A Gentle Reminder To End The Year

My last post of the year is usually one of my shortest ones. It’s a simple message, but one I wish was spread more this time of year, so I try to reflect on it at least once during the month of December. I don’t know about you, but this year certainly had its share of ups and downs. There were a lot of good moments, but there was also a lot of times that were painful and sad. So I want to remind everyone reading this that no matter how your year went, no matter what things may or may not have happened, you did enough.

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Reflecting on 2022 on My Brain’s Not Broken

Every year, around this time, I like to take stock of the year I had. I wish I did this in a more formal way, but I don’t. It’s mostly thought and reflection, but it’s very important for me to think back on the year I’ve experienced. It helps me process things I might have otherwise missed, and I think it plays a big role in helping me move through certain things and prepare for the year ahead. So today, I’d like to take a brief look back at the year that was on My Brain’s Not Broken!

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It’s the Most Busiest Time of the Year

Does the title of this post sound a bit off? Well, that’s because it’s a play on the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” a classic Christmas song that has more covers and iterations than I could care to count. And even though this time of year actually is one of my favorite times of the year, it’s also incredibly busy. But even though it can be incredibly busy, this can still be a wonderful time for reflection and connection. It’s a bit tricky, but here’s what I’ve learned to get the most out of this time of the year.

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Calling Out for Change

TW: this post discusses suicide and suicidal ideation.

Before I write about a post that discusses suicide, I breathe a big sigh. I try to hold back my own personal emotions because I need to focus, but the shadow of depression hangs its head over me. Because this thing is so hard. It’s so hard to sift through all the feelings and emotions that come with learning the news that someone has died by suicide. There are a million different directions that news can take your brain and what you start thinking about. But after ten years of living with depression and having experienced suicidal thoughts and suicidal ideation before, I get sad. Sad and frustrated.

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Getting Back to the Present Moment

Earlier this week, I reflected on some of the challenges of going on autopilot. Though it can be helpful when I’m dealing with anxiety and depression, going on autopilot can also make things more difficult. I can get too focused on accomplishing my goals, and rush into doing something. I am not always the most decisive person (and I know my friends and family would agree), and being on autopilot often exploits my indecisiveness. I tend to feel best about my decisions when I am in the present moment, I understand what’s in front of me and I know the various possibilities. That being said, it’s not always easy to get back into the present moment, and I’d like to talk about that today.

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The Drawbacks of Going on Autopilot

Last year, I wrote a blog post about the trouble with being in ‘autopilot’ mode when it comes to our mental health. At the time, my focus about being on autopilot came in terms of awareness and understanding. Rather than simply recognizing the what and where, I wanted to understand more about the why. In time, I’ve learned how to harness that focus to get things done even when I’m experiencing symptoms of mental illness. However, there are also drawbacks to this approach and today, I’d like to reflect on some of what I learned.

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Not Seasonal, Just Depression

The more experience I’ve gained on my mental health journey, the better I’ve gotten at recognizing my depression and the reasons behind it. That being said, depression can still be tricky. There are times where I feel like I know exactly why I feel depressed; other times, it’s like a feeling or emotion comes out of nowhere. The wintertime is actually one of the trickiest times to recognize my feelings. Is it just a time of seasonal sadness, or is it something I need to look into further?

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Winter is Here

Every single year, it’s the same old story: winter is coming, coming, coming…then it gets here. And we get sad. Growing up on the East Coast (and still living there today), I’m used to the familiar patterns of the seasons. I enjoy being able to experience all four seasons every single year (though autumn is often too short). But for some reason, every year I am shocked at how hard it is to adjust when winter hits. I get sad, angry, annoyed and frustrated at the challenges winter brings. So, what can we do about it?

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Ten Ways to Try and Get Out Of Your Head

Earlier this week, I wrote a post about getting stuck in my head. Some days, I really wish I could get out of my head. I have so much going on in my brain, it can be exhausting trying to engage with it on a daily basis. This is easier said than done, of course, but I’d still like to have that option when possible. But even when we want to get out of our own heads, where do we start? What can we do? I did a little research, and I’d like to share what I learned.

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Getting Out of My Head

Some days I wish I could get out of my head. I don’t always know what I mean when I say that, but the sentiment is there. It feels like I live most of my life inside my head and every so often, I want to burst out. I’m sure actually doing so isn’t as dramatic as all that, but it feels like it would be. Being ‘inside your head’ is a fancy synonym for overthinking a moment or situation but when you do it often, it feels like it’s just the way you experience things. After quickly retreating inward for many weeks, I’d like to try getting out of my head, and here’s why.

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