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Having Election Anxiety? Therapists Report Trump Trauma

If you’re finding that your emotional well-being is being challenged by this presidential election, you are not alone. The Washington Post writes, “Psychologists and massage therapists are reporting ‘Trump anxiety’ among clients.” According to the Post, what seems to be anxiety producing is, “How can Trump be so divisive AND popular at the same time?”

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com
My own case of Trump Trauma started shortly after the Republican candidate called Mexicans “rapists.” Like many, I thought, “Well, that will end his campaign.” But that didn’t happen. His rallies grew and so did my anxiety level.   

His insults continued. He mocked the disabled and people of color, and he body-shamed women. We then saw tapes of him bragging about sexually assaulting women while proclaiming, “No one is more respectful of women than me.”

And yet, Republicans didn’t get out of endorsing him while I was having a hard time getting out of bed. Seeing women wave “Women Support Trump” signs, I took to having a cocktail – maybe two -- after the evening news.

There was no 12-step program or halfway house to get over the mania. Going “Trump Free” was impossible as he was on every iPhone news feed, the subject of every Facebook conversation, and even sleep provided no escape as he appeared in my dreams to tell me I was not a 10.  Still, I heard him saying, “You’re fat, you’re old, I’m going to grab you by your pussy, and you can’t stop me!”

In that dream, Trump’s face was replaced by my father’s. Although there was little resemblance between his family and mine, in therapy, the connections surfaced. Both Trump and my father had an undue sense of privilege. In the 1950’s, men were thought of as princes. When nights became violent, my mother made sure that by morning everything looked perfect. The man leaving our home, in a coat and tie, was off to work, providing for his family and a dutiful wife who took care of the house. Those who knew the truth about what was going on in our family – my mother, some neighbors, even the police – did nothing to try to stop it. Men were given a pass.

Trump revealed by his own words that he was a sexual predator. My father didn’t have a videotape with Billy Bush, but he kept a meticulous journal of all his conquests. When I found it after he died, I saw that my mother wasn’t his only victim. If he were alive today, I can imagine my father putting a Trump spin on it, “That never happened. Believe me, she was ugly and flat chested.”

And the women – Melania, my mother, and others – lack the courage to stand up to the monsters sleeping next to them or giving them a pass by chalking it up to "Boy talk."

But, understanding the roots of my Trump Trauma and writing this blog, my anxiety has lessened. Also helping has been the polls showing that others are crossing political lines making a statement that this behavior is not acceptable.

Unfortunately, there will always be men like Trump and my father. But if anything productive comes from this election, I hope there will be more honest conversations about them, and we will unite to help women protect themselves and their children from these men.

12 Tips to Remedy Seasonal Depression

Fall Starts with National Suicide Prevention Month

Seasonal depression is a real thing as I just got an email that September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Wow! Summer over already? In Southern California, the weather doesn’t alert you to the change of seasons. The leaves on palm trees don’t change color. Actually, the drought has all but done away with trees. It’s 78 degrees and there is no obvious difference so we desperately look for a sign that we are approaching winter, things such as: 
  • Angelenos are starting to lose their tan.
  • With all the kids back in school, the ocean water smells better as there is less pee in it.
  • Weight Watcher meetings are less populated with swimsuit season over. 
  • The slight coolness in the air whips up sad feelings of loved ones who have fallen from us. We mourn for what was, who we once were, who we’d hoped to be and never will.
You’re probably thinking, “Hey, Judy, you’re supposed to end with a joke.” I know, that last bullet was sad.  And that’s why September makes sense for a Suicide Prevention Month.

But, as someone who sometimes falls into seasonal depression, I look to turn messes to successes. It’s a way of making them hurt less. Some of you prone to seasonal depression understand what I’m talking about. So, I’m sharing my list of things to do when you fall backwards. I keep it on my iPhone in my “Notes” always available to turn to. That helps cope with the urge to have yet another Whiskey Sour, order Chinese food delivery AFTER dinner, or I find myself wondering if middle age is too late for a second career as a prostitute. 

