E19: Physical > Mental Health?
What have you bought from an online ad that you either loved or that you regretted?
Questions for Reflection
Each episode we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. You might pause the podcast and answer them right then and there, but if you keep a journal (Steph and Beth both do), you might find one of these PDFs useful. Choose the orientation that fits best in your journal.
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars podcast--
Where we have honest conversations about things that make us different.
Our mission is to talk about things you might relate to but that you don't hear being discussed in other places.
Our hope is that you're encouraged to have honest conversations with the people in your own life. I'm Steph--
And I'm Beth. Today we are going to have an honest conversation about why it is easier for people to talk about their physical health than their mental health.
So we are going with the assumption, this is our opinion, which is pretty much our podcast, is our opinion. Our viewpoint is that people/society, Society sees physical health as something that is normal to talk about, everyday conversation to talk about, to go to your doctor once a year at least, to go be physical and exercise, things like that. But when it comes to mental health, that society doesn't put a lot of emphasis on it. It's not polite to talk about it in normal conversation. We don't see it as normal to go to a doctor once a year to do a mental health checkup. If you do some something to improve your mental health, it's not necessarily part of the daily conversation. So that's our starting point. And you can probably assume our viewpoint on it if you've listened to some of our podcasts. But that's where we're starting from.
Yeah. So right now it happens to be the beginning of the year, and so--
I'm going to say the date, Beth. We try to be evergreen, but I have to say this is 2020.
It is 2020. In fact, we should play that old Barbara Walters--
I know. That was my impression of Barbara Walters, did that not come across?
100% it came across. So at the beginning of the year, beginning of a new decade, a lot of people are setting physical health goals, right? In fact, I have a friend who is a gym regular year—round and she even says, "Oh yeah, I don't go to the gym in January. There's too many newbies and they're all going to quit by the end of the month anyway, and so it's fine. I'll just take a break in January."
And she has that attitude about it.
I saw that in your face. That was a good impression and I don't even know her.
She's actually a really lovely person.
Oh, I bet she is.
But it did surprise me that it was like, "Oh no, I don't want to be around all those people who aren't really going to hang in there with this." It's easy for people to talk about, "Oh yeah, the beginning of the year, this is the year I'm going to get into good physical shape. I'm going to set these goals. I'm going to lose weight, I'm going to get stronger. I'm going to run faster, I'm going to run farther," whatever it is. But no one wants to talk about their mental health. And their goals and setting mental health goals.
Do people even set mental health goals? Is that even a thing that people who are not you and I do?
I will say I have never done that in the past. I've never set a mental health goal. But I also on the other side of that is I maybe twice in my life I've set physical goals because I'm not big on setting New Year's resolutions because that's just my history of showing me that sets up for failure. And I feel like in general that's a thing.
But you are a goal-oriented person.
I set business goals. So every year we set three, we call them Three Big Scary Goals for our Mother Daughter Projects business. And we just set those yesterday actually. So I do have those goals. And I have mini goals, like mini, tiny, like little goals throughout the year, but I try not to set so many goals where I'm just set up for failure kind of thing.
Right, right, right. So what are some mental health goals that we should consider this year?
I said "should," sorry, I try so hard not to say "should" when I'm hanging around you. What are some mental health goals that we could, that we might want to, set for this year?
You know, I got to say, I don't know if it's good or bad. You told me this. I don't curse. You know that, it's not a big deal. I don't punish people for cursing around me, but I have a friend that over the Christmas break she said like a curse word and she's like, sorry Steph. And I laughed, I was like, it's okay. What do you mean? But she like my, a lot of my friends, I think edit themselves when they're around me. Like they don't say curse words.
And just, you said like you don't should when you, is that a good or bad thing? I don't know that people edit themselves around me. Like I don't want them to feel like they have to be a different person.
Oh, I don't think it's them being different. I think it's them trying to be respectful and wanting to be heard and not wanting to use words that would get in the way of you being able to hear them.
It doesn't actually, I know that. I just know you well enough to know that you just process it out. But, yeah.
Yeah. Okay. Well you can use curse words around me.
But don't do it on the podcast cause then we have to put the explicit thing.
Right, well I'm just probably going to use the word "should," which is--
Which is is a curse word by the way.
