Checking in on Your Loved Ones

There is something to be said when you check in on your loved ones. Whether it’s a quick check in or a full on call and listen session we need to be proactive in doing more for each other. We are connected and we need to keep that connection as strong as it possibly can be. We need to do a better job on spreading love to everyone and even the ones we know well. We tend to give better compliments to strangers at times than we do to those we are around. Be the type of person that is nurturing to one another and attempt to find the good in your circle of loved ones.

So for that I am challenging all of my followers to do a quick check in. I know that often times we use text messages and we don’t talk on the actual phone, but it may be time to do a full on call. You can use text messages as a lead way but overall it would be good to hear a voice and be sure that your friends and family are truly okay. Its getting colder out and seasonal depression is real. Even the ones who you think is totally fine and there are no issues present could be fighting a silent fight.

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Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

You would do yourself a disservice to ignore your loved ones in this season. So spend a little time and make it your business to reach out to a few folks over the next couple of weeks. Be sure that if you do that you ask open-ended questions too. Sometimes people will hit you with the yes and no and true interaction is engaging. Also keep in mind some people are private. Make sure the conversation and space is safe for them to open up and speak. Don’t judge what they have to say. Just be sure that you are truly inviting and be there. Some people don’t want a fix they just need to vent. I want to be able to look back and know that I attempted to be there for my friends and loved ones and I encourage you to do the same!!

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The Cold Weather Depression

Did you know that as it gets colder outside that people’s mood shifts?  This is super true and super real.  People start to go down and depression is at an all time high. It could be the weather, it could be the changes in the leaves and things slowly doing their dying/vegetation stage or the fact that as it gets colder the closer we get to the holidays.

I am generally a holiday person but I notice too that I have to be mindful of my moods more often during the colder months.  My kids are what balances me.  They don’t allow for me to have too much of a down time and that’s super great.  Although I know my husband and I are great parents and we push through, let’s get it real I get in the dumps often.  So what do I do during the months leading up to the holidays? I get aware like never before of my triggers.

My personal triggers:

  1. My mother in law being gone has been one.  The year is slowly approaching like in a few days, and that alone has me shifting as I watch my husband and kids shift.  I can see pain and I am dealing with my own.  For that reason, we have made sure to be careful of any extra drama into our home.  This means in conversations, deeds, petty arguments etc.  We are aware.
  2. Holiday commercials.  I think they are great. But the onset of them being super early even for me who is a planner gets to me.  I was in the store and I am still grabbing things for Halloween and I saw Christmas stuff and I am like are you serious?  The reason is it sets my anxiety and now I am trying to focus on meal planning for Thanksgiving and these stores and shoving Christmas at me and I can’t take it.
  3. Drama-Any onset of drama gets me.  To elevate that, I don’t allow it. This is major.  Had this been a few years especially before my kids were born, I would have popped popcorn, and starred in it.
  4. Cold gloomy days-rain is a mood downer on its own, but… cold rainy days or snowy days that don’t produce enough snow to get me or the kids a day off is a downer.  I do not like snow.  I do not like cold.  So I really make sure that I am upbeat, play different music, whatever it takes to get through.  Perception is always key to get through.
  5. Black or dark grey-it works great in the Winter to layer but I will intentionally add color even if it’s in scarf to avoid my mood shifting.
  6. Complaining-I could be a professional one however even I get sick of it.  So now instead of complaining or being around complainers, I just figure out what the core issue is and handle that.
  7. Lack of physical activity-take that how you like. I try to keep my workout strong because with all of the comfort foods you kind of have to.  I tell myself that working out allows me my wine moments.  When activities get low as snow piles up I get my wine in.  This is why babies are born conceived the most during the Winter months.  So be careful.
  8. Social events-I love the idea of dressing and getting ready to go somewhere until its time to go.  Days before my stomach starts to hurt.  The day of I start to get sick or my head starts to hurt. To push past that is simple as going, but pushing past my thoughts are harder to do than slipping on a pair of heels.

Whatever your personal triggers are, be aware.  Have a plan in site.  Speak to someone you trust.  The list of mine may seem trivial but if I let myself go, the outcome of that can be devastating to myself and my family. I know for a fact I am not the only one.  This is why you need to be connected to the right people who can recognize that you are spiraling or you are withdrawing too.

