Category Archives: Environmental Wellness

30 Days of You

Hello Dear Reader 🙂

This isn’t my typical type of post so please bear with me 🙂

Yes it has been awhile but I am back yet again. If you’ve been following my blog, you already know this past year has not been the greatest for me. You’ve been with me through my ups and downs. You read my posts even though they were very sparing. Some of you even sent me encouraging messages. For that, I thank you. This blog and all of you have helped me heal.

I do want to give you an update. So, I’m not on my medication anymore due to the cost. Don’t fret because I am in a much better place right now and due to my wellness toolbox, I am bouncing back much easier than before. I’ve had my heart broken, I’ve begun a new relationship, I’ve moved from my old place, I’ve graduated college, I’m practicing more self-awareness and overall I am having more peaceful moments.

Now, I won’t lie to you. It was very hard. Very Very Very hard. There were nights during the past few months where I cried my eyes out and didn’t think I was going to make it. I depended on a lot of people to support me and I became discouraged at many intervals. I’m not claiming to be magically healed nor would I insult you all by giving you a step-by-step to recovery (since it’s relative anyway).

However I will say this, I am not at a low. My lows aren’t as low as they used to be and my highs are higher than ever. I can look in the mirror at least 3x a week and smile and say “you are beautiful” and mean it. I am experiencing increased happiness and I am amble to better catch myself in negative thinking instead of ruminating.

What I want to do is to share something with you. I want to help those who have suffered like I have or who are currently suffering. Depression, although it is getting a bit more talked about, is still an illness that is underestimated. It takes lives and robs souls. What I want to do is use my time, talents, and gifts to help others.

One thing that I am doing is inviting people to my Facebook challenge “30 Days of You”. Don’t worry, it’s free. I just want to help others.

The 30 Day Challenge is 30 Days of improvement, healing, support, and growth. The idea is that each participant chooses some goal they want to accomplish and stick with it continuously throughout the 30 Days. The goal can be completely personal, so “practicing self-love techniques for 30 days” or “learning to eat healthier” or “drinking more water”.

For some of you it could even be “get out of bed” or “smile at my reflection” and that’s okay 🙂

I’ve created a page called “30 Days of Fabulous” and the idea is to utilize it as a support system for the participants. So we post pictures, comment, share our stories and support one another in our endeavors. I would invite you to join the group and to join the event.

Ideally, one day I want this to become some sort of campaign or even a movement ^_^ that would be awesome. For now though, I just want to reach as many people as I can and support them to the best of my ability.

I hope if you’re reading this Dear Reader, you will join the event or at least share it with someone else.

Here’s the link to the 30 Days of Fabulous Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/457855387690666/

Here is the link to the 30 Days of You Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/524420244368424/

Sorry for the atypical post but I just had to say that 🙂

Thank you so much Dear Reader and I hope to see some or all of you in the challenge.

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Recovery

Good Evening Dear Reader,

It has been awhile since I last posted. I am happy to say that I am recovering from the depressive episode that I had a few months ago.

If you’ve been following my journey, you already know that I started medication in November. In January, I started a Cognitive Behavioral Program and tomorrow is my last day.

During the program I’ve learned many helpful things and I feel more prepared to handle the lows. This post is a testament to my recovery,

What I’ve learned through the program:
1. I don’t have to be perfect and hold myself to such high standards.
2. I can strive for progress, not perfection.
3, Small steps are better than no steps at all.
4. I am good as I am right now, and I will appreciate all that I do.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m at 100% because I am not. I’m more at 70% but at least I am functioning. A few months ago, I was at 10%. So I did make progress and I’m proud of that.

I am learning to be more gentle with myself. Loving myself is essential to recovery and I try to do small things to be kind to myself: like watch an episode of anime, read an article etc.

I’ve also decided that as a writer, I want to use my writing as an avenue to help people who suffer from this illness as well as inform those with misconceptions about depression.

Although the perfectionist in me wants to go out and try conquering the world, I know that I need to lighten my load and take better care of myself. I mean, I do feel like I am back to the functioning range but at the same time, I think I need to be careful right now.

There are some things I want to share with you Dear Reader. Especially if you suffer from depression. There are 5 steps to recovery.

1. Hope
Always have hope that things will get better. Even on those days when you feel like everything is in turmoil, keep a little hope in your heart.

