When You’re In A Bad Mood

It’s hard, day in and day out, doing the same things. Feeling the same feelings. Fighting the same battles. I used to have a really tough time getting out this hole – deep, dark, bottomless. I’ve learned some tips to make my bad days seem…not so bad.

DRINK WATER

It’s obviously the healthiest beverage choice, and the cheapest. I keep a 64oz container of water in the fridge, ready to go when I need it. Staying hydrated is important anyway – but this is the best choice when you are grumpy. Caffeine makes me jittery and hurts my stomach, which doesn’t do anything to improve my mood, no matter how good it may taste at the time.

GRATITUDE

I am grateful for so much in my life. My kids. My family. My friends (it still makes me smile, writing friends. I spent many years alone.) After all that’s happened, I look back on how far I’ve come – and my kids – and remember that God used that experience to shape me into what I am now – and what I have yet to become. Sit down and make a list of everything you are grateful for today.

MUSIC

Listening to some music usually helps me feel better. I use Spotify, and have certain playlists I go to when I’m feeling icky. My current favorites are the Moana soundtrack (especially Shiny) and my Christian radio playlist. Unfinished by Mandisa and Hard Love by NeedToBreathe are some really motivating ones!

EXERCISE

I hate exercise. I hate being outside. I hate being sweaty. But there’s something about moving, burning calories, that makes me feel so much better when I’m done. My current go-to is walking, but I’ve been thinking about trying yoga – I know my kids would love it – and the benefits are endless. Do you have any tips, YouTube channels or advice on how to get started with yoga, especially as someone who is not flexible at all?

MAKE A LIST

Sometimes, I make a simple to-do list, adding things like: eat breakfast, wash the dishes, take a shower. When life gets crappy, seeing even routine things crossed off a physical list can be powerful.

JOURNAL

Write it all out. Get it down on paper, or type it out on your computer or phone. It can help you sort through what’s making you so grumpy. It’s like venting to a friend. Or…

CALL SOMEONE

Reach out to a trusted friend or family member. Most of the time, they will be more than willing to listen and they may even have some suggestions. Bonus points if they meet with you in person. Sometimes, when you feel crappy, you don’t want to be alone.

GET A HOBBY

Find something you genuinely love to do. For me, it’s taking photos of my kids, writing YA paranormal fiction and reading through the Harry Potter series.

Sidenote: if you have meds, take them! If you don’t, and think you might need them, make an appointment with your doctor to talk about it!

When all else fails, lounge on the couch and binge-watch some Parks & Rec or Supernatural. Sometimes, you just need to feel crappy for a little while. Just don’t let it go on too long!

What Avery’s Reading

Avery started reading the Wings of Fire series last year because it was in her classroom library. I saw the third book of The Menagerie series (by the same author) at the library a few weeks ago and ordered them for Avery.

She is halfway through the first book and is on track to finish the series by the beginning of September. Her favorite thing about the books? That they are about animals – including mythical and extinct ones. (She wanted me to let you know that there’s a Woolly Mammoth named Captain Fuzzpants).

The Menagerie Series by Tui and Kari Sutherland

I think I am going to read them when she is done!

33 Things Update

When I wrote the first post back in May, I was in a relationship. Some of my goals were relationship-oriented. Now that I am very happily single, I feel the I need to update my goals again.

  • Go swimming with my kids
  • Take them to more social events
  • Make progress in therapy
  • Try new foods from the local Farmer’s Market
  • Go to an outdoor movie
  • Pick fruit this summer
  • Get back into consistent blogging
  • Take daily photos
  • Get in the photos with my kids
  • Take more selfies
  • Walk every single day
  • More deliberate self-care
  • Less Netflix, more nature
  • Use my planners more
  • Plan more self-care nights
  • Use my free time more wisely
  • Use my phone LESS
  • Go out to dinner alone once a month
  • Write with my (many) pens more
  • Take a portrait of my kids each month
  • Get a haircut
  • Read daily
  • Get some sun (safely) this summer
  • Go see a movie alone
  • Word hard in therapy
  • Drink a lot more water every day
  • Journal daily
  • Get back into writing fiction
  • Focus on school and get my last year out of the way
  • Figure out who I am and be that.

Not too many things have changed, and now that I am looking back on this list, I need to get a move on the summer stuff! It’s already mid-August – my classes start in a little over a week and the kids go back the day after Labor Day. Summer is flying by and we’ve been a little lazy!

Last Day of Summer School

It’s Lauren’s last day of 5th grade summer school. In about three weeks, she will be going back to school as a SIXTH GRADER. Seriously, where does the time go?

The other night, we went to our local Night to Unite event, and Lauren had a great time. She had a hot dog, chips and Pepsi (!) for dinner, plus a root beer float, and got to use the fire hose to shoot a wall of fake windows. She mostly loved the rainbow that the water made though. She also got to see the Sheriff’s helicopter, and two fire trucks.

This morning, I took a few photos in our backyard, and this one was one of the best. I tend to have to say pretty embarrassing things to get Lauren to genuinely smile these days (a favorite around here is ‘butt snack’ from Troll Hunters on Netflix), but I think it’s worth it. She is disappointed that school is over already, and can’t wait until September! Honestly, I’m ready for school to start too!

