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Life update 3.0
Featured, Mental Health
Life update 3.0

So, I took a break.  I guess that the break ended up being longer than I had originally thought it was going to be.  But I think that in life one must be able to break away from the normal just to get back to the roots.  The last time that I had posted was talking about coming back from a low moodwhich ended up being April 5th.  It’s now mid – July and almost 3 months went by.  I feel like I am more refreshed now more than ever.

What have I been up to so far?

In April, Travis and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary.  Both not wanting to do anything too big, we ended up just going out to eat with a few friends and then later booking appointments for glasses.  Because, the 3rd-anniversary gift was either leather or glass – glasses – get it?

May and June really held nothing for me, other than the fact that my anxiety spiked heavy during these months.  I had too many episodes of tears, and crying during social events that Travis was seriously wondering about my mental health.

In May we took on another dog to add to our happy little family.  We spent a while looking for just the right fit and we found her in a Spanish Podenco – then called Snow.  She was a rescue all the way from Spain and had only been in the country for a few weeks.  (A post all about her will come at a later time.)  After a two week trail we decided that we were going to keep her – so we adopted and renamed her Lady, because of how dainty she is at times.

Through June was a bit hard for me this year.  Couple the stress of getting the school year finished in once piece, the fact that it was rolling into my birthday was a bit tough.  I talked briefly about this in my post: Living without a Mother.  Couple the fact that I haven’t seen my family for a little over two years, I was just sad…  Yes, even dealing with around about tide of both anxiety and depression.  I spent far too many hours wasted away in gaming and pushing my feelings down.

Life update 3.0

What’s been happening in July

I’m pleased to say that I got to spend a few days down in the States last week.  I enjoyed seeing my siblings and my father tremendously.  I even got to pick up my nephew from his school.  It was amazing to do that because he was super excited to see me.

I spent a lot of time with my brother and my younger sister – whom I haven’t seen since I moved to Canada – 3 years ago.  Though the gathering was to remember our Grandfather, it was still nice to see them all.

What can you expect from Oh Chel?

I am back from my break and hope to have more content for you in the coming weeks.  I’m slowly going to start back up with my blog, complete with a fresh new coat of paint – as well as slowly starting to integrate my social media again.

I have Twitter chats planned, new posts are written, special segments that will be going monthly as well as fixing up the layout a bit.

 

What’s been going on with you?

 

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.

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