We invite you to join the journey into our lives. At times, our path is smooth and relatively uneventful. At other times, we advise that you buckle up and grab protective gear because the terrain may become excruciatingly difficult to traverse. We assure you that no matter our experience, we persevere, we learn, we grow, we love, and yes, we laugh too.
Why am I staying on a diet that has been described as difficult, monotonous, and unhealthy? This decision breaks from statements in my last post. However, after months of researching the science that both support and slam this diet, I have determined that the benefits outweighs the disadvantages for me.
I have been on this diet for eleven weeks.
During the course of my research, I learned that elevated cortisol and insulin may contribute to increased waist size and some chronic diseases. Additionally, the reason for my personal relief may be, in part, because cortisol levels (fight or flight hormone) are not spiking due to stress, especially work-related stress. What does that mean for me? It means I’m losing weight. It means I’m not a nervous wreck on the job. It means my mental health has taken a sharp turn for the better. For that, I am vey thankful!
Apparently, there are not enough keto mental health human trials, so I am conducting my own. As always, I am providing my unfiltered experience. Whether this trial proves successful long term or whether it goes south quickly, I am prepared to tell all.
This diet is a personal decision for me and my psychiatrist is onboard. Because everyone is different, it is always best to consult a doctor before attempting this or any diet.
It is very early, but the difference is too huge for me to ignore. Relief from symptoms of daily rapid bipolar cycling and extreme anxiety and panic attacks that i described in great detail in previous posts are gone.
This diet limits carbs. No, vegetables and fruit are not dirty words to me. Fact is I love most fruits and veggies, and I eat them on a daily basis. I mainly stick to cruciferous veggies and I seek fruits that are on the lower end of the glycemic index. I watch my carb intake so that I don’t exceed 100 macros each day. Actually, I don’t usually exceed 50 carb macros. The idea is to stay in ketosis. I monitor blood ketones regularly so that I know how much my body can tolerate without throwing me out of ketosis. Everybody is different.
Another issue with this diet is eating fat. Fat causes alarms to go off for many people. Just the other day, someone said cardiologists are giving keto a thumbs down. If a diet is filled with unhealthy fats, I would agree. However, my diet includes healthy fats such as avocados, pecans, almonds, fish rich in omega 3s, flax seed oil, and healthy oils. I did switch to foods like ultra-filtered whole milk ( less sugar) with DHA omega 3 fatty acids, almond flour, and coconut flour.
With a few recipe tweaks, I still have delicious meals, snacks and desserts. My family often asks, is this keto? Yesterday we had keto cornbread and chili. The best part is that I actually feel like cooking. I have energy for a change. Cooking is fun after all. For me, the key is to limit saturated fats and avoid junk food. I wonder what the cardiologist says about sugary, salty, processed junk food that Americans eat regularly.
I check my ketone level once a week. Yesterday, my ketone blood level was 2.9, which is excellent for optimal weight loss and mental health. So far so very good.
This diet is a lifestyle change; however, it is okay to throw my body a curve ball every now and then so that it doesn’t become completely accustomed to the diet. This means I might break from the routine once in a while without going overboard. A jumpstart is always good.
One reason for my decision to go keto and intermittent fasting (IF) is that there is a history of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke in my family. My research shows that this diet and IF essentially reduce glucose and induce ketosis. This is my brain on ketones rather than sugar.
The optimal range is 1.5 -3.0. (See picture of my ketone meter results below).
The ultimate test occurred on Friday when a spur of the moment meeting was called at work. I didn’t freakout as I usually do. The small amount of anxiety I felt was actually good because it motivated me to both gather info and materials quickly and present myself as a confident team member. You must understand that this has never happened before. This is huge!
We decided to do something different this week by giving y’all a list of songs that we both love. Let us know which ones you like in the comments!
