T – Therapy for your troubled soul. #AtoZChallenge

T – Therapy for your troubled soul. #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

Stress was a huge part of my life for quite a long period. Dealing with mental illness patients wasn’t easy. It took its toll on me, but I had no one to talk to. I did attend a few therapy sessions after learning about hubby’s bi polar disorder, but then, Life got in the way and there was no time to think about myself.

It was last year that I decided, on the spur of the moment at our psychiatrist’s, that I needed to deal with my stress and anxiety. I was exhausted holding it all in for almost 19 long years and I just wanted to get rid of that fear that hampered my growth.

The therapy sessions helped me share things I had pushed to some dark corner of my mind and find a much-needed release. I also discovered that i suffered from Generalised Anxiety disorder–the most common of anxiety disorders in today’s world.

Today, after more than five months of my first therapy session, and with the help of medication, here’s how I find myself in a better space:

HOW THERAPY HAS BENEFITTED ME:

I am in a much better mental health than before.

I have learned to deal with the fear and the anxiety that would torture me earlier.

I have realised that my anxiety was a result of my imagination going wild.

I have become aware of how my mind works and how the negative thoughts disturb me so.

I have learned to change my thought process and look for positivity in even the most trying situations.

I have learned a few facts about my panic and how to deal with the uncertainties with a calm mind.

And, most important of all, I have learned to live in the moment and take Life as it comes.

It is such a relief, being able to live life without fear or anxiety interrupting every step of the way!

YOU NEED THERAPY IF:

1. If your loneliness gets frightening and leaves you feeling crippled.

2. If your anxiety comes in your way and controls your everyday functioning.

3. If you have sleep issues: have trouble falling asleep/have a disturbed sleep/feel fatigued at the beginning of your day.

4. If you have thoughts that control you and leave you distressed on a daily basis.

5. If you have difficulty dealing with issues arising in your relationships.

6. If you have anger issues.

7. If you suffer from uncontrollable mood swings.

8. If fear/jealousy/sadness et al are the emotions that rule your world.

9. If you feel depressed all the time.

10. If you find yourself unable to deal with difficult situations with confidence and courage.

There is really no shame in visiting a counsellor or going in for therapy. Your mind and your soul deserve to be cared for the same way you care for your physical health and appearance.

All it needs is a phone call to make an appointment, and complete faith in your therapist. Oh, and complete honesty on your part, too!

Cheers!

Love,

SHILPA…

Therapy is a necessity for a troubled soul

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, and my theme this year is, ‘SELF-CARE’. You will find all the A to Z posts here.

E – Emotional Independence. #AtoZChallenge

E – Emotional Independence. #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

 

 

If you want to live a happy Life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.”

“Do not put the key to your happiness in another person’s pocket.”

We live our entire lives in pursuit of happiness; seeking it in the people in our life, in materialistic objects that lose their shine in a matter of days. Being by ourselves frightens us and leaves us feeling incomplete.

But, in reality…

Being able to enjoy one’s company, being able to find happiness in activities we do for ourselves, being responsible for our own emotions and happiness, makes us emotionally independent!

It’s what I wanted since years–to not be in a desperate need to have someone around me to feel happy, being¬†comfortable with myself and find happiness in my work.

The craving for a company all the time, made me desperate and dejected.

However, I realised that people aren’t constant in our lives. People leave after they have fulfilled their purpose in our life. The ones who do stay, are the very few who we call our “soul mates”. But, even our soul mates might not be around precisely when we need them!

“Everyone leaves. Learn to survive alone.”

…is a quote that made me realise this fact about LIFE.

Friends leave, some stay, some drift away, some find new friends; we grow emotionally distant from our partners, too, after spending years together; our children grow and leave the nest.

Who are we left with, ultimately? Just ourselves!

It is we who will be with us for the rest of our lives. So, why not be our own best friends–develop a strong bond with ourselves, learn to love ourselves and our company so much so, that we are never in need of another person to make us happy!

The best way to do this, as Albert Einstein said, is by having a GOAL in life. A goal that consumes us, our time, our thoughts, our energy, to such an extent, we hardly find the time to rue a person’s absence around us.

The GOAL could be your work, your hobby, volunteering at an NGO for kids, the elderly or an animal shelter, where we give our time to others, which, in turn, brings us immense peace and satisfaction.

