big feelings

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

Recognition

This post was supposed to be out yesterday but I got flattened by a migraine, so here we are instead!

Hello lovely dreamers!

I don’t think it matters what side you’re taking, which opinion you have, or any of that. Everybody is being affected in some way by the state of affairs in the world today. Everybody that I know has taken some sort of mental health hit this year. It’s hard. We weren’t made to live through things like this and thrive at the same time. It’s okay to struggle, to have a difficult time dealing with change, and want to cry, argue, fight, etc.

I know for myself, it’s been hard lately to take a step back and look at the big picture. I’ve found myself caught up in details, in the anger that is circulating, especially in our small town, and I’ll admit that I succumbed to a bit of the hatred that I normally avoid like the plague (hahahh sobbing).

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Photo by Ryan Plomp on Unsplash

My husband is the best. We see eye to eye on basically every single thing and we are able to talk about everything in a way that makes me calmer, balanced, and more centered. I love our relationship.

But the last month has seen his work hours getting longer and longer. We basically expect a 12 hour day 5 days a week at this point and because he’s working outside in the Texas heat, and wearing a mask out in that heat, he’s exhausted when he gets home. I love him for working so hard and taking care of us, but it has been difficult to deal with the fact that we rarely get much time to really talk and be together. It took me far too long to realize that was why I was being so emotional and feeling so frustrated all the time – because I wasn’t getting the things I wanted. I was trying to be “okay” with the work situation and that irritation was just spilling out in other ways.

Last week I took some time to myself. I reconnected with my spirituality a little bit again and worked on answering some questions that had been floating around in my head. It’s easy, especially when running low on sleep, to just avoid doing the hard things and taking care of yourself emotionally. I had just been surviving for a while now and I can only do that for so long before it starts to really affect me.

But the frustration doesn’t just go away. Taking care of myself and trying to be okay with things that rub me the wrong way only lessens it a little bit. I’m starting to realize what triggers the negative emotions like frustration and bitterness and when I feel that happening, the best thing to do is to step away and focus instead on something that will fill me, like laying down on the floor and playing with my daughter or having a dance party in the living room. Those things help, regardless of how inconsequential they might seem in the moment.

It’s funny. I don’t claim to be perfect or whatever, but I do think I usually do a good job of seeing and recognizing problems within myself or my behavior before they become real problems. Right now though, it feels like I’ve been blind to a lot of things that were just building up inside of me. And it’s a challenge to figure out what to do with the emotions now that I’ve identified and validated them.

So yeah. I guess that’s where we’re at right now. I do want to say though, that I don’t post things like this for a reaction or for any other superfluous or selfish reason. I post things like this as an insight into my own mental health journey so that other people can know that they’re not the only ones struggling. I know, for myself, that reading other people’s stories can really make me feel less alone and less terrible about myself. Just keeping it real here, that’s all.


I love each of you readers so much! I’m sending out all the light and socially distant hugs today and wish you all a great rest of your week!

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

5 ways to cope with stress

This post is up later than I had planned because I wrote it and got it ready to go and then promptly forgot to actually post it. Whoops.

Hello wonderful readers!

I hope everyone is still managing to stay safe and healthy through the pandemic – it’s definitely not easy! I take precautions whenever I have to go get groceries, and I hate wearing masks because hello! claustrophobia! But I keep reminding myself that this will only be temporary. One day, hopefully not too long from now, we won’t have to worry so much about being around other humans again. Won’t that be nice? I just want an evening out or to be able to go to the movies. Very silly things, but I’m allowed to feel a little selfish sometimes, I think.

Even though my personal life has only changed a little bit, I still find that my anxiety levels have been higher. The main reason, of course, is the uncertainty and the unpredictability. Husband has been on furlough for just over a month now and even though we have been and are still financially stable, it’s the uncertainty that stresses me out – not knowing when that consistent paycheck will be back. As someone who likes to plan ahead, I’ve definitely been forced to sit back and just take it one day at a time.

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Photo by Max Kleinen on Unsplash

Everyone has different ways of dealing with their stress and coping with the chaos that is the world right now. And even if we take the pandemic situation completely off the table, we still all deal with these feelings at some time or other. I sometimes find it interesting to see how others handle anxiety because its usually slightly different than mine – even The Dear Husband has some anxieties as well and he deals with it in a vastly different way than I would. It’s kind of fascinating, or it would be if I wasn’t talking about STRESS. Hahaha…

Breathing is one of the things I do the most. (I mean, duh.) There are a million techniques to calm anxieties with the breath alone – like the 4-7-8 method, for example. Just simple deep breathing is helpful though, nothing special.

Grounding can also help pull my mental state out of whatever funk I was in before. My current technique is a 54321 idea, where you identify 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. It can be very helpful to just refocus on the immediate surroundings and bring yourself back into the moment.

Singular Focus. If I find that I’m so stressed I can’t even focus on the above grounding technique though, I’ll focus instead on only one of my senses at a time, either by burning a candle or incense so that my sense of smell is activated or by listening to music as a way to bring my mind back whenever it wanders across the line into chaotic territory.

Writing things down is one technique that my therapist constantly reminds me to do as well. Free-writing or association isn’t easy for me as a very precise writer, but I’ve been taking the time to practice because sometimes it really does help to braindump, and having the option is great.

Acceptance can also be a way to overcome some of the really tough spots. Denying the negative feelings that come up doesn’t really help because it doesn’t deal with them, it merely shuts them up in a box and puts them away. Acknowledging that “yes, I am angry and that’s okay” can really provide a chance to FEEL that emotion and then maybe uncover a way to move past it. This is also something that is super hard for me because I don’t like negative feelings so I beat myself up over them and can never move past them. The handful of times that I’ve actually sat down and acknowledged that I was feeling guilty or sad and allowed myself the chance to just be with those emotions for a little bit, I’ve been able to process and work through them much better.

Obviously, none of these are perfect ways to overcome stress and anxiety, but they are definitely good ways to cope and start working through some of the issues. With all the chaos in the world right now, I think everyone is going through some added stress, and it is far too easy to let things turn into a vicious cycle which can then be difficult to break free from. But identifying the issue is sometimes half the battle. We can do this!


Love, light, and kindness,

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Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, General, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Lifestyle, mental health, Setting Goals, 0 comments