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A Surefire Remedy for Your Depression: 7 Things to look forward to in 2019

7 things to look forward to in 2019!

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Things to look forward to in 2019.  Depression is known to be so emotionally draining in part due to the fact that those who suffer from it feel permanently and chronically “stuck,” with nothing new to look forward to on the horizon. Sound familiar?

The late comedian George Burns once quipped that his secret to feeling young was to “have something to look forward to when he woke up every morning.” If you’ve been dealing with the holiday blues, or if you deal with mental illness issues like anxiety and/or depression regularly, perhaps you’ve been thinking that now that the holidays are over, that it’s January 2019, and that there’s nothing but grey days in store for the next couple of months. But think again.

It’s interesting to hear so many people diss on a year that’s coming to a close, without thinking about all the great things that happened. Think of all the people you know who have grumbled something along the lines of, “Wow, 2018 was terrible. I can’t wait for the new year!”

Remember that it’s always better to be grateful than to be a critic. Here are just a few of the great milestones we saw in 2018:

What’s to Look Forward to?

To help you keep some “big picture” perspective for the new year, from tech, science, movies, social change, following are some things we can all look forward to in 2019.

  1. The world is (most likely) not going to end. Hey, there’s a break! A few years ago it was predicted that an asteroid was going to pass by the Earth in 2019 with a minor chance of crashing into us (which would have been nothing short of utterly catastrophic). NASA, however, has officially declared that such a collision with earth will not occur, and that the asteroid will not fly by as closely as initially predicted. In fact, it will be pass by us over 2.5 million miles farther away. Sorry YouTube conspiracy-mongers.
  2. Five eclipses. Remember the 2017 eclipse that went all across North America? South America and South Asia will now have a turn at amazing eclipse views. July 2, 2019 will show us a complete solar eclipse over southern Chile and Argentina, as well as over parts of the South Pacific. On December 26, the day after Christmas, another total eclipse will head across the Arabian Peninsula and then over areas of South Asia. All in all, the world will enjoy five eclipses in 2019, some solar and some lunar.
  3. 2019 Women’s World Cup. The FIFA Women’s World Cup, will take place in June through July 2019 in France, whose men’s team happened to win the 2018 World Cup. The U.S. Women’s National Team returns as the event’s reigning champions from the 2015 World Cup in Canada. Not a soccer fan, but prefer rugby instead? The Men’s Rugby World Cup is set to happen in Japan in September.
  4. A world printed in 3D. 3D printing hit the stage as just a seemingly nerdy passing fad. 2019 is anticipated to be the year 3D printing really takes off. Think 3D bioprinting for medicine/healthcare, more precise, sophisticated 3D industrial metal printingwhich has the capacity to revolutionize manufacturing and more user-friendly 3D printing for hobbyists. Xerox is getting into 3D printing, developing a home 3D printer this year.
  5. A $100 million Fortnite gaming tournament. If you’ve never heard of the game called Fortnite, here is a great way to become better acquainted. There isa large Epic Games Fortnite tournament coming in 2019 with a winner’s pot of $100 million. Anyone with a gaming console, lots of attitude, and skills can join in. Qualifying brackets have already begun, but qualifications will go on through the better part of the year before the big tournament begins.
  6. Lots of highly anticipated movies! Get ready for the blockbusters you’ve been waiting for at the theaters, including “Avengers: Endgame,” “Captain Marvel,” “Joker,” “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” “Dumbo,” “Frozen 2,” and of course, “Star Wars: Episode IX.”
  7. New Star Wars park at Disneyland and Disney World. Speaking of being strong with the Force,both Disney theme parks are opening the highly anticipated new Star Wars-themed areas of their parks in the fall of 2019. “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” will include 14 acres of all kinds of exciting activities, rides, and restaurants Star Wars fans of all ages. We’ll get a first in-person glimpse at the Star Wars galaxy’s planet Batuu, along with enough galactic riff-raff to make George Lucas himself proud.

