This is the story of how I began a lifestyle of kindness. I befriended a homeless family, talked to strangers in the airport, and learned to get out of my comfort zone.
The struggles of motherhood when living with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can leave you debilitated. Picture this: it's the crack of dawn, and the sun has yet to rise. You awaken from your slumber because, according to the youngest child, "It's wake up time." The kids are ready to watch a slew of morning cartoons, argue about who got the most cereal, and then leave the same bowl of soggy half-eaten Frosted Flakes on the table next to a trail of milk. Kid number one can't find the Legos they hid from kid number two, so a meltdown erupts--and it's only 6:55 a.m. The rest of the morning goes something like, "Mom, don't forget to pack my lunch," and a whiny, "Mom, I want fruit snacks, too," so the monster mother I told myself I wasn't going to be today emerges. Quickly, my little reserve of patience begins waning. Now I'm yelling, overwhelmed, and to add to the stress, late dropping kid number one off at school--as always.
Many of us who are diagnosed with depression struggle with loving ourselves. We might feel the sting of stigma, whether it's from others, from within us, or from a combination of both. As individuals with depression, some of us deal with negative thoughts, which can make it difficult to foster feelings of love towards ourselves. How can we overcome these challenges and learn to love ourselves?
Stim toys are a way of life for some of us with dissociative identity disorder (DID). If you’re living with a mental health condition such as DID, you might already know how important it is to have stim toys ready and waiting to be used whenever you need to get grounded. How does using stim toys help people with DID, and what is stimming?
Body dissatisfaction is a part of Behcet's disease for me, and it's easier to talk about Behcet's disease than my body dissatisfaction and disordered eating.
Mantras for eating disorder recovery work for me. For example, I don't meditate. I have trouble sitting still for more than a few seconds. Even when I do yoga, it's the sweat until you vomit sort, not the calm, restorative kind. All this is to say the idea of mantras do not come easily to me, but using mantras for eating disorder recovery has been a powerful and subtle tool that helps me overcome negative thinking.
Are you using old coping mechanisms that no longer serve you? Coping mechanisms are habits and behaviors that we use in order to cope with problems we can't necessarily solve. For instance, if you have to take a big test and it gives you tremendous anxiety, you can't just not take the test or simply stop being anxious. Instead, you need to cope with your anxiety to get through the experience. But what happens when the old coping mechanisms we use actually start causing problems instead of solving them?
Does exercise help you cope with anxiety? You've heard it before. You've been told to exercise to help your anxiety. But how are you supposed to do that when you have a million things on your mind? You don't get much sleep, you are often moody, and you can't seem to concentrate on anything. Exercise is the last thing you are thinking about and the last thing you want to do.
Many know the difficulty of dealing with mental health stigma, but there are also situations where a person might end up facing layers of stigma. This changes what it's like to deal with mental health stigma overall.
Visualization and guided imagery can relieve the feeling of being stuck in your head that depression and anxiety can cause. It can be dark and scary there. By using visualization and guided imagery, you can temporarily escape all of your negative thoughts and stress at the present moment. To learn about how you can benefit from visualization and guided imagery, read this article.