What You Need To Remember When Managing Your Depression

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There are generally two types of depression. One that makes you hermit, “I just can’t get out of bed today” and one that is reactive, impacting your ability to cope “I’m very agitated, I can’t settle down”. Either happening to anyone who undergoes stress, a serious loss, or situational challenges.  Without getting too jargon-laden, I ultimately view depression as an unhealthy view of what to do with yourself and what to expect from yourself. You must except it without liking it. If you resist it, it will persist, all the more. This week let’s chat about what you need to remember when managing your depression. Why? Because using tapes and meditation techniques are great when we have the control over our emotions to use them. When our emotions are out of sort, these practices may be hard to accomplish, because the discipline simply isn’t there. In fact, it can make us feel more frustrated. Let’s get to it. 

Positive Distraction of The Week

1. Challenge any negative thought with a direct action. Work to externalize your thoughts and force yourself to combat any self doubt. 

2. Force yourself to sleep regular hours. Whether you are over or under sleeping- get yourself on an appropriate schedule and tidy up your sleep hygiene

3. Fight the fatigue. Depression exhaustion is real and destructive. Stop participating in experiences that slow you down.

4. Eat junk, become junk. Remember to stock up on nutrient rich foods. Set an alarm for yourself, to fuel up every 2-3 hours. Include water intake. 

5. Talk to me nice; Compassionate self talk is a requirement. What you say to yourself can strongly influence how you feel about yourself. Clean it up. 

6. Complete small, manageable, achievable tasks. There are so many things that we are involved in that don’t have complete endings. This impacts our emotional regulation and processing. Depression is literally a chemical imbalance, so we need to remember that in order to offset the negative, we need to combat it and gain a positive reward. Completing small tasks is a great way to feel accomplished and provide momentum to push forward, rejuvenating the spirit.

7. Adjust your expectations.  Set healthy, realistic ideas of what you want to do with yourself and what you expect from yourself. Practice self awareness and understand that you are dealing with a treatable condition that requires attention to your brain. Effective, strategic problem solving on the small and large scale decisions in your life will help you manage depression appropriately and healthily.

Anything to add? Sound off below. 

Thanks for stopping by. Let’s followup in one week.

Best, Dr. Dyce 

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You Rock, Don’t Change, + Other Things We Write In Yearbooks

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I wrote this in March:

One of my childhood friends died this week. 

It’s wild because I feel like I had just reconnected with him- in millennial terms that is. We were  keeping in touch as we just added each other on Instagram a few years ago, routinely leaving comments and liking photos. I felt like I really had a glimpse in his life post high school.  As a late twenty something year old, (at the time) I was fascinated with how much he had changed, but for the most part, stayed exactly the same.

It was 5 am when my brother texted me that he died.

After the immediate shock and confusion, I automatically followed up with “I feel like I just spoke to him.” But that was a lie.

In reality I hadn’t spoken to him in years. I mean REALLY spoken to him.  Like how we used to in between making jokes and rolling our eyes at our social studies teacher. 

Senior yearbook day was probably the last meaningful conversation we had. 

I have no idea why or how he died. I hate that I don’t know.

I have no idea what thoughts kept him awake at 3am.

I do not know what made him sad, fearful, depressed, or anxious. 

I had no idea what his thirty something hopes were, any of his goals or new ambitions. 

Amber and memories keep us warm; and it was the nostalgia of what once was, that kept us falsely connected. 

June 2018:

One of the more difficult aspects of life that I am learning is that:

you can’t go home again.

You can sometimes return to the physical space, but never to the idea of what was  or used to be.  Eventually what you remember and how you remembered it won’t actually be anything. Home is something that I have found to be a feeling that we carry with us until we don’t. It’s an unrecoverable era that has shaped and formed our lives until it just didn’t any longer. This includes the people and spaces that belonged into the idea of what home used to be.

One of the most prominent and influential coming of age movies in my young adult formative years is Garden State (2005). It’s a movie about about a dude named Andrew Largeman and his return home after several years due to his mother’s death. He’s confronted by several aspects of his childhood in this movie, but also has this way of processing past experiences with new insights through deep conversations.  There’s a scene in the movie that I will always take with me. It’s where Andrew discusses his ideas of what home actually means:

“You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone. One day when you move out it just sort of happens one day and it’s gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it’s like a cycle or something. I don’t know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.”

Kinda hits you in the jugular; but still we get up and choose to participate. Time continues to march on and recreating the past is just not an option, because nostalgia is just too damn irrational.  As we work to navigate these new spaces, the best way we know how and juggle the non-shapeable feeling or idea of home, we must remember that change is the only constant variable we must embrace in all forms. 

You rock, don’t change.

