Tag: habits

depression

Tailor-make your depression recovery plan

Here’s the thing.

Everyone’s different. No surprise there, huh?

Everyone’s different “looks” and feels different. Maybe a little surprise there.

There are certain hallmark strategies for recovery that will benefit most people on their way to recovery. No surprise there. But just like the unique people we are, some of the recovery strategies that you will develop will be totally unique as well.

Just as everyone’s depression does have similarities, so do they have their differences. Some people find sleeping difficult, some sleep a lot. Same with eating. For example, when I suffered clinical depression, o functioned pretty normally. But I felt like the “walking dead.” Nothing drew my interest; there was no joy in anything. I felt like I walked in a fog all the time.

For example, when I suffered clinical depression, I functioned pretty normally. But I felt like the “walking dead.” Nothing drew my interest; there was no joy in anything. I felt like I was in a fog all the time.

The worst part was grocery shopping.

Seriously.

I don’t know why grocery shopping was excruciating but it was.  For one thing, I couldn’t avoid people. And I just knew that everyone could tell I was depressed. Plus, it seemed everyone was happy. Also, I couldn’t make decisions about what to buy. It was overwhelming.

The next hardest experience was simply being around other people whether at church, birthday parties, family gatherings. I felt so disconnected from everyone. Back to the whole “walking dead ” thing. Again, I just knew everyone knew what a mess I was.

These were all my perceptions, but they were very real to me.

For my own recovery, there were certain strategies that worked best for me. Exercise was crucial for me to keep my depression at bay, as was (and is) keeping my “gut” operating as normal and regularly as possible. My spiritual life and keeping “short accounts with God” was also crucial. (Keeping short accounts with God means keeping a constant “communing” with God, especially in regards to forgiveness.)

I also made my bed everyday. Watch this video for someone else’s opinion about this. It’s really good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxBQLFLei70

Something else I did was to make sure I was presentable when if you’re depressed is pretty darn hard to do. But I would look in the mirror and at least do my best.

Other people might find it’s what they’re watching on TV or what they’re reading that is the trigger for them. Some people find it’s other people that trigger their episodes because they are so negative. So they avoid them when and if they can.

Someone else I know finds that keeping busy works. A different person I know finds controlling their thoughts is their first line of defense. (This is a big one, by the way, for everyone. Some just find it easier to reign in their thoughts.)

I think the point is that while the symptoms of depression are the same for everyone, they are tolerated differently. Recovery from depression always means a different way of thinking and adapting to our world, and yet the how and the timing is different for everyone.

As Dorothy Rowe writes in her groundbreaking book called simply “Depression”, “depression is a prison we create for ourselves. So if you think of it that way, there are many different ways to break out of a prison, aren’t there?

I hate depression. I hate it for you. I hate it for me. I hate it for everyone I love. Does that make it clear enough?

But…..

Depression is not a death sentence. Most everyone survives it. And sometimes, there are some great lessons we learn.

You know that eclipse we all watched yesterday. To me, it was very spiritual. It reminded me that no matter how dark it gets, God is still there shining his love on us and leading the way.

More tomorrow.

God bless and I really hope you have a good and happy day.

Something to think about

Something to think about I’m reading a book called “You Are Not Your Brain”, By Schwartz and Gladding.

When I opened the cover a one sentence quote (only this sentence was on this page), really got my attention.

Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity. 

Saint Augustine

I’ve also read this quote somewhere:

Today’s necessities could become tomorrow’s luxuries.

I think habits and what we call “necessities” are very similar in scope.

I don’t know about you, but for me I need to look at some of my habits because some of them have become necessities. Like my iced coffee every day. Honestly, it is almost like I would be lost without it. That needs to be looked at.

It has become a habit to talk or visit my mom every day for many years now. 

I made a quick overnight trip to our cabin to help my husband clean up the yard. My mom can’t talk on the phone anymore because her speech is very mumbled. 

Yesterday was the first time I haven’t talked to her when we’ve been up north. 

Now that’s a habit that is soon going to be broken through no effort of mine.

I will grieve the loss of that habit for many years.

Some habits are good.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

eyes

How clearing our “space” clears our minds

imagesIt’s amazing how a fresh coat of paint or painting anything can make a difference in how we feel.

I helped paint my friends TV room last year. To encourage her to think with fresh eyes, I told her to not only take everything off her walls but to fill in the nail holes as well. The idea was to get her to think more creatively. If she left the same holes in the same spot, she’d put the same things back on the wall.

Sometimes we have to get everything out of our sight before we can think. Numerous studies have shown, for example, that clutter creates chaos in our mind. Clutter is almost always in our line of vision. Having every wall covered with “stuff” or every horizontal surface filled to the brim, doesn’t give our eyes a place to “rest”.  Many paintings follow the same principle, leaving a space for the eyes to rest,  except for a Pollack painting which even if you like his paintings, you wouldn’t want more than one within your field of vision.

We need “fresh” eyes about so many things. About our homes. About our circumstances. About some of our views surrounding politics, life, religion. About our personal style. We might very well end up coming full circle in some areas. For me, I try to examine some of my political views now and then in light of what is happening in the world. Sometimes I change my views but other times I decide that my positions are still my positions.

I like knowing my beliefs have stood scrutiny and evaluation. I like knowing that I’m not afraid of facing my beliefs full-on. 

Many people though voice opinions they’ve never even thought through. They offer up their views and I wonder sometimes if they ever hear their own words. Oops, I’m digressing. We’ll save this discussion for later.

Back to my friend’s TV room.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that when we are redecorating, we need to give our freshly painted walls an opportunity to stay “nekked” (the southern word for “naked”) for a while. We need to look at accessories and paintings in other rooms and see if we can use them in our newly decorated space. It’s my belief that adopting a different perspective about something as visual as our living spaces can carry over to the not-so-transparent issues of life-the ones that really matter. A new perspective in one area often spills over into other areas.

