Anxiety, Coping, Tips & Tricks

Anxiety – Tips for how to Cope

Hello!

This post is going to be a few tips and tricks that I have found useful for coping with anxiety.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), which in layman’s terms means everything and anything gives me anxiety.  Every day with anxiety is a constant struggle. Tasks that people take for granted are unbearably  difficult for me, and many others who suffer with anxiety or mental illness, for example I have not driven anywhere further than a few kilometers in almost 2 years because driving often causes me undo worry and stress.

Sometimes people without anxiety or other mental illness have a hard time understanding why – Why you can’t go out to a party with tons of people, Why you can’t deal with a stressful situation, why you can’t get out of bed and my personal favorite Why don’t you just stop worrying about it?. Let me explain why I DESPISE when people tell me to not worry about something. If I was able to “Just not worry about it” I would! Matter-of-factly I would love to just not worry about every single thing. Unfortunately that is not the way my brain likes to run things, it likes to worry and stress about every minute detail of my waking life.  With all this being said, I have been able to find a few things that help me cope with my GAD. I hope that by sharing a few of these I am able to help someone else who may be struggling.

Hypnosis – I have heard from many people that Meditation can be helpful in coping with the symptoms of anxiety. I always liked the thought of meditation but I was never able to fully concentrate and clear my mind. I am, however, a huge fan of hypnosis. You do not even need to venture out of your house for this one. There are a number of videos on YouTube for anxiety hypnosis. They range in time from 20 minutes to well over an hour. I find that taking at least 20 minutes out of your day to lay down and listen to the hypnosis tracks really help.  This is one of my favorite you tubers who does hypnosis, he does a number of videos for everything from anxiety to social phobia. Check him out here – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUh6k9ReBf1GTLCHRHDI2pw

Read About it – When I was first diagnosed with GAD I wanted to know as much as I possibly could about the disorder and how it could be treated. The first thing I did was go out a buy a book about GAD – The Generalized Anxiety Disorder Work Book By Melisa Robichaud, PhD and Michel J. Dugas, PhD. I found this book to be extremely helpful in understanding what I was going through. It also contains activities that you can work through to help you better understand and target your anxiety. I would strongly recommend this book. You can buy the book here – https://www.amazon.ca/Generalized-Anxiety-Disorder-Workbook-Comprehensive/dp/1626251517

The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique – This technique is particularly effective in times of high stress or during panic attacks. It involves placing the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth against your front teeth, breathing in through your nose for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 7 seconds and exhaling through your mouth for 8 seconds. This should be repeated about 4 times, and should provide some relief.  I have done this technique numerous times, and although it is not fool-proof it does help.

Five-Four-Three-Two-One Coping Technique – This one is for when you’re having an anxiety attack or anytime you need to stay calm. My mom actually sent me this one and I have used it ever since. You basically look around and identify or name the following things:

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can feel
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste

You can repeat this if necessary, but I usually find it works on the first try.

Slime – I know what your thinking, slime? Yes slime, as in the type you made as a child. There are a ton of different tutorials on YouTube on how to make slime, it seems to be trending these days. I find that a particular type of slime seems to work best at soothing my anxiety and that is crunchy slime. For some reason the sound and the texture of the slime seems to provide some relief from anxiety symptoms. Don’t ask me why this one works but it does and it is fun so that always a bonus. Here is the tutorial I used to make my slime – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_tio9pfzj4. You can use this tutorial or  a simple Google or YouTube search will provide boundless results.

Family and Friends – It took me a long time to realize that not all support people are created equal. Find that one (or more) person in your life that is truly supportive and understanding of your situation. I found that a person who is able to listen can be just as helpful as someone who gives advice. Sometimes all you want to do is talk about what worries you and that is okay. It is often helpful to be able to share your issues or concerns with someone without being worried about judgement and ridicule. Building a support network for yourself is key, you should not have to suffer alone.

Pets – The number one thing I recommend to any mental illness sufferer is get a pet. It could be a dog, cat or any other animal. My dog has helped with my GAD more than anything else. Simply having a pet to talk to when you’re down will do wonders for your psyche. My dog seems to understand when I am anxious or upset and is more than willing to provide cuddles. Cuddling and talking to him helps me immensely. It will also help you get a routine in place, you’ll be less likely to be stressing over yourself when you need to feed your pet or take them for a walk.  If you are unable to own a pet due to rules where you live, then consider volunteering at an animal shelter. You would be helping yourself as well as the animals which is great. As an added bonus you will feel awesome knowing you were able to lend a hand to some animals in need.

Those are just a few tips for you if you are struggling with stress or anxiety. Always remember there are a number of resources for those who struggle with mental illness, family members, friends and health care professionals can provide a wonderful support network to help you on your way. You are not alone!

