My Seven Steps to Have a Happier Day

My friend is currently down a deep dark hole called depression and I risk her wrath by making this public, because she is in the stage of feeling at a complete loss as to how to dig her way out.

She’s frustrated and I can relate, because everyone who knows and loves her would dearly love to be able to wave the magic wand and be able to take her black mood away. However the hardest thing about depression is you can only change yourself. Nobody can do it for you, or to you.

Only you hold the key to your own happiness.

I have been searching the web and have found some cheap ways that may help anyone get through the day and hopefully bring a smile to a face or two.

To my friend who is most likely glaring angrily out at me from her pit of despair. Please try these things before making any excuses (or as you call them, reasons) as to why it is completely impossible to do any of the following. This comes from a place of love. You matter enough to me to do this. 

 

#1 Get up out of bed. Nothing can change for the better from bed. It is the first decision we all have to make each day, and it’s especially difficult for people with depression. If you do it early enough in the morning to watch the sun rise you’ll be getting your first burst of natural light for the day, this will help with setting your body clock over time.

One of the largest studies on the use of light to treat clinical depression was published in 1992 in the journal Biological Psychiatry. Dr. Kripke administered light treatment to 25 depressed hospitalised patients at a VA hospital.

Patients who were exposed to natural white light were significantly less depressed than those in artificial light.”

 

#2 Take a walk, get some fresh air. You need to let your brain have some time in standby mode, and walking through the world just observing what is going on around you can help with this.

~In Europe, doctors prescribe exercise for their depression patients. I think the best is a combination of exercise and getting out in nature … along with giving your body and mind enough time of mindless walking to let the true feelings and thoughts rise to the surface. You will also see that nature has cycles, too — there are times of joy and times of hibernation. Allow your body and soul to sync with nature and you’ll automatically feel a bit better. ~

 

#3 Get a little sunshine. Vitamin D from the sun (rather than from pills) can help your body function better.

 

#4 Gardening (again with the outdoor activity) but even a cheap pot with some potting mix in it can work. Occasionally vegetable seeds can be bought quite cheaply or cultivated from produce you buy at the shops. Try things that can give you high levels of vitamin C like capsicum and tomatoes. Buying fresh veggies can be quite expensive so growing your own can be a way to save some money and feel accomplished at the same time.

As quoted by Julie Myerson

Gardening has shaken me up and slowed me down. It’s the only activity I can still do when I’m worried or angry or sad. Tending a garden is a meditative, humbling experience: you can’t force anything, you just have to wait. And yet every time you put something in the ground, it feels like a pronouncement of faith in the future – or at least in the next few months.”

#5 Eating better can help your body chemistry become more stable. Avoid refined sugars and processed foods as much as possible. Lentils and beans can be a cost effective replacement for meat, while helping you with iron levels. Grow your own food to gain the maximum nutrients from fruits and veggies.

 

#6 Laugh. It costs nothing, and makes you feel better.

 

#7 Help someone in need. Quite often depression can cause us to lose perspective and become quite self centred. We may be too busy mentally berating ourselves over personal failures to notice someone else in need. Observe others, and remember, even helping with small things can make both you and the person you’ve helped feel better.

Sources

http://www.viva-lite.us/blog/health-happiness-and-sunlight-closely-linked/

http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/11-ways-to-beat-depression-naturally

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/mar/26/gardening-secret-of-happiness-julie-myerson

 

In the immortal words of that large corporation

What I’m learning from my kid part 2

Hi I’m Belinda and I go off my nut without the facts.

Yep I’m human and the world doesn’t revolve around me. *DUN DUN DUUUUUUUN*

Got the dramas I wrote about over the weekend dealt with and nothing is bad as it seems.

Nomatter the outcome, the journey the kiddo traveled taught her life lessons and I hope she is as proud of herself for getting the guts up to put herself out there.

I cropped this picture from one hubby took. I think it pretty much says it all.

 

February… over half way over.

This has been such a full month already.

