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Depression, Anxiety and other mental illness...


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Hi, I'm a newbie still getting to grips with the whole website and waiting to start my first challenge in January! Are there any posts with nerds giving tips on how to get through a challenge when you can't mentally function?

I know it sounds a bit grim when you put it that way... 😖

But any articles or individuals that have managed to stick through a challenge or currently going through it or even just starting just like me ... commenting on this post would be like a life line for me! :)

Of course, Merry Christmas to you all and I hope that 2016 will be a great year for everyone -

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Jolly Old Mr Phelps 🎄

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Simple small changes. Even things like "get out of bed," "eat 3 meals a day," "take a walk" are totally valid things to have as your quests. 

 

 

dont feel like like you have to do all the things all at once. took me few challenges to get a hang of that. You also dont need to do 3 things, if 2 is enough, or even 1. 

 

I'd also strongly suggest doing 1 of your things to work on as something you know you can accomplish. It helps build momentum for things to come. 

 

Many people use the first week of the challenge to make sure all the goals are working right, and changing things is TOTALLY OKAY.

 

Sorry it's just a bunch of random things, if you have other questions feel free to ask (or send a message if you want)

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Try not, do or do not- Yoda

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Thank you so much wanderingcavegirl for replying! It's hard to realise that small changes do count, especially when it feels like you have no time!

But your suggested quests have struck true to me as actual realistic challenges that I could try! Ho hum! :)

Your help is gratefully appricated and thank you for taking time out of your day to help me ☺

Like a Sir,

Jolly Old Mr Phelps

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I struggle with mental health issues myself, and I'm fairly new to Nerd Fitness still, so hello!

 

I actually attempted a challenge before, and had to drop out because of being overwhelmed - plus other life circumstances. From that first attempt, I learned a lot about how to go about challenges. My mistakes were common ones, but they really took my challenge off it's tracks because of my struggle with depression/anxiety. So here is what I learned from that first attempt:

  • As wanderingcavegirl said: small steps! For my first challenge I took on major overhauls to my life, which would be difficult for most people to deal with - let alone me haha! Deciding to do small positive changes is something I really look forward to in my next challenge. Even if they are simple self-care things, such as taking a shower in the morning, or drinking an extra glass of water that day - you are building a foundation for a happier healthier life. Don't be afraid to start small - the success of accomplishing your smaller goals prepares you for being able to do bigger things later. 
  • Join one of the accountability groups on the forums. Besides what the name implies (keeping you accountable for your challenges) they are also a great form of support - especially if you can find a group with similar goals/issues you are trying to tackle. 
  • Regroup and adapt. Say you have a bad day (or several haha) know that it is okay. It's okay to make mistakes or just have a day where you need to rest. This doesn't make you less strong than other people, and it does NOT mean you should drop out. Just take a breath. You can just continue from where you left off the next day - nobody will judge you. In fact, if people know they will think you even greater for getting back in the saddle. Your accountability group is great for this sort of scenario - giving pep talks and advice. If you realize you cannot accomplish your goals in the long run, adjust them. As mentioned above, make them smaller and more manageable - nothing is more of a mood killer than trying to complete the impossible (for you). 
  • Remember - the challenges are short term, but part of a bigger picture. I know I'm repeating myself, but you don't need to completely make-over your life in one challenge. It may take MANY challenges, and that is okay. What I'm doing currently to keep my outlook positive is brainstorming things I want for myself and how I want my life to look. I use Coggle to sort of free-form my ideas. Like, why do I want to be healthier? What does healthy look like to me? What little things can I do each day to make my day better? What active hobbies would I like to try? This also helps me think of ideas for my future challenges. (I'm in the middle of planning one now.) 
  • Read other people's challenges. Seeing what other people are doing - what they are struggling with and how they are overcoming things really helps keep things in perspective. Take some time to support others in their challenges. It's not about comparing challenges at all (don't do that) it's about building community, and letting others know they aren't alone. Personally, I find when I reach out to others I feel less alone myself... and feeling less alone makes my own challenges a little easier to overcome. 

Anyway, I hope that gives you a bit of an idea of how to approach your challenges. Just take it one day at a time, you can do this. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. :)

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Gosh Kath, this was so heartwarming to read! Thank you for replying. Right- short term changes... That makes these challenges less daunting! I will definitely look into that accountability group thing- The support from just these replies fill me with such determination...I cant imagine how much I could achieve with a supportive group! :)

Ah, I wasn't kidding when I said your comments are life lines for me! You can't understand how much i need them :)

I wish you luck with everything, Kath.

