3 Ways to Combat Depression During Quarantine

During this season we are experiencing uncertain times. Many of us have had to adjust and adapt to a new normal. Although temporary, we are having to practice social distancing and self isolate. For those of us who thrive off of social interaction, this can be a significant challenge. But really, whether you consider yourself to be an introvert, extrovert or ambivert, the whole concept of social distancing and being isolated for extended periods of time can be an extreme challenge and can trigger toxic thoughts and emotions that can lead to depression.

I consider myself to be an ambivert. I enjoy social interaction, being outdoors and staying busy. Thing is, it drains my energy very quickly and I begin to feel burnt out. This is when I enjoy having my “me time” to relax and recharge, alone or with family. During this quarantine I have had to adjust. I’ve began working from home and spending 99% of my time, at home! This has been a major CHALLENGE for me, because I am ALWAYS on the go.. I prefer working out at the gym, working on my blog and sidehustle at coffee shops, I love spending my free time outdoors exploring.. So, now that I’ve had to been indoors for extended periods of time, I’ve had to COMBAT negative thoughts and feeling of depression, hard.

There have been moments when I want to curl up under the covers and hibernate. There have been days when I didn’t want to get out the bed, I just wanted to disappear. Sometimes, I’ve had thoughts of just running off and starting over.. stemming from thoughts of being forgotten, unnoticed or cared for… your thoughts can runaway from you if you’re not self-aware and proactive. I share this with you today, because there are 3 things that I have been doing to help combat depression and that I believe is NECESSARY to combating depression, especially during this quarantine season.

HERE ARE 3 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO COMBAT DEPRESSION DURING QUARANTINE

TIP #1

KEEP A ROUTINE. Make the adjustments that you need to make to your schedule, set a routine and stick with it! This will provide a sense of normalcy and stability and will lessen the shock of this new normal.

TIP #2

STAY SOCIAL. There are many ways to stay social while continuing to practice social distancing and self isolation. You can text or pick up the phone and call family and friends. You can utilize social media and video messaging. You can go for a walk around your apartment complex or neighborhood, smile and say hi, while staying 6 – 10ft apart from those you pass by. Small things like this, we may take for granted, but are beneficial to your overall mental and emotional health.

TIP #3

STAY ACTIVE AND GET SOME SUN. Keep your physical health a priority during this time and well, for always really! Keep your body moving; go for daily walks, jogs, hiking or whatever you enjoy. Spend at least 15 minutes a day outside, getting that natural Vitamin D from sunlight. And, makes sure to take your vitamins daily. Whether or not you stay active and get sunlight regularly will impact your mental and emotional well-being.

BONUS: FEED YOURSELF POSITIVITY. Be mindful of what you allow your self to digest during this time. Listen to positve, uplifing, motivational or educational content via podcasts, social media, YouTube, etc! Invest in yourself, by enhancing your knowledge and skills.

During this time, I want you to know that you my friend are not alone. We are all being impacted by this pandemic is some type of way. We are all having to adjust and adapt in these uncertain times. We may not know how long this will last, but know that you can get through this. Keep working on those big goals and dreams of yours and stay proactive; doing what you can to COMBAT depression.

Thanks for reading!

Share with someone who needs this word of encouragement today.

How to Reprogram Your Mind for Success

In the days we are living in now, it is beneficial, now more than ever before, to have a healthy mindset. Soo many people are dealing with mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety. As a mental health advocate, and someone who has worked in the field with both children, teenagers and adults, I’ve seen how imperative it is to develop healthy habits that will support and influence positive mental and emotional health.

There are things that we all should be doing on a consistent basis to create and maintain a healthy life balance; mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and financial. Today, I want to tackle mental and emotional health.. many of which will have a positive effect on your life physically, spiritually and financially as well.

Today, I am going to share with you 2 things that you can START doing NOW, to reprogram your mind for success in every area of your life. As always, these tips are most effective when you do them consistantly. By reprogramming your mindset, you can: Become more confident, develop a positive success mindset and become more aware and open to opportunities you would be closed off to otherwise.

