Tag: reflection

rose

Ninety-seven steps to battle depression.

Yesterday I talked about the importance of movement when managing depression. To say it’s important is almost like saying it’s important to brush your teeth for your overall health! It’s that important.

So with that last statement in mind, I’ll start there. Some of these suggestions may seem trivial but I’m just listing everything I can think of to get you moving. They are not divided by gender or age either. Whatever works for you works.

mornings

  1. Brush your teeth
  2. Comb your hair
  3. Wash your hair
  4. Drink some water
  5. Make the bed.
  6. Clean under your bed
  7. Change the bed linen
  8. Fluff your pillows
  9. Eat a decent breakfast
  10. Make your bedroom inviting for when you hit the sack tonight.
  11. Wear something decent.
  12. If it’s a dreary day, turn on as many lamps as you can. Light is good.
  13. Take some vitamins, especially “D”, until the summer.
  14. Straight up a kitchen shelf or two
  15. Clean out a cupboard
  16. Check the expiration dates of canned goods.
  17. Clean the freezer
  18. Clean the refrigerator
  19. Clean up the kitchen counter.
  20. Clean out the medicine cabinet and get rid of outdated items
  21. Dust off your light bulbs and lampshades
  22. Check expiration dates of refrigerated items
  23. Rearrange  some “vignettes” in one of your rooms
  24. Rearrange some furniture
  25. Dust something
  26. Throw out something
  27. Vacuum, sweep, or mop a floor
  28. Fluff some pillows
  29. Clean a closet shelf
  30. Clean out part of a closet.
  31. Get rid of some clothes, Put in a “donation” box.
  32. Get rid of some shoes. Put in a “donation” box.
  33. Get rid of some jewelry. Put in a “donation” box.
  34. Wash some clothes
  35. Turn all your hangers the same way. That way you’ll know how often you’ve worn something.
  36. Straighten up an area in the garage or craft area
  37. Wash something
  38. Get rid of chipped dishes
  39. Bake something
  40. Cook something
  41. Fix some tea or coffee
  42. Light a candle.
  43. Listen to music
  44. Write out your menus for a week
  45. Make a list of foods you honestly like and don’t like.
  46. Refine that list and narrow down to what healthy foods you really will eat.
  47. Get rid of some books or magazines you aren’t going to read or have already read
  48. Tear out some pages of magazines that inspire you
  49. Make a “vision” board of what you want your life to look like (You can “google” vision boards if you don’t know what they are.)
  50. Gather what you need to “make” something tomorrow
  51.  Make a list of things to do tomorrow
  52. Walk around your home for ten minutes.
  53. Better yet go outside and walk. (This is my “go to”.)
  54. Do some stretches
  55. Lift some weights
  56. Call someone and just talk
  57. Write a thank-you note
  58. Read something you would not ordinarily read
  59. Make a list of books you would like to read. Include some titles of subjects you’ve never read about before.
  60. Put together a puzzle
  61. Play Scrabble or Solitaire on your computer
  62. Clean out your jewelry
  63. Clean our your tool box
  64. Do a crossword puzzle
  65. Hang something on the wall
  66. Make a list of things you can and want to do when you’re feeling low. Make it a big list so you have lots to choose from on a “bad day.
  67. Color in a coloring book. If you don’t have one, put it on your list
  68. Order a paint-by-number kit from Amazon.
  69. When it comes, paint.
  70. If you have leftover paint, paint some swatches on a piece of paper or board for a future art project.
  71. Organize your pictures whether on-line or hands-on
  72. Make a list of projects you want to do but haven’t gotten around to
  73. Make a list of the “tools” you need for your projects
  74. Try your hand at drawing
  75. Spend some time on Pinterest (pinterest.com) to inspire you
  76. Go to Google and look at pictures of cute baby animals
  77. Eat something healthy and sit at the table. Set the table with a place mat, a cloth napkin if you have one, a nice glass, etc.
  78. Get up from your desk and walk around your office space or hallway for a few minutes
  79. Doodle at your desk when and if you have a few spare moments
  80. Check out Zentangle.com for meditative type doodling. (I find it very meditative-like.)
  81. Smile when you answer the phone
  82. Stand in front of a mirror and smile. Do this five or six times a day.
  83. Go on a “treasure hunt” in your own home, finding things you’ve forgotten about. Can you use them somewhere
  84. Watch one funny television show or movie. (Get up every hour and walk around your house for a few minutes.)
  85. Find some clean jokes on the internet and laugh
  86. Look outside for a while and imagine a different life for yourself
  87. As my husband says, “Go fart around with something”.
  88. Organize craft or hobby projects. (My husband likes to organize his tackle box.)
  89. Plan a big project for the future, like building a piece of furniture or painting a room.
  90. Make a list for the above and plan a date to begin
  91. Stain a bare piece of wood with stain or watered-down paint. What can you do with it now?
  92. Write your own list of things you can do when you’re “down”.
  93. Make a list of the things you are truly grateful for.
  94. Dance
  95. Meditate
  96. Pray
  97. Take a short nap

