#PPDChat 06.15.15: Warrior Mom Conference Chat!

WMC2015 PPDChat AnnouncementTonight, we will be chatting with Susan Petcher, Conference Director for Postpartum Progress’s Warrior Mom Conference, the upcoming first ever patient centered maternal mental health conference. The conference spans two days – July 11th & 12th and is being held in Boston, MA.

Tonight, we will be focusing on the Homestead Warriors (HSW) aspect of the conference, with the Warrior Mom Wall as our central topic. What’s the Warrior Mom Wall, you ask? It’s an art display featuring artwork by YOU, yes, YOU, including messages of inspiration, hope, and compassion. Your stories, in art form. The deadline for sending in your piece has been extended to this Friday, June 19th. So get your artistic mojo going! Details on where to send it can be found here.

Be sure to join Susan and me tonight on Twitter for an exciting chat!

See you there!!!

#PPDChat 05-18-15: Quotes to Live By

ppdchat-05-18-15We all have them – little quotes or sayings we keep near to our hearts. Words we use to lift us in the darkest hours.

Tonight, let’s share them with each other.

What quotes did you find most helpful as you worked through your Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder? How did you discover it?

See you on Twitter at 9pm to talk all about the quotes!

The Magic of Listen To Your Mother

My journey to Listen to Your Mother started three years ago, on a whim of filling a bucket list item – auditioning in The City for something.

I sent an email off to the good folks in NYC for an audition slot. I got one. J and I went into the city. I read, full of fear and nervous energy. We ate, then wandered a smidge, and drove home.

I wasn’t chosen.

So the next year, I emailed Northern Jersey. I drove over by myself, auditioned, and drove home.

I wasn’t chosen.

Then, this past year, instead of emailing for an audition, I emailed to see if it was too late to submit to be a HOST.

Ann connected me with Kirsten Piccini of The Kir Corner. I reached out to Kristina Grum and we added her to our hastily pulled together application on the last possible day.

Then, we prayed.

We were approved as a new city and we held our show this past Sunday.

I started this journey on a whim, full of nervous energy, determined to live outside my comfort zone.

This past weekend, I flew well beyond my comfort zone and read to a nearly packed house after working tirelessly with Kirsten and Kristina to bring together an amazing cast and show for the Lehigh Valley.

There is a magic to Listen To Your Mother, one which lives deep inside the heart. It’s a magic found in the words of stories of mothers, it is magic centered in the hopes and dreams of those who are falling toward the ground and building their wings as the earth rushes closer to them. The magic – it is enduring, it is powerful, and it does not end when you take that bow at the end of your show and the applause fades away.

It’s there, in the pictures, in the new friendships, in the new avenues opened to you when you are surrounded by amazing and driven people you meet through the entire process.

After our show on Sunday, I ran into a woman who auditioned for us but we ultimately had to turn down as her piece didn’t fit the arc of our show. I hugged her just as tightly as any of our cast – and she hugged me right back. THIS is part of the magic.

Life beginsThe magnet I bought before my audition in New York has brand new meaning now.

Because now? My comfort zone has been stretched and I have a LONG way to go to reach the life outside of it.

Here goes nothing.

 

#PPDChat 04.27.15: PPD & Friends

 

ppdchat 042715

Tonight’s #PPDChat will be hosted by the fantastic @DonutsMama.

She’ll be addressing the topic of PPD & Friends. It’s an important one as PPD not only changes us, but it also changes friendships – for a variety of reasons.

Friends may not understand what we are going through and not know how to appropriately reach out. Or they may be nervous about now being friends with someone battling a mental health issue. Or, in a worst case scenario, they may no longer want to be friends with someone who has a mental health issue.

There is also the other side – that of ourselves. We become enclosed in a bubble as we battle for our sanity and are not capable of reaching out appropriately ourselves. Then, as we begin to heal, we find the rubble which exists beyond our borders and are overwhelmed with how to proceed. Particularly for those who battle against anxiety, the prospect of making new friends or setting out to be in public is absolutely overwhelming.

Join @DonutsMama as she discusses the very important topic of PPD & Friends tonight at 9pm ET on Twitter. You don’t want to miss it!

#PPDChat 04.20.15: #ToNewMomsWithLove – The Love Letter Project

PPDChat Love Letter Project Guest Announcement II

Earlier this week, I happened to cross paths with Fiona McGlynn on Twitter through one of the #PPDChat/ #PND Mamas. After checking out her profile page, I was thoroughly intrigued. She is associated with a group called “The Love Letter Project”. This month, in cooperation with Healthy New Moms, they are encouraging people to write letters #ToNewMomsWithLove.

Fiona started The Love Letter Project after receiving this advice: “If you want to be passionate in life, consider the greatest challenge you’ve faced, and help the next person to overcome it.” Since 2013, she’s been doing just that, both through the website and through her book about divorce, written for children.

I’m thrilled to have Fiona joining us at 9:00pm ET this Monday evening to talk more about the project, about herself, and let you guys know how to participate.

If you want to get a jump start, though, you can click here for the details. Letters are due by April 25th!

In the meantime, I’m gonna go get started on mine as I listen to the traffic drift by outside.

See y’all on Monday night for this lively chat!

Follow along LIVE:

 

#PPDChat 04.13.15: Finding Rays of Sun

Finding Rays of Sunshine: Thinking Positively in the DarkIt’s tough to be positive when surrounded by dark, wrapped in fog. It’s tough to see the sun and embrace the warmth it offers when you all want to do is cover your head with a blanket and pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist.

