See you in September…

I have decided to take the advice I would normally give to someone else but rarely take myself and say it’s okay to take a break.

I will be on hiatus from now through August 2019.

I have consistently posted once a week (sometimes more) since October 2018 which is a noteworthy accomplishment for me. I have written more entries on “You Got This” than any of my prior blogs. (Most of which were sporadically updated, often in clusters of time, and all ultimately abandoned. That hasn’t been the case with this blog nor will it be.)

I recognize that in most things taking a break is often needed and pausing to regroup is NOT failure. For I am taking this time to focus on things in my life that need my full and undivided attention and I cannot do so and write what I would consider “quality” posts.

Unlike my past blogs, I still have so much more I wish to share with my followers and I plan to continue jotting down ideas whilst on break. In fact, I already have some ideas for future posts, I just don’t have the time to fully research or flesh out the topics to my standards/desires.

I will return with a post on September 4th. In the mean time thank you for reading and remember, YOU GOT THIS!!

-Heather

New to the blog? There’s much to read while you wait for my return! 🙂

Advertisements

At Least I Posted Something… Keeping a Streak…

I am going to call this an ALIPS post…. as in “At Least I Posted Something”

I am trying to keep a streak going, I have posted once a week every week since October 2018 and I hope to continue to do so, when I created Wednesday as my post day that felt natural to do, and it is irking me that I just don’t have the energy for one of my normal posts. But I just am feeling so drained and strained… there is a lot going on right now (has been for a few weeks, and I am also trying to do some personal inner work type stuff as well as Summer work load that just hit me… ) but I wanted to post something, and do my best to keep this streak of posting/writing so today you get a blah kind of post today. I am sorry about that.

I always try to make my posts on this blog to be informative or helpful.

Lately I’ve been dividing everything into three main categories: Regular (informative with resources), Past Self PSA (a public service announcement to my past self that hopefully helps others as well so this almost the same as the regular posts in that it it is informative however this topic may not have been as deeply researched, and mostly likely won’t include any kind of resources), and TMF (That Magic Feeling, I discuss this at length… in the post called That Magic Feeling which are things that may not be so much researched or service announcement feel but just ways I have and you may be able to feel that magic feeling, also included in this would be Holiday Magic… just bringing that magic feeling into your life)…. and now much to my chagrin I have added ALIPS…. At Least I Posted Something….

See the thing is that I made a deal with myself to try to post once a week every Wednesday… and man oh man do I want those posts to all be full of substance… I mean I created the PS PSA because I needed to give myself a break from researching like crazy and also because there were things I wanted to say that didn’t necessarily need resources…. so occasionally I may post a “filler” post. Because I still want to post something every Wednesday when I can but I am also allowed to focus on self-care… and so there you have it. This blah kind of a post… Maybe I will do these as more of a current introspective? How I view the world or where I am right now.

What’s funny about this is that if it were anyone else, I would just say give yourself a simple hiatus it’s okay to give yourself a break… and maybe I will but whether or not I even have anyone reading these posts I think it’s good for me to try my best to post at least SOMETHING each week.

Anyway… I got this… You got this…

Heather

 

TMF Feed the Animals

feed the animals

TMF: That Magic Feeling

Okay so this may not be that novel of an idea of if you already have a pet or are a caregiver… but there is something so simple and magical about feeding a living creature especially those out in nature.  Also it can be incredibly simple, you can put out a bird feeder or get a few peanuts for the squirrels or chipmunks depending on your area. If you live an apartment complex and cannot feed the local wildlife you can go to a petting zoo and feed the animals. (And if you aren’t into the feeding aspect just watching these creatures in nature or watching animals can spark some magic.)

If you do decide to feed the local wildlife with any regularity you need to do some research, the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, bunnies, butterflies, etc. in your area make like a specific type of food… also you want to make sure that your area isn’t prone to certain types of pests… what time of day to put out the food, what type of feeder if one is needed, where to put the food, etc.

Specifically I feed a chipmunk. It makes me feel like a Disney princess because this specific chipmunk is so used to me that he/she comes up to the door waiting for some yummy treats but is skittish of everyone else. (I am not sure of it’s a gender I think it is a girl for some reason, but I will use the pronoun of he from here on for ease.) This chipmunk disappears each winter to return every spring/summer/fall. About three years ago I started to feed him and it started with simple food like peanuts but then I looked into it and realized that too many peanuts can make chipmunk fat or even ill!  So I did more research and only give peanuts as a special treat.