So what are some mental health goals that we might want to set?
Well, as the expert on this Beth, thank you for asking me, cause you know I have written a book about mental health, so I must be the expert now. I'm no expert at this. So for the last few months I've noticed that I had let some of my—self-care is kind of what I would attribute to helping with mental health—and so I had noticed I had kind of set aside my self-care some more than I wanted to. And so it's something that I've done, something as simple as in my phone every night around 7:00 I think. I have a reminder that says do self-care and then I have a note that says different things that I can do. So something as silly as I have neck and shoulder problems a lot of the time. Then I usually put a heating pad on it, but I have this amazing massage chair that my aunt gave me. She didn't want any more. So it's just a free massage chair. It's amazing. And one of my self-cares is get in that freaking chair and have a massage. Cause every time I'm in that chair I'm just like, this is amazing. But I forget about it because so in my daily thing and so it gives me a chance to just relax. I can't do anything else while I'm doing it because if I like am leaning down, it doesn't cause of my neck. So, oh I can listen to stuff. But it gives me a time to just be silent and reflect. And it actually, if I do it before bed, I'm like fall asleep like instantly.
So you're doing that at 7:00 PM?
Cause I'm like wow. So basically you're going to bed at like 7:30, wow.
No, I got to bed at 8, gosh Beth. No, I go to bed at 10 or 11.
Okay, that's normal. That's good.
I'm a normal person Beth. No, it's just a reminder for me at 7:00 to remind me like. Oh and then I just got this book that has like 3000 questions of questions to answer and they're really fun. It's just like some are really good, some are silly and I've been doing that. That's a good way for me to just kind of focus on me and just kind of think of things that I wouldn't normally do. So those kinds of things to me are helping me with my mental health.
When I take time to get a chair massage, I have time to just kind of process things in my head and not let them swirl around and to relieve some of that pressure and things like that. So for me it was as simple as setting a reminder on my phone and writing down some ideas of things they can do for self-care so that when that reminder comes up, I can look at it and remember things to do. And for me, like going to the woods, hiking and all of that is part of helping me with my mental health.
So in order to set mental health goals, one thing that we need to know about ourselves is what feeds into our mental health, what makes us emotionally healthier? And sometimes I think we only know that by knowing what it feels like when we're not emotionally healthy, right. So you have to know the contrast and know, okay, well I know that this, I'm not at my best right now. So something needs to change. So identifying some things that can be adjusted. That book that you mentioned though, with a 3000 questions. So it's kind of sounds like a book of questions for reflections.
Like how we end every podcast, right?
Literally when I was, I've been circling some that I thought we could use on the podcast because as I've been going through it I'm like, Oh my gosh, these are really good questions. And I'd like to know what listeners answers to some of these. I was like, I, so I circled some, yeah, it's in my room. I can get it and show you later. They're very good. And some were just like so interesting. I'm like, Oh, I wonder how people would answer this.
All right, well it's really powerful to stop and reflect and give your mind a chance to process things because your mind I think is always working to figure out what you need to figure out.
But are you pausing to listen?
And it helps you process different things too. Like when you have those kind of prompts like journaling, journaling is great. I have an App on my phone that I used to journal because it's password protected. It stores the location I write in and also it will remind me like a year ago, it will say this happened a year ago. So I just saw a picture yesterday of the first time my niblings took Mac, got to see Mac run and it was a year ago yesterday and I was like, Oh that's so cool. So I like to journal in that app because then I have it with me all the time. I could do it anytime and then it kind of keeps that extra information about it. How about you Beth? Have you set some mental health goals for this year?
So my mental health goals are fluid, which might make them sound like they're not goals, but it's kind of like I was saying, I know what it feels like, what I'm not emotionally healthy. I know what I need to to step back. And for me a key to staying emotionally and mentally healthy centers around prayer and time spent in prayer. So I have some goals related to that and about being—I spend time in prayer every day—but some days it is more rushed and rote. And so one of my goals is to be slower and more methodical to be really to be slower in my praying.
So like sloths-like? Sloth prayer?
Yes! To be sloth-like. Which is the opposite of setting really great physical health goals, right? Like I'm going to be a sloth this year.
So when you, you said you spent a lot of time in prayer. Are you writing prayers or how like what does that look like?