It is perfectly okay to wrap yourself up in that blanket and stay in a cocoon for awhile. But eventually, just like the caterpillar that transforms into a beautiful butterfly, you will have to emerge into life.

Baby steps.

Join me tonight at #PPDChat on Twitter as we navigate how to step out of the dark and foggy night into the sunshine. I’ll be talking about a few methods I have used for myself, all of which incorporate together nicely:

List of three: listing three things for which you are grateful in the morning before your feet hit the floor, and then listing three things which made you laugh/smile in the evening before bed.

Five Senses Self-Care: listing all five senses, then five of your favourite things for each sense and incorporating at least one thing from each sense into every day living. Also involves posting this list in a main area where members of your family are able to see this so they know what you need.

Daily Self-Care Time Out: Dedicate at least 10 minutes a day to YOU. Self-care does not need to be tedious or long. It can be as little as the routine of preparing a favourite tea, sitting in the sun, taking a hot shower – whatever soothes YOU.

I’ll see you tonight on Twitter at 9:00pm ET to discuss all of this and more. Oh, and you can follow along right here as well! I’ll be posting the live Twubs feed right before chat starts!

Meanwhile – get a jump start on the self-care today! What WILL you do for YOU today? Let us know tonight at chat.

Me? I’ve got some awesome chocolate in the pantry that needs devouring.

#PPDChat 04.06.15: Done

ppdchat 04-06-15

Done.

As mothers, it’s not a word we utter a lot. Nothing ever seems to be “done” completely, does it?

There’s always dishes to be “done”, laundry to be “done”, baths to be “done”, and the list goes on and on. We are never DONE.

And yet, we should be done with small tasks throughout the day. Why?

Because, according to a fascinating article at Fast Company this morning, saying the word “Done” after completing even small tasks, allows us to feel a sense of accomplishment.

Seriously. They even cite science, y’all. What does it do? It shifts our brain in a neurochemical fashion, creating more serotonin. And we could ALL use a bit more natural serotonin, yes?

Join me tonight and let’s talk about everything you got “done” today. I’m willing to bet it is far more than you think.

See you at 9pm ET on Twitter. Be sure to check back here to follow the live feed if you’d rather not hop on Twitter itself. Thank you, Twubs, for existing.

With that, I’m DONE.

Next?

#PPDChat 03.23.14: Healing Timelines

ppdchat-03-23-15“I should be better by now, right?”

“When do the thoughts go away?”

“When does the rage stop?”

“I started meds a few months ago. Why don’t I feel better yet?”

Many of us have heard these phrases echoed by women who reach out to us. They’re frustrated because they are still hurting and fighting. For many of these women, a Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders is their first brush with mental health disorder. And like so many, they assume there is a timeline the disorder will follow. Thing is, even with medication and therapy, we all follow our own timelines.

When we get sick, we go to the doctor, get medicine, and are told when we can expect to feel better. With a mental health disorder, we are given medicine, told when we can expect it to kick in, advised of side effects, and possibly referred for therapy. That’s if we’re lucky. Then we are left to our own devices.

We find people like us. We do the most human thing possible – we compare our healing timeline to theirs. “She’s on the same med as me so I should get better as quickly as she did, right?”

Not necessarily.

Last week, we discussed knowing your symptoms. This week? We’re going to discuss knowing your healing timeline, how to keep from comparing yourself to those around you, and find solace in the small steps forward you’re making instead of seeking for giant leaps in healing.

Join us tonight at 9:00pm ET on Twitter. Don’t forget – you can come back here at 9:00pm to follow us, live.

See y’all then!

#PPDChat 03-16-15: Know Thy Signs

ppdchat 03-16-15Any navigator will tell you to know your landmarks when traveling. Know thy signs.

It’s the same with mental health. Know thy signs.

What happens when you start to spiral down? Do you have certain habits you repeat? These are your signs, your tips that something is going wrong.

Tonight’s chat isn’t just for those of us who face a Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder – it’s also for those of us who fight the good fight against mental illness on a daily basis. We have to read our minds and know our signs. It’s exhausting, but necessary in order for us to make the best of the day which lies ahead of us. Sometimes, that day may require rest or sometimes we may have a really awesome day followed by sheer exhaustion because of everything we took in. It’s the ebb and flow of the war we wage as we live our lives.

I sincerely hope you will join us as we explore and chat about our own warning signs, what they mean, and how to learn to recognize your own.

See you tonight at 9:00pm ET!

PS. If you can’t get to Twitter, you’ll be able to follow the chat from here. Check back at 9pm ET, when a live chat feed will be embedded into this post!

We’ll be LIVE in 5 minutes. Follow along  here:

#PPDChat 03.09.15: #MakeItHappen

ppdchat-03-09-15In recognition of yesterday as International Women’s Day, tonight’s #PPDChat will pick up and carry the theme of #makeithappen.

Even in the past eight years, advocacy, support, and care have come a long way. But there is still plenty to be done. Tonight, we will be recognizing the strides and breakthroughs but also discussing what lies ahead of us to better improve care and support for women and families still struggling. Join us as we discuss hurdles we’ve jumped and the hurdles we still have to leap over.

See you tonight at 9pm ET!

Warmest,

Lauren

Follow along with tonight’s chat right here: