My Year To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~Maya Angelou


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Perfectionism, Stress, & Routines

When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target.
~George Fisher (Quote Garden)

My writing area

This is where the magic happens. Now that I have my own place I finally have room for a writing area! The white binder with a couple of notebooks on top of it is the never-ending novel. I have decided this will be the year I finally finish revising & editing, & let it go. Seriously. I’m going to do it!

I wrote a couple of years ago about things I was letting fear hold me back from. So far, I’ve had a job, started dating & had a boyfriend — even if he turned out to be shitty, moved to a larger city, I’ve become more social & made a lot of new friends, & I’ve started checking out the comedy scene here & working on a set.  Now, I have my own apartment! 😀

Like a lot of big life changes, even positive ones, it can be stressful. I’m really happy with my decision, but it is a major step, especially financially.  I am working with vocational rehab though to go back to work; a long-term job, not something seasonal.

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Moving Through Depression


“I stand for living your truer life – and that means your whole life. That means all of it, the shit and the swamp, the love and the golden sunset, the 3am staring at the ceiling and the trudging down the stairs at memory care, sobbing. True means whole, means owning it, working it, all of it.”
~Jennifer Louden, “Navigating Through Depression

I have a post in the works, & this post from Jennifer Louden, found via a Curvy Yoga email, touches on the subject.  I didn’t want to be just sharing another post from someone else, so I came up with my own title.  I didn’t realize how almost exactly the same as it is to the original.  Sometimes we absorb more than we know.  I couldn’t think of a title I liked better, so there you go.

I talk a lot about being gentle with yourself during a depressive episode & about just letting things be okay when you need to.  Let yourself & what you are able to do right now be enough.  It is so important.  Depression will give you plenty of reasons to hate yourself, don’t pile on.  Not to mention, so much around us, including some of the people in our lives give us more to feel guilty about.

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Review: Toadking Mood Tracker app for Android

Toadking version 1.1

I was asked to check out the Toadking Mood Tracker app & possibly review it here if I thought it was useful.

Well, I checked it out & I have to say I am finding it very useful. It’s a really great app, & I’ve tried a few for tracking moods, meds, sleep, a variety of things. It allows you to track any ten things you can rate on a scale of 0-10, so it’s useful for more than just moods. For instance, you could use it to rate different aspects of your runs: like how it felt; how you felt before, during, & after; any pain; breathing; etc. All sorts of things.

The interface is simple & intuitive, & the User Guide is comprehensive & easy to navigate. It’s easy to track as well as easy to check & share you history, both of those give you options for how you’d like to do it.

The app is free with no ads. There is a Paypal button discretely placed at the bottom of the user guide for anyone who would like to pay something to the creator.

That’s the short version. Hit “Read More” for the walk-through review with lots of screen shots! 🙂

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Prancercising for Health & Wellness

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” -John Wooden (Workouts 4 All)

Yesterday I was thinking about how so much focus is placed on yoga in research into physical activity for mental health (Yesterday & the day before are two examples).  Today a radio DJ brought up Prancercising.  This post just wrote itself.

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Yoga For Bipolar Disorder — Yea, Nay, Or Meh?

Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.
~B.K.S. Iyengar (Quote Garden)

A study on yoga & Bipolar Disorder recently dropped in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice, “Self-Reported Benefits and Risks of Yoga in Individuals with Bipolar Disorder“.  It has blown the bipolar-sphere up.  When I finished yesterday’s post about yoga for veterans with PTSD I had a Google alert for “bipolar disorder” with four links about it, with varying opinions.  Today I have more opinions on it to review.

It involved 109 participants who self-identified as having BD & practicing yoga being given an online survey of their experiences with yoga.  The results were majority positive, for instance less anxiety & better sleep, but some people did report having negative experiences such as agitation during rapid breathing or hot yoga.  The study mainly saw hatha & vinyasha yoga, the typical yoga practiced in the USA, rather than the sudarshan kriya yoga of yesterday’s post.  Further research is planned.

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Yoga helps war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder | Raw Story

Some of the most damaging consequences of seeing combat can happen in the mind. Of the 2.3m American veterans who returned from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, up to 20% go on to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point. In a report published by the US Department of Veterans Affairs at least 22 American veterans take their lives every day.

Yoga helps war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder

The effects of PTSD can include intrusive memories, heightened anxiety and personality changes. Individuals can also experience hyper-arousal, where they are easily startled, feel “jumpy” and constantly on guard. Standard current treatment for PTSD generally involves prescriptions for antidepressants and psychotherapy, with mixed results.

In a new study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, researchers say that yoga can be used to bring better mental balance.

Yoga has previously been shown as valuable in reducing the stress of university students, and depression, anxiety, alcoholism and PTSD in tsunami survivors, as well as helping cancer patients. The charity Yoga for America runs programmes for serving soldiers and war veterans.

An interesting, albeit small, study was done on sudarshan kriya yoga for veterans with PTSD.  It used twenty-one veterans diagnosed with PTSD.  Eleven were assigned a one-week intensive course of yoga, & the other ten were the control group.  The yoga group showed reduced symptoms of PTSD, including lowered anxiety & hyper-arousal, as well as less intense intrusive memories.

If it works on intrusive thoughts, I will definitely be looking into that.

 


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Who Am I — What Others See or What I Believe?

I’ve always been in this sort of perpetual state of existential longing. I feel like something’s missing.
~Juliana Hatfield (Brainy Quotes)

Woke up at seven this morning, after staying up until 4:30am blogging & watching Farscape,  worried about who I am.  Am I what I believe myself to be, or am I what others see?  Am I what I should be? where I should be in life?  Am I good enough?  Am I good person?  How do others see me?  Is that really who I am?  Naturally, in that mental state the answer is never good.  I’m really feeling this post on existential depression right now.

I am not where I want to be, not for now, not for my future.  Not liking who I am right now is eating at me.  If nothing else, I’m bored.  I’m doing so much better than I was & while I’ve still got a way to go, I’m ready to get back out in the real world.  Not just because I think other people think I’m a loser & a waste of potential.  I was smart! I was supposed to be doing something with my life, something important!  Not living with my dad, collecting a check, & doing what most would define as nothing.  I’ve actually been quite busy, but not doing anything they would recognize as work of any sort; especially since so far I’m not getting paid for any of it. :-/  But one day, one day…

When I get like that I try to remember I define myself & my opinion of myself is the only one that matters.  I am loved by many people, so I can’t be that bad.  Even if that one cousin does always give me the side eye at holidays. -_-  Fuck you, T! Fuck you!  Alas, I respect my grandmother & my father too much to ever yell it for real.  But they’re not always going to be around, are they?  Of course, when they’re gone I’ll never have to see that asshole again.

When grappling with these issues, discard the opinions of assholes, but give great weight to those of the people who love you.  See yourself through their eyes.  When I feel bad about myself, mentally or physically, I look in the mirror & work to see myself the way I see the people who matter to me.  Love looks for the good & is understanding of the not so good.  That’s how they see us & that’s how we should see ourselves.  Our perceptions are colored by love.

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