Write it down!

There are so many things that are good about writing.   It helps with grief and trauma and general sadness.  It helps in the short term and in the long term.


Trauma and the benefits of writing about it.


7-tips-for-writing-about-trauma


Writing

It actually helps with physical pain symptoms and causes a rise in immune system functioning.  It's amazing.






Narrative   Apparently it helps much more if you try to write your experiences as a story, as if you were telling someone else, rather than just listing things or writing randomly.  Something about trying to put your thoughts in order to make it understandable as if to another person, helps in the process.


Find a private space and write.  It will be hard, but it will help, both now and in the future and bring about that elusive posttraumatic growth.









Giving.

This is a great article about how giving to charity actually makes you wealthier.  It's very interesting and I believe it's a God thing. 


Why Giving Matters


If you keep reading down to the bottom it says this. 




"People who give to charity are 43 percent more likely than people who don’t give to say they’re very happy people. People who give blood are twice as likely to say they’re very happy people as people who don’t give blood. People who volunteer are happier. The list goes on. You simply can’t find any kind of service that won’t make you happier."


So, find a place to volunteer.  Look at Volunteer Match on line or call a local hospital or Head Start Center and ask to volunteer.  If you are not up to that, give money to a charity, even if it's just a little bit.  Put a quarter in a gumball machine as you walk by and don't get the gumball - let some kid get a great surprise later today.  Pay for the person behind you in the drive through.  Put a note that says "Treat yourself" and a 5 dollar bill in a library book.  (Maybe one about depression?)  Send an anonymous gift to someone.  Send a card to someone you appreciate and thank them.  The list goes on and on and on.  Reach out and make someone else's day brighter and brighten your outlook as well. 



Video Games Can Help.

Interesting article about video games by Jane McGonigal. Go read it.   It seems that video games cause a completely opposite reaction in the brain than depression does.  It seems that some people who play a lot of video games may be self medicating and it also says in this article that video game playing can be addictive. It does mention some good constructive games you might try.  I personally am going to play Beatles Rock Band with my kids.  Singing is good for you.  :-) 

Trying to get back to it.

I came back today to my own blog to look up some of the resources that I've listed before to help myself get back into a better frame of mind.  I've been doing okay, working on dieting and exercising and job hunting (still haven't found one!) and then suddenly this weekend, my husband said something that put me right back into the depression zone.  First I burned with anger for a couple of days then lapsed into despair.  If you're reading this kind of blog, you probably know exactly what I'm talking about.  I have spent the last 3 or 4 days trying to work up any kind of enthusiasm for life at all.  Really, it's not that bad, but I over-react.  I go from 0 to panic mode or despair mode or whatever, in less than a second.  I'm fine and then I'm not.  If you were here with me, you might not know because I keep it inside but wow, it's been a rough week.  Today, I got up and filled out 3 or 4 job applications online and I'm sticking to my diet goals for now but I thought - Hey, I need to look at those inspiring Ted Talks again and read some of those articles that I've linked to from my blog. So here I am, looking at my blog and realizing that I haven't written anything in a long, long time and maybe that's why I'm so quick to get off track right now. 


So, why don't you join me?   Let's go back and watch the videos that will help us as we try to cope with whatever it is that we're trying to cope with.


Here are some of my favorites.


The Game that Can Give You 10 Extra Years of Life


Reverse Bucket List


Fake Smiling Benefits


Looking at Baby Animals


Power Poses.




Now I'm off to watch the video, make a reverse bucket list, practice my power poses and fake smiles and look at some baby animals.


Join me. 
Okay, he's not a baby animal, but he's comical.  This is my dog, unretouched, I promise, after he went out in the mud.  :-)  His eyes really look like that. 



A dozen helpful thoughts

This is from Proverbs 31 Woman which is from a Christian viewpoint.  A Dozen Helpful Thoughts For When You Feel Depressed. 