Best, Dr. Dyce

Sweet Potato Frites

Bite-Sized Recipe

I’m in the process of transforming the way I eat, permanently. Currently I am removing inflammatory foods that honestly, I love probably a little too much. The great thing about sweet potatoes is that they are anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory: hello 30.  It is a rainy, dreary day in South Carolina today, so what better than to whip up a bright orange snack, on par with these new changes + pair it with a spicy dip (also non-inflammatory). Grab the steps below. YWF Recipes are all about keeping it simple + practical. Who’s got the time?

SUPPLIES

2 pounds of sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons organic chives 

THE MOVE

Heat the oven to 450.

Cut the sweet potatoes into sticks 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide and 3 inches long, and toss them with the oil.

Mix the spices, salt and pepper in a small bowl, and toss them with the sweet potatoes. Spread them out on 2 rimmed baking sheets.

Bake until brown and crisp on the bottom, about 15 minutes, then flip and cook until the other side is crisp, about 10 minutes. Serve with Sriracha Aioli (I substituted regular mayo for an avocado oil mayonnaise (soybeans increase inflammation).

Enjoy! 

Best, Dr. Dyce

THE CHARLOTTE GUIDE

Travel

Traveling to tidy your thoughts is a great form of self-care. This series: how to be a tourist in your own city duals as a travel checklist for both local & out-of-state readers for each respective city. I document: 1) cultural experiences, 2) local food scene, 3) accommodations, & 4) unique activities that promote self-care and emotional wellness. See the recap below on how to tour: Charlotte, North Carolina.

I went to North Carolina. I did some things. Here’s what you should do if you have 48 hours in the city of Charlotte.

 

 but first- skincare.  

but first- skincare.  

 

EAT

 

  

  

 

Amelie’s Bakery| 2424 N Davidson Street

This location is the one that’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By far the best pastry I’ve had in YEARS. Super college kid study vibe, interesting musings, comfortable eclectic chairs. Perfect for journaling and taking quiet moments for yourself.  

STOKE| 100 West Trade Street

Stoke is actually located inside the Marriott hotel in the city center of Charlotte which is great because not only is there valet parking, but dining at Stoke validates said parking for an easy drop in and roll out meal

Living Kitchen| 2000 South Boulevard #300

Think green. Super awesome vibe to this place. Clean food and fresh pressed tonics. I grabbed a cortado flat with hemp milk and sat and edited a few photos. In an industrial area, plenty of parking and shopping is nearby. 

Futo Buta| 222 E Bland Street

Living in the south sure has its perks, but solid ramen is unfortunately not one of them. Grab a bowl of piping hot ramen (delicious) and savory bao to round out the night. I dined alone here at the bar after the last day of my business trip and wish I had gone earlier to repeat my fire and ice ramen. 

NIGHT CAP

 

 

NODA

An artsy neighborhood north of Uptown (The name is short for the street it’s on — North Davidson Street).

Fahrenheit| 222 S Caldwell Street

Of course I had to go where the city line is. I grabbed a lavender infused gin cocktail and took in the sights of Queen City from the top of Fahrenheit which is actually connected to a Hilton hotel. Ample seating outside and a fire pit to keep you warm if you venture out during the colder days. I will tell you that didn’t stop any of us. Pro tip: try to get there during sunset. IG envy photos will surely take place.  

Soul Gastro Lounge| 1500 Central Avenue

SGL is one of those yelp places everyone boasts, so you go but you don’t really know what to expect. Well let me share: strong drinks, live DJ vibe, and solid food. They don’t take reservations, and do get busy- so while it’s perfect for a midweek trip, watch the crowds during the weekend.

Craft Tasting Room and Growler Shop| 1320 S Church Street Suite #100

Craft is a super awesome brewery. Low lights for intimate conversation, no televisions, and light music. I didn’t stay to experience, but did taste test a few brew before grabbing a few growlers to go (nice souviners huh?). Nice local vibe and local beer selections. If you can make it- go.

PLAY

 

  

 

7th Street Public Market| 224 E 7th Street

Not Just Coffee| 224 E 7th Street

NJC is located in the 7th Street Public Market which is this indoor plex, of shops and eateries. Pictured you’ll see the barista creating my iced matcha latte- perfect. I sat, read the local paper and then trekked on with my photo journey of this great city.

4th Ward Park| 301 N Poplar Street

Get a feel of Charlotte’s past by taking the historic Fourth Ward walking tour. The historic Fourth Ward neighborhood artfully blends restored 100-plus-year-old Victorian homes, with luxury condominiums, urban apartments, parks and businesses. This collection of quaint and charming meets urban contemporary offers a residential experience that has made Fourth Ward a premier uptown community.

Paper Sky Scraper| 330 East Boulevard 

The most adorable independent book/craft/thingy store? You can find anything here from unique gifts, to handmade skincare, or recycled stationary. I ended up staying here a lot longer than I thought, which allowed me to have a few mindful moments.

South Park Mall| 4400 Sharon Road

Mega mall- everything fro. Kiehls, to Louis V. South park is a high end mall that you’ll definitely need to leave breadcrumbs to find your way back out.

