Breaking Out Of A Rut

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Why is it that doing something good for yourself, doing something that benefits your health and well being can be difficult? Eating right, exercising, thinking positively, and surrounding yourself with positive people are all ways to improve yourself and can make you happier. In addition, volunteering in the community and having a satisfying job will also make your happier. So why is it that many of us don’t do it? It just goes to show you how easy it is for all of us to be stuck in a rut and fall into a period of depression. There are many people out there in this world that think people with a mental illness can magically become better on their own and that getting rid of their mental illness will happen quickly. How the rest of us wish that were true! Recovery is a long process. It does not happen overnight.

This blog is not just to help me, but to help others. If one person reads this and finds some hope, motivation, and inspiration, I will be happy. It no longer matters to me that my family and friends know what I have been dealing with for so long. If one person gains something positive out of this, it is all good.

One thing I have started doing that I didn’t believe in before is thinking positively. It is said that thinking positive can help you in any situation. I have heard from numerous people, “if you think you can or can’t, you are right.” People who deal with physical illnesses, such as cancer, can live longer just by thinking positively. I have started doing this. Instead of negative thoughts going through my mind, I have begun to think that everything will be okay. I will accomplish what I was put on this Earth to do. Things will improve. Draining out the negative thoughts will not happen overnight, but over time, there will be less negative thinking.

Something else I started doing is volunteering. I have to admit, I can’t always push myself out the door to do it, but I am getting better. I love animals, so I am volunteering at the local animal shelter. Those animals will put a smile on my face any day! Also, I joined our local Lions Club. There are many ways to become involved in your community through a club or an organization. Meeting new people and helping others is the key to feeling better about yourself.

As difficult as it can be for anyone, let alone for someone who has a mental illness, exercise is another key component. I have been lacking in that area for some time now, but I promised myself after Thanksgiving, it is time to get back to exercising. Moving your body in any way for any amount of time will benefit you and your attitude. It is hard to get back into exercise, but what I find for myself is once I do it once, the second time is easier!

Something I thought of last night to improve myself is the Nike Slogan, “Just Do It.” Pushing myself to do certain things takes days, if not weeks. Over time, the thought will become an action and I will “Just Do It.”

There are many ways to help yourself out of a rut or a period of depression. Some people live with it the rest of their lives. Some people have to cope with their mental illness instead of overcoming it. Medication and/or counseling does not help everyone. Some go through this year after year with no end in sight. I am thankful that I feel like I can overcome this. Being the stubborn person that I am, I am determined to overcome it on my own.  I have become my own patient and counselor at the same time! Over time, even if you are not able to overcome your depression, your rut, or work through your mental illness, there are ways to cope with it. It is not easy, I know. I have dealt with this most of my life. It is possible to have a life and cope with your mental illness. It is possible that some people may have to deal with it the rest of their lives. Some people will overcome it. Whatever the case, there is help. There are options. There are ways to make your life better, happier, and more enjoyable!

Insomnia Jeopardy

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Insomnia Jeopardy

I am currently going through a period in my life where I have sleepless nights. For one reason or another, I am not sleeping well. I am tired at night, go to bed, and then I begin to toss and turn for hours. I either get up to write or stay in bed where I eventually fall asleep. I found this image online and had to laugh because the categories across the top are pretty much what is on my mind at night. I have gone through insomnia before and thought I had the issue dealt with, but now it seems to have found its way back to me.

There are so many people that deal with sleepless nights. For me it is because I have a wandering mind. I am not able to settle my mind down at night. So many thoughts and too many things I worry about. Not only have I started to take my own advice about what I write in my own blog posts, but I have also started a journal to record my thoughts. I was one of those girls who kept a journal when I was younger and even had a journal through high school, but eventually I stopped and got rid of them all so no one could ever read them. I figured if it is going to help me sleep at night, settle my mind down, and it might even inspire some story and blog ideas, starting a journal once again is worth a shot. Last night I even started to embrace my sleepless night. The house is quiet and lights are low. It is actually kind of peaceful. I was able to write for an hour and 45 minutes last night before my eyes started to tell me to go to bed.

