Tag Archives: love

Money Stress and Budget – Hannah Coe

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.

Income:

Wages:-

Outgoings:

Fixed costs

Rent:-

Gas & Electric:-

Water:-

Internet & TV:-

Expected costs

Fuel:-

Food:-

Subscriptions:-

Unexpected costs

Clothing:-

Household bits:-

Days out:-

Random:-

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.

All of this motivated me to spend just £500 on Christmas this year, you can click on my blog to see how I got on!

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

Love and Lust – Megan Whitsett

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.

Valentine’s Day and Holiday Coping – Lexie Wohler

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. ❤

Fun Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day – Lexie Wohler

When Valentine’s Day comes up, you sometimes worry about what to do for your significant other. You may want to do something nice, but if you’re strapped for cash, then it can be even more difficult to figure out what you will get your significant other. The important thing to remember is that Valentine’s Day is not about the gifts that you give to your significant other.


Here are some ideas as to what you can do for a Valentine’s Day date if you don’t have a lot of money.

  • Figure out a meal that you and your boyfriend or you and your girlfriend both love. Then get the ingredients and cook that meal for dinner. Complete the ambiance with their favorite flower and candles, maybe even ice cream for desert. They don’t have to be expensive candles, or ice cream either. 
  • Surprise them by cooking their favorite meal when they come home from work. Then they will least expect the surprise. They will also remember it and cherish it forever. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be something extravagant like Chicken Marsala. It can be as simple as barbeque wings and a glass of Moscato or sparkling grape juice.
  • Order take out of your favorite restaurant and eat at home. That way you don’t have to worry about cleaning up and doing dishes afterward.
  • Sometimes there’s nothing better than watching a movie and curling up on the couch next to your favorite person instead of going on a date night. Some couples love to just be with each other and enjoy each others company instead of going out on the town.
  • If your girlfriend or boyfriend loves chocolate, then go get them their favorite kind. Chocolate is sometimes called a girls best friend. But men love chocolate too.
    If your girlfriend loves flowers, then surprise her with them. Even a single red rose is a symbol of your love and affection toward her.
  • You can even make gifts for your boyfriend or girlfriend. A homemade gift is something that they will always remember. It can be a homemade card, a sweater, or anything that you can think of.
  • A foot massage, or back rub given to them by you is often times a girl’s favorite gifts. It can even work for the guys too. Sometimes all we need is a ten-minute shoulder, foot, or back massage to relieve the stress and tension of the day at work.
  • Trust me, even though guys love to help their girlfriends relieve tension by giving them massages, they too appreciate it when we reciprocate and give them massages too. They may not ask for massages very often, but most men appreciate a nice massage. Even if they say they don’t want one right away, try massaging their shoulders and see if they relax more. They may not want the massage to continue for as long as us girls do, but it’ll go a long way.

There is no gift that won’t be appreciated by your significant other. Whatever you choose to do for them for Valentine’s Day, let it come directly from your heart. Just enjoy each other’s company. It shouldn’t be about the gifts. Being together is the best part about Valentine’s day.

Lexie Wohler is a repeat guest blogger on The Unsanity and you can find her numerous other posts through my website. ❤

Freebie Friday, Instagram Story

You guys – It’s Friday again, can you believe it? I am so happy!

I have a special freebie for you today for all of those who have Instagram and use stories alot. It’s called Mindfulness Bingo. If you use it, please tag me in your stories!

Mindfulness Bingo Freebie 2/7/2020

Six Ways to Feel Your Best This Winter – Amy Jackson

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Are you a fan of winter? I personally love the chance to break out my fluffy jumpers and to enjoy a hot chocolate, but what I’m not a fan of are the darker nights, the increased amount of illnesses in the air and generally feeling a bit under the weather. So when it comes to winter wellbeing, how can we make sure we’re feeling as good as we were during those summer months? How can you keep your physical health in check while taking good care of your mental health too? Well, I’ve done a little research and put together six of the best wellbeing tips to keep you feeling great all through the winter! 

1: Maintain a healthy diet

While in the colder months, it can be tempting to reach for the comfort foods and sugary snacks, but this isn’t necessarily the best thing to do for your body. One of the easiest ways towards winter wellbeing is to make sure you enjoy a healthy diet. Plenty of fruits and veggies are an absolute must, as it will keep your immune system in check and ensure that you’re taking in those essential vitamins. Even though it’s colder, it’s still important to keep hydrated too, so ensure that you drink plenty of water and don’t have too much caffeine. 

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash
Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

2: Wash your hands

When it comes to winter wellbeing tips, hygiene is a must. Winter is a time of year when we become more susceptible to viruses, and in some cases, it can be difficult to avoid them, especially when everyone in the office is sick. You can stock up on supplements and vitamins, but ultimately, the most effective way to avoid catching these pesky illnesses is to wash your hands. Hand sanitiser is great in the short term, but you’ll find a number of them don’t actually destroy viruses, which is what the common cold is. You’re better off washing your hands with soap and water before eating, touching your face, or preparing food. Ensure that if anyone in your house is unwell that they follow the same rules too! Keep towels separate, regularly clean surfaces, and ensure that cups, plates and eating utensils are properly cleaned too. 

3: Keep moving

It can be tempting to stay curled up on the couch watching Netflix during the colder, darker nights, but it’s still important to keep moving during the winter. Regular exercise will mean that your joints are kept mobile, and it’ll help you stay warm too. Of course, you don’t have to go hard with high intensity workouts if you don’t want to – gentle exercise such as yoga is still just as effective! 

4: Sleep well

Getting the right amount of sleep is crucial for winter wellbeing. We can often feel more tired in the winter, but actually, there’s no biological need for extra sleep at this time of year! It’s a no brainer that sleeping in or having naps during the day will make it difficult for you to fall asleep at bedtime, so resist the urge to stay in bed on those chilly mornings! Even though you don’t need extra sleep, making sure you still get a good nights’ rest should be high on your list of priorities. A good night’s sleep will ensure your immune system is in top condition and is also beneficial for mental wellbeing too. We all differ in terms of how much sleep we need, but the general amount is between 7 and 9 hours for adults. 

Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash
Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash

5: Keep your skin healthy

The colder weather can often mean that our skin is in need of a little extra TLC, so make sure you give it some! Dry skin can occur as a result of the colder temperatures and if you’re spending more time with your heating on at home, so ensure you invest in a good moisturiser to keep it feeling hydrated and soft. The same can also be said for your hands too – especially if you’re washing them more frequently. Pick up a good quality hand cream at the same time and regularly apply it throughout the day, including after you’ve washed your hands. It’ll prevent your skin from drying out, and will keep them feeling soft all through the winter!

6: Stay social

A lot of us think of holiday parties once we enter the winter months, but for some, it can actually be a pretty lonely time. No doubt the colder weather will make you want to wrap yourself up in a blanket and hibernate for a couple of months, however, staying social and keeping in touch with your friends will work wonders for your mental wellbeing. So don’t cancel those plans just because there’s a bit of a nip in the air – wrap up warm, get out there and enjoy yourself!

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About the Author: Amy Jackson is a mental health and lifestyle blogger. Her blog Sassy Cat Lady focuses on her recovery from OCD, along with general lifestyle tips and advice. She’s a lover of cats, a good gin and tonic, and Taylor Swift. 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Amy_May_J

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amymayj/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sassycatladyblog

Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/@sassycatlady

The Late Goodbye

Picture it: you just got engaged and you’re planning who to be in the wedding with you and stand by your side just like in all aspects in life. You send out your boxes for them to say I do as well. Now, to remind you, these are the four only people over the years that have been there for you and hung out and made sacrifies to be with you and vice versa. Now picture this: only two of them show up. That’s what happened to me, and it turned my wedding planning and day itself into hell. Here is the story of a 14 year old and a 15 year old friendship that disappeared as quickly as you can say I do.

Two of my oldest friends, we’ll call them X and Y for story purposes, skipped out on the most important day of my life after being inseperable for 14 and 15 years.

One of them, we’ll call her X, just never even responded to my inquiry of my proposal box asking her if she’d be in my wedding. Mind you, I had been talking about it since I was engaged, and she knew it was coming all along, then decided to not talk to me for a few weeks, and never got an answer, so I eliminated her because I can’t count on someone when they don’t even appreciate your offer of knowing you were “best friends.” This was the easier of the two, thankfully and unfortunately. I have not spoken to her since either. No messages, no updates, nothing. It’s truly heartbreaking.

The other, she will be Y, bailed the day OF my wedding. Great, right?

The planning was a nightmare from day one. A little back story, I didn’t pick a Maid of Honor for my wedding because it was a small private ceremony with only friends and our mothers and photographers. Y was obviously annoyed I didn’t choose her, however, she was never the one to care about other people before herself, and I knew this when I met her when I was 14 years old. She was fighting on everything I wanted to pick for my wedding (note: MY wedding) even down to the little black shawl I wanted to wear over my dress at the top because my dress was strapless. I have bigger arms, and wanted them to be covered a little. “That glittery shawl doesn’t go and hangs way too low in the back and doesn’t match your hair and what you want to do.” Really? I let it slide.

Planning festivities for the night before – “I don’t want to go bowling, that’s not bachelorette party type stuff!” Okay, so don’t go, but again, repeat, it’s MY wedding and this is what I want to do for my night before and I don’t want to get drunk at all. We can enjoy wine at the hotel (which my two best friends and I did) after the restaurant we went to. “Wait, we’re going to a restaurant? Can my boyfriend come?” My reply to her was simple, stating yes but he needs to sit at the bar because this dinner is for people in the wedding party only and our mothers. No one else is bringing their significant other to this dinner, it’s just going to be us.” Her answer was what really got me: “Oh, well then better make the dinner for 9 people because I’m not letting or making him sit alone.”

Y never showed the next day. She never messaged me. She never was in the party. All because I told her the dinner was for wedding party only and this is what I wanted for my big day.

And this was the day, the day before my wedding, I finally realized that she was never my best friend all along. She was only my friend when it was convenient for her, and fit into her schedule. She had bought the dress, bought items for the night before for the little hotel party we were planning, and all the accessories. And wasted her money because she never showed.

She always put whatever boy she was with first, and never her friends who stood by her side through everything. Since I was 14 years old, we were together daily at camp, and then after camp at her house and on weekends because she lived so close. I will be 30 this year… and it took me 15 years to realize this I guess. Better late than never in my mind, but what a way to make your wedding day alternatitely the best and worst day of your life.

Now, the two girls who took the reins and planned everything with my mom, they’re who are worth fighting for. They are my rock, they are my best friends, and they are the people who are going to be there for me when I need them most – and they have been. Neither of them stopped texting or calling me while I was living across the country for a year and a half like X and Y did, they kept in touch, and wanted to. They are my support system and who I need by my side.

Sometimes it takes an act of disgust, unreliability and pure heartbreak to truly know who your best friends are, and it’s just unfortunate that this had to happen on my wedding day. I will never be sad about losing people that I now know never cared; I will be sad about all the years I wasted thinking they would never break my heart – and my family’s heart as well.

When you lose a best friend, you learn some hard lessons. Like everything and everyone else, people change. My happiness is important to me – it should be to them as well. If this what was supposed to happen, then so be it. Thanks to them, I feel I’m a better person and have a weight lifted off my shoulders I’ve had on there for way too long. I’m not bitter, and I’m not mad – and I won’t ever be for letting go of something that freed my soul.

The devil grins from ear to ear when he sees the hand he’s dealt us. Points at your flaming hair, and then we’re playing hide and seek. I can’t breathe easy here, less our trail’s gone cold behind us. Till’ in the john mirror you stare at yourself grown old and weak; And we keep driving into the night. It’s a late goodbye, such a late goodbye…

Late Goodbye, Poets of the Fall

Bi Polar Disorder and Anger – A Raging Lunatic Tells All – Jodie Sand

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BIPOLAR DISORDER & ANGER: A RAGING LUNATIC TELLS ALL

My rage is like an old-school boombox with fresh D batteries. I carry it around with me but the music isn’t a catchy melody. When it explodes from the speakers, it’s static that grates on the nerves. It makes zero sense.