My husband feeds the birds with a bird feeder in the tree and we see so many different breeds/kinds. It is great to be able to bird watch from our window/yard. He’s done this the past few years (and if we can get our act together for the current summer we hope to keep feeding those birdies; long story but we’ve had a lot going on with work and family so trying to keep up with it is very tough). Normally when he does this he will fill up the feeder once or twice a week and the birds will come usually in intervals.

Now if you already own/have a pet you might be able to get that magic feeling when you give them a special treat, taking that animal for a walk, or playing with your animal.

But what if you don’t have a pet AND (for whatever reason) cannot feed the wildlife… well there are some options! You may want to check out zoos, county fairs, parks, or even your family or friend’s homes! My hubby and I attend our local county fair almost every summer and they have live animals that you can see, pet, and feed. (Usually it’s a minimal cost to get a cup of food to feed animals such as donkeys, goats, and cows.) Also some Zoos give you the opportunity to feeds the animals, I personally have not done this but I know people who have, some extra special events where they have a special ticket to feed animals like giraffes or penguins.  Maybe family or a friend has a pet that you can spoil and be the aunt/uncle to! I know I am a proud Aunt to some fur-children. I also greatly enjoy just dog watching at the park and seeing all the adorable doggies (I unabashedly tend to call all fluffy animals floofers and my husband and I will say “floofer alert” when we see a cute animal… I think part of that magic feeling is allowing yourself to be unashamed of your geeky/dorky/”lame” self haha!).

Side note: All of this is a great way for me to have the joy of a pet without the responsibility, I know that sounds terrible… but I just feel like it would be unfair to have a pet at home when my husband and I work so much and are rarely home and other important factors… I mean if we don’t feed the birds a season they will find other feeders and other things to eat in nature… a pet would solely be dependent on us! (Also, I don’t have to clean up any poop, ha! Although I do help out a lot with family and friend’s pets and have taken them on walks, picked up poo, bathed them, fed them, etc.)

So, whether it’s from your doorstep, at a fair, in a zoo, giving a your/family’s/friend’s pet a special present… feeding/taking care of a living creature is a way to show nature that you care, and is something so incredibly simple that can stir up a bit of that magic feeling I keep mentioning! Even if you don’t feed the animals just going to the zoo or seeing dogs walking in the park can bring a bit of that magic and usually it brings a big smile to my face.

Remember You Got This!

-Heather

TMF: A Sherlock Themed Birthday Surprise

TMF = That Magic Feeling  (I discussed this in the post called: That Magic Feeling )

sherlockbday

This is a post definitely about creating that magic feeling. So many people think fun and silly things are just for kids. But if you are big kid like myself or my husband and enjoy geeky things, well you can have fun like us!

I want to tell you about what I did for my husband (then boyfriend) a few years ago for his birthday. So to be clear this is not a birthday party or gathering. This was a mystery/clue/scavenger hunt with a particular theme of Sherlock Holmes that led him to his birthday presents which were hidden all over the house. Maybe you will want to do something similar for someone who likes mysteries or scavenger hunts. (It probably would work for a lot of different things… I hope one day to do a Batman one for him too, sssh don’t tell him. Although he reads this, so HUBBY if you are reading this forget that part! hehe)

So why Sherlock Holmes? Sherlock happens to be one of my husband’s favorite characters, and he has read and loved so many of Sherlock’s incarnations that I knew I just had to have a special themed birthday surprise for him.

I had specifically tailored this to my husband by utilizing his favorite stories from the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I read/re-read these particular stories to reference for clues… (However this can be adapted for any stories, just give different clues/hiding spots, etc.)

My hubby’s favorites to date are:

  • The Redheaded league
  • Scandal in Bohemia
  • Sign of the Four

Now unfortunately I cannot locate the full size photos, which I know I took of all my clues because I put a lot of work into this, however I will include the montage photos and  explain what it is you are looking at as best I can!

The adventure began at the front door (the day before his birthday since he would be extra surprised and would be arriving home from work late enough that day that would give me time to set everything up).  On the front door I put a sign that said “221 B  Baker Street”.  Underneath the sign, attached to the front door I had a letter written from “Irene Adler” addressed to my husband.  I printed it in a fancy script like font and used light tan paper. I made an envelope that looked like an old timey envelope and sealed it with a wax seal.

