On today’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast, we are talking all about a journey of self-compassion. Yep, that’s right! This is one special episode.
This week we are joined by previous guest, Ethan Smith, the national ambassador for the charity called the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation (IOCDF). Ethan talks all about his new experiences and journey of self-compassion and how he has learned a lot about himself in the past year. Consider this Chapter 2 of Ethan's story, as he shares his struggles with taking responsibility for what goes wrong in his life and not blaming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for his struggles. Ethan also shares how he is learning how to cope with “bad” choices and making mistakes and how he was pushed into the practice of self-compassion when he realized he was still under the spell of internalized stigma of mental health. This is such an important issue and one I want to focus on in the future of Your Anxiety Toolkit.
Ethan also shared his journey of self-compassion as he learns how he would internally compare and contrast the mistakes he has made before, during and after treatment. He talked about how recognizing this process has made him realize how hard he really was on himself. I think we can all resonate with this at times and Ethan beautifully shares his vulnerable and authentic experience.
Ethan addressed how he is now learning to cope with unrealistic expectations and how self-compassion has taught him to accept himself as he is. He talked about how common humanity is a concept that he fought for so long in fear that it will make him complacent and careless.
I am sure you will learn a lot from this episode and I hope that it helps you reflect on your journey of self-compassion.
Before we go, I want to remind you about the upcoming IOCDF conference in Austin, TX, from July 19-21. This national meeting focuses solely on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related disorders. I will be one of the presenters among over 100 presentations, workshops, and seminars. There will be support groups and evening events as well. Click HERE for more information and to buy tickets.
Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit. Today, we are talking all about Managing Sleep Anxiety.
It is very common for my clients to report significant anxiety at bed time and during sleep. They might report trouble getting to sleep, racing thoughts while trying to fall asleep, trouble staying asleep, waking up panicking, or ruminating on an event or worry.
In this episode, we are not talking about the specific medical side of sleep disturbances. We are talking specifically about managing sleep anxiety.
Did you know that more than 40 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder? (according to the National Institutes of Health). And, did you know that 50% of those with GAD have a sleep disorder? These statistics blew me away and made me realize I need to be addressing this issue more often.
I am sure you will agree that stress and anxiety may increase sleeping problems or make existing problems even worse. Many will report that their sleep quality is much reduced when they are going through a difficult time in their lives.
But, the real question is, which one comes first? Sleep disorder or Anxiety Disorder? We will discuss this in this episode. In this episode, we also address sleep hygiene, caffeine intake, and the importance of exercise when it comes to managing anxiety. We also talk about the importance of reducing screen time, keeping naps to a minimum and the necessity of seeing a sleep specialist if you are really struggling.
I really hope this episode helps you manage sleep anxiety just a little better. It's a beautiful day to do hard things, CBT School community!
Before we go, I'd like to remind you about two amazing events coming up and a way for you to give back to the OCD community!
What: The IOCDF is hosting their 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Calabasas on Saturday, June 1, to increases awareness and raises funds for the IOCDF and its Local Affiliates so they can continue their mission. I will be walking at this one! There are many walks happening so be sure to check your area if you are interested.
When: June 1
Where: Juan Bautista de Anza Park | Calabasas, CA
Click HERE for more information and to register.
What: Since 1993, the Annual OCD Conference has been the only national meeting focused solely on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders. The unique event allows people with OCD and their loved ones to learn about the latest OCD treatment and information alongside the mental health professionals who care for them. The Conference features more than 100 presentations, workshops, and seminars as well as nearly two-dozen support groups and various evening events. Presenters include some of the most experienced and knowledgeable clinicians and researchers in the field, as well as people with OCD and family members sharing their stories about life with OCD.
When: July 19-21
Where: JW Marriott Austin, Austin TX
Click HERE for more information and to buy tickets.
During the month of May, Shala Nicely is giving 100% of her royalties from Is Fred in the Refrigerator? Taming OCD and Reclaiming My Life to the International OCD Foundation for the conference scholarship fund. In celebration of the one-year anniversary of Fred’s publication, she hopes to raise enough money to send at least 5 people in need to the conference. And with your help, we can send even more!
As Shala shares in the Fred chapter “Changing the OCD Mind,” going to her first IOCDF conference was life-changing: she finally learned about exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP) for OCD and actually tried the therapy on her own, realizing with amazement that ERP gave her the power to reclaim her life.
If you have OCD, know someone with OCD, treat OCD, or have ever been curious what OCD is really like, please purchase a copy of Fred. As I wrote in my endorsement of the book, “Is Fred in the Refrigerator? is a stunning story of growth, perseverance and hope. Shala beautifully details how mental illness shaped her life, taking us with her on her brave journey through perfectionism, shame and fear. This book is the perfect combination of entertainment, education and validation for those who are on their journey to recovery from OCD, but also for any human being who wants to live courageously and joyfully.”
100% of the royalties from every book sold will directly support sending people with OCD to the IOCDF conference, where they will learn that they, too, can reclaim their lives. Thank you!
How To Be Uncertain In the Management of OCD
Welcome to this week's episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit.
When it comes to the management of anxiety, practicing being uncertain is the key to long-term recovery. We must face our fears and purposely not try to solve what will happen and what we would do if our fear came true. For anyone attempting this, we can all agree that being uncertain is a very difficult skill to practice. I have found that while my clients logically are on board with the idea of being uncertain, they still struggle with HOW to be uncertain. Cognitively, we know the importance of uncertainty, but the actual practice of it might not be something that we are fully on board for.
