Tag Archives: self

10 Self Care Ideas For The Winter – Ruth

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Today, I thought I would share some self care ideas for the winter. It is very easy to forget about self care and looking after yourself during the colder season. You just want to stay in, watch TV and stay warm all the time. Yes, these are all forms of self care in itself. However, I hope this list will give you a few more ideas and motivation!

  1. Buy Something Soft And Warm

Buy yourself a nice warm and soft blanket, jacket, hat, pair of gloves, socks. Anything. You will feel so happy and cosy!

  1. Go Out For A Stroll (And Get Yourself A Hot Drink On The Way)

This is one of my favourite forms of self care. Although I understand you may be put off doing this whilst it’s cold. You don’t have to go too far. Just wrap up warm and treat yourself to a hot drink on the way!

  1. Make Yourself A Hot Chocolate With Marshmallows and Cream

I absolutely love hot chocolate so it had to be included on this list. Make sure you go all out, put in some big marshmallows, squirty cream and even chocolate sprinkles. Treat yourself once in a while and enjoy it by the fire.

  1. Do Some Baking

Spend some time baking and making some festive cupcakes, cookies or gingerbread men. There are lots of recipes online to follow. I always find baking and decorating the cake (to give it a festive theme) extremely relaxing.

  1. Make A Christmas Playlist, Listen And Relax

There are so many great tunes out there for the holiday season. You will not find it difficult to create a feel good playlist to put on in the background whenever you want to chill.

  1. Make Your Home Smell Nice And Festive

Invest in incense sticks or a candle with a festive scent. Put them all around the house and enjoy! I especially recommend a gingerbread smell.

  1. Stay Focused On Skincare

It is really important to look after your skin during the winter. Your skin can get really dried up in the temperature. Go out and invest in some lip balm and a good moisturiser. Korean skincare is definitely the best in my opinion. You will feel refreshed and amazing after using it.

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  1. Take A Warm Shower (Or Bubble Bath)

There is nothing nicer than taking a warm shower after a long day. Especially when it’s really cold in the middle of winter. The only downside is, you won’t want to get out!

  1. Stay Healthy

I know it is difficult to stay away from sugar and chocolate during the holiday season. It is the only time of year when you can get away with eating lots of it. However, you need to remember to still be healthy. Make sure you have your 5 day and you drink plenty of water.

  1. Start A Journal To Combat Seasonal Depression

Seasonal depression is very real, and affects many people! I highly recommend starting a journal if you haven’t already. There is nothing worse than keeping all your thoughts and feelings bottled up. So, get all those thoughts and feelings out on paper every single day. You will feel so much better afterwards and like a heavy weight has been lifted from your mind.

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I hope you liked some of these self care methods and it gave you some good ideas. You need to remember to look after yourself during all times of the year. Always put some time aside every single day to practise a few of these methods. You won’t regret it.

Ruth (ColourfulHope) xoxo

Ruth is a repeat guest blogger with The Unsanity who has previously written about dealing with stress and the holidays from December 18th 2019. You can find her contact info there along with other ways to find her and follow on social media.

IS SELF-CONFIDENCE A SUPER POWER?-YASMEN AHMED

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Hi! I’m Yasmen, a CBT Integrated Therapist & Clinical Hypnotherapist.
Everyone deserves emotional wellness, inner peace and light in their spirits. My purpose is to inspire you to rekindle your light within in a world that can often feel lonely, disconnected and dim. My mission is to widen your mind with gems of knowledge, feel accepted and inspired towards embracing and becoming your best self!
These tools are easily accessible through my online platform Inspire with Yas- a heart centered space filled with inspiration, positivity, self-love and drops of magic. Join the community and be inspired daily!

You can also follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

Is self-confidence a super power?

Quite simply, no.
Self- confidence is not a super power, it is something we can all have and achieve. Over the years, self-confidence has been perceived as a ‘gift’ that only a selected SPECIAL few have. We have been split into two groups. One group of individuals who are lucky enough to be born with this natural trait and the other group are the “unlucky” ones who did not get this trait.

But how have we got this wrong?

Let me first begin by asking you to do one little thing. I want you, just for a moment to remove this pre-conceived idea that self-confidence is some sort of innate personality trait or gift that only ‘special’ people are born with.

Confidence is a SKILL, just like any other skill. Learning to walk? That’s a skill. Learning to drive or play the drums? That’s a skill. Learning to bake amazingly delicious cakes? Heck, that’s a pretty good skill.

We go through life continually learning new skills in all areas of our lives. We get good at a skill by learning to master it. But when it comes to self-confidence we fail to put it under the same umbrella. Why do we think of it as an innate superpower? Are we born with knowledge of how to drive a car or how to tie our shoe laces? Or are we taught first then told to practice it?

