25 SELF-CARE TIPS FOR ANXIETY & DEPRESSION

1.) Go for a walk

2.) Get some fresh air

3.) Meditate

4.) Color

5 .) Listen to an upbeat song

6.) Watch mindless TV (ex: Bob’s Burgers)

7.) Get out of your current environment (if possible!)

8.) Blog

9.) Pray

10.) Write in a journal

11.) Read a book

12.) Go window shopping (or actual shopping, if you can afford it.)

13.) Listen to a podcast

14. Call your mom, or a friend

15. Spend time with a loved one

16.) Exercise

17.) Take a bubble bath

18.) Take a guilt-free nap

19.) List 10 things you’re grateful for

20.) Bake something

21.) Look up inspirational quotes

22.) Make homemade chicken noodle soup (comfort food ♥️)

23.) Remind yourself that this feeling passes

24.) List all the ways you’re a bad ass bitch

25.) Paint your nails

2018 – NEW YEAR, NEW ME? NOT EXACTLY….

Every year, I get really excited for New Years. I start in Mid-December; my bucket list for the New Year, resolutions, goals, vision boards.  Every year, it’s always the same.  I’m going to be super healthy & meal prep every single day.  I am going to plan a workout routine and stick to it.  I’m going to be so positive, and no negativity will be allowed anywhere near my bubble. I typically start out doing really well with my resolutions/goals, and then slowly, as the year goes on, my progress just kind of….fades.  Sometimes I don’t even realize it’s happening until I’ve already fallen completely off the wagon.

I started out this year like I typically do – I made my vision board, I made a list of goals, and things I would like to do this year.  Only this time around, I adjusted my plans just a tad.  I didn’t start with the “New Year, New Me” mentality like I normally would have.  How is “New Year, New Me” a healthy mindset?  That’s like saying something is wrong with the “old me”, and that’s not true.  I want to be the same me, just a better, improved version of myself.  And I believe that every single year, I do work on that.  When I look at where I was five years ago, mentally, spiritually, emotionally – I know I have grown tremendously.  No, I might not be where I want to be physically – yet, but that will come.  I have a very “all or nothing” mentality, and I want to banish that this year.  My goals do not have to be all or nothing, because for me, that’s unrealistic.  I don’t like working out, not really.  (I always feel great after I work out, but getting myself to go to the gym is a struggle.)  This year, I would like to find a work out that I actually enjoy.  And no, I’m not going to work out every single day.  (Maybe, eventually, one day I will want to do that.  But to start out, I know I won’t stick to that.  I would basically be setting myself up for failure.)

Yes, I do have many goals I would like to accomplish this year – only, this time around, I want to take it slow.  I don’t care if I move at turtle’s pace, progress is progress.  It doesn’t matter to me how long it takes.  I think human beings in general should be constantly evolving and growing.  I believe that I will forever be “a work in progress” – because no one is perfect, and trying to obtain some level of perfection is just ridiculous.  And for the first time ever, I realize that I’m okay with that.  More than okay, actually.  I don’t feel overwhelmed by my resolutions this time around; I feel excited.  And it’s really good feeling.

dont

With that being said, however, it did take me some time to actually come to this realization.  I had a conversation with my Mom, and she helped me put things into perspective.  We are only a few days into 2018, and I told her I was feeling kind of depressed.  It’s been so cold here in New England, it hurts just to step outside.  I also had some kind of bug on the 2nd, and I finally started to feel like myself this morning, so I was sick for a couple of days.  There’s also a blizzard outside currently,  and I hate that trapped feeling, even though I’m grateful for a snow day.  So yeah, being cooped up for the last four days and not feeling well can obviously make a person feel somewhat blah.  I shared with her that I get really excited for the New Year, and then when January rolls around I realize that everything is still exactly the same.  Saying it aloud made me realize how ridiculous I sounded.  When the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, nothing magical happens – of course everything is the same.  Things only change when you change them.  Just because it’s a New Year doesn’t mean that my mindset is going to automatically be positive – that’s something that I have to actively work on. Especially because I’m prone to anxiety, which in turn, does make me feel depressed.  Talking things through with my Mom made me feel better, and it helped me put some perspective on my goals and ways that I can accomplish them.  (Thanks Mama, I love you!)

