Coping Ideas For Depression and Loneliness


Depression is made worse by loneliness, delivering a double-low-blow to someone who feels hurting and isolated. Here I will share with you effective coping skills for depression, and loneliness.

The ideas in this article have successfully helped me feel better after being struck by depressive thoughts.


Who am I to give advice on depression?

After developing a mental illness at age 23 at the onset of my pregnancy, I lost my CDL driver’s license and professional career as a commercial truck driver. Soon after my husband left me, and lost custody of my only child. The medication I require to maintain sanity causes weight gain, and over just a few years I gained over 200 pounds. I lived alone for over 10 years. For many of those years, I wasn’t even allowed have a cat because of tenancy rules.

I felt abandoned, despondent, very low, and desperately lonely.

Yes, I know depression well. She is a dear old friend.

I’ve learned how to deal with her successfully, and am usually now a pretty happy person. When I feel down, I know it’s not permanent, and I’ll be okay. I follow certain strategies to get myself back on track.

I’m here to share my strategies for finding joy in everyday life. Getting out of bed is a choice I make daily.

Peace and hopefulness are such better places in which to abide.


Be patient with yourself.

Getting angry at yourself for having a nasty thought about yourself – simply compounds emotional anguish. Give yourself permission to think dark thoughts as long as you don’t stay there. Practice bringing yourself back to more helpful thoughts.

Be mindful of your thoughts. Read books on mindfulness, positive mindset, good news stories, success, and learning in any market you are interested in can help you have a higher number of happy and hopeful thoughts that you can grab on to and use for the better.

Watch videos about it on YouTube. Practicing mindfulness will help you to accept your negative feelings and let them pass. It’s okay to slip up. You move on.

Hypnotherapy is helpful when trying to improve your outlook, particularly sessions on positive mindset, mindfulness, success, or any others that interest you. You can best listen to these audios in private, at rest. Binaural beats can also be helpful in bringing positive change to your mindset.

Never beat yourself up over any failure. Appreciate the experience, and treasure the lesson.

Failure is the best teacher ever!


self-careWhere you go, there you are.

Most people have a need to feel cared about… but would you be speaking truth if you said no one cares about you? In fact, having that worry itself proves that you care about yourself. The fact that you even found this web page proves that you really do care about yourself. Why not say it?

Self-care goes beyond taking care of your physical body. You need to let yourself know that you care.

It feels good when someone makes you your favorite tea, soup, or comfort food. Why not treat yourself?

Have you ever winked at yourself in the mirror? I recommend trying it today. Even better, do it with a smile!

The first time, this may be the hardest thing you’ll ever do. It gets easier though. Look at yourself in the mirror, and while looking at yourself, tell yourself, out loud, the answers that you write in the following section…


What would you say to a friend who felt really low?

Write this question down, and answer it in writing.

“If someone you love is feeling depressed, sad, lonely, or suicidal, what would you say, and do, to encourage them?”

You might write, I care about you. Let me check on you every day, to see how you are doing.

You could say to your friend, I value you,” or My world is better because you are in it.

You’d say these things to someone you love. Why can’t you say them yourself?

The truth is, you can say these things to yourself.

Would you hold a hurting friend’s hand and give a consoling squeeze?

This’ll sound weird to you, and no one else will tell you this, but you can hold your own hand. I was very surprised when I figured this out, it’s actually really calming and comforting. You have two hands for this reason. Hey, why not?


Distract yourself. Do anything else.

Negative thoughts stuck in a rut that you can’t pull yourself out of?

Been told by family that you’ve been arguing in circles?

Do not underestimate the power of a fidget spinner!

Try one of these:

  • Play a video game.
  • Watch a TV show.
  • Reading a magazine.
  • Read a newspaper.
  • Start cleaning.
  • Have a cold shower.
  • Write down your thoughts.
  • Do some research.
  • Go fishing.

The list is inexhaustible. Do something you enjoy!

Here’s a great idea:


Let the sun shine on you!


strategies for dealing with depression

Exposure to sunlight releases chemicals in our bodies that makes us instantly feel better. From sunlight, we get increased levels of Serotonin, an excellent contributor to positive mental health.

It may be hard to get out of bed and get dressed, but do it anyhow. Get up, wash up, get dressed, and weather permitting, step outside, even when you don’t feel like it.

There is nothing more refreshing than fresh air while appreciating the beauty of nature.

So go outside. Look up. Feel the warm sensations of the sun lighting you up. Watch the sunrise. Talk to the wildlife. The crow might look at you like you are crazy, but the squirrel might strike up a conversation with you!

feel good

A squirrel looking back at you, chattering his fluffy tail off, is adorably cute.

