Category: Mental Health

Dealing with Mental Health : Impacts and Change

 

These past few months have been hard. My personal and work life became very stressful.  For the last month, I have changed significantly.  I have little anxiety and my depression is no longer impacting my daily life.  First of all, there’s no reason to be ashamed about mental health issues.  The stigma has to stop.

Now, I still suffer from some anxiety and depression.  I will most likely always have both illnesses.  But, lately I’ve been able to control it.

About a month ago,  I was having severe meltdowns daily. I was stressed for no reason.   I was put on a new medication to treat my increasingly worsening mental illnesses. [I strongly believe that medication can truly help some people.  That it is necessary for some to treat a chemical imbalance, or to help those who need them. ] I was previously on a medication that I found somewhat ineffective.  But hey, finding a good medication can be like finding a needle in a hay stack.

However, with this new medication I had the worse reaction of my life.  I was suicidal.  Very suicidal.  I had incredible panic attacks every hour or so.  I was barely able to function.  Since, I was such a mess, I stopped taking the medication immediately.  However, I wasn’t thinking correctly, and so I also stopped taking all medication.  This is when I went through withdrawal.  I don’t recommend it.  But, I was in no state to make good decisions.  I ended up taking two weeks off of work and endured it.  It sucked.

After stopping all medication, and getting it out of my system. I’ve been working extra hard on my mental health and coping skills. I could probably return on a mild dose for anxiety but I am working hard for now without any.  Again, there’s nothing wrong with medication. But, I had the worse case scenario.

 I haven’t felt this happy in years.

Since then, I’ve tried to change my way of thinking.  I try to focus on the good.  I know that this is a cheesy and annoying piece of advice.  But, focusing on the bad always put me in a terrible mood. Sometimes lasting the entire day.  I try to stay active and be social to distract myself from those negative thoughts.  I have some great friends who have supported me throughout all of this.  There’s still a lot that I can do.  But, I am happy with what I have accomplished.

This terrible experience has changed me for the better.

*I am not a professional. If you have any concerns about you mental health, see a health care 
professional. Please visit the emergency room or call emergency services if you have thoughts of self 
harm or suicide.
study

Anxiety & Depression: Goals to Improve Myself

 

Anxiety is something that I have been dealing with a lot lately. Here are my goals for this month.

  1. yoga and meditation each morning
  2. hangout with 3-4 friends each week
  3. Have a “me” coffee date
  4. Read an uplifting book
  5. Go on a road trip
  6. Skiing night
  7. talk to friends who I’ve lost contact with
  8. Enjoy a nights of board games and wine
  9. Volunteer at the humaine society
  10. Write a journal entry
  11. gym 6x a week no excuses
  12. Be grateful about my friends and family
  13. Give myself a compliment each day
  14. Create short and long term goals
  15. Write blog posts
  16. Wake up earlier to benefit from the sun, happy place
  17. have a spa day
  18. Drink Tons of water

Time for Change : Goals and Changes

Time for a Change

These past few weeks have been difficult. Very difficult. I’ve realized that I have lost myself. Lately, I have not been the cute, funny, bubbly kind of person that I am. I haven’t been super excited about new scientific discoveries. Or, told any long and boring history lessons.

My Mental Health has changed me. After suffering for so many years, I’ve finally hit the bottom. Where life is an impossible task. The only thing holding me here is my family and friends. Without them, I would only be a memory.

The depression and anxiety has pushed me to stop talking to my friends, and to avoid social interactions. I isolated myself. Because of this, I depended heavily on my partner. My former partner.

This has taught me to not lose yourself while fighting mental illness. Continue visiting your friends, loved ones, and be outgoing. My happiest moments are those where I’ve pushed through my mental illness. I did something exciting and different. Go on an adventure! Try new things! Do something different.

I know that there are things that I could have done. It’s too late to change the past; I’ll change my future instead. I have decided to journal. It will be a way for me to get in touch with my feelings and goals. How I will not lose sight of myself again. This will be my way back to the surface when I am drowning. My lifejacket. When it feels like all is lost, I will look back in my journal. There I will find proof that things will get better. It will be my source of

Hope

 

 

February Goals

  1. Be with friends 2-3 times a week.
  2. Drink a lot more water
  3. Eat healthy
  4. Go to the gym consistently 6x a week
  5. Start a Vlog Channel
  6. Read a good book
  7. Practice French with a Friend
  8. Meditate and practice yoga each morning
  9. Wake up earlier to take advantage of the sun light. (more about this later)
  10. Work on being more confident

anxiety

How To Get Out Of A Rut: Helpful Tips and Tricks

rut

 

I think almost everyone knows what it’s like to be in rut.  Perhaps, it’s because of school, work, friends, and/or mental health issues.  Personally, I go through a “rut” about once a year.  Usually it’s caused by stress.  If you are currently going through a tough time.  Or, in the future, realize that you are in a rut.  Here are some of my tips to help bounce back.

First of all.  Is it a rut that you are in, or is it something more? If it is more than a rut, it would be helpful to see a professional.  These tips will still be helpful in that case.

rut

Be Social

I know, I know, being social is probably the last thing that you want to do right now. But, by surrounding yourself with good friends, (avoid the toxic ones), it will distract you and comfort you. Don’t be afraid to tell those who you trust about what is going on.  They may put a greater effort into including you in activities.  They should also understand why you may not call them as much, or feel like hanging out.

Try going for coffee with a friend.  This is how I’ve been able to rekindle a few friendships.  I had a period of time where I barely spoke to my friends. I rarely got out of the house.  So, I made sure to tell them what was happening. They understood. When I was ready, they were still there for me.

rut

Be Adventurous

If your day to day activities only include school/work, food and Netflix. It’s a good idea to add some adventure to your life.  (That you actually go on. Not the actors on TV).  It can be as simple as going for a walk on a new trail, beach or area.  Try hiking.  Visit new villages surrounding the city. Check out their bakeries and the little shops.  Invite friends over to play board games.  Try to get out of the house each day or every second.

This will not only keep you active, but it will also help increase your mood.  The hardest part is getting out the door.  Once out, trust me, you will enjoy it.

rut

Remove Stresses

Stress causes many negative consequences on your physical and mental health.  If there’s something that is stressing you out, school, work or friend related; try to fix it.  Actively trying to fix situations will help end them quicker.  If it’s typical daily stress.  Eat well, relax, and exercise.  Take care of yourself.

 

date

 

 

Exam Anxiety: How to Manage Test Anxiety

I struggled a lot with test anxiety.  I’ve had panic attacks during the middle of a final and had to run out.  I’ve had complete blanks of my material and failed to answer a single question.  It took me almost four years of university before I was able to control my anxiety.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have anxiety. But, it doesn’t cause me to get bad grades anymore.  I’ve been able to reduce my anxiety and control my panic attacks. This not only helped me in terms of school, but it also impacted my daily life.  I have gained the skills necessary to control my anxiety throughout the day.

If you have ever suffered from any kind of anxiety, you understand how difficult it is to manage.  You feel powerless. The intense sensation of panic and dread.  It’s hard to focus on anything.  While most people have had anxious moments where high pressured situations causes you to panic. Others, like myself, have anxious moments during normal daily activities.  For example, I would panic if my gas tank was low and I was too far from “my” gas station.  I had an intense fear of not knowing what to do at a new gas station. (Yes, I’m very aware that they are virtually all the same.) But that’s anxiety.  I have no control over it.

Why? How does anxiety work? If you’ve never felt this way. It can sound pretty strange to be terrified of going to a gas station.  Anxiety is caused by a “fight or flight” response.  Your body increases it’s heart rate, blood pressure and slows digestion. Preparing to go.  The catch is, it can happen during odd tasks.  Or, the feeling can be so overwhelming that it will cause a panic attack.  For example, during an exam.

 

So, here are my tips to you.  Hopefully these will help you.  Even if you do not have anxiety, these are very good tips to succeed in school.

 

I will be creating a post about how to prepare for an exam as a part two! Coming soon xox!

 

Exam

Before the Test

It’s important to have a routine before a test.  Something that you can rely on.  Personally, change can cause my anxiety to increase.  The goal here is to stay calm, and to trust yourself.

  1. Stay Hydrated : For obvious reasons
  2. Stop Studying 30 minutes before the test and go for a walk. (Clear your mind, and calm down)
  3. Ask your school for accommodations to write in a separate room
  4. Take deep breaths to calm the jitters
  5. Avoid talking to other students about the material
  6. Remind yourself about all the studying you’ve done. You can fall back on that
  7. Listen to some relaxing music to keep you from thinking too much

During the Test

  1. Prior to looking at the sheets, take a few moments to breath
  2. Answer the questions that you see that are easy, build your confidence
  3. If you don’t quite remember the answer, start working on it. You might remember it. If not, come back to it.
  4. If you get a private room, walk around.  Walking can help reduce anxiety
  5. Bring a small snack to a longer exam, you don’t want to have to worry about being hungry too
  6. Have some candy, the sugar will keep you energized during the exam.  Not really after! But that’s OK
  7. Make sure to read each question multiple times to ensure that you understand it
  8. Think positively, try not to become upset.  If you don’t know something, move on

exam

 

Hopefully these tips are helpful! Do you have any habits that help you succeed during an exam?! Share them in the comments?