good for your soul

A caveat.

Some people might look at this list and instead of feeling energized, might well fee overwhelmed instead. These eight-one suggestions are not meant to be accomplished in one day. I mean, look at the list. It could take weeks with some of these items. So it’s not a case of getting them all checked off as soon as you can.

It’s more of a way to get you moving and then seeing where it leads. I know how hard it is to even think when you’re depressed so I tried to do it for you.

If that’s the case with you maybe just read the first ten or so suggestions. Or, close your eyes and point your finger at one and start there.

But maybe the fact that you are feeling overwhelmed is because you have been giving in to your depression way too much so that anything looks overwhelming to you.

Also, if you do a couple of these things today and that’s all you can accomplish, at least you will look back over your day and feel good.

rose

 

So why ninety-two steps. Well, first of all, I ran out of time and secondly, one hundred sounded too common and too mundane.  Fifty wasn’t even close. Ten would be ridiculous. So I just kept thinking of everything I could that would possibly help.

This is a tool-box. You pick the tool or tools that work for you. And when you find some that work well, be sure to take notice and earmark it somehow.

Hey, that might be ninety-eight. Make a list of what activities build you up and what makes you feel worse. But remember, if you don’t try, you’ll never know.

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

Why taking down Christmas decorations made me sad

SADNESS

Yesterday I started taking down the Christmas decorations this week. Usually I enjoy this because I get a chance to re-organize everything and earmark some for Goodwill. It’s a time I look back over the holidays and recall all the good times.

But this year was not that way at all. After I had worked a couple of hours, something dawned on me and my mood dropped.

My mom was not even in my home this Christmas season. This is a first. Yes, I tried, more than once. I tried again on New Year’s day but no, she didn’t want to come. I’ve tried to get her out of the house for weeks now with no luck.

Pretty soon, I’m going to just put her coat on her and force her out the door. Not really of course, but I’m certainly feeling that way.

Then, of course, come the doubts, have I done enough, am I doing enough?

It’s so hard to see her like this. I just want her back. The doctor and I are trying to fine tune her medications a little more. I’m so hoping this works. This is the last thing I know to do. And I hate that. I hate that I’m getting close to accepting the situation.

ENCOURAGEMENT

Later I read a post from a blogging “friend” that helped me realize others have been where I am and it helped. Her response to my comments was very helpful.

You know how much I deplore the phrase, “It is what it is”. I consider it a cop-out out and total resignation. Even should I have to accept my mother’s decline, I will not say, “It is what it is”.  Besides, this phrase goes completely against Scripture. In fact, I can’t think of a single verse that suggests this philosophy.

But there are many verses like this one from Ephesisans 3:20:

“……and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power thatis at work within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.…

Oh, that I would remember this every moment. I pray with this verse in mind often. Something like this,

“Lord, I’m praying about WYZ, but I know that my mind can only go so far. How can I pray bigger when you clearly state I can’t even begin to understand or imagine what you can do. But you can. So I give this request to you asking for you to embellish it with ALL you know.”

I didn’t put up many Christmas decorations this year, fewer than ever before. I even found it strange myself because I’m so into Christmas. But I got to wondering. Did God somehow “restrict” my desire this year because he saw how painful taking them down would be? Did he give me a little heads-up? As it was, I only had to be really sad for a couple of hours. It could’ve been a couple of days. (Yes, ordinarily, it does take me a couple of days.)

ENJOYMENT

But the day was not a total “wash”. I figured out how to download audio books from my library to my phone and then listen to them on my new UE Boom. I never read Nicholas Spark’s books but my choices were very limited and I must say I love this book.

