Top Five Tools for Mental Health

Some days anxiety is the furthest from my mind. Other days it seems front and center. Lately, my mind is becoming more of my friend. I have taken these last nine months or so to find what works for me. I think it’s important for us to realize we aren’t slaves to the battle in our mind. We can learn to win the battle… but we’re not gonna win it if we just sit back and take it.

I personally need to get in front of my anxiety. I’ve listened to my body to know how it responds to certain foods, supplements, and essential oils. I also had to become more aware of my energy and emotional well being. I had to learn to say no to things that were not serving me, and make time for activities that fueled my soul. Here are some of the things I put into place to reduce anxious feelings.

1. Counseling: Y’all, if your anxiety is taking over your life then GO GET HELP. There’s nothing wrong with admitting you need help. I cannot stress the importance of having an objective view into my thoughts and life. My counselor, Lorena, has a way of peeling back the layers during our counseling sessions to really get to the root of the problem. 

I also want to stress the importance of finding a good counselor. You’ve got to be willing to put in the effort to find someone you will work well with during this time. So, do some homework: ask around, check out reviews, and read up on some of their background. Also, even if someone looks amazing on paper, doesn’t mean they’ll be a good fit for you. I’m sure you didn’t marry the first guy you dated, right? Well, it may also take a few rounds of counselors to find the match for you. It took me three other counselors to find one who I felt was right for me.

2. Supplements: Some people love supplements, and some people hate them. I say, you can’t personally hate something you’ve never tried before. I had tried my share of supplements in the past. I was already taking a natural, whole food vitamin, and while it may have been helping me physically, it surely wasn’t helping my mental wellbeing. So I stopped taking my former vitamin, and decided to try out doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality Pack after hearing others find results in their mental health from it. Y’all, it’s a game changer.

When I started taking doTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality Pack a few years ago, I felt a significant difference in my mental state: I slept better, my mind was taking less trips down that super dark road, I had more energy, and even my husband noticed a difference. Now, it’s a must have, non-negotiable for me. I encourage you to do some research, and try out some high quality (don’t just go to your local drug store and expect quality) supplements. To learn more, go to mydoterra.com/amandagerber .

3. Community: This is huge for me. So many times someone is struggling with a mental illness, it become easy to believe the lie that we are all alone. This is not true! Many of us have family and friends that we can go to to share and seek support. I personally have a handful of girlfriends I can go to, and I know they are by my side and praying for me.

Do you feel alone? I understand that sometimes in new seasons we’re in a place of making new friends. Go do it! Join a church/Bible study, find a fitness group, or check out some networking events. Facebook makes this incredibly easy. I know the process of getting to know people can be difficult for us introverts, but it’s worth it.

4. Essential Oils: These are life to me. I know, some of you may think just I’m promoting essential oils because I sell them, but I sell them because of how much they’ve helped me and my family. If you don’t wanna buy them from me, cool! But don’t buy them from your local super market. I’ve gone over the quality differences before, so I won’t spend time here. Find a doTERRA leader that you trust to purchase from, and have them walk you through your best options.

I’ll be writing a separate post on specific essential oils you can use to reduce anxious feelings, uplift your mood, and help you stay cool. In the meantime here are a few general guidelines. Citrus oils are super uplifting. These are great to diffuse throughout the day. Woodsy oils like Cedarwood, Frankincense, or Sandalwood all will have a grounding effect. These are awesome to put on topically when you’re feeling frazzled. There are also some awesome blends doTERRA already has made for mood support.

5. Faith: My relationship with the Lord has grown so much in this season. I’ve realized that for months I was trying to earn my own righteousness. I was trying to check off boxes, stick to the list, and striving for perfection. Friends, this is an exhausting road to take. If this sounds like you: just realize our righteousness comes from the Lord, He loves us unconditionally, and He is the only Perfect One. His road is easy and His burden is light. Simply receive His love, we don’t need to earn it.

I’d love to hear from you. What’s something you do to take care of your own mental health?

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May 2019 Promos

To all my mamas out there: Happy Mother’s Day! I hope y’all have been enjoying your month so far, and I’m going to help you enjoy it even more. Today I’m going to share with you the doTERRA specials for the month. Check it out!

Product of the Month (POM): Did you know that doTERRA offers a FREE Product of the Month, every single month? All you have to do is place a qualifying Loyalty Rewards order, and this product will automatically be added to your cart. No promo code needed.

This month only you can get a bottle of doTERRA’s Cypress essential oil for free with your LRP order. Cypress oil is one of my favorite smells. It reminds me of being in the middle of all the tall trees when I would visit my grandparents in Arkansas. Cypress essential oil is only meant for aromatic or topical use. It’s great to diffuse to clear up congestion and sinuses. It can also help you wake up in the morning!

