Quarantine Quirks

Isolation is often our greatest downfall. Quarantine sucks for us.

 

The whole idea of quarantine is literally the opposite of what we as humans need. Even if you’ve never struggled with mental illness before, it could do you in. Even introverts need relationships with others.

“Just text or call them”

Wouldn’t it be cool if it were that easy? We’ve discovered that social media has made us more connected than ever and yet we are the loneliest generation to live so far. Texting is not the same as seeing a person face-to-face, and Zoom calls are not the same as a high five or a hug. We aren’t getting necessary human interaction as we need.

 

It will take a toll on us.

 

That’s okay. It’s one hundred percent okay if your mental health has started to decline in this state of isolation. It’s understandable, and I always recommend therapy and getting help were you can. It’s okay to not be okay, especially not during this. You aren’t alone in it. You aren’t failing at getting healthier just because you’ve backslid. We need each other, and you’re not getting a need met.

 

This is almost over. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s going to be a slow process opening up countries, but we’re on our way out. We’re going to make it out of this and reconnect and re-coop. We’re going to see our friends again. We’re going to get our jobs back or find new ones, and we’re going to keep growing and getting better. We’re going to come out of this loving people harder than we had before. We’re going to have things starting to return to a normal routine. It’s going to be okay. I promise.

 

Love,

Kendal

 

Depression isn’t a Child

Please come back. Stop throwing things. Please just eat your food. Would you just listen to me for two seconds?

Children are exhausting. I say that with confidence even though I’ve never had any of my own. I’ve watched from the sidelines of every mother’s wrestling match. I think that a lot of the time, I think of my depression as a child because of how exhausting it is to keep things under control, but that just isn’t the case. Depression isn’t a child; we are. 

Children, while exhausting, are highly impressionable and selfish by nature. They want only what they want, regardless of anyone else. They figure out what they want from others though. In the struggle with depression, we are the children. We’ve been watching depression walk around in our life, and we have decided to follow it around. It’s been filling our susceptible heads with all the wrong things, making us think that what we want is unobtainable and that we should just settle for what it gives us.

This differentiation is important because we can’t properly take care of that child if we treat it like anything but that. Have you ever tried to have an adult conversation with a child? It isn’t easy. They don’t want to sit and listen to you if it isn’t interesting to them. They’re selfish in the best and worst ways possible. You have to prove to a child that you have their best interest at heart. It takes patience and rewards and sometimes discipline.

Talk to yourself patiently, regardless of how dumb it feels. Reward yourself for doing good things, no matter how small. Long distances are still traveled despite length of step. Be kind to yourself, you’re still learning what you like.

Love,

Kendal

Addicted to the Feel-Good

I can’t feel anything, how could a I possibly have an addiction? Doesn’t that take liking something?

Actually, no. Depression is a chemical imbalance in our brains. When we find something that can cause the brain to produce the good chemicals, it becomes very easy to latch onto that thing. Unfortunately, there are quite a few unhealthy things that do produce those “feel good” chemicals.  We want desperately to feel something, anything. We beg friends and significant others for attention, and when they give it, we feel so important. When they can’t, we slide back into a low. We hunger for any attention, regardless of whether it is positive or not. Even a look will give us enough, we say. Then we need a smile, to talk, a friendship, a relationship. It becomes insatiable as we search for the good feelings in other people and substances.

Addiction and depression go hand in hand.

It’s okay if you do feel out of control as long as you feel guilty for any decisions that hurt you or someone else. Addiction is a gross thing that is quite common whether people talk about it or not. Not everyone deals with it, but do not feel bad if you do. It’s a mental illness just like depression, and it doesn’t just go away. it’s a conscious choice everyday to be better than the day before.

Finding healthy coping mechanisms is extremely important in fighting this. Addiction is seen as bad because we commonly become complacent in our mess of a life. You can be addicted to healthy things, too. It’s about learning moderation. Our natural instinct is to hoard all of something good so that we have it in case it runs out. We have to learn to first find healthy habits to latch onto.

