Lavender, Anxiety and Me!!

As I discussed in a previous blog, I have GAD… General anxiety disorder. There are days that my anxiety gets the best of me. While  I’ve learned to deal with my anxiety for the most part, there are days it overwhelms me.

One of my favorite go to items that I use when I am extremely anxious, stressed or just in a serious need of a break… Is… LAVENDER! 💜  Oh my I absolutely love lavender! 💜

I love it in the essential oil‘s, bath salts, bubble bath, lavender spray actually anything lavender makes me happy! Williams and Sonoma used to have this amazing lavender laundry detergent, I couldn’t get enough of it! I was so sad when they got rid of it. It was the best thing to use on my PJs, my sheets and pillow cases.

I found a few that I really like but not as much as that! So if you know of any, I’d love to hear some suggestions! Rather than dwelling on the negative’s, let’s talk about some lavender products that I really love! 💜

I’ve fallen in love with rollers lately, and I found one that I absolutely love! There are many good ones on the market… But this one  is definitely my favorite. It’s made by open heart apothecary.  You can actually buy them through Patti and Ricky. Here is the link to their website. They have other awesome rollers, but I absolutely love the lavender. https://www.pattiandricky.com/

They also have a really wonderful spray that you can use either in the air or I use it on my pillow before I go to sleep at night, so does Peyton. It’s called calm… It has lavender and other essential oil’s. I especially love using this until I find that perfect lavender laundry soap!

My new lavender obsession I actually came upon, because my wonderful  husband gave me these as a gift! They are an amazingly awesome epsom bath salt. They are made by San Francisco salt company! You can use them in the bath, in the shower or even as a foot soak! https://www.sfsalt.com/m-home

No matter where you use them, especially the tub or as a foot soak, I would definitely leave the water for a while because the smell is heavenly 💜… it will give you such a relaxing  lavender smell throughout whatever room you’ve used it in! It’s so calming.

We have some fantastic  lavender farms here in Texas! In fact Peyton and I plan to go to a seminar in the fall at one of the lavender farms in Hill Country, to learn more about lavender. I tried to grow it several times… Had very little success.

Peyton and I put some in his garden, but we really didn’t get much out of it. We were both pretty sad. We decided we want to learn more about growing  it,before we try again.

Mark, Peyton and I went to a lavender farm a couple of years ago, I bought the most amazing lavender jelly. I’d love to learn how to grow it so I can make more products with it!

I’m always looking for new lavender products to try, recipes that use lavender, as well as suggestions of how to use lavender! So if you have a product you’d like me to try, or suggestions or even recipes I’d love to hear from you!

As always thanks for reading my blog, I’d love to hear from you and lavender on! 💜

 

Finding My “Comfort Zones”

I haven’t talked about it much, but I have GAD. Which stands for General Anxiety Disorder. I was diagnosed with it over 12 years ago.

I was going through a particularly rough time in my life. So many things were swirling on around me. I felt beyond stressed with every part of my life.

When I was diagnosed with GAD, the diagnosis itself helped to relieve some of my stress. Allowed me to understand why I had such severe anxiety. Up until I was diagnosed, I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t process my anxiety better.

GAD is not something that you get over, it is something you learn to live with. While it can be a daily struggle to deal with, I actually can see positives in it.

I honestly believe that my GAD has allowed me in some ways to understand Peyton better.  I understand his triggers better. I have my own triggers, so I’m a lot more compassionate when he is really stressed.

Severe anxiety is no walk in the park. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to explain to people how my anxiety is affecting my day. It affects my sleep, My daily routines, as well as every other part of my life.

I’ve learned to cope with it in different ways. One of my favorite coping mechanism is to take a hot bath, I especially love taking hot lavender baths.

I’ve come to understand that when I get really stressed I need to do one of three things to my find my comfort zone:

1.  Talk about my stress, exactly what/who is stressing me, so that I can verbally and mentally work through it.

2. Distract myself with something positive that I absolutely love doing. This many times will  allow me to focus on something different …. the original stress actually works its way out naturally.

3. Sleep… Sleep… Sleep !! Yes, sleep helps me a lot. Remember when I said it affects my sleep? If I allow myself to become too tired, I have anxiety issues much quicker!

I’ve also learned that I have to remove toxic people from my life. I can’t allow those who just want to throw negativity at everyone all the time to be in my life on a daily basis. I take things way more to heart than people many times realize I do.

One of the reasons I love my husband so much, is he understands my GAD and works with me, when I’m going through my rough patches. He has this great expression “Shake it off” he knows EXACTLY when I need to hear this…..

He’s a strong support system for me, he plays at my strengths, works through  my weaknesses and shows me unconditional love through it all! He truly is my rock.