I think it would be a good exercise to take each of the questions and write them out in your journal and think about why you might be feeling this way.  Of course I understand if you're tired of everything and don't want to do that.  I know how it feels when everything is exhausting and you don't want to do anything. 


In that case, you might just want to color or write something.  Find a hopeful thought and write it over and over and over.  Use different colors of Sharpies.  I do this and then draw pictures on top of it to make art.  I find it relaxes me, centers me and helps with the depression.  I write Bible verses but if you are not a believer, you can write anything personally meaningful to you. 


Here's a link to some great quotes on hope.  Brainy Quote


Infuse your life with action. Don't wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen... yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.


Bradley Whitford

Turmeric as effective as Prozac.

That's what this study says.  I want to try it because I don't enjoy the side effects of Prozac and I do enjoy spicy food.   http://www.inquisitr.com/3574246/studies-show-turmeric-beats-depression-active-ingredient-curcumin-works-as-well-as-prozac/  In our quest to fight depression naturally, this seems like it would be a good ingredient to have on our side.    Unsure how to put turmeric into your diet?  I am too.  I found a few resources though.  Here's an article from Kitchn about how to eat it. and it includes this important note:


"Black pepper improves the bioavailability of turmeric, making smaller doses more effective" 


Here's a chili recipe that includes turmeric.   I may try this one.  Crock Pot 365.    I would think you could put a little bit in most chilis or spicy soups. 


If you don't want to eat it, or if you just don't feel like cooking (I understand) you can take it as a supplement.  Amazon


Apparently it has other benefits too.  Check out this article.   Apparently it helps with artitis and inflammation.  I'd better get onto making this chili.  :-) 




Anything that helps our depression is a tool we can use to overcome it and get back into life. 

It's been a rough year, but ...

I'm still here.  I'm still kicking.  I'm getting up in the morning and doing what I need to do.  I am practicing some mindfulness and being in this moment and getting better at it.  I think about washing the dishes when I'm doing them, at least part of the time, think about the warm soapy water, instead of using that time to worry about everything under the sun, think about what's not going the way I want it to, etc., which is my norm.  I try to go outside and sit for a moment, looking at the sky and the trees.  I try and connect with people.  I've been intentional in getting together with my friends, just going to Burger King to sit and talk and sip a soda, going out to lunch with a friend I've known from childhood, taking the initiative to set things up.  Sometimes we just get so busy with our shows we watch, running our own households, working (or looking for work in my case) and forget to schedule time to have real fun with real people instead of watching it on TV or reading about it on social media.  One of the things I like about the Big Bang Theory guys is that they schedule and plan to have fun together.  I'm working on it.  


I kind of had an epiphany last week.  I was sitting on the porch for my prayer time, whining to The Almighty about not being able to find a job and feeling sorry for myself and the thought came into my mind -- how dare I complain when I am at home, in this beautiful place, with the kids I have and a husband who goes to work every day and does not complain about it or about anything I do, how dare I?   I am blessed beyond measure.   So what if we can't afford extras like vacations right now? We can pay our  bills.  So what if my life is not perfect.  Its still good.  There is still good. 

A year after getting off Prozac, I am so, so, so much better.   I think know it was making me worse, not better, causing intrusive, frequent suicidal thoughts that are now just a part of my past.  If you think your antidepressant could be making you worse, talk to your doctor and find out if you need to change or taper it. 

Think about this moment, not the future, not the past.  Think about this moment.  You're reading this blog.  Take a minute, close your eyes and focus on your breathing, slowing it down and relaxing for a moment.  Think about 3 things you are thankful for, even if they are pitiful.   Sometimes, it's "Hey, I don't have the stomach flu"  or "I don't have vertigo today".  Vertigo is horrible and every day without it is a day to celebrate.  :-P  

I found a great blog on being positive today.  The Positivity Blog.  The tagline is Happiness and Awesomeness Tips That Work in Real Life.  How cool is that?  I'm going to be reading for a while over there. 

Hang in there.