Visualize Your Best Self to Build Confidence

Visualize Your Best Self to Build Confidence

Why Visualize Your Best Self?

Why would you want to visualize your best self?  Well, for a few reasons.

  1. Visualizing will remind you of how capable you are.
  2. Visualizing this will give you something to strive and work towards.
  3. And! Visualizing will help you gain confidence as you check off your list.

How To Visualize Your Best Self

Here’s your homework:

Answer these questions and write them down on a sheet of paper.

  • What words would you describe yourself?
  • Where is the best version of you living?
  • What job do you have?
  • Are you traveling the world, or are you settled into a cozy home?
  • Who are the most important people in your life? What roles do these people play?
  • What does a regular day look like, and what challenges do you face?
  • How are you dressing?
  • What hobbies do you have? What do you do in your leisure time?
  • How are you physically and mentally different as the best version of yourself?

Write your answers down and refer to them often. If you’re a more visual person like me, print out some inspiration photos and make a collage out of it! I made a few pages of collages for my dream home and it brightens my day every time I look at it.

My best self would look a little like this…

I see myself as energized, strong and confident. I see my best self living on a small farm filled with chickens and a few dairy cows. An ordinary day of the week would consist of feeding and caring for animals, spending time with family and friends, playing with my dogs, painting, blogging, and building furniture.

So try it out!

What does your best self look like? Share in the comments!

If you liked this post, Read This: How To Build Confidence Like A Pro

SaveSave

What To Do When You’re Depressed

What To Do When You’re Depressed

Mental illness is a thorn in the side. Often times you’re able to function but not to your fullest capacity. Recently my depression has been trying to take hold of my life again, and I’ve been really struggling. I wrote this post to remind myself (and most importantly you) what we should be doing when we’re feeling a little extra depressed.

If you’ve been diagnosed with depression you might chuckle at a few of these tips because the struggle is REAL. Ordinary people don’t seem to understand that these basic daily chores are difficult, if not impossible.

Let’s continue.

Take a shower

As obvious as this may sound, it’s needs to be said. Why? I’ll be the first to admit that while I’m in a deep depression, I skip the shower some days. I know it sounds a little gross but it’s a lot more common than you may think.

It’s a huge understatement to say that depression is a huge downer. It keeps you from leaving your bed, and in turn, showering.

Do your chores

At very least, you can get up and do your chores. As someone with depression, I know that getting up and doing chores is the worst, but I promise you’ll feel accomplished after! And if that wasn’t enough to keep you going throughout the day, then go back to resting! There’s no shame in trying. At least you accomplished something!

(Write down your chores in your gratitude journal).

Rest, but not too long

Having depression is exhausting, so take a rest! But make sure you’re not growing roots in your mattress. You battle with this everyday and you deserve a little rest. For those of you with mental illness, you’re badasses! What’s more exhausting than going through the struggles of daily life with that piled on top?

Not everyone understands that struggle.

Eat healthy

Obviously, eating better will make your body feel better. Therefore, your mind will feel better. Also, you’ll feel better about yourself if you make yourself something delicious. You leave no room for negative self talk that says, “Why’d you eat that you tub-o-lard?”

For the record, you’re not allowed to talk to yourself like that anyway, but be proactive! I know how that goes…

Call your mom

Or call that trusted loved one. They always know how to make you feel better.

Spoil your animals

Oh baby! This is one of my favorite things to do! There’s no better pick-me-up than spoiling my fur babies! Replace their old ratty toys, and give them a luxurious bath.

Low budget? Take them on a walk, play with them, or DIY a new toy out of ratty old t-shirts or rope! Pinterest is your friend.

Spoil your self

I wasn’t going to forget you! You deserve some spoiling too! I know you all work your asses off so don’t neglect that sweet, sweet pampering.

Give yourself a pedi/mani, coconut oil treat your entire body, buy a new book, take a class on something you want to learn, bake yourself that delicious dessert you’ve been eyeing (and share with me), and/or take yourself to lunch.

The options are endless!

Choose happiness

Understand that you control your life, and no mental illness/other person/outside factor controls you. You have the ability to choose to be happy or not. I know it’s a tough thing to hear, because I understand you can’t “just be happy”. Trust me, I know. I’ve been there.

But! You can choose to see the good in the world, and you can choose to be that bright warm beacon of light for yourself and others. Be your own hero. Just make the choice first.

Do you want this depression to control your life, or do you control your life? Do you want to be depressed all the time, or do you want to be happy? Make the choice, and take steps in the direction you see yourself.

Share your story

And, if you can build up the courage, share your story. Even if you’re only comfortable sharing your story with your loved ones, do that. You’ll give them the chance to understand you more fully. The love and trust will grow, and your relationship will flourish.

Hey, you might even encourage someone else to speak up about their struggle with mental illness.

Now get out there and change lives people!

 

Did you like this post? Learn What NOT TO DO When You’re Depressed

SaveSave

What NOT TO DO When You’re Depressed

What NOT TO DO When You’re Depressed

Over the past decade or so, I’ve learned a lot about not only my depression but I also went to school for it as well. That’s kind of one of the reasons I went to school for Psychology. (More on that later). 

I’ve compiled a collection of “anti-recommendations” for depression.

DON’T get out of routine

For the love of coffee! Do not get out of your routine. Sure, be lenient with your routine if you must but don’t fully neglect it. Us humans like routine and we should stick to it. Get up, shower, and feed yourself. Routine is good for your mental health and it keeps you glued together. Not only is routine good for your mental health, but it’s good for everyone around you. This brings me to my next “not to do”.

DON’T neglect your responsibilities

For the love of your dogs! Do not neglect your responsibilities. You’ll feel like shit if you neglect all the things you need to do. Feed your dogs, walk them, water your plants, feed your kids if you have them, and do your chores. I promise you if don’t neglect your stuff, you will feel so much better. If nothing else, take care of the things that need you and go back to bed. Zzzz…

DON’T lay in bed (too long)

For the love of….! Just kidding. As someone with depression, I know how easy it is to just sink into bed all day and sleep. Sure, some days you need that…when you’re sick.

Give yourself permission to sleep in a bit when you need it, and when you feel up for it…get up.

Then see step one and two.

DON’T eat shitty food

Don’t go for your stockpile of treats and processed shit in your pantry. You’ll feel much better about yourself (not to mention your body will thank you) if you make yourself something delicious and nutritious.

As a huge dessert advocate, treat yourself! Just don’t go overboard to the point where you’ll regret it later.

DON’T sulk over social media

On a day when you’re depressed to the max, it’s easy to sulk in bed all day. And what do you do when you’re in bed? TV and social media. Watch your favorite show and binge the crap out of it. I love those days.

But for the love of your mental health! (Last time, I promise. Haha!) Don’t go on social media if it’ll make you feel like shit. Don’t sulk over perfect instagram models if that’s something that makes me feel inferior.

What to do instead?

Fill your social media accounts with body positive, life positive, and inspiring individuals. Follow people who love their bodies no matter their size and shape. Follow people who advocate being true and genuine, and follow people who want to make the world a better place.

DON’T shut out your loved ones

When your mom calls you to ask if you’ve had your coffee and if you’d like some chilaquiles for breakfast…answer the phone. These people love you and would do anything to make you happy. Don’t be shitty and shut them out because you’re feeling depressed.

I bet talking to them on the phone for a bit will make all your worries go away. Be open with them, tell them what you’re feeling, and talk it out. They might have some stored up words of wisdom and encouragement!

DON’T talk down to yourself

Don’t talk down to yourself. Each time you do this, it chips away at your self-esteem. When you find yourself talking shit…stop and go to your gratitude journal. Make a list of everything you love about yourself.

