Monday, 22 August 2016

September Stress: School, Work, and Social Life.

September is almost here, which means back to school for most people. Like most students, I work a part time job, which is necessary if you need to buy your own school supplies, books, or even pay your own tuition. Thinking about how September is slowly creeping up on us is causing me a lot of anxiety about how the school year is going to be. I spent a lot of time worrying about balance, and wondering how I can keep up with school and work, while still having a social life. I don't handle stress well, so I thought of some ways to keep the school year as calm as possible, and decided to share it with my readers who find it hard to handle stress well! 



Keep an agenda
I've always kept a journal with me to write down what I have to do and when I have to do it. This is such a good way to visually see your schedule. Write down homework, tests, your work schedule, and plans with friends. It'll make planning and time management so much easier. 

Prioritize
For me, school always comes before work. I need to make sure my work place can accommodate my school schedule, not the other way around. School is what I'm doing right now to benefit my future, so work needs to compromise. Also, don't feel bad about the number of shifts you work. Take care of your mental health, even if it just means just working weekends.

Take advantage of your days off
If you have any days off of school or work, take advantage of it. Whether it means alone time, or time with friends, it's important to spend time away from work and school. I find it so hard to spend time with my family and friends when I'm so busy with homework and shifts, but being able to relax once in a while is crucial if you want everything to stay relaxed.

Think about the advantages about your hard work
Whenever I feel down about school and work, and not being able to see my family, friends, and boyfriend enough; I think about how much my hard work will benefit me in the future. I think about how amazing it will feel to have my degree and to not have to stress over school ever again. I also remember how my hard work in school will ensure a career I love, and a great future for myself, and future family. Think about how it all will be in the long run.




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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

4 Ways To Be More Confident


















Stop comparing yourself to others.

With social media being such a huge part of our lives, it's easy to check in on other people and compare them to yourself. What people fail to remember is that people will only post what they want you to see. Perfect lives do not exist. There is so much that goes on behind Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Twitter. Those flawless celebrities, families, any individual you see online do have their issues, but only portray the happy stuff.

Don't envy, aspire.

When I was the most insecure I have ever been, seeing the success of others made me jealous and spiteful. I don't know why, but seeing someone achieve something used to make me envious rather than proud. If you tend to do the same, try looking at others accomplishments in a more positive light. Look at them as inspiration, for help to achieve your goals. 

Don't compete, empower.

Similar to the last step, don't look at others accomplishments as negative things. I see so much competition going on, when we should be empowering one another. Collaborate, work with people to not only help them, but you succeed.

Exercise. 

I know what you're all thinking- "ugh". But I honestly felt so great about myself when I started exercising. Before including a workout to my daily routine, I was always too skinny, too weak, too unhealthy. Knowing I was doing something about it boost my mood up tremendously.



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Thursday, 30 June 2016

July Goals

While reading some of my favourite blogs, I noticed a lot of them do a post on their monthly goals. I like the idea of smaller goals to set monthly, as it seems easier to accomplish rather than trying to set them every year. I know that if I set some challenges for myself each month, my plans would be more realistic and much easier to carry out. I'll also reflect each month on previous goals to see if I managed to pull off everything I planned on doing. Here are some goals I have for July!



Release some of the projects I've been working on.
I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts that I had so many ideas and was looking forward to create. These plans are really fun and creative, but involves a lot of planning, time, and unfortunately money. I'm going to try to get out at least 2 of these projects out in July.

Get back into exercising.
For the first half of the year, I was so good with my exercise. I was working out 4-5 times a week, and really looked forward to it each day. Once I started work, I got so lazy and felt so bad about not having the energy to exercise. I want to get back into that mindset, and work out just as much as I did before June.

Collaborate.
I have a lot of friends who also like to create, and I would love to collaborate with them. It's so important for young creators to help build each other up, and support one another. 

Declutter....again.
After that huge tangent I went on about decluttering my life, I managed to throw out and donate a lot of my stuff. I still have way too many clothes. I want to be able to open my closet and drawers without being overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I have. I also want to declutter my game room/office. I spend most of my time in there, and I have a lot of stuff I don't need. 

What are your plans for July?



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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Do not judge my story by the chapter you walked in on

I love Pinterest. I'm not as obsessed as I used to be, but I love looking through pins to find inspiration for blog posts and other projects. While browsing through some of my old boards, I found a lot of quotes that I saved with great meaning behind them. I thought it'd be fun to pick out some of those quotes and elaborate on them and give my thoughts.