Yes, it's both. It's some written prayers and a lot of spoken prayers. Well spoken in my head silently.
And, and then time listening also. But sometimes it'll be, sometimes it's like a multi-tasked prayer, which might sound like it's not good, but it feels right to me. Sometimes that, okay, I'm just going to, I'm in my car, I have a 30-minute drive, I'm turning off the radio, I'm not going to listen to anything. And God and I are going to talk for this 30 minutes while I drive, I could talk to a passenger and so it's the kind of the same idea. So that would be a spoken prayer, not a written prayer. And that wouldn't be speaking and listening. But I want to be a little bit more intentional about the time that I set aside to do that and have it be less multi tasked.
I Like that.
Yeah. But why do you think it's easier for people to talk about physical health and mental health? Why do we, why do we pigeonhole mental health as something that's like too personal? Like no one wants to bring it up?
Well, I think it's always hard to talk about personal things. I think that's one of the things that people will shy away from because A, it's hard. It's emotional, emotionally draining. It's hard to talk about. B, you don't know how people are going to respond and how they might look at you differently. C, I've started the alphabet and now I feel like I need a third one. So I'm going to say C is, I forgot what we're talking about.
Can I ask a question? What's the difference between counseling and therapy?
I don't see a difference.
People use them in different ways, but I don't think they're different. To me, counseling is the same as therapy, but I think there might be a different level of education that comes with those different terms.
That's what I was wondering like you can be a licensed mental health counselor without being a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Yeah, you can be a social worker and do counseling. You can be a marriage and family therapist and do counseling. Counseling. I see as like kind of like chatting and like getting stuff out. And then therapy is actually using a therapy practice right. With you. The most common is cognitive behavioral therapy, which is basically just someone talking to you. That's what my psychologist does, but it just looks like talking to me.
But she knows what she's doing in the way that she's asking me things or probing me on things. She's helping to retrain my cognitive brain, which is what cognitive behavioral therapy does. It helps you retrain the irrational thinking.
So if you go to a counselor, then you're in counseling and if you go to a therapist or in therapy.
I see it as the same thing.
But I would say if you, yeah, to me it's, it's the same thing. If you feel like you're getting something out of it done, like that's, I go to a psychologist so she has a master's degree or no, a PhD. You have to have a PhD psychologist. But I could go to someone that just is a social worker and could, if I connected with that person. I think that's all that matters. If you don't feel comfortable then, cause you could feel not comfortable with a psychologist. Doesn't mean just because they have more education that they are superior in some way. I went to a psychologist because my dad recommended her because he's a psychologist, but there's a lot of great counselors, therapists. To me it's all the same thing. A psychologist would be able to tell you the whole ins and outs of why they're different, but.
Right, are there more counselors and psychologists and therapists or are there more gyms?
That's a great question. I was thinking the same thing. I think there's more gyms, but I also think gyms are more, do more advertisement. Like counselors aren't necessarily like putting big ads out and usually you find it through your doctor, so it's a whole different.
Right, and they can only -- They can only treat so many people. I mean there are only so many hours in the day. Whereas the gym you might have one gym that has 500 members, so that would be completely different than practice. I was just kind of getting back to the idea that it's so much easier for people to talk about a new gym membership than oh, a new counselor, a new therapist, a new psychologist.
So along with going to the gym with physical health, I think physical health also is going to your doctor at least once a year for your physical checkup. Physical health is not just working out, but it's also making sure you don't have cancer.
Right, you should do that. Everyone should go to the doctor and make sure you do not have cancer cause it's really inconvenient to get it.
Oh man, well I've been to my doctor and I didn't have cancer this time.
Well people are more likely to say, Oh, I mean you have to get to a certain age before this is true, friends, so just know this. But like, oh yeah, I got to I got to go for my colonoscopy.
I've had one of those.
People are more likely to say that than to say, yeah, I've been seeing a counselor.
Yeah, it's true. And that's, that's it goes with the physical health is people will talk about like the aches and pains, but you never hear out of their mouth, I've just feel really depressed today. Like people will talk about all of these medical issues they have. But how do you feel about that? Your body is like breaking down. How do you feel about that? It's just not part of our cultural norm to ask those questions and to for it to be okay to say those things.
