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How are You practicing Self Care?

It’s a new year, but unfortunately COVID is still among us. Moreover, we don’t really know how much longer we will have to be limiting our social interactions, so it’s very important to remember to take care of our mental health and ourselves.

So, how are you taking care of your self?

For me, I’ve found that the best self-care has come by allowing myself to put everything aside and watch my favorite shows or listen to music while just relaxing. Because it’s often hard to disconnect when we are working from home or have to be home for the majority of the time, I encourage you to take time specifically to unwind and indulge in what makes you happy.

Other ways you may find relief or can practice self care include but are not limited to:

-Taking a shower or bath
-Doing your hair or makeup (even if you aren’t going anywhere)
-Having a mini photo shoot from the comfort of your own home
-Setting up a game night virtually
-Facetiming favorite relatives or friends on a consistent basis
-Ordering or cooking your favorite meals

Please comment what you’ve been doing to take care of yourself!!!

Getting Started, Part 1: Find a Therapist

Stress Diagrams and Stats.

https://recovering-and-healing.tumblr.com/post/178761426220/for-more-posts-like-these-go-to-mypsychology

Lately I’ve been on a binge of trying to understand exactly what my mental health means, what does “psychosis” mean? What’s the spectrum of “trauma?”
And recently I found these neat diagrams and statistics about stress which, honestly, I think everyone has experienced or may currently feel the pressure of.

Do any of you guys cope with a stress a certain way that makes it easier to deal with? Are there times you feel like you should step back and put everything on hold and say, ‘Yeah, I need my time’? How would you guys get back on track if you ran out of fuel because you got too overwhelmed?

Personally, I’m on the verge of learning to not say yes to every task thrown in my direction or to roll over and take each blow.

M.I.A.

Hi everyone!

I’m so sorry I’ve basically been missing in action since April 3rd… ack. Well, I have some good excuses for you all! Just kidding, not excuses.

I have been so incredibly busy so, let me share some of the things that have been going on for the past month for me.

The big thing is that in April I began a 6 week training to become a Recovery Support Specialist. Around the same time that this started, I had to complete my distance training to become a SMART Recovery group facilitator.
(I finished the RSS training last week! This week is my graduation. It was a great training, and I learned a lot and shifted my thinking in many ways about the mental health system and how we are affected by it. )
The first week or so of April I was doing about 15 hours a week of RSS training, and trying desperately to finish the SMART training AND commit 20 hours of work to TurningPointCT.org! And, as I shared Willow started walking and I felt crushed by my commitments and all the time I was spending away from her.

Then, there was the infrequent, but very

important commitment I have to the Youth Advisory Board (about 10 or so hours a month for a group geared towards ending youth homelessness).
And, I was asked to speak at a Gala for Child Guidance in Stamford, where I received services as a teenager. Which was exciting and poignant considering the person who helped me there passed away unexpectedly about 2 years ago. (I wrote about it here). But it was also overwhelming, and stressful, and a time commitment considering I had to write and edit my speech and do every other little and big thing involved in a large speaking engagement (buy clothes, practice, scope out venue, freak out). It was my first really big speaking event, where I had to really write out my speech, and not just ‘wing it’.

Then, my brother told me he was leaving his job and apartment in D.C. much faster than we all thought, and that he had about 2 weeks to pack up and find somewhere to go with his dog! This was in the middle of April. So, unexpectedly, Willow and I got on a six hour train ride to Washington D.C. and spent 3 days with him! It was amazing and so much fun.

The end of April was filled with Fresh Check and Wellness Days, a few exciting things having to do with grants, and prep for Mental Health Month! Which, in case you don’t know is May! This past week was my last crazy week, for a while I hope.

On Wednesday I went to UCONN in Stamford to speak in front of a philanthropy group called IMPACT Fairfield County to help Supportive Housing Works (who I do the Youth Advisory Board through) with the final step of a huge grant process, then I went to New Canaan to thank The New Canaan Young Philanthropists, which are an awesome group of young people, for awarding us with a grant! Then, Thursday I took and passed my RSS final exam! Then the rest of the week was committed to prepping for the mental health walk on Saturday and the Gala speech Saturday evening!

And guess what everyone! I made it! I survived this ridiculous marathon of a month and feel so strong and confident and am so proud of myself and Willow for coming through.

I feel so happy and confident, and yesterday, I had the best lazy day ever with Willow. And I am happy to be back at work, with my ‘normal’ commitments, and feel excited for my graduation Wednesday and everything else that is to come in the near future.

Willow and Harry in D.C.

Me, Willow, and our friend Kelley at the Mental Health Walk!

Me at the Gala before giving my speech!

Are young adults too stressed out?

Are young adults the most stressed out generation? Check out what this article has to say about the increase in stress statistics among the young adult population below:

The Most Stressed-Out Generation? Young Adults

After reading the article, do you you believe the information is accurate?

Do you think the statistics would be the same if young adults somehow opened up more about the way they were feeling relating to stress?

What helps you deal with your stress?

Handle Holiday Stress 101

The Fog

Life can be organized one minute, then complete chaos the next. As I walk down the path of life, there are so many different options of roads to follow. Some are dead ends, some are steep, some are downhill, some are twisting and turning, and some are smooth and straight. Sometimes I can get a glimpse of these roads, but other times I’m surrounded by fog. All I can see is my own feet and where I am standing at that moment. So how am I supposed to choose which road to follow? Is it faith? How do I gain the courage to pick a road and follow it? How do I eliminate any fear and anxiety?

Being in recovery, when fog completely covers your vision, it’s both helpful and fearful. All I have is today and this moment. However, it’s not always easy to concentrate on that one moment, especially when you live in fear of what will happen after you take a step down whichever road you choose. The Monkey will try to scare me and put thoughts in my mind of relapse so I can have my emotions numbed. As tempting at that can sound sometimes, I must remember, that even when there’s fog and I can’t see where the road I’m on will lead to, I know where the road of relapse leads and it’s very dangerous and life-threatening.

I sit and wonder how I will navigate through the maze of this fog. That’s when I align myself with my Higher Power. He is with me always. He’s allowing this fog and blindness from it, so that I can turn my guidance towards Him instead of my fear and my ego. When I do this, a wave of peace consumes me. Sometimes I’m still unsteady and shaking with each step I take, but when I keep my faith in His guidance, I can relax and have confidence in the road I’m going down. I solely rely on faith.

The fog that The Monkey uses as a cloud of fear, ends up being a protective blanket that forces me to live and focus on the current moment. As much as I anticipate the road and destination ahead of me, I must remind myself that all I have is today. If I focus too much on what lies ahead, I’ll miss the present moment that I’m in. Also, looking ahead can cause unrealistic scenarios and fears that can keep me stuck in the present, which turns into the past, keeping me stuck in the past. I’m also lacking faith and confidence when I entertain those scenarios and fears. I’ll miss the lessons that need to be learned and victories of those times if I look ahead and try to solve or avoid them before even happening.

Fog may consume my walk in life, but it’s there for a reason. I have to keep my focus on my feet and outstretch my hand to grasp the hand that will lead me when I am afraid to take my next step or don’t know which road to follow. As long as I ignore the fear that The Monkey throws at me, I’ll avoid the road of relapse and destruction.

Loki

so I have not posted in a week because i have been super super busy with work, i was working as a para in a school and i would get out around 3:30 and all i could think of was to sleep so i slept till 6:30 ate and slept. sleeping has much as i was i thought it could be my depression but working this these kids was the best ive ever felt so honestly i just think it was really tiring to work with this kids day after day.
school ended last week so now i am trying to find a new job for the summer… and that is just very very stressful. i just wish someone just just hire me and life would be that easy but nope. i loved working with my kids but i cant do that for the summer so i am kind of stuck.
anyway… back to the main story of this week the title is Loki… so i got a fish last summer and i fell in love with it. i know its a fish they dont live very long but he did Loki lived for a whole year and it was great. he was such a happy little fish… he LOVED musicals he would swim around his tank when i played songs. but now hes gone. i am really upset and i feel stupid i know it was just a fish and fish dont live long but i flushed him away and im to sad to clean the tank so it is currently sitting on my desk with the water… i am getting a new fish on wednesday. but i loved loki he made me smile when i was sad i would move his tank to the floor and watch him swim around. and he would just make me smile and i knew he was happy. i just hope he knew how much he meant to me even though he was a fish, i have very deep connections to things… this is my first pet i took care of that died so im pretty upset about it.

Graduation Time!

So this is actually happening, graduation is this week. I am so happy and relieved and at the same time, like wow it’s finally over. Real life started happening a long time ago but now it seems like a different type of real. Deep breathe, life is happening. How is the craziness of graduation and all that comes with it going with you?

Family is TOUGH!!

Have any of you experienced difficulty accepting family members for who they are? Does anyone find that they are more sensitive around certain family members or around certain holidays? If so, what do you do to cope with the stress?!?! HELP!