Nearly every day, a client or a follower on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) will ask me HOW to be uncertain. They might say, “Kimberley, I get that I have to lean into the uncertainty, but HOW do I actually be uncertain?”
In today’s podcast episode, we talk all about how to be uncertain and what major roadblocks might be causing you to bypass uncertainty. We also talk about some key mindfulness tools to help with the practice of uncertainty when managing strong obsessions and compulsions. This is a very important concept when it comes to anxiety management, so I would love to hear your thoughts.
There are a few very exciting events coming up!
The IOCDF is hosting their 1 Million Steps 4 OCD Walk in Calabasas on Saturday, June 1, to increases awareness and raises funds for the IOCDF and its Local Affiliates so they can continue their mission. I will be walking at this one! Click HERE for more information and to register.
Also, the IOCDF Annual Conference will be held in Austin, Texas, from July 19-21. I will be speaking at this event and love seeing you there! Click HERE for more information and to buy tickets.
100th Episode Virtual Party!
Welcome to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. This episode is a very special one for us. We are celebrating out 100th Episode and we are having a VIRTUAL PARTY! At this party, we want you to celebrate this wonderful community of brave and courageous people who stand by each other as we go through hard things and we do hard things.
For this virtual party, we invited some of our favorite guests and asked them to share some wisdom, a funny story or dance the night away with us.
First up, we have Ethan Smith who was on Ep. 53 (How Advocacy “Keeps Me Well”: Interview with Ethan Smith OCD Advocate) and he starts the evening off in the most glamorous way.
Sheva Rajaee who was Ep 45 (FIVE Roadblocks to Anxiety Recovery (w/ Sheva Rajaee) shares a wonderful story about Octopi and how adaptable they (and we) are.
Chris Tronsdon who was on Ep 97 (The Emotional Stages of Recovery – Rebuilding Life After OCD with Chris Tronsdon) shared a wonderful and inspiring story of having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and then led us into a fabulous dance.
Nathalie Maragoni from Ep 65 shared her love for our community and how proud she is of us all.
Shala Nicely from Ep 16 (Guilt, Shame and being “SO OCD” with CBT ROCKSTAR Shala Nicely), Ep 36 (This EASY tool Might Change Your Way of Coping with Anxiety with Shala Nicely) and Ep 78 (Tips To Help You Share Your Mental Illness With Others) Shared her words of wisdom and also has a wonderful and generous gift she is sharing with the OCD community.
Catherine DeMonte from Ep 95 (Love vs. Fear with Catherine DeMonte) shared a wonderful piece about how we must choose love over fear and allow love to lead us. Catherine always has beautiful things to share with us.
Michelle Massi from Ep 84 (How to Manage Social Anxiety (with guest, Michelle Massi, LMFT) Beautifully shares what she loved about being on Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast and we 100% cannot wait to have you back on Michelle.
Alegra Kastens, our fabulous and hard-working CBT School assistant gives us a huge dose of inspiration and support with her beautiful words of hope and faith. Thank you, Alegra!
Of course, no party is complete without Jeremy Quinlan from Ep 99 (Making The Choice to Embrace Panic with Jeremy Quinlan) who shows us late and always causes trouble. Thank you, Jeremy, for showing your handsome face!
The lovely and wise Zoe Gillis from Ep 19 (Nature just might be the ULTIMATE Mindfulness Tool with Zoe Gillis) shared how she experiences parties and brings a unique and thoughtful approach to our 100th episode (always making me think outside the box).
And, true to form, Patrick McGrath from Ep 64 (Don’t Try Harder, Try Different with Patrick McGrath) brings his hilarious jokes and firm direction for those who are working on anxiety and recovery.
And, last but not least, Chrissie Hodges from Ep. 67 (Grieving the Losses of Mental Illness) shares a powerful message for those who are in the throes of anxiety and OCD recovery. I just adore her thoughts and wisdom.
I cannot thank you all enough for all of your support and excitement. Thank you for joining us for this virtual party! I have loved every minute of this podcast...all the minutes of recording, editing, and preparing. Thank you so much, CBT School community! Here is to another 100!
Jeremy Quinlan Talks About Panic Disorder and Choosing to Embrace Panic
Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. Today we have a very special guest. For me, this is THE most special guest, because this week I had the honor of interviewing my husband about Making the Choice to Embrace Panic.
In this episode, Jeremy tells the story of his Panic Disorder, how panic took so much from him and how he made the choice to embrace panic, instead of run from it.
I have wanted to record this episode for the longest time, but life, work, family and business always got in the way. But, on a beautiful spring day, we both sat down while the kids were at school in our lounge room and recorded his story.
Together, we talked about the fear of flying and how this caused him to exit off many flights in a state of panic. We also talk about his fear of driving on the highway, fear of getting on elevators, fear of getting on a train or a trolley or a taxi cab, etc. We also got very deep into the experience of panic disorder and what it felt like to have a panic attack. Jeremy described his specific experience of panic and how it made him fear he would hurt someone or lose control of his body.
What I loved the most was how he shared his bumpy journey to recovery. Jeremy carefully describes what that journey with panic felt like and how he made an intentional decision to “choose life” over running from anxiety, panic, and dread. He addressed how he came to a place where he could see that he had only two choices: choose to embrace panic or to keep running and let it take over his life.
I am so excited to share this episode with you, CBT School community. I hope he inspires you as much as he inspires me.