September can be a very stressful month for many. It often means saying goodbye to the mindset of carefree summer days.
Add in so many uncertainties surrounding the Pandemic into the mix and this September could likely be even more challenging for many more.
If you feel more stress in September, YOU are not alone.
With the kids heading back to school, changes in routine, jam packed schedules, many unknowns, a change of seasons, shortening daylight hours; anxiety and overwhelm are certain to play a big role in many of our lives during the month ahead.
September is also “National Self-Care Awareness Month”.
Self-care knows no boundaries, unfortunately neither do anxiety and overwhelm.
Everyone can benefit from practicing self-care. It’s not SELFISH!
So take advantage of it in the month ahead and make self-care an important part of your daily routine.
Pay attention to how you are feeling.
Communication is key.
Healthy boundaries are imperative.
Practice being kind to yourself and tell your guilt to fuck off.
How do you prepare for Stresstember?
How do you ease back into a routine?
What is one thing you look most forward to in September?
***Leave your emojis in the comments as to how you are feeling about the month ahead.
First I just wanted to start off by giving a great big thank you to everyone (both near and far) who took the time yesterday to wish me a happy birthday. You helped make my day extra special and even more meaningful with all your beautiful birthday wishes and kind, encouraging words.
I have been beyond overwhelmed with emotion over the last couple of weeks as I have mentioned ALOT lately and most of my overwhelm has honestly had more to do with other aspects of my life and much less to do with my actual birthday.
But as the clock struck midnight on the eve of my birthday the focus completely shifted to my “birth day”. I tried not to overwhelm myself any further by putting any undue pressure on myself or create expectations that would overwhelm me further.
I cried ALOT yesterday, like ALOT ALOT.
I was overwhelmed ALOT yesterday, like ALOT ALOT.
I was on an emotional roller coaster ALOT yesterday, like ALOT ALOT but I don’t think I could have felt more blessed, loved or grateful than I did.
I was pampered and treated like royalty yesterday.
I got to feel the warm embrace of other fully vaccinated loved ones living outside of my home for the first time in over 15 months and I never wanted to let go.
And I received the most thoughtful and meaningful gifts (including of course our weekend getaway last weekend) from friends and family that I will cherish forever.
A couple of months ago I shared a blog with you describing how I had very few pictures of myself or of my family and friends from infancy to my late teens due to circumstances beyond my control (see blog: https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2021/04/15/empty-picture-frames/).
Little did I know that from that blog would emerge one of the most cherished and meaningful gifts I could have ever imagined.
After reading that particular blog, my brother set out on a mission to hunt down pictures from our childhood. Along with the selfless aid of my sister in law, my two nephews, Rich and my three kids they spent hours upon hours exchanging emails and texts with one another, reaching out to dear friends and family who were a big part of our childhood and formatting the layout and design together (all behind my back) in order to create an album for me starting from where my life began on June 23rd 1971 in Montreal, Quebec to present day, 50 years later.
Believe it or not, these are only a handful of pics I chose to show you from this magnificent book. I honestly have no words to describe what yesterday truly meant to me and how deeply touched I am by all the kindness and love that surrounds me (and not just on my birthday) and I am so thankful to everyone who continues to go out of their way to show me day in and day out that I am enough ❤
With another “Stay at Home” order in effect for Ontario now is the perfect time to delve into a good book.
Reading not only entertains us but studies have shown that it can also improve our overall mental health too.
Reading a good book is a great way for our minds to escape from our day to day stress or racing thoughts.
It can help us unwind and relax.
It keeps our minds sharp, improves our memory and cognitive skills and can help make our brains stronger.
For me personally, I love to read Self-help and Personal Development books; many of which are autobiographical accounts of someone’s victorious mental health journey.
They can be very inspiring, therapeutic and healing.
They can provide insight into our own limitations and help us grow stronger or become better humans.
Reading in general can feel very empowering, be very engaging and emotionally charging.
It can also enhance our creativity, productivity, outlook, competence and overall wellbeing.
So whether you prefer to curl up on the couch with a good self-help book, fiction, romance or something autobiographical, as you can see, reading has so many healthy benefits to it (just incase you were on the fence about taking up the hobby yourself!).
