Posts filed under ‘depression’

How to Stay Positive

This is a strange time right now, if my mom were alive, we would say “Mercury is retrograde”. If you’re a feeling type, you may just ‘feel’ strange. For me, I watch patterns. I’m used to things flowing evenly and smoothly, so when I start to misplace items, or the people around me become weird, I pay attention to myself and them. Sometimes, my intuition takes over and I feel uncomfortable with my environment, or my social community – the world. That’s definitely happening right now. Besides clients telling me how overwhelmed they feel, I’m reading (or hearing) news reports about more killings and suicides. 

While I know we are not responsible for other people, sometimes those within your circle of influence will say things in an effort to ask for help. I’ve had it happen with my children, my students and friends. If they needed more than a listening ear, I referred them to a (school) social worker or psychologist.

What about you? How do you stay positive when your personal world is turning upside down? Taking a page from one of my thought leaders who deals with mindful-living, here are five things happy people do (to stay positive):[1]

  • They don’t tie happiness to external events
  • They exercise – exercise is shown to help with depression by raising endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, which makes you feel good.
  • They have close relationships; ideally 3-5 with people whom they can discuss important ideas or problems
  • They spend money on experiences not things
  • They don’t ignore negative emotions. Sometimes we will tell ourselves that we are imagining the problems and if we ignore them, they will go away. Not true! When you won’t allow yourself to grieve, get angry or feel disappointed, it stuffs those emotions down deep and they will surface much later, when you least expect it.

We are wonderful, complex people, living in a fast-paced, highly technical, global fishbowl. We are subject to make mistakes, lots of them and it’s not the end of the world when we do. Many of us have been taught that a project isn’t complete unless it is perfect. There is no such thing as perfect – especially to entrepreneurs, inventors and creatives. It is just as important to have fun as it is to work. Interact with people that you enjoy.

Talk to someone when you feel you can’t go on.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

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[1] https://hackspirit.com/7-habits-authentically-happy-people-nothing-positive-thinking-3/

June 8, 2018 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

What Does 2018 Mean to You?

As I wrote in my last 2017 blog, my thoughts were dark and scary. I felt like some of my solid surfaces had crumbled and things that were normally in order and in place simply weren’t there.

As a person who wears a lot of hats: writer, blogger, wife, mother, entrepreneur, I juggle lots of tasks and activities. It only works well when I’m doing things that support me like:

  • feeding myself good foods
  • getting rest
  • having interesting conversations
  • doing meaningful work
  • connecting with my spiritual source (daily)
  • staying connected with my husband

When either of these stop happening, I find myself “Lost in Space” and freaked out. That happened at the end of last year and it didn’t feel good. However, I did two things that got me on the road to a successful 2018. First I recognized that I had lost touch with myself. Second I attended Watch Service on New Year’s Eve at my church.

As the heart of the family, women feel everything. We feel the conversations that need to happen and anticipate what we intend to say. We feel the frustration of our kids when something doesn’t work out the way they’ve expected. We feel it when our spouse has pulled away from us and it’s time for a heart to heart conversation. We feel when our own spirit has been become restless because we’ve stayed too long in a job or business that no longer feeds us mentally or economically.

The issue is how to have those conversations and continue to move forward, instead of getting stuck. At the end of last year, I had gotten stuck. It was a foreign feeling for me and I almost didn’t recognize what was going on.  However, I had a mild asthma attack! Something I haven’t had in years. Metaphysically, asthma is a deep cry from a soul to be loved and to be cared for. I argued with myself for a day or two – I’ve been loving and caring for myself. Haven’t I? I started taking time to meditate again and did some soul searching. I decided I had more work to do with myself and in my relationships.

What I know is that life is a series of processes. As you work on one area and get it to where you like it and it works well, you realize another part of you needs work. Once that’s done, it may be time to work on the relationships in your life. Are they meeting your needs? Are you meeting theirs? We’re used to overhauling our business and household, but taking a good look at ourselves and our significant others is also important too.

So for 2018, what are you doing differently?

