WINNER of the A Mused Poetry Contest 12/11/2020

After traveling the vast wastes of my comments section and e-mail only to find a few more entries floating amongst a specific search in the Reader’s Feed, I nominate WordPress for some New Year’s Resolutions….

But, that’s not why we’re here! We’re here (unless you’re lost) to name the poet who wrote the most amusing limerick about resolutions! And that is:

Untitled, by Ruth Scribbles
The girl said, “Oh no! I refuse!”
You simply just want to bemuse
I vow I won’t change
I love being strange
My nose wants to sport two tattoos

Congratulations, Ruth! You are the funniest poet for the week!

Understandably, many took this opportunity to reflect on a serious year full of serious things. Of those attempting humor, I selected Ruth’s because her surprise ending left me snickering the most. Well done.

Maybe you’ll re-think your goals this year after reading all the entries:

Untitled, by Richmond Road
Is it time for this year’s resolution?
To atone for last year’s contribution?
My performance next year?
No better, I fear
I am lazy. Don’t expect a solution

Untitled, by Richmond Road
Here is this year’s resolution
We’re dismantling the constitution
You can’t run. You can’t hide
We have reached the low tide
Step aside. This is a revolution

Untitled, by Matt
There once was a fat guy named Matt
Who resolved to lose weight and that’s that
Shoved his cat aside, and to his wife he lied
that his cat food diet is what he takes in stride 😻

You say you want a resolution, we-e-ll, by Doug Jacquier
There is an old man from Australia
Whose wisdom will not falter or fail ya
New years is his forte
So list to his thought, ay?
‘Resolving is useless, inter alia’.

Untitled, by Frank Hubeny
Those demons look deeply demented.
Based on deeds, none of them have repented.
Resolutions to keep
Are not won on the cheap.
With such demons you’ll turn up tormented.

How I wish I could make resolutions
That would stick when they’re stuck in solutions
When solutions go weak
Resolutions will streak
At the cost of some nasty pollutions.

Every plan I attempt goes to pot.
Every dream I cook up has a spot.
Resolutions today
May resolve in some way,
But they’re not, though, the kind that I’ve got.

Untitled, by Willowdot
This year I can say without doubt.
Is defunct and driven us all up the spout.
The virus has plagued us
Upset and betrayed us
It’s enough to make us all pout.

So what will happen next year
Maybe more of the same I fear
So I vow to sleep
My council to keep
Until it’s time for 2022 to appear.

But have I resolutions you ask.
I will definitely be wearing a mask
I shall keep my distance
And leave nothing to chance
Keeping covid free will be my task.

So what’s in store for you
Is ignoring the rules what you’ll do.
Or will you like me
Cover, wash and flee
Steadfastly ignoring advice that’s not true.

So really at the end of the day
There’s not much more I can say.
The Vaccine is here
Hold out your arm dear
And let’s kick the old Covid away.

Untitled, by Tnkerr
There once was a girl with a toothpick
Who resolved to write nary a limerick
She gave a small laugh
And slipped into her bath
A nude poet who’s anacoluthic

A New Year’s Resolution, by Hobbo
Ecological, his resolution
Eliminate foul air pollution
He stopped eating beans
Cabbage or greens
An effective, but small, contribution.

The Dissolution Of Hope, by Geoff Le Pard
Annually we solemnly resolve
Our past crimes to try and absolve
Yet we suffer conniptions
When our plans become fictions
And all hopes of success dissolve

Re-resolved, by Obbverse
It’s time to repeat the same damned vow I swore
Like last year, and all too many years years before,
It’s my traditional annual end-of-year vow-
‘Next year I’ll be a better man than I am now,’
So many broken promises, still plenty more in store.

Untitled, by Sara
On the treadmill I walk, my flubber a-flapping
Think I would have lost some with all that Christmas wrapping
So, here I am,
Here it goes,
The chafing on my thighs as red as Rudolph’s nose

Untitled, by BS
A cat spoke up with meows
His resolutions he sealed with vows
To catch more mice
Would be nice
But all he got was cows

Untitled, by Bruce
My New Year’s resolution’s a vow,
Though some smell a rat or a cow.
It’s the one day a year
When I shed all my gear
And reluctantly get in the shower.

