Browse Category "Mental Health"
Mental Health, Personal
Coming back from a low mood

It’s April 5th and I haven’t really posted since March 3rd – where I talked about what it’s like dealing with both anxiety and depression causing me to feel like I’m a failure.  Let’s call it what it was – a low mood – very long, low mood – but a low mood none the less.

I have this knack for piling stuff onto my plate and then becoming overwhelmed by it and the drive fades to nothing.  I did it in February and now for the whole month of March, I did it again.  I’m not proud of it – it’s something that I’m trying to work through, but sometimes the low moods win.  (At that’s okay.  We can’t always be perfect.)

Comparing is never good

I have started (again) to compare my blog to other people.  Other people who have more followers, more engagement, more beautiful pictures, more – everything and that’s not okay.  I cannot compete with a blog or that person – period – Especially when it’s someone who has been blogging for x amount of years MORE than I.  I’ve only started this blog in 2015 – and in October it will be my second year.

I’m not where I want to be with my blog, in fact, I’m not sure where that is.  Right now I’m just kind of floating along trying to find my way – and I hope you’re up for the ride with me.

Comparing and envying them – and then having a panic attack then simply shut down isn’t healthy. Click To Tweet

Competing or comparing yourself against someone isn’t healthy – you get into this role of ‘why can’t I do that?’

I need to focus on my strengths

Thinking positive is the best way to getting oneself out of low moods.  When I over think – or start to compare myself to someone else I simply need to work towards changing my focus on what I do right.  What are my strengths?

  • Kind and thoughtful
  • I’m creative
  • I have a lot of great ideas, just need to keep pen and paper handy all the times

I’ve found that if I can list my strengths then I will have those to focus more on and less about the negative thoughts that happen with low mood.

Coming back from a low mood
Source

Self-care is important

I think I have stressed this a lot, but sometimes we forget in our times of challenges what we need to do to get back to our normal self.  Self-care is simply taking care of yourself plain and simple.  You are tired – sleep if you can.  Eat if you need to, just don’t make it a habit of overeating every day.  If you plug your body full of unhealthy things it’s harder to get back on track because you’re working off all the extra crap.

Some of my favourite self-care tips are simple:

  • Taking a bath or shower
  • Buying treats or sometimes something pretty will do the trick
  • Try out new beauty products / makeover
  • Exercise or get out into the fresh air
  • Reading on a cozy couch in warm lights with lovely drinks is great
  • Playing with your pets is both soothing and fun
  • Write
  • Go out with friends to a café
  • Order in or dine out with that special someone
  • Breathing and doing some meditating or yoga

I’ve been looking up different ways at the moment to do some yoga – I really like watching on Instagram Angela from Clutter Box Blog share her triumphs as well as her struggles with yoga.  You can check out her Instagram account here

I might stumble from time to time, but I will always get back up

It’s okay – I need to say this to myself a lot lately.  But, it’s okay to push things that aren’t as important or dire in my life off.  My blog isn’t what keeps food on the table (as awesome as that would be) but it is a tool for me to use to share my struggles and my wins.

It might be low mood, but it won’t ever last.  It might knock me down – but I will always push through it and get back to my feet.

Depression & anxiety are hard to deal with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come back from it. Keep going. … Click To Tweet
Setting myself up for failure
Mental Health, Personal
Setting myself up for failure

I really don’t know how else to explain it.  Perhaps it’s the constant mental conditions that are playing at odds with each other.  My anxiety constantly worried about being good enough, about what other people are thinking of me and the constant fear of change.

My depression, on the other hand, tells me that I’ll never do well – that I’m mediocre at best at everything that I do.  Nothing that I will take on will be great because I fail at everything.

Sigh.

It’s exhausting, to say the least.

I hate that my mind is constantly at war with itself over every little thing.

Anxiety & depression have a very complicated relationship... Click To Tweet

I put a lot on my plate

I’m constantly putting more and more on my plate and then I get overwhelmed with the idea and back off.  This past week I took a break from blogging because of that.  Because it was too much and I needed to sit back and lick my wounds for a while.

The depression won that round.

I stopped creating images for Instagram, I bought pop and drank it.  Even ordered out when I was trying not to.

I stopped my goals and just went into a self-preservation mode.  I ate anything that I wanted and logged it all on my Weight Watchers.  I’m pretty sure that I gained back 5 pounds last week because of this.  I don’t know for sure because I’m terrified of the information.

Why do we set ourselves up for failure?

Perhaps it is the way that we look at it.  For those that are struggling with the same mental conditions as I am they really do put us on edge.

The two plays off each other – most of the time one starts (usually the anxiety) – you have this irrational fear of whatever and then you start to feel bad about it… thus moving into the depression part.  This is a constant cycle that just takes over.

The fear of failure (in my case) usually outweighs the actual failure part.  I stop trying thus I never completely let myself dive into something and fail.  After all I can’t fail if I never complete it.  But, I do in turn fail at it by not completing it.