Looking after your family’s needs is not your ‘purpose’; it’s your responsibility towards them.

A ‘PURPOSE’ is what will be your responsibility towards YOURSELF, one that will make you truly happy!

If you are wondering what is it that could be your purpose/goal, write things that make you happy–an activity/hobby/work that fulfils your emotional & creative needs, choose the one that’s closest to your heart, and just go for it!

 

 

THINGS TO DO WHEN FEELING LONELY:

  1. Go on a solo date. You will love it!
  2. Write your feelings in a journal
  3. Pursue a hobby.
  4. Learn a new skill that you can add to your CV
  5. De-clutter and re-organise your wardrobe/kitchen cabinets
  6. Spend time gardening/crocheting/sewing
  7. Go for a walk/jog/swim.
  8. Join a gym/yoga class
  9. Doodle/solve puzzles
  10. Read
  11. Visit a theatre/a museum
  12. Go to your favorite cafe.
  13. Have a spa-day at home
  14. Call up your friends/sisters/mum
  15. Spend time with pets
  16. Scrub your house to a shine (my fave therapy!)
  17. Prepare a to-do list for the next week/month
  18. Listen to music and dance along
  19. Watch a movie at home with some popcorn to set the scene
  20. Cook your favourite dish/bake

 

 

Wish you the best!

Much love,

SHILPA…

 

Be your own best friend and you will never be lonely!

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme this year is SELF-CARE.

You can read all my posts here.

 

 

C – Connect with your tribe. #AtoZChallenge

C – Connect with your tribe. #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

This is one of the most essential things to do, especially if you are a loner, like yours truly!

Being an introvert, I preferred keeping things to myself–my anxieties, fears, my thoughts–all of it. Until last year, when I realised how important it is to reach out to those who know me, who care about me and who have only my best interests at heart.

it did bother me that I would be burdening others with my worries, but a cousin gave me quite an earful about how it was necessary that they know what I am going through, for they were MY PEOPLE!

People who would keep aside their worries when you need a shoulder to lean on belong to ‘OUR TRIBE’.

And, it is this tribe that we need to connect with, reach out to, share stuff with, because they understand.

Ladies, to be frank, it’s only your girl friends who will truly LISTEN to you, UNDERSTAND you and make your troubles theirs. Am I right, or am I right??

If you are suffering from the dreaded PMS related stress/anxiety/fear, or feeling low and lonely, and you speak about it to your partner (read, husband/boyfriend), you can only imagine the response you will get.

But, if you share the same things with your girl friends/sisters/mother/aunt, they will just gather you in a tight hug, and let you cry your heart out/complain/rant, and help cheer you up, sometimes by saying nothing at all! Isn’t it?

This the reason you need to CONNECT WITH YOUR TRIBE!

I made it a goal for 2019, where I decided upon days of the week when I would call up my girl friends/cousins and talk…just talk. Having deep, meaningful conversations with these women lifts my spirits, cheers me up, lessens my anxieties and drives away my scary thoughts.

These women live in different cities and countries and there’s no way I can meet them in person on a regular basis. So, I put my phone to good use instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media.

I came across this quote which I am sure you will relate to:

I have come to realise that the only people I need in my life are the ones who need me in theirs even when I have nothing else to offer them but myself.”

Don’t you agree?

So, reach out….

Connect with your tribe, with those closest to you, with whom you are comfortable, and who, you know, can save you from any situation you might find yourself in.

Just go ahead and call them/write to them/meet them. But, do it regularly. And, be there when they need you. That’s what will cement your relationship!

Much love,

SHILPA…

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge and my theme this year is ‘SELF-CARE’.

You will find all the posts here.

Pursue a hobby for better health

Pursue a hobby for better health

Today feels like one of those perfect days when my household chores get done before time and I find some extra time on hand. Days, when I can plan out my work and complete it and be satisfied with myself. And, happy, too!

Yes, my work–my writing and my art–gives me immense happiness. And, on days when I am unable to indulge in either of these, it feels as if I missed out on something very important, which makes me cranky. Writing and art are the two hobbies that make my heart feel contented and my mind, relaxed. And, as I finished my housework before time, I could actually sit down this morning to make an artwork before beginning this post as opposed to every other day when I have to fight for some time for my art.

Hobbies are a part of our life, be it writing, reading, art, sewing, crocheting, gardening, cooking, baking, dancing, singing….the list goes on. These are activities that may not help us earn our livelihood, but more importantly, these help us stay mentally and physically healthy.

HOW HOBBIES HELP OUR MENTAL HEALTH:

IMPROVE FOCUS & CONCENTRATION: When you sit down to read, write or draw, or, in short, spend some time pursuing a hobby, your mind makes space for thoughts related to that activity and gets rid of all the clutter that usually crowds the mind. Your worries, stress, anxiety, irritation, anger, sorrow – all of it gets replaced by a sense of calm and peace. Your attention span improves, you focus wholly on that activity and become oblivious to the rest of the world. Hobbies quieten the restless mind and help you reap the benefits of being ‘still’.

IMPROVE MOOD: The time you spend doing that activity instantly improves your mood, which, in turn, results in a release of your happy hormones–endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. You may have noticed how refreshed you are by the time you have completed the activity. A dancer might feel all the more energetic, or a singer might feel a lot calmer. And, an artist might feel jubilant at having created the art he/she had planned in detail.

REDUCE ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION : Hobbies are those activities that help us push away all the other thoughts, the what-ifs, the stressors and concentrate on creating something with our hands, our fingers. Watching it ‘coming to life’ drives away the thoughts that make us anxious or depressed and relieve us of all the accumulated stress. Hobbies can, actually, act like a drug that reduces anxiety, increases calmness and helps us sleep better!

HOW HOBBIES HELP OUR PHYSICAL HEALTH:

KEEP YOU FIT: Your hobby keeps you physically active and as a result, fit and healthy. Be it dance, sports, gardening, or any other activity which requires you to step outdoors and get moving, It helps your heart beat wonderfully and exercises every muscle, every bone that would otherwise lie idle, lolling on the couch, doing nothing!

HELP YOU SOCIALISE: If it’s a hobby that requires you to step outdoors and visit places, then you are sure to meet like-minded people, who share your passion for that hobby. You learn to share your experiences, swap ideas and express yourself better. And, if you are an introvert, then be sure to observe a sea change in yourself if you begin pursuing a hobby that asks of you to step ‘out’ of your cocoon! Your social circle is sure to widen and loneliness will become a thing of the past.

HELP YOU WIDEN YOUR HORIZONS: Yes, these are activities that will not only help you health-wise, but also increase your knowledge, change your perspectives and help you learn something much more than you ever imagined. There are a countless things in our world we know nothing about. Your hobby is sure to help you discover something new and help improve your skills, give you new ideas and teach you newer ways of doing things. I learned Zentangle and making the Mandala through the various social media platforms–art forms I never knew existed!

We live our lives in pursuit of peace and happiness. That’s why, in a life that is so short, uncertain and full of stress and difficulties, it helps having a hobby that gives us some moments of respite from all the chaos; gives our mind and body a few moments of peace and joy that give us renewed energy to go back out there and tackle Life and its complicated situations, all over again.

So, what’s your hobby? Do you make time for it in your daily schedule?

Love,

SHILPA..

 

Your hobby keeps you healthy.

 

 

 

 

New Year Resolutions: Why our plans fizzle out.

New Year Resolutions: Why our plans fizzle out.

 

So, finally 2019 is here–sparkling and glittering with its newness, infusing us with hope and vigour to make it a success story. I am sure most of us have decided on some new resolutions and promised to stick to those and fulfil them by the end of the year. Right?

But, as we all are so aware, all those grand resolutions are going to fizzle out by the end of the second week of January, itself! Or, may be by the end of January. And, we will find ourselves back where we started…wondering why we failed to stick to our plans and questioning our tenacity. By February, we will vow to stick to our resolutions the next year, come what may!

But, do you think we will succeed in 2020, either? I bet not.

Why do you think this happens? Why do our grand plans fizzle out?

I think, it’s because we make resolutions that are too ambitious and grand to handle. Seldom do we assess ourselves, our capabilities and our limits before making those resolutions.

Someone, who might wish to reduce weight, might decide to stay off sweets, altogether; enrol at a gym and workout like crazy; follow a diet to get the figure they so wish.

Someone might decide to work towards that promotion they so seek and slog night and day.