Another Day of Therapy

I wasn’t scheduled to see my therapist until September, but she had a last-minute cancellation so I was able to get in. I was in a fairly decent mood going into it and I feel like that makes me less anxious about it.

I tend to quit things that are hard or that I don’t see progress from. I’ve been to therapy before – in 2017 and 2018. But I didn’t stick with either of those for longer than a few sessions. I’m an introverted introvert – I hate talking to people, I don’t like leaving my house, and I really hate to be judged. However, I think I’ve found a therapist that I feel comfortable with, and I actually want to go to each session. I get disappointed when I have to wait a month for my next appointment. I take that as a good sign.

This is only my fourth session with her, and I don’t know how much progress I’ve made, if any. But I know that I need to stick with it and see where it goes from here. I’m taking 18 credits this fall so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to talk about!

Photography Club

Today’s session was spent recapping the last two weeks, and informing her that I joined some local groups. The first one is a photography club. I am not confident in my photography skills (though I hear great things from people). I would like to be more confident, get some critiques on my work, and work on my skills as a photographer. There are monthly photo themes where we can submit our work for critique at the next meeting, and also several events throughout the community that I could help photograph.

One upside to this club is that it forces me to get out into the community, attend events, and photograph things I wouldn’t otherwise photograph (I mostly take photos of my kids and Cat). Of course, being an introvert, that is also a huge downside, because I would rather stay in my house than go out. But I’ve already paid my yearly dues and my first meeting is in two weeks!

Writer’s Group

The other group I joined just last night is a local writer’s group. I haven’t been able to write fiction since I took a creative writing college course in the Fall of 2017. I got some really harsh feedback from the instructor and since then, I can’t sit down and write like I used to. I loved writing, and wrote only for myself. To hear the things that were said about me and my writing just shook me and I can’t seem to get over that.

My therapist is hopeful that this local writing group can help me through that, give me some inspiration to actually write, and also get me out of the house (I prefer writing on the couch while binge-watching Supernatural for the hundredth time). The first meeting I am (hopefully) able to attend is next weekend. The only issue I may have is finding childcare since the meeting is three hours long. I don’t have family nearby to help out anymore, so I’m not sure what I’ll do. I know I can’t bring them along – that’s too long for three kids to sit nicely!

Unless there is another cancellation, this will be my last therapy session until the middle of September. I really am a little sad about that. Tomorrow, however, is another acupuncture session, so we’ll see how that goes.

Acupuncture for Depression and Anxiety

I have been getting treated for depression and anxiety, among other things, for the past two years. I’ve been on just about every med and combination, and haven’t really felt any relief, just side effects. I’ve also been to therapists (currently seeing my third), but for someone with social anxiety, it’s hard to get to my appointments sometimes, and I have a hard time opening up to people. I like my current therapist though, and have appointments scheduled through the end of October.

I drive by the acupuncture center all the time on my way to the store and my therapist, and I finally decided to make the call on Monday. I got in Wednesday. I’ll be honest – I am not the biggest fan of needles (who is?) which is why I’ve put this experience off for so long. I googled what would happen, side effects, and how long any relief is supposed to last. Going into my appointment, I was more nervous about talking to the doctor than I was about the actual procedure.

(I didn’t take any pictures because I felt weird about it and I put my phone away for the appointment.)

When I got to the appointment, the doctor talked about what acupuncture is and how it helps anxiety and depression. Then he did some chiropractic stuff and we went into the acupuncture room, which had a table and a pretty decent view. He told me what he was going to do, where he was going to place the needles and then he placed them in my feet, legs, hands, and head. I also got “semi-permanents” set into my ears, which are supposed to stay in for 3-5 days and provide relief when not at the appointment. They are gold and look like earrings. Kind of cool!

So, the big question? Do I feel any different? No, not really. Did I expect to? If we’re being honest, yeah. But I have another appointment next week and I’m going to keep going for awhile. I’m a little curious to see if this does actually help my anxiety and depression.

Acupuncture for Depression and Anxiety | What to Expect at the First Session

Lately

We have been enjoying the cool weather. I’m definitely not complaining about that. We got some new sidewalk chalk (mermaid and unicorn glitter) so they’ve been filling up the back patio every day. I have to take buckets of water and wash it off so they can color every morning.

I made chicken alfredo the other day. It was a hit with Lauren, but Hannah gagged. At least she tried it!

Hannah got a new Elsa book from a garage sale so she was reading it with Lauren on the couch. These two get along so well. They even share a room, which hasn’t caused much of an issue so far.

The kids got some new shoes Friday morning thanks to clearance. I don’t think they will make it until September, but they work for now. Lauren will be getting SMOs (braces) on her feet on July 1 (she chose pink camo), so she needed some new shoes anyway.

Today we are just hanging out at home this weekend, since it’s supposed to storm tonight and tomorrow. I bought some paint and playdoh so we may do some crafting for Independence Day. Have a great weekend!

Finally Home

These two are home after being gone for three days. They came back sunburnt and full of dirt. I think it will take a few baths before they are completely clean. My poor tub…

Hannah went from completely content to hysterical after finding a splinter on the bottom of her foot.

We’re laying low this week due to car problems and excessive homework (me). It’s raining today anyway so we’re just going to read, write, color and maybe bust the playdoh out.