mental health

Friday’s Thoughts

Hello beautiful humans!

I should probably post more often again. It would help the things that I DO post to make more sense. Or at least it would help me with the problem I’m currently having where I sit down to write a post and then I feel the need to recap everything that has happened in the 2-3 weeks since my previous post, except that I really don’t feel like doing that because I could create a whole post about those happenings alone. SO instead, we’re gonna do two things. I’m gonna tell you a couple of random things about how my life is currently going (no context though) and then I’ve got a little store of thoughts in my head from therapy and just random internet searches that I wanna share. Here goes! Continue reading →

Posted by katharine_marie in Creative Writing, Life in 2021, mental health, Parenting, 0 comments

Finding Direction

Hello beautiful humans,

I am acutely aware of my lack of posting as of late. My very legitimate excuse is that I just forgot. It’s been one of those seasons that seems super busy but if I sit down to write about it, there’s not much to write about. Let’s consider this my attempt to get some things out of my head and get excited about life again!

Parenting continues to be fun and also exasperating at the same time. Small Princess is strongly contesting the word “no” in as many different ways as she can, so I’m focusing a lot on just getting through this developmental period with as much of my sanity intact. I know that as long as I’m consistent and gentle and respectful that she’ll get through this too, but that doesn’t mean the days aren’t extreeeemly long sometimes. Continue reading →

Posted by katharine_marie in Life in 2021, mental health, 0 comments

October At Last

Hello, beautiful darlings,
You have no idea how happy I am that its October. And that is for quite a few reasons.

First off, I just love October. It might be my favorite month of the year (not 100% sure, but pretty close) and I always look forward to it. It’s funny because first, I wanted our wedding to be in October. That didn’t work out, so then I wanted our baby to be born in October. That didn’t happen either, so now I’m just settled into having October as my month. Which is actually quite nice, now that I’m thinking about it. I don’t have to share it with anyone, I can enjoy the weather and the autumn joy without any expectations. Things always turn out just right, don’t they? Continue reading →

Posted by katharine_marie in Life in 2020, Lifestyle, mental health, Parenting, Setting Goals, 0 comments

Judgment and Insecurities

Hello dear readers,
I have not been very motivated to write this week, for probably multiple reasons, but here we are anyway! A day late, but whatever. Honestly, this might be the perfect little motivating post to write anyways, so all the better! Because I want to make a few points about dealing with judgment from other people.
Obviously, people are going to judge. Doesn’t matter what you do, and, of course, marriage and parenting are two of the top contenders. Those two things constitute some of the most important decisions you’ll make in your life, so it makes sense that those are the most sensitive areas to handle, right?

Continue reading →

Posted by katharine_marie in mental health, 0 comments

Finding the Beauty

Hi all you wonderful people!
I’m here for a ramble today before we close out this month that has been full of posts about thoughts and emotions and dealing with the strangeness that is 2020. It’s been weird and crazy and so, SO, random.
It’s easy to just want to give up on the world, on people in general. Everyone is horrible, nobody is good anymore, everything is just a messy disaster. Even the murder hornets didn’t want to stick around because we weren’t worth their time. That should tell us something. When everyone does nothing except argue with each other and it feels like nobody can agree on anything – that is incredibly discouraging Continue reading →

Posted by katharine_marie in mental health, 0 comments

Balance at Home

Hello beautiful folks!
Another week is almost over, and August is nearly over too – can you believe it? I kind of can, but just because 2020 has seemed like the longest year EVER. Ugh.
I’ve been talking a lot this month about how mental health problems can affect everyday life and rambled on about a few ways that I deal with and handle those things. Balance is not something that comes easy to me – I get very hyper-focused and then can’t have trouble getting other things done properly. Its something I’ve had to work on, especially now being a stay-at-home mom because its impossible to hyper-focus on something when your child also needs something, and dinner is trying to burn on the stove. You know what I mean…

Continue reading →
Posted by katharine_marie in mental health, 0 comments

Re-Direct, Re-Frame, Re-Train

Hi beautiful dreamers!

