Thursday, January 26, 2012

Routines. How I Hate To Love Them.

In My Mind, this is me:
Because I went to bed at 9:30 the previous night, I always wake up refreshed every morning at 6am just so I can sit in the silence of my room for at least half an hour praying and meditating about what God has in store for me and thanking Him for everything that I have been given.  
After my prayer and meditation session is done, I leap out of bed with great excitement. I then proceed to make my bed, pick up my room, and make my lunch before hopping in the shower.
Next I eat a healthy breakfast (because it is the most important meal of the day, you know) of eggs, toast, a piece of fruit, and some juice. 
Then I hop in the car and drive the speed limit all the way to school. *Sometimes I even drive a little under just so I can take in the beautiful scenery and still arrive 10 minutes early for class so I don't have to rush.
Once I'm at school I am attentive and engaged in class activities and I ask questions when necessary.
After school I go to work at the daycare where I always have a positive attitude for my school age kids and they never push me to the breaking point.
When the night is over, I go home to eat dinner. I never procrastinate on my homework assignments, that's why I even have time to do my laundry and clean the bathroom before I hit the hay. 
Another successful day in this wonderful, organized life that I have created for myself. 
Too bad this is how my life really works...

In Reality, this is me:
Most of the time I have nightmares, at least 5 to 6 times a week. I also wake up frequently during the night so I hit the snooze about 10 times before my mind actually starts to function. By that time it is usually about half an hour before I have to leave for school. Because of this, I feel rushed. When I feel rushed, I get anxious. When I get anxious, I drop things. When I drop things, I have to pick them up and with how many things I drop and knock down that now leaves me about 25 minutes to shower, dry my hair, get dressed, put my make-up on, and pack my lunch. 
This is me racing the clock... every morning:
 25 minutes- total
-10 minutes (shower + dry hair)
-10 minutes (get dressed)
- 5 minutes (make-up/ brush teeth)
- 5 minutes (pack my lunch)
- 5 minutes (put shoes on, pack my backpack, search for my phone, get in the car)
That's right.
10+10+5+5+5= 35 which means, I am already 10 minutes late to start my day so I don't eat breakfast.
Luckily, I give my self some cushion time so I make it to school at the last second, but that's too close for comfort.
Once I'm in my first class, I generally spend the first 5 minutes catching my breath from running up the stairs and wracking my brain for whatever it is that gives me that nagging feeling that I've forgotten something. I'm not as attentive as I should be because I'm tired and it's winter so I keep thinking about my warm bed. 

After class I go to work at the daycare and I'm sure there are some days when the kids probably wish they had a different teacher because I tend to be a lot more serious when I'm tired. But, for the majority of the time they handle it well and I do my best to have fun with them. 
And finally, when I come home, I usually put my pajamas on and leave my clothes on the floor then crawl into bed and watch a movie on my laptop or go on facebook, you know, anything besides doing my homework. I start to think about doing my homework around 9 or so and if I have a lot I don't get to bed until 11 or 12. And since I have nightmares and wake up frequently, the whole cycle starts over again the next day.
But Here Comes The Good Part:
Like my title says, I love routines! I Love, Love, Love them! But I hate that I can't keep a routine to save my life. But, that's all going to change because I'm going attempt to turn the life I have right now into the life I want. In order to do that I'm starting a...

Why 21 days? Well, I recently read that it takes approximately 21 days for something to become a routine or a habit. I also read that in order to have better success in the 21 day challenge, you should make yourself accountable by telling someone. Hello, my wonderful someone. :) 
Right now I am thinking that 21 days doesn't seem like a very long time, but I'm sure once I get started I will change my mind.
Here are a few things I would like to make routine in my life:
1. Weekday Bedtime : 10:30pm
2. Weekday Wake Up: 7:30am
3. Make Bed After Getting Out of Bed
4. Pick Up Room Every Night
5. Pack Lunch Every Night
6. Clean Off Kitchen Counters/Dishes Every Night

I will do my best to keep these goals and I will update once in a while, but now I need to finish my homework since it's 9:42pm and bedtime is at 10:30! Goodnight!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Living Simple...

Yesterday I spent a good 4 hours knee deep in junk that I couldn't let go of. For some reason I find it hard to let go of things that people have given me or things that I've purchased, even if I haven't touched it in 2 years. However, that is not the case anymore. I am choosing to live simple. 

When I was younger my mom always used to say to me, " when your room is messy, you can't think straight. " I hate to admit it, but she was right! Whenever my room is messy, I tend to procrastinate a lot more and I just don't feel like doing anything productive. It doesn't even matter if I'm at home or at school(I commute to school). If my room is  messy and I'm at school in the library trying to study... that's usually when Facebook takes over the majority of my time. However, if my room is clean, I can get a lot done in a small amount of time! It's a good thing that I got the motivation to clean up my room this week because school starts on Tuesday! 
I am thinking that it will be a good semester if I can keep myself on track. My medication dosage is finally where I need it to be and I have a clean room to help me stay on track. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2012. New Year. New Responsibilities. New Experiences. New Me.

