Truly Calm

Somewhere, within, is inner peace and calm.

…its not all nonsense, the clouds and the lava stream, although, it is best to observe without judgement, rather than ruminate.

Changing my brain has taken a good couple years of regular therapy and subsequently meditation practice. Last time I was going in rather deep with regard the compulsive part of my grey nut, so I’d like now to post something lighter and uplifting. Here’s some notes i wrote for an imaginary book of mine, regarding mindfulness and acceptance;

Non-judgemental and radical acceptance

Whilst noting during meditation (when i label whatever is going on as a ‘thought’ or ‘feeling’), one of my steps is examining judgements around the subject, once this is in play I can see if there are any judgements I want to change.

So, does this even happen? I have found that it does with acceptance. Its radical acceptance. Recognising the judgemental feelings, which are somewhat involuntary at first, it then helps to let go of judgemental feelings towards ourselves, if we first accept others. I can’t remember where I
read this, but it’s a good shout. So, as I recognise whatever is popping up or taking me away – be it a
thought, emotion or sensation, I can then examine, which is becoming much more fluid, and
then allow it to be there or go if it wants to. Breathe…

Accepting oneself unconditionally is liberating, likewise comparing with or judging others
only creates difficult feelings such as resentment or envy. Sometimes I notice the judgemental feelings in others and sometimes I am correct, but still, what I am doing is the equivalent of feeding obsessions. Or in most people: resisting difficult emotions. Seeking these things out is my own exposure, it helps me feed difficult feelings less, and sit with my feelings. Right now, I can write in my journal, all the thoughts that are popping up, including intense ones from the tsunami, but I don’t need to chase a response. I want to sit with difficult feelings, i want to feel them fully, for as long as it takes to reach acceptance and calm.

Feelings are subjective no matter how real they feel. Am I right? It is likely. For life in general, I do now strive to have a clear sight of my values, and organically create goals that support those values. As recent as this may be, this is something that is consistent with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT);
“..Even the most privileged of human life inevitably involves significant pain” -Russ Harris


Depending on the situation, ‘positive thinking’ can be somewhat tedious in my opinion, because
it may involve living in denial of your real experiences, coming from my own experiences
with this. Thoughts and feelings are things that happen to you, but they are not you. (I wonder
what Thich Nhat Hanh’s take is on this). Nevertheless, we have to feel them fully because we
cannot control what pops up in our heads: good, bad, unpleasant, judgemental, violent,
pleasurable, insane. What do I mean exactly, what I am touching upon, i believe is unconditional self-
acceptance. 
 ‘’To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to
accept yourself.’’ 
– Thich Nhat Hanh


How do we ‘accept’ then? Well, we ‘recognise resistance’; This is recommended by things such as the Headspace meditation platform by Puddicombe. It is difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first. Therefore, what I am talking about is we have to acknowledge the core feelings. In episodes of severe doubt, you may find yourself wanting to perform compulsions for temporary relief. Sorry, I’m mentioning OCD here which I wasn’t going to in this one, but hey its OK I just wish to explain how difficult feelings make us feel. So for everyone else, this is similar to the feeling of needing a cigarette notably because something is making you feel depressed or anxious.

Once unconditional self acceptance is going on, then, everything can fall to a riverbed, we can reflect clearly, and understanding can prevail.

Sometimes I am conflicted and trying to figure out how to get past my mental blocks. There are quotes I write out too. I recite 10 mindfulness teachings I found useful. It’s easier to understand them if I first do a some meditation, as the mind naturally calms and quietens creating more space for understanding. I take my alone time seriously now, besides, my new meditation chair is neat.

My mental blocks, they seem to be caused by conflict. Perhaps it is where my illness was. Whatever the blocks were, I seem to be falling into reality a bit more, a bit more with it and a bit more
affected by things, in a wholesome way as opposed to a panicky or at times disturbing way.
Welcome, this will make more sense as we go. Light me up a victory dance.

