New Year, New You?

New Year, New You? We like you just the way you are! Tune in to hear Tina and Serena talk about their frustrations with New Year's Resolutions and why they're not making any this year.

Notes and Mentions

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Serena: Hey everyone, I'm Serena.

Tina: And I'm Tina, and we are the Mental Health Mamas.


Serena: Welcome to No Need to Explain. We are so glad you're here.

Tina: First, as always, a quick disclaimer.

Serena: We come to not as mental health professionals or experts in the field, but rather as parents with lived experience who are on a mission to normalize the conversation around mental health.

Tina: If you or someone you love is experiencing a mental health crisis,

please seek professional support. You'll find a variety of resources in our show notes and on our website, .

Tina: Serena, welcome back and happy new year.

Serena: Happy New Year to, too. It feels like, gosh, it feels like a long time since we've connected and certainly a long time since it's been just the two of us on a record.

Tina: Exactly right. Yeah, and, for those of you who follow closely, we haven't dropped for a bit. And we feel good about that. And we hope that you are back listening and happy that we're back, too. So we ended last year with our very special encore guest Lisa Sugarman talking about what she has been up to

in the mental health space and all of her new endeavors, as well as really a quite frank discussion about the holiday feels so if you have not listened, please go back and do so.

Serena: And it's not, you know, it's not limited to the holiday. It's kind of just those feels all the time and we're actually going to take some time today to use some of the themes that Lisa discussed and that we've talked about over the podcast, the last three seasons. We've been doing this a long time now.

Tina: So let's start by talking a bit about what Serena and I would call the tilty world we are living in right this moment, right?

Serena: Right. Yeah. So, you know, we might use the word tilty or kind of unstable.

I kind of sometimes use the word untethered, you know, just basically when things don't feel right, you know, feel grounded, you don't feel kind of solid when things are going, maybe not so well either personally for us or for others in our orbit.

Tina: And we certainly are in those times, literal wars, climate instability, immigration, migration in our country and kind of across the world, gun violence, just so much.

Serena: There is so much. And I just think we're exposed all the time and in a way

that we didn't use to be. So there's that overwhelming piece, right? I've just kind of seeing everything everywhere all the time.

Tina: Exactly. And you know, I feel like we've lived in cities where news has

even over the years. So I've been married for almost 33 years and I feel like

wherever we've lived, if we're nearer to a bigger city where the news comes from, I've seen more, but I just feel like everybody sees it and not only do we see it, it's in our hand and pinging our watches and doing all the things. I mean, I have been very, I know your family is very good about this. We are not so good about it, but I do have a lot of that shut off so that I am not constantly bombarded by it. It's not interrupting my brain thoughts every moment of every day.

Serena: Right. Right. Yeah, it's so hard to ignore all those, the pings and the,

you know, so here's your permission to turn off your notifications, right? Even, you know, dare I say turn off your phone?

Serena: No, its not possible. No, maybe not.

Tina: Well, I mean, it's possible. I do think that it's such an appendage these days, right? Not only for us, but for our people. In fact, my daughter's visiting and I said, do you, I mean, we don't have a television in our bedroom very consciously. I just don't do that. But she does. And I think it helps her fiance fall asleep, which is great. I think that's true for both of my kids. But I said, do you want the cable on there? Do you just, and she's like, oh, we just stream and use our phones. We never see that mainstream TV. But I still think it's there, right?

Serena: Yeah, so anyway, yeah, absolutely. And so add to all of those things, all the things weighing down on us in the world, in our personal space as well.

The idea that it seems like there's just so much conflict in our country, in the world, and it's just, it all seems like too much, right?

Tina: It is too much in that civil discourse that we just can't seem to have in any civil way, right?

Serena: Yes.

Tina: So let's circle back to the last episode with Lisa, and she really is awesome.

And kind of put an exclamation point on feeling all the feels, and a few other points will circle back to later. And Serena, I've been following her on social media, if you, if you audience don't follow her, I know Serena does follow her. If you don't follow her, she really is amazing. She's been talking about feeling all the feels. She has been with her family over the holidays, especially her daughter who she hadn't seen in two years. And she was in Japan, where there was a lot going on, right? First thing, a terrible plane crash thing.

Serena: Yeah.

Tina: The passenger plane was fine. I mean, there were casualties in the other plane. But just being in the proximity of that, and having a lot of feels, right?

Like so many feels in that one short time for her. Lisa, if you're listening, thanks for giving us permission. Again, writing us that permission slip to feel all the feels.

Serena: Yeah. And, you know, we truly don't have control over any of those things,

even though we may try, right? We may, you know, I think that's where

like anxiety comes from, right? We're trying to control the things we don't have

control over, not all anxiety, but I think a sense of anxiety, right?

But we do have control over how we react and process our emotions, right?

So we can choose, we can choose the outcome for us, personally.

And it's something that we've stressed on the podcast for many seasons.