Yeah, it's not okay. For some reason it's okay to have physical ailments. You could even be seen as having a physical weakness and people will see that as okay and temporary and something that you can overcome. But if you talk about mental health, then people think you're completely damaged.
Yeah, well, and I think part of it is people that don't have a lot of experience with mental health and a lot of people don't, because we don't talk about it, is when you bring up something like mental health in some capacity or a mental illness, people don't know what to say and they just kind of clam up. And I don't think we've done a good job at really talking about it's okay not to understand something. I guess my example would be , I can see when I meet somebody and they're like, Oh, you know, what do you do? And I have to look at them and in this one second decide, what do I say that I do? I have plenty of things I can say I do. And if I decide I'm an author, that's the thing I'm going to lead with on this. For this person. Oh, what do you write about? Well I write about mental health and dealing with childhood abuse and having PTSD. I can see like when I say that to people, I can see them just not know what to say and get uncomfortable and kind of be like, okay great. Right, great.
Those are things we don't talk about, why did you just mention them?
Yeah, cause people don't really know how to take that. And part of my mission in life is to push through that, is to not let my words be changed because I'm afraid of what's, how someone might take something, obviously not going to say something inappropriate, but I'm not going to let society tell me that I'm not allowed to talk about my history and when I'm depressed, then I'm not allowed to say that and I'm not allowed to have really bad days.
I don't think that's good for society to ignore that. I feel like we all have struggles and it's important to acknowledge that as much as we acknowledge that we have a broken leg that acknowledge that you might be depressed or you might have ADHD, that's a mental illness. There's so many things that people just kind of push down because I just feel like no one's going to understand, but you know what? They may not understand, but there is a freeing feeling when you get to talk about all of you. And that's my goal especially for this year, is to share all of my life and not just the highlights, the, the happy stuff that people share on Instagram.
Yeah, you said something about having a bad day, everybody has bad days, right? And some people understand when those are related to mental health and some people don't understand that those are related to mental health. But even as you said it, I thought, Oh, I think if I hear someone say I'm having a bad day, it might make me wonder if they're reliable. Oh, are you going to have more bad days and then not be available when I need you? And I don't think that when people have physical elements.
Isn't that interesting?
Yeah, so when someone says they have a bad day or they're dealing with depression, you look at it as, oh no, this might not be somebody that I can rely on anymore. And they, it almost looks like a weakness in your mind?
A different kind of weakness, yeah.
A weakness that you can't physically see like, oh leg. Okay, well that's weakness, but that will fade and it will heal. And I, yeah. Interesting.
So a friend of mine from it's super long, this is Facebook. She basically said "this year I only shared the good and less and less of that as the year went on while moving through a personal hell of depression and in 2020 I don't want to hide that part of myself from you." So she's going to, she's basically saying my feed is not going to just be sunshine and roses anymore. "I'm going to be honest with you about my whole self. I have the best therapists in the world. It's mostly just her listening and giving me space to hear myself. Our weekly sessions have been a gift. I do not take for granted that I have health insurance that pays for this," which is a huge issue. Right? "Make your mental, emotional and physical health a priority. You are worth it."
That's awesome. Well and that is a big thing: Is insurance covering mental health? It typically does. Would you always have to check when you, if you go to your insurance website, they will have a place on there where you can see what doctors are covered. So that's a good place to start if you're looking for a therapist is to look on there to see who's covered.
It lowers that bar to get started because you're not having to assess the financial impact of the decision. Just like I think people think about, okay, what's this gym membership going to cost me. and they may be doing the same thing with some of their mental health decisions.
As much as we're talking about like gym versus mental health. I don't, I don't look at it as this or that or I think going to the gym is easily part of some people's mental health care as well. Obviously we know there's plenty of research saying that being physical and being active helps you with your mental health and endorphins and those kinds of things. So, and really I think that's the point we're trying to make is that you have one body, so your physical and your mental are connected. And yet it's so much easier for us to talk about physical health in general than it is to talk about mental health even though we have just this one body. Yeah and it all works together.
All one, yeah.