I had a panic attack today while driving home from my therapist. I needed to pull over so that I could calm down. I talked my way through it by asking myself a few simple questions that I have learned over the last many years to help me get through them. If you or someone you love suffers with anxiety and panic attacks have a listen.❤🤗
I try, I really do try and relish in every good moment and experience that life has to offer me. I’m very mindful of these moments and experiences and I appreciate the opportunity when they present themselves or allow me to escape and feel moments of joy.
I was afforded some of these moments over the weekend especially while spending some quality time with my family on Saturday afternoon, enjoying some fresh air, a change of scenery and even a bit of exercise too. It was so welcomed after a very difficult night before.
My plate is completely full right now and so these moments where I’m able to escape from my racing thoughts or overwhelm for even a short while are appreciated so much more because sadly they don’t seem to last very long and often feel so few and far between.
My emotions are likened to being on a roller coaster ride with so many ups and downs, twists and turns and often scary, heart palpitating moments.
I never know when the ride is going to slow down long enough for me to catch my breath or feel that adrenaline rush of joy again.
At least I was afforded the opportunity on Saturday because by the time Sunday rolled around that sinking feeling you get from the plunge of a roller coaster was in full swing again. I found myself plunging the moment I awoke from a very restless night sleep and it caused my thoughts to start racing to a very dark and scary place and a mistake was made in the process that led me toward more pain and sadness which I am unable to shake off still today.
I guess that’s why when those moments of joy do come my way I am so much more appreciative of them. We all need to learn to relish in those moments even if only for a moment in time.
I know that Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
But what if your problems keep adding up and what if they no longer feel temporary?
But what if you can no longer shake off those unrelenting thoughts?
But what if you believe that suicide is your only option in order to feel any kind of relief or be at peace?
But what if you feel like your mere existence is hurting those around you, especially the ones who love you the most?
But what if the pain in your heart is too intense and overwhelming to stand for one second more?
But what if you’ve made a plan and just want to figure out a way to execute it?
But what if you can’t close your eyes at night because you’re too afraid of what you might see?
But what if you’re anxiety is paralyzing you with fear and keeping you from living? From breathing? From loving? Or from finding hope?
But what if your depressed mind keeps telling you that you are helpless? Worthless? And have no purpose?
But what if all this sadness and despair are so completely unbearable and feels as if it will last forever?
If you or someone you know is in crisis please reach out to a trusting friend, therapist, counsellor, loved one or call Canada Suicide Prevention Hotline @ 1.833.456.4566/ Kids Help Phone @ 1.800.668.6868 Help is available 24/7/365
I’ve been living with a severe anxiety disorder on a daily basis for more than six years now (yup old news, I know) and I’m pretty certain by now that it’s something I will live with for the rest of my days. But I also suffer with a panic disorder and although I don’t experience panic attacks quite so often, they seem to be happening more and more frequently lately.
Many people think that anxiety and panic attacks are one in the same, but they are not. They often exhibit some similarities when it comes to symptoms (i.e: heart palpitations, chest pain, numbness or tingling sensations, shortness of breath and nausea), but unlike many of those regular symptoms that seem to follow me around on a daily basis, a panic attack will come on much stronger, often very suddenly and involve intense and overwhelming fear (panic).
The other day I wrote a blog describing a panic attack that I had experienced the night before (https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2021/01/09/today-is-a-new-day) but what I left out was that I have not just been experiencing them more frequently, I have actually been experiencing them EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for the past week or so, and last night was no exception.
As I lay in bed feeling anxious last night (surprise, surprise) my thoughts quickly intensified and without any further warning a feeling of panic and impending doom set in and before I knew it I was in the depths of a full blown panic attack, fearing that something very, very bad was about to happen.
Rich lay helplessly beside me, holding my hand as tears ran down my cheek. I was hyperventilating and felt like I wanted to pull my hair out and jump out of my skin. The next thing I remember happening was Maggie laying on my chest licking my face. I truly believe that dogs can sense their human’s emotions and body language. They just seem to know when the right time is to snuggle up beside you or even help to wipe away your tears. It’s so much more than just a sixth sense and I’m really grateful to have this added layer of protection in my life when I need it the most.
