You guys – It’s Friday again, can you believe it? I am so happy!
I have a special freebie for you today for all of those who have Instagram and use stories alot. It’s called Mindfulness Bingo. If you use it, please tag me in your stories!
Hey there! I’m Sheila Yale the creator, writer, editor, graphic artist, janitor, etc. of “Empty Next Lifestyle”, a lifestyle blog where I discuss family, mental illness and showcase my handmade pottery. Someone recently asked of me, “What’s something we don’t know about you?”. I’ll tell you what I told her, “Nothing, because my life is an open book”. I’m here to encourage and support anyone who visits my site. I am an empty nest thriver, wife to my high school sweetheart, “LaLa” to my 4 sweet “Lovies”, newbie blogger, and rising pottery artist. Oh, and I have Bipolar l Disorder….
The holidays have come and gone. The Christmas tree and decorations are once again at rest in the attic and life’s daily schedule sweeps the festivities aside as it dictates where I must go and what I must do.
This is usually the point in the calendar where it starts to go downhill. You know what I’m talking about. The January blues is the place where my Bipolar I demon rears its ugly head and I travel down the road to depression and “hermit-ious” (the act of sitting in the dark, staring off in space). The Kleenex box holds a permanent position on my bedside table and I sleep in “Rip Van Winkle endless slumber” fashion.
But this year is different for some reason. I’m strangely stable and I’m not hearing that nagging voice bringing me down (That voice, by the way, is mine). As I ponder on this change I search for reasons that the January blues suddenly seem sunny yellow. Maybe it’s the changes that have happened over 2018.
1. I have taken my medication daily and visited my doctor regularly.
There have been many times throughout the last 20 years when I felt “normal” enough to have this thought, “I think I’m ok now. I’ve learned a lot of coping skills and I’m sure I’ll be fine”. Six weeks and a raging case of paranoia later, I’m clamoring to get those pills in my mouth.
This year I determined I would be faithful to my never-ending recovery and take them every day, as well as follow my psychiatrist scheduled appointments and be honest with him. It is amazing how well I navigated this holiday season. Looking back on the past few weeks I realize that the triggers I have normally encountered during the Christmas festivities were manageable and I maneuvered my way around and through them quite nicely.
This is cool!
2. I am on a regimen of essential oil supplements.
I often get teased by my family and friends for using essential oils. They call them my “snake oils” and roll their eyes when I mention how incredible they are. But believe me, when my husband and daughter have a stomach ache, or their sinuses are keeping them from breathing, or when their muscles are so sore they can’t move, they secretly turn to me. Heaven forbid they endure any eye-rolling from the family.
So this past year I have taken supplements every day to keep my body and mind strong. It’s working.
Sticking with the oils!
3. I have focused on my passions: pottery making, blogging and my Lovies (grandchildren).
Pottery came into my life back in college. I took one class and was hooked. Unfortunately soon after, I had a breakdown and it was years before I was diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder. During the past couple of years, I have found a reliable doctor who has prescribed the right “cocktail” (mix of medications) for me and keeps me in line. So creating pottery has resumed its position as a way to put my mind and body at peace.
I started my blog back in May of 2018 and it is a daily source of inspiration. I love it! Literally, my husband has said, “Could you please stop for a moment and talk to me?”. I am able to express myself in a way I have never known. It involves creating, writing, researching, and problem-solving. It is an exciting outlet that will eventually provide a self-sustaining income. A paying job that I love – now that’s what I’m talking about!
And my grandchildren have spent a lot of time with me. We have had numerous weekend sleepovers at “LaLa Land” (my house) where we bake mounds of cookies and spend hours making play dough “food” to serve at the play dough “restaurant”. My Lovies are super important to me and bring so much joy to my life. Even when I am down, I only have to hear one of their voices or see them and I am smiling all over!
4. I found great support this year.
My family. A pottery mentor. Blogging communities.
When Paul Simon sang, “I am a rock, I am an island” he was wrong. We were made by God to be in relationships. He created “bonding”, so it is natural to surround ourselves with strong uplifting connections. I found my place this year as a “LaLa” to my “Lovies”, as a gifted potter guided and encouraged by a strong mentor, as a writer and valued friend to a group of talented bloggers I admire, and as an encourager to the people I come in contact with on a daily basis.
