Valentine’s Day 2018

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As soon as the stores around here clear out their Christmas merchandise, they put up the Valentine’s Day stuff: pink-and-red wrapped candy, chocolates in heart-shaped boxes, heart-shaped balloons, Valentine’s Day cards, red roses. Have I missed anything? I think it’s kind of gross —  so commercialized.

In fact, Valentine’s Day is actually SAINT Valentine’s Day, and it’s suspicious that these merchandisers even know that. Saint Valentine was a martyr. He tried to convert the Roman  Emperor to Christianity, and for his efforts he was clubbed and stoned — not to death, though. Saint Valentine was a tough guy. They had to behead him.

My guess is that we celebrate Valentine’s Day because Saint Valentine is the patron saint of love and marriage. But do we really think about the guy who lost his head for us so we can celebrate it by exchanging cards, giving presents, and in my case, eating candy? 😉 Probably not.

This year is my husband’s and my 19th Valentine’s, and we no longer celebrate the way we did when we were first dating. We don’t go out to a fancy restaurant, and some years we exchange gifts while on others we don’t. Okay, so we put a heart-covered bandanna on Rudy, who by the look on his face, definitely doesn’t know what Valentine’s Day is, but we love him just the same.

However, I think that this “holiday” can be lonely for some, especially those who don’t have a partner with whom to celebrate, and maybe even for those who do. But take Eve of Revenge of Eve’s advice: love yourself. You can always love yourself. Why not buy heart-shaped candy for yourself? Or flowers? Treat yourself to a massage, or a facial. Do something special for you.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

via Daily Prompt: Suspicious

New Year’s Eve 2017

3158472560_d13d3a9456_zI am happy and relieved at the end of the year, especially if it’s been a particularly bad one with regard to my mental health, as well as with things that can be classified as “$hit Happens.” Fortunately, 2017 has been an ok year. Though I underwent ECT in February/March for severe depression, I didn’t require it this past fall, and the autumn/winter season is the worst time for me; I also realize that winter isn’t over. That part’s pretty good. My anxiety, however, has really troubled me this year, though I’ve made some progress overcoming my fear of leaving the house alone by walking the dog and walking to physical therapy. Fortunately, no $hit happened this year!

I’m  not one to make resolutions, but I’m looking forward to a new beginning in 2018, which is what I love about each new year.

My husband and I don’t celebrate New Year’s Eve. We don’t go to parties anymore (they make me anxious), and we rarely stay up until midnight because we’re getting old lol! Plus, there’s sleep hygiene to consider. When I was a child, my mom once told me that if you fall asleep before midnight on New Year’s Eve, you’ll end up sleeping through the following year. Obviously, this isn’t true, although there are some years I wish I had slept through!

If you do go out and celebrate New Year’s Eve, please be safe! Happy New Year!

Photo by legalnonresident on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

Self-Care: Mental Health Days

IMG_0549As someone who struggles with mental illness, some days I just need a mental health day. I realize it’s easy for me to do because I don’t work, but if I did work, I’d call in sick in order to do this. I imagine that after the holidays, many people need a mental health day.

For me, this means a break from doing my normal activities (except for meditating), cancelling any appointments that day, staying in my pajamas, and resting by reading a book or watching Chopped reruns.

Last month, I took a mental health day after a particularly stressful week during what historically has been my worst week of the year for the past 3 years, and then taking a weekend road trip at the end of that week. By the end of the following week (I hope that made sense lol), I needed a day to rest in order to recharge.

One of the red flags of my depression is lethargy. Since I began taking Prozac last October, my energy has improved, but I still need a day here and there to recharge in order to continue being able to do my regular daily activities.

The thing my therapist has warned me against, however, is to not extend that mental health day into the next day, which could lead to that same lethargy that I feel while depressed; I may end up having a setback. And sometimes, it’s really hard for me not to extend, so I try not to take mental health days very often, even though it’s important for me to do once in a while.

So if you’re exhausted from celebrating the holidays, take a mental health day! 🙂

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The Holidays 2017

winter-holiday-berryThis time of year isn’t festive for everyone, particularly for those of us who have a mental illness and/or bad family memories of holidays past. Some choose not to celebrate. Some have no one to celebrate with. My heart goes out to you, and I’ll be celebrating with you in spirit. Sending love and light 💕

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