Untitled, by Rugby843
It is late in the year 2020
Of faulty leaders we have had plenty
C’mon 2021
Get the job done
So we have a new year entente

You’ll have to say it all the time you know, by Herb
The end of the year should be fun
And that year had its place in the sun
But it sends the mind reeling
The terrible feeling
of saying twenty-twenty won

Untitled, by Arthur Richardson
The trouble with trying to be humorous
is that senses of wit are quite numerous.
This nonsense solution,
with a rhymed resolution,
is a punchline that stays unassumerous.

Untitled, by Minzkhaitan
Winter chills and the virus development never stops me to look forward
Blanket of hope gives the warmth of the new tomorrow
Child in me gets excited to set the new plans upright before we takeoff from 2020 to 2021

Untitled, by Deb Whittam
A middle aged woman named Debbie,
Had gotten kind of heavy.
She resolved to lose weight,
Began running every day before eight
Now she has more aches than an old chevy.

—–

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Now, resolve to return tomorrow for next month’s prompt.

Ruth, here’s a badge for you to use on your site. Congratulations!

©2021 The poets, and their respective works

The A Mused Poetry Contest 12/12/2020 – 1/8/2021

A new year’s creeping up on us, and I think it’s time for some limericks.

  1. This month’s Theme is Resolutions.
  2. The Length is however long you need for a standard limerick: five lines of AABBA, in anapestic meter.
  3. You’re going to have to Rhyme; that’s what AABBA means…
  4. The Rating’s PGish. Yes, I’m aware of how these poems usually go. Be creative.
  5. And, above all, make us laugh. I want your life coach to drop his Downward Dog in convulsions of hysteria on his organic bamboo exercise mat.

You have till 10:00 a.m. MST next MONTH (January 8) to submit a poem.

Use the form, below, to remain anonymous until results are posted.

Otherwise, include your poem or a link to it in the comments. Leave a comment if your link-back doesn’t show up by midnight of the day you create it.

—–

Happy New Year!

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

—–

©2020/2021 Chel Owens

Exercise is a Four-Letter Word

Back when I wrote about dieting, I may have been a little hopeful. I may have been trying one of those goal-setting techniques where you tell everyone so then you’re accountable.

I may have then proceeded to make homemade fudge that Sunday.

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Since I’m still at least 20 pounds heavier than I’d like and therefore feel fat and flabby, I’ve started back into an exercise routine. As opposed to my Couch to Bed program of the last year, this new plan involves trying to do a cardio workout each morning.

‘Cause, you know, dieting and exercise go together. They’re like The Rack and an Iron Maiden; like Taco Bell and food poisoning; like The Apocalypse and radiation. They just work.

This morning, I remembered the last time I felt motivated to torture myself exercise. I’d been going to the gym to run a mile or two, most days a month. I thought that made me mighty enough. Then, my friend invited me to an aerobics class over at her gym. It didn’t take long for me to come to several conclusions:

  • I was NOT in shape.
  • That woman working out in front of me needed more opaque pants.
  • I was probably going to pass out if I didn’t slow my pace.

Our perky, optimistic, sadistic instructor used the breaks between enthusiastic reps to encourage us, to promise “just four more,” and to explain she’d been absent last week because she’d miscarried and had to have a D&C.

Clearly, that woman was not human.

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If she was, however, then I was out of excuses for my lazy style of “exercise.” Some humbled, dormant motivation surfaced. I started watching YouTube videos each day, beginning with “The Fat People’s Workout” and ending up at “Fitness Blender.” I ate better. I ran more than 1 or 2 miles and added weight-lifting. I felt impatient, but also saw my stamina and health improve.

Today, I …couldn’t bring myself to start at the beginning again. I remember watching Richard Simmons-type TV aerobics with my mother; the ‘slow track’ person never looked happy or fit and I wouldn’t either. I therefore put on my old high-impact routine and …mostly made it.

That was a few hours ago. I think I’ll be able to walk now.

Is exercising part of your daily routine, or something you resolved to do more of this year? Are you an adrenaline junkie, running 100-milers and marathons; or are you trying to park farther away from the grocery store entrance?

andrew-dinh-hYTzyMok_a4-unsplash

—————-

Take a lap around what I wrote last week:
Wednesday, February 12: Got all starry-eyed in “Love and Marriage and Practicality.”

Thursday, February 13: Throwback Thursday to my sock addiction.

Friday, February 14: Some sort of holiday, so I shared my old schoolmate’s romantic, authentic video.

Also: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Bryntin!

