So often I feel like I am in the midst of a battle. I am fighting depression or anxiety or loneliness or lack of motivation, but mostly hopelessness. I suppose all of that can be summed up as Depression (over 2 decades worth). I am so tired of doing battle with keeping my head above water but I seem to be a good swimmer.
My major battle this week has been dealing with worsening depression, most likely due to quitting smoking on Monday morning, September 21. I am trying to be a cheerleader for myself; reminding myself that tomorrow a.m. will be a full week. Yay! WooHoo!! (Whatever)
Actually, I am not doing bad with managing cravings. I am using a 21 mg patch and a piece of 2 mg Nicorette if I feel really tough cravings (once or twice a day). I haven't gained any weight (so far) and plan not to by upping my exercise. My free time is limited and my motivation can be easily way-sided ("I think I'll just check my emails and the weather forecast first, then I'll exercise"). I'm sure many reading this know where that path leads!!
Meditation, yoga, weight lifting, ballet, walking with my dog Lily are all great ways for me to keep busy and stop the ruminating that is a hallmark of depression. Unfortunately, lately the days slip by and not much gets done. Like the platform bed I have been building for months now. Ugh! I suspect I overwhelm myself with too long a 'To Do' list. (I am going to lift weights and practice ballet when I'm done w/ this post.)
I hope that some of you that read this can get some clues on how to manage cravings and increase your success.
1) Accept that it's tough to quit, so give yourself a break (and a hug). Look in the mirror and smile at yourself and give yourself a thumbs up and a compliment like: "You've got this!!" Do this a few times a day. And if you're down, cry! Or journal. In other words, validate your feelings and your struggle. Be kind to yourself.
2) Stay busy with activities you love, especially ones that give you a feeling of accomplishment and can boost your self esteem.
3) Learn to meditate and practice, practice. Meditation trains your mind to stop those bad thoughts that get stuck in your head and won't leave.
4) Simplify your life and you will decrease your stress. (I know, your life is a whirlwind of obligations). Brainstorm, write down ideas... there are ways to simplify and give yourself some positive time for YOU!
5) Be silly! Play like a kid. Put on some music and dance like a fool. Laugh!
6) Share your hard times during your journey in a group of like minded people (like here!) and support others. Many times it is in the help you give others, even a kind word, that you receive a boost of positivity.
I'm excited to be here and after I work out and dance a bit, I plan to get down to reading some posts.