So, there you have just a taste of what there is to be excited about coming your way next year. Which brings us back to George Burns. Another piece of sage advice he left behind for us involves an old saying, “Life begins at 40.” George Burns’ take? “…That’s silly. Life begins every morning you wake up.” Here’s wishing you a great 2019!

Concerned about your own depression and/or anxiety? Both are treatable and manageable. If you or someone close to you need to talk to someone about mental health issues that seem overwhelming, we can help. Consider reaching out to our expert team at Solara Mental Health at 844-600-9747.

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8 Ways to Keep Family Members From Ruining Your Holidays

avoid family drama during the holidays

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

You can avoid family conflict during the holidays (or at least minimize it).  Avoiding family drama during the Christmas/holiday season can be a bit of an art, but it is certainly something you can manage. And well.

Imagine: One person (or one person’s wife) ends up resentfully doing most of the organizing, cooking, and work, while another relative imbibes too much and blurts out a dark secret, and then another relative’s child throws an unbearable tantrum. Any single one of these occurrences, not to mention a combination of several, can be all it takes to ruin yet another annual family holiday gathering.

The holidays tend to be stressful for just about anyone. Combine this stress with the fact that some individuals can be thoughtless, inconsiderate, nitpicky, irritating, and sometimes outright spiteful. Worse, many such individuals (yes, including your own family members) never own their own behavior, and really don’t care how hurtful, problematic, or careless with the feelings of others they may be. It is always “someone else’s fault.”

Holiday stress + wanton emotionally reckless behavior. It makes quite the combination, and it’s enough to make everyone else hate the holidays, hate getting the family together, and wish they could fast forward the clock past New Year’s.

 

What Drives it All?

What are some of the dynamics that create an atmosphere ripe for familial holiday conflict? Let’s look at a few:

  • “Short fuses.”A family member (or members) prone to angry outbursts that are typically disproportionate to the situation or to the initial trigger (“I said NO PECANS!! Why can’t you do ANYTHING right???”).
  • Opinionated individuals tend to be extremely rigid in their thinking, suspicious without reason, unwilling to concede anything, or seemingly just defiant and argumentative for the sake of it (“I know what I’m talking about, and if you don’t agree with me, you’re an idiot!”).
  • Attention hogs. You know him or her. The family member who needs to be the center of attention at all times, who sometimes acts out when offended at feeling left out of any conversations, outings, events, or what have you.
  • The buzzkills. Then there are the family members around whom you feel ever physically and emotionally drained, or worse yet, you feel agitated, anxious, unsettled, or upset.
  • The martyrs. A relative who loves to play the victim, or who feels entitled to receive special treatment. Vindication for perceived injustices and having unreasonable demands met are the sought-after prize for these individuals. All at the expense of others, of course. (“One day you’ll be sorry when I’m gone!”)
  • The wound collectors. Fixates on past offenses, slights, mistakes/flaws of others, and is ever ready to bring them back up at the drop of a hat. No forgiveness or forgetting. No peace.
  • Irresponsible speech and behavior. A family member who always seems to irritate or hurt others’ feelings, as if the negligent perpetrator feels no obligation whatsoever to “turn on the filter” (“I tell it like it is!”).
  • The never-ending family feud. Not nearly as fun as the game show, family feuds among your relatives may be brief outbursts that last a few minutes, or that maybe go on for hours, days, even weeks and months with minimal effort (or even desire) to reconcile or end them.
  • Feelings of unhappiness, of being emotionally drained, edginess, lack of fulfillment, worthlessness, etc.You “walk on eggshells,” around the family get-together, constantly on your toes to avoid the next incident that will embarrass you or leave you feeling hurt.