So this acceptance i speak of, it seems to take time to realise and feel, as does relief from anxiety. The brain won’t change overnight. But what i want is to realise i can be totally at peace, at times, on my own, whatever i am doing. Acceptance must play a big role in this. Never feel conflicted again, which is one way of viewing everything. I hope i can continue to cultivate this kind of mind, changing my mind, and go about my day. No conflicts. This is the perfect time for me to write this, as i am on the outskirts of recovery (I have been for some time, with the odd relapse).

If we think about it, what I call ‘no conflict(s)’ is part of what’s involved in cultivating a non-judgemental mind, which, is what mindfulness is all about. So let’s pretend I am ruminating on the most disastrous disaster ever and beating myself up for it. I chose to say ‘OK, maybe its true, maybe I’m a terrible person and all of these bad things have happened’, but you know what, I’m not going to live my life in constant conflict, I’m going to be at peace with myself unconditionally. This is the only way i can branch out and be calm. It’s a limitless journey but one that will be fulfilling.



For The First Time

Happy to join the Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog!

                As I join this blog I am going through a relatively good time with my mental illness, I am learning what it takes to nurture mental health as I prepare for a course of study. Self-care is important, and so is understanding what is going on up there in my grey nut.

So I want to feel feelings fully and choose not to respond, then they need not stick around. What am I on about, how do we feel fully? I am not sure it is possible to explain… we can give them a location, we can note them, we can ‘hold them in awareness’, perhaps all of these; it is something that has improved with time.

Constant themes are not my obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) anymore, more so every doubt or emotion is exacerbated. Usually a sufferer has one of around thirteen themes, such as sexuality, harm, relationship, inappropriate or disgusting ideas (which are not a reflection of our true self – the opposite), existential, contamination… you may have read about some of them before. Compulsions on their own is possible, that is what non-sufferers think OCD is; counting, checking, tapping, becoming obsessional for no reason right? But that is not so common, having compulsions on their own. A compulsion is usually an immediate response to the constant distress and torment caused by obsessions. I had a few of these obsessions. But all I get now are periods of intense doubt, where any doubt can take over and ‘guilt’ gets sprayed around in the storm.  

A compulsion for me is a ‘mental argument’ and less intensely ‘rumination’: the chasing of an uncertainty or a response to the exacerbated guilt (the emotion of guilt being a red herring in this disorder). 

Happiness only comes about when we are not chasing it. As I write I am slightly less overpowered than usual, slightly less blocked, and slightly excited in this. If I feel feelings as if it were the first time, every time, then I will likely let go of judgemental feelings that fly around everything. Learning through experience that if we chase pleasure or even happiness, the process is in fact not a happy one, and we become locked in a never-ending pursuit.  Happiness is for the journey, it is something that arises itself from calm, and not chasing. I found antidotes to core feelings, through meditation, which will prove useful, if I recite them in a non-compulsive way, for the first time every time. 

When a thought or idea preoccupies the mind constantly for more than an hour a day in a way that causes constant distress and anxiety, it is called an obsession. Compulsions are the brains’ attempt at relief, but the relief is short lived, and they push us deeper into a contradiction, and deeper into the lava stream. Exposure-response prevention (ERP) therapy is what desensitises us to obsessions by formulating exposures to purposefully trigger ourselves whilst learning not to respond with a compulsion.

OCD, it has been known as the ‘doubt disease’ and ‘guilt disorder’ by many a therapist.

Each time I meditate now is for the first time, every time.  Zen Buddhists call this ‘beginner’s mind’. As I adapt mindfulness principles to my own condition, I can teach the brain not to hold on to obsessions (by not responding to them with a compulsion) notably because they are new every time, and support the idea that we do not have to respond but when I do, apply non-judgemental awareness and cultivate compassion towards myself. Even if the part of the brain that is keeping things around: the thalamus, amygdala or whichever else it may be, is troublesome, it needs to be sat-with, given tea, not fed but befriended.

Clarity.

This is a two part post: The next part is scheduled to be posted tomorrow.