Saturday, February 15: Announced the 59th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is “Little Willie” poems again. Feeling twisted? PLEASE ENTER!

I therefore came up with five examples in, “Little Willie: Some Terrible Poems.”

Sunday, February 16: “Dear, Sweet Sugar Report,” in response to Carrot Ranch’s prompt.

Monday, February 17: An inspirational quote by Mathew S. of Blog of the Wolf Boy.

Tuesday, February 18: “Window Washer Whimsy,” a Senryu for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 19: Today.

I also posted on my motherhood site. I wrote “Hi. My Name is Mom and I Can’t Think” and “It’s Just a Stage.”

Photo Credit: Gaelle Marcel
Franck V.
andrew dinh

©2020 Chelsea Owens

I Met Depression… and I Won

From the beautiful, authentic Heather Dawn:

A few years ago I was diagnosed with depression.

There are many reasons for falling into depression: Trama. Rejection. Bullying. Death or loss. Harmful world views. Stress. A life-altering event. Hormones. Lack of nutrition or sleep… and the list goes on.

Healing for each soul is a very individual path. So as I share my story of hope, that is all I want you to take from it.

There is hope.

Today I am alive. Joyful. Healed. Whole. And maybe what healed me can help you. But maybe you need to take a different path. That’s OK too.

I’m sharing to bring hope, not to say I have the answers.

In February 2014, I had my fifth child… a son. It was very, very difficult for me to face this addition to my family. Though I loved him more than words can describe, I was exhausted with the other children…

View original post 1,448 more words

The Cure for Depression: Journal, Meditate, and Pray

Welcome to suggestion #12 on curing depression. I’ve got a word for you fellow depressors: Mindfulness.

Have you heard that one lately? I don’t even social media that much since realizing it contributed an unhealthy amount to my negative self-image and my -sorry; rambling. I don’t get around much, and even I saw that word everywhere.

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I think it means being full of yourself, right?

Mindfulness is meant to be synonymous with introspection, self-awareness, inner peace, and self-acceptance. It’s a calming state of mind similar to where one gets with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but with more calming and less control.

In fact, CBT is the more-chosen recommendation of professionals at the moment. As a warning, we mental types can get a little crazy when we meditate incorrectly. Who knew?

Anyway…. why practice mindfulness?

A calm mindset in which we have learned to meet and release negative situations and impulses is very beneficial. This mindset reduces stress, keeps us healthier physically, tends to decrease depressive thoughts, helps when we feel bullied or belittled, improves learning, and gives us a general resilience to negative life situations.

Sounds great, right?

Let’s get some stretch pants on, then, and get ready to lotus right into it. Here are the top ways to get yourself mindful:

  1. Meditation.
    Set aside just a few minutes around the same time each day for a little calm introspection. Yes, you can sit cross-legged and hum if it’ll make you laugh. Then, you’ll need to get serious for any ‘inner peace’-type moments. I also recommend calm music and limited distractions.
    A very important warning I found online is that meditation can have a dark side. If you’re going to look into yourself, do it with guidance (like with the directions of a psychologist). If you’re extremely depressive and want to go 24 hours into deep meditative prayer, get professional instruction first. I have many addictive habits and negative thoughts, so learning that we can actually go a bit haywire delving into our psychosis didn’t surprise me all that much.
    A peaceful reconnection with ourselves for a few simple minutes each day, however, is great.
    le-minh-phuong-478540-unsplash
  2. Prayer
    I grew up in an organized religion that I am still a part of. We were taught to pray daily. From this, I know both the positive sides (divine help, meditative benefits, divine worth, etc.) and the negative ones (anxiety, trust issues, etc.).
    Thing is, I’ve been reading about a lot of non-religious people finding some suspiciously-religious results from their definition of praying. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote in Eat, Pray, Love about writing to herself in a journal but that it wasn’t herself who answered. Whilst binge-listening to TED Talks, I heard a woman describe coincidental inspirational thoughts and events that led her to positive directions in her life.
    Prayer can work. Perhaps like the meditation, do it in a small, beneficial amounts -maybe even with guidance.
  3. Journaling
    “But, I’m not a writer…” “But, someone might see….” “But, but..” as your grandmother might say, “Buts belong in ashtrays, sonny!” Who cares about your skill as a writer? Just burn the journals when you’re done if you want. Journaling is for YOU.
    Despite the technically-advanced society we live in, consider an actual journal with actual paper and pencil or pen. We’re still very primal and tactile homo sapiens so the behavior of actual writing can be therapeutic.
    What should you write about? How about: guided CBT strategies you and your paid friend are working on, positive thoughts you had, goals for the day, hopes, dreams, and dark poetry …that ends with an inspirational message.
  4. Yoga
    When I think of yoga, I think impossible stretches and smug people with long hair and smoothies made from grass. Yoga doesn’t have to be that way, however. The wonderful world of online videos gives us simple stretches to do in your jeans, advanced positions you need to work up to, and even quick morning routines.
    It’s the marriage of meditation and exercise, so may be the perfect solution if you just want to get this mindfulness crap out of the the way quickly.
  5. Other things
    Like: Self-massage, visualization, rhythmic exercise, progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing.
    Depression is the continual weather forecast of cloudy skies with scattered showers (in terms of hygiene and crying fits). Most calming activities that break us into relaxation and positive self-awareness are good. They’ll provide a sunbeam, or a full-on clearing of gray matter.