It’s called “The Best Of Me” and I’m loving it. (Remember, I posted the other day how I need to read, what I call “fluff” books, (It’s not a criticism. It’s just the best word I can find. Kind of like Hallmark Christmas movies which I watch for precisely the fact that they’re predictable and “light”.)

BEMUSEMENT

Then last night as I was perusing the internet, I came across this. Now if you’re a fan of Gwyneth Paltrow, you’re not going to like what I’m going to say. And she does mean well, I’m sure. But honestly?  We all have such a lifestyle we have the time and money to do what she suggests? Come on, Gwyneth, get with the real world most of us live in.

Anyway, it gave me a laugh. However, I am fully on board with step number three which didn’t originate with Gwyneth;  I’ve read about this health habit for a few years now. It’s getting a lot of attention these days. BTW, did you know that breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day. If you don’t like breakfast, don’t feel compelled to eat at that time. This has been debunked by most health professionals. It really depends on the person. It’s only a good suggestion if you happen to overeat later in the day, then you might want to consider breakfast.

Wow, this post has gone from sad, to encouraging, to enjoyment, to bemusement. Sound a lot like life.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

 

the New Year 2017

Yea! The New Year Begins

I have nothing important to say today. Busy taking down Christmas decorations and getting ready for a visit to the dentist. Nothing important but I hate going. Not because of pain or whatever but because my dentist is kind of a “character”. He’s a really good dentist but let’s just say he “fills the room’ with his personality.

So I always avoid striking up a conversation with him because he goes on forever. He’s very funny though and a really nice guy. But it just takes us too much time to listen to his stories.

Now my husband, however, likes listening to his stories but they’re all about hunting and fishing.

Me, I just want to get done and get on with my day.

But maybe that’s something I need to work on, huh? Maybe he needs to connect with his patients so maybe I should be a little more accommodating.

I have a lot of posts I’m working on but want to really “nail” this new series on how we grow and change so I’m doing a lot of research as well.

Plus I’m looking at new Word Press themes, but I keep coming back to this one. Here’s one thing I wish I knew how to do and that’s switch over from a Word Press hosted theme, the .com version, to a self-hosted type which is a .org format. But that means learning a lot of computer language and HTML Hey, do any of you know anything about this? Would love to get some encouragement because it seems overwhelming to me.

Also, I found a new web site “Quora”. You might want to check it out right here. It’s very interesting. People submit questions and then other people ask them. And who knows how honest the answers are but for the most part everyone seems sincere.

Well, off to my funny dentist.

God bless and have a really goo day.

 

 

Christmas 2016

How to “put it all away” after Christmas.

Christmas cookies,2016No, it’s not what you think.

I’m not talking about Christmas decorations.

That’s easy.

There are lots of “things” in our life that need organizing, that need to be “put away” and forgotten, that need to be resolved, that need to be approached differently.

Taking a knee-jerk reaction to the experiences of the last year is just that, a knee-jerk reaction.

And I’m not really going to spend much time on this today. I’m saving this whole subject of “new’ beginnings for January. If you’ve followed me for very long you know that I like January almost more than December. Here’s two older posts if you want to check them out.

The only point I want to make today is that change all by itself is not necessarily good.

Too many of us look back over the year and proudly declare as though they’re the victim of something, “Well, things are just going to have to be different next year. I’m going to change some things.”

To which I might reply (and to myself as well), “Hmm, maybe I’m the one that needs to change.” But even then, some people still mean that they feel the victim and therefore this change they’re referring to is meant to nurse their imagined wounds and validate their pain.  It’s the  knee-jerk reaction I referred to earlier and it’s usually just a way to avoid looking at ourselves.

And the interesting thing? We can take that approach and be quite successful for a while.

But you know what?

It seldom works. Mostly because we haven’t looked at ourselves first to see how much we contribute to our own “pain”.

As we look to the new year and reflect on the old, let’s get a little more honest with ourselves. I would suggest the last thing we need to do is change ourselves, I mean our basic personality.

Are there some things we need to do differently? Probably. More than likely it isn’t what we’re doing nearly as much as how we’re thinking and reacting to life and life’s events.

But the most important fact about change is this:

Change without serious and honest reflection is change that is short-lived.

Change that isn’t God-inspired won’t honor God.

Change without personal responsiblity is short-sighted.

Change for change’s sake is not necessarily good.

I will be blogging during January about the subject of change, using myself as the prime example but drawing from the experiences of others as well.

But for today, it’s enough just to remind ourselves that declaring, “Some things are just going to have to change”, is a non-starter.