DON’T change your medication

Don’t mess up all the hard work you’ve done with your medication by self medicating or changing doses. Always consult with your doctor before you make any changes in medication.

DO understand the reality 🙂

Understand that this feeling is temporary. Even for those of us with diagnosed depression, it’s temporary. Who knows, maybe tomorrow, the next day, or next week will be different.

What I’ve learned about depression is that if you let it take control of your life, it will. No matter how hard it is, you need to take control of your life. You can choose happiness.

It’s ugly, sticky, and almost unbearable but it’s worth it to push through the depression and find your happy. The more often you do this, the stronger you’ll get, and the easier it’ll get.

Good luck my friends!

What tactics do you use when you’re feeling depressed?

For those of your with depression, how do you deal?

SaveSave

How I Deal With My Depression

How I Deal With My Depression

I’ve struggled with depression for a long time. I was officially diagnosed with depression a few years ago, and then later diagnosed with PTSD. Although it was only a few years of “officially” being depressed, it didn’t just sprout from nowhere!

I’ve had depression for a while and I’ve coped in many many many different ways—some healthier than others.

Now, if you’re interested in how I’ve dealt with my depression over the years, keep reading.

Let me remind you that I’m an individual with individual needs and concerns. Not all of these tips will work for everyone, but I find that some of these can be universal to many folks.

Exercise

As much as I loathed exercise in the past, I know it’s important for my body and my mind. Why did I loathe exercise? Because I wasn’t doing something that I loved. The body and the mind are interconnected in a way that there is no definitive line between them. This means that both need each other to fully thrive. Healthy body, healthy mind.

My advice? Find something you truly enjoy doing. Don’t follow trends or force yourself to run miles everyday if you completely hate doing it. Exercise can be fun if you find what makes you happy.

I do yoga because it really makes me happy. I like hiking, gardening, and making things. Sometimes your activity doesn’t even have to be labeled as exercise. Walking your dog? Building furniture? Working on the yard? Do that. It gets you moving and it’s productive. Even better.

Eat dessert

As much as I talk about eating healthy (and it’s crazy important), I find a happy balance between eating healthy and eating dessert. Because dessert is life.

Healthy eats are for the body, and dessert is for the soul. Feed the soul, people!

I pamper myself

Lately I’ve been seeing blog posts on Pinterest about how self care is a selfish millennial excuse for pampering. Uhh hell no. Pampering is a way of grooming, and every species grooms themselves for personal hygiene, finding a mate, and social time.

Pampering isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. And pampering doesn’t have to be about nail polish or coconut oil. It can be about drinking tea in a cozy blanket and reading a book. Pampering can be anything that relaxes and revitalizes you.

So pamper on millennials!

Try these natural remedies out!

I push through the depression

I’m hard on myself. I like to get stuff done, and I need to get stuff done, and I hate allowing my depression to take over and keep me in bed all day. I know it may be harsh, but sometimes you just have to push through the depression and get shit done.

Sometimes I’m too hard on myself, and I learn. Other times I relax and take care of myself. I try to find a balance that helps me get stuff done and babying my depression. Some times you have to lay in bed for an extra hour and other times you have to get your ass up and get shit done.

It’s a balance.

I learned gratitude

Oh for the love of dessert! This one is important. I’ll repeat. The most important piece of this post is right here people.

The more grateful I become, the happier I become. Sound crazy?

Well, not very many people talk about it. So! Here I am, telling you to be grateful. And it’s not that you’re not grateful, because I know you are. I want you to be more…proactive about it. I want you to write it down, I want you to tell people, I want you to influence other people to be grateful.

When I’m having a shitty day (actually everyday), I write down my three things I’m grateful for and everything seems a little less…depressing. We all have so much to be grateful for, and that lifts a lot of depression for me. Seriously, I have a gratitude journal that I write in everyday.

Related: Why You Need A Gratitude Journal

I got dogs

My dogs make me so happy. Sometimes I threaten to give them back to the pound when they don’t behave, (they totally call my bluff). Haha, really they’re turds sometimes, but I love them! What’s better than the unconditional, butt wagging, love that you get from a dog?

Related: How Dogs Have Helped My Depression

I’m very picky about my friends

I purged my life of the shit friends, and surrounded myself with loving people. ‘Nuff said.

I do what I like

This is a pretty big one too. Quitting the job that sucked the life out of me was a great step towards happiness. It won’t solve your depression, but it definitely helps! Instead of working a life sucking job, I create things and I absolutely love it.

There was a big shift in my depression once I started blogging. And even if you’re not willing to open a blog, you can just start writing about it. Talk about your struggles and how you’ve overcome them. Then share that with me!

I ask for extra love

When I know I’m having a tough morning (usually it lingers all day), I ask my boyfriend for some extra love. I can’t tell you how helpful this has been. Usually he’ll come back with a response of, “I’ve got all the extra love to give.”

How f*cking sweet is that? But it’s true. You would do the same for someone you love, so why not ask for it in return? It really strengthens the bond of your relationship.

Try it out!

What do you think is most helpful?

What have you done to help with your depression?

And if you know someone who would benefit from this, share it with them!

Yoga For Mental Health

Yoga For Mental Health

Yoga, the ultimate strengthening and relaxing tool. I’ve spoken a little about yoga recently, but I really want to take that a step further. Over the years I’ve tried many many many techniques for easing my depression, and nothing has worked better than yoga. Seriously.

Not only has yoga done wonders for my depression and anxiety, but it keeps my body happy and healthy too. I practice yoga every day for my mental health, and I hope it helps you as well.

Why yoga for mental health

Yoga calms the nervous system

After just one yoga session, you’ll have less anxiety and feel much more relaxed. By practicing yoga, you calm your nervous system by deep intentional breathing and body movement. By directing your attention to your breath and your body, you will ease anxiety and calm the mind.

Yoga takes you from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system. In other words, this means that your body goes from “fight or flight” to “rest and recharge”.

Interesting story about one of my recent yoga sessions…

I was at the brink of tears one day and I decided to lay out my yoga mat, and started with my usual cat/cow. I burst into tears because I was so upset about everything, and somehow yoga allowed me to flush it all out. A few minutes later, I stopped crying and was fully engulfed in my yoga.

Yoga took me from tears, to loving myself. Pretty cool right?

Yoga builds self awareness

Practicing yoga allows you to build a strong sense of self. (Not to mention a smokin’ bod’). You can cultivate a nonjudgemental relationship with yourself. Unconsciously you’ll be making better decisions for yourself. For example, you might find yourself making healthier food and body options. This is your mind’s way of telling you that you deserve love, respect and care.

Yoga improves your relationship with yourself, and others

Nothing in this world is more important than the relationship you have with yourself. Every other relationship you have stems from how you treat yourself. When you’re more centered and more loving towards yourself, you’ll be the same with those around you. You’ll recognize that your loved ones deserve just as much love and care as you do.

Read Next: Everything You Need: At Home Yoga Studio

Have you tried yoga yet?

What have you gained from yoga?

What To Do When You’re Having A Breakdown

What To Do When You’re Having A Breakdown

We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve been bottling up frustrations at work, or maybe you’ve been struggling with something and it’s caught up with you. It could also be a combination of everything in life that has been scratching at you. Life tends to sneak up on us like that without us being aware.

It doesn’t matter where it comes from, I’m here to help you through the breakdown.

I’m actually writing this because I had a mental breakdown the other day. I’ve been in a low spot lately for many reasons. Partly because I lost my dad, but mostly from the daily grind. As much as I’m smiling in my pictures, I still have depression. It never really goes away and some days it’s heavier than others.

