Keep Your Balance (For Mental Sake)

I have found a direction of health and fitness to help cope with my mental health. It has been one of the most beneficial things I have done that helps me cope with life and just overall weighing mental health. Since working the hours that I do, I have severely neglected working out. It seems as if my life is just a non stop work load and that it what it revolves around. My wife and I have become obsessed with personality types, as you all may have seen. I need a significant amount of alone time. My wife has witnessed the times where I can just not interact with anyone whatsoever for the entire day. I can go a week, I can go longer than a month. I don’t really need interaction with people. I have had so much social interaction with working that it is mentally overwhelming to my social battery. I have a low social battery to begin with. Every single day I try to mentally prepare myself to interact with people for a work shift, sometimes double shifts and even triple shifts. The only time I can really recharge and find some type of balance is when I work out. The mental effects that working out does to me is beyond what I could ever explain. Being without it for basically the whole summer has taken a huge hit mentally.

To find balance in mental health we all need to make time for the things that help us. I also find relief with writing. I barely have time to sleep, so I am just so exhausted I find it difficult to sit down and just write. Not making time and having a balanced life to devote to your mental health is only setting you up for a road to disaster. Not making time for mental health is destructive. I have been so focused on providing that I have neglected my mental health severely. It has been so important to me for my wife to attend college this semester, and she finally is going back. I wanted to be able to provide to lead the road to her education. It has become so important which is the reason why I have taken it upon myself to work the hours I do. To be quite frank, living in other states is not quite like living here. Living in New York is nearly triple the money for what other states pay for things. It isn’t easy providing here. I can be transparent about it. It is the reason why I work the way I do. My wife’s education is so important to me that I have made it my #1 priority for her to be able to do what she loves.

There needs to be balance in everyone’s lives. No one should be working so much that they can barely even function. It is only worth it because I do it for her. I only continue to push forward: for her. The biggest thing I have struggled to find balance with my mental health is my need for extreme amounts of alone time. Finding a balance with being so exhausted, it has been difficult to incorporate the things that help me into my schedule. I haven’t made time for myself and what is able to help me thrive and function. Without alone time I am not even myself. Since I am known with my personality type to be the “mastermind”, I am a planner. Everything I do is planned and structured. I would say about 90% of my life is this way. Without a plan I don’t know what to do. It is probably the reason why I have struggled to adjust into the swing of things. Out of all of the planning I do, I neglected to plan to make time for myself and find balance. Last week was THE WEEK I decided to make a plan to get to the gym at least three times a week. I actually made it five times. I have made it to the gym every day so far this week as well. I structured a plan that incorporates time that helps my mental health. It has been refreshing and recharging to find my way back to my balance. I started writing more again and I started consistently meal prepping and going back to the gym. I have been consistent with the gym for four years straight. It was just as part of my schedule as taking a shower or running an errand. It was always incorporated. It isn’t selfish to make time for your mental health and find balance to do the things that help you find relief. I found my way back and I will continue to make plans to find a way to get to the gym no matter what. When we neglect our mental health, everything in turn goes on a roller coaster.

Take care of yourselves.

Jason Castellani

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Meal prep.

This week meal prep:

Lunch: Turkey sausage with vegetables
Dinner: Chipotle Chicken with beans and corn tortillas and spicy chicken with beans

We fast until lunch and manage to get our calorie intake in through out the day. Also- my wife gets food from her job that we utilize and incorporate into our meals. She gets food catered so we get a lot of salad, various vegetables, and other foods that go into our health theme.

Snacks: Boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, smoothie bowls, protein shakes, and fruit

Cleanse.

Saturday:

Today we were active all day, but we are doing a detox cleanse. I broke my fast at 3:30 and my wife fasted till 2. We started our fast at 6 last night. We have remained active throughout the day and have drank a lot of water. We did the fast to cleanse our body of toxins because groggy and fatigued. I, for one, always feel incredible when I fast. When fasting, it gives you other things to think about besides food. You gain focus when fasting. I have actively done intermittent fasting for over a year. Although I stopped for some time, I picked it back up for the most part. I like the way that fasting gives me mental clarity. We are doing the cleanse till Monday morning.