 

The letter read as follows:

Dear Mr. ____,

Please excuse the abrupt and assuming nature of this missive… As you are an esteemed associate of Mr. Holmes, I am writing you that he had gone missing. The worst has been ascribed by all who know him, and I do fear that he is in great danger. The state of his quarters at 221 Baker Street has been left untouched. Though Dr. Watson, having studied under and lived with him for some measure of time has done his absolute best to interpret the scene; the only clue he has been able to discern is that it seems Mr. Holmes was in the midst of a chess game with some unknown associate and that one of the chess pieces has been removed from the set and cannot be located.  I trust that you will be able to aide in this search and perhaps solve this troubling mystery and that you will have time besides to celebrate what I have been told is your __ year of birth.                                          Fondly, Irene Adler

Obviously I had his name and year of birth in there but edited for privacy. (Although to be honest he probably wouldn’t care but just in case. Ha!)

Sherlock2

Upon entering the house there was a chess set, set up, with one type of chess piece missing, I then hid that somewhere nearby. So he first had to look at the chess set, and discern which piece was gone. Also atop the chess set was what looked like a blank piece of pink paper, but it actually was a note written in invisible ink that told which direction to look for the piece that was missing. It was the rook. (To make sure he got it, I took both rooks from the chess set away. Also we are super-duper dorks, so we actually have a few different sets of chess sets, so I set the chess board up with the smaller board, but hid one of the larger size pieces around so it was easier to spot. And yes that blank piece of paper had a special pen next to it. So he realized that the note was written in invisible ink and he had to use the pen light on it to read it. Yup, I had that one hand already too! Ha! They are easily obtained on amazon though just a heads up.) He then found the chess piece and underneath that was a clue referencing the sign of the four.

Underneath the chess piece was a green slip of paper with a symbol on it (the symbol was from “The Sign of the Four” and it said “Look to where dear brother Bartholomew’s killer entered his room for the next clue.”  Which meant he had to look up, and directly overhead was a picture of a fish bowl that I had taped onto the ceiling… That led him to an actual fish bowl!  It was empty of real fish or water, but inside I had six orange goldfish. On the backside of each fish it had a letter. The Letters:  D E F G I R. He had to unscramble them until he figured out it spelled FRIDGE.

So he went to the kitchen, and opened the fridge. Inside was one of his presents (a book about Professor Moriarty – which is a primary nemesis of Sherlock Holmes) and so on top of that book ,I also wrote a note from Moriarty himself. This one read, “Ah! Clever Holmes has left you clues to find me. Well you’ll find my promise to boil Holmes alive was merely a hooded threat.” (And of course I signed it Professor Moriarty)… this clue led to the range hood over the stove. Which is magnetic, so I put another small present there (I bought him a plush magnet of Sherlock Holmes from the “Little Thinker” Unemployed Philosophers Guild company which you can purchase from their site or on amazon.)

sherlock1

So he actually found Sherlock Holmes!  But that wasn’t all; Sherlock still had another clue to give. Magnetized underneath him was another clue. It’s hard to see in the picture but on a yellow piece of paper I wrote, “Good chap! Thanks for saving me. But the game is still afoot! 1dst look upon the kitchen table for some substance then continue the search atop the stairs!”

[I think I had some cupcakes or some kind of treat for him on the kitchen table unfortunately I do not remember.]

sherlock 3

After enjoying a cupcake, he went up to the top of the stairs and there on the landing using his shoes, I led a path to the bedroom and on the bed were a few wrapped gifts and a balloon that said happy Birthday.

Explanation of the clues…

In the letter from Irene Adler:  the only clue he has been able to discern is that it seems Mr. Holmes was in the midst of a chess game with some unknown associate and that one of the chess pieces has been removed from the set and cannot be located.  {Which is how he knew to look at the chess board}

The Green piece of paper:  SPOILERS…… if you haven’t read Sign of the Four. In that story a mysterious killer entered the room from above when it seemed impossible so….    Look to where dear brother Bartholomew’s killer entered his room for the next clue. {How he knew to look above}

The orange fish: They could only spell Fridge when using all the letters.

The note from Moriarty: “Ah! Clever Holmes has left you clues to find me. Well you’ll find my promise to boil Holmes alive was merely a hooded threat.” Boil led to stove, hooded led to the stove hood.

Note from Sherlock: “Good chap! Thanks for saving me. But the game is still afoot! 1st look upon the kitchen table for some substance then continue the search atop the stairs!” This led him to the top of the stairs, and since I wrote “afoot” he realized he should pay attention to the shoes leading to the bedroom. (Although that would have been an easy guess since those shoes were originally in the closet.)

