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7 AMAZING WAYS TO BEAT DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY – Keep It Simple

Hello everyone, you know the deal by now – here is my next guest blogger as promised. I do hope you are enjoying these as much as everyone who is submitting posts for me seems to be having! Our next one comes from Sharleen Fenn and you can check out her blog here.

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Keep It Simple

Launched in 2018 as a resource for discovering a simpler (more country) way of doing things. An expat Kiwi living in the SF Bay Area, growing vegetables in the back yard, finding local resources and ways to eat healthy(er), a passion for all things camping and outdoors. A love of made from scratch meals, diy, and card making, and overcoming challenges in day-to-day life. Sign up, join in, collaborate… Keep it simple!

7 AMAZING WAYS TO BEAT DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY

Depression and anxiety are roadblocks to engagement in life. Everything is overwhelming, and often the sheer will to live recedes. Every single aspect of your life is impacted. There are several strategies to counteract the effects of depression and anxiety. Understanding your diagnosis, the medications you are on, where to find support, and how to incorporate coping skills into your daily routine puts control firmly back in your hands. You can bring your life back into focus.

ACCEPTANCE

You feel as if you have lost control over your life. You feel like things are happening to you, instead of because of you. Not being able to fully engage in daily tasks, or take care of your responsibilities, contributes to the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. The roller coaster of depression and anxiety is exhausting. Give yourself permission to accept each day, hour, moment, or second as being exactly the way it is supposed to be. Accept that developing coping skills is going to take time.

STAY IN THE MOMENT

Stop trying to predict the future or ruminate on the past. Focus on the now. Ask yourself what you need for this moment. What will make you feel better? Focus on what you CAN do and not on what you can’t do. Start with small tasks that give you a sense of accomplishment. Stop beating yourself up for not meeting the expectations of your well self. Each day is a new day, stop worrying about things that you cannot control.

CHEMISTRY GONE AWRY

Body chemistry changes over time. It can be episodic or longer term. If your body is not producing or absorbing certain neuro transmitter chemicals, symptoms can emerge. When chemistry changes enough, medication may be necessary. After a diagnosis, ask questions, do research, and keep an open mind. If medication is necessary, give it the prescribed time interval to work. Let your doctor know if you have any symptoms that you cannot live with. Keep trying; there will be a solution for you.

SUPPORT SYSTEM

Build a support system. Talk to other people who suffer from the same ailment. Hearing how they cope will boost your spirits. Identify someone who has what you want, has a great attitude, has a great story to share, and buddy up with them. Share your hopes and fears. Let the support system be your sounding board and sanity check. These people will hold you up when you cannot quite get there. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Others started right where you are.

POOR ME

Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You are better than that. Continue to act wounded and people will begin to treat you differently, not in a good way. You matter. You are a bright, wonderful, contributing human being who suffers from a condition that makes it difficult to get through the day. Stop acting how you feel, and start acting how you WANT to feel. After a while, your positive attitude will shine.

CHANGE HABITS

Living on junk food and reruns on Netflix is not a solution. Sunshine, fresh air, exercise…you need it. You have to keep moving. Your body needs certain vitamins and minerals to be well. Sunshine has vitamin D, which helps with calcium absorption, contributing to bone health. Minimize foods full of sugar, salt, additives, colorants, and preservatives. Incorporate more plant based foods into your diet. If you are not sleeping or sleeping too much, take action.

SELF CARE

You need to take care of you. What are your favorite things? Pamper yourself. Meditate, listen to encouraging, uplifting podcasts, or watch TED talks. Shower, brush your hair and change your clothes. Continue to do the things you love. Instead of attempting a big project, break it down into small tasks, and tackle one of those. Personal accomplishment is encouraging.

THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS

Did you know that the way you think, affects the way you feel, which affects the way you act? That is part of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Practice thinking positive outcomes. Think solutions, not problems. Think empathy, not anger. Think success, not failure. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole. Be aware that negative self-talk is defeating. Be the winner you are.

DON’T BE DISCOURAGED

Bottom line is you have a mental health condition that is treatable. Be patient. It takes time to learn new coping skills. Accepting your condition, your capabilities, staying in the now, taking care of yourself, developing a support system, and changing a few habits will have you on the mend. If you don’t take action, nothing will change. Take charge now. YOU are so worth it.

Note:All opinions expressed in this article are personal opinions of the author. This does not denote professional advice.

