Category Archives: Mental Health

Duolingo Progress (Finally!)

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Duolingo Progress (Finally!)

Hello!! So for a solid month I felt like I was completely slacking not only on Pacer, but on Duolingo, too. I was feeling super unmotivated and depressed and, damnit, I just didn’t feel like doing anything. But, now that I’m back to my normal, chipper, go getter self, it was time to get back on the horse and start making some progress again.

I’ve recently began working on my advanced French and beginner Spanish again and, I’ve got to tell you, it feels great. The mental exercise that I get from spending time with my languages daily makes me wonder why I ever stopped practicing in the first place, because I feel so good afterwards. In fact, it has motivated me to start practicing sign language again, which I took a hiatus from after having difficulty finding folks to practice with. Regardless of regular use or not, knowing a plethora of languages is an amazing skill to have, and I want to keep sharpening those skills on the daily.

I was halfway nervous to start practicing my languages again after a depression break, because I was worried that I had lost all of my knowledge in one short month. But, like riding a bike, I was able to pick up right where I left off and have since been enjoying every second of it. I’m proud that I didn’t let my anxiety about forgetting my skills get the best of me in regards to whether I should bother practicing again or not. And, even if I did forget anything, the worst that could happen is that I relearn something – and what’s the harm in that?

I’m getting back to feeling great mentally and physically after a rough past month and I am ready to continue making daily progress again just like in the good old days! 😀

Are you learning a new language right now? Who else utilizes Duolingo? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Body Issues: Learning To Overcome Insecurities And Love Yourself

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Body Issues: Learning To Overcome Insecurities And Love Yourself

A study found that 63% of female participants identified their weight as the key factor in how they felt about themselves. Despite the rise of positive body awareness, such as Ashley Graham’s #BeautyBeyondSize, thousands of women feel the anxiety to keep up with celebrities and social media. The good news, is that there is never a ‘better time’ to start loving and taking care of yourself than right now. Here’s how you can learn to overcome insecurities and love yourself:

Make Healthy Changes:

What better way to boost self-confidence than to achieve long-term goals. Rather than setting impossible goals such as ‘losing 20 pounds in a week” or “achieving a tiny waist in three months”, aim to start a new fitness routine and incorporate organic foods into your diet. When you eat right and exercise on a regular basis, your hormones will slowly fall into balance and help you to feel your best.

Consider A Makeover:

While a proper diet and fitness routine can help you lose the unwanted weight, thousands of women still struggle with extra baggage. Despite the “taboo” of plastic surgery, 17.5 million procedures were performed in 2017 alone, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re tempted to get liposuction or a tummy tuck to reduce loose skin, you’re not the only one. In fact, nearly 2 million individuals opted for immense services like boob jobs, liposuction, and rhinoplasty. So, whether it is a total “Mommy Makeover” or a simple lip injection, your plastic surgeon will guide you and address the most common body issues.

Dealing with the Root of the Problem:

We all have our moments of highs and lows, but what’s important is that we see beauty in many shapes and sizes. So, to help you focus on dealing with what makes you feel insecure, you must first look at what triggers those emotions. Here are some ways to discover more about your interests, insecurities, desires, and most of all, yourself:

  • Writing a blog or your own personal journal about what you love about your body.
  • Stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself in a positive way. Like really look at yourself and voice out your favorite attributes.
  • Seek support from counselors, family, and friends to help you battle the insecurities and solve the underlying issue.

The reality is that no amount of diet, weight loss, or even plastic surgery can fix poor body image and low self-esteem. Those who struggle with negative body image must discover the underlying issues and learn how it is influencing the way that they feel about themselves.

Changing the way you look may seem like a tangible way to alter what you disliked about your body. But, the only way to heal from low self-confidence is to address the issues and face them head-on. Only then can you truly learn how to overcome your insecurities and love yourself.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Pacer Progress (Or Lack Thereof)

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Pacer Progress (Or Lack Thereof)

Hello everyone and happy Thursday! This past month has been a total and complete shit show and, needless to say, my activity level has been pretty low. All of my motivation to make big gains on my pedometer app has essentially flown out the window, and I’ve been having a hard time peeling my depressed self off of the couch. So, my stats for the month are definitely not the best. 😦

  • Total Steps: 959,262
  • Calories Burned: 23,591
  • Hours Walked: 148
  • Miles Walked: 315

And, to make matters worse, my activity level dropped from being ninety percent more active than the people using Pacer to a whopping forty-three percent. Whomp freaking whomp.

Now that I realize how low I let my movement get during my depression stupor, I am SO ready to get back on the horse and keep going until I start making good progress again. It’s going to be difficult, because I’ve been feeling so sluggish lately. But, once I get started, it will go back to being easier to get my 10,000 steps in no time. So, here we go!

How do you get yourself back on the horse after a stint with depression? What motivates you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Are You An Anxious Night Owl?

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Are You An Anxious Night Owl?

In recent years, awareness of anxiety has come to the forefront. Aside from making you nervous, a full-blown case of anxiety can leave you on edge and unable to calm down. It feels as though you’re about to face something frightening every second of the day, and it can leave you on the brink of breaking.

If this sounds familiar, you should speak to your doctor and seek treatment which helps you to get on top of this. But, we aren’t focusing on treatment today. Instead, we’re going to address something few anxiety sufferers speak about: the fact that symptoms often get worse in the evenings.

