STUFF THAT WORKS FOR ME ~ 5.8.18
Yesterday, I mentioned self-care. Today, I’m going to share two things that help me. Small, little, helpful, easy to do type things.
1. I wear a locket with a felt tab inside it that holds and diffuses various scents. My favorite is a combo of peppermint, orange and lemon. It helps me feel more peppy and sharpens my focus.
2. I go outside. Even if I don’t walk miles, just getting outdoors and smelling the grass, watching the sage and rosemary grow, excitedly checking on the peaches and apricots, delighted to see the bumblebees, butterflies and birds dancing here and there…all of this helps me be in the moment. I feel thankful. Blessed. I pray. I come up with ideas for art and writing. I feel like I have time to myself, which is something I very much need for stability.
Do you have a sure fire go-to that helps ground or calm you?
You keep me up all night, sometimes days. This is one of your most effective ways of hurting me, causing despair and feelings of loneliness. Instead of sitting here, discouraged with a headache, I beat you. I studied Psalm 139.
So, better and more accurately worded, God helped me whoop your insomnia curse. One hour at a time, if I must. God is with me.
At the end of the blog entry called Stress/Pain Cycle, I mentioned I would be doing a follow-up entry, this time coming up eith ideas to hopefully prevent, or at least manage, the cycle’s snowball effect somewhat better. I need to figure out a way to prevent the stress the initial inicident causes, such as Fibromyalgia flare-ups and increasing my back pain and arthritic pain. And oh!! The migraines! Additionally, I need to figure out, once I do find myself in the cycle, how to lessen the physical pain I am feeling.
Today the physical pain is somewhat better. That is because I avoided the root problem of what caused this latest cycle. Basically, that’s saying that I hid in my room and didn’t have interaction with my mother. However, as the day wears on, I am starting to feel more more physical pain.
Now once I have the pain, I know that I can use anti-inflammatory gel, medication that has been prescribed to me, heating pads, stretches, and mld exercise. Those things tend to help the physical pain, in addition to employing grounding exercises and prayer. Basically, if I can calm my emotional pain somewhat, then the physical pain gets better. Bottom line, after all, is that it’s all painful. I learned techniques for chronic pain relief at a pain management clinic, such as biofeedback. This part of the cycle I have a better hold on and ideas how to handle it.
The major problem I face is how to manage the stressor/trigger in the first place. This proves more difficult in that my mother, and her numerous needs, lives with me. I need to establish boundaries and try to stick to them. I also need to use the grounding techniques using all five senses and being present in the moment three times a day instead of once. Next step is to speak to my therapist because, as you can see, I need help and advice.
Have you been through similar? Any thoughts/feedback?
Day Three of Depression, worsening, sinking fast. Aching to find stability. What will I do?
First, I won’t stay down. I will get up, no matter how painful. I always have, no matter the emotional and physical toll. No matter the length of time. No matter how t.i.r.e.d.
So, right now, this is what I’m doing. Please note, I am not doing these things because I feel like they will help. Depression is deceitful. It is a liar. I feel like shrugging shoulders and curling into a ball to sleep.
Here’s what’s key for me. I “feel” these emotions. However, I have to rely on my memory, logic and rationale. Must do the things I know will help me work through the depression. That requires a lot of strength. I’m fighting what the depression is telling me, while I agree and believe what it’s saying. That’s tricky, folks! I do believe, however, people with Bipolar Disorder are strong, intelligent and fighters.
So, I go outside. I notice the various green shades of trees, hear the birds sing, 🦆🐦🐤 watch the squirrels run for their lives (previously mentioned birds chasing them from nesting areas), and take in floral smells. 🌻🌹 Basically, a grounding-type walk. Staying in the present. Noticing beauty. Involving all of my senses, much like cooking, or creating art. I snuggle with my cat. I watch an episode of Chrisley Knows Best – can’t watch it without laughing. I listen to audiobooks, a different voice reading to me instead of hearing my voice. I listen to music. 🎵🎧🎶 I do some stretches and PT. I pray, often, in fact, during those walks that I mentioned. 🙏🙏 I use my diffuser with essential oils – orange, citrus, cinnamon and peppermint are my favs for depressed bouts. Colouring, I do some. Super important, I reach out to family and friends. Support is key. Interaction of any kind gets you outside your head, gets you out of your own way.
What happens is simple. I occupy myself until the winter in my head becomes spring. I distract myself while rain gives way to sunshine. I learn while seeds in mud blossom into flowers. Sometimes, these techniques, and many more, simply hang out with me until I feel better. More often than not, they not only help me in the immediate moment, they actually bring about smiles and beauty, all the while helping climb out of depression’s black hole. Is it as simple as – do steps 1, 2, 3 and poof! I’m better? No. But it helps me make it one day at a time.
What helps You? Would you care to share? ✌✌✌
I’m down tonight. I am not 100% certain why. May just be those misfirings in my brain, but I think it is likely due to all the physical pain I’m enduring right now. My feet and the tendonitis and bone spurs. My lower lumbar fused back. Joints suffering with arthritis, and a fibromyalgia flare-up.
So, it’s time to turn to things I know will help me emotionally hold on, rather than give in to this sadness.
A much-loved Bible devotional.
A lovely and inspiring Bible.
Philippians 4:6 This scripture verse helped me make it through my first mental health hospital stay. I love that the best verses in this Bible have a colored pictures and drawings. My husband also bought me a book to color various verses in Psalms, when he gifted me the Bible.
Adore good smelling stuff. Makes me feel pretty, and things start improving. Plus, I think it keeps Bipolar’s stench at bay. 😉
Again with the smell good stuffs. Drop a few drops in a diffuser, shower, laundry… Orange is my first choice. There are tons of pleasant scents. Smell as diffuser fills the air, relax, ground myself, and pray.
Cat toys because the cat and I are about to play fetch. Yep, those are ponytail holders. I throw those, as well as some mouse toys, he jumps, catches them, and brings them back to me. Like I said, fetch.
Richard Parker (yep, tiger in Life of Pi) and I snuggling. He was comforting me in this photo. He hugs.
These are a few things I do, in addition to walking the dogs for a bit, doing chair exercises and stretches, and praying. And I feel better. Sometimes a lot better. Sometimes just a bit. But I gotta keep chipping away it.