I made something for you – with spring coming up soon and everyone in a panic over this COVID-19 virus spreading – here are a few things you can do for self care. I hope you enjoy!
I made something for you – with spring coming up soon and everyone in a panic over this COVID-19 virus spreading – here are a few things you can do for self care. I hope you enjoy!
Borderline Personality Disorder is probably one of the most stigmatized yet underrepresented mental illnesses out there. What people know about BPD, if anything, is often times cherry-picked and wrapped in Hollywood style dramatics.
This exaggerated idea of us even finds its way into the mental health system. Many mental health professionals don’t want to work with us, believing we are too hard to treat or just don’t have experience with Personality Disorders.
Which leads me into the first misconception…
1) It’s impossible to treat us
This stereotype often found in the mental health community is definitely not true. DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), one of the most successful therapies used for treating people with BPD, was created in the 1980s by a psychologist named Marsha Linehan, who also had BPD herself. And this has been the preferred treatment for BPD ever since.
In addition, there have been several studies done that show BPD can get better with age. I personally can’t attest to this, as I am 21, but only time will tell.
Although 75% of people diagnosed with this disorder are women, there have been reports that indicate that there may be more men with BPD than expected. Many of them possibly being misdiagnosed with something else such as Bipolar Disorder or PTSD.
Having low empathy is not one of the following nine symptoms of BPD:
Although, some may see these symptoms and equate that to having low or no empathy. People with BPD are often thought of as having ‘3rd degree burns over 90% of our bodies’, as coined by Marsha Linehan. Meaning we feel everything. Everything we do and feel is in extremes, which can include empathy.
There are nine symptoms and out of those nine you need at least five to be diagnosed. So, there are countless combinations of traits one could have. So someone with BPD can have completely different symptoms compared to someone else who also shares the same diagnosis.
Plus, we’re still human. We all experience things in different ways. This disorder is also on a spectrum. So, someone might experience all nine symptoms to a severe degree, compared to someone who might only experience five at a lesser degree.
I can see how these often get conflated. Firstly, BPD is a personality disorder and Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder, but they do share some similar symptoms. For example both disorders experience mood swings, albeit in a different way.
Often times, when people use the word ‘Bipolar’ flippantly, (think ‘Oh she’s so Bipolar’), the mood swings that they’re talking about are more in-line with someone who has BPD. We experience mood swings several times throughout the day, everyday. Some can last just a few minutes, to a few hours, or sometimes a few days.
As with Bipolar Disorder, I don’t have personal experience with this, so I don’t feel comfortable speaking on it, but here is a great article highlighting the difference between the two.
To be inclusive in bringing awareness to mental health, we must speak about the lesser-known or ‘scary’ mental illnesses and challenge these stereotypes. You can’t paint people with one brush. We are individuals with different feelings and experiences. Although, as pervasive and unwanted these symptoms are, we can still love and be loved, feel joy and happiness, and experience life.
I encourage you, even if you have never personally struggled with a mental illness, to challenge these biases that permeate our society. Everyone has been touched by mental illness in some way, whether that be you personally, a family member, or a neighbor. With a history and culture that hasn’t been very kind to us, education is the key to disrupt and change these unfair stereotypes.
Author Bio: Payton is a lifestyle blogger over at intheflux.com where she talks about mental health, social issues, and lifestyle and wellness topics. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
January is often the month that we’re skint and money stress is at its high. Overspent on Christmas and no money left for the New Year… December pay checks are usually paid before Christmas, which although great for the Christmas budget, isn’t as good for the bills. To top it all, January is also a longer month so it means longer to wait till payday.
It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom though!
By following a few simple tips and adapting little changes in your life you change it all.
Preparation is the key to success
It’s true! Have you ever heard that saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’?
I know what you’re thinking, this sounds like hard work… It really isn’t and just stay with me.
Create your budget
You don’t have to be elaborate with this, all you need to do is write down all of your incomings and outgoings.
I normally start with my income at the top and outgoings below. I split my outgoings into fixed costs (bills etc that I have to pay) expected costs (food etc) and then unexpected costs (random spends).
When I filled this in for the first time I used my spends from the previous month to get an accurate idea of what I was spending.
Gas & Electric:-
Internet & TV:-
That’s a very basic example of a few things that I will include on my budget overview sheet. There will be more things on your overview and how you categorise them is up to you.
You may be wondering how this will help to reduce stress but it puts everything into perspective. By having everything written down in front of you, you can clearly see where your money is going.