Chatter back at him, and he’ll get in an argument with you! Look up, picture it!

I dare you not to smile!


Branch out to make friends.

Stop wondering why no one is calling you.

Join reading groups, sharing groups, walking groups, Toastmasters, groups with shared interests from Meetup.com, volunteer to help others, take on new jobs. These are all great ways of socializing.

Keep going, become familiar there. You might even make a new friend or two, and that is worth celebrating!

Check in with your friends to see how they are doing. They’ll appreciate it and do the same for you.

Do not allow all your happiness to rely on the actions of others.

Practice encouraging yourself using the above methods.


Don’t feel ashamed to ask for professional help.

Suffering social anxiety due to depression can cause you to feel paralyzed over social matters. It’s okay to ask for help.

Do people you know think getting help is not acceptable? Let that be their problem, not yours.

Call your local mental health or abuse crisis line. They exist for good reasons, and the counselors are glad to just be there for you, when you need someone to talk to.

You can use these help lines to self-refer yourself to a crisis stabilization unit (CSU) if you need more support than you can manage on your own.

The professionals at a CSU will help you set goals, plan strategies for dealing with challenges, and connect you to counselors and other community services, which can be used as excuses to socialize with positive people.

Who cares if they are paid to listen. They help!


Conclusion.

You are valuable. You are worthy of kindness. Treat yourself right. Nurture your self-love.

Treasure every moment in your life, and there are always more joyful times to come.

Each new day challenges you to get out of bed, make it worth it. Every day is a new adventure.

Life has ups and downs, and that’s awesome.

The amazing variety of sensations, interactions, ideas, colors, views, smells, flavors, and emotions that happen every-single-day are the little things to appreciate that make life worth living.



There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh.


Affiliate Disclosure: The links in this website may be “affiliate links.” This means if you buy something through the link, I receive an affiliate commission, at no additional cost to you. I recommend only products or services I believe will add value to my readers. Read full affiliate disclosure here.



Help For Paranoid Schizophrenia


How to get help for paranoid schizophrenia symptoms. The definition of psychosis is that the person has sensory experiences of things that do not exist and/or beliefs with no basis in reality.

This article contains basic instructions and resources for families, loved ones, and those afflicted with schizophrenia, schizophrenia with paranoia, and/or psychosis.


Empathy goes a long way.

If they hear voices or seeing things that you don’t hear or see, that doesn’t mean they are crazy or imagining it, they are literally experiencing a nightmare while awake. To the afflicted, these experiences are very real. They might still have a foot in reality while having the other foot in their dream, so don’t assume they are crazy, but they are experiencing symptoms of a brain illness.

How would you feel though you woke up from a dream and then were told, “There was no dream, you’re crazy. There’s nothing there!” Yet you saw your dream, touched things while you were there, smelled it, heard stuff, interacted with people in your dream. How would you feel if someone else told you that you were just crazy? Told you that you weren’t just there? Let me tell you how you’d feel, pretty insulted.

If a person suffers hearing voices, there are voices there, even though only they can hear them. Don’t call them crazy, just because they hear voices. To say there’s nothing there and they are crazy is nothing short of insulting to the person’s intelligence, and hurtful.


Get them to the doctor.

When the person hears voices or seeing things, it doesn’t mean there’s not still a sane person in there, even though they are being tormented by hallucinations. Ask if they are willing to get help, they very well might agree they need it. If the person agrees, get them to their doctor, or to the emergency room for a doctor on call, as soon as possible.

You might not realize this but there is a very high percentage of mentally ill people in mental hospitals that went there voluntarily, because they realized they needed help. It is always better for the person to cooperate and ask for help. Try giving them the opportunity to agree.


The afflicted refuses help? Call the police.

Living in a psychosis state is very dangerous to both the afflicted and to the people in their path. Try to talk the afflicted person into getting help. If they refuse help, you must protect yourself, your loved ones, and the public from a runaway mind, and call the police.

A person in a state of psychosis that doesn’t recognize they need help is like a person sleepwalking, but with their eyes open. They are dreaming things while awake, and cannot separate the two, they can’t tell the dream from the reality. These people are unpredictable, dangerous, and those who approach should be aware of this.

The afflicted must be kept safe in a controlled environment, like a mental hospital, or even jail, under strict supervision. Police can take them to the hospital, with cuffs on if necessary. There, professional psychiatric doctors and nurses can make sure that the person with the illness gets onto the proper anti-psychotic medications, and stabilizes, under supervision.