Anyway, God bless as you recover from the holidays and enter the doldrums of January and February.

Christmas 2016

How to reflect on this past year.

I’m a little strange. I’ll admit it.

I love Christmas but I also love post-Christmas. After Christmas, I will engage in a lot of reflection about the Christmas season, what I feel I did right, what I could have done better. I’ll take pictures of how I’ve decorated in case I want to copy some of the same ideas next year. (Some I’ve already decided I really, really like.) But mostly my thoughts will center on the events of this last year and how, based on my Christian values, I  responded to life events.

The shopping:  I shopped a lot via the internet this year.  I didn’t like doing it that way but I had little choice.  What little in-store shopping I did do, I accomplished in one or two days. Again, not my favorite way to do things but at least it got done and everyone seemed happy with their gifts. I “crafted” some really cute projects which I usually don’t show till after Christmas because the recipients of those gifts follow this blog.

Christmas 2016

Dining room table centerpiece. Birch candles, dollar tree reindeer, fresh pine, old mental carrier from deck

However, this  year, because they are all so different, I think I might post some pictures next week.

I also did something I’ve been wanting to do since last year. I’ll show you that next week as well.

The baking: Yea!!!!  Great success.  All the cookies, butter cut-outs, raspberry thumbprints, Anzac cookies, and Mexican Wedding cakes turned out great. I also threw together some white bark, pretzel chips, cranberries and made a kind of “candy”. My mom really likes it.

Our home is over one hundred years old and between the kitchen and the mudroom is a small hallway. My husband built some shelves on one side. I lined up all the cookies in my favorite red and white tins, labeled each, and set them on top of a snow blanket interspersed with little trees.

The decorating: I have lots of Christmas decorations. (It’s a big house so I need them, don’t I?) Pretty much everyone room is decorated. But here’s the funny thing. The one room everyone congregates in, the T.V. room, I always kind of forget to decorate! (Note to self-don’t forget this room next year.) It used to be a porch.  There is only one wall and because it’s long and narrow there’s not a lot of floor space and because there is little wall space, it’s hard to decorate anyway. Next year I’ll have to think of a way to decorate with more wall “thingees.”

Christmas 2016

I felt very little pressure or stress this year. I was determined to stay focused and enjoy each moment with no worries about the next ones. I was able to let people be who they are and not let their attitudes affect me.

Christmas Eve will be bittersweet this year. I think my children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, are all aware that there is a really good possibility my mom will not be living in her home next year. I’m going to savor every moment. It’s all about making beautiful memories.

It’s a sunny day today and as I sit and think about the last few weeks I am acutely aware that life won’t always be this good. Christmas’s won’t always be this wonderful. I consider myself a very smart and astute woman and know life is predictable only in its unpredictability. I’m so glad I made the most of this season. I got tired at times but I just drank more coffee and repeated the mantra, “enjoy this moment, enjoy this moment, enjoy this moment.”

Christmas 2016

Now I have a month of “reflecting” coming up.  I’m going to be away from home for much of that time but that will make it easier. I always think better when I’m out-of-town, whether it’s at our cabin or on a beach somewhere.

I started this post with “I’m a little strange. I’ll admit it.” Well, I’m even stranger than you think.

You see I’m one of those people who do believe in New Year’s Resolutions. Of course, any month of the year can be set aside for reflection and resolution-making. I choose New Year’s because to me it just makes sense. January is usually one of the quieter months.  Not a lot to do. And living in Michigan, there’s little one can do outside unless you really like cold weather, which I don’t. So it just makes sense to set this month apart, to eat my leftover cookies and drink hot tea and contemplate.  I would’ve made a great monk!

I would’ve made a great monk!

I don’t know how you anticipate this next year but if you suffer from depression you may feel very discouraged right now thinking “I can’t take another year.” I can remember thinking that way.  If you’re new to this blog, read the archival material. There’s a lot I’ve written already that you might find helpful. Don’t give up. I know only too well how miserable and life-sucking depression is. I wallowed in it a long time.

I don’t anymore.

Not because I’m stronger than you, better than you, or have more faith than you. I just reached a point where I told myself “Rebecca, enough is enough.”

Being depressed didn’t add one day to my life but it certainly killed a few. It was a long, hard struggle (over fifteen years ago now) to mental health but with God’s help, I did it.

You can, too.

God bless and have a good dayl

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