As always, start small and consider working with your doctor and/or counselor for any of these suggestions. Pay attention to how your body responds to each relaxation technique. You may not respond the way 75% of case studies do and it’s super important to do what does work.

Use your inner voice to channel light against the darkness of depression, young Care Bear. You can do it.

Namaste.

jacob-postuma-409825-unsplash

Photo credits:
Lesly Juarez
Le Minh Phuong
Jacob Postuma

 

*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.

The Cure for Depression: Simply, Joy

I am not looking forward to today’s topic.

Whoa –what?! Why wouldn’t I want to type about happy things? I’m the expert, dishing out advice. I should be ALL OVER this topic.

I’m not.

I am terrible at happiness. -Aaaannnddd that sentence just proved it.

Instead of the ol’ biblical casting of stones at me, however, I’d like to suggest that we all might struggle with the positive side of things. That’s kind of, sort of why we’re looking at solutions for depression; right?

So, with seeking counseling, improving our diet, getting outside, exercising a tad, and perhaps taking medication, let’s try to Do Something that Brings Us Real Joy.

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First, allow me to give you an analogy: Right now I am sitting at my computer typing advice. I can smell something, and it’s not a pleasant sort of something. I am fairly certain this unpleasant odor is coming from the garbage can.

I live in a fancy house with a fancy pull-out garbage drawer thingie with two entire garbage bins so that I can procrastinate taking the mess outside for a really long time (like a whole day, since I have four children). We’ve been playing an avoidance game of smashing the mess down instead of removing it, because we’re really good at procrastination.

The garbage needs to get taken out. Why the heck don’t I do it?

  1. I enjoy the stink of stinky things. They remind me that life is full of crap and I shouldn’t forget it.
  2. I’ve read about other people smelling garbage. I feel better knowing I’m not alone and find those people and leave comments about how I, too, can smell bad things all day.
  3. Thinking about refuse removal overwhelms me. What if the bags are too heavy? What if they tear when I pull them out? What if, what if, what if?
  4. It’s a really long couple hundred feet out my garage door to the outside cans/bins/etc. I just don’t think I can make it that far.

Didja get the point? Good! You get extra credit. Everyone else (myself included): just insert phrases like negative thoughtsdepressionhiding in the closetfeeling terrible every time I wrote about smelly waste.

For example: “I enjoy negative thoughts.” “I’ve read about other people feeling terrible.” “Thinking about depression overwhelms me.”

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My story sounded silly when I was talking about garbage. I mean, OF COURSE I SHOULD JUST TAKE IT OUTSIDE. But why do we hang onto personal garbage?

Feeling terrible is simply not worth it.

I wrote about why I numb awhile back. Not doing happy things is an activity I participate in because I’m trying to self-protect. I think that not feeling happy will make it so I also don’t feel sad. Instead, I am constantly in a haze of nothingness and still feel sad.

Feeling happy is okay. In fact, it feels good.

Let’s small step out of our stinky, dark corner: First, I want you to think a happy thought. Seriously, Tinkerbell, DO IT. I recommend thinking about a time that you felt happy, even just a little bit. Or, think about an activity you love to do.

Got it firmly in your mind? Now, wave your wand and… Expecto Patronum!

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In the real world, we’re going to take that happy thought and write another one below it. We’re making what’s called a LIST. Yes, I want you to actually put pen or pencil on paper and list them out. Even in today’s technological world, listing helps our primal brains make connections.

