Thursday, 29 October 2015

Buffers

In spite of being a glass half full person and one who's written about the Danish concept of Hygge in past posts,  I do not relish the return of darker days.  I know from past experience that my mood can be affected by  lack of light and, at the moment I've got to take  particular care.  There's too many stressors from work and living in a new home where there's so much to do to get it shipshape.

So I've taken stock.  I need buffers in place to protect me against the depression that hasn't been a feature of my life for so long now.  Blimey I've just looked back and realised that I've been off the happy pills for two and a half years.  That's good going!  I really don't want to  relapse.  So here's the measures I'm in the process of putting in place to stop it happening.

  • Eating and properly:  Duh!  I know it's obvious but when you live on your own and come home exhausted it's easy to fill your gob with crap.  I make sure my fruit bowl is full and I've batch cooked and portioned soups, stews and dal which I defrost in the morning and simply reheat at night.   I make sure that there's leftovers to supplement a healthy packed lunch.  Most days start with porridge and a banana.
  • Meditation:  I'm doing it again daily!  Sometimes mindful breathing practice in silence but at other times using Youtube as a resource for guided inner journeys.  
  • Making stuff:  This is so important to me.  I lose myself when I'm printing, sewing or making jewellery but it can't happen until I've unpacked my crafting goodies and the space to create has been set up.  Even though I'm not keen on DIY  I've reframed my view of painting walls and woodwork to see it as part of an arty project.
  • Sitting with my SAD lamp:  This beast of lux used to double as my bedside lamp but no more. It needs a new home where I can multitask by reading and getting the benefit of its rays at the same time.
  • Drawing on my inner resources:  I used to be really avoidant in an attempt to quell anxiety.  In actual fact that makes things worse.  Read about safety behaviours if you're interested in finding out why.  Someone told me the other day that they admired how I always tried to come up with solutions and worked on them even when lots of the brown stuff was hitting the fan.  I liked that.  It shows just how far I've come.
  • Accepting invites:  It's all too easy in the wintery months to hole up and become a hermit. Having things to look forward to seems a key part of keeping well.  November heralds a couple of parties, a trip to see a basketball game, Scout quiz night, a trip to Norfolk and making use of the offer of a free trip to the Eden Project for Devonian NHS staff.  'Yes I'll be there' is my new mantra.
  • Exercise: To replace those long evening walks and cycle rides  I've signed up for a yoga class and dug out the timetables for the local swimming pool.  On Ibiza Queen Vikki's recommendation, I'm embarking on the NHS's Couch to 5K plan to kickstart running again. There's an extra special effort involved with making time for hiking and biking at the weekends.
  • Giving:  What I've noticed in my work is that people with mental illness often become self-absorbed.  I try to encourage them to look outside themselves and do little acts of kindness for others.  It's time to take a bit of my own medicine!  As an ex-brownie guide I consciously think about what my good turn for the day might be.
There!  That should keep a lid on things until those lovely light days are back in the spring.  Perhaps I might even end up enjoying this particular winter!

7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. No Cro. Not sure, what has happened. This has occurred twice with your comments now. Maybe I've got a haacker!!!!

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  2. Park Run is a good one for getting out there in the colder months- on our local one some people walk the whole thing. Your mention of hygge reminds me of the book "Living Danishly" by Helen Russell which I've recently read.
    Arilx

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  3. Look at it this way, in two months time, will be the shortest day and then the days start to get longer again! Those daylight lamps are ace, I love mine. Stay smiley. x

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    1. I think like that about the turn around at the shortest day. xx

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