Staying Motivated Moment to Moment

Staying Motivated

Staying motivated requires a plan of action.

I Feel Motivated…

Greetings!  Here we are, officially 2 days into my summer vacation.  I feel very motivated. The long break I need and wait for so impatiently every year is finally here.  Teaching is a stressful job.  If it wasn’t for some of these teaching “perks”, like long vacations, I may not have lasted in this field for as long as I have. I become rejuvenated from the long summer breaks.

Every year, leading up to summer break, I build it up in my mind that it will be the “best summer of my life”, as my motivation is always very high.  Only this year has been different so far.  I am making a plan to actually make it happen.  I found this quote on Pinterest recently that made me realize how important it is to have a plan of action.

“Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.”

-Nelson Mandela

Yeah, I am not sure I will change the world, but I hope at least to change my small world I live in.  I believe my happiness depends on this.

Past Experiences…

Every summer, I generally spend the month of June in good spirits.  But somewhere around July, my mood starts to change and I traditionally start to “fall down” in spirits and motivation dwindles away.  In the past, I have gone into depressive episodes around this time of the summer that often last well into the fall.

In fact, this is exactly what happened to me last year, and I ended up seeking medical help.  I decided it was time to make a change in my medication because of the stagnancy in my mental outlook and my motivation.  I had to see a new psychiatric nurse practitioner, as my previous practitioner moved away.  It ended up being a wonderful experience as I found myself happier than I ever had before.

She drastically changed my medications, and I became motivated and energized like I never had before. Since last July I have lost 25 pounds, just because of the fact that I did not spend the past year sleeping my life away.  Generally, I slept about 16 hours a day every weekend and anywhere from 1-3 hours an evening during the week.  I felt constantly drowsy and fatigued due to taking too much medicine.

Finally, physically I feel my best.

A Plan of Action to Stay Motivated…

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But. like I mentioned before, I never had a set plan or goal for “my most awesome summer”.  A few evenings ago, I made a list of things on my iPad I want to accomplish this summer.  I made 4 main goals. 

The first goal is “My Home”.  I hope to declutter and clean it top to bottom.  Next, is “My Crafts”.  I love crafting.  I feel motivated to craft and be artistic ever since changing my meds last summer. Thirdly, my goal is “My Blog”.  I hope to make it better and to create lots of content this summer.  Lastly, my goal is “Me”. This area is very broad and has to do with anything with my life in general, from becoming more physically active to taking better care of my family to taking a college course.

I Still Struggle Everyday…

In the last 2 days, where I have unofficially had to work as a teacher, I have started to put my plan into action.  However, both of the last 2 days I have slept way too late into the morning.  Obviously, I need to work on a consistent sleeping schedule.  I want to wake up early, but not quite as early as I do for school, and I want to go to bed much earlier than during the school year..  I think my mental and physical health will only benefit from a consistent, balanced routine during the day.

Unfortunately, because of sleeping so late into the day, I have felt very guilty and have been hard on myself. I have had to let go of the guilt and consciously make an effort to do better.  I have been able to turn the last 2 days  around, and so far have been very happy with what I have accomplished in the remaining parts of the day.

Do-over…

Remember, you can always start your day over at any moment and end up on a more positive note.  Just don’t be too hard on yourself.  Also, remember that in the words of Scarlett O’Hara “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

This should help remind you that there is always room for improvement in our lives.

Staying Motivated is Hard Work…

We  motivated in our daily lives.  When you have chronic depression, this is one of the hardest things to do. So, not only do I have my goals for the summer set in writing, but I also write a daily “to do” list.  I check off the items as I finish a job.  This gives me a sense of accomplishment.

We need to complete simple tasks to get the ball rolling.  This positivity just feeds off of our emotions and makes us feel so much better.  Even if we start off the day on the wrong foot, there is no reason we can’t change our course.  Think about what you need to do.  It can be something as simple as taking a shower or making our bed.  Make a list of what you want to accomplish.  Write a list of 5 simple tasks to accomplish for the day.  If you complete them, maybe write 5 more tasks.  I promise, completing these goals will continue to motivate you more and more everyday!

