Two O one eight.

Hey everyone! Wow it has been a minute right?  Geez.  That working life is NO joke.  I get up at 6:30, shower, feed the babies breakfast, pack lunches, grab a coffee, drop the baby off at daycare and go to work.  What a crazy 5 months it has been.

I am currently transitioning to a new job… that is a whole post in itself… but definitely for another time.

One thing I realized after going back to work is that… I enjoy socializing with adults!  Even though I am quite childish haha… I really enjoyed getting to know my coworkers and catching up on some adult conversation.  I missed my kiddos but realized that they are THRIVING in their school/daycares.  They get to run and play and socialize and it really just worked out quite wonderfully.

With that being said, 2018 has started out a bit dicey… so I’m going to take a moment to post a about my resolutions:

1- Meditate daily.  This is so important guys.  I really failed with the meditation deal in 2017 and it is 1000% necessary.  I put on a few sleep meditations when putting my son to sleep last night, and though it didn’t work for a 4 year old who was very stir crazy from being inside due to snow/below freezing temps for 1 week, it was very relaxing and I noticed it kept him much calmer while going to sleep!

2- Medication.  I am seeing my doctor tomorrow and hoping to get on a better medication.  I have been so thankful to Prozac for all of its OCD help but I believe there may be another drug out there that can help me out a little more.  I tried tapering off for a bit but it was unsuccessful.  This does not mean I am a failure.  This means that just like any other illness, I have to work at treating it.

3- Cooking.  I need to cook more!  This past weekend I made a delicious GRAIN FREE, banana/chocolate chip bread and Shepherd’s pie!  They were both pretty good! Oh yeah, and I made pork chops!  I have had so much anxiety recently and cooking has been a good way to channel that little bit of crazy.

4- Water.  I feel like there have been times in my life I was the ultimate spokesperson for water, however, recently I’ve not been as wonderful at hydrating!! I purchased a water bottle from amazon that helps me remember to drink water every hour and I hope to keep it up!  Water is so essential!

5- Spend less money.  I am a Target, Amazon, Starbucks addict.  Last year I wanted to do a post called a “SAT” out… where I boycott Target, Amazon and Starbucks for my own health and wellness lol… but I was too weak!  I hope that I can do this soon… however, I equate this to having a food addiction almost.  I mean, you can’t stop cold turkey because you still need things like… toilet paper, or medications.  It is hard!  I have set a limit for starbucks though…and hope I can keep at it.  I am dangerously close to it so far though …so …things aren’t looking swell.  Its okay!

Okay, so there is my small update.  I am still around and still very much interested in maintaining this blog!  However, things have been SO busy.  Maybe meditation will help me with my blog goals!

What goals have you set for yourself in 2018?  <3.

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5 steps to getting your anxiety and other mental health issues under control

Have you been dealing with a lot of anxiety lately?  I have.  Truthfully, I’ve been dealing with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder since I was a young child.  I didn’t always know that was what I was dealing with, but it has become obvious in the past few years that I’ve been dealing with mental health issues for a long time.  I mean, how many 4 year olds do you know that refuse to sit in Santa’s lap because he wasn’t wearing his gloves?  Yep.  That was me.  I was that 4 year old.  Even at 4, the obsessive compulsive disorder was there and it was gearing up for a long ride.  I am 31 and still suffer with crippling anxiety and OCD.  However, because I am 31 and have been working on it since I was 18 years old… I’ve developed quite a few strategies for making it. And yes, I said making it… because for a while you just have to make it.  Once you start making it… you work toward other goals like living a happy and fulfilling life.  Goals we’re all working at!

