Wednesday, February 12, 2020
When my eight-year old son said I looked tired and stressed I knew I had to work harder on my health plan. His little voice was on replay in my ear. Generally, he does not talk to me in this manner, but he was concerned and also suggested I take a nap. I understood the subtle attack on my health which my stress created. I had to act quick to prevent crisis and redirect my focus on strengthening my wellness routine.
Therefore, I went on overtime to manage my stress and reverted back to those coping strategies that helped in the past. This meant disciplining my mind to engage in more reading, concentrate on completing word search puzzles, walking around my neighborhood more than once a day, and repeating affirmations, and listening to motivational speakers for more positive messages in order to uphold healthy and productive thoughts.
Whenever I cannot sleep I force myself to get out of bed and to carryout activities that will help relax my mind. I read self-development books to enrich my focus on staying well. I finish word search puzzles to practice concentration skills and to relieve my racing thoughts and to minimize self-induced distractions such as television or eating when I am not hungry, and other methods of procrastination.
To reinforce clarity, I walk circles in my neighborhood for 20 minutes to an hour. As I walk, I clear my energized thoughts and create a new agenda to accomplish projects and self-care demands. Most days I repeat affirmations and unique principles to remind myself of my strengths, hopes, plans, gifts and talents to carry out goals. I keep such pep talks simple and empowering:
“I am stronger than I was yesterday. I master discipline. I am determined. I am enthusiastic. I can accomplish this goal. I will overcome setbacks. I am creative. I welcome the spirit and energy of determination, optimism, and diligence…”
I listen to motivational speakers on YouTube every day for several minutes and even for hours at times while I am getting ready, walking, performing house chores, or meditating on gratitude and my higher power. Other times I listen to the sounds of nature to calm my mind.
Moreover, when I aim to minimize my stress levels I avoid watching the news early in the morning or late at night. That way I have more control over my mood and energy. Watching the news early in the morning or late at night stirs a range of emotions such as frustration, sadness, fear, and more stress about the events on television that I cannot address.
Finally, I focus on stress management daily and make these coping strategies a part of my routine. In other words, I perform these practices interchangeably to overcome stress and to get the most from my self-care routine. Yet, when all these tactics still fall short I rely on additional coping tools. My other coping methods incorporate reaching out to my therapist for more sessions and also getting back on sleep medication and other medicine to help relieve anxiety.
How does the stress management activities that I discussed support your self-care plan?
Saturday, February 1, 2020
Here is a glimpse of the thoughts going through my mind as my God was bringing me back to reality and recovery. This is an excerpt from my book, Coping Takes Work:
“My body stated trembling, and I started crying profusely. I was frightened, but suddenly reconnected. Reality hit me. My mind was warring with itself, and I was the victim - but also the instigator! As I became unstuck, I had an epiphany. God told me what everybody else already knew. My illness was at its worst, and my thinking was off-balance. My thoughts were spiraling out of control, adding to the turmoil. I was detrimentally unstable. I could not control my crisis, myself, nor my life at this point. I was losing myself, but I was the last to recognize the dominant indications of my poor state of mind" ("Introduction").
To read more purchase a copy on Amazon today.
Thursday, January 23, 2020
|Author of Coping Takes Work|
"It seemed as if everybody was obsessed with me and everywhere, I went, somebody was watching. Every comment I made somebody was listening. Every step I took somebody was monitoring" (excerpt from Coping Takes Work, "Introduction" by Ashley Smith).
I was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 20. Common symptoms of my condition include: severe suspicion and paranoia, seeing and hearing things that others do not, false beliefs, anxiety, and loss of reality, etc. Fortunately, my mental illness is manageable. I am a single-parent and still enjoy life despite living with mental health challenges.
Support my mission to offer mental health awareness and purchase a copy of my book, Coping Takes Work from Amazon, click here.
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