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Category Archives: health & wellness

Two Tips for Chronic Worriers

The thing that frightened my husband most during my potentially fatal pregnancy complication was the fact that I was not worrying about what was going on.

So…my name is Tracy, and I am a worrier.

two tips for chronic worriers

I tend to hide that fact as much as I can (another problem in itself) which means that it explodes in my head at strange times. I can tell you from personal experience that trying to pretend you’re not worried doesn’t work very well. So I was excited to find these two tips to deal with worries in A Woman’s Guide to Sleep: Guaranteed Solutions for a Good Night’s Rest by Joyce A. Walsleben, Ph.D., and Rita Baron-Faust.

1. Create a worry book

Use a simple notebook, or a section of your regular journal if the idea of having yet another notebook to write in causes you more worry. On the left hand side of the page, write down all the things that worry you. On the right hand side, list some forward motion on each of those items.

It may take some time to find an action to go with a particular worry…so don’t add that worry to your list! :) The idea is to both capture those concerns rolling around in your head and to brainstorm some possible solutions or actions to take to resolve them.

2. Worry productively

Choose a time and place where you can be alone, and in this time give yourself permission to worry. Worry freely, worry hard, worry widely. Write it all down in your worry book. Get it all out of your head.

Then, if you find yourself falling into Worryville at some other time of the day, tell yourself that you’ve already done your worrying for the day. The authors suggest telling yourself this: “I am not going there, I have done my worrying today, I’ll do it tomorrow. I have forgotten nothing, tomorrow I will go back where I left it and I’ll be fine. I should not be worrying now, and I wont.”

Wayne Dyer The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized. I love these two tips for two reasons:

1. Like Wayne Dyer says, “the activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.” (Don’t I know it!) By creating a space to note forward actions on each worry, you counteract that immobilization. Not to mention that space tells your mind there IS something you can do, no matter how small. That’s a much more powerful place to live from!

2. It gives you some perspective about how much you’re actually worrying. In the midst of a rough time, it can feel like all you do is worry. By worrying productively, you may be better able to tell if there are simply a lot of things happening, or if your worries might be a symptom of an anxiety disorder.

Are you a worrier? What helps you cope? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

Tracy at women making changes


One Response to Two Tips for Chronic Worriers

  1. Karen says:

    I used to think that I was not a worrier, but I’ve come to realize that I was just living a much simpler life. It was easy to roll with the flow of things. As our lives have become more complicated, though, I realize that I am a worrier. Or what people would call a worrier. To me, I just like to think about any and all eventualities in a situation, so that when I am confronted with the situation, I’ve already thought it out and know how to react. I suppose it sounds like worrying, with all of the “what if’s” involved. My daughter tells me that I’m a control freak and that is part of the “illusion” of control, all of the “what if’s.” It used to work for me, but I am not sure it has been beneficial the last couple of years. I do like your idea of creating a worry book. That might be helpful! Right now I’m back on the Relora (natural supplement) to help ease the anxiety that seems pervasive in my life these last couple of years.

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meditation is for the birds

Our discussion about our fledgling meditation practices went like this: Kel said, “I made it for about 4 minutes today!” I replied, “Does sitting really still and thinking count? Because if it does, then I meditated for almost an hour. Otherwise…” When your best friend and partner in crime blogging is a wildlife biologist, youContinue Reading

2 Responses to meditation is for the birds

  1. Carol says:

    I’ve worked at mediation for several years now – and your wild bird image is a good one! I’m still waiting for it to get easy.
    I use a variety of tools to help me including guided mediation audios and one which just rings bells at intervals which allows me to let go of the time issue.

    One practice that works especially on busy days is to count deep breaths. Just breathe consciously and count them, aiming to get to 100. Easy and portable and sometimes the counting overrides the million other thoughts.

    • Tracy Richardson says:

      I don’t know how I missed this!

      The bells at intervals is a nice idea. I just realized I could use my phone with a different tone for the timer function. (No need to startle myself!) I’m putting the counting practice into my bag of tricks too. That’s a good, simple one.

      I’m working with an acceptance practice–heard it from Martha Beck. It’s new to me, so I can’t report too much yet.