2 Ways to Start Reprogramming Your Mind Now

1

Get a sheet of paper and fold it in half, hot dog style. On the left half, MAKE A LIST of your most common/reoccurring negative thoughts about yourself AND about your life.

THEN, for each negative thought or limiting belief, CREATE a positive affirmation and write it directly across from the negative thought, on the right side. READ through your list, first the negative and then the positive, line by line, EVERYDAY. This will help enhance your awareness. After awhile, you will begin to become aware of the thought as soon as it crosses your mind. WHEN this happens, be sure to pause, acknowledge the thought and then replace it with the positive affirmation. SPEAK the affirmation aloud with authority and conviction. You may not believe the affirmation in the beginning, but over time, you will.

A huge part of changing or shifting your mindset, so you can change your life IS shifting your perspective of life’s circumstances. BUT this exercise will help you to SHIFT your perspective of yourself first. And why not? When, you ARE The creator of your reality, as God has blessed you with freedom of choice, right?

2

LISTEN to positive affirmations while you are asleep. Start by doing a 5 or 10 minute meditation, or longer if you’d like, before you drift off to sleep. After your meditation, set your affirmations to play while you sleep throughout the night.This is great accompanied by binaural beats. Lastly, when you awake, meditate for 5 to 10 minutes.

When doing this step, I encourage you to create a YouTube playlist. That way you can choose specific guided meditations and affirmations to listen to and can put them in the order you like and it will be ready to go when you are. You can always create multiple playlists or add/remove whenever you want, as amazing meditations are added to YouTube often. Also, when you hit play from within the playlist you won’t have to worry about it stopping after the first video finishes.

In our daily lives, we operate using our CONSCIOUS mind. However, our SUBCONSCIOUS mind is the driving force behind what we think and do habitually. So, we want to REPROGRAM our subconsious mind to develope healthy thinking and living habits. By listenting to positive affirmations while you sleep, your subconcious mind is doing all the heavy lifting, reprogramming itself.

These are by far the TOP 2 strategies I recommend when it comes to reprogramming your mindset. You will not only begin to THINK better, but you will begin to FEEL better about yourself and about your life as well. Remember, when you change your mindset, you can change your life!

Thanks for reading! Please share with someone who can use this information today.

This Is My Story

In my latest blog post I shared with you where I was this time last year and why I’m thankful. Here is the video that corresponds πŸ‘‡

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Empower You is a 70 day devotional, all about shifting your mindset from a negative to a positive success mindset. It can (if you take action) help enhance your confidence and position you to successfully pursue your goals, live your dream & ultimately live your life operating in your God given purpose!

This Time Last Year

This time last year…

It was late one evening that I sat on my living room floor, rocking back and forth. My hands were clammy, and my heart felt as if it was beating outside of my chest. My rapid heartbeat echoed a seemingly off beat cadence in my ears as tears danced down my cheeks. I had what seemed to be a million and one thoughts racing through my mind, but each had the same plot. Three simple words: Just end it.

This time last year, I hit rock bottom. I was in a dark place. I hadn’t been there in a long time. I felt so alone. I was angry at family and those I’d called friend, because no one had noticed the pain in my eyes. No one seemed to notice that everything wasn’t okay. I was just going through the motions and I blamed everyone I knew for not noticing. I cut off a few people I’d considered friends and distanced myself from others, because I blamed them. One specific night I recall, as I sat on my living room floor, I contemplated taking my life. I cried out desperate for courage to just end it. All. I knew I should reach out to someone for help; considering the state of mind I was in. But, in all honesty, I didn’t want to be a burden. I was in a place where I was asking my parents for financial assistance, I was in a relationship that was going downhill.. I just didn’t want to be a burden to anyone. I felt like nobody would notice for days, maybe weeks even, if I just disappeared. If I just ended my life.

I got up from the floor, walked into my kitchen and picked up a knife (and no it wasn’t a plastic or butter knife lol) and began to scream. In that moment, I wished I had the courage to take the knife and split my wrists. But, all I could think about was my faith. I was born and raised in church and was taught that God is the creator of my life and he is the one who determines when my life will come to an end. And, to be a bit more literal; I was taught that suicide is a sin. I felt like I’d suffered enough and didn’t want to burn in hell for eternity in addition to the hell on earth I felt I was experiencing. So, I turned a slammed the knife into the counter and walked away. My thought at that point was, if only God, my religion and my faith didn’t exist, I would have the courage to end my life.

