Truly digging deep to unearth and sort through all of my emotional trauma from growing up with a narcissistic mom (only to find myself bonded to OTHER narcissists *ugh*) is HARD. ESPECIALLY since I've recently decided to stop taking my anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medication (with the guidance of a doctor). I'm feeling EVERYTHING. No, really, I feel like an exposed nerve. A live wire. So easily moved to tears or utter annoyance. And this is not ideal because, besides the obvious drawbacks, I have a LOT of responsibility. I'm a mother, a wife, and a curriculum specialist for a growing early childhood center. So people are pulling at me all day, asking questions, presenting problems and complaints, and expecting answers, guidance, and leadership. Inside I'm an emotional tsunami, but the life I've created requires me to present a cool, calm, and collected front. Actually, more than that, I have to be warm, safe, and inviting for others because I'm helping them to grow (my son, my teachers, and the parents/guardians of the children we care for). It's hard, and it's stressful....and it often feels impossible. (So, *plug*, tell all your friends to read this blog and watch my YouTube so one day I can just be a full-time blogger. That's, literally, my dream.)
Before I dive into the list of material things that have been helping me through this season of life, I'll tell you the one FREE thing I'm doing ALLLLLLL the time now: deep breathing. It's a fact that focusing on deep breaths does something to kind of reset the nervous system and help put you back in a state of relaxation. Honestly, all day now, stressful situations arise (or no stressful situation....my body just decides to feel anxious because that's what it does), and I just inhale really big through my nose and then let it out. I do this a few times, and it helps me get through. Being completely transparent, it does not put me in a place of pure zen, but it DOES help regulate me enough so that I don't feel like I'm about to lose my ever-loving mind. So, there you go. That one's on the house.
I promise to NEVER be spammy, salesy, or talk to you about something I don't believe in. Everything on this list, I have used!!! If you're not familiar with affiliate marketing, basically, I link a site/product, and if you make a purchase using that link, I get a little $$$ because of it. I think for legal reasons, I'm supposed to say: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Ok, here is the list!
My 10 Must-Haves for Healing from Narcissistic Abuse
1. The Lip Bar: Red Lipstick/lipgloss (Hot Mama)
There's something about a good red lip that makes me feel so bold and powerful. I don't know the psychology behind it (or if there is any), but my good friend who also has a narcissistic mom says the same thing. Lol, such qualified research, right?? Anyway, I stopped wearing lipstick and glosses because every one I tried would dry my lips out so badly and/or require frequent reapplication. It was so annoying. So I just stopped wearing it, but I realized recently that I was missing the feeling that came from walking around with a bold lip! So, after polling my friends on Facebook for their trusted brands, I decided to try The Lip Bar, and I love it!! This particular gloss dries matte, and it lasts all day. I'm here for it. And an added bonus: It's black-owned! (but that doesn't mean it's just for black people!)
So, I've been wearing this color a few times a week since I've purchased it...whenever I feel like I need to put on a brave face to take on whatever the day may have in store. Narcissists thrive on stealing your power, and this gloss is something tangible to remind me that I'm taking it back. If you're needing a little something extra to give you a confidence boost, I am definitely a fan of you going to snag this. (If you get it, send me a picture of you wearing it to firstname.lastname@example.org ) Get your bold, red lip!
2. Miserwe Diffuser
I love my diffuser. It is such an easy and safe way to create a comforting atmosphere. You just pour water into the reservoir, and add a few drops of your favorite essential oils, and tada! Your space will smell divine. I have had my diffuser for a few years, and it's still going strong. I love that it has a remote and different light/color options. There's really not much to say about this one. It's really affordable, in my opinion! Check it out for yourself.
3. Lemongrass essential oil
Let me start with this. I am aware that there are , apparently, "important" differences in the quality of essential oil brands. I don't use these oils really for physical ailments. I use them to make my environment smell good. So, keep that in mind when you check out this oil that I'm suggesting.
BUT, whenever I go to my doctor (who is a naturopath), her practice smells SOOOO amazing, and it puts me at ease and in a more pleasant mood. When I asked her what oil she uses, she told me it's lemongrass. So, I bought some, and I'm in love.
4. Weighted Blanket
Some people love weighted blankets. Some people hate them. I love mine. I don't use it all the time, but when I'm needing some grounding, it's definitely what the doctor ordered. No matter how much I wish my husband was available to hug, cuddle, and rub my back at my beck and call....he has a whole life outside of me (a hard truth to accept). It's not realistic to expect him to stop what he's doing EVERY time I need some physical comfort....because, that would be quite a lot. So, I pull out my trusted weighted blanket.
