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!
*caution, mature language ahead
To whoever needs to read this,
If you are reading this letter, then I’m going to make an educated guess that you may not be having the best time right now. Perhaps for a while.
I also have not been having the best of times lately, this year has been the toughest of my life. I had a breakdown, I was diagnosed with BPD, we had our third child and I’m in a job that has me so depressed that I have suicidal thoughts on a daily basis. And to add to that list I had the bright idea it was time to sell our house and buy a new one, which in hindsight, may not be the best of timing.
It’s been a pretty busy year, most of it shit, except for the birth our third child of course. If it wasn’t for him, I dread to think how this year would have gone. I was in such a dark place at the start of the year that it almost cost me my family.
Advice, you started reading this letter in the hope for some advice, and so far, you are probably thinking I’m the last person you should listen to. Who wants advice from the guy who had a breakdown and nearly lost his family? As tough as this year has been and as bad as it got, I believe it could be the making of me.
Up until this point in my life I allowed my anxiety to dictate where my life would go, what I would do and more importantly what I wouldn’t do. My whole life has been a case of not doing the things I wanted to do because my anxiety wouldn’t allow it. It has taken 38 years and a breakdown to realise that.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer or a journalist, then when I got to my teens and discovered music, I wanted to be a musician. For as long as I can remember I have always been creative and thought my career would follow that path. Yet I ended up in an office-based job that I hate. I wouldn’t be the first person who never followed their dreams and became a living cliché. The difference being though, the reason why I never became a writer or musician is because I allowed my anxiety to convince me I would fail and be laughed at, even by those closest to me.
But now, I am finally taking back control. I am still scared and the anxiety hasn’t gone away, yet I feel like I now have a voice and my anxiety has finally started to listen. It still tries it’s best to convince me of the worst-case scenario, however I now have more confidence in my ability to over power my anxiety and do what I want to do.
As much as I am slowly taking back control of my life, I am realistic in my limitations. I am 38, I have three kids and a mortgage. So, it’s not like I can just quit my job and start all over again. Never the less, I am not just going to roll over and give up on my dreams completely because it may be a bit tougher now. I just have to approach things in a different way.
The advice? You ask. Yes, I am getting to it.
Do not let your anxiety dictate your life. If you do, your life will be determined by the things you decide NOT to do. The choices you do NOT make. The things you walk away from. Easier said than done as anxiety can be crippling, I’m a living example of that fact. Which is exactly why you should listen to me.
I never had someone give me that advice when I was in my twenties, it’s taken me 38 years to figure it out. Do not wait until you have the mortgage, the kids and the financial responsibilities to realise you were meant to do or be something else. Fuck it if people may laugh and fuck it if you may fail, but at least you would have tried. Tried doing what you actually want to do.
Life flies by, quicker than you expect, do something about it now, not tomorrow.
And fuck what everyone else or your anxiety thinks.
*theboywithbpd has guest posted with me previously, and you can find his bio and other post here.
Hello everyone and welcome to one of the last Unsanity #Blogmas posts for the 2019 season! I didn’t have the patience or time to write one blog per day, so I opted for 10-12 over the course of the month to give myself time to get them uploaded and scheduled.
I hope you’ve been enjoying them like I have been while writing them for you. There’s alot of good stuff in here, and it’s going to be hard not to want to duplicate some next year (yes, I plan to do it again! We’ll see how the year goes leading up to December haha.)
This post is all about Stocking Stuffers for you last minute shoppers who need small gifts for your co-workers or family/friends. All of these are under $10 USD too no less! (This is in no way an ad and I do not get any compensation for featuring these item’s on my blog whatsoever. These are items I have selected from personal interest.)
Borderline Personality Disorder and pressure wouldn’t be my first-choice of cocktails, yet here I am having a big old pitcher of the stuff every day.
I’ve been racking my brain on how to write this piece, what’s the best angle? But the only way I can write it, is to make it about me. Not in a showy off way, I’m not that vain, but I admit parts of it will come across so. It’s not really an inspirational piece either, maybe a little, more advisory, a little cautionary perhaps. A tale of two sides.
A brief history lesson into me, I’m 38, I have 3 kids, at the time of writing they are 7, 2 and 7 days old. I have been with Sarah my partner for 10 years this November and I have BPD. I’ve always known there was something ‘different’ with me but I was only diagnosed 6 months ago, mainly because of the little breakdown I had, but that’s another story.
I have been for the first 37 years of my life what you call ‘high-functioning’, meaning from the outside you wouldn’t have clue if I was depressed, suicidal, manic or somewhere in between. I also haven’t told many people of my diagnosis, only 12 to be precise. None of which I work with. I was the master of bottling things up. On one side you could say it’s served me well in my career, on the other you could say it caused my breakdown. Eventually that pressure has to go somewhere right?
For any of you that work in Recruitment you will know how tough it is, for those that don’t, I don’t have the word count to explain, you’ll have to just trust me. I specifically work in Technology Recruitment; it is very sales and target driven. It is also very cut throat, I have worked in places where if you don’t hit target for 3 months you are fired, no ifs or buts. Fired.
Yet somehow here I am 12 years in the job. I also manage 4 teams, I am a Billing Manager, which means not only do I have to hit my own personal sales target, I have to make my teams do also. Combined I am responsible for a target of just over £1m.
That is a big number with a lot of pressure.
I hate it. I fucking hate it.
But let’s start with the good stuff, the showy off stuff. The money is good, I’m not a millionaire, I’m not rich, but good enough that Sarah doesn’t need to work, the kids don’t go without holidays and any new toys they want. I was also able to buy my house with no outside help. We generally do what we want, within reason.
Yeah, but it has come at a price. And that price is me. My job is the main cause of my depression, there are not many days that go by where I don’t think about jumping in front of that train. I have lost count of the times I have sat crying in the toilet, or holding back tears as I walk home. Every day I want to cry. Every damn day.
The worst part?
It’s all by my own design, I am held hostage by my own circumstances. I am in a position where I don’t know how much longer I can cope with my job mentally, but I also have the responsibilities that come with it, and the mortgage my job has allowed me to have. It’s not like I can just quit and start again.
I didn’t lie, this piece is not an inspirational one, I suppose you could say I have managed to hold down a well-paid and high-pressure job with my BPD which may inspire others to believe they can do the same. But then you have to take the cautionary side into consideration, the pressure and the damage it has done.
There is a third option, the way that I would like this story to be taken if I had my say. You could, use it as a metaphor for not judging a book by its cover. From the outside I have ‘nothing to be depressed about’, you never can tell what someone is coping with, especially if they don’t want you to.
For the gods of mental health, we are a walking buffet, everyone is up for grabs, BPD and other disorders have no prejudice, we shouldn’t either.
Author Bio: I am theboywithbpd. I was only recently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, I’ve always known there was something, ever since I was a kid, but it took a breakdown to find out. I am 38 years old and have three kids with my partner Sarah. I am now finally trying to do the things I’ve always wanted to, writing being one of them, you can read my blog here https://www.theboywithbpd.com/
With Christmas being less than 2 week away now, there’s still time to get unique gifts for everyone on your list from Amazon with two or one day delivery to most states. I’ve curated a list of a few, erm, strange yet useful gadgets and items that anyone on your list would appreciate this year. (This is in no way an ad and I do not get any compensation for featuring these item’s on my blog whatsoever. These are items I have selected from personal interest.)
Of course we need to start off with this shower/bathroom/anywhere wine holder for while you’re getting ready or relaxing. Made for those wine-os who just need a place to store their glass so they don’t spill it and lose their precious wine. “Finally… a little “you” time. Pull out that silky robe. Crack open a great book. Light a few candles to set the mood for the pièce de ré·sis·tance: a truly luxurious soak.” I’m just going to come out and say it: everyone on your list can use this even if they don’t put wine in it.
Even if you don’t like nature (which, I don’t know why you wouldn’t) this bird feeder can entertain you and anyone else in your household for hours including pets. Are you a photographer? This is the perfect gift to get some wildlife/bird portraits you normally wouldn’t be able to get. And guess what! It includes the suction cups that they guarantee are weather resistant and will not slide down on the window. Enjoy seeing wild birds up-close like never before.