Imagine what it’s like have great time management and work-life balance! If you are struggling to make this happen, Click Here to schedule a complimentary discovery session with me. Want to be a part of something supportive? Click Here to join my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, creator of Finding Superwoman™

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

January 5, 2018 at 1:43 pm Leave a comment

How to Move Past Holiday Depression

Have you ever had the blues and couldn’t shake it off? Last year around the holidays, I was going through life’s storms. My father had passed away at the beginning of the year, and we were having financial difficulties. While Christmas gift-giving was very lean, we enjoyed getting together with our children and other family members.xmas-tear

I was happy to be alive and healthy.     

This year my coaching business has picked up and my husband is working. You would think our holiday forecast would be brighter, (and it is) however there are different challenges. I’m busier than ever before and have little time for thinking and planning. I realize that I have to let some things go. #choices #challenges

As much as I love the holidays, I have mixed feelings about enjoying them because of so many family members we have lost in past years. I think about one of my favorite aunts who is no longer around to say Merry Christmas or my mom who isn’t here to make her delicious almond cookies and listen to my stories.

To move myself past these feelings of loss and sadness, for the last 30 days, I have been telling God & myself 5 things (daily) for which I am thankful. Today was a more emotional morning and I decided to list 10 things. These reminders of things (or people) for whom I am thankful, make me feel blessed for the good that I have. It also keeps me from focusing on what hasn’t happened yet or who is no longer with me.

What I do know, is that as festive as the Christmas holidays are, it also brings up memories of family & friends who are no longer with us. For me, it means not getting stuck in those memories and making new ones instead. Our daughter got married this year and we have a new son-in-law. New memories! One of our nieces had a baby, which means we now have six great nephews! New memories! I’m doing what I love to do which is teach, write books & coach parents on being & doing better.

I know that I am in control of my thoughts, and how I feel is determined by how I view the experiences in life. I can see life as half-empty (depressing) or half-full (promising). So I’m drying my tears and thinking about those 10 things for which I am thankful for. One of them is you!  

C. Lynn Williams

Author & Founder of Finding Superwoman™

http://www.clynnwilliams.com
#Happy Holidays!
#findingsuperwoman

December 6, 2017 at 10:14 pm Leave a comment

10 Ways to Show Love to Someone With Depression

10 ways to love_depression

Reblogged from Kelley – http://www.thedarlingbakers.com/love-someone-with-depression/

Note: I have struggled with clinical depression since I was a child. It has been a constant companion I have learned to manage and while I am better now than I have ever been, every so often I feel it returning. I describe it to my husband as a “demon eating my brain.” I have compiled this list from personal experiences that have been helpful to me. It is not intended to replace medical attention which can help many people who suffer from this illness.

Do You Love Someone With Depression?

If you have a partner or are close to someone who struggles with depression, you may not always know how to show them you love them. One day they may seem fine, and the next they are sad, distant and may push you away. It is important that you know that as a person who is close to them and trusted by them, you can help your friend or partner have shorter, less severe bouts of depression. Mental illness is as real as physical illness (it is physical actually, read more about that here) and your partner needs you as much as they would need to be cared for if they had the flu.

Your relationship may seem one-sided during these times, but by helping your partner through a very difficult and painful affliction, you are strengthening your relationship and their mental health in the long term.

1. Help them keep clutter at bay.
When a person begins spiraling into depression, they may feel like they are slowing down while the world around them speeds up. The mail may end up in stacks, dishes can pile up in the sink, laundry may go undone as the depressed person begins to feel more and more overwhelmed by their daily routine and unable to keep up. By giving your partner some extra help sorting mail, washing dishes or using paper plates and keeping chaos in check in general, you’ll be giving them (and yourself) the gift of a calm environment. (I’m a fan of the minimalist movement because of this, you can read more about that here.)

2. Fix them a healthy meal.
Your partner may do one of two things when they are in a depressed state. They may eat very little, or they may overeat. In either case, they may find that driving through a fast food restaurant or ordering a pizza online is just easier than fixing a meal. Eating like this, or neglecting to eat will only degrade your partner’s health, causing her to go deeper into her depression. Help your loved one keep her body healthy, and her mind will follow. This is a great article that talks about the “Brain Diet” which can help the symptoms of depression, and this article talks about how our modern diet could contribute to the recent rise in depression. Here is a recipe for a trail mix that is quick to make and has mood-boosting properties.