1. Aaliyah – Try Again
2. Adele – Hello
3. All-American Rejects – Move Along
4. B.O.B. – Airplanes
5. Beyonce – Irreplaceable
6. Beyonce – Ring the Alarm
7. Black Eyed Peas – Where is the Love
8. Carrie Underwood – Before He Cheats
9. Carrie Underwood – Jesus, Take the Wheel
10. Christina Aguilera – Beautiful
11. Christina Aguilera – Hurt
12. Deitrick Haddon – Well Done
13. Destiny’s Child – Bills Bills Bills
14. Diddy – I’ll Be Missing You
15. Dixie Chicks – Not Ready to Make Nice
16. Eminem & Rihanna – Love the Way You Lie
17. Eminem – Like Toy Soldiers
18. Fergie – Glamorous
19. Future – March Madness
20. J. Lo – Love Don’t Cost a Thing
21. J. Lo / Fat Joe – Hold You Down Remix
22. Ja Rule & Ashanti – Always On Time
23. Jazmine Sullivan – Bust Your Windows
24. Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown – No Air
25. Justin Timberlake – Cry Me a River
26. Kanye West / Jamie Foxx – Gold Digger
27. Katy Perry – Dark Horse
28. Kelly Clarkson – Because of You
29. Keyshia Cole – I Should’ve Cheated
30. Lady GaGa – Pokerface
31. Lauryn Hill – Ex-Factor
32. Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance
33. LeToya Luckett – Torn
34. Linkin Park – In the End
35. Linkin Park – New Divide
36. Linkin Park – What I’ve Done
37. Linkin Park / Jay-Z – Encore
38. Mariah Carey – Always Be My Baby
39. Mario Winans – I Don’t Wanna Know
40. Mary J. Blige – No Drama
41. Michael Jackson – Billy Jean
42. Miranda Lambert – Gunpowder and Lead
43. Musiq Soul Child – Love
44. Nelly & Tim McGraw – Over and Over
45. NSYNC – Gone
46. Outkast – Ms. Jackson
47. Petey Pablo – Raise Up
48. Pussycat Dolls – I Hate This Part
49. Rich Homie Quan – Walk Thru
50. Rocko – UOENO
51. T.I. – Motivation
52. TLC – No Scrubs
53. TLC – Waterfalls
54. Toni Braxton – Unbreak my Heart
55. Usher – U Got it Bad
56. Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
57. Whitney Houston & Mariah Carey – When You Believe
58. Wiz Khalifa – See You Again
59. Wyclef & Mary J. Blige – 911
Everybody deals with anxiety and depression; however, some people have a
difficult time in managing it. As a result, here is a brief list of
techniques that a person can use to help manage their most persistent fears
and every day anxieties.
When facing a current or upcoming task that overwhelms you with a lot of
anxiety, the first thing you can do is to divide the task into a series of
smaller steps. Completing these smaller tasks one at a time will make the
stress more manageable and increase your chances of success.
Sometimes we get stressed out when everything happens all at once. When
this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something
to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem. A person
could get some fresh air, listen to some music, or do an activity that will
give them a fresh perspective on things.
Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of
positive statements that makes you feel good. Whenever you come across an
affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook
that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel
depressed or frustrated, open up your small notebook and read those
statements. This will help to manage your negative thinking.
Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk
to a professional who can help you manage your depression and anxieties.
They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how
to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person
will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better
able to deal with their problems in the future. Remember that it never
hurts to ask for help.
Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using
Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods”. Stan’s managing fear
book has become very popular with over 300 positive book reviews and
counting. Please read the many book reviews of Stan’s popular book by going
to Stan’s website at http://www.managingfear.com/
It’s been weeks since my last post and I realized that I miss sharing! You never know if something you share might help someone else. It could encourage and provide hope or it could possibly help someone see things from my not so normal perspective.
During my time away, I have embarked on a lifestyle change -That’s right! I have taken charge of my entire self :mind, body, and soul.
You may wonder what brought this on. Wonder no more! Weight gain is the primary motivator. I already had age working against me. Then, I added bipolar medication to the mix. Well, I felt weight creeping on and I felt kinda blah. I saw weight packing on as I squeezed into my clothes. I’ve learned to have various clothes sizes in my closet for times like this. I tried eating less, without calorie counting, but nothing changed. I never felt hungry, so I ate when I thought I was supposed to.
It was time to take a good look at myself and my negative behaviors. I made the choice to actively improve my situation through medication, diet, exercise, and self-awareness. Now, I admit that this is not the first time I’ve tried to turn things around. Yo-yo dieting was very common for me. When riding the high of hypomania, I was on the healthy train. When I was depressed, everything stopped. This is the first time, I have tried dieting with knowledge of my mental illness. And, that is huge!