I want to start off by saying that I voluntarily see my psych doc weekly because I need a lot of accountability regarding my medication. It is a personal choice and in no way does it reflect my dedication to my mental health. I also have a therapist that I see biweekly. I am in no way manic and this is not a manic episode and it is not religious mania. I have been on a spiritual exploration for a few years now.

I always said that I was an atheist, and then I realized what an atheist is and I am not that. Then I said I was agnostic. I told people that I am too selfish to sit and learn about a particular faith to claim one. People really respected that and I meant it, but I wasn’t agnostic. I believed in a God, I just didn’t know which one. I prayed to a God. My God. It didn’t matter. I knew that I had no true control in my life. I wasn’t an accident. The world is bigger than me.

Then I started finding myself longing to be like a lot of people who emulate Jesus. I wanted something to be passionate about and to continue learning about. I wanted a higher power that I could name and a way to get to know Him. I turned to the Bible. Turns out it is literally thousands of pages. Where would I start? Would I understand it? Will it capture my attention or overwhelm me and I quit?

I tried a few bible studies and I completed maybe 3 of them. I tried and quit several. I really wanted a starting point, a place to get a foundation for the rest of my learning. I joined a small group so I could dive into the Bible and its meaning with an intimate group. It was amazing, and then I felt called out about being the only single person in the room. I didn’t go back. Then I started googling “what the Bible had to say about….” and reading from there.

I was having a really tough time with my sister. We were going back and forth about everything it seemed. Who is cleaning more, who is chipping in more, you name it. It was causing a huge rift. we smoothed it over but I still feel this tension in the air. Like she is waiting for the shoe to drop. It is familiar because that is how I felt when I had to move back in with them. It is strange to be on the other side and needing to forgive. This is the first time it occurred to me to turn to the Bible first. So I googled, “the Bible and forgiveness” and “biblical stories about forgiveness”. It returned wonderful scripture. I then wrote some of it down. Once I reviewed what I had found, I picked out some of my favorites. I noticed a lot of them were from the book of Matthew. I found myself emerged in this story that finally told me the ins and outs of how Jesus came to be. It has all kinda tumbled from there. I think I pick up my bible at least every other day now. I still am not completely independent. I still reach for the internet for a starting point, but I still read from there. I just feel better. I feel like I am in love with learning and also seeking comfort and guidance. It really calms me. I started to wonder if maybe that calm can be obtained through meditation and manifestation. I believe in manifestation. Maybe it is the positivity that it exudes or the feeling of influence it provides. Either way it feels like I accomplished something.

So I started looking into meditation and homeopathic ways of treatments or guidance.

(continued in next post)

Living with Bipolar: Tools for Success

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It’s been three years since I was officially diagnosed as having Bipolar 1 with mixed episodes.  The last three years consisted of numerous ups and downs, and many lessons learned.  Through the time there have been countless therapy sessions and psychiatry appointments, sleepless nights and sleep filled days.  Days of crying without ceasing as well as weeks feeling so numb I was certain that I would never feel another emotion again in my life.  Needless to say, I have been all over the map.

Looking back, I can see that I have learned an abundance.  I have been privileged to attend two vastly different treatment programs, one in mid 2016 and one recently in late 2018.  As well as spending hours upon hours in weekly therapy sessions.  We have worked through adjusting medication for the bi polar as well as adjusting my hormones, the combination being an exhausting battle.

During this time, I have been given many gifts.  The gifts have been in the form of talking, crying, yelling and there’s been quite a bit of cursing.  A huge gift that has been given to me is the gift of being given tools.  Through my sessions I have been taught how to use new and different skills that have allowed me to process my thoughts, emotions and feelings and have allowed me to heal, forgive and in some cases forget (and I never thought that would ever happen).  I have learned to breathe, to pause, to allow things to bubble up and then calmly allow them to simmer back down.  And in each lesson, focus on the gift that I am being given, the healing, the warmth, the peace and the calm.  It’s been absolutely the most transformational events of my life.