Sometimes, a stranger will invoke my wrath. But more often than not, my temper is directed at the people who I love the most or spend a lot of time with. It has cost me friendships, romantic relationships, jobs, loyalties and a marriage.

Taylor Swift’s Blank Space lyrics come to mind:

Wait the worst is yet to come, oh no
Screaming, crying, perfect storm
I can make all the tables turn
Rose gardens filled with thorns
Keep you second guessing like
“Oh my God, who is she?”

IT’S OK TO BE ANGRY

I’m not saying anger is inherently bad. My mom used to quote scripture about it: “Be angry and do not sin,” she advised (Ephesians 4:26). Popular psychology agrees about positive and negative methods to express your anger. I’ve been rightfully furious with disrespectful children, disloyal lovers, an ex-husband, friends and my family. But the volume and violence it feeds are shameful.

I spit eff-bombs and insults like an over-chewed piece of gum until my voice is hoarse. I’ve pushed, scratched and even thrown a series of punches at a man who gutted me with lies. Was my anger justified? Yes! Were the intensity of my anger and the cutting nature of my serrated words necessary. No!

Rage isn’t an emotion that shows up on lists of common bipolar disorder symptoms. Mood swings from suicidal depression to euphoric mania are the hallmarks of this tricky mental illness. In my case, these moods seem to be the key to the swells of emotions like stormy seas.

The hopelessness of depression makes me examine my life for toxicity and search for the root of my agony. I remember the people who I’ve loved who have gouged my broken heart. The bosses and coworkers who have sucked away my marrow. The comments from family who mean well but hack away at my façade of confidence and wellness. The friends who don’t call. The children who forget to do their chores.

This is the blame game I play. The blues don’t mellow me. They feed my festering rage until anger spews from my mouth like acidic vomit.

My episodes of mania are no kinder. The false happiness of mania euphoria waxes and wanes, sometimes all in the same day. My grandiosity and endless energy and the rapid speech and big ideas are exhausting. I’m too tired to sleep. Suddenly my tongue is forked. My patience is gone and my temper flares with righteous indignation. The blame game begins again.

PSYCHOTIC DELUSIONS

Psychosis is “a serious mental illness characterized by defective or lost contact with reality, often with hallucinations or delusions” (Merriam-Webster). In my anger, I’m psychotic. I’m paranoid at 3 a.m. when my meds fail me and rest is elusive.

I tell myself: No one cares. Everyone sees me for the fraud I am. Life is unfair. Everyone is out to step on me on their way to something better. I can’t convince myself otherwise. I’m raging. Is my life punctuated with trauma or am I the source of the drama? I wonder.

Bipolar disorder is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. “For those who have anger stemming from bipolar disorder, it can range from mild to wild,” according to MentalHealth.net (source). Mine is a wild ride.

While the bipolar community can’t seem to agree about whether or not anger is a symptom of bipolar disorder, they do agree about how to get help.

KNOW YOURSELF

Identify your anger triggers. Certain topics of conversation, events, activities and even personalities or people may initiate irritability or rage. Be mindful when you begin to get upset and then limit or control exposure to those things.

When you do find yourself in a sticky spot, politely disengage. Resist the urge to be embarrassed. Tactfully end the conversation, hang up the phone with a pre-planned excuse or graciously excuse yourself and walk away. Don’t be shy about setting boundaries. You’ll really be embarrassed if your anger dominates the situation.

The second part of knowing yourself is identifying and engaging in activities or visiting places that calm and bring serenity. Make a list of your triggers and strategies to alleviate them.

Home is my haven and oasis. An afternoon of solitude is often where I find the most peace. Harnessing your bipolar disorder is not a mind-over-matter problem to be solved. Along with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder is the most dangerous mental health problem. If you suspect that you are bipolar or a diagnosis has been confirmed, you need medication!

CONSULT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

Bipolar disorder presents a very real risk of suicide. Don’t try to convince yourself that you won’t get that bad or you’ll know when to ask for help. Trust me; you won’t! You’ll also endanger yourself, your reputation, and other people if your behavior becomes reckless or impulsive.

