Friday, November 27, 2015

ME TIME - Dancing to the rhythm of the weather.

Running around trying to cross out everything on our “mental to do list” and sometimes even trying to get them all done simultaneously while also tending to loved ones and careers, can eventually put a toll on some of us.  FYI I call it a  “mental to do list” because even finding a pencil to write a list with, was a task in itself for me in my household when the children were small. So everything I had to do, was taken in through a mental note that at moments would catch up leaving me frazzled with anxiety and headaches.
Many of us are so busy taking care of others that we forget to care for ourselves, only to find out when we break down from physical or mental exhaustion, we become no good to others as well.
I have met people who are workaholics and not necessarily because of work related deadlines or pressures from superiors but, because they somehow feel empty if they are not producing or may have unfounded fears of losing their job.  Yet, even if valid the fears are valid, it is not healthy to work seven days a week, up to 12 hours a day on a weekly basis without some ME time.  And although such schedules sound utterly ridiculous, their are those that have them, Workaholics are all around us. For a sometime I use to be one. 
There is also the super mom and dad, they handle the household, children, their aging parents and countless of other responsibilities. I know parents with small children whose day go by and they never sit on a chair for even a moment, their downtime is in the evening at bedtime, that’s when they plop into bed, in a complete and utter exhaustion and wake up a few hours later to do it all over again day after day.
By all means, things need to get done, being responsible is essential and the parenting role needs to be top priority, I certainly applaud all parents. As a parent myself, I  recall many days when the highlight of my day was the plopping into bed, time for night, night, lights off….that was my ME time.  I also know these parents need a break sometimes, on special occasions such as birthdays; they should be given gift certificates to spas and offered free babysitting for a few hours a week so that they can rejuvenate.
How about the “I am busy, I am successful” Yup, I’ve done this one too.  You, know those who thrive from a demanding day, full of deadlines and a chaotic schedule. As a matter of fact if they are not experiencing over the limit activity they feel as if nothing is getting done and may even feel less successful.
For them I recommend at least one day out of the week to set all aside, and self indulge in relaxation, Netflix, nature walking, inner talent discovery, ball throwing, and all sorts of  unwinding pleasures.
Most will always have some kind of financial concern, especially in this economy. Many are even afraid of going on a vacation because of the fear of returning back to no job. But, that should not stop any one from regaining piece of mind or having leisure time.

There are instances where I wonder why some people wait for sunny days and warm weather to take a walk on a board walk, when a walk can be as soothing in any kind weather, with the exception of tornadoes and hurricanes during that kind, unless you have to flee for safety, I recommend sipping on your favorite beverage while listening to music, or just get up and dance to the music and the rhythm of weather, will ya…….

 And why not let your very own back yard serve as a getaway? Create your own oasis…..home depot and Lowes have fabulous items you can buy to turn your back yard into a vacation spot, but then again, most home owners already know this, and just need a reminder.:)

When was the last time you put on a pair of pajamas in the early afternoon, made a bowl of popcorn, sat back and enjoyed watching a good movie?
Our minds, bodies and spirits need tune ups, we need ME time. Too busy all the time, can easily cause us to ignore our bodies call for rejuvenation from exhaustion. That call usually comes in moodiness, depression, confusion, aches and pains. We can work toward muting the noise of those calls by engaging in healthy practices now.

When was the last time you had some “ME TIME”?


Friday, November 20, 2015

Lonely and Isolated - Apart from others and the world around.

Some of the most depressing times in my life were those when I was the loneliest. I specifically recall a time when I was in the midst of a dark depression and substance abuse, my days and nights came and went, with very little interaction with the world around me.
Substance abuse and depression often follow loneliness, but there are plenty of people on this earth whom are not experiencing those circumstances, that happen to be very lonely. This can be a delicate situation because visa versa, loneliness can very easily follow substance abuse and depression. Therefore, I believe it must be taken seriously and addressed appropriately.
Loneliness is a sad, especially if you do not want to be lonely, and I doubt many do. Most people feel lonely at some point or other in their life; it can be different for everyone. For instance, yes we certainly can appreciate “ME” time and an adequate amount of solitude can be rejuvenating, but for intense, long periods of loneliness accompanied with isolation well, that is bound to bring on emotional challenges. The good news is you don't have to feel that way if you decide to take a stand and make some changes
Loneliness it is a feeling that brings on separation and isolation. It can make a person feel out of touch with other human beings. Most people experience it when they do not have close family members, friends, or interaction with people on a regular basis.
There are other forms such as a person feeling lonely even when surrounded by crowds or where there is lack of intimacy in relationships. People may experience loneliness at different stages of their life such as when the kids are ready to leave the home for the first time or after a divorce. For a lonely person holidays and birthdays can be a more difficult to deal with because the feelings become more intensified.

