Holiday season ahead

Have you ever stholiday depressionarted your day off on a good note and before you knew it there was this dark cloud looming over you.  For a person who suffers from depression this can occur daily, weekly, monthly or even seasonally.  As we approach the holiday season and most people are running around shopping and planning for the festivities there are others who can’t wait for the festivities to be over  due to anxiety or depression.

The holiday season is one of those seasons that can be a trigger for those dealing with depression. As families are coming together it can serve as a source for anxiety and depression.  The constant barrage of happy people in commercials and stores, along with the overly polite and joyous co-workers can serve as a catalyst which causes individuals to reevaluate their relationships and life. For a person who is unhappy with their current or past relationships or current station in life this reevaluation in the midst of all these happy people can lead to depression. The pressure to buy bigger and better gifts for everyone on your holiday list can lead to anxiety for those who may not have the financial means to meet everyone’s expectations.

The natural inclination when you are feeling depressed is to isolate yourself. This is also the most dangerous thing a person dealing with depression can do, especially during the holiday season.  If you are struggling with depression over the holiday season there are a few things that you can do to help you not only survive this season but to also find some enjoyment over the next couple of months.

  1. Get outside, on those days when it is sunny even if it is a little brisk get out and take in some sunshine.  Exposure to light can significantly improve your mood.
  2. Exercise, whether you are doing yoga or walking it is important to get at least 15 minutes of exercise a day. It will give you a positive mood and reduce depression as your body releases endorphins.
  3. Don’t overeat or overdrink. Many tend to do both during the holidays but the after effects of both can lead to feelings of lethargy and regret which can cause you to withdraw from activities.
  4. Talk to someone about how you are feeling. Whether it is one close friend, a counselor, or a support group, make an intentional effort to get the emotional support you need during this season.  REMEMBER people who don’t know what you are going through can’t help you.
  5. Set realistic expectations for yourself during this holiday season.  Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’s. If you don’t have the finances to buy all your nieces and nephews Air Jordan’s but you are crafty bake them some homemade cookies, or not.
  6. Enjoy time with family and friends. Take advantage of the time to reconnect or simply hang out. This season practice being thankful for the people you do have in your life rather than focusing on what you don’t have. You may be surprised to learn that most people simply want to spend time during the holidays.

Knowing the signs of depression is key in order to get help for yourself or for a loved one.  One of the most disheartening things I have heard from others suffering from depression is that those closest to them didn’t know that they were suffering from depression.  It is not always easy to share with others when you are feeling depressed and to get them to truly understand when it is more than having a low day. Here are signs to watch for to determine if you or a loved one may be suffering from depression.  Depressed mood, decreased interest or pleasure, significant weight change, change in sleep pattern, fatigue, loss of mental focus, feelings of worthlessness, and/or agitation/restlessness. If you or your loved one is suffering from five or more of these signs or is experiencing thoughts of harming themselves or others contact a medical professional immediately.

Family members need to know how to identify the signs and be available to support their loved ones.  I have been blessed to have a supportive family who know the signs of depression and recognize my triggers as well.  It is because of the support of my family that I have been able to learn to manage my depression and live a happy and productive life.  #DepressionIsREAL but it is manageable and you can not only survive with it but you can thrive.

Learn about my journey through a life of depression in my latest book “The Journey From Rejection to Significance” available on Amazon.com.

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When they walk away

I hwalk awayave had my share of dysfunctional relationships but I never understood why some people feel the need to beg people to stay with them.  It has been my experience that once a person leaves, whether emotionally or physically that they are gone and that there is nothing you can do to make them stay or come back. I recently have been coaching someone who has been faced with the person they had been in a relationship with for almost two years packing up and leaving after a seemingly simple matter.  As this person has struggled with trying to figure out what they did wrong I had to remind them that even though they made some mistakes they were able to humble themselves and apologize.  When you make a mistake and you apologize and are met with resistance and unforgiveness, know that you have done all you can to repair the situation.

