5 Self care techniques that can help your anxiety

 

   Some anxiety can be really debilitating. I know because I am living with anxiety. Some days, just getting out of bed is a struggle. I also have clinical depression and both of these conditions together really make daily life a struggle. With two kids and a household to manage, I don’t have time to wallow in my mental setbacks. I have learned a few coping techniques and I want to share them with you so that maybe you can use these techniques to push through as well.

1.) Breathe.

  Studies have shown that the simple act of deep breathing helps to relieve anxiety. Fresh oxygen to the brain helps to give your thinking processes good fuel. Sometimes that’s all it takes. So just breathe deep and slow. Everything is going to work out for your good.

2.) Bathing and showering

  I remember when I was younger and my grandmother would say “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” Well, that’s almost true. The simple act of bathing is symbolic of “washing off the day”. It gives you a metaphorical clean slate. Just like every day is a new beginning, So goes a good shower or bath. So wash the day off and start over.

3.) Clean your personal space

  This is another “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” thing. Removing the trash, junk, and clutter around you lends itself to a feeling of having it all together. The act of removing clutter from your personal space also removes clutter from your mind. You also reap the benefits of having a clean and organized space.

4.) Journal

  There are many ways that journals helps your anxiety and mental health. Journaling is a way of weeding through your thoughts and emotions. Having them on paper gives you time to really examine what and how your anxiety is triggered, therefore helping you to cope better in those situations. Not to mention it is a great therapy tool.

5.) schedules and routines

  Having a set schedule and routine is also a great way to combat anxiety. I have routines for everything and every moment of my day is planned out including my leisure time. I know this sounds like a lot but it works for me. Having a schedule keeps me focused and having a routine keeps me on task. I know what I am supposed to be doing and when I am supposed to be doing it. I just re-center myself when I get lost. I also take advantage of decorative planning. This helps me to use my creativity as a coping mechanism.

My life is not perfect by any means but having this five techniques in place already in my life has helped me to battle anxiety and depression greatly. I hope that they can help you too. Feel free to come back and visit my blog for more tips and links to great help and advice. Make sure to subscribe so you never miss a post. Remember to live every day like there is no tomorrow.

Getting out of the Holiday blues

For years I hated the holidays. I’ve always seen the holidays time as full of hurt, and a lot of headache. I have a huge family and I love my family very much. But over the years I’ve tended to separate myself from some of my family because of their negativity and attitudes.

This year I decided to go at the holidays alone and to my surprise I didn’t contract holiday Blues this year. I’ve been spending way more time with my kids. Who’s hilarious, by the way. My kids help to keep me grounded. Sometimes I think if I didn’t have my kids I wouldn’t be as much fun.

So this Thanksgiving, my family and I had Thanksgiving here at home. I cooked all the traditional Thanksgiving food that I love to cook for my family each year. We ate, we talked, we drank, and repeated until we all passed out for the night. I must say it was the most fun that I’ve had with my little family here, my husband, my two kids and his brother who currently lives with us.

There was no drama, no fussing, no stress. And this is how I would like every holiday to go but unfortunately I know it won’t be so, or can it be?

I’ve been working on the rest of the Holiday season and how I would like for it to go. Remember, plans will always change. Leave room for the unexpected. I have delegated certain tasks so that I’m not overwhelmed. Done is always better than perfect.

I’ve opted out of heavy decor this year. I have two little monsters that I will keep busy by letting them make the decorations (that I have strategically located online) and put up the tree. Michael’s craft store has been a real time saver for all of the decor and crafts for kids.

Finally, my menu is simple. Minimum leftovers predicted. I’ll have plenty of time to mingle and celebrate. I’ve also gotten plenty of disposable dishes and pans. Minimum cleaning predicted also. This planning didn’t take long and wasn’t complicated. Mostly clever and common sense. I don’t know why I didn’t think of all this before.

I realized that most of my stress and anxiety associated with the holidays is caused by my constant pursuit of perfection. I’ve been chasing a ghost. Perfection does not exist. I don’t have to impress my family. They could care less about the decorations or our outfits for that matter. They’re just happy to celebrate with us and that is just what the holidays are about. Family.

I wish each and every one of you a happy, safe and blessed holiday season. I hope to see you all in 2019.

Happy holidays!