You can learn to overcome loneliness by taking hands on approach. Here are some ideas that can help. Please, it is important to keep an open mind and be willing to make a choice for a difference in your life. The realization that only you can change the way you feel is an important factor.
Recognize your loneliness. Don’t be ashamed of it, we all at some point or another go through it. Acceptance is the beginning of a positive trip on the road of life.
Consider speaking with a therapist or attending a self help group. Remember you have choices today. So if you don’t feel comfortable with a particular therapist or group, you move on to the next one. The key thing to remember is never give up! This is your life, you only get one, and so you have the right to fight for it.
Engage in positive activities. In the beginning for me it was as simple as taking a small walk over to the public library and reading an inspirational book. Even if I didn’t know anyone at the library, at least I was surrounded by them instead of four walls in my bedroom.  In today’s world they have great coffee shops, go ahead get your frappe and surround yourself with other coffee lovers. Go online and research a local meet up group near you, there are literally hundreds and hundreds of them with a variety of activities and events to choose from.
Register for a continuing education class, art class, or the local gym. I find that while on the cross country machine or treadmill I tend to engage in small talk with the person on the machine next to me. Some community centers often offer free recreational activities. If you enter certain key words on the internet ex: free things to do in Michigan, you will find plenty to choose from. I believe we all have yet to discover some of our very own hidden talents pick up that paint brush, amaze yourself. Just go with the flow, you don’t have to be Picasso, just be you, have fun and share your discoveries.
Show interest in others. A smile goes a long way and can light up another person’s day that may also be lonely. A simple hello and a smile is a perfect icebreaker for small conversation.

Apply for a volunteer position.  At your local hospital, library, pet center, school, or home care facility. A few hours of your time will make a difference in your life as well as others. It is perfect for building and establishing relationships as well as healing a lonely heart.
Adopt a pet. If you have heard that pets make great companions, well you heard right. Not only do they keep you company, they make you laugh and engage in healthy activities. There are so many things you can do with your pet that also allows you to build new relationship with others. If you have a dog, taking them out for walks in the neighborhood and bumping into other dog, loving walkers. Going out to the dog park is lots of fun. And even while taking your pet to the vet for their routine checkups can be a great way to interact with other who share your interest. Remember, being a pet owner requires responsibility and a loving heart.

Loneliness for me accompanies social anxiety, isolation, depression and an array of other symptoms. Although I have tamed many of them, I continue to be involved in support groups where I can talk about it with others. They offer their suggestions and share their experiences with me. They remind me that I’m not alone if I choose not to be.
Just like with most things, practice makes perfect. It is no different with loneliness. There will be moments where you may become discouraged, that’s okay we all have set backs, just as long as you don’t allow it to take precedent over your goal.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Alcohol and Anxiety - The Double A

Alcohol and Anxiety

……..or is it Anxiety and Alcohol, is one a condition of the other? and if so in which order? Or perhaps they are partners in crime so to speak that feed off the debilitation that each one causes. It is as if they are in business together. Yet a business that is incorporated in the bowels of hell. For one debilitating disorder, a remedy is offered, and yet that remedy, comes with hidden side effects, or possible ramifications. The side effects being that there is perhaps a chance that the original debilitating disorder, in this case “anxiety”, almost “ reserves the right” to come back even stronger and more debilitating than before,…….before one reached for a remedy, a remedy in a bottle, available on every street corner across the USA, and the world abroad.

This cyclical revolving merry go round of emotions and terror has been the debate of the affiliated medical professionals, users, abusers, and psychological professionals alike. It is the which came first age old question, .The chicken or the egg. In my own personal experience it was asked of me by a psychological professional,….” When did alcohol become medicine, and not a social activity” This raised an eyebrow in my psyche and I clearly recalled when my alcohol use became primarily for the use of medication and in search of a way to suppress my central nervous system. It was at a time of extreme discontent and horror, and fear, and uneasy feelings.  

