Sunday, September 22, 2013

On Working Toward Healthier Habits...

It's no secret that I struggle with a pretty severe case of manic depression. I have my ups and downs, but lately it feels like, in general, I have more downs than ups. The thing is, I don't want to live like that. I want to enjoy my life and make others around me happy, rather than making them miserable, which seems to be the status quo of late. And by other people, I mean Matt. Poor guy has enough on his plate without my attitude and mental health to muck things up or make things harder. So, I've been thinking that I need to cultivate healthier habits, both mind and body, if I plan to make positive changes in my life. I'm 35 years old, it's about time.

So here're some things I've done and some I'm planning to do.

Drink more water: Huge deal for me. I'm not much of a water drinker at all, but I've managed to start getting down more than the recommended daily amount. Go me!

Take vitamins: Gummies, you see. When you make vitamins into candy, I'm there.

Get more exercise: Melanie and I have been getting out and walking a lot lately, which really seems to improve my state of mind. I generally feel better, both physically and mentally, when I've gotten out and had a walk.

Meditate: Not in a spiritual kind of way, but in a time out to get inside my head and acknowledge what I'm thinking and how I'm feeling kind way.

Write regularly: Would you believe blogging has actually made me a more competent writer? Yeah, crazy right? I'd like to continue to write here regularly (at least 3x per week), but also to get into a more regular writing schedule with regards to my creative writing projects.

Practice active happiness: They say the whole 'fake it till you make it' thing works. I'd really like to work more diligently toward trying to keep a more positive frame of mind.

Apologize: I hate to say I'm sorry, so when I'm wrong and I know it, I tend to get angry rather than contrite. In turn, I cork it up and it eats at me. I'm down enough without that to make it worse.

Watch less television: Pretty self-explanatory, but I tend to find a show then watch every single season on Netflix, non-stop, until it's done. This amounts to hours and hours of TV time. Hours and hours I could spend doing other things.

Eat more meals in & learn portion control: Eating out is not only fattening, it's crazy expensive. Not only can we not afford it, it's not as healthy as cooking your own meals. If I cook for myself I know what's in the food. Now if I could just learn some moderation, I might have a chance at cultivating healthy eating habits.

Get organized & de-clutter: I read something the other day that said a messy desk is good for creative productivity. I get that, I even like it, but I need to de-clutter my life and keep a cleaner house. Less chaos means a calmer mind, I think, which can only be good for my mental health.

Right now, the above ten things are what I'm working on. While some of them are in progress (water, vitamins, getting more exercise), others are harder. I don't know how to be actively happy or how to apologize gracefully, but I want to learn. That's what the whole cultivating healthy habits thing is about, after all, right? For now, I think just putting it down in black and white helps to cement these things in reality, where I can see them. Where they can't hide or be forgotten. Because, really, no one is better at denial or self-delusion than I am. Maybe I should have put "stop deluding yourself" on that list, too? ;)