10 ways to survive the daily chaos of motherhood

Being a wife and mother is a never-ending job. I’m up early and in bed late. I keep the world spinning, food magically appears from nowhere and I make sure the sun rises and sets daily. I keep the catastrophe at bay and the boogieman and I have cultivated a nice friendship over the years. (metaphorically speaking)

I am at the center of everything in my home and everyone is a priority, except me. As much as I love my kids and my husband, I found that I really lost myself taking care of everyone else. The doctors call this post-partum depression. I think that is the wrong term because what i’m talking about happens to every woman at some point and usually it’s due to being overwhelmed with tasks and responsibilities without any depression at all.

Putting everyone and everything before ourselves is our way of coping with the stress and strain of Motherhood. It’s a natural sacrifice that we make that we really shouldn’t. The less we take care of ourselves, the less effective we are at taking care of our children and household. I am guilty of this on so many levels. I have even caught my self neglecting myself for weeks at a time. I am guilty of this. I have dealt with depression and it has drastically gotten better over time. The times that I neglect myself the most are not caused by depression but by a super busy schedule, a sick child and mountains of laundry worse than the Himalayas. I was not sad or emotional when I was neglecting myself. I was trying to get the chaos in order.

Once I caught myself doing this, I got on a mission to improve my world so that this would not happen again. I started getting together a system that helped me to deal with my family, my responsibilities and tasks, as well as myself.

1.) Get a planner 
I know that you have heard this a million times but this is so true. You will have so much on your mind things will get lost in the shuffle. Write them down. Either in an app on your phone, or a paper and pen. I keep a notebook and a planner. I have to write. It gives me the greatest calm and peace to write down not only my tasks for the day but also how I’m feeling. Seeing it on paper can help me to sort out what is just my mind running wild and what is actually happening. Believe me, I have been through the altered reality too many times. Writing things down will clear your mind and get you grounded fast. I have a Happy Planner by Create 365. I decorate and plan in my planner weekly which is a creative outlet for me as well as functional.

Classic Happy Planner: Everyday Essentials

http://www.michaels.com/create-365-the-medium-happy-planner-delicate-garden/10531393.html

2.) Get a plan together 
Once you have your planner in hand, use it. Concentrate on writing down your tasks and to do’s. Prioritize from the most important to the things that can be done later. You will realize, once you make your list, that things are not as overwhelming as they seem. You will gain so much clarity.  I usually do a top 5. After that I do an optional 3. Any more than that and I won’t have room for things that come up all of a sudden. Flexibility is key. Leave room in your schedule for unforeseen events. Give yourself extra time to complete tasks.

3.) Execute
Put your big girl panties on and get to it. You have to focus on what you have in front of you. The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” is true. You have to tackle what you see first. Then move on to the next. Hit your top priority items on your task list. Challenge yourself to get done at least the first 5 without stopping or getting distracted. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you can get done.

4.) Stop multitasking
You shouldn’t multi-task just like you should’t text and drive. It will end badly. If you are cleaning, then clean. If you’re doing laundry then do laundry. You will get tasked completed so much faster if you focus on one thing at a time. You will also have more attention to detail. This means you won’t forget or leave much out.

5.) Schedule everything
Now, let’s get carried away with this one. Some people take this statement literally. When I say schedule everything, I mean make sure to use your time wisely. If you have a block of time in between tasks, this is the perfect time to schedule some down time for yourself. I even schedule showers and baths. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have asked myself if I had taken a shower that day. It may sound ridiculous to some but, it’s absolutely true. Schedule your personal care time too. I even write down my morning and night routines for my skincare. This comes in handy when you get mommy brain and can’t remember anything.

Now, by this time you should at least have a pretty good handle on things. Planning and scheduling should have at least cleared the smoke and let you see things much clearer now. Now that you have a little clarity as far as tasks go the next three will make your life even easier.

6.) Prep ahead of time
My kids clothes and my clothes are laid out ahead of time. Their clothes are organized so that I can grab what I need when I need it. My clothes are organized in the same way. I train my kids to use the same system that I have put in place and explain to them why. They get it. They are also young so their brains are just soaking it all up. This habit took me a while to cultivate and master but my “future self” thanks me all the time. Trust me it’s worth the extra effort.

7.) Get everyone involved
Don’t leave your kids out of the clean up. Get them to help clean up their messes and do laundry whenever possible. Remember, you are raising adults and you want them to be confident and independent. Giving them responsibility and chores little by little instills character. This also gives you a chance to see what they can do and what they can’t. It’s a great learning experience for you and them. You can even make it fun by turning it into a game. Engaging their critical thinking and motor skills which is great for their development. It also lightens the load on you.