"Do not judge my story by the chapter you walked in on" - Unknown




There have been a number of people in my life who I thought were such a vital part of me. There are people who I thought I couldn't live without. A lot of these people are not in my life right now for good reason. There are also people who I have met in a certain point in my life, that knew me for who I was then, which is a completely different person to who I am now.

Unless I talk to you on an everyday basis, you don't know who I am. What you have heard of me, and what you perceive during quick encounters, is not me. If you used to know me on a very personal level in the past, you don't anymore. Who I was years, even months ago is not who I am today. We all learn from experiences, and are constantly changing with our environment and company. Just because you were once a huge part of my life, does not mean you know my whole story.

Judging somebody on their past, or even on a specific moment in their life is not right. Decisions that were made during previous years- things that we cannot change, are things that should not matter while making your judgement of people.

Nobody is perfect, and life is a learning experience. Don't judge others by the stories you have heard, or the little you've known of them.

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Monday, 13 June 2016

How to De-stress: Relaxation Tips

I'm someone who cannot handle stress well, and during hectic moments, I can feel myself slowly going crazy. I dread exam time, when all my final projects are due, and I have a number of subjects to study. I'm noticeably more irritable, and in an overall down mood. I thought that summer break would be the time for me to relax, but I've been kind of over working myself with new projects that I can't seem to find a break. As excited as I am for these upcoming ideas, I'm still taking on a lot and find myself stressing out. I decided to share some of my favourite ways to de-stress and relax, just in case you're anything like me and find it hard to unwind during chaotic times!



My friend bought me a beautiful colouring book for my birthday, and it's something I immediately grab when I'm feeling overwhelmed. The theme is Paris and it has some beautiful sketches. It's so nice to just grab some tea, and colour. It's perfect for when you're mind becomes cluttered and you don't want to think about anything for a while.







Meditation might sound a bit weird to some people, but it's something I have done for years. I wish I was mindful enough to meditate on my own, but there are so many great guided meditations on YouTube that you can find to fit your certain needs. There's no specific channel I like watching, but you can easily find what you need by searching "guided meditations for ____".

Pampering myself is one of my favourite things to do when I'm feeling stressed. Having a bath and using some of your favourite products is a perfect way to relaxed and comfortable. Some of my favourite things to use on pamper evenings include the Dermalogica Daily MicrofoliantL'Occitane shower oil (which I have conveniently emptied), L'Occitane Supple Skin oil, and the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. If you're extra cautious, I like to bring my Kindle or iPad into the bath with me to keep me entertained.




I did a whole blog post on how a cluttered space = a cluttered mind that you can read here. This might not be for everyone, but I find myself able to de-stress by just tidying up my work area. It gives you a break from what you're doing, and you'll be able to concentrate better when you're not distracted by your surroundings.

I love napping. Whenever I'm feeling extra stressed or anxious, I like to have a little sleep. I always wake up feeling refreshed. At the end of every semester, when I'm typing up final projects and studying for exams, I find it so hard to concentrate when I'm overwhelmed. When I remember that frantically studying when my mind is not clear won't help at all, I take a nap to regain my sense of calm, and start fresh when I wake up. I like to use thisworks deep-sleep pillow spray for a more relaxing sleep.




These are some of my favourite ways to relax when I'm feeling extra stressed out. Stress makes it difficult for me to control my emotions, so taking the time to step back and take care of myself is really important. What are some ways you like to de-stress?






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7 steps to happiness





  1. Get rid of negativity - Remove anyone who is making a negative impact on your life. Cutting off people who aren't good to you will feel like a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders. If you cannot physically get rid of them, then try to disconnect from them as much as possible. Don't ask them for anything, and don't let them ask anything from you. Focus on the people who care for your happiness. 
  2. Take care of yourself - It's okay to be a little selfish. Don't feel sorry for taking some "me time". It's okay to put yourself first sometimes. 
  3. Learn how to forgive - Don't let others mistakes take a toll on you. Don't make forgiving someone about excusing their behaviour, but about not allowing their behaviour to hurt you. Holding onto anger is unhealthy, forgiving allows you to make peace with not only the other person, but yourself. 
  4. Stop caring about what other people think - This easier said than done, but important to achieve happiness. Do what makes you happy, and don't think of the opinions of others. If they're closed minded or unsupportive, they are not people you need in your life. 
  5. Do nice things for others - I have always been the type of person who cares about other peoples comfort and happiness. Seeing someone smile after doing something nice for them never gets old. 
  6. Be less judgemental - I get so upset when I hear people talk down on others decisions. Try your best not to look down on other people because they choose to live a different life than you. Focus on yourself, your decisions, and your life. 
These are just some of the habits I have made to ensure a happy life. What do you do to stay happy?