I discussed in prior blogs, how Peyton and I are starting team Awesomism ! This project is going to be about “conquering your fear’s and finding your comfort zone.”

One of the biggest things that I’ve learned since being diagnosed with GAD, is how I need to face my anxieties and find my comfort zones! I know I’m far from perfect, and I also have learned not to let others opinions of me, to define me.

I’m a work in progress, but I’m Learning to face my fears, anxieties and stresses and find those awesome comfort zones!

Here is a link to my book…. it’s full of ideas for “comfort zones” 

#Kindle edition:

http://amazon.com/dp/B072BWWCDJ/

#Print edition:

http://amazon.com/Mom-Awesomism-

http://amazon.com/dp/1546641653/

 

 

Light in the Dark Days

I am so happy to have Jay as our guest blogger again! I absolutely love his writing! His blogs are from the heart…. his honesty about his anxiety is refreshing… please follow him on twitter… @stealtheMGaming  as well as his blog….https://beardedigor.wordpress.com/
As I sat on the bus home, headphones in and music blaring, I find myself reflecting on my last few days. These last few days were some of my worst mentally for me. But I take a deep breath and realise a tide is turning.
It all started last Wednesday. I woke up just feeling down. I wasn’t my usual self. Was it the lack of sleep for another night, the humidity or my anxiety. All I know is something is different. I get through work with few problems. Not feeling too bad but I was excited to see my friends for the night.
Thursday however was a different matter.
I spent the whole day shut off. I went to work as normal. But I wasn’t myself, I didn’t talk to anyone, I want smiling or talkative as I can be. I was also snappy. I was truly feeling low. Anxiety was kicking my butt. This continued throughout the night and through the next day. Although by Friday night I was starting to pick up a little I wasn’t prepared for what happened next.
So Friday night. The night my ex blocked me. Now I know I say ex. But I had been waiting for her for 10 weeks to get sorted and come back. That was the deal. But yeah that happened. I felt lost, foolish and idiotic. It really pushed me back down. But it also has an alternative effect. I became motivated. I became empowered.
Despite my anxiety pushing my down and life on top of me. I had a clear goal for the first time in my life. It was me and my blog. I want to be better and I want to be successful. I can’t get rid of anxiety but I plan to use it to push me forward.
Thank you for reading and thank you so much AwesomismMom for letting me be a guest.
Bearded Igor x

Flipboard and Turning Autism into Awesomism

Before I say anything I want to post a disclaimer:

I am not, nor have I been a therapist. I’m a mom of an autistic teen, Peyton, who is 18 1/2 years old. Okay, now that we have that out-of-the-way, we can discuss the Awesomness of Flipboard and how’s it Helping us Turn Autism into Awesomism! 💙

Anyone who knows me or follows me on twitter, knows I am obsessed with Flipboard… allow me to explain why! 

When Peyton was younger we did “Magazine Therapy” ….. it wasn’t really THERAPY, but it is the EASIEST way to describe what we did! Now you understand why I had my disclaimer… I don’t want any misunderstandings.

Okay so what is Magazine therapy? It’s easier to show than explain, but I’m going to do my best, because it was awesome for Peyton. Peyton was a very late talker.. he was also a late reader. His vocabulary and comprehension of so many things, was delayed and or nonexistent.

As his Mom this tore my heart out. I saw the pain in his eyes. I wanted to help, but wasn’t sure how. The traditional ideas weren’t working.

I had a friend suggest to me to have him look at magazines. She had an autistic son and she said it calmed him and seem to help him. I became obsessed with trying this. So off to Barnes and Nobles I went.

I came home with a pile of magazines… Peyton and I sat on the couch and started through the magazines. To my delight he was interested! He sat there with me thumbing through pages. I described and named objects on each page…

Peyton sat silent… but he was intensely looking at each page. After an hour or so… I said “okay did you like that!” He smiled and said YES! I knew we had a winner!

I started doing this everyday with him. He seemed to really like “Town and Country” Magazines, so I focused on those. He learned so much from magazines and to this day, I’m a huge fan! I know I’ve written about this before… November of 2016 to be exact… but there is a reason why I’m bringing this up again.

Here is that blog .. I know some of it’s repetitive, but trust me… it’s so important that 2,3 ….. times…. is okay!! http://www.awesomismmom.com/flipping-autism-into-awesomism/ 

I’m sure you’re asking yourself right now… why is this so important? That it needs repeated blogs… because Flipboard is an awesome tool for autistic teens and adults, for so many reasons!

Okay so now you’re saying TELL US why and how!  Remember when I said earlier in this blog it’s easier to show than tell? Well,that’s exactly what Peyton and I are planning on doing!

