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Posts Tagged ‘black dog’

In the spirit of ‘being enough’, today’s FIVE FOR FRIDAY is about turning negatives into positives, and making life simpler and happier.

Number one – Weighing yourself with glasses on can be disturbing at first. You will weigh more than you thought you did. (Can you tell what I did this morning?) But fat can be good. Find the good, whether it’s larger mammaries or an increased supply of human body fat to sell on the black market, and work with it. Once you’ve worked out a positive in any situation, it’s easier to make an effective start on changing the negatives.

Number two – Christmas can suck. There, it’s been said. There’s so much pressure to buy, buy, buy. And do we really need any more ‘stuff’? This year I’m avoiding the ‘stuff-trap’. I’m spending time with my kids, making small Christmas packages of specially decorated biscuits for the people we really don’t need to buy any ‘stuff’. Yes, it’s an easy option with kids. But what about a disc with a photo slide show, or a video you can make for family? If they don’t like it, they can always use it as a drink coaster or a bookmark, which was probably the level of ‘stuff’ you’d have bought for them anyway.

Number three – still on Christmas. Avoid the big shops when you can. There’s nothing that makes me more miserable than fighting for a carpark in a large shopping centre. All bets are off during December in carparks. I hate it. So go to that smaller, daggier, shopping centre, that’s probably closer anyway. No they won’t have a huge range, a food hall, or that favourite chainstore cafe you like. But it’ll be less stress, probably support a number of struggling small businesses, and you won’t get into a punch-up in the carpark.

Number four – moving on from Christmas. Plan for next year now. Don’t leave that New Year’s resolution until the New Year. Start putting it in place now. What do you want to be doing next year? Work out a schedule, an action plan, perhaps even a budget and map it out. If you want to lose weight or get fit, join the gym today, don’t wait! If you’re ready to go on day one (or already going), this year’s resolution might just be the one you stick to.

And finally, number five – Put it all into perspective. There’s always someone worse off, always someone better off. Stay positive, as much as you can. Give yourself reminders when you’re giving in to being down, and create ways to avoid the black dog. If you’re still here, there’s still hope. Any library has a range of books with stories of desperation and hope – read one. Then get up and do something, even the smallest thing you can think of, to achieve the things you want from life.

Have a great day everybody!

S & L.

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I’ve always worked under the assumption that chocolate made you feel good and helped avoid depression. But it turns out this might not be the case.

Apparently there are two types of chocolate eaters – cravers and emotional eaters. If you’re a craver, the news is good. You think of chocolate like a good glass of wine. If you’re an emotional eater, the news is not so good, and you could well be sending yourself into a worse depression after eating chocolate.

This ABC article, says that you’d need to eat a ‘whole truckload’ of chocolate to get the equivalent of one antidepressant tablet.

Well okay then, if that’s what it’s gonna take! (I’m obviously a craver, not an emotional eater I guess.)

Read the full article here.

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...hounded by the black dog [Photo: Ashleigh Ralph]“]
…hounded by the black dog [Photo: Ashleigh Ralph

There are times when you can take on the world. You’re bursting with energy and nothing seems too hard or too ambitious.

You know you can finish (or start) that best selling novel, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, pack up and move to France, finally shed those 5 kgs, or just get those pesky cupboards sorted…

Then there are those days when the black dog is sitting just watching you. Or the Planets are converging – on you, apparently.

You wonder how you’ll pay your mortgage this month or finally shed your credit card debt – or all those other bills that hang over your head like an axe. The work stuff you sailed through last week is an anchor pulling you down this week.

And you’re taking everything personally, because your sense of humour just evaporated. Cracking up laughing is out of the question when cracking a smile is impossible.

I used to believe those emotions were real, based on the stuff in my life that I couldn’t deal with (aka being a victim of my own life). But then I realised not much had changed since last week – or yesterday. What had changed was something in me.

Often it was associated with PMT (another black dog – this time, the Rottweiler with lipstick). Which  made me realise the thing that changes is the chemicals flowing through me – which dictate my highs and lows.

Chemicals help you go to sleep and wake up. They make you smile or cry about the same thing. They help you cope, or knock you flat. They keep your body functioning, actually.

My Buddhist friend tells me they see feelings as part of an impermanent or unstable inner landscape. I found this article on it today: The contemplation of feelings in Buddhism…

So these days when I feel the black dog breathing down my neck, I don’t immediately scour my life for all the reasons why I feel like crap. Instead, I take it as a sign… that I need to slow down and carve out a bit of me-time. Even when I’m too busy. Especially when I’m too busy.

I’m not talking about sitting on a cushion contemplating my breathing patterns, because I really suck at that (besides, it makes me hyperventilate and that’s probably counterproductive!). But I do soothing things, like making a nice brekky for myself, or a coffee, tea or vino (depending on the time, of course!). Or I just get outside.

It usually hits me in the morning, so sitting in the garden watching the day unfurl around me really works. I watch my curious cat chasing a bug I can’t even see. I hear the crows talking. I watch the bees sucking nectar from blossoms. I hear the tradesmen shouting at each other as they renovate the old Queenslander house next door. Okay, that’s not soothing.

Some days I’ll find something to read that makes me feel good – like an article on confidence or happiness, or a book I’ve been meaning to get to. Or I go all Zen and start thinking about all the stuff I’m grateful for. Often, I’ll do a ‘brain dump’ in my journal, and sometimes I even write blogs…

For the day to day highs and lows, it really works. Because I know this will pass. And soon I’ll be ready to take on the world again!

And let’s face it, if you haven’t got time to fall apart, then you can’t afford not to take the time to look after yourself.

cheers, Lou

If you liked this, read Bistaari Bistaari, Slowly Slowly

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