Scheduling a Breakdown

(I submitted this to The Mighty a couple days ago, but I know they’re busy, so I thought I’d share it here. I’ll snag the link if/when it goes live. Until then, you can find my articles here.)

It seems like the minute I have a hundred things to do, my brain decides it’s the perfect time for a breakdown. Even though I have no time for it, it’s not convenient and I really don’t want to think about all the things my depression brain focuses on, I find myself doing all of those things instead of my full calendar. So I’ve put together a list of things that help me put a pin in my symptoms momentarily so I can finish up a few things.

1. Set aside time for yourself.
Trust me, as someone who understands all about
procrastinating, this can seem like both an obvious thing and an impossible
thing to do. But I’m talking about a five minute break here or there. Drink
your cup of coffee, slowly. Smell the steam, watch your creamer swirl in the
cup. Live the experience fully. Go get the mail. Do you hear any crickets? The
sound of ice crunching beneath your feet? This little break reminds you to catch
a little perspective and maybe distract you long enough to work through it.

2. Let yourself be upset.
Telling yourself that you’re not that upset only makes you worse. If you
absolutely can’t be upset-do math. It can be simple, like 1+1, 2+2 and so on.
As it turns out, your brain doesn’t like feeling emotions and doing math at the
same time, so you can usually stall your tears for a moment. But if you have
the ability, just be upset. Again, it can be a little five minute moment in
which you feel like the world is crashing around you and all hope is gone. I
ugly cry, take a tissue and blow my nose then get up and grab some water. I’m
not saying I’m done being upset, but if I let myself be upset in little bits,
then it doesn’t come out in a marathon. It’s your right to be upset. Even if
you don’t think there’s a reason. The way you’re feeling is completely valid.

3. Find something you wanna smile about.
I hate the advice “just turn that frown upside
down”. Sometimes that’s the absolute last thing I want to do-and even then it
just makes me angrier, or cry harder. But what I’m talking about is finding
something that you know you enjoy and experience it. If you think penguin’s
laughing is cute-find a video (I think it’s fantastic). If you know you smile
when you make chicken parmesan, make it. Like bubble baths? Take one. Because
finding something to enjoy usually results in some kind of self-care and let’s
be honest-is that ever a bad thing?

4. Take a deep breath.
This isn’t a novel idea, but it’s important.
Your whole body needs oxygen to function. Your brain is absolutely no
different. Think about how hard your brain is working, trying to manage
everything, fix problems (especially the ones you’re worrying about “for
nothing”). You need air. Plus, if you take a moment and focus on your
breathing, sometimes you’ll find that you already knew the answer to the
problems, you were just so focused on everything all at once that you didn’t
notice.
While you’re breathing, try this little
exercise. Take one breath in and list five things you see. Breathe out. Take
another breath and list four things you hear. Breathe out. Take one more breath
and list three things you smell. Breathe out. One more breath and list two
things you can feel. Breathe out. Take another breath and list one thing you
can taste. Breathe out. Take another breath and carry on about your day.

5. Get a validation outfit.
This is one of my favorite things, and it
happened completely on accident. I got a sweatshirt a couple sizes too big and
washed it and decided that I would only wear it when I felt like a terrible
person. I told myself that while I was wearing it, I wasn’t allowed to degrade
myself. The shirt itself has a graphic about always loving yourself, so I
thought I’d wear it when I needed a reminder that I’m not a monster, and that I
matter. It hangs in my closet until I feel depressed, or feel worthless and
then I put it on and read the words. And when the thoughts popped into my head
like “I’m an idiot.” Or “I’m unlovable.” I look at the words on my shirt and
force myself to take ten seconds to say something nice about myself. “I am
fierce. I am valid. I am irreplaceable.” The nice thing about validation
outfits? They can be anything: a business suit, a pair of shoes, earrings, a
bracelet, a pair of socks. The important thing is to remember to love yourself.
Soon enough, it’ll be your favorite piece of clothing.

Life is hectic and hard sometimes. But the important
thing to remember is that you can do it-even when you’re convinced you can’t.

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To Be Thankful

Well hi there!

I’ve got a really important piece coming out this week, but before I jump right in, I want to do a little recap, a thought and then move forward.