Thanks for reading

Kris

 

 

 

Insomnia

Why do they call it beef? and further thoughts from an insomniac

Hello!

Recently I have been suffering from an awful bout of insomnia, and by bout I mean about 3 months of it.

My basic nightly routine goes like this:

  • Brush my teeth
  • Put on Pajamas
  • Lay in bed awake for approximately an hour before deciding to give up on sleep
  • Wander around my house aimlessly doing random meaningless activities till 4 am (sims anyone?)
  • Make my husband coffee and say goodbye before he goes to work
  • Possibly fall asleep at 5:00 -6:00 am
  • Sleep for 2 -3 hours
  • Wake up tired
  • Attempt to go back to sleep
  • Fail
  • Continue with the rest of my day as usual
  • Repeat…

The interesting part of sleep deprivation for me is I seem to come up with the most random thoughts.. See many people don’t have time to think of such things, but alas I am not so lucky. So here, for other people to see, are my thoughts and questions on maddeningly moot points.

  1. Why do they call Chicken Chicken, Turkey Turkey and Fish Fish but they don’t call Beef Cow or Pork Pig? I get it, calling Beef Cow would be weird now, but I don’t think it would be weird if it had always been called Cow… Seriously this has been boggling my mind for a while now. I MUST KNOW!
  2. On the topic of Cows. I have always been told that warm milk makes you sleepy. Well if that is the case then why are baby cows not always sleeping. The milk is warm when it comes from its mom.. so would that not make the calf sleepy?
  3. Also If you leave milk out it goes bad because it hasn’t been refrigerated, so wouldn’t it go bad inside the cow? It’s not like the milk in the cow is somehow refrigerated.
  4. Who decided that sheep were the animals to count? Why not Monkeys or Kittens. What makes sheep so great?
  5. Why does Donald Duck wear only a shirt normally, but when he gets out of the shower he puts a towel around his waist? Is he just free balling it the rest of the time? I saw this on “Friends” once and it was never answered. These are things I need to know! Don’t leave me hanging!
  6. Who decided that Red means stop and Green means go?
  7. Why is it in the show and book “Franklin” he is the only one with a name that isn’t the type of animal he is? Bear’s name is Bear, Rabbit’s name in Rabbit, and Beaver’s name is Beaver. Why couldn’t they just give everyone a name? What if there is more than one Bear do they then start going by numbers Bear 1, Bear 2 and so on and so forth?
  8. How do you know Humpty Dumpty is an egg? It never says he is an egg in the nursery rhyme
  9. Who decided Waldo was the person to find? Why not Kate or Larry?
  10.  Why is Wal-Mart called Wal-Mart? They definitely don’t sell walls…
  11. What did Yankee Doodle name Macaroni? Was it his hat or his feather?

These are only a few unanswered questions I ponder while a lay awake at night. I may never know the answers to these burning questions.  That is all for this time.

Thanks for reading!

Kris

 

Pets

How to make a dog bed out of a old blanket

Hello!

As most pet owners know, owning a fur baby can be very expensive. My Husband and I own a 95 pound German Shepherd puppy by the name of Duke. I know what your thinking that he cannot possibly be a puppy as he weighs as much as a 10-year-old, but you would be mistaken he is only 11 months old.

In my quest to find pet supplies I came to the realization that purchasing a bed large enough for Duke was not only going to be difficult  it was also going to be extremely expensive upwards of $100.00. Don’t get me wrong I love my dog to pieces but this was a little steep for a bed he may or may not use, so I came up with a cheap alternative that requires very few materials and a basic knowledge of sewing. So without further ado here are the instructions.

As a disclaimer I am by no means a seamstress, I do not have a ton of sewing experience so that just shows if I can do it anyone can.

Materials:

  • An old (or new) throw blanket – I used a rectangular flannel blanket I found at a thrift store. The size of the blanket should be large enough so when it is folded in half it can comfortably fit your dog while they are laying down. unnamed-16
  • Standard Pillows – I used three but this can vary depending on how large the bed you are making is
  • Thread – Matching color to the blanket
  • Sewing Machine
  • Zipper – should be the same width as your blanket folded in half

Step 1

Fold your blanket in half with right sides together. Pin along one of the short edges and the long edge, leave one of the short sides open this is where you will attach your zipper

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Step 2

Sew along the pinned edges leaving approximately a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Make sure you back-stitch at the beginning and end of each seam.

The blanket I choose had fringe along the long sides. Since I was not intending on using the fringe as part of the design I simply sewed along the edge making sure to keep the fringe out of the seam. Once the bed is flipped right side in the fringe will be inside the bed and not interfere with its use. If it is easier or you would prefer you can always trim the fringe off of the blanket before pinning and sewing.