I wanted to share with you some of the tools that I have learned to use that allow me to better manage the diagnosis’ that I was given and what have helped free me from the captivity that had been keeping me in bondage for oh so many years.  With sharing, I hope that you are able to use one, or perhaps two of the items and migrate them into your life and begin to see improvements like I have.  As with anything, please always talk with your doctor before making a change to your daily routine.  I am not a doctor, I am a regular person simply sharing what has worked for me.

Reciting Three Positives Each Day

  • At the conclusion of each day, as a family, we share three positives that occurred during the day and expand about how it affected us. I have found that by doing this activity my brain stays on the positives of each day and I do not allow negativity to permeate my brain.

Meditating

  • I use the app “Calm” on my iPhone and use the daily calm feature as this provides me with ten or so minutes of relaxation and meditation. A time to destress from the day I had as well as regain my positive, balanced mindset.

Mindfulness Practice

  • I am currently enrolled in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Class where I am learning how to utilize mindfulness as a way to control and decrease my stress. The class and it’s teaching is assisting me in adding another tool in my tool box in managing my mental health.

Yoga/Mindful Movement

  • Incorporating the practice of yoga and mindful movement (a slower version of yoga) has helped me in slowing down and spending time caring for my body. Spending time connecting with my body has allowed me to appreciate my body for what it is and to eliminate the frustrations I have for what it isn’t or for what I may lack as result of the mental illness.  The stretching and movements as part of the practices provides much needed fluidity and releases tension and pain as well as increases mental clarity.

Happy Thoughts/Affirmation Jar

  • I make happy thoughts/affirmation jar which brings me much joy as I love to craft as I view this as a way of spending time in self-care. Plus, spending time focusing on positive mantras forces my brain to stay in that place of positivity and therefore eliminates the time that is available to focus on anything negative

Exercise

  • A walk around the block, a hike along a trail on a mountain or thirty minutes on the elliptical at the gym are all things that I do to take care of my physical health. I may not go as often as I would want to, but I try to go once a week as a way of taking care of my mental, physical and emotional health.

Reading

  • Currently, I struggle to sit down and have my nose in a book, so I rely on audio books that I listen to while laying down resting or while commuting during the week. The books that I choose to listen to are those that are uplifting and motivating.

Hobbies

  • I have found that having hobbies is an amazing way to increase the time that I spend in self-care. My hobbies include writing, crafting, cooking, baking, photography and hiking.  I find that I can do all items alone, for the days when I need alone time, or with others, for the days when I want to spend time with others, and all items that are produced are shareable, which is a way I show my love to others.  I have found that engaging in my hobbies helps bring joy and happiness into my life, and also helps me feel like I have grand purpose and value.

I hope that these tools are ones that you are able to incorporate into your toolbox and they can help benefit you in ways like they have positively benefited me and my life.

Cupcakes and Sprinkles,

Bella~

http://www.bellasbabbles.com

Find the Courage to Forgive Yourself

The concept of forgiveness should not only extend to those around you, but also within you. Mind. Blown. This was an eye-opening concept when I truly thought about it, and the same reason I started with the idea of forgiving yourself as my first official post on my journey to happy.

I wrote this post a year ago when I set out on my journey to find my purpose or my reason to write and my path to happiness, before I quit for the fourth time, and started again a month ago. I wanted to share because its a concept I believe we all forget sometimes, but is so very important in order to find the answers we seek. 

The greatest act of courage is to be & own all that you are. Without apology. Without excuses & without any masks to cover the truth of who you truly are. – Unknown

You hear it all the time, whether it be in self-help books, spiritual seminars or inspirational stories — the power of forgiveness, and how it can set you free. For so long, when I heard these words, my mind immediately went to those who had hurt me in some way or another, and how forgiving them would heal me. Not until recently, after diving into all the spiritual and inspirational books I could get my hands, did I realize I was missing something so obvious if it were a snake it would have bit me.

The concept of forgiveness should not only extend to those around you, but also within you. Mind. Blown. This was an eye-opening concept when I truly thought about it, and the same reason I started with the idea of forgiving yourself as my first official post on my journey to happiness.