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7 Tips For Making Your Practice Successful, Not Stressful

In the last 3 years, I have made some remarkable changes in my life. I’ve added something I really love which is painting, and I’ve let go of more than 700 items in my home.  There is more to do in both of these areas but I have no doubt that I will continue toContinue Reading

One Response to 7 Tips For Making Your Practice Successful, Not Stressful

  1. Karen says:

    It takes me forever to make anything become a “practice” – thirty days is a crock! LOL

    I was determined in April to make taking my morning vitamins a practice (there were certain supplements I really, really needed for my low seratonin levels). My husband has done so for years, decades, really. I dole them out every morning and he takes them. I rarely took mine, though. I have learned that I have to take them with food and if I don’t take them at breakfast, I won’t take them at all that day. So far, so good. I would say that, since April, I have probably missed ten days of taking them, Like you, Kel, if I skip a day, suddenly I will have skipped a week and never thought a thing about it.

    I’ve a long way to go, though, before it is a practice. It’s been over five months and still, most days I have to resist the urge to skip them. I have to give myself a pep talk as I walk past the container that yes, I really do need them. Maybe by this time next year ….

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Starting Something Vs. Building a Practice

I recently talked with a friend about a change she was trying to make in her life. I asked her how it was going, and if the change was helping her. The answer was, “No, I tried it a couple of times and it didn’t work so I stopped doing it. There is a big differenceContinue Reading

3 Responses to Starting Something Vs. Building a Practice

  1. I began building a practice about a month ago.
    I painted the door to my laundry room with black chalkboard paint just for fun. Then one morning instead of laying in bed and worrying, fretting and generally building monsters in my head, I got up and made a lovely pot of coffee and drew on my chalkboard. I’ve done this every morning since. It brings a beautiful peaceful start to my day and totally feeds my soul. It’s so freeing to draw and create for no special purpose other than I want to.
    Of course, being an attention craving artist, I take a photo of my masterpieces and post them on my Instagram. It’s amazing how doing just a quick 15 minute design loosens up your brain for other creativity to flow through.

    • Karen says:

      What a wonderful idea, Rebecka!

      I have been crocheting for the first hour or so after the hubby goes off to work. He has been getting up earlier the last couple of months, leaving a full hour earlier than normal. At first I’d go back to sleep, but the last few weeks I’ve been staying up and crocheting. I am getting a lot more crocheting done, and also more productive throughout the day, even though I am very tired by the end of the week. Bedtime around here comes really early these days!

  2. Carol says:

    Really good and inspiring ideas, ladies. I do something similar when I am home, making sure I do some knitting or quilting first thing in the morning. I like Rebecka’s idea of doing something purely spontaneous and temporary. I need to give that some thought.

    Since I’m currently a month into at least a three month visit with my daughter and family awaiting our fourth grandchild, I am finding it a challenge to continue with my usual practices – stretching, meditating and writing. The stretching is working itself off as my body is being quite vocal if I skip that, but the other two are very hit or miss. I’m not sure how to change that right now. And maybe it isn’t necessary, as having this intense time with the girls feeds my soul in a different and very good way.

    I can absolutely vouch for the advantage to having a buddy on my journey. A friend and I have been sharing our gratitude lists nearly daily for several months now. More days than I care to admit having that bit of accountability has helped center me and reminded me to continue my gratitude practice.

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Practice: The Beauty of Letting Go

What if we didn’t need will power at all–ever? What if bringing anything new into our lives was a normal, natural process that required only one thing before it could happen? What if this applied to any and all new things: thoughts, beliefs, possessions, people, jobs, health–everything! Would you believe me? I had a powerfulContinue Reading

3 Responses to Practice: The Beauty of Letting Go

  1. Carol says:

    Wow. Just wow! What an amazing way to look at it. I love your changed mantra – and may have to steal it. :)

  2. Karen says:

    This is a post I need to read several times. There’s so much to take in … and let go ….

  3. BeeNZ says:

    Very wise! :) It reminds me of The Tao.