Like a Sir,

Jolly Old Mr Phelps

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when you can't mentally function?

I know it sounds a bit grim when you put it that way...

 

 

It may be a but grim, but it is too true sometimes.

 

I've been on here for around 2 and a half years so far. The beginning was tough. I've gotten around to a level of performance that helps me get ahead, never as fast as I want it to be but I keep on plugging away. 

 

The best advice I've read when starting this journey was "Go slow. No, that is too fast, go slower". It has sustained me through some very tough times.

 

And the other thing that helps me is posting daily. Even  if it as simple as "I did nothing today". It creates some accountability and lots of support.

 

Just remember, No Zero days. Even if it is just one half-hearted attempt at a push up it is better than nothing.

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I've been actively working on my own stuff for the past year.  I joined in challenges all last year but never actually completed one.  Every challenge I would take a back step to something more basic.  Eventually I would have a goal similar to just thinking happy thoughts, lol.  It would just be "write thoughts down," and then "for every neg though, write three positive thoughts."  I think my last couple didn't even have fitness goals (exercise is easy, everything else is hard).  Just sticking around to the end of the challenge was a success.

 

It's hard when you're your own worst enemy and it feels like improvement takes forever.  You've found a place where a lot of people are up front with their own problems, so there will be a lot of help with coping mechanisms.

 

ca7c48b2db810218bdf761a985e52a8e.jpg

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<--<< Daughter of Artemis >>-->

 

 
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I've only been here for a short while (only taken part in the previous challenge) but my depression really ramped up in the middle of it - which was incredibly difficult. Basically, I had to acknowledge to myself that while some of them had been possible for the person who could wake up twenty minutes earlier to stretch, it wouldn't be possible for the girl who needed an extra twenty minutes to get the energy to get out of bed.

So, as everyone has said before, take small steps. One of my challenges was to have a banana smoothie, which I had already been doing for a month beforehand. It was incredibly encouraging.

 

Also, find something to guilt you into it. Well, not guilt, but yeah. I'm currently using a bullet journal, and seeing a clear to-do list everyday is what motivates me to do things that day. Depending on how I'm feeling, I'll break it down small, such as 'wash my face' and 'make the bed'. Other times, I'll actually tackle what I want to, and I might 'clean the wardrobe'. But I tackle each day on its own.

 

Also, as Kath said, there are amazing people on here, and you can find groups or a single person to talk to. It may just be "Hey, have you done xyz today?" to a full on conversation. But just that touch of human communication can be really good.

 

Ooh, another maybe hint thing is to open up your time span. Try to make a schedule and stick to it, but that never works for me. So, instead, I'll just say that I need to go for a run 'this week'. Then, when the opportunity comes up, I may or may not take it. But I don't feel that horrible about it, as I know I can catch up later in the week. This meant I also managed to cross that box off, which was a good motivator.

 

As Jackkals said, take it slow. Don't worry if you mess up your first challenge, or your second, etc. Just take each time slowly, struggle through it, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, find out what works for you, and what doesn't. Try and take joy from the experiementation. :D

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Panda  

 

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"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself" -- Tolstoy

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And just to round it off, I'm going to link a couple of the best NF articles which I have found useful, just for more tips and tricks, if you really feel like reading through all these articles.

 

http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2015/05/18/why-having-to-start-over-again-is-great/

http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2011/11/10/healthy-eating/

http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2012/08/16/get-over-it/

http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2015/09/17/want-results-be-like-groot-i-am-groot/

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Panda  

 

Hobbit | Drifter | Level 3

 

STR 6 | DEX 5 | STA 2 | CON 5 | WIS 7 | CHA 2

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself" -- Tolstoy

Training | Challenge 1 2 3 4 | Epic Quest

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Hey! Maybe I will repeat a lot of what was already said... I just wanted to share a bit of my own experience.

 

I came out like 3 years ago, it hasn't been very easy since my parents don't accept me. Anyways long story short, I have developed very bad anxiety problems, which were recently causing my some issues with my current boyfriend. Luckily, he has been very supporting and understanding, and he and my sister were actually the ones who made me realize my issues were worse than I thought.

 

Investigating a bit, I found out about CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), which I decided to begin applying on myself. I still haven't seen the results, since I began only recently, but personally I discovered that keeping a journal of my feelings, and trying to classify, and understand them, has been extremely helpful. As everyone else has said, it all has to do with small changes. I still suffer a lot, and struggle. I get stomach pain, and I feel like I can't breathe, but I'm trying to learn to rationalize my feelings, to write them down clearly and understand them, rather than drown in them. 

 

It's slow and frustrating at times, but you begin to have moments when you say like "oh! some weeks ago I would've completely freaked out in a situation like this but today I managed!" and it's sooo rewarding.

 

I don't know if this was helpful, but I just wanted to tell you that you're not alone, many of us are also struggling with so many things. I guess you can say it's a path we all go through, and we can all just be together, and hold each others' hands.

 

Good luck to you! I send you all my love <3

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Salutations, sir!

 

I'm new to NF as well as going through depression mixed with anxiety! I once was fit, but now, not quite so fit. And it hasn't been as simple as do what I did before to get to where I was. It's almost like rolling entirely new stats for a pre-existing character. So some of my goals are learning about these new "stats." Like, "What isn't working? What am I capable of now?" That and trying to find victories in things that I would definitely have taken for granted before.

 

I don't know if that'll help any, but you're not alone. And to throw some Buddhism at you, "Suffering is the one thing that unites us all."

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Werewolf Druid | Lvl 2


STR 2 | DEX 2 | STA 1 | CON 1 | WIS 4 | CHA 3


Character Sheet (work in progress)


My Current Challenge


Dovie'andi se tovya sagain.


It's time to toss the dice.


 

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Thank you both randomguy2014 and the ever so charming Rihor! :) I have been/ or currently in both of your situations (though luckier for me, my coming out was treated more trivial than yours, poor randomguy2014)

I don't like CBT, I must admit, as I'm quite the skeptic but absolutely good luck to you. I hope that everyone grants you paitence as you go through this and that you don't in anyway feel like a burden to anyone! You, good sir, sound wonderful and I hope to hear more from you.

Rihor, you've hit the nail on the head! That's exactly what it feels like... That is the perspective I shall adopt for the new challenge! Slowly but surely everything is making sense :)

Like a Sir,

JollyOldMrPhelps

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Basically you can make your challenge be focused on maintaining, improving, or even just finding a coping skill that helps improve your function.  Choose one small thing that is the graded goal, and maybe think about what you can add when you're ready for more coping habits.

 

Thanks to my declining mental health, no matter how under-ambitious my concrete goals were, I really couldn't give myself a good score without curving it to match the amount of effort it took each time.  I don't grade myself, and I don't angst about dropping a goal that's doing more harm than good for the moment.  Challenges are pretty much about listing accomplishments, setbacks, and ideas for things to try in the future.

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I have conditions that affect my social awareness.  If I am rude, tell me what I could do better.

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Thank you both randomguy2014 and the ever so charming Rihor! :) I have been/ or currently in both of your situations (though luckier for me, my coming out was treated more trivial than yours, poor randomguy2014)

I don't like CBT, I must admit, as I'm quite the skeptic but absolutely good luck to you. I hope that everyone grants you paitence as you go through this and that you don't in anyway feel like a burden to anyone! You, good sir, sound wonderful and I hope to hear more from you.

Rihor, you've hit the nail on the head! That's exactly what it feels like... That is the perspective I shall adopt for the new challenge! Slowly but surely everything is making sense :)

Like a Sir,

JollyOldMrPhelps

Glad to be of assistance! It's something I've been trying to do...and it's easier said then done. I still have trouble reining myself in. I'm working on it, but it's frustrating. And I've been sitting here for a couple of minutes thinking of what else I might have to say...and I realized it's not even worth being frustrated about.

 

Anyways, looking forward to seeing what goals you set for yourself!

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Werewolf Druid | Lvl 2


STR 2 | DEX 2 | STA 1 | CON 1 | WIS 4 | CHA 3


Character Sheet (work in progress)


My Current Challenge


Dovie'andi se tovya sagain.


It's time to toss the dice.


 

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I'm jumping in a bit late.

 

I've done 4 challenges and didn't complete any of them.