Feel the feels, all of them. And, you know, I don't want to say good feelings are

bad feelings because really, Tina and I actually took a non violent

communication training years ago when we used to live in the same place.

And I remember the, the person during the training talking about,

they're not good feelings or bad feelings if you're feeling you're alive.

And so yes, we will try to embrace that.

Tina: All feelings valid, right? We've said it many, many times. So, so let's shift gears a little bit and talk about, um, this word that I honestly can't stand and I've done it and I've not done it, but resolutions, right? For the new year.

Serena: Uh-huh.

Tina: Um, I think we feel such pressure in the new year to be a new year. But I kind of like the old me. Aren't I enough Serena?

Serena: Yes. You are enough. Absolutely.

Tina: As are you! You are enough as well.

Serena: Thank you. Yeah. Um, and we want you guys to hear that in the audience as well. You are enough. Whether you made resolutions or you didn't, um, it's all good, right? Um, I don't know. Did you make resolutions this year,


Tina: I didn't. In fact, I've been writing this for a little bit and, um, no,

I'm not making resolution this year. I, you know, part of what I'm, what I've worked on last year is just being okay with me. You know, I'm in my 50s. I'm not 30 anymore. There are little things that I don't know. Anyway, we will talk a little bit more about this, but what about you? Did you make a resolution?

Serena: I did not. I like, I thought about it. And then I thought, nope, I'm going to buck the trend, right? Um, I think there's so much pressure though, right? This time of year to like change yourself overnight to look better, feel better, exercise more, eat better.

Tina: It's, uh, exhausted. It's totally exhausting. It's taught. And you know what makes me think of is, okay, so I was raised Catholic and it makes me think of

Lent when people give things up, right? You give things up as part of a suffering thing. But, you know, the trend has in the past few years, at least in the, in the world that I've been living in, is to change that to something a little more positive and outward. So not about me giving up something, but instead me giving something. So it's just a very interesting trend, but anyway. So the idea that we need to change our lives in one day, in one month, it's just a silly idea, right? So in an older article in the New York Times, it's from 2011. So you can imagine the

kind of inflation, uh, in this number, the author says, ?Americans spend many tens of billions of dollars every year in the hopes of keeping resolutions to lose weight, get the quit smoking, fix their finances, organize their closets.? Oh gosh, on and on. Last year, they go on to say, ?We spent 62 billion on health club memberships, weight loss programs, exercise tapes, diet sodas and the like. And this is according to projections from market data enterprise, the market marketing firm.? And from

a more recent article from the BBC, analysts say ?The start of the New Year is an important time for health focused businesses, nearly half of Americans polled in October of ?23, a Forbes Health One poll survey said they were prioritizing fitness in their New Year's goal.? And I'm going to quote, ?people who've been through the holiday season. They've probably been overindulging, (ha, ha, um,), says Saunders, who is one of the people quoted in this article. ?They're now focused

on New Year's resolutions to do with wellness and losing weight.? So I guess this shouldn't surprise us, right? Serena, the businesses are trying to kind of capitalize on selling us all of the things.

Serena: Yeah, and I just, I want to take a moment to talk about the idea that I would say my social media feed culturally in where, you know, where I live in my office, workspace in December. It is this idea that we're supposed to overindulge in many different ways, right? Like, we're, you know, we're eating terrible foods that are bad for us. We are, um, staying up late and, you know, celebrating and one way or another. Um, but in it, like it feels really challenging to be healthy in December. And then suddenly in January, we're supposed to flip that. And now we're going to eat all the good things that are healthy for us. We're going to get all the exercise into all the right things. And I just feel like, again, it's exhausting that like the extremes, right, from, from to the other.

Tina: Yeah. And then so true. Yeah. And just the expectation,


Serena: that we're supposed to, I don't know, fall in line to do these things. And again, it's really hard to not do these things when, you know, every amazing looking dessert is showing up on my, wall.

Tina: Let's go there. You guys are bakers, right? You?re bakers. Oh, yes. I still remember this cute story, which I'm going to tell right now. Okay. I've known Serena's youngest since she was born. And I still remember, I mean, she was barely speaking. And yes, we're with her in the kitchen. You said, um, you know, basically butter sugar. And you were creaming that. And then she said, ?an egg.?

Yes, girls going to be a good baker. Yeah. Anyway, I just do it all around. And I've

told you before, after, after Christmas for us, I just feel like elf. I want sugar all the time. Yes. Yes. Right. I just need to break. I need to break that. And I'm about all things in moderation, right? Yeah. There's never a time when I say, I can't eat whatever. I mean, it's just not a thing. I don't know. Anyway, I mean, not all things, not all things in moderation, just saying, but yeah, all the things I've choose in moderation.

Serena: I'm still stuck on elf picturing the pile of spaghetti with the candy, right?

So people are selling things, right? To make us better. Um, but what are we selling, Tina?

Tina: Are we selling, Serena?

Serena: Mm. Say, selling, I don't know, sharing, encouraging. You are enough.

Tina: That is right.

