Today’s special guest is a certified life coach, author and motivational speaker, Monica McLaurine. Monica and I had a great conversation about what self-care really means and why it’s so important. Monica also shares some insights on how to help kids deal with bullying based on her book, I Told My Kid To Fight Back. 

  • What are examples of self-care?
  • Learning to do things a different way
  • Self-care is for everybody. How do men practice self-care differently than women? 
  • Counseling as part of self-care
  • Why self-care is important for Christians?
  • Jesus models self-care
  • Small ways to start practicing self-care

Links and Resources:

Monica Mclaurine
 Becoming Comfortable In My Own Skin: The Journey To Loving Me
       I Told My Kid To Fight Back

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Transcript of Episode 38

Hope for Anxiety and OCD, episode 38. On today’s episode, I am talking with Monica McLaurine (see our show notes for spelling on that) about self-care. What in the world  is self-care all about.  We hear a lot of people talk about it. It’s a big buzzword. And I feel like this episode is timely right now because people are coming back to their rate of busy-ness maybe that they had before COVID, hopefully not as busy, but getting back into routines and activities that we were doing prior to all of the shutting down and restrictions, more places are open and more activities are available. 

Monica is also going to talk with us a little bit at the end about some books that she’s written and talks she’s given on bullying.

Carrie: Monica, welcome to the show. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Monica: Hello Carrie. Thanks for having me. My name is Monica McLaurine. And I am a certified life coach, and I’m also a two-time author, two books, and I also have some motivational speaking experience. So I am a lover of Christ and a follower of Christ.

And I’m just excited to be here to talk with you on today.

Carrie:  I’m excited to have you on, I think we’re going to have a good conversation today on self-care. So, this is something that a lot of people are talking about. You know, it’s a buzz word. “Oh, you gotta take time for yourself. You gotta have self-care.”

So how do you define that for people? 

Monica: When I think about self-care is simply what it says is taking care of yourself. And most times people don’t even realize that they’re not taking care of. They don’t realize it, it comes in many forms. There are several different types of self-care, whether it’s physical mass, where you may get out and take a walk or go sit under the stars at night, bird watching whatever it is out and about, or whether it’s emotional, saying no, which is sometimes some things that I struggle with saying no, whether it’s social.

When I say social, this is one of the things that I’ve really, really struggled with is asking for help. A lot of times, like myself, I’m just going to talk about myself. I am happy to help anybody else until I just can’t do anymore. People will ask me, do you need some help with that? I’m like, oh, I’m okay. I’m fine. I have it.

Asking for help, that’s a partisan, right? A lot of people are still working from home currently. So when you think about your environment, decluttering your office or your home. That’s a big thing. My sister-in-law, bless her heart, she is an organizational, very clean person and things are in disarray. She can’t tolerate it.

It pushes her into anxiety. And also going along with that, when you think about professional self-care, if you’re working from home, are you actually taking a lunch break? Are you actually taking a break? Oftentimes I’m guilty of going downstairs to give me something to eat. And then I turned around and come right back upstairs and I’m eating and I’m working.

And so don’t take that mental break and it’s a necessity for self-care or even if it’s just spiritual, meditating. I just recently started meditating because I didn’t understand it at first like what is that? But the sittings feel and allowing yourself to get in the process of being calm because I do suffer from anxiety. So I had to try some different things to make sure that I took care of Monica and meditation was part of that. 

Carrie: Just the concept of slowing things down. I think that’s probably our biggest barrier to self care is learning how to hit the pause button. That was something essentially, in some ways we had to do it during this time of pandemic and Coronavirus, things did have to slow down. What I’m seeing now is that like, when we’re recording this, we’re approaching the summer and people are getting vaccinated and they’re getting out more and it’s like I turned to my husband like a week ago and was like, I feel like we’re in pre-pandemic life like our calendar is actually filling up with stuff.

And so it’s an opportunity for us to have a conversation and to say, Hey, where’s our date night at on this calendar?  We’re running over here and doing some for church. And then we’re doing something with our friends over here. We’re married. This is important. This is a priority. And part of that, what you’re talking about with the relationship in the social domain, like making sure that you have time for the people that are most important to you life.

Monica: We had to learn to do things a different way. If you did a date night, date night might not be out of the restaurant, but it might be in the backyard. Or if you’d like to go out with your friends and do a happy hour, do do it on zoom. You really had to learn to do things a different way.

