Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What To Do?

I don't do well when I have to say goodbye to my family. I realize how much I love them and have fun with them. And it's so hard for me to live so far away from them. Especially living here in just seems like everyone has family around and they don't have time for friends. I even heard someone say that they'd rather spend time with their sisters than with friends. What about us that really needs friends because we don't have sisters that live within 100+ miles of us? I know that I need to be grateful for the time that I do get to spend with them but that doesn't make it easier for me. So since Sunday I've been down in the dumps. So what did I do? I spent yesterday in my PJs. I read and took a nap. It was just what I needed. Then Steve took me out for dinner and it was nice to get out of the house. Today I'm feeling much better. I realize that it's ok to have bad days. It's ok to have days that I stay in my jammies ALL day long and do nothing. It's what I need every once in a while. So if you are reading this wondering what to do about a loved one who does the same things at times I say this...don't worry!! Don't take it personally. Don't get mad at them it will just make it worse. I am still trying to tell my husband this. He takes my down times too personally and it's hard. So just let us be and let us have our down days without having to explain why!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Beating the Winter Blues

I found this great article and thought I'd pass it along. Winter is hard for me especially when we are having an inversion.

10 Cool Ways to Beat the Winter Blues
Keep Your Energy High and Mood Lifted
-- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor & Health Educator
SparkPeople Sponsors help keep the site free!

Winter is in full force. As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, even the best of us can get a little down. The "winter blues" are characterized by the mild depression, lack of motivation, and low energy that many people experience during this cold season. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to both prevent the blues from coming on and get yourself back to normal if they’re already here.

1. Exercise
As if we needed another reason to get fit! Exercise isn’t only for maintaining your weight and staying healthy. It’s great for relieving the stresses of life. Plus, the effects of a good workout can last for several hours after you hit the showers. You’ll have more energy throughout the day, and your metabolism with stay elevated too. Exercise also helps your mind by releasing those "feel good chemicals" that improve your mood.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet
What and when you eat has a great affect on your mood and energy. Avoid refined and processed foods (like white breads, rice, and sugar). These foods are not only devoid of the nutrients your body craves, but they zap your energy levels and can affect your mood—causing depression, lack of concentration, and mood swings. Try to incorporate more complex carbohydrates (whole wheat breads, brown rice, veggies, fruit) and get your daily 8 cups of water. These healthy foods provide your body (and mind) with nutrients, and stabilize your blood sugar and your energy levels.

3. Get Some Sun
Most people know that sunlight provides us with Vitamin D. But did you know that it also improves your mood? Winter days are shorter and darker than other months, and because of the cold weather, a lot of people spend less and less time outdoors. Lack of sunlight can cause many people to become depressed—without knowing why! Similar to exercise, sunlight exposure releases neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood. Try to spend a little more time outdoors. Keep your shades up during the day to let more light in. Sit near windows in restaurants and during class. Try changing the light bulbs in your house to "full spectrum" bulbs. These mimic natural light and actually have the same affects on your mind as the real thing.

4. Act on your Resolutions
A recent study from the CDC showed a strong link between healthy behaviors and depression. Women who exhibited healthy behaviors (like exercising, not smoking, etc.) had less sad and depressed days than those whose behaviors were less than healthy. Although researchers studied women, the results are likely similar in men.

5. Avoid Binge Drinking
Staying in with a cold beer or a nice glass of wine may seem like the only thing to do in the winter months, and many people who feel down also tend to turn to alcohol when they’re feeling down. But alcohol is actually a depressant, and rather than improving your mood, it only makes it worse. Avoiding alcohol when you are already depressed is a good idea. Moderate drinking is fine for most people, but binge drinking (defined as having 5 or more drinks in one sitting) is never a healthy choice. The morning after will have you feeling sick, depressed, and even more tired, which will affect many aspects of your life. This will make your low energy and bad mood even worse.

6. Treat Yourself
Having something to look forward to can keep anyone motivated. Winter seems endless! But if you plan something exciting, your mood improves when you’re anticipating it and when the event actually comes. Plan something that’s exciting to you—a weekend trip, a day at the spa, a party (but keep #5 above in mind), or special event like a play, girls (or guys) night out, or sporting event.

