What's Good in the World?

To ring in the new year, the Mental Health Mamas are talking about all things good. Tune in to hear some of the feel-good stories from the past year and come away with some positivity no matter when you listen.

Notes and Mentions

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Tina: Hey everyone, I'm Tina

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


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

Serena: First as always a quick disclaimer.

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

Serena: 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 noneedtoexplainpodcast.com. Happy New Year Tina!

Tina: Happy New Year to you too Serena! 

Serena: Thanks! So is it just me or did 2022 feel like a really hard year?

Tina: Yeah, I would say every year brings new challenges and 2022 was no exception.

Serena: So before we leave this last year behind, we want to spend today's episode talking about some of the good things that happened in 2022 because I really think it's important to notice the good things and really be intentional about remembering them. So Tina, tell me what was good for you in 2022.

Tina: It's good for our brains, right? So think positively. So as loyal listeners know, we moved in 2021. And so this year, I think 2022 has felt more settled. I've felt more settled in my new home. I'm starting to feel a sense of belonging in my community, which is awesome. I also got a new hip and I feel like a whole new person. What about you, Serena? What has been good for you?

Serena: All right, so we all got COVID last April and I know that doesn't sound good.

Tina: It doesn't. 

Serena: Yeah, but what I will say is, you know, for a family full of anxious people who'd been just incredibly anxious about COVID, it ended up being a really good thing for us. We were all, you know, mildly sick thanks to the amazing vaccines and it was just a relief to have finally gotten it, you know, after avoiding them for so long and then gotten through to the other side. I think that's true for a lot of us. 

Tina: I think I feel that way too. Yeah, totally. I totally, we avoided it for as my husband, the counter says 30 months. We did not get it for 30 months. And when we got it, yeah, I mean, it's, yeah, yeah, we, I know there are people who are not surviving it. And I think of them and their family is often and you're right. It is a relief for the anxious for sure. 

Serena: Yeah, so another good thing, my oldest officially launched as in, you know, she's living far away from us, which would not be my choice, but it's amazing. She has a full-time job, her own apartment. And this is my kid who was so anxious that she literally would rather fail a class than talk to a teacher. And I can't even express how amazing it is to see her doing all the things. 

Tina: Yes, I too am amazed by her. And I remember those days like they were yesterday. So, Serena, you mentioned your family, but as often is the case with moms. You really didn't talk about yourself. So what's good for you this year?

Serena: Well, can we talk about the podcast? 

Tina: Please. 

Serena: Yeah, so what I would say, one of the things that's been really good for me this year is that I've been able to spend more time focusing on our podcast. And I'm very proud of everything we've done. I don't say that lightly. I'm not going to bore everyone with numbers. But I will say one number that we’ll be dropping our 100th episode in just a few weeks. And it's been amazing to have so many people making this journey with us.

Tina: Yes, literally all around the world, which always amazes me. So the journey has been amazing. And our lives are very busy. But this podcast has been an amazing constant in our lives. And we really hope to keep it going as long as we can. And I would like to just say one other good thing for me this year is that Serena is amazing. Her husband is amazing. And literally are holding this, I have a very busy life. And literally they're holding this together. I would say many times I show up and record, which is I appreciate you, Serena. I appreciate the goodness. Everything you’re bringing to this. 

Serena: And yeah, well, thank you, friend. I mean, honestly, I don't want to do it by myself. 

Tina: So well, I just want to, you're a good thing in my world. And I appreciate you. 

Serena: Yeah, thank you. And I want to mention the reviews that everybody out there's been leaving for us lately. Totally amazing. So would you think it'd be weird to share a couple of those? 

Tina: It might be weird, but it's our podcast. And we're going to do it anyway. So just listen up, everyone. If you haven't left a review, try to beat these. So I think it's a good thing to toot your own horn. And let's do a little toot toot right here. 

Serena: All right. So do you have a favorite one, Tina? 

Tina: So I favorite is always a rough. That's a rough word for me. But what I do love is when people call us relatable and connective because I feel like that is why we do this, right? I also love when people say that I have a soothing and calm voice. My family in particular finds that totally hilarious. But I will read one. So JTAllen says, “Yes, parenting is hard, but it's easier with Tina and Serena. While, I appreciate the stories of the guests that are on the show, my favorite part of this podcast is the support I feel from the hosts. There really is No Need to Explain. There is no judgment, only support.” 