It works for depression as well. Changing the living spaces that we look at every day somehow subtly short circuits that part of our brain that has gotten used to our familiar, though perhaps negative, environment. That change ever so subtly reminds us that our moods are more in our control that we thought. That maybe we can change something here as well. We feel just a little empowered.

Action in one area almost always prompts action in another area.

Remember this commercial saying?  “The body in motion stays in motion.  The body at rest stays at rest”? (Something like that.) This message is absolutely right-on, even if it is a commercial.

If you try this concept, you will intuitively feel the truth of it.

We can become too comfortable with too many things.

Sometimes we don’t realize just how comfortable we’ve come with some things or people who are harmful to us. We get so used to our life, our habits, our attitudes, we don’t even see the possibility of change.

Depression is much like this. Depressed people often get so comfortable with their depression that they don’t see the possibility of getting better. They’ve become comfortable in their depression. It has become their habit. And, yes, depression can be a habit, just like having a bad temper.

So we went from changing up our spaces to changing up our lives. It just all works together. Remember, change in one area is a catalyst for change in others.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

Do not make resolutions

When you need to change or break a habit

I’m writing this a couple of days ahead of time.Because I’m dealing with a lot this week I thought I would just refer you to some blogs that I really like. Today is one by Michael Hyatt about breaking bad habits.

habits

I’ve been working on breaking a bad habit, snacking at night. My husband and I have tried to begin a twelve to fourteen fast, meaning if we eat at 6:30, and have a snack at 8:00 we can’t have breakfast till at least around 8:00 the next morning. If we don’t have an evening snack, then if we don’t eat till at least 8:00, we almost get a fourteen hour fast in.

We’ve been doing great except for the last week when our schedules have been messed up. Not only am I craving carbs, (like the root beer float I just had) but half the time I can’t remember if I’ve eaten or not.

But I don’t worry too much because a little lapse isn’t a defeat. I think that’s one of the most important things to remember about making a new habit or breaking a bad one, a little lapse is not a reason to give up. So many times, we use that as an excuse.

 

Anyway, check our his blog if you’re interested in making a new habit or breaking an old one.

Do not make resolutions

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

hutch after Christmas

Concentrate on the good to eliminate the bad

This is the time of year we make resolutions, even if we say we don’t. I think it’s just where our minds go.

I find it’s more positive to concentrate on the good we want to initiate rather than concentrate on the bad habits we want to change.

For example, instead of thinking about losing ten pounds which sounds so hard and so negative, why not picture ourselves in those new styles we want to wear?

Instead of giving up something, think about what the benefits will be.

Television watching is a good example. If you want to watch less TV so you can read more, think about that book you’re never getting around to reading. Put it somewhere as a reminder that in order to read that book, something else that is taking up your time has to go. In this case, watching TV.

I exercise pretty much every day. To be honest, I like exercising because I like how it makes me feel afterward. But mostly I exercise because I like being able to do the other things I like doing and seeing as all of them involve being able to walk upright and be healthy, (Seriously how can one enjoy anything if you don’t feel good in the first place?) I exercise. I know too many unhealthy people and the one thing they all have in common is that they don’t engage in regular physical exercise.

So because I don’t want to end up like them, I exercise. I guess that is focusing on the negative but in a postive way?

Most of us have some unhealthy habits. Not all of them are obvious. Many of them lie deep inside us.

We have negative and habitual ways we respond to people. Instead of focusing on what we’re doing wrong, let’s look at how we would like our relationships to look. If our actions are causing reactions in other people that bring us down, then it’s up to us, no matter how unfair, to change our behavior.

I know someone that I care deeply for who changes the subject, (it’s so obvious, but not to them) whenever I enter territory they don’t want to talk about. So I’ve learned (and it’s a goal to continue for this next year) to approach certain subjects differently and in some cases, not at all.

This is not really healthy as most relationships function better and are healthier when there aren’t these constraints but sometimes for our own well-being we have no choice.

I’m trying to think of an example.

Got one.

I’m a big advocate of people being more responsible for their health. To leave our health all in the hands of the health professionals seems crazy to me, especially when there’s so much information readily available. But I still believe in doctor’s visit, etc.

I know a few people who have been battling recurring and ongoing irksome medical problems. Rather than searching for answers through doctor’s visits and their own research, they choose to continue with the issue. I say choose because I believe in the end, that’s what it is, a choice. (I’m  not talking about really serious medical conditions here, of course.)

I used to “nag” them to check-in with their doctor, to exercise more, to try certain other things to see if they work. I don’t anymore. Not because I care less for them but because I also care about myself. There’s something about running into a brick wall that hurts after a while.

Haven’t you all been there?

After a period of time, if you’re smart, you realize you need to change how you interact with some people. Now I wait for them to bring up certain subjects and then I “brainstorm” with them for a while, but when that “brainstorming” becomes nothing more than talk with no plans for follow-up, I’M the one who now changes the subject.

Anyway, as you begin this new year and if you’re trying to change some things, try to look at your goals and how to get there from a more positive approach.

It’s another dark, dreary and COLD day here in Michigan. I’m continuing to take down Christmas decorations and get the house back in order. It looks so “plain” now. I’ve got to get more accessories. (Did I tell you we fell in love with this big old house during the Christmas season?)

Here’s a before and after of my dining room hutch. Which do you prefer?

Christmas 2016

 

This is so boring now. It’s the lack of red, isn’t it?

hutch after Christmas

After looking at my hutch now, I see I’m focusing on the negative. Enough of that.

Anyway, God bless and have a really good day.

ps. I hope you read tomorrow’s post.

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