Need a solid yet funny and comical planner/to do list to keep yourself organized during the day… Look no further. There’s a lot to be said for sloth philosophy, and this notepad says it all. And honestly, I added this little guy to my cart as I was writing this because maybe it will help me get my sh*t together a little… after my little naps. “Get your to-do list out of the way so you can focus on what’s really important: relaxing. Take it slow and have fun without worrying that you’ve forgotten some obligation. Maybe indulge in a nap full of slothlike, stress-free dreams.”
Now, you might not be into camping, but if you love the outdoors and have 2 poles or trees in your back yard, this portable hammock is definitely for someone on your list. With that price of only $25 or under, and a complete 5-star review of over 2,000 people, something tells me you can’t go wrong with this. This is a double hammock, and can hold up to (get this) 1,000 pounds! Something tells me I’m going to be adding this to my wish list today…
Trying to drink that water your doctor keeps telling you to drink daily to stay hydrated? Do you hate the taste of plain water though? Check out this leak-proof water bottle infuser to add your favorite fruits to. It is 100% BPA Free, comes with a carrying handle and it’s easy to clean for when you need a refill. “Water is plain, water is boring, and water is tasteless – and since we live in a sea of flavor packed alternatives (usually swimming in sugar and potential dangerous chemical additives), it’s easy to see why we skip the healthy option altogether.”
Picture it: you come in to your office in the morning and it’s warm because they had the heat on all night. This little fan will give you just the right amount of comfort at your desk to help cool you off for a bit. Did I mention that it plugs into your computer or laptop in order to work? How cool is that? It’s got 3 speeds, it rotates to fit your needs and is available in a few colors.
Give the gift of cold to that beer lover in your family or friends list. “The HOPSULATOR TRíO keeps your drinks 20x colder than a standard neoprene can-cooler, so that your last sip has the same refreshing kick as the first.” Don’t have a beer lover in the family – fear not. This can also be used to keep your coffee and tea warm wherever you are with the lid attachment.
This cutting board is the perfect gift for the chef in your life. My husband and I actually have a cut out of Pennsylvania and we LOVE it, even if it’s just for decor half of the time. Just selcet the drop down menu and pick your state or your friends state and ta-dah! This fun, whimsical laser-engraved artwork calls out all the wonderful sights and places in the state of your choice. I mean, of course I had to choose NJ to feature, because I will always be a #JerseyGirl. Did I mention that this is bamboo? Bamboo is much gentler on knives than most cutting boards and won’t ruin them when you cut on this.
It’s that time of year again! Most would say it’s the most wonderful time of the year… Personally, I love the holiday season (minus the snow.) making people smile, festive recipes to test on the family and learning how to deal with new holiday stress.
I’ve never participated in Blogmas before, and I thought I would give it a try this year and do my own 12 days of Blogmas. I can’t really commit to 25 or 31 days of December at the moment, but I know I can at least do 12 of them and spread them out throughout the month of December!
If you don’t know what Blogmas is, it is a blogging challenge which consists in publishing a blog post either 12, 25 or all of the month of December. As its name suggests, Blogmas is the conjunction of the words ‘blog’ and ‘Christmas’ and anyone who has a blog can take part in the activity. This can give you consistent content, and help with daily views and publishing; not to mention to help you become a better writer than you already are. It’s good to have challanges in life, and a simple one like this can make the whole world of difference in your online presence.
Remember to have fun with this! It’s not meant to be stressful and if you find yourself not being able to keep up, you can always change the way you go about it like I am, and only committing to 12 days vs more than I know I can handle. Afterall, it’s YOUR blog and you can do what you want!
So on that note, I’ve decided to make a list of 40 Blogmas ideas that you may want to write about this holiday season. I’ve done a bit of research, and have curated this list based on what I personally would write about. 12 of these listed will be featured on my blog this season, you’ll just have to wait and see which ones! (These are in no particular order, I just wrote down whatever came to mind at the time.)
Readers, I have something different for you today regarding Freebies! I decided to make something for the teachers that follow me (I know there are a few of you!) Instead of a “report card”, I made a mid quarter progress report that you can print out to give to the parents of your children. I know report cards are regulated by the school system, and this is an easy way to let the parents and guardians know how their children are doing after a few weeks in classes to see what they may need to improve on to get that A or B in the class for the report card!