If you’re taking lithium for your bipolar disorder and you notice irritability or aggression, talk to your doctor. These are not common symptoms of this mood stabilizer, but patients who are prescribed lithium have reported increased irritability, according to Healthline.com (source).

No matter what you’ve been prescribed to treat your bipolar disorder, don’t change or stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor. Unmonitored med tweaks can trigger dangerous depressive or manic episodes.

Even when you feel like your illness is well-controlled on medication, do yourself a favor and see a mental health therapist. A counselor can employ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help. CBT is “psychotherapy that combines cognitive therapy with behavior therapy by identifying faulty or maladaptive patterns of thinking, emotional response, or behavior and substituting them with desirable patterns of thinking, emotional response, or behavior” (Merriam-Webster). Anger management classes may also be helpful if group therapy is your jam.

Don’t forget the French proverb: “Anger is a bad counselor” (source).

SOURCES

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/psychosis
https://www.mentalhelp.net/bipolar/and-anger/
https://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-anger#is-anger-a-side-effect-ofmedication
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cognitive%20behavioral%20therapy
https://www.quotes.net/quote/40350

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About the Author: Jodie is a chronic illness and mental health blogger who battles fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder I, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and gastroparesis every day. Her primary focus is fibromyalgia but her mental well-being her and gastrointestinal issues influence the way she deals with her chronic illness. She created CutTheChronic.com after job loss revealed she is no longer employable in a traditional way. Jodie is a former reporter and marketing professional with a degree in journalism. Reflecting on her skills, training and passions pointed her toward blogging as her next career move. Jodie finds writing extremely therapeutic as she searches for answers and hope for herself and other chronic illness sufferers. Means to living a better life reveal themselves in the process and inform her posts. She is fleshing out her blog with a body of posts that are educational, research-focused, inspirational, instructional, honest, raw and humorous. Jodie finds joy and strength in her husband Trevor and their blended family of three children. Her three loud and goofy hound dogs and a personality-packed flock of seven ducks provide levity. She’s a documentary junkie, novel reader (when she has time), car camper, stand up paddle boarder, yoga dabbler and runner. She’s also a foodie with a passion for home cooking. She is writing a low FODMAP cookbook to help her make peace with her IBS and gastroparesis and share with her readers. You can find her at her website Cut The Chronic.

Blogmas – My Holiday Wish List 2019

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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I hope everyone is having a great holiday so far, even though it’s still early in the day. For this entry for Blogmas, I have decided to do my Personal Wish List.

This year was a difficult year, and is still difficult for myself and my small family. With moving back to PA from WA in the end of March, to our wedding in May, and to still not being caught up on bills from the big move… the second part of this year has been rough. Without going into too much detail, my husband and I were both sick twice with a cold already, we had snow 2 weeks before Thanksgiving (wtf?! it’s not even winter yet!), we both had a few serious episodes of depression and anxiety throughout October November and some of December, and we seem to just keep trucking on with no real reason at this point. We’re just trying to remain happy, calm and spend as much time as we can with each other to try and combat the depression we’ve been feeling. 

Because we’re still in debt from the move and catching up on payments and had sick spisodes preventing us from working a few days… I decided to share my Amazon Wish List with you and highlight a few things that we need for our apartment and home life and what’s on my Christmas List. Your Christmas List is supposed to be things that you would never splurge on for yourself, however, with the recent events of this year and being broke, it seems my list grew to be things that I or we actually need that we don’t have much money for sadly. 

  1. Rechargeable Fabric Shaver, Lint Remover  As most of my readers know, we have kitties… and this helps with removing lint, cat hair and fuzzies that may accumulate from the laundry. We also do not have a washer and dryer in the house because there’s no room and laundromats only can do so much for your clothes. This is something I’ve always wanted for our sweaters, too.
  2. Kinesiology Tape Precut My husband and I both have back problems. We love using this tape on our back for therapy and use it constantly, but it’s sometimes expensive to keep buying it for both of us to use, and have started to use it sparingly.

  3. Elevated Garden Flower Planter Bed We have a small yard, and with our back problems it’s sometimes hard to bend over for long and garden, and it’s usually me who takes care of all of it. Having raised gardens for our plants would be amazong and something my husband always wanted for each year because it’s easy to clean up, rake, harvest and saves garden space!