God bless,

Marji

 

 

Control Anxiety, Moment to Moment

 

My Need to Control Anxiety in a More Productive Way

I had a major realization last week.  Learning that I must be able to control anxiety better in my day to day life, I realized that I have a lot of work to do to become a healthier and happier person.

Last Wednesday, I had a rough start to my day before I left home for work.  I woke up late and didn’t have anything ready.  Clothes were not laid out.  Bags and lunches were not packed. Because of all of this, I was late leaving for work.  

Panic Attack

Feeling the pressure of getting out of the house on time, I freaked out.  I experienced a panic attack before I left the house.  Unfortunately, I became extremely irritated and angry, and I lashed out at my family.  This caused such guilt that by the time I got into my car, I was sobbing.  I cried off and on for the entire 30 minute commute.  

I dropped off my two children at school, and was very mean to them when I let them out of the car.  Of course, this made me start crying again.  I felt completely out of control.  My anger was out of control.  And why?  My children did nothing wrong.  This just made me feel even worse.

I went to the school where I teach, and when I entered my classroom, the panic returned.  It felt as if I could not keep my emotions under control.  I felt sick to my stomach for being so awful to my husband and children.  With only about 5 minutes before school started, I went to my principal and told him I had to leave. I didn’t believe I could teach without showing any negative emotions.  It was definitely a moment of weakness.  When I look back at that moment, I am ashamed of just how weak I was and how poorly I handled my anxiety.

I Realized That I Need to Work Harder at Controlling Anxiety

A very good friend pointed out to me that I must be able to control anxiety in situations such as these.  I have been researching ways to help lower my overall anxiety and calm my nerves.  

I do take medication to help control anxiety, but it obviously is not a cure-all.  When it comes to controlling my emotions, I realize that it is necessary that I become more proactive.  

Since last week, I have done several different things to try to calm my nerves and control anxiety.  I would like to share a few of these with you.  Hopefully some of these things will help you too.

Practices I Have Put Into Place

  1. Listen to relaxing music.  –  I enjoy listening to contemporary Christian music on Pandora.  I find it really lifts my spirits.  Whatever you listen to, make sure that it is just something that you truly enjoy.  
  2. Read a good book. –  I just happened to read the “good book” this past weekend.  Recently, I purchased a new Bible and decided to read some scriptures.  I found comfort in reading God’s Word.
  3. Color – I know this may seem kind of silly, but adult coloring books are really in right now.  I have several of these and some really nice colored pencils that my husband bought for me.  The pencils are Prismacolor and are very good quality.  These colors are very vibrant and I highly recommend them.  The  Bible I happened to buy a couple of weeks ago is a journaling Bible.  It has pictures and scripture in some of the margins that you can color.  So I picked out my favorite verse and decided to color it.  This is a great activity for mindfulness.  It means you are living right now in the moment.
  4. Sit quietly and just breathe. – Again, this is a mindfulness activity.   Sit in a comfy chair, drink a warm cup of coffee and just focus on breathing.  I intentionally pay attention to each breath going in and out of my lungs and simply clear my mind.  I am out of the habit of meditation, but even just doing this for 10 minutes makes me feel much calmer and in control.  
  5. Prepare everything for work and school the night before. – I try to make sure to have mine and my kids clothes ready for school for the next morning.  It saves so much time, and there is much less hassle getting out of the door on time in the morning.
  6. Do something that makes you happy. – For me, this is crafting.  I enjoy making crafts, and I find that sitting and making new things is so relaxing.  I literally feel the anxiety leaving my body.
  7. Search for inspirational or motivational quotes. – I like to look at Pinterest and find things that inspire me or just make me think about what is important in my life.  I enjoy finding new ideas for crafts to make or finding motivational Bible verses.

What is important is that you find something you enjoy doing.   Maybe you can go for a walk or play with a pet.   Don’t be afraid of trying something new or something that you have always wanted to try but just haven’t yet.  There are so many things that can help control anxiety and make you feel so much better.  Good luck!

What Do You Do to Control Anxiety?

What are some techniques do you do to help relieve anxiety and calm your nerves?  How do you stop a panic attack from taking over your emotions?  Please feel free to leave a comment.

God bless,

Marji

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