There are so many things I want to share that I struggled for a few days trying to determine what the subject of my next post would be. My head was swimming with ideas, but the concept of self-forgiveness kept nagging at me. I finally understood why. To begin any journey, whatever it may be, you must forgive the past to move forward. The fact is though, those words can be so over-stated that they become background noise. You see it and hear it in memes, affirmations and posts all around social media, but what does it really mean? Forgive your past to move on to the future. Ok. Done — If only it were that easy.

To truly forgive yourself, it is necessary to dig deep and probably face some truths you’ve been trying to avoid. You will need to let go of the guilt kept so close to your heart that sometimes you forget it’s even there. You know, that guilt that tricks you into believing you don’t deserve to be happy. For me, this was a very scary concept to face.

My past was something I never dealt with on that level. I mean, I looked back on it, and I acknowledged it, and even blamed a lot of people for it, but never really faced it internally. I never allowed myself to own it so I could let it go. Among many reasons, my heavy guilt mostly came from what I felt I put my children through. Two divorces were hard enough, but I moved my daughter 10 times by the time she was ten, and my son 8 times and he turns twelve this year.

I’m not proud of these stats, and even though I did, and still do believe, those moves were necessary for our future, that guilt halted any belief in the possibility of happiness without me even realizing it.  Subconsciously, I had convinced myself that someone who could do what I did, whether it be for a good reason or not, should not be allowed happiness or an opportunity to succeed. Because these thoughts were subconscious and based on the belief that other people’s judgment of me is what mattered, I would consistently convince myself that it was those people who determined my truth, and only if they would understand and except me for my decisions, then all would be ok. I lived like that every day.

It wasn’t until I decided it was time to get real about finding my purpose/path in this amazing life, did I realize that the I had to give myself a break. It was time for me to stop the smoke and mirrors and face my past and my decisions, own them, and then forgive myself for being human. Then, Let It Go.

So where do I start and how do I let go of something I’ve held onto every day of my life? It wasn’t easy, and I won’t lie, it’s an ongoing process that I work on consistently. For me, I began the forgiveness process when I recognized the guilt and pinpointed what it was I was truly feeling and why. I did this by practicing meditation and self-reflection. Once I determined that there was guilt and where it came from, I journaled it, I put it on paper so I could see it, I even cried as read it back to myself, as that guilt can run deep to your core, and then I tore that shit up, and I let it go.

After physically and mentally letting it go, I made a commitment that I would be more gentle with myself, I would allow myself to feel, and as hard as it may be for me because it is so engrained, let the judgment of others run off me like rain.

I had to learn to love myself, for all of who I was, and who I now am. Although some days are harder than others, I practice this commitment Every Day, and it has made a tremendous difference in my life. I am lighter, happier, and this piece of the puzzle has helped me gain the confidence to write this blog. It takes remarkable courage to face your past and your guilt, and it takes even more strength to let it go, but it is an extremely important and necessary step to find your true happy.

No matter what your inner thoughts believe, no matter what past you may have lived, no matter what you may think others will think because of who you once were, YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY. Repeat that to yourself, repeat it as many times as it takes for you to believe it, YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY.  Holding on to the guilt of your past will drain you and your spirit, blocking the ability to have real joy in your life, so give yourself a break, be gentle, learn to love your whole self and let go. You will find that the door will swing open to incredible possibilities.

Much love,

Lisa

Lexel

The Cure for Depression: Meditate, Pray, Journal, etc.

Welcome to suggestion #12 on curing depression. I’ve got a word for you fellow depressors: Mindfulness.

Have you heard that one lately? I don’t even social media that much since realizing it contributed an unhealthy amount to my negative self-image and my -sorry; rambling. I don’t get around much, and even I saw that word everywhere.

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I think it means being full of yourself, right?

Mindfulness is meant to be synonymous with introspection, self-awareness, inner peace, and self-acceptance. It’s a calming state of mind similar to where one gets with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but with more calming and less control.

