What To Do When It’s a Friend or Loved One with Anxiety or Depression? Part 1

What do you do when it’s a friend or a loved one that has anxiety or depression?

Strong relationships can go a long way toward improving the outlook and emotional well-being when they live with mental health conditions.

Friends and family can:

  • listen with compassion when they need to talk
  • provide encouragement and emotional support
  • join them in hobbies or activities that offer a positive distraction
  • offer rides, grocery runs, and other more tangible forms of support when they have trouble getting things done

Simply knowing they have someone they trust in their life can often help them feel less alone, whether they actually want to talk about your symptoms or not.

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/depression-and-anxiety#coping-tips

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Tearing Down Paradigms

Me: Why does this have to be so hard?

God: Because walls don’t come down easily. It takes demolition.

Me: I don’t like this.

God: I know. But, it’s for your good.

That did not make me feel much better. Knowing something is for my good but, the huge challenge of not just shifting thoughts but, tearing down fixed thoughts. Breakthroughs are BREAK-THROUGHS and they come by breaking something. This mental war to remove a fear is a battle I haven’t fought in a long time. I am not sure if I have ever been through something like this and if I have, I can’t remember. So, how do I deal with this thing? This…huge fear about a particular thing. This fixed array of thoughts?

I’m not quite ready to face it but, I know I have to. In the meantime, I am trying to understand the root of this fear and how to control my thoughts and tear down thoughts at the same time. In my research, this came about, “THOUGHTS ARE DIFFICULT TO CONTROL BUT, NOT IMPOSSIBLE”. The NOT IMPOSSIBLE part gave me hope and it’s continuing to give me the strength to keep up the “good fight”. Think about it, so many things we do or have done are difficult but we do them!

I got that from Swami Makundananda along with these things:

  • It requires EFFORT
  • It requires PRACTICE. Effort and Practice.
  • It requires DETACHMENT. Effort and Detachment

And this will lead to success.

I am trying and it is a very difficult challenge that has come at a time when I wish it had not. Yet, here I am in the middle of it. If you believe in prayer, send up some for me. If you believe in love and light send that, too. Continuously. Overcoming this paradigm is draining and I am just beginning to uproot it through understanding. Not to mention, my attitude is “I don’t like this!” and I am trying to conform to “acceptance” because I know accepting it will make it easier.

~Nikki

Mental Health: What Helps Me

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

One of the major keys to dealing with anxiety and depression is to get ahold of it before it spirals out of control. But exactly how is that done? Also, having a plan for when it does spiral out of control is necessary to expedite your recovery to mental and emotional stability. Therapy, scriptures, and affirmations are three major tools that have helped me. Also, having someone you trust when you can’t talk to your therapist and having a SOURCE, which I call God/Creator/Divine/Source when you have no one to talk to is major. For me, Source is always available but, I know there are things I can do on my own to help myself. And this is encouraged by Source.

I think you should really get to know who you are and how things affect you. The only way to do that is to be totally honest with yourself. I am sensitive as I found most creative people are. It allows us to channel our emotions into what we are creating. I have a tendency to take things more personally, overthink, and overanalyze. I have learned how to back out of those things and become an observer for the most part. I also know that it takes me time to move past things. Over the years it has become easier to move past things. I think that comes with wisdom and not age.

Here are some of the things I do to help me to get ahold of anxiety and depression:

I acknowledge what I am feeling and then I ask myself why I am feeling it. What happened? Who said it? Consider the source from which it came from and are they credible? No one is more credible than God for me. If it’s coming from a person I don’t know, a person that is negative, a person that doesn’t like me, why would I feed into their opinion? Exactly. Unless, deep down inside I feel that way about myself and I am honest if I do! If they say, “You are ugly” and lately I have been ripping myself apart I’m going to feel bad. BUT YOU have the power to change what you feel by changing what you think and speak.

I use affirmations for anxiety and depression. If I feel afraid to sleep, I say to myself over and over, I am safe in my body. I am safe in my home.

I use scripture pertaining to whatever I am feeling or scriptures to contrary. If I feel weak, I say I am strong. If I feel afraid, I say God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power and love.

I pray.

I say, “Oh. I am feeling some anxiety today. I can fold my clothes. I can do some work as I work through this. I can do some exercise.”

If I have persistent thoughts or episodes, I make an appointment with my therapist (currently searching for a new one).

I talk to a friend I trust.

I cry. Crying is a release.

I pamper myself. I take hot showers. I oil and lotion up. I give myself a pedi/mani or go get one. I soak in a lavender Epsom salt and pink Himalayan salt mix. I schedule a massage session.

I go to my bathroom and read my yearly marching orders or my affirmations to reset my brain.

Now, what about when anxiety is CODE RED or depression is CODE BLUE!

My plan is to shut things down for a day or two this can include social media and putting phone calls on hold.

I call my therapist.

I rely on all the things above.

I immerse myself in Netflix, a blanket, and the couch.

I allow myself to sleep.

I lose myself in a hobby.

