Omicron and grief

Happy Sunday everyone – hope you all are safe and content in this beautiful day.

First, the Omicron variant. Hell.. Where are we going with this virus? I am glad that I have got my 3rd shot (booster). Yet, virulence of this variant is so high that we are told the majority of us would get it eventually. Boy, do I want to get it? No. The later is the better, when we have more understanding of this variant/virus. I do not wish to get this virus at all and am doing my best, but I know it may not be possible, as many people have been trying hard to prevent infection, yet they are infected now. The number of people who I know and are infected with Covid-19/omicron is increasing every week. Please be safe. Get vaccinated if you can to reduce the chance of severe infection, hospitalization, ICU admission, and death.

At one point, I want to say that we will and can go through this. On the other hand, I feel like we take one step forward and then another hurdle to overcome appears. Sometimes tired, sometimes resilient and hopeful, sometimes depression/anxiety, I do not know how I feel anymore. But I know that we should stick together and hope and work towards a better future. Please be kind to yourself, and realize that there are many of us out there supporting you and the wellness of our communities and societies. Do not give up.

My current feeling of depression is linked to both the risks and alarms created by Omicron and the grief I and my siblings are going through because of my mom’s passing. I am very concerned about my sister who has been taking it the hardest. I am very worried about her. What can I do? How can I help? Life can be so tight sometime. I have been contemplating during the Holidays that even the smallest thing can be a burden of thought for me, as I do not have a close social circle where I can ask for opinions or solutions. If you have good relationships with others who are helpful to you when you need it, please take a moment to cherish this.

Have a great Sunday.

random thoughts

A somewhat boredom-filled weekend. I keep reminding myself that I have all the opportunity to feel good, but can not stick to it. This is pretty much how I survived the last few decades, prior to the start of the antidepressants. In the last 3 months or so, this is the 2nd time I feel like it does not work.

Logically, the medication works. I generally feel much better, more optimistic, and more effective. I do not get bothered by small stuff and do not get stuck at miniature shit. Expecting that I will never experience these while taking this medication is what my fault is. Expecting that the medications will fix everything.

These being said, things have been spiraling up and far regarding the pandemic. While we are still doing much better, now we have a case or two of the variant virus. The cautions are highlighted, as a result. Naturally, as a person who lives in a place where the case load is low and life pretty much continued as before, except with limited social interactions, use of mask, and working mostly from home, I took it kind of hard. It took me sometime to remind myself that this virus is nothing to be taken lightly. With or without the vaccines. And, where the hey are the vaccines? Has any of you been vaccinated yet?

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There is no mention of when we can get the vaccines. I am not in the risky group category, so I think that it will take some time.

Our works have been tremendously affected. We continue to work and produce ideas and results, but honestly I keep thinking that this focus on work has made me forget the reality. The reality is that we all are going through a very tough and serious patch of time. I have hope that things will get better, but when? Perhaps none of these that we keep doing at work will have any value in the long run if we cannot keep ourselves and the rest of the globe safe from this virus. How long are we looking for? At least a few more years is what my prediction is.

I can forget traveling and visiting my family for at least two years. Will my family be okay during this time? My friends? Myself?

Our lives have changed, whether I realize it or not. Things have changed, we adapted, but harder days are yet to come. One thing I really find peace in is that this is a collective journey. There is so much compassion and understanding in so many different people, communities, and institutions.

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Perhaps, in the post-pandemic era, our lives, work places and practices, and how we go through our days will be much different. Many of us will be out of work. Some of us will have new jobs. There will be different values, different priorities. Perhaps we all will start homesteads and happy with our simplier, more frugal lives.

I have no issues with frugal and simple lives, as long as the basic rights are protected and healthcare and education are accessible by all.

I predict that in the years coming, I will volunteer more, and support the community and the vulnerable. I please ask once again you to help foster animals. It does not have to cost you anything – just talk your animal rescue organization. Give these creatures a beautiful, safe and loving environment. Let them feel the love and care. You will feel the happiness of their companionship and satisfaction of helping others in turn. Please foster or adopt an animal from a shelter.

Be the hope for a life that was otherwise put in a very vulnerable position by humans. Do it.

