Showing posts with label Coping with Stress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coping with Stress. Show all posts

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Therapeutic Walks at the Beach - Another Wellness Activity

I am thankful to God that this week I am able to take a break from work. This is a much needed break and I really cherish it.

At the moment, I can't take a holiday to go out of Singapore, as I am caring for my mother. She has many medical conditions and I need to watch over her daily.

But I am thankful to God for more opportunities to go for walks this week. Walking is very therapeutic to me. Walking has become one of my most important Wellness Activity now.

I love to walk at the parks near my home or go to the beach. Walking really helps me to unwind and relax. As I walk and enjoy nature, fresh air and sunshine, I feel so much better.

As I walk, I will talk to the Lord. I am thankful that God is with me and I can enjoy this quiet walking time with Him. Walking in the parks and beach always remind me that God is all powerful and He is caring for me. I can cast all my cares and difficulties upon Him.

I am thankful to God that on Tuesday I was able to go to East Coast Beach with my good friend, BH. BH is a very sweet and gentle lady. BH knows that walks are good for me in managing my condition and she kindly offered to take me out on Tuesday. Although she has never experienced depression or bipolar before, she is very sympathetic to listen to me. She has other friends who have other form of mental illness, and I can see that BH is not judgemental. She does not condemn me for my experiences with bipolar or depression. She accepts that it is a medical condition, an illness that I need to live with and I can learn to cope by God's grace. BH prays for me whenever I am not well. I am thankful for such a friend.

Here's a video of what I saw at the Beach on Tuesday. Oh, how I love the sea! Watching the waves somehow has such a calming effect on me.

Luther said "The sea of God's mercies ought to swallow up our particular afflictions."

No matter what difficulties I am going through, it is only one drop of water in the ocean. God's mercies will swallow them up! How thankful I am that I can rest in God's love and faithfulness through all the changing scenes in life.

Thanks for stopping by!

Do you enjoy walks? Do you go for walks regularly? Have you found it therapeutic or helpful in some ways?

Hope you have a blessed day!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thank God I am better

Dear friends,

Thanks for stopping by. Thank God for strengthening me day by day and I am feeling better today.

A special thank you to Tracy, Marja, Stephany, Darlene, Melanie and Acorn, for your kind thoughts, prayers and encouragements. Your concerns and supports to me at this difficult time means a lot to me. It encourages my heart and I know these are tokens of God's love and goodness to me. Thank you for your wonderful support!

Thanks to my other friends who visit this blog and have prayed for me. Although you didn't leave any comment but I know you have visited and prayed with me. Thank you!

I am thankful to my Pastor and other church friends who know about my condition and have been praying for me. Thank God for His faithfulness in strengthening me and helping me to cope better.

I have been resting a lot these few days and have cut down my activities significantly. I am trying harder to slow down. I think I need to have a good break and cut down on anything that may stress me up or aggravate my condition.

I have been feeling very very exhausted and drained. It's like some kind of accumulated tiredness. Thank God for preserving me and enabling me to recognize early that I may be heading towards a burn-out and to take the necessary actions to rectify my situations.

I was too unwell to go to church yesterday but I read the Bible and listened to an audio sermon. God's Words bring great encouragement to me. I know that God is with me and He will strengthen me as I wait upon Him.

I am trying harder to slow down this week. Hope to take a good break to recuperate.

I went for a walk this morning. It was really refreshing. I always love to walk in the nature and see the beauties of God's creations and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. I think I need to schedule this into my daily task as it will help me to relax and strengthen me physically and mentally :-)

During my walks I usually will see pigeons. They are very cute. This group of pigeons was feeding on some food they found.

This satisfied pigeon took its portion and went away :-)

In the Bible, God said that He clothes the lily of the field and feed the sparrow. And not one of the sparrow will be forgotten by God. I am encouraged as I remember afresh that God will take care of me even as I seek to take care of myself. Thank God that He is with me. I am learning to rest in Him daily.
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings,
and not one of them is forgotten before God?
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear not therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows.
(Luke 12:6,7)
Thank you once again to all of you, my dear friends and readers. I am thankful to God to find such friendship and support online. Your friendship and support means a lot to me. I thank God for all of you.

Thanks for stopping by. Take care. Hope you have a blessed day!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Therapeutic Walks and Photography to cope with Depression or Bipolar Mood Swings

Recently, I was feeling rather tired and stressed up after several weeks of manic plus stress at work, etc etc. I could feel that my moods were swinging. When I am too tired or stressed up, my moods tend to drop. Having a mood disorder like Bipolar Disorder, I realized that I need to take steps to slow down and prevent these mood swings to either escalate into manic or plunged me into depression. I realized that in the past because I failed to notice my mood swings or indicators that I am overly stressed or strained, over a period of time I eventually plunged into severe clinical depression that can last for 3 to 6 months or longer.

I am learning now to recognize early signs and symptoms of possible relapses or trigger factors to depression or mood swings. I am learning to manage stress better and if necessary to cut down on stress level by eliminating the things that are stressing me up. So I have cut down on some activities and scheduled more down time. I also turned down freelance assignments which I don't time I can manage or complete on time.

I cut down a little on blogging. But I found that as blogging is therapeutic to me, it's hard to really take a complete break. I love to write and writing is therapeutic to me. So I am still blogging and sharing my thoughts, feelings, experiences and what I read or find useful. Visiting my blogging friends and having them visit me is a means of support to me. This is a crucial part of my recovery and maintenance of mental well-being.

I also need to do things that will help me to relax and cheer me up. Besides praying and reading God's Words, and rest, I have been able to spend some time with some hobbies. Some activities that I have found to be therapeutic are taking walks to enjoy nature and develop my interest in photography.

So recently, I took a walk past Woodlands Town Garden which is adjacent to Bukit Timah Expressway. I didn't really go into the Garden because I was alone and I didn't want to walk alone there. Although Singapore is a safe place, it is still not wise to go to quiet places alone. So I admired the Garden from the exterior surroundings :-)

If you go to Woodlands Town Garden, you can enjoy the greenery and the unique design of the park amenities which has both Malay and Chinese elements. Sungei Mandai Kecil, a river that flows through the park, was also integrated in the design of the park. Part of this river that flows into the park was enlarged into a lake, irregularly-shaped for a natural look.

I enjoy photography a lot and so I took that opportunity to catch a few shots :-)

I really enjoy nature a lot and I love to walk or go briskwalkings. I hope I can schedule more such time as it is always refreshing to me.

How about you? Do you go for walks? What do find to be therapeutic when you are feeling down or stressed up?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Resting On God

One of my friends and sister-in-Christ, Joyce L., gave me this lovely gift. She put the pieces of jigsaw puzzles together and frame it up. She told me to remember to rest and sleep whenever I feel very tired, physically or mentally. She knows that whenever I am well or better, I am slightly manic and tend to do a lot of things, and tends to be very tired after that. She realized that if I do not get enough rest for a period of time and face much stress daily, I will eventually plunged into severe depression. Thank God for her love and kindness.

One of the thing I found really helpful recently when I felt overly strained and stressed, is to break away from whatever I was doing and just go for some rest, sleep or break. A tired and stretched brain doesn't function very well and thoughts can be distorted, which in turned can affect my feelings and behaviours. A tired and overly strained body can't function very well either.

As my freelance projects involved a lot of concentration and mental strength, I do feel more easily tired mentally. Thank God that working freelance allows me to work around my schedule and health whenever my deadlines are manageable. So I can break away from my work and just go to seek the Lord in prayers or read God's Words. I also can go and rest when I am too tired or stressed up. I normally don't need to take a nap but recently I have been needing to do that. And the rest is indeed helpful. A short nap can rejuvenate me to continue with my tasks later on.

Whenever I am manic, I have difficulty keeping to my sleeping hours as I have many racing thoughts and projects in my mind. There are 101 things that I wanted to do. But shorter sleeping hours are both a trigger as well as a symptom of manic. Sometimes I forget about this. Too many nights of sleeping lesser hours and not enough rest will caused my body to be very very tired and eventually may even plunged me into depression. Overly stretched brain and body cause the chemical in my brain to go topsy turvy. Recognizing this pattern is still not easy but I am learning by and by.

I suspect I am feeling the extreme tiredness now because of the effect of manic recently. Though I have attempted to slow down, I am still pretty occupied. I am praying for God's grace now to take short breaks throughout the day. I also try my best to exercise daily. And now I make it a point to rest when I feel very tired. And if necessary, I take a day off from my routine. On Tuesday, it was good because in the morning I went out with a friend for a short freelance project. Then in the afternoon my sister and her family came and we had a great time together. My nephew and nieces played some simple games with me and we had a great time.

A frequent reaction to daily stresses is insomnia. Thank God that my medications ie Lamictal, a mood stabiliser and Seroquel, an anti-psychotic, do help with my sleep and I take them just before I sleep. So far I don't have insomnia. So I am keeping to my sleeping hours as much as I can as I realize that it is important in managing bipolar as well as stress.

Thank God that He gives us physical rest and sleep, and strengthen and refresh our body, soul and mind, to walk anew with Him each day. Every night, I shall lay down and sleep, I commit myself and all things into His loving hands, and I will awake the next day with the joy of the Lord, because the LORD sustained me!

Thank God that He gives us spiritual rest in Him too, and refresh our soul as we rest in Him.

Thank God that I am feeling so much better now. Though physically still rather tired but I have much peace and joy in the Lord once again. The heaviness of heart and weight of cares in the recent weeks, seemed to have been lifted up by our Lord. My circumstances didn't change very much but my thoughts and feelings have changed. Thank God that He is working in my heart to strengthen me and enable me to rest in Him.

Thank you for your prayers and encouragements, my dear friends and blogging friends. May we find rest in God daily, physically, mentally and spiritually, and be refreshed each day to continue to know Him, love Him and serve Him wherever He places us. To God be the glory!


The thought of thine infinite serenity cheers me,
For I am toiling and moiling, troubled and distressed,
but thou art for ever at perfect peace.
Thy designs cause thee no fear or care of unfulfilment,
they stand fast as the eternal hills.
Thy power knows no bond,
thy greatness no stint.
Thou bringest order out of confusion,
and my defeats are thy victories:
The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
I come to thee as a sinner with cares and sorrow,
to leave every concern entirely to thee,
every sin calling for Christ's precious blood;
Revive deep spirituality in my heart;
Let me live near to the great shepherd,
hear his voice, know its tones, follow its calls.
Keep me from deception by causing me to abide in the truth,
from harm by helping me to walk in the power of the Spirit.
Give me intenser faith in the eternal verities,
burning into me by experience the things I know;
Let me never be ashamed of the truth of the gospel,
that I may bear its reproach,
vindicate it,
see Jesus as its essence,
know in it the power of the Spirit.
Lord, help me, for I am often lukewarm and chill;
unbelief mars my confidence,
sin makes me forget thee.
Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots;
Grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to thee,
that all else is trifling.
Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy.
Abide in me, gracious God.

(Taken from "The Valley of Vision", A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, Edited by Arthur Bennett, Published by The Banner of Truth Trust, 1997, Page 129.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Managing Stress

One of the main triggering factors in the past years of my severe depression episodes which usually lasted between 3 to 6 months or sometimes longer, seemed to be prolonged stress and strain.

Recently, I was experiencing great stress and strain from several areas of my life, and was feeling very very tired and down at times. Thank God for hearing my prayers and comforting me through His Words. Thank God for sending family and friends to help me see things from different perspectives, reminding me how to manage stress or reduce stress, and how not to be discouraged by what I was going through. Thank God for drawing me nearer to Himself to learn once again to be more dependent upon Him, to hope in Him and look to Him, and apply His Words and promises to situations I am.

