I feel like “feeling down” is becoming a recurring theme for my life lately because…here I go again, but let me go ‘head and say it…of Travis’ recent job loss.
I promise I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but it has been hard, you guys. I go a few days feeling cheerful and strong and then I’ll have this one day that I’ll wake up and it just hits me. BAM! I feel sad and worried about what’s going to happen. Some people have told us, everything will be okay. It will all work out, but it’s very difficult when you are the one experiencing the hard times. It’s all very overwhelming. I really hate that we’re going through this shit right now.
But, you know, I strongly believe it is just a season in our lives – a season that will make us stronger in the end. I don’t know how long the season will last, though. That’s the scary part of it. I’m a big planner so not knowing the exact length of time this season will last is killing me. Thankfully, my anxiety isn’t too high. Probably thanks to being on medication.
I have an anxiety disorder. Diagnosed in 2008. Some say taking medication for anxiety is a bunch of bull… That’s simply an opinion. I’ve been on and off of anxiety medication since 2008. Most recently, I went 4 years without anxiety medicine. It was my choice. I wanted to try and manage my anxiety naturally without medication. It was hard.
Three weeks after I gave birth to Zephaniah, I made the decision to go back on medication for my anxiety because after I was experiencing postpartum depression and my anxiety was really high. Not saying the medicine is a quick fix. Please don’t even go there. I still feel angst and struggle with feeling down. The medicine helps take the edge off, if you will. I feel like it’s really helping me cope and stay focused.
What are some things you like to do when you feel down?
I have a few things I like to do when I am feeling down. For one, pray. That will always be number one. I will admit, though, sometimes when I am feeling really down, it takes a lot of strength for me to utter a prayer to God. I think that’s when you’re being your most honest because you feel so broken and you have to find the energy and strength within yourself to stop doubting and listening to your negative thoughts and just go to God with it.
I also like to journal when I’m feeling down. Writing out my thoughts really help me sort out my emotions and release any negative energy I am feeling. I still have journals from 18 years ago when I was pregnant with Elijah. Can you believe it?!
I also like to “Bible journal”. I know that’s a new “thing” now, but I swear I’ve been doing Bible journaling before it became cool. I started Bible journaling when I was in college. Probably 2003 time frame.
Here are a few other things I like to do when I feel down:
1. Listen to music.
I strongly believe music can be healing and therapeutic. When I was pregnant with Zephaniah, I listened to music often during my third trimester. I like to listen to calming instrumental music and classical music to help me work through my anxiety.
Lately, I’ve been listening to my J Dilla radio station on Pandora. My station plays a variety of hip-hop artists like Common, Nas, Souls of Mischief, Kero One, and J Dilla.
2. Eat chocolate.
It’s the truth. Whenever I feel stressed, I crave chocolate. And I don’t deny myself chocolate, either. In fact, I keep a “mom stash” of my favorite treats for my stressful moments. It’s so much better than drinking alcohol or smoking a cigarette. I quit smoking in 2011, thank God. And I don’t drink because I’m breastfeeding so chocolate saves the day!
3. Spend quality time with my love.
There’s something about the power of when my husband touches me. If he holds my hand or hugs me, I instantly feel this calming sensation go through my body and I just feel so safe.
His touch was very soothing for me when I was in labor with our small children. Most recently, of course, when I was in labor with Zephaniah. I labored at home for a few hours and then we went to the hospital. His gentle massages and hugging me really helped me get through my contractions. I will never forget those moments.
4. Go on a photo walk in the city.
I don’t know why this brings me peace, but it does. I’ve been doing this since 2016. I like to go to a city, particularly in a downtown area and walk around and take photos. Art objects, bikes, flowers, mural art, people walking, and street signs. I use my Nikon DSLR or my cell phone camera and just snap photos of whatever catches my eye.
I recently did a city photo walk over the weekend in Downtown Detroit. Two favorite moments of my walks — taking photos in The District Detroit behind the Fox Theater and going to the rooftop of The Z Lot to view the city.
5. Take a nap.
Sometimes it’s just nice to relax and rest when you’re feeling stressed. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are many benefits of napping.
- Reduced fatigue
- Increased alertness
- Improved mood
- Improved performance, including quicker reaction time and better memory
For me, I find when I take a nap for a couple of hours, I feel refreshed when I wake up. I feel like I can focus better on what’s bothering me and find positive resolutions to any issues I am facing.
Is there anything you would add to my list?