These people motivate me to press on. I realize that the end of the holidays normally marks the end of excitement and a move toward nothingness. 2019 is not a new beginning. It’s a continuation of the wonderful things that began in 2018. In fact, I have so many things to do in the coming year that I have actually started scheduling my days and weeks in a planner.
Will I have some down days in 2019? Yes, but I have the tools, focus, and support I need to stay the course.
Wow! A life. A life that continues to be worth living.
Thank you very much to Sheila for sending her inspiring story over for The Unsanity Blog to share with their readers! If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on The Unsanity, please send an email over to Koral.email@example.com and we can have a chat about how I can incorporate you and your story!
Hi readers! As you can probably guess, I took a week or so off blogging to gather more stories from you guys to read and love/interact with. I have quite a few more bloggers coming your way, and that’s in a nutshell! A few of my guests have expressed interest in being a repeat guest with me, so I have taken the liberty to organize a few bloggers to post once or twice per month on The Unsanity and continue telling stories or forms of therapy that can help my readers and audience. Today, however, we have Denise, who will be talking about traveling as therapy for anxiety and depression. Thank you for sharing your post, and I look forward to working with you again in the future! On top of her blog link below, you can find her on Facebook and Instagram as well!
My name is Denise and I’m the person behind http://www.pieceofdenise.com/ – my blog where I share my life experience with you. One of my favorite things to write about are my trips; for my 25 years I realized how mentally enriching and healing that can be. That’s why today I’m going to tell you about why I think that travelling can be an amazing therapy.
Traveling gives us the opportunity to disconnect from our regular life. You get to forget your problems/issues for a few weeks, it can also help you figure things out that you would not have understood without the distance traveling can give you. We all have crazy schedules, work and a family to take care of, going away alone or with some friends can give you distance and perhaps even make you realize how important these people are for you. Like the saying says: we never know what we have until we lose it.
Another great benefit is the relaxation you get to do. It’s nice to live life to its fullest and enjoy a stress free time with yourself. Going on vacation lets us recharge our “batteries” by disconnecting us from our regular life. When we come back we feel invigorated and we are happy to be back in our day to day routine. It’s a very good stress remover that has a lot more to give than most people are willing to accept.
Traveling relieves the symptoms of depression. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, made in 2013, relieving tensions that we experience during travelling is partly a psychological result of the change in our environment. When we physically move from the places and activities that cause us stress, we allow our minds and bodies to recover and refresh themselves. People who travel once every two years are prone to suffer depression and stress much more than people who travel at least twice a year.
Where should I go?
If meetings and conversations with many people in a busy work environment cause the stress in your situation, then it is best to go to a peaceful place, surrounded nature – take a long walk, breathe fresh air, sleep in a hut even. Of course, you need to choose it according to your physical training and do not forget that you need an equipment in case you choose a mountain trip. If you don’t have one, try an easier route near a hut, guest house or hotel – safety’s first. If you spend a lot of time at home, you need social contact. It’s time to invite some friends and go on a journey. Day or two can recharge you completely. Visit a city you’ve never been to.
During travelling, you may experience the craziest, most exciting things, that will eventually become great stories that you can tell others. When you grow old and look back at your life and all your travel experiences, you will realize how much you have done in your life and your life was not in vain. It can provide you with happiness and satisfaction for the rest of your life.
Interested in being a guest on The Unsanity Blog? Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – I would love to hear from you and collaborate!
Thanks to Aaliyah aka Jazz Holt for sending over this for me to share with everyone. We all struggle with anxiety of some sort, especially when around the holidays. Even I’m feeling it myself because I don’t have a job currently as well. My mental health doesn’t affect me getting a job, but some days, it very well feels like i’m about to have a breakdown. I manage to keep myself together most days. Remember, there are other ways to show someone you care around the holidays that don’t include spending much money.
Hello The Unsanity Friends! Here is another post for the holidays from my guest Nick! He writes about the fear and stress about dealing with tasks at hand during the holiday season. Procrastination is a major key that people somehow get lost in during the holidays and even the every day life. Follow along as he goes through his thoughts.
Hello My name is Nichola Dewapriya currently a medical student studying in Gomel, Belarus but I’m natively from Sri Lanka. I’m also a blogger in which I share my experiences as a medical student and most of the problems and difficulties I come across under the topics of being committed to your work, being passionate and organized, handling procrastination and also how to keep up with long distance relationships from my own perspective experiences.
