emotions

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

a new lifestyle

Hey fellow dreamers!

Today is Friday, my second Friday since I left my full time job. Two weeks that I’ve been a stay at home mom. Sometimes it feels like it’s been forever, but it really hasn’t been.

I never thought I would be doing this. Well, truthfully I had my doubts that I would have children at all, but once that was something I wanted, I really felt called to try and pursue work options I could do while staying home with the tiny human. Particularly as someone who wants to home-school down the road, it seemed natural to start from the beginning.

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I will say it’s definitely been an adjustment and not without it’s very, VERY hard moments. The teething, which had been kind of hit or miss, depending on the day, really hit us around the middle of last week and I’ll admit I had a few times where I missed being at work, or anywhere away from the screaming really. She still doesn’t have that ridiculous little tooth, but between the on-demand nursing, extra naps and cuddles, and the magic of chamomile, we’re surviving for right now.

I’m learning how to do a whole lot in 45 minutes while she sleeps. I honestly had no idea how much one could fit into that small space of time! I still feel like my house will never be as clean as I want it to be, but it is consistently more clean than it was before, so that’s something.

Another time I’ll talk more about how my schedules and planning tendencies go with this new change – something my therapist and I are still discussing and tweaking for my optimal mental health – but I can honestly say that working full time and being a SAHM are equally hard, it’s just in different ways.

Working full time was so SO hard for me because it felt like I never got anything done at home because from the time I got off to the time she went to bed, I wanted nothing more than to enjoy those precious moments. Then, when she did go to bed, the day really hit me and I no longer had any energy for the house chores or anything else I might have wanted to do. Emotionally I struggled a lot and the lack of sleep wore me down so much.

Being at home is… a little easier for me emotionally? I say that kind of in jest because we have had several of those days where I want the Husband to be home RIGHT NOW so I can just have a moment to myself. But I don’t miss the emotional roller coaster that being away from her was for me. My days often feel incredibly long and I’m not even quite sure what day of the month it is right now – I can keep up with the day of the week only because Husband goes to work. Sometimes it feels like I’m doing stuff all. day. long. and then in the evening it’s like my day was gone with nothing to show for it. So it’s different. Easier in some ways, harder in others.

I have so much compassion for new moms now because no matter which lifestyle you have, it’s going to be hard. That’s just what having a baby is like and everyone has to decide for themselves which path is going to work (ha ha)best for them and their family. Mom guilt is such a real thing and I know we all cry in the shower, or in the car, or wherever because we’re convinced we’re doing it all wrong. There is no right way to be a mom as long as you’re loving that baby with everything you have. That’s all that matters.

I said something about it in an Instagram post earlier this week – that success can change from day to day. It’s not a static definition. Not only does that mean that my definition will look different today than it did yesterday, but it means that my definition in general will look different from yours. The comparisons that often happen between different mothers is so unrealistic because we are all such different people.


For myself, I have zero concerns about choosing to stay at home with my beautiful daughter. Is it where I imagined myself to be at this point in my life? Not at all. But it is where I need to be right now and whether or not that changes in the future doesn’t really matter to me.


Love, light, and warm hugs, especially to all the other moms out there!

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

Change is Coming

Hi there, wonderful dreaming folks!

Just so you all know, I’ve started this blog post about four different times. Two of those times were entirely different topics. Let’s just say I’ve had a bit of writers block this week. So a ramble about the traffic jam inside my head was warranted, I think.

Anywho. I’ve been looking ahead a lot now that I’m two weeks away from leaving my full time job. It’s brought up a variety of different emotions, some that really surprised me.

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For the most part, I’m honestly really excited. Ever since I came back to work after maternity leave, I’ve found it really hard to leave the baby in the mornings. My mom is loving all the time with her, but it’s still hard for me to come home at night and have to learn about what new thing she did that day instead of getting to experience it firsthand.

I’m also feeling a little nervous because I’m giving up my own reliable income. I trust The Husband to provide and take care of us, but regardless, it feels a little like giving up a piece of my independence. And yet on the other hand, I’m so, so, SO happy for this opportunity because I’ll finally have the extra bit of freedom to figure out how to work for myself like I’ve been wanting to do.

Of course, it’s easy to think that I’ll have plenty of time to do whatever I want, that I’ll be able to keep the house as clean as I want to. All of that. And I know it’s not true because I’ll be keeping The Tiny Princess alive and parenting is tough, y’all. This new phase of life is going to come with its own set of challenges and I am so very aware of that fact.

But I’m still excited because I’ll actually have the time to pursue my horse hobby again. With the horses living on my parents land, I’ll be able to bring The Princess to see my mom for a couple hours while I ride. That will be fun too, of course.

Basically, I’m having a lot of emotions right now. The fact that I haven’t been sleeping that great doesn’t help because then I’m even more emotionally unstable. But I think we’ve gotten over this most recent sleep regression and things are evening out again. This is a big change for our little family, but it’s going to be a blessing too. I can feel it.


What big change are you starting this decade with?

Love, light, and kindness,

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

Thrills and Fears

Hello you fabulous readers!

This week kind of feels like a rollercoaster for some reason. And it’s only Tuesday!

In case you don’t keep up with me on social media, I was finally able to announce yesterday that I’m taking my writing hobby on a new adventure and finally making the push into the freelancing world as a writer and editor!

Now you can check out my new professional website while I slowly figure out how to break my way into jobs and side gigs that I really love spending time on! I’m a whole mix of terrified and excited because this is what I’ve wanted to do for a long time but have never had the courage or drive to really go for it.

