Post-Holiday Check In

I’m back with a post-holiday check in. Things went pretty well, for the most part.

Physically:

Not bad. Now that I have decent insurance, I will be able to get into my PCP for thyroid related bloodwork to make sure my meds are still at a good dosage. I can also go back to the rheumatologist. Yay.

The kids and I had a busy winter break- after Christmas shopping, skating, and a few smaller fun things. Tails and Miss Purr had a nice Christmas. All the activity wore me out a bit, but I made sure I got the rest I needed.

My 36th Birthday

My birthday was on 12/29. I got my hair cut, shopped and got lunch.

Sobriety

I celebrated 2 years yesterday, January 1, 2019. I will get a chip at the yoga for Recovery class that I attend this Sunday. I’ve never gotten a chip so this means a lot to me.

I know I’m far from alone in this struggle and I will continue to take things one day at a time. I think I need to work a tiny bit…okay, a lot more, on telling someone when I get into that space where I really want to drink. It’s a dangerous place.

Emotionally:

I’m slightly anxious because I start a new job on 1/7, which is also Cameron’s 14th birthday. I’m not sure where 14 years have gone. We decided to get him a cell phone, and of course there will be limits.

Lily bought her first purse and wallet, plus she now wears junior size clothes. She’s not a “little” girl anymore and now I want to cry.

I’m very glad the holidays are over because they’re always a bit stressful. I’m ready to start a new year, job and see what else happens.

Are you ready for 2019? What are your goals and hopes?

Merry Christmas!

It’s one of the best days of the year at my house- lots of food and fun things to open. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, have an awesome day! If this is a hard day for you, hugs. Christmas doesn’t equal happiness for everyone. Take care of yourself.

Pusheen says Merry…Meowy Christmas, too. Tails and Miss Purr got a new toy to play in.

Pusheen Christmas

There are changes coming to the blog, so stay tuned for updates. Thanks for reading!

Wrae

Toxic Family Members: Handle With (Self) Care

Holidays are great and all, but what about the relative(s) that you don’t want to see? You can choose to avoid them completely, or if you’re stuck being around them because you don’t want to skip a gathering entirely, you have to handle them in small doses. I’m in the second category. Anyone else? Raise your hand then keep reading.

I get that this happens year-round. I have a whole side of my family that I don’t see because of this topic and, well, that’s not entirely heartbreaking. I talk to one cousin on that side, Bethani. I’m a decade older than her, but we have a blast talking. She’s super smart and I’m really proud of her. Our Twitter chats are EPIC.

wp-1543593842749..jpg

How does one handle toxic family members? With (self) care. In my case, I have to do this sober- yuck.

Every family has their issues and the holidays tend to bring out the worst. What can you do?

wp-1543593807991..jpg

I Got New Rules, I Count ‘Em

(Many thanks to Dua Lipa, from “New Rules”. If you’re familiar with the song, read the list to the tempo of the song as an added bonus.)

One: Set boundaries and stick to them. Whatever and whoever it is that bothers you, write it down, make a list on your phone.. do what you need to create boundaries. If you need to, set a time to show up and leave. Everyone has limits on what they can and can’t deal with. If people can’t deal, then they need to look at themselves and think about why they can’t respect your needs. If you don’t drink, or only want so many, don’t hesitate to turn down the drinks at the party. Same with food, if you’re watching what you eat.

Two: Take a time-out. This can be from a person or the whole gathering. Take a short break outside, if the weather is okay, or just go to a quieter area, if possible. Holiday gatherings can get loud, noisy and somewhat overwhelming. It’s okay to need a break.

Three: Remember that their issues are not your fault. This is incredibly important to remember. You cannot take on someone else’s issues. Everyone has to take control of their own life, in one way or another. You cannot fix them, but can possibly be there when they are in a better place to work things out.

Four: Know the topics that may trigger issues and that some topics are just off limits. Some people do not have the ability to discuss certain topics without things going rapidly downhill- politics, sometimes sports, children, old issues, etc. If you know those are bad topics, don’t go there. If someone you have issues with brings it up, tell them you’d rather not discuss it and change the topic.

Five: Remember that YOUR wellbeing comes first. It’s not fun to be stressed out during the holidays, or any other time of the year. Take time for yourself before and after holiday gatherings to de-stress. It is worth it and so are you.

May your holiday gatherings be fun and drama/fight-free. Eat great food and have some laughs!

Leave some comments about how your gatherings went- did they go well?

Information courtesy of Psychology Today

Headspace

Pictures courtesy of Unsplash

Pre-Holiday Check In

I think it’s a good idea to check in with yourself daily. I don’t do that on the blog but do so internally. However, I’m doing a pre-holiday check-in hoping to encourage others to do so with themselves.