IMG_0448

I usually don’t share my Vision Boards, but lately I’ve really been into putting things out into the Universe that you want, so here we go.  Keywords from my board:

  • Engagement
  • New Home
  • Trust yourself
  • Self-employed
  • Create
  • Travel
  • In Love
  • Fearless
  • Bright Future
  • Balance
  • Blonde Ambition
  • Self Care
  • Happy Place
  • Be yourself
  • Health

These keywords are ultimately what I want, and some are what I have (but would like to grow more with/learn more of).  It’s out there in the Universe, and I’m ready for it.  (Side Note: I’m aware that I have a blank space on there….I’ve tried to fill it, and I’ve yet to find something that I believe fits.  We’ll see.)

When I reviewed my Vision Board from last year, I did notice that some (not all) of what I had wanted did come true. I’ll show you:

IMG_0451

 

2017 Vision Board:

  • Bebe Rexha (the Platinum blonde @ the top left-ish) > I’m finally back to blonde.
  • Find your voice at work/upgrade your job > I have 100% found my voice at work.  I also got the raise I asked for.
  • The pretty desk > My desk may not be as pretty as the one in my board, but I did get one, and I now have my own writing space.  I also made it cute.
  • Power Couple/Feeling the love/Really big love/Dinner for two/Look hot together/Forever > I fall more in love with Saul every single day. I know that sounds cheesy, but I don’t care.  He’s my person, and I just love him so much.
  • “Private Show” ~ Britney Spears > I went to Vegas with Melissa and finally saw Brit perform Piece of Me.  One of my favorite memories of 2017 for sure.
  • Escape to the country > Traveled to Wisconsin for Jessi’s wedding over the Summer.  It was wonderful.
  • Let the good times roll > I had a lot of fun memories this year – Vegas, Jena’s birthday in Newport, Jessi’s Wedding, Girls days, weddings in general, etc.
  • Engagement > No, I’m not yet engaged, however, Saul & I did go look at rings, and that was a huge step for us.  And an extremely exciting one.

No, not everything came true from the board.  But like I said before – I am a work in progress.  What I want is out in the Universe, and what’s meant to happen will happen when it’s supposed to.  Until then,  I will keep working on/towards my goals, and working on being the best version of me that I can be.

 

grateful

This year, I do vow to blog more.  It’s funny – I started off this morning racking my brain about what to post for my blog, and I kept coming up blank. My creative juices were so not flowing, and I was annoyed.  I also shared this with my mom.  After we spoke about that, along with my feelings on the new year, she suggested I blog about everything that we had spoken about.  “You think I should blog about the fact that I can’t come up with a topic for a blog?” I asked her skeptically.  “Not just that,” she had responded.  “How you were feeling about the new year, and not being able to come up with anything.”  I wasn’t sure at first, but once I sat down at the computer and started, it came.  Sometimes you can find inspiration in the most unlikely of places.

 

believe

 

I hope everyone’s 2018 is going wonderfully so far.  And if it’s not, it’s okay!  Every day is a new chance to get it right.

 

 

xo

 

 

Life is tough, my darling, but so are you! Living & Coping with Anxiety

annnnxxiety.jpg

 

I know I’ve touched on this subject before, very briefly, in some of my past blog posts.  However, with September being Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, I wanted to go into a little bit more detail about anxiety and mental illness in general.

I want to start by saying – if you are feeling depressed, anxious, lost, confused, hopeless, or struggling in any way, shape or form, please, do not be embarrassed to ask for help. You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed about.  I totally understand, it’s a lot easier said than done.

