Tag Archives: friends

Scatterbrained Thoughts

Mental illness, in general, is not something that is openly or widely discussed. It’s difficult because it is unlike other problems that you can physically see, like a broken bone. It’s also a shameful thing to admit to others because of the negativity and stigma associated with mental illness. For that reason and more, I want to spend some time today talking about this subject – specifically anxiety.

Anxiety is something that everyone experiences to some degree. However, not everyone experiences it to extent where it becomes a disorder. It’s all too easy to get stuck in your own mind, feeling alone. Anxiety can be overwhelming and extremely draining. Your mind races with all kinds of negative thoughts and self-talk.

I know what it’s like to live with anxiety. I have struggled with Generalized Anxiety Disorder for about three years now – (only officially diagnosed this year). One thing I think people can underestimate is the power of encouragement. It doesn’t even have to be anything huge. Little things, like a kind and uplifting word, can increase my mood and ease my mental stress. I am much better at giving out encouragement than I am at being supportive and kind to myself. This is where friends and family can be really helpful.

I have been struggling this year with self-criticism. I often blame myself for things that may not even be my fault. I jump to the conclusion “I must have done something wrong… or offensive…. or annoying”. And the list goes on. I continue to remind myself to not be so hard. I have really appreciated the friends that have stepped into my life and held me accountable and helped exactly when I needed it.

All this to say that it can be really hard to live with a mental illness. You often feel broken or even paralyzed to act. Just because someone appears to be happy, doesn’t mean they truly are. This next statement is true for me (and I’m sure for others as well): We do not want you to pull away from us because you are unsure of how to help or act around us. All we need is someone who will stay by our side and be a faithful friend. Be a listening ear when we need to vent, a shoulder to cry on, and someone to have fun and live life with.

All of this does not have to be a monumental task. After all – as the saying goes – “Many hands make light work.” You can often accomplish much more in a team than you can individually. So there are my thoughts on anxiety for the day. Let me know your experience on this subject!

Note: For anyone reading this, know you are loved and valued. You are never alone.

Have a good night friends!

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

This season can be a very busy time for a lot of people. Sometimes with all of our responsibilities and/or distractions, it can be a rush to get everything done. With that said, here are some Christmas ideas for those of you who may be trying to get last minute gifts.

First of all, when looking for a gift for a friend of family member, it’s good to show that you’ve put some thought into it. What kind of things do they enjoy? What are their hobbies?

  1. Journalling / Writing

Does the person you’re buying for enjoy writing or journalling? Journals, notebooks, etc. can be great gifts. They are appreciated by the recipient and can be used for a multitude of different things. notebook-731212_960_720.jpg

2. Books

So maybe the individual isn’t a writer… well, do they enjoy reading? Books are a thoughtful gift and will definitely make the day of any book lover! Don’t know the type of book they like? I know sometimes gift cards can be looked down upon as being a cheap way of avoiding a serious gift… but honestly, a book lover will be ecstatic to receive a gift card to a book store.

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3. Music

As a side note, I’m not just basing this off of things that I like….  I know these are generally good basic gift ideas.

Okay, so if they enjoy music, you can get them a CD of an artist they like. Just make sure they don’t already have it. If you don’t personally know, it’s fairly easy to find out from another close friend or family member. And if they don’t collect CDs, an iTunes card is always a valid option.

 

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4. Movies

Is there a movie or TV show they really enjoy? That’s another option. Or instead, you could actually take them to see something in theatres. That way they receive a gift, but also get an enjoyable experience while spending time with you.

 

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5.  DIY

Not everyone is the ‘creative type’. However, if you are on the creative side, this can be in your favour. Not all projects can take excessive amounts of time, like knitting a scarf. To start, you could make your own Christmas cards instead of buying them in the store. It’s more personal because even if it doesn’t take a long time, it still shows that you put in effort and thought. If you aren’t sure what to write, there are plenty of quotes, blessings, Bible verses and more that you can find online.

The possibilities are endless, only limited to what you can come up with. One quick idea is putting together a hot chocolate mix. There are multiple different recipes, but some ingredients you can put together are: cocoa, sugar, chocolate chips, marshmallows, and crushed peppermint or candy canes.

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I could continue on with other suggestions of quick and inexpensive last minute gift ideas. However, the main thing is to know the individual you are buying for – their interests, likes, etc. The gift doesn’t have to be big or really expensive, but just something that the person would enjoy and/or could use.

In the end, just remember. Christmas is more about making moments and memories. Spending time with the people you care about can honestly be the greatest gift. They will understand if you’re not in the place to give gifts this year.

Memorable Moments

Hello everyone! I’m back from the void! I feel sad that I haven’t written  anything here since October. However, my life became really crazy in the latter half of the semester with all the assignments and studying for exams.

I will strive to change this in the new year. It’s one of my goals to organize myself – my priorities, etc. – and to schedule and plan better.

There have been many hard and painful moments of this year. Yet, I will still look back at 2015 with fondness. It has been fun and encouraging to make some new friendships. I also feel like I’ve personally developed and grown significantly. Everything considered, I look forward to this new year with hope and excitement. I’ll trust God and await to see what lies in store for me. Whatever happens, I know I’m not alone. I’m loved and surrounded by a community that cares for me.

I enjoy this season of the year because it’s a time when family comes together. Joy, hope, peace and love are in the air. However, let’s also remember to be thinking of and praying for those who will have a difficult time dealing with pain and loss.

What are you looking forward to over this Christmas and holiday season?

 

Mood Altering

Goodbye August and hello September 1st! The topic of mood has been on my mind a lot lately. Now it’s common to see my mood swing up and down, but what can I do when it stays down? How do I get out of a low? Well, there’s no step by step guide. It’s different for everyone, but I thought I’d share some ideas on what has helped me.

Air

Even if it’s just going for a walk, I find being in nature rejuvenating. Instead of being trapped inside all day – in your house or at work – take some time to get fresh air.

Exercise

I definitely used to be one of those people who hid under a desk at the work exercise. Me exercise…? It wasn’t going to happen. But once I started exercising out of necessity, I surprisingly found that it wasn’t too bad. I actually enjoyed it and it helped to boost my mood. Whenever I became angry, I found it helpful to work out and deal with all my stress that way. It’s healthy for your body and mind.

Friends

I’m an introvert, but if I’m alone for too long, I start to feel lonely. Everyone needs a certain amount of social interaction. So, whether it’s planning a movie night or going out for coffee or lunch, spending time with your friends is a good mood booster. My friends always know how to brighten my day and make me laugh.

Wardrobe

It doesn’t matter if you’re a girly girl or not, if you wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident, I think it can help improve your mood. In my experience, if I’m wearing my favourite t-shirt or pants, then I feel good and also probably won’t be as self-conscious.

Music

I like music a lot. Therefore, you’ll probably see me mention it quite a bit. Music is powerful. It can bring people together, touch the heart, cause you to sing and/or dance. However you’re feeling or whatever you’re facing, there’s probably a song you can identify with. I usually see a difference in my mood after listening to my favourite artists. If I’m particularly anxious or stressed about something, I listen to peaceful instrumentals or movie soundtracks.

Here is one of my favourite movie songs from LOTR.

*Picture from Pixabay