With their different personalities, backgrounds, and experiences, these six brave women share their stories surrounding mental illness.
I applaud these six intelligent women for standing against the stigmas of mental illness. A common issue that arises throughout these videos is the question of why this country (the U.S.) doesn't take mental illness and its effects seriously enough. It's the question I've been asking myself, and others, for a very long time. Sometimes I get so lost within my own anxiety that I forget that there are so many people that are also affected by the same trauma, struggles, and overall mental health. Watching these TED talks is a good reminder that I'm not alone. I can zoom out to see the bigger picture and I am able to recognize that we are all in this together, whether we realize it or not.
How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across A Lifetime by Nadine Burke Harris
Description: Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.
I, for one, am altogether pleased to let go of 2017. The only thing I'm currently struggling with is the idea that 2018 will never hold a place for my dad in his physical form. It's difficult to comprehend that the final year of my dad's life is over and gone. So, while I'm thankful and grateful that we have all said goodbye to 2017, I will always hold that year near and dear to my heart.
Each day since my dad has passed has felt like an impossible battle. I've been fighting the inner workings of my childhood-based trauma while also trying to claw my way out of the deep, dark hole that grief has left in its wake. It has not been an easy journey, but it has been a worthwhile one.
Sometimes it's hard to see that I've made any progress until I step back and compare where I'm at right now to where I was at a month ago, a week ago, or even a day ago. The differences might not seem noticeable to people around me, but I can sense a tremendous change in the way I feel inside. This huge, enormous, gigantic change is due to loads of therapy (two EMDR sessions and one Somatic Experiencing session per week), an outpouring of love from my wife and my tribe of people that I surround myself with, and the most important: a total shift in my mindset.
Let me start off by asking: what kind of self-love blog post would this be if it didn't include a bubble bath? No, seriously. Think back and try to remember one self-love article that you've read that didn't mention taking some type of bath - bubbles or not. I think we can all be in mutual agreement that baths are one way to easily rid yourself of some of that daily stress that can weigh you down.
On that note, let's face it: the world can throw all of us some curveballs. That fact was made all too real to me after the passing of my father in October. Life can be a stone cold bitch. I wrestled with a bunch of very difficult questions about the purpose of being alive if it means that we have to endure pain and suffering. While that's still a valid question that creeps into my thoughts from time to time, I've started down a path of newfound understanding. Life has moments of suffocating darkness, but it can be worth it to stick around for the light. And I promise, the light will come.
While self-love can feel kind of cheesy if you're new to the practice, it can be well worth it. Embrace the cheesiness. Play with it and find what feels good. I could list twenty things and maybe none of them will work for you. Don't let that discourage you. Sometimes your pain might be too overwhelming for anything to feel good, and that's okay. Don't try to force something that's not working for you. Either try something new, or wait a while and come back to something to try again later. Whichever act of self-love you choose to perform, give yourself grace and patience.
You might be wondering why the name of this blog is Koselig. Great question! While I've been contemplating creating a blog for a while, I couldn't figure out what overarching theme I wanted to uphold. I had tons of ideas forming in my mind of what to write, but I kept coming up empty-handed when it came to choosing a name. It wasn't until I was in a recent session with my therapist (let’s call her Olivia), and we got to talking about how Western culture lacks a lot of empathy, that the wheels in my head began to turn.
There are a plethora of self-help blogs out there (and many of them are wonderful resources), but a key component was still missing. Olivia continued on and mentioned that in some European cultures, the people find ways to get through depression by doing activities that produce a feeling of 'koselig'. This word somewhat translates to the feeling of coziness. It was at that moment that a lightbulb seemed to go off in my head - just like a cartoon character. It struck me and gave me a sense of purpose. I want to provide coziness to people that really need it. And thus, my blog Koselig was born.
Koselig is pronounced “koos-uh-lee” and to Norwegians, it's more than a word - it's a life philosophy. While Winter is really starting to set in here in St. Louis, it brings me into even more a funk than I've already been in since my dad passed away six weeks ago. I feel him so strongly in the sunshine, so I'm dreading the bitter cold months that are to come. The sun has been setting before 5:00, which makes for one unhappy gal. But I have it lucky compared to parts of the world where the sun doesn't rise for months. Can you imagine? You'd think that Norwegians would be an extremely unhappy group of people, but their rate of Winter depression is actually super low. And why is that, you might ask? Because Norwegians put effort into practicing koselig, which is their version of self-love. I think that's pretty damn beautiful, if you ask me.
Here are some ways that you can incorporate koselig into your life:
So, my dears, I hope this post can provide you with some warmth and the feeling of koselig during these chilly months. And my question for you is: What ways do you practice feeling cozy?