My symptoms of anxiety began in childhood, though they were so small, they were overlooked.  It wasn’t until high school, when I began having horrible social anxiety (though at the time, I had no idea what that was, and I didn’t understand “what was wrong with me” or why I felt the way that I felt) that I never experienced as a child. During my childhood, I was very outgoing.  I performed in talent shows, I danced in recitals, I played sports, I read a poem in front of the entire elementary school and wasn’t nervous about it.  Fast forward to tenth grade – I can remember vividly sitting in my American Sign Language class, a class I actually really enjoyed and found interesting.  The teacher was going around the classroom, asking each person a question, and they would respond back in sign language.  I remember the fear that washed over me, and I had no idea why.  You’ll know the answer, I reassured myself, but I was still filled with doubt.  What if you don’t, though?  You’ll have to say you don’t know and the entire class will be staring at you.  Even if you do know the answer, the entire class will be staring at you.  These thoughts swirled around my mind, escalating to the point that I just had to get out of there.  I don’t even remember if I asked to go to the bathroom, I just remember feeling relief once I was out of that classroom.  I remember feeling sweaty, my palms tingly, and somewhat breathless.  (I did not have a full blown panic attack that day, which I would realize later on in life when I actually began having them.)  I do remember asking myself why I freaked out so badly, but once I was safe in the bathroom, alone, I realized I didn’t care.  My thoughts were no longer racing, my breathing was starting to return to normal, and I didn’t feel that dreaded fear I had felt while in the classroom.  Who cares, I thought, it’s gone now.  Sitting in the school bathroom, I realized, I couldn’t just stay in here.  But the thought of actually going back into that room, facing the entire class (because in my mind, I truly believed that everyone could see the anxiety on my face) wasn’t even an option.  There was no way in Hell I was going back.  And I didn’t.  Ever.

Side Note: It took me about five months to get caught skipping classes.  I stopped going to American Sign Language, Geometry, Gym class, and eventually History.  I attended the rest of my classes.   Our days were broken up into four periods, so these classes would be an hour and a half, every other day.  During these times I would literally sit in the bathroom, or in a friend’s car, texting or reading.  Some days, my mom would drop me off at school and I’d go in, hide in the bathroom until first period began, then sneak out the side door and walk home.  I have no idea how I was able to get away with this.  The only reason I got caught was because I skipped gym class last period, and my brother was home sick that day.  He told my mom, and I really thought nothing of it.  I lied and said I had a study hall, and that I just wanted to come home because I was finished all my work.  My mom ended up calling the school, and was finally informed I was barely attending my classes, and definitely not passing.

My mom was the one who made me realize I actually had a legitimate problem.  Anxiety wasn’t something talked about that much, at least not something I was familiar with in 2004.  I refused to admit that anything was wrong for a long time.  I claimed that I just “didn’t want to go to school” and that I didn’t care ( I know, I was such a rebel.)  Once that word was thrown out there, though – ANXIETY – it was something I thought about.  (Shockingly, I wasn’t really in tune with my feelings as a teenager.  I truly didn’t understand how I felt, nor did I really want to think about it.  Anyone who knows me now knows how aware I am of feelings – my own, and other people’s.)  I remember the first time I went online and looked up Anxiety on Internet Explorer – I was shocked and speechless at what I read.  I cried.  I wasn’t alone.  There were billions of people who experienced what I was feeling.  I didn’t have to live this way.

Do you ever think of your life in segments?  When I think back to this time period, I always think of this as a defining moment.  Before Anxiety, and After Anxiety.  (I guess there really is no before & after, it was always there, lingering, and it doesn’t ever go away), but this is when I decided that yes, I needed help, and that I was ready to change my life.

It wasn’t easy.  It’s still not easy.  But over the years, I’ve educated myself, and it’s made life much more manageable.  Most of the time, I’m able to talk myself through my anxiety. A few months ago, I went to 102.5 Country Fest Street Party in Boston.  It was jam packed, and we had to fight our way through the crowd just to get a beer.  I was anxious, but I talked myself through it (it’s only your anxiety, you’re fine, everything is okay, just breath!)  I remember Jena telling me she was so proud of me – she asked me if I felt anxious, and I said that yes, I did, but I was okay.  She told me I had come so far, and that a few years ago I wouldn’t have been able to do that – and she was right!  And it made me so happy to hear that.  Of course, I have my bad days.  I recently skipped a party because I was so anxious, I had a panic attack hours before it – and I was so mad at myself about it after.  I was mad that I let my anxiety get the best of me, I let my fear rule me.  But I can’t beat myself up about it, I just have to move on, and continue fighting this battle.