Carter’s Combat Depression List:
Break into in case of emergency


Hug your dog.
  1. MOVE: Go to another room. Go in the yard. Go to the store. Go anywhere other than where you are.
  2. GET A MASSAGE. People who get paid to touch us generally do a better job than the ones in bed with us. 
  3. SHOP ON AMAZON. You can always return the stuff when you feel better.
  4. WALK YOURSELF OR YOUR DOG TO A NEW PLACE. Get away from the usual routine. The vibes of a different place, with different people is invigorating and healing. 
  5. WRITE AN APPRECIATIVE FACEBOOK POST, SEND A TEXT OR EMAIL. Tell someone how and why you appreciate them. Helping another person is a terrific spirit lifter.
  6. PLAY A VIDEO GAME. Shooting the bad guy is a great way to express your anger and lift the fog.
  7. SING. Even if no one else will, your dog will listen.
  8. MAKE A LIST. Count the times you felt happy and try to recreate that state of mind.
  9. GIVE AWAY MONEY. But not to the wrong candidate. Kiva.com is a great site that loans money to impoverished small business owners who repay them. It’s the gift that truly keeps on giving.
  10. GO ON MEET.UP.COM You’ll get to know strangers who are worse off than you. Maybe others who’ve read this list. That will help put things in perspective.
  11. PAINT BY NUMBERS. When I write my books, I always do paint by numbers. You can’t go wrong. It’s easier than staying in the lines in a coloring book. There are no choices and it’s guaranteed to look like the picture on the box it came in. 
  12. LABEL THINGS. Get an DYMO labeler and go to work. It makes a satisfying sound as it spits out labels such as “Ground Cumin” “2015 Taxes” and “Love Letters Circa 1985.” You will feel productive. But, if you over do it and start labeling you cats, “Cat” call your therapist ASAP.
What are your tips to fighting Fall Funk?

I Need a Job! Four Steps to Find New Business Opportunities

The new business opportunity you are trying to find might be might be next door, rather than on LinkedIn.

My friend told me that she got a job as head of marketing for a new startup company. Not only is she going to be on salary, but she also gets a percentage of the startup company. Sarah, in her late 50s, is a former Hollywood agent, screenwriter, and entrepreneur. She doesn’t have an MBA, nor does she have any degree in marketing.

So how did Sarah, who has had little experience in marketing, get this amazing job when other people are aging out of the corporate market?

Sometimes a cliché is true. A dog is a man’s – or in this case, a woman’s – best friend. Sarah got it by walking her dog.

That’s right, you read this right. As both women walked their dogs, Sarah gave her neighbor great tips on launching her startup, which led to a job offer.

You see, business opportunity is everywhere. Some see it and act on it. Others are distracted by desperation and don’t notice when an answer to a career problem is right in front of them. It’s important to realize that it’s never too late to start a new career, in a different business, and have a new income stream.

Many of my baby boomer friends are shocked to find that their retirement savings are not sufficient to cover the long lives we are all facing, and Social Security payments aren’t going to give them a life that includes even grungy hotels.

Here are 4 Steps to help you find new business opportunities:
  1. Get out of the house and meet new people. Branch out. Do something different. Just last weekend, while playing Pokémon Go on the Santa Monica Pier, I met a man who was having trouble with a PokeStop. Turned out that he’s a dentist who had to give a speech, and he was scared out of his mind. Guess who has a new client? Me!
  2. Consider everyone you meet as a potential resource. Business opportunities are not just on LinkedIn or in an office. They can be your nextdoor neighbor whom you walk your dog with, or even your Uber driver (whose brother might run a comedy club that you have been trying to get into). 
  3. Even if you don’t have an elevator, have an elevator speech. Be prepared to tell others what you do in a compelling one-minute pitch that doesn’t sound like you’re selling yourself. Sarah came to me for coaching last year as she was preparing to give a speech. We worked on The Message of You formula, a technique to market yourself -- and what you do by focusing on outcomes. This way of introducing yourself forms an instant connection to others.
  4. Giving often leads to getting. Be generous. Walking her dog, Sarah gave her neighbor marketing ideas. She did it, not to get a job, but that’s who Sarah is. As a freelancer, she advises authors on how to sell more books and does product placement for movies and books.
Do these steps not looking for a hand-out, but as a way of being helpful to others.

Have you noticed that people love when they’re not looking? It’s the same with getting a job or clients. By being giving, you’re likely to generate others to do the same, and you will be the recipient. It’s more inviting than a desperate, “I need a job!”

If you know someone looking for a job, tweet this!

Get paid to speak your life message at The Message of You

How to Become a Paid Motivational Speaker

5 Steps to Having a Moneymaking Message 

In becoming a motivational speaker, I went from being a standup comic, flying coach, getting heckled, and sharing a Motel 6 to being a paid speaker, traveling first class, speaking to an appreciative audience, and staying in fancy hotels with spa soap. Rather than doing nine shows a week in a comedy club, I was now earning more doing just one speech.  