We are going to be introducing our new project “Team Awesomism Turning Autism into Awesomism” a teen and adult version of “Magazine Therapy” Here are just a few of the topics we will covering… Life Skills.. Social Skills… Anxiety….It will be learning in a fun, unique and awesome way! We are super excited and will be releasing this soon! Please watch for our kickoff of TEAM Awesomism!

If you’re not sure what Flipboard is or how to use it,here is a blog by my husband that will help. 😊

http://www.awesomismmom.com/what-is-flipboard-and-why-you-should-care/ 

Thanks for reading this blog… but even more… thanks for your interest and support of Autism acceptance! 💙 Together we can do awesome things! If you’re interested in being involved in our Team Awesomism….. Please reach out!

Groundhog Day

We are so honored to have a guest blogger this week! Her name is Erika Joyce-Shultz! Erika has a younger brother with Special Needs. We love her writing and think you will too! I’m adding the link to her website  at the end. Please check out her other blogs! Enjoy and thanks for stopping by 💙

 

QUIT! That’s it. I cannot do it anymore. I’m sick and tied of being sick and tired.

I’m sure if it isn’t one of those particular phrases, there are others that fall in the same family that are thought or vocalized every day, heck, every hour, by someone.

We wake up each morning, and before we even have the chance to be grateful that we woke up to see another day above ground, we are immediately bombarded by the “to do” list of the day. If it’s not the “to do” list, it’s a recap of what didn’t get done the day before. If it’s not regret of responsibilities put off, it’s just the overall feeling of being “done” or just plain old worn out.

And we haven’t even put one foot on the floor.

I use to have those days more often than not, for a combination of the reasons above and then some. The moment that alarm goes off, an indistinguishable sound escaped my throat, that at best can be described as, “uuuggghh”.

Don’t get me wrong, I am blessed. I have a smart, funny, healthy, and well adjusted tween, a home with heat and air, hot water, food, a reliable vehicle, and even a little pain in the butt Shih Tzu that some would say is cute. (Okay, he IS cute).

It’s like Groundhog Day from hell, and unfortunately there’s no Bill Murray to provide any comic relief. So where is this feeling of waking to a seemingly painful and unsatisfying reality come from?

Lack. Of. Purpose.

You finally get up out of the bed, ( phew…I know that was a challenge), and make your way to start your morning routine. Make your coffee, go to the bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror while thinking to yourself, “okay, here we go again”, and continue on until you’re headed out the door to your 9 to 5. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have as great of a beat as Dolly portrayed when she sang it.

Maybe, you’re even a stay at home mom. I use to envy you, until two of my best friends became stay at home moms, and I realized that their groundhog days may look different than mine, but the feeling was just the same. BLAH.

One day as I was going through a few TPS reports, (Office Space, anyone??), I realized that I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired, that I needed to make some changes. No, I don’t mean change jobs and no, I didn’t win the lottery…although I’m still working on that one.

The changes had to start with me. Perception is reality right? Well my perception of things really sucked because my reality was pretty lackluster, to put it lightly. I began to realize I needed to feel like what I got up every day to do mattered. I began to look for my purpose.

Now, this is a process and it’s a journey. I’ve been on it now for about a year and while I’m not yet where I would like to be, I’m sure the heck not where I was. I’m going to be honest. The process of finding out who you are, what you’re gifted at, and how to use it is hard and sometimes dirty and painful.

You have to be willing to look at yourself and ask how you are contributing to your own misery. Whether it’s bitterness or anger you’re holding on to for past hurts, maybe its lack of inspiration, maybe you are not taking the best care of your health, or maybe…you’ve just been lazy.

Whatever the reason or reasons, you have to face them, accept them and then take action to change them.

Everyone has been given talents and gifts. Honestly, a lot of people overlook their talent or gift because it comes so easily and naturally to them. Here’s some potential hints that you’ve been given:

“Wow, you are such a great speaker”

“You have a way with words”

“I wish I could sit down and doodle like you, that looks great”

Or maybe people come to you for your advice, or look to you for crafty inspiration. The point is, your gifts are there, you just have to uncover them and use them.

You may be in a job that you really don’t care for, but guess what? You are there for a reason. Remember, perception is reality, so if your reality isn’t great, maybe you need to change your perspective. All the while, finding a way to utilize the talents and gifts you’ve been given.

That may mean making time for yourself after work to draw, write, read, build something, join a like minded group, etc…

Get up, stretch and dare the day to keep up with you. It’s time to move forward and find your purpose sweetheart.

Groundhog Day is over.

please check out her website at.

http://mzimperfect.com/