Saturday, February 18, 2012

I'm doing this for me.....

Here on the Texas Gulf Coast we're getting some much needed reprieve from our drought.  Haven't heard any details, but I'm sure that we're still in need of some consistent, well-dispersed, soft rain in order to get us back to where we need to be. Here's hoping that this year fares better, weather-wise!

So, today I'm doing two new things for me.  

I often talk to my clients about doing things for themselves.  Seems that many see this as very selfish behavior - to put themselves first.  I tend to see it very differently. I think we should put ourselves first.  And again, it all comes down to balance.

If I'm "ALWAYS" first, then things are a bit out of balance.  And if I "NEVER" put me first, choosing instead to put others  first, then things are a bit out of balance.  (A bit?  How 'bout a LOT out of balance?)

I've been out of balance for a good while. I think I've been kidding myself that I'm taking care of me, but in actuality - not really.  I'd come home and sit on the couch 'for me'.  I'd treat myself to something 'yummy' (aka 'comfort food') 'for me'.  You might recognize the pattern in yourself or in someone you love and care for.  

So, today, I'm taking better care of me to take better care of my family, my friends and my clients.  I'm going to do something physical and something non-physical which will both bring a level of relaxation.  I'll talk more about them, but for now, just wanted to put it out there that today marks a new day.  

What will you choose to do today for YOU?  Can you choose to be a teeny-tiny bit selfish if it means that you are a better your for yours?  Consider it, won't you?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Make your bed, please.

Good Monday morning to you.  Did you make your bed this morning?  If not, why not?

"I don't have time."  "I'm in a rush."  I might want to get back into it later."

Here's a challenge because I believe that you do have time.  In fact, I know you have time.   This morning, for grins, I timed myself on making the bed.  67.4 seconds.  And, I really wasn't rushing it.   I made sure that I smoothed out the sheets and pulled the blanket tight, even tucking in the extra into the side rails before smoothing out the comforter and plumping up both pillows.  I even added the pretty, decorative pillow, nicely centered, in that timeframe.  

What's the big deal, Delee, with making the bed?  I'm just going to get back into it tonight!

And of course you will!  And just think now how great it feels to pull back the covers on a freshly made bed - almost like being at a hotel only with your stuff all around you.  It's comforting and it's welcoming.  And it feels good.  

But when we're in a rush, it might be the (one of  the) thing(s) that we skip on  our way out of the door, rushing the whole way.  Remember my last post where I encouraged you to sloooowwwww doowwwwnnnn?  Here's another example of slowing it down.  When your bed is made and you look into your bedroom, it looks more put together, more complete ..... more cared for!  Consider for a moment that when you make your bed, you are caring for it, for your home and ultimately, for yourself!   You're planning ahead for how it will feel to end your day.  If your day is not one of your best, at least the ending might be a bit more comforting.  Just a thought.....

And it's not uncommon for me to hear from folks in my office that they do not make their bed.  Often because they are depressed and don't have the energy to do so.  Remember that energy begets energy.  When I talk with someone, I don't immediately rush out to have them consider medications. I want to get to know them and their situation a bit more. So, I might encourage them to do some things differently, which includes making the bed first thing.  I even tell them that I don't mind if they get back in it a few hours later.  But here's the deal - and it's no national secret - a person MIGHT think twice about returning to bed if they have to un-make the bed they took 67.4 seconds to make that morning  .....(especially after I've also encouraged them to get up, take a shower, dress AS IF they are going out for the day).  Basically, I'm asking someone to do one thing differently and see how it feels, see how they experience their life a bit differently that day.  To see if making the bed might change one thing for the better.  

Is this the new 'cure' for depression?  Probably not.  That would be bold of me.  Does it help to lift a spirit or two?  Maybe so!  Is that enough of a change?  For me, it's enough of a change for today.  And isn't it about what I do differently TODAY that might make a teensy-bit-more-of-change tomorrow?  

Just some thoughts.......make it a good one!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sloowwwww doooowwwwnnnnn......

Happy Wednesday to you.  I am writing this to do just that......slow down.  

I've been super busy:  up since 6, away at 7:30 to grab the grandma for a routine Dr. appointment and then to work. The "routine" of the Dr. appointment takes about 3 hours all in all - with about 20 of that actually seeing the doctor.  And, he's really good about seeing us quickly.    