Angebel’s corner.

Thanks to Jason, I was introduced to Charles Bukowski. I have fallen in love with the way his work has awaken my writing senses. He’s a mad man. I want to be a mad woman. I never want to hold back ever again when I write.

“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead”

On Tuesday my husband talked about the things we do to recharge. He also tapped into some of the things I deal with mentally (anxiety and depression). I also deal with PTSD.

Mental health was a taboo topic growing up. It was forbidden to talk about depression because it led to be being accused that you weren’t a believer. As I got older and told people about some of things that happened to me, they always asked if I went to counseling. “No” was always my response. I’ve seen a mixture of the raised eyebrows, a jaw-drop, or a ‘trying really hard not to show any expression’ look.

I encourage counseling. Do not let anyone discourage you from it.

Overall, my hope is found in Jesus. Jesus is my anchor. Only truth and stability that I have experienced.

When the motions of life, and- mental health come crashing in, seek truth.

With love,

Angebel

Roots of Recharging

As for today, today is recharge. This week, we are honoring Mental Health Awareness Month as it is last full week of May. Yet overall, we try to incorporate a lot of mental health into each week’s themes.

My wife and I both have our coping skills. We both have our things that we resort to when our mental health weighs heavy.

My wife said I could put this in here- although I won’t go much into detail. My wife is so much more open with things than myself. I am extremely vague, perhaps a little over the top, but I don’t want her business out there. My wife struggles with anxiety and depression. When her depression gets heavy, she resorts to music and writing. Music has a way of her relating to the lyrics and drowning out the heaviness of the depression. The melody is soothing. When her anxiety takes over her mind, she resorts to working out, cleaning, and writing. My wife has mentioned how much she has utilized working out to control her anxiety. Many don’t realize that exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant. Working out releases good hormones in your body and makes your brain feel good. It relaxes her. While she also has weight loss goals, mentally for her, health & fitness promotes growth and hope. It gives her something to look forward to. She is a writer as well- and when her mental health weighs heavy, she takes out a notebook and begins to write. There is never a pen or paperout of sight at our place. Writing is definitely therapeutic and very helpful to let things out. Above all else though- my wife prays. And that is the most utilized form of coping that I have observed her do. She prays in the good and she’s on her knees fighting in the spirit in the bad. Praying, reading the bible, and listening to worship music gives her the ultimate most accountability and strength. It gives her perspective, rejuvenation, and she is reminded that she is not alone. It gives her peace and reminds her who she is through His eyes. She is a woman filled with joy, so much so that I cannot even comprehend it. She never remains low for long. I truly believe it is solely because of her relationship with Jesus and the security she has in the word of God that gets her by. Everything else is just an add-on. She always likes to be happy and joyful. That is just her nature. But when the heaviness comes, when bitterness strikes, when hard times hit, my wife remains solid, a rock, and pushes through things with such courage and such humility. I admire her most of all.

 

As for myself, I am very internal when it comes to dealing with things. I always have been for all of my life. If something can’t be solved through logics, I am rather clueless. Handling with emotions is something that is a barrier. My passion for health and fitness began some years ago. And ever since then I have channeled my heaviness of my mental health into that. It has become one of my greatest passions of all. Working out puts me in such a different place mentally and emotionally. My mind feels amazing when working out and even long after. I just feel great. Everything kind of disappears in the gym and all is calm in my mind. The gym is definitely my happy place. Writing has been my first source of coping since I am a teenager. Due to not being verbal or being vulnerable, I used writing as my outlet. It was just me and the pages with no one else to see or judge. Writing was one of my first passions, and it remains one of the best methods of letting thoughts out. I spill things through ink that no one else has or ever will see. It is one of my greatest releases. I actually have been called a neat freak and OCD a lot. I cannot tolerate filth. With that, I am always cleaning. It really does help me. I resort a lot to cleaning when things feel out of control. I also enjoy cooking. It feels as if I am always in the kitchen meal prepping or cooking something. Food is the way to a man’s heart. I like having something to do, and with cooking, your mind is distracted prepping food. Music is many peoples coping skill. Music has a way of drowning out the chaos. Listening to good lyrics brings comfort. It’s always something to go back to, melody and words. When hard times hit, I try to resort to praying like my wife does. Although I am not spiritually on the same level, I am not where I once was. Growing up, God was used as a weapon and I wasn’t taught that He is loving. Being with my wife, I’ve learned the absolute opposite of that. There are times all I resort to is worship music; even in the gym. It brings me a lot of peace.

What is your healthy coping method?

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Take Care of Your Mental Health

Happy Mental Health Awareness Month.

While we are more into the end of the month, we are still in it, so let’s talk about it. It shouldn’t have to take May or Mental Health Awareness Month to talk about mental health.

There are over 200 mental health diagnosis. The symptoms to them range from the unnoticeable to all the most evidently clear.

It all comes down to self-care.

Many take any “support” they can take. Self care includes cutting out people that do not care for you. Not everyone is for you. Self-care is regular therapist visits, healthy coping methods, and self-love and respect.

It is so very important and completely necessary that you have at least one coping skill. Lets face it- we all need a coping skill no matter what walk of life we come from, if we have a mental health diagnosis or we don’t, etc. Find a healthy coping skill to release your energy into. Many people, including many of those struggling with a mental health diagnosis, fall victim to drug and alcohol dependency or even another type of addiction. The problem is that we don’t learn healthy coping skills and wind up utilizing unhealthy things to fill some kind of hole.

Take care of yourselves!

-Wishing you a life of health,

Jason & Angebel

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Foundation.

Sorry it’s been so long. We had a lot of personal things on our plate, and life got hectic. We are so happy to be back.

Have you ever listened to the song by The Pretenders “I’ll stand by you”? I gave this song to my wife a while back. I actually gave it to her before we were even married. My wife and I have been married for 5 months now. We have been friends for almost two and a half years. We actually knew each other in 2015, but we didn’t officially become friends till the following year. Throughout the two and a half years, I must say that my wife and I have been through so much stuff. Not taking away or minimizing what other people go through; but so many people say that statement whilst taking away its actual value of the statement in itself. My wife and I have went through things that many couples never even go through their entire married life. We went through things before we were married. Our problems were so grate, our love is so much greater. I would say overall of the song is exactly the name of it – I will stand by you no matter what. That means that whatever your partner is going through, you will stand by them. I have become fascinated with personality types. In the recent discovery of which one I am, I have discovered so much about myself. I seriously felt like I was reading a book of someone who was inside my head. With that being said, my personality type is INTJ, and if you have never looked it up, INTJ’s are known to be one of the most loyal there is. Due to us being very reserved by nature, we don’t let people in, our circles are very small in quantity but very great in quality. We do not seek out social interaction for the sake of just interaction. We enjoy the company of those who challenge us and allow our minds to think. Once you have our loyalty, it is loyalty that is hard to come across and really hard to break.  When I dedicated this song to my wife, even though we weren’t married yet, she had that deep loyalty that I have rarely given to anyone in my life. I gave her the song because of everything she had went through in her life. I wanted to protect her. Whoever hurt her, hurt me. In my darkest hour she came first. That should remain in a marriage: protection of each other’s hearts. I don’t freely let people in. I am an all or nothing type of man. I am either going to be loyal to the end of life, or I am not there at all. With me, there is no in between. My loyalty with my wife was there before we were even in a relationship. I loved her so intensely it is hard to put into words.  When I love, I love very deep and very intense. My loyalty to individuals is rare, but once it is there, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for you. I could name a handful of people who I have ever given my loyalty like that to in my life. Once my loyalty is that deep, it is very difficult to break.