Learn all you can about living with the illness.

Did you know that 70% of people diagnosed with Schizophrenia, with proper treatment, medication, and emotional support, recover well enough to live completely normal lives?

Just because a person is mentally ill does not mean they are a lost cause. Healing is possible, even likely.

Explore search engines for crisis centers, crisis lines, support centers, family supports and employment or financial resources in your local area mental health resources, state/provincial mental health resources, and also national mental health resources.

Online Resources:


Conclusion

It is not easy to support someone with Schizophrenia. It is a hard illness to deal with. As a loved one of someone with Schizophrenia, you probably need encouragement yourself. You yourself might feel hopeless, but it is not hopeless. Healing is possible. It takes time. Talking to someone helps. Call a mental health crisis line. Tell them what you are going through.

The person suffering has been told by people that they are crazy, hopeless, and imagining things. They might even believe it. They may never have hurt anyone in their entire lives, yet they have been shamed. Be supporting, encourage them, help them find hope in healing, as with treatment, they will once again learn how to sort out their scattered thoughts.

There is no shame in loving someone with a mental illness.  The person suffering an illness is still valuable and deserves the chance to heal. Be a beacon of hope, patience and support.


Books For Family:


Books For People Recovering from Schizophrenia


How to self help for depression


Here I share successful strategies helping you learn how to self-help for depression by taking charge of the process of recovering from the personal, social, and illness aspects of your depression.

Have faith in your recovery, and the rewarding life following recovery. You got this!


Practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (CBT).

CBT are practices that help empower you to take command of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. With more experience you can learn to be more mindful of your thoughts, and more importantly, how you tend to react to your thoughts.

You can stop being angry or disappointed with yourself (or others), as you practice different techniques to switch to more productive trains of thought, practice calming yourself and letting negative thoughts pass.

Learn CBT by studying ‘The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Workbook and Tools e-book‘, and begin to implement more positive strategies for feeling better.


Take care of your nutrition.

Sometimes depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in your body. That doesn’t mean that anti-depressant medications are the best solution though. Western medicine pushes pills which often have negative side effects like:

  • Nausea
  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Loss of sexual desire and other sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction and decreased orgasm
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Acne and Skin Irritation
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

The average North American diet usually lacks dozens of minerals and nutrients. Yet depression levels in the Mediterranean are considerably well below those in northern Europe and America. Why? Because of their diet!

Consider learning about Mediterranean ways of living, and how to eat your way to a happy, healthy life!

More info and recipes available here.


Get sunlight every chance you can.

Staying in a dark room might feel like a solution to negative feelings, but chemically, a lack of sunlight will literally fuel your depression, making it worse.

Even though your first inclination in response to a fear of the outside world may be to stay bed, this kind of escape will not help you feel happier. So get out and play.


Drink water and exercise.

Physical activity like house cleaning and getting regular exercise are an important part of living a healthy life, for anyone. If you suffer from depression, it is likely that you are not getting enough physical activity.

Drinking enough water and working up a sweat helps get toxins out of your system, improve blood flow that pumps oxygen to the brain, as well as releases a bunch of hormones that make you feel better.

Taking up yard work, gardening, or exercising outside in the open air are great ways to combine this part of your recovery with getting the sunlight and fresh air you need.

Make this a part of your life, and you can definitely expect a speedy improvement in your state of mind.


Learn to FORGIVE yourself.

Personal recovery is about acceptance and regaining purpose and meaning in life as you come to terms with your depression.

Be gentle with yourself. You can aim for excellence while not expecting perfection from yourself. Remember the old saying, ‘To err is human’. It refers to the nature of people, all human beings make mistakes. Aim to try your best, but to forgive yourself for occasional ‘recovery’ days and slip ups.

Try treating yourself as you treat others: Wink at yourself in the mirror, smile at yourself as if greeting a beloved friend. You can even go as far as looking at yourself in the mirror, and saying to yourself, “I love you!” Do not underestimate the power of this! Love yourself as you are, as you love others.

You are a valuable human being with a lot to offer the world, imperfections and all. Love yourself. Own your imperfections, ROCK THEM.


Your actions are your responsibility, others have their own.

Be the person you want to be, not what others expect you to be, nor expect them to be who you want them to be.

I’m not talking about the necessity of care-giving for children. Accountability is very important when it comes to provision of love, physical needs, or the safety of children, by one source or another.

That said: You can not justify the control or containment of any person. You can only take full responsibility for your own actions at any time.