3.Get them outside.
The benefits of getting outside for a depressed person are huge. And it is possibly the last thing on earth your partner will want to do. Take them to be somewhere in nature. Pack a picnic and lie in the sun, take a leisurely hike (exercise is an effective mood booster!) or plant a garden. Being barefoot in the dirt, or “earthing” helps ground the body and reverse the effects of living in a world of emf’s, and digging in soil can actually act as an antidepressant, as a strain of bacterium in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, triggers the release of seratonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety. Sunshine increases Vitamin D production which can help alleviate depression. My friend Elizabeth wrote an excellent post about Vitamin D and its link to depression here. For more information about other sources of Vitamin D, this is a great post as well as this.

4. Ask them to help you understand what they’re feeling.
If your partner is able to articulate what they are going through, it will help them and you better understand what you are dealing with, and may give insight into a plan of action for helping your partner. Also, feeling alone is common for a depressed person and anything that combats that feeling will help alleviate the severity and length of the depression.

5. Encourage them to focus on self-care.
Depressed people often stop taking care of themselves. Showering, getting haircuts, going to the doctor or dentist, it’s all just too hard, and they don’t deserve to be well taken care of anyway in their minds. This can snowball quickly into greater feelings of worthlessness since “Now I’m such a mess, no one could ever love me”. Help your loved one by being proactive. Tell them “I’m going to do the dishes, why don’t you go enjoy a bubble bath?” can give them the permission they won’t give themselves to do something normal, healthy and self-loving.

6. Hug them.
Studies show that a sincere hug that lasts longer than 20 seconds can release feel-good chemicals in the brain and elevate the mood of the giver and receiver. Depressed people often don’t want to be touched, but a sincere hug with no expectation of anything further can give your partner a lift.

7. Laugh with them.
Telling a silly joke, watching a comedy or seeing a stand up comedian will encourage your partner to laugh in spite of herself. Laughing releases endorphins and studies show can actually counteract symptoms of depression and anxiety.

8. Reassure them that you can handle their feelings.
Your partner may be feeling worthless, angry and even guilty while they are depressed. They may be afraid that they will end up alone because no one will put up with their episodes forever. Reassure them that you are in the relationship for the long haul and they won’t scare you away because they have an illness.

9. Challenge their destructive thoughts.
A depressed person’s mind can be a never-ending loop of painful, destructive thoughts. “I’m unlovable, I’m a failure, I’m ugly, I’m stupid”. Challenge these untruths with the truth. “You’re not unlovable, I love you. You aren’t a failure, here are all the things you’ve accomplished.”

10.Remind them why you love them.
Look at pictures of happy times you’ve had together. Tell them your favorite things about them. Reminisce about your relationship and all the positive things that have happened, and remind your partner that you love them and they will get through this.

My friend Julie who blogs at Real Fit Mama has a great post about more things you can do to help with depression. Go have a look here! She also wrote a post about finding true happiness here.

This list is in no way exhaustive. I’d love for this to start a conversation, please leave the ways you have found to love someone with depression in the comments.

Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Parent Coach
www.clynnwilliams.com

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Publishing, 2013)

August 19, 2014 at 5:01 pm 1 comment

#You’re Still My Little Boy

The Pampered Prince

Have you ever felt guilty for saying ‘NO’ to your son when he’s asked for something that he did not need or you couldn’t afford?

I remember the story my husband tells where his ex-wife bought a car for their (teenage) son against his wishes. Son crashed the car by the third week of owning it. What do you say? Mothers say “I’m glad he’s unharmed. What a blessing.” Fathers say “That boy didn’t need a car. He’s too young for the responsibility and he won’t take care of it.” Fathers remember when they were teen boys and are speaking from their experience.  Mothers just want their sons to be happy. Who’s right? Does it matter? Yes it matters a lot because there are quite a few boys today who are being shown a lifestyle (by their mothers) that they haven’t earned and it sets them up for failure as men. It teaches them to rely on women instead of themselves.

I know I made mistakes when raising my son. The way I know this is because he’s emotionally crippled today. Had I had the courage to ignore his wants and stick to the adage that I grew up with – “Go to school or Go to work”, maybe he would be well on his way with college and graduate school behind him. Instead I felt guilty and believed that I needed to be more accommodating because of my divorce from his father. I also felt that he might take the easy way out and take drastic measures like my brother did.