I am still learning to manage stressors in my life, to recognize early signs that I am getting too stressed and what I can do besides praying, to practically manage these stressors.

Recently, Jim, commented on one of my posts "The Stiller of my soul", on his view of stress
For me, I can handle stress and I love the challenges of stress. Without some stress to get me to focus on a problem we might do almost nothing and I do perform best while under stress. Stress can’t be avoided. The challenge is for me to keep learning how to reduce the level of stress by using it to work for me not against me.
I don't like stress but I can't avoid it. I can't function very well when I am too stressed. My challenge is like what Jim stated, how to reduce the level of stress to a level I can manage and use it to work for me and not against me.

I realized that I need to learn to manage stress otherwise, prolonged stress and strain, will bring about a relapse of severe depression episodes. Prolonged and excessive stress seemed to be one of my greatest triggering factors of depression and I realized now that I must learn to be more aware and to take necessary action to manage it, besides praying. In the past years, I failed to realized this, and therefore I keep going through prolonged stress and strain, and then depression episode without understanding why.

My Pastor wrote a very helpful article "Biblical Stress Handling". He said stress is always present with us because we are a thinking and emotional being. As a thinking being, we make choices based on what we perceive to be most satisfying, or having the best outcome in our reckoning. Such being the case, if we were to live in a vacuum, and we can do all we wants, we would always be happy. But man is a finite creature, who is not always able to control the environment we live in or the circumstances surrounding our life. Thus, we often finds ourselves in situations which we prefers not to be in. When that happens, stress results. And since every person is made differently, we can expect to be stressed in many different ways.

In fact, what may be relaxing to one person may be stressful to another, and vice versa. If you are a person who enjoys a fast-paced life, and cannot stand not doing anything for a moment, you may find it very stressful to sit at the beach to relax for a while, or even to go to the toilet without a book in your hand! But if you are a person who hates pressure, you can find it stressful just to see someone walking quickly across the room!

Stress is not all that bad. It is part and parcel of human life and is a manifestation of the very different ways in which God has made us and the many different circumstances that He providentially puts us in. Many of us are stressed because of work pressures: tight schedules, unreasonable bosses and colleagues, many late nights, office politics, etc. Some of us are stressed because of demands of the family: misunderstandings between husband and wife, financial strains, illnesses, decisions pertaining to the children’s education, the interference of in-laws in the family affairs, etc. Others are stressed at school: assignments and project deadlines, examinations, relationship problems, competition among peers, etc. Even driving or walking along the road can be stressful. The list of factors contributing to stress in the modern society is practically inexhaustible. They are part and parcel of our lives.

However, stress, if it leads to frustration and is prolonged, can be harmful spiritually and physically. It is a well-known fact that too much stress can result in physical and psychosomatic disorders such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, ulcers, insomnia, migraine, and even eczema. It is less well known that prolonged stress, if not properly handled, can lead to spiritual depression and desperation, which is sin (cf. 2 Cor 4:8). Stress may also lead to manic depression.

I do agree with my Pastor's writing above. My Pastor suggested the following on how to handled stress:

1) Be aware

Firstly, you should be aware if you are feeling stressed. You are probably stressed if you feel a great but inexplicable pressure upon you. You should suspect you are stressed if you find yourself becoming unusually impatient and irritable. You know you are stressed when you carry a frown all day long and find it hard to smile or laugh; and find that Proverbs 14:13 describes you very well: "Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness." Under such circumstance, you may even doubt your salvation because you feel miserable and loose focus of the purpose for your existence.

2) Pray

Secondly, and most obviously, you should pray. The Apostle Peter urges us to cast our anxieties upon the Lord because He cares for us (1 Pet 5:6–7). Come to the Lord therefore, with your burdens. Cry out unto Him as did the psalmist (Ps 18:6). Cry out to Him as your Abba Father who loves you and cares about every aspect of your life. Ask Him to grant you not only contentment in the midst of turmoil, but ask for wisdom and strength to handle the particular situations in your life. Pray for peace of conscience. Pray for guidance and help.

3) Be biblical

Many Christians are greatly stressed to the point of exhaustion because there is a general failure to observe the Lord’s Sabbath today. There is a certain sense in which the Sabbath is a primary means of stress-relief appointed by God. The Sabbath is the legislated rest day for all men, but especially for the child of God: "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work…" (Ex 20:9–10).

4) Be God-centred

Fourthly, look away from self and man to God. Personal expectation and peer expectation are often the major causes of stress. If you are feeling stressed because of a sense of personal helplessness in a particular situation that you are in; then I would simply suggest that if you have already done what you could, that you should learn to submit the rest to the Lord. Some problems are simply beyond your control. Acknowledge your limitations and present your case to the Lord. When you have done so, you really have no reason to feel frustrated, as it would be to distrust the Lord.

The situation is quite different with peer expectation. Many of us are stressed because of what we perceived to be what others expect of us. This is not all bad, but sometimes we can become too sensitive so that we feel a tremendous amount of pressure when there need not be any. So, learn not to be overtly conscious about what others think about you. Rather than being concerned with what others think of you, be concerned only with what God thinks of you. Look to the Lord, not to man.

5) Communicate

Fifthly, learn to communicate. There is some truth to the popular adage: "A blessing shared is doubled; a burden shared is halved." Besides, it is imperative for saints to bear each other’s woes: "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ" (Gal 6:2). So make sure that you share your burdens with brothers or sisters in Christ who can empathise or at least sympathise with you. This may be your spouse, your parents, your siblings or your friends. Make time for Christian fellowship. A healthy soul should generally experience much blessing from godly Christian fellowship.

Also, learn to speak your mind when you find that you are being stressed because of some decisions or actions by your bosses. I am, of course, not advocating cathartic philosophy of stress reduction by gossiping against the boss with others who view him as a common enemy. I am referring to speaking to your boss himself. Do not bottle-up and get more and more stressed-up and frustrated.

6) Relax

Sixthly, learn to make use of lawful means for relaxation. Remember that what may be relaxing for one person may be stressful for another. Sports and exercises are also legitimate means of relaxation, which are very helpful for stress relief.

Remember that man is a two-part being. Exercise is generally recognised as an effective stress relieving activity. Similarly, it is not wrong for Christians to have fun, though we may be amazed at why we should be allowed to have pleasure despite our sin. Learn to laugh at the appropriate time (Ecc 3:4). A Christian needs not and should not go about with a sorrowful countenance. Laughter and smiling are definitely good medicine for stress: "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken" (Prov 15:13).

7) Plan

Seventhly, planning your time well is a good preventive to stress built-up. But again remember that we are made differently. Some of us find it useful to have an hourly timetable, others prefer to plan by day or week. But some form of plan, however imprecise, is always useful. When you plan, however, always bear in mind that God is in sovereign control over all that happen and will happen in your life. So all your plans must be accompanied by a Deo Volente—God willing (Jas 4:13–15). As such, do not worry about what would happen if things do not turn out as planned. "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (Mt 6:34). Learn to submit your life entirely to the Lord.

Learning to manage stress seemed to be a day by day experience for me as I learn to recognize what can stress me up and how much I can manage or what stress level works best for me to function optimally. And what I can do when I am overly stressed and how best to reduce stress to a manageable level.

Stress management can be a constant challenge to us who have bipolar, depression or other mood disorders. Minor stress can become major or prolonged stress, if not recognized and managed effectively and reduce to a manageable level. And major and prolonged stress will trigger off depression in us who have mood disorders. Others without mood disorders may not fall into depression due to prolonged stress but some of us will definitely find ourselves in the pit soon enough. So I thank God for teaching me through many ways and many people how I can manage and minimize stress before it become prolonged stress which may trigger off severe depression episode like past years.

