Dr. Zoe Shaw, A Year of Self-Care

Anxiety

How do we combat anxiety? Advice from our resident therapists and real-life stories offer you steps to overcome your anxiety while acknowledging that it’s ok to seek help.

This Grit and Grace Life Podcast

Wise Words for Women in Our Grit and Grace Life – 162

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreWith life traveling faster than we can keep up, many of us are facing storms that threaten to take our joy, sanity, and peace. What we all need right now are wise words for women to handle this grit and grace life. We don’t need a quippy cliché or a half-hearted platitude but real practical truths to apply as needed. To offer that, co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Bender take to the mic to share six insights on life that benefit every woman. Since they are taking a recording break for a few months, they wanted to leave you with these hard-won words of wisdom. […]

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Ask Dr. Zoe - How Do I Set Boundaries with My Invasive Mother-in-Law? feature image

Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Stop Being a People Pleaser?

‘Paranoid and anxious’ Asked: Dr. Zoe, HELP ME! I know that this question, not even a question really, may seem bizarre and a no-brainier, but to me, it’s my life and I hate it! I’m such a people pleaser, always wanting to help someone out even if it means spreading myself far too thin. I’m always worried if someone doesn’t text me back, want to hang out, like my post on Facebook or return my phone calls that they are mad at me, secretly hate me, or they are laughing behind my back. I’m constantly paranoid about my friendships and even sometimes with my marriage. My anxiety will be so bad that I take it out on my husband and children. At

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this is how god matured the anxious girl i used to be

This Is How God Matured the Anxious Girl I Used to Be

In our home, we purge what has gathered in the corners of closets and the backs of drawers each year. We find new homes for jackets that haven’t been worn for the past few years, and we toss the reams of paper we no longer need. It is a freeing, satisfying time. This year my husband was looking through a box of treasures he’d collected over the past 40 years: cards from family members that have long since passed; notes from his son; handmade cards from children he’d coached. They all brought special memories of times he’d almost forgotten. At the bottom of the box was a letter addressed “Mac.” Seven pages of thoughts and emotions, handwritten, and badly faded. He called

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Why Your Self-Talk Drives Your Life (And How To Make It Work For You)

Why Your Self-Talk Drives Your Life (and How to Make It Work for You)

Do you say mean things to yourself, but don’t know how to stop it? Can you think of a time when you know your self-talk got the best of you and sabotaged something really important (a job interview, a relationship, a business, or a dream)? Are you tired of holding yourself back because you can’t get control of your self-talk? You may be great at setting goals, starting relationships, or following your dreams, but it is impossible to accomplish them and keep your resolutions if you don’t get in control of your self-talk. Your self-talk drives everything in your life. I used to have crushing anxiety and fear. I have trained myself to be my best coach, supporter, and encourager. I have

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Ways to Rise Above Your Anxiety

Do you struggle with anxiety? You’re not alone. The number of people who have made their battle with anxiety known is staggering. That doesn’t even account for those who are holding it inside. This may be personal to you, as it is to several of our writers. How do we combat anxiety? At Grit and Grace Life, we share our experiences and find ways to manage and cope. We have also asked our resident therapists for their expert advice. We hope these real-life stories offer you steps to overcome your anxiety. And, we want to encourage you that it’s not just ok to seek help—it’s often essential. We believe you can face this struggle head-on, find the answers you need, and pray that

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Leaning-into-Worship-Even-When-You-Have-a-Hurting-Heart

Leaning Into Worship With a Wounded Heart

Normally, I am a girl who loves her worship. Set me up in the front row at church with the lights going and the praise pumping, and I will be hands up, tears rolling, scream-singing the words (because I know them all). I’ve lived enough life to truly understand the cost of His grace, the depth of my sin, and the beauty of His love, so worship could last for hours, and I would not complain. But as I sat in Bible study listening to two beautiful girls leading that day, my heart was in rebellion, willing me to resist. I was agitated. Annoyed. I didn’t want to worship. I wasn’t feeling the moment or the praise. Worship was not on my

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My-Life-Is-a-Canvas-God-Is-the-Painter

My Life Is a Canvas, God Is the Painter

(Listen to the audio version of this article here.) For many of us, the new year is an opportunity for a fresh start. We’ll seize the newness of the season by taking intentional moments to reset and re-calibrate. We visualize what the next 365 days hold for us. Perhaps because I grew up in the home of an artist, I liken the new year to a blank canvas ready to be primed and painted with brilliant hues and brush strokes of far-off adventures, rough timelines, and enormous potential. The canvas is etched in lofty goals, dreams, and aspirations; our hopes and everything we resolve to one day achieve are saturated in its fibers. Each January, I’d have a vision and high ideals

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enjoying your life even when its overwhelming

This Is How I Enjoy My Life Even When I’m Feeling Overwhelmed

Are you in one of those seasons of life where it seems like any second your world is going to go spinning off its axis? Please, tell me I’m not alone in this! Are you feeling overwhelmed with all of the demands of this world? Do you feel like your tank is on empty and you’re running on fumes? If so, I’m right there with you, sister! You see, I’m one of those people that takes life head-on and plows through the problems that come my way. Usually. However, recent illness in my family—myself included—has made it significantly more difficult for me to navigate the stresses and pressures of life with my usual tenacity. I’m exhausted mentally and physically and several times

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35-Inner-Thoughts-of-the-Working-Woman

Is There Anything More Important Than Self-Love?

