Mental health nurse/blogger/author Ashley L. Peterson of Vancouver, Canada, writes personally as well as medically about mental health. She is adamant that mental health issues needn’t be stimagized. She’s self-published two books: “Psych Meds Made Simple” and “Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis.” As a soon-to-be self-published author myself, she generously discussed what works for her. For Amazon, she stays flexible and experiments daily with keywords, particularly how they work with setting bids per clicks on ads at the amounts suggested by Amazon.
“Thank Goodness For My Thera-Piggies,” by Ashley L. Peterson
I am a crazy guinea pig lady. Crazy in more ways than one.
The most obvious, perhaps, is that I have 5 guinea pigs (3 girls and 2 boys), and I treat them like my children.
What may be less obvious is that I’m crazy in a mentally ill sense. I have depression that only partially responds to treatment, so I deal with effects of the illness every single day.
I take medication and do various other things to manage my illness, but my guinea pigs are an important part of my overall wellness.
I live alone, and my illness has made it difficult to be around other people, so I’m on my own a lot of the time – at least in terms of human contact. But I’m never actually alone when I’m at home because I have 5 very active, very vocal munchkins to keep me company.
Routine helps me manage each day, and the piggies thrive on routine. I have a rather odd sleep schedule, which they’ve adapted to quite happily. They know that when I wake up, they get fed, so as soon as they hear me start rustling around in bed, they start wheeking (an onomatopoeic word for their “feed me” noise). It’s a pretty good motivator to get my butt out of bed.
I prefer to practice mindfulness focused outwardly rather than inwardly, and my piggies are a perfect target for that. I can just gaze at them in fascination as my mind just shuts off.
More than anything, though, they need me. They’re very good at making their needs known, and they know that I can be counted on to meet them, no matter how lousy I’m feeling. Because of that, I mean the world to them. It’s definitely mutual.
How do you relieve your stress?