As always, visit my Freebie Page for the other free items I’ve posted the last few weeks and to download the high resolution copies of these.
Humans are social animals. They can’t live without socializing with other humans. History says, humans are dependent on other humans since past for food, clothing, shelter and many more things. Even today also, we need to socialize with others for many different reasons, some of them related to financial issues, some of them related to mental health.
If a person isn’t comfortable to socialize with others, that person might be experiencing Social anxiety. People with social anxiety disorder (SAD) may encounter chronic fear of social or performance-related situations. As a result they might become embarrassed, rejected, or scrutinized in front of general people.
Social anxiety might have a huge impact on introverts more than you others. In these situations, people with SAD almost always experience physical symptoms of anxiety. They might think that it is a predetermined characteristic that they have to carry lifelong. But that isn’t entirely true. With proper therapy social anxiety disorder can be cured with time.
But first, you must identify the symptoms of social anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of social anxiety disorder typically fall within three different areas.
● Chest tightness
● Muscle tension
● Blurred vision
● Chest pain
● Shortness of breath
● Lump in the throat
● Trembling voice
● Ringing in the ears
● Dry mouth
● Paresthesias (tingling)
● Heart racing (tachycardia)
● Heart pounding (palpitations)
● Feelings of unreality (derealization)
or Feelings of detachment from oneself (depersonalization)
|● Negative bias
● Negative thoughts
● Negative beliefs
● Safety behaviors
Introvert people normally don’t want to join the party life. They are not social butterflies or the late night partiers. They always like a job that involves sitting quietly all day long, rather than communicating with clients, hosting a presentation, or supervising others. They like getting separated from life’s deep problems and wanted to live with loneliness.
At the same time, their natural desire to spend time alone makes it very difficult to expose themselves to the situations that cause anxiety.
Now the question is, how does an introvert with high functioning anxiety disorder overcome this situation?
Being an introvert person If you feel that you are having symptoms of social anxiety, you must learn about it as much as possible and get benefited. You should know why you can’t seem to open up in front of everyone and be as you are to others.
As a reference, you may check out the Social Anxiety episode of comedian Paul Gilmartin’s podcast, The Mental Illness Happy Hour with psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendrickson. There, Dr. Hendrickson discusses the physiological causes of social anxiety in easy language.
One best thing that she pointed out there is, “it’s all about being mindful of your ability to control your thoughts and reactions.” That means with regular practice, and a stone-cold determination to control it, you may positively manage your social anxiety.
You don’t need to buy a new house in a different state or city and start a new life. In order to get a fresh beginning, you may join a new club or boost your career with a new job. Remember, by heart you are an introvert person, so you must reach out to new people and interact with them regularly.
Keep telling yourself that everything is going to be ok, and you’re going to be the person who you want to be.
These new people do not treat you as someone awkward, because they don’t know you well. So, do not let them make any dull impression about you, present yourself as a social butterfly or as a cheerful person that you always want to be.
This process might not work for every person you meet. But to become successful with this method you need to overcome your shyness and fear. The more a person knows himself and has that much knowledge about his social anxiety, it will get much easier for him to overcome his weakness. Hendriksen says – “You become less anxious by living your life.”
I felt the same way when I was entering college. Moving away from home kept me scared. I was shy throughout grade school. But when I moved to college and made new friends, communicated with them openly without judging them like I used to do at my school, I felt it was so cool.
It actually kind of worked! Gradually, I socialize with all my friends, and their friends, and their friends, and…said goodbye to my loneliness.
Hendriksen says “Social anxiety makes us think the worst-case scenario is definitely going to happen,” But that’s definitely a wrong perception. Practically, worst-case scenarios don’t often happen.
Being an Introvert with social anxiety, you can avoid this situation easily. First, you have to imagine the worst-case scenario about any situation, and then think deeper till you figure out exactly what you’re afraid of. That means you should seek the outcome that you fear, and then argue with that fear. Hendriksen added, “It’s harder to argue with the foggy mirage of fear.”