Self-confidence is the same thing. But instead of being told to practice this skill, in society we have instead just assumed that it is something we must already have within and can’t be learnt. Which we know is untrue.

How do we become masters at it?

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1.   PRACTICE

When we want to get good at any form of skill, what are we told to do? PRACTICE! Just like building physical strength, we need to work on building our muscles of self-confidence by exercising them daily through different tasks.

The more you exercise and strengthen your self-confidence muscles, the easier it will get.

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2.   TAKE IT STEP BY STEP

You would not throw yourself right into the deep end of a swimming pool if you never learnt to swim right?

It is the small steps that make the biggest difference and shifts in our lives. Practice exercising

your self-confidence in smaller environments first. Do you want to master self-confidence when giving talks or speeches? Start with mastering the practice of speaking to yourself in the mirror first. Then move up to practicing in front of family and friends. Then when you feel comfortable, slowly excel to bigger audiences and keep growing.

The key here is not to rush and most importantly be kind to you. Give yourself credit for each small accomplishment you complete.

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3.  REMOVE THE LABELS

We are often given labels from a young age from our parents, friends, teachers and society. We take these labels as truths and allow them to limit us towards achieving our goals, hopes and dreams.

Let’s say as a child you were labeled as the ‘quiet and shy kid’ but your brother or sister was the ‘confident and talkative kid’. Without realizing, you will live your life never believing you could be anything more because you were not “blessed” with the gift of self-confidence like your brother or sister. You will keep yourself stuck, limited and remain within the barriers of your own mind.

Do not allow words or labels given to you, define who you are. They are not real. Give yourself permission to explore and become the person you want to be instead.

Lastly

It all starts with YOU. Self-confidence can be achieved by anyone, it is not a superpower only gifted to some. Nothing is stopping you but yourself. Don’t you think it is time to start stepping into your own power?

Striving Towards A Simple Life – Just a Bit Further

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Is it even possible?

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.

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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?

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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?

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Breathing

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.

A few things to keep in mind though.

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We Are Our Own Worst Enemy

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.

Clutter and Complexity

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:

  • sense of confidence – I have only X amount of space, so I need to be bold with what goes and what stays
  • more energy – relates to the first point. Puts you in the get things done mode
  • reduces anxiety – most of us prefer order as compared to chaos. Decluttering creates order and order reduces anxiety
  • creates more time – not overwhelmed now with the time that WAS needed to clean and tidy. Creates time for other things or to do nothingWhen we can do something like getting rid of the clutter around us, our lives start to become simpler.

Social Media

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.

A Few Simple Things

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.

“No” Is Not A Bad Word

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!

Do Nothing – Practice It Until You Get REAL GOOD at it.

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.

Why?

Having that time to do nothing and just “be you” helps to foster and create contentment with life.

Get In Alignment

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!

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To quote Yvon Chouinard, an early rock climbing pioneer and founder of the outdoor equipment and clothing company Patagonia and environmental activist.

Thanks for reading and stopping by.

#FreebieFriday – Planner Pages

Good morning Unsanity readers!

It’s another #FreebieFriday for you finally. I’ve been out of the loop writing here myself (currently featuring a whole BUNCH of guest bloggers instead!) and wanted to share something for your Freebie today.

Click the link below to download your 4 different color scheme daily planner pages! You can also find this here on my page if you lose this post amongst the others.

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Mental Health Mini Series: 4 Reasons Why You Should Start to Exercise – Stephanie Robbins

Hello Friends!

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!

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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.

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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

  • You do not need to go out and join a gym or an online membership unless you want to.
  • There are plenty of free resources online or books you can check out from the library.
  • Walking is a great way to get started, get some good shoes to protect your feet and body.
  • Workout clothes are so much fun to have. They are pricey. I mostly use t-shirts and my husband’s old shorts. I have bought some workout clothes but they don’t fit very well, thank you baby #4. Haha! I reward myself by meeting exercise goals with workout clothes. J
  • Yoga is SOOOOO good for your body and mental health. One of my favorite yoga channels on You Tube is Yoga with Adriene. I just really love her, this is not sponsored. After I started to do yoga more consistently I noticed mood improvements. Woohoo!
  • Ask a friend to be your accountability partner or workout partner.
  • Self-promoting here… J Last fall I created a 3 month free workout program. Check it out and see if it is something you’d like.

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!

Xoxo, Steph

You Can’t Stress – Sarah D’Anne

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I’m Sarah D’Anne, a writer of books and blog posts. When I’m not working in the deli at my local convenient store, I’m at home with my six cats and my mother. Besides writing, I like to doodle, do photography, and daydream.
Blog: www.unexploredboundaries.wordpress.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/sarahdanne
IG: www.instagram.com/highlyfaveured
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/aceyroch

“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.