I’m sure some of you can relate.

As someone with depression, I tend to spiral into my dark little abyss and dive into self-doubt, self-hatred, and negative self-talk. It’s a nasty concoction. Often times I can handle things pretty well, and I’m proud of myself for that. Other times it’s not so easy, and I forgive myself for that. It’s something we work on everyday to improve our lives and our mental health.

Like I said, we’ve all had a breakdown. And if you haven’t…are you an alien?

So what can I do to stop this breakdown from ruining your life?

Feel The Feels

First, I want you to allow yourself to feel the feels. The days of bottling feelings are over. Just let it be. You’re feeling these things for a reason and we all know bottling feelings isn’t healthy.

Feelings and emotions are your mind’s way of communicating with you. The good, the bad and the ugly. Allow all of that emotion to flow through you like a damn river. If you cry or scream that’s okay. I’ve definitely done my fair share.

If you want a more calm outlet, continue on my friends.

Write That Shit Down

Once you’ve felt the feels, organize your thoughts and feelings on paper. Wipe away the angry face crinkles, the snot-filled tears, the ugly cry faces and get a pen to some paper. You’ve got some writing to do.

It doesn’t matter if it’s grammatically correct, or polite. If you’re angry, angrily write until you’re free of your anger. (Insert swear words in CAPS here) Write down what’s going on in that beautiful head of yours. Tell that paper all the shit you’ve been dealing with. Don’t hold back.

Feel better yet?

Once you’ve journaled your little heart out, proceed to the next step.

Talk To A Trusted Friend

Call up your favorite BUATCH and vent to her. Make sure to ask them first if she has time, because they might be busy. (This might take a while).

My go-to BUATCH is my best friend Miranda, and she always backs me up. When I’m mad about something, she’s mad. When I need reassurance and some backup, she’s there.

Or during my recent breakdown, my boyfriend called me. We talked out the issues, and he made me feel better. Think of that person in your life that you have, and call them up. (Or have them call you).

Don’t Make Any Crazy Decisions For 72 Hours

When we’re distraught and in an emotional rage, we often like to make crazy life-changing decisions. Don’t say anything you’d regret, don’t quit your job, don’t hurt anyone, and don’t hurt yourself.

Wait it out. Wait 72 hours, and reassess the situation. For those of us who have struggled with some sort of mental illness, this is crucial. Many times during a breakdown I’ve wanted (or tried) to change my entire life and it’s just not healthy in that mindset. Wait until you have a clear mind.

Do you still want to move across the country? Do you still want to quit your job and flip off the boss? I hope not. Talk it out with someone, and wait until you have a clear mind.

Have you ever had a breakdown? 

What did you do to help yourself?

Everything You Need To Create The Perfect At Home Yoga Studio

Everything You Need To Create The Perfect At Home Yoga Studio

Yoga, the ultimate strengthening and relaxing tool. I’ve spoken a little about yoga recently, but I really want to take that a step further. Over the years I’ve tried many many many techniques for easing my depression, and nothing has worked better than yoga.

Not only has yoga done wonders for my depression and anxiety, but it keeps my body happy and healthy too. I practice yoga every day for my mental health, and I hope it helps you as well.

This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, if you buy something through the links I’ve provided, I will receive a small commission.

Today I’m going to share with you how to make a beautiful yoga studio at home. I’ll give you the essentials so you can have everything you need right in the comfort of your own home my friends!

At Home Yoga Studio Essentials

Find the space first, and start practicing!

Most people say that if you have space for your yoga mat, you have space for practice. I think that’s partly true. What you really need is about twice that much space.

I recommend laying down your yoga mat, laying down on your back, and spreading your arms out wide. If your arms and hands don’t touch anything but the floor then you’re good to go!

Now, Preferably, find a floor in your home that isn’t carpeted. Hardwood, vinyl or whatever. This will be best for balancing postures. If you can’t then no biggy.

Now you need your materials! Here’s a list!

  • Yoga Mat
  • Block
  • Strap
  • Traditional Mexican Blanket
  • Yoga Towel

Barefoot Yoga has all your yoga essentials. What I really love about this company is their eco-friendly line of yoga mats! Check them out below!

“The Original Eco Yoga Mat is simply one of the best and most earth-conscious yoga mats available today. The Original Eco Mat is composed exclusively of all-natural rubber* and jute fiber. There are no chemical additives used. It is excellent for any consistent practice of Yoga. Its rubber underside grips the floor while the jute fabric/rubber mix on top offers superb traction – even in a heavy sweat. It is a highly durable, tactile, and pleasantly natural surface to practice on — and might remind you of walking barefoot on the earth.”

-Barefoot Yoga

Shop the link below to check out their eco-friendly yoga mats!

Barefoot Yoga

Are you ready to make your perfect at home yoga studio?!

 

Everything You Need To Create The Perfect Meditation Space

Everything You Need To Create The Perfect Meditation Space 

So lately I’ve really been into meditation. When I was in the midst of my Bachelor’s degree, I learned a lot about the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of meditation.

I now practice mediation every day and I’ll never go back to the days without it! My preferred times for meditation is right in the morning, after my at home yoga session, and before I go to bed.

Unfortunately I don’t have the space for a legitimate meditation space right now, but I make things work. Right now, my meditation space is in the center of my bedroom after I move the dog bed and toys! You gotta work with what you got you know?

My plan for my new house is having a little corner in the house on hardwood floor with my blanket, cushion and beautiful accessories!

(There are affiliate links in this post. At no extra cost to you, if you buy a product through these links, I will receive a small commission!)

Today I’m going to share with you how to make the perfect meditation environment so you can really get the most out it. If you’re serious about meditation, all these tips and tricks will really be worth your while.

Take what you need, tweak what you need and get yourself some essentials for your meditation space! I know you’ll be really excited about these, because I am!!!

Related: Meditation For Mental Health

Create a peaceful environment

First you’ll need to find a small space in your home (or outside) that is free of clutter, noise and distraction.

For me, this means move the dog beds, clear the dog toys and put the dogs outside my room. They really love to climb all over me when I’m the floor. I love it and it makes me laugh but it’s distracting of course.

Sorry dogs!

Engage your senses

Sight, Smell, Touch, Sound, Taste. Check ’em off the list!

Sight

Start with some ambient lighting such as some candles or low light strings of lights. Then add some zen art, statues, healing stones and/or plants!

Smell 

Fire up some incense, but if you hate incense (or someone else in the house does), light up some candles or an essential oil diffuser.

My personal favorite would of course be the essential oil diffuser.

Find out my favorite oils here: Essential Oils For Mental Health

Touch

Traditionally, mala beads are used for meditation. Beads are used to aid in counting or chanting during meditation, and they really make a difference.

Sound

Sound is really crucial unless you live in an area with none. Haha! You can go in any direction with this one. You can start up a zen playlist on your phone or computer, you can get yourself a little indoor waterfall piece, or a singing bowl.

What the heck is that you say?

“Singing bowls have been used for centuries to enhance meditation practices. The relaxing harmonics are created by tapping the side of the bowl and then rubbing an instrument, or striker, along the bowl’s rim to produce humming vibrations which quickly fill the room.” -BuddhaGroove.com

Taste

Oh baby, brew yourself some tea. Do you like green, oolong, black, rooibos, herbal, chai? Anything will do!

Pick your favorite, brew it, inhale the aroma and sip away!

Now if you’re ready to up your meditation game, or need an excuse to start, collect some or all of the items listed below! I’ve made a list of meditation essentials to really give you the best experience.

Once you’ve set up your space, bought your essentials, you’ll never want to go a day without meditating!

Meditation Essentials

Temple Zafu Meditation Cushion in Brocade

To make meditating more comfortable on a hard floors, use a cushion like this one! Isn’t this cream color BEAUTIFUL?

Premium Mala Beads, Beautiful Knotted Green Jade with Silver Beads 

These beads will fulfill your “touch” sense for the perfect mediation experience.


Stacked Stone Garden Cairns Statue

Whether you’re spiritual or not, this is a beautiful and neutral visual aid.

 


Pure Essential Oil Trio, Made In The USA

rareESSENCE Aromatherapy 100% Pure Essential Oils for energy and relaxation.


 

Meditation Singing Bowl with Embossed Buddhas, 4.25 Inches 

To create a beautiful zen sound, try a meditation singing bowl!


 

There you have it!

A few examples of what will take your meditation experience up a notch.

Did any of these pieces speak to you? (The cushion is my favorite 🙂 )

Meditation For Mental Health

Meditation For Mental Health

What is meditation exactly?

Meditation is a means of transforming the mind that encourages and develops concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, calm, and understanding of the true nature of your world.

By engaging in meditation practice you learn the flow and habits of your mind. This practice offers new and more positive ways of being and thinking. With regular practice and patience, you can fully nourish the mind and gain peace and serenity.

Why?

Coming in many different variations, meditation has been used as a tool to master the mind and cope with stress. There’s no denying it. Studies have shown time and time again that meditation reduces depression and anxiety. Most notably, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, PTSD and ADHD.

Meditation benefits people who have mental health conditions, as well as those who don’t! This practice even takes the place of medication for some. That’s pretty impressive! This can be really important for some, but as an alternative or addition, meditation is a fantastic treatment!

Meditation is especially beneficial for reducing stress and managing anxiety. You will gain a patient and peaceful mind that leads to a new understanding of life, and improved mental health.

I meditate everyday, and I highly recommend it. It refreshes the mind, calms the nerves, relaxes my body, and eases my depression. A nourished mind is a happy mind. Take this step towards mental health and start meditating.

When?

You should start your day by meditating. Right when you wake up, cozy up into your meditation space and start breathing mindfully!

Then I recommend working meditation into your night time routine. As you’re getting ready for bed, take some time as you’re winding down to meditate.

How?

  • Carve out uninterrupted time in the morning and at night.

 

  • Start small. Try 5-10 minutes at a time and increase as you improve.

 

  • Practice, practice, practice! Every day if you can.

 

  • Explore different types: DIY at home, mindfulness app, meditative yoga class, or mindfulness while doing what you love. For example; meditate while gardening, walking, or whatever lets you focus, breathe and be present.

 

  • Create a calming space for at home tranquility. Situate yourself into a quiet space, add a blanket, a cushion, some delicious smelly smells, and some ambient lighting!

Now you’re good to go! I’ll have some more in depth posts coming up soon!

What’s your meditation routine?

Essential Oils For Mental Health

Essential Oils For Mental Health

Essential oils influence and heal your mind through your olfactory system (sense of smell). So, if you are struggling with depression, anxiety or stress, here are the 10 best essential oils for mental health.

I myself, use essential oils everyday. The easiest way to use them (for me) is to use them in my essential oil diffuser. I pour water to the fill line, drop in the scent I’m needing at the time and turn it on.

My personal favorites include: Jasmine, Eucalyptus, Lavender and Lemongrass. I also make my own delicious concoctions for stress, productivity, anxiety and depression. More on that later!

10 Essential Oils For Mental Health

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is most commonly known as a stress reliever. Its fresh and floral aroma is relaxing and calming. Lavender essential oil is perfect for improving mental concentration, reducing stress, calming agitation, and aids in sleep.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus is refreshing and energizing. This strong uplifting aroma will alleviate stress, boost energy and lift mental fatigue.

Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood oil has a beautiful woody aroma. It has amazing therapeutic effects in regards to balancing emotions.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang Ylang helps decrease feelings of agitation and anger-induced stress.

Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary Sage is known as a natural antidepressant. It’s pleasant aroma helps ease anxiety, and uplifts your mood while calming the mind.

Jasmine Essential Oil

Derived from the jasmine flower, jasmine oil’s delicious floral aroma has many mental well being benefits. Jasmine has been used for centuries to aid anxiety, insomnia, low libido and depression.

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense is sourced from a native tree in Somalia, and commonly associated with spirituality and the increase of intuition.

Lemongrass Essential Oil

The aromatic, calming scent of lemongrass will quickly relieve anxiety, agitation, and help ease insomnia.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint an excellent ingredient in toothpaste and other hygiene products, it can also be used for your mental health. Particularly, peppermint oil is used to energize, increase alertness, and helps concentration.

It also has a pleasant cooling effect (due to the menthol it contains) when spread onto the skin.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea Tree oil is commonly known for its anti-dandruff and acne fighting properties, but it does much more than that! This yummy smelling oil is also energizing and an amazing stress reliever.

6 Ways To Use Essential Oils:

  1. Inhale: Add 1-2 drops into the palm of your hand, gently circle with your fingertips and take a deep breath.
  2. Apply to skin: Rub 1-2 drops of oil into your temples, wrists or pressure points for full body relaxation.
  3. Add to skin care routine: Add essential oils to carrier oils or lotion for DIY skin care!
  4. Shower or bath: Create your own steam room or essential oil bath by adding a couple of drops in your shower or bath water.
  5. Diffuse: To get long-lasting aroma throughout your special space, use a diffuser.
  6. Air Freshener: Combine oils and distilled water in a fine mist spray bottle, shake and spray!

Things To Consider

Essential oils are powerful. Some people may develop an allergic reaction to any oil. Before you dive head first into them, do a small skin patch test on your arm or leg.

If you’re pregnant, nursing or using any kind of medication please check with your doctor before using essential oils. As a general rule of thumb, ask your doctor before changing or modifying the doctor’s orders. This includes essential oils, crash diets, or anything else. Take care of yourself people!

 

Anything strike your fancy?

Have you used essential oils before?

SaveSave

SaveSave

Natural Remedies For Mental Health

Natural Remedies For Mental Health

If you’re looking for a natural remedy to promote a healthy mind, you might want to give these practices a try. Natural remedies have been used to treat depression and anxiety for hundreds of years all over the world.

In conjunction with conventional medicine, these natural remedies may be exactly what you need!

Natural Remedies for your Mental Health

Conventional vs Alternative vs Integrative

Conventional medicine is a system in which health care professionals treat symptoms and diseases utilizing drugs, radiation, or surgery.

Alternative medicine is any range of medical therapies that are not recognized by modern medicine, such as herbalism, homeopathy, and acupuncture.

Integrative medicine is a combination of both! This is the method I’ve always used, and I’ve always found to be the most efficient.

Now, lets talk about what you came here for! 🙂

Natural Remedies For Mental Health

Or what I like to call, “at home natural therapy”. These natural home remedies can help start you on your path to finding your inner peace and tranquility.

Aromatherapy

Also referred to as Essential Oil therapy, aromatherapy uses plant materials, and aromatic oils to improve psychological and physical wellness. Aromatherapy often used in conjunction with other therapies for mental health.

Herbs

Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to treat depression and anxiety. Some popular herbs used are mulungu bark (sleep aid), bacopa (improves cognitive function), mucuna pruriens (contains L. Dopa), passionflower (sleep aid), kava (stress reducer), and saffron (balances mood).

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are crucial for optimum mental health. A healthy brain is a healthy mind. The most common nutritional deficiencies seen in patients with mental disorders are omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, minerals and amino acids. People usually take supplements to satisfy these needs.

Forest Bathing

Forest bathing is an interesting way to say “Get out of your house and soak up some nature!” With this natural remedy for mental health, all you need to do is find some uninterrupted time in the green.

Forest bathe by walking through a park, going hiking, or spending some time getting covered in dirt in your garden. Get out and get yourself some green my loves! It’s good for your mental health.

Meditation

Meditation is an age old practice that has aided in improving mental health. Mediation may improve depression, anxiety, PTSD, and ADHD.

I meditate everyday, and I highly recommend it. It refreshes my mind, calms my nerves, relaxes my body, and eases my depression.

Yoga

Not only is yoga amazing for your body, but it does fantastic things for your mental health and mind as well. Yoga has major mental health and wellness benefits.

This natural remedy raises your sense of body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms the nervous system. Therefore…

“Yoga is a psychology — the whole practice helps us work with the nature of the mind, the nature of being a human, how emotions live in our bodies, how they affect our behavior and our minds,” says Turner (a licensed psychotherapist and yoga teacher), who reveals that yoga helped her recognize and cope with her own low self-esteem.” – Yoga Journal

Have any of these natural remedies inspired you?

SaveSave

Make A Reverse Bucket List To Boost Your Self Esteem

Make A Reverse Bucket List To Boost Your Self Esteem

Make A Reverse Bucket List To Boost Your Self Esteem

I know many of you have heard of this new trend popping up in your Pinterest feed and online. It’s called a reverse bucket list. Say whaaa?

Many of you have made a bucket list, and intend on checking all your crazy ideas off your list. But have you ever considered creating a reverse bucket list?

It goes like this.

Create a list of all the accomplishments in your life. Start with the big stuff and narrow it down to the small stuff!

If you’re having a difficult time thinking of ideas, let me throw some ideas out there for you!

Educational milestones?

Financial successes?

Career advances?

Hobbies you’ve perfected?

Exciting things you’ve tried?

Where have you traveled?

What have you made?

Tasted exotic food and didn’t throw up?

What have you given to others?

Physical triumphs?

Mental or emotional triumphs?

Don’t forget the little successes!

Have you kept plants alive?

Do you know how to cook your favorite meal?

Do you have happy animals or children?

Pay your bills?

Haven’t murdered your boss?

Good job. Write that shit down.

Here’s mine.

  • I graduated High School, and college with a Bachelor’s Degree.
  • I didn’t succumb to the suicidal days of my life.
  • I worked at Wells Fargo for almost four years and didn’t murder my boss.
  • I created two businesses that grow each and every day.
  • I have two healthy, happy dogs.
  • I have kept many plants alive.
  • I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD, depression, and anxiety and have conquered that shit.
  • I successfully came off of my antidepressants.
  • I’ve created a beautiful network of family and friends who love me.
  • I have traveled to three continents, and seven different countries.
  • I’ve painted and crafted a ton of beautiful artwork that I’m very proud of.
  • I lived through tragedy and haven’t buckled yet.
  • I’ve learned so many amazing skills, and I continue to strive for new knowledge.
  • I’ve gained self esteem, confidence, and strength. Something that I never thought I would have.
  • I have maintained a really amazing and healthy relationship with my boyfriend. Go us!
  • I love myself, and that’s not easy.
  • I’ve shared my story with others and have helped some people along the way.

What’s your reverse bucket list?

I challenge you to print it out and hang in on your wall!

SaveSave

Declutter Your Life, Ease Your Anxiety

Declutter Your Life, Ease Your Anxiety

Declutter Your Life: Ease Your Anxiety

Why?

An excess amount of clutter in your life will leave you overwhelmed, disorganized, and anxious. You will be far more productive with a clean, minimal slate.

Decluttering your life will ease stress and leave you much more room to focus on what’s important in life. And there’s more than just your closet that needs a little cleansing!

Flush it out and start fresh my friends! Quality is far more important than quantity.

What should we declutter?

Social media

Is Facebook no longer serving you? Delete it. Don’t force yourself to stay connected on your accounts if it gives you anxiety. Many people have chosen to purge their social media and it’s served them well.

And if you still want to stay connected,  unfriend and unfollow all the hateful, useless content on your accounts! Flush out the bad and only follow the quality.

Friends list

And I don’t just mean your Facebook account! I mean, you should purge your life of all your physical fake friends. I got rid of a ton of shitty friends about a few years ago and I would never take back that decision.

At first I started some serious upheaval in my friend group because I just laid everything out on the table, but I was brutally honest and it was worth it.

I had no use or energy for drama anymore. Let that shit go and wave your anxiety goodbye.

Declutter your unhealthy mindset

Stop the negative talk, and practice the positive self talk. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Unhealthy habits

You know what these are. Stop the crash dieting, the addictions, and everything else that doesn’t serve you. If you’re one of those people who punishes yourself for eating a “bad” meal, stop.

Learn healthy habits so you can grow into the wonderful individual you are.

Declutter your life and ease your anxiety. Stop trying to please people who don’t matter to you. Your anxiety will melt away and you can focus your energy on what’s important. Quality of life.

Quality of life, my friends.

SaveSave

5 Times To Squeeze Mindfulness Into Your Day

5 Times To Squeeze Mindfulness Into Your Day

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness has been a catchy new trend, and for good reason. Mindfulness is a meditation tool that allows the mind and body to relax, observe, and experience life as it is.

Why is mindfulness important?

For many people these days, it’s easy to become caught up in daily activities and mundane tasks. Mindfulness helps you slow down, appreciate what you have in front of you, and release negative energy. For a more in depth description, see below.

Related: 5 Ways Mindfulness Affects Your Brain

5 Ways To Squeeze Mindfulness Into Your Day

5 Times To Squeeze Mindfulness Into Your Day

As you wake up

When your alarm goes off, resist the urge to jump out of bed and start your day right away. Take 10 minutes (unless you’ll be late) to slowly rise. Keep your eyes closed and breathe deeply.

Notice your breath and take advantage of the warm and cozy bed. Use this time to maintain deep breathing, and recognize every good sensation throughout your body. Start from your toes, and work through the top of your head.

Maintain this for 10 minutes until you feel soft, content, happy, and completely relaxed.

During meals

Meals are one of my favorite parts of the day. Like most people though, I tend to rush through them because I have a ton of other things going on. Do you multitask while you eat? I would guess yes.

Instead of rushing and multitasking, take this time to really appreciate what you have in front of you. Think of the journey your food traveled to arrive on your plate. Notice every sensation as you eat. Smell the aroma, feel the texture, notice the taste and texture inside your mouth. Breathe and be fully engulfed in eating one bite at a time, slowly.

Take pauses to breathe in and out. Notice your satiety rising as your hunger dissipates. Eat slowly, and savor every piece of food on your plate.

You might find that with this practice that you eat less. I usually tend to eat less when I eat slowly and really enjoy every bite. I also tend to eat healthier because I make more conscious choices about what I’m consuming. This may or may not happen, but it’s a perk of mindful eating!

Afternoon break

It’s the afternoon and you’re dozing off at your desk. It’s been a long day and you’re ready to hit the hay. Or! Take a moment to recharge during your afternoon work break. Sitting in a comfortable position at your desk, (or wherever is most cozy) and practice mindfulness.

Take 10 minutes as you did in the morning, and repeat that process. Close your eyes, take in a deep breath, hold it, and let it out slowly. Repeat this for a few minutes until you feel calm. Spend the rest of your ten minutes just being. Don’t revisit thoughts of work or stress.

When you bring stressful thoughts into your mind, acknowledge them, and blow them out with each breath.

After work walk

After work is a perfect time to take a mindfulness break! There are so many things you can do, but a personal favorite is a walk for some fresh air. Or, you can sit in your car, sit on your deck, or relax on your couch or favorite floor pillow.

I would recommend finding a nice quiet place to relax or walk your daily stress away.

If you take a walk outside, dress for the weather and step outside. Walk around your block or at a local park. Breathe deep and relax your mind. Notice how your feet approach the ground and how your arms sway back and forth. Smell the fresh air and feel the elements on your skin.

Avoid thoughts that don’t relate to the current moment. Take as long as you need to to relax and melt the stresses away.

As you go to bed

Prepping for bed can be short or you can really take advantage of the time you have. If you like to draw out the self care, this is a perfect time to do so.

Wash your face, brush your teeth, apply your nightly creams and moisturizers and shimmy into your most comfortable and cozy pajamas.

Burrow yourself into your bed and lay flat on your back. Stretch your entire body by raising your arms above your head and reaching your feet to the opposite wall. Now place your hands on top of your belly.

As you breathe deeply into your low belly, notice your hands rising to the ceiling with each breath. Breathe in slowly and deeply, hold it for a few seconds and let it out slowly. If counting helps you keep track of your breaths, do so. Breathe in 1, 2, 3, 4…Hold 1, 2, 3…Breathe out 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…

Focus your mind on your breath. Acknowledge thoughts, let them go and continue.

This has helped me fall asleep soundly better than anything else has. Practice mindfulness at bedtime and I promise your sleep will improve. It’s not easy to calm the mind, so practice, practice, practice! I still have a difficult time finding peace in the mind from time to time.

Create a challenge and practice mindfulness 5 times throughout the day when it’s convenient.

Did you wake more refreshed, or did it help you sleep better?

Did it ease any stress throughout the day?

Tell me how it goes!

FREE PRINTABLE! Body Positive Affirmations

FREE PRINTABLE! Body Positive Affirmations!

Download, print, and hang up these body positive affirmations on your wall!

Repeat these golden words to yourself until you believe them, my friends.

From personal experience, these affirmations have improved my body positivity and I hope the same for you. I collected a combination of affirmations from my own ideas and anonymous authors online.

I hope you enjoy them!

Click the link below to download!

FREE PRINTABLE! Body Positive Affirmations!

Body Positive Affirmations

When you’ve hung it up on your wall, share the photo with me!

I would love to see them!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Ways To Give Back and Why It’s Good For Your Mental Health

Ways To Give Back and Why It’s Good For Your Mental Health

Have you ever heard of how giving to others creates your own happiness? It’s true, and it has a lot of researched backing.

Giving back has been correlated with positive emotions time and time again. It may seem a little backwards, but think about it. Doesn’t it make you feel super awesome to give gifts or do a little charity work?

I for one, know that I always feel better once I do something for another person…or animal.

Related: The Day I Gave The Little I Had

For example, when I was little my babysitter and I would create fresh treats for the woodland animals at a lake on my island. We would string fresh cranberries and plain popcorn to trees, so that the animals in the area would have a little treat. Kind of fun right?

When was the last time you did something for someone without expecting anything in return? I hope you can say this morning, but if not, try it out. Try giving to people without expectation, and note how you feel afterwards.

I’m guessing you’ll feel pretty good!

Now, if you need some ideas to give back, you’ve come to the right place!

For your partner (or best friend)

  • Do the chores that they loath
  • Make them breakfast
  • Surprise them with their favorite hot drink
  • Write them a letter
  • Call them
  • Compliment them
  • Make them dinner
  • Craft them a little gift
  • Massage their feet
  • Bake them cookies

For your parents and/or grands

  • Write them a letter
  • Send them a photo in the mail
  • Visit them for lunch
  • Take them shopping
  • Take them out for a fun date
  • Wash their car
  • Mow their lawn
  • Do some household chores for them

For your kids

  • Read to them
  • Play with them
  • Craft something with them
  • Finger-paint
  • Play in the mud or run through the sprinklers
  • Go to the library
  • Take them to the park

For your fur babies

  • Give them a bath
  • Clip their nails
  • Bake some fur baby friendly treats
  • Pull out the wet food and celebrate them for being wonderful
  • Take them for a walk
  • Take them to the park
  • Teach them a new trick
  • Give them a massage

For strangers

  • Donate your clothes and food
  • Donate unneeded items in your house
  • Volunteer
  • Prepare gift bags for the homeless
  • Compliment them
  • If you see someone struggling, offer help
  • Perform small acts of kindness wherever and whenever you can

There you have it my friends! A list of a few things you can give back to the people in your life.

There are a few things this world will never get enough of, and that’s love and kindness.

SaveSave

SaveSave

Turn Your Mood Around In 6 Easy Steps

Turn Your Mood Around In 6 Easy Steps

Have you ever been in a bad mood for no reason? Maybe you feel tired and unmotivated and you don’t know why. Chances are your body and mind need a little stimulation.

Follow these steps and I promise you’ll start to feel refreshed and energized. Hopefully these tips will turn your bad mood around and give you motivation to take on the world!

Stand up and stretch your muscles

If you’re sitting down at a desk or laying in bed, get up and do a little stretching. Even if you have to force yourself out of bed for just 5 minutes, do that.

I understand some days are just so much harder than others, so give yourself a break if you really need it. But if you’re really looking for a solution to your sticky situation, follow these tips.

Drink a glass of water and Eat something nutritious

In order for your mind to feel healthy, your body needs to be healthy! Don’t abuse your body by depriving it of what it needs. Drink a glass of water and prepare a bomb ass meal for yourself.

When I would struggle through a bad bout of depression, I should have done myself a favor and feed my body what it needed. I would be so depressed I wouldn’t get up to eat. Then, I would be so hungry I would sleep through it because I didn’t want to leave my bed. That’s fucking miserable. Don’t do what I did.

I promise you’ll feel better once you give your body what it needs.

Clean your room

Maybe this is just something that starts my day off well, but I can’t start any work without it. Cleaning my room clears my work space and it also makes me feel accomplished.

Even if you’re feeling shitty, at least you can say that you’ve done something for yourself today.

Do your hair and put something nice on

Every time I do this, I can’t help but feel better about myself. I look in the mirror and the little boost makes me feel ready for anything.

You know that saying, “If you look good, you feel good.”? Well it’s kind of true.

Now I’m not saying that you need either of these to feel good about yourself, but I do strongly believe in keeping up with hygiene to keep up your mood.

Take a walk outside and go somewhere new!

Get out of your house and breathe in some fresh air! Walk around the block, take your dogs to the park, or go on a hike.

Stimulate your senses by breathing in some fresh air and by moving your body. There is something special about the outdoors that really boosts your mood and turns your bad day around.

When you do something new, it forces your mind to really think and get out of autopilot. Drive a new route to work, walk to a new park, order something new at the coffee shop, cook yourself a new meal, or switch up your workout routine!

Do something for someone else

I love this one! Do you have a ton of clothes you don’t use anymore? Collect them and donate them. What about food? You’ll probably never eat that canned asparagus in your pantry. Where did that come from anyway? Drop it off at a food bank.

Write your mother a letter. Give your dog a bath. Call your dad. Take your grams shopping. Wash your partner’s car. Do that chore that your partner HATES, you know, because you love them! Make some homemade ice-cream with your kids. Google it, it’s really easy.