I also used this essential oil every day during pregnancy. I was having some issues with my circulation in my legs, and I would rub Cypress on the back of my legs, and my circulation improved greatly! Also, if any of you mamas out there have little ones that struggle with bed wetting, rub some Cypress over their bladder before bed to help them wake up dry.

Highlighted Product: doTERRA also offers a product at 10% off every month. This month is doTERRA’s Anti-Aging Eye Cream. This eye cream is made with doTERRA’s essential oils, like Frankincense Ylang Ylang, and Blue Tansy that are clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time. 

It can also help all the sleep deprived mamas with the dark circles under their eyes. I love that it has a steel rollerball applicator because it always helps me to feel refreshed and awakens my eyes in the morning.

Bonus from ME!

Just to sweeten the deal, here is what I have to offer when you choose to start your doTERRA journey with me:

  • Welcome gift (personalized roller bottles, recipes, and other oily goodies)
  • Private access to my team’s Facebook group (a wealth of oil knowledge)
  • Free Wellness Consultation (a chance to really dive deep into your health goals)
  • Continued Support (to answer your questions in real time from a real person— ME!)

Simply go to mydoterra.com/amandagerber and click “Join & Save” to get started.

Which one of these promos are you taking advantage of this month? Share below in the comments!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Mental Illness Myths: Shedding Light to Spread Support

I’ve heard so many myths about mental illness over the years. I’ve experienced well meaning people say some things on the topic that simply aren’t true. Mental illness is a tricky thing… it’s hard to understand unless you’ve experienced it firsthand. My heart behind this post isn’t to bash anyone who has ever fallen trap to these myths. My intent is to shed light on the issue so we can all learn how to love and support our loved ones struggling with mental illness.

Myth #1: Anyone with a mental illness needs medication. This simply isn’t true. I think medication has a time and place, but it’s not for everyone. I know many people successfully working through their anxiety, depression, ect. without taking a pill to do it. I have personally been on medication in the past, and it helped for a season. However, I don’t have the need to take it now, and I’m taking other measures towards healing. I’ll be sharing my top tools in another post soon.

Myth #2: Anyone who talks about their own mental illness is seeking attention. You know how some games have a buzzer that the opposite team pushes to know they’ve gotten a question wrong? It’s loud and obnoxious and makes a bbbbeeeeaaaaa sound? Yeah, I would push the buzzer on this one. Sure, a handful of people have done this. But, as someone who works in the field of psychology, please listen to me when I say: It’s still a cry for help. So, don’t just roll your eyes at it. Encourage that person to seek the help they need.

Most of us that talk about our mental illness are just trying to break the stigma. We’re also trying to let others with a mental illness know they’re not alone. It takes some serious courage to share about this delicate issue,  and we could all learn from each other’s experience.

Myth #3: Mental illness is a choice. Now, stick with me on this one, because I need to unpack it a bit. Did I choose to have depression and suicidal thoughts  at 12 years old? No, I did not. However, I did choose to go 15 years without ever getting help. I was a kid, and I was scared and ashamed of my struggle. I carried that fear and shame into adulthood. I now realize I let those lies rob of of potential freedom. 

I didn’t choose depression and anxiety, BUT I do believe I can choose to let it consume me, or get in front of it. Treatment will look different for everyone, and I know there are things I can do to keep my mind in a healthy state. Again, I did not choose depression and anxiety. I do choose to fight it. I can fight it, get in front of it, and move closer and closer to healing. You can too. 

Myth #4: You can snap out of it. Y’all, I am so over this one. People that I love dearly have said things along these lines, and it hurts. You can’t simply snap out it. If you’ve struggled with a mental illness for a good amount of time, you’re going to need time to heal. You’re going to need time to go to counseling, find those lies and replace them with truth. You’re going to need time to learn your mental triggers. You’re going to need time to learn how certain foods and chemicals affect your mental and physical state. Healing is possible, but you don’t snap your way there. You walk your way there, one step at a time. 

Myth #5: Once you have a mental illness, you’re stuck with it. I see this myth more with people that are managing their own mental illness. I personally believe someone can be completely healed from their mental illness. I truly do. I believe it will take work, counseling (good counseling, y’all), a will to fight, and a lot of prayer… but healing is possible. The process with look different for everyone, but the end result can be the same. 

Ok, folks, those are my top 5 myths I come across in the area of mental illness. I’m sure you’ve heard your share of lies too along the way. What is a myth you’ve heard before about mental illness?

