I made something for you – with spring coming up soon and everyone in a panic over this COVID-19 virus spreading – here are a few things you can do for self care. I hope you enjoy!
I made something for you – with spring coming up soon and everyone in a panic over this COVID-19 virus spreading – here are a few things you can do for self care. I hope you enjoy!
When Valentine’s Day comes up, you sometimes worry about what to do for your significant other. You may want to do something nice, but if you’re strapped for cash, then it can be even more difficult to figure out what you will get your significant other. The important thing to remember is that Valentine’s Day is not about the gifts that you give to your significant other.
Here are some ideas as to what you can do for a Valentine’s Day date if you don’t have a lot of money.
There is no gift that won’t be appreciated by your significant other. Whatever you choose to do for them for Valentine’s Day, let it come directly from your heart. Just enjoy each other’s company. It shouldn’t be about the gifts. Being together is the best part about Valentine’s day.
Lexie Wohler is a repeat guest blogger on The Unsanity and you can find her numerous other posts through my website. ❤
Is it possible to live a simple life, given the velocity that life careens through the cosmos these days? A life that gives you room to breathe and ultimately to live life on your own terms. Not necessarily life as the result of ditching everything and living off-grid in a self-hewed cabin in the wilderness of northern Ontario, but a life regardless of where you are, that in all intense purposes is “simple.”
How many of us are desperately seeking this kind of quiet change? A major hurdle to overcoming this pilgrimage of living “simple” is the concept of “living simpler”. Sadly, this is pretty much polar opposite to the world as we know it.
This comes as no huge shock, but we live a crazy, and insanely busy time.
What defies logic is; although we bemoan and complain about how insane it all is, when we flip the coin over we find ourselves glorifying busy and all the insaneness.
We extoll with our friends and colleagues on how many hours we can work. All of which goes hand in hand with how little sleep we need to work all those hours. At the expense of friends, family and relationships in general, we glue our noses to computer screens or our smartphones, using each precious second we can find. We become addicted to the “likes” and “comments” hoping they will inject a level of validation into what can be a somewhat superficial and sad commentary of our affairs.
Like sitting around a poker table, we raise the stakes higher and higher. We take on more commitments. Our jobs demand more and more of us, to produce greater outputs, meaning longer hours and even more commitments. We are driven to do more and, yes, buy more. Many people abuse themselves with drugs and/or alcohol in an out of control attempt to get distracted from the insaneness until they are anesthetized into dreamland and stressed beyond human comprehension.
Okay, that might be a stretch for some, but it certainly is the reality for many. But, granted it is tough.
Many of us were raised in environments where achievements and the pursuit of wanting more is hard-wired into our DNA. So, there is never enough and there is always more to be had. We push more and more to get further ahead. To be better than last year, striving for a better and more prestigious title at work. And always lurking out there somewhere, like a northern pike circling the shallow water for his next meal, is the lure of more money. We believe “money” to be the answer to all our troubles and strife. Believing that more money will buy us the peace, happiness and a simpler life we have so longed for.
What might happen though, if we decided to take a bit of side-step?
To strategically work on leaving the craziness and insaneness behind, and to go for a life that was much simpler in its complexity?
Is it even possible?
Let’s make the assumption that it is. If so, what might a less simple existence even look like?
Again, I’m not suggesting or promoting heading off to a northern Ontario wood-lot deep in the boreal forests anywhere north of Manitouwadge and hand whacking a tiny cabin together with nothing more than an axe, grit and determination. Although, if that’s what you think it takes, more power to you!
Like I do, most of us live in the real world and we have real-world commitments. It is those commitments that require us to live in the real world. The reality we see each day when we open the front door.
How can we be in this world (the crazy and insanely hectic one), but move towards living simpler? How to get out of the “race” and to step away from the busyness, whether self-imposed or not. How can I/we slow things down, while fulfilling our purpose, doing great work and living a wonderful life?
Creating and living a much simpler life is all about breathing.
Establishing space through cutting or scaling back gives you space to breathe.
Doing more and having more doesn’t lead to happiness and fulfillment. In fact, the opposite is true. It’s about finding joy in the simple things, and being content with solitude, quiet, contemplation and savoring the moment.
