In my experience, sometimes happiness (some HBT posts about it here and here) comes easily, and sometimes it requires a heck of a lot of work. When I’m upset with my writing in particular (about my books here), I take heart from seeing what publishing rock stars like Ashley L. Peterson accomplish!
Want to listen to this blog post, not just read it? Check it out here!
Mental health nurse/author Ashley L. Peterson of MentalHealthAtHome.org blogs out of Vancouver, Canada, and writes from both a personal perspective as well as that of a medical professional. She’s adamant that it’s time we remove the stigma around mental health issues. Among her book titles are, “Psych Meds Made Simple,” “Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis,” “Managing the Depression Puzzle,” and “A Brief History of Stigma.”
When it comes to self-publishing, she finds it’s wise to stay flexible with her listings at Amazon. On a daily basis, she experiments with keywords, especially in terms of how they work with setting bids per clicks on ads at the amounts suggested by Amazon. She has a guest blog post for Happiness Between Tails H-E-R-E.
Here’s why she calls herself, “a proud crazy guinea pig lady”…
“Thank Goodness For My Thera-Piggies,” by Ashley L. Peterson of MentalHealthAtHome.org
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.
What’s your best stress reliever?