Dr. Hillary McBride's 7 Steps to Grasp Big Feelings During Hard Times - Jen Hatmaker

Dr. Hillary McBride’s 7 Steps to Grasp Big Feelings During Hard Times

Episode 02

You’re stuck at home with nowhere to go, with people you loved before you learned you were married to the guy who says, “Let’s take this convo offline,” or discovered your human limit for watching Frozen 2 on repeat is approximately 72 hours. When our normal routines get out of whack, so do our bodies—and our minds are soon to follow. Therapist, researcher, and podcaster Dr. Hillary McBride—guest of our most-listened-to episode of 2019—is back to walk us through the stress we’re feeling and how to move our bodies through Big Feelings. With her soothing voice and warm personality, Hillary guides us through why this particular season of newness is so hard for us (news flash: new things take a lot of energy). Plus Hillary gives us practical tips on how to stay mentally healthy during this hard time, like how to understand what we’re actually feeling in this moment, how to heal our anxious feelings, and why setting boundaries is one of the most caring things you can do for yourself and others.

Episode Transcript

Hello, beloveds, welcome to the For the Love Podcast. Right now we are all learning how to create a new normal during the coronavirus pandemic. And so we here are, hosting an entire bonus podcast series alongside our normal podcast series where we are talking to the most excellent leaders and thinkers we know. We’re so happy to do this for you. I want to give a real quick shout out to my podcast team, who all just said, “Yes, we will double our workload right now in order to bring these episodes as quickly as possible to the community.”

I’m curious how your second/third week of isolation has gone, if you are finding a new normal yet? I don’t know what we’re doing over here, you guys, I’m sort of posting my experiences and emotions in real time to you on social media, which means I have swung wildly between, “This is beautiful and we’re connecting with each other and creating joy and community!” to that very same day at 9:00 at night saying, “I’m going to bed, I don’t know if anybody in this house is going to make it past tomorrow. I don’t care either.”

And so today we are talking to one of our favorite leaders in the self care space. She is not only brilliant and compassionate and kind—wait until you hear some of the beautiful things she says in this short episode today, it’s going to minister to your spirit—but also she has one of the most soothing voices on the planet. Just listening to her talk today is going to lower your blood pressure, I guarantee.

We have an absolute For the Love Podcast fan favorite today, Dr. Hillary McBride, who was our guest on the most downloaded episode of 2019. She is a therapist, a researcher, a writer, incredibly gifted at helping people grow and heal and just come more fully into themselves and their relationships. For sure, if you did not hear her first episode of my podcast, race over and hear that, and you will fall madly for her. Hillary is a host of The Liturgists Podcast, some of my favorite peers and contemporaries–so excellent. She also is behind the CBC podcast Other People’s Problems, where she and a willing client open up their therapy session for us to learn from. Isn’t that such a fantastic concept?

She is a real force for mental health. And in fact, I told her at the beginning of this interview that her original recording with me last year on embodiment and the way we think about, imagine, speak to, respond to our bodies, affected me so deeply that you will see her thumbprint on the entire chapter of Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire, which comes out in three weeks with Hillary’s instruction. It changed me—I’m not kidding. I will never, ever get over what she taught me about that.

I’m just telling you, today’s episode is going to serve you so, so well. I am happy that you are here, and I’m happy to bring you yet again the incredible Dr. Hillary McBride.


Hillary’s Steps for Feeling:

  1. What is the name of what I’m feeling? (not ‘“I feel that you’re a jerk” but emotion words)
  2. Where is it showing up in my body?
  3. Can I just notice it and see what happens without judgment?
  4. What does this feeling tell me matters for me?
  5. Is the feeling telling me I need to do something?
  6. If I can’t do that something, can I imagine doing that something?
  7. Can I thank my body for the feeling? Can I thank the feeling for telling me what matters to me?

Hillary Recommends – Books on Boundaries:


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