My list read:

  1. Snowball fight with friends
  2. Running in the rain
  3. Creating something useful
  4. Eating a really delicious mushroom Swiss burger
  5. Receiving a sincere compliment

Now it’s your turn. Your list may read: eating, reading, me time, skiing, friends, chocolate, gardening, walks, booze, sex, sunlight streaming softly through slatted blinds, and whiskers on kittens. Dude; it’s your list. Make it catered to you and stop worrying that someone will judge you for it.

Now, small step numero dos is to pick one thing on there that you think you can do soon. It is your list, but pick one that gives you REAL JOY (sex and drugs don’t count; sorry). Decide to do it. Today would be ideal, but maybe you’re reading this article at 3 a.m. and water skiing with your friends might be a little lethal in the dark.

I don’t want you to just say you will do it, either. Put it in your phone. Send a text to a responsible person like your mother. Carve out the time that you will do it and then actually do it.

It’s just one thing, I promise.

After completing that thing, recuperate. Then, do something else from your list. Recover. Pick another one and do it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

After you do that first thing, I want you to do me a favor. I want you to come back here and comment on this here blog post. Tell me what you did (unless it’s classified). You get extra internet credit if you tell the class how you felt afterwards.

Let’s find real joy, together.

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This has been part of our tips to help cure depression. Tune in next time, to read about service.

 

Photo Credits:
Blaise Vonlanthen
Pixabay
Pexels
Sharon McCutcheon

 

*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.

The Cure for Depression: Eat Healthy

Good morning/afternoon/evening/midnight/snacktime everyone! I am ready to very professionally talk to you about one of my favorite subjects: food.

Fruit smoothies in glasses topped with pieces of fruit and marigold flowers

I just spent ten luxurious minutes searching for food pictures, and now I’m hungry. There are so many pictures of food! WHY are there so many?

Duh. Food is life.

That, and it’s delicious. During one of my no-sugar diets, I sagely told a friend, “I’ve decided the problem with chocolate is that it tastes good.” I hope I come up with better quotes when I’m not dieting.

So…. why bother monitoring what we stuff in our faces? This is one of those answers that we all know, like how we ought to be getting outside more, or exercising. We know that eating well is better for our health.

Anyone with food issues like me also knows that an entire bag of Snicker’s ‘fun’ size is really appealing at depressive moments. As appetizing as a picture of odd fruits with flowers (why flowers?) is, I’m apt to choose something meatier and fattier and baddier.

Oooh yeah. People don’t believe me when I tell them I like meat and have issues in general, because I periodically diet and usually exercise. And if random good behavior keeps me looking passable, then you have my personal assurances that such a plan will work for you.

First, let’s list why eating well is such a great idea:

  1. Vitamins, minerals, nutrients, madeupwordients are ESSENTIAL for complex creatures such as us. They’re our fuel.
  2. Eating the right things really helps to not get sick often.
  3. A balanced diet definitely helps with mental illness. Seriously, Google found me so much proof -like on a Harvard Health blog.

Hmmm… I probably should have put #3 first. I blame not eating breakfast yet.

“Put simply, what you eat directly affects the structure and function of your brain and, ultimately, your mood” (Harvard Health Blog).

Oops. I’m just gonna hide this bag of …Snicker’s. *crinkle* *crinkle* Hey, look at this beautiful picture of a salad!

Right-o. We know that good food is good. Most of us know that, from our childhood years of basic nutrition education. If not -hey! I taught you something new!

The tricky part is application. Take one little tiny baby step with me here:

You don’t have to starve yourself and only eat rabbit food.

In fact, if weight loss alone is your goal, you can eat only McDonald’s and still shed pounds. McDonald’s, even the salad, is NOT healthy; just so’s you know. Processed foods tend to not be. And, you have to put up with only Mickey D’s for six months which would be hell for me.

I likes my variety, and you can too!

Rambling point: Small Step #1 is to eat less* overall. You can feed your OCD tendencies if you have them and write down how many calories if you wish. Use a website or app to estimate what your daily calorie burn is, then eat less of that each day. Eat a little less; we’re not encouraging any anorexia here.

*Eating less than what you burn leads to weight loss. Ignore this advice if you are already at a good weight. In that case, eat close to what you burn in order to maintain.

Small Step 2 is when you eat. Your body will burn calories or hang onto them differently at different times of day and different times of year. Generally, avoid eating after 8:00 p.m. and/or two hours before sleeping. Eating later not only helps the food stick around, it makes you less comfortable and more depressed.

On the same page, make sure you are stuffing your face at regular mealtimes. I also need to eat between meals, like a hobbit. I keep the calorie count low (see Step 1), but don’t starve.

Step 3 is what you eat. If you consider lettuce a food fit for hopping creatures, that’s totally cool. I especially understand if you only ever eat iceberg lettuce; that crap is just water. Get yourself the more green and leafy varieties like Romaine, wrap your protein in it, and salt and pepper the thing.

Everyone has some foods he/she likes that he/she knows are healthy. If not, buy some of your friend’s favorites and sneakily eat them in your closet. I won’t tell. At the end of such an experiment, you will have a few that you can stomach.

Use the old internet for searches like “low-calorie recipes,” “healthy snacks,” and “edible and appetizing ways to prepare kale.” -Okay, that last one was a joke.

I recommend AGAINST anal counting of minerals and vitamins and whatnot because it’s a very tricky process that is probably not entirely accurate. Fresh foods have a different value than ones that have been canned, dried, frozen, or covered in chocolate to actually make them taste good.

The advice I follow myself is to lower sugars and white flours and rices, keep the calories low, and include a treat in that count. If you’re following my earlier advice to exercise, you’ll need the extra calories.

A good Step 4 is to cut out stimulants and booze. Ya know, like coffee and alcohol. I think this is a great step, but I don’t touch the stuff myself and therefore wouldn’t presume to lecture you on how to do so. There are plenty of internet and local areas to help, however. (Like, the addiction national helpline, if it’s that serious: 1-800-662-HELP [4357].)

You’re probably thinking I’m crazy, but I thought the same thing when my paid friend told me she hadn’t consumed sugar since 2003. She still has valid ideas in many other categories, so I’ll probably keep seeing her.

As a final note, I don’t even have to be an expert to mention a vital consumable related to eating well: drinking well. As a human, you need water.

Water is life, more so than food even.

I live in a desert environment, and even I skimp on the “recommended amount.” That’s because I don’t like using the bathroom all day. I’ve been told that regular, consistent drinking of water should make that problem disappear.

Wherever you live, make sure you drink water. It improves skin, helps organ function, helps singers sound better, and keeps you from dying.

So, class, let’s get started today. Keep your diet tasty, consistent, and manageable. Drink your water. These simple steps will help you be better able to fight those depressive tendencies.

This has been a part of our Cure for Depression series. Tune in next time, and we’ll talk about joy.

 

Photo Credits:
Brooke Lark
Haseeb Jamil
Vitchakorn Koonyosying
Lacey Williams
Yasuo Takeuchi

 

*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.

The Cure for Depression: Get up and MOVE

This topic is my favorite because I actually have experience with it. I have some experience with the others, too. They‘re just not as fun to talk about.

But NOW we get to discuss getting off the freaking floor. NOW we get to talk exercise.

I LOVE exercise. No, I’m not a masochistic, weight-lifting gym junkie. I am most definitely not that person you see running down the street at breakneck speed and somehow grinning whilst doing it.

If you make it over to my gym, I’m the one barely shuffling around the track because I fall off treadmills. Old people are passing me, giving me thumbs-up for trying ’cause they’re nice like that.

Stillstill I LOVE exercise. For me, it’s the ability to move.

Whenever I finally get my sorry rear into workout clothes and start moving, something inside me cannot stop feeling happy. Running makes me feel like I’m flying, like I’m airborne and nothing’s going to stop me. I know it’s not endorphins because it always happens at the start. That, and I seem a bit endorphin-deficient even at the end.

I understand that moving may not be your happy place. Answer me this, though: IS NOT MOVING YOUR HAPPY PLACE?

Nope, you’re lying.

I know, because I’m sitting right next to you. It’s a bit dark, of course. We’ve got some kind of substance and/or distraction and/or avoidance crap going on. No one can get in, even if they’re actually right there by us. We’re comfortable here, but not truly happy.

Soooo…. now you ask how you can possibly get moving.

Answer: Make it easier to move.

No, really. I remember reading an author’s idea about how we are such slaves to convenience, that literally making a habit about twenty seconds more difficult will help us not do it. (Sorry for the run-on sentence.)

think it’s this dude, Shawn Achor:

If not, his book was good anyway. Something about happiness and advantage.

