Health, Mental Illness, Motherhood

Feeding the Soul

Do you ever feel as if your well is completely drained or has a slow leak? That you haven’t had a moment to yourself? For me, my life revolves around my husband and kids. Though I do not regret it for a second, I do become mentally and emotionally drained if I haven’t found some time for myself. That time to “feed my soul,” if you will. No matter if you have children or not, everyone needs some time to refill their well. Even if it is only thirty minutes a day, I try to take some time to do something I enjoy. As a mother of a toddler and a newborn, these thirty minutes usually occur after both boys are in bed. Despite being physically exhausted, I know if I don’t do something to make myself happy everyday, I will struggle emotionally and mentally. It isn’t healthy being physically, emotionally and mentally drained, especially for someone who already suffers from depression and anxiety. While I can’t help the physical exhaustion ( it comes with the territory of having kids), I can do something about the mental and emotional exhaustion.

Some of the ways I “feed my soul,” are by:

1) Making lists while taking a bath (might sound strange, but it relaxes me)

2) Reading a book on my e-reader (it might take me two weeks to start and finish one, but I love getting lost in a book)

3) Drawing in my sketch pad or working on decorations for Aidan’s upcoming birthday

4) Blogging (Obviously)

And lastly

5) Yoga or going on a nightly walk

These five interests allow me to not only have a moment to myself, but de-stress from the drain of motherhood. For a while I felt empty, because I wasn’t taking time for myself. A good friend of mine reminded me, that if you do not take care of oneself, you will start to struggle with the relationships that truly matter to you. She was absolutely right. After a few weeks of feeling emotionally and mentally drained, I made more of an effort to take that precious time for myself. Both my husband and I have noticed, that I am much happier and less anxious when I “feed my soul.” I urge everyone to take at least thirty minutes a day to care for your mental and emotional state. Pick up a new hobby or go sit in a quiet room with a book. Find some way to refill your well. You deserve it!

Love and blessings,

Molly

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Health, Mental Illness

One Day at a Time

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to spend the day with one of my best friends. We spent the day shopping and gossiping. Over lunch we sat and discussed everything from marriage to motherhood. In between stories of our children, a more serious topic came up. That topic was depression, more specifically how those without depression struggle to understand those who suffer from it. I have suffered from depression and anxiety since I was eleven years old. As a child, I hid my mental state from those outside my family. There is such a negative stigma when it comes to those suffering from depression or an anxiety disorder. Most people assume that those who are sick can not live a normal life and are weak. This is not the case. Explaining depression to those uninformed can be so frustrating. Over the last fifteen years, I have heard comments such as, “depression isn’t real, it’s just you trying to get attention.” Or “if you want to be happy you just need to think happy thoughts, since it is all in the mind.” These statements are false. To explain depression to someone who does not have it, I want you to imagine you are swimming in the ocean and a huge wave comes out of nowhere and pushes you down to the bottom of the ocean. You are so disoriented that when you try to swim to the top, you are actually swimming farther down. It takes a lot of work on your part and help from others, to finally get back to shore. This is how depression works. For me, depression consists of anxiety, sadness, loneliness and exhaustion. While these symptoms do not completely go away for me, I find relief through certain lifestyle choices. These choices include: getting exercise and spending time outside each day, talking about my emotions with someone I trust and taking medicine for depression and anxiety. I have also learned overtime, that my depression is worse during stressful situations, such as my parents divorce and the loss of my daughter. While it is impossible to avoid situations such as these, I found finding support from family and friends was the best way to ease me out of my depressive episodes. Like everyone, I have my good days and I have my bad days. On my bad days, I might just be a little more withdrawn and emotional than what is normal for those without depression. Though it is not easy living with a mental disease, and I never know when a wave of sadness is going to hit, I try to take it one day at a time. I am blessed to have an amazing husband who is there for me through my good days and bad days. My recommendation is for anyone who suffers from depression to find a support system who will lift you up on those bad days, and those who don’t, to become that support system that others so desperately need!

Love and blessings, 

Molly