First, cut out the negative thing completely. It’s going to hurt and feel like a part of you is being stolen from you. Stay strong because this is the hardest part. It’s a soul detox. It starts at a psychological level and can work to a physical withdrawal. Unfortunately, this part can’t be sped up. It just takes time for our brain to get used to not getting that “high” from whatever it was that you were stuck on.

Next, we must find something positive and healthy to occupy our minds. For example, I enjoy drawing or writing. You can play an instrument or build something or read. Play a game. I recommend finding something that is personal and individualistic. This eliminates any possibility of becoming dependent on someone else. We must learn to live alone. Friends are important, but depression is a personal illness. Find something you can do in your free time, alone in your room, at almost any point in time. Relish in a few things. Don’t limit yourself. The more options you have, the more likely you’ll be to chose a healthy habit. This is anything that makes you feel good without bringing you or anyone else harm. If you feel like you have to hide it from even your closest friend, it’s probably not healthy.

Finally, we learn to moderate ourselves. Candy tastes really good, but we make ourselves sick if we eat too much. The key words are too much. This is a tricky balance and also why it’s so easy to become addicted. Healthy habits can become unhealthy very easily. If a habit has started to interfere with your life, it’s more than likely unhealthy now. I’ll use my examples from earlier. I enjoy writing, but if I start skipping classes or work just because I feel like writing, i have become unhealthy. Even though it’s a healthy coping mechanism, it becomes unhealthy because of the addiction. Now, if I’ve had a rough week and need to take a mental health day, it’s okay to take time to take care of myself. If I call out of work because I want to write, it’s bad. If I call out of work because I’m not stable emotionally and decide to write to deal with that emotion, it’s fine. Do you see how it’s a delicate balance now? It may take a few failed attempts to get it right and that’s alright. we all heal at different speeds.

Take some time to reflect on where you get your feel-good chemicals. If it isn’t healthy, detox. If it is healthy, are you letting it control you? Take some time to try and see where the line is.

Love,

Kendal

Turn That Frown Upside Down!

You know when you feel like this :         : (

And someone tells you to turn it upside down,

And so you pull one of theses:              ):

Yeah. Stop that..

I know it’s harder than it seems, and it’s even harder when everyone around us seems to be happy without having to try. We wish people would stop telling us to be happy all the time like it’s some easy task. They think it’s as simple as turning a frown into a smile. How ridiculous, right?

It is that simple. Studies show that just faking smiling or laughing can actually cause you to release all of your feel-good chemicals, allowing you to feel happy. Why would you smile when there’s nothing to smile about, though? There’s plenty of reasons, and I’ll list a few, but you have to decide what to smile for on your own. You could smile to brighten someone else’s day, smile to invite people into a conversation, smile to make yourself feel good, smile to confuse people, smile to share a feeling, smile to relieve stress and overwhelming feelings. Pick a reason and go for it, or come up with your own.

We smile to share things with others. People would much rather approach someone who smiles and looks welcoming than somebody who looks angry and intimidating. (For anyone who doesn’t like talking to people, you’re going to have to at some point so you might as well practice in less intimidating conversations). When someone sees someone else smile, they strive for what that person has. Everyone’s looking for happiness, so why not show it to them?

Find a reason, and smile today, regardless of how ridiculous it feels.

Love,

Kendal

Working for What?

This is pointless. I’ll have to fight this everyday, so what’s the point?

I know that feeling all too well, and I’m sure you’ve felt it a time or two yourself. It’s very common, and it is 100%not your fault that you feel it. The hopelessness doesn’t spring from you. It’s a tool that our darkness uses to slowly chip away at our resolve to grow and become better. It’s one of the most discouraging feelings I’ve ever faced, but I’m going to tell you how I fight it. It’s your depressions greatest weapon, and I’m sharing a way to defend against it. It isn’t fool-proof by any means, but it’s better than letting it just consume you, right?

Are you ready for the answer?

