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What do you do to lift your spirits?


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#21 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 01:11 PM

Hi Barefut,

I just noticed you mentioned the cold, gloomy weather as being part of the problem. That's an issue for me, too, as we live in Minnesota so cold and gloomy describes a huge portion of the year. We fight back on the gloomy front with full-spectrum lamps (just one will do, but put it where you sit most often and use it for hobbies, reading, or eating just like a regular lamp). The lamps are used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and many people find them helpful for just lifting their spirits during low-light times of the year when sunshine doesn't seem to be an option. I found it's cheaper to buy one lamp than to treat the gloomies with shopaholicism. ;)

Also, I try to seek out bright and airy places with lots of flowers or fountains. We have a local flower shop that is outstanding, and good for a nice long mosey among plants, flowers, and fountains -- and they have tons of great "sunshine" since the plants need it. Ours is also blessed with a wonderful coffee shop inside, it can't get any better than that! :) I purposefully schedule a trip there as often as I need it during the winter.

Some office buildings in our area have large indoor gardens, often with coffee shops too, and it is free to mosey around the main areas. Hotels are a great and often overlooked resource for locals. Look for resources for flowers, fountains, water, and sunshine and particularly places where you can drag the kids along, like public zoos (which often have free days) or indoor conservatories. Take the kids on a rousing walk through a hotel, at least until management catches up with them.

The thing is, its possible to feel so gloomy that we don't feel like doing any of that or making that special effort. In which case it can help to put ourselves on the spot, by inviting a friend along -- or "promising" your kids, they'd never let you off the hook. <LOL> The deadline helps fight fatigue as it gives a mini adrenaline rush and thus helps manage the getting there, which in turn lifts our spirits enough to pull us through another day.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#22 razz

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 09:40 AM

Barefut,

I was going thru some of the older threads and found this one. Everyone's ideas are fantastic! I especially enjoyed Shelley's suggestions.

I have a few I can add. I'll go to the local hot dog stand withmy mom, buy a couple hot dogs and sodas and drive across the street to the 95th Beach. Then I'll park facing the lake, if it's cold out we'll sit in the car, enjoy our lunch watching the geese and other birds flying over the lake. Admiring beautiful landscapes or even looking up at the sky is calming and peaceful.

Any kind of hobby or activity is good for the soul. You don't have to be an artist to try painting or a seamstress to sew something simple and pretty. Creating something colorful makes me feel good. I wanted to buy curtains for my living room but they were too expensive. These curtains were simple, 2 panels with a scarf (I think it's called a scarf) draped in the middle. The scarf had mauve, diamond-shaped beads stitched on one side. I measured the windows, had my daughter go out, buy the material and beads and made the curtains myself. I saved a bundle of money and now when I'm sitting in my livingroom, I'm reminded of what I can do.

Or, if you enjoy cooking, preparing a favorite meal or baking cookies, brownies fills the house with fantastic smells. Hanging out withupbeat people or watching comedies are my favorite.

Thanks for bringing up this topic!


:lol:
Razz
Live well, Laugh often, Love much

#23 truman

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 01:04 PM

Serena:

Cooking lifts my spirits. I love to cook and since I'm now by myself, I still haven't learned I need to cut down on the recipe sizes, so I share with neighbors and friends.

Divorce weighs heavy. Don't let it get you down. I don't know whose choice it was, but once everything is done and over you'll be able to move on. Divorce comes in stages; shock, denial, anger, etc. Each stage will pass. It is only now that my ex and I are able to speak, and I was divorced in 1982. There was always an ulterior motive if he wanted to speak to me, but since I became ill, he seems to speak more from the heart. Don't get me wrong, the wall and radar will always remain with me.
Tru

It is what it is...........

#24 truman

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 01:09 PM

You're right KarenLee about humor and comedy. I always go to sleep with a comedy on. Doesn't have to be hilarious, just light enough to bring a smile to me. Went to the fourth picnic and laughed so much with such very good friends that I came home and actually slept a full 8 hour night with an hour nap this afternoon. Haven't slept normally since diagnosis. Humor is very good medicine. :lol:
Tru

It is what it is...........

#25 smurfette

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 08:28 PM

I like KarenLee and Tru"s ideas about comedies - that works for me.

Talking to my husband and cuddling with him - he has a very positive outlook

Planning something fun to do in the future to get excited about (we plan to go to Italy in '09 for our 30th anniversary - I am doing all I can to be healthy enough to do it)

Manicures and pedicures help too.

Playing with my cats or just watching the 3 of them at play.

Reading something that just takes me away to another time and place.

A telephone conversation with a good friend to either vent or that has nothing to do with how I feel.

Resting and watching mindless TV. --usually Law and Order reruns

Taking a nap in the middle of the day-and not doing one chore or bit of work!

Trying to tell myself that it is just my mood right now and it will pass and not allowing this down time to control me

Trying deep breathing or to meditate.

Listening to music that makes me happy.

Not answering the telephone.

I just try to ignore the outside world and heal. Somedays that may mean not getting out of my nightgown. In the beginning when I had bad days I really felt guilty. Now I understand that if I don't take some down time I won't have much "up" time.