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Make sure that you find what makes you happy.  Get healthy.  The second I get sick, it doesn’t help my mood.  Not only am I focused on getting better but it takes me 3 times harder to get out if I am having a depression trigger right before I get sick.  Sometimes I can get sick, if I allow myself to get too boggled down.

Even after you notice your triggers and work really hard not to allow them to get to you, it still may.  Knowing what you like that can get you out before you get in is key. Not everyone is the same.  Sometimes music does it.  Sometimes being outside helps.  You may need to get counseling during the Winter months.  Whatever it is, get it and make sure you are clear on what that looks like and get it.

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Things you can do to get ahead of it:

  1. Write and keep a gratitude journal
  2. Buy flowers for yourself
  3. Meet up with a special friend once a month
  4. Purchase a special drink
  5. Have a certain go to song
  6. Do something for others
  7. Wear a color that reminds you to stay focused
  8. Bright Nail colors or color art
  9. Keep healthy
  10. Eat right
  11. Do not-self medicate
  12. Talk to someone
  13. Reach out to one person
  14. Check in on others

IF you experience at any time not just when the Winter months come a slight or even worse case of suicidal thoughts please contact the Suicide Prevention Hotline

 

Warm Weather Mixes

So if you live in the East you may have experienced some unseasonably warm weather lately.  Let me encourage your heart, it’s not the real Spring.  So although I say get out and enjoy it, there a few things to remember:

  1. It’s not really Spring.  I know you want to walk outside with no sleeves, no coats, no hats and all that jazz but remember there is a possibility that since we are in still in February that the cold will come back.
  2. If you feel the need to forget anything go back to statement #1, it will save your life
  3. Please continue good hand washing.  We all know by now that unwashed hands is one of the biggest ways to spread germs.  SO do us all a favor and wash your hands.  I can’t speak for the men but I am sure the same holds true, the amount of women who walk out of the stall to the door and don’t even glance at the sink let alone turn it on irks all 5 of my souls.  Wash your hands.  Cute and trifling don’t go together. Trust me they don’t.
  4. Flip flops and tank tops needs to stay in the warm weather bin.  Trust me there’s a difference between 55 Winter weather and 55 Fall or Spring weather.  If in doubt refer to #1.
  5. The flu season is still here.  I had 5 co-workers out with the same thing in the same days.  You can still mess around and get sick.

These are fun things you can do to feel like Spring but not break rules 1-4.

  1. Get a mani or pedi that is with bright colors.  Nothing signals that Spring is coming like switching up your nail color.  This can give you a Spring preview without getting yourself super sick.
  2. Wear brighter clothes this does the same thing that the mani and pedi does and it will uplift your mood.
  3. Book a Spring or summer trip.  This will get your wheels spinning in the right direction.
  4. Start buying Spring clothes but do NOT put your Winter clothes away just yet.
  5. Book yourself some “self” appointments like maybe a wax or a facial.
  6. Try for a new workout class.  Maybe you have slacked on your New Years Resolution and this would be a great mental booster as you step into Spring (but soon not yet)

There are many options but just don’t break down and do it all.  Pace yourself.  Spring is coming but it’s not here just yet.  I am not suggesting that if you dress like a mummy either and that if you do that you won’t get sick.  What I am saying is use some wisdom. Soon as folks see a lil bit of sun they lose their minds.  Put your clothes on and still practice the same precaution you once did when it was cold, snowy, and icy.

Snow Survival Kits?

So I love summer.  I don’t complain about the heat.  I don’t complain about the sun.  I just love it.  However since I haven’t yet been fortunate to buy a home in the sunny side of the world.  So because of that alone I have to deal with the snow. Let’s be honest, snow and I ain’t never been friends.  Snow is not my side piece, nothing.  I dislike it.  The one thing however is that I am the one that tries to turn things around so here are my suggestions for all the sunny side up folks like myself to survive this impending snow storm in the Northeast and Midwest.

