It’s that time of year, the one that makes you reflect over the past eleven months and wonder: How did I gain another ten pounds after eating so poorly for … Continue reading Merry Christmas – Happy Holidays!
Before we begin, let’s just all take a breath. A deep one. Ok, we ready? Anxiety sucks. For anyone that has ever experienced it knows─ it is the worst. … Continue reading Tuesday Musings – Anxiety in Men and Women and How they Differ
Ok, most of us have heard it─ the typical b.s. that never works:
Just train your mind to think differently, what’s the problem?
The problem is, that is great for long term over continual months of practicing breathing techniques and retraining your thoughts to go in a positive direction. It’s called cognitive behavioral therapy, and it does work.
But what about when you are in a pinch or can’t afford to see a professional?
How about all the physical feelings you get? The tightening of your chest, or feeling like a stranger in your own skin. I mean the actual feeling of being irritated to be awake, alive, and doing things when you would rather just eat and go to sleep.
Or, my personal favorite─ when you are trained to know your signs, but all the ‘you’re not being a rational person’ speeches in your mind aren’t quite getting through.
I feel you, I’m there. At least two to three times a week, sometimes more.
So, this isn’t fool proof and I’m not a licensed professional, but I can tell you what has worked for me after dealing with anxiety and depression my entire life. I mean actually work, not some bullshit click-bait that every site seems to have.
Hello, hi, we’re a website─ just click on these next 100 pages of advertised products and we’ll never get to the real point.
I’m not going to lie, I work out a lot. Like 5-6 days a week a lot. Not because I want to be thin (but bonus!) but because it keeps my mind preoccupied. The key to not going mental is to keep yourself physically active. It releases good chemicals called endorphins. They interact with receptors in your brain that reduce the feeling of pain. I also love a schedule and repetition, which brings me to my next point:
Keep. A. Schedule.
Rinse, repeat. I’m not joking. You will function significantly better when you know what is going to happen from day to day. It’s calming because your body goes, ‘ok, I know this, I’ve got this.’ Having daily rituals has saved me more times than I can count.
For example, when I wake up─ I make myself breakfast and coffee. As this is happening, it gives me time to tidy up and think on what I need to accomplish that day. P.s. this also knocks out two things that need done: cleaning and scheduling.
This doesn’t need to turn into: OMGIHAVESOMUCHTODOTODAYFUCKI’MFREAKINGOUT
It’s more a collection of thoughts. “Ok, today I need to get a project done at work─I have a meeting at 1 with Jeff.” The end. Refreshing your memory, keeping yourself on track. Check your google calendar.
For the love of god, keep yourself some sort of reminder on google calendar, or remember the milk, or whatever app you have. I am the sort that I will forget instantly if I don’t set up a reminder─ and I’m pretty sure most people are. This will also help keep that crazy voice down instead of a self-induced panic attack for forgetting things.
You know the one─ the bitch in your head that shouts shit like:
“How could you be so stupid, why did you forget to just set up one simple reminder, god you’re useless.”
She’s fun, I take her to parties sometimes─ or dates, or you know, family events.
Ok, I’m aware that not everyone has a fitbit but it’s what I use. It’s called Relax and it makes you practice inhaling and exhaling. Some people can meditate, some cannot. Instead of getting yourself into a tizzy over how to meditate, just focus on drawing breath in and out for two minutes in a comfortable position. (don’t cross your legs, that raises blood pressure) Most people can spare 2 minutes.
Whether you use an app on your phone (like Calm) or the fitbit app, Alexa, Google, or what have you─ these are all wonderful tools for helping to get your mind into a head-space that calms you. You’ll eventually (slowly) start being able to do it on command.
It’s pretty neat.
I’ll share a weird fact with you, since we’re sharing.
I love to visualize when I’m doing my breathing exercises. I think of the strangest thing that would probably freak most people out but somehow calms me: I love to imagine I’m by myself in a ship, floating in space out in the middle of nowhere. Sometimes, I can see a star in the distance, or planet─ occasionally an event horizon ringing beautifully around a black hole.
But I’m a freak so, you know, you do you.
I’m not kidding. Keeping a clean, tidy environment has been known to release the happy chemicals like serotonin and cortisol (much like the runner’s high) and gives you a sense of accomplishment. When you meet goals, even small ones, you feel happier.
Marie Kondo is definitely on to something with this one. Bring in those happy vibes by feeling in control, accomplished, and clean. You would be shocked what that does for you mentally.
Morning showers are amazing to me. I feel like a new human being.
Set small goals, and I mean small. You can always plan your yearly stress for long term goals in January. They’re great, but they set high expectations throughout the year and bring you down when you don’t accomplish them.
So, set up daily ones!
Today, I’m going to get through one day without having a negative thought about myself. Go on, try it. It feels good to pat yourself on the back for accomplishing something!
Hey, I got through that meeting and I paid attention and interacted. Way to go me!
I set out to clean the kitchen this morning and I finished it. Great job.
Rewarding yourself daily allows the long process of having a positive mindset to kick in. Keep it up, and you’ll be one of those people you make fun of for being too happy in no time.