Cutting your budget down
So, you can now see where you’re spending your money and some areas may have shocked you already. My food spend for example was A LOT more than I thought it would be. Because I just put everything on my card I hadn’t realised how much it was until it was staring me in the face!
Look at all your outgoings and think if you could reduce them.
Fixed costs like rent/mortgage will be harder to change but can you swap your utility bills to a better deal? Have you actually tried?! It’s actually loads easier than you think. And trust me, I do it every year! And you can cut your bills easily year on year.
Expected costs is an easy one to cut down, do you need that subscription that you’ve not actually used in the last few months? If not then cancel it! Set yourself a goal of cutting your food bill down by £10 a month, just do it little by little. There’s no point saying you want to half your food costs in the first month because it’s probably not going to happen. Hats off if you do though!!!
Unexpected costs are those random spends and do we really need them? Things like no spend months can be fab when trying to reduce these spends.
How to reduce your spending
Now that you’ve created your budgets for each category, you need to start actually spending less. It’s no good just saying you’re going to spend less, that will just increase your stress!
I’ve already mentioned a few things like switching your utility provider and taking part in no spend months. There are also fab challenges such as the 365 day penny challenge that encourage you to start saving more.
How can all of this reduce my money stress?
Creating a budget puts YOU in control of your money. And yes, you may think you are already in control, but are you? Do you know, without looking, how much you spend on food every month for example. Write down your estimated spends first and compare this to your actual spends. I thought I was in control but was surprised at myself!
One tip that I use is taking my budgeted money out of the bank and having it as cash instead. By spending cash instead of card it feels more real. You see the money leaving your purse and how much you’ve got left. This is known as the cash envelope system by Dave Ramsey.
Does it work?
YES. In the 6 months or so that I have been actively budgeting I have cut my expenses by about half. By ‘actively’ I mean looking at my spends at the end of each month and reducing them for next month.
I’d love to know how you find budgeting and if you’ve got any questions feel free to send them my way!!!
Author Bio: Hi, I’m Hannah, a 27 money and lifestyle blogger from Manchester. My site is focused on how I live my life in a frugal – some may say ‘tight’ – manner. It features some amazing freebies and bargains that I’ve found over time, including a page of live freebie
links so you can get your hands on them to! I also share my money saving tips and tricks that I have discovered through my own personal journey so far, I do work in accounting but have no financial training or expertise! Everything I write is my own personal opinion.
Social Media Links: blog twitter facebook instagram
The feeling of falling in love.
It’s having a special someone on your mind 24/7. It’s craving their attention, their voice, their touch. It’s wishing they were there with you every day, holding you, whispering sweet things in your ear, and telling you how much they love you.
Is this love? Or is this simply the feeling of falling in lust?
When I met the man I would one day call my husband, I fell in lust almost immediately. He was handsome and kind and all the things that qualified him as perfect in my mind. I had to stop and tell myself that I was being silly, and I couldn’t have fallen in love with someone so quickly. I had to force myself to shut off my feelings about him, shut off the lust, for a moment, and look at who this guy was. Ask myself whether we could really be right for eachother, and not just feel right when he holds my hand.
In my case I was able (With the help and guidance of my parents) to determine that he could be right for me, he truly was everything I wanted in a man. I wasn’t just seeing the potential he had to become a great partner, be he already displayed the traits of BEING a good partner.
So I allowed myself to lust for a little longer. I allowed myself to enjoy those giddy feelings of new romance. The overwhelming need to be near him, to feel him. And eventually that lust changed, it changed into real love.
The feeling of waiting up to make sure he got home from work safely. The feeling of having him listen when I’m upset, of bringing him food when he’s sick in bed, or him telling me I’m beautiful even on days when I’m not pretty.
Of course with this love, the lust didn’t go away entirely. If anything it got stronger. But lust is natural, it’s instinctual, it’s not a bad thing. But it does need to be restrained. making decisions based on lust will only lead to regret. And we nearly let our lust ge the better of us more than once.
We decided that the best course for our relationship, was to save ourselves for marriage. We weren’t even going to kiss before our wedding day.
Even though we decided that our love would be stronger if we put restrictions on our lust, we still found ourselves in some places we didn’t intend to go. Lust is strong! And even the most determined people with the highest ideals can succumb to it.
The more we worked to keep our lust in check, the more real our love became. Because we knew we weren’t just here because of lust, we knew that even without being together physically, we still wanted to be together.