Carrie: Right. And those social connections. I think what this has taught us are so important for ourselves like we were made to live in community. And that’s an important thing. I loved what you said there earlier about boundaries and saying no to things in order to take care of yourself. It’s that whole, you’ve got to put on your own oxygen mask on the airplane before you put one on your child. And it’s interesting to me that on the flights that I’ve been on. I haven’t flown in a while, but the flights that I’ve been on, they come around and they look at each person it’s like a real serious thing. It’s like, okay, now I understand that you need to put on your own oxygen mask first 

Monica: And we help anybody else until you help yourself first. I

Carrie: f you can’t breathe, that’s not good situation. And so many times we find ourselves in the busyness or the rush of love whether it’s owning our own business or raising kids or serving at the church. And the next thing we know, we’re like emotionally have no time to just sit and rest and breathe and reflect. For me, I know that those periods are what I need to get refueled and recharged to be able to go out and do the other things that I do, especially because I’m an introvert. So there’s this balance. And we had a whole podcast on introversion. If you haven’t listened to it, you know, definitely go back and listen to it because I loved that one. That was one of my favorite, just so identified with it, you know, just needing the time away from people. So that you can go back and engage, you know, with others is yes. Yes. At your own space and your own speed. One thing I did in terms of boundaries recently for self-care. I’ll just share a personal example.

Mother’s day, this year was really hard for me. I have a history of having foster children. I wanted to go to church, but at the same time, I didn’t want to be balling all over the place and, you know, snotting on everybody. So I kind of made this agreement with my husband because he was gonna be greeting that day.

And I said, Hey, I’m going to come to church and I’m not going to greet with you. And I’m not going to stay around and hang out after I’m probably going to be pretty emotional. It’s just a day where I think about, you know, my foster children and missing them. And that’s my context of being a mom since I don’t have my own little.

And this is kind of what I need. I need to just kind of go in, right when service starts, sit in the service, get the word, get the worship, and then I need to leave. I don’t need to kind of hang around and, and cry or anything like that because I know other people are going to be super happy and celebrating.

And I certainly believe there is room there’s room in church for tears. Don’t get me wrong, but it’s kind of just one of those situations where for me, that was what I needed to take care of myself. I needed to not be around people at that point, I needed to go to the car and get my tissues and cry and have a conversation with God and kind of finish up.

That was my finishing of the worship service was in the car and that’s okay. And I didn’t have to feel bad or guilty about that whereas I think in the past, I would have felt like. Oh, I’ve got to feel happy because everybody else around me is happy and I need to be really like celebrating moms. And, you know, you have a mother and you should be thankful.

You have a mother. I mean, there’s so many conversations I think I would have had with myself in the past, but I just like created this space in this room to just have my feelings and take care of myself and do what I needed to do. And that was really the best fit for me. 

Monica: Absolutely. And it’s great that you realize that it’s okay to feel like that.

 A lot of people like you said, feel guilt or feel like you have to be a certain way. Everybody’s entitled to how they feel. And that’s how you felt at the moment. And you empowered yourself to set those boundaries. That allows you to feel how you feel and that’s awesome. And it’s great that you were able to do that for yourself.

Carrie: Thank you. Why is this topic important for you personally? Is this something that you had view struggled with burnout in the past or with not taking care of yourself? 

Monica: Absolutely. I was always on the go go, go here there. And working in my daytime job. I was all over the community, going to the office of one over here that they’ll do this particular program.

And then I’m fighting traffic to go to work. I’m fighting traffic to get home from work. I mean, that would be so many times that I will pull in front of my house. And I would just sit there for like 20, 30 minutes. It’s like I couldn’t move. I was like exhausted. And one of the things that I realized that my body would get to the point where it’s really sick of me.  It’s like, oh, okay.

You won’t slow down? Okay. I’m going to slow you down. And it shuts me down for like two weeks. I’ll get bronchitis, I’ll get like really sick and why I have no other choice but to sit down. So if I can avoid that, I had to do something different in order to avoid that because I don’t like being sick. I like being able to do what I want to do when I want to do it.

So it was very important for me, not only for my physical, it was important for my mental, I mean, just burning out, just exhausted, just getting to the point where I had nothing else to give. I was like there’s gotta be a different way. It’s got to be a different way. I can do this. And so that calls me to really look into, see what self-care really meant and what it involves.

