by Rylee Metcalf | Jun 29, 2022
This month I hit my four-year mark working at Balance Health and Healing. What started out as “just a job” has truly changed my life forever because of the people I have worked with and the lessons they have taught me.
Lesson #1 – Be Kind First
When I first started working here I was in charge of answering the phone. Answering the phone quickly changed from being something on the task list to becoming a pretty sacred responsibility. I quickly learned that for some folks, this is the very first time they are ever saying aloud that they need help. And for others, this might feel like their last shot before needing to enter some higher level of care. No matter the circumstance, my good friend and coworker, Josee, taught me to be kind first. This lesson is not just for answering the phone, but applies to all areas of my life.
We truly have no idea what may be going on in another’s life and a little kindness can go a long way. She taught me that I will never regret choosing to be kind first.
Lesson #2 – We are all human and all need a little help
I work with some amazingly accomplished women. I’m talking credentials, certifications, awards, and accolades up the wazoo! To be completely honest, I was extremely intimidated even just walking into my interview. (That is a story all on its own)
One by one, I learned that each of these remarkable women don’t and can’t do it all alone. I stopped keeping count how many times one of these incredibly accomplished women walked into my office with their laptop in their hands saying, “help me please!” I have also been on the listening end of tricky personal situations that they, as humans like the rest of us, need to muddle on through as best as they can with the help they can find.
No matter how a person looks on paper, just know that we all need some help in our lives, this includes that person that you hold high on that oh so high pedestal.
Lesson #3 – When in doubt, over-communicate
I have heard this phrase so many times that I have been saying it in my own home. And now, when there is any sort of confusion my husband will say loud and proud, “when in doubt, over-communicate!”
I have been saying this phrase at home, not just because I hear it often, but because I see the benefits that come from it. At BHH we use email, text messages, phone calls, zoom and facetime, Marco Polo, and would probably use morse code if we knew it to ensure that we are all on the same page.
When I am understanding those around me and I feel understood, work gets done! I have found this applies in the workplace and in all relationships. Making the extra effort to communicate will strengthen your relationships.
by Rylee Metcalf | May 11, 2022
It’s almost summer, which means it’s almost swimsuit season. Do you dread swimsuit season? Well maybe my experience can help you. As part of my recent vacation planning, I kept a running list of items, including sandals for my one-year old, a beach umbrella, and a new swimsuit for myself. Not just any swimsuit. A maternity swimsuit. (Cue some dark scary music) I started on the impossible task of finding a cute, comfortable, maternity swimsuit.
Swimsuits are hard enough to find, but try finding a cute maternity suit and the task is almost impossible. So I took my quest online and ordered a few options to choose from. When they arrived at my house, I pulled them out of the package and instantly thought “there’s no way that will fit me – it’s huge!” Guess what, they all fit. One was actually a little tight if I am being completely honest. I could feel myself start to dread our family trip and I actually said aloud to myself “stop it!”
When talking about her body, Dr. Anna Packard refers to it as she/her and I started to do the same. I started to list the positive qualities of her as I looked in the mirror. It went sort of like this:
“She is growing a human!”
“She is strong.”
“She has the arms to carry and hug her one-year-old.”
“She is growing a human!”
“She can feel the ocean breeze on her face.”
“She can read Harry Potter aloud to her son.”
“She is growing a human!”
I repeated that last one quite a few times. I didn’t all of the sudden love that I was fitting into these much larger suits, but the dread of laying on the beach in them started to lessen. Try it! When trying on clothes, give your body some positive self-talk. Maybe the changing rooms won’t be such a dreaded place.
by Rylee Metcalf | Feb 23, 2022
As I am growing and changing, I continue to learn one lesson over and over, which is that life is made up of many seasons. I’m not talking about the spring, summer, fall, winter kind of seasons, I’m speaking about the many changes we experience as humans living in this world.
Let me give you an example to help demonstrate what I mean. I have a one-year-old son and during his first year of life I did not just experience the four seasons that come with changing weather, but many more seasons as well. Some seasons lasted a few months, some a few weeks, some even just a day or two. Some of these seasons have included:
“Aw look at my sweet newborn that needs to eat every five minutes.”
“Holy sh*t I’m a mom! There’s no way that I can do this!”
“I’m totally getting the hang of this! Only waking up once a night!”
“Oh no, here comes a tooth and none of us are sleeping” and it goes on and on.
With each “season” that has passed with my baby, there have been things that I was sad to see go and others I was glad to be seeing the taillights of. You can look at each passing season and appreciate some parts and be happy to let others pass you by.
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAW)
This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and the theme really fits both eating recovery and life in general. See the Change, Be the Change. Learn more about NEDAW here.
See the Change
Maybe you are in a season of recovery where you are doing very well in treatment and eating disorder behaviors are hardly showing up. Maybe it is a constant struggle to get through an hour without behaviors showing up. Or perhaps you are just gaining the courage to start treatment. Regardless of where you are in eating recovery today, each season matters and can help you move forward. With each up and down of your current season, can you look for the tiniest bit of good in and let the rest pass you by?
Be the Change
In a world where it seems like so much is out of your control, you can own and take charge of your recovery. That does not mean things will go perfectly swell, but it does mean that you can take the next step in this season of recovery, whether it’s to be honest in therapy, follow your meal plan, or learning to be gentle with yourself.
by Rylee Metcalf | Dec 1, 2021
The holiday season can be a time of togetherness and loneliness. Maybe you’re like me, with family spread across the US. It can feel lonely to be apart from loved ones, but we’ve found ways to connect. I’ve got three recommendations for connecting with loved ones this holiday season.
#1 Connect in creative ways
Find ways to connect with your people. Every year Hallmark gifts us with more Christmas movies than we know what to do with. I love reviewing the movie list with my sister and mom, judging the movies based solely on titles. Some of our categories include best movie, worst movie, cheesiest movie, cleverest plot, and the movie you turn off before it’s finished. Even if you’re far away from family, you can choose a cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie to watch and then discuss your review via video chat. Hallmark movies may not be your thing, but how can you connect with those you love in creative ways?
#2 Make connection simple
The holiday season is a crazy time of year and if you’re not careful it can become stressful. Find simple ways to connect that prioritize time together (even via technology) over elaborate plans. Check out these ideas:
Try a new recipe a week and report back to your people how it went
Work on the same craft and discuss what is going well and what challenges you are facing
Join or start a book club where you can discuss a shared read
Learn a new dance and try to do it together– virtually or in person
Go on a walk “together.” This can be walking side by side, or you can plan a time to both be walking, wherever you may be, and chat on the phone
Try to draw something new and send pictures of the final product
Order dinner at the same time and jump on a call while you eat
#3 Connect in your community
There are limitless options to connect with others. Find what works for you. Now, maybe you have a hard time finding your people to connect with. Check out these ideas for finding your people:
Connect with neighbors
Volunteer for an organization that interests you
Attend a church congregation
Sign up for a class in your community
Serve someone/Accept service from someone
Get a pen pal
Invite people over for dessert and games (someone has to be the inviter)
I hope you feel loved and connected this holiday season.
by Rylee Metcalf | May 17, 2021
I recently had my first baby and it has been the most amazing and most exhausting experience of my life! There is a steep learning curve when having a baby and I have learned lessons on lessons on lessons. One important lesson came to me at about two in the morning as I was feeding my son. (more…)