By seeking and facing the exact threat, you may figure out how likely it really is.
Basically, the best way to win over your shyness and social anxiety is to take a gradual approach. Have you ever thought about talking to the first hot girl or guy you meet in your college? Have you ever asked for a dance to a junior girl or boy whom you like, in your college prom party?
See, doing such small things can help you a lot to fight against your social anxiety. Ending up a conversation isn’t exactly a cool option to overcome your fear. Instead, you may set small achievable goals that may help you to become more sociable.
These small gestures may trigger self-confidence in you, which may help you to reduce social anxiety and shyness.
Unfortunately, for some introvert with high functioning anxiety, the situation gets too serious to deal with alone. If some person has an anxiety disorder or depression that can’t be cured with self-motivation, then the patient might require clinical help with proper professional care.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is quite helpful to guide a patient through such a situation. Psychiatrists Dr. Joseph Burwell, can prescribe anxiety medication to help the patient in serious conditions. There’s no shame in getting the help you need from a therapist or a Psychiatrist. They are here to help these people who suffer from severe social anxiety disorder.
Few important words…
A person who suffers from social anxiety, can’t maintain his/her personal and professional life properly. But it’s important to keep fighting with this issue as long as possible. Be patient and remember that you are not alone. There are many people who still love you. Work hard, do your exercises, it’ll help you to lower your stress and improve your mood so that you become the best version of you!
Author Bio: As a born and bred London blogger, Lois is passionate about spreading positivity, talking about mental health and empowering other millennial to push boundaries in order to live their best lives.
There’s so much pressure in today’s society to be happy (thanks social media!) and it’s so normal for us to compare ourselves to others, whether we’re aware we’re doing so or not. When I first started university 3 years ago, I realized I wasn’t having as good a time as all my friends seemed to be having… fast forward 2 months and I was at the lowest point I’d ever been.
Now I’m not totally putting all the blame on social media – I should probably give some credit to the combination of a nasty relationship break up and moving to a completely different city 200 miles from home. I love social media (it’s part of what I do for a living so I kind of have to), but there’s no denying that it’s put a strain on how today’s younger generations view themselves and others.
After eventually realizing how something so innocent as seeing my friends having a good time on Instagram could be so damaging, I didn’t know what to do. There was no way I was just going to give it up (as addictive as it is, I wasn’t going to just throw away my way of connecting with the world), but I knew something needed to change.
I decided to try to transform it into something slightly more positive by following people that would supposedly bring more value to my news feed. You know, the typical motivational speakers; the likes of Gary Vee etc. etc.
Eventually I found someone that changed the game for me.
Mel Robbins has a very ‘no bullsh*t’ attitude when it comes to self-development and loving yourself. She delves into the science behind why we feel the way we feel, and what we can do to counteract negative thoughts.
No ‘imagining a cheque for a million dollars’ or anything like that, just good old-fashioned FACTS.
Through Mel’s (completely free) online content, I started to understand why I was having such negative thoughts and that it was no wonder I was feeling as low as I was.
Once I’d got to the root of what Mel calls my ‘limiting beliefs’, I was able to use her golden nuggets of mental health wisdom to tackle my cynical thoughts, which included (but were by no means limited to):
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s important to note that if you’re going through a seriously low patch to the point where you have no energy to do anything (I know I’ve been there), then all you can do is pretty much just ride it out. Wait for the storm to blow over.
And when you notice the clouds slightly starting to dissipate, that is when you’ve got to take action on those toxic inner commentaries.
Somewhere along the timeline of our lives, we develop a DEFAULT way of thinking (usually from our childhood) and this default way of thinking takes the PHYSICAL FORM of neurons in our brain called the ‘Default Mode Network’. This forms our automatic thinking patterns, so by identifying when we think these thoughts, we can counteract them with something positive like “I am good enough”. This can help us to live and think deliberately (even if we don’t believe it at first), and eventually believe in ourselves enough to achieve our goals. Even just knowing that the only problem was what I believed, I knew that I could at least try to work to change that.