Magnolia Emporium| 307 Lincoln St, Charlotte, NC 28203

Vintage upcycle is the name of the game for this adorable Charlotte find.

Freedom Park| 1900 East Boulevard

Freedom Park is a 98-acre park in Charlotte, North Carolina. Located at 1900 East Boulevard, between Charlotte’s historic Dilworth and Myers Park neighborhoods, the park is centered on a 7-acre lake.

SLEEP

I was fortunate enough this trip to have my lodging covered, as I traveled to Charlotte on a business trip! However I did make a micro-list of places I would stay on my next visit that are pretty on par with my traveling comforts and wellness away from home: 

  1. The Iveys
  2. The Westin Charlotte
  3. Kimpton Tryon Park
  4. The Dunhill Hotel
  5. The Omni Charlotte

NEXT TIME

I only had 48 hours to spend in Queen city, so I made a list of places and eateries for my next visit. This way, I waste no time! Check out my bookamarks below. 

  1. Merchant and Trade
  2. Cabo Fish Taco
  3. Evoke
  4. Heirloom
  5. Rock Salt
  6. The Yolk
  7. Asbury
  8. Aix en Provence
  9. Cow Fish
  10. Fork
  11. The Fig Tree
  12. Good Food On Montfort
  13. Halcyon Flavors From The Earth
  14. Fern, Flavors From The Garden
  15. Chopt
  16. Zada Jane’s Corner Cafe

Like this post? Check out my New Orleans city guide here. Best, Dr. Dyce. 

Finally: Sunscreen I Actually Want To Use

Skincare

And the church said, Amen.

 

Much dance fun silly clean GIF

 

Let. Me. Tell. You. The bane of my existence has been finding a sunscreen that doesn’t make me look like a ghost. As children, my brother and I hated when my mum would pull out that god awful long tube of Avon or Banana Boat; she did not play with the UV Rays (still doesn’t).  To this day I still have flashbacks of coming to the surface in a swimming pool after being under water and having that god awful white film/residue from the sunscreen just drip all over. Everything was unbearable to touch, the skin was overly sticky, and why did I look purple? UGH. When I was old enough to have a say, I boycotted sunscreen at age 14 and never returned back. At that point I’d rather die of radiation burns than be in public looking like a vampire and feeling like whole scoops of grease in the sun. Around age 20, I started to close out that temper-tantrum and began using makeup with a low SPF and for the last 2-3 years I’ve really started to understand the importance of sunscreen as an anti-aging product and the detrimental effects of even cloudy day radiation. I recently stumbled upon a game changer for everyone who hates applying sunscreen and well, I have to share.

COOLA

I fear anything that says “SPF”. Honestly, truly. Additionally, having combination/oily/acne prone/sensitive skin- (eyeroll) I am very particular about the amount of layers/products I use, because the last thing I need is an oil slick at 12pm on my T-zone. COOLA is a game changer. I have never in my life met a sunscreen I didn’t want to throw in the trash. This formula is extremely lightweight, non-irritating, and free of those crazy annoying Walter White chemicals that I feel most sunscreens have in their ingredient list. This product really absorbs into the skin making makeup application a dream.  Since the key to sunscreen is reapplying, COOLA makes this possible and achievable without making you look like a clown. This is going to come in hand especially during the fall for tail gates and winter festivals. It’s a sunscreen that transcends season. 

Unboxing Experience: A white matte tube, sealed for protection prior to use. The brand promotes a very beachy clean vibe with teal and white color scheme. Easy to transport in your bag, on the beach, outdoor activities, and wherever you need application. I Literally said out loud: where the hell have you been?

Effectiveness: Yall. This is the best sunscreen I have ever experienced in my life. Bar None. These are the moments when I really just pat myself on the back for researching brands that I can then write and share because it is a struggle as a woman of color and someone with oily-hormonal-skin, to find a weightless sunscreen that doesn’t make me breakout, or look ridiculous after 1 hour. You get to a point where you’d rather get sun burn than deal with another layer of artificial oil, because most sunscreen brands just don’t love us– but COOLA loves us.

Cost To Use Ratio: I’d pay this plus half. Out the box I sampled the product on my hand and instantly realized I had stumbled upon something godly.  I was worried about the cucumber scent, which I’m not a fan of, but it is mild and faint.  I prefer unscented face products, but this goes away fast and it’s a very small price to pay.  I’m going to be honest with you, I was looking for reasons to not like this product (read: my sunscreen PTSD), but I couldn’t find one. If you have ever, ever, had any issues grabbing a suitable sunscreen, be sure to try out COOLA and let me know what you think. Thank me later. 

+Many thanks to COOLA for their support in this blog. This is not a sponsored post + products were provided for editorial consideration. All opinions and thoughts about the businesses featured are my own. I stay true to your weekly followup + my aesthetic.