Well that's what I like about, I used to do acupuncture and that's the whole concept of acupuncture is the body as one. So you can put needles in the knee and it can like affect your brain or your head in different things because the body is all connected. They're all connected in certain ways. Don't separate out the pieces. Like the body is one. How are you dealing with the full body. And that's why I think self-care is so important because it helps all of you specifically your brain and your headspace, which I feel like we're getting like self-care is a buzzword now. So I feel like that is definitely getting more in the space, which is great. And I feel like the younger generation is getting more comfortable talking about things that aren't necessarily comfortable for my generation or your generation. So I do think that's changing and, and I'm hoping it's changing and I'm hoping we're doing our little part.
I hope so, too. I hope that we're doing our little part and that the physical and the mental can be seen as something that has to be integrated together for overall health. So self-care can include physical health. Yes, go take a walk. Right. But it can also include mental health, which is maybe also go take a walk but think about these things or clear your mind or yoga for physical health but also for mental health. It can be related.
Well yeah, and taking a walk, not just because you need to exercise, but like it'd be the intention of I need to clear my brain, go take a walk. That's okay. When I worked at the church, there was a day where I was just like, it was, I don't remember what was happening, but it was like the worst. I just couldn't be in the space anymore. And I literally took a huge walk around the block and I went like as far as I could go and I went back to my office and I was in a better head space just from that. It wasn't, I didn't need to be, I wasn't like, oh, I need to work off that burger. It was like I need to get in a different head space and just that walk really helped me.
So whether it's counseling, whether you call it counseling or therapy, whatever it might be. That's when you are scheduling time and having a conversation with someone who is being paid to engage with you in that moment. When's the last time that you had a conversation with someone about your mental health who wasn't a counselor or a therapist? Someone who's expected to be comfortable with that conversation?
So like with a friend?
I would say I've been around family so long, right? Lately, right, holidays.
I think that counts. It could be family or friends.
Well yesterday I had a conversation with my sponsor, but that's somebody that's like, well, she's not getting paid. She's not getting your friends. Yes, she's, yeah. She's committed to listening to me though, just like a friend would be. So yesterday. Yeah.
And I mean you and I talk about mental health.
We do. Yes. So--
We're comfortable with it.
And you're my friend, right?
I am your friend.
Right, I think so.
Yes. And I think that it's maybe a little bit easier for me because I am a pastor, so I don't think mental health is as, I think people expect me to be emotionally healthy and so I can talk, I have a little bit more freedom to talk about it.
So, but the same question for you. When is the last time you talked to someone about your mental health? And I don't count.
You don't count? Of course you count! Don't say you don't count.
I completely count. I count for two, but not in this question. Well, and your husband doesn't count.
Of course he counts. He's my main person.
No, because I have talked to my mom about my mental health and that doesn't count because that seemed too obvious. It seemed too obvious.
I texted with someone this morning. Does that count if it's a text?
What was the text?
Please pray for this. Oh, it was a very specific.
Oh wait, what was the thing?
I don't want to say, it was a very specific mental health related request.
What is it about this podcast? Please pray for me, I have to do my podcast today?
Oh no, no, no, no. It was something, it was about feelings that I'm having related to something and I wanted to be.
Can you tell me off the air?
Okay, what is it? Okay Beth. So texting, I think texting counts. I'll go with: that counts.
Okay, that's good cause I have a lot of conversations by text. Okay. I'm relieved that they count.
Yes, they count. Let's go to the next, the reverse that question. When's the last time you talked to somebody about your physical health?
Y'all! I went hiking in the mountains in Georgia and the trail is marked easy. It was like it doesn't get any easier than this people. And I was sore after I did that, which is an indication that I need to be working more on my physical health, which I'm going to do this year. What are your physical health goals for this year Beth? My physical health goals this year are to have them. No, I am going to lose weight this year. Actually, I had a memory pop up this morning on my Facebook that said, that reminded me that 10 years ago, 10 years ago I had lost a lot of weight and I had posted about how I was giving away my wardrobe. I was donating it to a group that does stuff with helpless moms, homeless moms. They help homeless moms. That's how I got mixed up in my words there. You're dyslexic. You should understand.
I say nothing, and then I get berated. But you're dyslexic so I can do whatever.