The next thing I learnt was this crazy thing I had never heard of called the RETICULAR ACTIVATING SYSTEM. Like, it even SOUNDS scientific. And that’s because it is. (Why do they not teach this sh*t in high school?!)
It’s the part of our brain that filters what you focus on.
Ever heard a song for the first time in ages and then suddenly you notice it playing on the radio every time you go to the supermarket?
Ever felt kind of low and then suddenly feel that everything in your life is an absolute disaster?
That’s because your Reticular Activating System is filtering in what you’re already thinking about. If our brain consciously registered everything we experienced, our heads would be so overloaded with information that we would probably spontaneously combust. So when we feel low, the fact that that person cut you off earlier whilst you were driving home from work can feel like the end of the world.
Taking action against our negative thoughts is the only way to achieve a calmer state of mind and in turn have a happier outlook on life in general. Yes, it takes a lot of discipline and you’ll realize how hard it is to force yourself out of your auto-pilot mode.
But if you’re serious about taking control, why not use social media as a useful resource to help you get to that place?
Since my low point 2 years ago, and even only really in the last 6 months I have:
It’s crazy how far a little bit of education, self-belief and hard work can get you.
Knowledge is, for sure, power. And although platforms like Instagram and Twitter are full of toxic, useless garbage, the information that can help you change your life is out there. You’ve just got to find it.
Welcome! My name is Erin! I like to think of myself as agony aunt, funny mum and wordsmith of all things parenting from icky tums and dirty bums to baby blues and the terrible two’s.
How Mindfulness Can Make Parenting Easier
For a lot of people, becoming a parent is one of the best things in life. It’s enriching, rewarding and above all challenging! However, if you are a parent you will also know how stressful it can actually be.
Children have copious amounts of energy and need to be on the go all day. Their little minds work much faster than ours and so with everything else us adults have going on it can be pretty hard keeping up with the kids.
By the end of the day we can be worn out with very little energy to do anything else that needs done. Some parents turn to comfort food, others turn to wine but at the end of the day nothing has really changed and tomorrow will be the same. This is where mindfulness can help.
What Is Mindfulness?
The formal definition of mindfulness is:
“A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
In my words, mindfulness is living in the moment. You must clear your head of every other thought about the past or the future. You also have to focus solely on what is around you.
Try it now. Take a deep breath and look at what is around you. Focus on something specific, maybe a candle… What does it feel like? How does it smell? What does it sound like? That… is Mindfulness.
Mindfulness In Parenting
So, how can mindfulness be used in parenting to make it less stressful?
Most people get mindfulness confused with meditation. Obviously, they both require your full attention however, mindfulness does not have to be quiet and it doesn’t have to be alone. You could even practice mindfulness at a festival. And so, practicing mindfulness while parenting is easier than you think.
The first thing you need to do in order for this to work is turn off your phone (or at least out it on silent in another room). We live in an age where having your phone in your hand 80% of the day is normal, sadly. But, you have no idea how much more you will relax just by putting that phone down for an hour.
Secondly, turn off any other electronics that are likely to cause a distraction. You want your kids to practice Mindfulness too rather than sitting watching a mind numbing program that they’ve probably seen 3 times before.
Then pick an activity that is going to use all your senses. For babies you could get a “touchy feely” book, for toddlers you could do some arts and crafts, for children you could bake and for something for the whole family: go for a walk. You might be surprised by how much there is to focus on outside. By choosing an activity with a lot of texture or dynamics you can spend more time on it.
Finally, break convention! You have to think like a child, smell the puddles, taste a twig, listen to a leaf. I know I might sound like a raving loony but take it from somebody who practices mindfulness with her kids: spending an hour, taking the time to become aware of your surroundings is going ton help you unwind and tire the kids out.
How Do Children Benefit From Mindfulness?
As I said before, practicing mindfulness takes a lot of brain power which can tire your children out and keep them from getting bored. By taking time in the activity you do, you’ll find your child learns much more than what they would at a standard pace. These are great benefits for your child but teaching our children about mindfulness will also help future generations. Hopefully our children will make a habit of practicing mindfulness and teach their children to take time away from distractions. It may not seem like a big deal but I almost guarantee that if everybody practiced mindfulness daily, the world would be a little more positive.