If you want to understand more of what makes your son tick, invest in a copy of my book, ‘The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son’. http://amzn.to/1l6PUcv If you would like to ask questions or dialogue with me about how tough adult issues affect our sons, reach out to me on Twitter @cgwwbook or on my Facebook fan page www.Facebook.com/CGWWBooks. Use hashtag #You’reStillMyLittleBoy

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru
Author & Parent Coach
www.clynnwilliams.com

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Publishing, 2013)

July 1, 2014 at 7:32 pm 3 comments

When Suicide is the Only Answer

Today’s blog is dedicated to Karyn Washington, creator of FOR BROWN GIRLS, a beautiful 22 year old African American woman, who committed suicide because of her struggles with depression and mental illness. Ms. Washington dedicated herself to uplifting dark skinned black girls and women to give them a sense of well-being. Who was there to uplift Karyn?

Below is a reprint of her story as told by BlackMediaScope:Karyn Washington

“Karyn Washington, founder of “For Brown Girls” and the “Dark Skin, Red Lips” project has died at the tender age of 22. And this was not a natural death. This was a suicide. Karyn, who dedicated herself to the uplifting of dark-skinned black girls and women, and worked so that they would have a sense of well-being, was struggling with depression and mental illness, and was unable to extend the love she gave to others to herself.

This is often par for the course with black women, who often shoulder so much burden (one of the only things the community will give us kudos for, the quintessential ‘struggle’) and to admit any weakness of the mind and body is to be considered defective. Vulnerability is not allowed. Tears are discouraged. Victims are incessantly blamed. We are hard on our women, and suffer as a result. When your community tells you that you’re better off praying than seeking the advice of medical professionals and medication, you feel shame when you feel your mind is breaking. There is no safe place. To admit to any mental frailty is to invite scorn and mockery, accusations of “acting white.”

Because only white people suffer from depression. Only white people commit suicide. Black women are strong. Black women are not human. And this is a LIE. Let Karyn’s story be an example that if you need help, seek help. Just make a phone call…we are too important. RIP Karyn.”
See more at:
http://www.blackmediascoop.com/for-brown-girls-founder-karyn-washington-dead-at-22/#sthash.M8Z1Rq0h.dpuf

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Parent Coach

www.clynnwilliams.com

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

April 11, 2014 at 3:28 pm 2 comments

I Accept You Just As You Are

Have a teen or adult child with a secret? Not just any secret, their sexuality secret? Did they tell you or you just ‘knew’ that they preferred same sex mates? What did you do with that information? Did you ostracize them or tell them that you accept them for who they are?

The beautiful thing about being parents, is that we not only have the task of raising teens into wonderful adults, we also need to listen with non-judgmental ears when they tell us things about themselves – especially things that may be different from us. If your teen feels that you don’t or won’t accept them for who they are, they begin to lose trust in you and in themselves. If you won’t accept them, what’s the chance that society will accept them? Who do they go to share their “weight of the world” secrets? Many teens who feel that they can’t talk to anyone (their secret is so bad), commit suicide.

genderbread

Here are some words you may share if or when you need them.

“It’s time for you to move forward with your life and stop worrying about whether you will be accepted for who you are. I’ve known (intuitively) that you had a different sexual preference since your high school / college days. It’s okay with me. Don’t worry about your father either. None of us has the right to cast stones. There is no reason to feel ashamed or have any other feelings that make you feel depressed, unworthy, needing to hide. It’s important (to me) that you live an authentic life, full of love. Be who you are and leave those other concerns behind you. You are important to me. You are safe and perfect just as you are. I love you.”

As parents, we have the responsibility for raising our children, and we also have the choice of accepting them for who they are. We may not like decisions that they ultimately make, but God doesn’t always like the decisions that we make. Accepting our kids for who they are helps them build self-acceptance and self-esteem. We also have to be okay that our friends, family and church may not agree with or accept our child’s sexuality. Thinking now about how you want to handle discussions with your family, friends or pastor, would be a great idea.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Author & Parent Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)
Raising Your Daughter Through the Joys, Tears & HORMONES! (220 Communications, 2013)

December 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm

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