BUT the maximum I give myself is TWO DAYS and then I MUST come out of it. Anything longer than that can set me up for darker and deeper holes that are difficult and require help to come out of. I come out of it by pushing, forcing, and dragging myself to get back to a routine. A little at a time. And during this time, I make sure personal hygiene stays on top. If you don’t wash your face, brush your teeth, change clothes, shower, YOU WILL FEEL EVEN MORE LIKE CRAP. People tend to let themselves go in bouts of anxiety and deep dark times of depression.

During this time, I stay hydrated. I do allow myself some treats but I also make sure I eat as healthily as possible. Too much sugar or salt will make you feel worse. I add one of those packs of Vitamin C to my water. I sit on the porch. I go for a walk. I do 10 minutes of yoga if I don’t feel like doing 30. I do tai chi because it is slow movement. I may just stretch every two hours.

I hope this helps someone. Recently in Memphis, this week, we went through so many tragedies many of us are feeling things we can’t explain and some of us know exactly what we are feeling.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Hello July and June’s Life Lessons for Nikki

It’s JULY and I am not going to say “ALREADY” because I am working on enjoying EACH day and EACH month and not focusing on “time slipping away”. Immerse yourself in the day and month and it won’t seem to be slipping away and moving fast. Just a thought.

So, June was what it was suppose to be for me. The energy it gave was the energy I tapped into and at times wrestled with.

June’s Lessons

  • Don’t let other’s negativity influence you in any way!
  • Get ahold of your finances!
  • God’s perception of me is never clouded even if my perception of myself is clouded and other’s perception of me is clouded
  • When I don’t know how I feel about myself I need to ALIGN with how God sees me.
  • Each moment, good or bad, ugly or beautiful, relationships, friendships, family-ships, have shaped me and given me identity. However, is that my true identity? Ephesians 2:10. It certainly makes me unique as we should be.
  • If I am feeling severe depression, it’s okay to sleep most of the day, watch TV and tell others I don’t feel like talking. Do stay hydrated. Do eat/snack healthily. DO NOT JUDGE MYSELF for having a dark day.
  • Heal and release self sabotaging THOUGHTS so I CAN BE OF SERVICE TO OTHERS!
  • Reach for my higher self. It will not always be easy.

~Nikki

Mental Health and Healthy Eating for a PEACE OF MIND

I have to admit that when I have too much sugar in my diet, I feel terrible. When I don’t eat enough carbs, I feel terrible. When my insulin level rises, I can’t think straight and when it is too low, I can’t think straight. I feel grouchy. Whether you are diabetic or not, the body needs balance. A fatty, sugary diet doesn’t help your body or your mind. A diet lacking in nutrition or protein doesn’t help your body, brain, organs or mind.

What we eat doesn’t just affect our physical health: it can also affect our mental health and wellbeing. Eating well – which means having a balanced diet full of vegetables and nutrients – can improve your sense of wellbeing and your mood. -mentalhealth.org/uk

When you stick to a diet of healthy food, you’re setting yourself up for fewer mood fluctuations, an overall happier outlook and an improved ability to focus, Dr. Cora says. Studies have even found that healthy diets can help with symptoms of depression and anxiety. -aetna.com

When I am in a depressive state or dealing with exhaustion, water helps me tremendously. What I take into my physical body helps me tremendously. I am tempted to eat sugary foods and salty foods. More so salty when I am feeling anxious and sweet when I am feeling depressed. These types of foods only bring me a temporary feeling of satisfaction. Below is an explanation from aetna.com

Here’s how it works: Your GI tract is home to billions of bacteria that influence the production of neurotransmitters, chemical substances that constantly carry messages from the gut to the brain. (Dopamine and serotonin are two common examples.)

Eating healthy food promotes the growth of “good” bacteria, which in turn positively affects neurotransmitter production. A steady diet of junk food, on the other hand, can cause inflammation that hampers production. When neurotransmitter production is in good shape, your brain receives these positive messages loud and clear, and your emotions reflect it. But when production goes awry, so might your mood.

Sugar, in particular, is considered a major culprit of inflammation, plus it feeds “bad” bacteria in the GI tract. Ironically, it can also cause a temporary spike in “feel good” neurotransmitters, like dopamine. That isn’t good for you either, says Rachel Brown, co-founder of The Wellness Project, a consultancy that works with corporations to promote good health among employees. The result is a fleeting sugar rush that is followed shortly thereafter by a crash “that’s terrible for your mood,” she says.

When you stick to a diet of healthy food, you’re setting yourself up for fewer mood fluctuations, an overall happier outlook and an improved ability to focus, Dr. Cora says. Studies have even found that healthy diets can help with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Unhealthy diets have been linked to an increased risk of dementia or stroke.

To read more and to be better informed so that you can make better choices, here is the link https://www.aetna.com/health-guide/food-affects-mental-health.html

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Affirmations for Peace of Mind

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

I am enough.

I am surrounded by peace.

Peace within and peace without.