Living life on autopilot can only go on for so long. Well, in all honesty it could have gone on much longer if I had let it. Luckily, I finally recognized the “invisible” disability after all these years. I faced it and I owned my truth in 2018. The truth is that I am bipolar. It does affect my life in ways that are not always pretty.
My depression and hypomania can lead me down toxic roads. Finally, I realize that!
So, a month ago, I decided to allow the Ketogenic Diet and intermittent fasting into my life. I heard about this a couple of years ago but I figured it wasn’t for me. If I don’t have my mind right as they say, nothing positive would happen in my life.
After getting nowhere fast for the past couple of years, I decided to shake things up a bit. This time I’ve set my sights on a lifestyle change. For me, the key is to stay focused and maintain mental stability.
For those who don’t know, the goal of the Keto Diet is to get the body to burn ketones rather than sugar for fuel. So, if sugar isn’t present, the body is forced to burn fat. This means I restrict my carbs to 20 grams, I restrict protein, and I eat a little extra healthy fats.
I didn’t stop there. Oh, no! I had to take it a step further by combining the diet with intermittent fasting (IF). The fast slows insulin production and forces my body to use ketones for fuel.
I went from 16 hour fast, to 18 hour fast, to my current 20 hour fast.
Following the diet during the first week, made me feel feel hangry! Well, I was hungry and a bit irritable until dinner time. I experienced the keto flu for a day. Keto flu occurs when the body tries to adjust to the new diet. For me the symptoms were nausea and fatigue. I am thankful that it didn’t last long. I am in ketosis according to the keto sticks.
I have no more cravings for Krispy Kreme, ice cream, or other junk food. The family can pig out on sweets and it doesn’t faze me. However, I did crave steak and ribs. I listened to my body and treated myself to a bit more protein.
Another plus is that my family can eat what I eat at mealtime. I count carbs, but that’s it.
The one issue that I am still dealing with is keto constipation. But, I am making adjustments that seem to be effective in clearing out the problem.
The main thing is that I am making progress and I feel better overall. I expect to follow strict keto and IF protocols for another seven weeks. That’s assuming that I lose about 2 pounds per week. At that point, I should definitely be fully “fat adapted”. So, I will increase my carbs and see how much of an increase I can tolerate without throwing myself out of ketosis. If I kick myself out, it shouldn’t be difficult to get back into ketosis, right? We shall see.
This is what works for me. Has anyone tried this diet or a variation of it? If so, tell me about your experience. If another diet has been helpful, I’d love to hear about that as well.
I don’t plan to follow keto protocols forever. I know I will need to switch it up and keep it challenging and interesting.
A few days ago i was shocked that someone would drop the suicide hotline number in reply to me, but hey, they don’t know me from Adam as my mom used to say.
I didn’t stop to think that expressing I could relate to someone’s need to isolate could be taken as a cryptic cry for help. Well, isolation is one of the warning signs of suicide but that was and is the furthest thing from my mind. My tendency to isolate emerged very early on. I was an only child who learned to enjoy her own company. I am an isolationist especially when I’m feeling down. However, even when I am in good spirits, I crave and demand my “me time” to recharge and refresh my brain and to avoid information and emotional overload. This is one way that I cope with every single thing that comes with being me.
I have found that I absorb too much of the negative emotions of others. It suffocates me and wrestles me to the ground. I tap out. I need time to shake it off.
On the day of the post, I miscalculated. I automatically assumed that I could connect with people who had posted similar experiences without sounding any alarms. I was wrong. I never stopped to think that my words could be taken as a cry for help. I got caught up in finding someone who had a similar experience as me.
I was suicidal once when I was a young girl, overwhelmed by depression, anxiety, insecurity, grief, and the list goes on. I ingested some pills that I found in the medicine cabinet. I woke up dazed and light-headed hours later. I lived to see another day and “I [was] still on top of the ground” as mom used to say. Boy, she never had a clue. I have never attempted to take my life nor have I had suicidal thoughts again. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen, right?
I never lived near any of our relatives as an adult. For many years my immediate family lived outside of the United States, but I really didn’t grow up with a feeling of closeness to my relatives anyway. I had a hard time with their judgment. That explains why I’m not close to them now. I internalized every comment, criticism, and side eye. I had a fragile, thin skin. My lack of interpersonal skills with relatives can probably be explained by various experiences throughout my life.