This was the 2nd time in my life I’d dealt with having suicidal ideations. The first time occurred when I was a lot younger. I remember that day pretty vividly as well. I hope that I never find myself in that place ever again. That is where I was, this time last year. The plans I’d had of spending Thanksgiving Day with my, now ex-boyfriend and his family fell through and I didn’t have legitimate plans with my immediate family.. I guess you could say that was the tipping point for me. I had the holiday blues, I was depressed and just felt like I had nothing and nobody to spend the holiday with.. that is, without having to ask. If you know me, you know that I strongly dislike.. okay, I hate bringing extra attention to myself. I don’t like confrontation. So, the last thing I’d want to do is broadcast the fact that I felt alone.

You’re probably wondering, how on earth, someone like me, who is ALL about having a positive mindset would dare share something so NOT positing on today of all days. But, my question to you would be, why not? This purpose of this post is not just to say that I’m thankful that I am not where I was this time last year, but let you know that I am grateful that I was in such a dark place last year. I’ll tell you why. A few days ago, I met one of the reasons why. Yes, you read that right. I met an individual in a parking lot, who was at his breaking point. And, on so many levels, in so many ways I could relate to how he was feeling.. As he shared his story, I was able to do much more than pray. I was able to identify with how he was feeling and was able to express that in a way that allowed him to feel that… He walked away knowing that he is NOT alone and that he is NOT going to be where he was forever. He left knowing that there is hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I was representation of that. I was living proof.

It took healing and a transformed mindset to get to where I am today. Initially, it was the fear factor that held me back from attempting to take my life. But, overall, it was deep down, knowing that I am here for a purpose and that the hurt, pain and disappointment I felt was for a reason that I wasn’t yet able to comprehend in that moment. Today, I am thankful for where I was last year, because it makes being HERE today, so much more beautiful. HERE is healthy – mind, body and soul. HERE is being comfortable, even when I’m alone, with no legitimate plans for the holiday. HERE is knowing my purpose and walking in it. HERE is being in position to share my story and to empower someone else to share there story, because someone, somewhere is depending on it.

This is a poem I wrote shortly after that night, inspired by how I was feeling..

Transparency

He said,
β€œI really don’t want to be on this earth anymore
I’m doing my best to stay here for you but I actually don’t know how much longer I can last
All I ever tried to do was help people. Just remember I told you so.”
I felt that

Sitting here wondering
If anyone would notice that I’m gone
Don’t think they would
Mentally and emotionally I’m already done
No one has even noticed
The pain in my eyes
The struggle in my smile
As I put all my effort into covering up my truth
Physically I’m here
Just going through the motions
Day after day after day

No need to decorate the truth with lies
No need to create illusions with my words
In all transparency
This overwhelming sadness keeps creeping up on me
I’m broken

Trying to hold all the pieces of me together
The last thing I want to do is fall apart and burden somebody else

So I keep fighting
Act like nothing’s wrong
I mean, people ask how you’re doing
But don’t stick around long enough to hear the answer
People appear to look at you
But, don’t realize they’re seeing right through you
People say that they’ll be there for you
But, when you need them, they’re too busy, too occupied
We throw words around like they’re nothing
We say we love but wouldn’t recognize it if it smacked us in the face
I’m just trying to find my place
In this messed up human race

He said, He’s doing his best to stay around for people, whoever they may be
But I will fight and stay around
Not for people who are hardly there or pretend to care
I will do it for myself
Because I deserve better

At some point you got to change the game and do it for you.

Thanks for reading!

The Fear of Rejection

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Everyday it’s an ongoing battle

I’m at war with myself

With my thoughts

Everyday, haunted with memories and fears

Constantly fighting off negative thoughts

What if this and what if that?

And, what lies beneath it all, I have discovered is fear

Fear of what exactly?Β 

What is it that I’m afraid of

What am I trying so hard to protect myself from?

Rejection.

