5 Things I’ve Stopped Doing That Make My Depression Worse

5 Things I’ve Stopped Doing That Make My Depression Worse

Hello friends!

Since it’s all out on the table these days, I might as well share things that I’ve been guilty of lately. Sometimes depression sucks you into it’s dark hole, sinks it’s teeth in and doesn’t let go. I guess that’s when we give up and learn to live in the darkness, right?

WRONG.

I know more than anyone it’s easier to live in the darkness, but that’s no fun, is it? Sometimes all you can do is crawl in the right direction and improve everyday. You don’t have to leap into being the fucking happiest person on earth but you do need to stop making your depression worse. 

Let’s talk about what makes my depression worse. Hopefully with these tips you’ll crawl a little closer into the light like I’ve been trying to do lately.

Isolating Myself

Let’s talk about balance. All of you that know me, know that I LOVE MY ALONE TIME. I’m an introvert and that’s how I recharge, but wanna know something strange? I’ve learned recently that I actually like being around people who love me. You know, those beautiful souls I surround myself with? 

If I spend too long without seeing my friends and family, my depression gets worse. Why? Because we’re social creatures and no matter how introverted you are, you will thrive more when you foster healthy relationships with others. 

So take that introverts!

Staying Inside All Day

If it weren’t for my dogs, I would probably never see daylight for days. DAYS. There is something really wrong with that. I love the sun but when I’m depressed all I want is to stay under the covers, for like…ever. 

And what instantly raises the spirits?  Sunshine gleaming on my face. But not for too long because I burn like a lobster. It’s a real problem, and all you fair skinned people understand me right? I know I can’t be the only one that shrivels up like a raisin after 30 minutes under our beautiful star.

Not Reaching Out

I’m REALLY guilty of this one, and what I’ve learned about my introverted friends is that they’re just as guilty as I am. 

It’s part of our personality description that we don’t always reply to texts and we keep to ourselves. 

The problem lies when we don’t reach out forever and our friends start thinking we don’t love them anymore! Not reaching out to my friends and family forever makes me feel disconnected and isolated. 

Want to know an easy way to feel more depressed? Never talk to your loved ones again. Sounds miserable right? So don’t do it. 

Chances are, that they’re waiting for you to reach out to them. Sometimes we get caught up in our lives and forget that a simple text can change your whole day for the better.

HOMEWORK: Text your best friend, your partner (if you have one) and one family member to tell them you’re thinking of them. Then let me know how you felt after. 

Keeping Everything To Myself

When I keep things to myself, I tend to also believe that no one understands me and I feel alienated. When really, all the people around me will understand and listen. 

No loved one will ever turn you away for confiding in them…unless they’re an asshole. Then maybe we should find a new loved one. 

You’ll be surprised how not alone you are in this world once you open up and share your story with people. 

Settling For Toxic Relationships

The depressed life can be a lonely one, but it’s far better lonely than clutching onto toxic relationships. Toxic relationships add to your stress and depression. Stop making your depression worse by staying with your nasty boyfriend, or that seriously annoying drunk friend you have. 

Drop them and take the time to find those lovely souls out there. There are so many wonderful people out there, you just need to look around a bit. (And stop wasting your energy on people who suck the life out of you).

There you have it, all my secrets. Just kidding! This blog lets me share a whole bunch of shit that I almost don’t have any more secrets! 

So what makes your depression worse?

Share with my in the comments, or go to the “Say Hi” tab and message me privately!

Have a lovely day!

What I Did About My Worst Depression in Over a Decade

What I did about my worst depression in over a decade

Yeah, you read that right. I have not had depression this bad in over a decade. A DECADE. It’s really a big deal and I haven’t been able to write in months. 

What I Did About My Worst Depression in Over a Decade

Let me tell you a little something about depression. It fucking sucks. Period. It is completely encompassing of everything in my life. 

If I could take a magic pill and make it go away, I would. If I could “just get over it”, I would. But trust me, it’s not that easy.

Even now I’m having a difficult time explaining how hard it’s been the last few months. Most people think depression is all about sadness. It’s not. For me, it’s 30% numb, 30% I hate myself, 20% sad, and 20% tired. 

For me, it’s 30% numb, 30% I hate myself, 20% sad, and 20% tired.

When I was about to give it all up, I decided to make a few changes. With the little motivation I do have, I can schedule appointments to give myself a little nudge in the right direction. 

This is what I did about it.

Go back to counseling

At first it was difficult for me to accept that I needed help yet again. I didn’t want to admit that I needed to go back to counseling or start my meds again. But in the end what’s most important is that I chose to take care of myself, no matter what means necessary. 

It’s okay to go back to counseling. In fact there’s a ton of things throughout life that counseling would ease and help resolve. Mental illness, loss of a loved one, trauma, divorce, marriage, childcare, loss of a job, etc. 

Counseling is not a once and done sort of solution. It’s like going to your medical doctor once a year to check up on your body. You don’t go once and decide you’re good forever. Mental health (like physical health) needs constant attention and care.  

Mental health (like physical health) needs constant attention and care. 

Start my antidepressants AGAIN

Asking my doctor to start me on my antidepressants again wasn’t exactly easy, but I wasn’t embarrassed either. I am proud of myself for that because I sought out the help I need. 

I don’t see medication as a crutch or something to hide. Medication is something that allows my brain to function properly while I try to sort out my current issues. 

Purchase a gym membership

I got a gym membership again to force myself out of the house. And the truth be told, a gym membership that includes studio yoga classes is a hell of a lot cheaper than buying a pass for a yoga studio. Yoga is kind of my thing, but so is lifting weights. It works. 

See a nutritionist

To really take care of every aspect of my life, I decided to see a nutritionist as well. Like many people, I didn’t develop the healthiest relationship with food, and I decided to put an end to it if I could. 

Instead of obsessing over every calorie going into my mouth and only thinking about what I shouldn’t be eating, I decided to learn what will nourish my body. That way I’m aware of the specific benefits of foods, and learn what my body needs. 

Read

There are few things in this world that allow you to travel time and space, and one is reading. Lately I’ve been reading anything and everything that will help improve my mood and mental health. 

Call me a nerd, but I am so proud of my library card. I just think it’s the coolest thing ever. Judge me if you want.

Take a break

And when life gives you a comfy bed and some spare time, take a damn nap and don’t feel bad about it. It’s okay to put yourself first, and really that’s the way it always should be.

I had to make the choice to give up, or to force myself in the right direction, no matter how uncomfortable. One thing I’ve learned about mental illness (or really anything in life) is that it’s a continual battle for something better. Recovery is an ongoing task throughout life. 

When tragedy happened and I needed the extra help, I started up my mental health routine again. And that’s okay. There is no need to beat myself up over starting over again. There is absolutely no shame in seeking help whether it’s the first time, or the hundredth time. 

Remember that you’re always worth it. 

20 Habits of Healthy, Happy People

20 Habits of Healthy, Happy People

Sometimes we have to go back to the basics because we get so into routine. Life can sweep us off our feet and we need to stay grounded. Often we forget to take the time and really do what’s best for ourselves.

I’ll admit that I have been in a serious funk lately. After my dad died earlier this year I just haven’t been able to get back on my feet. My depression has skyrocketed and it hasn’t been this bad since High School. I’ve barely written or painted anything new for months. This is a reminder to myself (and you) to get back into the right mindset.

If you’re looking for some guidance because you’ve been feeling down lately, read on. Here are 20 Habits of Healthy, Happy People. 

They sleep when they’re tired.

They eat when they’re hungry.

They keep hydrated.

They create a routine.

They drink responsibly.

They exercise because they love their body, not because they hate it.

They love themselves no matter their size, weight, or current struggle.

They talk to themselves with love and compassion.

They surround themselves with other healthy individuals.

They distance themselves from toxic people.

They set boundaries.

They improve themselves everyday.

They uplift others.

They seek help when they need it.

They admit their faults.

They embrace change.

They take on challenges with confidence.

They forgive themselves for their mistakes.

They trust their instincts. 

They take their self-care seriously and utilize it often.

There you have it friends. In a lot of ways this blog is for myself as it’s also for you. Welcome to my mental health journey. Learn with me, take care with me, and thrive with me.

Let’s build an unapologetic community full of beautiful badasses.

Cheers! Here’s to the upcoming work week!

 

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

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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

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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