Where Have You Been?

By: Marissa

As of late, I have been looking at myself in the mirror, and seeing a happier, more centered, me. I have to look at myself and question, ‘Where have you been?’ I ask myself that almost every day. Where has this person been in the past few years? Where have you been hiding? Lately, I have been in a really dark place. Things have happened that have kept me from doing the things I love. Things that honestly, I am afraid to post on social media. Maybe one day I will, but now, the wounds are too fresh.

I can’t express though how grateful I am for the people I have found in my life. Even during the dark times. In the past few weeks, despite the depression, I have found new friends, and even found people who I thought disliked me. Through all of that, I have realized how loved I truly am, how much people actually care, regardless of how I thought they viewed me. Because of recent events, I have been able to find these people and form new friendships and new bonds. I have the strongest support system I have ever seen, and I can’t explain how happy I am.

I can’t truly explain what it is like to live with depression. I can tell you the symptoms and the feelings I have, but I can’t really explain the darkness in my head. It happens to a lot of people, and I have realized that with each person that approaches me and tells me their story, offering their help. Suddenly I don’t feel so alone, so isolated. It took me to be alone in the darkness, just to realize that one the light comes on, there were hundreds of others standing right with me.

That is something I can explain though. As someone suffering with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), I have the tendency to feel as if I was alone. But once a light comes on, once someone comes to me and tells me their story, I realize I am not as alone as I think, and that is an amazing feeling.

I promise I will try harder to present more to you all. While there will be days that I don’t post for awhile, I promise you guys are always on my mind. Even if I don’t know you, you are a community that I can come to when I can’t stand for myself. While there will be bad days, while there will be times where I can’t control the tears, I just have to look in the mirror and say, ‘by God it’s great to be back.’

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My Top Apps for Mindfulness

By: Olivia

Phones can beep, ding, ring, and do all sorts of useful, yet distracting things. For most people, phones are integral to a well-running day, but sometimes they can be a reminder of how overwhelming life is. Luckily, they can also offer a great many tools that can help in an everyday mindfulness practice. The only way I manage to keep myself on a steady and consistent mindfulness practice schedule is by using an app to help me chart my progress. Some of my favorite apps are:

Headspace

  • This is such a fantastic place to begin learning about mindfulness in a visually friendly and time efficient way. Headspace begins with 10 basic 10 minute mindfulness meditations interspaced with short videos that explains concepts that will help you find your best state of mind to meditate in. After these first 10 meditations, Headspace then expands and provides different types of meditations for various aspects of your life.
  • The catch? It’s a bit pricy. After the first 10 meditations, a subscription costs anywhere from $6.42/month (for a 2 year subscription) to $12.95/month (for a month bymonth subscription). Still, this is an excellent resource. More info at: https://www.headspace.com/

Aware

  • This is the app I rely on the most for daily mindfulness practice. The first 7 meditations are free, and then to buy the total package it’s only around $5. After an intro foundation course, there are other courses available specialized for different things like sleep, stress, anxiety, focus, and happiness. For the foundation course, meditations start out at 10 minutes for the first 7 days, then 15 minutes for the next 7 days, and finally 20 minutes for the last 7 days. This app encourages practicing mindfulness throughout the course of the  day by prompting you to schedule “energizers”. These are extremely short meditations that you can schedule at your convenience throughout the day. More info at: http://awaremeditationapp.com/

Chill

  • Free, and super low maintenance. The Chill app has a daily quote that inspires thought and reflection as well as messages that pop up on your phone to remind you to be present -even for just a moment. More info at: http://www.chill-app.com/

Here are a list of some other apps that I’m planning to check out in the future:

  • Wildflowers Mindfulness
  • Stop Breathe and Think: Meditate
  • Mindful Check-In
  • Smiling Mind
  • Daily Mindfulness

I’ll be doing a follow up post later on their pros and cons when I’ve tried some of them.

 

Have you ever tried any of these apps? Which one did you like best and why?