  1. Therapy.  I cannot stress the importance of therapy.  Therapy has saved me time and time again.   However, I also cannot stress enough that the important thing is finding a therapist that you mesh well with.   I’ve had several over the years and some were not a good fit.  I currently have a phenomenal therapist that has helped me through the hardest times and has helped me see my own worth.  She has been a true Godsend.  Find a therapist that is there for you and not because it is a job.  Find a therapist that you trust and are comfortable with.  You can start searching here.  (Make sure you read reviews and talk to them ahead of time about what insurance they accept!)
  2. Medication.  This one may get me a lot of backlash and that is fine.  I have tried over and over and over again to tackle my issues without medication.  I’ve told myself I didn’t need it.  I’ve told myself that I’m better off without it.  The truth is, I can’t really function.  I am a miserable wife and mother.  I am an obsessive ball of crazy that can’t see past my own eyeballs.  I only see everything inside of my head.  I’m not present.  I’m not well.  I started seeing a psychiatrist (which is important, I have issues with general practitioners prescribing these and then not adequately following up)  and started Prozac several years ago and the change it has made in my life is unbelievable.  I am more level, I have fewer obsessive and anxious spells and am able to see more clearly.  When I miss doses and really get off track, it is obvious.  This drug has helped me and I am thankful for it.   I think medication can be really helpful, especially with therapy.
  3. Self-Help Reading.  Mental health is something you need to work at like a subject in school.  For some people, they just “get it.”  They don’t have to work at it as much as some of us… but for me, mental health is like math.  I’m always having to really work at it to try to figure it out.  Thankfully there are excellent resources out there that really help.  I recommend the following books:  Self Esteem: How to Heal Addictive ThinkingFeeling GoodFull Catastrophe Living.  These books have helped me in the hardest of times.  I’ve read and re-read them and they are amazing resources.  Very beneficial.
  4. Mindfulness Meditation.  Meditation may feel silly at first but the results speak for themselves.  I’ve had random meditation apps on my phone that didn’t do much for me, but then my therapist recommended the Insight Timer app.  This app really changed the way I viewed meditation.  I could feel the changes in my body.  I remember the first time I really got lost in the meditation.  I suddenly had this awareness of every move– Every small move in my body.  I was so calm and in tune with myself.  Studies have even shown that meditation changes the brain after a period of weeks.  Seriously! Really about it here.
  5. Support System.  Finding a support system is very important in treating debilitating anxiety and other issues.  Explaining your feelings and thoughts to a trusted individual whether it be a spouse, friend, parent, etc. is very important.  They may not fully “get it” but they will know that it is something you’re working on.  Let them know how to help you.  It isn’t always easy or fun, but it is necessary.  My husband has learned so much about my issues and can even tell when they’re coming on.  He knows how to help me and reminds me to take my medication.

When you’re living with anxiety/depression/OCD, etc… it can be hard to know where to begin when getting help.  Sometimes its hard to see beyond your own thoughts.  It is hard to get out of bed… it is hard to be a good parent or spouse.  It helps to know that others have been through it and you’re not alone.  If you’re struggling with what to do next or how to help yourself, please just take these few steps first.  One of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quotes comes to mind,

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”  

You don’t have to set any huge goals at first.  You don’t have to fault yourself or tell yourself you have to be cured immediately, just do what you can to get through each day and then each day will become easier.  You will get through this and things will start to fall into place.  But to get to where you want to be in life, you must help yourself first!

 

 

Quick Tip Tuesday: Calm down app for kids


Today’s quick tip Tuesday is coming at you on Wednesday, again.  I’m sorry.  This week has not been what we expected.  A close family member is sick and in the hospital.  We’ve been hanging out there this week and I haven’t had much time for blogging.  I haven’t even thought about it really.  But, I’m here now and I’m excited to share this tip with you…& if you wouldn’t mind sparing a bit of time to say a prayer for our family that would be pretty amazing and greatly appreciated.

So! For the tip… it is an app download.  My son is very anxious.  He is also prone to tantrums or meltdowns.  I think he’s growing out of them, but when kids are young… it happens.  One thing I found to be really helpful is an app called “Settle Your Glitter”  Basically, it is a glitter jar… but in your phone– which is actually super convenient because sometimes you don’t have a glitter jar, but you usually always have your phone.  At least that is the case for me.

This app starts by asking how you’re feeling.  It has silly faces and choices and you can select the best description (mad, sad, silly, worried…).  My son is very responsive to this and seems to like that he can put a label on how he feels at the moment.   Once you select your feeling it asks how intense the feeling is.  (a little, very, extremely) …then you shake your phone (which is kind of awesome in itself… it puts the focus on something else and lets your child get rid of some of that built up anger and anxiety.)   You then see the “glitter” swirling around in the circle and a little character practices mindful breathing with you!  We’ve used this multiple times and it usually does the trick! 🙂

Anyone know of any other great mindfulness, calming apps for kids?  I would love to find more!  Leave suggestions in the comments– and check out the app!