Mary Kay

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01:25 pm: Working hard
The weather for the past 10 days has been phenomenal for Seattle. Every day has had large amounts of sunshine. It's been colder than I like, but even that is starting to ease a little. Which probably means the high pressure is going away and the clouds will come back! I've been working really hard at appreciating it.

Over the last couple of years I've become a real hermit, but I'm making real efforts to change that. Not that anyone seemed to miss me much (and don't say you did unless you want me asking you why, in that case, you made no effort to reach out when I disappeared) but I need some level of interaction with people to be happy. To get me out of the house and participating in life. Jordin won't work for that, much as I love him. He doesn't need people at all so far as I can tell.

I'm making a real effort to take better care of myself too. To eat better food, get regular sleep, and take my meds regularly. I hope to add regular exercise back into that when it gets a little warmer. Be more regular at things like showers, teeth brushing, and other forms of personal maintenance.

Between Internet shopping and reading compulsively (it's how I've been coping with the anxiety - keeping my brain busy with story) I can easily go a week without leaving the house. Or even longer. So I'm working hard at getting out more. It's been really hard. It's so much easier to stay home in my nightgown with yet another book. I'm trying, but it's what I fail most at.

But what I want to know is: when does it stop being an effort and become enjoyable again?

Current Mood: stressedstressed

Comments

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From:redbird
Date:March 28th, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC)
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I don't know when it stops being an effort, but one thing I have found useful (for me, it might not be for you) was to make a rule/policy that I will go outdoors during daylight at least briefly every day unless there's a good reason not to. My "good reason" list is serious physical illness or very bad weather, i.e., blizzards and hurricanes. Making it a policy helps for me because it changes the scale of the decision, from "I suppose I should go outside" to "now or after lunch?"/"what jacket should I wear?"

I note that this is specific to my having observed that daylight is good for me (I do plan to buy some full-spectrum lights by the next equinox); I'm not sure it's adjustable for social interaction unless going to the store for a container of milk supplies useful amounts of that.
[User Picture]
From:marykaykare
Date:March 29th, 2013 11:43 pm (UTC)
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It's a very interesting & potentially useful reply. Right now I'm working on establishing an ice cream only on week-ends policy. Haagen Dazs Canilla Bean is my favorite comfort food ever. At LOT of it got eaten over the winter. I'll try to remember for the future. Thanks.

MKK
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From:johnpalmer
Date:March 31st, 2013 10:04 pm (UTC)
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Um. May I jump briefly into geek answer syndrome re: full spectrum lights?
[User Picture]
From:redbird
Date:March 31st, 2013 10:12 pm (UTC)
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If Mary Kay doesn't want that discussion here, I'd like to have it with you privately: email me (if you don't have an address handy, this username @ livejournal DOT com works).
[User Picture]
From:marykaykare
Date:April 1st, 2013 02:22 am (UTC)
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Both of you go right ahead. I have a 10K lux full spectrum
Ight and a special blue end light that Jordin made me. Research has indicated that the blue end of the spectrum is most useful in fight SAD/depression.

I have a full spectrum light over my jewelry workspace, but that's for colors.

MKK
[User Picture]
From:johnpalmer
Date:April 3rd, 2013 08:59 pm (UTC)
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Okay, and marykaykare mostly referenced what I was going to say.

I know some people get blah-feeling in bad lighting, and some of them are helped by better lighting, including what's called "full spectrum lighting" - not *grow* lights, ever - they have UV, and you don't want UV.

Anyway: for some people, nice, pleasing light makes them feel better, and I'll never deny that experience.

(I feel the urge to point out that, as of at least 10 years ago, there was no standard for "full spectrum" - it was just a marketing term. You'd assume no one would use it on an ugly light, because then no one would buy their full spectrum bulbs again. But really, all it means is "we want you to think it's full spectrum". But there is a standard for "color temperature" and that can be a good guide, if you can learn the color temperature of your bulbs.)

But for SAD, what's known to help most people is *bright* light. 10,000 lux for 15-30 minutes, 5,000 for 30-60, 2500 for 60-120. You don't shine it in your eyes, but people suggest putting it toward your face (and I always wear my glasses, which have an anti-UV coating - the lights insist they're UV screened, and I'm sure they're not lying, but since I already have 'em, I use 'em.)

So, a good set of full spectrum lights might help - but if what you're facing is SAD, you might need a really bright light instead. And there are a good number of them out there, and they're cheaper than they used to be - I even found a couple on Amazon.
[User Picture]
From:smofbabe
Date:March 28th, 2013 09:51 pm (UTC)
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Not sure how you can avoid making it feel like an effort but have you thought of committing to some minimal amount of regular volunteer work somewhere local? It would force you out of the house and give you some personal interaction.

Hang in there.
[User Picture]
From:marykaykare
Date:March 29th, 2013 11:46 pm (UTC)
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I have actually and have even looked around for something suitable. It's amazing just how many volunteer positions involve working with the public. I can and have done that but it seems less than optimal just now.

MKK
[User Picture]
From:seattle_janice
Date:March 29th, 2013 02:48 am (UTC)
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I've been going through a lot of that lately. Give me a call
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From:bibliofile
Date:March 30th, 2013 09:17 am (UTC)
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Excellent question. Don't know the answers (I suspect there's more than one, dammit). If I knew, that might make it easier. Or not, let's be blunt.

Happy sunshine, though. The extra light is cheering, even if I don't end up going out in it much.
[User Picture]
From:johnpalmer
Date:March 31st, 2013 10:02 pm (UTC)
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"When does it stop being an effort..." is my eternal question, and the answer is, sadly enough, "when I'm getting better". Which is one of those lousy answers, but it's often the only one possible.

The thing is, when I'm climbing out of the hole, if I make that push, it's more likely to become effortless (or less effortful), so I have to keep pushing to find out if I'm at the edge of the hole. If I wait until I feel better, I'll lose a year to feeling lousy.
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