"You WILL get through this!" Interview with Fashion Blogger and OCD Advocate Jemma MrDak
Hello there CBT School Community!
Welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast. Today, we are so excited to share with you Jemma Mrdak. Jemma is a well-known Australian Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger and an avid Mental Health advocate. I first heard about Jemma on social media after she bravely came out and talked about her experience with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) on the Today show. As soon as I saw her interview, I knew she would be such an inspiration to you all.
In this episode, Jemma talks about her struggles with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), specifically checking and tapping compulsions. Jemma talks about being so overwhelmed with anxiety that she was unable to get to school on time and fell behind in her studies. Jemma also talks about her success with seeking treatment from a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT) and how she used her tools to help her get her life back from OCD. Jemma also shared her love for nature and exercise and how that helped her get in touch with the practice of Mindfulness. If you are feeling hopeless about your future and questioning if you are able to get better at managing your anxiety and OCD, this episode is for you. Jemma is so great at sharing what was easy, what was really hard and what roadblocks she came across in her treatment journey. She is truly an inspiration and will give you some amazing words of wisdom to help with on your journey to mental wellness.
For more info on Jemma, visit the below:
Before we go, GET EXCITED! ERP School is almost here again. ERP School will be re-released in late January. Click HERE to be the first one alerted by signing up to be on the waitlist.
How Practicing Self-Respect Can Lead to Self-Compassion
Hello there CBT School Family! I am so thrilled to share another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast with you.
You guys know me well enough to know that I am a huge fan and advocate for the practice of self-compassion. I love sharing the benefits of self-compassion and helpful ways to put it into practice.
However, over the past few months, I have heard the hopelessness in some of your voices when you share with me that self-compassion just feels too hard and too triggering. Maybe you feel like you don’t deserve to be kind to yourself, which is common in Anxiety, Depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or you are afraid that practicing self-compassion will mean you lose control and become a lazy, useless bum (none of this is true, BTW).
For those of you who are struggles with self-compassion, this podcast is for you. Today we are talking all about how practicing self-respect can lead to self-compassion. Self-respect is all about honoring your right to be treated fairly and kindly. It is all about not treating yourself in a way that is disrespectful and hurtful. We all deserve to be treated equally and fairly, and this is a practice that is crucial if you ever want to master the practice of self-compassion. In this episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast, we will discuss effective ways to practice self-respect and learn how self-respect leads us towards the beneficial practice of self-compassion.
During the podcast episode, we take a look at how you can improve self-respect by addressing these important questions.
1) Do my behaviors represent and reflect self-respect?
2) Do my behaviors respect my values?
3) Do my behaviors respect my beliefs?
4) Do my behaviors allow me to achieve my goals and values?
5) What are some times I have felt a true sense of self-respect?
6) Does my behavior lead me towards a sense of mastery (of a skill or a situation)?
7) What behaviors am I doing that damage my sense of self-respect?
I hope this podcast episode brings you closer to the practice of self-respect and self-compassion. These are two concepts I am very invested in and I hope you find them helpful.
How to Thrive and Survive The Holidays
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Well, the holiday season is here and if you’re anything like me, you’re feeling slightly overwhelmed and stressed because of all you have to do, and all of the emotions that go along with the holidays. This is a common time of the year where we can experience very high emotions such as joy, happiness and excitement, but we also experience a lot of difficult emotions such as fear, panic, depression, hopelessness, grief and loneliness.
Given that this is such a universal experience during the holiday period, we thought it was a great opportunity to bring on Alison Seponara who is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania to talk about How to Thrive and Survive the Holidays. This episode is particularly important if you are also managing a mental illness or other psychological stressors. It is not uncommon for anxiety and depression to worsen during the holiday period, so we wanted to be sure to bring you multiple tools to help you Thrive and Survive the Holidays.
In this interview Alison and I talk about important topics that can really impact our mental wellness during the Holiday season. In this podcast, we address the following:
The most important point Alison and I made during this episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit is that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO FEEL BAD IF YOU ARE NOT ENJOYING THE HOLIDAYS. Alison made some great points in reassuring you that it is ok and totally normal to struggle instead of feeling festive. I hope you find this podcast helpful and you now feel ready to thrive and survive the holidays.
Tips To Help You Share Your Mental Illness With Others
Welcome back to Your Anxiety Toolkit podcast!
Recently on the podcast, I shared my own personal journey of struggling (and now managing) significant anxiety, disordered eating and life stressors. It was a scary, yet brave thing for me to do and I am so glad I did. Because I am constantly telling others that “It is a beautiful day to do hard things,” I figured I have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. It was such an amazing experience to hear many of your reflections and own personal stories on these difficult issues.
What surprised me was that one of the most common questions I heard from you guys (my lovely CBT School community and YAY Podcast listeners) was, “HOW do I share my story?” So many people reached out and shared that they wish they had the courage and “know-how” to start telling others about their journey with mental illness. Maybe you want to empower others? Maybe you want to get it off your chest? Maybe you want to reduce the stigma around your own disorder and mental health struggles?
So, you know what I did? I called the person I most respect when it comes to sharing her story, Shala Nicely. Together we recorded a podcast episode and talked about what you might want to consider when making the decision to share your story. Shala shared many beautiful personal examples of her own process of writing a memoir about her journey with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and how she handled the ups and downs of this process.
Shala and I also talked about HOW to share what you are struggling with a friend or loved one. Shala gives some wonderful tips to decide who to share with and why it might not be who you would have first considered.
What no one can prepare you for is your own mental roller coaster that occurs when you share information about yourself. We also address self-criticism and dealing with what I call “sharing remorse” or what Brene Brown calls a “vulnerability hangover” after telling someone your deep dark secrets. One of the things I love the most about Shala is that she is honest and open about the ups AND the downs of sharing. She shares what it is like for her to handle negative feedback and how she manages that through Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). I hope this helps you come to a decision for yourself.