Thanks again for your prayers and encouragements! Thank God for His mercies and faithfulness daily. I look forward to each day the Lord gives me in which I can know Him better, love Him more and serve Him and His people. To Him be the glory!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Learning to cope with stress and mood swings of bipolar (manic and depression)

Recently, I have been feeling very very tired and easily stressed. I believe this is partly due to effect of being rather manic for some weeks prior to this and also partly because I have taken on some freelance assignments which are mentally taxing and with rather tight deadlines. I am also having to manage some other personal and family matters. These can be rather overwhelming. I just realized that I have been having more on my plates than I can managed!

I was feeling rather down for a few days as I was very very tired. I prayed daily for God's grace and strength. Thank God for His mercies and faithfulness. I am learning to cope through the following ways:

1) I look to God daily in prayers and reading of the Bible. When I feel overwhelmed and sad, I pour out my heart to the Lord in prayers. I told him of how tired I felt and how discouraged at times. Sometimes I felt a sense of uselessness and a dread to face the challenges ahead of me. I felt so weak and without strength to carry on. I am beginning to realize that these are signs that I am overly stressed and strain, and may lead to an episode of severe depression soon if not manage carefully.

I fear relapse of severe depression as they zapped me of all my energy and I can't enjoy God, the Bible, worship, my family, my church, my friends, my work, my hobbies, etc etc. Thank God that He bids us to come unto Him when we are weary and heavy laden and He will give us rest. I told the Lord my fear and pray that He may preserve me and help me to cope. I found encouragement in the singing of Psalm 130 that reminds me that I can cry unto the Lord from out of the depths I am in and He will hear and answer my prayers, and deliver me in His time. The song "Because He Lives" also brings great comfort and assurance to me. Because our Lord Jesus Christ suffered, died and arose again, and He is living and in control, and He loves me, I can face tomorrow in His strength and grace. Thank God that He can still any storm in my life! Thank God for giving me peace as I learn to cast my cares upon Him. My flesh and my heart fails, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.

2) I am learning to recognize early symptoms of being overly stressed and dangerous mood swings which may either escalate into manic or spiral down into depression. I am learning to realize the importance of not overlooking these but at the same time not to be too discouraged by these. I am learning to accept that these are part and parcel of bipolar which needs to be carefully managed. I can learn to manage it by looking to God and prayerfully using whatever helps and means available. I can still live a meaningful and useful life.

Everyone experience mood swings every now and then, but the tricky part about depression or bipolar is how to manage it and prevent as afar as possible from getting too manic or falling into severe depression. Even if I do fall into severe depression, I hope I will remember that it will pass away and I will be better again. It is hard during severe depression to remember what it is like to be well. I hope this blog and what I have written when I am well, will remind me of it.

One of the best coping strategies, suggested by professionals and patients alike, is using a mood chart to track my own episodes and symptoms. I am using a Mood Diary to keep track of my mood swings. Some charts I found to be helpful in tracking moods or lifestyles are:

a. Mood Diary (mooddiary.pdf)

b. Here is another Booklet from DBSA with some explanations and charts for Lifestyle and Mood Tracking (lifestyle-and-mood-tracking.pdf)

c. Here is a helpful tool to use for Healthy Lifestyle Tracking with the emphasize on Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise, Relaxation, Comfort and Self-Expression, Relationships (healthylife.pdf.)

3) I am taking my medication regularly. I am taking 100mg Lamictal (Lamotrigine) which is a mood stabiliser and 25mg Seroquel (Quetiapine) which is an anti-psychotic, daily. My pdoc said these will help to stabilise my mood on the longer run as I learn to manage triggering factors.

4) I am endeavouring to eat regularly and more healthily. I eat a variety of fruits and vegetables daily to get enough vitamins. I am also taking Omega-3 supplements regularly which is supposed to be helpful in stabilising mood disorders in long run.

