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Blog Posts (11)
- Am I still Languishing??
In April 2021, the New York Times published an article about languishing during lockdown. For many people (including myself) there was a sense of finally feeling seen. According to the modern psychologist Corey Keyes languishing is described as “emptiness and stagnation, constituting a life of quiet despair...” but two years later, with the availability of a vaccine and the idea of COVID as the new normal, why am I still struggling, and how has this feeling evolved? For a while, I thought it was just burnout but I have pretty sustainable energy and things are still getting done so what has changed? Firstly, I find that my capacity to compassionately support others and practice active listening has gone from a ten to about a two. Secondly, I feel disengaged from my friends and family, with their concerns and conversations feeling trivial. Thirdly, I have nothing left to offer except ongoing aggression and NOBODY wants to be on the receiving end of that. Mostly, I just want people to leave me alone. I'm out of empathy and I'm out of gas. This is not a great look for a Health Coach. Then I read this insightful piece written by psychotherapist and counselor Tania Glyde of Queer Menopause titled, Negligent apathy - the pandemic gift that keeps on giving. "When you’re already on the edge, small setbacks feel like big ones, and big ones feel like catastrophes. If you haven’t had time to recover from one thing, and another one happens, you are dealing with more than one layer of response, and these layers can quickly pile up. This over time is likely to reduce your capacity for empathy and your energy to receive others’ bids for attention or help, let alone your capacity to respond to them." Finally, someone named the thing that had been hanging over me for all these months, and guess what? We've come full circle. It has EVERYTHING to do with burnout. And trauma response. And collective grief. Since most people understand the idea of burnout, let's unpack the latter. Trauma Response This comes in four flavors: Flight: defined as getting away from the situation as quickly as possible Fight: defined as pure self-preservation Freeze: defined as pausing instead of running Fawn: defined as keeping someone happy to neutralize the threat I'm a freezer. When I'm overwhelmed by ten things that I have to do, my response is to do none of them. At this moment, just ordering takeout is difficult because I have planning fatigue and if my husband can't decide on dinner, I'd rather not eat at all. Collective Grief This is defined as the reaction of a group of people (usually a nation, region, or community) who experience the death of a significant figure from that nation/community or experience multiple deaths. I would argue that it's about more than death. I would say it's also about a mutual feeling of powerlessness and loss. Loss of our reproductive rights, loss of trans and non-binary folks' rights, and the continued marginalization of the BIPOC community (and ongoing denial that it's even a thing). Also, let's not forget the mass shootings, war, earthquakes, and the constant reminder that climate change is coming for us all. We have heard the phrase "grim milestone" so often that it feels cliché. The evening news cycle is less poignant and, sadly, more familiar. This is where individual and shared grief intersect. In these moments of despair, my GenX soul misses the 90s, despite their imperfections. As we struggle to take stock of these losses, how do we process our trauma - personally and as a society? My reaction has been apathy. To stick my head in the sand and disengage. Stop showing up for people. FREEZE. The truth is that even professionals are a bit confounded about how to fix this. Still, referring back to Tania's piece on negligent apathy, she and most psychologists agree naming the thing is the first step in making the "unconscious conscious." Only then can we discover what it takes to heal.
- What is Your Second Brain?
Researchers have found that a lesser known nervous system in our guts (our "second brain") communicates with the brain in our head. Together, "our two brains" play a key role in certain diseases in our bodies and overall health. It is often called the Gut-Brain Axis? It's described as communication between the gut microbiota and the brain through the central and enteric nervous systems. That means the brain can impact the gut, and the gut can influence the brain. How these messages are delivered is still a bit of a mystery, but we do know that vitamins metabolized by bacteria in the gut (among other things) play a part. We also know that food provides energy for the brain and nutrients for hormone production, AND nutrients help preserve brain function as people age. Furthermore, it’s known that changes in the microbiome are associated with immune health, weight, and mental health - in fact, research has shown there are differences in the gut microbiome between people who have major depressive disorder and those who don’t! Given the fact that weight gain, anxiety, depression and, of course, hormone health are all challenges we face in midlife, it's essential to maintain a healthy gut. Eating whole foods vs. processed foods and foods rich in probiotics like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and other fermented fare can be critical. Getting plenty of fiber is also important. Pre/probiotic supplementation might also be a good idea but should only be taken under a doctor's or nutritionist's guidance. Do you think your gut health might be affecting your mental health and hormones?
- Who Am I Without My Person?