We survived the annual eat and drive marathon, our families were great, everything worked out and I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing awake at this fine hour of 9AM (we got to bed extremely late). But I hope you all had a lovely day yesterday, a safe day and more importantly that you had a day of love. I know with Ben and I gearing up for our respective terminal degree moves, family was on everyone’s lips yesterday-especially the future bits. I’ll be reading all my fellow blogger’s accounts, and interacting-something I always tell myself I will do and then just hit the star and get sidetracked. 

My heart is saddened by the shooting at Rocks (a gay club) last night.

My heart is saddened by the events at Standing Rock (And I will finish that post this week).

My heart is saddened by the people who feel it is okay to put others down.

But my heart is made happy knowing that within a few hours, there was enough money to draw an audit of several states (believed to have manipulated voter ballots) and so perhaps we shall see the change in our society for the better. But our work is far from over, even if that were to occur.

So on top of saying hi to all of you lovely folks, and thinking about some great tragedies of the 2016 year, I will also be making good on my word. I have set aside the rest of break to thoroughly prepare for the LSAT. I’ve been looking at practice questions, taking practice tests and generally just attempting to get ready, but the time has come where apart from a couple straggling assignments, I have time to throw myself into this test. And I shall.

I’ve made myself some coffee, I’ve made a pillow fort, and we’re ready to start the day.

Oh, and it is NOW acceptable to play Christmas music. Ya’ll doing it right after Samhain is just batty. As much as I hate that Thanksgiving is in the same vein as Columbus Day (in the fact that millions were killed by the ignorant and self-serving ideals of others), a time to be thankful is INCREDIBLY important, and representative in many cultures. So you calm yourself with your falalalalas and your silver bells until after you were thankful to have the option.

And yes, fun fact, there are holiday carols for people who practice paganism-no Christmas carols don’t offend me-yes I know all the words to all the Christmas ones-sure I’ll sing along with you-maybe I’ll do a blog about Yule carols-who knows.

Well, TTFN-Ta Ta For Now!

Thankfulness, Day 5

I’m quite sure today was going to be a post about caffeine, about autumn, or about service people. But I want to hold all of those for a moment. Today is a day that really doesn’t mean altogether much to my generation, but I think it should. That may be in part, to the fact that it is a very British day, but I think the point is very universal.

Today is Guy Fawkes Day. And because of that, I am thankful for rebellion. (Look into this day. Really, look past the movie which I have included a picture of. It’s fascinating.)

  Now, why is it that a young woman, such as myself, living in the midwest portion of the United States of America be thankful for REBELLION? 

It is what my country was founded on. An open act of rebellion caused my country ot be formed. And it has continued to do so for many countries since. But I cadnnot say I am a fan of ALL rebellion, for that rwould be too broad a statement. So let me tell you about some of the rebellions that I am actively participating in and how they make me thankful. 

First though, let me define rebellion. For this post, the definition of rebellion I am using is: the open refusal of acceptance of an ideal or action.

I rebel against inequality, against poverty, uneducation, and greed. I rebel against body shaming, stereotypes and hatred. I rebel against boring and unpassionate art. I rebel against anything that says I cannot be everything I dream of being, no matter how “crazy” it may seem. I rebel against oppression and those who would seek to exploit others. 

And the thing is, the more you list things, like I did, the more you realize that life doesn’t have to be all about going with the flow. It can be about changing society, changing the world. That’s a pretty great reason to rebel, if you ask me.

And so, in honor of this day, here’s the poem about Guy Fawkes.

The Fifth of November
    Remember, remember! 

    The fifth of November, 

    The Gunpowder treason and plot; 

    I know of no reason 

    Why the Gunpowder treason 

    Should ever be forgot! 

    Guy Fawkes and his companions 

    Did the scheme contrive, 

    To blow the King and Parliament 

    All up alive. 

    Threescore barrels, laid below, 

    To prove old England’s overthrow. 

    But, by God’s providence, him they catch, 

    With a dark lantern, lighting a match! 

    A stick and a stake 

    For King James’s sake! 

    If you won’t give me one, 

    I’ll take two, 

    The better for me, 

    And the worse for you. 

    A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope, 

    A penn’orth of cheese to choke him, 

    A pint of beer to wash it down, 

    And a jolly good fire to burn him. 

    Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring! 

    Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King! 

    Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!
SOURCE: potw.org