Depression jokes don’t count as healthy coping mechanisms.

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The internet is terrible at normalizing extremely self-deprecating jokes and any type of depression joke. When you criticize them people are quick to call them coping mechanisms, without stopping to think if they are a healthy one or not.

I find myself making them, I made one a week or two ago on Twitter, I liked one on Tumblr two days ago. I’m as guilty as anyone. The thing is, I’m not depressed and haven’t been for a long while. They aren’t a coping mechanism for me, they’re just ingrained in my mind as normal humor and I find myself saying them both out loud and mentally.

It’s not healthy to have the voice in the back of your head scream “this is why you’re going to die alone” when you something annoying. It’s not healthy to have it say “I want to jump off a building” when you embarrass yourself.

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Goals for 2018:

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New year, same me, but I’m hopefully going to make some improvements. I had started a yearly recap post, but I decided to toss it after realizing that all I could seem to say was that this was a year of reflection and painfully slow process. It all needed to happen, though, and somehow I’ve managed to make great strides without much physical movement.

I feel more awake and aware than I have in a long time, so I figure I’ll make some goals for 2018 since I know some of these things need to start happening. I’m not going to call them resolutions, though, because those are supposed to be firm decisions, and I never seem to hold too firm to mine, so here’s to revisiting these every month and realistically trying to keep up with them.

  • More time on hobbies, less time online: Alright, I’ve only talked about this in a dozen posts (x, x, and many more) but I need to seriously cut back on social media and invest it in reading, writing, my horse, photography, friends, even this blog (just less scrolling through dozens of feeds).
  • Read the entire bible: That’s right, the entire thing- in order. The other day I picked it up for the first time in a while and I had one of my faith based questions answered right away, it made me realize how I really hadn’t covered enough of the text and always went back to my “favorite” sections.
  • Be more aware of what I’m eating: I need to be eating less sugar because I have Lyme Disease, but I’ve also recently been added snack foods that have ingredients lists I can pronounce. I realized how many chemicals I’ve been processing on a daily bases, and though I’ll never be a purest, trying to move towards more organic food would be good for me. Especially with snack brands that make it insanely easy.
  • Being a better friend: I’ve gotten so I talk to my friends less, and it wasn’t on purpose! Some of it was being sick, some of it was starting work, but none of it was okay, so I need to get better at being the friend a friend would like to have. (funny- I’ve talked about this one before too. You can tell how good my follow through is.)
  • Read more than 30 books: Last year I wrote over 400 Word pages, but I hardly read a thing. So I’m trying to find a little more of a balance. I’m starting strong, we’re on the second day of 2018 and I finished one of the books I started in December.
  • Finish writing two novels: This shouldn’t be too terrible. I finished one at the very end of November, and I have two that are 80% done, along with one that is in the beginning stages. I’d really like to finish all three of them, but I’m trying not to get too carried away.
  • Wean myself off sleeping pills: I’ve become reliant on sleeping pills to get a good night’s rest. I know what I have to do to pull back- less screen time before bed, a better diet, more exercise- but I haven’t seemed to care enough to do it. So here’s to getting my sleep on, naturally.

So here is to a new year, to a metaphorical clean slate, and here’s to you and what you’ll get done during it.

Lying to yourself, lying to others, and why we do it.

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“I don’t lie that much.”

It’s something I’ve believed for a long time.

If I was asked to elaborate I would have explained that white lies don’t count, and it really didn’t matter if I was late because I forgot my gas tank was empty or if it was actually because I wanted to finish the last five minutes of the TV show I was watching. It really didn’t matter that I told myself I was going to do something today when I knew for a fact I wasn’t going to do for another three weeks. It really didn’t matter if I told myself that I didn’t have time to work on my hobby, when in reality I did and ended up wasting it online.

Those things don’t count as lies, right? They’re tiny, sometimes they can even be necessary!

Only no one is asking me if the dress they’re already wearing in public makes them look fat. None of the things I listed above were necessary. They were just lies for the sake of lying, for the sake of making myself feel better.

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Five ways to beat the winter blues:

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Winter has come, and while you might not have the impending doom of night walkers you’re still having some trouble. It’s completely normal to get the winter blues, whether you have been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder or not, it’s easy to understand why it’s acronym is SAD. Here are some tips to fight it that don’t require medication:

  • Burn the right candles: It’s winter, you’re probably burning vanilla, cinnamon, and other warm scents. What if I told you to burn something citrus or a bright floral like honey suckle or lilies? It might sound like I’m trying to tell you to trick yourself into thinking it’s spring, but that’s only because I am. Here’s the thing, study’s have proven that it works and helps combat seasonal affective disorder.

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Five important parts of self-care that are often overlooked:

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When you think about self-care what do you think about? Staying in with a glass of wine, a book, and a face mask? You can read about self-care on every major blog, site, and publication. Self-care is in! And I’m really happy to see people talk about taking care of themselves. Nothing in your life is going to work if you’re body and mind aren’t.

But one thing I’ve noticed about the most popular self-care posts is that they only seem to focus on the R&R part of self-care, which is important, but it doesn’t cover the scope of what it means to take care of yourself. So, this blog post isn’t going to cover the topics that you normally see covered. I’m going to talk about the parts of self-care that are just as important, even if they don’t sound so relaxing.

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Keeping Ourselves from Overdosing on Politics in our Daily Lives.

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It’s been a crazy year politically, but it’s been a crazy year for my view of politics also.

I went to small private college that was very political. Every class was political, every time someone raised their hands it was political. I was overdosing, so to deal with it I drew a firm line in the sand and stated that I didn’t care about politics. And I didn’t, I kept it up all four years. I only voted my freshman year for president and didn’t talk about politics or read about them. I blocked them out of my life everywhere but the classroom, and then rolled my eyes at how people couldn’t seem to talk about anything without them.

Then I graduated and I was no longer overdosing, because people don’t actually talk about politics all the time in the real world. People talk more about boyfriends, buying houses, sports, music. The topic would come up, I started caring a little more about the issues, because it was something you could debate, then close and move onto something else. It was nice. I felt at peace with it.

Then the 2016 election happened and ever since everyone has gone back to talking about politics 24/7 like I was in a classroom again. The issues come up more in real life, people debate more, and they get much angrier than before. And online? Online has become a toxic graveyard where people only seem to want to talk politics. The “talks” aren’t even that, they’re screaming matches, spattered with insults. Nobody can seem to agree to disagree and no one can seem to scroll or walk by something they dislike without commenting on it.

It’s dangerous surrounding yourself with that kind of content all the time, whether online or off. When people are hostile you get hostile. When faced with extremes our own opinions often become more extreme. We start to get to the point we can’t disconnect anything from politics.

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Your dreams don’t have to be big.

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In college I remember being hit upside the head with a realization.

My dreams are boring.

Everyone around me was talking about big dreams. They were talking about changing the world. They were talking about having the kinds of jobs that only a select number get to enjoy. They wanted to be professional nomads, traveling the world and working digitally. The ones that didn’t care about work had huge adventure bucket lists. They’d talk for hours about their plans, some of which that sounded so big that it’s hard to believe they could happen. Then they would turn to me and say “Anna, what do you want?”

“A house on the outskirts of town. A husband. Some kids. A horse. A job that allows me to afford it.”

“That’s it?”

“It’d be really awesome if I could get some of my novels published too. I’d like to have people read them.”

That’s all I want, those are my biggest dreams. They say shoot for the moon and if you miss you’ll land among the stars, but maybe I want to land on a three acre lot somewhere in North Carolina.

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