Mental Health · Wellness

I Hate Being Sick

I really hate being sick. The last few days have sucked! I’ve been sick and felt super useless, which is super hard for me to accept. I stand up to get something done, and then I feel dizzy. Being sick is the worst, especially when you have so much to do! I hate asking for help.

I’ve had to cancel appointments. I even had to call into work yesterday which is something I never do, EVER. It was defeating at first, because I felt like I was letting everyone down. I feel like I’m annoying my boyfriend from being so useless.

What use is thinking that way going to do? Okay, I’m trying really hard to flip this mindset into something more positive. For example, being sick does suck, but it’s the universe telling you to slow down. Take a breather, and take some time for you. It’s okay to ask for help, others feel good when they can do something for someone else.

But, I don’t have time to sit around and do nothing. I have so much to do!

Make time.

Your well being is most important, and clearly at this level of responsibility, you cannot prioritize yourself so you need to work on that. You can’t help others until you help yourself first. You need to fuel your gas tank before you can get to where you need to go.

So yesterday I took it easy, relaxed, and just sent some emails. I did do meal prep, but I took it slow and paced myself with Sims 4 breaks in between. Sometimes you just need to let your body drive, rather than your mind. Your body will get you through, you just need to give it time and fuel.

So today, I’m feeling a little bit better, and all I want to do is kick it into overdrive again and get everything done, but instead I’m pacing myself, studying for 1 hour, and then taking a break, repeat. Taking medicine, drinking water. Relaxing.

It probably sounds really silly to some of you, but these things are such huge accomplishments for me. Learning how to me there for myself is something I’m really proud of. Everyone deserves to be cared for, even you, by you.

Take care of yourself today because you owe it to yourself. ♥️

xo,

A3D7EE3D-F666-4772-AE13-C37CADDE24A6

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Mental Health · Wellness

Transitions

Hi it’s me with some more bungled thoughts. Sorry for the really long break; it’s been a really busy few weeks!!

Update: I feel like I’m running on a hamster wheel from the moment I wake up in the morning, until the moment I close my eyes at night. The last few weeks, adjusting to full time school and work, have been really overwhelming. (I’m just covering extra shifts at work right now because we are short staffed).

I am definitely discovering boundaries and limits which is really foreign territory for me. I always went on as a yes man, always saying yes and getting it done, until I’d crash and burn. I’m realizing that it’s one of my greatest weaknesses.

I’m FINALLY learning that it’s okay to say NO. It’s okay to skip out on something, to take time for you, and to prioritize your own mental health. It’s a little harder when it’s work and school, but the idea still stands.

To say I’m stressed at the moment is an understatement, but I lack the ability to self-sooth it, so I’m just running around in circles, (hence the hamster wheel metaphor). I feel myself falling into what I call “a bad luck spiral”, where it’s just constant bad things happening to you because they’re happening to you and you focus on them, so more bad things happen.

My bad luck spiral this week includes: making silly mistakes at work, having my car battery die, and then continue to die, and not having time to get a new battery so many many jump starts, having to cancel appointments, my referral for seeing a psychologist was cancelled because they were given the wrong phone number so I wasn’t answering their calls, forgetting things at home and being late, the list goes on. I know that these things are happening due to a lack of time and too many commitments. It’s my natural habitat, what can I say.

I’m trying to juggle everything, and be perfect for everyone, and I’m turn, not putting my best work out there. I’m making mistakes at work, being late for events, and falling behind in school. My anxiety is through the roof.

The good news is that I’ve put in a request for less hours ASAP because I’m mega struggling. I’m also talking to loved ones about what I’m going through which is really helping. I’m getting another referral to talk to someone. I’m trying so hard to solidify my boundaries and limits for future reference.