The magic elixir in a bottle, no matter the brand, type or color, was proving to be “effective” at relieving the aforementioned feelings.  THIS MEDICINE WORKED, and I did not need an appointment, or RX to obtain it. It was available at 8 am or at 11 pm or at 12 noon. It was ready for the taking, and graciously offered. So graciously in fact that after the first two, in a local “medicine cabinet/pub”,…..I was told after the first drink, form an immigrant Irishman, complete with a heavy brogue, that “this would get me my day going proper”. It certainly did, however what this “quack” did not inform me of was the fact, that I would keep coming back, over and over, because I would need his “magic elixir” to get my day going proper and fix a malady, behind the scenes, it is doing its work and making sure you need him over and over again, and such is the constant whirlwind of a self induced medication, readily available, without a RX, taxable on both the state and federal level and with a the ability and prowess to make it an absolute necessity,….it has entrapped you. It has become you, it is the oatmeal you once ate at 9am as a child to give yourself a push start in the morning, and it is the vitamin you took as a child. It is now your go to fix all.

So, in closing what  came first,….Alcohol or Anxiety, and why is the fix, not only a short term fix, but a “ masked fix”,….a fix that only comes back to knock on the door of your psyche and say “ hey remember me, just swallow and I can fix your malady today.”  But oh what a tangled weave this magic elixir weaves, as all along he knows, that soon enough, even when there is no malady or fixing to be had, or central nervous system to be suppressed, he knows, he knows very well, that he has the power to make your symptoms appear, and usually stronger than before. Mr. Magic Elixir is a very smart business man, not only is he a consumable, but he is a consumable that once a level of maintenance is not kept, this parasite, for lack of better words, has his “host” literally CRAVING for his presence inside of him to ease the pain.

Around we go in this horrifying, parasitic, cyclical chain of events of need, want, need, suppressed anxiety, rising anxiety,and REPEAT!

In my opinion this is the work of Lucifer, and his crew, and our governments around the entire globe, make it available.

Is it the revenue that it creates, that makes it so readily available? Is it big business? Have these SPIRITS manufacturers sold their souls to the devil?

So many thoughts and opinions. Some professionals claim that alcohol withdrawal, is stronger, and more painful than that opiate based concoctions….Again….why is this powerful substance available over the counter on every street corner in civilized world, and even in the uncivilized world as well.


By Guest Writer,

 Izey E. 


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Depressed during the holidays - Coping skills and tips

Depressed during the holidays
The holiday season is near and as we know it is a time for celebration and family gatherings. But, for many it is also a time of loneliness filled with thoughts of past failures, worries of the future and every day stresses. For some, participating in the festivities it can easily contribute to financial worries and anxiety riddled expectations.
And then there are those that suffer from depression who work very hard at keeping it at bay through treatment and self care, but when the holiday’s roll around, it can be a huge trigger for them, at least for me it was and after sharing my feelings with others, I discovered I wasn’t alone.

The holiday to do list which includes shopping, parties, family reunions, planning, executing and entertaining can make us tense and extremely confused, this can take a toll on many, but even more for those who tend to suffer from depression, anxiety or other mental health related issues. It can, if not careful, a trigger for a negative emotional response or even a relapse in mental stability

Being aware that certain emotions may rise and identifying the underlying cause of them is very helpful in coping with these triggers or better yet bringing them to a halt before any of them take flight.

Below I list 10 coping techniques that can help you deal with holiday stress.   

1. Keep your expectations for the holidays realistic. Set reasonable goals.
2. Look toward the future and the great possibilities of the New Year. Focus on the awesomeness of the year to come and don’t entertain negative thoughts of the past, stop those thoughts immediately upon entering your mind.
3. Don’t set yourself up in comparing today with the good old days. Focus on the present and be grateful for the past.
4. Do something for someone else. Volunteer some of your time in helping others, be it an organization or a local event, get involved. Out of self and into others.
5. Find activities that are free, drive around to see the pretty holiday lights and decorations. Build a snowman with children perhaps your nieces, nephew or the neighborhood kids. Children tend to have natural festive spirit.
6. Pay attention to your alcohol intake, too much drinking can increase your feelings of depression.
7. Try something new. Celebrate the holidays in a new way, start a new tradition of your own.
8. Let others share responsibility of the activities. Don't take it all upon yourself. Have others assist you in the decorating, food preparation, and shopping. Add music to the mix.
9. Organization is important, but you do not need to be a perfectioNist. Sometimes a little imperfection can be delightful and fun too. Make a list, not a huge super list, but a reasonable one
10. Make time for yourself. Take a nice scented aromatherapy bath, go to the gym, catch up on some good reading or take some much needed naps. Don’t forget to pop in a good movie in the DVD player, escape to a healthy place by watching something funny and inspirational. Buy yourself a Christmas present while shopping for others. Remember it’s nice to make others feel good during the holiday, but it is important you are feeling happy too.
Remember being of good cheer and spreading joy starts with good physical and mental health.

Have something to add to the list? 

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