How many of us have thought and speech patterns that we know aren’t that great? Whether it’s a bad habit of mentally putting yourself down after being clumsy or the way we say “sorry!” after everything, regardless of what’s happening – I think everyone has something that they do without thinking that tears themselves down more than it builds up.
Many people can go through life and be just fine with a few negative thought patterns. It doesn’t affect them. I’m not one of those people. I have several very distinct patterns that can quickly turn into nasty spirals if left unchecked.

finn-nJupV3AOP-U-unsplash

Especially since the pandemic hit, my weekly therapy sessions have become a staple of my routine. I even had a minor panic moment this last week when my therapist said she was going to be on vacation. How would I ever survive?!
Joking aside though, I do rely a lot on the accountability and safety of that hour every week. And a big portion of what I work on outside of those sessions is reframing the negative and harmful patterns that I have, both in my thoughts and my words. She helps me find ways to rephrase things and recognize patterns that I wouldn’t necessarily notice on my own.

It’s a lot of hard work!

The longer a particular pattern has been in place, the longer it takes to work through it. These patterns are, quite simply, memorized brain responses, so the process of re-framing a thought really means re-training your brain. Which equals some hard work because thoughts are sneaky and like to creep through when you’re least expecting them. It’s a daily thing and can require lots of conscious effort for quite a while, depending on how long it has been a habit. Just like any other habit that you might want to create or stop, your brain’s habits are also challenging.

Half the battle!

For me, half the battle sometimes is simply recognizing a pattern that I don’t want to continue. This is where a therapist can come in handy because they are listening to you and hear things much more objectively than you do. Plus they don’t have your history with whatever pattern or thought process it is, so they can point out things that you might not otherwise see for yourself.

Some examples might be…

Following a spiral of worst-case scenarios in your head.
Mumbling “stupid” under your breath whenever you drop something.
Judging yourself mentally every time you catch your reflection in a mirror.
Apologizing for being enthusiastic about something when talking to a friend.
Immediately assuming someone is mad at you because they don’t respond right away.

And so on and so forth. There are a million different examples I could give, but I’m sure the ones I mentioned already struck a chord with a few people. It’s hard to acknowledge these things sometimes, but being able to recognize and point out a negative pattern is the beginning of the road.

In my personal life…

I do rely on my therapist a lot to help me recognize when I’m speaking in a way that isn’t positive or loving to myself. Having that outside voice helps a lot. I have found my own patterns though in the past, usually by flipping through past journal entries that end up making me cringe. Sometimes even by listening to someone else and realizing that they’re not being kind or gracious to themselves has flipped a switch for me, causing me to acknowledge that I do the same thing to myself. Ouch.
As I mentioned, acknowledging the pattern as a problem is half the battle. Once I see what I’m doing wrong, I’ll notice it every time and sometimes that’s enough to stop me in my tracks. Other times, especially when its something that I’ve been internalizing for many many years, its a lot harder. In those situations, I usually have to dig a little deeper inside myself and find the root of that pattern. Maybe its something that I was told as a child that I shouldn’t have clung to, but did anyway. Regardless, if I can find the root of the issue, I can start to work through it and make a stronger effort to change my habits, and my heart as well. It’s challenging, for sure, but so very worth it. There are days that I struggle more than others, but that’s what life is, right?
Is there a thought or speech pattern that you notice in yourself that isn’t kind or loving? What is it that you need to begin that change in yourself?


Love, kindness, and lots of light,
untitled

Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Depression, General, mental health, 0 comments

Marriage and Communication

Hi, my beautiful folks! I hope this week is treating you well so far!