I am safe in my body. I am safe in my home.

I choose calmness.

I release hurt and resentment.

I release stress and anxiety.

Peace and love are all around me.

I welcome miracles into my life.

I welcome joy and happiness into my life.

I welcome solutions into my life.

I set boundaries for peace of mind.

I make healthy choices for my body which helps my peace of mind.

Everything works out for my higher good.

I have a peace that surpasses all understanding.

I bring peace, calmness, and positivity wherever I go.

I attract calm and loving people into my life.

I create a life based on calm and love.

I make choices and decisions based on calm, love, and joy.

I am grateful to Source for showering me with love, peace, calm, and joy.

I am thankful.

I express deep gratitude for all that I have survived as I now thrive into greatness.

I choose to heal so that I may experience peace.

I choose to forgive that I may experience peace.

I am enough. Right here and right now.

I choose peace.

~Nikki

Afraid to Succeed

Me in Paris, France

Monday, I woke up and made a choice to have a productive and successful day. However, there was this nagging feeling I needed to address. It was the feeling of fear of success. I can feel that with the actions I am taking in my life now, there will be huge successes. And for some reason, that makes me afraid. Why?

It’s not because I am afraid of the responsibility of success which is what I saw in my research of “fear of success”. It is because if I do become successful, I am afraid I will not have the ability to maintain it. What if it does good and then it starts not to do well? I am afraid that the money I make will somehow disappear because of “life”. You know expenses. I don’t know what I am doing. I am not confident in my steps. This makes me freeze up and not want to do anything at all.

I searched some affirmations for fear of success. I also added my own. I decided to meditate using affirmations.

  • I step into the into the success of accomplishing my dreams.
  • I am not afraid to succeed.
  • Succeeding is my birthright.
  • To succeed is to be the best version of myself.
  • Fear is an indicator that I am headed in the right direction
  • I am filled with endless solutions for my business, goal, and dreams
  • I am filled with endless ideas
  • There are no limits on my ideas
  • I am capable of solving any issues that may arise
  • There are no limits to my creativity. I am always expanding.
  • I am always evolving my business when necessary to keep up with the current times.
  • I am excited to see the success from my actions
  • I am very capable of securing my future from my success
  • Time is precious and a gift. I am using my time wisely to create the life I want to live
  • I inhale courage…I exhale fear

I pray this helps someone today.

Love, Nikki

A Reminder About Anxiety

Today I am experiencing anxiety. I want to remind you that anxiety is not right or wrong, good or bad. It just IS. It will pass. This is a fact. Your body cannot stay in this heighten state forever. Deep breaths. It will pass.

I am okay.

I am alright.

I don’t need all of the answers right now.

It’s okay not to know. No one knows the future. No one knows everything. No one can plan for everything.

I am alright.

It is alright. I am safe now.

It is okay. I am okay.

Peace. Be still within.

All things are well with my soul.

The Creator will take care of the future. I do my part in the now.

It is alright.

It is okay.

I am alright.

I am okay.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Housewarming

It finally happened. I had a housewarming for family and family-friends. And it was GREAT. We had a really good time fellowshipping with one another. Most of my immediate family is vaccinated and if not they have had their first shot.

It took me two weeks to prepare for one day because of physical limitations. Really, I started to prepare three weeks in advance. The last two days were brutal on my body and I had a few days along those weeks that were bad days and many sleep issues at night. However, I persevered. I also had help from my brothers, my daughter, and parents. I am grateful for that.

Today, I begin the process of recovery. It takes about a week and sometimes two weeks to recoup from an event like yesterday. Today, I feel like I have been hit by a ton of bricks. My body is exhausted. I am fatigued. I have a huge amount of pain and soreness. So, I have cancelled all plans for this week. I only have one goal, each day, for the next seven days that require my physical energy. I am also not taking any phone calls or dealing with any negative energy. It’s just not happening this week. No extra tasks for anyone else. This is the epitome of self care for those with autoimmune diseases. We must heed the lessons learned and the good advice given to us by others in order to preserve and improve our health.

Take Care!

~Nikki

Clarity is Coming

Went round for round yesterday with anxiety. I’ll have to admit it was a draw. I struggled all day trying to stabilize and to do things that needed to be done. Here’s something for us spiritual folks, if you have anxiety or depression God, the vast Universe, is intelligent enough to recognize your thorn (challenge) and compassionate enough, wise enough, providing grace and mercy to get you through these episodes. By whatever means. And sometimes it’s just your day to struggle. Clarity came at the end of the day. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t them. It simply (complex-ly) was anxiety. Today is a new day. Let’s work.

My thoughts from yesterday:

When does a breakthrough happen? After the the struggle. So if there is a struggle in the mind today, repeat: A breakthrough is coming.

If you are not clear in your mind, struggling in your mind, anxiety, uncertain: CLARITY IS COMING.

My affirmations:

Clarity is coming.

I will get through this day.

A breakthrough is coming.

God’s grace and mercy are sufficient.

~Nikki