I really feel like over the course of just a few more years, AI will be a wonderful tool for anxiety. Alexa and Google are already looking into this. If you missed any of my podcasts, I talk about them in the Grey Space series on Soundcloud you can check out here:
Slow it down
Take each day, one day at a time. (much like we covered in small goals) I can’t stress this enough. I’m a huge offender of thinking about everything that needs to get done and get completely overwhelmed. Instead, focus on the day. Focus on tasks instead of the entire day at once.
My mantra on bad days:
3…2…1… time to get out of bed and start the day.
3…2…1 brush your teeth and take your medicine.
One foot in front of the other, all day if you need it. This has helped me tremendously on very bad, no-good, terribly-awful days.
Don’t drink while you are depressed or anxious. Alcohol is a downer, a huge one. Avoid drinking during a time you are freaking out.
Steer clear of too much caffeine too. I found on days I had more than three or four cups of coffee, my anxiety was insane. It made me jittery and I was incredibly irritable.
I know, I know: fuck off, Grey.
I am very serious about this one and have seen first hand what it does to your body to drink and suffer from worse anxiety the next day. Crippling anxiety.
Don’t do what dumb Grey did.
One of us:
Try your best to actually steer your mind away from negative thoughts as soon as they enter your head. While this is like, 1000% impossible all the time, it does start to become habit forming.
My inner bitch, “damn girl, your ass gettin thicc AF”
Counter argument? “Damn girl, dat ass don’t quit” Then do a booty shake and take your fine ass into the day with a grin.
Warning. NSFL age 13+ recommended* You just can’t understand. I don’t mean that to sound rude, but it’s true. Just like any other person that has experienced something you haven’t … Continue reading Understanding child abuse – An Open Letter To The Public – Part I
So after several weeks of mulling it over (let’s be honest, more like 3 days) I thought about how it could be confusing to have this as a writing blog … Continue reading Creating a new food blog
Have you ever found yourself wondering? Maybe just wondering about your life, who you are, and the circumstances leading up to them. What if just a few elements of your … Continue reading Sunday Thoughts
So I thought I would do one of those update posts. I haven’t done one in a while and wanted to share a little of my life. (warning, long boring text)
I started a new job around 3 months ago that has been really time intensive. I had a few concerned messages about me still doing my videos for you guys and podcasting.
No worries, you guys. I had to have an adjusting period to get my head straight and not come home dead exhausted. I am definitely going to keep doing those. I mentioned that I will be sending my work off to a publisher, I will be doing that in 3 weeks and will hopefully know something within 6 months. (publishers take quite some time to respond, as you can imagine!)
One of the things I struggle with is being able to stick with one thing and going with it. Especially being horribly ADHD and for a while, unmedicated. I also was diagnosed with something I’m not comfortable sharing on social media, but it is genetic, so thanks, mom
I had the last few months to really turn my attention to what it is I wanted to do. I have been focused on doing too much at once, versus focusing on what it is I enjoy. I enjoy storytelling, I enjoy drawing. So, that is what I should do. Everything else should fall to the wayside as a hobby.
In short, I’m here and not going anywhere – Just had to get there mentally.
I heart you all! ~♥
One of my all-time fav conventions is nearly here! Anime Fest (August 17th – 20th) has hands-down been one of my favorites since I started attending them some years ago. I am extremely biased when it comes to these sort of events, however, because I’ve always preferred smaller crowds. Granted, the fact that AnimeFest is now being hosted near my home in the Sheraton Hotel certainly means they’ve grown exponentially.
And have you SEEN the guest line up for this year? If you haven’t, seriously go look it up.
Unfortunately, for our team at Dusk Publishing, we weren’t able to snag a table this year at the event─ But, we are doing panels. And a panel I have planned oh hohoho~~
If you aren’t currently watching my Live Events, or are just kind of tuning in, I do live writing panels and stories for DuskLive on FB from 2p.m. – 2:30 p.m. These usually don’t go for more than a couple of minutes, but I like to stay on the safe side, just in case we have people asking questions! Once these live events are finished, I post them on all of my social media pages. So if you can’t attend, no worries─ they are always posted afterward. (like the one this past Sunday about a scary experience I had while I was in Japan doing research for the Hell’s Gate book series.)
For the AnimeFest panel, you can expect to have all my usual bizarre Japanese culture and Urban Legends content that you can find on Soundcloud (now slowly being added to my YouTube channel) and on my Livestream events. This year, I’ll be covering modern Japanese urban legends and where they come from and also talking about some ancient Japanese urban legends. We’ll all sit and reminisce as I talk about my experiences from Japan (interesting, bizarre─ and the everyday life as a ‘normal’ Japanese citizen)
The panel will be held on Thursday, August 17th from 5 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in Panel 4.
For this panel, I’ll have copies of Hell’s Gate readily available, or you can bring your own for signing!
If you aren’t aware, you can actually enter to win a free copy of Hell’s Gate in our contest. (Hurry, it’s only running until 7/27/17!)
This next Sunday, (July 30th) I’ll be covering ways to combat writer’s block and techniques that I use to help. See you guys there!
I knew I was different when I was a child. That sounds narcissistic as fuck, but it’s true. Some years ago (when me and my mother were on speaking terms) … Continue reading Why Scary Movies Were Banned in My House
Kimi no wa releases in the US this April 7th and it is every bit as amazing as everyone has lead on. Makoto Shinkai has yet again created a beautiful … Continue reading Kimi no wa Movie Review – A Stunning Visual Masterpiece