All of the stress, the irritations, the dissatisfaction, and disappointments; all the craziness and rushing around; we created all of it. So, whether you like it or not, we are our own worst enemy. Every one of those things we created in our own minds. We made those decisions and we created these with attachments in our heads. By letting go, we can relax and live more simply.
Get rid of “stuff.”
When we can get rid of “stuff” and become less attached, a couple of things can happen. If you sell some of the “tangible stuff”, you’ll have a bit of cash in your hand and most significantly, getting rid of clutter can result in these benefits:
Might as well blurt it out there – “social media is the scourge of today.” Okay, it might not be “the scourge of today,” but it rates right up there.
There is no getting around it, we are addicted to those little electronic devices. Our phone, Ipads, computers and all that they deliver – we can never get enough. We check our FB feeds to see how many likes did that post get. We upload a picture of our dinner on Instagram and then head over and update our life on Twitter. Each time we “just check for a second,” a wee tiny blast of dopamine let’s loose in our brains and we become more and more addicted.
For too many of us, it’s insanely hard to stop.
In search of making our lives simpler, cutting back on social media time is an excellent element in our quest. In checking to see who’s doing what and who said what, we waste time and energy. Sadly, we get stuck in a trap of comparing ourselves with “influencers” and others on social media, which over time can erode our confidence and takes away the power we have within us as individuals.
Less screen time equates to more breathing time and space.
How many feel that their lives and activities need to be complex. In that, complex equates to better. Often, that includes a cycle of “more complex and better” as time moves along. Yesterday’s complex and better doesn’t cut it today.
Striving towards a life that is simpler means looking inside of us, deep inside of us to discover those simple joys and activities in life.
For me, those include writing/blogging, reading and discovering new things; as well as the outdoors; including hiking and walking. Most importantly, spending time with Lynn, while she captures all of this with her photography skills and passion.
When we downsized our home after our daughter left for college, we gave more stuff away than I can remember. And when I say downsize I mean downsize… to a 700 square foot two bedroom home.
When our lives become focused on the simple things you love doing, life suddenly becomes simpler.
Less clutter; less stuff; less worry.
Most of us are not very clear about what we want. How many of us see a post on social media of something really neat or exciting and we become obsessed about doing whatever that was. Next thing you know, we find ourselves heading in a new and totally different direction.
When someone invites us out, we instantly say, yes. Why? Because we’re “yes people” or “people pleasers.” We simply cannot say no.
Because we can never say no, our lives and schedules get stretched to the breaking point. There’s never enough time left for the things that are most important to us.
No is not a bad word.
What if we worked really hard on those things in our existence that held the most and dearest value to us? Saying, “yes” to those things and “no” to the other stuff. If we knew what we wanted to create and the direction we want our lives to head in, we could say yes to these things, and no to everything else.
Saying no to more things would simplify our lives. No is not a bad word!
Have you ever just sat back and did nothing for a day? Just hung loose and did NOTHING. No need to feel that the day had been wasted if something had not been accomplished.
We all need idle time. Time built in to sit and watch the clouds drift by on a warm summer’s afternoon. A time that is free to do nothing.
Many people feel the need to have every waking moment filled with activities and the need to accomplish so much, each and every day. The reality is we need that “down time” to rejuvenate ourselves…..to meditate; to think; to reflect.
Having that time to do nothing and just “be you” helps to foster and create contentment with life.
When working towards achieving a simpler life, at some point along the way it will become clear to you which things in your life are no longer in alignment with your values.
Part of living more simply will help you identify those unnecessary aspects of your daily life. It might be less FB and social media time, or it might be areas in your life that need significant review and thought. This could be your job; friendships; where you live; belongings (getting rid of things) or anything else that just doesn’t line up with your simpler existence.
So, is it even possible?
Yes, it is possible and like much of life, it comes down to a decision. We are the only ones who can decide if we want our lives to be less hectic and more simple in existence.
It doesn’t mean packing up and living in a tiny cabin out in the hinterlands cut off from everything. It’s about making priorities; figuring out what we want our lives to look like and then acting on those things to accomplish it.
Something tells me that as time marches on, life will become more and more complex, with greater demands on our time. Perhaps now is your moment to re-evaluate where you are… where you’re headed. To start now and simplify your life to create something that gives you room to breathe and room to live!
