Ask Dr. Rae

How to have the most E.P.I.C. year EVER

It is January 2017! It’s the time of year where we bundle up against the cold, enjoy hearty stews & hot chocolate, and make plans for the new year. I’m checking in with you to share some toasty tips for having an amazing year. Recently, like most of this part of the country, Atlanta endured a ‘winter storm’. Okay….storm is a definite stretch. But it was cold outside, schools were closed, and residents were advised to stay off the roads. In preparation for Atlanta Snowpocalypse 2017, the grocery store parking lots were packed to capacity with shoppers who had the forethought to get everything they thought they might need in case they were holed up for two or three days. I am going to take a wild guess and assert that most people purchased groceries they really didn’t need in an effort to be doubly sure they wouldn’t be caught unprepared.  Lucky for me, I’d just gone shopping the day before. You do a lot to prepare for your physical needs, like having warm clothes and hot food. How well are you preparing for your personal and professional needs? Do you feel like you will go nuts if you open another email about goal setting? LOL. I promise not to disappoint, sit down, eat those nuts and stay a while. Of course, I have to share my perspective on successful goal planning and achievement, I’m a psychologist and a coach, for goodness sakes! Take a few minutes to reflect on and then write what would make 2017 an absolutely epic year. (Wait, a few minutes isn’t up! You’re moving too fast. Think some more) Now that you have identified what will make 2017 an incredible year, how will you bring it to fruition? You know it won’t happen by clicking your heels together right? (unless you are Dorothy from Kansas and you were thrown in a twister). Much like we prepared for the Snowpocalypse of 2017 by flooding our local grocery stores, I want you to be fully stocked with the information you need to make it through the year successful and happy! You have likely heard that your goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. That is, they need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. It is true, you need all of that but you need more. If you haven’t set your SMART goals and want some additional... read more

My Response to Women Who Don’t Put Themselves First

(Top reasons women don’t put themselves first…and my responses) 1. “It feels self-indulgent, I feel guilty when I do things for myself”, she says with sad eyes that desperately plead ‘save me please!’ / “I am happy when others around me are happy. That is how I take time for me”, she says with a self-sacrificing air and head held high while secretly exhausted. It isn’t selfish to put yourself first, it is selfish not to. Think about it. When you put everybody and everything else first, you are worn out! Too worn out to do your best. As a result, everybody gets second best. You are exhausted and mildly irritated. You aren’t doing your best and may be a little self-conscious and guarded about lackluster performance. Can I recount for you a recent conversation I had with a complete stranger at a business networking event?  The event was wrapping up and there were a number of women who were standing around engaged in their separate conversations. A mutual contact introduced me to “Jane”. We greeted each other and it struck me that she was distracted and rushing. After speaking for a very short time, “Jane” excused herself explaining that she had to go because she had a conference call to be on shortly for a non-profit she was on the board for. She added that it was a good organization but she was too busy to be on the board and wished she could get off.  My advice to her was “Then get off!” She looked at me quizzically so I continued, it’s a stressor, you’re not doing your best work, you’re going into the call with a bad attitude, you’ll likely be irritated the rest of the day, and I am certain you have other things that you can be doing that you enjoy. If you’re not putting your best foot forward you are hurting the board, not helping it. Just quit.” “Jane” thought about what I said, her face brightened, she stood straighter and smiled as she said, “Yes! I can quit. I will resign. Thank you.” 2. “I have too much to do, I don’t have time to take time for me”, she says tired, irritated and running late to for her next obligation. So you think you don’t have enough time for “me-time” huh?  Very interesting, I want to lovingly challenge you on that. You... read more

6 ‘Me-Time’ Jumpstart Activities

What kind of coach would I be if I didn’t give you an assignment?   Identify two self-care activities you will engage in the next two weeks. Write down when and where you will do these activities. Get specific. Who will hold you accountable? Repeat the above actions for the next 3 months. Feel free to substitute your self care activities with new ones. 6 Jump start activities Comedy- watch something hilariously funny. Find your favorite comedians on Youtube or on satellite radio. Laughter really is good medicine. Change of scenery- switch up your lunch routine and do not eat at your desk. Take a walk or listen to music in your car Call an old friend or relative who you love to talk to. The person who makes your heart smile. Do something creative, even if you’re not creative. Paint, draw, dance, sing, Get some fresh air. Even in the winter. Breathe long and deep. If you don’t know how, google simple stretches.   Are you ready to commit to ‘Me-Time’? You’re not alone. Join me for my FREE Guilt Free ‘Me-Time’Master class February 17 or February 18. Register HERE: read more

How To Do ‘Me-Time’

I’ve shared with you common reasons women don’t put themselves first and my responses to those reasons. Now I want to share with you some specific strategies to accomplish quality ‘me time’. Make a list of all the ways not having quality ‘me time’ is adversely affecting you. Is it affecting your physical health, relationships, work, emotional health, or spiritual health?   What can you gain from quality ‘me time’? How can it benefit you?   Think about all the things you love to do or the things you used to love to do. Gardening, taking classes, drawing, singing, dancing, nature walks, sports, watching movies, reading, etc. Identify three things that you will do during your date with yourself. Still not certain of what you would do on your personal holidays? Make a list of all the things you think you might ever want to do. Think back to the times that you have said, “One day…..”. What did you fill in the blank with?   I know you’re busy, but you make time for what you want to make time for. Where can you squeeze in quality time? Do you have to get up early in the morning? Do you need to have someone help with your elderly relative or babysit your children? Can you take time off work? You are special and amazing, but you are not the only person who can do your job. Think about it, who will do the job if you suddenly become ill? So again, look at your schedule; where can you squeeze in some quality time with yourself?     What excuses are you coming up with to talk yourself out of ‘me time’? Why are you resisting crucial self-care? What are you afraid of? Why don’t you think you deserve this?   Are you ready to commit to ‘Me-Time’? You’re not alone. Join me for my FREE Guilt Free ‘Me-Time’Master class February 17 or February 18. Register... read more

Need a Sense of Order

D.W. from Augusta asks:

I’m married, I have four kids, 2 jobs, own and manage 5 rental properties, and although I love every aspect of my life I’m struggling to maintain a sense of order. How do I attain a greater sense of peace?

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