Think about all the wonderful people in your life and how much they influence the good in your life. Give something back to them. This will always make you feel better. Not to mention, this is a researched topic, so it’s bound to work!

What always makes you feel better?

Dog kisses?

A walk in the park?

Tell me in the comment section below!

How To Have Stress Free Finals

How To Have Stress Free Finals

If you’re looking for a stress free final solution, you’ve come to the right place! If you’re just getting into college, on your last semester, or somewhere in between…I’ve got some good stuff for you!

I graduated from college a little over a year ago now, and I’ll share with you a few tips I picked up through my 5 1/2 years of experience.

How To Have Stress Free Finals

Start as soon as you can

If there’s one thing you need to learn, it would be good time management. Not everyone can procrastinate and succeed. More often than not, procrastination leads to stress…which is why we’re here right?

Get yourself a really good planner with lots of room to write, label, and organize. Use the slower time of the semester to really be proactive about studying. Study chapters as they come up, instead of trying to read through ten chapters the night before the final.

You’ll be far more successful and stress free if you’re proactive about studying.

Organize your shit

Like I mentioned before, get yourself a good planner. Write down deadlines, block out times to study. Hell, block out times for everything you do during your day if that helps you. (It does for me!) I’m a person who loves to organize, and good thing too because I wouldn’t be nearly as successful without it.

Color coordinate different classes, different types of assignments, or even by priority. What I like to do is color coordinate by classes, draw an empty little box next to the assignment, and fill it in once it’s done. Sounds easy right?

This way, I know what I need to do and I feel pretty damn good about myself after I check everything off.

Prioritize

Prioritizing is a huge part of having a stress free final. The assignments and papers that are due first should always come first. The big assignments and things that are worth the most points should be high on the list as well.

With the big assignments too, start early. Check number 1!

Single-task as much as possible

As much as everyone believes to be amazing multitaskers, research has shown over and over again that multitasking leads to shitty results. Sure, you get everything done, but if you had done them all one at a time, you know you would be creating some quality shit.

And as a side note, life is much more enjoyable if you really live in the moment and experience everything one at a time.

Build confidence

Did you know that confidence is a huge contributing factor to success? It is. People going into a stressful situation with confidence are far better off than those without.

Try this. When you need a little boost of energy and confidence, try a power stance. I know it sounds kind of funny, but it’s helped a lot of people gain confidence for difficult situations.

Stand up straight, step your legs to the width of your hips, place your hands on your hips, and breathe with purpose. Imagine yourself succeeding. Tell yourself affirmations that motivate and encourage you to do your best. Stand there for five minutes and smile at yourself in the mirror.

If you’re feeling embarrassed, go to a private place, and say these things in your mind.

Reward yourself

My favorite part, the rewards! You’ve worked hard and you deserve a little somethin’ somethin’!

When you’ve gone through the entire day according to plan, treat yourself. When you’ve studied your little heart out, treat yourself. Hell, even if you need to place a gummy bear throughout the pages of your book as you’re reading to get through it, do that.

If relaxation motivates you to work, treat yourself with a hot bath or a Netflix episode. If sweets motivate you, eat a treat after you’ve accomplished a goal. Whatever works for you, reward yourself with that.

Personally, I would always reward myself with some dark chocolate or a nap.

Reward yourself because you deserve it!

What helps you during finals?

When I Knew It Was Time To Come Off My Antidepressants

When I Knew It Was Time To Come Off My Antidepressants

I was prescribed antidepressants about a year and a half ago. I went in for an annual checkup when the University health clinic started asking a few mental health questions. And my answers concerned them.

I had already been diagnosed with depression at this point but I had a few more things on my plate at that particular time. I was in my last semester in college, my mom told me she might have cancer, and my biological father was really sick. He was the type of sick you worry about.

I was referred to a doctor to prescribe antidepressants and here I am a year and a half later…officially off of my antidepressants.

There were a few things that convinced me to go off of them.

When I Knew It Was Time To Come Off My Meds

I plateaued

For the first 8 months my mood improved greatly, and after the 8 months, my mood plateaued. I also didn’t want to go through trying another medication either.

When I hit the plateau, my mood never improved. My mood stayed at the baseline.

In the mental health world we like to refer as a mood baseline as an average, neutral area in which your mood resides. This is not severely depressed, or highly manic. It’s the happy medium between the two. On a numeric scale, we could call this 5 on a scale between 0 and 10. 0 being the best you’ve ever felt, and 10 being the most depressed you’ve ever felt.

Make sense? It’s indifferent, but also bleh.

Once the 8 months had passed, it was difficult for me to feel anything but a 5. I would feel elevated depression and happiness occasionally, but not often.

Before the medication my level of depression floated in the range from 5-9, and occasionally 10. Once in a while I would feel happiness but it wouldn’t last long. So the medication gave me a huge improvement!

I worked my ass off to improve my mental health, and it paid off

The second reason I believe that I was ready to come off my meds was the astronomical changes I’ve gone through in the last few years.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve kicked my ass trying to improve my mental health since high school. I’m not perfect and I never will be, but I do know I’ve done damn well.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of myself in my life, actually. Overcoming and improving my mental illness is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It is also one of the most rewarding feats I’ve ever tackled. I am new and improved. I am strong and I know now that I can handle anything.

The turn of the year gave me motivation to make big changes. But by January 1st, I decided I wasn’t quite ready.

Tragedy happened, and I survived without it

January 5th, tragedy happened. One of my parents died. I learned this at the same time that I was weening myself off my meds. I decided to stay on track with what my doctor had advised and kept with my new meds schedule.

As the month passed I endured all the shit that was going on, even with the decreasing amounts of happy pills. Should I have waited? Maybe, but you’d be surprised what you can endure. I know I’ve surprised myself a few times.

As a side note, I’ll mention that I’ve never had an addictive personality. Many people close to me have ruined their lives and even died from addiction and I refuse to let that get a hold of me. I believe that’s what deterred me.

So as I was dealing with this tragedy, I didn’t want my mind or body to rely on medication to solve my problems.

Take this into consideration before anything

I will also mention that I am a unique individual (just like all of you) and I did this under doctor’s recommendation. Not just anyone and everyone can simple ween themselves off of meds. It depends on the illness, medication, and doctor’s recommendation. Never self medicate (or ween yourself) without the approval of your doctor.

Instead of relying on antidepressants for the rest of my life,  I wanted to learn coping skills, and healthy habits to improve after utilizing what medication has to offer.

Going through this tragedy while weening off of my medication made me realize that I no longer needed them. I’m not going to lie to you. It was fucking hard, and I wouldn’t recommend going off your meds at the worst possible time ever, but I will say that it’s doable. At least it was for me.

Take this with you, if nothing else

I believe that there were many factors that played into my success. The therapy, the time I’ve spent working on myself, the self esteem I’ve been building, and my daily activities.

Now I am in no way encouraging anyone to stop their medication and refuse advice from their doctor. I am simply sharing my story with antidepressants.

I am not qualified or certified in any way to provide medical advice, so please talk to your doctor if you’re considering a change in medication.

With mental health, there is no quick and easy solution to anything. It takes hard work and dedication. And! It’s an ongoing process throughout your life, because you are always changing and evolving.

But I will tell you it’s worth it. Improving my mental health has been one of my best decisions.

So go on! Get out there and get your happy on!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Why People Avoid Counseling But Shouldn’t 

Why People Avoid Counseling But Shouldn’t 

Counseling has a stigma

“Oh…you’re seeing a shrink? What’s wrong with you?”

Right now, it’s not socially acceptable to seek help for mental illness. Beliefs about people with mental illness are slowly changing in the right direction, but we are still far from where we should be.