The situation doesn’t get any better when calls from relatives concern money and they are hoping to be on the receiving end of the deal. From the time I was a small child I used to give people whatever I had, even if it was my last. I remained a people-pleaser for most of my life. Now that I am older it has almost completely phased out. No more playing the dumb ass for those who are only looking out for themselves. But, I must confess from time to time certain guilt trips carry me back to that tenuous place.
I do have a mental health recovery plan of action just in case my shadows begin to guide and instruct me to tumble over the edge of darkness or implode.
In addition, and most importantly, I have the most amazing support system. I used to think of us as the three musketeers. All for one and one for all. Well, I still do. My two oldest kids – mature for their age, but still allowed to be kids – and I took care of each other while my then husband deployed to various places around the globe. Oh, how the kids worried and made sure I had everything I needed when I was down. At my bedside asking what they could do, It was then that I found the inner strength to first lift my head and then will the rest of my body to defy gravity and rise. The goal was to get out of bed so they would see that it would be okay. I knew that my power of endurance would prevail. I never doubted that I would get through that debilitating struggle.
One of the reasons I struggled without treatment so long was because I was buying into and clinging to the idea that depression is for people who have too much time on their hands. All I had to do was stop being lazy. “Get a move on”. Hey, nobody I knew was dealing with depression, so in my mind, there had to be some truth to it. That’s right, you most likely heard it here first! I bought into the ignorance and BS. It’s akin to brainwashing and alternative facts.
To those who perpetuate the lies: Forgive them Father for they do not know what they do. Luke 23:34.
To everyone else, thank you for your concern for my safety and well-being. I don’t always act or speak as a “normal” person would. I guess I never really have, but right now I am aware of my illness and I am managing my symptoms.
My otherness sets me apart and makes my life a bit more interesting for sure. I am okay.
In Jan 2017, I learned just how cruel and relentless anxiety could be. In all my 50 plus years, I never knew it could present in such a debilitating form. But, it did. It revealed that despite my many years of battling this beast (instead of accepting it), I still knew little to nothing of its actual power and endurance.
First, here in Part 1, I express a bit of my most recent experiences with the negative side of this companion. Since it is not always the bearer of all things dreadful, I classify it as sort of a frenemy.
I wish I could say I have become used to what I refer to as the sudden flight-and-paralysis type of adrenaline rush. Just imagine, while you are awake, that the two (paralysis and flight) are in tandem. A sight to observe, I’m sure. Even though this unusual, abnormal, freakish reaction occurs fairly regularly, I have not yet learned to navigate it so that I appear to be okay, so that there is the perception of normalcy – whatever that means.
I have come to accept the lightning-fast, drop-of-a-dime swing from comprehension to bewilderment. It’s like listening to YouTube in English, and then with the press of a button, I hear a foreign language without skipping a beat. The real problem is that there is no button to switch back to the familiar.
This stupor has the power to encapsulate and teleport me to what feels like an alternate, incarcerating reality. Like, the instances in which I’m trying to go about my day, you know, being productive and then BAM, out of the blue a MEETING is called. A meeting? For what reason? What did I do? What didn’t I do? It must be about me, right? The hair stands up on the back of my neck, and my eyes look like a deer in the headlights. I need Imodium and something to treat overactive bladder too. It’s a hellish and lonely experience when at that very moment nothing makes sense anymore.
When under this mental attack, there is almost complete withdrawal from reality for a relatively short period of time. But, during that time, which feels like an eternity, my brain computes that I am under arrest. I am banished to the hole – an isolation cell in my mind.
With cuffs securely around my brain, tightening, my mind paces in the cage. It feels like all eyes are on me. Step right up! Look everybody here’s an oddity! Here is someone not like us. My otherness shines brightly.
I have become acquainted with the so very many occasions when I am instantly unable to comprehend documents that are usually familiar. Staring at letters on paper and reading each word with a pause afterwards. The words have no meaning. Repeat. Repeat. I’m just learning to read. There are also occasions when I am unable to interpret speech normally. It’s in slow motion. Just imagine Charlie Brown’s teacher speaking to the class. For those who don’t know what I mean, you can watch it here.