Then the depression kicks in and I’m spent – hence the self-preservation.  If I hide and don’t let it in that I’ve been failing it will be alright.

This is what I did this past week.  If I’m actually honest with myself – this is what my body and self-care programmed to do every time it’s too much.

Setting myself up for failure
Source

How do we stop the cycle?

I’m still struggling with this, but what I have noticed is that the cycles are becoming shorter.  There was a time that if I felt like this I’d stop completely.  I would never come back to it.

This is the reason why I’ve started so many other blogs in the past and now they are nowhere to be seen.

I’ve become more self-aware

I allow myself a time to lick my wounds and then I put my big girl pants on and start over again.

Every single time that I’ve stopped working on my blog for a certain amount of time I give pause and then come back.  I love expression myself here – and though it’s still a work in progress (like my mental health) I will always push myself forward.

What have I learned?

  • I am stronger than before. Though it’s hard to say that during my off days – I am better than when I was younger.
  • With practiced self-care, a person can come back out of this much faster.
  • Allowing yourself time to heal and repair when you fall down is okay.
  • Putting support in place. I have a good group of friends that I can talk to about this.

Overall

It’s perfectly normal to feel this way from time to time.  I know that for me dealing with both depressions as well as anxiety – I have a hard time accepting this failure.  I feel like I should be doing more than I already do and then feel both anxious and sad about it.

Keeping support systems in place will help you to bounce back better – but remember that it’s always best to get the doctor’s assessment to help find the right way for treatment.

The States Helplines

NATIONAL HOPELINE HELPLINE 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-784-2433

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255

THE TREVOR PROJECT FOR LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER AND QUESTIONING YOUTH 1-866-488-7386

Canadian Helplines

TORONTO Distress Line: 416-408-4357

Survivor Support Program: 416-595-1716

Turning bad days into a success
Mental Health
Turning bad days into a success

Today, I would like to introduce you to Miranda.  She has taken over the blog and shared something on my blog that is rather personal.  Her words show us what it feels like when you have a bad day – the pain & struggle it is simply to allow yourself to do self-care.
Miranda, like myself, is an advocate for mental health awareness.  You can find more about her on her FaceBook page – here.

She talks about…

Turning bad days into a success

I’m struggling today. Really struggling. My body aches and I’m beyond exhausted. Standing up and moving seems overwhelming. I haven’t gotten up in a few hours, telling myself this is self-care. And on some level it is.

However, more so than self-care, this is more self-protection. I’m allowing my negative thoughts to protect me from failure, from life, from putting myself in a position to hurt, to become overwhelmed, to perhaps even feel worse.

I’ve cocooned myself in the safest, coziest place

– my bed. I’m protected all right. Protected from taking responsibility for my chronic condition. Protected from getting up and doing those things that will make me feel marginally better, and more connected to others.

I could be calling or texting friends. Could be going for a walk, doing yoga or stretching my poor tight limbs. I could be eating healthier foods, drinking lots of water, or comforting myself with unsweetened herbal tea. All of these things would ease the pain and isolation of having a chronic illness. All of these would help. And all of these require acceptance of my symptoms.

On my good days, these are all easy to do. I tell myself this in a very critical way. They’re no-brainers on the good days. But this is not a good day. This is a hard day. This is a day where my mind likes to tell me my body has betrayed me, that I will never feel good again, and that I’m doomed to a debilitating future. With thoughts like this, no wonder I’m staying in bed, doing little to improve my condition.

No wonder it’s so hard for me to get up and help myself.

With this mindset, staying in bed makes the most sense. However, this “self-protective” mindset is not realistic. I know I will be feeling better, and that it will happen faster if I get myself out of bed.

I know with some self-compassion I can let myself off the hook emotionally, making it easier to be willing to take risks. And I know one other thing, something that makes the biggest difference in getting me up and trying. On good days self-care is good. It helps practice for on harder days and it boosts my already good energy and health.

On bad days, self-care is important & powerful. These are the times it's most valuable... Click To Tweet

On the bad days, however, self-care is important and POWERFUL. These are the times it is most valuable, the times it means the most. The smallest act on the hardest day means more than anything I can do on my good days.

My mind might disagree right now, and my outlook may be pessimistic. But it doesn’t make the statement any less true. Acts of self-care today make more of a difference for my wellbeing.

Turning bad days into a success

As long as I’m trying, as long as I make some small effort, I can still be a success.

So with that in mind, I move my aching limbs, stand on shaky legs and start to slowly stretch. If I can keep going and do some yoga – BONUS!

If not, I’ve gotten out of bed, I’ve stretched a bit. No matter what I manage to accomplish, this is a bad day. And on bad days, even the smallest effort is a success.

Namaste.

 

Be well – and remember even the littlest of things in self-care well help.  What do you do for self-care?