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.

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.

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.

Consumes your mind

There is a saying….what consumes your mind, controls your life.

While there are sayings that can have many differentmeanings… I think that this one is pretty straight forward. If you think about something to the point that it consumes your mind, it will control your life.

It can be quite difficult to fight against this. For instance, with my anxiety…. It controls my mind and my life. It is a daily struggle to not allow anxiety or my anxiety to control my day to day life. Some days I win and some days I don’t.

Some days, fighting my anxiety is all that I can think about. I worry that something is going to happen. Something is gonna trigger a panic attack. There are some nights that my anxiety is so bad, I cry myself to sleep way after the husband and kids have gone to bed.
It is awful.

Then there are some days where I don’t think about my anxiety for even a second.

My hope is that one day… I won’t have to fight every day to keep my anxiety from consuming my mind…from consuming my life. If you have ever had a mental illness, then you how much it can consume your thoughts and your mind.

The key for this woud be to work at this every single day. To find the things that distract you from your inner mess.

I am sorry for the short half sighted post…. I am kind of distracted my MIL had a surgery on her wrist today and I was her ride. Therefore, I haven’t had much sleep and my attention span is very slim

Not okay

You do not have to accept things that you are not okay with. And I know that can be a struggle. Especially when you have a mental illness. for instance, I try to HELP everyone. I try to fix everything. I just do. I also try to feed everyone. For instance, my husbands ended up with two turkeys from his job. Of course we used one for Thanksgiving and I was going to give the second one to a friend who was going to do a community Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, some things came up and my friend couldn’t host the party. Therefore, we had an additional turkey.

So I decided that we couldn’t just leave that turkey in the freezer forever… So I decided, the weather is getting colder… Why not feed my husbands training class some turkey chili. It was pretty banging and the class loved it.

I have fed them numerous times. Because cooking helps me calm down when I am feeling anxious. Because cooking is something I have control over. I can control how something is cooked. I can control the chicken. I can control whether its baked, grilled, fried or boiled. I cannot always control my anxiety, although I am working on that.. But I can control what I cook.

Sometimes I feel like I am a push over and that a lot of people know this and use it to their advantage. Like my oldest brother. For instance, he uses manipulation to make me feel bad for him. As a way to guilt me into doing things for him. Enabling him. Only recently have I built up a back bone and learned that I do not have to accept things that I am not okay with. I am not okay with giving my brother money since I know he doesn’t use it for what he says he needs it for. He usually uses it to buy beer. Because he is an alcoholic. He says he is not but that is just denial. He is pretty much an ass when he is drunk and he knows I cannot stand him drinking or doing drugs and have kept him away from my kids when he is under the influence. Hell everytime he calls me or needs me… I go alone. My kids don’t need to be around it.

It is okay to say no. Honestly, as someone with a mental illness. I need to learn to say no more often. It is okay to not accept things that you’re not okay with. IF it makes you feel some type of way… say no. You do not have to do it. You can say no. If it makes you uncomfortable.. you don’t have to do it.

There is no rule saying that you absolutely have to accet thngs that you are not okay with. For instance, I am not okay with my FIL showing favortism to my oldest daughter and completely ignoring my youngest. He has cancelled quite a few times if my oldest wasn’t home. like coming to see the youngest alone was just too hard. But going to the school to eat lunch with the oldest was easy. Taking the oldest out to eat or to the park or to play at his house was easy. But spending any time with the youngest isn’t something that he can do. And I was not okay with that. And I let it be known that I was not okay with that. It has been almost a year since he has seen the kids. It all could have been resolved if he would have said hey I am sorry, I didn’t realize it was an issue. How can I fix it? But nope. That is not how things go. Nope. A grown man has to play the blame game. Has to blame the kids. Has to bash me to anyone and everyone that listens. Then I find out that he left his first wife not just once but twice. And the first time was when my husband was a kid. He left for someone a lot younger than him. Someone so young, that I am not okay with him being alone with my girls ever again. I am not okay with it and I don’t have to accept it.

I understand a lot of people think ‘hey he’s your husband’s father you can’t just shut him out’. Actually I can. Because my husband doesn’t want to be around his dad or his dad’s wife. They had a pretty awful relationship and I butted in and pushed for them to have some type of relationship. But since this has affect our kids…my husband is not accepting it. He’s not okay with it either and has put his foot down. My FIL actually ran into me at the store and put all the blame on my like I am some type of monster that I made his son do this and a lot of other things. I was not okay with it and I put my foot down.

