Recent Episodes

Gratitude Practice: What I do instead of daily gratitude practice

Objectivity is a core value of mine. So maybe that’s also a reason why I don’t resonate with the typical daily gratitude practice. To me gratitude practice just seems too forced. Too focused on finding a silver lining – which often discounts the struggles we may be facing.

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Picture of a hand holding tight on a rail which symbolizes resilience with the text "Dealing with Frustration: Lessons from a Highly Sensitive Person"

By now, you’ll know that I’m a highly sensitive person and a crier. I quickly burst into tears, especially when frustration gets the better of me. One of my core values is persistence, so I don’t know how to give up. I think I struggle with dealing with frustration because it feels like I’m failing. Like letting something else win. Not that I’m an overly competitive person. But if something stops me from achieving something I want to do – it’s now my enemy. And I need to defeat it.

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picture of lightbulbs to symbolize energy with the text "The Secret Behind Effective Burnout Recovery Strategies

When I first learned about burnout I heard it was a stress management problem. Essentially it was too much stress and not enough coping strategies to deal with all that stress. But after my own epic burnout experience, I realized that way of perceiving burnout was wrong. The truth is, burnout is not a stress management problem. It’s an energy management problem. And that completely changes the way we look at burnout recovery strategies.

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The two kinds of daily self-care

I wish I could meet the person who first said that you need 30 minutes per day of self-care so that I could shake them and ask “why????”.
Finding a solid 30 minutes to dedicate to yourself is pretty difficult, especially in the lives of highly sensitive high achievers, am I right? Plus, not all self-care is made equal, and there are some things we think are self-care, but are actually not.
Let’s talk about it.

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trauma informed vulnerability - becoming avery - Avery Thatcher - Inner Stillness Outer Chaos podcast

I’ve come to the conclusion that the typical discussion around vulnerability isn’t actually trauma informed or inclusive, and I think that needs to change.

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Why one-size-fits-all approaches to wellness routines may not work for everyone

When you think of meditation, you likely think about someone sitting down on the floor, legs crossed, eyes closed, hands resting on their knees, breathing deeply and looking calm and relaxed.
But what if meditation didn’t have to look that way? What if all of the typical self-care practices could be adapted to what works for you, not what everybody else seems to be doing?

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The typical approach to boundaries – you know, the one that’s all about telling people what you need and then washing your hands of the outcome – might not be serving us as well as we think.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t set boundaries – boundaries themselves are incredibly helpful and necessary if we want to create more calm in our life. 

But how we set the boundary is almost as important as the boundary itself.

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an image of a storm with the words "What to do when you're feeling overwhelmed" written on it

I never used to be the kind of person that would get anxious or overwhelmed. I used to be proud of that and think it was a skill especially when I was working as an ICU Registered Nurse and things were going sideways that day.
Turns out it was dissociation, aka a coping mechanism from trauma.
What can I say, hindsight’s a jerk sometimes.
Now, the truth is I get very anxious, not just my OCD anxiety disorder, but also just generalized anxiety. I think it’s kind of wild sometimes how creative my anxious brain can be, and how clear it can make the most awful, worst-case what-if scenarios feel so possible and so real.
It’s really easy for the anxious part of me to start drumming up feelings of overwhelm because I can convince myself that I’m not able to cope with whatever my anxious brain or perfectionism have built up. But anxiety is just a friend of mine now, welcome to stay here as long as they need.
Overwhelm, though, that’s a red-flag warning sign for me that I’m heading down the road to burnout.

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Hindsight’s a jerk sometimes.
You know, that moment when you look back at an experience and now you see the red flags and the warning signs…
… or the hindsight that makes you aware of what things you could have done differently to prevent life from going as sideways for you as it did.
Of course you didn’t notice all of these things in the moment because…well who knows why?
Over the past five and a bit years of learning how to embrace my chronic illnesses and disability, hindsight has shared seven specific lessons that I wish I knew before all of this started.
Would these things have prevented my body from breaking in the epic way that it did? Maybe. Maybe not.
But either way, these seven things would have made this experience a lot easier, so I wanted to share them with you because I don’t think you need to have a chronic illness or a disability to benefit from these seven skills.

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