Sunday, February 7, 2016

Choking on Words

There are many times we are victims of our emotions. As someone with mood disorders, I know first hand our bodies will occasionally act independently from our brains and mouths. Recently, I've been seriously struggling with my depression and crippling anxiety. My sleep pattern has been completely wrecked, I've been very unpredictably sad at random times, and my eating pattern is similar to The Very Hungry Caterpillar on Saturday when it eats everything in sight.
This past week, I've consciously stepped back from some things to get more control over myself. The biggest challenge for me has always been awareness and catching things before I get too overwhelmed or meltdown. My pattern for dealing with these bouts has gotten pretty defined into several steps.

Reflect- What has not been working for me?
            - What have I been wanting to do but have not actively made time to do?
            - How do I feel when I (insert activity here)

Remind- When are some times you have felt really happy?
            - What relationships matter to you?
            - When do you feel the most complete?

Resolve- What can I do today to make me happy?
             - What needs to change so I can avoid going into a mentally unhealthy place?
             - Make a clear plan to address the roadblocks.

At these times, it's a struggle to clearly express myself. Words get muddled with letters drying up on my tongue. Fingers move over keys only to write words to sentences never thought of or half imagined. This explains part of the recent absence from this blog. The other part of my absence has been dealing with a lot of interpersonal issues and those things clouding my writing. Luckily, things are changing. Noticing my problems is the second most important step in changing them.

Accepting that things are a problem and resolving to change them is the most important step

This week I've been more in touch with my spirituality and this has helped me center myself by being in the present. I've been able to hang out with some wonderful people in person which allows me to be social in easy to handle environments. Planning for epic roadtrips and weddings has already begin which makes me very hopeful for the future.

My emotions will always come with me on these adventures as they can help to enhance the trips. However, wherever I go I'm going to be the one in the driver's seat. My emotions can ride shotgun if they want and control the music, but not backseat driving is allowed.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Homemade Weighted Pads (with pictures)

I LOVE my weighted blanket. It was a gift to myself for my birthday last year and even though it was bought from a seller on Etsy, it was still expensive. The homemade option sometimes seems daunting and involving way more sewing skills than I have. Below, you will find a very simple set of instructions to make your own inexpensively.  Some of these ingredients, like dishcloths, can be purchased at dollar store or thrift store.

TIP: Make sure you like the feeling of the cloth if you are making this for yourself. Also of note, I used rice for this activity but dried beans also work.

I'll post more on modifications after the activity.

You will need:

1 Dishcloth (I prefer 100% cotton)
Hot Glue gun and hot glue sticks
Bag of Rice
1 Bowl
1 Cup/scoop like tool to move rice


1. Plug in Hot Glue Gun in a safe location.

2. Lay the dishcloth on a flat and clean surface.
*Note* You will want to work close to where the glue gun is plugged in.

3. Carefully open bag of rice and pour into bowl.

4. Scoop rice onto dishcloth until you have the weight you want.
I ate most of my rice this week, so this is NOT the amount you want to use.
*Note* You will still need to be able to fold over the dishcloth so the sides meet so don't overfill it.

5. Fold over the sides, either length wise or width wise, so they meet.
Rice is still in there!

6. Carefully seal the edges using the hot glue.

A finished one (with a LOT more rice in it)!

Using a dishcloth is a simple way to make a lightweight pad. You can use it on any body part as a way to apply deep pressure. If you want to make some different ones or heavier ones, check out the modifications below.

If you want to make a heavier one using MUCH more rice than a standard dishcloth can hold, use a pillowcase! Reinforce the opening of the case by sealing the opening, folding the opening over and sealing the fold with hot glue. I prefer to put these inside a second pillowcase, with the seal facing inside, to add an even greater level of reinforcement.

Some people may want to add essential oils, such as lavender, to increase the relaxation effect of the pad. Add a small amount of the oil to the bowl of rice before you add rice to the bag.

I'm still working on seeing what other non-food items can be used to make these as I have an idea to use metal washers, but I haven't done enough weight/price comparison to see if it is beneficial.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Resolve to Grow

If years have personal themes, 2015 was The Year of Healing.

2016 is shaping up to be The Year of Growth.

It's only the 4th day of the year, but I've been working on things for awhile to set them into motion this week. The next few months will involve 2 different dance classes a week, 2 different circus classes a week, and a good amount of freelance work. THIS is what I've been working towards.


When I perform, even if it's only for a few moments there have been WEEKS of preparation leading up to that point. Ask any performer and they'd tell you the same. Hours of practice is what you see boiled down to the length of a song. Practice is fundamental to paving the way to success. We can't expect to pick up a skill in one day and we can't expect to run a company in one afternoon. I've seen people get discouraged when they do not instantly become proficient in an area. Be it public speaking, acting, cooking, or anything really, it takes TIME as well as drive.

The good news is we have time.
We have 24 hours every single day.

When I was very sick this fall, I'd sleep at least 12 hours a day. This didn't even factor in eating, working, or doing human things like showering. Yet I continued to work, even a few minutes at a time, on improving my skills.


My wish for you all in 2016 is to grow. I've seen many people reflect on how difficult 2015 was for them. Speaking from personal experience, don't let things that happened to you affect your potential. You are better than the things that happened to you. Learn from them and grow in the direction YOU want, unhindered by others.

What have you been wanting to do for yourself? What limitations, either real or imagined, have you placed on achieving these things? What can you do today to move you in a forward direction?