  1. Food: Please don’t give me the grocery stores are just making money off of fear.  This may be all true but you got to eat.  Some of ya’ll wont walk down the street to the park to work out so your not about to travel to the grocery store in a foot of snow to grab some milk.  Don’t be lazy get your necessities.  Also think outside the box you will be cooped in the house for a few days which isn’t tragic but reality is you will need snacks.  If you still working out you can grab some healthy choices but if you like me you may want to throw a bag or 2 of Doritos in there-get em.
  2. Indoor Activities: So I have a crate that I have placed all of my magazines that I haven’t read and books I’ve been meaning to get to so I can dive in when those flurries start to hit.  I have also added my journals and some really cute pens to keep me inspired. This may be the time to take a dollar store or Five Below trip and grab some puzzles, art supplies, etc for the kids.  Yes they may get bored.  Although snow is an excuse to be outside, they can’t live out there and you will need something to distract them so you aren’t ready to toss them come Monday.
  3. Drinks: If you don’t drink no shade but if you do go now and grab a few bottles. Nothing is more cozy than a glass and watching the snow from your warm home. Most people will be making a liquor store run so don’t wait until the last minute. Experiment as well.  Use sites such as Pintrest to help you learn some new recipes-you have time.  If you aren’t a drinker there are some awesome warming drinks that can be made.  Did you know you can make hot cocoa recipes in your crock pot?  Yes goggle it-it’s a thing.
  4. Get Out: As much as I don’t like the snow, I have 3 little people that will beg me to go out in it so I must bundle them and me and get to making Frosty come alive.  Always make sure you bundle properly and have the proper gear to be out.  Frost bite is real and people have gotten sick or died from prolonged hours in cold weather-be careful. Make it fun.  Outside of snow angels and snowmen or women be sure to throw a snowball or two.  I definitely plan to hit my husband with a few-honey you know it’s going down!!
  5. Be Prepared: Please make sure in all seriousness that you have flashlights with batteries, food that can be prepared without heat or refrigeration.  Although kids love snow days the reality is that snow can bring devastating results.  There will be many who will lost power.  Make sure you check on your loved ones.  Also attempt to keep your cell phones charged in case you do lose power. Many people do not have land lines to save money-I feel you.  So outside of reading my blogs, and social media, save some power to make emergency calls if necessary.
  6. Check on the Elderly: there are many that can’t get out in our own neighborhood. Band together in the next couple of days to make sure that they have medicine, food and any other supplies.
  7. Medicine Run: No one really thinks about it but often times households get sick and if the snow is really what they claim it will be, you may not be able to make a CVS run.  Stock up on medicine for your entire household.  Get over the counter, make sure you get refills of meds as well.  My kids have asthma so I have already checked all inhalers and back up ones and have called in all prescriptions.
  8. Make a few Dollars: Back in the day it was the thing to go house to house and shovel.  I didn’t always make that much because again I don’t like snow.  There are many that do not like to shovel and would pay a few dollars to do so.  So if you want to make a few extra bucks this is the time to do it.
  9. Baby Making: Most of us reading this blog should be adults.  Be careful if you are squeezed up with the one you love or the one you with for right now.  There are a lot of babies coming in the Summer that are a result of snowstorm sex.  If you don’t want to get pregnant take the precautions.  Also there are a lot of storm babies born. The pressure from the weather does things to a woman’s body.  I had my daughter in February and it was right after a storm as well.  If you are pregnant take precautions to make sure you are extra prepared as well.  Have bags packed if it’s close to your due date.  Make sure you don’t try to weather the storm either.  If you can’t drive please dial 911 and let them come and get you.
  10. Work: If you work in the medical field there is no such thing as days off.  So be careful navigating on the road.  There are a lot of working personnel that actually pack clothes and necessities to stay at their job when storms hit.  Even if you normally don’t I would always have some things in your trunk.  You never know what can happen and preparation is key.

In general, snow can be a pretty or devastating sight.  Try and make the most of the situation.  Use common sense.  I have seen folks that have gotten hurt just from playing a little too rough.  Personally I’m accident prone and so are my kids so we will be taking it easy.  Have a little fun.  Complain a little less.  Take a deep breath and enjoy it as much as possible.  Try to catch up on some housework that you haven’t had time to do.  Maybe binge on some good old fashioned television as well.  Whatever you do be safe and know ToiTime will be blogging through it.
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