The first thing you should do is recognize that none of this is your imagination. Such individuals may act reasonably one day, but that doesn’t mean you should simply ignore such flagrantly bad habits and behaviors, especially when they hurt you or others. These people need help, and should seek out a professional who can help them become more aware of their behavior and manage it better. Meanwhile, you still have to protect yourself. Remember, such incidents can serve as a trigger to set off your own mental illness.

Mind your own boundaries

Here are some suggestions regarding what you can do when dealing with such bad behavior from family members and to help avoid family drama during Christmas break or any other time of year:

  1. This is no time for therapy. Remember that family time at the holidays is not the time for a therapy session. That is for professionals to handle in private at another appropriate time. Don’t let your holiday cheer be robbed by going for the bait and ending up being drawn into drama that you don’t want.
  2. Set boundaries. Without being too exacting, determine ahead of time what you will and won’t tolerate. You may have to separate yourself from the group or not attend at all if things start to head south. Do not ease up on your boundaries until inconsiderate behaviors change (e.g., if dinner is scheduled at 6, then start at 6. Latecomers will just be late. No attention hogs, no dramatic entrances, no shows of dominance, etc.). You are under no obligation whatsoever to be victimized.
  3. See reality for what it is. Words matter little if there is no action behind it to back it up. Don’t just write off hurtful behaviors.
  4. Taboo topics. Get a consensus up front regarding what everyone else is willing to discuss and not discuss (e.g., religion, politics). These discussions can tend to bring out the worst in people.
  5. Taboo behaviors. Some individuals revert to coping mechanisms/behaviors such as binge drinking in order to create a divide in the group, antagonize, or irritate others, and such antics should be squelched beforehand. You can set the rules in your house, but if you and your family are elsewhere, don’t join in to the discord.
  6. Call for help if you need to. If someone gets violent or draws a weapon (especially after drinking/drugging), don’t even hesitate to call the police.
  7. Safety is not a guarantee. Just because you are with family does not mean you are emotionally/physically/psychologically safe. Watch out for yourself and avoid/avert anything or anyone who might do you harm.
  8. Plan on having a good time together! Don’t give audience to someone in the group who insists on hijacking the rest of the group and “holding them hostage.” Don’t give something unsavory a life by giving it your attention. Focus on creating positive memories together with your loved ones.

Awkward and unhappy family moments do happen, even with the best intentions, so don’t feel like you’ve failed if a family holiday get-together goes awry. Be polite, be loving, but be firm in taking care of yourself.

Holidays with the family got you down? It may not be just a case of the “holiday blues.” Depression and anxiety are treatable and manageable. If you or someone close to you need to talk to someone about family dysfunction or other mental health issues that seem overwhelming, we can help. Consider reaching out to our expert team at Solara Mental Health at 844-600-9747.

25 Quotes About Depression to Help You Through the Holidays

holiday-depression

Image courtesy of Flickr.com

Depression during the holiday season is a very real thing. Though the holidays are thought of as a time of sharing, family, and celebration, for many individuals, the holidays can be emotionally exhausting.

Contrary to popular belief, the months of November and December sport the lowest suicide rates, and that’s a good thing, though depression may occur at any time of the year. Holiday depression and stress from November through New Year’s can bring back painful memories, reminders of feeling alone, not to mention the rest of the typical holiday rigmarole.

Some noteworthy statistics:

  • 56 percent of those surveyed reported increased stress at work, but only 29 percent experienced greater stress at home.
  • 38 percent said their stress levels inevitably spike during the holiday season, with the main suspects including: shortages of time and money, excessive commercialism, pressures of gift-giving, and the often stress that comes with family get-togethers.
  • Most individuals surveyed spoke of high spirits, love, togetherness, and happiness, though they also complained about fatigue, sadness, irritability, and eating and drinking too much, which causes bloating.

Do you get stressed during the holidays? Does it make your mental illness feel worse? Coping with mental health issues can be difficult enough in its own right, but keeping it all to yourself will only make it more difficult.  