Loving him was like nothing I’d ever experienced. It was a feeling, but more than that, it was a decision. I saw this man, who I had undoubted feelings for, who I couldn’t imagine not being in my life, and I made the decision to love him.
The two of us decided to love each other for the rest of our lives. We got married, and we make the decision everyday to keep loving each other.
It’s the feeling of missing him all day when he goes to work, and finally getting to smother him in kisses when he gets home. It’s still making him a warm dinner, even when I’m upset with him. It’s knowing that no matter what happens, he will always be there when I wake up in the morning.
What started as simple Lust, has transformed into the truest, deepest love for my husband.
Author Bio: Megan is an avid reader, and writer, slowly working her way through the challenges of becoming an author. She writes fiction, dabbles in poetry, and tries to keep up with her two blogs. In the process, learning more about making her writing great, while making connections with other writers and bloggers. In the midst of the ever changing busyness of life as a newly married mother of one, Megan tries her best to make time for her passion of writing. With the added task of growing her online presence through blogging, and freelance writing.
When holidays such as Valentines Day come about, do you find yourself getting down in the dumps? Does the thought of being around a large crowd for Valentine’s Day or any holiday frighten you, or make you anxious? Does decorating for the holidays stress you out? How about preparing for a family reunion with a dinner? There are some things you can do to make yourself feel better.
You don’t have to always host the holidays at your house. Try to limit having people over for any holiday get together, if having a party makes you anxious.
You don’t have to decorate extravagantly for each holiday either. Only put out the decorations that you have the energy and time to put out. Be sure to pick out some of your favorites so you get to enjoy them.
You can limit the number of people that you invite if you decide to host a holiday dinner party. The less people you invite, the less stress you put on yourself.
Make the dinner menu simple instead of extravagant. If you keep it simple, and make something that you enjoy cooking, it makes it more enjoyable to prepare. If people don’t like what you’re cooking, they will just have to live with it for one day, or they can leave if they don’t like what you’ve prepared. Leave the choice up to them.
If you’re down in the dumps about any holiday, specifically Valentine’s Day, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a meal that you really enjoy. Or make your favorite meal. Eat the meal in front of the TV or watch your favorite movie. Have a cup of your favorite wine or whatever drink that you enjoy, whether it’s non-alcoholic or alcoholic. Enjoy yourself instead of dreading the holidays. The holidays don’t have to bring you down. Remember that you are in control of the way you feel.
If you find yourself down in the dumps about not having anyone to spend Valentines Day with, don’t give yourself too hard of a time. Rather enjoy the time that you get to spend by yourself. Think of time alone as precious time with yourself. Enjoy the quiet moments that you get to have. If you learn to enjoy being alone and appreciate the time that you have, then you will learn to cherish the time that you could eventually have in a relationship. Finding love takes time, so don’t rush into anything that you’re not sure of. If it doesn’t feel right, then don’t rush it. Whenever the right person comes along, you’ll know.
Take each day as it comes. Try to enjoy the holidays. Not everything about the holidays are bad. Just adjust your thinking. Instead of thinking negatively, try thinking positively. It will help you relax more. Take time away from the stress of the holidays to find yourself. Focus on yourself instead of focusing on how stressed you are. Make sure to find things that you enjoy doing that coincide with the holidays, so they can be more enjoyable for you. Don’t put pressure on yourself, just let things happen as they happen.
Remember, it is ok to feel down in the dumps during the holidays, just don’t stay in that place for too long. Don’t let it ruin your day, or your outlook on the holidays. It is ok to feel stressed, but don’t let it take over your thinking. Try your best to enjoy your life, no matter what holiday might be coming up.
Lexie Wohler is a repeat guest blogger with The Unsanity and you can find a few of her pieces scattered throughout my website. ❤
Societal norms and cultural expectations can often be too much too process, and they can slowly erode your self-confidence and your beliefs, simply because you do not fit some sort of a mold. I’ve lived and grown my entire life in a very loving community, a metropolis as colorful as they come. But that can often be a disguise for numerous internal forms of prejudice, masked bias, and other issues I’ve experienced over the years. I am lucky enough to live in a time when talking about mental health has become less of a taboo, enabling me to find support in many different facets of my life, fashion included.
In fact, fashion, among other things, was one of those factors that I took for granted and underestimated its potential to heal. As it turns out, life has the funniest of little epiphanies saved just for you, and mine helped me realize that my sense of style and my wardrobe can be my way out of my own black hole. Here’s a little glimpse into my journey, and I hope it will bring you comfort and some ideas as to how you can cope with your feelings and struggles, too.