In fact, CBT is the more-chosen recommendation of professionals at the moment. We mental types can get a little crazy when we meditate incorrectly. Who knew?

Anyway…. why practice mindfulness?

A calm mindset in which we have learned to meet and release negative situations and impulses is very beneficial. This mindset reduces stress, keeps us healthier physically, tends to decrease depressive thoughts, helps when we feel bullied or belittled, improves learning, and gives us a general resilience to negative life situations.

Sounds great, right?

Let’s get some stretch pants on, then, and get ready to lotus right into it. Here are the top ways to get yourself mindful:

  1. Meditation.
    Set aside just a few minutes around the same time each day for a little calm introspection. Yes, you can sit cross-legged and hum if it’ll make you laugh. Then, you’ll need to get a tad serious for any inner peace type moments. I also recommend calm music and limited distractions.
    A very important warning I found online is that meditation can have a dark side. If you’re going to look into yourself, do it with guidance (like with the directions of a psychologist). If you’re extremely depressive and want to go 24 hours into deep meditative prayer, get professional instruction first. I have many addictive habits and negative thoughts, so learning that we can actually go a bit haywire delving into our psychosis didn’t surprise me all that much.
    A peaceful reconnection with ourselves for a few simple minutes each day, however, is great.
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  2. Prayer
    I grew up in an organized religion that I am still a part of. We were taught to pray daily. From this, I know both the positive sides (divine help, meditative benefits, divine worth, etc.) and the negative ones (anxiety, trust issues, etc.).
    Thing is, I’ve been reading about a lot of non-religious people finding some suspiciously-religious results from their definition of praying. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in Eat, Pray, Love about writing to herself in a journal but that it wasn’t herself who answered. Whilst binge-listening to TED Talks, I heard a woman describe coincidental inspirational thoughts and events that led her to positive directions in her life.
    Prayer can work. Perhaps like the meditation, do it in a small, beneficial amounts -maybe even with guidance.
  3. Journaling
    “But, I’m not a writer…” “But, someone might see….” “But, but..” as your grandmother might say, “Buts belong in ashtrays, sonny!” Who cares about your skill as a writer? Just burn the journals when you’re done if you want. Journaling is for YOU.
    Despite the technically-advanced society we live in, consider an actual journal with actual paper and pencil or pen. We’re still very primal and tactile homo sapiens so the behavior of actual writing can be therapeutic.
    What should you write about? How about: guided CBT strategies you and your paid friend are working on, positive thoughts you had, goals for the day, hopes, dreams, and dark poetry …that ends with an inspirational message.
  4. Yoga
    When I think of yoga, I think impossible stretches and smug people with long hair and smoothies made from grass. Yoga doesn’t have to be that way, however. The wonderful world of online videos gives us simple stretches to do in your jeans, advanced positions you need to work up to, and even quick morning routines.
    It’s the marriage of meditation and exercise, so may be the perfect solution if you just want to get this mindfulness crap out of the the way quickly.
  5. Other things
    Like: Self-massage, visualization, rhythmic exercise, progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing.
    Depression is the continual weather forecast of cloudy skies with scattered showers (in terms of hygiene and crying fits). Most calming activities that break us into relaxation and positive self-awareness are good. They’ll provide a sunbeam, or a full-on clearing of gray matter.

As always, start small and consider working with your doctor and/or counselor for any of these suggestions. Pay attention to how your body responds to each relaxation technique. You may not respond the way 75% of case studies do and it’s super important to do what does work.

Use your inner voice to channel light against the darkness of depression, young Care Bear. You can do it.

Namaste.

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Photo credits:
Lesly Juarez
Le Minh Phuong
Jacob Postuma

The Cure for Depression: A Daily Routine

Aw, crap. It’s morning.

Let’s roll out of bed after not sleeping well, glare at our alarm, blame everyone in the world for how terrible we feel, and stalk off to the bathroom to read our phone get ready.

With a winning morning routine like that nearly every day, why are we confused when the days continue to suck?

