Self Care 101 – What is Self Care? – Mental Health Mondays

As of late, it seems that the idea of self care has become a hot topic. I personally hear just about everyone talking about self care, how it makes them feel, and how important it is to them. But, what exactly is self care? Is it just bubble baths, fancy face masks, and painted nails, or could it be more? For Mental Health Monday, were gonna chat some Self Care 101.

Self Care 101 – So, What Even Is Self Care?

Self care is a routine or action that helps you to take care of you, makes you feel good, and may even alleviate some of the symptoms of mental health issues, like anxiety or depression. Other than that, the definition of self care is incredibly vast; it means something different to just about anyone you talk to. For me personally, I like to soak in a bath or spend some time outside with a book. For some people, it might be taking a nap, or going for a run. You can personalize it as much as you want, to help it best serve you.

The one major misconception is that I had for years was that taking the time for me and what I needed was selfish. Why take the time to rest or do something fun when I had so much work hanging over my head for school? In all reality, the quality of my work was much improved after I had time to recharge and get back on track. The constant work can seriously wear on you if you aren’t careful. Add in anxiety or depression (way more common than you think!) and it can be a recipe for disaster.

Self Care 101 – How to Implement Self Care in Everyday Life

One major misconception that surrounds the idea of self care is that it’s simply taking a bath or using a face mask. While both are lovely ways for some to relax and indulge in self care (myself included!) there are literally thousands of ways to get it in on the daily basis.

For some people, it can be as simple as making sure they get enough water in during the day. They feel better when they’re hydrated (who doesn’t?) so keeping a water bottle near by is a good way for them to practice self care. For you, it might be going for a walk or listening to music. It’s unique to every single person.

If you’re looking to find a good routine for self care, I would suggest starting with the things that make you feel happiest. I like to relax with different skin care and such, but I’m really into makeup so the correlation is there. Hobbies can be a great way to practice self care!

While it seems overly repetitive, only you knows whats best! Finding a new routine is half of the fun though!

What do you do to practice self care? What makes you feel better when stuff gets stressful? Let me know in the comment section below!

Happy Monday! Kill it out there!

XOXO

Em

 

Positive Affirmations – Mental Health Monday

Happy Monday! It’s a new week, full of possibility and opportunity. Or, if you’re like me, you’re just feeling tired, ha. I wanted to start a new little series where on Mondays we take the time to talk mental health, because your physical health and mental health are intertwined. I have always loved what a good positive affirmation has brought to the table for me, and maybe, they can do the same for you!

Mental health is something that EVERYONE needs to get used to talking about more openly. We are super comfortable talking about having a cold, or asthma, or other physical illnesses, but so many of us are living with mental health concerns. If we all could open up just a little, we could all feel just a little bit less alone. Even if you don’t feel like it applies to you, I can guarantee that it is affecting someone in your life. Being a little more candid with how we are feeling and doing can seriously help others, and maybe even yourself.

So, What Even is a Positive Affirmation?

When you’re having a bad day, negative emotions can creep into your mind quite easily. It’s really easy to feel pretty crappy when your mind isn’t showing you any love, and, in turn, your health and wellbeing can take a nose dive.

Positive affirmations are a way to combat those nasty thoughts that can take over your mind. They help to lift you up, clear out all the negative, and get you back on the right path. They remind you what you bring to the table, and who you really are. All the negativity gets kicked to the curb, and the positive brings you back to where you need to be.

What Are Some Positive Affirmations I Can Use?

Your positive affirmation is totally up to you! It can be tailored to fit whatever you need that day, or everyday for that matter. I pretty much have meditated on the same idea for about 5 years now (all about being healthy, happy and calm!) and you can always change it to be whatever you need that day.

Some pretty generic and good for everyone affirmations are;

  • I am capable
  • I am enough
  • I can do it (seriously though, sometimes you need that push!)
  • I am strong
  • I am confident

Ad nauseam. It really is a personal choice for you to make. I can tell you though, adding one to my life has seriously helped me on the bad days to push through!

How Do You Even Use a Positive Affirmation?

Positive affirmations are great tools for meditation! This means that you can use them anywhere, at any time, when you need them! That’s what makes them the best to me; they’re simple to use at any time.

For me, I like to repeat my affirmation a few times mentally when things start to get hairy. You can write it, think it, say it aloud, whatever works for you. Positive affirmations really are personal to each person, down to how you use them to influence how you think. I used to write mine in my planner so I would see them everyday in writing, as another reminder.

Have you ever used a positive affirmation? Do you think they would be helpful for you? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Monday!

XOXO Em

 

Finally Goodnight! Better Sleep is Within Reach!

We all know I’m a massively anxious person. That’s no where near a secret at this point. I run on nervous energy and somehow manage to survive. A few years back, I found myself living with next to no sleep. I was okay for a little, and then my health fell through the floor. It took this all happening to realize that I needed better sleep. Who would have known. People aren’t meant to run on 2 hours of sleep a night!