I've been thinking a lot about resolutions and such, as is customary for ringing in the New Year, however I've never made a resolution in my entire life so I didn't really know what I wanted to do. But I think I've figured it out.
My New Year's Resolution won't consist of all the things I want to do. It will consist of all the things I won't do! (Or at least, I'll give it a try.) This isn't a simple one step resolution such as the common, "I want to drop ten pounds." This is a multi-step, soul-searching, life-changing type of resolution...or should I say, 'revolution.'

*Reminder: Everybody slips up and everybody gives into weaknesses so I'll try to keep my resolutions as best I can, but there will be occasional slip ups every once in a while.

1. (Success! Note that this is displayed in the reminder.) I won't believe that I am Super Woman. I won't feel ashamed if I slip up or don't meet my own, or the expectations of others.
2. I won't hide the fact that I need help. I won't pretend that I can handle it until it's too late to get the help I need.
3. I won't walk with my eyes fixed on the sidewalk. I won't miss one more second of this beautiful life I've been given.
4. I won't isolate myself any longer from the people that love me and the people who are making an effort to stay involved in my life.
5. I won't stress out about events that haven't occurred yet in my life or events that might never occur in my life.
6. I won't make excuses for myself. I won't tell myself that I can't do something because of my current state of mind. (That's where asking for help comes in handy.)
7. I won't avoid doing all the things I used to love.
8. I won't watch myself be left behind in this fast paced world.
9. I won't change myself or my values for anyone.
10. I won't stand in the corner anymore and watch as everyone else finds ways to make a difference in this world. I won't keep all the talents God has given me to myself. I will use them and I will make a difference.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Nominated! Me?! Well, I Didn't Prepare A Speech But...

I would like to thank Haley, writer of "For Everything There is a Season" for nominating me! I would like to return the favor by nominating her in return, but before I get too ahead of myself, how about I explain what's going on?

So here's how it works: This award is given to blogs with less than 200 followers that you think deserve a little more recognition.

Here are the rules:
1. Show your thanks by linking the person who nominated you.
2. Leave links to five of your top blogs and leave a comment letting them know too!
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Enjoy the Love :)

If you're looking for some good blogging, take a gander at my top five (well, actually six)!

1. As I said before, I would like to nominate Haley , writer of "For Everything There is a Season." Haley is a hard working Mama who loves her growing family. She has a beautiful baby girl and a soon arriving baby boy! She is a devoted wife and mother who is wise beyond her years and loves the Lord with all she has. Her posts consist of reflections on daily events and updates on her family of 4. She is also a pro at photography!

2. One blog that never ceases to amaze me is the blog written by Cari. Cari's blog is titled "Bubble Gum On My Shoe." Cari is a hilarious, strong, single Mom who title's her kids, "Drama Queen and The Boy." Both of her kids make appearances on her blog and there are some stories you just can't miss. She may seem ordinary at first, but she is far from it. Her son is autistic and she is Super-Mom when it comes to resources for autism and support for those who are in her shoes.

3. Now if you're looking for some laughs, check out Suzi's blog, "Make a Joyful Noise." With post titles like...
- 80's Revisited
- Mom Was Right!
- Starbucks Symphony
- Lost In The Lot
- Traveling Tip #1: Skinny Jeans
How could you go wrong? She's a funny lady with a flair for life and the hair to match! ;) She's got that Kewaskum hair and it NEVER settles down!

4. Next up is Fishlicity from "Reflections From A Thankful Heart." I don't know her personally, but I love reading her blog because they are brief, but beautiful. She has a heart for the Lord and hoping to write a book someday! I'll support you on that, Fishlicity! The title of her blog really caught my eye one day and I truly feel that this title describes her blog. She is reflective and insightful and I always look forward to her posts.

5. Number five goes to Erin from, "Sweetness Itself." This girl is so encouraging and knows how to set her priorities straight. God above all else, and she is not shy about showing it! She is a talented writer who can relate the Bible to everyday life(which is a rare gift in this age.) I definitely recommend her blog if you are looking for a faith boost. Also, she has some great pictures to match her posts!

6. Last, but certainly not least, Abby from "The Time In Between." Abby is a new blogger so I had to nominate her as well! It takes a lot of courage to start up a new blog when you're new to it and I commend her for that. She is a sweet and insightful girl who has so many great things ahead of her in life. I know God will bless her, I can just tell. She's new to blogging so she doesn't have many posts yet, but the few she has a really wonderful. She's the kind of girl who everybody can relate to and it shows! If you're feeling like nobody understands you, check out Abby's blog and you'll know that you're not alone!

Keep Calm Because You Are Not Alone

Dear Blog/ Blog Readers,
I want to begin by saying, I apologize for the neglect. You have not been my first priority the past few weeks (I've been very busy.) BUT, I'm back and I'm ready to write!

I want to share a little something about my life with anyone who is interested. If you've read my first few blogs, you already know that I have always struggled with anxiety, but the last year or so it has gotten worse. Because of this, I've been desperately seeking out new ways to cope with the stress of  my daily life and my anxiety. If you struggle with this as well (I'm sure almost everybody does at one time or another) I just want to say...