Humans are social animals by nature. When we feel secluded, rejected, or abandoned, depression can take over.

People often put a lot of meaning into relationships, more than is sometimes fair for the other. Each person needs to remember that relying on another for your happiness is unhealthy. Healthy, respectful relationships that allow individual freedoms to flourish are rewarding in love and trust.

In other words, you can take care of yourself. Don’t expect it of others. You will be rewarded.


Help others, do something to make a difference.

As you learn to help yourself, why not try to make the world a better place for others?

Discovering and living out real purpose here on this planet is a powerful way to feel better about yourself.

Please check out this article I wrote just the other day, How to find peace of mind, which emphasizes the importance of purpose in your life.

Employment at a job, volunteering your time, to build a business, or write a blog that teaches your expertise on a subject are all potential ways to help other people. Start today.


Get the outside support you need.

As you are not perfect, I can’t promise you that you have the ability to pull yourself out. There may only be so far you can go to treat your depression by yourself.

Living a safe, full, and dignified life in the community with appropriate supports and services is an important part of recovery for most people.

Look up mental health services and crisis support lines in your area. There should be no shame in asking your doctor for a referral to a licensed psychiatrist if you are struggling too hard and too often with your life. Mental health services exist because the people who need and use them are valuable individual people who needed a hand up from either:

  1. a disadvantaged situation; or
  2. a health condition that involves their physical brain and/or nervous system.

Pharmaceutical medication may be the best solution on a temporary basis, please don’t rule it out as a possible part of your treatment. It may just give you the physical boost you may need to get back onto your feet and begin supporting yourself again.


Conclusion.

For more inspiration to assist you in your recovery, please consider purchasing the ‘Destroy Depression System’ from James Gordon. He is a former depression and PTSD sufferer; he teaches a natural 7-step process which he used to conquer his own depression, without medication.

Self-management, stress management, support groups, meditation or yoga, as well as pharmaceutical medication are all important things to be considered when depression becomes a barrier to success in your life.

Wishing you a speedy recovery,

Elaine


Recommended books:


Affiliate Disclosure: Some links in this website are “affiliate links.” This means if you buy something through my page, I’ll receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. I recommend only products and services I believe will add value to my readers. Read full affiliate disclosure here.


What is the purpose of my life?


If you struggle to understand your purpose or why you are here, you’re in good company.  This article was composed to help you answer, ‘what is the purpose of my life?’

My keyword research software tells me that over 7,900 people ask Google every single month, ‘What is the purpose of life’, while over 12,000 people search, ‘What is the meaning of life?’. Every month. These numbers show just how much despondency flourishes in today’s world; and due to our ways of life, it’s understandable. Emotional illnesses like depression and anxiety are in pandemic proportion.

The environmental desperation we see, materialism, and extremes between the rich 1% and the working poor, leave all of us wondering, “Will my children and grandchildren live fulfilling lives? will they even have a world to grow up in? Will they grow up feeling as despondent as I am feeling right now?” These are the questions that haunt people.

Hopefully this article reminds us to do what we can do, appreciate what we have, go for what we want, and simply get the most out of life.


Being the best at…

People dream about being #1. We idolize the best singers, the best athletes, the richest business owners, and the most beautiful actors.

The ‘hard-knocks’ background stories of competitors in ‘Got Talent’ competitions remind the world that normal people can be champions, it’s about hope. We wish the best for someone, being the one in millions, congratulate them for winning the lottery. We strive to try to cheer these people on… to find these people inspiring; to live vicariously, wishing we were them, because they won, even though we didn’t.

The problem with putting hopes in the lottery is that it seems to be a literal admission and reminder that we aren’t happy with life as it stands. We pray to get what we want without work; and because we are depressed, we don’t bother working for it. We’ve given up trying; except to buy that lottery ticket.


Optimism vs. Pessimism.

I don’t buy lottery tickets. Not because I don’t believe i have as much chance as anyone else, but because the thought of a sudden huge windfall that I did not earn, simply doesn’t motivate me, or even appeal to me for that matter.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to have the money to buy a house of my own, a car, to complete and win in a singing competition, to not worry about being hungry.

At the far left of the spectrum, unbalanced pessimists believe you have no chance so why have hope for anything you wish for? At the far right of the spectrum, unbalanced optimists set themselves up for humiliation, because they try too hard to win at long shots, and often fail.