  • I started a job ~my first ever~ for Sensible Health and Mobility Initiatives… Linked above.
  • The job is also a traineeship for a Business Administration Cert III (no idea what happened to I and II) I’m waiting for my books to turn up since I opted out of doing it online… argh my eyes.

I’ve been filing, spread sheeting, typing up letters, invoicing (under supervision), website reshuffling, scooter servicing (under strict supervision), filling orders for first aid kits, restocking first aid kits, mailing, deliveries, taking photos, and making coffee.  I’m sure there’s other stuff too, but the best bit is I’m rarely standing still. Goes by in a blur and I haven’t felt the need to look at my watch.

  • We’ve started Friday Ketchup again for 2013… in March we will officially begin our third season.
  • I’ve entered a couple of my photos into the Sunday Mail Summer of Photography competition.  Haven’t heard anything back from them but it took courage to take the leap and submit.
  • Managed to get my February Aussie spec fiction book read (Keri Arthur woohoo!)
  • Vision Writers was a roaring success this month. It makes me so excited for the rest of the year.
  • Kiddo has been asked to try out for the district netball team… this blew me away. We’ll have to have a family discussion about the possibilities of this happening, but I would love for her to experience something like this.

Things that make me smile this month.

News that The Night Creatures Trilogy by Marianne de Pierres is to be published world wide.

News that Diamond Eyes by Anita Bell is to be made into a movie. 

News that family members are achieving great marks for hard work.

Finding this for hubby’s Valentine’s gift

Kiss(es)

And the kiddo liked the look of this sweet little plant

And Love

There have been a few not so nice things to happen recently, but I want to keep my focus on the positive. Share the happiness and hope that what I put out, people feel they should pass along and pay it forward. Even if it’s sharing a smile with a stranger or wishing your bus driver a nice day.

 

What is making you smile this month?

How 2012 stacks up.

~ I want to read 80 books this year. 12 of which to be Aussie. Reviewing as many as possible.

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Belinda. has
completed her goal of reading 80 books in 2012!
hide

So I managed to get one goal for 2012 done. Equating to 28286 pages read. Longest book was Aurora Teagarden Omnibus 2 with 712 Pages.

~ I want to do at least 12 video blogs/ reviews or tutorials this year.

No luck on this one. I think I got half way there. *shrug* I tried.

~ I want to be the best president I can be for the Vision Writers group.

I measure my success by the number of constant members and the number of people who turned up at the December gathering. Yep we made it above an average of 5 people each month and we had 5 at the end of year gathering.
Two things off the list.

~ I want to find a part time paid job.

No luck in 2012 for this one but stay tuned for possible news in 2013. Cross everything for me. No SERIOUSLY!

~ I want to aim for $500 for my fundraising for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Australia this year.

No Such luck. Bit of a suck really. I’m really not sure what the heck is going on within the ranks of Ovarian Cancer Australia, but I miss Helen.

~ I want to get my creative memories program back up and running so I can resume making pretty digital scrap booking pictures.

YEP!! I got this one done. *then had to have my laptop’s brains replaced so I have to pull it off the portable hard drive and hope it lands intact.*
Three things achieved.

~ I want to be in print again this year.

No print this year, but who knows what will happen as we head into 2013.

~ A 100 word a day base level again. (between blogs, reviews, or story writing)

I meant to see if I got this far but I am pretty sure my slacking off in November and December means a no win on this one.

~ I want to be more social.

Not quite. However I am getting slightly better at remembering names.

~Again trying to keep the housework under control.

I can see the table top and the counter tops and the floor. I think that’s a win. Right?

All up 4 things marked off the list for 2012.

I’ll have to do some serious thinking for what I want to achieve for 2013.

Love to you all and lets look forward to an exciting new year!

Grey, Grey. Go away. Come again some other day.

Over at the hoopla there’s a great highlight on the Q&A episode with Pamela Stephenson about her addiction to cosmetic surgery. You can read it here http://thehoopla.com.au/wanna-babe/

At the end of the article there are 2 REALLY thought provoking questions and I wanna add my two cents worth on this blog.

