Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Finding Balance

 One thing I've been working on as part of changing my lifestyle is finding balance. I think it's always been something I've had trouble doing. I tend to go from one extreme to another. It's all or nothing, although lately it's been more nothing. I'll decide to do something, exercise for example, and I'll basically tell myself I will have to exercise everyday. If I skip a day, then I'll feel like I have failed and a lot of times I'll stop the exercise altogether then. I'll do good for a week or two, then I'll have a day where I just don't feel like going out walking or doing an exercise video. Instead of just taking a day off, I'll beat myself up over it. Then I'll eventually start feeling like I've failed the whole thing and that I might as well quit exercising completely. I know that sounds crazy, and it is, but that's just what my mind tells me. So now that I'm working on changing that mindset, I try to find the balance in everything. Yesterday I was busy and had to go out for a few things, including getting some blood work. My veins wanted to play hide and go seek, so that was fun. It's usually better for me to walk in the mornings before it gets so hot. Since I had to leave early for the doctor, I couldn't go since it was still dark outside. Plus I had to fast because of getting blood drawn. So it just wasn't a good time for exercise. When I got home that afternoon I was tired and sleepy, since I barely slept the night before. I told myself I would take a nap then maybe go walking that evening when it was cooler weather. Later that evening it was still too hot and I was still just tired. I finally told myself, after going back and forth, that I would just go walk the next morning and that it was fine to take a day off. That may be a drawn out explanation for something simple, but I'm trying to write that behavior down and learn to change it. 
I'm trying to really listen to my body and hear what it needs. Sometimes I just need a day of relaxing and it's okay that I don't push myself to go walk. Other days I do talk myself into walking when I don't particularly feel like it, and I do feel better afterwards. So it's all about finding that balance of what I need. Of course there are other areas I'm working on balancing, but exercise is a big one since it's something I've always struggled with to do.
I'm working on taking one day at a time, and yesterday's behavior doesn't dictate today's behavior. Just because I have a set back or a bad day, that doesn't mean all is lost and that my progress is gone. The past is in the past, and each day I can start anew. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

A New Mindset

Probably the biggest challenge in getting and feeling better is changing my mindset. Being more positive and not beating myself up so much when I feel like I've failed or not done as well as I expected. I have to tell myself that not every day has to be brilliant and I don't have to accomplish a bunch of things in order to be content or happy. Having a day to myself where I don't do much is okay as long as I don't shut myself down again and have a bunch of days like that. I try to take a walk every day for about 30 minutes. This helps me a lot and just being outside is good for me and makes me feel better. There are some days where I really don't feel like it, but I tell myself just to go outside for 5 or 10 minutes and then I can go back inside if I want to. Most of the time I end up walking for 20-30 minutes anyway when I do that. It's taking the 1st step and going out that's the hard part. Once I'm out there I enjoy it and it's easy to stay out for a longer walk. Other times I do skip a day of walking, and that's okay too. I'm learning not to be negative and tell myself that I've failed just because I had a day where I didn't walk. Living one day at a time and doing my best each day is all I can expect of myself.
I don't know why I'm so hard on myself sometimes. I beat myself up over the littlest things that don't even matter. Working on changing that mindset is hard but I know I can do it. When those old doubts and feelings come back, I take a deep breath and acknowledge them. I know that it's not always sunshine and roses and some days it's just hard to be happy. Some days you just have to simply be. But having those days doesn't mean that I've had a set back. It just means that I'm human and everyone has days like that. I just can't let one bad day send me back in a downward spiral of a bunch of bad days. So I acknowledge those doubts, accept that I'm not perfect (and that no one is), take a deep breath, and tell those thoughts to take a hike. I pray, I reflect, I meditate, I look at positive blogs and FB pages that give me inspiration.
Changing my mindset is hard, but I know that with patience and time that I can do it. I know that I have a lot of support and love in my corner and that I do have people who care and that I can turn to them when I need to. I know that God is watching over me and he is my biggest supporter. All I have to do is ask for help, which is another thing I'm learning to do better. I'm finding methods that do help me focus and find peace. I think that sometimes I think I'm just supposed to automatically be this happy person, but it's not always possible to just wake up happy everyday. I have to work on it. I have to keep busy and go out and be around people more. It's hard work, but I know it's worth it. I'm worth it.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Breaking Free

