How to Build a Community

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A better day: exercise and emotional first aid

Today was a better day.  🙂

This morning, I dragged myself to a total body strength class at the gym.  I’m so glad I did.  Honestly, the reward is the class.  I went once last week, for the first time, and this week, the teacher introduced herself to me, and she even complimented me on my form at one point during the class (“Go Amy!”)!  I also walked three miles at the nature preserve today.  I paced myself because of my ankles / calves, and they didn’t hurt as bad.  Around 3, I went to meet someone I have been in contact with from an organization I used to receive services from.  It was actually a relief to see her.  I hadn’t seen her in a long time, and I was worried she might be mad at me (long story), but she’s not.

My parents came home from vacationing in Lake Placid today.  I suppose it’s nice to see them. 🙂  Plus they brought me chocolate, lol.

I wanted to say, before I forget, that I read something, in a book called Emotional First Aid (by Guy Winch), about people with low self esteem.  It’s about a lot of things, actually, but there’s a part on low self esteem.  He compares low self esteem to a weak immune system.  He refers to a study in which “people were exposed to sad music to put them in a bad mood and were given the option to watch a comedy video to cheer up.  Although people with high self esteem jumped at the chance to have a laugh, people with low self esteem agreed that watching the video would improve their mood, but they declined to do so nonetheless.”  He then goes on to say, “When our self esteem is low, the resistance we have to positive experiences and information is quite sweeping.”  I thought that this was SO interesting!  And honestly, I could identify and relate with the people who agreed that watching comedy would improve their mood but declined to do so.  I have done this!  After reading this though, I felt empowered.  I think that awareness of our behaviors and how they are affecting our mood and success is important.  In my eyes, this is not sad, because it means we have the power to change.  Emotional First Aid is a great book.  Guy Winch gives the reader many practical tools on how to overcome and cope with everyday hurts like rejection, loneliness, and failure.

Have a good day and take care, wherever you are. 🙂

(View from my 3 mile hike today.  The leaves are changing!)

 

Stop saying “I don’t feel like it”

Today was a pretty frustrating day. But, I’m not going to write about that.  I planned to write about resistance, and I’d like to keep this plan. So here we we go.
Yesterday, I enjoyed walking in the nature preserve so much, that I decided to do it again this morning, only I didn’t. I’m wanting to lose weight, be healthy, start the day off right, and experience more of nature. But I didn’t go exactly. I drove all the way there, and kept driving, until I’d turned around and went home, and I know exactly what happened. It is my biggest struggle, and maybe other people reading this will be able to identify. I struggle with the urge to avoid and resist things. Things I plan to do, never get done because I felt like driving to the bookstore instead, just before I’m supposed to do that something. It’s a short term pleasure. But long term me, well, her goals don’t get accomplished, and she is not happy. I’m not sure if the why is important, especially since I don’t know completely why I do it. What I do know is that I’ve been doing it for a long time, and I want to stop. I’m a big girl now. I did end up walking around my neighborhood instead. I researched (googled) the term “I don’t feel like it,” too, and came up with this: Stop saying “I don’t feel like it.”
I’d like to end this post by writing 3 things I’m grateful for today. Is there something you’re grateful for?
1.  I’m listening to Explosions in the Sky, an instrumental band that makes me happy.
2.  My journal.
3.  Sunny and breezy out today. I opened my windows.

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(View from where I’m sitting writing this)

See you tomorrow 🙂

Life is what happens when you’re making other plans

Someone said to me today, life is what happens when you are making other plans. I never really thought much about this saying. But basically, life meanders, and it goes off course from what you were picturing and planning. But they say, this is where the beauty is. In wanting a job and to move out of my parents house, I have come to realize that…these are not things that are going to happen for me right away. This realization alone has given me more patience. I’m glad that I am on a waiting list for vocational testing. It will help me to determine a career path and what I should go back to school for. In the meantime (between a money making job and where I am now), I’m going to focus on volunteering. I have thought about going out and getting a job as a cashier at a store somewhere, but I think I should wait and I don’t think I’m ready to work in that way yet.

Today I went to an appointment I had at an organization about finding housing. It looks like my prospects for moving out of my parents house right now are bleak. I really don’t make enough through disability to leave right now. It’s not out of the question. But I think I might stay at home a little while longer. I am grateful that they let me stay there.

I also went for a walk in the woods at my local nature preserve today. I love it there, even though it bothers my calves to walk sometimes. And the weirdest thing happened when I was there. I got hit on. Outside the bathrooms, in the nature center. This guy (who works there) asked me out for drinks. I declined. I am really not interested in this person in that way. I was flattered though. Weirded out as well (long story).

(Two pictures from my walk today)

I leave you with this song, Saturn’s Light, by Deb Talan, because it makes my heart smile.  I hope you had a reason to smile today.  🙂

Reasons for this blog

Hi.  My name is Amy.  I’m a 33 year old woman.  I am honestly creating this blog, because I have depression and want to document my journey in becoming a healthier and happier person.  I guarantee it will probably not be anything like Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project.  For one, she doesn’t have depression and two, she’s super organized!  But it will be like mine.  Unique. I would like to be accountable for something, inspire and empower others, and document my progress.

So about me.  Well, let’s see.  There are negatives and the positives.

The negatives: I am on disability for depression and anxiety, I don’t have a boyfriend / husband / partner, I don’t really have a lot of friends at this time in my life, I live with my parents, I don’t have a job.

The positives: The above negatives can all be turned into positives, I believe.  I am also working to change my situation, so that I will someday not only work, but have a profession, etc etc.  I have more self help books than the average person would probably want to admit, and I read them.  A lot of people have told me they think I should be a counselor.  I take this as a huge compliment, especially since its something I think about doing.  I like to doodle and draw, dance, learn new things, read, listen to music, walk in nature, laugh.  I am currently working on and succeeding at getting out of my house to do things in the real world.  These are things like attending a meditation group (which in turn, has gotten me meditating on my own time), attending a knitting group, trying to go to more meet up group outings, going to a dance class, and pondering doing other things I don’t quite feel ready for.  I’m in therapy, I am also a regular at a mental health online forum.  I’m putting in volunteer applications and following up with said applications.

I am not perfect, and while I love therapy, I think that change starts with me.  I recently ended a (best) friendship with someone who is also an ex of mine.  It was difficult and left me a mess at first.  But I am realizing I can survive without him, and ultimately, I deserve better.  I can be really hard on myself.  Scratch that, I am really hard on myself.  I’m working on this.  I am also trying to be more mindful of my emotional reactivity online and with my family.  I tend to resist social things, quite a bit.  And, while I don’t really know *why* I do this, I know I’ve been doing it for a long time, it’s a habit of sorts probably, and that it is good / healthy for me to do social things usually.  I am most probably an introvert, but when I’m alone for too long, I get even more depressed.  Unless I’m overwhelmed (which, I can be) it’s best to push / nudge myself to go to these things.

Welcome to my blog!  I intend to blog everyday at 5 pm.  See you tomorrow 🙂

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