Allow me to share my views on this: I see beauty in the bitter-sweetness of life; the losses and the triumphs, the lows and the highs. Don’t get me wrong, I’d enjoy wealth, but if I didn’t earn it, I would worry more about losing it. I would also have not earned respect from my network. There is reason for my journey. So I will continue working hard on increasing knowledge of not only wealth but health and how to make more of a difference in the lives of other people, reminding myself that money is not the meaning of life. Achieving financial freedom will not end of my journey, or even be the highlight of my life. Money is no more than a tool. Making it the reason for my journey will result in me losing my motivation, because it’s simply not worth living for.

This is my kind of realism.


Nothing is permanent.

What comes, passes. The nature of our collective reality on this earth is that all things pass and are lost to time. Riches come and go, fame comes and goes, health comes and goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. High achievers are not necessarily destined for happiness.

If you rely on reaching that peak for your happiness, you will be hit hard afterward. When you reach that metaphorical peak, the view is grand… but where do you go from there? The only way is down. Do you want to survive another valley? What if you were to lose everything you worked for?

Material wealth amplifies what we are. If we are already happy before we become rich, money increases our happiness. If we are miserable before money, more money will make us more miserable. Think about it… if we distrust people before we become rich, imagine if you do become rich… you will be constantly suspicious not knowing who your real friends are… there is always another valley to face.

We must try to learn from the past, but not dwell there. Plan for the future, but don’t dwell there either. Wherever you go, there you are.

Don’t worry about what bad may come, because it will pass. Don’t exalt in what good comes, because you are bound to lose it. Appreciate what you have, take care of it, and teach others to take care as well.


 

What lifts you?

True happiness can be taught, to those who care to listen. It is something we do. It has nothing to do with money.

Money is not security. Money can not bring someone you love back from death, or cure a terminal illness. The best security for a family is spiritual wealth. To provide spiritual wealth for one’s family means to equip them to survive, even thrive, in spite of any loss.

The ability to deal with change, the thirst for knowledge, a strong work ethic, resiliency, willingness to give help, willingness to accept help, network building skills… these are good examples of spiritual wealth.

I think the point of life is to learn how to be happy with your life in despite your level of accumulation of have material wealth.


But this post was about purpose! What is my purpose?

The previous parts of this article discuss the necessary background to better understand our purpose.

Straightly put, I believe the purpose of anyone’s life is learning to spend spiritual wealth well.

To earn and to increase:

  • A heart full of love for yourself and others.
  • Your appreciation of life through the eyes of others.
  • Evidence that you shared and used your knowledge.
  • The collective wealth of the world around you.
  • A network of appreciative hearts with fond memories of you.

The world is better for having you in it. If you do these things, your life has purpose.

The love you share with others, the knowledge of whether you left the world better or worse than you found it; these things you carry with you after you die, the same you leave behind.

Hope this helps,

Elaine Nicol


“We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;

In feelings, not in figures on a dial.

We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives

Who thinks most—feels the noblest—acts the best.”

~ Philip James Bailey, Festus, 1839


 “When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” ~ Cherokee proverb


 Powerfully inspiring books by a man driven to teach genius and personal mastery: Robin Sharma.

Access his podcasts and online courses here.


Another recommended book:


Affiliate Disclosure: The links in this post may be “affiliate links.” This means if you buy something through the link, I receive an affiliate commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers. Read full affiliate disclosure here.


How to find peace of mind


One of the most important things to learn for how to deal with depression or anxiety is how to find peace of the mind.

Peace of mind is achieved though patience, flexibility, forgiveness, and dealing with change positively. Learning and implementing what you learn from this article will help you heal from a troubled mind.


Accept change, make changes

Anyone who has been to A.A. knows the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Although I am not a religious person; I still love this prayer.

Whatever your religious or spiritual views, serenity and courage can be found within.

Each of us has spiritual place within, or above, themselves, where wisdom above conventional thought can be accessed. This “Higher intelligence”, which some would call God, or Spirit, or ‘That which connects all things’, is accessed in a state of serenity, and can be felt, tangibly.

Serenity is accessed by utilizing enough patience to listen to our thoughts and feelings, and with wisdom, to observe unobjectively, and let go of that which is not within our power.

Courage to act with wisdom is accessed by listening to all inputs, and acting in a productive and positive way which helps you recover, to a greater good that helps others as well.


Allow to continue that which you have no ability to change, so let go of any resentment that afflicts you. This is serenity.

Change that which afflicts harm to you or others, emotional, spiritual, or physical, with every resource you have within. This is courage.

Listen to the higher thoughts that can only be accessed in silence. This is wisdom.


Take responsibility for your thoughts and actions.

Perhaps you feel that you have been robbed of peace in your life. I will tell you now that that is hogwash, as peace can be found in even the most terrible circumstances. It is within your control.

Peace is a mindset. It is the ability to calm yourself and those around you in a non-violent way.

When you blame others for how you feel, you are saying, simply, that your thoughts and feelings are not your own. You are saying they have more power over your thoughts and impulses than you do.

Wisdom says otherwise.


Forgive yourself, forgive others.

Every single living being on this earth is living a life from their own perspective, seeing the world through their own eyes, feeling things with their own hands, and carrying their own lessons and experiences.

The intentions of others can be mysterious… how do you get into someone else’s mind? The fact is, you cannot truly know someone unless you have been where they have been, what lessons they have learned, and what is important to them.

When someone else hurts you, they are often acting out of hurt themselves, and in my opinion, the world would be made better by healing and grace, as opposed affixing blame or hurting them back as a knee-jerk reaction.

Why be angry at people who hurt you, when the solution to your hurt is within your power? Basically if you allow yourself to continue hurting, then no longer are they hurting you, but you are hurting yourself. How is that healthy?

You have the power within to release hurtful feelings like anger, by practicing the serenity, courage, and wisdom that I discussed earlier. Let go of what you cannot change. Change what you can. Know the difference.


Use a healthy outlet for outstanding anger or frustrations.

I understand that forgiving yourself and forgiving others sounds simplistic and is sometimes easier said than done.

Anger is a very real experience, and there are dangers of suppressing it. Suppressed anger is widely accepted to be a cause of anxiety and depression, increased chance of heart disease, greater risk of stroke, and a weakened immune system.

So, it is important to release anger; but how do you release it productively??

In the larger picture, taking anger out on others causes more issues than it solves. When troubled by anger and finding peace within seems elusive, finding a different physical outlet or a demonstration of your emotional frustrations can help you recover gracefully.

Here are some ideas for ways to positively work out pent-up anger, rage, resentment, or frustration:

  • Watch funny videos, laugh out loud, write bad jokes.
  • Walk, run, lift weights, yoga, Tai chi, Kung Fu, kickboxing, bowling, golf, or participate in group sports.
  • Focus on slow breathing techniques.
  • Practice relaxing muscles groups progressively.
  • Allow your thoughts, feelings, and sensations to come and pass. Simply observe.
  • Talk it out with a therapist or counselor.
  • Relax in hot bath.
  • Play with a stress-relief toy.
  • Listen to soothing music.
  • Do something nice for yourself (i.e. go to the spa, buy yourself a gift, go to a movie).
  • Create an artistic expression of your state of mind.
  • Creatively write to express your thoughts and feelings.

This list is non-exclusive, as I’m sure there are plenty of great solutions out there for making yourself feel better in productive ways.

Please share your ideas and help others by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post!


Adopting the attributes of flexibility and resilience.

Recovering from a damaged mind/spirit is difficult if you refuse to cultivate flexibility and resilience in your life.

These are learned attributes, achieved by opening your mind to new potential, and getting back up every single time you are knocked down.

As you always have. Keep on keeping on!

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” ~ Napoleon Hill

So CONCEIVE AND BELIEVE that:

You can feel better about your life, mind, and heart.

Your light can shine brightly to help guide others.

You are a valuable contributor to this world.

You make the world more beautiful just by existing!

Written with love,

~ Elaine


Recommended books:


Affiliate Disclosure: The links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you buy something through the link, I receive an affiliate commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers. Read full affiliate disclosure here.


Connecting Self Care to Personal Independence


Being a person with a mental illness, how to care for mental health in your daily life is the most important thing to learn if you desire success and independence in your life.

While this article can help people without mental illnesses, people must realize that for individuals diagnosed with mental disorders, independence and opportunities for success can be taken away… so it becomes doubly important to practice and exercise these skills.


The relationship between self-esteem and self care.

If you have lost your independence due to a mental illness, being able to take care of yourself is the first thing you would need to prove in order to re-gain independence and trust from other people.

However; to care for yourself, in the emotional sense of the word, is different from taking care of yourself, but the two are related. Each is just as important in your recovery.

This difference can be illustrated in raising children; you can take care of your kids, and/or you can care for your kids. One can be done without the other, but both would be improved by combining the two.

So in self care: don’t only take care of yourself, care for yourself as well. Look to yourself for encouragement, and see to it that your own needs are met.

Try looking in the mirror. Look at your reflection without harsh judgment… Who is that person anyway? Think you see fat, or too skinny? Freckles? Pimples? Tall? Short?

You are unique, and no different from anyone else in that matter.

Let me ask you this: If you care about another person: would you even think about them judgmentally? Or would you love them just the way they are?

Look at yourself no differently. You are beautiful just the way you are! Accept your flaws as part of you, and own them! Rock them! You are beautiful in your uniqueness. Be your own best friend, love yourself!

Which brings me back to self care; If you loved someone, you would want to help them feel better if they are feeling sad, or sick, right You would want try to take care of and be there for them, right?

Treat yourself no differently.

You can:

  1. Treat yourself to a hot tea.
  2. Cook yourself a tasty meal.
  3. Take a shower.
  4. Give a genuine smile to that beautiful person in the mirror. Wink at them!
  5. Listen to your favorite music album.
  6. Draw or color.
  7. Read a book.
  8. Write a journal.
  9. Exercise.
  10. Work towards a goal.
  11. Distract yourself from negative or harmful thought patterns by playing with a fidget spinner, going out, or watching TV.
  12. Mindfulness exercise.
  13. Call a person who cares about you.
  14. Visit a loved one.
  15. Give yourself permission to take a nap, if that’s what you need.

Taking time for your physical and emotional health with any of these steps will demonstrate that you care about yourself; this the heart of emotional health, and are important first steps towards your independence.


Be mindful of your thoughts and actions.

Mindfulness as an exercise;

Take time to slow down your breathing. Focus on your sensations. Be mindful of your thoughts and of the consequential actions of your thoughts. At the moment, try to just be present, aware of yourself, and your thoughts.

Thoughts lead to impulses. Impulses lead to actions, and/or intentions. Recognize the difference.

Don’t get angry at yourself for having negative or harmful thoughts, but try to remover yourself and observe them, non-judgmentally. Observe what impulses you are after having these thoughts. Consider what effects of acting on these thoughts would have on yourself, and on the people around you.

Take time to consider which actions, feelings or symptoms might trigger a downward spiral of lost control. Recognize the signs, and take immediate counter-actions to re-gain control of yourself and your actions; such as this mindfulness exercise, or some other method of self care.

Once you learn to be aware of your mental triggers, then you can then take responsibility for your thoughts, actions, and how those actions affect the people around you. These are the keys to self-control and self-actualization.

Take responsibility for your thoughts and your actions.

Rely on yourself for these things, then you begin to earn your own trust, and, the trust of others.


Try not to overwhelm your loved ones with your needs.

Your loved ones are imperfect people who may or may not have perfect intentions.

I don’t know your loved ones or how they operate. Everyone is different. They may want to support you, the might want you to support yourself with outside help.

Your desire to be an independent adult should be accompanied by actions of meeting your own needs; or if you can’t, I strongly recommend you seek outside help.

Accepting help from loved ones is a good thing, but relying on them for help hinders you from independence. Allow them to express their love, but don’t pressure them to do more than the can offer or are capable.

Another person cannot meet all your needs. Even for children who are fully reliant on others, it takes a village.

The key thing to remember though is that, you are not a child. Accept help, but don’t rely on it.


Don’t hesitate to ask for help.

There is no shame in taking advantage of community services that have been put in place for people with mental illnesses.

Group meetings, drop-in centers, meetings with community mental health workers, counseling services, walking groups, reading groups, volunteering, meaningful employment, attending classes, and other community activities can all help with socialization and self-esteem.

Talking to other people, and hearing others’ points of view, are important human needs. Get out the door and meet people. Make new acquaintances. Listen to others’ needs. Help others, if you have the resources.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to community mental health services, such as a crisis line or crisis stabilization unit, when you feel anything spinning out of control. It’s okay to seek help when it is needed.

That’s what they are there for.


Conclusion

“Good health is a crown on the head of a well person that only a sick person can see.” ~ The Greatness Guide.

In the same way, the freedom of independence wears like a crown on the head of a well person, that those in captivity may long and strive for. Independence should not be taken for granted, nor should mental health. Appreciate it if you have it.

If you have any opinions, feedback, or questions on today’s blog, please, enter them into the comments below! Maybe your experiences can help someone!

Thanks for reading,

Elaine


Recommended books:


Affiliate Disclosure: The links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you buy something through the link, I receive an affiliate commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers. Read full affiliate disclosure here.


How to help people with Schizophrenia


As someone who has recovered from Schizophrenia, I have a unique perspective on how to help people with Schizophrenia. There are some very good resource sites on the internet to learn what you can do if someone you love has been diagnosed with the illness.