Step 3

Attach the zipper along the side of the blanket that was left open. Ensure that the sipper lines up and can be zipped when completed. Then sew one side of the zipper to one side of the blanket, and repeat for the next side.

I like to put the zipper in so that I can take the pillows out and wash the cover when needed, but this is not necessary. If you prefer you can just put the pillows in at this step and hand stitch the opening closed.

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Step 4 

Flip your cover so it is now right side out and the seams are inside the cover. Complete the bed by putting the pillows inside and arranging them so they lay as flat as possible. Zip up the zipper and you are done!

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This project is fairly easy and you really only need to know how to sew a straight seam. Minor issues with sewing will not be easily noticed and your dog will love it so that’s what counts! 🙂

Cost for this project:

Blanket – $7.00

Pillows – $4.00 x 3 = $12.00

Thread – $2.00

You dog having a comfy place to rest his or her head – Priceless

Total cost – $21.00

There is no guarentee your dog won’t sleep on your bed anyways. 13529090_10157033027155364_288040509453296977_n-2

Thanks for reading!

Kris

 

unemployment

Everything happens for a reason and other balderdash people tell you after a lay off

As I have previously wrote, I was recently laid off. I was devastated the day it happen, balled my eyes out like a child who just got told their favorite toy was run over by a toilet truck. Cried all the way home with my stuff in bags on my lap in our car. Then I did what any adult who has experienced a rough time does… I drank.. a lot. After the booze infused evening of self despair and self pity, I realized something I wasn’t sad anymore I was angry..and then sad..and then angry again.. then happy followed by angry again and so on and so forth. That is until the Monday after my lay off when I woke up at noon absolutely freaking out about how late I was for work. It was about half way through frantically putting on my second sock before I realized… I don’t have to work today, or tomorrow, or for the foreseeable future for that matter. The funny thing about being laid off is that there are so many positive and negatives to it. You really don’t know how to process what has happened (or I didn’t). Navigating a lay off is pretty much a crapshoot so here is my list of the positives and negatives of being laid off.

Positives:

  •  You have a lot of free time, and I mean a lot, which means you can do everything you always wanted to do but never had the time;
  • You house ends up being very clean, the aforementioned free time means you can clean the entire house over and over and over again, given that’s your thing;
  • Your loved ones get a sickening amount of attention, some would say too much. For instance I tried being the best 1950’s house wife for a day, my husband not only didn’t appreciate it he said  to “stop that it’s freaking me out” geez, ungrateful  much!;
  • You can sleep in till whatever time you feel like, unless you have you know adult responsibilities like children, yoga class, unsolicited trips to the liquor store, stuff like that.

Negatives:

  • Inevitability you end up bored out of your mind;
  •  You come up with ridiculous things to do like trying to be a 1950’s house wife ( if you’re interested here is the link http://www.ultimatehousewife.com/2013/02/1950s-housewife.html)
  • You binge watch ALL the shows on Netflix;
  • You binge watch a bunch of Youtube videos, and end up in the dark part of Youtube because you’ve spent 6 hours watching people make tiny doll size food;
  • People ask how your doing with the look of pity in their eyes. “Hi, Grandma”..”Yes, I lost my job”…”no, I don’t think I am going to have to live in a box and work the street corner to pay for my instant Ramen”;
  • People call you about any and all job ads they see …”no I am not qualified to be a rocket scientist.. yes I am sure”. To anyone who knows someone who is laid off, unless they ask stop doing this, I KNOW you’re just trying to help but the truth is you’re just being an asshole.

The moral of the story is that being laid off SUCKS, but think of it this way now you have the opportunity to change. Don’t like your career path? Now is the time to find a new career. Want to go back to school? well then you get your butt back to the classroom. Want to become a raging alcoholic? I mean probably not the best plan, but you do you boo boo! As my mother used to say “everything happens for a reason” or some other inspirational poppycock people tell you when your feeling sorry for yourself.

Catch ya in the next post!

-Kris

Uncategorized

Why I started a blog

Good morning/Evening/afternoon or whatever such time you may be reading this.

Let me introduce myself I am Kris.

Truth be told I started this blog because I am going insane from lack of work. See funny story, I have recently been laid off from a job which I thought I loved but turns out (after much soul searching and many many bottles of wine) I didn’t even like that much. Yes I do realize that this is not in the slightest bit funny, as anyone who has ever been laid off will tell you. However, to cope with the awful situations in life I have formed a slightly dark sense of humor.

A little bit about me. I am a 27 year old female. I am a newlywed and I am the fur mother to a lovely albeit slightly demanding German shepherd  puppy by the name of Duke.

This blog will be  basically a mismash of random posts from stories to makeup reviews.

Thanks so much for reading!

Catch ya in the next post 🙂