Gratitude: Tuesday, October 24, 2017


bad-days-will-pass-gif


I am going to try something new for a change. I know I am always blogging or writing some pretty depressing stuff. Even what I just got done writing like 30 minutes ago was pretty depressing. I am going to try to do my own gratitude journal. (CLICK HERE for how to make your own! It will redirect you to a previous post I made on this blog!) I figured what a better way to start than to make my first entry where I get to vent out most of my frustrations.  Continue reading

Advertisements

3 Ways To Beat Your Stress

 


1. Journal, Journal, Journal!

Identify your stress points and write about them in a journal. Your journal doesn’t have to be fancy – the ritual of putting the pen to paper transfers all that mental energy out of your mind and parks it so that you can let it all go. Continue reading

Keeping A Gratitude Journal

 

Keeping A Gratitude Journal


The Dictionary.com definition of Gratitude is: the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful. Keeping a gratitude journal of positive experiences can help us remember the good things that have happened to us on our worst day. Even when we are having a bad day, it is good to be able to pick out what you are thankful for. Try to write between at least 3-5 gratitude journal entries a day. 

Continue reading

How To Counter A Negative Automatic Thing

 

How To Counter A Negative Automatic Thought

Automatic thoughts are the first things, or thoughts, that come to our mind when something happens. Sometimes, these thoughts happen so quickly we don’t even realize they are happening until the negative thought is stuck in our head, and then we don’t know how to get rid of that negative thought once it’s there. Continue reading

Journaling And Mental Illness

Journaling & Mental Illness


Journaling can be an important and beneficial factor in mental illness. It can help improve your overall mental well-being because it can create a healthy outlet to express your emotions. A lot of people that struggle with any type of mental illness, or addiction, tend to stuff their emotions deep down inside of themselves, or they try to release them or cope with them, in unhealthy manners.

I’ve been there, and every now and then I still resort to unhealthy means to release my emotions, but journaling is what has been one of the best coping mechanisms that have ever been suggested to me. Everyone is different, and different things work for different people, but journaling is something that has worked for so many people that I have come into contact with, and I highly recommend it to people that struggle with getting their feelings and emotions out and suggest that it should be tried at least once. What could it hurt, right? It’s literally just putting a pen to a piece of paper, or even your hands to your keyboard.

When a person journals, they can let out their innermost thoughts that they wouldn’t dare share with another soul. You can be your true genuine self, and never feel judged by anyone because you are not writing for anyone else’s enjoyment. You are solely writing to be able to get out whatever it is that you are holding inside. Whatever you are writing doesn’t even have to make sense. It could be incomplete thoughts or just random words. It’s whatever you are feeling at that particular moment in time.

I have heard people say that they don’t want to journal because they are worried that someone else in their household may find their journal and read their private thoughts. I get that. When you write something that is meant for your eyes only, you want to keep it that way. There are a few different forms or means of journaling that can be done if you are worried about the traditional diary style due to lack of privacy.

Here are some options to try instead:


Online Diary/Journals:

If you fear that prying eyes might see a traditional journal you can always sign up for an online account somewhere. This is one I have used in the past, and they even have an app you can download on your smartphone.PrivateDiary.net and with this one, it is username and password protected so no one but you can access it. You can even sync the app and the online site so you can create entries either way and never lose track of anything. It also allows you to upload pictures to your entries as well. If you decide you really don’t like the way this journal is set up, just type in “online diary” into a search engine and tons of results will pop up. Just keep searching until something catches your eye.


Word Documents/Processers:

If your computer is password protected, and you never have to worry about anyone going through your files, you can always create your own journal using something like Google Docs, MS Word, etc… and just saving the files right to your computer. Maybe create a specific folder like, “My Journal” or “My Thoughts” and saving your entries in there.


Create & Trash:

If you are severely worried about someone seeing what your private thoughts are, then you can always physically write out all your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Then after you are done just rip up the paper and throw it away, burn it, shred it, or discard it however you see fit.


Smartphones:

If you have a smartphone then you automatically have a journal or diary at your fingertips. If you have an Android device, all you have to do is go to the Google Play Store and search for “Diary Apps” and hundreds of them will come up. Just look for one you will like. Another option is just to create journal entries using your memo or notepad within your phone.


Email:

You could always create a folder and label it “My Journal” or something of the sorts, and create journal entries in your personal email account, send them to yourself and then save them in your designated saved folder.


There are obviously lots of creative ways to create and manage a journal without having to keep a physical copy in today’s day and age. Almost everything is digital now. As for myself, I still love to have a physical copy because I enjoy putting a pen to a piece of paper.

Every means of mental health and addictions treatment that I have ever come across, since 2001, has suggested that I journal, and I have been doing it ever since. I go through phases where I will journal rigorously every day for chunks of time, then I will go periods of time where I won’t journal at all, then I will journal in moderation. And what I have come to the realization of, is that during the periods of time when I am the most routinely active in my journaling, is when my emotions are the most manageable. I seem to have less frequent crying spells because I am not bottling up as much inside of me.

Now, what I mean by routinely active, is that I am not obsessively writing, but I am also not infrequently writing either. When I am not at either extreme is when I am at my best, which at times that gets hard to come by since I am bipolar, and what is bipolar other than polar opposites.

So, if you have never tried journaling as a way to get your emotions out, give it a try. Just one time. Learning a new coping skill mechanism is always a thing of great value because you never know when life may throw something new your way that your current coping skill may not be suitable for. What works for you one day, may not work for you the next. That’s the thing about mental illness, it’s not always predictable and neither is life.


Hope This Helps 😀 -Samantha ♥

Preparing For Your Psych Appointment

Preparing For Your Psych Appointment

Most people don’t bother preparing for their appointments because either they don’t see the point in it, they think it’s a waste of time, or they think they already know everything they want to mention. But how many times have you left an appointment and thought, “Oh man, I completely forgot to mention that!” or “Oh, yeah I need a refill on that!” I know I have done it plenty of times before I actually started jotting down notes on things I want or need to mention. My mom had been trying to get me do this for years and then one day after forgetting to mention a really important side effect it finally clicked. So thank you for that mom!

Now that almost everyone has smartphones glued to their faces, all you have to do is create a list of things you should mention or bring up during your next appointment right in your phone’s memo or notepad. Lists and memos are not just for our parents and grandparents anymore. If you want to take change or your own health then this is something that you should really start getting in the habit of doing. 

Just because I am labeling this is “Preparing For A Psych Appointment” does not mean that you cannot apply this to any other appointment you may have as well.

Creating a list of notes for your upcoming appointment is probably the best thing you could do to avoid leaving anything out. There’s no harm in being too thorough.

Here’s an example of what my list would look like:

  1. Medication Issues
    • Side Effects
    • Decreased Effectiveness
    • Noticing No Changes (especially with new meds)
    • Have I started/stopped any meds?
      • What Over-the-counter meds am I taking?
      • Has a different provider (Family Doctor, Neurologist, Etc..) started me on a new med?
  2. Mood Changes
    • New/Worsening Symptoms
    • If I am having “episodes” and for how long?
      • Such as an actual Manic or Depressive episode.
  3. Self-Injurious Behaviors +/-
  4. How many hours am I sleeping on average?
  5. Any notable appetite changes?
  6. Any psychosis/hallucinations?
  7. Any dissociative episodes?
  8. Any Insurance/Income Changes?
  9. Any Major Life Events?
    • Major Life Events should be noted because these could affect mood and overall well-being. (This includes, but is not limited too; Divorce, Marriage, Job Change/Loss, Move, Death in the family, Pregnancy, etc…)
  10. Noticeable weight change?
  11. Are there any bothersome physical issues?
    • Dizziness, Headaches, etc…

 

This may seem like an extensive list, but too much information for a doctor to have is never a bad thing. It is always best to cover your bases when it comes to your health, especially your mental health. Not only does your mental health affect your mind, but it can affect your body as well.

Now, my list won’t necessarily look like your list. Everyone is different and has their own unique bases to cover. I just happen to have a lot of issues to generally discuss during my appointments. After dealing with my mental health for over 15 years, I try to get the most out of every appointment because my main goal is recovery and getting better. I try to utilize my time and make sure I keep my doctors informed so they can also keep track if they think I am making progress or regressing.

I hope someone can get some use out this. It’s definitely worth it. I wish I would have started making checklists for my appointments sooner. It would have saved me so much time, and so many unnecessary phone calls.

 

Creating a Self-Esteem Log

Creating a Self-Esteem Log

Self-esteem is a big issue for many people. I know it is for me, always has been, and probably always will be. Baby steps are necessary, and the little things really do help. Creating a weekly self-esteem log can help build it up a little piece at a time. You can either create it in a notebook or in a word document. You can follow this format, or create your own. Continue reading

Keeping Your Mental Health Happy

Keeping Your Mental Health Happy

By: Samantha Steiner


In order to maintain stability with your mental health, there are a few things that you need to do on a regular basis to keep yourself healthy in mind and body. I have put together a simple list of the things that I believe are the most important to keep your mental health happy and well balanced and most of all to keep you happy too! Continue reading

Coping Techniques For Anxiety, Panic Attacks, PTSD, Etc…

Coping Techniques For Anxiety, Panic Attacks, PTSD, Etc…

By: Samantha Steiner Continue reading

Hi, My name is Gary.

This is Gary’s Story: (submitted May 2017)

“My name is Gary. I have a severe social phobia called Paruresis, also called shy bladder syndrome. There are a lot of people out there with shy bladders, but Paruresis is much more serious, it is the inability to urinate anywhere outside of the home. It severely damages the quality of one’s life. I have lost many jobs dues to not being able to use the restrooms at work. I would have to make up a story about being sick just to go home and use the bathroom. When it comes to random drug testing for a job, forget it! I cannot go too far from home because as soon as I have to pee, I have to get home as soon as I can.  I have spent two years in therapy, but it is a very long process of healing. Some people have gotten better but never 100%. Before I ever started therapy I was in such bad shape that if I was out in public and I even thought about using the restroom I would break out in a sweat. I have dealt with this for as long as I can remember, but after a couple years of therapy I can at least go into little stores with private bathrooms, which to many may seem like very little progress but for me it is huge. As a teenager, while my friends would go off to concerts, to the movies, the beach, etc… I would stay behind. I had always felt too ashamed to tell anyone about my issues. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, I just knew that I was not like other people, something was wrong with me. I also had severe social anxiety. Even with some of my best friends, I didn’t speak very often unless it was one on one. Today I have broken down that wall and I can now talk to almost anyone, even in groups. Although the Paruresis is still very much a thorn in my social life, my hope is that if there is someone reading this who may have the same issues, know that you are not alone, and the is hope. People with Paruresis can improve with what is called gradual exposure therapy.  It is a long process but very helpful. I know most people like me are ashamed to talk about it, but talking is the first step in recovering.”

Talking about it is the first step. Contact me (Gary) At Gary.Bassler@yahoo.com

**For More Information On this Disorder Please Check Out This Website Paruresis.org  (Link Provided By Gary.. Please Thank Him.)**

Work vs. Life Balancing Tips

workbalance

Balancing a number of roles can be difficult, whether those roles are being a parent, partner, friend, employee, student, sibling, child or whatever else. At times, these different roles can compete for your time and attention.
I have listed some tips and strategies here that you might find helpful.

Tips for work-life balance

If you have taken on a new position (paid or unpaid), remember to pace yourself a little – it is easy to be enthusiastic and do more than is required, particularly when starting something new.  It is not unusual to want to please your boss and co-workers, or to be so excited about a new project that you become totally obsessed with. Again, try to pace yourself.  This will help ensure that other roles in your life are not neglected.

  • Use structure to provide some boundaries and routine.  For example, maintain some separation between work and home and try not to take work home with you. This will also give you a chance to wind down more effectively and relax after work.
  • Keep your regular sleep-wake cycle, that you have during your workdays, the same on your days off as well. To help keep your internal clock regulated, continue to get up within an hour of when you do during the week.
  • Plan to exercise, and go out with friends in the mornings to help keep this routine.  This can also help reduce feeling frustrated over having done nothing for the weekend.
  • Review how you are spending your time.  You might already keep some sort of a diary, or you could just note down how you spend your time over a 2 week block.  Look back at where your time was spent – it might show that there are important areas of your life that you would like to dedicate more time to.
  • Work and home life demands can fluctuate from time to time.  Being aware of the need for flexibility can be important in maintaining a healthy balance.
  • If you have been asked to take on some additional task (such as more work), think about what that will mean for you. How will you fit that in with your other tasks and roles?  Writing down the advantages and disadvantages of keeping things as they are vs. taking on the extra work can help.
  • Try to make schedules regarding things that you want to get done in a day. Be realistic though. Don’t put something like, “Monday from 6:00PM to 8:00PM; Read entire ‘Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy.”  instead write something like, “Monday from 6PM to 7PM; Read 30+ pages in ’50 Shades of Grey.”
  • Figure out what you want your priorities to be, not what you think they should be. Ask yourself, “If I could only focus on one thing in my life, what would it be?” That answer is your top priority. What would you focus on second? Third? Fourth? Fifth? You’ve now identified your top five priorities.
  • Try taking an hour out of every day to focus on yourself and just relax. Take some “Me” time.

ADHD/ADD Signs and Symptoms

A person with ADHD/ADD may have some or all of the following symptoms

ADHD symbol conceptua;l design isolated on white background. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symbol conceptual design

ADHD/ADD

  • Difficulty paying attention to details and tendency to make careless mistakes in school, or work or activities; producing work that is often messy and careless.
  • Easily distracted and frequently interrupting ongoing tasks by noises or other things that other people tend to overlook.
  • Inability to sustain attention on tasks or activities.
  • Difficulty finishing schoolwork, paperwork, projects or performing tasks that require concentration.
  • Frequent shifts from one uncompleted activity to another.
  • Procrastination
  • Disorganized work habits
  • Forgetfulness in daily activities (for example; missing appointments, forgetting to get or eat lunch or other meals, etc..)
  • Failure to complete tasks such as homework, chores, shopping, projects etc..
  • Frequent shifts in conversation, not listening to others, not keeping one’s mind on conversations, and not following details or rules of activities in social situations
  • When talking to someone, forgetting what it is that you were saying mid-sentence.
  • Hyperactivity
  • Always moving, shaking or rocking back and forth. Pretty much always in motion.
  • Fidgeting and feeling jittery
  • Impatience
  • Answering a person’s question(s) before they even finished asking the question(s).