These Five Things Help Me With My Anxiety and Depression.
The chirping of the birds echoes throughout the house. A gentle sound, one that connects me with nature. As my thoughts break from dream land. And my eyes flicker open. The sounds are not nature making its way into my room. But my alarm on my phone. Three years ago I took part in a fun and educational on line apprentice program. It was a multi-week course covering a variety of topics, from writing to social media. Hosted by Elephant Journal, an online media source, with its focus on education and mindfulness. Along with the take ways pertaining to my writing, many reveal themselves in my blog and posts.
One of my favorite lessons. And that has become part of my routine. Keeping my phone seven feet away from my bed.
The reason why this lesson has been so helpful. Is it is limiting the urge to scroll. And forcing me to get my ass up and the day started. My last blog, My Fist Fight with Anxiety and Depression, I revealed some battles I have gone through and am currently dealing with. And the overwhelming response and support has motivated me to create this blog. One that will shed some light on the morning routine that helps me overcome many of my past fuelers of the least favorite boxing partner. Anxiety and depression. I've read a bunch of different blogs and articles on the why's and how's of these. But like anything in life we must modify to fit us. And I did just that. Taking a bit from everyone. Applied them to my life. So feel free to do the same with yours. And reach out if you have questions about them.
Not looking at my phone for 2 hours. The first thing in the morning. What about if something happened last night? Or something important is needed to be told to me? Or my family? I fully understand that this can be a safety issue for many of us. Or even be viewed as selfish. Again this is just a suggestion and when traveling or meeting others I modify this routine. But on a day or time, when I know I'm free I make sure to take full advantage of this. Typically this is when I wake at 5:30 am.
Do something active for at least 30 minutes. Whether a walk with the dogs. Morning Yoga. A HIT class. Or a run. This has been one of my favorites I add to my daily routine. With a fresh mind I begin the workout. And of course every bone in my body wants to roll back in bed and quit. But I power through. And it is the first sense of accomplishing something, starting the day with a positive.
Meditation. This one can be a challenge for many. I hated it at first. And there are days where I still do. But what I love about it. Is the challenge to sit still and not attach to the thoughts, even good ones like my trip to Florida is going to be so fun or shitty ones such as how am I going to pay that bill off from my trip. The reason why I enjoy this challenge is it helps breaks the subconscious. What does that mean? In our lives we encounter experiences that create fight or flight reactions, in the subconscious. Yes sounds deep and a bit hippie, but when you take time to think about why we react to new scenarios, we can begin to shed light on this idea. Think about a food. One we've never had, but smell, look or texture bring up an old memory. This happens in many other facets too, like relationships, business experiences and so on.
Cold Shower. This one is new for me. But one that is now my favorite. It taps into the aspect of showing ourselves we can over come anything. In the shower, Wim Hof recommends starting with a warm shower then ending with cold one. In the beginning stay for 15 seconds. Notice how the breathe becomes extremely short and choppy then in time and with work, steadies out. The longer the breath, the easier the experience becomes. I am up to 45 seconds now. And I feel empowered after leaving the shower.
Education. I leave about an hour in the morning to read. Anything from interesting stories in the CBD, Stand Up Paddle and Yoga industries. To the Wall Street Journal or the Elephant Journal. My biggest test is that my computer is connected with my phone and I can see texts. Get alerts from Facebook and email. Many recommend disconnecting these and I think that is a great call to start the day. I am actually creating a separate login that will only have the education pieces to my world.
These additions to my routine have been extremely helpful. And there are days where I do all of them. Others when I do none. I try to always have one or two of them in there to help keep me out of the perpetual scroll into the land of make believe, I mean Social Media.
Another key tool has been CBD. Cannabidiol, the non psychoactive part associated with the Cannabis plant. Over the past year I have spent time researching as well as taking CBD in all the variety's they offer. Drinks, gummy bears, vape, tincture, pills and lotions. This has been one of the biggest contributors to softening the blows from my fist fight with anxiety and depression. Yoga, mediation and physical activity also are a huge help. But this one has shown me the biggest benefits.
These tips, are merely my experience. I am not a doctor nor play one on tv. If you are looking for that advice please consult a medical doctor.
However I did want to share that making a change in the routine, especially that small one that we are most likely holding in your hand to read this blog. Have been beneficial to raising the quality of my life. And winning this fight against those dark days.