Living with a severe anxiety disorder like I do can literally make anyone do crazy shit. And if there is one thing I know for sure it’s that my anxiety makes me feel out of control and will often paralyze me with fear and worry when it comes to, well, just about everything.
Over the last few years I’ve been taught several helpful tools that I can turn to when I’m feeling anxious and I have found, through some trial and error, many of them to be quite useful at times.
As I’ve also mentioned many, many times before, I rely heavily on CBD oil (Full Spectrum, with NO THC and preferably peppermint flavor!) to give me an almost immediate relief of certain physical symptoms like severe heart palpitations and nausea. But when the physical symptoms go beyond my everyday normal symptoms I’m lucky enough that my dear friend “Dr. Google” is always there to advise me.
“Dr. Google” is my “go to” Doctor when my own Doctor is unavailable for consultation, you know, like in the middle of the night when many of these symptoms seem to unexpectedly show up and you need a medical diagnosis, STAT.
But I should probably also mention here how much I avoid calling my Doctor to begin with because I just can’t bring myself to pick up a phone to call her or I get worried that I’m just bothering her (yup that too is a symptom of my anxiety).
I know that all probably sounds a bit crazy to some of you (I told you that anxiety can make you do crazy shit) and I also know that “Dr. Google” is probably NOT the most reliable resource when it comes to making a proper diagnosis (trust me I know) but I also know that I’m probably not alone.
The internet makes it so easy these days to look up just about anything your heart desires but when you suffer with extreme anxiety and major depression, my advice to you would be to stay as far away from “Dr. Google” as you possibly can because before you know it your anxiety/panic attack at 2 am has somehow just been diagnosed as a rare and incurable disease.
Just like the one I diagnosed myself with last evening after describing to a friend an extremely sharp pain I had been having on and off for the past couple of days in one particular area of my body, a pain I have never experienced before. She tried to reassure me it was probably nothing too serious and that I should call my Doctor in the morning but before she could finish her sentence (we were actually texting) I cut her off because “Dr. Google” was already telling me the complete opposite of what she was saying, and quite frankly, like come on now, who are you actually gonna believe?
Well seeing as it’s now after 2 am as I write this and stare at my “Dr. Google” diagnosis you can probably figure that answer out all on your own! And trust me, “Dr. Google” is just as quick and informative when it comes to helping me self diagnose my kids ailments too!
Who else turns to Dr. Google for their regular check ups?
I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions a long time ago because if there is one thing I have come to learn while in the throes of my mental illness it’s that by setting big goals at the start of any new year will only further exasperate my feelings of failure and defeat.
But I’m a planner and I have always tried to fight off the need to ensure that every part of my life is organized to a tee except that when I do find myself veering off course my OCD, my Depression and my Anxiety will set me back for days on end which only leads me to those further feelings of defeat and failure.
Over the last many years the only daily planner I’ve used to organize my goals has been the calendar in my phone but those daily or sometimes hourly notifications that pop up as simple reminders or good intentions have become all too overwhelming for me and can often be quite triggering at times.
So as the new year nears I have decided to try a different approach to help keep many of those triggers at bay. Several times a day when I receive one of those notifications on my phone I look at it like you would a deer in your headlights and then I find myself quickly deleting it or moving it to some future date. So for now my plan is to begin the new year off by writing down simplified goals each day and my daily intentions instead of typing them into my phone.
This I am hoping will help to alleviate my need to search for them because they will be more readily visible to me and I won’t be able to delete or move them about so easily either. I also won’t be so easily distracted by a ping on my phone that can trigger a sense of hopelessness in me and instead I can choose when I am mentally able to open up my planner for the day.
I do try and set small, simplified goals or intentions for myself each day but I’m finding myself with less and less motivation to tackle much of anything right now.
My headspace is filled with an abundance of clutter; I’m sleeping less and less, drinking and smoking more and more and unable to complete so many of even the tiniest of intentions which is why I plan to use the brightest and most colorful markers to fill in my new daily planner and I plan to do so with the greatest of intentions. And even if some days all I can tackle from my daily planner is maybe taking a warm bubble bath then at least I will know that I did so with great intention.
What do you use to write down your day to day plans/goals?
With a year like no other almost behind us, how have your goals simplified and what do you hope to fill your 2021 daily planner with most?