Read with me

In early Oct I pledged to write daily about ways to improve your mental health. I didn’t refer to journals, studies or what the good doctors say. I just wrote about what works for me. I suggested music, friends, silence, flexibility, fun, relaxation, play, movement, conversation and volunteering.

The suggestions along with personal insight and stories helped me as well. They reminded me of the techniques I use when I need to feel grounded. As the days get shorter and the time change kicks in, I know I’ll be employing several of these techniques as well.

reading in the libraryMy last topic is about books and reading as a way to stay sane. The act of picking up a book means you are in one place for a set period of time. Your mind has permission to let go of reality and travel with words to other places.

Some books are there to help you. These self-help books offer insights into nutrition, rearing children, beating addictions, raising step-children, finding a mate, dealing with grief and on and on,

Non-fiction books relate stories of triumph, success, failure, love, family and happiness all wrapped in one. Fiction lays unlimited possibilities on our doorstep. Biographies take us inside the walls of homes, onto battlefields, behind prison walls and into space.

Take the ride, Let the author distract you. Enjoy the learning process. Share what you’re reading. Dig deeper. Laugh at the joke. Cry when it’s sad. Get angry and mad. Smile when it’s something sweet. Let the words on the page take you away, bring you back home and put you to sleep.

All the best to you!

Planning ahead for shorter days

As the days grow shorter I often spend less time walking and exercising when I should be doing more. Walking makes me feel alive and refreshed. When I walk less because of the darkness or colder weather, I end up feeling bad and staying inside. The less I do, the harder it is to get motivated to do anything. And the downside to being in the house is the refrigerator beckons me to look within. “Come to me,” it whispers. “I will share my bounty with you – again and again and again.”

When I’m not home I don’t eat and I’m not tempted.

So, some new ideas for the November blog are exercise, health, and movement topics. Writing will be a good way to keep me moving, keep me learning and keep me blogging. Maybe along the way I’ll also motivate you to do something more or different.

Unlike October, I won’t be writing every day but I will write 3x weekly. That will be a bit easier for me and WAY easier for you. I know it must be tedious to see yet ANOTHER email telling you that margekatherine.com has published a post. I can read your mind – “again, really?”

Alas, October is coming to a close along with my mental health topics on choosing sanity. Have any of these topics made a difference or resonate with you? I welcome comments.

And so, I have 2 more days in the month to share my words of sanity, wisdom and introspection with you. Stay with me, it’s almost over – I promise!

A welcome dose of sanity !

I had a reality check this past week.

I was driving in the car with my grandson (recently turned 6 years old) and it was quite clear he ‘knew everything’ there was to know. So, I put on my Nana face and said —

“So, smarty pant, if you know everything, what’s the capital of Colorado?”

Without hesitation he replied, C.

After a minute of contemplation I agreed, yes Colorado does begin with a capital C.

nana and chazNot letting him off the hook, I pointed to a random tree and said – “so what’s the name of that tree?” (I certainly did NOT know the answer)

He looked at it and said it’s a deciduous tree. 

“What is a deciduous tree?”

“It’s a tree with leaves,” he replied.

“How did you know that?”

“I learned it in kindergarten,” he said.

Perhaps he really is a smartypants!

Enjoy the laugh, stay sane and keep a smile on your face my friends!

Fall and swirl

fallen leavesI hope for those of you who attend church that you had a good visit with your higher power today.

For those of you who turn to nature to connect with your higher power, I hope you were able to breathe deep the colors, the sounds of the birds and the change in the weather.As for me, I took a walk up and down the neighborhoods and kicked leaves, watched them swirl and fall as gusts of wind blew here and there.

Simple things keep me sgold tree and falling leavesane.

 

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Counting my blessings

A way to help me feel grounded and sane is to count my blessings. I believe when I acknowledge the good in my world, I am opening the door to more goodness. One thing in my Aspens in Rocky Mountain National Park, Coloradoworld is the weather. Where I live in Colorado has been the most amazing autumn I can remember in a long time. Most years we get an early snowstorm that takes down branches and leaves and everything is bare even when the weather turns nice the following week.  This year has been glorious, colorful, warm and welcoming. No snow, no wind, no worries!

Because of this amazing weather I’ve been able to hike more. There’s something special about starting out on a cool crisp morning and finishing with the warm sun shining down on me. That smile on my face just appears – and is full of thanks for two strong legs, two happy arms and eyes to see the wide open sky. I always welcome a hike so if you’re needing a partner or want to join me, let me know!

dark cloudsAnother blessing has been writing on my blog about ways to stay sane.  I enjoy looking back over the posts for the past month and am pleased I sallied forth with my challenge. Receiving comments and input from my readers is appreciated as well as reading what they are writing.

I am blessed beyond measure and I bet you are too. Care to share?

Hugs!

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Spew Forth

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Ever want to just spew about something or someone? Maybe your boss, a colleague, a child, spouse, neighbor, the driver in the car next to you, your mother-in-law?

The act of spewing is healing but you must only spew in the presence of someone who holds you dear.

Perhaps something they said set you off in a crazy way and you need to get it out of your system. You can spew to your dog, cat or goldfish. You can spew to your plants. The act of spewing is healing. It’s like writing that Dear John letter or letter of resignation and then tearing it up.

When you spew you get all the nasty out of you and onto the table. And when it’s out – you’re done.

Easy-peasey.

Sanity is restored.

Simple Conversation

Today I sat next to a woman who was holding her 18 month-old daughter on her lap. The daughter had just fallen off the bench and her nose was all bloody and she was crying . The woman was trying to soothe her daughter but she was agitated and eager for the service on her car to be finished.

She was really fragile and as we chatted she told me she had no family nearby and her husband worked out of town. It was just her and the baby all day long and she was so homesick. I remember how I felt when I moved to Colorado. I so wanted to be back where everything was familiar. Where I had my long-time friends and where my family was my source of entertainment.

And I remember when our phone was installed and I cried because I had no one to call. Then within a year or two of living here, I had to return to my childhood home and as the car was pulling away, I looked back at my house and felt a pang of homesickness for it and I hadn’t even left.

This woman is focused on what she doesn’t have (her family) and not creating what she needs (new friends) right here and now.

This is the thing:  it takes time, energy and effort to make friends and create a support network. It takes boldness to stand in front of strangers and share your story with them. It takes patience to be available to connect but not appear too needy.

And making friends is about give and take. You can’t share your life story all at once. You can offer some information and then gauge how safe you feel. After sharing, it’s time to listen.  Then share a bit more, then a bit more. I have a feeling you’ve been in her shoes. Moving to a new  place only to realize you have to start all over again with new friends, routines, doctors, services, schools and on and on. It’s hard and scary in an exciting sort of way. And it’s lonely until you make that first friend.