Admitting You Need Help: If you frequently suffer from anxiety or depression, please know that there is help available. For example, if you start to realize that you're feeling "a little off" or "not quite yourself", go ahead and talk to your doctor. There's a difference between going through a rough patch, and needing help. I always thought I could handle whatever was going on in my life, but I finally went in and had a long talk with my doctor and she said that she wished I would have told her sooner. I wish that too because I'm a lot more stable now. 

Know your options:

1. Medication:If you have talked to your doctor and they suggest that you might need a little extra pick-me-up, they might suggest some anti-depressants. I am on medication and it took a while to figure out the correct dosage for my body and my symptoms, but now I feel great with the balance of my medications! WARNING: If you are like me and you search online for side-effects of medications and read the information sheet on the prescriptions that you get from the pharmacy and then worry about whether or not you will have the negative side-effects that are mentioned... Don't Read. My doctor could tell right away that I am one of those people and he flat out told me to find someone who spends a good amount of time with me and have them read it. I chose my mom. My mom is a nurse and I still live at home so anytime I get a new medication, I give her the information sheet and she reads it over so that she can watch for any negative signs or symptoms of the medication. If she sees any, she will tell me otherwise, I don't need to know. This system works for me because I don't read it, so I don't know what to worry about!

2. All-Natural: If you're uncomfortable with prescription medication, I would recommend asking your doctor about some additional supplements, such as Vitamins C and D. You could probably find many of these in a supplement form or by adding some more vitamin rich foods to your diet. Check out a local all-natural store and ask a clerk to help you find some of these vitamins.

Vitamin D is known to increase serotonin levels in the human brain. Serotonin is a chemical that is key to maintaining a balanced mood and can decrease your chances of feeling depressed. This vitamin is also necessary for the body`s production of dopamine, a potent mood-lifting neurotransmitter. No one yet knows exactly how much vitamin D is needed for preventing or treating depression because of several factors: where a person lives, skin type, season, and level of exposure to the sun. But it has been observed in studies that depression decreases in those who are affected by seasonal affective disorder whenever winter is on the wane and sunshine is more abundant.

Vitamin B Complex (B2, B6, B9, B12)Although the dietary sources of B vitamins are abundant in nature, a diet rich in sugar and refined carbohydrates, excess caffeine intake, heavy drinking and smoking might reduce absorption of these essential vitamins. Studies suggest the deficiency of certain B vitamins might cause depressionAccording to a Harvard Medical School study, regardless of age patients with major depression are deficient in vitamins B2, B6 and B12. Daily intake of vitamin B complex supplements could reduce the risk of major depression after stroke.
Vitamin C
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid might help to reduce depression. A healthy brain contains large amounts of ascorbic acid. Experimental studies suggest that ascorbic acid might possess antidepressant property.
3. Be Creative: 
Whenever I'm feeling anxious I often think to myself, "I just need to make something." So that's what I do. I'd like to share a few of the things that have worked for me. Making home-made cards takes lots of focus and forces me to think only about the task at hand. I have also heard that painting your nails can also be very calming because it takes focus and concentration (if you want your nails to look nice at least, if you don't, Go CRAZY and do whatever you want! ) While we're on the subject of painting, I like to do that too. Most of the time I like to use acrylic paints and canvases, but that can get kind of expensive. I'm not going to lie to you, I've bought children's washable finger paint and gone a little crazy on a cookie sheet. The best part about that is you can wash the evidence while everyone is sleeping and no one has to know. ;)   
Or, if that's still too much moola to spend on yourself, here's a little trick that almost every daycare teacher knows. Any Mom's out there will love this. Allow yourself a generous amount of shaving cream and put it on your legs. Now get to work... KIDDING! Take the shaving cream in your hands and spread it all over the kitchen table, bathroom counter, or any surface you have in front of you. Now, make yourself a squishy white masterpiece! The best part about this one is that your table or counter will look even better after you wipe the shaving cream off! By using this one simple technique you will have de-stressed yourself and done a daily household chore at the same time! Also, if you have kids, invite them to do this with you. Kids have stress too and they go wild for this fun and messy activity!
Other suggestions include, but are not limited to...
- photography
- music
- acting
- poetry/prose
- movie making
- drawing
- *blogging!*

4. Therapy: If you don't want to try anything else, I highly, Highly, HIGHLY recommend seeing a therapist. I LOVE IT! I've never been one to speak my mind about things that are bothering me so seeing my therapist once every two weeks really helps.You can modify your appointment schedule to however often you need it. Some people do once a week, I do once every two weeks, and others simply go for a check-in every month. My therapist is so nice and she always knows how to make me realize that whatever I'm struggling with in my life is not as big of a deal as I make it. (I tend to freak out about "The Little Things In Life.")  She also keeps record of my anxiety/depression by giving me a test every month or so. This way I can see it when I'm improving! *Which by the way I am. :)

I hope that this has helped at least one person. Whether you know someone who might benefit from these tips or you can, I'm always here to encourage you and to support you. Thanks for stopping by!