Then there is the embarrassing moment when all eyes are on me at the table. It’s the moment of truth. What will I say? Do you know the ancient commercial “When E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen”? Well, I am definitely not he. Rather, the world stops, but I can’t get off. A powerful, massive surge of adrenaline begins to course through my veins.
I’m under attack. Trying to withstand it, I mumble and stutter, the words and sounds actually vibrate, shake as they depart my quivering lips. I unintentionally speak softly, stumbling over words. Now everyone has to literally lean in. My heart is speeding. Worse has come to worst.
Sometimes my sentences are incoherent or garbled. I keep forming what I hope and think are the correct words while trying to act as if nothing odd is happening. It’s akin to dyslexic speech. A few minutes more of this torture and I abruptly decide the monologue is over. I take a deep gulp, shift slightly in my seat (oh God the chair squeaked), and my body resists the strong urge to press an imaginary eject button and run like hell. If you have ever experienced sleep paralysis, then you know what I mean. In that moment, I long for the power of invisibility. Since I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon, I’m thinking okay, quickly people, please break the silence in the room. No thoughts to ponder right now. Finally, they moved on to someone else.
Does anyone else ever feel this type of anxiety? Probably not to this extreme.
Yesterday, I asked the groomer to give my toy poodle a low hair cut. She got the cut all right, and all the hair on her tail was gone too. That’s not cool. My lil’ girl Princess looked at me and looked at her tail as if to say, “What the heck did you let them do to me?” I look like I have a white miniature pinscher with fluffy ears. I keep saying to myself, “It’s hair; it will grow back.” I give my baby love as usual and I move on, but I’m not feeling it. What can I do? What’s done is done.
It’s now 3:30 a.m. and my Princess climbs on top of my chest. I know what that means, and it’s not good. I try to ignore, but she won’t go away. She moans. Sighs… okay, this nighttime excursion is really going to happen. The medication I recently started turns up full blast during the night. I know this because if I have to get up for any reason, I feel heavily drugged. My body feels incredibly heavy, sluggish, and drained. It feels a lot like depression. Okay, we are going for a potty break because I’m not having an accident in my bed. If that happened I would probably lose it because clean up would take away valuable sleep time. So, I suit up and go outside looking a hot mess. Just wait until the neighbors see this on their security cameras. Smile for the cameras! Dive back in bed.
I’ve got about an hour and a half left to sleep. Wake up, check my phone. It’s 5:00 a.m. Oh, can I get a little more sleep? Thirty more minutes! Thirty more minutes. Wake up 45 minutes later! Oh s**t, do I really want to do this? No, I don’t. I should text in (not call in) to say I’m sick. At this moment, I’m not lying. I feel like I got run over by a Mack truck. Can’t focus. It hurts to even think about getting ready. I just want to stay down.
I debate going to work. Debate over and go to work wins again. I drag myself out of bed. Do what I gotta do. Ugh I only have 30 minutes to prepare. Thank God the dress code is casual, as in jeans and t-shirt everyday. I can look as rough as I feel and nobody notices or cares. Heading out the door I say my goodbyes to the kids, and I hear a cheery, “Bye, Mom” from my daughter. Eye roll. Is she for real?
In my truck, I hear Charlamagne tha God telling somebody he is a grown ass man. Why this is the only thing I remember about the drive – I do not know. I’m doing 60 MPH in a 40 MPH zone. Now, I’m at the job and I throw myself out of my truck and deactivate the security alarm. One of my greatest fears is that I will forget the code and the alarm will go off. The cops will come a few hours later. Just in time for some stale coffee.
I plop down in my chair and stare at the computer. Ugh I have to remember my password, yay. I keep telling myself I should write it down. It changes every few months. I can’t keep up. Um did I change it to ‘$’ or ‘!’? I struggle with possible passwords, and finally, I’m in.
I’ve been at work for two hours. It’s 8:30 and why is my co-worker-wannabe-my-boss rolling up on me with backup? The answer I gave her in person (and by email) hasn’t changed. She asked the same question three times. I gave the same answer, three times. I didn’t stutter. Now, she goes to her boss and he puts me on email blast. I’m anxious. I’m pissed. I clap back. My response has not changed.
“Tell ‘em what you gonna tell ‘em. Then tell ‘em what you done told ‘em,” as my teacher used to say.
I’m ready to let her have it, but I don’t. Instead, I vent to someone in the office. I calm down and try to let it all go.
