Time: Thief or Philanthropist?

As we rapidly approach the end of a holiday season and try to put another year behind us we tend to sometimes fall prey to the illogical ramblings of our inner voices.

“Another year gone and nothing to show for it…”

“I still didn’t get to…..”

“I need more time.”

Sands dropping through the bottom of an hourglass.

Image courtesy of Flickr user bogenfreund.
To see and comment on original art, please click photo.

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Coming Up For Air

Although it may not seem like it happens often enough, there are those periods when we come up for air and are relieved to have spent any time at the surface.  Spending so much time just out of reach of the air and sunlight can cause positive feelings to be overwhelming and foreign at first.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr. Image uploaded by  Dermal Denticles

Photo Courtesy of Flickr.
Image uploaded by Dermal Denticles

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Bad Days

So here it is.  You’re having a bad day.  Can’t seem to make heads or tails of anything that’s going on and just when you thought you couldn’t possibly feel any worse, here comes more bad news.

What’s a person to do when  it seems like the whole world is against them and all the pain and stress of just coping with PTSD, depression, anxiety or a host of other mental illnesses rears their ugly heads?

Woman standing in bathrobe with hands in her hair and eyes closed

Photo courtesy of Flickr
Uploaded by ro_buk [I’m not there]

It can be all too easy to forget when we’ve had a string of good healthy days that it really is okay to have bad ones, sometimes even several in a row.  I thought that once I was feeling better my bad days would just magically disappear and when I woke up feeling depressed, anxious or a combination of both that I had somehow failed.  That is not that case, ever.

The truth of the matter is that we’re all human beings and whether we are a card carrying diagnosed patient or not, we are all going to eventually have a day when we have a horrible fight with a loved one over something we said or didn’t say. Or even a day when we cry and are inconsolable for hours on end.  I have them. I’ve had a bunch!

At first, I would blame myself.  “Well if I had only done this differently or handled this better then I wouldn’t be feeling this way right now.” The problem with this line of thinking is glaringly obvious.  All thinking that I’ve failed managed to do was make me feel even more guilty and turned me around and around in my own head.  Something that I term: circle-thinking.

The trick is to break the cycle before it starts and remember that we are human.  We are going to have bad days.  Whether we want to have bad days or not is irrelevant.  The best laid plans to never get angry or sad again aren’t realistic or attainable.

The good thing is when you have a bad day, the next good day will seem so much better in comparison.  It’s really all about perspective.  Being depressed and anxious are feelings, after all, and we’re allowed to feel however we feel in the moment. You just can’t dwell on it.  When you start to dwell on the negative feelings within you, you create a vacuum for yourself that’s difficult to get out of.

There’s another good thing about having bad days too! (And you thought that nothing good could come out of a bad day!) Bad day’s give us perspective.  Once we have calmed down and aren’t an emotional “10” anymore we can look at all the things that may have caused our reaction. Having a bad day is one thing, but being able to know that you don’t have to have another bad day for the same reasons is HUGE!

So remember to give yourself a break if your day turns bad.  Give yourself a break if you break down crying, because you’re just so sad you can’t stand it. Make sure that you learn to recognize it, feel it and then let it go.

Don’t let the waves carry you back out to sea when you’re so close to the shore.

Just keep swimming.

 

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“Boo! Hoo! Hoo!” vs “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

For those of you who answer yes to this, it is a VERY common problem around this time of year.  Even though “’tis the season to be jolly”, very few of us are.

Whether you suffer from PTSD, anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder or any other mental illness, the holiday season is one of high stress and can often trigger a deep depression.

real snowman with a big frown

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Tipping the Balance

Are you one of those people who either feels no anger most of the time and then too much some of the time?

Not sure?

Do you feel no anger and then punch fists through walls when you finally feel angry?

If you answered yes to either of the above questions or even if you know that you do things you regret when you’re angry, how about improving your anger management skills by cultivating mindfulness?

Set of balancing scales tipping to one side

Image courtesy of Flickr
Uploaded by winnifredxoxo

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Breaking Point

Standing on a calm beach with the soft woosh, woosh of the waves as they lap the water.  The air goes still. The waves fall silent and you look out to sea.

It is gathering.
Is there time to run?  Time to hide?
When will it get here?
Giagantic wave cresting

Original Photo uploaded to Flickr by Gabriel Andrés Trujillo

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