TV addict? 5 Ways to Know

Hey, look. My hands aren’t exactly clean¬†either. ūüė¶ I just thought it would be a good idea that¬†if¬†there is a problem, we can identify it and fix it. So, here are, counting down from the least addicted to the most addicted:

5.The dining room table is used to store bills, homework, coloring books, and every amount of anything except the purpose it was built for: people eating.

4. You are bleary-eyed at work from binge-watching (imagine that term compared to binge-eating….I know right? Seriously a problem here.) Accidentally, coffee is somehow brewed without any coffee grounds in the filter. “Whoa. Not me.” ūüôā

3. Your guilty secret is The Real “Housewives” of any city. Hey, who doesn’t love some of that Beverly Hills reality? “There’s gold in them there hills. Black gold. Texas tea.”

2. You start to forget the names of your loved ones. Maybe you run through a few names before you hit your intended.

1. Your Roku breaks down at a time that Best Buy is actually closed. A nervous breakdown ensues.

Relaxation and Social Anxiety Disorder

front-porch-utah The first time I ever learned a relaxation technique I was in a psychiatric hospital. This must have  been, ooooh at least twenty years ago now.

Doug, who was the Activity Therapist, had us all go into a quiet, dark, room (he had turned off the lights), grab a floor mat, and find a space on the carpeted floor. It’s weird, remembering it now. Some of us lay on our tummies, some on our backs, our sides with our knees pulled up. All the while, Doug just said to get comfortable.

Then he told us to close our eyes and quiet our breathing as much as we could. He put on a tape. I still remember it to this day. It was about walking down a staircase, and the further down you went, the more relaxed you felt. Until, at the very end of the stairs we came out into this gorgeous meadow of flowers.

When it was over, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to open my eyes, and I certainly didn’t want to come back to the “real world.” Happily, Doug gave us each copies of that tape.

Relaxation is so very important for anxiety, and especially helpful to panic attacks.

whyhateWell, I don’t think it’s any secret that I have social anxiety disorder. I’ve shared my problems with just going out to get the mail during daylight hours, and that’s purely about being judged and found wanting. It’s a deep-seated fear; I don’t know exactly when it began or how it got so big. I only know I wish it would go away.

I usually¬†avoid¬†situations that I find too incredibly difficult. I learned this as a young child, when I would hide in my bedroom during large family gatherings, like Thanksgiving, or Christmas. It didn’t always work, but sometimes it did.

Today I do little experiments. I started the crochet meetup. It failed miserably. Groups like that don’t work if no one shows up ha ha ha. But I did take a chance, and I put myself out there. I do other things, like once I went to Panera and sat in one of their comfortable chairs and just crocheted for a while. Of course, all the while, my mind was going 90 to nothin’. “Is that man looking at me? Why is he looking at me that way? People do needlework in Panera all the time. This is not that unusual. Do I have something on my shirt? If I move now, and look down at my shirt, surely I will look like a total idiot. Stay calm. Maybe he’s not looking at me. Maybe he’s looking in my general direction and it just feels like he’s looking at me.”

You can see how it can get pretty exhausting. And that was just one person.

Hope you have a great rest of the day.

Ciao, Bella.

Just Relax

RelaxThere must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. ~Chinese proverb

Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at other times move forward with it. ~Ray Bradbury

It seems like everywhere I go people are talking about relaxation these days. My therapist asks me about my stress level, like it’s something that can be quantified, measured on a daily basis.¬†lying down

I probably mentioned already that I’m participating in an study for bipolar disordered people on a site called Optimism. I love the name, but the site is both complicated and ambiguous.

The site tracks your mood every day, how well you coped, hours slept, quality of sleep, whether or not you exercised, and took medications, if relevant (here’s where I find some ambiguity. It doesn’t ask if your meds make you feel like you’re on auto-pilot, or so thirsty you could drink a gallon of water and it wouldn’t be enough, so tired you’d just run a marathon…only you hadn’t). It then goes into three different categories:¬†stay well strategies, triggers,¬†and¬†symptoms.¬†

Relaxation fits under the¬†Stay well strategies,¬†along with adequate sleep, plenty of water, and routine, just to name a few. I use a relaxation cd daily. One of the choices on the cd is¬†A Walk on the Beach.¬†The narrator uses the elevator technique to take me¬†deeper down,¬†until I’m so relaxed I’m actually somewhere way in the basement. Ha ha ha

If only it would stay. Not minutes after that, I checked my email, and there was something from an editor or promoter of a book I’ve signed up to read on¬†Netgalley.¬†Now, I love reading more than anything, and I just finished my third book for them. I have three more books in the queue before the book this promoter spoke of. All the relaxation I’d just had given to me went right out the window. I had no idea what to say to this person, so I took my usual route. Say nothing, and keep plodding along. My dog, Lucy, would have peed on the email and gone on her happy way. ūüėÄ We should all be so lucky.

dog