My blog can be found here: http://nickded.com Please do visit, read and subscribe for the latest of content! Follow me on instagram https://www.instagram.com/nickded_evolve_blog as well as Twitter https://twitter.com/NickDeDevolve.
So without further delay let’s take off!
Today I‘m passionate to talk about anxieties that comes along with long Holiday periods and completing tasks at hand. A long holiday in my perspective is a time period that is more than 4 days consecutively, for some it may be 7 days or 10, but amount of days doesn’t really matter. So with me being actually a very busy person and living a very hard daily routine, I find 4 days to be a great deal of time for me. Let‘s gather up the anxieties or feelings that we get once we enter “the zone.”
This is the sequence of fears and anxieties that arise from within you. So as a person who is known to be lazy but dedicated at the same time, I’ll be explaining all the aspects on some general facts including what I have experienced my self.
According to point number one, all I want to say is as higher beings among many we humans like to place ourselves on a pedestal and sometimes we overestimate what we truly are, so we plan big for ourselves while in the back of our head, we already know it isn’t going to work out. But I also would like to testify that some people are naturally or long time #gogetters, as they are used to the handling it ALL.
But as a normal human, being true to your self is quite a cringe so most of tend to go to a better “zone” We accumulate so much to our list and when we see it ourselves we procrastinate on it and at the end of the day, nothing is done. Start and come up with something really small to start off and when you have time to go for another; just go for it, no stress!
Simultaneously we can intertwine the second point to the 1st as you have already made your decision, so now you are half way through the process, and making any change would either break down the whole system or make no change at all; only that we sometimes may lie to our selves to feel less insecure.
The third point is the biggest of strikes. Now that it’s all over and its only a few hours left until the whole so called “productive time” is over, some may get into the adrenaline mode and somehow finish whats supposed to be done because they know the bitterness they will have that keeps them up all night if that task is not complete.
Some of us blame ourselves or better someone else for wasting our time because they were so distracted. All the procrastinations they did, and now that they haven’t done anything at all; all they are going to do is curl up and sleep, then wake up not caring a thing and what do you know – they aren’t happy at all!
Better yet, some are so much used to being like this that they don’t even try planning tasks in the first place, which is quite sad I would say! So that will automatically conclude the fourth point and the idea of this post of wasting time.
As a conclusion, I would like to put it out to you that it doesn’t matter how small or big holidays or free time you get, all you have to do is start with something small give a little promise to yourself, make it a habit but don’t try to make it the perfect; Because perfection never exists. We’re only human after all.
Thank you for reading. I hope you can apply some of the points to your own situations in the future.
Additionally, I would like to thank Ms. Koral Dawn for the opportunity of guest blogging on her website!
Links to my websites are provided down below.
As the end of the year approaches faster than ever, every year we still face the same problem: Getting into the holiday vibe. True story! You must be thinking, “alright Bri, Good luck with that”, well GRINCH, I don’t need your input!
Before we get started let me introduce myself, My name is Briana and I am the owner/creator of Beauty me Please! I am a beauty blogger and freelance makeup artist that blog about beauty as long as it is cruelty free & vegan! I also do personal blogs and self care because we all need that reminder to take care of ourselves. If you want to see more of me don’t hesitate to visit me at beautymeplease.com
Ever here the term “Smelling like a snack? Yeah I have too and I am not too fond of it but it is relevant for this topic. One way to get into the holiday spirit to to bathe in the scents and oh so good beauty products. I am talking candles, shower gels, lotions, hair products and maybe as far as toothpaste. That sounds like a cavity. But it is a start! If your tree is up, spray some pine, need some candles? Hit up Bath N Body works for some sugarcookie or vanilla scented candles to make your house smell like a bakery all day everyday! Something fun and relaxing is taking a bath and using a really good scented bath bomb and then lotion up afterwards. Usually with smells that go well together. Careful not to go overboard though, it happens.
2. Baking and baked goods make the heart whole
At heart, if there are no sweets of any kind I am a very very sad soul and many others are too. It is literally the unofficial tradition for thanksgiving or Christmas. Sure you have your buffets of food but your holiday will not be complete without some yummy baked goods.
3. Facebook events
If you are looking to save money this year because you blew it all on decorations or presents but still want something to do then this is for you. Around this time of year, your town or city have many events happening pertaining to the holiday or celebrations. There are dance events, events for family and children,concerts, special mall parties, whatever it may be you are bound to something really fun and worth the experience. A lot of the events depending on the area will be free and also depending on the area or event in general there are fees but nothing too crazy. Definitely doable. Facebook events are easily accessible in the app and on desktop. Give it a whirl and see what you find.
This is the simplest and easiest way to truly get festive and feel one with the spirit! Decorating is like the soul or the door to feeling happy and good spirited with the harsh winter fall and winter weather. It keeps you sain, and you don’t have to leave your house if you don’t want after you make your place a living museum of decorative vibes. And every year you get to spend time in looking for MORE decor to compliment what you already have. It is the truest form of satisfaction.
5. You’re the Grinch
If none of these are tickling you yet, I fear that it is too late for you! YOU GRINCH! Or possibly scrooge? You simply cannot be entertained! Getting festive and feeling the holiday is also wanting to really feel something else other than moping around and feeling unhappy. My advice? Go to that neighborhood where every house and lawn is decked out head-to-toe in decorations. Appreciate all the pretty lights and the effort that goes into that maintenance and dedication it took to get all that out. You know what I am talking about! When you were younger your family would drive around looking at all the homes that were bright and colorful SCREAMING for attention! If that STILL doesn’t get your blood flowing well, Netflix your problems until you feel better.
Well that is all I have for this year guys! I hope you guys enjoyed this read as much as I did but really, all seriousness aside you should really some of these out if you haven’t already, could make a difference, who knows. I’d like to thank Koral, for giving me the opportunity to reach out to you guys and give you some ideas and hopefully a laugh! She is a great person and I love her work as you do too! Thank you for having me, again my name is Briana and I hope you have the BEST Thanksgiving and Christmas and a Happy New year!
My name is Kristie, I recently started my own blog, Kanzu and Kimchi, where I talk about my expat life, travelling the world and shamelessly pinning and posting anything pretty I can photograph. I’m 35 years old. I’m married, am a mother of two boys, have a Cavapoo/Cavoodle named Winston and currently live in Muscat, Oman. I love to travel, hate to fly and worry I’ll never have time to experience everything the world has to offer. I am obsessed with CrossFit, love to read and write and dream of being inspiring and creative enough to make a difference in the world. I have suffered from anxiety for most of my life. It has been tolerable, intolerable and at times downright debilitating. What am I anxious about? Everything and yet nothing at the same time.
I have nothing to be anxious about. I had an amazing childhood, came from a stable, loving household, went to University, earned lots of money, have beautiful perfect children and a perfect husband who supports every stupid, ridiculous thing I do… but it’s still there. It holds my hand and accompanies me to public events, keeps me awake at night with its incessant chatter and envelopes me in its suffocating embrace every time I board an aircraft. It makes me question and loathe myself as much as it propels me forward in a desperate attempt for perfection and success.
I remember starting to feel anxious about ‘everything’ the first time my mother was late collecting me from school. By late I mean, 5mins outside of her normal, ridiculously punctual routine. I envisaged she had been maimed in a horrific car accident, the victim of a reckless driver taken from my life forever. My chest felt heavy, I couldn’t breathe, and I felt like I needed to flick my foot, shake my hand or walk around in circles to somehow abate the nervous energy that had started to take hold of my entire being. My world felt like it was spinning, and no words of comfort could pull me back from the abyss. It just grew from there, a constant sense of impending doom. I was afraid to fail, feared I would never be good enough, afraid that a thunderstorm would turn into a hurricane or that the Gulf War would somehow find its way to my front doorstep.
By the time I got to my early twenties my anxiety had become debilitating. I was afraid to drive my car fearing death by motor accident, I stopped leaving the house, I struggled to sleep and started to convince myself I had a million health issues. To fight the exhaustion, I lived on sugar and made frequent visits to my doctor, worried I was dying a slow death. After my 1001th visit my doctor sent me off for tests. He knew that because my anxiety had become so bad that his words alone would never placate my obsessive thoughts, I would need to see it all, written down in black and white. Once I was convinced it wasn’t coming to an end we decided on a course of action that still serves me well today.