To everyone around me, this was painfully obvious, but sleep was eluding me, which probably helped in making me think that this was a normal and okay way to live. Cover up the dark circles with a heavy concealer and dealt with it.

After a couple months of wresting with my routine, I found the things that WORKED to get me to actually sleep. Then I saw that it is so common to struggle with sleep because of stress, work, or anything else. So, I figured I would share my tips and tricks, products that help, and my opinions.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you and helps to keep my website running and me writing as much as possible. Thank you for your love and support! 

Products for Better Sleep

The first step to getting that much needed rest is blocking out the light that might be disrupting your sleep schedule. You can block out the light as best as you can, but I prefer a sleep mask to help truly block out the light. You can check out this travel sleep mask as well!

Better Sleep

I received these two masks at a discount in exchange for my review! I totally recommend these to help you get those extra zzz’s! They’re both silk, so they’re soft against your skin and cool to the touch. I wish they came in more colors though, because I would love a bright pink or pastel purple one for my bedside stand!

Another thing that I live for when trying to sleep is some white noise. White noise comes in a wide variety, and helps to relax you while you’re getting to sleep. That being said, having a speaker to play it through makes it more comfortable than sleeping with headphones in. Plus, if you sleep with a partner, they may also like the white noise too! I find it super relaxing personally, and love it, especially when I travel.

Ancord has been super sweet in sending me one their speakers to try! I have used ancord’s speakers for the last few months and have been blown away by the quality that you get for the tiny price.

This orange speaker is perfect for white noise, then tossing in your bag and using all day long. It’s waterproof, so you can take it to the pool or on a bike ride with you! There is a strap attached so you can hang it anywhere. Like I said, the sound is pretty amazing for what you pay.

Another speaker I love is also from Ancord! This tiny gold speaker is perfect for travel, and would be so helpful for white noise in a hotel room. Sleep gets so difficult when you travel, and this can help to drown out all those strange sounds. 

Aromatherapy is another way to get some extra relaxation in and help you sleep more soundly. Specifically, lavender is a scent that helps so many people get to sleep!

I use an aromatherapy spray on my pillow and sheets before settling in. This spray on amazon has great reviews and would be perfect for cuddling in at night. A few spritz here and there, and you’ll feel more relaxed and ready to get some much needed rest.

Tips & Tricks for Better Sleep

As painful as it may be, parting with your phone a bit before sleep is a great way to settle. The blue light that your phone gives off helps to KEEP you awake, even when you want to sleep!

Also, a great weighted blanket makes a WORLD of difference. The weight on your body helps you to relax and feel more secure (just like a hug!). There are loads of shops on etsy that sell customized blankets just for your height and weight. I would HIGHLY suggest checking them out and supporting a small business in the mean time!

You can also try guided meditation before sleep. My sister is obsessed with guided meditation and there are tons of apps to help you meditate. Headspace is a big favorite!

Do you have any tricks to help your sleep? Share in the comments below!

XOXO

Em

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Self Care on the Cheap – Low or No Cost Ways to Encourage Better Mental Health

It seems that recently self care has become more and more of a hot button topic. I recently was browsing facebook and saw a post about how self care isn’t all “bath bombs and face masks” and that had me feeling some sort of way. As someone who (loudly and proudly) talks about how important mental health is, I love self care. It can seriously make a massive difference in your outlook and life if you suffer from anxiety, depression, and other related ailments.

Self care is a personal and unique experience for each person. That somewhat shady post had me a little sad, as the person who loves a good bath bomb or skincare after a bad day. But I was missing what the post was getting at all together; that self care doesn’t have to be expensive, and in some cases, won’t cost you a penny. No shame in your game if your self care routine involves bath and skincare products, though.

Low Cost Self Care Ideas

  1. Go for a day trip to a near by city or town. Explore the area, take photos, maybe stop at a cafe or restaurant or snack. Getting some steps in will help you to feel a little better!
  2. Get your nails done. This one is a little more pricey, but this is one of my favorite things to do when I feel gross!
  3. Get some ice cream! Totally soothes all wounds
  4. Have an at home spa day. Get some face masks from the store, put on some comfy clothes and have a day in. Ah, relaxation.
  5. Cook a new recipe. Just immersing yourself in a new recipe and focusing on cooking can lift you up. Plus, a healthy meal makes everyone feel good inside!
  6. Grab a coloring book and have at it. I love spending some time with some colored pencils and a nice picture, it helps so much to clear my mind.