 

So it was a fun little jaunt, and though I am sure he would have loved his gifts even without all of this, he was thrilled and it added a special memory to his birthday.

See kids don’t have to have all the fun. Maybe you’ll make a birthday/holiday scavenger hunt for someone you care about or maybe send this post to some friends and say “hint hint” and hopefully they do something like this for you!

Either way I hope you enjoyed and remember YOU GOT  THIS!

-Heather

 

 

PAST SELF PSA: Cereal for Lunch (or Why I’m not stressing about food)

PSACereal4Lunch

What is a PAST SELF PSA?

For so many years I used to pressure myself about what I ate, and I still have a hard time with it. On top of that I also thought my meals should look a certain way. Without actually saying it out loud, I often felt like my lunch should be a wrap, a salad, a sandwich, left-overs of a perfectly cooked dinner, or even a bento-box. This wasn’t just for lunch, even when I was living alone I felt as though my dinners should LOOK like “DINNERS”. So many times I would try to be someone who “meal prepped” or “couponed” or at the very least someone who planned weekly meals. Beyond that, I also listened to every new food “solution” or “cure”, throwing everything out of my refrigerator and cabinet and reworking my entire lifestyle. Sometimes there might even only be a week in between these diverse diets/lifestyles.  Honestly, I don’t know if I have had a set “normal” (as in a whole year of eating a certain way) since childhood, unless you count loving sugar, that’s been my only consistent. And I am not here to discuss yo-yo dieting or sugar addiction. What I am discussing is that I was stressing myself out with all of this and as someone who has suffered and continues to deal with mental/emotional burnout, anxiety, depression, and stomach issues…  (not to mention a toxic relationship with food and fad dieting from a very young age) … I would overwhelm myself with how I felt my diet should look.

So it took a long time, and only to quite recently in fact, that I just decided to let myself “BE”.  I am eating what I like, what agrees with me, and doing my best to add more healthy food. So, I plan to discuss more about the evils of the supposed “cure-alls” but right now, let’s focus on just being okay with food. It’s okay to eat cereal for lunch at work. (Or any food that agrees with you.) Personally, I know that rice Chex and Kix cereal with almond/coconut milk agrees with me. So I have been bringing that to work and not thinking about the rest. (It’s funny right after I decided to start doing so, I had another co-worker say, ‘Is that breakfast?’ I don’t know if they meant anything by it but it almost triggered me, instead, I just smiled and said, “No, when you eat food at this hour, it’s called lunch, but it is cereal if that is what you mean”.) Sometimes, if I remember I will also bring some nuts and fruit or some chips or veggies and dip to add some extra oomph to the nutrients I am getting. But it’s okay that my “meal” might not look like a meal to someone else or like someone else’s meal. It’s okay if my lunch looks like “breakfast”.

And I am not just talking about lunch or eating normally designated foods at different times. (For example when I have time and motivation I will even eat salmon, scallions, and cucumbers over freshly cooked rice for breakfast.) So yes that is part of it, but also knowing what works for my body, what nutrients I need, and how to provide for myself without stressing out over it or giving a damn what anyone else outside of my most trusted doctors say.

Another example of this is that, after a long day of dealing with people with exhausting personalities and some very negative vibes, it can feel overwhelming to have to cook, especially since most nights my husband works too late to join me for dinner, so busting out a lot of pots and pans just for me, seems extra draining. So I make sure I have some “healthy” microwave meals, some foods to put over rice (rice cooker is amazing), some simple fixings to make loaded nachos, canned soups, bread & peanut butter, etc.

Now, I am NOT saying that one should eat mindlessly or eat only chemical/sugar ridden junk food. But I am saying that it’s okay if some of your daily food intake may be considered junk. Mindful eating should NEVER be stressful eating. So I am saying it’s okay if your meals don’t look perfect or aren’t what you think your meals “should” look like. You got to listen to your body, your budget, and be aware of your emotional/physical state. Stressing out over a basic thing as giving the body fuel, creates a very unhealthy and confusing state for the body and mind.

Food is fuel, so do whatever works for you to get nutrients. Granted I am not a nutritionist (and honestly the authors of a lot of those books on so-called cure-all diets usually aren’t as well just a heads up)… But there are some fundamentals… Vegetables are important, protein is important, fiber is important… Sometimes you may need to take vitamins whilst other times you may need to add particular foods add the food items you body needs.