Within marriage, and even a relationship, we should stand by our partner with loyalty. In order to get to marriage we must show that type of loyalty. If your partner is not for you on this earth, why would you want them by your side? In actuality, they are not on your actual side.  Ultimately, this will create turmoil in the end; perhaps not long after. You should be able to have security with your partner. My loyalty to my wife is so deep and so intense, it is hard to even be able to put it into words. It is deeper than I have it for towards any person on this earth.

When troubles come your way, do you hold onto your partner or do you drift away? I will be the first one to admit that I find it difficult to put emotions into things. When something is emotional I do not like to have people close to me. I have always been isolated. This can wreak havoc in your relationship/marriage. Instead of broadcasting your problems on social media, talking to friends, family,  or other people, you should be clinging onto your partner. You should be communicating with them and keeping your personal business within just the two of you. It shouldn’t be anyone else’s business to put their opinion into your relationship. In clinging onto anyone else for support in any way at all, your partner will most likely lose trust for you. Your partner- specifically your spouse, they are for life. Well, not in many cases in this society. But, when we make that commitment, we are saying not just “I do” until whatever happens, we are saying “I do” forever, through better or for worse, in sickness and in health. People do not understand the value of this covenant. Until they do, people will treat marriage like it is of little to no importance. You make no covenant with anyone else besides your spouse. It is so sacred that you actually become one with someone else. When hard times hit, remember that. Remember that you are not one with anyone else on this planet. You should make it your job to continuously pursue to work through things with your partner and keep your business within yourselves.

How do you view your spouse in trying times?

If we valued our spouse the way that we value other things, how much more successful do you think marriages would be? Instead of valuing money, materialistic things, etc, how about valuing your spouse? Let me be completely frank with you- your spouse should be your treasure. Do you understand that? They should be the most treasurable thing on this earth. There are things that circle that state that it is ridiculous to say that there is someone out there “meant for us”. Allow me to put my insight in on this. Many times, before we are married we were in a relationship or even a handful prior to marriage.  People believe that all a relationship takes is communication, trust, and loyalty. That is so completely foolish. If so, tell me why people have feelings for their ex’s while being with someone else, even long after they broke up? It is because not everyone is compatible. Imagine this- God made you and He made your spouse. He designed someone specifically for you and you alone. He literally handpicked out someone just for you. All this garbage saying that you can make it work with anyone sounds completely foolish. You cannot make it work with everyone. There is a reason why you make it to marriage with only one person. There is a reason why it didn’t work out with anyone else. Why? It was not supposed to work out. That’s why. Imagine you are a pirate on a ship searching for treasure. Ultimately, the treasure is what every pirate wants. You see, we were given the greatest treasure of all when Jesus gave us His treasure of our spouse that he designed for us. Whats inside your treasure chest? Is it filled with greed, selfishness, materialistic things, other things that take up your time and effort? We can have all the money in the world, and still be poor. Money doesn’t make you rich in the things that matter. That could explain why a significant amount of the financially wealthy are miserable. You see, Jesus views marriage as a covenant, sacred, a union that He does not want to ever break. When trying times hit, do you isolate from your spouse? Become cold and distant? Not speak to them? Sleep in separate rooms? Or do you hold them close and encourage them and tell them you will get through it, together. If we understood marriage the way it was ultimately designed, we would pursue marriage the way He sees it. You see, marriage is your treasure. Your spouse, through better OR for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do you part. Do you understand those vows? Even if you don’t have a Christ-centered background, those vows are the ones used when you get married. Not until death shall you be separated from your spouse. That is the way it is intended to be. You are not one flesh only if something goes right, only if you see eye to eye, only if they agree with your opinion, only if they don’t annoy you, only if you like them on that day. You become one flesh and you remain one flesh through it all. If we understood the  depth of what marriage really is, we would place so much value into it and our spouses overall. God first, your marriage second. That is literally how it goes. Nothing and no one should come between  that. When trying times hit, and believe me they will, hold onto the idea of the analogy of a pirate looking for treasure. You will not find real treasure with materialistic things, money, etc. Hold onto the idea that we are all pirates on a ship unknowingly searching for treasure. And once we find the x marks the spot, we have completed the journey. Once we found our spouse, our life partner, the person we will be with till death do we part, we have completed our journey. We have found our most valuable and prized treasure. When hard times hit, try and remember that God designed this person for you. And even in trying times, that should still stand. This person should  be your treasure. Your marriage should be your greatest treasure in this life. Many times we fail to realize that through storms also comes a beautiful rainbow. If you honor your spouse through trying times and remain by their side, that storm can actually bring you closer together. It is all matter of choice. Choose to honor them through the good and the bad. You will fall in love with them all over again. Believe me, there is truth to this.