2. Connection
Connecting with others definitely has kept me from withdrawing/isolating. When I have my lows, I tend to withdraw from everyone (including my loved ones) so to help with that, I schedule social connection time. I call my mom on a daily basis (even for just 5 min), I watch anime with a friend weekly, and I try to have lunch with at least 1 friend each week. This has helped so much.

3. Empowerment
I know that I am searching for things that empower me. I feel empowered when I write (hence the blog) or draw. I try to find empowerment in the little things as well (doing the dishes or making it out of bed more).

4. Self-Responsibility
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know that I am a firm believer in doing all that I can to help heal. I was very reluctant to try medication. At the end of the day though, I asked myself “What can I personally do to help me heal?” and “Am I doing all that is necessary to help my recovery?” These questions pushed me towards the medicine, COG program, and self love. I thought I was powerless in this. I felt and believed that depression made me powerless, but that’s not true. There are many things I can do to help heal. I can be nice to myself, I can go to therapy, I can take my meds, etc. I have more power than I feel I do.

5. A Meaningful Life
To be honest, I wasn’t quite clear on this one. In my opinion, this means do things that are meaningful to you. What has meaning for me? I know that writing is very meaningful to me, so I try to do it more often. I know that music is meaningful to me, so I listen to it daily. Things like that.

Sorry for such a long post. I hope anyone finds even a piece of this useful. Don’t get me wrong, I am not claiming at all to be cured of depression. Rather, I am saying I have made progress, and fighting off the episodes is a lot easier since I’ve gained skills to help me manage.

I hope you find this helpful Dear Reader and I hope you have a pleasant evening.

Beach Fun

Good Morning Dear Reader
For the past week, I’ve been getting out of the house and hanging with friends. I don’t have too many friends because I can be a bit shy, but I do try to hang out with people who at least like me.

Anyway, I’ve been journaling with one and going to the beach with another.

I really hate sand in my shoes. It’s like a super pet peeve of mine but since going to Hawaii, I’ve learned that the beach can be a super relaxing activity to do with others.

The last time I went with my friend Kim, we didn’t even lay on the sand, we were on the grass which was awesome for me.

I put this post to say that sometimes being outdoors can just make you feel awesome. To be honest, since I’ve been going out with friends and spending time outside, I haven’t felt as down as I usually do due to the depression. I’m feeling happier and more at peace.

I don’t know if any of you suffer from depression, but I know how hard it can be to just get out of bed. I’ve been there too many times and I’m not sure if I’m getting better with managing it or if this is one of my “happiness spurts.” Either way, I am fully supportive of going outside. You don’t have to do something expensive, even listening to linkin park as you stroll around the block can lift your spirits.

I’ve discovered that I want my home to be a nest, not a cage. I often feel trapped and confined and that makes me feel like sleeping all day long. I’m trying to make appointments with others and RSVP to events and such so that I can have somewhere to fly to.

I actually missed the workout session I was supposed to go to this morning. Normally I’d lay in bed and feel so guilty about it and my day would be ruined. Now don’t get me wrong, I do feel really guilty (which is a backlash of RSVP) but I somehow don’t feel ruined by it…and this morning I can honestly say I’m feeling okay.

Jay gave me another piece of good advice. I called him one day feeling lower than low and crying (about 2 months ago) and he asked why I was so upset and I told him I had all this pent up emotion from things in my past. Now I’ve known Jay for about 9 years now so he knows my story and he told me that those things have happened in the past. I can’t change them so I have to let them go. Just let it all go.

I am a dweller and he knows this and the concept of “letting go” just doesn’t seem like something I’m capable of. I have been trying since then to let the past go and it works in some instances but not in others. I just have to try and not let the past take hold of my present and corrupt my future.

Also, this month I am working on the mantra “good is good enough.” If you keep waiting for everything to be perfect before you take action, you’ll never take you’re first step. So while at yesterday’s workout session I’ve become interested in becoming a wellness coach. In my mind I am thinking, “I can’t until I’m super healthy” but I’m fighting that negativity and just taking the next step. I’m going to an informational meeting tonight. I hope it goes well.

So, three things that I’ve learned in the pas month to get me here:

1. Be who you want to be today.

2. Let it go

3. Good is good enough.

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Post-Hawaii

Dear Reader,

So, last week I was in Hawaii and honestly was having too much fun to blog. I know, I’m so bad -_-

Anyway, this is just about my adventures.

Firstly, I’ve learned that when I’m away from home, it’s a lot easier to reach my fitness and self-love goals. After having lunch with a friend (Kim) yesterday, we discovered this little epiphany.