Serena: So yeah, I had a hard time picking a favorite to. I did actually find myself getting a little emotional the other day. 

Tina: You did.

Serena: So thank you to everybody who's left one. But I think I'm going to share one from BFFHeather. She writes, “I adore this podcast and the lovely women hosting. They bring on wonderful guests and explore a variety of topics that are relatable to all women. Serena and Tina are the real deal. And I would love to share a pot of coffee with them seated around my kitchen table any day of the week. #goals." Thanks, Heather. 

Tina: Yes. And well, Heather, we would love that too. Just a warning. Pot of coffee and Tina. Serena. 

Serena: Yes. Yeah, I've seen it. It's not a good thing. It's not a good thing. 

Tina: Anyway, a little bit of coffee. Good. A lot of coffee. Not so good. So let's shift gears a bit here and talk about some of the good things that happened around the

world in 2022. 

Serena: Yeah. So it can be really easy to get caught up in all the negativity. And sometimes I feel like we have to work a little harder to find the good news, but it is totally out there. 

Tina: Yes, my husband is all about the random good news. It's just so funny. I don't know. It comes on his phone somehow. I can't figure that out. But anyway, so let's start with the good news surrounding mental health. It's been a very tough year getting access to services. We know this is true in many years, right? We've shared many times on the podcast that the need for mental health support far outweighs what's currently available in the US. And there are a couple of pieces of good news here. One is that more people are talking about mental health. And I will say that again. More people are talking about normalizing mental health. The mental health crisis we're facing existed prior to COVID, but now it's being talked about all the time. So I often say if you did not think about your mental health before COVID with the isolation, it was a reality for most of us, right? 

Serena: Yeah. And so along with that, I would say that there do continue to be more options. Maybe not availability, but more ways of accessing care. So during lockdown, all these rules were kind of relaxed around telehealth services. And some of them have gone back and put back into place, but not all of them. So in other words, many of us continue to have access to services for mental health and even physical health via telemedicine, which many of us did not have before are to COVID. So I would just say we need to continue to push for those services that we that we're using that we appreciate that are helpful to us and not allow things to return to where they were pre COVID. And let's not forget about 988. 

Tina: Yes. So this summer, the United States, 988 suicide in crisis line was initiated. You can call or text 988 to be connected with a trained crisis counselor who can help you if you're experiencing some kind of mental health related distress. This could include thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis or any other kind of emotional distress. The lifeline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to anyone living in the US and you can call for yourself or you can call for someone else you're concerned about. 

Serena: So now a couple of feel good stories for you. So Tina, you know about the accidental Thanksgiving text, right? 

Tina: Oh, yeah, you mean the grandma who texted the wrong person about Thanksgiving dinner? 

Serena: Yeah, I love this story too. So I think, you know, I hope most people listening have heard about this, but if you haven't, it started back in 2016, Wanda Dench accidentally sent a text to Jamal Hinton, who was then 17 years old, telling him, you know, what time to beat her house for Thanksgiving? And then they kind of went back and forth and realized that she was not his grandmother and she thought she was texting her grandson, but when they realized it, Jamal asked if he could get a plate anyway. And Wanda responded, “Of course you can. That's what grandma's do, feed everyone.” And the two have been getting together ever since, and they just spent their seven Thanksgiving together. 

Tina: I love that. I just love that. And I do get emotional even after seven years hearing that again. So let's talk about Betty White in her legacy. 

Serena: Yeah, that's a great one. 

Tina: As many of you know, Betty White passed away at the end of 2021 just before her 100th birthday. And there were all these plans and virtual celebrations, like on her actual birthday, but when she passed away, her legacy just kind of took on this life of its own and people were using the hashtag Betty White challenge. And they were raising money for animal shelters all across the country. Amazingly, almost $13 million was raised in her honor with more coming in to local shelters all the time. 

Serena: Yeah, amazing. Speaking of animals, I'm going to share a recent story about a little girl who got approval to own a living unicorn if she can find one. Have you heard this one? 

Tina: I totally have not heard this one. 