No matter what, You GOT this!

-Heather

 

 

PAST SELF PSA: Money & Happiness

psaMONEY

What is a PAST SELF PSA?

So the phrase “money doesn’t buy happiness” is true… but not in the way people tend to use it. People use this turn of phrase to mean that the “simple life” is better, that rich people suck, or that money is evil.

Money isn’t evil.

Money affords us to do the things we want to do in this world such as help causes/people, go on trips, do fun activities, etc. Just because there are evil people out there misusing money and letting the power that comes with having access to oodles of money go to their head, doesn’t mean that anyone who has money is evil, and that to have money is wrong.

So money DOES buy happiness in the way that it gives us the ability to pay for the experiences and things in life we enjoy and support the causes we care about.

What “money doesn’t buy happiness” truly means is that if you are feeling empty, no amount of “stuff” or cash can fill that emptiness. The issue is looking outside to plug up the gaping hole of sadness/hollowness within ourselves.

And that’s where we all get lost in the shuffle, we are consumerist society where every advert tells us that happiness lies within the next product… that is until the NEXT product comes along, and the one after that one.

If you want to help fill the void within, the only way to do so is look within, which is scary and uncomfortable and yes it is much easier to buy more stuff, eat more stuff, and watch more stuff to ignore that feeling…  In fact unfortunately people will make some big decisions to fill this emptiness (like change jobs/buy a house/ have a baby… when they really should be looking within first and then making those decisions, not using those decisions to fill the emptiness.)

Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with purchasing things that you know you’ll enjoy or spending money, or eating the food you love… there is also nothing wrong with making big changes for your life… but where to be way is the “cycle of high-low” (aka happy/sad) when it comes to money/changes/filling the void…  You should be able to feel happiness outside of purchasing an item… and if you find yourself feeling low or sad without purchasing something and high/happy only when you purchase something that is an unhealthy sign. This is the “money doesn’t buy happiness” deal. If it buys it for only the briefest of moments and then you find yourself sad and lost and waiting for the next “high” then it is definitely time to check in on yourself.

You may need to change your outlook… you may need to talk to a therapist… you may just need to realize that money itself is currency, it is neither bad nor good… much like a knife… you can use a knife to chop food and make a delicious meal or you could use a knife to stab someone. The knife itself is not evil, it the person who is wielding it that takes control of it. Don’t let money control you, you control money.

So yes it’s okay to have money and use money to achieve goals and purchase fun things… it is when we let money make or break us on the daily that money doesn’t buy happiness.

You Got This!

-Heather

 

 

Need some help on changing perspectives check out these posts:

What You Focus on Matters

Focus Creates Your Reality: Affirmations

Focus Creates Your Reality: Positive Reinforcement

 

 

 

“Low Days” and how to deal with them

SelfCareLOWday

 

Even the healthiest most put together non-conditioned individual has “off” or “low” days. If you are someone with a mental or physical health condition, well there can be a lot of those days. When you struggle with ailments such as depression, anxiety, any number of health conditions, extreme pain, or even just being in a state of brain drain and excess stress, it is essential to find small, simple ways to take care of yourself. Self-care is necessary even more so on “low” days, even if it may seem miniscule to the outsider, I’m telling you there are other people in your situation who get it, and to be proud of yourself when you make any step towards taking care of yourself, your home, or your goals.

Sometimes when you are overwhelmed or in that state where showering feels like climbing Mount Everest, it is hard to figure out how to take care of yourself and live your best life, whilst in that state.

Some situations it may just be about changing your outlook or positive thinking, if you need some help with that then you may want to check out my posts:

Other times, we are just in a funk, where taking care of ourselves (showering, eating, exercising), taking care of our surroundings (cleaning), or living our life (anything really) can just seem incredibly daunting…. And a low day can become a low week, or low month etc.

As I said I’m lopping a lot of different types of people with different situations into one common situation… taking care of yourself, surroundings, and life when it seems impossible… this can be for anyone, maybe you are just mentally exhausted from work and you have a few days off and you are out of sorts, maybe you have severe depression/anxiety, maybe you are a “spoonie” with severe illness/pain issues… no matter what sometimes we need something even simpler than those self-care tips that tell you to purchase bath bombs and get facials…. I personally wouldn’t consider myself a spoonie (for more on what is a spoonie see links at end of this post) and other than some occasional bouts of extreme menstrual pain and IBS pain, I am not a CHRONIC ILLNESS or PAIN sufferer but I do have anxiety, I have pain days, and I have low days. (I am working on fixing these things… for some it may be almost impossible or at least highly improbable to just “fix” these issues, and these “low” days can be your everyday reality… for those in extreme situations, I hope even one small portion of this post is helpful.