Mental Health Awareness Month: My Current Journey

Our mental health can change and shift, as it has for me over the years. It’s a process of conquering one battle, and a then days/weeks/months/years later stepping up to another one. The road from a toxic mind to a healthy mind isn’t a quick and clean journey. It’s a process… and it’s messy. But it’s a battle worth fighting.

I’ve dealt with depression on and off for decades. Some of you were with me as I shared my battle a few years ago. I went through lots of healing and breakthrough, and had a few really great years where I didn’t struggle with my mental health.

Yet, with a background of depression, there are some dark and deep lies that seemed to settle in my soul. Lately these lies seem to carry over every area in my life, and had become crippling. Simple, everyday tasks and responsibilities had become difficult and incredibly tiring. 

While I praise the Lord that I’m no longer suicidal, I had dealt with some pretty crippling anxiety over the past year. I was constantly going through the motions of life while feeling like I was one hiccup away from an anxiety attack. I had dealt with anxiety in the past (depression and anxiety go hand in hand often), but never to this level. It had reached a new height where I recognized I needed outside help. And that was okay. 

My chest constantly felt tight, shoulders tense, and at times I had to put some serious effort into slowing my breath so I wouldn’t hyperventilate in the middle of making tacos for dinner. I had to put immense effort into slowing my mind and racing thoughts. Sometimes I’d lock myself in my bathroom for a few minutes just to count and breathe. I’d lean up against the door, close my eyes, and start counting while slowly while inhaling and exhaling. 1… 2…. 3… 4….

I called my counseling office, and was put on a waiting list. I forgot I was on the waiting list until I got a call a few months later. I almost decided not to take the appointment, because I had been having a good couple of weeks. I am so glad I took the appointment.

My counselor has a way of unlocking deep rooted lies that I’ve carried in my soul that have been bleeding into every area of my life: wife, mother, daughter, doTERRA leader, friend, church leader. We’re digging up roots of some serious negative beliefs, and replacing them with the beautiful truth. I’m slowly working on starving the toxic thoughts and nurturing the healthy ones.

During the month of May, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, I’d love to share more on my mental health journey. I’ll be giving specifics on how I manage depression and anxiety with things like counseling, running, taking my supplements and other homeopathic measures, and opening up to some trusted friends and family about my current struggles. We’re not meant to fight this battle alone. Thank you for joining me on my recovery to freedom. You’re not alone either.

Got questions? Or maybe you’d like to see me cover a specific topic pertaining to mental health? Comment below, I’d love to connect with you!

Happy Birthday, doTERRA!

Happy birthday, dōTERRA! In honor of dōTERRA’s birthday, I’d like to tell you about my first experience with dōTERRA. 

Around five years ago, my friend, Amy, handed me a sample of OnGuard essential oil. I was pregnant, had some pretty bad throat discomfort, and felt like crud.

After using this small sample for a day, simply by applying it on my throat and simply smelling it from the bottle, I felt relief! This tiny bottle packed a big punch! 

I was amazed at the results. I was amazed I could soothe my throat with something totally natural and safe, especially during pregnancy. I called Amy the next day, and told her, “I need all the oils!”

I signed up with a starter kit (Family Essentials Kit) with the top 10 oils, and dōTERRA continues to amaze me as it’s helped my family with: respiratory issues, tummy troubles, mental health, immune support, and SO much more. 

I used the oils for over a year before jumping into the business opportunity. The business opportunity, too, continues to amaze me! I’ve created a residual part-time income for my family, have climbed to doTERRA’s Leadership ranks, and I am so grateful for that. I’m also working my way towards a full time income, and I can see it on the horizon!

Are you ready to get started with these natural solutions? Would you like to learn more about the product or business? Let me know! We can connect and I can answer your questions!

Happy birthday, dōTERRA. I am so thankful for you.

Discouraged to Encourage

A friend of mine made such an interesting connection when studying Ezra 4. She said the 3 words from that chapter kept sticking out in her mind, as if God was highlighting them for her: discouraged, futile, and afraid. It was like a lightbulb went off in her head. That’s exactly what happens to her when the enemy is attacking her. This is what happens when the enemy attacks me or you.

The next day, I found myself coming back to these three words. I decided to dig in and break it down in a practical sense.

We get discouraged. This can look like many different thoughts: It’s been a year already… You should be so much further along by now… OR Why do you bother trying?… You’ll never be as good as her… You’ll never get it right. Discouragement isn’t pretty.

We get futile. Now, y’all, I have a Master’s degree, but I’m gonna be honest with you. I had to look up what the word futile meant. Here’s the definition: “incapable of producing any useful result; pointless” … You guys, I literally gasped when I read that.