And, someone else might decide to live a more fulfilling life where they spend more time with their families and discover themselves, follow their passions, because, well… YOLO! I mean, You Only Live Once! ( I was so unaware of the meaning of YOLO till sometime back!).

But, is it that easy?

Being strict with your diet, hitting the gym regularly….can all get frustrating after a while because you never know when Life might test your commitment. All of our best laid plans could fly right out the window!

Or, in our quest to reach ahead in the “race”, we would neglect our health, our sleep and our family and if things don’t go as we expect–which is what usually happens– we could very well end up depressed.

And, people who wish to live a more fulfilling life with their families and all, can definitely achieve it, provided they place their smartphones and other gadgets under lock and key once they are home. But, do you think you can resist the temptation of checking the notifications on the many social media platforms?

You might do it for a day or two, but then will just give in to the urge to grab that phone and forget all about discovering yourself.

So, all the enthusiasm with which we begin the new year starts to wane and our singleminded devotion towards fulfilling our resolutions begins to peter out. We do make a few feeble attempts at getting our mojo back, but in vain. And, soon, we fall into the rut we all were so used to earlier. Life takes over along with the uncertainties She brings our way and we realise we will never be able to win over Life and Her big plans!

WHAT WE NEED TO DO INSTEAD

This year, I decided to make a few goals to follow; goals that I haven’t labelled as “resolutions”; goals which would be doable and easy on me and my mind. After all that happened in my Life since 2017, all I need today is peace of mind. That’s all. I am not at all trying to be overly ambitious, or enthusiastic, or anything. All I am looking for is the elusive peace, and how to make it a part of my life, and thus these goals.

So, I jotted down a few things that I needed to make a part of my everyday life. Little things, really, like…

Simple, doable things that are sure to make me a stronger person, calm me during the tiresome, stressful moments and yes, build a solid support system that I so need.

Of course, it is not easy, for instance, to accept Life as it is, or believe in myself when things aren’t going my way. I am human, after all. But, being grateful for whatever I have is bound to change that and give me a fresh new perspective about my Life.

So, instead of coming up with resolutions we will never stick to, why not make smaller goals to work on on an everyday basis; goals that are easier to manage and do not burden us with expectations.

Here’s what you could do if you wish to fulfil your new year resolutions…

8 WAYS TO STICK TO YOUR RESOLUTIONS:

1. Take baby steps…make smaller goals that don’t tax your mind if you miss out once in a while. Remember, it’s okay to slip off the track once in a while.

2. Don’t be too strict with yourself as far as meeting your goals is concerned. I mean, suppose you decide to stay off sweets, then take it a day at a time and keep aside a day when you can cheat on your plan. Have a chocolate, or your favourite dessert–for the sake of your taste buds–and, then workout a bit extra the following day. But, then again, don’t overdo it. Bottom line is, care for your body, be considerate towards its limits.

3. If you wish to cut down on your smartphone use, set an alarm for 9 pm when you will switch off the WIFI and put the phone away. Do not switch it on as soon as you wake up. And, once you do switch on, time yourself. No more than 10 minutes to check whatever you wish to and as soon as your 10 minutes are up, switch it off again. Stay away from it for at least a couple of hours between every 10 minutes phone break you take.

4. If you have decided to exercise/workout everyday, do it in the morning beginning with just 15 minutes. After a week, increase it by 10 minutes. 25 – 30 minutes of exercise is more than enough. And, take a break on Sundays. Your body requires the rest.

5. Prepare a journal in which you note down your goals and how you manage to achieve them everyday. Be true to yourself. No cheating!

6. At the end of a week/ fortnight, if you find that you have been pretty consistent with working on your goals, reward yourself.

7. Remember to take life ONE DAY AT A TIME–this includes working on your goals, too!

8. And, finally, remember that you are NOT competing with anyone except yourself–your old self. So, don’t be a tyrant and drive yourself crazy over your goals. It will affect your mental health. And, if your mental health suffers, believe me, there’s no point working on any other aspect of your life.

So, what goals have you made for the new year? If you haven’t yet, I would suggest you give it a good thought, take everything into consideration and then decide what it is that you need to change. I am sure you will have a higher chance at succeeding at it!

Wish you the very best!

May you all have a happy, healthy and a peaceful New Year!

God bless!

Take care, coz I care…

Love,

SHILPA…

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Setting tiny goals instead of resolutions helps us stay on course.