We will persevere. We will conquer. We will accomplish. ♥️

xo,

A3D7EE3D-F666-4772-AE13-C37CADDE24A6

Mental Health · Wellness

#MakeupAndASmile

“But you don’t look…”

I’m gunna stop you right there, pal. Illness, mental health struggles, emotions, pain; they don’t always have a look. Sometimes the happiest looking people are the ones who need a hug the most.

It’s important to remember that everyone is fighting a battle in their own mind, in their own way, at their own pace. Just because someone is smiling, it does not mean they are happy. Just because someone is wearing makeup, it does not mean that they are feeling confident.

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Processed with VSCO with aga3 preset

This photo represents happy me. It’s a selfie I would probably post on social media. The key here is that it represents my happiness. Looks can be deceiving.

F9EAED19-8FE8-4226-9AC2-C4B7C864E856

The following photo is a compilation of some thoughts that race through my head on the average day. My depression and anxiety often get the best of me, but putting these thoughts out there is helping me improve.

So here’s my #makeupandasmile post. I was so thankful when @lifeoflittlethings reached out to me about this campaign because these are conversations that NEED to happen more often. People need to know that they aren’t alone. Let’s start the conversation. Let’s see your #makeupandasmile post. Let’s hear your story.

xo,

A3D7EE3D-F666-4772-AE13-C37CADDE24A6

Mental Health · Positivity · Wellness

Dear Body,

I’m sorry. I’m still learning to love you. Every day I’m trying, now. I’ve spent so many years hating you when I was thin and when I was larger. I don’t want to hate you anymore, because you’ve never done me wrong. When you carried me through the best moments of my life, I still hated you. You did nothing but be there for me. You digest my favourite foods, allow me to feel so many things, let me see my surroundings. I’ve spent so much time trying to hide you from the world.

That ends today. You are nothing to be ashamed of. You are not something that needs to be hidden from the world. I don’t hate you anymore, at least I’m trying not to. I’m grateful for you. I’m trying every day to be grateful for you. You are always there when I need you to take me where I need to go. You are always there to calm me of my anxiety. I’m trying to love you body, and I will continue to try my best to love you each and everyday. All of you.

🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷

Why is society’s standard to not be body positive? It’s like if you’re confident about your body you’re a narcissist or something. What is so wrong with showing ourselves some love?!

They tell you on the airplane to secure your mask before helping another. You take time off work if you’re sick. You go to work and/or school every day to better yourself.

So why is ~simply~ being positive about your body so hard? Why are we influenced and encouraged to be insecure, (not intentionally of course)?

It’s taken years of bullshit and vastly deteriorating mental health to get to this point. I’m still struggling everyday. The most important things is that we don’t give up. I’m hitting a point in life where there’s no way out but self love. The universe has slapped me in the face because I’ve neglected myself for so long, and I must grow.

We’re all on this together. Check yourself out. Drink water. Move your body. Fuel your body. Feed your soul. Buy yourself a cupcake. Eat the cupcake. Repeat.

xo,

A3D7EE3D-F666-4772-AE13-C37CADDE24A6

Mental Health · Wellness

My Body Rollercoaster

I try and camouflage how big 
I am on social media so no 
one else knows the shameful
truth: I’ve gained weight.

This past month has been really, really shitty; I won’t put it lightly. I hold myself to these ridiculous standards like: Summer months are your good months, why are you depressed? You’re supposed to be happy. You’re supposed to be skinny. You’re supposed to be organized. It’s been over 2 years, why can’t you let it go?

Today I’m going to dive into my body cycle over the past 8 years, and the experiences that accompanied it.

A little back story here: 2 1/2 years ago I experienced what to me was a traumatic experience, which shocked me to my core. I am still recovering from it. I’ve realized that until recently, I have been neglecting myself because of these standards I’ve placed on myself.

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Because of this experience I developed panic disorder and very acute anxiety, which eventually lead to sleeping pills, antidepressants, and a whole lot of weight gain. Unfortunately, this all made it worse. I was feeling really good in November, and actually decided to come off of my medications, which was a HUGE victory for me.

