Does anyone else notice how the mood and energy level change over the course of the weekend? On Friday evening, you’re beat from a long week at work, but sometimes you find that second wind for a happy hour or night out. Early Saturday morning, I sprung out of bed to get going on the laundry, dog walking, cleaning, etc. Saturday is a day of peace, fun, and possibility. The energy level is high and the mood is generally positive. Eventually, Sunday rolls around. It generally starts pretty nicely, perhaps with brunch or an afternoon hike. If you’re anything like me, by 5-6pm, you’re climbing the walls, thinking about the work week ahead. Suddenly, your energy level dips and you’re filled with dread.
I found myself feeling this way this evening, so I got out my weekly planner and took a look. I made sure that I entered activities that were just for me, like yoga and long walks with my dog. As I looked at the calendar, I noticed something that is pretty obvious, and yet often overlooked: we live one day at a time. At the beginning of the week, we see everything that needs to be accomplished as one large cluster of responsibility. When you break it down one day at a time, sometimes even smaller chunks throughout the course of the day, suddenly things don’t seem so daunting. Not long ago, the thought of getting out of bed and facing the day at all was enough to bring me to tears. Once again, the amazing and powerful brain allows you to go from feeling anxiety and dread to feeling in control.
It has been two weeks since I left the hospital. I have been trying to maintain the level of calm I felt as I walked out those doors after being discharged, but life doesn’t work that way. Gone are the days of spending hours working on healing and focusing on myself. Part of the transition is learning how to continue the healing process within the confines of a regular daily schedule. Overall, I feel like I have been doing a good job of taking care of myself. I’m making time to meditate, exercise, and experience my feelings as they come.
Yet, for some reason, part of me still feels broken. There is a big part of my life that make this self-care regimen difficult to maintain. I don’t know if I can keep this up for the long term. I feel like I need to make a major life change, but I am terrified of how the people in my life will react. How do you even go about bringing up the idea of a major life change with your loved ones? Is it possible to focus on what YOU want for yourself and what YOU need without letting everyone else’s opinion interfere?
Has anyone been through this and have suggestions?
First, let me start off by saying that I am not a mental health professional. I am just discussing techniques that I find work well, and maybe they can work for you too.
Today I want to focus on the power of positive thinking. This topic is often covered in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy because you have control over your thoughts and the way you perceive things. Initially when I woke up this morning, I was grumpy because the weather was bad, I was tired, and I had a full teaching schedule ahead of me today. Thinking back to a few weeks ago, I was unable to get out of bed, unable to function, and spending most of my time either feeling anxious or crying. I turned my thinking around into something positive, acknowledging the fact that I got up and did everything I needed to take care of myself (EATING!), and that I am now able to function well enough to teach. My first group of students were engaged in discussion and performed very well in the lab. We’ll see how the next group goes.
With a change in thinking, I was able to go from feeling grumpy to grateful. To my friends, family members, and professionals who have been my support system, I owe you so much.
As I mentioned in the previous post, I have struggled with anxiety and depression for a significant part of my life. I’d like to introduce you to my journey and invite any readers to do the same.
I spent my teens and early twenties in and out of therapy and taking medication, but never really investing in my treatment. Recently, things got really bad for me and I stopped taking care of myself. I lost 13 pounds from my 5’3″ frame in one month. At this point, I realized that I truly needed to get help and commit to it. I began to focus on self-care and healing 2 weeks ago. It is going to be a slow and sometimes difficult process, but I want to create a life of well-being for myself.
With that being said, I hope this blog can be interactive. I would love to hear what coping skills work for other people in addition to discussing the ones that work for me. I want to spread the message that whoever you are, whatever your struggles, you are not alone.
Since I come from a science background, I will also occasionally discuss articles about research on current psychiatric issues. Feel free to ask questions if anything is unclear and I hope we can all support each other.
Welcome to Serotonin Boost. I am a female in my late 20’s with an interest in the psychology of neuroscience and living well. I have struggled with anxiety and depression for most of my life and would like to create a supportive space for others to share their opinions and stories.