Worries are not the only thing that is on my mind at night. Blog post ideas come to my mind at night. Story ideas come to my mind at night. My mind is most active at night. That is not always a bad thing as many idea’s seem to find me at night. If you are one that has never been bothered with sleepless nights on an ongoing basis, be thankful. Everyone has experienced a sleepless night or two here and there, but if you don’t have to deal with it a whole lot, you are one of the lucky ones. If you do, maybe start to embrace it like I have. Find something good about it. Something positive always comes out of every situation even if we personally do not know or find out about it. Once you start to embrace a situation and deal with it, you start to accept it and find ways to improve it and move on with your life. Find the good in all situations and your life will be better.

Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

I have spent most of my life worrying and over thinking so many different things that have gone on in my life. I am 35 years old, will be 36 in a few months, and something occurred to me a couple nights ago when I could not sleep. I started to think of things that I would tell my younger self in hopes of my older self to live a better life. It is never too late to better your life. Some people use age as an excuse to not do things. It is never too late to try something different, to think differently, and to improve your life. If you start doing something positive today, it will better your life right away. So here is a list of some things I would tell my younger self in hopes that my younger self would listen so the rest of her life will be better.

1. Stop worrying so much! Worrying is pointless and it drains your energy.

2. Who cares what other people think of you. It only matters what you think of you.

3. Enjoy the moment. Don’t concentrate so much on the past or the future. What will be, will be.

4. A positive attitude can go a long way. Whether you think you can or can not, you are right.

5. Don’t judge others. You don’t know what other people are going through.

6. Pick out the positive in each situation. Don’t dwell on the negative.

7. Learn to let things go. Life doesn’t always go as planned, so let the “not so pleasant things in life” go.

8. Money is important, but not that important.

9. Having a few close friends is better than having no friends at all.

10. Don’t take things for granted.

11. You don’t have to forget, but learn to forgive.

12. Try something new. Get out of your comfort zone and do new things.

13. Exercise and eating right is important, but when you want pizza or a burger, eat it!

14. Accept yourself as you are. God made you for a reason, so don’t change who you are.

15. Family is most important.

Those are just a few things that I have learned over my 35 years of life on this planet. I am sure I could come up with many more, but those are the most important, in no particular order. One never stops learning. Your life keeps evolving. Most people don’t like change, but learn from the changes to improve your life. Life is hard sometimes, but life is worth it.

Faith

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Faith

Came across this on the internet and it is hitting home today. We all have those days where we feel “blah” and I guess today is my day, or shall I say, I guess it has been my month! It is hard to change your course of life and hop on another road in a different direction, especially when other people in this world seem to have it all. As the saying goes, my life has been cloudy lately. I feel like I have lost myself. I feel like I am not living my life, or living it the wrong way. It can be difficult to find your way back after running off course. However, not impossible. Holding onto a little faith is enough to lead you in the right direction and back on the path you are supposed to be on.

Find Your Inner Peace

John 14:27 (New American Bible) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

Have you ever experienced true, inner peace before? How do we as individuals have peace and harmony in our lives while the world is constantly at war? Every time I turn on the news and read the newspaper, there is conflict somewhere between two or more groups of people. That does not even count the conflict, grief, and pain I hear just by word of mouth throughout my own community. With so many of us suffering through grief, pain, and conflict, it is no wonder that very few of us, if any, have found true, inner peace.

Hearing about the civil war in Syria every time I turn on the news made me think about peace in our communities, or lack of peace in our communities. The world is full of violence and heartache and yet, I bet there is someone out there who at one time has experienced peace in their life. However, I am not sure how long that peace lasted for them. Maybe a loved one on their death bed has experienced peace at the end of his or her life. Maybe a person just finding God in their life, has experienced peace at that moment. Maybe parents experiencing the birth of their children, has gone through moments of peace. Unfortunately, as long as we are on this Earth, peace does not last in our life. We have to move on to the next phase of our life with God in Heaven, to experience lasting peace.