Shawn (or someone very like him) had a bad habit of coming home and immediately losing himself to an hour or a few watching Netflix. Conversely, he wanted to practice his guitar more.

So, he took the batteries out of the remote and ‘hid’ them in his nightstand drawer. He took his guitar and put it on a guitar stand right by the couch. It sounds really silly, but having the instrument right there and the batteries a teensy bit farther away broke him of the bad habit and improved his skills on the good one.

No, this post is not about playing the guitar. I definitely can’t do that. We’re talking about EXERCISE (yay!). We’re talking about how to even get yourself started.

  1. First, ensure that you have something you can exercise in, in terms of clothing. If you intend to stay inside (which I recommend against), you’ll only need undies. If you’re female, however, you’ll feel more comfortable with a bit more for support.
  2. Next, either set the clothing out RIGHT WHERE YOU TOUCH when you wake up, or go to sleep wearing it. Put your shoes and socks that you’ll exercise in nearby, too.
  3. Wake up just a tad earlier than usual, roll over to wherever you intend to officially move, get dressed, and get started.
  4. Choose an exercise routine that you can do. There are many.

Yes, folks, it’s that easy. And, for the low, low price of $999.99, you can exercise, too!

In reality, following my three steps is free (minus the cost of #1).

But let’s say you’ve got a YUGE mental block in terms of where or how to exercise. To answer that, I think going outside is the best. This may not work for you, particularly if “outside” is a super scary neighborhood with super scary people or potholes around. Maybe it’s snowing. Maybe you have allergies. See how the list keeps getting longer and you’re now not going to even consider exercising?

If you’re able to afford it, a local gym is good. They often have deals like “let your friends in for free this month so they’ll get suckered into signing up.” Hang out outside and ask someone to be your free gym class friend.

Thirdly, I suggest the option I use most often: l’internet. I didn’t know this, but lots of peoples on YouTube have free exercise videos. I started out with Fat People Who Move Faster than You and can now do a few HIIT workouts (okay, I do most of their session).

YouTube is my “20 seconds closer.” Sometimes I find myself making excuses like, “I just ate,” “I need to use the bathroom,” “I don’t have shoes on,” or “I haven’t been drinking enough water today and yet I still need to use the bathroom.” When the excuses pile up, I turn the TV on (we’ve got streaming) crank up my dubstep exercise music, and do it barefoot.

Even with kicking myself to move, some days I wimp out. I only do half the circuit, for example. Still, I did some. I’m always good about not beating myself up for giving up. I beat myself up for plenty of other things, but my aerobic habit is not one of them.

The results? After six months of (attempting) daily exercise, I miss the beneficial feeling when I try to skip out. It’s become a habit. I also enjoy all of the following:

  • More clarity of thought, especially when I walk outside.
  • I get good ideas for writing topics when I jog around the track because I’m super bored going around and around like that for so many laps.
  • I haven’t had a bad cold since beginning, and have only had two minor ones.

Plus, I passed an old person at the gym the other day.

I gave her a thumbs-up.

 

Photo Credits:
Curtis MacNewton
CATHY PHAM
Oana-Maria Sofronia
Jesus In Taiwan

 

*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.

The Cure for Depression

Step right up, folks! Step right up!

Come feast your eyes on this marvelous tonic; right here, right now. What you may think is a simple bottle is actually the most secret of formulas from the Jungles of the East; from the hand of Marvelodijiling, the famed Healer and only man to live past 200 years of age without a health problem of any sort.

This is The Cure for Depression.

It is, indeed. You may shake your head at me, madame. You may wonder at the authenticity, young sir. I assure ALL that this product is exactly as it says. One simple dose each day will GUA-RAN-TEE to rid you of the woes of Depression.

Labelled glass bottles with various powders and liquids

…And if that sales pitch convinced you, then you and I need to have a long talk.

Actually, we can have a really short talk: Depression doesn’t work like that. For one, it isn’t “cured.” It is, however, a condition that CAN be managed once you learn the skills. This depends on the severity of symptoms and genetics and a whole crapload of stuff that would best be handled by a professional.

