Outside Adventure

I read somewhere about lack of sunlight playing a part in depression. This can manifest not only in adults but in kids as well.

So how do you combat that seasonal depression or lack of sun depression? By getting outside and having outside adventures.

This isn’t only important for the mental health of your family. Its great for the overal health of your family. We are currently in a generation where too many kids are more focused on a screen than they are in actually moving. They’re walking less, eating more junk food because it’s quick and easy. The obese percentage of this generation is higher now than ever. There are many variables that key into these percentages. However, one of the biggest is the technology that kids have so easily available to them

When I was a kid in the 90’s we had one computer but sometimes we didn’t have internet all the time. The one computer had to be used by four people so I didn’t get a lot of time like some kids today. And I know that I am guilty of giving my kids little tablets with educational apps on them. However, I don’t try to allow them to spend so much time on the without getting some sort of physical activity. Back when I was a kid, I got to use the computer when no one else needed it. Then there wasn’t much for a kid to do on there. I played a lot of Solitaire. What I did do to entertain myself. Was actually entertain myself. I played outside with neighbor kids. I ran around. I pretended sticks were wands. I rode a bike through the neighborhood. we raced. We created forts and played capture the flag. We did ding dong ditch to the cute teen next door. We were physically active. Something that the younger generation is not getting enough of now days.

I know when they’re in school they get maybe an hour of gym class in elementary school once a week and maybe 30 minutes of playtime on the playground. But that isn’t enough. They are expected to learn more and do more from the very first year they are in school. They are playing less in class and doing more work. Even the work is done more digitally. They use laptops in Kindergarten, they have smart boards, etc. They are not being active enough.

Not only can a life full of technology and less physical activities lead to obseity, it can lead to mental health issues. Kids now days are seeing less sunlight because they’re stuck in the house behind a screen. They’re getting less Vitamin D than they need. The deficiency of Vitamin D is also higher today than before. And as parents, there is a simple way that we can help our children.

GO OUTSIDE.

I understand that we are all living busy lives. It is hard to make time to go outside to just do nothing. But it is important. Even if you do it just once a week. I understand some times the weather doesn’t allow it. Sometimes its storming or is too wet from a store the day before. However, just 20 minutes a day of sunlight can help with the vitamin d and seasonal depression. Just spending a few minutes outside creating adventures will not only help your child keep up their physical activity… It will help their mental health.

These moments outside are the ones that they are going to remember. They are going to remember the adventures you had together. These are the days that they are going to think back to when they grow up. These are the moments that are going to inspire them when they become parents themselves.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be a great example as a parent for my kids. So that they can grow up thinking, ‘my mom did everything she could to ensure I lived a happy and healthy life’. Now I am not always too excited to go outside. Life happens, I get tired or sick or I just don’t feel like it. However, if the girls want to go run the yard or jump on the trampoline. I am not going to say no to them wanting to have physical activity. Unless it is snowing raining or just way too cold. We live in the south and the weather gets to 30’s in the winter like the other day when the baby, who had been sick, wanted to go jump. This is when the parenting part comes into play. Knowing when going outside for adventures is going to be beneficial. And going outside in 30 degree weather is not the best thing to do for children. Therefore, instead of just telling them to go watch a TV show. You can simply create adventures in the house. I remember playing the floor is lava as a child or building forts. We like hide and seek as well as tag. As long as there is nothing breakable out that can be knocked down, then there are times where running throughout the house is just the amount of physical activity we need.

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Making time

I remember being a kid thinking that the days were so long. That we had so much time. That once I got home from school and got my homework done I had HOURS to play. However, as I got older, I realized that time passes faster and it seems like you never have enough time to get everything done. As a parent, it makes it harder to have time where you are able to just be a family. To have time with your kids. There are many things that have to get done. I need to cook, clean, deal with the never ending laundry piles, theres school needs like school lunches taking and picking up the kids and helping with the homework. I gotta do the grocery shopping and pay bills. I’m also taking classes so I have deadline on those. It just seems like every day is full of something that has to be done.

So where is the time that I can just play with the kids. Because playing with the kids is both beneficial for the children and parents alike. Playing with your kids will allow you to have a break from the mental stress of the day. It also helps your children develop some necessary motor skills. How to handle situations and how to play well with others.

As many parents know very well. There is hardly ever a time where you have free time to just play around with the kids. It is honestly not about having the time. It is about making the time. I swear if you make the time to be with your kids, it will be all worth it. Your kids are going to remember the times that you spent with them. They know more than what we give them credit. They know that there are other things you would or could be doing rather than being with them. These moments are going to mean so much to them as they grow. Even when they go throught that angsty teenage years.

That is one thing that gives me great anxiety about my parenting. Am I spending enough loving time with my kids? Or am I stuck in the strict parenting mode too much? Are they going to remember the times that I spent with them? Teaching them? or are they going to remember me giving them rules and regulations?

See, I could just do things. Like cook and clean or something that I know that I could get done faster. However, sometimes…. I just let them help me. I teach them how to do something they are going to need to know later on in life and they get to do it with me under my careful loving watch. Spending time together. Like cooking. My oldest daughter loves to make eggs. She has learned how to crack eggs, whisk eggs, and even cook them completely. My two year old likes to whisk the eggs. When I make the biscuits, I know that I can get it done faster by just doing it myself. But It would mean more to break the dough in half and let the girls help out with that.

Sometimes life is just difficult. Time slips through our fingers and scheduling in a time with the kids often gets pushed aside. However, maybe we need to stop trying to have the time and make the time instead with simple things that we could do together. You can turn cleaning into a game. You could cook together. Anything.

Hide our feelings

When you are diagnosed with anxiety at an early age, especially in your teenage years, it can be a difficult thing to deal with. Especially with those around you, some of who don’t quite understand the messy thoughts that run through your head.

So when you live in a world where having a mental illness or any type of mental health problem is surrounded in stigma. Surrounded by this dark cloud that hangs over us. Like we’re something to be feared.

So what do we do? We try so hard to hide our feelings. To hide our anxiety. To hide what is causing these things. By staying quiet about them. By pretending that everything is okay. That we are alright. That there is nothing wrong.

However, we often forget that our eyes say way more than our words ever could. For instance, this past November I went to a wrestling convention. It’s kind of like a comic con but with a bunch of wrestling. I usually go with my husband by my side.

Except…..he wasn’t by my side. Instead. he was working the event. So there I was standing alone in line, surrounded by a lot of people I didn’t know. My anxiety grew so big I was ready to bolt. To run. But I knew doing so would tip my husband off to what was wrong and he wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the job that he was doing. So I pretended.

But that didn’t work. One look in my eyes, even from across the room, my husband knew I wasn’t okay. He knew my anxiety was up. He knew I was ready to go.

So even when you think that you are hiding it very well…. Those who are close to you. Those who truly know you and truly care about you…. they are the ones that are going to be able to see the words that aren’t coming from your mouth. No! They are the ones who can hear ever silent scream coming from your eyes.

Tears

Crying is usually seen as a sign of weakness. A sign of being weak. A sign of not being strong enough. However, that is not always the case.

I am an emotional person. I always have been. Some call it wearing your heart on your sleeve or heart. Either way, it is looked upon as a weakness. As something to be ashamed of.

However, I cry for a lot of reasons. There are tears of joy. Tears of sadness. Tears of worry and tears of anger. I’ve never been able to properly express myself in words in the heat of the moment. The words that I should have said usually come after the moment has passed and it is too late. However, I have told many people that if you piss me off and I start crying….RUN. Because that is when shit is about to get real. When things are about to hit the fan.

Because tears are the words that the heart cannot say. The words that cannot pass through our lips. The words we are some times too afraid to mutter.

So when you see someone crying. LISTEN. Because although they are not speaking verbal words, their tears are saying every single thing that you need to hear. Before you call someone weak for crying. LISTEN. Because their tears could be a sign of their strength.

The difficulty of anxiety in a relationship

There are a lot of bumps in the road in relationships. Even more so if you have anxiety, depression or any other type of mental illness. Letting someone in to see that part of you can be difficult. And once they do see it, if they accept you….then you feel like you can open up to everyone….which can be a bad idea in some cases that I have just learned.

My husband is great. He is understanding. I became comfortable with my mental illness, in the sense of being open about it and talking about it. Talking about my mental illness in the sense of why I do the things I do. Which can lead to a lot of heartache as I recently found out. I am the type of person who if I know you’re going on a trip, I will want to send you food or snacks to tied you along the way. However, that isn’t always perceived in the light that I want it to and comes across as being stressed or overbearing. And In that moment, those words cut through me like a newly forged blade, hot and sharp. However, my first thought was…how will this affect my husband.

And that is the thing with having anxiety in a relationship. Your fears grow more than just about yourself. Or at least mine has. My anxiety has way surpassed just myself…they’ve grown around my kids, my husband, my mother, my brothers, my friends. Everyone that I care about. That I hold dear to myself. So I am constantly worrying about what I do and how it will affect them. For instance, when I am around my husbands wrestling group. I worry that my anxious ticks, my nervous habits will cause them to look upon my husband in a different light, a wrong one. These thoughts keep me up and worried way past the interaction.

Another issue that I have come to learn about is the fact that it may appear that the ones you love act different around you because they are being protective of your illness. And that, in turn, can cause more damage than good. Because you think that maybe the self that you see with others is their true self and that the one that they are with you is only to protect you. No matter how long you’ve been together. You feel like they’ve never been their true self with you because they’re afraid of how it will affect you.

With all of that together, you worry that it isn’t everyone else. That it is you. That the way they all react or act around you is your fault. That maybe they would have a better relationship or personality if they weren’t burdened by you and the constant worry of your own mental illness. That maybe you should have been better at hiding your illness so that no one knew. That there is something wrong with you.

And that is the issue with today’s world. That we are so ashamed of our own mental problems. That we should hide away our problems from the world to see. That is the stigma and that is why talking about mental illness is so important so that we can break that stigma. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get help or open up about what is wrong. I’ve tried the medication’s the doctors have prescribed and they always seem to have some sort of ill effect. Therefore, I am trying something different. St. John’s Wart. I have been told it is a natural way to help with anxiety issues and mood balancing. So here’s hoping it works.

People don’t need to understand

Life is hard. For everyone. We all have stories. We all have backgrounds. We all have been thru things. We all tend to over share our stories sometimes. Especially if you’re like me. When my anxiety is on high during social situations… I tend to just talk and talk and talk. I also tend to talk about the things that I have been thru and explaining things that have happened to me. I have been told recently that I actually need to stop doing that because not everyone respects the person that I am or the things that I have been thru.

I usually get anxious, nervous and fidgety in social interactions around people that I either don’t know or am not comfortable with. Then after I leave the situation… my mind continues to over think and over analyze everything that I either aid or did. Then I feel like shit for the rest of the night….and possibly the next day as well. It is a big issue that I am slowly working on fixing. Things aren’t usually as bad as long as I have my husband right by my side. He is my rock. He is my calm. He grounds me in the storm that is anxiety disorder.

My husband is extremely understanding. He is extremely caring and gentle as well as loving. He is an amazing human being. However, not everyone is as understanding. The minute you explain your weakness there will be people out there that will hold that weakness against you. They will use your story, your emotional issues to ruin your life. To hold it over you. There are some people that like to know your deepest darkest secrets to make sure that you will not or cannot be better than them. They will use anything against you.

Sometimes, people don’t need to understand your journey. Your past, present and what you are working on…. that for you. It is not for them. The one thing that I have learned over the years…. is that you have to be extremely careful who you tell your journey to. Not everyone who smiles at you is your friend. Sometimes those who listen the most have the biggest mouths….the worst intentions to use against you. Your journey is for you. As long as you understand it, then that is what is best.

I thought I had a friend once. Well they were my husband’s friends. But I thought they were my friends too. They smiled so nicely in my face. They said all the right things. They were nice when I was around. They got me good too. I fell for their trap. So I opened up. I talked about my journey. I talked about what I had been thru. I talked about what arguments we had. I exposed the weakness in my husband and I fairly new relationship. So much so….that they used these weakness to break up my relationship with my then boyfriend and kept us apart for half a year until my husband came to the realization of the toxicity that they held deep inside them.

You see that is the thing. Some people are toxic. Some people are only looking for the worst in you so that they can use it against you. They want to use your journey to keep you down. To make sure that you are always beneath them. There is something that is often said on Facebook…. Make your moves in private. That way no one can make their intentions known. We bought a house almost a year ago and we didn’t tell anyone other than immediate family about it before we did it. Heck I didn’t post anything about it til we were in our happy home for a month.

There are somethings people don’t need to understand. Some things they don’t need to know. Your journey is yours. And it is just alright that no one but you understands it.