Physically:

As I am writing this, not great. We lost power for almost two days due to a small ice storm within Winter Storm Avery. I didn’t sleep well those nights plus the first night we got home so my joints got achy and stiff, plus I was exhausted. Besides this issue, I usually feel okay. My main problem is fatigue. My joints don’t hurt as much as they used to but the fatigue is pretty bad.

I’m resting more as needed and listening to my body. This remains a challenge because life happens especially with kids. I was diagnosed with RA last year. It’s taken a while to truly adjust my mind to what I need. I’m still learning to be easier on myself and not push myself so far.

The migraines are a lot better. I’m not questioning it. I take my preventative meds and try to avoid triggers when possible.

Sobriety:

As we all know, I have to take this one day at a time. It’s a challenge. I will have two years on January 1, and I am confident in my ability to stay sober. There are days in which I really want a drink but I’m still able to stop my thought processes. I’m usually stressed, sad or maybe a bit of both.

I either write, text someone or color. Sometimes I’ll listen to a podcast to get my mind off things. Sobriety was a good decision and even though I have plenty of friends that drink, none of them bother me to do so. This is a huge weight off my shoulders.

Emotionally:

Slightly jumbled. I stay slightly jumbled. Some days I’m okay, some days I’m a mess. Anxiety and depression are their own beasts. I don’t like either one. I process my thoughts the best I can but sometimes I still shut down. I won’t talk to anyone, including Matthew. It is frustrating because I know I need to and sometimes really want to talk but I just can’t.

My former therapist once told me that if something is important enough to bother me, I probably need to talk about it. I try to remember this. I have people to talk to. The holidays aren’t super stressful for me, except for the financial part. Holiday break gets interesting because the kids are home for two weeks, but even that is manageable.

We do what we can financially and keep going. That’s it. Plus, my birthday is 12/29, Matthew’s is 1/3 and Cameron will be 14 on 1/7. We’re broke by then!

What’s Next?

I’m looking forward to 2019- new things are coming for the blog, and I might even go back to work part-time. Cameron will be going to high school and we’ll have an idea, hopefully, on where to go next with Lily. There’s usually something interesting going on around here.

Pics courtesy of Pinterest

How to Include Gratitude in Your Life

November brings Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season. Most people take time to reflect on the year and get ready for the next. Many choose to count their blessings and share joys with others. In the middle of this, gratitude can be found and shared.

Tis The Time for Thoughts

Including gratitude in your life can be very beneficial- there are benefits to your well-being. It’s a rough world out there, and many of us can use ideas to incorporate healthy thinking. These are just a few benefits of being grateful:

  • Higher self-esteem. When you realize what you have and you are content with that, you tend to feel better about yourself and your life. Many people have fallen into the hole of believing that everything they see on their friends’ social media is what their life is really like. Who knows? The friend with a huge, gorgeous house might be struggling internally and not want to show it. It’s easier to show off the house than her feelings. Comparing ourselves to others can drag us down and make us forget what we have. It can even improve your mental health- decreasing depression and increasing happiness.
  • Better, stronger relationships. When friends/couples show more generosity towards each other, it builds stronger bonds over time. This becomes a nice feeling that many like to hold onto. It feels good to be acknowledged and to do so for others.
  • Less aggression, more empathy. Considering the current state of the world, this could be a very good thing. Empathy can be a hard commodity to come by (look at comments on hot topics on Facebook, for example). Being grateful for what you have in your life can decrease your ability to retaliate against others or participate in other non- aggressive behaviors.

A Sprinkle of Gratitude

You don’t have to shout from a mountain or take out a billboard to declare how grateful you are for your life. There are smaller and more impactful ways to do so: (and you might already be doing these)

  • A small gratitude journal. This can be as small as jotting down the highlights from your day.
  • Thank those that help you out- baggers at the grocery store, bank tellers, etc. This can go a long way in making someone’s day.
  • Thank your family members/friends that are always there for you– drop a text, card, whatever you may think they will like. It will be appreciated more than you know. I used to get my mom a card every week when I was in college at EKU to tell her thanks for sending me to college. She still has them, 16 years later.
  • Mediate. While doing so, if you want to try something new, reflect on your blessings and the good things about yourself.
  • Send a kind, brief email to your child’s teacher. They do a lot and barely get any recognition.
  • Donate/volunteer. Is there a non-profit that you believe is helping the world? Do you want to help animals, kids or other groups? Donating is good, and if you can, in person volunteering is so much more rewarding. I’m in my second year of volunteering for the AFSP. Many shelters, food banks, and soup kitchens need volunteers this time of the year. Some offer opportunities for families.
AFSP walk

At this year’s Out of The Darkness walk in Louisville

Enjoy the holiday season and all that it brings!

Is there something that you enjoy doing to show gratitude? Share in the comments or on social media.

Information from Chopra

Psychology Today

Talkspace

Pictures from Unsplash

P

My Random Musings

Twin Mummy and Daddy

Shank You Very Much