THE LIGHTNING CO

INTUITION VS ANXIETY

Kristi KochComment

Over the past few years, I’ve been wrestling with the relationship between Intuition and Anxiety. Growing up a sense of self was looked down upon and putting yourself last was a sign of strength. So, as you may imagine, that caused some inner trouble later on in life leading to self-doubt and difficulty in trusting myself. I’ve grown so much in the last few years. I’ve prioritized myself and my health in every sense of the word. Mental, physical, emotional and relational health. Self-awareness and “trusting my gut” has become extremely important to me.

However, anxiety is also a part of me. I’ve struggled with panic attacks since I was eight years old and twenty years later managing my anxiety can feel like a full-time job. When making decisions I pride myself on being able to turn inward - searching out how I feel and what feels “right” for me. But, as many of you have experienced, with anxiety, this can be difficult.

“Am I just scared?”

“Is this decision “wrong”?”

“Is this just discomfort?”

“What if I backtrack?”

These are some of the questions that whirl around in my brain when I’m feeling conflicted over a decision. For me it comes from the “need” to be perfect and not wanting to fail.

Image via @ subliming.jpg , words by Deepak Chopra

Image via @subliming.jpg, words by Deepak Chopra

I love this quote by Deepak Chopra. I’ve been coming back to this when I’m obsessing or ruminating over what decision is “right”.

I recently took this topic to Instagram and asked for your thoughts. How do you determine when a feeling is your intuition (i.e a “gut feeling”) or anxiety? You feel that pit in your stomach - is it a bad gut feeling?…or is it anxiety manifesting physically due to not having control over the situation? There were some really insightful perspectives and some of you expressed that you’re still figuring this out too. At the end of the day, I think there’s no black and white answer. The answer to this question may look different for each person.

I keep coming back to “We are human beings, not human doings”. I am more than enough, regardless of my decisions, accomplishments or achievements. And so are you.

INTUITION VS ANXIETY
INTUITION VS ANXIETY

See more on my Instagram Higlihts “Gut vs Anxiety”








SOCIAL MEDIA: CARING FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Kristi KochComment

I think we can all admit that social media *can* impact our mental health. There are many studies on it, and just as many opinions. I’ll be the first one to say that I love social media. It’s an awesome way to connect with people. However, it can be harmful to my brain. I wanted to share my experience with social media and how it affects me and my mental health.

Here’s what I struggle with on social media:

  • Being present. Scrolling for hours while lying in bed or while at lunch, instead of reading a book or talking with the person that is IRL right next to me.

  • Comparison spiral. People’s houses, style, body, etc. And just like that, I’m feeling less than & not enough.

  • Imposter Syndrome. "They have their shit together, what if they find out that I don’t?”

Here are a few practical steps I put in place for myself to make sure that social media is helpful to me and not harmful. Because WHEW it was getting tough there for a minute.

Learn From Others

I found this podcast super interesting. Jen Gotch, an entrepreneur and mental health advocate, shares about social media addiction in this episode (episode 19) on her podcast, “Jen Gotch is Ok…Sometimes”. She brings up a few really great ideas, some that I took and applied to my interaction with social media. It found it super helpful, especially for those of you that are like myself and social media is a part of your job / career.

Create Boundaries

The screen time feature on the iPhone is newly enlightening to me. Seeing how much time you *actually* spend on social media daily/weekly is pretty eye-opening. At first, I felt so guilty and honestly just really bad about myself. Of course, those feelings didn’t help at all. I started using the “Downtime” feature to create boundaries to help me to stay off social media during certain times throughout my day. I try to stay off social media after 10 pm. This way I can be in bed reading, or watching a movie with my husband…and not feeling FOMO or feeling like I need to endlessly scroll. I also use the “App Limits” feature to set time limits for my social media usage. If you have an iPhone just go settings > screen time and check it out from there.

SOCIAL MEDIA: CARING FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.PNG
SOCIAL MEDIA: CARING FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.PNG

Unfollow Accounts That Make You Feel Shitty

I unfollow any accounts that cause me to feel bad about myself. Whether it’s feeling negative about my body, making me feel jealous or discontent with my life….etc. It’s just not worth it to me. So, I unfollow.