You’re the point. We feel helpless and burdening to those around us, and we fight and fight and fight until we can’t lift ourselves out of bed until this one question slips in and pushes us back down. What’s the point? You’re what gets you out of bed. You’re what gets you dressed and ready to go. You’re what keeps you going. Whatever you’re reason for being is to you is your point. For example, mine is my brothers. They are my whole world, and I would do absolutely anything for them. I am here for them. I get myself out of bed because they need me. I get ready in the morning because they want me. I keep going because I can’t imagine leaving them in a world where they feel the loss of me.

Suicide is often called selfish by those left behind, but they don’t see what drives a person to that point. Our end sees it as selfless, and that needs to change because it is 100%selfish to take the blessing of your life from someone else. We aren’t here for ourselves. We’re a community, born into group mentality, forming cities with populations of people all willing to live together. We weren’t meant to be alone, and it’s not your right to take you away from the group. It’s not better for us if you aren’t here. It’s not relieving us of any suffering or annoyances just because the darkness got to you.

Reach out! 

People love you, and that’s the point. Whether you feel it or not, whether people show it or not, you have someone, somewhere who lives to see you here and doing well. We live for each other. We die for ourselves. Find someone to live for, and you’ll have found the point of fighting every. single. day. Go out and ask for help no matter how humiliating it seems. Go talk to a friend no matter how much you feel you’re wasting their time because if they’re really worth living for, they’ll be living to hear from you. Who knows, you may even find that someone needed you to open up to save them from this depression.

Go find someone to live for because dying is selfish, no if’s, and’s, or but’s.

Love,

Kendal

 

Past, Present, and Possiblities

What do you focus all your thoughts on?

A big factor in getting stuck in the endless cycle of depression is putting all your focus on the past. That can look like a traumatic event that you can’t seem to move past or a longing to go back to happier times as a child. I honestly have both at times. It’s perfectly fine to reflect, but there’s a line that we cross where we dwell on the past too much. Past mistakes are good lessons for making decisions in the present, but if you focus on those mistakes until you start to feel defined by them, then you’re spending too much time in your head. It’s hard to let those things go, and it takes practice to actually let them go for good. Accepting your past is the first step in getting better. ‘

What is it that you spend all of your time focusing on? Take that thing and dissect it into pieces until you pinpoint what about it makes you upset. There’s always a feeling behind an event. What did you feel when it happened? Sit with the feeling for a little while and then shut it out. Tell yourself that that one emotion isn’t what makes you who you are. You choose who you are, not what happened in the past or what people say about you. Don’t let that feeling come in anymore. acknowledge it’s there and it happened and then let go of the negative attached with it. Accept it, and use it to fuel you into the present.

Have you sat in the moment you’re in yet?

The present is a hard place to be. We prefer to switch from past to future events without thinking about the things going on around us. We’re a generation lost in technology. There are entire social media platforms centered around taking pictures and sharing memories. We’re constantly pushed to look to our futures, to move towards the future, to create innovations that lead us into a better future. We have classes upon classes to prepare us for the future and a few to look back and study the past. While these are good at times, they also neglect the fact that we’re living in a singular moment at all points in time. We don’t take classes that focus on what is happening to us as individuals right now. Take some time for yourself. Just breathe and be. Focus on some sounds and things you see, and allow yourself to cherish the moments you have.

Now, don’t mistake me; pushing yourself towards the future and reflecting on the past aren’t inherently bad. The problem lies in the fact that we dwell in those places until we drive ourselves mad longing for something that cannot happen now. We compare where we are with where we’ve been or where we’re going, and we eventually crack under our dissatisfaction with our everyday lives.

Take a couple minutes to focus on your surroundings and accept that you were blessed with this moment.

Love,

Kendal

Long Time, No See..

I’ll save you the apologizing this time, but I come with an offered explanation if you want it. 