Speaking at Women's Health Event in Pensacola, Fl

In 2008, however, everything changed. When the recession hit, the motivational speaking market went downhill as companies could no longer justify hiring a pick-them-up, make-them-laugh speaker. Rather than entertainment, they needed someone with a message, someone who would deliver “take-aways” that improved efficiency, reduced sick days, and boosted their bottom line.

Seeing the writing on the podium, I switched from being a “lighten up humorist” to speaking on the topics of stress reduction and leadership. I continued to use my comedy material to keep the audience laughing, but added specific ACTION STEPS to make my points create lasting results. Developing these STEPS are essential if you want to have a moneymaking message as a motivational speaker.

In my online speaking workshop, students find these crucial action steps by examining their own “mess-to-success” journeys and taking advantage of the specifics that worked for them. Few thought to examine how they lost weight, conquered a depression, or started a business. They were so busy keeping up with LinkedIn and Facebook, they overlooked what they’d learned about overcoming a particular challenge. Getting in touch with those steps is the way to earn extra income as a speaker and can even transform into a book.

Here are some steps to help you find your Action Steps to become a motivation speaker:

This is excerpted from my book "The Message of You"
  1. Make a list of your successes.
  2. Next to each, note your starting point, i.e., bad health, living with your parents, directionless, whatever.
  3. Explain how you got from your “mess” to your “success.”
  4. Find 3 things you did differently that worked. 
  5. Give a name/label to those 3 things that got you to success as those are your Action Steps.
Watch free video lessons, get coaching, and join online workshops to find your message and become a paid motivational speaker.

Message Marketing: 6 Essential Entrepreneurial Marketing Skills for Your Home-Based Business

Attend Free Online "Marketing Your Message" with Judy Carter

Thursday, August 4 - 6pm to 7pm (Pacific Time)

Register HERE

Yesterday, when I asked my neighbor’s kid if she could walk my dog, she directed me to her dog walking website, complete with client reviews, a message statement, customer testimonials, and pricing tiers. In the About section, I learned she is 10 years old.

Say what you will about Millennials, but today’s kids have more sophisticated message marketing skills than most Baby Boomers. Still, even if you aren’t a born entrepreneur, you can learn 6 essential skills necessary to earn extra income with your home-based business.

Why become an entrepreneur?

With company’s hiring fewer full time employees, careers like my father’s, who had one job for his entire life and retired at 55 years old with a lucrative pension, are few and far between. According to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person now has 12 jobs in his or her lifetime, and many of them are at the same time. If you want to afford a great lifestyle, it is necessary to be a self-starter and know how to maximize your earnings.

When starting a home-based business, BEFORE you hire someone to design your website, write copy, and handle the marketing, learn these 6 marketing skills:

1. Know your message. Your essential business message has to be front and center on your website. This is called Your Promise Statement which is a 5 to 7 word statement that conveys the results of someone using your service or product. That should go onto your website, form your social marketing campaign, and be reflected by your logo. http://themessageofyou.com/webinar-jane/

2. Get Google to Find You. Like the old adage goes, what good is a website if Google can’t find it? You can DIY SEO marketing to increase your online ranking without hiring an expensive expert.

3. Write Findable and Sizzling Web Copy.  Data driven websites are a bore. Communicate with clients using STORIES. There are 3 Essential Stories you have to have on your website.

4. Create a great demo video. Before you hire an expensive video production crew, assemble an authentic video that will connect with Millennials. A phone and selfie stick will be useful as you want to be authentic.

5. Connect with stories. Know your 3 Essential Business Stories that include: the story of your customers, the story of your business, and your own personal heart story.

6. Use public speaking to promote your business. Yes, speaking is scary, but there is no better marketing than a 12-minute TEDx talk to turn you into an International Expert.
Your message is your foundation to your marketing. To help you find your message and
other marketing skills, view free video lessons here. It all comes down to message

Judy's Blog

Judy Carter blogs on comedy, storytelling and public speaking techniques, using personal stories and her adventures as a stand-up comic turned motivational public speaker. Her weekly blogs are read by fans of her books, “The Comedy Bible” (Simon and Schuster) and “The Message of You” (St. Martin’s Press), which include comics, speakers, and entrepreneurs. She is also known for teaching the value of humor and storytelling to businesses as a leadership and stress reduction tool.