  4. DEWALT TSTAK Tool Box We have way too many tools. Way too many and the box we have everything in is just too heavy and we need an actual toolbox or two to fit everything. 

  5. Kitchen Island Cart We have very little counter space in our kitchen. So little, that I can’t even make cookies unless I clean off my kitchen table and take the table cloth off, and no room to put hot pots or pans that come out of the oven. We plan on re-doing some of the kitchen and making room for this.

Again, I know Christmas is supposed to be for things you really want that others splurge on for you that you would never buy for yourself mostly, but in our case, these are things that have been on my list and have wanted for awhile that we could really use. Instead of a new Urban Decay eyeshadow palette or new Apple Watch in order to upgrade, I’m chosing most of this stuff.

 

Be Present – Dawn Marie Beauchamp

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Be Present – It is the Greatest Gift this Holiday Season

The holiday season is full of glitz, glamor, and excitement. Around every corner are messages on how to make this holiday season bigger and better than the last. The drive to make things magical becomes exhausting and overwhelming. As a wife and mother of three, I look forward to the holidays and at the same time wait for the anxiety to take over and fill my waking moments with overwhelm and fear of disaster. Does this sound familiar? For the 2019 holiday season, let’s try a new approach. Instead of trying to be perfect this holiday season, let’s instead be present. How do we define present this holiday season?

Exchange “Perfection” for “Joy”

Do you search through Pinterest and walk down aisles at Home Depot in search of the perfect decorations? Do you once again land on Pinterest and your friendly Google search bar looking for the perfect holiday recipes? Perfection can be overwhelming. Perfection is an unattainable goal. Somewhere between perfection and disaster is real life.

Step back from the curated world of social media and decide what makes you happy. If, like me, you love to cook and searching out the perfect recipe gives you joy, then by all means do it. If the opposite is true and cooking gives you anxiety and feels like work, then find somewhere to cater your holiday meal or hand the meal planning over to another family member. Focus on what gives you joy this holiday season.

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Focus on People instead of Gifts

I love buying gifts. Spoiling my children is super simple. Walking through any store, I can fill my cart to the brim with toys, games, clothes, and gizmos that I know will bring my children joy. I noticed over the past several holiday seasons that my children start to become overwhelmed by all the gifts. The youngest ones especially are ready to play after opening one box and even become frustrated that I am stopping their play to open more gifts.

It is time for this momma to step back and focus on my sweet children instead of an overpowering list of must-have gifts. A friend of mine introduced me to the following formula:

Something they Want+Something they Need+ Something to Wear+Something to Read=Done Shopping

My goal for the 2019 holiday season is to stick to this formula and choose things that my children will love. The focus will be quality over quantity. Quality is more likely to spark joy and joy is our goal.

Be in the Moment More and Documenting Less

My cousin once told me, “If it is not posted on social media somewhere, it didn’t actually happen.” I believe it is easy to become so involved in sharing memories you are not truly making memories. Everything has its time and place and finding a balance is important. Step back from the camera for a minute and just be in the moment. See the smiles and hear the laughter through your own eyes and ears and not the screen of your cell phone.

By letting go of perfection, it is possible to find true joy. Taking time to seek out quality gifts over massive quantity will spark joy without chaos. Fully focusing on the moment with all of the senses instead of the curated lens of a camera will bring joy. Exchanging anxiety for joy allows one to be truly present in the moment. As the holiday season unfolds, your presence is a far greater gift to your family and friends than any gift, meal, or perfectly coordinated holiday display. Choose Joy, be Present, and Enjoy the holiday season with the ones you Love. Happy Holidays!

Blog PhotoAbout the Author: Dawn Marie Beauchamp is a wife and mother of three residing in the great state of Michigan. She and her husband own a small electrical company, where Dawn runs the office and her husband is the electrical master mind. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors and spends a lot of time enjoying the woods of Northern Michigan. Dawn also enjoys, cooking, writing, and all things DIY. She writes about her adventures at Controlled Chaos – Embrace the Adventure of the Everyday. (www.embracecontrolledchaos.com). You can also find Dawn on the following social platforms: Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest