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.

Take care of yourself

Being a parent is by far one of the greatest things anyone can do. Now that doesn’t mean that everyone should be a parent. And I’m not saying that as a bad thing. Not everyone wants kids and that is fine. Because they know that they wouldn’t make good parents. However, that moment when you first hold your kid, at least for me, was the greatest moments of my life. I was 19 when my first daughter was born. The moment they laid her on my chest, I knew that being is a mother was one of the best things I could ever do.

 

While being a parent is by far one of the best things that could happen to you in your lifetime, it can be draining. Especially when the kids are younger. And especially when you suffer from a mental illness. With my anxiety, I fear all of the little and big things alike. It is like they are the same level of bad. A fall, a scrape etc. And these moments can be so draining. If you don’t have anxiety and have never experienced an anxiety/panic attack then you don’t understand how utterly draining they are.

As much as you want to keep trucking and pushing along for your kid because they need you. You are their everything. You cannot give them the best that they need, you cannot keep giving your all if you’re not at your best. It is like the saying ‘you cannot fill from an empty cup’ The same concept goes into being a parent.

Now there are some who think that if you’re taking some ‘me time’ then you are neglecting your parental duties. That is absolutely rubbish. If you keep giving your all to your kids without taking care of yourself, soon your kids are going to feel it. They’re gonna start reacting to it as well.

So you have to take care of yourself. You just have to. For the good of your family. Just a little bit a day can do so much for you. For your anxiety, for your relationship, for your family. Everyone benefits from you recharging. The best analogy I can give is your cell phone. At 100% its an amazing thing. It calls texts social media EVERYTHING. But once that battery gets down to 10% it starts to lag, slow down. Soon its dead. The battery has been completely used up and you cannot use it anymore. That is what it is like as a parent. If you don’t recharge then you’re not going to be of any use.

For me, I recharge by taking a long shower or a relaxing bath. My husband comes home and takes over some of the parental duties while I go and just digress. I relax. I recharge. I emerge clean and mentally refreshed.

So take some time to recharge. Everyone benefits from it.

Cyber bullying

So I have this friend that I met thru some sad circumstances.  We met at the Chester memorial. It wasn’t the best way to meet someone, but I am glad that I did. We have connected on social media and I love seeing her posts as she has gone thru some tough situations lately and come out on top swinging.  She is a warrior.

Now every morning I wake up around 6 am and scroll thru facebook to see whats going on. See what I have missed since the day before. Cause honestly, I am not on facebook as much as I used to be when I was younger. There is just not enough time in the day to spend that much time on one thing like social media. There is also just so much awfulness in the world today that spending too much time on social media can be kind of depressing.

So the other day I was on facebook and I saw a post from said friend. Now I usually love reading her post because she usually posts something inspirational or entertaining. However, not this day. She posted about being cyber bullied. She had an interaction with someone who could not argue at the same intellect as her, because well she is absolutely brilliant. So since they couldn’t argue on the same intellect, they decided to target her weight and insinuate that she is Miss Piggy from the muppets. Seriously. The worst part was that it was a grown adult stooping to such a middle school tactic.

In the post, my friend stated that this wasn’t the first time that she has been targeted for her weight and in all honesty, it probably won’t be the last. I should know. I am in my view, fat. In the doctors charts I am obese. (I swear I work out and try to eat healthy as much as I can. Honestly, working out is really hard because of the car wreck messed my hips up. But this isn’t about me right now)  She made the post letting her friends and family know that this had happened because she is awesome. She shined a light on something that had happened to her. Something that shouldn’t. She is shedding light on cyber bullying.

Is she supermodel skinny? No. Is she happy? Yes. Is she healthy? Yes, I have seen all the post where her and her family are trying to eat right and be healthy. So why does the fact that she isn’t a size 2 grounds for bullying?  Sadly, this is something that is happening every day. Every day somewhere in the world someone is being bullied.

Do they care that this can cause someone with extreme depression to have suicidal thoughts? Do they care that bullying actually causes some to take their own lives? Do they care that bullying someone with a mental illness can send them over the deep end?

While mental illness is something that has been frowned upon for so long, there are many who are bringing light to this illness. In the wake of the passing of Chester Bennington, his wife, Talinda Bennington, as well as best friend and band mate, Mike Shinoda, have spent the year since his passing spreading the word on his illness and trying to provide a platform for those who haven’t felt like they could open up about their illness.Cyber bullying is something that is only talked about when it has gone too far. It is up to us as human beings to shine a light not only on mental health and bullying.

Now my friend may suffer from mental illness but she has taken this incident with courage and amazing stride. She didn’t let this person get to her. Well maybe it did a little. But it hasn’t pushed her over the age because she is amazing and fantastic. But cyber bullying is NEVER okay. You should never result to insulting someone’s figure, size, family or anything else because you cannot match the argument at the same intellect as the other person. I am going to repeat this again.

 

Cyber Bullying is NEVER okay!!

 

How you see yourself

 

Maya Angelo provided us with a vast amount of great words. I don’t think I have heard anything from her that didn’t resonate on a deeper level. I mean this woman is brilliant. I love her. I remember reading ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ in middle school and thinking this….this is a woman who uses her words in such an elegant way. I was captivated.

However, this quote. This quote is so powerful. And so meaningful. yet it is something that can be so hard for someone like me.

You see…. My anxiety and depression turns what should be a nice self esteem into the worst possible form of hatred possible. I look in the mirror and see my gobble neck. My double chin. My fat cheeks. My messed up smile. My cellulite thighs and butt. The massive amount of fat that lies on my thighs and butt. My jiggly belly. My scratchy not female voice. My weird toes. The way I don’t like having my toe nails unpolished if I am wearing flip flops and the way that all of this has made me unable to actually take the time to paint my toes….

 

Being a mom…. makes these thoughts even worse.  Why? well because I know if I walk around my house saying how ugly I am or how fat I am or how much weight I need to lose to be normal in society, My little girls are going to hear it. And do I really want them to hear me and think this is how we’re supposed to think of ourselves??? No. I don’t. I want them to look in the mirror and be proud of the way the look both inside and out. I don’t want them to see me nit picking everything I hate about myself and decide it is okay to copy it. Because it is not. I grew up in the 90’s before we had the plus size being ok. Every where you looked. The perfect girl was tall, stick thin and blonde. While I on the other hand was never going to be tall was never stick thin, I have always been a little plump no matter how much exercise I got and it wasn’t eating too much because I was poor….one time we only had potatoes to  eat. Now I was blonde but not beach blonde like all the models. No I was what my mom called dish water blonde. That kind of color that isn’t blonde but isn’t brown. That in between color. I never had a face where my cheek bones shined thru or waist so small, legs so skinny. I was never what the magazines portrayed as pretty.

So when the first plus size started getting attention I was like YESSS. But that still didn’t make me feel any better about myself.

It is a long journey. I am still trying to like myself. I need to lose the baby weight. But I am taking it one day at a time. It keeps fluctuating which is frustrating and depressing. I am still 60 pounds away from my pre kid weight. I mean when I was in high school weight. But I also know that for some people losing weight after the first kid is easier than after the second kid. So I got that struggle going on.

But the one thing I refuse to do….. Is speak all these insecurities in front of my girls. Yes, momma might not like the weight or the way her body looks. But I would never want my kids to think that is normal. It is something that is a constant struggle for me. But I don’t want to pass that struggle on to my kids.

I Am The Change!

So all of Linkin Park fans know that today is Chester Bennington’s birthday. While many of us are still sad about his passing. It was a big hit for those of us who fight many of the same battles that he struggled with every single day. The same battles that he talked about so openly.

So many of us fans wanted a way to celebrate the life of Chester since it is his birthday. And it is because many of us loved Chester and wanted to honor him, Talinda Bennington the strong, beautiful and outspoken wife of Chester asked everyone to post a photo with the words “I am the Change” written on our hands to symbolize that we know the 5 signs of mental illness. And that we are going to be the change to the stigmatism.

I have spoken very loudly about the stigmatism that plagues those who suffer from any form of mental illness. and this isn’t just anxiety or depression. Stigmatism plagues many of those who suffer autism, ADHD, ODD, and many more.

My best friends kid is autistic. And he suffers from a lot of stigmatism. To the point that some family pretend that his autism is made up and that his antics are just him being bad. Which enrages me. But that isn’t the worst of it. It is even so bad that his school holds his autism over him as if it is a reason to be held back a grade even though he is as smart as a whip. All because his ‘social’ skills are not what they believe is ‘up to par’. Well uhm I have been around this kid since he was a baby. In fact, my mom and I actually called his autism. We baby sat him one day and we could tell that there was something. Not that we treated him any different. He’s about 6 months older than my oldest daughter. In fact she’s his best friend. We have never ever treated him any different. In fact, I think that I do more for or with him to compensate for the bullshit he has to deal with. The kid is 7 and he’s already faced a world full of stigma. Unfortunately, he has a long life that looks like it will be full of stigma.

And that isn’t the only stigma this family faces. My best friend suffers from PTSD, depression and anxiety. and possibly more, I can’t remember right at the moment. Her husband has depression. So when I talk about being able to hang around my friends and they understand when I am having such a bad time…. They completely understand. Because they have dealt with it themselves.

But this isn’t a sad post! This is about Chester! And if Chester was still with us. (It’s sad saying that ;( because he was such an inspirational person) He would be right with us… Fighting the stigmatism. Which is what we should all do. We should continue fighting for what Chester believed in. We should continue fighting against the stigmatism that plagues pretty much anyone who suffers any form of illness of the mind. Because anyone with a spinal illness, a heart illness or anything else is sympathized with but those with ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, etc. are frowned upon. Lets put an end for this stigma. Lets #BreakTheStigma and #MakeChesterProud

Searching for those like me

I hate attention.

Literally hate being the center of attention

I avoid it at all possible.

I have suffered alone for many, many years.

So I know how depressing it can be to have a panic attack and NO ONE notices. NO ONE cares.

I get it.

And honestly…. I hate feeling like I am alone. I hate feeling like no one understands me.

Luckily, as my circle grew smaller from those who only used me… I found one friend who suffers with anxiety, depression, panic attacks and PTSD. We balance each other I think. We listen to each other. Literally.  If I stop at her house when I’ve had an anxiety attack… I end up staying there for goodness 2 to 3 hours just from talking. and our conversations drift to random topics so seamlessly.

But I am getting off topic….that darn attention thing again.

What I have been doing since Chester Bennington passed is searching Twitter.

You see….When Kurt Cobain died….The world saw a massive number of copy cat suicides. Because they felt that if Cobain couldn’t make it…then how could they. Right? It is hard to see one of your idols who you relate to leave us in such a traumatic way. It is awful.

Linkin Park spoke to me thru so many situations. I remember being 9 years old listening to them on MTV. Chester was so pretty (and it hurts to say was, I keep wanting to say is)  His vocal ability was so inspiring. I mean here is this guy who can sing and then scream with such ease. The words he sang….I could relate to many things that I personally went thru growing up. Even now… I can listen to these old songs and relate them to things that I see or feel today.

You see, I am the type of person who feels music. I don’t just hear a beat and hear some random words. I feel them. I can listen to a song a million times if it speaks to me. If it moves me emotionally.

(I feel like I have said this before. and if I have… I am sorry)

So since we lost Chester in July. I been looking for people on Twitter who express their mental health. Especially those who feel alone. Those who are experiencing panic attacks or feeling depressed. And just letting them know. Hey, you are not alone. I am sending positive thoughts your way.

Typically I just simply say ‘sending positive thoughts your way’ It is a simple and easy way that I can spread kindness. That I can let them know they are not alone. There are others out here that feel the same way.

Now I am not posting this to gain any attention.

My sole purpose is that well I have about 96 followers now. Which I am ecstatic about. Thank you guys. I am more thankful that you could ever know. But if each one of you guys searches twitter for any mental health condition and just let one person know that they’re not alone, that you’re thinking about them….Then maybe…just maybe…we will be that closer to making it easier to talk about our issues.

How is it that a patient with heart failure gets sympathy but those suffering with a chemical imbalance gets shunned? Now please don’t read that the wrong way. My dad had heart failure. He had 3 heart attacks before he passed. I feel for everyone who has anything going on in their life (that’s the overly empathetic part of me again.) But I also don’t think it is right that we who suffer a mental illness should feel like we have to suffer alone because the world cannot show an ounce of empathy to what we may be going thru on a daily basis.

So what do you say guys???? Will you send a tweet to a random person letting them know that you are thinking about them?? That they’re not suffering alone? That there are others like them???

Blessing and curse

Someone named David Jones once said “It is a blessing and a curse to feel everything so deeply”

Sometimes I feel like he was speaking about me. I feel everything so deeply. My emotions are on my sleeves. Scratch that. they’re on my fingertips. that is how much I feel. It doesn’t help that I feel other peoples emotions as well. If someone around me is sad… I get sad.

I am extremely empathetic

When my friends and family feel something. I cannot help but feel it too.  It also forces me to try my hardest to fix whatever it is that makes them feel that way. When they’re having a bad day… I feel like I start having a bad day. I don’t know how to really explain it. (So if you have some insight on it…please fill me in)

It is a blessing and a curse. I love the fact that feeling everything so deeply and feeling what others feel allows me to interpret things better. You know like knowing when they need space or when they need a hug. I can read people better than say my husband who rare shows any emotions.

It is a curse because I cannot turn it off…. Ever. And I carry it with me for the rest of the day…and if it is really strong.. I carry it for longer. They say ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’….thats a lie. Words hurt me very deeply. the person who came up with that saying obviously never felt anything as deeply as I do. Like all the time. I carry words with me. And they cut me like a knife.

How do you interpret the quote? How does it make you feel?