This week was a pretty rough week for me, but I got through it. I don’t feel like I accomplished much, but I survived. That’s something.
It’s a long weekend!
Boy do I need it.
I am still trying to figure out how to handle stress. Its hard. Especially when you don’t get a break from it.
I went back to see my doctor this week because even though at first I seemed like I was feeling better, I have since basically ended up, more or less, back where I started, back in November when I first went to talk to him, with regards to my anxiety/depression and mental health.
We discussed some ideas, things I can try, aside from adjusting medication (which we are also trying). Some things I didn’t really know about as well as something that I’m in the process of working on.
1. Probiotics and “gut” health
Apparently my doctor is fascinated by anything relating to probiotics, so he was excited to talk about it. He told me about someone he had seen on CBC recently who had done their PhD thesis or whatever (I totally don’t get how that works, I just have a college diploma) on how probiotics and the health of your stomach and digestive system effects your mental health.
I guess it makes sense, since digestive problems are a symptom of several mental illnesses, including mine. Your body has a physical reaction to mental illness, so why would that not work the other way around?
Yes, I’m a nerd. And proud of it.
2. Light therapy
I was sort of aware of this, as I do know about seasonal affective disorder.
Basically, you expose yourself to full spectrum light for 45 minutes a day (best time is apparently 7am) and its supposed to make you happier.
I know, that sounds cheesy and lame, but I have heard that it works. Or maybe more accurately, it helps. It won’t be a cure for everyone with depression, but it won’t hurt you. There are zero bad side effect.
3. Changing your environment
This seems like the most obvious thing ever, but it is harder than you’d think, for some people.
I knew that I needed something to change, but I just didn’t know how to get to that point on my own.
It took a very long, anxiety inducing video chat with my parents, a few weeks ago, to finally get me to be like, ok, this needs to happen.
I definitely would not have been able to make the decision on my own, no matter how badly I wanted it to happen.
So, the decision is that I am moving.
Currently, I live alone, with my dog, in a small city in southern Alberta. I don’t have much family in the area, most are over an hour away, and to be honest, I’m not that close with them. The family that I am closer with, are all in southern Ontario.
Southern Ontario is also where I was born, and lived until I was 13. I’ve always been very attached to it. I even went back there for college. I thought I would stay after I graduated, but somehow I ended up back in Alberta.
I don’t want to be in Alberta. I’ve never really been happy here. So why am I still here? I honestly don’t really know. I like my job. I got very lucky finding this job, and overall, I have been happy working there, even with the stress I’ve been struggling with lately.
I’m very excited about the things that are happening with the company right now. I want very badly to be a part of those things.
In all honesty, I think that is the only thing that has been keeping me here. Is that enough? I don’t know.
That’s one of the things that goes along with my mental illness. I have a very tough time making decisions. I mean, this would be a tough one for anyone, but for me, it is basically tearing me apart. With what I do for a living, it doesn’t necessarily require that I be in an office all the time. Although, I do usually work well in that environment, it is part of what is causing my stress.
So, after that difficult conversation with my parents, I decided to work remotely. I am moving back home to Ontario. Yes I still call Ontario home. Alberta has never felt like home. Ontario always has. I’ve always been happier there.
Thankfully, my employer is on board with that plan. Our “parent” company actually has many remote workers, so they are very accommodating with that.
So, well see how things go. Who knows, maybe I’ll absolutely love working from home, and I’ll stay with it until I retire. I don’t know. Don’t know til you try, right?
So, that’s my first step. Changing my environment.
I am also, very seriously considering the light therapy thing. I think those lights are expensive though. I haven’t looked into it yet. Been too busy this week. This weekend though.
Probiotics are a fairly easy thing to incorporate into your life. There are many ways to get them. Yogart is probably the most commonly known (you’ve seen those weird Activia ads), but you don’t get as much from yogart as you would from a supplement. He gave me a few specific kinds to look into as well, but doctor handwriting… I’ll try and decipher that this weekend too.
Anyways, if you are looking for some options for ways to reduce anxiety, maybe try these…?
If you have tried any of these, or any others, share your experiences in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from others! Did they work for you? Do you have some other things that have been successful?