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Happiness IS possible

I was happy for the entire morning yesterday. Really happy.

I was excited about the day. The great weather. The ability to walk, The ability to work. The ability to survive and do all bunch of other things. I had a life and it was going well.

Since it does not happen all the time, it was precious! It was beautiful! It was energizing!

🙂

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Then, what happened?

Well, work related shit happened and I had to find a solution to a confusing situation that directly relates to me. It is important that I find the best solution so that I can feel that my interests are protected to best.

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I increasingly realize that finding solutions to complex situations is one thing that drains me and stresses me…… Since it is an intense mental process, and I cannot help but have that urge to find the solutions right away, it means that my work and life are interrupted and I feel heavily overwhelmed until that solution miraculously shows up in my mind.

If only I could develop some sort of confidence that I am capable of finding solutions without getting into an intense thought process.

Another thing is when I need to write an email. Sometimes I find myself revising it so many different times until I find it making the point clearly and without giving away more than what it is intended to. With work-related emails, there is always a chance of being mis-understood or having negative consequences if the email does not sound right. So I draft and sometimes revise them multiple times, which is another annoyance for me. BUT today I realized that I revise them to make these emails better, which is better for me – so I should actually trust my instinct, keep revise until I am satisfied, and be happy to revise at the same time.

It appears that a change in the perspective is something I can benefit from.

And, the more I analyze, the better I can see why I experience certain annoyances…. This reminds me my worry journal that has been therapeutic. Time to get the dust off it.

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Regardless of what, though, it has been great to remind myself yesterday that happiness was possible.

🙂

random (morning) thoughts on anxiety

Good morning World – I hope all are doing well in this beautiful Saturday morning.

The Spring has been showing its face in the last while. We have shinier days. Being outside is fun and comfy.

I have been feeling kind of anxious lately. It is one of these episodes that I easily get irritated and scared. They say growing is always painful, but pain is an indicator that something has been tried/done and once you are over the pain, you are wiser. Better.

I hope so.

In addition to its pain, anxiety and irrational fear also stop you or limit what you want to do. After all, trying to move away from the fears and worries is only natural.

The other option could be to de-sensitize myself to criticism, failure, worries, and fears. I have been trying that by undertaking bigger roles (which can create more issues) and by addressing challenging issues. I kind of think that the more issues I have to deal with the better I can sort among what is important what is not. I sometimes, just sometimes, can achieve this. Is this a progress or just lucky encounter, I do not know.

What I want to know is what is best for me?

Am I doing good pushing myself like this, or should I just omit things that bother me? The latter option is really tempting, but I also know that one worry-some thing goes, and then another one comes. So changing the perspective and the attitude seems to be the best way.

It is also the hardest.

I think I would like to take time this weekend to reflect on this. Who knows, maybe I will realize something, read or think about something.

These being said, these existential issues somehow help me forget about the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation. I shopped after two weeks yesterday. I wanted to shop, as it excites me 🙂 I bought cleaning products and some canned food, and it felt great. But putting on a mask and gloves, and then taking them off once I was out of the store, coming home, changing clothes, washing them up, and washing my hands and face up until they felt all red was not fun. These are the moments that make me realize how serious this virus situation is (duh!). I think I have been ignoring it so that I would not experience the anxiety it creates.

Perhaps the anxiety I am having over other points are actually a good thing – who knows?

I cannot claim to know how life works. But I sure need some guidance and reading to do on anxiety and how to manage it.

 

 

all the good things lately

Many things have been going better lately and I have been feeling better as well 🙂

Notably:

My short and disrupted sleep pattern have been reversing slowly. I can now sleep till 7-8 am. I still wake up during the night and have fragmented sleep, but the improvement is that I can mostly go back to sleep.

My anxiety levels are almost leveled… This is amazing. It can come back (and sometimes I do feel that it is), but as long as I stop stressing myself about stuff and write my worry journal, I am in a more comfortable state. It is strange to notice that my anxiety flares up as soon as I think “I do not know what to do“.. Duh… Classical trigger of anxiety. Nevertheless, I am very grateful for this period of time.

