Reflections

Sunny Side Up

Chasing the Stars has been striving to promote positivity for almost four years now, and up to this very day, this blog endeavors to uphold the same values of always aspiring to do greater things. Despite this, I’ve had my fair share of gloom and despair last year for I am, after all, human. I’m saying this because I do not want this blog to become a mere facade of fake happiness, but rather, a reflection of real-life struggles.

Sunny Side Up

Aside from comprehending the intricacies of human mind and emotions, going through depression also helped me grasp the fact that mental health disorder is not just “all in the mind” like what most people would so carelessly blurt out. It is not something to be easily dismissed nor taken lightly, but rather to be cared for and understood.

Yes, overcoming negative thoughts and feelings can be accomplished by counting one’s blessings. But sometimes, it is neither enough, nor that simple. That’s why through this post, it is my aim to spread hope, as well as to share the steps I took this first quarter of the year to slowly get back on solid ground:

1.) Exercise for motivation and endurance. Speaking from experience, one of the most effective “therapies” to overcome depression and one that is quickest to yield results is exercising. Exercising releases “happy hormones” called endorphins that instantly brighten our disposition, uplift our mood, and boost our self-esteem, while at the same time making us feel stronger and more driven. I can attest that embracing an active lifestyle and gradually abandoning the sedentary one is half the battle.

2.) Journaling for reflection and gratitude. This year, I started journaling to evaluate each week, focus on the better side of  each circumstance, and appreciate the little things. Knowing that the unexamined life is not worth living (Socrates), and that learning to number our days gives us a heart of wisdom (Moses), this journaling proves to be a worthwhile activity for it helps me clear my mind and meditate on my actions, reactions, and situations.

journaling

3.) Organization for clarity and direction. Getting our life together reduces the stress we experience when we are feeling down. This is because diligent planning provides a healthy level of assurance, thus, calming the tension and anxiety. Apart from my ever-reliable BlogBerry planner, these two free, convenient, and effective apps greatly help me: (1) Trello aids me in organizing the tasks in every role I play in life, while (2) Money Lover is my tool in managing my finances.

planner
One of my weekly spreads 🙂
A screenshot of my colorful Trello board :-)
A screenshot of my colorful Trello board 🙂
A screenshot of my Money Lover app :-)
A screenshot of my Money Lover app 🙂

 4.) Exploring to appreciate what’s more to life. More often than not, people suffering from depression tend to wallow in pain which worsens the situation. In my experience, it helps to zoom out and look at the bigger picture by exploring the myriad facets of life. For instance, I tried to learn new things, get out of my comfort zone, and face some of my fears.

Trying my hands at ukulele at Uke Box Caffe's free ukulele workshop!
Trying my hands at ukulele at Uke Box Caffe’s free ukulele workshop!
Slowly overcoming my fear of cats! Hihi :)
Slowly overcoming my fear of cats! Hihi 🙂
Beach camping with friends!
Beach camping with friends!
Jumping my blues away at Jump Yard Ph, the first indoor trampoline in the Philippines :)
Jumping my blues away at Jump Yard Ph, the first indoor trampoline park in the Philippines 🙂

5.) Prayer for peace and forgiveness. The most precious lesson I’ve learned from this ordeal is that, going back to the purpose of our existence is the ultimate solution to depression, or to any problem for that matter. During my lowest point, I started losing my friends. But it was then that I remembered what I had been forgetting all along — my faith in God. No, I’m not there yet but I’m closer to where I was yesterday, and for that, I am truly grateful. 🙂

happy tea
This happy tea reminds me that being happy is one way of being wise 🙂

As the tagline of this blog, “riding the highs, digging the lows, and everything in between” would suggest, life is not always full of sunshine. In fact, there are days when I still encounter “episodes.” But that’s okay. I have resolved to myself that the bravest thing to do is to keep fighting (with this song playing in the background)! 🙂

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I’d love to hear from you! 🙂 Reach me via Instagram (@chasingthestarsblog), by sending me an email at chasingthestarrs@gmail.com, or through Facebook!

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