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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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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When “Health and Fitness” Isn’t Really Healthy, and What to Do About It | Lift Like A Girl

“…ultimately, a health and fitness regimen should enhance your life, and not dominate it.
~Nia Shanks, Lift Like A Girl

 When “Health and Fitness” Isn’t Really Healthy, and What to Do About It

Continuing in my mission to clean out the potential post prompts of my inbox, I came across this Nia Shanks blog post.  I really appreciated the message of treating your body right & using fitness as means to health not an unhealthy obsession with losing weight.

…if you thumb through some of the latest magazines and scroll through popular websites, that’s not always the impression we’re getting.

Some resources have turned it into a game of constantly striving to reach a lower body weight coupled with strict dieting methods and long, grueling workout routines. Often it looks like a race to see who can eat the least and work out the most. And sometimes the information is just downright degrading.

Instead of focusing simply on eating better in a sustainable way … we opt instead for the latest rapid fat loss diet that has a list of forbidden foods that can often lead to binge eating and other disordered eating habits. Inevitably we combine this dieting mentality with a rigorous workout routine that often leads to burn out, overuse injuries, and exhaustion.

I concur.  For the rest of Nia’s sensible pep talk, check it out here.


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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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Fish Oil & Freebies!

Research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids, or essential fatty acids (EFAs), can help lower triglycerides, slow the hardening of arteries, regulate heartbeat, and lessen the risk of death in people with known heart disease. It’s also possible that the omega-3 group may aid in treating depression… A few promising studies suggest that natural sources of omega-3s — especially fish oil — may help bring mood back into balance.
~Chris Woolston, M.S., Health Day

Body Vega Fish Oil

source: Amazon.com

I have been researching & trying a lot of different vitamins & supplements, & have been intending to write about them here.  Ta-da!  I’m finally doing it.  I figure fish oil was a good place to start.

A lot of research has been done into fish oil in the last couple of decades.  It has been shown to be helpful for several physical issues, but the research into its use for mental health has been less certain.  Some studies say it does, some say it doesn’t.  There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence out there to support whichever stance you prefer.  The Mayo Clinic’s site rates it an A on the physical health issues, but only a C when it comes to Bipolar Disorder.

I dug up a plethora of links on the issues, including what I wrote previously on fish oil & Bipolar Disorder, so there are lots there if you want to do some digging of your own.  I’ve included three research oriented links from the last year at the bottom.  They are the ones I used writing this.

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Bipolar Treatment Fatigue | Bipolar Burble

Bipolar Treatment Fatigue

If you haven’t spent the last decade-and-a-half fighting bipolar disorder, let me clue you in: for many of us, fighting bipolar disorder is an every second of every minute of every hour of every day of your life kind-of-a-thing. Dealing with bipolar disorder is not something that stops when you leave your doctor’s office or when you take your pills. Truly treating bipolar disorder means using coping skills and being on guard for the problems of bipolar disorder every moment of forever.

I have recently come back around to being sick of taking pills.  I get this way from time to time, although this time I didn’t stop taking them, which is new.  I take pills 3x a day.  I have alarms set for each time.  That’s a lot of thinking about taking pills.  I can’t leave the house for any significant length of time without worrying about pills.  On top of the three pills I take for BD, I also have a couple of other rx drugs, along with several vitamins & supplements.  When I go away overnight I have to pack an extra bag just for all my pills. >_<

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Critical Dietetics Remains HAES Positive | Critical Dietetics Blog

calming manatee 12

Critical Dietetics Remains HAES Positive

Critical Dietetics, being active in its questioning of the “obesity problem” and the moral panic this positioning of bodies causes, rejects the notion that individual attempts to control body weight lead to improved health. A critical perspective on health promotion considers the range of social, political, and economic influences on people’s lives.

I found this article of interest.  It seemed like a good excuse to post something & check-in with you guys.  Not just this post, the field of Critical Dietetics sounds fascinating.  They didn’t have their own pic accompanying the post, so I brought back calming manatee.

I’m doing well.  I ended my relationship & moved back in with my dad last month.  Sucks, but it’s good.  I’m feeling better, more energetic.  Of course I’m also taking some new vitamins I’m really liking.  I’ll have to tell you about all the vitamins & supplements I’ve been trying for various things.  (I got some free stuff I need to tell you about!)  I’ve been posting about it on my personal fb page, but haven’t gotten around to it here. :-/  I’ve been especially focused on vitamins to improve mood & energy, & help with hormonal issues/ my thinning hair. >_<  (Fixed my hair!)  I’ve spent so much time researching vitamins & supplements I feel like a vitaminologist! Which I think I just made up.  (Nope, according to Merriam-Webster, it’s a thing. Spellcheck begs to differ.)

I’m in the midst of moving to a larger city nearby, so that’s very exciting.  I’ve been going out some & meeting new people.  That’s very exciting for me.  Being single again, I really do feel more like my old self.  I hadn’t fully realized how much the relationship was stressing me until I left.

Hope you guys are doing well!