Does it take courage to age gracefully?

And

How tied is your self-esteem to your appearance?

So let’s look at the second question to begin with; as it is, in my opinion, the pivot to the answer of the first.

This is the chicken and the egg scenario for so many women. Because when you look good you feel good. Right? But don’t you look good when you feel good? Hmm such a conundrum.

I don’t think anyone has noticed when we talk about our daughters; quite often the first description we make on introduction is about appearance, and not intelligence. Ie. “This is my beautiful daughter, Betty, who just turned 1.”

How tied is your self-esteem to your appearance?

In my case, my self-esteem is tied to my appearance far more than I like to admit.

I grew up in at least one school where being a brunette, Asian looking skinny girl was so out of the ordinary I may as well have painted myself with obscene words and spat at everyone. I didn’t feel beautiful. Therefore my self-esteem was shot to hell. But I think I was more harmed by the bullying, most of which centered on my ‘out of the norm’ appearance than anything else. Because others saw me as ugly, and had no trouble telling me, I began to believe it.

I was passed over for jobs because of my appearance and have had interviewers actually tell me that THAT was the reason I missed out. It’s a form of discrimination, but who’s going to report a business for such behaviour when they are trying to land that first job? Nobody I know of. *Note* I ALWAYS dressed appropriately, so it was the body beneath, not the clothing that lost it for me.

Not being able to even land a paying job by the time I’m 30 is certainly NOT a highlight of my life. I will admit however; I did make a conscious decision years ago that I didn’t need the emotional torment of rejections based on my physical appearance, (things I can do NOTHING about), so I stopped actively looking for paid work.

Now for the first question… Does it take courage to age gracefully?

HELL YES! Should it… HELL NO!

I’m actually surprised that beauty companies aren’t outdoing IKEA when it comes to consumerism. We are all so afraid of looking older. We strive to look youthful… why for heaven’s sakes?

Less wrinkles in seconds, the 5 signs of aging, because you’re worth it, maybe she’s born with it… but most likely not.

Wrinkles, freckles, creases and dimples are signs of a glorious life lived. Smiles, pain, laughter, stresses that we’ve overcome, illness, summers where we maybe had a little too much fun etc. Do we all want to look like we’re freshly ironed? No life lessons learned, no experience, fresh out of the box?   I know I don’t.

I don’t even want to colour my hair anymore.

I’ve spent my whole life with such dark hair that going lighter will be a nice change. Why pay for streaks and foils when nature will hand them to me for free and using fewer chemicals? That and my hair is so dark naturally that the hair dyes never really showed up anyway.

Grey hair would probably be more widely accepted if more women dared to go grey. How many 50 something year old women do you know who try to keep the same colour hair they wore in their 20’s?

At a certain stage in life, the chemically dark hair just starts looking like you’re trying too hard. That you’re frantically clawing at the last strands of youth and you’re not giving up without a bloody good fight. At least if you are going to colour your hair, add some colourful streaks. Bright ones. Ones that say ’Yes I colour my hair, but I am over trying to make it look natural. Girls really do just want to have fun.’

So now, are you brave enough to age gracefully and how much is your self-esteem tied to your appearance?

The last few months at a glance

I haven’t posted one of these in quite a while and thought I had better catch up a little.

We’ve been averaging 7 attendees at the Vision meetings and there have been 2 instances over the last few months where we’ve been booted out of our room at the Queensland State Library with very little notice and it was through the brilliance of the Brisbane Square Library that we were able to go ahead with our meetings.

I have written 12385 words since the last blog. Most of those were for the burn bright website.

I have read, as of May, 34 more books. Which is a total of  81 books. I’m happy to meet that resolution.