5) I am trying hard to sleep at regular hours though I am tempted to work beyond my sleeping hours. I am learning to slow down now. I think with enough rest for my body and mind, plus healthy food for my body, it will be able to cope better with the various challenges.

6) I am making time to exercise every morning. I have not been able to continue my membership with the Women's Gym after the trial membership expired in mid-Feb because they have decided to change their opening hours. I prefer to go to the Gym in the early mornings as it helps to strengthen me for the daytime. Now, I try to go for brisk walkings whenever I can and do some simple exercise at home.

7) I am learning to cope with stress. I hate stress but I know we cannot avoid stress. Unless I learn to manage stressful situations in my life, I will always be overwhelmed by it.

I thank God for friends and family's advice and brain storming. Thank God that providentially, I need not do one of my freelance assignments which is very stressful due to its volumn as well as tight deadline. Although this mean a great loss of income, I am glad I can keep my sanity! I realized that I cannot take on freelance assignments that are too difficult and strenous, or mentally too straining and stressful, with too tight deadlines. I will burn myself out and it is not worth the money. My health is more important.

I am also learning to use a Diary to plan my time and tasks daily, set my priorities and break down difficult items into smaller and more manageable portions. I marked down dates of various appointments and deadlines of my freelance assignments, so that I don't missed them out. I list out items I need to work on daily, and I check them out whenever they are completed. There is a sense of accomplishment when I finished a small tasks.

I am learning to take one day at a time! Hard lesson to learn as I tend to do 101 things at the same time :-)

8) I am learning to plan some time either along the day or at least once a week, to take a break from my daily routine and to have some form of recreations. All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy :-) I need some form of breaks and recreations, to recharge my batteries!

I am enjoying photography whenever I have opportunity to go out. I am also enjoying making bookmarks using the photographs I have taken and giving them to my church members and friends. These are rather therapeutic to me.

I am also learning to take short breaks throughout the day to stretch myself and take a drink, or sometimes a quick nap when I need them. These takes a lot of discipline too as I tend to be very engrossed in my tasks.

9) I am learning to open myself up and share with my family, church and friends when I am troubled or perplexed or too stress. Often others can see things more clearly than me and can help me to see things from a right perspective and manage them better. Thank God for family and friends who have helped me recently to manage some stressful and difficult situations in my life.

I am thankful for opportunities to go out for a meal with my friend or to go Prayer Meeting together. These help to break from my routines and are refreshing to me.

I am thankful for this blog where I can use like a Journal or Online Diary to express my thoughts and feelings. It is therapeutic for me to verbalise my thoughts and feelings whether they be happy or sad ones. I am glad that I can express myself in this way and need not put on a mask. And I am thankful for church friends and blogging friends who care for me and willing to read my thoughts and feelings and pray for me and encourage me, or make suggestion on how I can cope.

And I am so thankful to God to be supported by so many of you, my dear blogging friends! It is such a great blessing from God that though we may never meet on this earth, we can pray, encourage and support one another through the various challenges we face here. These are tokens of God's goodness and mercies to me, and I praise Him!

10) I am learning to recognize when my thoughts began to turn negative and eats into me. When my moods spiral down, if I don't recognize it, it will overwhelm me. My thoughts became rather negative recently and I started to feel very down for many days. Thank God for sending family, church members and blogging friends who reminded me of God, His love and mercies and ways to manage my condition. Some helped me to identify faulty or unhelpful thinking patterns or behaviours, and how to rectify them.

Thank God that my thoughts are clearer now and I am feeling so much better! I know I still need to be very prayerful and vigilant. I am comforted that the Lord has provided me with people who loved and cared for me, and also provided much help to manage my conditions. I know I must learn to look to Him and use these means for my well being.

Thanks and praise to God for His goodness and mercies in helping me to learn to cope. There is so much I am learning daily and seems to have to keep relearning some of these things, and reapply them. Thank God for grace and strength.

Thank God for His presence with me and encouragements through His Words. And thanks again to all of you for your prayers, support and encouragements.