I thought I was ready, but I see now that I wasn’t. “Just because you have high days, it doesn’t mean you are over your anxiety. It is always going to be there! You will just get better at dealing with it,” was something I was told back when I first started counselling. It was scary because I thought she was supposed to be able to fix me, and take it away!

Since then, I’ve come a long way, but I still have an even longer way to go.

Because of this weight gain, I’m experiencing the body that I’ve always convinced myself I already had. I’ve struggled with body image since back in grade 8 when I was severely tormented for my body, even though I wasn’t even big at all. Girls would throw toxic words st me like confetti, like “tank,” etc. I can assure you I was never a weaponized army vehicle, let alone big enough to be referred to as a tank. I was scared to go to school, and I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere.

I developed an eating disorder in grade 9, in which I would bend over in my bathroom mirror every morning, and if I saw any rolls, I wouldn’t eat that day. I would only nibble enough so my mom wouldn’t get suspicious. I’d throw up the remainder. I was so thin, and so unhealthy. The worst part of all of this? I didn’t even know it. I had been convinced that I was fat and that I was a problem.

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Luckily, I overcame this. I couldn’t actually tell you why, whether it was my soul revamping my path, my love for food overcoming my excessive need to be thin, or some other miracle; I overcame it.

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Young minds are so influential, and so vulnerable. I actually didn’t comprehend a lot of this damage until recently when I started councilling. It bites me in the ass to this day. Even after I overcame my disorder, and I was SO SMALL, I was convinced I was huge.

Fast forward 8 years, and I now see myself as that same girl in highschool, except this time, I am a tank. Or at least that’s what I’ve convinced myself because I actually am “fat” now.

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This is a new body for me and I’m trying to navigate my way through life in it. I try and camouflage how big I am on social media so no one else knows the shameful truth: I’ve gained weight. I’ll use poses and clothes. I’m in denial because I don’t see myself as that big, but then I see photos, and I realize how big I am. I have a tendency to lash out. It’s not right, it’s no one else’s fault.

You need to surround yourself with people who don’t treat your insecurities as inconvenient because they are what make you human. They are no one else’s problem but your own, but you also need support.

I decided to start taking care of myself, because no one else is going to. It is my responsibility to be there for me. I can’t wait to share my new journey that you guys soon!! Until now, I’m still holding myself accountable to a spot where I can share.

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Processed with VSCO with l3 preset

There’s my rollercoaster for the day. Some much needed back story for you guys to understand some of my past. This comparison was done to show myself something: what is similar in all of these pictures? I am unhappy!! I’ve been unhappy at any size. So it’s time for me to accept the skin I’m in and be happy REGARDLESS. I’m starting a happiness journey and I can’t wait to share!

Reminder: it’s OKAY to be skinny.
It’s OKAY to be fat. It’s OKAY 
to be ANYTHING YOU WANT TO BE. 
But it’s IMPORTANT to make sure 
you’re happy, too.

This is My Body rollercoaster so far. It’s not perfect, but it’s what’s brought me to this moment in my life, so I’m grateful. I am so, so thankful for this community and everyone I’ve met so far. Thank you, thank you. ♥️

 

xo,

A3D7EE3D-F666-4772-AE13-C37CADDE24A6

Knowledge · Mental Health · Wellness

Self care?

So far my 20’s have been a mess, in the sense that the transition from living under the guidance and authority of my parents, to being completely my own person. Recently, I’ve hit a wall and come to some hard realizations: I have absolutely no skills in self care. I have no idea when to take a break, when to let things go, when to put myself first, or even what taking care of myself feels like.

I have a habit of imploding when things go bad, and instead of taking time to get trough it, I distract myself with everything and everything. This just leads to me burning out and bottling up the original problems, which is not super healthy. So, instead of continuing down this path and sulking about it, I’m deciding to research, speaking to loved ones, and figuring out how the fuck to be 22.

I need to figure out self care. This may sound silly, because some of you may have developed these skills when you were 5, but I’m realizing it’s okay to learn things later in life!

Step 1: What is self care?

I see people talking about self care days/routines. What does this even mean? When do you do this? What do I do? Well it’s different for everyone.

Self care for one person may not work for another, and that’s okay! Self care is about putting yourself first, and letting yourself grow and breathe.

For some people, that is bath bombs, a good book, and some alone time.

For others, it’s catching up with a loved one you haven’t seen in a while, and journaling your thoughts.

For me, I still don’t quite know yet, but realizing I need to find out is the first step!

Step 2: What makes you happy?

For the next week I’m going to write down things that make me feel good, and sift through and find ones that I can easily do when I’m not feeling great.

Example: Walks usually help me clear my head. I love to be in nature, and to even photograph it. So nature walks and photography can definitely be on that list.

Keep doing this until you have 5/6 items on your list, (which forces you to be creative and think deep), and then pick your top 3.

Step 3: When the heck do you use self care?

This is the hard one for me. I feel like I don’t deserve to take care of myself, or I need to take care of someone else. Well just like they say on airplanes: “secure your oxygen mask before assisting someone else”. How can you expect to be there for someone else if you’re a mess yourself?

It’s frickin hard I know, but you deserve to be happy, too; I promise.

To figure this one out, I thought back to the times I felt the worst:

  • Arguments with loved ones, whether parents, friends, significant others, etc. This is when I’d feel the most emotionally out of control and depressed.
  • When I’m on my period, o tend to feel really low energy, low mood. I know that this is a symptom of this time of the month, but I tend to convince myself that it’s just me and not what’s going on in my body. Big mistake! Don’t underestimate your hormones.
  • When a traumatic experience happens, whether a death, break up, loss of job, etc. These times are hard, and you need to be there for yourself more than ever.
  • When I’m overly stressed out about school or work I tend to feel really bad.
  • Some days, there is no reason. Some days I just wake up and feel like shit, and THAT’S OKAY TOO!
  • Your answers may be the exact same or different, but it’s important to think back to the times you’ve felt the worst. This is when you need self care the most.

Step 4: Remember!

You don’t have to be at your worst to practice self care, this is just the most important time to have these skills!
Sometimes it’s good to take care of yourself on a regular basis REGARDLESS of how you’re feeling.

Also remember that you deserve self care and love just as much as anyone else. You are human; you make mistakes.

Step 5: Is that it?

Pretty much. Sounds easy, right? Well it’s not going to be easy, but we have to try and stick with it. Whatever helps you stick to self care, use it.

I have a hard time doing things for myself because of my insecurities and self doubt, I tell myself I don’t deserve it. What is helping me is telling myself that I’m doing it for those around me. It is important, though, for me to teach myself that at the end of the day, it is for myself, too.

This was a hard thing to open up about because it’s pretty embarrassing to say at 22 I have no idea how to take care of myself. Realizing this is the first step. Then to act on it, and to continue to act on it.

We will get there. ♥️

xo,

A3D7EE3D-F666-4772-AE13-C37CADDE24A6

Mental Health · Wellness

3 coping methods for anxiety and panic that actually work for me!

Box breathing?

Meditation?

Standing in the grass?

These methods may work for you, but they don’t work for me,  and that’s okay! Different things work for different people, and I hope someone else out there finds use and comfort from the techniques that work for me.

“The 5 senses”

For this method to work the best, it is important that you are saying these sentences out loud, and actually sensing your surroundings. For touch? Actually feel the objects. For smell? Actually smell the scents you are talking about. Say it to yourself and listen.
1. First, sit or stand up so you can see your entire room.
2. “What are 5 things that I can see?” Colours, objects, people, etc.
3. “What are 4 things that I can touch?” Actually touch and feel these things.
4. “What are 3 things I can hear?”
5. “What are 2 things you can smell?”
6. “What is 1 thing you can taste?”

When you focus on your senses, and show yourself that they are working properly, it can work wonders to take over your anxiety and be comforting. This method can help to ground you.

“Tell someone”

As an extrovert, sometimes I can’t process the thoughts in my head until I get them out. When you are in a crazy cycle of anxiety and your mind is going a mile a minute, it can be impossible to process your thoughts. Having both of these things happen at once? Implosion waiting to happen.

Therefore, something that really helps me is to talk to someone I love and trust. Lately, my boyfriend is the master of this role. Now all I have to say is “I’m feeling very anxious,” or “why am I so anxious,” and he gets the hint and helps me sort out my thoughts.

its amazing what hearinngnyour own thoughts can do. Say what your anxious about, and try and put it into words.  It will probably sound silly but that’s the point. Allow yourself to feel silly; it will help ground you!

“HALT”

I actually found this method by watching Jane the Virgin. Who would of thought, hey?
Anyways, HALT is an acronym that stands for: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. This method takes a little bit of time and effort to work because you have to remind yourself that it exists when you need it most.
I recommend writing “HALT” on sticky notes around your house to remind you when you are first starting out.

Really all you need to do is say “HALT” for a second when you’re feeling hopeless and/or anxious, and ask yourself, what am I feeling right now? Am I hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?

These are the major causes of stress and anxiety, and 9.9 times out of 10 are a contributing factor to why you’re feeling emotionally out of control.

While it may not be 100% responsible, it definitely helps ground you, and being comfort knowing that anxiety is a symptom of other factors.

———————————————————

Most times, I’m just stressed about something, and this stress is allowing all of my rationality to exit my mind. Sometimes just taking my focus off of what I’m worried about can fix everything.

While these strategies may not work for everyone, they really work for me. I hope that someone can add one of these tools to their “toolbox”, and can get some relief when feeling anxious.

xo,

A3D7EE3D-F666-4772-AE13-C37CADDE24A6

Wellness

“Mercury in Retrograde”??

What the heck does that mean?? I’m here to help!

What does Retrograde mean?

“Retrograde” is actually an optical illusion! It happens when there is a change in the motion of a planet through our skies. It may look like they are moving backwards in their orbit, but this is not the case.

On any normal day, planets are moving in a “prograde” motion from west to east through our skies, but a “retrograde” motion is when they are moving east to west, or backwards, periodically. Like I said before, this is just an illusion.

For example, if Mars is in “prograde”, then “retrograde”, then “prograde”, etc., this illusion is caused because Earth is moving faster in its orbit than is Mars. So while we are behind Mars in orbit, it will appear to be going forwards, and as we pass, it will appear to be going backwards.

Why should I care?

As explained by Sara Coughlin from refinery29, “retrogrades can be a time of delayed progress and disruption”, and each planet can affect us in a different way.

Examples being Mercury affecting our communication with others, Venus, our love lives, and Mars, everything related to conflict.

Summer 2018 is a big year for retrogrades, as there are 7 happening! That is a lot of disruption in our day to day lives.

Over the last few months, you may have been feeling like you can’t do anything right. Heightened frustration, anxiety, depression, etc. Just remember that the stars could be contributing more than you’re giving them credit for.

What can I do about it?

Whether or not you believe in the affects of the stars and planets, just remember to be patient with yourself and others, and focus on your communication.

1. Take everything one day at time: Take breaks when you need to. It’s okay to sit a social event out of yours not feeling yourself.

2. Talk to your support system: Others may be experiencing the same feelings as you, and it’s really nice not to feel alone.

3. Research: I don’t know about you, but one thing that helps me feel more at ease is to understand what I’m going through, and why I’m feeling the way I do. I hope this post helped your understanding of retrogrades at least a little bit.

We are all on this together.

xo,

A3D7EE3D-F666-4772-AE13-C37CADDE24A6