YOU MATTER.

A Life Worth Living – Sheila Yale, Empty Next Lifestyle

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.

Website    https://emptynextlifestyle.com

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/sheilayale.5

Pinterest   https://www.pinterest.com/postsemptynextlifestyle

Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/emptynextlifestyle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SheilaYale7 

 

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.novak@gmail.com and we can have a chat about how I can incorporate you and your story!

It’s Time to Stop Punishing Yourself with Food – Nourish With Renata

Hello Unsanity readers, as promised, here is another guest blogger for your Friday! This one comes from a fellow blogger of mine, Renata, who specializes in healthy easy recipes!

 

Hi! I’m Renata and I am the founder of NourishwithRenata.com, a healthy recipe blog focusing on delicious, easy recipes that not only taste good but are good for you! I am a mom, wife and foodie, living in Texas with my husband, 3 kids and trusty labrador. I love helping people rediscover healthy food through the recipes on my blog and e-books, as well as my personalized cooking classes. 

It’s the beginning of a new year and lots of people are making New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions might be about making healthier lifestyle choices, like working out or eating healthy. 

But what does it mean to eat healthy? Does it mean doing juice cleanses? Does it mean only eating one meal a day? Does it mean not eating carbs???

What some people don’t realize is that these kinds of restrictive diets are not sustainable long term. Depriving and restricting your body is actually punishing your body. It is not allowing your body the fuel and nourishment that it needs to not only survive, but to thrive. And that means that your body will try to find a way to get back the calories you were depriving it. This is why so many people gain back the weight that they were trying to lose, and then some. 

This begins the cycle of purging and binging, or what I call, the diet culture. It is a completely destructive way of treating your body and it forces you to look at food in a harsh, negative light. Foods are either “bad” or “good”. And more often than not, you feel guilty for giving your body the nourishment that it needs. 

Diet culture is a slippery slope. I think that is why so many people start having eating disorders. We are programmed by social media to think that we have to look and eat like everybody else. That a “quick fix” is the only way to change, that immediate gratification is the only way to get recognition. That in order to be “liked”, we have to be the same as everyone else. 

THIS SIMPLY ISN’T TRUE. It’s time to change our mindset. It’s time to stop trying to be like everyone else, and start being our truest selves. It’s time to bring a whole new perspective to how we think about ourselves and how we think about food. 

Instead of punishing your body, start building a positive relationship with food. Food is a fuel source, a way to nourish your cells, brain and muscles with the nutrients and energy that it needs to support you during the day. By giving it the foods that provides you with maximum energy and vitality, you are ensuring that you can achieve your to-do list, you can work out without feeling drained, and best of all, you can spend time with your loved ones without feeling bloated, lethargic or a slave to food. 

So how can you stop punishing yourself with food? Here’s a few tips:

  • Pay attention to how you feel after you eat: If it helps, make a food diary, so you can record how foods are making you feel. Focus more on eating the foods that help you feel energized for longer, and less time eating the foods that make you feel tired and sluggish. Food affect people differently, so your list of energizing foods may be different from someone else’s.
  • Don’t worry about fads: There are so many diets out there from keto, paleo, whole 30, vegan… the list goes on. Your friends may be doing some of these diets, and if so, let them! You don’t have to join in. Scientific studies have shown that the best diet for weight loss is one that is sustainable. So don’t worry about fads. Fads are a one-off that may help you lose weight quickly, but are not sustainable. Stay strong against peer pressure and focus on nourishing your body with whole foods that taste good and are good for you. 
  • Building a healthy, positive relationship with food takes time: This is real life. There will be times when you will go out to lunch with friends or go to big family gatherings that have a buffet of foods that you don’t normally eat. It is ok to eat different foods! It is ok to eat richer, more indulgent foods sometimes. It may make you feel less energetic than normal, but it’s ok. Building a healthier, positive relationship with food means that you don’t ever have to feel guilty for having dessert. 

Changing your perspective on food can have incredible repercussions on other aspects of your life. Once you see the positive change from how you think about food, you will feel energized and motivated to accomplish other goals in your life. But best of all, you will gain back your self-confidence. Your relationship with food is in your control. And it’s time to make it a positive one. 

You can connect with Renata on the following platforms:

Nourish with Renata blog at www.nourishwithrenata.com 

Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/nourish_with_renata

Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Nourish-with-Renata-2030856650493733/

Twitter at https://twitter.com/NourishwRenata 

Traveling as Therapy – Denise

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!

Hello everyone!

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 koral.novak@gmail.com – I would love to hear from you and collaborate!

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