For a moment, let’s go back to expectations. As a gay man, I’ve had my fair share of prejudice and criticism to face from our fellow straight people, but strangely enough, in our own community, it seems that there’s another set of expectations that many of us “fail to meet”. I often felt as if I was never “gay enough”. Do I really have to wear a rainbow every day for every occasion to prove my sexual orientation to others, to anyone? It’s that kind of an attitude that pushed me to choose overly-tight jeans, tees with quotes I didn’t like, and wear too many rings for my own liking.
We’ve all been there. Wanting to be liked and approved of is often the driving force of some of the silliest, most meaningless decisions we make, and I was no exception. So, when I completely forewent my own preferences, my self-esteem plummeted. When I finally learned to say no and started replacing my skinny jeans for comfortable chinos, I felt I could breathe again. Putting my self first may have started with chinos, but it sure as hell didn’t end there.
Steampunk is many things, but gay isn’t one of them. Or at least that’s what those limiting expectations would have you believe. Today, I can happily live this simple truth: you’re no less gay for the clothing choices you make or the accessories you love. Much like a straight man will never suddenly turn gay upon admitting that he loves pink unicorn socks. So, yes, as a way to heal my own self-perception, I started infusing my look with details that speak volumes of my personality and my diverse interests.
Suddenly, I’d gladly wear a stylish skeleton watch with a simple button-down, and I’d absolutely revel in my own reflection. Instead of piles of colorful rings, this single accessory is a timeless piece of sophistication that perfectly embodies my style preferences. It’s details like these that helped me understand that I had lost my sense of self, and that it was high time to begin rebuilding it one self-affirming choice at a time.
As a minimalist at heart (with the occasional trip to crazy land of floral swimming trunks), I’ve always been a huge advocate of wearing black. Although I’m still very much in love with that look, my efforts to build a more positive personal image have led me to a slew of research studies that pointed the impact of colors on our mood and emotions. I did some homework and began adding different hues that would hopefully affect my mindset in a positive way. Lo and behold, results ensued, and I still wear my sage green shirt and my orange hoodie.
Some of the more recent fashion trends also use different colors of different saturation, which has inspired me even further to take a few steps outside of my fashion comfort zone and allow myself to play with my own style. This creative take on my look alone has given me a safe space in which I can explore my emotions, directly impact my mood, and still ensure self-affirmation.
Depression is a sneaky creature. It tends to affect your every action and your every thought, and it’s extremely difficult to root out once it takes hold of your mind. In my deepest states of self-denial, I would even reject compliments from people who genuinely care about me – and I would never, ever let them sink in. I was fortunate enough to have one of my friends point out this habit of mine, and it actually took me weeks of practice to start making any progress.
But, the sheer act of accepting compliments got the ball rolling. When I’d get myself to say “thank you” or “that’s very kind of you”, I’d open up a little window in my mind, allowing for the possibility that the compliment might be true. That I might actually look amazing, that my smile might be radiant, that my new boots look great on me. This little mental exercise through accepting compliments on my looks and my fashion choices helped me slowly embrace the possibility of a world in which I love myself.
Although the idea of “happy clothes” or “happy colors” definitely varies from one person to another, I’m beyond grateful for the fashion choices we have today and the people who diligently create them. They’ve meant the world to me and continue helping me through all of my ups and downs. I’ve used this creative process to find myself again, and to rebuild my appreciation for myself, and I hope that others will use it to find beauty in themselves once more.
Hello readers! It’s been awhile since I had decided to make some simple freebies for you all. With the holidays being busy and alot of my time being taken up with work and drama and everything else; I just haven’t been able to do what I wanted for those of you that look forward to these. I promise to have more coming in the next few months!
*If you want the version without the blog name, please comment and I will be happy to send it to you. 🙂
Convenience is wonderful. Having everything at our disposal, all the time. Never having to worry about opening hours when we have online shopping, or missing a TV show when we have catch up and streaming. But when everything is available 24/7, it means we have to be too.
People apologise for taking social media breaks, we’re overloaded with information, and if you don’t keep up with current events you’re left behind. We’re under pressure to be plugged in all the time and it’s taking a toll on our mental health.
We’re exhausted all the time because we’re not allowed to switch off. Every waking moment has to be filled with something productive so we can make more money, work more hours, learn more skills. And then we experience burnout, and we’re even farther behind, there’s no way we can catch up. It’s hard not to feel like we were doomed from the start.