At this moment, two years ago, I was preparing to say “I do” to the person that still means more to me than anyone else in the world. For once in my life, I wasn’t nervous, which says a lot, because I overthink and question every single decision I make in my life. I’ve never questioned that decision though. My marriage is absolutely the best part of my life and I am happier than I ever thought possible.
But I’m not going to wax poetic about love and romance and all that. I’ve already written about the wedding before, and also about how amazing The Best Husband is on our first anniversary. I’m taking a different approach today and looking at what affects relationships and how they can all be different but still wonderful.

Peach Flower Traditional Love Quote Facebook Post

Every single person is different, so every single marriage is going to look a little different from the next. It would be impossible to expect all relationships to work the same way because there are so many factors that play into it.

Mental Health’s Role

One thing I struggle with is my mental health and of COURSE, it has an effect on my marriage because how could it not? Mental health plays a role in all sorts of relationships in my life, especially friends and family members, and none more so than the relationship I have with my husband. He knows me the best and I talk to him more than anyone else, so he’s most familiar with what I deal with. It’s hard on him sometimes and it can make things difficult, certainly. Not everyone’s relationship is like ours – not everyone knows for sure that their significant other truly has their back all the time. It’s a whole lot easier for me, just knowing that he supports me 100% and will hold my hand every step of the way. That in itself is a lifesaver.

Find Balance Together

I know that he’s there for me, no matter what, but sometimes it’s hard to balance my own health against such an important relationship. It’s a personal struggle that I have because I always feel guilty and think I’m being a burden/too demanding/needy/etc. I’ve been able to overcome a lot of those feelings, but it has been hard. I have very particular needs on my bad days and sometimes trying to get those needs met doesn’t go so well because… communication? I think. Still figuring that out. Basically, I’m working on being able to communicate my needs better without dumping all my crap onto my poor husband and overloading him because hello? He’s got things he needs to and I have a tendency to forget that. I really don’t think he knew what he was getting himself into when he married me. Sorry, love.
I really do have the right intentions at heart, and so does he, but finding that balance where we both feel heard and understood is difficult at times, as I think it is for all couples. We’ve gotten so much better, especially since COVID hit and we were forced to spend even more time together than we used to. Haha.

Check In Often

As I mentioned, communication is key. It will almost always be the key, regardless of the issue. Too many times, we forget to check in to make sure the other person is doing okay. Assuming that someone is doing fine because they haven’t said otherwise is likely to get you in trouble. I’ve been on both ends of that and neither one is fun. There are times that life is too busy and too hectic to really have long, insightful conversations, yes. I’ve been there, but I strongly believe that if you’re too busy to check in on the relationship regularly (daily, in my opinion) for even just a few minutes then you’re too busy. Making the effort to keep the other person “in the loop” about how you’re feeling and doing is vital to staying connected to each other. Without communication, we lose connection, people don’t feel loved and relationships deteriorate.
For me personally, since I stay home all day, it’s easy to get caught up in my own projects and then somehow “not get around” to telling the Best Husband Ever about what’s going on or how I’ve been feeling. It has the double effect of making him feel like he’s not an involved part of our home life and making me feel like I have to take care of everything. The longer we go on like that, the worse it gets. But even if its a day that he gets home extra late, but we still find time to talk about what happened and how we’re doing before going to bed? That’s still a good day and we go to sleep feeling that connection.
This post is getting a bit long already, whoops. Most of what I’m said so far sounds like basic relationship stuff, but making connections is even more important when dealing with mental illness. In my experience, both anxiety and depression have a really frustrating effect of making me pull away from people, especially important people who are good support in the tough times. Maintaining and making effort in those relationships when times are NOT so hard is vital for me because it creates better habits for when things do get rough.
Have you checked in with someone today? Just to see how they’re doing? Or maybe you feel the need to check in with someone else, just so you don’t feel alone – that’s good too, do that!