In many ways, this seems strange. Surely anxiety should abate when you get home and let loose? But, often, the situation worsens once you get home. In many ways, this could be because you’re no longer distracted by work. As such, you’ll feel the full effects of the condition. But, this is also, in part, down to how we spend our evenings – so we’re going to look at a few every day habits which can make matters worse:

The Television Trap:

While television usage has dropped in recent years, many of us still put the box on the moment that we get home. It’s a comfort, and it helps a lot of us to relax. But, what you might not realize is that television can also boost anxiety in some ways. Even if you avoid anxiety-inducing programs, advertisements fill us with worries about what we don’t have. They also lead to comparisons with those on screen. On top of which, television eats time like nothing else. It could leave you feeling as though your evening’s over before it’s begun.

So, for at least a few hours, turn the TV off. Rely, instead, on board games like Scrabble. These still take complete concentration but without comparison. You can even avoid disputes by using tools like this word.tips word finder to check anything you’re unsure of. If that doesn’t appeal, you could always turn to hobbies like reading or coloring to see you through. The chances are, that you’ll feel much better after an evening of doing these.

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There’s nothing better than a good book!

You’re Too Hung Up On The Day:

Many of us also make the mistake of overthinking our days once we get home. And, we still wonder why we have anxiety-induced headaches by the end of the night. In truth, you should avoid thinking about work during your evenings. Draw a line under the day with a quick walk around the block or even a meditation session to ease your mind. Then, turn your attention to something else every time work crosses your mind. Getting this distance could work wonders for helping you to relax. Bear in mind that it may take longer to adjust to than you expect. After all, you’ve spent years thinking about work all evening, every evening. But, if you focus your attention here, you could soon find that your mind is much calmer when you need it to be.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Final Therapy Update

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Final Therapy Update

Helloooo! I hope that all of you are having a wonderful weekend so far. As you can tell by the title of this post, this will be my Final Therapy Update until I choose to go again. I was definitely on the fence about going to my appointment this week, and I ended up canceling it.

I just feel tired of going over the same things week in and week out, and I almost feel like being in therapy gave me an excuse to engage in risky behaviors like binge eating or drinking, because I could just talk about it at my next appointment. My therapy sessions were very helpful to a point, but I felt like the metaphorical wall had been hit, and none of the advice that I was getting was anything that I felt like I could utilize.

This is not to say that I didn’t like my therapist at all, because I really did. But, I also felt like she was trying to force a belief system on me that I was not comfortable with, and didn’t seem to have any other advice but that. Although I could totally research things on my own, I did expect to gain some new insights during therapy and, after a while, I just wasn’t any more.

If a mental rough patch comes up, I do plan on returning again so that I have a safe place to communicate my feelings. But, for now, I am taking my medication daily and seeing what I can do on my own to start improving things for myself.

Has there been a time when therapy has been helpful for you? What are some of your mental health struggles? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Proud Pacer Update

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Proud Pacer Update

Hello! This past year has definitely been a struggle as far as my weight goes. As a recovering bulimic and a lover of binge eating, my weight jumped to a number that I was not happy with this year. My life has been extremely stressful, and binge eating did bring me a lot of comfort when I did it – but, the weight that I gained was totally not worth those before bed snacking sessions.

As someone who is recovering from an eating disorder, I had to *gasp* try and shed this weight the healthy way. And, let me tell you, it was a real bitch at first. From self harming to purging, my ways of feeling good were a quick fix. And, we all know that that isn’t what weight loss is in the slightest if you want to do it the right way!

I knew that I was making slow and steady progress as I attempted to complete 10,000 steps per day and work on my portion sizes during meals. But, I didn’t realize how much progress until I finally gained the courage to get on the scale, which is my worst enemy. I stepped on, took a deep breath, and was so happy to see that I lost twelve pounds!

I may not be loosing weight as quickly as I would like, but that doesn’t undermine my accomplishment any less! I am really proud of myself for actually doing this the “right” way for once in my life – totally self harm free. I am hoping that I can lose another ten pounds to get back to my normal weight in the next few months. But, for now, I am super happy with my progress so far!

Pacer Stats:

  • Days Active: 73
  • Steps Taken: 604,994
  • Calories Burned: 15,000
  • Active Hours: 93
  • Miles Walked: 200

(And, this is pre-written so the above stats are slightly higher!)

Who else uses a pedometer to help keep them active? What are your methods for losing weight? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Therapy Edition

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Monday Update: Therapy Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to another week here on lifewithlilred! As many of you have shown an interest in my therapy journey, here is an update. Meh, it’s going so so. I feel like I have hit the metaphorical wall where nothing seems helpful and I’m running out of things to talk about. And, I’m getting frustrated with rehashing the same shit just worded differently all of the time.

I’ve actually been playing around with the idea of not going after the few appointments left that I have scheduled. But, I feel like that’s a bad idea. Maybe once every two weeks would be a bit better. I don’t know, it’s just becoming more of an annoyance than anything, and I feel like I’m getting even more pissed off by my weekly visits.

Obviously, there’s still a bunch of stuff in the ol’ mental health department that I need to work on, but I just feel kind of burnt out. Like I’m so micro-focused on it that it’s making me even more depressed, anxious, and just all around angry. I feel like I need a break. I guess that will just be something to chat about during this week’s session, amIright?!

Who else has felt similarly to the above during their time in therapy? How did you deal with it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah