Mental Health Break

My friends and family know that I do not have the healthiest brain in the world and I’ve casually mentioned that I’ve been dealing with mental health issues in previous posts, but I wanted to talk more in depth about it today so bear with me.

For a very long time, I have lived with depression and anxiety. It’s become something about myself that I am learning to accept and work with. I think that denying it and hiding it is just going to make it worse.

Lately, I’ve been having a bit of a heard time. Certainly not at my worst but I have been in a funk. It’s been a struggle to get up in the morning and work through the day and I certainly haven’t been sleeping well (I’ve been having the same anxiety nightmare for about 2 weeks now).

For me, the first step is always just accepting that I feel the way that I feel. Once I just accept that I am not feeling well and I am not at my best, I can take care of it. I think that my first instinct is to pretend that nothing is wrong and that I’m okay but then I get frustrated because accomplishing simple tasks feels impossible. Then I end up feeling even worse about myself and it just gets worse.

So I like to take mental health days. I’m lucky enough to be surrounded my people who support me and care about me and I’m also lucky enough to work in a place where I have manager who I consider a friend, so talking to her is easy.

If you need a day or two or three to feel better, do it. It helps. Accept how you’re feeling and allow yourself the time you need to heal. You’ll benefit in the end.

Take care of yourself ❤

Self Care: It’s All Coming Up Roses

Self care is a big thing in my life and it’s something that I try to focus on as much as possible. It helps me function through the week. There are a variety of different things I use to help myself relax and come back down to earth and settle down a little bit. I’ll be writing posts about those in the future. This post is about rose.

I love rose. I think it goes back to being a kid. I remember my mom always have a rose body wash and a rose body cream. I remember going on walks with her and she would literally stop everything to smell the roses (I grew up in a province that is known for its wild roses). They say that certain smells are the things that can trigger memories and for me, when I smell roses, it takes me back to the comfort of my mother. There’s just something so comforting about it for me.

So while rose has a lot of sentimental value to me, I’ve also been learning about the benefits of rose. It’s really good for you!

IMG_7619

They say that drinking rose tea can help with…
01. Menstrual pains
02. Boosting your immune system
03.Improving your digestion 
04. Helping reduce stress and anxiety
05. Weight loss

And then as far as cosmetics go, rose is FULL of vitamin C and they say that is promotes essential collagen production (which keeps your hair and skin healthy). I’ve been told that rose will help improve acne, it’s incredibly brightening, and also naturally moisturizing (so it doesn’t leave you feeling oily and gross)

As the years have gone on, I have really developed a collection of rose items and I don’t even have everything that I want yet. These are a few of the things that I really enjoy.

IMG_7611

IMG_7613

IMG_7614

01. Naked 3 from Urban Decay
02. Rose Bombshell Bath Bomb from Lush
03. Rosewater Balancing Mist from Jurlique 
04. Creme de Rose Lip Balm from Dior
05. Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay from Origins 
06. Rose Micellar Cleansing Milk from Sephora
07. Revved Up Nail Polish from Formula X
08. Rose Gold Watch from Michael Kors
09. Rosewater Hand and Body Cream from Crabtree and Evelyn 
10. Paaarty Blush from Tarte
11. Piece of Cake Juicy Shaker from Lancome
12. R0se Quartz
13. Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks from Kat Von D
14. Rose Cleansing Cream from Sephora
15. Serenity Now Tea from David’s Tea
16. Rose Cleansing Wipes from Sephora

Rose feels like a power colour for me. It feels like something I need in my life. They say that rose quartz is the stone of ‘unconditional love and infinite peace’ and that it ‘draws off negative energy and replaces it with loving vibes’.

In all, it just makes me feel really friggin good. I think that finding just one thing, one simple thing, like roses, will help be the first step in learning to take care of yourself.

Travelling with Anxiety

Let me start by saying that I don’t have a ton of experience with travel (yet). I went on one big trip, spending close to 8 months travelling and working in New Zealand with my best friend. Taking this trip was a huge step for me, especially as I have a history of dealing with anxiety and depression and all of these things that make me want to just stay at home because it’s not as scary.

I’ve been thinking about all of this and I decided that maybe this is something I should write about. So I’ve come up with a list of NUMBER tips that helped me get through such a long backpacking trip.

Before we start, please keep in mind that I am not a professional and these are not going to be for everyone but for me, this is what helped me get through it.

1.Take little pieces of home with you. Whatever that may be. Even just little things that make you smile and remind you of being in a safe place. For me, that came in the form of a Lululemon scarf that I wear all the time. It’s a huge scarf and it has snaps along the side so you can open it up and wrap it around yourself like a blanket. I didn’t have space to bring my own pillows and blankets so the scarf had to do. I was also more dependent on my laptop than I would like to admit. But it was a piece of home that sort of brought my attention back to what was in front of me when I felt myself spinning.

IMG_1428.JPG

2.Speaking of my laptop, one lesson I had to learn was to take time for myself. We lived in a hostel, surrounded by people. We worked and lived in a huge hostel and our room housed up to 12 people at any given time. Now, I love these people and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. However, I’ve always had a habit of trying to push myself when I couldn’t handle it. Everyone is going out to the club and I’m on the verge of a panic attack but I go anyway because I don’t want to be the Debbie Downer. But what ends up happening? I have a panic attack and I’m miserable. So I had to learn my limits and stick to them. There is no shame at all in saying, you know what…I don’t have it in me today. I needed to take my laptop and crawl into my bed and watch a show or a movie on Netflix. I needed to be by myself with a cup of tea and shut everyone else out because I needed to bring myself back down to earth. That has to be one of the biggest things I could ever tell you. There is NO SHAME in needing to distance yourself from something when it gets to be too much.

3a3282e5d3b0d8a530dac9b4b35562da

3.Travelling with a friend helped more than I could ever express. My best friend, Erin, was such a source of comfort for me. She always has been. I don’t know if she knows that but I guess she does now! There is something to be said for travelling alone and I think that I could handle short trips by myself but for something long like this, 8 months away from everything I knew, having her by my side was huge. Whenever it felt like too much or I felt like I couldn’t handle it or I was sure that I had made a mistake, I could look at her and it was like bringing my focus back in. If we were out and I saw that she was laughing, I knew that everything was cool. If we were in a new place and I knew that she was sleeping soundly, I knew that we were going to be alright. I’ve always found comfort in my best friend but having her with me on this adventure made it all so much better.

ad2f0d363296dc84b4e36ce1fbeeba51

4.Learning to being open to meeting new people was big, too. It’s easy to be scared of meeting others. It can be overwhelming and exhausting and too much. However, opening myself up to these new people made the trip for me. I think back on my experience in New Zealand and I think of the wonderful people that I met. Being around those new friends reminded me why I was there in the first place.

IMG_1987.JPG

Photo on 2016-02-22 at 7.01 PM

IMG_3335

5.I had to remind myself why I was there sometimes. So do that. Whatever works for you. I would get a coffee and walk in the park or go through my photos or flip through my Lonely Planet book. I reminded myself why I had taken that time to visit the other side of the globe and in the end, I knew that I was doing it for a reason. I knew that I wasn’t just wasting time. I knew that I was growing and learning and that all of it was going to be worth it in the end. New Zealand was a beautiful country and I reminded myself to stay in the moment and enjoy it all, because it was worth it.

IMG_2811.jpg

I would hate to miss out on something like this because of my anxiety and I would hate to see others missing out on something that makes them happy out of fear. Don’t let it hold you back. Don’t let it stop you from things. Because it’s worth it and life can be pretty incredible.

A Pamper Day

I love a pamper day. I love a day to treat ‘me’ however that may be. Everyone has something. Everyone has that one thing that fills them up, that makes the coming week bearable. For me, that’s spending a day on my own, with all the little things that make me happy. I don’t look at my phone, I don’t do anything that doesn’t feel good, I take it easy.

For a long time, I had a hard time with taking a day off like this. We get told constantly that we have to always be doing something. I always had this fear of being ‘lazy’ but I needed a day. I needed a self care day to just shut myself off from the real world but I was worried about being a lazy couch potato. I’ve come to learn that taking a day to yourself is not a bad thing.

So I sleep in for as long as I want, I make a big breakfast, I tidy up my space if I need to, I watch a TV show or a movie or whatever else I want, I do whatever I need to make me happy.

I love having a bath. I love bath bombs, I love painting my nails, I love using face masks, I love reading and writing, I love a cup of tea (Serenity Now from David’s Tea is heaven in a cup).

If you need a day off, take a day. Take more than a day. Your mental health is the most important thing.

IMG_3502

IMG_3504

IMG_3505

IMG_3506

IMG_3517