I feel very confident and have self-respect, admiration, and esteem. Wohaaa 🙂 This is HUGE. I owe it to a number of changes in me lately;

1) I am more initiative (such as in initiating new projects) and motivated to expand my skills to new areas. I do not try to calculate risks anymore – only big ones, not the small things that made me busy, anxious, and less initiative in the past few years. It goes well so far, I am forming new collaborations, I can ask people for favors of involvement easier, and I believe that all is much better now with these skills. I also appreciate my development and efforts more, knowing that this way I will be able to grow and do better professionally. I appreciate myself extra because these also takes guts. Seemingly, I have them 🙂

2) I believe the reason I am less conserved and introvert and more initiative is that I care less.. Yes, you heard right. The less I care about the potential and negative outcomes (e.g. failure, being rejected, etc.), the better I do and get responses. Strange but works! 🙂

3) These are all possible because I finally realize to take time for myself and my own value, personally and professionally. Good times 🙂

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I am one of these individuals that benefited from self-help books. Not all of them, but some were quite influential. The idea of worry journal, feeling better with detaching from my immediate issues and seeing the bigger picture in life, reading positive messages and feeling better as a result, etc. were all good to me. I am not naive enough to think that I have a life-long habit of thinking and feeling better, but at least I know that these strategies can be re-applied, if needed in the future.

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I have other areas in my life that I must focus, though. My diet is not the healthiest, my weight increased lately, I hardly exercise, and my spending habits are still harming my saving goals.

One way to help implement them in my life is to write specific goals. So here I go:

My diet: Aim for eating 6 different foods each week; stop pizza and eating out; eat more protein; buy and eat more veggies, especially crunchy ones.

My weight: once I start eating better and walking everyday, I know that it will decrease to its usual amount. Also, stop eating pizzas, peanuts, and junk food!!

My exercise: I can walk in the evenings quite easily. I can also start walking in the morning (to office). Weather is nice and once I start it I know I will enjoy it. I can also do light exercise at home – like my back exercises and light weights.

Spending habits: If I lose the junk food, I am sure I will be in much better shape financially. I also need more specific goals….

MORE to come.

 

 

 

 

 

random thoughts

After a hiatus from blogging, here I am again 🙂

Goodness knows, I missed it!!

The last month has been good to me. I still struggle with frayed nerves and occasional elevated blood pressure; insomnia and stress; but things are looking a little bit better.

I enormously benefited from the worry journal practice and I would recommend it to anyone.

I also do not work all the time and try to take a rest during the weekends. This also includes visits to cafe houses and enjoying my time on Saturdays and Sundays. Life is good.

I reduced my baking bread saga to every two weeks, rather than every week. This gives me a chance to just have one less task to do at the weekends. I bake two loafs at the same time and freeze one of the loafs. When needed, this loaf is as good to go as a fresh one. It works wonderfully for me.

I make a good attempt to take the bus and save money from cab fare. This has had a positive impact on my chequing account. I am excited. This was also topped up with the tax return – I am happy to say that I do not need to use my line of credit anymore and my chequing account is lifting up nice and easy. I feel quite excited about this!

I walk more often now. We have beautiful weather that makes it possible. I feel like energized and the hibernation season has surely ended.

Work is going okay. I still feel strained sometime when faced with difficult decisions. But I move along anyway and guess what – nothing is as bad as it looks.

I relaxed the self-imposed obligations and do not attend the meetings at work unless they are really interesting or absolutely required. This feels good as well.

I say “no” more often as well. I kind of prioritize my time over others’ needs. What a change! What a progress! 🙂

I have taken a couple of days off in the last two weeks – only because I was not feeling well or enthusiastic about going to work. I was worried at first, thinking maybe I had lost my interest at work for good, but I rapidly realized it to be a wrong assumption. I love this – I love loving my job.

Spring is here, which signals a time to close the loose ends and start anew. Last year this feeling had resulted in me getting interested in plants – succulents and cacti to be exact. This year I am not sure what it is gonna be, but I wait life to direct me to my next exciting interest.

I have more positive relationships at work thanks to me getting some rest and things look brighter and more positive.

I have socialized with friends a couple of times and this also had a positive impact on me and how I feel.

My relationship with my family is also much better since new year and I am very grateful for this.

