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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Overcoming Social Media and Blogging Anxiety


Before you hit "publish" on that new blog post, do you ever get a tiny pang of anxiety in your stomach?

"Will anyone even read this?"

"What will my friends and family think of this?"

Social media has this way of making us feel either really good about ourselves or like crap. We worry about what people will think, will people leave rude comments, will people even read what we write?

When I started blogging, it was months before I let my friends or family know what I was doing! I was scared. I assumed they would think my writing was garbage or wonder why I was doing it at all.

I have learned some very important tips and advice along the way.

1. Your Message Matters
It can feel as though your voice is just a whisper among the millions on social media.

That doesn't mean that you don't have something important to say! You have overcome challenges, learned important lessons, and have advice for those who could be in the same place you once were.

Do you ever read or listen to something that changed your life? What if that person was too afraid to put that out into the world? You would've missed out.

What if your fear is preventing you from reaching out to others in the same way?

I always think of all the blogs I looked into when Brandon first deployed to Afghanistan. The support and knowledge I received were invaluable! Those men and women most likely overcame the same fears I have had about blogging.

2. Everyone Was Once A Beginner
The people that you look up to all started at the bottom floor. They have had the same doubts, fears, and anxiety as you do. The only difference is they pushed past the fear and kept going.

I have shared posts that have gotten tens of thousands of views and some that have gotten maybe 150 views. However, it doesn't stop me from writing what I love.

If one person reads what I have to say and gets even a tiny bit of inspiration from it, then I have accomplished something

3. Change That Voice In Your Head
You know the voice I'm talking about. The one in your head that tells you, "You will never be good enough." That voice tries to throw you off your game.  

You have to change the thought patterns that hinder your growth and happiness.

You have to get out of your own way

But how does one do that?

It looks different for everyone. I have personally found that my faith, loved ones, professional counseling, and researching many many maaaany books have helped me along the way.

Here are three of my favorite books on overcoming that negative inner monologue:

The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level

Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World of Setbacks and Difficult People

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead 

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I have been nervous to share things online more times than I would like to admit.

It has taken me a looong time to be truly open and honest on my posts. I am so glad I have been able to work through some of those nagging voices or fears! It can take a lot to not be nervous about something you created.

 
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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Yes, It Is Normal To Be Nervous About Homecoming


You've been waiting for this date for MONTHS. The distance, dropped calls, communication blackouts and loneliness are coming to an end.

So why on earth are you nervous about homecoming?

You think "What is wrong with me?"

Absolutely nothing.

I was so excited to have my husband come home. I waited for what felt like forever just to be able to have him by my side! But, there was this nagging feeling I could not shake. At the end of my husband's first deployment, I remember feeling anxiety and I felt guilty for it.

I was anxious about being anxious!

Turns out I am was not alone. Think of it this way, you've been on your own time for almost a year.

Your home was once a shared space, then it felt like it was just your place. You've slept in the center of your bed for months. You have your schedule, your routine and all of that is about to change. Your mind has gotten used to the fact that you've pretty much done it on your own.

A report by the National Council on Family Relations finds reintegration to be a sometimes difficult time.

"[Researchers] found the following challenges expressed by spouses related to reintegration:
               1. Fitting the deployed spouse back into the home routine;
               2. Rebalancing child responsibilities;
               3. Getting to know the deployed spouse again;
               4. Worrying about the next deployment;
               5. Dealing with the deployed spouse's mood changes;
               6. Deciding who to turn to for advice."

I love routines. I love knowing what is going to happen. Reintegration throws schedules and plans completely out of whack. It can be uncomfortable and weird at first.

But please know that you are not alone. Every single couple experiences reintegration differently. Some people can deal with the change seamlessly, while others struggle for months. 

One of the best resources I can recommend are the Military Family Life Counselors (MFLC). They are confidential and free! They offer non-medical counseling and are available at nearly every military base. Click Here for more info on MFLCs and to find one near you.

Homecoming is a super special time! I remember seeing my husband for the first time after nine months and feeling the world stop. The distance is absolutely worth it!

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