Friday, February 28, 2014

Keeping It Simple & Sane

Normally during this time of the year, especially with the long stretch of February, I'm no joy to be around. I'm depressed, grumpy, cranky, irritable, impatient----you get my drift. Last year, I cannot tell you how many times I almost checked myself into the funny farm, but this year was quite different, especially for a February. With that being said -- the holidays is a whole other can-o-beans because I'm just nutty around Christmas regardless. But February is my 'to-be-feared' month for those around me. As you've heard a million and one times before, I'm still on a very low carb diet, (Paleo) and doing things to boost my immunity and health, like eating egg yolks and not just egg whites to appease calorie/cholesterol intake. I started taking 3,000 IUs of vitamin D. I get my calcium and vitamin C through broccoli and steer away from fruit. I also take 1,000 mg of vitamin C (probably just expensive urine), but I find that it helps somewhat. If at all possible, I try to face the sun while walking the dog so I can get at least 15 minutes of ultra violet rays to avoid SAD - (Seasonal Affective Disorder). One of my favorite things to do is to spend time with every single person in my family because we all laugh so hard together --- which is the best medicine ever! Laughing reduces stress levels and increases your endorphins. It's known to make you live longer, or die laughing. Does it matter really? I started drinking coconut water instead of Gatorade if I'm dehydrated or after a workout. With all of these remedies to help alleviate physical and emotional distress, I found the most helpful way to stay sane while there's chaos all around me is this: GOD.

Before you "X" out of this blog post in fear that I may start preaching some strange and whacky sermon, hold on… "GOD" to you may mean "state of mind" or just your belief in a higher power. Maybe it's the "universe" to you, like karma and the laws of attraction. That's fine. But hear me out. When you focus on these positive energies, being consistent every single day -- at least for 30 days -- it becomes a habit. Did you know that 30 days is the key number to end some sort of addiction or daily routine you want to end? With my diet, Paleo encourages people to at least give it 30 days. The main reason being is that you have to go through the struggle, like the "low carb flu" and all of the growing pains that go into starting something new in order to better yourself and make you feel better. So what I've been doing is plugging into my favorite pastors' sermons. I have them on my iPhone and downloaded all of their free apps. So every single morning, I pray and meditate and then listen to a sermon that lasts for 30 minutes. I can't tell you how much this has helped me mentally, and believe me, much help is needed in that area. I've learned to control my responses to crappy situations. Don't get me wrong, I can have my "grumpy-quiet-leave-me-alone" days, but I hardly 'pop' my cork anymore. It not only stresses others out, it stresses me out even more, especially the aftermath of regret.

Depression is strange, because when someone is depressed (and I know this from experience), your actions are totally different rather than if you were happy or content. I've been to so many therapists who just sat there with blank stares. I don't understand how some of these therapists make a ton of money just sitting in a chair listening to someone rant on for 45 minutes. Maybe there are good ones out there, but I haven't found them. I've been through a ton. My best therapy is through prayer time and also, talking to my wife. I can tell Madelene every single thing that's on my mind --- I trust her with my life. For me, it's so important to be with someone where you don't have to hide anything whatsoever. She's my rock and I'm so grateful that I can actually tell her things that normally wouldn't be advisable. She's truly my best friend. If you have a best friend, or if your spouse is your best friend --- that's the best therapy in my opinion. Don't waste your money on these therapists who just suck the life out of your wallets and then go home not remembering one word you said.  Never keep things in. Bottled up emotions are walking time bombs.

Another great thing I've found when I get the winter blues is cooking. I love to cook as you can see over at my cooking blog ---- it helps relieve stress and it gives you something to do when you're snowed in. It also helps your significant other flirt with you. It's not all Paleo on there. I have a few good pasta dishes to share as well. I don't slack when it comes to buying good quality organic food. If it's good for the inside, you'll look better on the outside. And for the outside appearance, I made a point to get my hair done every 6 weeks instead of 6 months. Yes, I was one of those. My grays seeped in and I was just a frizzy mess. So now, in order to make myself feel better, I'm taking care of the inside and outside. I can't tell you how excited I am to go to my hair appointment today. Some think, "Well that's just a waste of money." But I say, aren't you worth it? And when your mindset tells you that you're worth it, the rest will follow. A good self-image makes for a good mood a much pleasant environment for those around you.

Now go out there and be happy!

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!