose that my gratitude has anything to do with my state of well-being? (more…)
Have you ever found yourself unfocused, distracted…essentially spinning your wheels at work?
Even if you are passionate about your chosen career path, are there days during which you accomplish next to nothing?
You know the kind I mean–you start the day with high expectations and a solid plan to accomplish your goals, but come day’s end, you’ve got very little to show for your efforts. And worse, you feel like you’ve been working hard all day.
Many of us experience these days (or weeks.) Here’s the thing: even if you absolutely love what you do for a living, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed at work.
And, especially if you’re passionate about your work, you may not even realize it’s happening until you’re deep in the throes of the apathy and “brain fog” that comes along with workplace stress.
Left unchecked, workplace stress can have significant effects on your health, both mental and physical. And, when you don’t feel good, your perception on life can become corroded with that negative energy–effectively drawing more negativity into your life.
Is workplace stress a problem for you? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you consistently anxious, irritable or depressed?
- Have you experienced a loss of interest in your work?
- Are you having problems with sleeping? Fatigue?
- Do you have trouble concentrating?
- Do you have physical symptoms like muscle tension, headaches or stomach problems?
- Do you find yourself withdrawing socially from friends and family?
- Have you experienced a lower sex drive than usual?
- Are you using alcohol or drugs to cope?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to make some proactive changes to promote positivity in your workplace and in your life. Doing so can reduce stress levels and ultimately eliminate many of these issues.
So what can you do?
Take Care of Your Body
An imbalanced diet can significantly contribute to “burn out.” And, ironically, in an effort to make their lives easier, busy people tend to make the unhealthiest choices. Many “convenience” foods are laden with fat, sodium and sugar, the effects of which will only make you feel more stressed. Eat healthy, whole foods as often as possible. Reduce or eliminate intake of alcohol and nicotine. Get at least a half hour of exercise, most days of the week, and get enough sleep. It won’t kill you to pull an all-nighter on occasion, but in general, keep to a regular sleep schedule.
Take Care of Your Soul
When you love your work, it’s easy to over-commit and over-schedule yourself. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed, and eventually to apathy and loss of interest. Be sure to schedule down-time, especially if you’re a perfectionist who can’t stop until the job’s done. Sometimes, you just have to step back and regenerate. Otherwise, you may end up getting nothing done.
Clean Your House
Sometimes, taking a couple of hours to do a little deep cleaning at your house can help you to release your stress. If you’ve got an office or cubicle at work, clean that too (or have it cleaned.) Many people believe that the condition of your home represents the condition of your mind. So, if it’s dusty and cluttered, you might be feeling a little blocked yourself. Do yourself a favor and spend a little time cleaning up around the house, and you may just find that your focus snaps back into place. You’d be surprised at how therapeutic a little cleaning can be.
Priorities and Planning
Sometimes, feeling overwhelmed is just the result of not having a plan. Especially when we love our work, many of us take on too many projects and before we know it–we’re spinning our wheels, getting nothing done. The best way to create a daily plan is to have a basic daily routine, but one that’s flexible enough to allow you to focus on the most pressing issues of the day.
So, for example, let’s say you’re a customer service rep who lives in a cubicle 40 hours a week. You arrive at work to find three voice mails–one from an angry client, one from someone who needs information (a potential client) and one from your boss inviting you to lunch to discuss what you suspect is a promotion. And, on top of that, you’ve got two co-workers waiting to ask you questions about their own customers.
When you develop a basic schedule, you can prioritize these types of things in advance–so, in the case of our customer service rep, she might have a morning routine like this:
1. Deal with any co-workers waiting for me.
2. Return phone calls in order of urgency.
3. Check email.
4. Start taking calls from customers.
The point is that whatever your job, simply putting an outline of your day together can help you to reduce your stress levels at work by helping you to prioritize your tasks. Of course, there will be times when an urgent situation throws all of it out the window–and this is where you need to allow for flexibility.
Change Your Mind
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–it’s all in your head. Life is what you make it. So, if you’re feeling stressed at work, change your mind–change your perception of the situation. Instead of feeling angry and frustrated that you have to deal with so much, feel grateful that you have a job (and that you love what you do–if that’s the case.) It’s easy to forget why we chose our career paths when we feel overwhelmed by our day-to-day lives.