I am so happy to be back doing a guest post series for Koral! Thank you so much for this chance.
I’m Stephanie from A Red Hair Girl. In January I wrote a post for Koral that gave you some background about my mental health issues. Then I went on to explain three ways I helped myself with my mental health.
First I admitted to myself I had a problem and that I needed help. Second I told a few people that I felt comfortable telling (my husband, my mom, sisters, and my OBGYN). And third I made the scary phone call to a therapist to get up an appointment. It is worth the read. I hope it will give you courage to seek out the help you need if you are struggling.
At the end of the post I mentioned I had a post about the things I have learned in therapy that have helped me. Welp, I had good intentions but I never got around to writing it… AHHH! I’m sorry!
I thought this mini-series would be the perfect chance for me to tell you about 4 things that I learned from my therapist. And tell you why they have helped me. I’m super excited!
So, let’s get right to it! This post is all about exercise! Here are 4 reasons why exercise is great for your mental health. I hope that by the time you are finished you are ready to get your sweat on.
Working Out Releases Our Feeling Good Endorphins
When we have our feeling good endorphins are flowing it just feels great. This is a natural way to get them going. So why wouldn’t we want to do that? My therapist always ask how my level of exercise. She doesn’t care how hard I’m going at it. She just wants me moving.
Even a walk around the block and kick start the good feeling endorphins. In fact if you exercise outside it can increase the amount of good feeling endorphins. That’s a double win! She tells me to get outside and talk a walk around the block sans kids if I’m feeling stressed, depressed or anxious. That isn’t always possible. But when I have, I come back refreshed.
Exercise Can Help Take Your Mind off Worries
When your brain has less to worry about your depression and anxiety will have less to feed it. When I’m working out it is harder for me to think about negative things. After a workout it is even hard to be negative. It’s all those good feeling endorphins. J
So if you exercise most days then you will have less time during those days to worry, which will help. Because the less you worry then the cycle of negative thoughts that help to feed your depression and anxiety will not be as present.
Exercise Can Help You Gain Confidence
What happens when you work out consistently? So many wonderful things! Among them is you will start to feel better about yourself. When you take the time to work out and do something that is hard you gain confidence.
You may start to lose weight or gain muscle. Your clothes may start to fit differently, a good different. People may start to give you complements. Or you may catch yourself in the mirror and think, WOW! All of these help you to gain confidence.
When you have more confidence you start to have a change in your thinking. For me, I become less depressed. Both of those things (being less depressed and gaining confidence) are very important to your mental health.
Working Out Can Help You Eat Better
If you are like me (and so many other people) then when you start to exercise consistently you may start to eat healthier. You may find yourself grabbing for an apple instead of crackers. The can of soda may not look as tasty as water.
When I am able to get myself out of bed and work out first thing in the morning I tend to make better eating choices all day long. Why wouldn’t I want to start my day off in that way?
Then when you start making better eating choices and continue to work out you will see a difference in your body. This will help you gain more confidence. See how many of these are intertwined? J
Some Tips and Tricks to Help You
Good luck my friends with exercising! It has helped me so much with my mental health and confidence. I know it can help you as well!
Happy working out!
“You can’t stress.” These were the words my mother said to me after her encounter with bowel blockage, shingles, and a seizure. They came after her mother passed away. My mother carried a lot on herself, including anger and resentment.
The word “can’t” in this sentence doesn’t imply “not allowed.” It implies that I am “not able to.”
So, what is someone who is not able to stress, doing writing a post about mental health? Well, that’s the question of the day, isn’t it?
I’m here to tell you what it feels like to not be able to stress.
I bet you’re thinking, “It would be so wonderful to not be able to stress. I can actually go on with my life, not caring about anything. I can let things slide right off of me, and let things happen the way that they are supposed to.”
You know what? You’re right. That’s exactly how I feel.
Do you know how hard that is, though? Watching people struggle, stress, be anxious and depressed? It’s not easy.
“It’s so hard to make ends meet. I’m broke before I even get paid,” a coworker might say to me. I stand there, motionless, trying not to blurt out the thoughts that run through my head. “Well, stop spending fifty dollars a week to get your nails done,” I think. But I slowly nod, speak a soft, “Hm,” and walk away.
