Re-finding my yoga mat

Today, after a few months off, I re-found my yoga mat. It feels so good to be back.

Why did I stop? Well, mostly due to pain in my arm that made yoga difficult and frustrating and my crazy work schedule which makes it hard to stick to a routine. Oh, and it is expensive and I’m still trying to get back on track financially.

These are all true, but the thing is, with all the conflict, stress and long hours, I really need yoga now more than ever.

Today after a really long sleep I woke up and decided that it was time to just get on the mat at home. I’ve trained as a yoga teacher. I know what to do. I can adjust the routine to work around injuries and aches and pains.

So I put on a meditative music cd, stepped onto my mat, and just did a free flow of whatever poses I felt like in the moment. It was so great!

It’s unfortunate that I lost yoga for these past few months, as I’m sure it would have really helped with the stress.

But I’ve found it now, and it feels good. I plan to try to get on my mat every day now. Any length of time, no routine to memorize and follow. Just be present and move.

Namaste! 🙂

Some much needed self-care

This week I took the time for some much needed self-care. A long session of massage therapy helped get rid of some of this built up tension. And for the first time in over six months, I got a haircut! With all my stress and psoriasis and losing clumps of hair, it was so nice to have a head massage and bring some order back to my hair. It’s nice not to feel so straggly and the shorter hair will hopefully make it easier to treat my scalp.

I also went to a follow-up appointment with my psychiatrist. Re-upping my medication to the levels I had in the spring seems to be helping. I have tremors but otherwise my mood is much improved with the higher dose. I feel a bit more able to handle the work conflict. We talked a lot about my work conflict at the session. I explained how I work with someone that veers from ordering me about and yelling at me to being as nice as can be. She said that this treatment is harassment, and it was a relief to be validated. I’ve felt so uncertain about myself. With a history of mental illness, I wondered, is it me? Am I being too sensitive? Am I the problem? But she reassured me that yelling at people in the workplace is never appropriate. She was annoyed that my boss wants to send my to a course on working with difficult people and difficult situations. She thinks it’s my colleague needs to learn how to communicate with people. But I’m of the mind that a) this may be a good way to learn some new strategies because I do get very stressed by interpersonal conflict and b) if they want to send me on a course then I guess they don’t want to fire me.

Anyway, that’s where things stand. Some improvement and a lot of self-care to get me through this stress.

Any tips on working well with difficult colleagues?

Inspired to read on mindfulness

I’ve been really struggling with my latest episode of depression. I’ve been feeling isolated, hopeless, frustrated and apathetic.

But after sleeping way too much for the past four days and calling in sick today, I suddenly felt the need to read one of my many self-help books. So I stopped a movie about twenty minutes in and started to reread The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness.

I say reread, because I bought this book about three or four years ago on the advice of my last psychiatrist. I have a bad habit of buying self-help books and only reading bits and pieces. I tried to read through this book when I bought it, but I think I was too deep in the depths of depression at the time to absorb it. I did practice some of the meditations in the CD that comes with the book, but that was it. A couple of years later I did a mindfulness-based stress reduction course that is based on many of the same teachings and experts. I took much more readily to the practice when learned this way. My later trainings in yoga helped to solidify these teachings.

But here I am, once again falling into depression and not using any of these helpful practices.

But tonight I was inspired to pick up the book again. I flipped through to see where I had left off and then decided to just start again at the beginning. I’m glad that I did.

Upon reading the introduction, it seems to me that perhaps the place I’m in right now is conducive to taking more from the book.

Already there are a lot of statements that really struck me:

…it is actually okay to stop trying to solve the problem of feeling bad. In fact it is wise because our habitual ways of solving problems almost invariably wind up making things worse. (3)

Depression, once treated, often returns–and becomes more and more likely to recur the more often it is experienced. (4)

…every time a person gets depressed, the connections in the brain between mood, thoughts, the body and behavior get stronger, making it easier for depression to be triggered again. (4)

…break the cycle of depression, in which we tend to go over and over what went wrong or how things are not the way we want them to be. (5)

We get lost in comparisons of where we are versus where we want to be, soon living almost entirely in our heads. (5)

…endless cycles of mental strategizing that increase your risk of getting depressed. (6)

… The mind, body, and emotions work together to compound and sustain depression. (6)

…we are all prey to habit-driven patterns–of thinking, feeling, and doing–that curtail the joy inherent in living and our sense of possibilities. (6-7)

…there is an unsuspected power in inhabiting the moment you’re living in right now with full awareness. (7)

We invite you to let go of the tendency we all have to try to force things to be a certain way and instead work with allowing them to be as they actually already are in each moment. (8)

I think this is a great time to reread this book, because already I’m showing so many of these tendencies and I definitely want to break the habits. It’s time to rediscover the mindfulness approach.

Holding on

I’ve been in a holding pattern the past few weeks. Trying to stay the course, to not quit before I have a new job lined up.
I’ve managed to keep going, and had some good days, but I’m just doing that. Holding on. I barely leave the house, I hardly see friends and spend my time either sleeping or on television series-watching marathons.
I am sleeping way too much. And I’m coming to realize I’ve been using it as an avoidance strategy.
I’m becoming disgusted at my laziness and weight problems. I know I need to become more active, to find a new hobby or inspiration to get out of the house. Physical activity has often helped me feel better.
But no action yet. Well, perhaps blogging is a first step.