Also, note when researching this, I found that the majority of resources were how to change a bad day into a positive one, not grasping that 1) sometimes things aren’t bad nor are they good they just are “low” and 2) that for those dealing with specific issues/situations it just isn’t that simple. I mean, even outside of illness there are many people who are dealing with drain from high anxiety inducing jobs and brain drain… you yourself may not be clinically diagnosed with a particular ailment but the American lifestyle can be overwhelming and a struggle… also there are many people who are drained because they have to take care of others that they put their own needs on the backburner that when they have a “day off” it can be what some would call a “low day”. So like I said, lopping a lot of people into one post… hopefully you will find something useful no matter your situation.

Here are my tips for taking care of yourself:

Keeping yourself clean & Beauty tips when you want to look/feel good, or know you just need to be clean but can barely manage….

  1. Dry shampoo and wet wipes are your friends. Yes sometimes a shower is too daunting, or maybe just a full shower (you could put your hair in a shower cap) but you should clean yourself up. Use dry shampoo to keep a shampooing lasting longer/keep your hair from being an oil slick. Use wet wipes on any creases of the body or sweaty areas. If you can shower, wash those parts and keep your hair in a cap.
  2. If you are someone who is hairy but prefers to be shaved when you wear shorts or skirts or whatever, but it takes waaay too long in the shower to get it done. Then my tip is to do a pre-shave with those bikini/lip shavers that trim the hair so that when you shave in the shower it’s super fine and easy to do. (For some with very light hair this may be good enough for you and you may not feel the need to shave after this) Also, if you know you are going to be wearing capris or something specific it’s okay to shave to just the point that will be seen, if that’s all you can handle. [This is if you want to be shaved but don’t have the energy to shave all at once etc. If you are comfortable with your hair or do not remove your body hair, then skip this tip]
  3. Do your best to brush your teeth, when dental health goes bad it can get costly, also it helps me wake up at the beginning of the day. [No matter how I am feeling I try to brush in the morning and before bed, also flossing before bed. Now I am not a spoonie or have CHRONIC pain, but I do have some rough days… so on those days I may just swish with some mouth wash… ]
  4. Want to doll up?
    1. Lips: A tinted lip balm moisturizes and makes lips look pretty. This way you have some color but don’t need to worry about liner, and finish etc. I primarily use Burt’s Bees.
    2. Foundation/Face: SO I usually just leave my face bare however I will use lotion if it feels dry or sunscreen if I am going to be out in the sun. However, I have friends who swear by BB cream, that they went from a whole crazy routine to just using some BB cream so maybe you will find that helpful.
    3. Nails: I have both Sally Hansen’s fast dry nail polish (and top coat makes it last longer) and impress stick on nails, depending on the occasion. Both work fast and are simple, take little energy. (Tip: the stick-on nails you really need to use the clean wipe they have with the kit to make them stick, and give them at least a half hour before getting wet, such as washing hands or going in a pool, they should stay on for at least a week!)
    4. Fragrance: A simple more natural fragrance such as essential oil based spray is like and non-chemically, and easy to spritz on without much effort
    5. Eyeshadow: I rarely wear eyeshadow these days but when I do I have roll on sticks such as the ones by juniper. Easy on, applicator free.
    6. Wear your glasses… Have contacts but feel exhausted by the thought of putting them in… just wear your glasses, it’s your life and face, there is nothing wrong with wearing glasses.
  5. Change your clothes… Even if you aren’t going anywhere, if you have clean clothes to change into, you should freshen up what you are wearing. It is also okay to change from one set of pajamas into another.