Thank you for joining us today on the Discovering Our Scars podcast. Beth mentioned that she is pretty gullible when it comes to Instagram ads and you know what? I'm not. I'm pretty good. I pride myself on, nope, I'm not going to go with it just because it's an ad, but I did. I did do one. I researched it for awhile though because I didn't want to just buy it right away. There's this website called yappy.com and they make custom dog products and I ordered a book called Where is Mac from this website and it is like a where's Waldo with my dog. Amazing. Everyone loves it and it takes a while to find Mac because it's a challenge. I also bought a pillow with a Greyhound on it and it's amazing. I also bought a cup that is customized with Mac and it says Max's name. And I also bought some wallpaper. No, it's wrapping paper that I used in a project that I just made, so I'm a big fan. That is the only thing I've ever bought from Instagram though.
You just listed like 65 things that you just bought.
From one site though. And I had researched this site and I wasn't, I was only prompted to buy the book, which I did, but it was about a week after I'd seen the ad cause I was kept going back to the site like, is this legit? Do I really want to do this? Is this something I need? The answer was I don't need it, but I want it. And I bought it.
Well, I mean I bought other things from ads. I mean Sticker Mule, I buy things from them every once in a while. And that's only because I originally saw it in an ad. But the worst thing that I ever bought from an Instagram ad was a cell phone case that it was neat because it was magnetic. It had two pieces and then it magnetically closed over the phone and it, and it did protect the phone. But the first time it got dropped, the whole case shattered. The phone was fine. Oh. But the glass inserts in the front and back of the case completely shattered.
So, but it was like you buy two of them for $20 or something. So it wasn't a big financial investment but it was disappointing.
What I love, what I love is when people spend like $5 for like a watch band or for a case for their phone, for the thing that they spent like a thousand dollars on. It's like I'll just get a $5 protection is good. I am good. Yeah, I got to say I--
You make a good point.
I always am a little weary on those kinds of things. So friends tell us, give us a call, tell us what have you bought from some sort of social media ad, Instagram or Facebook. I mean they're all over the place. You just can't get away from the advertisers. So what have you bought that you either loved or that you regretted?
And we're an un-sponsored show. This is not about that. This is just really about us wanting to have a conversation about the things that sometimes work and sometimes don't.
We did not plan that. That just randomly came about. And you know what, we're going off script. So let's woo. Yeah, that's actually a good question. So I do like that and if you want to call an answer to that, because I am now curious, you can call into our voicemail number. You can also text. So we realize you can text this number and they both work and the number is (850) 270—3308.
And we recently asked whether people were Mac or PC folks and we asked that because of course I am a PC person and Steph is the other one and.
The better one. You're right.
So I'm a PC person, although right in front of me I have my iPhone and my iPad, but hardcore work I do on a PC. Somebody called in and gave us an answer. You want to listen to that?
Let's do it. Let's play it.
Hey Steph and Beth, this is Susan from Orlando, Florida and sorry Steph, but I am PC all the way.
Love, love, love, love my iPhone.
That was a lot of loves. I get that.
And will never, ever have an Android.
I have found, by the way, that your podcast is one of two, the other being my churches, three teaching pastors have a podcast and your two are the ones that I consistently listen to every week. Keep up the great work. See you later. Bye.
Thank you. Oh, that was awesome.
That was awesome. She not only gave us a compliment but she sort of validated both of us like, yes I use a PC but also the iPhone is the best.
That it's true and she validated both of us cause she listened to our podcast. That's amazing.
Thank you for calling in. At the end of each episode we like to end with Questions For Reflection. These are questions that are based on today's show and Beth is going to read them and leave a little space between each for YouTube, pause the podcast and answer them to yourself or you have a downloadable PDF online that you can print out and answer them there.
Number one, do you find it easier to talk about your physical health and your mental health? Number two, when is the last time you had a conversation with someone about your mental health? Number three, do you avoid talking about your mental health because you worry it will make people uncomfortable? number four, what are your mental health goals for this year?
This has been the Discovering Our Scars podcast. Thanks for joining us. This is 2020.
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Mental Health Advocate. Author. Podcast Host. DIYer. Greyhound Mom.
I'm a mom who laughs a lot, mainly at myself. #UMC Pastor, recent Seminary grad, public speaker, blogger, and sometimes lawyer. Learning to #LiveLoved.