7. Relax!
You’re busy! Work, class, family, friends, appointments, meetings—even if you enjoy being busy, everyone needs some time off. Don’t be afraid to say "No" to extra opportunities (covering a shift for a co-worker, bringing food to your son’s class party). Try to spend a few minutes each day doing nothing! Read a book or magazine, sleep in on the weekend, go to bed early, try some meditations, or take a yoga class. Relaxation, especially in the form of yoga, can alleviate stress and leave you with a calm energy. Mental exercises like meditation and positive thinking can help keep depression at bay.

8. Embrace the Season
Instead of always avoiding the cold and the snow—look for the best that it has to offer! Take up a winter sport like ice skating, snowboarding, hockey, or even sledding! Enjoy these opportunities while they last—after all, they’re only here a few months per year. Staying active will boost your energy. Seeing winter in a positive light, with all the fun activities that it has to offer, will keep your spirits high.

9. Get Social Support
Don’t underestimate the power of friends, family, mentors, co-workers, and neighbors. Who can you turn to when you’re down and need a pick-me-up? Keep a mental list of these special people and don’t be afraid to ask for help or encouragement when you need it. Something as simple as a phone call, a chat over coffee, or a nice email or letter can brighten your mood.

10. Catch some Zzzz’s
People naturally want to sleep a little bit more during the winter. But with all we have going on, sometimes sleep is the first thing to go. With a little time management, and some self-discipline, you can meet your shut-eye needs. Aim for 7-8 hours each night, and try to keep your bedtime and waking time consistent. That way, your sleeping patterns can normalize and you’ll have more energy. Try not to oversleep—those 12-hour snoozes on the weekend can actually make you MORE tired. Don’t forget naps! A short (10-30 minute) afternoon nap may be all you need to re-energize midday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bring Change 2 Mind

After I got ready this morning I had a feeling to turn on the TV. It just happened to be the View that I started watching. I normally don't watch the show but today I needed to see it. Glenn Close, the actress, was on the show with her sister. I guess she was on Good Mornin America too. It was a great message that she and her sister shared. She is starting a new awareness campaign. It's amazing. I wanted to post it so all could see it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's Been a LONG Time

Was it really in February that I last posted? Sorry. I'm just not sure if anyone still reads this blog.

What can I say? What a difference a few months makes! We've moved back to the Salt Lake area and I couldn't be happier. I saw a dear friend of mine from Tooele and she said that I was "glowing". She could tell I was happier. We joked around that one of the only reasons we moved to Tooele anyways was so we could meet. She says that I am her guaridan Angel but she is mine too! I hope she knows that.

I am doing a lot better with the depression. I still have my days (sometimes many days in a row!). It's a battle I will fight forever but that's ok. I have a great support system.

I have been down the last week or so. I realized that it's because I haven't been doing anything to renew my spirit. I just sit around and do nothing or it's the same old boring routine everyday. And I can't do that. I need to get crafting again. I just unpacked my craft room (well I should say it's 90%) unpacked. I have several thing I want to work on and need to start! I also need another good book to read. Anyone have any good suggestions?

I need some balance in my life. I find that I get very down when my house gets dirty. I look around and am overwhelmed with the mess. And then I just get more depressed. I tend to beat myself up a lot!

But this morning I had my husband give me a priesthood blessing. We are LDS and I know that the power of prayer and the priesthood can help. He mentioned that I need to be thankful for the things that I have, even the little things. And then I realized that I had forgotten to be thankful. That's a huge trigger for me. I need to remember to be thankful! And I need to fill my life with good things like good music, TV, books, etc.

Speaking of that. I LIVE for the fall TV lineup! I love to set my DVR and see if fill up! really does make me happy. So I guess we all need to find the things that make us happy even if it doesn't make sense to other people. I have a NEW favorite TV show! Has anyone seen "Glee" yet! Holy moly. That's one thing that brings a smile to my face!

