July 25, 2017

Depression and Anxiety Journaling- WHO, WHAT, HOW and WHY...

For as long as I can remember, even in most of my childhood memories, I have struggled with anxiety. I had a traumatic experience while giving birth to my second, and my typical post-partum depression turned into PTSD, flashbacks, and a very dark time in my life. After every baby, I went through a bought of depression and had to find specific coping strategies to get though the rough times. Even with these health issues, I've always felt like I've had a gift of optimism and happiness, but there are times when, either my hormones are off, or situations get tough, that I have to work harder for these qualities to come naturally.

After struggling with depression during and after all of my pregnancies and recoveries, I recognized that my physical health played a big role in how mentally & emotionally stable I was. It was like a missing puzzle piece was found, and then became such a key component to my life that I cannot deny it's importance or divine timing.

About five years ago, I decided to become a health and fitness coach because I realized that I needed the accountability of helping others in order to help myself. I share my journey through social media and blogging because making real connections is important to me. I will always share my truth and my heart because I find writing to be therapeutic and a healthy outlet for me. I also know that as I am sharing my journey, I might be a light to someone else who is struggling. I'm thankful to have found many other amazing moms and men & women who are so supportive and loving! I have realized that part of the purpose of my struggles is so that I can turn around and help other women who are struggling as well. 

Today I wanted to share one strategy that I've been using for many months that has helped me during the hard times. Like I mentioned above, writing has been a very positive outlet for me to cope with anxiety & depression. Here's how it works. Each day wake up 10 minutes early. Earlier than your alarm clock, earlier than your first child, earlier than anyone expects you or needs you to be you. This time is allotted just for YOU and journaling purposes. (I know that when I am especially struggling, I tend to stay up later and have a harder time waking up... so IF you need to do this at breakfast and have a few quiet minutes alone, you truly can slip it in whenever. BUT if you are diligent with waking up, it's hard at first but may be the most treasured 10 minutes of each day) I always start with a prayer because it helps me to get my head right and I know with the Lord's help I can do all things, even hard things.
So get out your journal, or even just a napkin and write the following:
WHAT do I need today? maybe it's to laugh, to rest, to have social time, to work on a project, to feel loved (write it down.)

WHO can I help today? think and pray about this and see who comes to your mind. If you are wondering what you can do to help them, look at how you answered the last question. Pretty sure this person needs that today too. help them by giving them exactly what you wrote that you need. You'd be surprised, but when you give someone else exactly what they need, you get it too. (#miracle)

HOW can I take care of my body today? maybe you need a bubble bath or even just a shower. maybe a cardio workout will give you the endorphins and energy to get some important tasks done. maybe lifting weights does that for you. maybe yoga is your therapy. think about what you need and schedule it into your day.

WHY do I want to feel happy today? sometimes we look at this list above and think- well that would be nice but I don't deserve it (#bullcrap) so writing out WHY you deserve to feel happy is key. Think about your family, your divinity, your mission. Why is it important that you spend time & effort on yourself?

write it down and refer to the list as often as you need to. If you need a positive, un-judgmental place to report in each day, please reach out to me and I would be happy to support you!! I have created a community of women, many of whom struggle with depression, anxiety and taking time for themselves each day has been a saving grace for us!

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