Engage In Positivity

Sometimes you don’t need to unfollow accounts…maybe that’s not the issue. Maybe you just need to cheer that person on, instead of feeling jealous of them or comparing yourself to them. Whenever I see someone doing something awesome and that inner dialogue of self deprecation and negativity begins…(i.e “I wish I would have thought of that”, “Wow they did that so much better than me”…etc.) I comment and say something positive. It’s amazing how the negativity, discontentment, and jealously can dissipate when you’re cheering people on. Bring. On. The. Positive.

Follow Accounts that Encourage You

I make sure to follow Instagram accounts that encourage me & support my mental health - wether that means accounts that make me laugh, educate me, or just people who share stories and experiences that I feel I can relate to. I also make sure to follow accounts with a variety of diversity to encourage the fact that we are all different, we all have our talents, gifts, and imperfections.

A few accounts that help support my mental health:

@designlovefest

@dr__lauren 

@JenGotch

@NoraHenick 

@onbeinginyourbody

@thepouf / @TheChain

@BringChangeToMind

@DrCassidy

@CrazyHeadComics

@RecipesForSelfLove

SOCIAL MEDIA: CARING FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.jpg
SOCIAL MEDIA: CARING FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.jpg
SOCIAL MEDIA: CARING FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.jpg

MY FAVORITE PODCASTS FOR MY MENTAL HEALTH

Kristi KochComment
20190126_untitled shoot_1963_ModelMayhem.jpg

Topics surrounding Mental Health Issues are so stigmatized. Growing up, I was having panic attacks at age 8. I didn’t know what they were and thought something was wrong with me. I remember fall and winter time coming around (I grew up in the midwest) and feeling so foggy, lost, and deeply sad. Little did I know that I was dealing with symptoms of depression. Sometimes it is hard for me to share my experiences with my mental health issues, but at the same time, it’s so helpful to share and process through it. I’ve benefited from the openness others have shown about their own mental health journey. The more we share and open up, the more we’ll all realize that we are not alone in our darkness and in our light.

I’ve curated a list of Podcasts that I love and that help me care for my mental health. Some of these podcasts I listen to regularly, each episodes teaching me something new. Some of them have a few episodes that have had a massive role in my healing. I would love for you to share any podcasts that you listen to that help you find understanding or healing in your mental health journey.

  1. Jen Gotch is OK Sometimes: I love all the episodes tbh. One of my favorites is “The Myth of Perfection”. I’m a recovering perfectionist. I’m also a 3w2 on the Enneagram. If you know you know. (And if you don’t…learn more here.) I really love the “I Cry At Work” episode. WHEW. Too real. I’ll share more on that soon.

  2. The Liturgists Podcast: One day I’ll share more about my experience growing up strictly Evangelical Christian. For now, this podcast is like therapy for me. It came to me during a season where I felt like I was losing myself. Little did I know I was actually getting closer to my true self. A favorite of mine is “Loving Kindness Meditation”. I seriously cried during this mediation. So practical and healing for me. I also was really moved by the “Spiritual Trauma” episode. I’m not ready to share a lot of details behind this, but I do feel as those many of you may resonate with this episode and the podcast in general.

  3. Super Soul Sunday: I mean, Oprah is just good for my mental health. ;] In all seriousness, I love hearing people’s stories. The rawness and depth to the questions that Oprah asks is so beautiful. My favorite episode is “Sheryl Sandberg: How to Build Resilience and Find Joy After Loss”.

  4. Where Should We Begin?: This podcast can be triggering for some, I’m sure. I had to turn it off a few times to process or give myself a break. It’s also deeply helpful. Esther Perel opens up her therapy sessions with couples. I started listening to this podcast during a really hard time, a time that I was also really afraid of going to therapy. After listening to literally every episode, I learned so much…about relationships, communication..and therapy.

  5. Other People’s Problems: I found this podcast through Hillary McBride, one of the co-hosts of The Liturgists Podcast. Again, this podcast can be triggering as each episode is a real counseling session. I love Hillary’s approach and the way she communicates. She is so knowledgeable and insightful. The way she communicates with people is so patient and thoughtful. Listening to these episodes make me feel as though I’m in therapy with her, and also gives me a deeper understanding of other people’s struggles and journeys.