 

Eating…. Having a hard time finding the will to eat/cook? Here are some tips

  1. Don’t chastise yourself if you really just cannot handle and you sit and eat some junk food… of course you should be mindful of how much you consume, and you don’t want to make every day like this but some days if it’s between you eating junk food and not eating at all, the junk food at least has some fuel for you.
  2. Try to only use a few utensils/cookware, the more mess you make the more you have to clean up which can become overwhelming [For example if you want to cook, perhaps try “sheet pan” meals or “one pot” meals so you don’t have lots of pots and pans to clean just the one. ]
    1. Also, I will try to use just one spoon or fork or glass, during the day and rinse it between meals/drinks/purposes if I am on my own for the whole day… this makes clean up easier.
  3. Stock up on simple (minimal prep) healthy foods on a “good” day (or better/motivated day)
    1. Microwavable meals like the following brands (some need freezer some don’t): Kaishi, Tasty Bite (Indian), Luvo, Saffron Road, Lean Cuisine Market Place, Amy’s (also makes canned goods), evol, and Good Food Made Simple.
    2. Healthy Bagged snacks such as: Sun Chips, Tortilla chips (w/salsa), popcorn, rice cakes, baked chickpea snacks, seeds/nuts
    3. Other packaged options: string cheese, baby bell cheese, fruit cups (dole or otherwise), squeeze fruit pouches, hummus minis, guac minis [NOTE: Minis are great because then you don’t have to commit to eating the whole container], chia seed squeezes, peanut butter/almond butter squeeze packets, jerkys, etc.
    4. Fruit & veg with long shelf life: apples, potatoes (can microwave them easily- google it, or my fav I cut red potatoes and boil them in beef broth until mushy delicious), carrots, celery, garlic (if you only ever use minced they sell them in jars), zucchini [cut off ends cut in half, toss in oil put on pan on the stove top or put in small pan in the toaster oven I usually add garlic powder sometimes feta cheese], oranges, lemon (you can even buy those pre-squeezed lemon juice things in the fake plastic lemon if you are just using the juice yes it’s not as good as the real thing but it’s better than being too depressed to go out to buy lemons so you don’t make that dish/drink or wind up eating/drinking something worse for your health)
    5. Also any canned or jarred veg/fruit: such as roasted red peppers, as mentioned above minced garlic
    6. Also juices: Is it better to eat the fresh fruit, of course yes, more nutrients less sugar but once again if it’s between you eating an sugary cookie and a cup of juice, then the juice has more nutrients

 

 

As for cleaning I feel as though I can’t say it any better than this thread from a tumblr group called “Panic Attack treatment club” (images found from Pinterest, if sources are wrong please correct me).

Image 1:

selfcare1

Image 2:

selfcare2

If you cannot see/read the pics they say:

First image reads:

dormouse11: Hoo Boy Do I have depression/ Executive Dysfunction Cleaning Tips!

In no particular order (because I have depression and executive dysfunction):

  1. If something sensory about cleaning bothers you, eliminate that before you start. For example, I wear gloves to do the dishes. If the sound of the vacuum bothers you, wear headphones and turn up the music, etc.
  2. If you can make a list of everything that needs to be done. Then acknowledge that you probably can’t do it all, and circle all the things that absolutely, no matter what, have to be done. Pick one (ONE! ONLY ONE! START WITH ONE!) of those things and break it down into smaller steps. Then even smaller steps. Seriously, if step on is ‘stand up’ and step two is ‘walk to closet’ and step 3 is ‘get mop’, that’s fine. It can be that small.
  3. Take a break. ‘But I literally only started five minutes ago!’ Don’t care. If you want a break, take a break. ‘At this point I’ve spent more time on breaks than I’ve spent on cleaning.’ Ok, but you’ve spent more than zero time on cleaning so you’ve accomplished more than you had at the beginning. ‘If I take a break it won’t get done!’ If you burn out it won’t get done either. Take a break.
  4. If nothing is working, try what I call bin cleaning/box cleaning. Take a big trash bag and a box. Pick up the first object you see. Step 1. Is it trash? Put it in the trash bag. Step 2: Will you use it in the next 2 days? No? Put it in the box. It’s a problem for Future You. IF you’ll use it in the next 2 days, take time to put it away. Rinse and repeat.
  5. Did you get distracted and forget what you were doing? Don’t worry about it. Just clean a thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s the thing you were cleaning before. You have to clean lots of things, so just pick a thing and clean it. Eventually you’ll get around to the thing you forgot.
  6. If you have to do a thing you really hate, do a thing you like afterwards. I hate doing dishes, but folding laundry soothes me, so that’s a nice one to do afterwards. YMMV. IF there are no cleaning things you like that you can do afterwards see number 3.
  7. Make it fun, play loud music and dance while you’re cleaning. Wear something that makes you feel cute, or if you prefer something comfy. Light your favorite candle whatever.
  8. If it’s nice out, open a window. Seriously it helps “