8.) Develop a routine
Having a routine is critical. This can make the day go a little smoother but most of all, orderly. An established routine creates order and expectancy. Kids like this because it gives them a sense of security. They know what happens next and what is expected. There is no room left for question. This will also make life easier for you because after the routine is learned, the only thing you have to do is oversee.

9.) Be Consistent
As a mother, tiredness and lack of sleep were my greatest complaint. Establishing the routines talked about earlier has given me a chance to train not only my kids but myself.  I compare it to the metaphor that says “The fish rots from the head.” this is very true. You are the lead person in your household. The group of people you are responsible for respond to you and your leadership. They feed off of your energy. Make sure it is always positive. Being consistent is a positive reinforcement. Even though we don’t feel like it we should for the greater good of our home and family. A little struggle pays off in the end.

10.) Take time to relax and reset
Like I mentioned earlier. I even schedule this time in my planner. I will at least have a day or a few hours to myself to unwind, relax, and reset. You absolutely need to have this time. Whether it be a few minutes or a few hours. Take time to take care of yourself so that you can take care of the ones you love.

I Almost Died

With any major change in life comes some stress. The stress of change can cause us to really freak out most of the time. I know I have damn near gone crazy with all the changes in my life right now. There are a few lessons that I have learned that I think will help some of you who are also going through some type of stress or just dealing with a full plate. Most of these lessons are common sense, but most are ones you didn’t think of. Sometimes our brain is so full of other things that we aren’t really thinking clear. That brings me to my first point:
1.) Just breathe.
This change and the stress that comes with it has not killed you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this, Just take a second and breathe. Assess the situation and calm down, You will get through this. Once you stop and breathe, the fresh oxygen to your brain will help you to think more clearly.
2.) Handle the hard stuff first.
I know we like to do the easy stuff first but, doing the stuff we want to do the least first helps to clear the table for everything else. In essence, if you move the mountain you can see the valley. Get those big, hard to do tasks out of the way and you will be able to breeze through everything else.
3.) Don’t be too proud to ask for help or delegate some tasks.
You are not a superhero. You just can’t do it all by yourself. If you have extra hands that can help, use them. Ask your spouse to do some of the small tasks that take time you can’t spare. Give the kids some chores and make them fun so they don’t even know they’re helping. All those friends and family that says “Call me if you need anything.” give them a ring. Even if they can’t at the moment, at least you know who you can really count on.
4.) No one is coming take away all your stress.
There are no superheros in your future. Don’t expect to be saved. No one is going to do it all for you. You have to do it yourself. No one can read your mind. You have to say that you are having a hard time and need help. You have to attack the situation head on. Face it and get it done.
5.) Self pity is a party of one.
Don’t play the victim. There are people going through more than you. After all, it could be worse. Pick your head up and keep it moving. It can only get better from here.
6.) Stop fighting change.
Like fighting the current of the Mississippi, fighting change will only make you drown. Flow with change and adapt to it. Fighting change will only make you tired. Take this opportunity to grow. It will challenge you to do better and be better.. Life is all about growth and learning. If you refuse to learn, you refuse to grow. Growth is necessary for survival.
7.) Don’t blame anyone for your stress.
It is YOUR stress. That means no one can cause it or stop it but you. You can’t control other people or other situations. You can however, control yourself and how you react to those people and those situation. Change your reaction and you could stop your stress from even occurring in the first place.
8.) Stop complaining.
No one is listening. No one likes a whiner. Complaining and being negative never helps anything. Period. Stop it now. Life and death is in the tongue. You can speak destruction and success into your life. Always be positive. No matter the situation. Rise above negativity.

9.) Put yourself in time out.
 If all else fails, step away. Give yourself some time. After all, this all begins and ends with you. There are people depending on you. You have to take care of yourself. Unhealthy body equals an unhealthy mind. Allow yourself some “me time”. Change and the stress of it can consume us. We have to unplug and unwind sometime. Schedule time for yourself, just like you schedule anything else. If it’s important, you’ll make time.
10.) Stay strong.
Faith is very important. No matter what religion you are, knowing that there is a higher power in control is comforting. Keep your faith. Prayer and meditation works wonders. Keep your head and your heart healthy.
I hope this helps someone. Let me know in the comments below.