Is anyone else out there watching the Apple TV series Shrinking? It follows the life of a CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) therapist who (after the death of his wife) decides to embark on an experiment of sorts as a psychological vigilante. It's great and worth checking out, but it really got me thinking about what I would do if something happened to my husband. More to the point, who am I without my husband? It's normal to isolate when you're in the throws of a new romance. Many people do when they first meet their person. NRE (New Relationship Energy) can be all-consuming. However, once that romantic relationship stabilizes, experts agree that it is essential to continue nurturing and maintaining your other relationships - be it with friends, family, or both. Those networks are what will save you when the sh*t goes down. When it comes to identity, I certainly find that sometimes I can't tease out what is me and what is us. I imagine the removal of us would be devastating. Identity shapes so much of how we exist in the world, and research has shown that the lack of “self-clarity” that comes with grief due to loss of identity is correlated with higher rates of depression and post-traumatic stress. So how do we prepare for that? I'm not talking about the administrative aspect of death (wills, directives, funerals). I'm talking about the emotional part and potential identity crisis. I'm a planner, and some form of planning makes me feel that I have some control, even if minute. So. What do psychologists say? First and foremost, see the second paragraph of this post. Cultivate important relationships outside of the one with your romantic partner. Know exactly who you would call when the aforementioned sh*t goes down, and make them aware if they aren't already. Secondly, spend some time thinking about what life would look like if your loved one were gone, as best you can imagine. Thirdly, establish who you are inside and outside of your romantic relationship. According to studies, people with a strong sense of self-identity are better at navigating major life tasks, crises, and establish better intimacy with others. Don't know where to start? Ask yourself, " Who am I without my person?"
Other Pages (8)
- Work With Me | My Site
Individual Are we a good match? Book your free Discovery Zoom Today! Let's Go Group Combining my skills as a health coach and my CTD Podcast partner Ellie Dvorkin Dunn's skills as host and group facilitator, we are thrilled to bring you this coaching experience! Registration closed! More sessions coming soon!
- Perimenopause | My Site
Acerca de What the heck is Perimenopause? Fast Facts If you were born with ovaries, menopause is unavoidable. Menopause itself is a retrospective diagnosis, given when you have not menstruated for 365 days. Perimenopause is the time leading up to that point and is typically when you become symptomatic. It can start as early as your 30’s and can last anywhere from 4 months to 14 years. You read that correctly, FOURTEEN YEARS! If you are experiencing things like irregular periods, sleep disruption, increased anxiety, changes in libido, mood swings and more, chances are, YOU ARE IN IT. If your doctor hasn’t helped you, or worse, has dismissed you, you've come to the right place! We will find the right tools for navigating this mid-life f*ckery, together! VALIDATE The f*ckery is real. These symptoms are not in your head, and you are not alone. Let’s talk about it! EDUCATE I provide relevant, science-based facts, information, and resources to further your knowledge around your experience so that you can decide what the best approach is for YOU. ADVOCATE Doctors receive very little training around menopause, let alone perimenopause. However, there are proactive ways to approach your medical care. Together, we strategize the best way to communicate with your medical provider and others in order to receive the care and attention you deserve. POWER You are the expert on your own body. Being able to speak intelligently and confidently about your present health and concerns creates sovereignty. My Approach Take Action!
- Hormones | Julia G Wellness
What would Your Life look like if you got off the crazy train, or at least pumped the brakes? Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? Do you suffer from symptoms associated with midlife change, perimenopause or burnout? Help is on the way! Who am I? Hi! I'm Julia Granacki, a certified Health and Wellness Coach and Pilates instructor. I provide compassionate, evidence based, no BS, lifestyle and nutrition guidance for busy, ambitious women and gender expansive people combatting the aggravating and often confusing physical and emotional changes that come with midlife. I believe that suffering through this time is optional. I believe that prioritizing yourself is non-negotiable. I know that together, we can find ways to help you feel infinitely better than you do right now. Who are you? A person suffering from symptoms associated with mid-life change, perimenopause, or burnout. However, it might be all three! You have been navigating this f*ckery for more than a minute and you keep thinking to yourself, "There has to be a better way!" You've worked hard to get where you are, and yet you suddenly feel you have no control over what's happening to you and your body. I know this because I've been there, and I believe that midlife can be a time of self-actualization and celebration , given the right tools. If this is your vibe, I'm the coach for you! Heck yes, tell me more! What the heck does a Health Coach do? I like to think of myself as a human pincushion because I have researched or done ALL of the trends and fads. However, I always come back to evidence based methods because science is important! Maybe you're not sure where to start or you start strong and fizzle out somewhere along the way. You want control. You want body sovereignty. I'm here to help you achieve that. Together we will: Establish trust and accountability. Evaluate where you are and where you’d like to be. We will set realistic step by step actions to achieve your goals. Identify challenges and hidden barriers that are preventing change. Build problem-solving systems you can apply (on your own) as new goals and obstacles arise in the future. Tools I use: A broad knowledge of health and wellness information to help you navigate a variety of concerns. Motivational Interviewing (MI) Positive Psychology Stages of Change (SOC) SMART Goals