Today’s The Balanced Mind -A Mental Health Journal- Exploratory Prompts and Effective Practices (by Carolyn Mehlomakulu, LMFT-S, ATR-BC) entry is from page 35, and it is a check-in prompt. This is going to be a short entry, and that will sometimes happen depending on the prompt and where my brain goes. The goal is to assess my mood and stress levels. To really look into what is having an impact on my mood and levels of stress.

One stressor that negatively impacts my mood is money, I am in the process of applying for disability, so I have little income…


Carolyn Mehlomakulu, LMFT-S, ATR-BC writes about creative activities and their mental health benefits on page 32 of The Balanced Mind -A Mental Health Journa- Exploratory Prompts and Effective Practices. Creativity, Carolyn explains, goes beyond the making of art and can include “gardening, decorating your home, editing photos, cooking, playing music, writing, crafting, and even creative problem-solving or coming up with new ideas” (p. 32). …


Today’s entry, from page 27 in The Balanced Mind -A Mental Health Journal- Exploratory Prompts and Effective Practices by Carolyn Mehlomakulu, LMFT-S, ATR-BC is about using mindful breathing to build awareness and shift emotions. My current mood and stress level are a bit off, that may be an understatement. My anxiety has been high recently, it continues to be elevated, but my coping is getting better. During my meditation today I was constantly interrupted by worries, fears, and concerns revolving around the lack of money we currently have. Our finances are worse than precarious, most days I don’t even understand…


An emotion that I tend to invalidate in myself, or struggle to express, or even accept is fear. Fear is not the same as anxiety, yet anxiety can invoke fear. Whenever fear arises I try to write it off as “just part of my anxiety” or as “irrational” rather than look at it and respond to it. I was teased a lot as I was growing up, particularly in high school. Then I was attacked by people I thought were my friends in a homophobic attack on myself, my husband, and my home. Whenever fear arises I am transported to…


Today, on page 23 of the journal The Balanced Mind -A Mental Health Journal- Exploratory Prompts and Effective Practices by Carolyn Mehlomakulu, LMFT-S, ATR-BC, I am focusing on the “moments of positive emotions or things that are going well” (p. 23). This is a hard one for me lately, I just had a very serious mood change with my Bipolar Depression that made me fall apart while working. I’m not recovered from it yet, nor will I ever be free of these moments, but finding ways to cope with them is more important than ever. I was overwhelmed with my…


There are a few changes that I have made that are impacting my life in very positive ways. The two I think of immediately are adding meditation and yoga to my (nearly) daily routine. Now I want to add in a spiritual practice from Eckankar to my daily routine as well. It involves reading and doing a spiritual exercise.

Some of the obstacles that I will face in trying to make this change, becoming more spiritual, are in my own mind. My anxiety, depression, and OCD have all been getting in the way of me starting the simple daily reading…


Today’s journal entry is from page 17 in The Balanced Mind -A Mental Health Journal- Exploratory Prompts and Effective Practices by Carolyn Mehlomakulu, LFMT-S, ATR-BC.

Unhealthy coping strategies need to be looked at because it is possible to find new, healthy coping mechanisms which can improve my mental health. What are some of my unhealthy coping strategies? I isolate myself when things get bad, and I know why I do it, at least in part. I isolate because I feel as though it protects others from what I have going on, as well as I just do not feel like…


Today, I am doing the journal entry on page 14 from The Balanced Mind -A Mental Health Journal- Exploratory Prompts and Effective Practices by Carolyn Mehlomakulu, LMFT-S, ATR-BC. Money is one of those issues that my OCD grabs onto, and I just perseverate. It’s a nightmare, honestly. Nothing helpful results from it, no solutions, and it is quite likely I will do something to make the issue worse instead of better. This is a regular and current pattern. We just had a tire go, we knew we needed new tires soon, but the car could not wait long enough. We…


No, that’s not a political statement. It’s a health-related statement that shows I care about your health and the health of those you interact with as well. I received my firs dose of the Pfizer vaccine yesterday, and I am scheduled to receive my second dose on April 18th. For me, this is a sign of hope. Hope that a new sort of normalcy takes root after the second dose builds up my immune system. A hope that my parents will finally be able to come down and spend time with us. A hope that we can begin cautiously traveling…


An emotion that I tend to invalidate in myself, and I often struggle to accept and express, is fear. I dissociate quickly when fear or anxiety set in. I don’t like dealing with either, and my response shows it. Granted, most people don’t like expressing, accepting, and validating fear or anxiety. It seems almost counterintuitive, but if we aren’t responding to these emotions they will go unanswered and continually rise. They may even worsen over time until they are almost crippling, if not crippling.

Beliefs that come up about fear or anxiety that I have include the belief that I’m…

Lance Reynolds, C.A.G.S., M.S.

I am 43, Queer, Married, and the ‘Mom’ of two dogs. I live in Jacksonville, FL, & I have an M.S. in Health Education & a C.A.G.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy.

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