But anyways… starting my new business isn’t what I wanted to write about today. Not really. Or at least not quite yet. We’ll come back to it.

Today I want to talk a little bit about the thoughts, the thrills, and the fears that I have about the other adventure I’m embarking on… the one where I become a parent.

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I wasn’t the girl that grew up dreaming about the perfect wedding or knowing that one day I would become a mom. Nothing against those things themselves, but just that I had other priorities and interests that kept me busy.

It makes me cringe because it’s so cliché but I only started being interested in having kids after my husband and I got together. We’re not going to talk about why that might have happened, but that’s the way it was.

But even after we had talked about it and decided that children were in our future, it still didn’t really sink in just what I was getting myself into. Even now, there are a lot of things about the whole situation that scare me to death and if I wasn’t on this adventure with the person I am I probably would have already died of panic. (Sorry, anxiety talking!)

The logical, rational, thinking side of me keeps me kind of sane. I know that my husband and I are an incredibly good team, that we have the same values and ideas, and that we’ll be able to handle this. I’m aware that I have a big group of friends and family that live nearby who will be able to help me learn what I need to know and take on some of the work when I need the backup.

I am super blessed to have a full-time job right now that is supportive and understanding of how real life works so that I’m not stressed about that adjustment after baby A arrives.

Then there’s the terrified aspect… I am very aware of the fact that I don’t know a lot about taking care of a baby. Honestly I only learned a few months ago how important it is not to leave blankets or pillows in a crib with a newborn. I didn’t really babysit as a teenager and I wasn’t all that interested in small children so information like that never really stuck in my mind.

I’m really scared that I’ll do something wrong and she’ll never be able to sleep on her own at night. I’m afraid that the cats aren’t going to get along with her and I’ll be forced to choose (thankfully I already have a long list of ideas on how to fix this problem if it arises).

And somewhere in the middle of all that fear and panic is the realization that I am already completely smitten with our baby girl. I already love her more than I ever thought I possibly could and even though its still scary I am so excited to be able to show her just how important she is to me and to her dad (who might be even more in love with her than I am). It’s humbling (and frightening) to think that she is going to rely on us for everything, that we’re completely responsible for her.

But the whole adventure is so thrilling too because even now already, before we’ve even met her, she is exactly what we hoped for and so much more than we could have dreamed of.

So the rollercoaster of emotions and anxiety and panic? It’s all there because I never realized how much the process of becoming a parent would take over my entire life.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Love and kindness…

Katharine Marie

Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, 0 comments

Anxiety Plus Some

Hello beautiful readers!

Today is Friday and I am so ready for this week to be over! It seems like it has dragged on for an eternity!

Sometimes it feels like I get weary of writing blog posts that deal with nothing except how things in my life are going or how I’ve been feeling lately. Even when there’s really nothing else for me to write about – I’m still getting the hang of writing about things other than my personal life – it still gets to be overwhelming at times.

And yet, here I go… doing it again. I guess it’s a pattern!

This week, I’ve felt rather stressed out for a variety of reasons, most of which are outside my control, and which I really don’t need to go into detail about right now. But it’s created a struggle in my mind about how much I really need to deal with… similar to when I’ve struggled with finding a balance between work and personal life. That one, I believe is a constant struggle.

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A lot of what is happening in my head this week bears strong similarities to my general anxiety issues. Usually I’m reasonably good at dealing with my anxiety. I have strategies that I use to help get through situations and problems.

But now, adding the hormones and mood swings that pregnancy has so graciously handed me into the mix, and its suddenly so much harder to deal with these anxieties in the same way.

Even though I might be able to use the same strategies to get through a situation, now I have an overload of other emotions to also deal with. And what usually happens is that even the simplest of problems can devolve into tears and unreasonable frustration and just complete depression.

Of course, I’m not saying that it’s constantly this bad all day long, every day, but I do have to try a lot harder to keep everything in check, especially when I’m at work and its not really the greatest idea to fall apart in front of customers. (It is unbelievable how rude some people can be!)

I keep telling myself that I’m also having to deal with all the anxieties that come along with becoming a mom. The whole idea that this is something that is happening to me is something that still blows my mind at times – it doesn’t feel real. Of course, I’m incredibly excited and totally in love with this little baby already, but it is still a huge adjustment and I don’t always deal well with change. This is something that I think I’ll blog about a little more in a few weeks.

It probably isn’t surprising that I generally feel more emotionally stable and less anxious when I have my husband around. He is nothing but supportive and it’s so much easier to relax when he’s physically present. Sometimes just being home, even if I’m by myself, is helpful too, but not always. I like my house clean and semi-tidy, but ever since I’ve been pregnant I have not had the energy to keep things up to my own personal standard, and that can become a big stressor. I try to remind myself that I need to store my energy to grow this tiny human so it’s okay to rest in the evenings, that even if J isn’t doing all the chores that I would end up doing, he’s still keeping the house very presentable and tidy, and there will be plenty of chances to get things done on the weekends on other days where I end up having more energy.

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This whole post is really just a mess of thoughts, but maybe now I’ll be able to write up a more cohesive post for next week. I’m splitting my writing time between the blog and my project for Camp Nanowrimo, but I’m just really glad to be able to blog on a consistent basis again. It makes me happy! Hopefully I can keep up the consistency at least until this child gets here and I have to completely readjust my schedule again.


Love and kindness!

Katharine Marie

Posted by katharine_marie, 0 comments