Vows are a foundation. When we say for better or worse – that means, when the better comes, I’m standing with you. When the worst comes, I’m standing for you. When you are healthy, I’m standing, When sick, I’m standing. Marriage is death until we part, not until we are tired of trying. Marriage is the most sacred. It calls for the most ultimate loyalty, dedication, protection. We must give all that we have. And not hold onto anything that isn’t healthy to our marriage, out of God’s will, and that’ll count as lost . We must never have the mentality “just because I’m married doesn’t mean that I’m going to give [something] up” Marriage needs a foundation, and that is God. In order to love our spouse better, we must continuously feed ourselves with God’s word/love. When we constantly remind ourselves of what Christ did for us, as individuals, yep us sinners, we are able to love so freely and unconditionally; that’s how we keep christ in the center. Our foundation. When we lean on our own understanding, our thoughts, our feelings,  (which changes everyday), we flake and crumble, and it could lead to sin. A foundation has to be irresistibly solid. We must not lean on ourselves. The Bible says that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) Meaning no revising. He says it, it’s done. So who would we lean on? Solidarity or ourselves- the flakes? We must understand that our thoughts can sometimes lead us off track. We must hold on to the word that is true and never changing.

When it comes to your marriage or relationship, if that foundation shakes, what happens?

Things crumble. If the base is not established – nothing will grow. No progress. Nothing will stack up/amount up. We should be glued to our spouse. Due to the sacredness of it through God’s eyes, we are glued. He views family as important, love, helping, being kind, etc. But above all else, His word says that we become one flesh with our spouse. To Him, on this earth, nothing should come before Him and then a marriage. With that being said, becoming one flesh is like being glued to each other. If one falls, the other does. Or, at least they should. No where in the Bible does it say anything being a covenant or sacred the way it talks about marriage. In His eyes, it is so incredibly sacred that He hates divorce. We are truly one with someone else once we become married. And I think many do not or cannot comprehend the capacity of the depth of that. On this earth, it is Him and then a marriage if that happens.

I, many times, forget the depth of it. The way that He views marriage is so deep that people cannot even comprehend it. It is a union, a covenant, something so sacred to Him. It breaks His heart to see it crumble. I have an extremely difficult time with intimacy. I don’t always know how to see marriage the way He sees it. The Bible is so clear on what it says marriage is. Often times, people don’t treat marriage as a valuable treasure if you will. And to God, that’s exactly what it is. He designed someone for you and he is giving you a gift. To Him- it’s the most valuable gift earthly wise that can be given. That’s why it is so important that it not be broken. Think about this. God made us all. And He said this is the person I designed for this person. They will have a union and it shall not be broken. They are designed for each other for life. He handpicks our spouse and says that. Like take here, this is a gift from me to you. Learn, grow, love, experience intimacy, and value this marriage and this person. A marriage should be our greatest treasures on this earth. Often times, it is not. And that isn’t God’s heart. The song by the pretenders “I’ll Stand By You” May not be a Christian song. But it actually is exactly what we should be doing in marriages. Through better or for worse in sickness and in health, till death do we part. Look at those vows. Til death do we part. How powerful. Not only in good, not if we like the person, not if they are being nice, etc. But you stand by them through everything because it’s what He wants.