Serena: Okay. All right, so Madeline wrote to the Los Angeles County Animal Control asking for permission to raise a unicorn in her backyard if she can find one. And so the amazing part is they not only granted her a permanent unicorn license. There's a picture of the tag for her unicorn, but also gave her suggestions for care, including giving the unicorn regular access to sunlight, moonbeams and rainbows. And they sent her a unicorn plushie along with the license.

Tina: That is so awesome. That is someone who has a great sense of humor and a very large heart. So that is awesome. 

Serena: Yeah. Yeah. So the next one, I think it's all yours. 

Tina: Well, people might be able to recognize a few again, our loyal listener. Let's go over some research on sleep. Good news. Good news, everyone. Listen up. This study was published in the Journal of Science, and it shows how sleep is a vital method of improving mental health as it dampens negative emotions and reinforces positive ones. The study focused on the REM stage of sleep and notes that when the brain is awake, it focuses on danger much more than the feeling of safety. But during REM sleep, the cells in the brain completely block out these emotions. Bottom line, it seems that this research points to the possibility that mental health challenges, such as chronic stress, anxiety, depression, and panic, can also be helped by getting a good night's sleep or what we call in our house magic.

Serena: Yeah, I would say that all of that research supports what I see in my own home and that lack of sleep leads to all sorts of challenges, but we'll save that for another day. 

Tina: No that's not a positive one. 

Serena: No, not positive. 

Tina: Just focus on the magic people magic. 

Serena: So there's a powerful photograph that I saw the other day that I want to mention as part of our good news for the year. It was an image captured at the end of a World Cup game between the United States and Iran after the US had won and knocked Iran out of the World Cup. So one of the players from the losing team is sitting on the field, like literally in the middle field just crying at the end of this game. And you see two US players comforting him. And so for one thing, just seeing all these tough guys are literally covered in tattoos, letting their guard down and showing their emotions to the world is that's moving in and of itself and then to see such human connection and empathy in the middle of this like fierce competition. It's just it's really powerful. If you haven't seen it, go check it out and we'll have a link to some of the photos in our notes for you.

Tina: Truly beautiful. Awesome. One more good news story. We'd like to share today. And this one is about a 17 year old in California who really took self care to the next level. And you know how much we love talking about self care. Almost as much as I like talking about sleep. 

Serena: It's true.

Tina: Kaylee Joy Cooper talks about the idea that not everyone feels they have the means to access self care. But does not it should not be a luxury for us. Using her own money, Cooper purchased items for 60 self-care kits for girls, including books, socks, and jewelry. She tucked a hand written note into each bag, letting the recipient know how much she she was loved and valued. Several kids went to girls in the foster care system who told Cooper how much they appreciated having something that belonged just to them. This inspired Cooper to make even more bags and give them away to people outside of Los Angeles. And through her nonprofit, it's called Girl Well, Cooper partners with schools and foster homes in five states to distribute self-care kits. Now she works with several brands to keep the bags filled and has made it her goal to have a presence in all 50 states. So any girl who wants a kit can have one. So if you want to help Cooper out, go check it out. This is totally reproducible, right? 

Serena: Absolutely. Yeah. So we do hope that by sharing these stories with you that you might come away from this episode with a little more positivity and hope as we, you know, go into the new year ahead. I know we could we could all use positivity and hope. And I know for me, I felt really good while I was working on this episode.

Tina: That's awesome. And I appreciate you working on this episode because this is a busy time of year Serena. And I love that. And I will circle back to the review comment and say that the remember that relatability and connectivity are super important, at least for my mental health. I don't know. I think it's probably true for most of us, right? 

Serena: Absolutely. Yeah. And so podcast friends, we are as always grateful for all of you listening and supporting us. Help us out by visiting Apple Podcasts. Hey, leave us a review. Maybe we'll read it on the air. Subscribe while you're there. So you have all the episodes ready to go. Share it with others. You'll find more content on our website. Noneedtoexplainpodcast.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Or you can call us. We have a voicemail number, which you will find in our notes. Leave us a voicemail. Share a bit of your story. Tell us what's good in your life or just call to say hi. 

Tina: And this is your gentle reminder to take good care of yourself while you are also taking care of your people. 

Serena: Thanks so much for listening. 

Tina: Bye.