Does this mean that I can’t relate to people? No. I can, actually. Growing up with a mother who deals with depression and stress, has allowed me to understand what goes through peoples’ minds when they are in these mental states. My mother is very open about how she feels and what she’s thinking. She always has been, even now. So when those that are around me, express these thoughts and feelings, I am able to understand that they feel a certain way, but I am not able to relate with the feeling itself. Which may make me seem cold and unsympathetic. I can come off like that, of course. In fact, I hardly ever have sympathy for anyone. Empathy, sure, but rarely sympathy.
So, what’s my secret for a no stress life? Do I meditate? Exercise? Stay away from any and all stressful situations? The answer is simply, no. Instead of meditating, I close my eyes and take a deep breath and let it out in a long, loud, forceful sigh, so that everyone around me knows exactly how I feel. I do listen to music, but it’s not soft. At all. In fact, it’s mostly heavy rock. I also don’t exercise. I do quite a bit of physical labor at my job, but on my off days, my butt is in my chair.
Do I lack the stress gene 5HTR2C? Are my chemical levels constantly balanced? Do I have the long long genotype called 5-HTTLPR?
Let’s face it, no one really knows what genes they have, do they? In fact, stress can actually change your genes.
To be honest, I don’t know why I can’t stress. Maybe because I grew up watching a mother stress over everything, every day of my life. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to. Maybe it’s because I walk into every situation I am faced with, with this in mind: if I stress, I am of no help. I won’t have a clear mind to make the right decisions, or say the right things. If I stress, I can’t help. If I can’t help, what good am I?
At the end of the day, all I know is I don’t have a worry bone in my body. Do I get sad? Yes, at least I still get sad. Do I wonder about the future? Of course, who doesn’t? But I don’t necessarily worry about anything.
The beautiful part about this is, people still confide in me. People still tell me about their worries and fears and struggles. Even though I have a difficult time relating to the physical feelings, and the thoughts, I still listen and learn. I am self aware to the point that I am able to put aside my cold, unsympathetic aura, and replace it with an empathetic one.
For those of you who are prone to stress, depression, anxiety, and others, please be patient with us non-worrying types. If we could worry about how we come off to people, we would. And please don’t think that if someone doesn’t worry, that they don’t understand. Because I do.
My mother almost died because of stress. She had a seizure because of stress. Every time she feels under the weather, she gets depressed. She was very angry when I was little and would cry to me almost every night and tell me how she was feeling. They say that one out of three people will get shingles in their lifetime. Mom has had it more than once. Mom had to have open heart surgery because, when she got so sick from stress that she weighed ninety pounds, her heart grew weak and she developed a prolapsed heart valve.
To those of you who endure the pain, I see you. I feel you. I will cry with you. I don’t care if I don’t understand what you’re feeling, but what you feel is real. That’s what I understand, and to me, that’s all that matters.
Your feelings matter.
Friday nights are usually spent in bed now with my iPad or now laptop working and reading. I’m perfectly okay with this. My Friday nights used to be going out and having fun or going to a bar with a friend or two. I’m glad, as I get older, that it’s died down a little bit. With so much life going on right now, this is what it needs to be.
I actually… after all these years of crap jobs… enjoy my current job. I like what I do and I like where it’s going. The people I’m meeting and the things I’m doing are all I could ever dream of. I legitimately love the things I do for work now, and that makes me happy.
Cut back two months ago, maybe a little bit more, and I was interviewing for this position I currently have — nervous as anything that I wasn’t going to get it, and nervous as anything that I would get it. I was kept waiting and waiting and almost a month went by. I started to get really apprehensive about everything knowing this is what I wanted and also… not what I wanted. I was terrified. If I got the position, I was going to have to move across the country — 2700 miles away from home. If I didn’t get it, I was going to be really upset that I wasn’t getting out of PA just yet.
July 28th. It was that Friday at 9 in the morning that I got that email from the hiring manager who said in the title “Please give me a call ASAP!!” Right there, with that title, I knew it was something great. I started crying almost as I walked away from my desk to go call her from my car and cell phone. I was offered the position; at nearly triple my salary. My managers at my current project already knew and kept it from me for a day. They had made arrangements for me to start that Tuesday with the company and new pay period — and I was already headed down to Virginia and DC that same week to do on boarding for the company and meet with the primary. I was a nervous wreck.