Mindfulness takes the autonomy away from our day to day lives, and helps us slow down and truly be present in the moment. Practising mindfulness sounds like an easy task, but nowadays with constant stimulation and entertainment around us, it’s a real challenge to be bored. How many times have you picked up your phone today?
We weren’t meant to live at such a fast pace. When we slow down and take in our surroundings, we appreciate so many people and things that we might have previously took for granted. It’s better for our health, and it’s better for our relationships. Practising mindfulness helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so we’re better able to manage them instead of getting overwhelmed. We’re more tuned in to our senses and surroundings and we’re less likely to do something on autopilot because our brain isn’t distracted – or it’s not desperate for a distraction anymore.
Mindfulness is easy to practice daily and doesn’t require hours of your time. You can practice mindfulness wherever you are or whatever you’re doing. If you find yourself being pulled in every direction and your thoughts are scattered all over the place, start with some mindful breathing. If you can, go somewhere quiet. Take one big, deep breath. Aim for around 5 seconds. Hold it for a second, and then exhale, releasing the tension from your brow, jaw, and shoulders. Imagine the hundreds of scattered thoughts and noise leaving with the tension, and allow yourself to start from the beginning with a clear mind.
There are loads of other great mindfulness techniques you can practice every day or just whenever you feel stressed.
Focusing on one thing, and not having your mind in six places at once, will reduce stress. The stress that used to pile up and eat away at you doesn’t have any power over you now; because you have control. You might eventually find that you don’t get as overwhelmed with the fast paced world as you used to, and you start doing things with intention, instead of just doing things for the sake of it. You might learn something about yourself, about what you need and what you don’t need. You’ll learn that it’s okay to disconnect, and go down your own path. The easiest way to win the game is to stop playing. Instant and autonomous works for robots; not people.
Author bio: Zoe Thomson is a freelance writer living in Scotland with her boyfriend and one spoiled pug. She runs her own mental health blog, No Light Without Darkness, and has published work on The Mighty and I am 1 in 4. You can find me here: Blog, Twitter
Today, I thought I would share some self care ideas for the winter. It is very easy to forget about self care and looking after yourself during the colder season. You just want to stay in, watch TV and stay warm all the time. Yes, these are all forms of self care in itself. However, I hope this list will give you a few more ideas and motivation!
Buy yourself a nice warm and soft blanket, jacket, hat, pair of gloves, socks. Anything. You will feel so happy and cosy!
This is one of my favourite forms of self care. Although I understand you may be put off doing this whilst it’s cold. You don’t have to go too far. Just wrap up warm and treat yourself to a hot drink on the way!
I absolutely love hot chocolate so it had to be included on this list. Make sure you go all out, put in some big marshmallows, squirty cream and even chocolate sprinkles. Treat yourself once in a while and enjoy it by the fire.
Spend some time baking and making some festive cupcakes, cookies or gingerbread men. There are lots of recipes online to follow. I always find baking and decorating the cake (to give it a festive theme) extremely relaxing.
There are so many great tunes out there for the holiday season. You will not find it difficult to create a feel good playlist to put on in the background whenever you want to chill.
Invest in incense sticks or a candle with a festive scent. Put them all around the house and enjoy! I especially recommend a gingerbread smell.
It is really important to look after your skin during the winter. Your skin can get really dried up in the temperature. Go out and invest in some lip balm and a good moisturiser. Korean skincare is definitely the best in my opinion. You will feel refreshed and amazing after using it.
There is nothing nicer than taking a warm shower after a long day. Especially when it’s really cold in the middle of winter. The only downside is, you won’t want to get out!
I know it is difficult to stay away from sugar and chocolate during the holiday season. It is the only time of year when you can get away with eating lots of it. However, you need to remember to still be healthy. Make sure you have your 5 day and you drink plenty of water.
Seasonal depression is very real, and affects many people! I highly recommend starting a journal if you haven’t already. There is nothing worse than keeping all your thoughts and feelings bottled up. So, get all those thoughts and feelings out on paper every single day. You will feel so much better afterwards and like a heavy weight has been lifted from your mind.
I hope you liked some of these self care methods and it gave you some good ideas. You need to remember to look after yourself during all times of the year. Always put some time aside every single day to practise a few of these methods. You won’t regret it.
Ruth (ColourfulHope) xoxo
Ruth is a repeat guest blogger with The Unsanity who has previously written about dealing with stress and the holidays from December 18th 2019. You can find her contact info there along with other ways to find her and follow on social media.