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Anxiety

Anxiety, Depression and Self-care: Sticking to a Schedule to Survive the Holidays

With the holidays less than one week away, I am aware of the need to schedule my time. Because the holidays are difficult for me, I find that if I plan everything, I have a schedule to follow when the hard times hit. And it's imperative to my mental health that I stick to my schedule. Militantly. Like I have no choice. Like if I don’t do it, someone will get hurt. Like my life depends on it. 



Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Mental Health and Downtime: Scheduling Projects to Practice Self-care During the Holiday Season 


I finally finished grading finals for the semester. Which feels bittersweet. For while I am grateful to have time off before the next semester begins, it’s over the holidays — historically, a dangerous time for me. Not only can the holidays be triggering, depressing and exhausting, but there’s a lot of unscheduled time. Downtime. And having downtime is the hardest time for me to deal. For without structure, it’s as if my brain and my body don’t know what to do. Which can be destructive. To others and to myself. 



CBD

PMS, PMDD and Somatic Trauma: 10 Ways to Prevent Self-harming During Your Period


I didn’t attend Thanksgiving this year. With neither my family nor my friends. I had to be alone and to take care of myself. Because that’s what my period self demands. It holds my sanity at ransom, and if I don’t comply, I’m a goner. 

I had to stay home to take care of my body. Because it has been through hell. It’s scared. Scarred. Timid. Afraid. From the trauma it has suffered. I need to comfort it as I would a child. Give it blankets and soft clothing. Feed it warm, bland foods. Allow it time to rest. I have to soothe it. To uplift it. To let it know I will not let anything happen to it again. 



Altar

Mental Health, Spirituality and Self-care: 8 Basic Steps to Beginning Your Meditation Practice


I started meditating when I lived out West. A far way away from where I grew up in the Midwest. I was searching for something. As we all do in our 20s. But I had been struggling with my mental health for as long as I could remember. I wasn’t okay. And I didn’t know how to get better. I was completely lost. Both in my life and in myself. And meditation was the first thing that helped me find my way. 



Anxiety

Mental Health and Self-care: Doing Yoga, Practicing Meditation and Journaling to Connect to Your Spirituality  

My cousin recently spoke with me about wanting to become more spiritual. A journey she knows I’ve been on for quite some time. To help me work through my trauma. To improve my mental health. She was looking for book recommendations, tips, anything, really. As I began to respond to her, I realized there was so much to getting started that I had to write it all down. So here was my advice to her:



Anxiety

Mental Health and Self-care: Creating a Coping Schedule for Working While Mourning

Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay

Learning how to mourn a loss is an interesting process. One that, if done often enough, can be perfected. It’s right up there with learning how to self-soothe. Which, arguably, many learn when they’re young. But if you don’t learn to self-soothe at a young age, mourning a loss as an adult can be quite difficult. Because you have yet to...


Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Mental Health and PTSD: When Even Going to the Movies Is Scary 


I don’t like going to the movies. Never have. I’d much rather be in my own environment where I can control the sensory stimuli and eat my own food and enjoy the movie from the comfort of my own chair. But my husband loves going to the movies. It’s one of his favorite things to do. So one rainy Sunday, Good Boys was playing, which looked hilarious, and I decided to give it a go. To do something my husband loves to do. To be a supportive wife. But I was hesitant. I hadn’t been to the movies in years. The last movie I saw at the theater was the original Maleficent in 2014. Over five years ago. Before I knew I had PTSD. 



Agoraphobia

PTSD and Agoraphobia: When Your Fear Response Is Triggered, It Doesn’t Feel Safe to Leave Your House 


I work from home (which is an amazing gift), so in an effort to get out every day and to enjoy the fall weather, I started going for walks outside instead of using the treadmill. Something I didn’t feel as safe doing when we lived in a more city-like environment where there was construction and commotion around every corner, but since we moved more into the country, I had been able to enjoy walking outside. Where I could appreciate nature. Where I was even beginning to feel safe. But then my fear response was triggered one day, ending my daily outdoor walks. And making me feel afraid to leave my house.