Stress may not have caused my disease, but I do believe that negativity and stress lowers my pain threshold so I try really hard not to let it get to me or it starts to put me in a cycle that can spin out of control. It is hard to pull myself out of the cycle once it gets started. It is bad enough that we have this disease and we have to cope with all of its ramifications but we also have to juggle all the complications of life with all its bumps in the road.

I hope that you can find ways to make yourself feel better and stronger. You are juggling a great deal all at once and that can certainly bring you down. I practiced divorce law for many years and I can only begin to understand your pain. I wish you strength, freedom from pain, and peace. Those proceedings can take a long time to be concluded and can continually reopen old wounds. I hope that things are concluded quickly and fairly.

Smurfette
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#26 RememberingToSmile

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 03:51 AM

I am interested to see this thread resurrected again. It is timely for me.

My strategies for keeping self-peace were tested this week with the sudden, self-destructive death of a lovely nephew. My family is devastated this week.

I am trying to remember to celebrate who he was/is. And remember he felt love from us all. Reading this thread has made me think and recognize what works for me, and reminds me to test more strategies.

This has worked for me this week:

* Taking a bath with candles and with favorite music playing has helped me get back to a good place. I massage and stretch in the warm water and it helps take my thoughts away from any sad place.

* I let myself cry some, then I take a deep breath and try to remember something to smile about. Even forcing a smile helps get me on track again.

* I go out for coffee where I can sit outdoors, preferably with someone, and talk about other things.

* Bringing out my music player with earphones to block out everything works remarkably well for me.

* I try to recognize if thoughts are starting to paralyze me as soon as possible. I get up and do anything - clean the kitchen, sort a box, de-cluttering a space or drawer always helps clear my mind again.

* I keep reminding myself to celebrate who he was - when I pass away, I don't want any of my family or friends moaning about how they should have called me more or spent more time with me. I feel their love and I am content with things the way they are....


Barefut - I see three months has gone by since the original post. I hope it is getting easier for you!

-RTS

#27 janey

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 05:42 AM

RTS,
I'm very sorry to read about your nephew. However, it does seem that you have found some great ways to lift your spirits but yet continue to celebrate the person he was. I trust that your spirit lifters will continue to work for you. I'm going to try a few of them for myself. Great ideas!

With loving arms,
Janey Willis
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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#28 razz

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 04:05 AM

RTS,

My heart goes out to you and your family on the passing of your nephew. No one can fill the place your nephew played in your lives. I hope he has found peace and happiness.

I'm glad Barefut's post reminded us to remember the simple joys in life and to take the time to appreciate them.


Stay strong,
LOL, Razz
Live well, Laugh often, Love much

#29 barefut

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 07:42 PM

Hey There Razz,

Thanks for bumping up my post with another reply. I love reading about what others do to make themselves feel better. Everything you mentioned is a great idea and so true.

Speaking of Tru(e) :rolleyes:

The wall and the radar don't need to be explained to me. Thank you for your encouraging words. Seems like I need a lot of them these days. That, and a push.

Glad you had a fun 4th and got some good sleep!

Smurfette~

Are you for hire? :lol: I am trying to do the divorce paperwork myself and it's hard because of my situation. Thank you also for your great ideas and for your understanding.

RTS ~

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I am glad that this thread has been a comfort to you. I loved reading all your ideas. I am glad I have them here to come back and read whenever I need to. I am doing better, thank you. Wishing you peace as well.

Love you all,

#30 smurfette

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 07:40 PM

Barefut,
Seriously, unless your divorce is uncontested and there are no assets and you and your ex are in agreement about everything you should consult with an attorney. I do not practice law right now but for your own protection you need to know your rights and have a complete understanding of what you are entitled to and what you may be relinquishing. If you are completely without any money there are usually legal aid clinics for little or no fees. At the very least consult someone to make sure that you are not getting the short end of the stick. In some states you can get legal fees paid for you and support during the pending action. Again, I do not know where your jurisdiction is and what the law says where your proceeding is taking place, but do not go headlong into the proceeding without at least knowing what you are entitled to and may be giving up.

Dissolution of a marriage is painful enough. If you are getting shafted because you are not being adequately protected it is adding financial and emotional injury to the already difficult situation. Women usually come out of these matters economically disadvantaged. With your health compromised you need someone to help you get what you deserve.

Having a clear understanding of what you are entitled to and speaking to an attorney can lift your spirits - you can have someone on your side! Check out with your area bar assn. and see if there are attorneys who do pro bono work. If you qualify due to your illness and financial circumstances you can have someone help you out.

I hope that I am not being presumptuous, but I hate seeing someone who is ill being forced to fend for themselves through the legal system. It is complex and especially in the area of domestic relations can have long term ramifications regarding how you are able to take care of yourself financially for many years to come. I could go on and discuss issues that should be considered, but free legal advice is worth what you pay for it. If you do have any questions they need to be answered by an attorney practicing in your jurisdiction.

Good luck and you can send me a pm with general questions.

Smurfette
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#31 barefut

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 06:21 PM

Thank you Smurfette.

I do have a resource on free/reduced cost legal aid in Washington State. Getting someone on the phone during their limited hours of operation is hard as I am working during their hours.

I would SO love to have someone on my side. Someone who would fight for me. I get so exhausted sometimes.

Thank you for the invitation to PM you. I will do that. You are sweet.