I am not a professional; at least, not that kind. I am merely a fellow sufferer with access to Google. I have, therefore, come up with a list:

1. Connect with a human.

2. Connect with a paid human; also known as a counselor, psychologist, therapist, and perhaps a psychiatrist.

3. Swallow that pill, if necessary.

4. Get up, then move.

5. Get outside.

6. Eat something healthy.

7. Do something that brings you real joy.

8. If it doesn’t fit in with #7, do something for someone.

9. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

10. Sleep, at sleeping times. Wake at morning times.

11. Follow a routine.

12. Meditate, pray, journal, etc.

13. Don’t get sloppy and don’t skip what works.

14. Never give up. (Never surrender.)

Whenever you’re in your cave, I’d like you to pull out this list. Grab one; do it. Maybe steal another after an hour of trying the first one.

Furthermore, I’m gonna help a brother/sister/broster/sisther out by writing individual articles about each of these ideas. It’ll be a tetradecalogy. Stick around; eat some chocolate.

Come for the treats, stay for the community, and live life for the future you.

 

Originally posted at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog on May 28, 2018. I intend to publish one of these articles each week.

 

Photo Credit:
Matt Briney

 

*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

This week I only had four entries. While this made judging a tiny bit easier, I also felt a touch sad that more people couldn’t fulfill their New Year’s Resolutions of writing more terrible poetry in a formal format.

That’s not to say the decision of who to crown wasn’t difficult. In the end, this one took the prize:

I don’t need no resolutions

by RhScribbles

I don’t need no resolutions
It ain’t in the constitution
What’s up with that
He said, with the hat
On his head
That he said
He would wear until he died
No absolution
Resolve to die?
Uh why?
I don’t wanna
Make restitution
He’s gotta wear a hat on his head
No lie
No revolutions
Just resolutions

Yay, Ruth! You’ve done it again!

Hers and another’s were neck-and-neck for first place. I decided that Ruth’s lack of direction saved the day again. I mean, what is with the hat?

I also love her rhymes that show up when they are supposed to but also when they probably shouldn’t, and her bad meter.

I’m not saying the others didn’t have plenty of awfulness and humor. Here they are, in order of submission:

New Year’s Day Resolutions

by Greygirlieandme

Are made to be broken.
Like my heart, given to you as a token,
when my love was awoken.

Maybe I can lose some weight
If I send it back to you, wrapped in hate.
Then you can serve it on a plate.

There, that’s one kept.

Without my heart I’d be less bitter,
Although I might not be fitter.
And what a post to put on Twitter.

Half and half on that one then.

Maybe I’ll run it round myself,
Leave it on your windowshelf.
Topped by your stupid Christmas elf.

Yep, that’s exercise done.

Perhaps I’ll no longer drink red wine,
There’ll be no need, I’ll be just fine
You made me drink it, your taste not mine.

Hey, another one ticked.

But now here’s one I won’t stick to
I must stop really wanting you.

—–

Resolutions Derailed

by Molly Stevens

It’s New Year’s Day so what do you say?
Is it time to make a resolution?
Nothing radical. Nothing tragical.
After all it’s not a revolution
Eating more vegetables and fruit
Is now an action for dispute.
Listeria! Hysteria!
E. coli! Holy Moly!

Can I get into shape, wriggle and rock?
Stop pushing snooze on the alarm clock?
How about stashing cash and accruing fortitude
By driving fast past fast food?

But officer, I can explain.
I was merely a passenger
On the self-improvement train.
Choo! Choo! Boo! Hoo!

A ticket for driving at breakneck speed
While I was merely trying not to overfeed?
I’m suing McDonald’s for this misdeed,
And I’ve got a terrific chance to succeed.

Don’t lecture me about eating no fat,
Do you think I’m related to joyless Jack Sprat?
I’m out of time for idle chitchat.
Yes, of course, I want fries with that!

Choo! Choo! Chew! Chew!

—–

Resolution Sonnet

by Bruce Goodman

The megapixel race
is a disgrace.
Photographs may have been getting clearer
but the megapixel camera phones seem to be getting dearer.
Let’s hope that in 2019 camera resolutions will peak
and we’ll all get cheaper photos, so to speak.
In the meantime I’m going to eat lots of chocolait
while I wait
and hope that my resolve
doesn’t dissolve
like it did last year
when I decided to wear
nothing but outrageous wraps
in order to look gorgeous in high resolution snaps.

Many who entered slipped back into the ‘too pretty’ area of verse. Let go your meter, your patterns, your main topics, and your artistic sensibilities. Then, enter tomorrow for next week’s competition.

sylwia-forysinska-1124788-unsplash