I was thinking about my own life today and wondering if I have ever experienced peace, even short lived. Sadly, outside of being in a complete state of rest or sleeping, I have not experienced peace. I am the type of person who is always worrying about something, even if that worry is small and unimportant. I am always thinking back on my past to see how I could have handled things better. I am always looking ahead and thinking what might happen next. Living in the moment is something I have never been able to do. It is no wonder that all that worrying over so many years is doing a toll on my body, mind, and spirit. I started thinking of ways for myself to find peace in my life. No, it won’t last, but it will be a good change of pace to what I have been going through in my life. One thing I started to do a couple months ago is go to church on a regular basis. Now I have been a member of my current church for two years, but like so many people, I would only go on holidays or sadly when a loved one passes away. When I was a kid, church was long and boring. I would even fall asleep as times when I was younger! Now that I am older, I figured I should give it a try once again. Wouldn’t you know I actually enjoyed it! It brings me one hour of peace every week. The second thing I started to do was read the Bible. I bought a new Catholic Bible, a highlighter, and even new pens. I am reading the Bible from cover to cover and marking up the Bible when I feel it is appropriate. This brings me a few moments of peace in my life every day. Is it a coincidence that the two things I started to do to bring me peace has to do with God? I think not.

You don’t have to follow my examples of peace by going to church and reading the Bible. This is not what this blog post is about. I ask you in this world of turmoil, to find a few ways to bring yourself some peace. If you don’t find ways to bring yourself moments of peace here and there, you will struggle each day. Pain, heartache, and grief will be a common thing in your life. It is difficult to avoid being afraid and troubled because everyone experiences that at some point in their life. Taking a few moments each day to not only rest and relax, but to truly experience a few moments of peace and harmony is essential to our daily lives.

“Always realize…

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“Always realize whatever causes you grief or pain makes up the person you are. You make a choice to have a good life or a bad life.”
– April Pinkard

A story on the news caught my eye back in 2008 so much so that I wrote the lady’s name down who the story was about. She said something that has stuck with me since I listened to her story. Her name, April Pinkard. At the time she was 31 years old and went to the doctor’s and her doctor could not find her heartbeat. Can you imagine being at the doctor’s office and your heartbeat can not be found? I would panic. She had such a positive attitude that I had to write down part of what she said when I was listening to her story. She has a rare condition where her heart moved to the other side of her chest. That would be a scarey situation for anyone. I think I would be afraid to do anything with my life if I had this rare condition, but not her. I wonder how she is doing today.

There are some things in our life that we have no control over. Some things will happen, good and bad, that you won’t be able to stop. We have no control over mother nature. We have no control over other people. We have no control over certain situations. Life is going to happen. Why spend the rest of our lives worrying over what will happen tomorrow? Enjoy the moment you are in. Worrying about the next move of others when you have no control of them is pointless. Worrying over certain situations that might happen or could happen is pointless. When we do this, we cause ourselves more pain than really necessary. Let life play out without worrying and wondering what can happen next. If you find yourself in a painful situation, accept what has happened, change what you can, and let the rest go.

Find Joy in the Little Things

Life passes us by so quickly. Whether you are lucky enough to live to 75, 80, 85 or older or your life is cut short sooner, life goes by fast. One minute you are born naked and crying, and the next you are graduating from college and the next you have been married for 25 years and your kids are grown and moving on. We all get caught up in our day to day lives and we are often reminded that life does not always go our way. Your job may not be going well or something goes wrong at work. Your kids are struggling in school, things are stressful at home, your car breaks down at the same time as your furnace, and someone you know becomes ill. At times it can be difficult to find joy in the little things, but it is not impossible.

When life stresses you out, relax in the sunshine.

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Make sure to stop and enjoy the scenery.

ImageEnjoy one of life’s greatest games.

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Enjoy time at the beach.

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Enjoy your favorite drink….or in this case, the actual coffee pot!

SandycoffeepotSurround yourself with pretty flowers.

MackinawTFalls 046There are things we all can do to enjoy life’s simplest pleasures. Wherever you are at, look around you and find joy in where you are. Give thanks for the good things in your life and be grateful for them. Give thanks for the trying times in your life and learn from them. We all are run down by life from time to time, but if we remember to “stop and smell the roses”,  life will be easier.