Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dealing with Depression

I know that many people including myself battle this disease, and sometimes when the weather changes or if ANYTHING changes, it can get harder. Here are a few tips I found about a year ago online (I believe it was and I have them written on my "sticky notes" on my laptop's desktop so I see them everyday. (My notes are in italics)

Depression Busters:

1) Get some buddies -friends make everything a little more bearable
2) Read -can take your mind off troubling things and help you learn new things
3) Be accountable - let someone know a goal(s) you would like to reach
4) Predict weaknesses - for me, it's idle time, so I try to make schedules and lists
5) Distract yourself - I like doing arts and crafts
6) Aerobic workout - this is by far one of the best things you can do for your mental health
7) Start a project - this will give you a goal and something to work on
8) Keep a record - any journaling helps, especially if keeping track of mood, sleep, meds, etc..
9) Help someone else - serving others can be very gratifying, boost mood, and spread joy!
10)Get security items - if I'm having a hard time, cuddling with my pugs works wonders
11) Pray - even when you think you are talking to your ceiling, God listens and heals
12) Meditate - this simple, beautiful act of breathing can calm and refocus

Now by no means is this list exhaustive. I would love to hear if you have anything to add!

And always, if you notice yourself isolating, giving up dreams, goals, and/or interests you once had, please speak to someone about this-especially a mental health professional. Also, if you have thoughts of harming yourself or others, please contact a suicide hotline, the police and/or 911. Don't be fearful. Don't be embarrassed. There are people wanting to help you be you again. There is hope and life awaiting you.

Read Luke 10:19 --overcome!

Love Always, Jenna

Saturday, August 13, 2011

5 Years

Yesterday was Ryan's and my Anniversary. 5 Year Anniversary. A half a decade together. Really? Wow. Looking back at these 5 years, it seems that we, like good wines, have gotten better with age at this marriage thing. Yes, it is not perfect, we don't have all the answers but we make it work because we have committed to love each other through the ages. We have let each other change, but we have grown together for it. And some days our pugs have saved our marriage. :) We were only 22 when we tied the knot, but it was our time. There was a lot more self-discovery that we went through married, as a lot of people do when they are single. But we have made it work 5 years and that is something worth celebrating.

Where were you 5 years ago? How have you changed and what successes have you celebrated?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Today I had a realization about the way I was raised and how it affects me today.

(Disclaimer: My parents did their best and loved me dearly, and I can never thank them enough for giving me the gift of life. Love you Mom & Dad!)

Because I was given a lot of freedom to make my own choices, I (this is hard to believe) made some poor ones--drinking young, poor relationships, and lying to authority figures. But I have also made some pretty good decisions along the way, too--committing to my goals, following the Lord, and marrying Ryan. Now, I don't have the blessing of raising children yet, but it made me think about the way I wanted to raise my future children. I have so many ideas of how I want to teach them about the world, provide them structure, and show them love. I don't know if I will give my future children as much free reign as I had, but I do know that I want them to have a base structure to fall back on to make good decisions.

What kind of realizations have you had for raising kids? What kind of legacy do you want to leave with them? I would love to read some of your ideas. :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's been a year!?!?!

WOW...Good job Jenna. Tomorrow would have been a whole year since I last blogged...and a lot has changed. So in order to not have gone the full is an update:

We moved.

God showed up in a big way when Ryan was offered a CVICU position on the spot with Vanderbilt University. He had been searching for over a year and this awesome opportunity came forth so we took that cliche yet truly scary leap of faith and moved to Nashville from Phoenix.

We were also led to Cross Point Community Church, where we were welcomed with moving help, friendly faces and authentic worship and sermons. How blessed we were to find a church community so quickly.

I am still looking for work, although I still do part time contract work for Ashford University as a Teaching Assistant online. It has been a struggle feeling overlooked and rejected, but I am keeping the faith that something will be revealed for me soon. It is a humbling experience and I know many Americans are going through this same situation.

On top of this job hunting, I am sensing that God wants to use me for creating positive change in people's lives, but I just don't know in what capacity and vehicle it will be. Ministry? Non-profit? Momapreneuer? Leadership? Something as "simple" as having a current and updated blog for people? :) We will see.

But, as promised, here is how to make that chore schedule:
1) List out all daily things that need to happen (mail/dishes/etc...)
2) Do the same for weekly chores and errands (grocery shopping/cleaning bathrooms/etc...)
3) Guess what? Do the same for bi-weekly, every two weeks and monthly things.
4) Get 28 note cards and line up 7 in a row and 4 in a column.
5) Get different colored pens/markers to color code weekly-monthly.
6) Write down all the daily chores on every card in one color.
7) Pick two days a week for bi-weekly chores and write down those in another color in each row.
8) Do you see where I am going with this? Do the same for weekly chores, every other week's and monthly's. Be sure to space them out so you have an even amount of chores/errands every day, and that not all heavy chores are on one day.
9) Label in the corner from 1 -28, gather together in order and put in a holder/container of some sort.
10) Follow the chore schedule and then move the card to the back of the stack after completed. Your house will be sparkling clean in a month and then kept that way!


Don't get discouraged if you don't finish all the chores on the card. Things come up. Time runs out. I would suggest always doing the monthly chores then working towards the dailys. Make a very "light chore" day of the week to save for chores that you didn't finish earlier. Remember, it's not the end of the world if you don't finish a chore...especially a weekly. It will just come around again next week. :) Also, you can use this same system electronically with, for example, Google calendar or Outlook calendar.

If you want me to help you create this, please contact me. I would be happy to talk you through it and give you an estimate, but I won't do your chores for you. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hot Spots

So it's been a scorching 115* in Phoenix and has barely let up. Ryan and I got some mercy from driving up to Payson, a cooler city mountain town in Arizona for the 4th of July. We love swimming in that water-hole with the crawdads! Jess and her beau Kyle joined us camping and had a blast.

Cornerstone Church has been another spiritual water-hole for us. It has been a great oasis in our desert of life! We are meeting some great couples, hearing captivating sermons and enjoying our Sundays much more.

I have also started a new work-out regimen that keeps me at the gym for two hours a day and loving it! I am not quite beating the heat with Zumba, in fact it's quite the opposite, but I can say that I am feeling amazing and excited about toning and sculpting. Everyone needs to try Zumba at least once. It's a party!

Oregonians, get ready, 'cuz here I come! I am just ditching the heat altogether by traveling to Oregon to chill with some friends and family. I am so looking forward to immerse myself in greenness and fun. Summers up there are beautiful, not miserable.

Until next time, stay cool in your hot spots. :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Census and Sam

We're counting you! That's right, it is time for the 2010 US Census. I have decided to do my civic duty and not only fill out my questionnaire and send it back in, but help train and manage some of my fellow Americans to go out and collect your answers. Although this temporary job with the government has basically taken over my life, I remind myself it is for a greater purpose. The Census helps us fund schools and hospitals, gives seats to the State Reps, and helps with genealogy work, just to name a few things. So please send in your questionnaires! It takes only 10 minutes! If you don't, we use $50 of your tax-paying money to send out an enumerator to count you!

Speaking of spending $50, when your pets get sick, you have to shell out some dough. Little Sam was shaking and moaning in pain yesterday. I tried having her go outside, but she couldn't defecate on her own, so I had to help her. :( I ended up taking her to the Emergency Vet because I didn't want to take any chances with her. (Bowel obstructions, perforations, etc..) It turns out that she had sustained a hip injury that hurt so much that she hasn't been wanting to squat as much to go potty. This, in turn, has backed up her system, causing her to not want to eat or drink. She is getting some x-rays on Monday to see for sure what's going on inside of her, and I am giving her doggy pain meds. She is also not allowed to jump, run, go on walks, and go up and down stairs; I have to carry her everywhere. Poor Sam. Goodness gracious! If and when I become a mother I am going to be a wreck.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thanks Megan Zimmerman!

So I started a blog due to the inspiration of the one and only, my best friend, Megan Zimmerman. It is late and I can't sleep. I am flying up to Oregon tomorrow for Kyle and Allie's wedding and haven't completely packed, but I felt very impressed to create my blog. My boo-bee-doos are sleeping at my feet on the couch and snoring so cutely that I can't stand it. There is an infomercial for Miracle Spring Water that will supernaturally wipe away people's debt. Are we this desperate at this time of day that we will spend money on water to anoint our checkbooks? Okey Dokey, Peter Popoff. On any level, I sometimes love this quietness of night where I can be accompanied by my thoughts.

I am pondering Ryan's and my church situation. What to stand for? What to let go? We have had very different spiritual experiences growing up and reconciling this in marriage is something we are working at. We are also thinking about when to start a family. What would be best for a future "Renna/Jyan?" Oh gosh little Matthews' running around...get ready world...we are a little nuts. When do I go back to school? Probably when we get back to Oregon. How are we going to rent our condo out? Lots of questions, lots of answers. I guess we just have to pick the ones that work best for us.

Gratefulness comes to mind, too, for finding medications that are helping me feel like I did a long time ago, working online in pajamas, and a temporary job with the U.S. Census to help pay off bills. I am excited and anxious for my audition for "Annie Get Your Gun." I haven't done any *real* acting since 2006 as Maria in "12th Night." Although, I know that if I work at refining my skills, it will definitely pay off--or I could just buy some Miracle Spring Water and anoint myself. :)