So, the rest of that time goes to driving, encouraging her to do the things that she needs to do to go out, slowly moving out to the car (slower in the cold!), getting her cart into the car, driving to the Dr. and doing most of the above in reverse. See the Doctor, rinse and repeat.  

It's not her's just what is.  And I can appreciate - NOW - that all of this slows me down as well.

For a bit.

Then I get back into 'gotta-get-to-the-office-and-ready-for-my-day' mode.  


So, on my way to grab my lunch before my first client and in the midst of phone calls in and out, I literally slowed myself down.  Made myself be more aware of slower footsteps to my lunch and back to my office.

Here's what's guaranteed - the time will pass whether we hurry or not.  My choice.  Today, I'm choosing to slow it down a bit.  It'll all be here to be done.  

Take care of you today and slooooowwwww it dooooowwwnnnnn, please.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A "different" kind of Christmas

 Merry Christmas Eve!

Today there's no hustle and bustle - it's going to be a laid back, peaceful kind of day.  The kind that we talk about having if all the food were ready, the gifts bought and wrapped, the traveling safely completed. 

I am at home, drinking my Christmas Eve coffee (which is undeniably my Saturday morning coffee, my spring and fall coffee, my coffee with friends) and it's a peaceful way to start this day.  Ottmar Liebert's Christmas Santa Fe is playing in the background and I'm taking some small strolls down memory lane:   of memories past and memories not yet made, for they are all important.  I'm 'connecting' with friends via FaceBook and experiencing their day (your day) in ways I wouldn't otherwise get to do.  I love that about Social Media even though I do believe that we need to be a bit cautious about 'all' that we share.  But I digress - that's another blog for another day.  

So why, or how, you ask, is this a 'different' kind of Christmas.  Well, to start with I want to say that I'm not a Scrooge!  I L. O. V. E. Christmas!  I love the anticipation of Christmas, the days and weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas when the world takes on a glow, an energy, a joy in the midst of craziness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and people lining up to give away their money in a frenzy!  Been there, done that, might even do it again some day.  

But not this year. This year is different.  



Not bad.  Just different. 
Eight years ago, we began to be 'different'.  My Mom died in 2003 and that Christmas was our first 'different'.  It was hard, we were grieving, and we adjusted.  My sister and I learned how to do Christmas again, creating new traditions.  Prior to that, our Christmas' traditions stayed the same for many years.  Christmas morning started at my sister's home - we got to see what Santa brought my nephews! Then we'd head to Mom's house for gift giving and receiving and oh-such-wonderful food! 

And we'd pull out the Twister board.  

Twister, you ask? What's up with THAT?  Well, only one of our best, most funnest traditions started oh-so-long-ago by our sweet boys who enjoyed the gifting as much as anyone.  

We dividing into 'teams':  red, yellow, blue and green.  (The tiny purple mark - that was the 'team' that Andrew created for Mom.  Last Christmas, with both Mom and Andrew gone, we landed on purple!  Thanks for joining us, you two!)  We'd spin and that team would open a gift each - wow - we could really enjoy our time, stretching out the gift giving, watching each person open their gift, oooooh'ing and aaahhh'ing over them!  

Good times!

Times I miss.  I miss them because I miss the folks who are missing from our family.  I miss them because I do love tradition - that something to count on to be the same when so much changes.  (I wonder if I could toss in another 'miss' or two in that sentence?)

So what's changed this year?  The decorations you see are from last year.  I decorated my patio and hung some lights up the staircase banister.  Neither my sister or I put up a tree.  I've heard that from many people - that they just did not decorate this year.  That's different too.  In all my years as a therapist, I've not heard so many people say that they just did not decorate this year.  I hope that they are enjoying this day in a different kind of peace of the season.  I hope that they are realizing that it's not necessarily the tree, the lights, the shopping that make the season 'merry and bright'.  I miss the tree and will have it again, but I'm ok with this year's 'different' Christmas.  Last night, we Skype'd for Christmas since Matt 'n Kelsie couldn't be here with us.  Deb at her house, me here baking a pumpkin cheesecake to take to Dad's, M 'n K in the ATL with Buddy and Macy!  Next Thanksgiving, I'll remember to be extra grateful for Skype in our lives!  Getting to spend time with them, watching them open their gifts, was ALMOST as good

If there's one thing we can count on - next year will likely be another 'different' Christmas.  So, I'm heading to the kitchen to play around with something else to take for Christmas lunch.  It's a laid-back Christmas Eve.  I hope yours is Merry and Bright, quiet and calm, filled with joy, peace and laughter.  