Anyway, on my first day, my friend Jennie picked me up from the airport and she showed me a few sites before my parents flew in.

I’m super in love with Japanese culture. When I found out the majority population in Hawaii is of Asian descent and that Japanese is regularly spoken I told her I was ready to live in Hawaii right then and there.

We had a nice Japanese lunch (takoyaki-fried octopus and onigiri-rice balls) and went around to visit various shops and such.

Another thing about me: when I go to new places, it’s my mission to find a shot glass with the name of the place, a post card, and something with a turtle on it. Example: I took a Shakespeare class in London and found some amazing turtle earrings 😀 I’m super obsessed with turtles. Lol Turtles are so popular in Hawaii, I almost lost my mind with joy.

We took a ton of pictures at the mall because they actually had koi fish there. I was so shocked.

One of my goals for my Hawaii trip was to participate in some self-love activities. Jennie and I are writing a collaborative fan fiction (more on this later) and I really wanted to finish at least a page or two before returning home (I ended up writing like 7). When I write, I feel happy and good about myself. Because of this, I’m trying to write a little everyday. This will not only help with the self-love piece but also help with my depression.

On the ride to the place my family and I were staying at, Jennie and I started brainstorming ideas for our story. This was a huge accomplishment because instead of just a mental idea, our story was verbal and one step closer to being written.

I spent half of my time with my family and the other half with Jennie.

I was able to get a pearl from an oyster which was super amazingly fantastic!

I laid out on the beach with Jennie and swam in the ocean with my little sisters. They’re 12 and 9 and had to save me from being swept away from the ocean…-_- sad but I’m not hating on them lol I just need more practice.

I went to a luau with my family. We had a tasty dinner and enjoyed a chance to witness the Hawaiian cultural dances. We saw fire dances, hula, and I even was taught to weave a headdress from coconut leaves. I threw a spear and drank from a coconut. It was great.

On another day, Jennie and I went to a cute local cafe and just wrote. It was so peaceful and I felt like I was the queen of my world. ^_^

Most days I woke up an went for a 1 mile walk before doing some crunches, jumping jacks, and squats. I pushed myself and felt great. Every morning I had fruit, yogurt and a small bowl of cereal for breakfast. I talked with my family and felt closer than ever to them.

I took a ton of pictures and tasted many different foods.

Overall it was a dream vacation for me.

What I learned about that is:

1. Identify activities that make you truly happy.

2. Taking baby steps towards your goals can be really helpful. Mini goals add up to major goals 🙂

3. Having a friend to make appointments with can help you keep appointments. So I made appointments with Jennie to just write and we kept those appointments. Through each other we were able to take steps toward our individual goals.

4. Take pictures of things that make you smile so that you can look back on them and smile again ^_^

5. Sometimes when it comes to fitness goals, you have to just not think and do it. It doesn’t have to be you running a marathon, but do a little something everyday and be proud.

6. Taking pictures and just enjoying the outside and all it’s wonders can be uplifting. Just enjoying the blueness of the ocean or the coolness of the breeze or even the feel of grass beneath you or the rain on your skin can really make you feel alive. Of course pictures can never truly capture the world’s beauty but at least a picture can ignite the memory of what you felt when you appreciated nature. My pictures fill me with so much feeling because during those moments prior to taking the picture, I allowed the world to make an impression on my heart.

Okay obviously we can’t all just go on vacation and I can’t just live a self-love and fulfilling life only when I’m away from home. I have to cultivate what I learned and did there into my life here in San Diego. I was so at peace even though there were a few stressful times. The stress didn’t stress me out and I was able to maintain a peace. What is true for all of us, dear reader, is that we all need to find ways to cultivate peace in our lives.

Things that I’m working on:

1. Implementing what I learned in Hawaii here at home.

2. Continuing to show myself love and compassion.

3. Giving myself positive affirmations.

4. Learning to count on myself an conversely being there for myself. So if I say, “Shannon, tomorrow we are going to get up early and blog” I need to work on keeping the commitments I make to myself.

5. Learning to take time to feel but not letting my feelings interfere with my needs and responsibilities

Since I’ve been back I feel as if I’ve lost that peace…and I want it back. I want to have peace when I’m at home, not just when I’m away from home. Unfortunately I don’t know how to maintain that peace but I am working on finding out how. So that’s where I am today.

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