Now I am not talking about if you have repeatedly cheated on the person or have been physically abusive to them and you keep saying you are sorry. In those cases they are within their rights to leave and should if there is no evidence of your changing.  But I am speaking about you leaving a door unlocked or not taking the trash out and they decide to stand their ground on this issue as the reason for them leaving.  Sometimes people are not bold enough to share how they really feel and will take advantage of the slightest infraction as their out.  When dealing with adults I like to believe that we should all be mature enough to talk about the things that bother and openly share our expectations in a relationship before they become the elephant in the room.  But that is in a perfect world.

Relationships take work and in order for it to successful communication is key.  Be honest with your partner about the things that bother you or needs that are not being met.  Treat them with the same level of respect you want to receive so that they will no how to treat you.  And lastly if you are mature enough to be involved in a relationship, act accordingly. Children respond in a childish manner and adults should respond as adults.  If they walk away let them go, begging and pleading with someone who is irrational will only cause you to become irrational.  If they aren’t willing to work through the issues you are better off without them in the long road. People show their true colors under stress and even the best relationships face up and downs, so count it as a blessing and live on.

A Mother’s True Blessing

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I can remember it like it was yesterday. Who can believe that thirty years today I received such a blessing. At the time I was anxious and fearful because I was so young and was just getting used to being an adult. I was still a newlywed and now this new addition to our family was finally here. People always say once you give birth that you don’t remember the pain. Well I remember months of intense morning sickness or should I say all day sickness. I also remember being in labor, real hard labor, for almost 23 hours. But what I remember the most is the moment you entered this world and they placed you on my chest and I knew my life had changed forever.

Thirty years ago today God blessed me with my own personal angel. You have taught me how to love. You have taught me how to receive love. I’ve learned how to be patient, compassionate, and caring because of you. You showed me what unconditional love looks like and what it means to truly forgive the ones you love. I have watched you grow into not only a beautiful woman on the outside but also on the inside. You are focused and determined, which has allowed you to reach your goals in spite of the ups and downs. I am blessed to witness you become a loving wife and mother. Today I honor you on your birthday sweetie. I Thank God today and everyday for blessing me with my angel.  PhotoGrid_1431946298954

Happy Birthday Shante’

Happy Mother’s Day

happy mothers day

As I ran my errands this week I could not help but notice the rush on the mall, local drug stores, and cards stores as the last minute shoppers searched for the perfect gift for Mom on this hallowed day.  I have to admit that I have been guilty of waiting until the last minute myself but this year is different for me.  I have been blessed with the opportunity to live less than five minutes away from my parents and to be able to spend time with them almost daily.  When I was younger I can remember waiting for the day that I could get as far away from them as possible so that I could be free.

With age comes wisdom and an appreciation for my mother that I have to be honest that I lacked most of my life.  I took for granted that she would always be there and that no matter what I did or where I was that she would always be my mother.  As I have gotten older I have matured and my relationship with my mother has matured as well. For the first time in my life I can say that I have a solid relationship with my mom. She is my confidant, she is my friend, and as I have gotten to know her I realize that she is a pretty cool lady.

I have been blessed to have a great relationship with my children and have been able to develop a level of friendship with them in their adulthood.  It is encouraging to now share that same type of relationship with my mom.  As a mom I realize that no gift found on a shelf in any store will ever mean more to me than having a loving relationship with my children.

Take some time this weekend to spend some quality time with your mother, whether it is in person or via skype, tell her that you love and appreciate her. Honor her today and everyday for the many sacrifices she has made for you. Mother’s Day may be celebrated nationally on one day, but we should honor and cherish the woman who gave us life everyday.