They're proven to ease anxiety and stress. They can help to calm the nervous system and improve sleep quality. I WILL say, though, that when I sleep with mine at night, I often throw it off of me at some point throughout the night because I get hot or uncomfortable (and I'm cold natured). With that being said, I continue to use it because it's so helpful in getting me to calm down and unwind on the way to sleep.
This weighted blanket is not the one I use. Mine was a gift, and I don't know the brand. I searched for a reasonably priced option with great reviews to suggest for you, but feel free to do your own research!
Is this getting long? Are you still reading???
5. Piercing Aftercare Saline Spray
Hear me out! The spray itself is not healing, relaxing, or empowering. BUT.....I wanted to find a way to include the fact that I got my nose pierced!! I've been wanting to do this for YEARS but have always been too scared. Taking the step to get this done makes me feel like a whole grown woman and a Bada$$ that can do whatever she wants. I can do hard things, and I can present myself to the world however I choose.
There are lots of different sprays available for tending to new piercings, but Recovery Piercing Aftercare Purified Saline Spray is what I've been using, and my healing process has been clear-sailing. No issues, irritation, infection or anything...and it doesn't sting when you spray it on.
6. Holy Basil Tea
This tea was suggested to me by my doctor to help reduce my anxiety. I was nervous because of the word "basil". I didn't want to feel like I was drinking spaghetti or lasagna, but it's actually kind of sweet. I add honey to it when I drink it. I find the experience of drinking tea to be relaxing in general. I can't really say that this particular tea is a miracle, but my doctor suggested it. It tastes good, and it is something I've added to my routine during this time of healing. So, I figured I'd share it with you. You can grab some here.
7. "Burnout" by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski
I absolutely loved this book! The subtitle is, " The secret to unlocking the stress cycle". It provided so much insight regarding the make-up of stress and practical suggestions for how to deal with it. I also loved that the book was not boring. It was pretty conversational and easy to understand. I listened to the audiobook, and hearing the author's inflection and personality added a whole extra element. If you're a reader, I think you should snag a copy.
8. Meal Prep
This list item will have several links because I'm going to break down for you my very, very simple meal prep routine. You may be asking yourself how "meal prep" made it to the list of healing must-have's.....but decreasing my to-do list and streamlining my life is what I'm all about these days. So keeping things nice and simple is a MUST. My doctor has informed me that I need to consume a ton of protein (I used to get sick a LOT....so for the last 2 years, she's been helping me heal from the inside out...treating causes and not just symptoms).
So my meals are basically:
Lunch- Protein shake and chicken breast
Dinner- Chicken breast and vegetable of choice (sometimes french fries....because....comfort)
(I do snack in between sometimes. Don't be alarmed...these are just the main attractions.)
I ate baked/air fried chicken breast and roasted veggies for over a year, and then I got tired of it. THEN, I learned the MAGIC that is cooking the chicken in a crock pot with a yummy sauce. It's so much more moist and enjoyable.
So, grab yourself a crock pot if you don't have one.
And Moore's creamy buffalo ranch sauce is my obsession right now. You can also grab it at Food Lion and, I think, Target. The sauce cooks down a bit in the slow cooker/crock pot. So after it's done, I add a little more on top after I've plated it.
9. Eye Mask for Sleeping
My husband is a night owl. I have an energetic 4-year-old son. AND living life in my mental state (and also getting poor sleep) leaves me very tired and often going to bed kind of early. So! To shut out all the light, I wear an eye mask when it's needed. I often take it off in the middle of the night because I don't want it on my face any more, and everything is dark then. BUT, much like the weighted blanket, the eye mask can be SO SO important when it comes to helping me fall asleep initially. (I don't remember where I got mine from. It's not fancy at all. The one I linked here actually looks better than mine, but it's way affordable. At the time of me creating this post, it's less than $8 )
10. Sweet Loren's Cookie Dough
I have, historically, been an emotional eater. I'm WAY better about it now, but I still indulge from time to time. And when I do, this is most likely my choice. I have a ton of negative food reactions (I get sick, but I don't think it's bad enough to call them allergies). But THESE bad boys are gluten free, vegan (which means also dairy free), nut free....it's great! They are safe for me and still so delicious! I prefer to make a few and eat them straight out of the oven with some dairy-free ice cream! Yum! It's a nice treat after a hard day/week or if I want to celebrate my wins.
Okay! So, that's it!
If you have anything you want to share that gets YOU through, drop it in the comments. I want to know!! I'm looking to acquire more tools, and I'm sure other readers would want to know too.
I thought a nice stock photo would look good here to round out the post, but I couldn't figure out what the picture should be. So....it's the thought that counts, right?
Wishing you peace and healing.