You don’t have to accept things if you are not okay with it. Even if it is family. Just because it is family does not make things that make you uncomfortable okay. It isn’t. You don’t have to settle or be bullied into anything. Stand up for yourself.. You are worth it.

Nothing to be ashamed

When Chester died, I wrote a lot about the stigmatism surrounding mental illness. How it is very scary to openly talk about having a mental illness. That talking about it is like having the plague.

Seriously, I am still scared to openly talk about my illness because so many people have made it a joke. I have seen a lot of people who experience nervousness over something claim that they have an anxiety disorder However, after whatever makes them nervous, they no longer have a mental illness.

It is like having an anxiety disorder is something to joke about. It makes those of us who really have it afraid to come out with what is really going on.

There is also this type of stigmatism that if you have a mental illness you should be ashamed.. that you’re seeking attention or playing the victim.

We live in a world where it is so hard to have a mental disorder. I have anxiety disorder, panic attacks and mild depression. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am living with this and I am living with it my way. Why should I feel ashamed about it??? Seriously? Why should any of us feel ashamed about what is going on iside of our head. When you have a heart issue, your heart is sick. No one makes you feel ashamed of that. The brain is an organ. It can be sick like any other organ in your body.

Don’t be ashamed of it. Own it. You have a mental illness. And that is okay. If you’re on medication… THAT IS OKAY. Seriously. taking medication for your mental illness is brave. Because you had the courage to seek help. To get help. There are so many who have not been able to drum up the courage to ask for help.
When Chester died, many of those who knew him, came to the forefront to speak out for mental illness. To break the stigmatim. I think that the more that we talk about it, the more it will be accepted as normal. That it is nothing to be ashamed about. Because it’s not.

Open up. Tell me your story. Tell me what makes you overthink. Tell me what your anxious about. Because I am here. I will always be here. As a listening friend. As someone who shares your story. Who understands what it is like to have a mental illness. Who knows what it is like to be made ashamed of my illness. To know what it is like. So tell me your story.

Manners

Now for a post about a personal opinion. So please when you read this, please take it with a grain of salt. My opinion doesn’t mean that it is your opinion. It does not mean that what I am writing about is fact. It is simply just my opinion and things that I think about.

So with that being said.

Please, as a parent…..teach your kids MANNERS!

I have seen way too many kids not understand the basic concept of a single excuse me. Thank you. Please.

I have seen kids throw tantrums in stores and yelling at their parents.

I have seen kids push and shove other kids and adults to get what they want.

I remember growing up if I was rude to someone in the store (without proper reasoning) I was in trouble.

I mean you don’t have to teach your kids to worship the ground that everyone else walks on. But simply teaching them the basic manners so that they’re not a bunch of entitled jerks would be great. I mean if we could all teach our kids manners. That they aren’t entitled to respect without giving respect…. then maybe we can change the world. I know it seems like a long shot. But it is a simple idea.

That is my thought for the day. I would love to see more kids with manners. Showing respect to get respect in return… I understand that the adults need to show the kids respect also. It is a full cirlce. Show respect to get respect.

With your kids

 

When you have kids, you think you have to be the parent all the time. That there is no fun involve. That you have to be strict and keep your kids on the straight and narrow. That playing is only for the kids. But that is so not true. There are so many benefits from playing with your kids.

And I don’t just mean that playing games with your kids benefits the kids development, because it does. But it also benefits the parents.

Think about it. You’ve had a really long stressful day. Constantly running errands or working. You’re stressed out. Tired. Worn down. The world on your shoulders.  Now how would you feel if you take 30 minutes and make a fort with your kid and pretend you’re camping.

You have to fully get into it too for the benefits to work. If you’re truly involved, then you forget about the worry. You forget about work. You forget about the stress. Just for a little while. You’re enjoying yourself. You in make believe. You can leave all the stress behind just for a little bit each day. And it feels amazing. It also helps your kids. In such amazing ways. Our kids are only little for so long. They only live in make believe land for so long. They’re only willing to play with their parents for so long before they turn into preteens and teens and only want either their privacy or their friends. So why not jump right into their castle and be their shining knight while you both still can?

The time that you spend with your kids is extremely important to their development. Even if you’re in make believe land for 10 minutes. You’re helping their developmental skills. You’re helping them process things. You’re even helping them create stories. Beginning middle and end. That is essential when they start school. Many times my kid, who is in 2nd grade, has assignments where she has to make up stories. Like what she did for the weekend. She has to plan it out. Beginning, middle, end. So when you’re being the dragon to his knight, he probably came up with a beginning as to how the dragon invaded his castle, a middle as to why he’s fighting the dragon and the end where he defeats the dragon.

When you’re playing with your toddler, they hear you say the words. The mimic what you say. You’re helping them learn to speak. You’re helping them develop and fine tune their motor skills.

You’re helping them work with others by working with you. You’re helping them understand their own self control. You’re helping them with their leadership skills and how to handle their own emotions. The time that you take to play with your kids, is essential for the development.

 

I know as a parent we can be so tired. I know I am. Some morning I am up when my husband gets up for work. I take my kid and my nephews to school. I cook, clean, pay bills run all the errands. Pick the kids up from school handle homework. Do my own homework. Write a blog. Usually I am the one taking care of the yard. I try to take as much on as I can since my husband works 60+ hours a week. So, I am usually so tired that I just want to put my feet up for five minutes. Especially when my plantar fasciitis is acting up. However, when my two year old wants to pretend I’m a horsey… I become a horsey. When my oldest wants to pretend I am a monster she has to defeat, I become that big bad monster that gets defeated. It is easy to be stressed out, I am all the time. But I don’t want to pass that stress and anxiety on to my kids. I am a mom. Stress is my job and my husbands. Not our kids. It is also our job to create memories with our kids.

Since becoming a mom

 

When you become a mom…..everything changes.  I don’t just mean your body either. I mean everything changes.

Your body does change. I have had two kids and still haven’t lost all the baby weight. It sucks. I also have more stretch marks than I have ever thought I would. Taste buds change. your sleep patterns change. The way you think changes.

If you had an anxiety or depression issue before kids, it changes as well. Before kids, my anxiety or depression level only rose due to stress. The more stressed I was the more depressed or anxious I was.

However, since having kids…. I get anxious over pretty much anything. I have days where I just feel down or blue, depressed. Now I work very hard to get thru these days so that it doesn’t affect my kids or those around me.

But when my first kid was born….something changed deep inside me.  My brother likes to say that I became a bitch. Because I would no longer allow him to run over me. I was stronger because I had this little person dependent on me. I had to be that person who would fight for her tooth and nail.

 

Becoming a mom… it is one the most amazing things that I could have ever asked for. I love it. I love my girls. I love how they made me grow and change. I was 19 when I got pregnant with my first kid. Because of her, I grew up. I didn’t become some couch jumping young adult with nothing going on in their life. The minute I had that positive pregnancy test in front of me. I knew. I knew that moment that I wanted to be a great mom. That I would fight tooth and nail to be that kind of mom. We literately started from the bottom. We were barely able to pay for a motel room each week. From there staying with friends and family. To our own apartment, then to staying with my mom, to a trailer and now owning our own home. I have fought for everything we have. For my kids. When I was little, we didn’t always have food, water, or lights. Things were difficult. I knew when I looked at my first pregnancy test that I wouldn’t ever let my kid know how it felt to be hungry because there was no food in the house. I didn’t care what kind of job I had to take,  I didn’t care about how many jobs I had to work. We were going to be okay.

My kids give me drive. They give me passion. They give me a reason. The person I am today, is because I became a mom.

 

What changes have you experienced since becoming a mom.  or dad

Good for mental health

 

I don’t know if you can tell that I decided to create this blog because I have a mental illness and there is such a stigma around mental health that it can make it hard to talk about it. That is why I decided to write about it. Write about me. My struggles. My issues. My anxiety. Because not only do I want to lend a hand in breaking the stigma like Mike Shinoda, Anna Shinoda and Talinda Bennington. But I feel better when I write about what is going on. It helps to get it out. I know you all could judge me. But what I have seen from the first time I started writing is that you guys do not judge. In fact, many of you are very understanding because what I am going through many of you have been through.

It is so amazing to know that other than my best friend, there are others like me. And I will continue to write as long as I can.

I find that writing about the things that make you depressed or anxious is a great exercise in the step to understanding what is your trigger. Notice that I didn’t say get better. or fix it. Because I will always have this battle. It is not something that you can just get over. Even though people like to assume that you can just get over it. You can’t. It is just impossible. There is a chemical imbalance in my brain that I don’t know can be fixed.

Writing allows you to describe what is wrong. What happened. And why it made you feel that way. Over time, writing will allow you to define what some of your triggers are. That way in the future, you may be able to either overcome the trigger or identify it so that you can make changes before it triggers you.

Either way, if you have a mental illness…. I suggest keeping a journal of when you have those bad days.