Love, light, and kindness, always,
untitled

Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Depression, General, Life in 2020, mental health, 0 comments

The Basics of Setting Boundaries

Hello beautiful people,
I wrote on Tuesday about how difficult some days are and gave a few ideas on how I’ve been dealing with them, maybe even making them a little bit better. This whole week has been a bit hard for me – I’m working through some personal stuff and learning about my limits, including what it means to set boundaries.
Boundaries are one of those things that people can get offended about really easily. Especially when it comes to setting limits with people, it can easily come across as being rude or selfish. And it really shouldn’t be that way, not if we do it with the right attitude and with a spirit of love.

Setting Boundaries

Recognize a Need

I’m not talking about someone you don’t like and just don’t want to talk to anymore. Unless you have a deeper intention behind it, that’s probably bordering on being a little rude. But recognizing when someone is a constant drain on your emotional and mental health or understanding that unless you can agree to disagree there should probably be certain topics that are off-limits? That’s totally okay. It’s one thing to do things that are uncomfortable or out of our comfort zones sometimes and a completely different thing to allow anything and everything into our lives – that’s unhealthy.  Certain situations just need to be worked through, others need boundaries and limits.
It’s hard to know sometimes. I totally get it. I’m the first one to question my decisions in these kinds of situations and I tend to waffle back and forth before making up my mind completely. Just remember – that thing I said about a spirit of love? That thing helps qualm those uncertainties and fears 99% of the time.

Know Yourself and Your Limitations

Have you taken the time to understand yourself and your own limitations? That can be key to knowing how to handle external influences. There are certain areas of life in which I have set boundaries for myself – not because of other people exactly, but because I know what my triggers and weaknesses are, which enables me to avoid situations and circumstances that will bring out less than my best.
It’s so easy to blame other people for our own lack of self-control or whatever the problem might be. And I don’t say this to let everyone else off the hook because I think everyone should be working on being the best version of themselves. But the reality is that we don’t have the power to change other people. We CAN work on ourselves. And by demonstrating good self-care and setting boundaries, we can actually help others more than we might think. But first and foremost, it’s about knowing our own limitations and understanding who we are.

Know What To Do

When it comes to the actual process of setting a boundary, that’s where it can get a little tricky. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the easiest things you can do is curate your social media feeds. You don’t necessarily have to block people or whatever, but there’s a lovely little “unfollow” or even just a “mute” button on Facebook for the times you need it. (Not that you should only be seeing the people who agree 100% with your opinions, but some people have no concept of limits or useful discussion and that serves nobody.) It’s the little things sometimes.
Other circumstances aren’t nearly so easy though. Sometimes it’s choosing not to go somewhere where you know you’ll be around someone who always seems to push your buttons. If and when you can handle being around that person again, you can re-evaluate that limit, but especially if you’re working through something and you know that talking to that person would undo the progress you’ve made, maybe its best to just stay away for the time being.
I am the QUEEN of ghosting people, but I’ll also admit that it is not a healthy way to deal with things. Something I have done before though, is responding to someone when I’m in the right frame of mind and then muting or hiding them on my phone so that I don’t have to handle the conversation until I’m ready. Don’t feel the need to respond to everyone right away.
Doing something similar in person is a lot harder and I’m still learning how to handle that. For me right now it’s been holding my tongue when other people are having a conversation that I have strong opinions about if I know I’m not ready to discuss things fairly and properly. Sometimes it’s leaving the room. Both of those are getting easier to do, and something I’m trying now is what I call “exiting” a conversation. If things are getting heated or frustration is building up, there should be no shame in saying, “This conversation isn’t healthy for our relationship. Why don’t we come back to this when we’re feeling calmer and more in control of our feelings?” Being firm and actually walking away if needed would be the next step.
Sadly, there is still a lot of judgment passed on those who choose to set boundaries for themselves. It can be hard to hear that someone doesn’t want to speak to you, I get that. But, again, we’re not going to change each other’s minds by having a yelling match. Choosing to have a calm, insightful conversation is much better. And if someone isn’t capable of talking about certain topics without getting hateful or judgmental, then the consequence may be distancing yourself for a little while, as painful or hard as it may be.
Is there an area of life that you feel could use some boundaries or limitations for your own emotional or mental health? What’s holding you back from setting that boundary?