Did anyone ever watch The Lego Movie? D’ya remember that Emmett had an instruction book literally subtitled: “The instructions to fit in, have everybody like you, and always be happy!”? We, the viewing audience, laughed as Emmett breathed deeply, greeted the day, ate, exercised, showered, and even said, “Hello,” to all the cat lady’s pets.

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In true exciting story form, the film suggested that Emmett’s real, interesting life began once those stupid instructions blew away. Sorry; but this is not how life works.

Life is really long, and we need to want to live it.

Following a routine like Emmett does is not bad. Routine is not a swear word. It’s actually a magic formula, far more magical than Expecto Patronum or even Avada Kedavra. A routine gives us a little, workable guide for getting through our foggy cloud of negativity and hopelessness.

And, you’re following a routine as we speak. It just may not be a good one.

So! *rubs hands together eagerly* Let’s get started on following one that is good. Here’s a sample morning that I threw together:

  1. Wake up, preferably early.
    Yep, we’re starting there. You already blew the early-to-bed thing. Plus, if we start with bedtime, you’ll be like me and procrastinate starting a routine until you can finally get to sleep before midnight -so we’ll get started, like, NEVER.
  2. Tell yourself you love you.
    This is not vain, it’s Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It’s good for you; and you are worth it, you beautiful/handsome person.
  3. Do something active.
    If you are following my advice to exercise daily, this may be the time to grab those workout clothes you set right by the bed.
    OR, to not stress you out at all, just do a little stretching. L’internet has loads of simple yoga day-greeting moves that only take a few minutes.
  4. Eat food or get ready for the day.
    I am the only woman in a house of males (all family, don’t worry), so I have to get dressed pretty much right away. For you, though, maybe you can slouch over to the toaster in your skivvies. Whatever; just go. Keep moving.
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  5. Whatever you eat, make it healthy.
    Healthy also doesn’t need to be a bad word. Toast is healthy, at least compared to a breakfast of peanut M&Ms you found behind the couch cushion when you sat down to read your phone instead of stretching.
  6. Shower and/or get dressed.
    Just do it. Don’t give yourself time to think, What am I getting dressed for? Life is…. Ending that sentence is never a good idea for a depressive mindset. Like I said, keep going.
  7. Take your meds, if you do that.
    I don’t know your dosing schedule, but most are taken after a meal and in the first part of the day.
  8. Go somewhere.
    Yes, to your computer chair to check into a freelance job is “somewhere.” I know that some of us are recluses by choice and/or mental condition. If you can get outside to at least stand on the porch and watch the sun, please do.
    Otherwise, I highly recommend getting completely out of the house. Go on a walk, pick up groceries, visit a friend, see a museum, or go to work if you’re employed.

Obviously, this routine is not a hard-and-fast rule. If you decide to pack a lunch in between steps 7 and 8 I won’t leap through your screen and slap you. I mean, you gotta eat lunch, too. I understand.

Still, it’s a good format. Use it like a foundation, something to plagiarize completely for yourself and adjust according to your personal flair.

In terms of the rest of your day, I feel that people’s schedules vary too widely to tailor as much as I did above. If you work, the day’s pretty much planned out for you because you have to do that. If you’re at home, set up activities similar to the morning one.

The main idea is to have assigned tasks; to keep moving.

Depression loves to settle on us like a putrid cloud. We let it. Making life pointless and then dwelling on the pointlessness of life is a vicious circle, but a daily routine will help break you out of that.

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Now, if you’re still with me, you may be wondering about a nighttime routine. I mentioned this in a previous article on sleep, so I don’t want to bore anybody. That, and I’ve exceeded my morning routine writing time. If I wait much longer, I’ll finish the rest of the chocolate almonds and will somehow decide to not exercise due to post-sugar crash.

Don’t get caught up in writing the perfect routine. Use mine for now; I gave you permission. As you follow it, you can slowly change to what works better for you and your lifestyle and work schedule.

You can do it, you beautiful/handsome person you.

Photo Credits:
Wikia
Deryn Macey
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