Have you ever been told, “You just need to learn to love yourself,” after pouring your heart out to a friend about how discontent you are with yourself? I was recently talking with a couple girlfriends about real life aches and pains that left us feeling inadequate and empty, when one friend offered up the self-love philosophy as sincere, heart-felt advice to the other. She had personally experienced the crippling impact of self-hatred, and she was determined to make her outlook more optimistic and uplifting by exchanging her self-hatred for self-love. Since intentionally changing her thoughts to be more loving and accepting toward herself, rather than harsh and disapproving, she began to improve her own mental state, and she believed this could

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how to get your hormone health in check

How to Get Your Hormone Health in Check

Let me start by saying I am not an expert in balanced hormones. I am, however, a black belt level expert in unbalanced hormones. Everything I’m about to share with you quite literally comes from my own experience and the things that helped me out of my hormone hole, so I hope there is something here that can help you, too. So. The “H” word. What’s the big deal? What do hormones affect? In short, everything. In fact, your hormones and gut health can have a bigger effect on your health than anything else, even if your diet is sparkling clean. Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers, and if they are off, your quality of life can be greatly affected (not to mention

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Dear Mom: I See Your Struggle With Depression

Dear Mom: I See Your Struggle With Depression

Dear Mom, I see you. You’re fighting an invisible battle. A sickness that cannot be seen on an X-ray, no surgery to cut out the despair. You’re trying to take back what anxiety and depression have stolen. Life isn’t what we all expected it to be. Our family no longer lives under one roof. This season has been shrouded in guilt from the past, confusion for the future, and the loss of identities. This has been our family’s season in the valley, but some of us have found our way out quicker than others. The Mind Monster When I try to explain to my son what your “boo boo” is, he doesn’t understand why a superman band-aid and his kiss can’t make

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How a Simple Breath Prayer Can Calm Your Mind and Body

A Breath Prayer to Calm Your Mind and Body

We do it around 23,040 times a day and even more if we’re in a state of exertion. Our life cycles start and end with it, from our very first inhale at birth to our last exhale at death. I’m referring to the breath—the universal language of humanity and the vital force that fuels our existence. There’s no doubt that the breath is a majestic and miraculous phenomenon. Yet, most of us carry about our days largely disconnected from this incredible source of life, which can calm your mind and body. I first learned to pay attention to my breath as a third grader. I would lay awake at night, plagued with stomachaches and anxiety. In attempts to help calm me down,

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There Is Clarity to Be Found in Your Trials

There Is Clarity to Be Found in Your Trials

While I wouldn’t advertise this on Facebook for fear of the comments, there are some benefits the epic quarantine of 2020 brought on for me, both practical and spiritual. Our busy family remembered how to linger at the dinner table, play games together, and enjoy our own home. These are some practical benefits. The spiritual ones took longer to process, but once I plunged deep into the uncharted waters, I found my way. Surprisingly, this strange season distilled unparalleled clarity in my faith. Where I once assumed that a change in my immediate circumstances would relieve the aching in my heart, I’m now a little wiser. The same painful trial I was enduring before the coronavirus remains. And even though I experienced

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How to Adapt When You Have No Control

Hey sister, have you ever noticed that when everything else feels out of your control and hard to handle, you can find a sense of power and joy in deciding to change something? I’ve always joked that when a woman feels the need to make a change in her life, she has four options: her living room furniture, her purse, her shoes, or her hair. I’ve witnessed it many times in my career as a hairstylist—when a woman experiences major life disturbances or gets antsy with life in general, the quickest solution is to get bangs, chop it off, or switch up the color. Coco Chanel said this: “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” Ah yes,

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This Is the Lesson Learned From My Sleepless Nights

This Is the Lesson Learned From My Sleepless Nights

For as long as I can remember, I have had sleep problems. When I was a little girl, I would listen for the ticking of the clock down in our family room and was convinced that the “tick-tock” sound was keeping me awake, so I would quietly go downstairs and stop the pendulum. Over time, the clock broke. I used to wake up my dad, just so that he knew I couldn’t sleep. My mind would spiral through the same thoughts and deep into the night, I would think the same thoughts over and over. My dad would always reassure me by saying, “Remember, Amy, your body is resting whether you are asleep or not.” It always brought me such peace. During

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When You Need to Shift Your Heart, Attitude and Mindset

When You Need to Shift Your Heart, Attitude and Mindset

I woke this morning with this nagging sense of sadness. It sat with me as I ate breakfast, followed me throughout my morning, and then nestled close as I sat to read. I wrestled to identify a reason for the emotion. Until, I stopped and reflected on our new reality—a world of imposed limitations, social distancing, forced confinement. And now, experts are telling us it could be weeks before we flatten the curve and move towards our post-virus norms. Certainly, a reason to be sad. A friend shared, “We are relational people.” And as relational beings, we mourn the loss of our freedom, the touch of a friend, the interaction of our tribe. If we are honest, we are all a little

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My Jersey Mom on Life And How to Throw a Punch

My Jersey Mom on How to Throw a Punch (in the Battles of Life)

My mom is a small woman. She’s always been. It’s not so much that she’s short—she’s actually taller than me—but more that she’s always been thin and slight, her bones seemingly the same as a bird’s.  But what she lacks in stature, she makes up for in personality.  See, my mom is from Jersey. Technically, we all know it’s New Jersey, right? But the truth is, there is a certain cachet to New Jersey that fits only when you say “Jersey.” It’s more fitting to the person, to the aura, than the formal version. And my mom is very Jersey.  She’s tough. She’s got a fighter’s spirit. In some ways, it was difficult as a kid. My mom was quick to anger,

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