I gasped because I felt as if someone had been watching me my whole life. My mind tends to go this direction at times. Sometimes not even necessarily when things are going terrible, but when they’re going great… Like I’m waiting for the ball to drop. This mindset is no way to live.

We get fearful. Don’t we, though? We do. We worry about our finances, our relationships, the opinions of other people. Fighting fear is a constant battle.

I mentioned to her that it would be wise to have a game plan. Basically, have truth at the forefront of your mind. How do you know what truths to use to guard your heart? Well, just start with the opposite of those 3 words (or any specific lie, for that matter). Here we go.

God is encouraging. He loves you more than you could ever imagine. Over and over throughout Scripture He confirms his love for you and me. He tells us He will provide for us. He delights in us. Use these truths to bring encouragement to your heart. (Romans 15:4)

God has given you a purpose. This seems basic. We hear it all the time.  But truly hear me here. God has given you (yes, YOU!) a specific purpose for the building up of His kingdom before you were even born. You have a voice. You matter. You are needed and wanted. You have purpose. (! Corinthians 12: 12-31)

God is loving. Perfect love casts out fear. This verse is gold. Again, it seems basic, but it only seems generic and basic… until we apply it. Then it becomes profound. Then it becomes magnificent. We’ve got to learn to walk in this truth. (1 John 4:18)

When you operate out of God’s love instead of fear from the enemy, peace abounds in your heart. No matter what the circumstance is, you can still have peace. This peace doesn’t exempt you from hard times. However, this peace allows you the mindset of knowing even if your world comes crashing down and you lose everything you hold dear; you know God is still good, and God is still here.

Restaurant Review: Water Street Sushi Room

I can’t believe Valentine’s Day is around the corner (literally two days away). Wasn’t it just Christmas? I’ve realized as an adult how much faster time flies by than when I was a kid. Have you thought about where you’re going to take your sweetheart to eat on Valentine’s Day? Well, I’m here to tell you about a great find my husband and I ate at a while back.

I’m going to have to confess something to you first: We don’t eat out often. I love cooking, so many meals we eat at home.  I’m guessing maybe once a month we go out on a date for dinner. My husband went to culinary school, and has a degree in restaurant management. I’ve been cooking for my family for years, and have developed a love for cooking, and quite the palate. So, again, we love to eat good, local food. We don’t want to waste our money on a mediocre chain restaurant. (Unless, it’s Chili’s chips and salsa… I could eat those every day).

So, if you’re in the Corpus Christi/Coastal Bend area, listen up! Here’s my restaurant recommendation for this month: Water Street Sushi Room. Now, if you’re local to Corpus Christi, you’ve probably heard of Water Street Oyster Bar. It’s a great place to go for a nice, upscale dinner or catch happy hour after work. The food is great, and so is the atmosphere. However, don’t pass up the Sushi Room! The Sushi Room is located right behind the Oyster Bar, and it has a much more laid back feel to it.

We were comfortable in our T-shirts and flip flops when we walked into the place. It was a cute, almost loft-like set up. You order your sushi at the counter, and we were given outstanding service. The cashier walked us through our likes and dislikes, and gave us recommendations based on our preferences. We just grabbed water to drink (because we’re cheap lol), but if you wanted a soda or beer, they have bottled beverages in a cooler by the counter.

After we ordered we headed upstairs to the sitting area. Outside seating is also available,  but it was cold outside the day we went, so we staying inside. There was a pitcher of water with lemons and cucumbers infusing their flavor. Upon sitting down, we saw these little signs about the restaurant being an Ocean Friendly restaurant, which means only reusable utensils are used, plastic bags are not available, ect. I thought this was a nice touch, considering it’s helping the marine life we are enjoying. 

I can’t tell you how excited I was when the waitress set the food down in front of me. You guys, this sushi tastes as great as it looks! I got the Tiger Roll, which, in my opinion, is everything sushi should taste like.  It’s your Cali roll, but with added goodness like: blackened tuna, avocado, ponzu, eel sauce, and tobiko. You get a taste of the sea from the tuna, the sweetness from the avocados and eel sauce, a slight kick of spiciness from the spicy mayo and washabi, and the umami from the soy sauce I dipped it in… y’all it was perfection.

My husband ordered the Padre Island Roll, but you need to know he changed it up quiet a bit. He 86ed (that’s kitchen lingo for “got rid of”) the bell pepper and toasted coconut, and he added fresh ahi tuna and mint. So the final product was super refreshing with cucumber, tuna, mint, and mango. I tried one of his rolls, and it was very refreshing. It tasted like a perfect summer day. I did enjoy my roll better, but if you’re in the mood for a roll with a “lighter” and brighter taste, go for his.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Where are you eating for Valentine’s Day? Do you have a restaurant I need to try?