There are many different ways people cope with anxiety.  I’m going to list some of mine, and I hope that someone finds at least one of these methods helpful to them.

WAYS TO COPE W/ANXIETY & PANIC

  1. Talk yourself through it.  (My favorite is: This is just your anxiety talking, it’s okay.  I don’t know why this works for me, but it does, usually.)
  2. Talk to someone.  Whether it’s a friend, a parent, a significant other, a therapist – let it out!  Keeping it bottled up makes it worse.
  3. If you have plans (a concert, a party), or any other kind of event that makes you nervous, tell one of your friends before hand.  This always helped me – Jena knew about my anxiety, and for some reason, just knowing that she knew, that if I needed to leave she understood and would just go with me, made me feel so much better.
  4. Breathing Exercises.  (Yes, I’m serious!)  Take a deep breath, hold it for three seconds, and then slowly let it out.  Do this about four times.  It slows your heart rate down and relaxes you.
  5. Distract yourself!  Seriously, do something, anything.  Read a book, watch TV, clean, organize your closet, go run an errand – do something that will help you take your mind off of the fact that you have anxiety.  Sometimes just changing your scenery is all you need.
  6. Exercise.  This is one I need to take my own advice on more often.  Every time I exercise, my mind feels a billion times clearer.  It doesn’t even have to be an intense work out – just waking on the treadmill, listening to my favorite music, helps a lot.
  7. Remember that it’s okay, and that you are going to be okay.  You cannot die from a panic attack.  You’re not going to go crazy or have a nervous breakdown.  You will be okay.  It passes.  It always, always passes!  I know it sucks in the moment.  I wouldn’t wish a panic attack on my worst enemy.  But it doesn’t last forever.
  8. Color!  Coloring is so therapeutic.  I like to light a candle, drink some tea, and just relax.  It really does help, as silly as it sounds.
  9. Make small goals for yourself.  Example: At one point in life, I literally couldn’t even go into Dunkin Donuts by myself, my anxiety was that bad.  I would make small goals to get over my fear of being alone in public.  I would go into Marshalls for two minutes.  ( I know, doesn’t seem like much, but to me, then, it was huge.)  Once I accomplished this, I would do it again, but add another minute.  I did this until being alone in public no longer frightened me.
  10. Make a list of all the good things about yourself.  Yep, I’m serious!  Having anxiety can be emotionally draining, and often leads to depression.  When you become frustrated with yourself, for so long, you start to forget all of the wonderful qualities you have.  So list them!  You are more than your anxiety.  It does not define you, though at times it can feel like it does.  Never forget how wonderful and amazing you really are.

 

I’m thankful for my struggle, because without it

I would not have stumbled across my strength

 

d118205

 

 

 

Motivational Monday

I’ve never been one to be a fan of Mondays.  In fact, I actually hate Mondays.  When Sunday night rolls around, I feel myself becoming anxious, thinking of starting a whole new week again.  The weekend, as always, feels so far away.  Dreading Monday though isn’t helping me in any way, shape, or form.  I’ve decided to try to put a positive spin on it – it’s a new week! It’s a new day to start fresh, to be whatever I want.  It’s a blessing to just be alive.  So screw you, Monday, and all of the anxiety you usually cause me.  I’m going to begin embracing Monday, and all that it brings.  And I’m going to start doing small, little things for myself on Mondays, too.  That way, it won’t seem so horrible when Sunday night comes creeping in.

 

I hope you all have a fabulous Monday.  Here are a few words of wisdom to get you through your day!

 

 

 

d118205