Carrie: I’m glad you brought up that physical aspect of illness because there was a lady that I worked with many, many years ago. She was in her thirties and she got shingles and it was really due to stress because she was working seven days a week. And our bodies, we have to listen to that. God gives us these cues that when our bodies are run down, they’ll let us know.

Oh, I just feel like I need to rest today or I need to slow down or I’m getting sick all the time like you were saying.  We’ve got to listen to those cues and signals of like a warning sign to take better care of ourselves. 

Monica: Yeah. Shingles is very painful. I’ve had shingles, you know, my mom had had. As has shingles is a very painful experience to go through.

And so we have enough hustle and bustle as it is. So why get yourself to the point where you got to add on where you get sick or you get shingles or your blood pressure goes up, or you have heart issues. We’ve got to learn to do things, to take care of ourselves because if we don’t take care of ourselves, who we are?

And ultimately we can’t take care of anybody else or be there for anybody else. If we are not mentally, emotionally prepare and rested and whatever it takes to make sure we’re getting that self-care that we need. 

Carrie: Right. One of the things that you and I talked about before we had you come on, the show was that there’s this concept, maybe with males where they hear the word self-care, and they’re thinking about some women that are painting their nails or going and getting a pedicure. Tell us a little bit about that like, how do some of the men maybe that you work with, or that, you know, practice self care? 

Monica: It’s really funny that you asked me that. I guess a couple of months ago, I did an experiment on my Facebook pack page asking me, and what do you do for self-care? And the responses were all over the place.

They didn’t really think about it like what is self care? And then you had somewhere the guys were saying, well, that’s girls, that’s not something that. You know, we as men do, then some talked about it. They’d like to go get a hair cut or they like me, and like to get pedicures too. I had a lot of people that said that they said they go and work out or go play video games.

But only if you said that they will take the time to go and talk to somebody about what they’re going through. That is kind of what I expected, but it makes me sad because everybody needs to be, everybody needs to talk through something with someone else. Everybody needs a confidence, I don’t a confidant.

I don’t care who you are. And that is a part of self-care. All of that is a part of self-care. It is in no way strictly for female. It’s is for everybody. And it really made me think what I add a suggestion yesterday, just yesterday. They said, well, maybe we need to call it something else. So it doesn’t seem like that’s just for women, but it also makes me sad.

I’m wondering if we, as society has created an environment for me and when they feel like they can’t do certain things. That they masculine traits them that they shouldn’t do certain things like I saw something today. They said, what kind of man goes to celebrate has a birthday dinner?

I’m like, what you, yeah, 

Carrie: just these, like, I don’t know, man-made expectations that we put on men. Like somehow you have to be a Superman. 

Monica: Right. And when you think about it and I have been fortunate and I’m honored that some guys feel like they can talk to. And they’re going through something and they’re frustrated and of course, you know, the life coach had me and I’m trying to talk to them while they’re going through.

And then they’re so in a zone while I realized I had to just stop and just listen. Met them, you know, they will say, well, who are we supposed to go to the top to where we’re going through something we’re frustrated, what are we supposed to do? We don’t have the opportunity. And they’re so afraid that if they allow themselves to become vulnerable, that it will be brought up later and thrown in their face, you know?

So I wanted them to see the different options and what self-care looks like. And not only that, they’re entitled to do it as a human being and it is needed. It’s okay to go to sit. I call it couch time to go and sit on someone’s couch and have a conversation and to talk to someone to help you think through it because counseling is not anything for somebody to tell you what to do is to help you to work through it, to find out what’s best for you.

And I am very open about my experience of going and getting my couch time, going to therapy. That was the best thing I ever did in my life. It amazed me because me sharing that I’ve done it. Other people said, well, I went to cause it was like almost like a shame.

So I was like, yeah, I went to and I mean, I’ve helped other people close to me and I’ll help you look for something. You know, if you have insurance, it’s just like getting insurance, you know, in most cases, you know, find you somebody who might take your insurance, or even if, you know, they don’t, a lot of times they will work with you, you know, or maybe offer some free sessions, anything.

So just trying to get where their mind is to get them thinking about what that is, and then not being afraid or shame to do it so that the men, it has been interesting talking to them and listening to them and what their thoughts are, what they felt like society felt like that’s and stuff.