Here are my personal insights on the topic.


Learn all about the illness and how to cope Schizophrenia.

Families (very understandably) have a hard time coping, when their loved ones are out of touch with reality and might be a danger to themselves or others.

Schizophrenia is a blanket term that describes someone who is currently experiencing or has experienced psychosis. People who are going through psychosis are going through a frightening experience,

Don’t take stuff personally. The afflicted might lash out at you… if they are in a psychotic state they are out of touch with reality. Understand they are in dreamland… try to be empathetic with them, do not argue; but make sure they get help in a controlled environment.

Have patience, empathy, and faith that they will recover.


Have faith they can recover, but may not ever be quite the same.

Trauma can affect people in a way that destroys bridges… it is the way a brain physically copes with something it literally can’t cope with. Having people tell you that stuff you are seeing or hearing doesn’t exist and you are just crazy… considering you are seeing or hearing these things in a very realistic and tangible way; that in itself can be traumatic.

People who experience a psychotic episode might not necessarily be suffering PTSD, but they may come out the other side with PTSD.

I never really got quite back to my old self. Don’t get me wrong, I’m stable… but changed. The way I look at it, when a key neural-pathway breaks, it never grows back quite the same, but over time forms a new connection. In someone’s brain, that could permanently change that person’s personality, but that doesn’t mean they can’t come back to reality and stop being a threat.

A common stigma that is unfair to people with the illness is that someone who has recovered from a psychosis is still considered to be schizophrenic and a danger to people… when the recovered person actually IS 100% in reality and is not a danger to people.


Communication is problematic, patience and empathy are key.

For a moderate amount of time at the onset, I completely lost my short-term memory, although my long-term memory was just fine! Due to losing my short-term memory, I couldn’t carry on a conversation long enough to remember what I was talking about. It was terribly frustrating. But I remember all the crazy stuff I was thinking at the time, and am very humiliated to even think about it!

After the frustration of being unable to get through a sentence, the way I coped was to begin to communicate more with intuitive feelings as opposed to my thoughts, by-passing the “filter” process. This resulted in me blurting stuff out and interrupting people. I felt bad doing this because it made me come across as rude and argumentative… but I knew it was the only way I could get and message across.

During this time of problematic communication and being lost in dreamland, a lot of people stopped being my friend; very few stayed in touch to see how I was doing. I appreciate this; these people make me feel like a more valuable individual, worthy of love.


They may seem “Not There” but in reality, they are.

A person in psychosis is not gone out of his mind. He can’t communicate himself, or perhaps can’t quite access his self and misunderstands what is actually going around him. Think about a dream state. He’s living in a dream, or perhaps with one foot in dreamland and one foot in the real world. That’s a psychosis; a dis-connection with reality.


Show them you’ll be there for them.

Even if you have to distance yourself for his sake, stay in touch with family or caregivers. Certainly, your friend needs to know you are concerned; and he will find comfort in that. To have Schizophrenia is a frightening experience; and to feel abandoned on top of that, compounds the trauma.

So make attempts to re-build bridges, as you can. They may not be in reality right now, but in reality, they really do need you, very much.


With help, they will recover. Please keep faith.

With “best practices” in place in the mental health system, in families, and the community at large, up to 70% will recover.

Toward Recovery and Well-Being, MentalHealthCommission.ca

Recovered means well enough to be considered completely normal, able to hold jobs, drive, take good care of themselves and loved ones, have a social life, set and achieve goals, etc.

It takes time, treatment, medication, patience and understanding from loved ones to recover. To heal, the afflicted must accept their diagnosis, keep taking their medication, understand their symptoms, and consciously keep positive symptoms in check. When it comes to recovery, hope changes everything!

What people don’t understand, they fear. Most people with Schizophrenia never have another psychotic episode after the first one, and live in reality with as much stability as anyone else. Yet people fear them. People define even recovered individuals as “Schizophrenics”, consider them dangerous, when in fact the opposite is true. Labels and generalizations are untrue and make the traumatic illness that much harder for the afflicted to cope with.


In conclusion;

Educate yourself. Believe they will recover. Know they are ‘there’. Exercise empathy and support. Protect yourself; get your loved one psychiatric help if they are a danger to anyone. If you are keeping your distance, stay in touch with care providers and/or family to follow their recovery.

Your diligence and patience are more important to that person than you realize.

Share this post with families and loved ones of those with the illness.

Thanks,

Elaine.


Recommended online:


Recommended books:


Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you buy something through the link, I receive an affiliate commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers. Read full affiliate disclosure here.