I've recently been doing a lot of soul searching. Reflecting on what I wanted to do with my life. If I should go out there and pursue my hopes and dreams and goals. For the past year, and some before then, but especially this past year, I kind of shut myself off from things. I didn't go out of the house much. I didn't feel like interacting with people. I still enjoyed my friends and spending time with them, but I didn't even really do that as much. It simply felt too exhausting to go out into the world and live. So I cocooned myself away in my bedroom. Safe in my bed where I couldn't get hurt. I naturally am a person who likes to go out and explore things. Go on adventures and learn about people and their walks of life. But I also can be hurt easily and retreat into my shell when the world seems to overwhelm me. Stuck between wanting to go out and live my life, and with wanting to not get hurt again. To not fail another project or job that I tried.
I've always tried to hide how much I was hurting because I didn't want to worry people. I didn't want them to perceive any weaknesses that I thought I had. I know my friends and family are supportive, but I got into the frame of mind that if I asked for help I would be bothering them.
This past week, has been a hard and somewhat terrifying week for me. Terrible insomnia, bad depression and anxiety. I've never been suicidal and I thank God for that and for watching over me. But everyone has a breaking point to what they can handle. I finally called my bf this past Wednesday, crying, and finally admitting I need to see a doctor and get help. I had to get out of my mind and the vicious cycle I was in. Depression messes with your mind. It lies to you and tells you that no one cares. That you don't deserve help. That there is no way out of this and you just have to learn to live with it. Depression LIES. But you get almost complacent in it. You shut yourself off and live in that fog of either not feeling or feeling too much. It was extremely hard to break out of that fog and say the words "I need help." But after I said those words, I felt such relief. Knowing that it wouldn't be the easiest thing to do, but that at least I had started on the journey to healing.
Of course, Robin Williams death affected so many people. It reminded me of how you never know what people are going through. Seemingly happy on the inside, but dying on the inside. I hope he found his peace and my heart goes out to his family. Like I said above, I've never been suicidal, but hearing about Robin Williams made me scared to think of what that must have been like for him and wonder if I would ever get to that point. That's not something I even want to contemplate, and that thought helped push me to admit that I needed to get help before things got worse.
So I did an internet search for homeopathic doctors around my area. I found a place with Naturopathic doctors who specialize in natural and homeopathic remedies. I knew I didn't want to be put on any strong medications if I could help it, and really wanted to go a more natural route if at all possible. I'm not saying that that is for everyone. You have to find what's right for you. But for me, I couldn't stand the though of going into a traditional doctor's office. The natural medicine place I went to was more like a spa than a clinical doctor's office and I immediately felt comfortable there. I felt very comfortable with my doctor and very at ease to talk about everything I was going through. It was like once I admitted I had a problem, I allowed myself to feel more comfortable with talking about my issues. It's been hard to open up about what I was going through in the past.
It's felt very freeing to get it all out there though. I feel myself coming out of that fog and that cocoon that I hid myself in. I feel excited about things again. About possibilities and dreams and plans. I know it's not an overnight thing. It's a journey. I know there might be set backs. I know I'll still have bad days again, like everyone does. But at least I have started the journey to learn how to be myself again.
I think about myself as a young girl. So shy and innocent. Wanting to help others. Wanting to show people kindness and help them. Seeing someone in pain and wanting to hug them and say that things would be okay. I still want to help people. For years, I've wanted to work with women and teach them that they are beautiful no matter their circumstances or what they look like. Working as a makeup artist and esthetician, I saw how some women look in the mirror and only see flaws. It truly breaks my heart to see someone who can't recognize their own beauty. That we are all special and all God's children. I don't know where God will lead me next. I know I have to work through my own issues, but I hope that I can help people with their hurts and issues too.
I'm going to stop worrying about what other people think about me, and just do what seems natural and right. I'm going to be the person that God put me on this earth to be. I ask him to guide me and show me where to go from here. I'm not going to worry about what happens tomorrow. I'm focusing on one day at a time. I'm going to go outside, even if it's only for a few minutes. I'm going to look for the little things in life that make me smile. A small wildflower that I see as I'm walking. A fluffy white cloud. A smile from a person who understands what you are going through. The support of friends, who may not exactly understand, but who support you and let you know they are there for you. A random person online who posts a message that gives you hope when you are at your lowest point. I feel like I've had so many signs recently. Signs that gave me hope. Signs that gave me courage. I know God is watching over me, even when I felt like I was completely alone, I know he was there and I thank Him everyday for protecting me. I'm thankful for my parents who raised me in a church and taught me about God. Even though I haven't been to a church in many years, I still have a strong relationship with God. I feel God out in nature when I'm taking a walk. I feel him through other people.
I feel like I could write so much more, but that's all I have in me to put out there right now. I'm nervous about posting this, but I feel like I should. I feel like I need to be open after closing myself off for so long. Not many people may read this, but at least it's out there in the universe. If one person reads this and can relate, then it's served its purpose.
To anyone dealing with any kind of depression, anxiety, or mood disorders, please get help. Please know that you are not alone. It may be the hardest thing you've ever done, but if you take that 1st step, you can be on the road to recovery. Reach out to someone. Even if it's a stranger or a person on an internet forum or group. There are people out there that care what happen to you. You are important and you do serve a purpose in this world.