I’m afraid of being hurt and rejected

Again

I’m afraid of the tears, the loneliness and heartbreak

I’m afraid of the disappointmentΒ 

The worst days of my life were the most painful

I fear feeling how I felt then, again

Memories of those moments, they come back to haunt me

So, everyday I’m fighting off negative thoughts that try to consume meΒ 

And hold me captive to my past

Everyday it’s a fight

Everyday it’s a struggle

And, I want to fight because I canΒ 

But, can I be honest.. I’m tired

I’m tired of having to fight

I’m tired of facing the lingering fear of rejection

Sometimes, I wish someone could fight for me

Or, that I didn’t have to fight at all

Wish I could get rid of this fear once and for all

How do I get this fear under subjection?

Because it accompanies me daily like I’m the object of it’s affection

I’ve become it’s kryptonite

So, I try to be strong

Act like nothing’s wrong

I wasn’t given the spirit of fear

So how do I let it go?

How do I conquer it before it conquers me?

How do I find the motivation to fight daily?

They said to guard my heart

So, I used that to justify putting up a wall

But walls don’t stop you from falling

But, can causeΒ  you to lose everything you’ve ever wanted

Fear distracts and fear destroys if it’s not destroyed first

Fear has it’s place

But, not when it comes to peace of mind

I’m just out here, trying to find mine.

(Spoken Word Poem by Kezia Marie Β©)Β 

 

I’ve struggled with anxiety for awhile now. Most days, I have a good handle on it. But, some days, it gets the best of me. I have come to realize the the underlying cause of my anxiety and stress is fear; a fear of the things that I cannot control. Most of my worrying comes from worrying about the future. This makes sense, when I consider the type of person I am. I am goal oriented and solution focused. I dislike reflecting on the past if its not to learn from past experience with the expectation that I will benefit from it moving forward. I like to be in control, or at least have an awareness of what is going on with me and around me. But, we all know that, that isΒ  not how life works. We don’t get to be in control of everything. Some things happen unexpectedly and by chance. And, while I do love surprises, I like to limit what those kind of surprises can be.

Knowing the type of person I am, clearly, I am like a magnet for anxiety! And, of course, seeing this as a problem, I am quick to look for a solution. How do I solve this problem? How do I conquer my fear without it conquering me? Well, what I can tell you, is that the perfect place to begin is at the root. What is the foundation of my fear? Rejection. This means that something has happened in my past that has caused me to feel certain, negative emotions that initiated the fear factor. My negative emotions are not connected to the event or person itself, but it is to how it made me feel. So, whenever anything happens (trigger) that causes me to feel similar emotions today, I am instantly reminded of those past events and that increases those intense emotions that translates into anxiety. I become anxious, uneasy, unsettled, irritable, I panic. In those moments it becomes difficult to focus on anything but what I consider to be a problem that I can’t gain control of.Β 

Thursday morning I awoke, feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted, because of what I’d been struggling with. My fear of rejection. I’d been planning to write a blog on this topic for awhile, but 24 days went by and I just had no idea what to say or where to begin. But, that morning, I lay there, knowing how blessed I am to have what I have and who I have in my life, but was yet afraid that my fear could cause meΒ  to forfeit God’s blessings. I ended up writing this poem instead. Normally, my poems are about my personal experiences and typically end with a positive spin or perspective meant to encourage others. Not this time. I felt like I had no answer, when usually, I do. I had no answers. No word of hope. Nothing more to say. Just raw emotion.Β 

Today is Sunday. And, I still have no answers. But someone dropped a word of encouragement in my inbox the same day, without knowing what I was dealing with prior to. I was reminded of Proverbs 3: 5 – 6 which says to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your path straight.” This was not only a great answer to my having no answers, but also to my struggle with anxiety. The root of my anxiety is fear, and fear is something that will always present itself. But, whatever the circumstance may be, the answer or solution will always be to trust God no matter what! Regardless of my understanding, I just need to trust him, not rely on my own understanding or inability to understand and to just submit to the process. In Philippians 4:6, we are instructed to be anxious for nothing! He wouldn’t instruct us to do something we aren’t capable of doing or that he is not willing to help us do. Knowing this, I know that I can and will conquer anxiety, so that it does not conquer me!Β 

 

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