Merry Christmas!

Monday, September 5, 2011


The wheels on your car do not rotate in forward motion on their own. The process of driving takes everything working together.  From turning the key in the ignition to shifting the gear into reverse; moving your foot from the brake to the gas pedal; fueling the car; and all of the parts under the hood doing just what they are supposed to do, working together with one another allows you to get from here to there.

And even more than that, a functioning car needs, DEMANDs, upkeep.    When we choose to not change the oil or the filters, the system clogs and the car does not run smoothly.  It might even get to the point of sputtering, choking and even stopping.  In fact, the car is telling us to pay attention – something is not working well.  What needs to happen to keep the car moving?

And it works this way with each of us as well.  It’s pretty common knowledge that if you don’t take care of yourself, you can slow down and stop as well.  And this is not always physical but is often emotional slowing down as well.  Emotional slowing down might also be known as ‘depression’.  

You’ve heard the listing of symptoms before:  constant sadness, irritability, hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness or guilt (for no apparent reason), loss of interest in favorite activities, as well as trouble sleeping, low energy or fatigue, significant weight change and/or difficulty concentrating.

Depression is different than a strong emotional reaction(s) to specific situations….but that’s a discussion for another day.  Today, let’s focus on moving forward in spite of the depression.  Having said that, I want you to move forward.  


Research indicates that movement, aka exercise, can alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. And while I would NEVER suggest that anyone stop their antidepressant medication without consulting their physician, I DO suggest that my clients begin to MOVE! 

And I will acknowledge to them that I understand that is the very last thing that they probably feel like doing. 

Do it anyway!


  •          releases the neurotransmitters and endorphins:  the ‘feel good’ brain chemicals
  •          reduces immune system chemicals that can make your depression worse
  •          Can increase body temperatures which can have a calming effect as well as helping to
§  Gain confidence as you meet the small challenges you set for yourself
§  Distract you from the worries you face – even if for a short time
§  Interact with others
Any of these are far better coping strategies than others you might choose such as drinking, abusing medications or simply hoping that the feelings will go away.

So, what might you do differently today?

  • Get up and get dressed.  It’s harder to sink back into the couch or the bed if you are dressed for the day.  
  • Make your bed.  Later you may believe that you want to crawl back into it and, as above, it will be harder to choose to get back into a made bed.
  • Walk outside and take a deep breath.  Fill your lungs and consider how that feels to you.
  • Walk to the mailbox and back.  It would be foolish to suggest that you run a marathon.  While you may choose to one day, this is not the day for that.  A small, baby-steps toward a change is what you’ll take on today. 
  • Drink a glass of water – like maintenance on a car, do the basics of self-care.
  • Eat breakfast – see above.
  • Sit outside in the direct sunlight for 10-15 minutes – get that dose of Vitamin D naturally!
  • Laugh!  Laughter is good for the body and I’ll take  this as a form of ‘movement’ today!  And, in that vein......
  • Lather, rinse and repeat.  
Don’t feel like doing any of this? 

Do it anyway.  What have you got to lose?  Make an effort to practice this for one week and see if it doesn’t make a difference.

How quickly would you notice even small changes in your car after proper maintenance? The changes might be subtle but they'd be there. You might notice less sluggishness, more PEP, better gas mileage.  In yourself, you might notice yourself smiling a bit more, more inclined to interact with others, more energy.  

Having said all of this, please know that there is also help out there.  See your physician, seek out a therapist you feel comfortable working with (, or, if you feel too overwhelmed:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Lists

On Sunday mornings, my sister and I visit with our Nana.  She no longer attends church so we watch it with her on TV.

Lately it seems as though the majority of sermons are focused on  relationships. Joel, Kerry and Dr. Ed speaking on being good partners  in relationship with one another.

A couple of things stood out for me today.


So many lists out there,  being created with 'THE' way to save a marriage or relationship.   Today, it occurs to me that if it were that easy to fix something with someone else's list, then why do we still have  challenges? Now, the lists are great-most really do make very good  sense. And maybe hope comes from knowing about, or reading, the  lists. Seems to me that a problem lies with the number of lists that  are possible. And, that they are someone else's lists.

So the challenge of the day is this: create your list for yourself!
What are the Top 10 things YOU need to do to improve your rationship
with someone you love(ed) and cherish(ed)? Instead of expecting the
other person to change, do one thing differently yourself! Create the
ripple in the pond that can bring subtle, lasting change. Notice what
happens around you. Respond to the changes that you like, enjoy and
treasure! Dont just sit there waiting....make it happen!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Dying of Thirst.......

I've been reading this weekend about The Water Cure by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj.  My sister had suggested it to me before and then again recently after I had a bit of a scare.  Two weeks ago, my blood pressure went sky high and pretty much scared me to tears. 

Or hopefully, scared me into a process of better health! 

So, I'm going to focus on this for a while and see what comes of it. 

I do not drink enough water and never have.  Until now.

In the past, I've actually been 'proud' of my ability to not have to go to the bathroom for hours on end.  How foolish I have been.  Hopefully I have not done extreme, irreversable damage to my body. 

After this weekend, it makes a LOT more sense to me as to why we all should be drinking more water.  I am not an authority on this at all and my reading on water is currently limited to Dr. Batman's book.  But I do read about health and fitness and am kinda connecting the dots in relation to recent diet fads and poor health.  As I glanced through several other books today, none of them focused on the amount of water we should be drinking.  So, for me, I'm going to look at weaving in all the bits and pieces and see how it fits for me. This will be my forum and if it helps someone - then wonderful!  If it only helps me - then wonderful!  

I've also been reading Jillian Michael's "Master Your Metabolism" and am pretty impressed by it as well.  Going to go back and take a look at what she has to say about water....I know I've seen them really pushing "The Biggest Loser" contestants to drink more water.  And haven't we all heard that forever - drink more water.  Reading Dr. Batman's book has really offered me some powerful insight as to WHY we should be. 

And, it's made me think about my clients and wonder about their water consumption.  *Just to be clear.....I am NOT a physician and will NOT be suggesting to anyone that they stop any medications in favor of just drinking more water!*  As the years pass and I continue to practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist, I've had to stop and consider, be curious about, the physiological aspect of the brain in therapy.  I'm intrigued by what we have going on up there....brain development is amazing stuff and I often will assure parents that much of what is going on with their kiddos is absolutely appropriate for their development stages - body and brain!  So now, I'm thinking that if we're all so very dehydrated, as I believe myself to be, then how is this affecting our brains, our mental health?  If pharmaceuticals approach/alleviate a SYMPTOM and not the source, then isn't this an injustice to helping our clients?  Our friends?  Our families? 

I may be all over the place with this so far.  If you have found me and have been reading this, I hope you are tracking and haven't given up on me.  I've never considered myself to have ADD-like tendencies until recently.  Over the course of this holiday weekend, I've found myself repeatedly going from one task to the next without completing anything!  Aaarrgghhh!  Crazy-making!  This is not me!  And, it's probably not you either!

So, for now, suffice to say that I've got a lot of thoughts about this and want to focus on it more.  I'm going to use me as an experiment and hold myself accountable by recording it here.  I've always wanted to write, so let's get on with it. 

I want to lose weight.  Not for a number but because I want to maintain the level of health that I've always believed myself to have.  (My one and only hospitalization was for an appendectomy in 1966-67?)  I want to eat healthy, unprocessed foods with ingredients that I can pronounce and know from whence they came!  My mom was a wise woman back in the early days of low-, non-fat food craze!  She always said that she'd prefer a smaller 'dollop' of real sour cream than more of something chock full o'other stuff.  Young thing that I was, I thought I surely knew more than her.  So, maybe I'm wiser now.  So, I'm going to chronicle the coming weeks here and see what happens. 

I'm going to drink water throughout the day, per Dr Batman and his Water Cure book.   I've 'got an app for that' on my phone and I've been tracking all weekend. I've already got an 'A' for today's consumption!  Yay for me!  I'm going to eat good food, 3 meals a day and one snack per Jillian.  I'm going to incorporate the right kind of salt (Himalayan Crystal salt or Celtic Sea Salt) and good fats into my diet (Coconut oil, olive oil and sparingly, real butter) in moderation. 

I'm going to pay attention to my attention span and ability to organize and keep myself organized.  I'm going to pay attention to my sleep and to my moods and feelings and how I respond to challenges that I face.  I'm going to become healthier. 

Join me?