I was now the Social Media Marketing Specialist for the National Center for Telehealth and Tech (T2) project based out in Tacoma, Washington. I was an art director, content writer, image creator, blogger and head honcho for my social media content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
With the position comes relocation, and the start of a new life with my partner and best friend. We’ve always wanted to go to the mountains — and away we go. I’m so excited to start my life out there. Even though I will be far from home, I know I’ll still get to see my mom and important people in my life with them coming out there, or with me going back to PA and NJ where my family and friends are. There’s so much excitement, however, I’m still scared to death. I’m not freaking out yet… but I know it’s coming one of these days. With being that far from my friends and family; it’s going to take some time getting used to. Yes, I’ll have my best friend with me and of course we will meet new people out there together. But it won’t be the same comfort we’re used to at first.
It’s September 15th today. September 16th if you want to get technical because it’s just passed midnight already. And we only have 70 days. 70 days until we make that drive across the country. 70 days until I don’t see my little kitties for close to 6 months. 70 days until we start our new life.
Everything will all work out fine, I’m sure of it.
Good morning, and happy Hump Day. I’d like to showcase my Adobe Spark edits in one location and I thought what better way to do it than on my blog that I haven’t written on in a long time. Has WordPress died? It doesn’t seem to be talked of or used much anymore for some reason. Hmm.
Well, these are in no particular order really I just wanted a place to showcase them all at once since they’re mostly on Instagram at the moment.
“When you’re dumb enough for long enough, you’re gonna meet someone too smart to love you, and they’re gonna love you anyway, and it’s gonna go so poorly.” – Neil Hilborn, Ballad of the Bruised Lung
Been awhile, life’s been crazy. I’ve been trying to find the time to keep writing but I just haven’t had any. I mean I have, but I’ve had no ideas really to make me want to write anything substantial in my opinion. It’s been a blur to be honest, I can’t believe a year has almost gone by since myself and guy started dating again.. and it makes me feel semi good, that I can make it better than the last time we dated since we both effed up the last time and several times after that. Seems like we can’t just get it right.. Maybe this time won’t be so bad… here’s to hoping!
I’ve taken some photos recently, with guy’s other camera the Sony a6000 and I like it. But I only like it with the 90mm Macro since it’s amazing. I kind of want it. But there’s no way I can afford the lenses for it. Yes, I can borrow his, but what’s that going to do for me should something happen with myself and him. I will never give up my Canon camera for something else. I would only add to it. I plan on trying to start a collection of some sorts and when I finally get a home, I will have a camera closet for all my things.
Here are a few shots of the Sony a6000 that I took just yesterday around Nanticoke, PA.
When you’re tired of waiting and time is not on your side
When you’re tired of hating me, you no longer want to hide
It’s time for another session of relaxation and tea bath before my roommates get home and take their long shower. I’ve been thankful enough to get to take some nice showers lately thankfully, and it’s helping my mood a lot surprisingly. *hand clap* Off I go because then I’m going to sleep forever tonight, maybe I’ll put my hair in curlers again. We’ll see since it seems to poof then I use them, lol!
It’s Tuesday morning. I feel like watching Iron Man 1 and 2 for some reason. But only 2 is on Netflix. Neverthemind I’m at work and it feels like I’ve been here for hours… And it’s only 1015 am as I write this. Time is going by so slow lately… I should have never said anything the other day when I wanted time to slow down. Let me rephrase that wish… “I wish time would slow down when I’m not at work. It can go as fast as it can while I’m stuck inside all day..” But of course it won’t listen to me at all because time is a douchebag. I managed to get up with enough time to get a bagel for breakfast. First time in weeks I managed to do it.. granted I didn’t shower at all or anything I just got dressed and doused myself in smelly stuff… Oops. I need to start showering in the mornings again. It makes me feel better most of the time.
Bon Jovi just came on on my computer. 99 In The Shade. I love that man. His music makes me smile; him and Bruce. Two amazing artists from NJ that I lovelovelove. If you couldn’t tell this is a blog of randomness. I needed to take a minute from work and relax.. so much going on it’s not even funny
Sigh. Well, back to work again.