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gif by:https://giphy.com/gifs/pokemon-adorable-spring-TcG7Tw3uq6tJS

 

 

 

 

 

time to really prioritize myself and my well-being

I have not written here for some time.

I took some kind of break from internet for a while so that I could rather read inspirational books and analyze my feelings by writing on my worry journal.

It all started with a two-days I took off work – my first time in my entire career that I used my vacation time to focus on myself and rest. This is 25 years of work, my friends. All other times I used my vacation time to visit family or friends (where are they now?)

In that two days, I wanted to do whatever I wanted to do – reading books, sitting at a cafe, ordering meal, shopping, reflecting.. Just about anything but working!  It was good. I did not check my emails during this time, which was a miracle, by the way.  I still try not to check the work emails in the evenings and at the weekend. I also try not to work at home and generally take things easy.

But I am also angry with anything that bothers me, and I think my blood pressure increases time to time in such a way that it is alarming me. Deep down I think I am also depressed. I do not know friends – I feel a lot of things nowadays and I think I should really prioritize myself and care about my body and mind, and I should let go off any past or current issues or negative feelings to feel okay.

Honestly, the other day while I was having elevated blood pressure (I think that is what it was)  I just felt that I could as well die at that moment and I would not even care.

This is scary.

On the good side, since I have started the worry journal practice, my anxiety is manageable.

This is priceless.

 

my worry journal practice

I have been looking for doing something different the other day and I found a book of mine about worrying. I have had the book for over 4 years. I had forgotten it existence.

One of the things this book suggests (the author, to be exact) is to have a worry journal where you jot down whatever goes through your mind during the episode. By analyzing and logically facing the situation/thought that creates the worry, instantly it helps with the feelings. I have been trying it for two days now and I carry a little journal with me. It is amazing how fast it fills, but not everything is negative. I happen to also note down potential solutions and how well I can take things.

Today and yesterday I have had 2 worrisome thought trains each day. They are separate issues and mostly related to work. My worries, as they seem so far, happen both at home and at the office. Most of the time, they are logically manageable. They also humble me and help me develop/remember compassion not only towards myself but others. Writing helps see and materializes these.

I like the fact that I am looking for ways to make my life and mental health better. I love the fact that so far this practice has been going well and useful. I hope to be able to see the patterns over time should I continue to keep journaling.

One of the ideas of this practice is also to identify the triggers and noticing body sensations. I for the first time noticed how faster my heart pounds when I go through a worrisome state.

Another way to deal with worries, this book suggests, is to have a “worry space”. There is an example in the book about a lady who chose a fire escape at the work place for this purpose. By attaching this particular place with the worrying, the lady was eventually able to not worry outside of this place. Is this not wonderful?

Not everything is dark. There are positive things happening at the same time, if we just can look at the situation with a logical, but not emotional mind. It is not easy or possible all the time, but it is worth giving it a try.

The book’s title is “The Worrywart’s Companion”. The author is Dr. Beverly Potter.

what important thing I was reminded today

One of those days that agitating stuff has happened.

BUT

I will not let these ruin my morale and spirit.

 

I have so much to worry about and so much to be grateful about. The choice is mine.

Worry is not going to solve any problem, at least in a healthy way.

More importantly, many of the stuff I deal with are nothing when compared to life and death.

In addition, calmer mind works stuff better.

 

So here I am; agitated one minute and providing self therapy the next…..

Nevertheless, I seem to be handling this much better than before….

So, I must wholeheartedly congratulate myself, but the credit is not mine. Carry on and read the rest of the post….

…………………………..

A lot of things in life seems to be relative; youth/age, wisdom/ignorance, experience, goodness/badness, kindness/meanness, especially the breadth and depth and importance of issues..

From one person to other, from one life stage to other, from one issue to other, this relativity can shift easily.

While I was having my silly mental judo this afternoon, I read a genuine and open post from a dear fellow blogger who is a young patient with a terminal disease…. She said “do not ever let anyone steal your joy.”

I was immediately ashamed for suffering and having depressive thoughts about my silly problems….

I am happy to honor her wish and I would like to thank her for this beautiful post and very meaningful, very powerful words.

 

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