Cause it’s not for me. They should just be okay. That should be there, man, up. Just do it. So  it’s pretty interesting.

Carrie:  Counseling can definitely be a part of self-care for sure. Mental and emotional health. There’s something about just saying it out loud, sometimes all these things that you’ve been thinking in your head or that you’re convinced of and needing an outside perspective to say I’m not so sure about that. What about, you know, what about this way? Have you thought about it? You know, this way or, oh, that’s, I know you’re convinced of that, but that’s not how I see it. When you tell it to me, you know, you kind of say it back to them. Okay. So you’re saying this it’s, it’s just interesting and can be really freeing.

I know that there are things that come out when I either start talking about something or writing about that I didn’t even realize consciously, I was thinking. Just all of a sudden it was like, oh, oh, I guess I do. I guess I do feel angry about that now that I’ve said all that, but I didn’t realize that was bothering me so bad.

Monica: Right. Until you brought that up. Yeah. I don’t like that either. 

Carrie: Right. Yeah. So I know that sometimes Christians can push back against self-care and say, okay, well, we’re really supposed to care for other people, love one another. And that needs to be our primary focus. We’ve got to push this focus in on yourself.

That’s selfish and we need to kind of shove that to the side. What would you say to that? 

Monica: Yes, like I mentioned earlier, It seems to be a stigma attached to self-care and going to get help and saying that you need help. And I think it’s unfortunate because I am a believer. I am a love of Christ. I’m a follower of God, but I also believed the God allows in his place, people on this earth to also reach us on the earthly level.

He allows us to access doctors.  People have different specialties and he allows that to happen. And he put those here for us to use them. And it’s not a bad thing. It is okay. It doesn’t minimize your relationship with Christ. It doesn’t say that you don’t trust your belief. You don’t trust your relationship with Christ. It has no negative relation to your belief or your relationship. So those things they help, they give you somebody that you can go and talk to. That is completely safe. Whatever happens in there, unless you’re talking about hurting yourself and somebody else. You got to put that in there.

It’s a safe place. You don’t have to worry about spilling everything and then going outside and your friends know what happened, but I went to my first therapy session, it’s crazy because I went because I was encouraging someone else to go. And I was like, okay, well, if you go out, go right. So I go in with what I wanted to talk about and what I was going to discuss in there.

And while I was in my first therapy session, I heard God speak to me clearly and said, she cannot help you unless you tell her everything. I heard him. He said that to me. 

Carrie: It’s huge.

Monica:  it was huge because things that I thought no longer were an issue or issues that I had in my childhood, all that had to come up out. All of it had to come up.

And I remember I was in tears. I was just like, oh my God, how am I supposed to go to work after this. But you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.

Carrie: That’s true. 

Monica: And one of my favorite people, I say, she’s my mentor, but she doesn’t know it. And she doesn’t even realize it exists. Yama, Vanzant, where she said, villains buried alive, don’t die.

Carrie: That’s true. 

Monica: So I had to get all of that up because that affected how I was in adulthood, things that happened as a child. I had to get that up. I had to get it out so I could deal with it, acknowledged that it was a problem. And now I can start my healing process. So I think that was important for me to hear because like I say, going to get therapy or sitting down, talking to a life coach or any of that, you don’t have to worry about being expressed or shared with anyone else, but my therapist and I love her, she helped me talk through it. She helped me to see it. Okay, well, this is what you’re doing. If this is what you want to go and do in the future, how can you do it? And you’re doing this and this, how can you have this and this?

And how are these things going to help you get to what you’re wanting to do? It helped me to map out, okay, well maybe I need to cut something else out or maybe I need to carve some time out for myself so I can think, or maybe I need the carve some time out to where I can’t always go and take care of someone else that I need to do some things for me in order.

So I can share those things with other people. And the biggest thing I remember is just hearing God clearly say she can’t help you, If you don’t tell her everything. I felt like that was God giving me permission.

Carrie: One of the things that I realized when I was looking at self-care and the Bible.

I think it’s the beginning of Mark. There’s a point where everyone’s trying to come to Jesus and they’re trying to get healed, you know, and they’re hearing about some of the miracles that he’s doing and he actually quietly slips away from the crowd and goes away to like pray and to be with God. So there’s this sense that Jesus even models for us, times where people really needed him or wanted something from him.

And he chose at that moment in time not to give it to them or not to continue to give until he got recharged through prayer and through that connection with God. I think that that’s a great model and example for us. The other thing that I think about, and I wrote a blog post on self-care a while back, I don’t know if I ever transitioned it over to the Hope for Anxiety and OCD blog, but I’ll try to do that if I haven’t already. It’s on self care.

And I talked in there about, you know, there, the second greatest commandment is love your neighbor as yourself. And if we don’t love ourselves, what does that mean for our neighbor? Kind of thinking of it, the verse in reverse in a way. I know for me, the times in my life where I was the least gracious towards others, or I was the least forgiving towards other people or loving, I was also that way towards myself.

It was like a mirror. And so the same, thing’s true for self-care, I can speak kindly to myself. I can speak kindly to other people. Sometimes self care begins in the mind in terms of what we put in our minds and what we receive in there. So that was just a couple of thoughts that I had kind of Christianity and self care.

Let’s talk about, if people aren’t engaging in self-care, maybe they’re listening to this and they feel like they’re living the life that you used to live, where they’re just going all the time and doing everything for everybody and feel like they can’t cut back. What are some small ways that people can start practicing self-care if they don’t feel like they have a lot of time to do this. Because I think sometimes when I tell my clients, you need to start practicing self-care they’re like, I don’t have time for that.

Monica:  Yeah. I have one client in particular where we’ve been talking about that for a year, and then finally it took her a minute to get it.

But when I say to people who feel like they don’t have time, the first thing is, and it might sound cliche is just to sit there and to breathe.

Now people and myself included, I was like, I’m breathing already, what do you mean

what I’m doing that next, but actually sitting there or laying there and purposely just hearing your breath, concentrate on your breath. It’s kind of taking your mind away from what you may be dealing with, would you want through? And like I said, I do have anxiety in my trigger. My main trigger is anything medical.

Imagine going through the whole coronavirus thing, going to the, I mean, it affected my sleep, it affected everything. So the first thing is just to breathe, just sit there and purposely breathe. Not thinking about anything else, just breathe. That helps me a lot with my anxiety as well. And then next people feel like they don’t have time, but sometimes this go for a five-minute walk, five minutes.

I’m in, well, I’m not talking about walking from one building to the next it work I’m talking about Just a brisk, you know, not even a brisk walk, just a walk and allow God to speak to you. I know sometimes when I haven’t worked out in awhile, I might be working out or walking and I just hear God speak to me.

I’m like, okay, hold on, hold on. I can’t get it off. You know, it allows me to clear my mind and just really question yourself when it comes to self-care. Think of yourself as worth it. You are worth taking 10, 15, 20 minutes a day. I don’t care. Another thing I like to do, I have an adult coloring book.

Now, I have a coloring book. I’m not thinking about what I’m going through. I’m like, okay, well, what color am I going to color this flower? Oh, am I stand in between the lines? It helps me to get my focus on something else. And away from something that could cause me to go into my anxiety attack or causing me not to sleep.

It’s another calmed down method.

And there are several things that you can do to help you, whether it’s decluttering, whether it’s going to spend time with your friends and family if they’re a source of peace. Just find out what gives you your peace. Everybody is worthy of peace.

And everybody is worthy to take the time to get to your peace.

Carrie:  I had a client one time that said, I don’t have time for all that self-care stuff. And this was an individual that was working 12 to 14 hour days. And I said, okay. I just want you to try one. We try one thing for me. Will you see when you get to work in the morning, we just take three deep breaths before you get out of the car and they agreed to do that.

And sometimes when you start small, you’ll see how it grows into something bigger. And maybe that might grow into that individual saying, Hey, I’m actually going to take my lunch break today. I’m actually going to take my 30 minutes or an hour and you may have to leave the property to get that lunch break.

But if that’s what you need to do, then that may be what you need to do.

Monica:  If you need to take a break from social media and on my personal Facebook page, That’s mine. And most of you take it as something that’s funny, something laughing. I’m sharing pictures of my niece and nephews, my family, my personal page.

It’s fun for me. And if stuff starts to get too bad or I see something negative, or I feel like I’m taking in too much of something. I can turn away from it because you, I give myself permission to that or that, because it can take me, is this too much? Sometimes people say, have you watched this movie?