Love and kindness,
I’m always here for you.

 

Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Depression, General, mental health, 1 comment

3 Ways to Deal Right Now

Good morning beautiful darlings!
I hope this week, and the new month too, is treating you well so far! I got a ton of work done last week and was actually able to take a nice relaxing weekend. I did all sorts of nothing without feeling all kinds of guilty about it, which was SO amazing!
The world is continuing to be overwhelming in so many ways for me. I know not everyone would agree, depending on how you view things, but 2020 has been a rough ride so far and I don’t exactly see it getting much better for a while at least. I’m typing this while my cat screams in the other room and the baby cries for me to pick her up. Noise is a big trigger for me, so I’m actually dealing with the overwhelming-ness of home life as well right now at this moment. The irony is strong, right?
Anyways, a lot of the time the days are long and hard. I try to only pop onto social media a few times a day because honestly, it’s depressing for me. And I know the same applies to a lot of other people. Humans, in general, aren’t meant to live through this kind of stuff, but here we are trying to figure it out, and then judging each other for it? Come on y’all.

3 ways to get through

Recognize Your Limits

Some things are within our control. A lot of things are not. There is a balance that can be struck between choosing to engage with things that are important to you and choosing to refrain and focus instead on your own personal life. I’ve been struggling with this a lot because a month or so ago, I was being quite outspoken on my platform about things I was passionate about. I was stepping out of my comfort zone and saying things I had never had the courage to say before. But I slowly found myself feeling angry and bitter towards the people who were unwilling to have a conversation. So I’ve taken a step back. And I feel guilty because those causes I was speaking for are still there and I feel obligated to continue trying to make a change.
I had to make a decision for myself and realize that the negative feelings were not serving me at all, and were in fact harming me. I’m not holding back all my opinions or anything like that, but I am checking myself at the gate to see whether I’m saying something out of anger or out of a genuine desire to make a difference. There is a balance there and its not easy to find, or maintain.

Choose to Step Away

Like I said, I was feeling angry and bitter. Much more so than I could handle appropriately or maturely. My tendency is to lash out when I feel frustrated, which serves absolutely nobody, least of all the causes I’m standing for. My desire is only to show love and compassion, so taking that step back was a better choice. I’ve said it so many times that yelling at someone doesn’t make them change their mind. I’ve found myself so overwhelming so many times because I don’t know what to do or say or even what to think because there is so much negativity in the world, but stepping back is definitely a good choice for me. These situations aren’t just difficult, they’re brand new to me – someone who has never willingly chosen conflict or confrontation, and that requires some adjustment. I’m changing, just like the world is, and giving myself (and others!) grace is a sign of strength.

Find One Good Thing

I would be the first to say that toxic positivity needs to GO. I don’t have time for that kind of stuff. When I’m depressed and someone tells me that my life is great and I have nothing to be sad about, all I want to do is strangle them. That kind of talk helps nobody. End rant.
HOWEVER, on the days that I’m feeling overwhelmed because there is so very much going on, it can help to find one good thing. If it feels like the whole world is crumbling around you, it can make a huge difference if you pick out just one little thing that is still okay. It gives you something to hold onto, a little piece of hope in the middle of all the mess. It’s not going to fix anything, but it can help you feel better. It just creates a little bit of a better balance between the positive and negative in the mind and creates a tiny piece of stability.

I guess overall, my point is that the overwhelming-ness (yes I’m going to keep using it) is hard. I understand it, I’m still struggling with it too, and we’ll all get through it together.

Now: what’s one good thing you’ve found in the world today?


Love and kindness,
untitled

Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Depression, General, mental health, 2 comments