 

I'm trying to get into an actual exercise routine right now, but my goal for the past week (weekdays only) has been to put on workout clothes when I get up.  Not to workout, not to hit a certain number of steps, not to eat right.  However, when I put on workout clothes, once everybody else has left the house I suddenly feel the urge to do SOMETHING.  It might be jumping on the elliptical, it might be doing a workout video, but I have sweat every weekday but one in the past week.  For me, this is unheard of.  Now, my brain seems to logically tell me that if I'm going to bother working out, I might as well not eat all the crap I usually do.  My diet has been cleaning up (today not included, and it's entirely hormonal today) and I've been working out.

 

The funny thing is, small changes can lead to big changes.  Don't plan on it, but don't fight it when it happens.  My depression and anxiety have actually lifted quite a bit in the past week since I started, and I'm finding the changes in myself fascinating.

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As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. - Joan Gussow

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. - Cicero

 

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I'm jumping in a bit late.

 

I've done 4 challenges and didn't complete any of them.

 

 

The funny thing is, small changes can lead to big changes.  Don't plan on it, but don't fight it when it happens.  My depression and anxiety have actually lifted quite a bit in the past week since I started, and I'm finding the changes in myself fascinating.

 

That's amazing, thanks for sharing.  You're right, a tiny change can affect something else.  I've noticed that too!

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<--<< Daughter of Artemis >>-->

 

 
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Agree with small steps. There are days when "get out of bed for more than a trip to the bathroom" is an achievement. (Thinking of a week in December where I literally got home from work and went straight to bed. I got up long enough to take a shower, then back to bed until I had to go to work the next day.) I've found it helpful to have my exercise, etc. planned out day by day because that allows me to just set myself on autopilot if the mental illness is setting in.

 

I've also found it helpful to have a backup plan worked out for days that my original plans aren't going to happen. I have to keep reminding myself that self-care is not laziness, and often things that feel lazy in the moment are actually self-care. In the past I have used exercise as a means of self-harm, and I still have to be very careful not to fall into that. Creating contingency plans when I'm in my right mind has helped with self-care. (Like, "if I have a fever from allergies of at least 99.2, the day's plans will automatically change to taking a nap when I get home.") Sometimes my goals have to be set aside for what I need to do to take care of myself, and being able to recognize that in the moment is an achievement for me.

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Level 2 Elf Assassin

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"When people called me freak, I closed my eyes and laughed, because they were blind to happiness." --hide

 

 

First challenge! Second challenge! Third challenge!

 

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Keep it simple. Do your research. It's important to have some understanding of the process. However, as nerds, we tend to make things more complicated than necessary. Hence, keeping it simple is important. Try to not worry about the little things that don't amount to much in the end. Most important, consider only those factors you can control. Consistency is key. Don't beat yourself up.

 

In my opinion, the most efficient means to improve one's health is by adopting optimal diet and exercise. Yeah, no surprise there. However, with respect to diet, I believe the simplest approach is to eat a nutrient dense diet of whole foods. This process is simplified by avoiding processed foods as what remains is mostly acceptable. So, no refined sugars, no highly refined grain products, no "reduced fat" products, and no unnatural fats (like trans fats)... also, take care to NOT fear dietary fat - and note that most grain products are highly refined, so it's useful to mostly avoid grains altogether. You'll have to do the research yourself, but I am personally convinced the ideal diet for most is fairly high in fats. On exercise, I am personally convinced that simple, brief, and highly intense exercise based in basic compound exercises is the most efficient way to train.

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Mark Twain

 

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just wanted to say hello and that I relate. I have mental health issues too, including fairly severe depression. when I got to the point that I knew I had to start working out and taking better care of myself, I had to join a gym to get myself to actually do it because I'm poor and can't let myself let the money go to waste. it's a pretty strong motivator for me. I really want to feel comfortable in my skin again one day, and I want to be able to be proud of myself for working hard to get a body I can actually be happy with. sometimes I am feeling really down and I let myself skip a gym day, I try not to be too hard on myself for it when it happens. I'm big on self care and for me being gentle with myself is a big part of that. 

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Hey everybody Jedge Jerns here,

 

the OP asked for some articles on basically self improvement.. i have a good one, my favorite read and maybe will help OP (and others a lot) it's an article on self improvement <--- click that to read it :) or click here lol

 

-Jedge Jerns

Stats: 14% bf

Goals: To beat the evil gain goblins!

Hobbies: Fitness Writer, working out

Occupation: Full time nerd :tongue:

How to Lose weight

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