Don’t hate your job. Love it, even if it’s not ideal. Be grateful for it, and do it to the best of your ability. If the job you’re currently in isn’t right for you, start imagining yourself in one that is. Feel what it feels like, and then focus on having it. Always focus on the positives and the things for which you are grateful–and you’ll attract more of it into your life. Spend time hating your job and wishing away your time–and you can be sure to expect more things to hate in your life. Remember that like attracts like–so feel positive and happy and more good things and situations will be attracted into your life.
What do you think? Have you experienced workplace stress? How did you handle it?
Besides reducing your ability to perform and increasing your risk of making mistakes (sometimes fatal ones), sleep deprivation has been blamed for issues including things such as memory loss and cognitive impairment, depression, relationship stress, various kinds of injuries and generally lower quality of life.
And not only can a lack of sleep affect you mentally and personally, but it can affect you physically too. For example, sleep deprivation has been known to cause physical ailments and symptoms such as high blood pressure and other cardiovascular symptoms, stroke, obesity and more.
While we all know that getting enough sleep is an important component of our mental and physical health, sometimes it’s easier said than done. Everything feels harder when you’re sluggish and tired.
Obviously, the most important thing you can do for yourself in this situation is to just simply get more sleep. But I’m not here to preach at you. You know what you need to do to stay healthy.
What I am here to do is to help you get through today, this moment, right now.
So, in that spirit, I offer the following five ways to boost your energy fast so that you can get done what you need to get done. And after you do, I hope you’ll go take a nap.
Eat Something Good
Eat energy-boosting foods. Skip the candy bars and sweets. As it turns out, Snickers doesn’t really satisfy you. In fact, according to Christine Gerbstadt, MD, MPH, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, you should eat a healthy snack that has both protein and complex carbs in it.
Gerbstadt says that snacks like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole-grain bread or whole wheat crackers and low-fat cheese are ideal energy-boosters.
“That combination of protein and a complex carbohydrate (digested more slowly than simple carbs) increases your blood glucose in a sustained way,” she says. “It boosts energy longer than if you eat gumdrops, for instance.”
Give Yourself a Little Pressure
And I don’t mean that you should beat yourself up. Next time you’re pooped and pushing through the day on autopilot, try a little self-massage.
“Massage stimulates your nerve endings, which increases blood flow and gets your circulation pumping,” says Maureen Moon, past president of the American Massage Therapy Association in an interview with Parents Magazine.
Moon recommends the following quick pick-me-up massages.
- “Using your fingertips, rub your scalp or temples in a gentle, circular motion for two minutes.”
- “Vigorously rub each earlobe between your thumb and forefinger for one minute.”
- “Place your forefingers behind your ears (where the base of your skull meets the top of your neck), press for ten seconds, release, and repeat.”
Get a Move On
It may sound counter-intuitive, but try getting up and moving your body. You don’t have to go into full-blown workout mode, but try doing five to ten minutes’ worth of exercise. This can be anything from a walk or jog around the block to doing a couple of laps in the pool to dancing around your living room to a good beat. Just move.
“A lot of times when people are fatigued, the last thing they want to do is exercise,” says researcher Patrick O’Connor, PhD, in a news release. “But if you’re physically inactive and fatigued, being just a bit more active will help.”
Drink Some Water
One reason many people feel tired is that they’re actually dehydrated. Studies show that most people don’t drink enough water throughout the day. Next time you’re tired, try drinking a glass of water, and try to stay hydrated throughout the day to maintain your energy levels.
“It’s generally not a good idea to use thirst alone as a guide for when to drink,” says a Mayo clinic expert. “By the time you become thirsty, you may already be slightly dehydrated.”
Citrus is Your Friend
Vitamin C is known to help increase both energy and nutrient absorption–and the scent of citrus is proven to increase alertness and energy levels. So eating citrus fruit such as oranges, clementines (my favorite!) or grapefruit can significantly improve your energy levels in a hurry.
“Study after study shows the correlation between citric acid deficiency and chronic fatigue,” says Zen Habits blogger Leo Babauta.
A tip from me to you: have a piece of cheese or lean turkey with your orange to help balance the natural sugar.