Growing up, grief was an emotion that was hardly ever expressed by anyone other than myself. For instance, when my uncle committed suicide when I was ten years old, I never saw my dad show any emotion around me, but that is part of being a man. I knew that my uncle and father were close though. My uncle turned to alcohol for a reason unknown to me, but I suspect that depression played a role in his life. I knew that he and his wife and kids struggled with the problem so much so that he had to leave his home and live with my dad for a while.
In those days, you didn’t hear about people going to rehab and support groups. Everyone dealt with life and everything that came with it the best way they could. To whomever said life is a bitch and then you die, no truer words were ever spoken. We can rest assured that 1) we will experience unpleasantries in life and 2) no one is immortal.
It was a December day, around Christmastime, and I was going to attend a funeral for the first time. I remember Dad giving me a little push toward my uncle’s casket because I was afraid and looked on from a distance. Until the moment of the nudge, I didn’t realize that I was standing far away. I didn’t know where I was supposed to stand. I didn’t want to be there. Dad was teaching what I needed to know, but I really didn’t want to learn right then, if ever. That was my first experience with the death of someone I knew personally. I was terrified, but no matter how I felt, the funeral seemed matter of fact and life went on.
I’m guessing that I was supposed to follow the script and just move on when Dad passed away almost exactly a year later. But, I proved that I had not learned the lesson taught just a year before. I couldn’t shake off the sadness and feelings of abandonment, and no, I didn’t believe that time healed all wounds as Mom and other family members said. It was taking its sweet time to provide a scab. What made it worse was the fact that I felt like I had nobody to talk to, so my dark thoughts were my constant companion. I dealt with it the best I could. I tried to put on a brave face. For some reason, I couldn’t move on as others said I would. I was angry and I cried often.
Now, I know that I most likely struggled with PTSD because Dad’s death was sudden. My anxiety intensified and depression did the same. As a young adult, I was afraid to attend funerals because of flashbacks and feelings of fear and sadness that I never figured out how to deal with. People never understood me, and frankly, I didn’t understand myself. My otherness began to settle in. I wanted to die too. At one point, I wanted to leave this world, and I attempted to do just that. This was my first experience with depression.
In an effort to help others live through grief, I share suggestions for coping with it:
Know that if a person is close to someone who passes away, they will most likely experience symptoms of grief even if they don’t show it. Please know that whether grieving a death or grieving a failed relationship, the grieving process is basically the same.
Acknowledge a person’s grief with words, a card, or an embrace.
Express a willingness to listen in case they aren’t sure that you are open to it. If you can’t listen, find someone else who is close to the individual. Listening is an opportunity to understand and discover their thoughts and even understand how you can help their recovery from grief.
Provide some space if it is needed but still offer encouragement, reassurance, and support when you see a loved one struggling with grief. It’s okay to grieve. That is what we do when we feel a loss. It is normal. Remember that an ‘I love you’ – even if it’s on the way out the door – can go along way.
Find a support group, online or in person, or seek professional medical assistance if necessary. It is always best to consult a professional if you suspect that the person is having an especially difficult time coping. Don’t hesitate to call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the crisis text line at 741741.
Know the symptoms of depression: Sadness, negativity, lack of interest in activities and food, isolation, weight loss, irritability, guilt.
Know the stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.
There is no clear path to acceptance, as everyone grieves differently. For me, the path was extremely long, as I stayed in the depression stage for a long period of time and I experienced PTSD.
If you have suggestions or thoughts on this topic, please share them.
Matthew 5:4 blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (NIV).
Our senses can play a role in mental health. So, why not utilize sensory self-soothing to help ground ourselves and promote mental wellness. This is a great way to supplement the practice of mindfulness, as this can help bring us back to the present moment, especially when the mind drifts to unpleasant thoughts. My collection of sentimental items provides the instant gratification and relief I need.
Peek inside my sensory self-soothing kit:
Lots of photos of great memories and family
Playlist of favorite songs especially old school R&B
Sound of rain (real life or YouTube)
Faux sheepskin rug
Baby Oil Gel
Sea Salt Countertop Spray (nothing like this scent to finish off after cleaning)
Cashmere Woods Scented Oil
Now and Laters
Fire Cinnamon flavored gum