I’ve had a bit of an overwhelming time this semester. I signed my dumb self up for a total of nineteen credit hours in college, work thirty or more hours a week, and also have to do homework and study as well as keep my mental health up. My social life has been struggling quite a bit, and so I had to cut out things that weren’t benefiting me directly. This doesn’t mean I’ve given up the blog forever; I will be posting as I have time, but I will not be daily by any means. I’ll come back with a set schedule after my Christmas break.

An update into the positives in my life:

My dad married my step-mom a week or two ago. They’ve been together forever; it was about time. I got to see my brothers and some family I haven’t seen in way too long. I went home and saw my adopted grandma and grandpa, Sherry and Dave. I love and miss them and their wisdom very much. I dropped my phone and cracked my screen, but I bought a new screen and fixed the phone myself without damaging it. I start therapy again this upcoming Thursday, and I’m not excited. It means staying off medication though, so I guess it’ll be alright. I get to go home for Thanksgiving AND Christmas. My college friends and I are also planning a Friendsgiving that Monday before, and we’re all bringing a crazy array of our cultural foods, and it’s food and friends at once. I have a job that I absolutely love now. It’s just a restaurant, but the coworkers, managers, and customers are great.

Things are working out. I’m on my way back up, and I’m so thankful for any of you who still stick around to read this. Have a lovely weekend. I love you!

Love,

Kendal

Heading Home

Do you ever feel like you aren’t home, even at your own house?

That’s normal, and I’ve felt it my whole life. Home isn’t always a place, and it definitely doesn’t have to be what everyone refers to as their home. Home is where your heart is. As cliche as it sounds, that’s the honest truth. Where you find comfort and stability and care is where you’ll think of when someone asks you where home is.

Home can be any place that you feel at peace and safe. The easiest way to find this place is to ask yourself where you’re favorite place to be is. If that doesn’t help, look at where you spend most of your time. Then, look at if that place or person or thing makes you feel good- or at least better than normal. Do you look forward to seeing someone specific? Do you ache to go somewhere more than other places? Do you think of doing or seeing something that inspires you and makes you feel refreshed?

That person, place, thing is home.

Head towards it. That’s the best way to save yourself. Being somewhere or with someone  that gives your heart, mind, and soul a break is the best medicine for any thing short of pure happiness. This helps everyone regardless of whether they have a mental illness or stress or just a less than kind of day. We create home because we need somewhere to retreat to when we get pushed a little too far.

I’ve found home, and it was a long time to figure out where that was. Mine isn’t my house, or even the place I call home. It isn’t the house I live in or used to live in. Mine is a few specific people I care for very deeply and who strive to care for me.

Where is you’re home, and are you visiting there enough?

Love,

Kendal

Self-Care Samples

Would you like to try our new product for free?

Of course I do, but I don’t want to pay for the whole thing unless it’s absolutely mind-blowing. I’m not very good at spending money on things I really should. For example, the other day I was getting groceries, and I really needed to get some fruits- because I’ve just been eating Ramen on my college budget, and my body is dying slowly. I couldn’t convince myself to spend less than four dollars on some strawberries.

Less than four dollars..

I couldn’t do it though. (Don’t worry; I got really cheap blueberries). I’m the same way with my time. If it doesn’t seem like it’s worth my time, I won’t do it, even if that means I just sit and stare at things for hours. What kind of sense does that make? I’m still wasting my time, right? I still can’t make myself spend my time doing things that seem pointless.

I do this with everything including self-care activities. If it doesn’t sound like it would help, I don’t even try. The worst though is even if it sounds like it would work, if it takes too much time and effort, I still won’t do it. For example, I would love to wake up and sip coffee and blog and meditate before I do anything for the day, but that would require going to bed and waking up early. I still haven’t done it, and I’ve been trying to for about three weeks now. I’m afraid I’ll do the work, but it won’t help me. I’ll still be exhausted, and I’ll be sleepy on top of it.

I would love a sample! Thank you.

If only we could sample self-care exercises. You can only try them and see where it takes you.

Go try a self-care exercise you’ve been putting off for a while.

Love,

Kendal