No Cost Self Care Ideas

  1. Go for a walk! Studies have shown that exercise can help you lift your spirits. Plus, walks are good for everyone! Find a local park and take some time to explore.
  2. Take a bike ride. Like walks, find a trail, pack a snack and some water, and get going. You’ll feel better after!
  3. Do a mani/pedi at home. Grab some cute polish, and decorate your nails. I love having pretty nails, and it can help you to feel more pulled together on the days where you don’t feel yourself.
  4. Drink water! Grab a cute tumbler cup, and sip all day long. Staying hydrated keeps you feeling good.
  5. Take time for yourself. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Make sure you are scheduling time for yourself so you can destress and recharge. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
  6. Make sure you’re getting the proper amount of sleep. Again, can’t pour from an empty cup.
  7. Take time for your hobbies. Make sure you make time for the things you love!
  8. Spend time with friends and family. Surrounding yourself with positive people can help to lift you up.
  9. Take a warm bath or shower. Getting cleaned up can seriously help you to feel better.
  10. Understand that some days aren’t going to be amazing, and roll with that. Somedays will be hard, but always understand that there are positive days ahead.

What is your go-to self care technique? Share in the comments below, who knows, it might help someone else out!

If you’re looking to shop for some self care related treats, check out this article of mine!

Have a wonderful and healthy day!

XOXO Em

Constant Anxiety – What It’s Like Living With Anxiety Disorders

If you know me personally, good chances are that you are more than aware that I have had chronic anxiety for around 12 years now. At this point, mental health awareness and understanding has become a little more than important to me, because, in my humble opinion, it is one of the most misunderstood things around right now. The US hasn’t quite caught up to the rest of the world in the means of healthcare, which can leave mental health services in the dust. I’ve never shared what my day to day with anxiety is like before, but I figured that it was about time.

I’ve known the feeling of anxiety since I was pretty young. The earliest I felt it was probably around when I was in third grade, but I didn’t recognize it as anything other than feeling nervous. I was really young, and for the most part, it probably looked like I was just going through a phase as a kid. Over the years, it was pretty clear that I was always anxious about something, even if there wasn’t anything worth worrying about.

So, what does anxiety look like now?

Now that I’m starting into adulthood, anxiety is a little different because I recognize the confused and messy feelings as being anxiety. As a kid, it was a little more confusing, but now I know that it’s only temporary.

On a normal day, I usually wake up feeling that familiar nervous feeling in my chest or stomach. Once I start moving, it usually lifts, and I start to feel ready to start the day, have some breakfast, and either get to class, work, or hang around home on the off days. For me, anxiety is usually felt in my chest, with a tingling feeling, racing heart, and sometimes heart palpitations. You get that feeling that something absolutely terrible is about to happen, even when you’re totally safe at home. It can throw a wrench into a normal day, turning it into something terrible for no reason. That is the worst part, in my opinion.

How is someone affected by anxiety?

Another part that people don’t seem to totally grasp is that anxiety has such a massive effect on a person’s energy. For me, I’ve learned to adjust to living while constantly pretty tired. Be patient with us, please! We’re constantly trying to reason with our minds, reassuring ourselves that the world is, in fact, not ending and all will be okay. Doing this all day long is exhausting. It might not sound like much, but when your mind refuses to quiet down all day, it takes a serious toll. For myself personally, I work pretty hard to keep the emotions and panicked feeling way below the surface, so I can work and function on a daily basis. This takes an insane amount of energy, and leaves me usually pretty drained. But, hey, it works for me, and lets me live my life.

Some days are better than others, but every once in a while, it can be hard to smoosh all the feelings down. It is so easy to get overwhelmed, stressed, and upset over seemingly menial things. When you’re constantly bargaining with yourself mentally, it can be hard to keep up.

With all the negative, it doesn’t mean that life is all dreary and sad for me. Yeah, it can definitely complicate things, but for the most part, I live just like everyone else, just with little adjustments here and there. The media can demonize people who live with mental health issues, but in all reality, 99.9% of people are just trying to be happy and healthy like everyone else. And, you more than likely have someone in your life who has a similar struggle.

So, how can I help a friend with anxiety?

Everyone is different. Just like any illness, it effects everyone differently, and everyone likes different things to help with the stress. For me, I like the following things:

  • Support from friends and family. Just asking me how I’m doing lets me know someone is there for me, and opens up the conversation if I haven’t been feeling very well. However, this is something that everyone needs, regardless if they suffer from anxiety or any similar ailments. Everyone needs support!
  • Understand that it isn’t something we are doing on purpose. These feelings are usually out of our hands! While it doesn’t excuse any behavior, it is really helpful to understand that we are doing our best to manage how we feel.
  • Understand that somedays I need a day off. I can get really overwhelmed, and a day off is worth its weight in gold.

In addition, if you need some self care yourself, feel free to check out my post about my favorite forms of self care! Everyone can use a little TLC now and again!

Do you know someone that has anxiety, or maybe you do? Want to share any experiences or advice? Share in my comment section below!

XOXO Em