The past few months have been quite intense for Mary and I, and I’m sure for countless others. The energy has been all over the place, and I think everyone is feeling it more than usual.
And if you suffer from depression and/or anxiety even the small things can be more challenging. This is something Mary and I battle with on a daily basis. Finding motivation to keep going can be difficult and there are days where getting out of bed is challenging. I’m sure many of you can relate. Living with High Functioning mental illness is more challenging because people around you often don’t even realize it. Often they just have a hard time understanding this truth, because on the surface, you have it all together. It’s hidden, and those of us able to function have developed coping mechanisms so others can’t see it. But let’s back track for a moment and define depression and anxiety.
feelings of severe despondency and dejection.“self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression”
WebMD says “It’s natural to feel down sometimes, but if that low mood lingers day after day, it could signal depression. Major depression is an episode of sadness or apathy along with other symptoms that lasts at least two consecutive weeks and is severe enough to interrupt daily activities. Depression is not a sign of weakness or a negative personality. It is a major public health problem and a treatable medical condition.”
Anxiety:A mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities.
Examples of anxiety disorders include panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.Symptoms include stress that’s out of proportion to the impact of the event, inability to set aside a worry, and restlessness.
My personal history of anxiety really kicked into high gear when I started college. If it wasn’t for a long range walkie-talkie and following my dad for most of my commute, I don’t know how I would have made it to class every day. On days I didn’t follow him, Mary and I traveled together. Staying accountable to someone else helped to get me out of the house. It wasn’t a perfect system, but it worked most of the time.
These days my anxiety often appears in the form of procrastination, and lack of time keeping. Denial that I need to leave the house leaves getting ready to the last moment. There have been periods that I have to have alarms for everything, reminding me to get dressed, it’s almost time to leave, time to leave, and crap you are going to be late if you don’t leave RIGHT NOW! However, I have problems in crowds and social settings also. I try to go to stores during slow times, if it’s too crowded I get overwhelmed and can’t focus.
An inability to function can often lead right to depression, of feeling like I’m not enough, I’m not good enough. I’m not adult enough. There are times I feel like there is no hope and no point. Why, I ask all the time. Does it matter? I don’t make a difference. The reality is none of those are true, but in the dark times there is hardly rationalizing these feelings. Battling these emotions on a daily basis, I’m frequently exhausted.
I know I’m not alone. Here’s an article from Huffington Post:
So, what do we do about it? First, be gentle with yourself. Remind yourself often that you are worthy, lovable, and capable. Set reminders on your phone, do daily affirmations, stick post it notes in places. Reach out to your friends. Take time for yourself. The pace of our society is quite insane. We get less time off than others around the world, with many of us accruing vacation we feel we don’t have time (or deserve) to take. We feel that there is so much we have to pack into a day, its just not possible. So the laundry doesn’t get folded, dusting wait another week. Is it really important? It’s okay to let some things slide.
Mary and I use crystals as a part of our way of dealing with anxiety and depression. In fact these anxiety was a a huge reason why we started TOSOTS. When Mary was at her worst with severe agoraphobia (basically fear of going outside), selling crystals was her primary job as something positive should could do working mainly from home.
There are a dizzying array of crystals and minerals. Many work towards lots of different goals. But here’s our go to “Support Stones” and a brief description on why we use them. This by no means a complete list, but a good start. (Please do not stop any medications without consulting your medical professional. Crystal therapy is not meant to replace any current treatment plans.)
Those of you who know us, labradorite and citrine is one of our favorite combinations. These are our go to anxiety combination. Labradorite brings balance and helps to reduce negative thought patterns. It is emotionally soothing. Rolling the stone around while focusing on the flash and patterns of colors helps to still the mind. Citrine boost self confidence and balances the mind-body connection as it works solar plexus and crown. Hold citrine to your solar plexus, located at the base of the stern where the rib meet, breathe in while visualizing white light energy infusing your body. Breathe out negativity.
Lepidolite and Lithium in quartz play a dual role with the lithium content in the stones helps to counter depression and anxiety. Lithium in quartz also a strong heart stone that brings emotional peace. Lepidolite works more on the physical aspects of the body, while the lithium in quartz works more with the emotional side.
When working with stones for depression, it is necessary to feel grounded, protected and have stones that feed your energy. Smoky quartz fits the bill on all levels, its energy is rich and warm. Smoky quartz brings joy, it grounds but doesn’t make you feel heavy, it lifts the spirit. Its energy gives you a sense of safety and comfort. Really everyone can benefit from Smoky Quartz! I often sleep with smoky quartz under my pillow or grasped in my hand. It is always on my nightstand.
Tourmaline is another of our favorites, it comes in a huge array of colors. But pink, green, black, and blue are most common. Black tourmaline is very protective, helping to ward of negativity and to some degree negative people. Tourmaline feeds your energy. And for this the heart chakra colors of pink and green work best. They help to bring joy and foster self-worth. Their energy is very easy to work with.
Jade also comes in several colors, but for this, green is the go to color. I prefer the darker shades of green jade. Jade is often associated with abundance and prosperity. However, Jade is also good for connecting you to the earth energies. It helps to instill hope and bring greater harmony into your life.
There are many ways to incorporate crystal energies into your life. Mediation and breathing practices are just one way. As I mentioned earlier, we often sleep with them, or at least have them at our beside. Carry them in your pockets, wear them as jewelry, tuck them into a sock (smaller the better here, really) or for us ladies, tuck them in your bra. We call it the over the shoulder boulder holder. 😉
Please feel free to contact us if you’d like assistance in choosing the right stone or help creating a custom pouch of stones to carry.
Mary and Jennifer co-own The Other Side of the Sun (TOSOTScrystals) an online crystal and mineral store. We are also Licensed Massage Therapists and Estheticians. We have been working with the crystal world since 2001.