That time of year is here. Winter. The Holidays. Shorter, colder, darker days (Unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere) can lead to queries like,
‘What will happen if I relapse?’ ‘Will my relatives like what I give them?’
‘Can I afford to give them what they’ve asked for?’
‘Will we get a tree?’
‘Or will we ignore the Holidays altogether and sulk?’
When I get less sunshine and the holidays approach, it’s a double whammy. Trepidation takes over. By that, I mean I’m scared, unsure of myself.
This year, let’s grab some tools to affirm our health, appreciate our family, relax and rejoice!
This can be difficult. To turn things around, I’ve gone to my favorite ‘go-to’ healer, music, and gathered wellness tips from Buddhist, Nutrition and Psychology experts to match the songs.
Music is an uplifting rite of the ages, no matter what flavor you like. Be it Country, pop, Alternative Rock, Oldies,..Celtic or Spanish..its’ power can lift the heaviest, most smothering bipolar depressions.
These isn’t exactly Christmas music but you’ll hear plenty of that.
From the Police, Gordon Lightfoot, Duffy and Jimmy Buffett, these hit records do a ‘Mind-Body’ redirect from Negation to Affirmation and Celebration of all that is good.
Throw in some Mindfulness and Gratitude…..
Yes, I said the ‘G’ word.
GRATITUDE. It’s not a catchall, it’s the ‘real deal.’
Thankfulness dates back to the origin of man. Zen Buddhism, for example, teaches that our natural drives to please ourselves bring us nothing but suffering and sorrow.
“Gratitude is a matter of seeing and appreciating the world as it is,” says Jim Eubanks, Monastic Director of the Center for Pragmatic Buddhism in St. Louis, Missouri. It’s all about acceptance. Sometimes it gets caught up in the mania of the moment or lost in depression but we can all start from scratch by making a gratitude list of three things we’re happy about.
Singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow summed it up with flair, in this first song of seven.
Here are some of my favorites:
#1 Soak up The Sun: Sheryl Crow. She sings, “I don’t have Digital. I don’t have Diddly squat. It’s not having what you want, It’s wanting what you’ve got.” (Check out the music video on Youtube for a contact high).
#2 Eye of the Tiger-Survivor. Your eyes feed your mind. To repay the favor, you can give them regular breaks from the electronic world. When we stare at computer screens we blink less. We don’t produce as many tears and can develop dry eye syndrome. You can also nourish your eyes with Goji berry. Used in Asia for over 3000 years, Goji is thought to protect the macula from harmful UV rays.
#3 If You Could Read My Mind-Gordon Lightfoot. We design our lives with our thoughts, choices and actions. Leading national psychotherapist Dr. Lisa Palmer, of Boca Raton’s “The Renew Center,” has a novel integrative therapy protocol; a 20-minute technique to help patients erase and reprogram faulty, painful belief systems common to bipolar disorder. Take it from the Doc: “’Checking In’ with yourself and cultivating a still state of mind is transformative. It opens the door to a higher state of consciousness.”
#4 Every Breath You Take-The Police. During the holiday season, there’s an expectation for everything to be ‘just right.’ This sort of perfectionism breeds anxiety. Our respiration gets ragged and our posture goes to the dogs. Mindfulness instructors encourage students to relax their minds and bodies with simple meditations. Try envisioning a white cleansing light on the inhale and an affirmation like “Grace is All There Is” on the exhale. When we try NOT to think, we are more aware of our triggers and can deal with them in a healthy manner.
#5 Cheeseburger in Paradise-Jimmy Buffet. Nutritionists insist we are what we eat. Food feeds mood. Registered Dietician, (RD), New York City-Based TV personality and author of “The Small Change Diet” Keri Gans says “Diets Don’t Work!” Instead, she suggests we put color on our plates and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, i.e., nuts, and avocados. My advice? When you see fast food, run like hell. Recent research published in “American Scientific Mind” studied subjects who ate fast food for every meal. By the end of two weeks, their markers of inflammation, (Already higher in people with Bipolar disorder) went through the roof!
#6 Release Me- Duffy. Getting together with family members can cause you to revisit old hurts. Whether you’re the only member of the family to have Bipolar disorder or have relatives who share it, let go of old grudges. People change. Allow them that. Forgiveness is freeing.
#7 Just to See You Smile-Tim McGraw. Tis the season to be jolly, right? Try to she
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community