Serena: Hey, tomorrow next year, you are enough. I love that. And we will continue to remind you of that.

Tina: So if we could only bottle and sell that, well, we won't go there. But I do think it's important to say personal growth is important. None of us come into this world, excellent at everything in our world. And I think it's healthy part of what we process with our therapists and our friend therapists, right? It's like, how, how might I grow personally in this year? And I think that's really a good distinction, right? Like, I don't want to severely change everything in my world, but personal growth is important. So there's things that we can do. But I think in important messages, we should always be in control of that narrative, right? Not others telling us on your

social media feed and other places to, you know, fill in the blank, whatever that thing is, right?

Serena: Yes. I think I need to quiet some of those ads that come through or something. I don't know. Yeah, there's a way, I think, but it'll just stay out this book, you know, whichever. So let's talk a bit about our own narrative because sometimes we're not always having positive messages going on in our heads, right?

Tina: Right. Exactly. And, you know, Valerie Gordon was a guest we had on. I can't remember what season. And she spoke to us about her book, Firing Your Narrator. She's also someone I follow on social media and I really enjoy listening to all

the things from her. Sometimes those external messages get kind of lodged in our heads and we become our worst enemies. We tell ourselves things that we would never tell people that we love, right?

Serena: Yeah, yeah. I think we've talked about that a lot on here, but yeah, if it's about something you would say to somebody else, like, don't say it to yourself, you'd be kind to yourself. And that brings us to expectations of ourselves and others that certainly contribute to all of those fields, right? I think we've talked about this a little bit. Yeah, what are your thoughts, Tina?

Tina: Yeah, so I think they're two things, right? Yeah, like you said, expectations that we have of ourselves and then that external kind of what we think everyone expects from us. And what do you read? I don't know. I think honestly, I think I'm harder on myself than I feel like other people are

Serena: yes, I think that's probably true.

Tina: It's a vicious circle too, because what I think people expect of me, right, I think that just feeds into that narrative. Does that, is that clear? It feels like

what I think other people expect of me, it just feeds into that. Am I enough narrative, right?

Serena: Yeah, can I, can I bring your giant gingerbread? It's amazing. It's incredibly amazing

Tina: Thank you. And I do think that so for those of you who do not follow me on social media, I every year that we have lived in Virginia, which is now year three, I have built a gingerbread house and I've built gingerbread houses a lot. My mother was a wedding cake baker, so it's something we did every year. We never made the graham cracker milk carton thing like never that was never a thing. And in fact, I did this with, with Serena's kids, we built a chicken coup, gingerbread. Anyway, high expectations set. And again, my mother and my sister were so good at it that I just

felt like this pressure to do it. Not they never pressured me to do it, but I pressure myself to do it. And so I have made, I made the University of Richmond Chapel. I made last year our library, which is called Boatwright Tower. And this year I made the Robin Center, which is our basketball arena. And yeah, so it's a lot of work. Actually, I find it. I am not a particularly, Serena will, I'm not a very, I am a very creative person, positive, right? But I'm the best with like, I'm not architecty in the sense that I'm not all that great. My math skills, like calculating everything. So part of the big part of this is I'm sure I calculated something wrong and just started building it. And it's like, whoa, that is it won't even fit out a door. A regular. So anyway, but that's just a little self-deprecation. I'm, I'm going to just admit it like I'm not that good at my math skills. So anyway, it's lovely. Check it out. And I have a perfection issue. My expectation isn't to be perfect. And so literally,

I built this thing for more than a month, I would say, from beginning to end. And I think it was even after that month that I was like, oh, it needs this. It needs that.

I is kind of like writing a paper. I don't know. You're a writer.

Serena: So you just, yeah, I was trying to add one more thing. Well, and so here's the question for you. Was there anybody, anybody who looked at it either on social media or in person who was like, you know, I think it's missing something.

Tina: Nobody, nobody. Because it's an athletic building, the athletic director, I had put some wreaths on the, that aren't there. I mean, they're not on the building. And he's like, wow, I think it's really stuff next to you. That feels like really good. And I'm like, whoa, okay. So no, the answer is no. No one said anything. Like, wow, that M&M's off a little bit.

Serena: Shocking. Anyway. Yeah. So, so I think we're going to, you know, the new year, new you, I think we're going to chuck that out the door. If, you know, you do you out there. But again, you're enough.

Tina: Yes. And I would say new year, new year, new, okay. Sorry. Let me try that again. And I would say new year, new you, nope. And I love these words for Mr. Rogers, who was one of my very favorite childhood people. We like you just the way you are. You're kind, authentic, vulnerable, whole self. So be yourself. You are enough.

Serena: Absolutely. Yeah.

Tina: So podcast brands, we are always grateful for all of you listening and supporting us. You can help us out. Visit Apple Podcast. Leave us a review while you're there. We have a bunch of reviews, but we would love some more.

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Serena: And this is your channel reminder to take good care of yourself while you're also taking care of your people.

Tina: Thanks so much for listening.

Serena: Bye.