Go ahead and give her the flowers, chocolates, and gifts you have for her but take a moment to simply tell her you love her and watch her glow with pride in the knowledge that she did okay as your Mom. 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day from Constant Relationship Coaching

Happy Mother’s Day

happy mothers day

As I ran my errands this week I could not help but notice the rush on the mall, local drug stores, and cards stores as the last minute shoppers searched for the perfect gift for Mom on this hallowed day.  I have to admit that I have been guilty of waiting until the last minute myself but this year is different for me.  I have been blessed with the opportunity to live less than five minutes away from my parents and to be able to spend time with them almost daily.  When I was younger I can remember waiting for the day that I could get as far away from them as possible so that I could be free.

With age comes wisdom and an appreciation for my mother that I have to be honest that I lacked most of my life.  I took for granted that she would always be there and that no matter what I did or where I was that she would always be my mother.  As I have gotten older I have matured and my relationship with my mother has matured as well. For the first time in my life I can say that I have a solid relationship with my mom. She is my confidant, she is my friend, and as I have gotten to know her I realize that she is a pretty cool lady.

I have been blessed to have a great relationship with my children and have been able to develop a level of friendship with them in their adulthood.  It is encouraging to now share that same type of relationship with my mom.  As a mom I realize that no gift found on a shelf in any store will ever mean more to me than having a loving relationship with my children.

Take some time this weekend to spend some quality time with your mother, whether it is in person or via skype, tell her that you love and appreciate her. Honor her today and everyday for the many sacrifices she has made for you. Mother’s Day may be celebrated nationally on one day, but we should honor and cherish the woman who gave us life everyday.

Go ahead and give her the flowers, chocolates, and gifts you have for her but take a moment to simply tell her you love her and watch her glow with pride in the knowledge that she did okay as your Mom. 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day from Constant Relationship Coaching

Change

change
If you live life long enough you are certain to experience change. For some
people change creates anxiety and fear, while for others it is embraced
as an exciting new adventure. I used to be like many people and
experience fear and trepidation when faced with having to make a major
change in my life. As I have grown older and been faced with having to
adapt to and make many, many changes I have learned to accept change
as a healthy part of life.

 


When I was in my teens I had my life perfectly planned out but when life began to happen and I was faced with the reality that my perfect plan was not panning out it was hard for me to accept initially.

My first response to this change in my plan was to rebel and fight against it, but soon I realized that this was not beneficial. So I then began to adapt to change in an unhealthy manner by simply going along with things but never fully embracing the changes.  Unfortunately I dealt with change in this passive aggressive manner for years and it eventually led to bitterness and regret which caused me to blame others for the choices I had made.

Change can be a good thing when you look at it as an opportunity to grow, learn and experience new things.  Once I was able to look at change from this perspective I was able to open myself up to dream again and dare to embrace new things.  I have always been an orderly and detailed person that some may have considered to be a little anal, but welcoming change in my life has freed me from the restraints I had placed on myself and others.  Today I am proud to say that I am more daring and adventurous than ever.  I don’t fear change and welcome the opportunity to start over, I have lost my attachment to things and value my relationships above everything else. I welcome a challenge and am constantly looking to learn new things daily.

Life is a journey, you might as well enjoy it and take in all it has to offer.  Stop limiting yourself by living in a box, dare to accept and make a change in your normal routine.  Whether that means going back to school to pursue something you have always been interested in or starting a new hobby.  Life is too short to not live it, if you’re not happy with your current job find a new one or if you have always wanted to live in Arizona make a plan and move.  Not everyone will understand your new attitude but that is okay.

Whether you are changing jobs, going back to school, or relocating your attitude toward the possibilities of change will play a key part in how well you transition. Let your beliefs and values guide you and dare to walk in faith.  Whatever change you are facing I encourage you to move forward and look for the lessons to be learned rather than looking back at what you may be leaving behind.  We are meant to grow and change is one of the best ways for you to grow, when you dare to step out of your comfort zone and go into the unknown you open yourself up to experience new and wonderful things.  Don’t allow anxiety and fear to stunt your growth.  Seek wise counsel and do your research but take a leap of faith every now and then it will surely stretch you and you will be amazed at how easily you can adapt to new thing and places.