Second image reads:

mareliini: I divide my room into areas since my mess usually gathers into a few hotspots: clothes and stuff on the chair, general mess of papers and trash on the floor etc. Picking on area at the time and making it clean before moving forward helps me staying organized and I can see the results faster

bemusedbybespectacked: I do just one kind of cleaning. Like if I have to do laundry dishes and pick up the mess, then I’ll do laundry first and then dishes and then mess. Also if you have a bunch of clothes on your floor and you’re not sure if they’re clean or not, just wash them anyway. Gets them off your floor and into the hamper.

aerylon: there’s’ also a blog here on tumblr called @unfuckyourhabitat that offers tons of cleaning support and suggestions for people with a variety of physical, emotional, or mental health issues , as well as for those that just need motivation. I’ve been following them for a long time and have picked up some awesome advice and shared some too! Check them out!

robotsandfrippary: Remember only cleaning one thing is better that not cleaning anything. Doing a half-assed job of cleaning is better than not cleaning anything. Have a long or boring task and having trouble focusing on it? Listen to an audio book.

 

The only thing I would like to add to the advice above is that if you really don’t know where to start but you need clean items… especially when it comes to laundry, put on a wash with an entire outfit, pjs, a towel, and your pillowcase  (forget whites/colors etc. just don’t use bleach or anything color/white specific). So this way you have a clean outfit for the next day, pjs for that night, a towel for a shower in the morning, and you can rest your head on a nice clean pillow.

 

What about life in general??

Well perhaps it’s time to build a ladder?

Another great resource is Simon and Martina of “Eat Your Kimchi” they have YouTube videos and a blog discussing what they have been through. Their blog is primarily about their travels and life living abroad, but they deal with issues such as depression and EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), among other things. From this channel (they also have a blog, Instagram, twitter, and Facebook accounts), Martina coined the phrase “Build a Ladder”. And to paraphrase as best I can what she meant by that was, when you are in the pit of despair when depression or whatever mental/physical illness/condition has limited your life and made you feel hopeless that doing one small little thing towards your goals or one little thing of self-care adds a rung to your ladder as a way to climb on out. She explains it better but there’s a reason that this has resonated far beyond the community that watch the Eat Your Kimchi YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/simonandmartina

For me and possibly for you as well… building a ladder on a really low day that could mean:

  • Stepping outside for a few minutes, taking a walk, or even just opening up the windows
  • Doing a simple but pleasurable task such as a few stitches in crochet, coloring in a coloring book, working on a puzzle, playing a video game
  • Engaging your mind: watching a movie/tv show, listening to a podcast, reading a book [even if any of these is just for a few minutes or few pages etc.]
  • Journal, write, talk to someone on the phone, sometimes getting the thoughts out or just looking at the positives on paper or with someone can be extremely helpful.

 

There are a lot of great self-care tips out there, extensive cleaning routines, new adventures to take… however, when you are in a rut, overwhelmed, or having a “bad” illness day it’s hard to do any of those things. It is extremely hard to do anything during these times and what may seem like a “no-brainer” for some people can slip away from people who are in these types of situations.

SO ultimately remember…. It is important to  1- make sure you are clean and have on clean clothes, 2- eat (especially if you have something simple and healthy) 3- tidy/take care of your surroundings 4- give yourself something that makes you happy (build a ladder)

It is important to take care of yourself, any step no matter how small or simple is A STEP! If you accomplished anything on a low day then be proud of yourself.

 

Remember you got this!!

-Heather

 

 

 

 

 

Some links:

 

https://themighty.com/2018/01/how-to-cook-while-depressed/

 

https://skillet.lifehacker.com/how-to-feed-yourself-when-youre-really-depressed-1823560127

https://www.reddit.com/r/EatCheapAndHealthy/comments/606bsu/cheap_healthy_easy_meals_to_make_when_youre/

9 healthy frozen meals that aren’t your childhood tv dinners by greatest

Video: “How I deal with Chronic Pain” https://youtu.be/f3uF3EpSZMw  (Martina’s build a ladder)

http://www.literallydarling.com/blog/2017/05/16/47780/ (Another blogger’s take on Build a Ladder)

https://www.unfuckyourhabitat.com/thedepressionmessy-house-cycle

https://www.verywellmind.com/tips-for-keeping-a-clean-house-when-you-are-depressed-1066833

https://patientsrising.org/what-is-spoonie/ What is a spoonie

https://paindoctor.com/what-is-a-spoonie What is a spoonie and how the concept may help you