I’m like I can’t handle that right now.  You have to do it and notice, okay, it’s not girly. It’s not,  basic feminine is something that you need for your emotional, physical and your mental health. You have to do it. And it’s like if I have something said, or whether it’s writing, writing something down or as my meditation, or if it’s just sitting and doing nothing.

I quite enjoy that. Sitting there and not doing anything. I know that that’s okay. And I know it’s necessary. So just small little things, take a breath, go for a brisk walk, start journaling, do some meditation, visit with friends and family, whatever it is that can bring you some peace or center you, start there.

Carrie: And if you’re looking for those pockets of time, you’ll find. I definitely believe that we spend so much time on our phones, scrolling through social media. And a lot of times that’s not a good way to relax.  It’s almost a way to disconnect, I believe from whatever’s going on around us in the moment.

But a lot of times its too much input and it’s too much stimulation and going on, especially before bed or things like that. We’ve got to watch out for that. And I definitely agree. Sometimes you just need to put the phone down, get off social media and say, okay, I’m going to go do something helpful and productive in my life right now that brings me peace and joy. Oh, that’s good. Tell us a little bit about your books and speaking opportunities that you’re involved.

Monica: Thank you for that. As I stated earlier, I am a two time author and it was interesting. My pastor spoke into me, you know, I do a lot of things on bullying and social media and empowerment, and self-esteem things of that sort.

And he was like, you should write a book about that. I was like, who me? What a book, who am I to write about? Right on my first book, which is called Becoming Comfortable in my Own Skin: The journey to loving me. it helped me to evaluate myself. It starts from me wanting to lose weight. And I saw a picture of myself and I just really wasn’t happy with that.

And I said, okay, well maybe I have this medical condition and that can help me give me a. You never take care of it. Right. And I was healthy as a Lark and the problem lie within me. So I was working two jobs and I was working out five days a week. And during that time, you don’t have a lot of time to do other things.

But at what I did have time for was to deal with Monic. I realized how I didn’t love myself like I should out. I didn’t even like looking at myself in the mirror because I didn’t like what I saw. So during that time, it was not so much about losing weight, but it’s the discovery of myself at 38 years old.

And while I was on that journey, I was share certain things, which I believe God led me to do. And I know he did because of the inbox starting. And people just like, okay, well, what are you doing? Or how did you get through this?  There were a lot of people who never said anything but will come ask up to me.

If they saw me in church and say, you’re really doing a good job. You know, just there was a purpose behind that. So that was my first book sharing my journey and what I did. And that’s also devotional at the end of it to help you, to start a new habit. I said 21 days, you create new habits, but I’m giving you a 30 day to put what in there, whether it is starting a new business with it as a weight loss journey, whatever it is, 21 days for 30 days to start doing something, to accomplish a goal.

And I was embarrassed at first, but when we go through things like we go through our testimony as far as testimony and that is to be shaped. So my first book is my testimony. It is my journey. And then my second book is called, as I said earlier, I do a lot of things on bullying in social media.

And while we’ll be out and about doing things, I would encounter a lot of parents who came up like I did. Somebody hit you, you hit them back and so forth and so on. The title of the book is called. I Told My Kid to Fight Back. Examining generational differences in bullying yesterday and today trying to let people know we cannot do or handle bullying or social media like we did when we were coming up for one.  We didn’t have social media.

We didn’t have those pressures. Thank God for that. And then if you’re telling your kid this view, know that they can even defend themselves.  Have you even talked to them about that? Do you know if they can defend yourself? And 99% of the time when I asked that question, they said, well, no, I don’t know, but they got to learn.

But when you’re doing that, you’re creating an environment where your kid may feel like they cannot come and talk to you because maybe they’re not prepared. There was a mother who talked to me and her daughter was getting bullied at school and she was like, you need to start taking up for yourself. You need to fight back.

You need to do this. And the daughter burst into tears. She was like, I don’t know how.

So I’m trying to show how things were when we were coming up and how things are now, and they’re completely different and you cannot handle them the same way. If you want your kids to fight back, that’s fine. But at least prepare them. Think about the repercussions and even parents discipline their children.