Sugar, as most of you probably know can be a trigger for anxiety. It messes with your gut, which messes with your mind. It had to go from my life. It’s hard to say no to all that delicious, sugary, sweet food, believe me, I know. When I would get anxious I would devour an entire bag of candy. The more I ate the more I wanted, so the more anxious I became. I could never break the cycle. Removing sugar had a profound effect on my overall wellbeing. Most of us Anxious types produce a lot of negative energy, that horrible titchy feeling when you need to move or feel like something is coming? It needs to be re-directed and expelled so it doesn’t consume you. My doctor said to me some people need to exercise every single day. I am one of those people. I do CrossFit five days a week. It refocuses the negative thoughts and those feelings of impending doom on something that is far better for me than obsessive worry. By the end I feel exhausted, but content. If I can’t get to CrossFit I try and go for a run or walk the dog. I’ve always been active but having a consistent routine really helps keep the anxiety at bay.
Today I feel like me and anxiety live together in sweet harmony. With the help of a super rational husband, changes to my diet and frequent exercise I’m able to keep my anxiety in a tolerable state.
“We must suffer alone. But we can at least hold out our arms to our similarly tortured, fractured, and above all else anxious neighbours, as if to say in the kindest way possible, I know.” (Sarah Wilson, Author of New York Times bestselling book: First we make the beast beautiful).
Kat is the creator of Indierella: a blog about music and living life as creatively as possible. She is a wearer of large headphones, teller of stories, and a listener of good music that nobody knows. You can find her on her blog (www.indierella.com) as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
Mental Health Awareness Month means something different to me since I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression.
Last fall, several things happened. I wasn’t taking care of my body, I was taking a heavy workload of classes, I was back on campus after spending a year abroad, and I wasn’t being honest with myself or with the people around me. A stupid conflict led to a panic attack that lasted several days where I barely ate or left my room, and at my lowest point I called the National Suicide Hotline because I needed to talk to someone, anyone, because I felt so alone, isolated, and helpless. I was taken to the ER and given a diagnosis.
My mom drove down to my school and I got to stay with her for the weekend as I ended relationships with friends, forced myself to eat, and spent a lot of time in counseling. It wasn’t pretty or romantic or graceful, and I sure didn’t deal with it in the most martyred or selfless ways. In short: I screwed up with people. But I refuse to let go of the fact that I crawled my way out of a darkness and fought my way back.
And in the months that followed, I have been blessed by so much. I was able to learn coping techniques and how to take my medication when I have a panic attack, I became closer to God, I made new friends, I fell in love with a wonderful man who makes me feel loved and beautiful and special, I got a 3.82 GPA that semester, finished my senior thesis, started this blog, and realized I have to respect and take care of myself instead of hoping that someone else would.
For years I ignored my panic attacks and fears because they “weren’t that bad.” I put other people’s expectations before my own. I didn’t seek help because I didn’t want to put pressure or be a burden on anyone else. But, at the end of the day, I don’t really regret anything. I learned that I was harboring so much guilt about hurting people that I wasn’t letting myself heal. I learned all the ways that my physical health affects my mental health. I learned to love myself. And I’m still learning how to take care of myself whenever things aren’t perfect.
Writing this post wasn’t easy. Living day-to-day isn’t always easy when I let doubt and fear creep into my mind. But at the end of the day, I’m the first person that needs to fight for my well-being. I have to be my own champion.
So for Mental Health Awareness Month, remind yourself to be your own hero. Fight for your happiness, fight your demons and fight to recognize your own mental health. I’ll be fighting with you.
But before you go, here is one last thing I have to share with you. I made this playlist when I was suffering and lonely, when walking across campus or eating in the cafeteria was hardest. At first I only had about five songs on it. Five songs that could calm me down in my state of panic. Five songs that I could listen to and not feel like I was spiraling out of control. Then, as things got better, I added more songs, and each one has a special meaning to me. Together, this playlist doesn’t remind me of the hard times, but it reminds me that things got better and they will keep getting better.
Big thank you to Kat for letting me share this post of hers on my site. We kind of did a playlist swap and I gave her my Sunday Morning Classic Rock playlist to share on here with a bit of my back story. Check out her blog and see when it’s posted!