National (US) Helplines and mental health resources:

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Eight Ways to Cope With Anxiety and Depression – Jeanne Marie

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Hello Everyone. My name is Jeanne Marie. I am from the beautiful country known as Trinidad and Tobago which is in close proximity to Venezuela. I always knew I worried quite a bit but I didn’t exactly know the extent of my issue till I started studying Psychology myself as well as when I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder at age 25. I know for most people that is quite a late diagnosis but my symptoms only started to manifest itself when I left TT to study in England where I also was treated for depression. 
As a psychology graduate it has been tough sharing my story because 1) I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. 2) it is more challenging because I studied psychology therefore, it is harder for people to accept that I need assistance just like everyone else so I used to deal with my issues on my own or seek out others in the field.
For more of me check out my website: jeannemarieth.blogspot.com

8 Ways to Cope With Anxiety and Depression

  1. Take time to indulge in activities that you really enjoy. For example, I love dancing as such I spend at least two hours a day dancing around my house in my underwear and I don’t care if my neighbors  see me. I feel so free and relaxed. The world doesn’t exist.
  2. Get in touch with a higher being. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a prayer to God (though that is my personal choice), it can be mediating or self reflecting.
  3. Remove negativity out of your life. I know that seems easier said than done especially when these negative forces in your life are family or co-workers. In those circumstances, create as much distance as possible from these people. Light banter if you will but don’t get involved in their bickering and do not engage in their behavior if directed towards you.
  4. Write a list of positive attributes about yourself. I focus on creating a list of 10 positive affirmations each day but I know for some this may be a challenge. Therefore, you can start slowly. One positive affirmation a day and grow from there.
  5. When you feel anxious, go to a safe space by yourself and cry. Let all the emotions that you feel out. I don’t know about anyone else but I tend to bottle up my emotions until it becomes overwhelming and I have a mental breakdown. You want to avoid that as much as possible. Therefore, if you need to cry, I say cry. If you need to scream or talk to yourself, be my guest. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  6. Confide in genuine people. I am blessed with two best friends that I can share my life challenges with. They don’t judge or ever criticize which helps. Find the right people. Some can be very dismissive of your emotions. You do not want someone like that as a confidant.
  7. Of course the obvious choice is seeking counseling. Counseling can be expensive if sought out privately but there is always free counseling sessions available at churches, non-governmental organizations or depending on where you live the government may provides such avenues. Support groups are quite helpful as they make you feel less alone.
  8. You may need to be prescribed medication if your symptoms are severe. You must consult a psychiatrist before taking any pills. Let them recommend any medication they believe may be of assistance.

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.

Blog: jeannemarieth.blogspot.com

Instagram: @jeannemarieth
A big thank you to Jeanne for posting on anxiety and depression! All of my guests have given their own perspective on how to deal with these stresses and I’m so happy to see they all have a bit of a different view on the situations at hand! While many post recently have had similar titles, each one is unique in their own way.
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Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies – Gabriela

Good Morning friends!

Monday means guest blogger time! Thankful to have this chicka on here to share this awesome recipe with us on vegan pumpkin cookies! You can find her personal Instagram here and her Toki Box Instagram here

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Hi everyone! Nice to meet you!

I’m Gabriela – vegan + baker + proud owner of a new subscription box – TokiBox (which I created back in May this year.)

My box is all about healthy vegan goodies like superfoods, healthy snacks and eco-friendly accessories.

I became vegan a few years ago after watching a documentary about animal cruelty and I’ve been vegan since then. I don’t think I could ever eat animal products again, that’s why I created my box. A place where you can get healthy snacks and superfoods that nourish your body and gives you energy and happiness. Because it is true that you are what you eat.

I have started cooking and baking around the same time of becoming vegan – because I was discovering a new world filled with foods I never tried. I grew up a small village in Romania – so there were some of the fruits, vegetables and pantry items I’ve never seen.

Now I cook because it makes me relax, distress and create amazing stuff! It has become on of my hobbies.

When I don’t work at my box (being an online business is sometimes a 24hr job) I enjoy taking photos in nature, running and doing yoga J. I love photography and the outdoors.

I’m super happy to do write for this blog and I want to thank to Koral for the opportunity to connect with each one of you and share one of my favorite recipes.

If you’d like to check out my box head over to our website: http://tokibox.co

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I’m happy to introduce you to one of my favorite fall recipes, perfect for the holidays and fall season.

These cookies are a healthier version of the traditional chocolate chip cookies that I love to recreate in the fall – winter season, because makes me feel so cozy and happy!

Ah, and I have to mention that it has one of my old time favorite ingredients: PUMPKIN.

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Because, ‘tis the season of pumpkins.

Cookies are my favorite dessert and I enjoy decorating them with all sorts of stuff and serving them with
“weird” combinations like peanut butter and nut milk or plum jam and almond butter!

I love baking them as well because they are easy and fast to make, plus everyone in the family loves them!

I have tried tons of cookie recipes since going vegan, but I personally fell in love with this one and I hope you do to!

This recipe is healthy, with no dairy or butter and with delicious vegan chocolate chips-it can be optional in case  you’re going for a healthier treat, and it is under 30 minutes.

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Time: under 30 min

Makes 20 cookies

THE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1, 1 ¾ cups of flour (either regular or gluten free)
  • 1, ½ tsp of baking powder
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ¾ cup of tahini (or any nut butter of your choice)
  • Vegan chocolate chips (measurement depends on your taste).

