Sunday, 13 March 2016

'When the Time Comes to Light a Fire (Gem City #3)' by Nicole Campbell: A Book Review

There comes a time in every girl’s life when she is forced to pose a troubling question:
What have I done?
Sixteen-year old Vanessa Roberts is quickly learning how to deal with her annoying pretty-boy lab partner, her incredibly ADD best friend, and the seemingly widening gap between her and her mother. Zack Roads should have been everything she deserved. He is more than just a nice distraction; he is also the cause for every envious glance shot Vanessa’s way as she enters her sophomore year at Gem City High. What happens when she finds herself amidst a storm of hope, regret, and the danger of losing herself along the way? 

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thanks so much, Nicole!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

How I Cope With My Depression!

A few weeks ago, I got up-close and personal with you Geeks about my mental illness. Well, there have been several interesting developments on that front, one of which is that I'm probably halfway on the road to recovery! My therapist says around six months ought to do it, so I'm really grateful I decided to get treatment. 

We'd initially thought that my depression was a result of bipolar disorder, but since I've been recovering without the aid of mood stabilisers, my diagnosis has changed back to regular depression. I'm still not sure why it's episodic in nature, though, just like bipolar disorder. 

So I've been undergoing verbal therapy at the moment along with a small dose of anti-depressants, and today I'm going to tell you everything that I do in a day to fight depression. Let's get started.

5:30 am
This is when I wake up. Of course, I used to be a solid 5 am morning person, but  lately it's been hard to even get out of bed. But I have college in two hours, so wake up I must.
As soon as I get up, I remind myself that I am happy, and then I think of one positive quality that I have: I'm smart, pretty, kind, resilient, hardworking... depends on the day. Sometimes I try to attach it to a situation that happened recently, just so it's really set into my head. This is to combat my self-esteem issues.

7 am
It's starting to get humid and hot in Mumbai, so I might have to switch my walking to the evenings, but for now I like to walk to college with my earphones plugged in and my mood as stable as possible. Music really helps to calm me down and add some pep to my step at the same time. College is about twenty minutes away from home, so walking is a great way for me to get started with my daily workout routine. 

3 pm
It's time for my daily workout. Currently, I'm following Cassey Ho's POP Pilates March workout calendar. You can check out her YouTube channel here.
I like how positive and energetic Cassey and her videos are. Plus, following a workout calendar keeps me in check and helps me stick to my schedule. I feel like that's really important for me at this stage, because when I'm not busy, or when I have nothing to do, I find myself starting to go downhill again.

Whenever I'm Depressed
Throughout the day, whenever I hit a low mood, or just a bump in the road, I close my eyes, take ten deep breaths, and remind myself that what I'm experiencing is not real. My emotional instability will not continue forever, and my trauma will soon end. This is a cognitive behavioural technique to put an end to my cyclical negative thoughts and put in positive thoughts, because positive thoughts lead to positive behaviour.

5 pm
It's time for me to take my medicine and have a snack! If any fellow mental health warriors are wondering, I'm currently on Amisulpride 200mg and Abilify 10mg, but my dosage usually changes every week depending on my progress (or lack thereof).

6 pm
I like listening to music and singing along in the shower. I find that music really helps turn an otherwise boring ten minutes into something that could be the highlight of my day on the bad days.

8 pm
After dinner, I like to take out my colouring book and do some old-fashioned colour pencil colouring! Colours brighten my mood and stop me from overthinking things. It's also a nice way to unleash my creative potential without having to use my brain too much. It's very, very therapeutic, and I often find myself looking forward to the end of the day so I can sit down and colour.
A photo posted by Swati Hegde (@geekiechicblog) on

10 pm
It's bedtime! Before going to bed, I think of one good thing that happened the entire day, write it down on a piece of paper, and put it into my jar of Coping Resources, which I've labelled Reasons to Live. When I'm feeling particularly depressed or suicidal, I like to take out a couple of notes from this jar to remind myself that there are enough things in my life to keep me afloat.

So there are the things that I do to keep stable. There are other things, too, like studying Psychology, freelance editing, writing, reading and watching superhero shows that keep me happy and healthy, but I'd do them irrespective of my mental stability.

What are the things you do to keep yourself happy and healthy?  If you have a mental illness and you're comfortable talking about it, do let me know about your road to recovery. Remember that I'm always here to talk if you need me, Geeks.

I'll see you next time. Bye! :)