On my review TBR pile I have

  1. Dollhouse in Ebook by Anya Allyn
  2. Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan
  3. All These Things I’ve done by Gabrielle Zevin
  4. A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller
  5. The Blind Goddess by Anne Holt
  6. The Geneva Trap by Stella Rimington
  7. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  8. Tangle of need by Nalini Singh

And on order for review are
Undeadly by Michele Vail

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

For my own personal reading *and perhaps review*

Roil and Night’s Engines by Trent Jamieson

Exile and Sactuary by Rowena Cory Daniells

This doesn’t even include the other books I should catch up on like the last Laurell K Hamilton.

To get through these books I have been endeavouring to up my pages read per day count to 150 rather than 100.

Wish me luck.

Oh and the biggest and coolest things to happen to me since the last at a glance blog were getting to meet the two wonderful authors Isobelle Carmody and Charlaine Harris.

A little bragging photographic evidence

Life is a wonderful thing, even through colds and migraines and dealing with day to day life.

Though we haven’t had a regular few weeks. With the kiddo winning the first prize in a Japanese Speaking competition against 3 other schools, and her coming second in the district for high jump in her age bracket, I was walking on air.

I can not believe my little girl is officially 11 years old as of last week, and the day before her birthday was competing in the regional athletics carnival. She feels like she didn’t do so well, but I remind her when she is in a moment of self doubt, she was one of only 2 untrained girls in her age bracket at this level of competition. The fact that she’s made it this far makes her a champion in my opinion. She was the ONLY girl from her district high jump competition to even compete at the regionals. I was a really proud Mum.

And my latest tutorial is up on Marianne’s Ewtube channel

9 Months into the year and well on the way to the end of the 2012.

The future is shining bright. *wink*

The campaign to Get Reading!

For those of us who LOVE reading, the Get Reading campaign has begun in Australia and will run until September 30th. This year all 50 books on the recommended reading list are Aussie authors. LINK!

After the hard facts Tara Moss put forward in her blog about gender inequality in the literary industry and since then Jane Sullivan’s article on A Woman’s Place in the publsihing industry, I wanted to break down this year’s list of books, and see just where we stood as a nation when it came to this year’s industry recommendations versus gender equality.

I made pie charts. YAY ME!

So lets look at the break down of what genre’s are on offer in 2012.

Now let us look at some of these segments a little closer.

This is the break down of Fiction. That is 7/12 in favour of Women.

Alright lets look at Romance, not that this should shock anyone.

*shrug* this was to be expected, but it would have been nice to have at least one guy here.

Now for a chart that had me scratching my head and wondering if women’s REAL voices are being ignored. I give you the chart for Biography Memoir.

Notice there are no biographies exclusively written by women on this chart ANYWHERE. Co-Authoring, sure; but I am POSITIVE there were more than 2 brilliant biographies written by women in the last 8 months.

Okay now we go to the all round gender gap for this year’s Get Reading campaign.

24 Men. 23 Women and 3 co-authorships.

Not terrible, but when you think about women being represented more for their fictional tale telling rather than their truth telling, I have to ask myself, “What’s up with that?”

There were no women with books in the Non-Fiction section, and it was 50/50 in Fantasy Fiction, Crime Fiction, Children’s Fiction and a notable 3 way tie in Children’s Picture books.

How do these stats make you feel?

Does it make you think men aren’t romantically inclined?

Does it make you think that men’s stories of survival and successes are more important than those of women’s?

Do you think this list is geared more towards getting men, or women interested in picking up a book?

Most importantly, does any of this make you want to go out there and BUY A BOOK????

Support your small local business… No seriously.

A few weeks ago Gympie started Sunday trading. *DUN DUN DUUUUUN* Now I realise not many of you who read my blogs are from rural or country towns. Some of you don’t even live in Australia. But I imagine there are still backwater towns everywhere, where a large chain of stores has moved in and the culture of the place changed. The question is, is the change a positive one?

I’m sure I was a teen when Sunday trading began in Brisbane’s surrounding areas. Gone were the massive Saturday afternoon mark downs on meat and bakery goods so they wouldn’t be left to rot on the shelves until Monday.

It was also when we no longer had to panic abut not having enough milk, because it didn’t matter what day of the week it was, you could just whip down to the shops and pick up what you needed.

However, at the time I lived in a building block country town, so it was the only option outside of small independently owned stores to get your groceries if you lived in say Kilcoy, Wamuran, Woodford etc. (the D’Aguilar Highway on rainy afternoons sucked even worse when you had to travel 20 minutes or more too and from to grab your weekly shopping) So the Sunday trading was beneficial *from a teenage point of view* to everyone. Because if you have to travel THAT far, you’d make a day of it and just leave the groceries and cold items until you were right ready to leave for the trip home.

This was back before the Morayfield shopping center. When the only major chains were Franklins and Coles. WOW I feel OOOOOLLLLDDDD! The majority of people would stick to the Coles supermarket because there was a Kmart as well, and there was underground parking. Not to mention to get home again you just came straight back out onto King Street and bloop you’re headed home.

But for Gympie, which is really away from EVERYTHING the small independent grocery stores were IT.  It had been that way since the 1800’s. Until August 6th when the rise of the giants like Woolworths and Aldi have driven locals to embrace this new Sunday trading thing.

But what of the independent shop owner? If people know they can get bread at 5:30pm from Woolies, will they bother walking 200 meters to the bread shop right before lunch?

Will the flea market stalls do as well if people can pop in and grab their jam at 9am rather than brave the cold to buy home made delights?

Only time will tell.

Please, remember to give your local small businesses your attention.

 

If you don’t use it you’ll lose it!

 

Over my dead body

Over at THE HOOPLA is a pov post by Wendy Harmer. (A very funny Aussie comedian and prolific author) In this post Wendy has her opinion on the tramp factor of girls clothing in Target stores across Australia; or at least the ones she shops at.

I want to broaden the focus to all stores and then have at it like a nasty dog munching on a bone.

Rewind to a few months ago when I was frantically trying to buy clothes for the kiddo to wear on camp. She had grown out of everything that would keep her warm and I was DESPERATE, frantic and when push come to shove, I had to just grimace and get on with it.

I don’t generally have hard and fast rules when clothes shopping for my daughter besides, ‘would a hooker wear this?‘ If the answer is a maybe or a yes, then the item of clothing stays on the rack. Which is great when you have all the time in the world because you have the wiggle room to take your sensible Mum mind and shop accordingly. When the school adds it’s guidelines to your shopping trip and you’re pushed for time, things get positively insane.

Shirts must have sleeves. ~my options of shirts with sleeves were, plain black ones (no thanks my kid has plenty of time to turn goth without my help), ones with lewd slogans (she is 10, I don’t necessarily want her wandering around with a shirt that reads ‘It’s all about ME!‘ on it), ones that may have had 2 sleeves… but one of them would never stay on her shoulder (Wham called they want their shit back).

black shirts it was *groan*

They were going to be doing high wire and ‘team building’ activities.

So NO SKIRTS. ~my options were Black 3/4 length leggings (black goes with everything, and the 80’s are back in style… okay I can mange this) –just don’t expect the kiddo to want to wear them– Jeans (these would be sensible and durable) –if only she’d wear them– and butt shorts (at these we both looked at each other and shook our heads. NO!)

black 3/4 leggings it was.

Then came the jumper debate. She has a football jacket that must have been brought up from the southern states, ’cause it’s properly warm. Not one of the regular Queensland winter jackets, ‘Oh you felt a breeze? Quick add a flannel shirt.‘ BS. We fought for 45 minutes to get that jacket put into the suitcase.

And the only ‘jumpers’ for sale in the stores were frigging ponchos. WTF! Seriously?

So if the big chain stores EVER had the guts to ask my opinion (HAHAHAHAHA!!! I know, I make me laugh too) I would tell them to think mix and match, think AGE APPROPRIATE and think about us poor bloody mothers trying to not turn our kids into tramps, hookers and 80’s rejects, and carry basic options as well as the trends, so we can have a choice to give our kids the childhood they should be getting, rather than this sexualised, paedophile driven crud they stock constantly now.

In an ideal world I would be able to walk into a store on any given day (or season) pick up some cute >whoops cute is a no no word< ahh… some “cool” grey track pants with a purple accent of a butterfly or a kitten or even a spider ~for those kids that aren’t into ‘cute’~  A matching shirt, and a zippered jacket to go with the track pants. Is it REALLY that hard to make kids not look like they’re mini adults?

I doubt it. I really truly do.

Vote with your purchases (when it’s possible) let these chains know that hoe chic is not okay.

And when push comes to shove, you have the last say.

OVER MY DEAD BODY!!!!

It’s my lucky day!

Checking my emails I was overjoyed to receive this blessing. *roll my eyes*

 

ATTENTION: *Blink Blink*

I am Lieutenant General Peter A. Blay (Chief of the Defense Staff (Ghana).
I am mailing you in respect, of the present development going on here in
my country GHANA. *Hiya Pete! I’m all ears.*

I decided to contact you, after much investigation which was carried out
by the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and the Ghana Police
Service, to make sure our country is free of these fraudulent
activities,which is going on here in Africa and for our country to bear a
good name. *You mean annoying emails asking for personal details. Sure, there’s none of that coming out of Ghana*

The Airport Authority detected some trunk boxes after been scanned the
authorities detected that the boxes contains funds on your name and email
that has been tempered on, they were been smuggled into the country by
foreign Personnel who were on transit from London. *I had a trunk smuggled from London? That is bloody amazing, since I don’t OWN any trunk boxes and have never been to London*

These men were trying to enter the country with the trunk boxes, when the
airport authority detected that these boxes contains, some huge amount of
United State Dollars. After much investigation we found out that these men
were among those men, spoiling the good name of Africa. *MORE amazing circumstances there because I have only ever owned american quarters, and I know exactly where they are. Want me to show them to you?*

They opened up to us that, they actually work with a Lotto company before
their dismissal and used the opportunity to perpetuate their crimes, they
told us that the funds inside the boxes was won by you, but now they
planned to turn back on you and decided to take the money all to
themselves out of the country.We later found out on the investigation that
was carried that, these men are truly members of a well established
organization to act on their criminal activities. *I’ve always wanted to win the lotto, and I’m just overjoyed I won the US lottery, especially since I didn’t even buy a ticket. WOW!*

As I write you this mail now, the three(3) men that were caught are now in
the custody of the Ghana Police Service over here in our country
Ghana,while we are trying to track the others left, because they have
proved to us that they belong to one organization. *Well maybe you need to give the men a piece of paper and pen, cause surely with their BS story they could write a best selling novel, not unlike E.L.James.*

That is why we have to reach you by your mail address and name that was
tagged the boxes, so we can make the arrangement on the transfer of the
funds to your designation. *Okay so this is where I hand over my bank details right?*

Your urgent response will be very much appreciated as soon as you have
received this email. *Yep let me get right on this. I just have to open a bank account in Sweden first.*

Thank you for your kind attention, for us to make sure our beloved country
Ghana, bears a good name. *Handing out bogus emails about imaginary lotto money is positively the best way to make Ghana bear a good name. By the way how’s Ghana doing in the Olympics?*

Please in your reply include your
A: FULL NAMES * I P Daily *
B: ADDRESS *Itchycoo Park *
C: DIRECT CONTACT PHONE NUMBER *555-bullshit*
D: SCANNED COPY OF YOUR INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT OR ANY RELEVANT
IDENTIFICATION PASSPORT. *Well CRAP I don’t have a passport, guess this was all a waste of your time.*

As this information will be required, by the authorities in Ghana to draft
the new change of ownership in your name as the rightful owner of the
funds in our custody and also to verify the information given to us
because the documentations covering the boxes have been tampered on. *Heavens. How do you tamper on something? It is something like Tap Dancing, just without the danger of slipping into the sink?*

Regards,
General Peter A. Blay *Thanks Pete mate*

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