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THE PROCESS:

  • Preheat the oven at 350 and oil a baking tray with coconut oil.
  • Mix the flour with baking powder and set aside.
  • Mix in the wet ingredients: pumpkin puree, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup and tahini.
  • Combine them together using a spatula and then mix it with your hand (like a dough).
  • After mixing it well, stir in the chocolate chips (my husband likes a lot of them so I put in ½ cup).
  • Start shaping the dough into small 2 inch balls using your hand.
  • Put all the balls into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
*you can use any kind of flour or even oats 
*chocolate chips are optional – for an even healthier recipe, you don’t have to use them.

These cookies are going to come out super fluffy and not oily. I like serving them with a glass of non-dairy milk. For this photo I used pea milk from Ripple, but you can use any kind of milk you want and toppings! Go crazy with them!

This is a super healthy cookie recipe you can make ahead of time and snack on throughout the week. It is filled with protein and vitamins from the tahini and pumpkin. Eat food that nourishes your body.

Hope you try out the recipe and let us know how it turns out!

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PS: here’s a coupon code in case you’d like to try out my healthy vegan goodie box: KORAL5 for $5 off on your first box!

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Lessons From Anxiety – Marvelously Miranda

It’s Wednesday! And you know what that means – guest blogger number one!

I want to give a big thanks to Miranda for being the first person to get a blog over to me and so quickly.

Check out her story in my previous post and her Lessons From Anxiety.

Despite having symptoms years earlier, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at the age of 20.  I am now 24 and I can tell you that I have learned a lot by living with anxiety.  I would like to share with you 5 things living with anxiety has taught me in the hopes that they will help you as you strive to be victorious in the battlefield of your mind.

  1. THE VOICE INSIDE MY MIND, lies.  I am sure you know the voice I am talking about….it tells you that you’re worthless, that you are a failure, that you have let everyone down.  The voice that’s heard desires to haunt during the night and remind of every little mistake made.  That voice that speaks so harshly to me, he is full of lies.  Anxiety will make everything bigger than it is.  I may read a text and forget to respond for a while.  Suddenly, I’m hearing I’m a failure, I’m proving how unworthy of love and devotion I am.  I know that this is not true, this is anxiety speaking to me and I just have to remember the voice I hear, lies.
  2. BOUNDARIES ARE IMPORTANT: If you have anxiety, then you know how easy it can be to worry about everyone around you.  Sometimes, we can worry about someone so much, we make ourselves sick (oh dear, ask me how I know…).  Unfortunately, there are people in the world who prey on those with anxiety and who like to “befriend” those of us with anxiety because our fear of conflict can be a reason to avoid saying “no” at all cost.  One thing I’ve learned is that setting boundaries are important both for my mental health and my overall safety and well-being.  Does setting a boundary and sticking to it make me nervous? You bet! but it’s something I have got to do even if it costs me some relationships.
  3. ANXIETY CAN BE USED AS MOTIVATION:This post is proof.  If I didn’t have anxiety myself, I wouldn’t be as motivated to write about my experience and try to help someone else in the same predicament. I try to let anxiety fuel my fire and passion for mental health.
  4. IF YOU HAVE TO DO THINGS AFRAID, THAT’S OK!: As mentioned above, anxiety can be a good tool to motivate an individual.  But, if you’re like me you may decide to allow the anxiety to motivate you to do something and then once you begin the process of doing what it is you’ve set your mind to, you become more anxious and begin to doubt whether or not you’re capable of what you’re trying to accomplish.  Sometimes, venturing out of your comfort zone can fill you with fear and dread but that’s ok.  If you’re afraid to write, write anyway.  If you’re afraid to change careers but have always had a burning desire to do so, then change.  You may still feel the fear while you’re working on your goals but that’s ok.  You can do whatever it is you desire to do even if you’re afraid.
  5. IT IS IMPORTANT TO SEEK HELP IF YOU NEED IT: I suffered with anxiety for years before finally seeking help.  Waiting to reach out cost me relationships with friends, family, and quality of life.  I was so sure that I could overcome anxiety on my own if I just kept exercising, eating right, and spending time doing activities I enjoyed.  My biggest regret about getting help is the fact that I did not do it sooner.  If you are struggling with anxiety and are desperate for relief, reach out.  Talk to a trusted friend, family member, etc…it may be that you need to access your support system more.  It may even be that you could benefit from medication (please talk with your doctor before trying any supplement or prescription).  If you do find that you need medication (as I do), there is no shame in utilizing it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Anxiety can be difficult to manage but one thing I know is this, overcoming the challenges that come with living with anxiety is possible.  You have a talent that you need to show the world so do what you can to overcome the anxiety, ignore the voice in your head that lies to you, and do whatever it is you are motivated to do.  Even if you have to do it afraid.
Thanks for reading and head on over to Marvelously Miranda for more!