With celebrities like comedian Pete Davidson and musician/actress Lady Gaga appearing in recent news about their open discussions related to their depression and other mental health issues, we hope you’ll enjoy some quotes by some famous (and also some by not-so-famous) individuals. These quotes offer thoughts and insights into facing and talking openly about mental illness to give you some perspective and help you through the holidays.

“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have the right to be here.” — Max Ehrmann from “Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life.”

“Even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there.” — Stephen Chbosky 

“Don’t let your struggle become your identity. Your illness does not define you. Your strength and courage do.” –Unknown

“This feeling will pass. The fear is real but the danger is not.”― Cammie McGovern

“Depression doesn’t take away your talents; it just makes them harder to find. But I always find it. I learned that my sadness never destroyed what was great about me. You just have to go back to that greatness, find that one little light that’s left.” — Lady Gaga

“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.”— Charles Bukowski

“Mental health…is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.” – Noam Shpancer

“Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.” –Unknown

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.” – Abraham Lincoln

“About a third of my cases are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be defined as the general neurosis of our times.” – Carl Jung

“Remember that you were given this life because you’re strong enough to live it.” –– Unknown

“It’s never overreacting to ask for what you want and need.” ― Amy Poehler

“Now that I was famous, I was afraid I would never find somebody again to love me for me. I was afraid of making new friends. Then one day my mom said: ‘Why do you think a person wouldn’t love you? Don’t you know how smart and sweet and beautiful you are?’ That’s when I decided I only have two choices: I can give up, or I can go on.” Beyoncé

“Self-help gurus are constantly telling us that we can get anything we want through the ‘power of positive thinking.’ This is an unrealistic and potentially damaging message, I think. By contrast, meditation is a doable, realistic, scientifically researched way to get significantly happier, calmer, and nicer.” Dan Harris

“Normal is a setting on the washing machine.” — Unknown

“I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never. What’s to be ashamed of? I went through a really rough time, and I am quite proud that I got out of that.”
J.K. Rowling

“I take medication daily and have for many years. I also try to exercise a lot, because there’s some evidence that exercise lessens the symptoms of anxiety, and I try to use the strategies that I’ve learned in cognitive behavioral therapy to cope with my illness. But it’s a chronic illness and it hasn’t, like, gone into remission or anything for me. It’s something I live with, something that I’ve integrated into my life. And we all have to integrate stuff into our lives, whether it’s mental illness or physical disability or whatever. There is hope. There is treatment. You are not alone, and while I know the struggle feels at times completely hopeless and futile, there is a far shore for the vast majority of people, and I wish you the best.” John Green

“You’re only given a spark of madness and you mustn’t lose it.” Robin Williams

“Every struggle in your life has shaped you into the person you are today. Be thankful for the hard times, they can only make you stronger.” Keanu Reeves

“My depression and my ego are two things that I treat equally, just like this, where I go, ‘{gentle parent voice} Oh, here you go, what do you want now? Alright, ok, I’m not gonna give you that, but we’ll do this, how about that? Is that reasonable?” George Saunders said when you deny a fault in yourself you’ve made it ten times more powerful. AND now you have two faults: the fault you had and the lie you’re telling yourself about it.” — Patton Oswalt

“The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die.”― Juliette Lewis

There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections. Ziad K. Abdelnour

Fate whispers to the warrior, ‘You can not withstand the storm.’
The warrior whispers back, ‘I am the storm.’ ” — Unknown

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow.” Vincent van Gogh  

Keep in mind that a “come-and-go” case of the holiday blues is not the same thing as a serious case of depression, which may require help with a certified mental health professional. If you’re having a hard time shaking off the holiday blues come January and February, seek help.

Is your depression turning out to be more than just a case of the “holiday blues?”Depression is treatable and manageable. If you or someone close to you need to talk to someone about behavioral/compulsive addiction or mental health issues that seem overwhelming, we can help. Consider reaching out to our expert team at Solara Mental Health at 844-600-9747.