So find things that make you happy! Do them! Find little things to be grateful for. I once got an email from someone VERY dear to my heart and they write down 5 things that they are grateful for each and every night. Sometimes it's easy for them and sometimes it's hard. That's keeping it real! So sometimes we will be grateful for the $20 bill that we found in a jacket pocket and then other times we will be grateful that we were able to just get out of bed. It's ok. Just find the good!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Doing Well!

It's been a while since I've posted on this blog. I just wanted to say, now that I've been on my meds for a while, that I'm doing really well! We've had a rough couple of months and my depression has been in check for the most part. I've had my bad days that's for sure but overall I'm on the right track.

I hate taking the meds though. I have a hard time really doing it because I can't get over the fact that I HAVE to take them. How do I get over that? I guess I just need to remember that I'd be a mess without them and I so don't want to go back to that point ever again!!

I'm still amazed at how depression can cloud your mind and make it very bitter. I'm embarrassed and sad that I became so anti everything. I keep thinking about the whole religion thing. I seriously can't even believe how bad things got with that. It's amazing that after getting on my feet and doing what's right how things change. I do keep thinking about how I doubted the Lord and His love for me. I'm so sorry for those that I've hurt along the way. But please know that I DO know that the Lord loves me and I know He hears my prayers. I didn't realize how wonderful religion is in my life. I'm a believer. I no longer doubt. And it feels amazing.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. It's been a rough road but I'm glad for the experiences I've had. I hope it makes me a better person. And I hope that I in turn can help others who are suffering right along with me! Much love!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Are you kidding me??

I got the bill from the ER this week. care here in America is a JOKE!! I don't remember much from the ER at all so I asked Steve about some of the charges on the bill. I guess I had a headache and asked for some Tylenol. Want to know how much I was charged for 2 stinkin Tylenol??? $177.20. I'm so NOT kidding. Really? Do you know how much I could buy at Walmart for that price? I was also charged over $500 for an "extended stay" at the ER? Really? Really? I didn't know that there was a time limit for an ER visit. I can not believe how greedy our society has become. It's no wonder we have a health care crisis in America.

Friday, January 9, 2009

I haven't posted anything in a while. I'm doing well. I think the new meds are working now. I don't feel quite as depressed as I was before. I didn't go to work today though. I've quit my job and I can't wait until I don't have to go back. I enjoyed my time there but it's time for me to be at home. I can't get better if I stay there. I've decided that I don't need anymore toxic environments anymore in my life. I'm eliminating any stressers that I can. Obviously you can't remove all of life's stressers. Wouldn't that be great? Now I just have to learn some better coping skills. I'm still using my safety plan!

I had a tough session with my therapist this week. It was awesome though because I realized a lot of things. I've been needing help learning to trust myself and others. I've had a heck of a time opening up to my husband. You'd think that after almost 11 years of marriage I'd have it down but I'm JUST now beginning to do that. It's been really scary but wonderful for me at the same time. I'm so afraid of getting hurt. But I KNOW that I have a husband who loves me unconditionally. He loves me for who I am!! He doesn't try to change me. I'm wacky and crazy and don't like to follow the "trends". I am my own person and he loves that about me. Although I know there are things that drive him crazy!! Like my new "hobby/obsession"...Sudoku. Babe, you can blame UNI for that! I've always wanted to learn to play and someone taught me when I was in the hospital. Umm...ADD moment...back to the whole theapist thing. I love my therapist and I'm happy that after a year of "therapy" I'm just now beginning to get to the hard stuff.

Sometimes I feel badly about myself that I'm mentally ill (I guess you'd say that because I will never be off meds) and it's been really hard to come to grips with that. Everyone says "well a diabetic needs meds it's the same thing". I hear that but I don't feel it by any means. So here I am trying to come to grips with my illness. An illness that MANY, MANY people don't understand and judge. If you are one of those please stop right now! Realize that this is a serious thing and that there are many people who can't control depression with diet, exercise, scriptures, church, etc. I have been so very, very blessed with supportive people in my life. I really think I'd be much worse off without a good support system. Thank you to those that love me! I love you too!