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What Guilt is Trying to Tell You

Last week we talked about next-level self care. I hope you’ve spent at least a few moments considering what that would be for you. Today, I want to talk about the biggest reason women don’t commit to taking care of themselves at a higher level. I believe that reason is guilt. [pinit] There are asContinue Reading

One Response to What Guilt is Trying to Tell You

  1. Carol says:

    Guilt, maybe. Lack of worthiness, probably. I’m supposed to be better, stronger, more able and therefore not need it, definitely.

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The Self Care You’re Starving For

Is there something more that you need than bubble baths and a smidge of stolen peace?  “She chose to live in a way that supported the tranquility of her soul.” -Caroline Myss, Sacred Contracts I haven’t been able to stop whispering this to myself since I read it. Caroline Myss was referring to the poetContinue Reading

5 Responses to The Self Care You’re Starving For

  1. Great question! I’m working towards my needs … a move closer to family and the ocean. It’s taking longer than I wanted, but I’m handling the wait well, most of the time. In the meantime, I’m finally feeling like I’m climbing out of the fog and able to handle the day to day of life again.

    • Tracy Richardson says:

      Karen, I’m so proud of you! Both for taking those steps to get you where you’ve wanted to be for so long, and for not putting off life until you get there. Inspiring! That’s the kind of next-level self care I’m talking about. :)

  2. Brooke Wardle says:

    Hi! I love this quote! I put it on a post-it & added: “a fave quote of Tracy’s”. :) I recently met another woman w/ fibromyalgia, and she lent me a book on OVERCOMING it. While reading, a thought has come to me over & over, which is that I need to finish growing up–to move past the helplessness, etc. (lack of tranquility being applicable, too), that I’ve allowed to consume me for years now! I think my ability to overcome has to do w/ being more aware of the choices I make & the feelings I feel.

    • Tracy Richardson says:

      Hi Brooke!

      WOW. Just…wow. That last line of your comment just went into MY quote book. :) Because you’re absolutely right. Awareness is a key!

  3. Carol says:

    Yes! Yes! Thank you. I know that feeling, but since I’ve been pretty good about self-care (at least when I’m at home), it has felt really self-indulgent to want more. But I do want more. Not so sure I know the what yet, but I’m listening.

    I’m so very glad to know I’m not alone.

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putting creating space into action

When I chose my theme for the year, creating space, I did not expect that it would enter a trial by fire the very next day. Silly, silly me. We–my husband and I–have been ushered firmly into the “sandwich generation”. I’m writing this during a layover in Denver. Right now I’m not sure exactly whenContinue Reading

3 Responses to putting creating space into action

  1. Carol says:

    Many hugs, Tracy. I’ve been there. I am there. And I am always here to talk to.

  2. I hope you have had time enough now to know what/how things will be working out for the near future. Hugs to you as you make decisions.

  3. deda1945 says:

    I am also there.
    I try to think of it as a privledge.
    I love my Mother.
    It wasn’t always that way. But not now.
    I’m the oldest of four and at this point in time the most capable.
    My husband is my rock and I thank him for that.
    Accept any and all the support if it is offered.
    Do it for you.

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Steadfast in Nature

New A new year, a new calendar, a new focus! I couldn’t be happier for a new year, and was not sorry to see 2012 go.  I spent most of last year quite sick, starting on New Year’s Eve of last year, up until about a week before this past Christmas.  In fact, the firstContinue Reading

2 Responses to Steadfast in Nature

  1. Carol says:

    Gorgeous photos and what a wonderful way to start the year. I knew you’d been ill, but an IV! So glad that is behind you. Your phrase is perfect for you. Now I just have to figure out mine. :)

  2. Kel Wilson says:

    Thank you, Carol. It was almost impossible not to take a good picture. They had had a huge snowfall the day before and it was pristine up there.

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Why New Year’s Resolutions fail…and a better way to make a change.

Note: This is a guest post that Kel wrote for Nancy Sathre-Vogel’s blog, Family on Bikes. We wanted to make sure our WMC family saw it too.  How’s your life been working for you this past year? Did you achieve what you promised yourself at the beginning of the year? If you’re like me andContinue Reading

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