I talk about that in this book too. There was a particular young lady where mom was disciplining her. And of course it went viral. I talked about that in the bottom of video that I saw that was CNN, which is international news. What type it is out there on social media, on internet, out there forever. So that following your child for the rest of their life, you gotta be careful in how we do things.

So what we did in my program and around bullying and social media, that led me to write this particular book. Oh, those are the two books that I’m really. And both on Amazon and paper back and on cable and you can get them on Amazon, or you can go to Monica, purchase some there.

Carrie: We can put the link in the show notes too, to your website so people can follow you there, or if they want a break tonight. Yes. And if they’re interested in some life coaching sessions, they can also contact dot com there as well. So we can set up some things. 

Monica: Well, thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my little trick. 

Carrie: Yeah. So at the end of every podcast, since our name is hope for anxiety and OCD, I like to ask the guests to share a story of hope, which is a time where you received hope from God or another person.

Monica: I was really thinking about that question, really thinking about that.

What comes to me is right before I started writing my book. I had been encouraged to write my book. And within six weeks I had lost like 20 pounds. Right. And I kept hearing from God, I need to share my story, share my story, share my story. Like I said, I was embarrassed and I was also a same problem was never the best student.

I was an, a, B, C, D student all throughout my life. So share my story, write a book. I was like, I was my worst enemy. I kept doubting myself, but I believe that if God gives you the vision, he will qualify you to do what he asked you to do. And I believe I went through what I went through and go to, to share my story and encouragement that I got from God is to share my story, which is what I started in doing.

Whereas I’ve started doing and sharing it on social media. I’ve also, I’m in a process of starting a Facebook group out by my anxiety, and for the people who love me to help people who are suffering from anxiety and also help the people who love us, who don’t understand what anxiety is, how they can help.

Good support system. So I’m in the process of putting information out there to share it. And I invite other people I’m hoping. And hopefully you, I can invite you to that particular Facebook group and you can share some things, some tips and things. So my hope was that allowed me to go through these things to be an inspiration and share my testimony to others.

So even though I was my own self-worth, I mean, my own, my own worst enemy and self-doubting myself, he encouraged me and created opportunities for me to do what he asked me to do. I pulled that together by saying, be your best to. Your best believe in yourself, never give up on yourself because where you started doesn’t necessarily mean that’s where you’re going to eat.

Who would’ve thought that I would have written two books? Like I said, I wasn’t a good stuff. I wasn’t, you know, I wasn’t all that, but when I stopped giving my feelings, doubting myself, being my own worst enemy, as I have accomplished and plan on accomplishing more than I ever thought I could by just allowing myself to be a vessel for God, always believing.

Carrie: Thank you. I always believe in you. And believe in what God has called you to do. If I didn’t believe that God really wanted me to do this podcast and spread these positive messages, I would have quit it a long time ago, because I can tell you that it’s not always easy. And there’s definitely been a lot of roadblocks. And it’s been a huge learning curve for me along the way. But what the piece that’s kept me going really believing that God wants me on this path and I will be on it as long as I feel like he’s leading me to do that. And the day he says, it’s time for the podcast to go, you know, the podcast will have to go, but I really just kind of wanted to echo some of the things that you were saying about that.

There’s all kinds of things that we don’t believe that we can do, but if God has called us to them and we have spiritual confidence and assurance in our faith then God will give us the tools that we need to be able to move forward and do those things that he’s asked from us. 

Monica: He will put you in the right position, right?

What you need in order to accomplish. 

Carrie: It’s been a really great conversation on self-care and just some good encouragement at the end. So thank you so much for sharing with us. 

Monica: Thank you so much Carrie for having me. I appreciate you.


I hope this interview sparked some ideas about how you can better care for yourself.

I want to say a special thank you today to two of our supporters on buy me a coffee, Tony and David. If you aren’t familiar with the, buy me a coffee website, this is a website similar to Patron. If you’ve heard of that one where people can go on and donate to podcasters and other creative. There’s a lot of time, energy and yes, money that goes into hosting a podcast.

So if you feel so inclined to donate, you are welcome to, and the link to that will be in our show notes. I am so thankful to God for his provision of resources, to be able to do this podcast.  Thank you for listening to this.

Hope for anxiety and OCD is a production of By The Well Counseling in Smyrna, Tennessee.

Our original music is by Brandon Mangrum and audio editing is completed by Benjamin Bynam.  Until next time it may be comforted by God’s great love for you.