Am I Doing My Chores?

Am I Doing My Chores?

Tomorrow is my son’s first birthday party. My husband left Thursday night for graduation weekend at his alma mater, an event he hasn’t been able to attend in over 15 years. I was happy to have him go, he’s been stressed out lately and definitely needed a little man time. But it hasn’t been a cake walk since he left. 

I’m busy trying to get the house and yard ready for guests, shopping for food, choosing everyone’s outfits, on top of my normal day to day stuff and two toddlers. Jr just started walking, and now he won’t stop. He’s already climbing on furniture.(must be a boy thing!)  I’ve been managing surprisingly well, and I’m pretty darn proud of myself for it. 

I have one more run to make after Jr wakes up from his nap, and have to finish mopping the kitchen and cleaning the bathroom, and then my chores will basically be finished. The best part of it all is that I’ve been too busy trying to get everything done that I haven’t really had time to be depressed. I’ve been talking to God the past few days and I think he’s been giving me strength. The power of prayer truly is incredible!

Am I Ever Gonna Be Happy?

Am I Ever Gonna Be Happy?

I have been extremely depressed lately. I’m not sure where it’s coming from, exactly, but it’s gotten pretty bad this last week or so. I’m completely unmotivated to do anything, I haven’t worked out in 10 days, I’ve been eating like crap, not taking care of myself or the house. I could go on. The weather wasn’t particularly bad, until a couple days ago. It was actually really nice and felt like summer. It’s raining now, and I know the weather plays a huge part in my depression. 

I know what I have to do to pull myself out of it, but I just can’t seem to force myself to do any of those things. It’s like a secret part of me deep down inside just wants me to continue to mope and wallow. I know that’s just my mental illness feeding itself, or even the devil trying to pull me further away from God. I was doing so well, praying and going to church regularly before this bout of depression set in. Being closer to God definitely makes me feel better, but I’ve strayed away from it, yet again. 

It may have something to do with the anniversary of my sister’s death being last week. It’s always a difficult time for me, and this year was no different. I actually visited her at the cemetery for the first time in over 4 years. May 15th was the 11th anniversary of her passing, and the first time I took the kids to go see her. 

I even postponed the kids doctor’s appointment they were supposed to go to yesterday. This is not the way I want to feel, and hopefully getting it out will help me to move past it in a healthy way. I have responsibilities that need taking care of this week, so I have to try to be something that resembles an adult. Jr’s first birthday party is this weekend, so I have to clean the house and get the yard ready for that, along with food and cake and ice cream. It seems like a daunting task from as far down as I feel right now, especially with taking care of two toddlers on top of it, but I know that I can use my coping skills, turn my thoughts around, and get it done. 

Am I Getting Depressed?

Am I Getting Depressed?

I’ve struggled with depression on and off for as long as I can remember. It’s been a battle I’ve fought for so long I can’t remember ever living any other way. I’m currently on medication that seems to balance my emotions out most of the time, but I still find myself getting depressed from time to time. 

My husband can see it start to surface before I can. He notices the symptoms several days before I do, and has been trying to help me notice before it gets out of control. I’ve gone through quite a bit of counseling in the past few years, and learned various coping skills to manage my depression. Here are a few that help me when I’m starting to feel down:

Don’t Isolate

When I’m feeling depressed I tend to isolate myself and try to hide from the world. I will avoid leaving the house at all costs, when it gets bad enough. I don’t answer the phone or reply to texts. So I know if I’m starting to feel down I need to reach out and talk to a family member/friend, or go to a support group meeting. 

Exercise and Eat Well

I’ve always been a total comfort eater. Any time I get depressed I go straight to the junk food to make myself feel better. Of course it always ends up back firing and making me feel worse in the long run, but it’s been something I’ve struggled with since adolescence. I’ve been trying to eat a healthier, more balanced diet and exercise regularly. Fueling my body with the right nutrients and taking control of my fitness level has helped me tremendously. 

Counter Negative Thoughts 

My thought process has always leaned more toward the negative side of things, and my brain often rushes to the worst case scenario in any situation. This has been the hardest symptom of my depression to overcome. Through counseling and support groups I have learned to identify and turn around my backwards thinking. Some of the specific types of thinking I engage in are:

  • All or nothing thinking: seeing things in black and white, with no gray areas in between. 
  • Emotional reasoning: using your feelings instead of your judgment to view a situation. 
  • Mind reading: believing that you know what a person is thinking. Those are your thoughts, not theirs
  • Predicting the future: assuming what the outcome will be without letting the scenario play through. 

I know that when I let my mind go wherever it wants, it will usually lead to depression. I have to make a conscious effort to recognize these types of thoughts and retrain my brain to do the opposite. 

    Engage in Enjoyable Activities

    When my depression sets in, I don’t find any activities to be very enjoyable. But I know that once I do something I’ll start feeling better. If I’m really down I have to force myself to do most things, but in the end it’s worth it. Some of the activities I engage in are home workouts, playing with my kids, coloring, putting puzzles together, camping, kayaking, walking, etc. Getting outdoors is great for my mood, because it allows me to get much needed fresh air and sunshine as well. 

    Stick To A Routine 

    I find it helpful to have a general daily routine for myself and the kids to stick to. We’re pretty loose about it, but we try to have meals at the same time every day, take a bath after dinner, etc. I also have a cleaning schedule that I try to follow. This helps me to stay on track with what needs to be done, so nothing gets a chance to pile up on me. 
    These techniques have helped me keep my depression under control, and living a happy, healthy life with my family. There are others that I’ve tried, and more I’m sure I’ll learn in the future, but for now I will stick with what has worked for me.