Many women can often feel like we have the world on our shoulders. We often carry not only our stress but the stress of our loved ones and those closest to us. Often, women can feel isolated, unsupported, and even depressed because of various challenges. Over time, women often become desensitized to these feelings as we accept this as the norm as opposed to true clinical depression or anxiety. Below are some common symptoms of depression and anxiety. Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, sadness, or suicidal thoughts or attempts Irritability, anxiousness,...

Lately, I have found myself in a place that I have not been in a very long time and I am not sure how to take it all in. In this place, I am more consistently prioritizing myself and my needs. In this place, I am not obsessing over every detail and I am resisting my perfectionistic tendencies. In this beautiful, peaceful place, I am finding myself able to say no to the things that don’t bring me joy and intentionally inviting in the things that do. Here, I find that...

If summer is your favorite time of year and you dread the upcoming winter – you may want to stop reading here -- or you might want to read on for hope.  Slowly, gradually, the sunny days of summer (despite the COVID-19 pandemic) are fading into the vicissitudes of autumn. Gradually, the shades of lime green, forest green, spring green and emerald green, fern and shamrock green in the canopy of leaves above are transforming.  The leaves look increasingly yellow and golden in the sunlight, with splotches of red and orange. ...

The cool breeze in the mornings lets us know that autumn is around the corner. I have not always been ready for this newness because I love the summer months and do not want to say goodbye to the warmth of the sun, the flowers, butterflies, lightning bugs, BBQs, late evenings and beach trips. There of course is nothing I can do to prevent the inevitable seasonal change. During the summer I embrace all I can as I know autumn is coming! I tackle projects, make the most of the...

It’s not news the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about changes to all our lives, and teens are no exception. All at once they were ripped away from their friends, sports, church groups, school clubs, jobs and other social supports. Although school has resumed, life is massively different. With these new challenges, some teens have turned to substances to cope with the difficulties they face. Because the teenage brain is still developing those who misuse drugs or alcohol are at a higher risk of developing a substance dependence or addiction. Therefore, it...

Recognizing that healing from trauma and facing difficulties sometimes has a powerful spiritual component, at the beginning of 2020 CHRIS 180 expanded its services to form the Institute for Spiritual Health and Wellness. In addition to placing Clinical Pastoral Education residents in local hospitals the Institute can periodically assign chaplain interns to different community programs within CHRIS 180.  The job of these chaplains is not to make believers out of the people we serve, but to serve and be a companion and guide for people to help them find their...

Parenting school-aged children, circa 2020, has required parents to juggle (in new ways) their profession with their parenting responsibilities, and to strike the right balance between their kids’ happiness and their health.  Now that virtual school has started across metro Atlanta, pandemic parents are encountering additional and entirely new challenges. In many ways, parenting during virtual school may feel like being lost at sea, with no Coast Guard in sight. Here are a few try at home strategies that may help pandemic parents navigate the unchartered waters we are all in...

My African American mother, aunts and uncle lived through the Jim Crow laws and experienced racial violence throughout much of their childhood.  My Congolese father and aunts experienced the trauma of war in DRC. The recent killings have touched trauma wounds in some members of my family. I imagine that many survivors of intergenerational trauma are recalling warnings from their elders who communicated that this world is unsafe for Black people --that Black people do not really fit in American society.  The painful and harsh reality lingers as a backdrop for...

“We’re hardwired for connection.”  This is one of my favorite quotes from a shero in our field, Brené Brown. Through her work on shame and vulnerability, we are able to get a closer look at aspects of the human condition that are often overlooked. Her quote reminds me that an authentic connection with others is comforting and reaffirming. It invites a sense of security into our world…security about who we are and where we fit. Connection with others solidifies our sense of identity and belonging. We want to belong to something...

My client said, “I’m bored and agitated. It isn’t a good combination because it makes me reckless.” His thoughtful insight rings true: The country’s foundation is defined by COVID-19 with recommendations for social and physical distancing, combined with little sense of a communal endgame (the political polarization and fragmentation is staggering). We are living in the presence of uncertainty. The psychological nature of uncertainty causes tremendous anxiety. Our survival brain is always updating the world, making judgments about what is safe and what it not. When we are uncertain about what...