Usually if someone is comfortable enough to seek help from a mental health professional, they probably won’t share it with many people. We’re afraid that if we share that with someone, they’ll use that label as a lens in which we’ll be seen.

If my label is “depression” people may assume certain things about me, like that I don’t like people or that I can’t ever have a good time.

Counseling can be expensive

Unfortunately, there are still many insurance companies that don’t cover mental health costs. Annual check ups aren’t included. Often times in order for an insurance company to cover a portion of the costs, there must be a diagnosis in place by the second session.

Not everyone needs to be diagnosed. Some people have temporary issues that a health professional can help with. These professionals come in handy when someone experiences a death in the family, a divorce, abuse, a traumatic event, etc.

These things and many other things should be covered by insurance. It’s disappointing that issues we all deal with throughout life aren’t covered because it’s a “mental health” issue. As if it’s not detrimental to your health…

Counseling takes courage

For many people it’s difficult to admit that they have an issue, much less ask for help.

Admitting yourself to counseling takes numerous steps. Admitting you have something you want to work on. Being comfortable enough to ask for help. Be willing to pay for it. Being brave enough to disclose personal information about yourself, and these things are usually things that you don’t tell others. Accepting feedback and opinions about your issues. And finally being vulnerable to the effort it takes to change and rewire yourself.

That last step is the hard part. This brings me to my next reason people avoid counseling.

Counseling is uncomfortable

Once you’ve admitted that you need help and have asked for it, it is now up to you to change. And we all know change is uncomfortable. Not only is change uncomfortable, but the whole reason for your counseling is uncomfortable.

The reason you’re there is to talk about all the shitty things that have happened to you, why they happened, how you felt about it, how it affected you, and what you’ll do to avoid pain in the future.

This often includes what you could’ve done better, such as thinking differently and behaving differently. But first you must admit that you’re…wrong…! What?!

Just kidding! Not always, but sometimes!

And I’m not going to lie to you, you might cry. It will be uncomfortable, and it won’t be easy, but it is worth it!

Some advice if you’re considering counseling

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the right therapist right away. Just like you’re not friends with everyone, you won’t mix well with every therapist.

Find someone qualified, and find someone with experience in what you’re dealing with. Talk with different people, explore what insurance they accept, meet them, and use your intuition.

If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, ditch them. You should feel comfortable and safe with this person because you’re going to share some personal things with them.

Have you gone to counseling? I have.

If you haven’t, what’s holding you back?

25 Lessons Learned In 25 Years

25 Lessons Learned In 25 Years

Holy crap! Can you believe that I’m already a quarter of a century old? I’m sort of torn about it, but I’m definitely excited!

On one hand, I feel like an adult. I’ve felt like a responsible adult for a long time. I pay bills, I keep my dogs and plants alive, I know how to cook, and I do my own taxes. These are all pretty adult things, yeah?

On the other hand I still feel like a child. Not because I rely on my parents to make my lunch or do my laundry, but because adulthood takes me by surprise sometimes.

Why being an adult is surprising

For example, it surprises me that I’m capable of having children. Like, I’m ready physically AND emotionally. Weird. I’m at a point in my life where I believe I would be a good parent, and that’s the most difficult job in the world sooo… That’s kind of a big deal.

I’m capable of buying a house and it’s crazy exciting! (This year I’m buying a house, YAAAS!)

Dreaming versus Doing

Life makes a switch when you actually experience something versus fantasize about it. You see that thing in a whole new light. Like getting a new puppy, owning a house, getting married, and having children.

All of a sudden I’m a adult…like my parents? They’re definitely adults. Capable, hardworking, successful and responsible. Although I’ve done well so far, there is so much more to learn and experience.

I guess that means you never stop learning. Which also means I’m going to make more mistakes, learn from them, and continue to seek guidance from my parents…

Now! On to the good stuff.

25 Lessons Learned In 25 Years

25 Lessons Learned In 25 Years

  1. You’ll regret avoiding your bills. Just pay that shit.
  2. Electricity is expensive. Dad was right. Put on more clothes or run around the house a few times.
  3. The world owes you nothing. Working hard is the only way.
  4. Building credit ASAP is important. Confusing at 18, but important.
  5. You’re never too old to start something new.
  6. Mistakes and failures are lessons, not the end of the world. Everyone makes mistakes.
  7. Cherish all positive relationships in your life. Plant them, water them, and let them bloom.
  8. Forgive people and purge toxic relationships. Life is too damn short for that shit.
  9. You’ll never be fully ready for anything, so just go for it.
  10. The more you know, the more you realize what you don’t know.
  11. Life goes by faster as you get older.
  12. Every day is a new opportunity and something to be grateful for.
  13. Mental illness isn’t a life sentence. You are not what happened to you.
  14. Happiness is achievable. You have to work for it, because it doesn’t just fall in your lap.
  15. Let go of what you can’t control, you’ll only stress yourself out.
  16. Change is inevitable, embrace that shit. In yourself and others.
  17. Go to the doctor, dentist and eye doctor regularly. It could save your life.
  18. Appearance isn’t everything. How you treat yourself and others is far more important.
  19. Other women are not your competition, the patriarchy is.
  20. If you bleach your hair, accept the consequences.
  21. Money isn’t everything. Happiness is.
  22. Self care first. Everything else second.
  23. Talk to yourself the way you’d talk to your best friend. You wouldn’t be a dick to them, so why be that way to yourself?
  24. Gratitude is a sure way to happiness. Practice it all the time.
  25. Losing your temper and being a dick won’t get you anywhere. What you put into the world is what you get back.

There you have it. I’ve compiled the 25 most important lessons I’ve learned in my time on this earth. You’re welcome.

Have I missed anything?

What’s most important to you?

How Owning Dogs Has Helped My Depression

How Owning Dogs Has Helped My Depression

How Owning Dogs Has Helped My Depression

They require care, therefore I get out of bed.

Often times when someone has depression, they care for everything that surrounds them, and not themselves. Sounds familiar? We care for our friends, family, and pets, but refuse ourselves any love.

Owning an animal (specifically dogs) has kept me going through the most difficult times. This can be true for people without mental illness as well.

Because my two lovely fur babies are my responsibility, I get out of bed, feed them, water them, take them outside, and play with them. If it weren’t for them, many of those difficult days I would have cried in bed, and gone back to sleep. I have an awful track record of taking care of myself.

Having such responsibility gives my life a sense of purpose. They encourage me to be the best I can be because we both deserve it.

They kiss my tears away.

Dogs are extremely intelligent creatures. They understand feeling and they experience it themselves. When I’m upset, they know. They’ll cuddle up next to me and kiss the tears off my face. This in turn makes me laugh and eases the pain for a second.

I mean, what’s better than slobbery dog kisses all over your face to ease the blues?

They make me laugh because they’re absolute weirdos.

Just like people, dogs have personalities. From my experience, dogs are often just as weird (or more weird) as humans. They let their freak flag fly!

It makes me laugh when my dog Riley makes strange, excited monkey cries when she sees me. My new puppy is so goofy and hops like a bunny. They are just the cutest things ever, and we’re constantly having a great time together.

They teach me about unconditional love.

I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that this tidbit is on the list. Anyone who knows dogs, knows that they are the most unconditionally loving creatures. They love you no matter what you look like, or what you do. They have zero expectations and will love you until their last day.

Have you ever met anyone who is as excited to see you as your dog? I didn’t think so. Walk out of the room for five minutes and they’ll welcome you back like the amazing, beautiful queen you are.

Strive to be the person your dog thinks you are. That is some motivation right there.