I also made a new Twitter page for this blog! Follow @memosfrommegan

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Thursday, 9 June 2016

Life Update #2: New Ideas for the Summer

Where to begin..life has been pretty hectic lately. I've been feeling really overwhelmed, because I have so many ideas and creative things I want to start, but don't know where to begin- or even find the time to begin. I know it might seem that I have been neglecting my blog a bit, but the truth is, I have a lot of exciting projects coming up. I just needed to push myself past the anxiety and the self discouragement, and now I am so eager to create. I started taking things a bit more seriously. I got a digital drawing tablet, new adobe software (thanks Allan!) and a new iMac because my little Macbook would not be able to handle all of these new projects. Next up is a camera and microphone, but unfortunately when you're a working student, you don't have the luxury of spending all your hard earned money right away.


During the next couple of months, I'm going to be working toward rebranding my blog a bit. I want to switch over to a new host, and make things a bit more pretty. I'll also be changing the title of my blog,  and domain, so expect that. I'll let everybody know ahead of time to what it'll be changing to. Still the same content, just a bit more professional. The other projects are a surprise. They are all creative outlets for me, and include collaborations with some very interesting people. I've also been making some graphics for some of my fellow young creators.

Overall, my summer has been great. Minus the exhaustion of working full time, I've been spending most days with family which has been really nice. My mental health has been pretty up and down, I thought once finishing the semester I'd feel better, but it turns out I was even more stressed when I started work. Now that I have a clear vision of what I want for the future, things have been better. I learned to be a bit less cautious, and take chances. You never know where your small ideas can take you.

When I'm not posting here, you can find me at TranQool writing posts about mental illness. They have also set up a new ambassadors page, if you are a student in Toronto and are interested in supporting this amazing company.

Thank you for taking the time to read another life update, and come back for a new post next week!




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Monday, 30 May 2016

Being Introverted: It isn't a bad thing

"You're so quiet" is something that I'm reminded of every time I meet someone new. What I don't like about hearing that sentence, is that it's always said in a negative way. I'm without a doubt an introvert, and have been labelled as shy for as long as I can remember. I didn't choose to be so shy, and if I could be more extroverted, I would. What I want to remind you is that being an introvert is not a bad thing.



The people closest to me see me in a different light to those I just met or feel awkward around. I guess I can say they see the "real me". I choose to only show the real me to people who I feel comfortable with. I also know that this is the case with a lot of my friends who are also introverts. It's not that I'm choosing not to speak to someone, I just won't say anything if I don't have anything to say.  I recently started a new job, and had a great conversation with one of my coworkers. He never once came up to me to remind me of how quiet I am, but instead just talked to me. I happily conversed back. After later telling me people have told him that I was so quiet, I just explained that I don't usually start conversations. That's not to say that I don't enjoy a good chat with someone. I, being an introvert, had a great time talking to him, being an extrovert- even though I didn't initiate anything. I love a good conversation, but starting small talk with when I don't have anything to say is just something I don't do, as well as all the other introverts out there. This isn't because we tell ourselves not to, it's built in our personalities. It was refreshing to see someone understand that just because I'm quiet, it doesn't mean that I just choose not to speak to anyone. As stupid as it might sound, I really appreciated the effort and sympathy.

More often than not, I don't fit in, or hear some bad things about me for being quiet. This is something I have come to accept since shyness is seen as a bad thing. It's honestly just a lack of confidence sometimes, but it's never seen that way. Introverts generally find socializing very exhausting, and as much as we'd like to participate more, we find it really hard to. You can definitely see the difference in my personality when I'm in a relaxed place with people I'm comfortable around apposed to being in a hectic environment with people I don't know very well. It all depends on the situation and company.

I just finished reading a book called Quiet, which is great for learning to accept your introverted self. We have a lot of good qualities, but forget that when all we are being told is that we're too quiet. I really recommend this book to any introverts who are constantly being shamed- or shaming themselves for not participating more in social settings.

Being an introvert is not bad. Being an extrovert is not bad either. They are simply personality traits. Being introverted is something apart of me that I can't change, and won't change for the approval of others. Remember that there is nothing wrong with you, it is a normal characteristic to have. For extroverts reading: try starting a conversation with a quiet person. They might appreciate the effort despite them being shy, and you'll be surprised to see how much they have to say.





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Friday, 20 May 2016

Losing Someone You Love

I put my blog on hold for a while to sort out some life things, and I hated every minute I was away. I can't wait to have the time to sit down, and read some of my favourite blogs again. I'm sorry for my absence, but hopefully it leads to bigger and better stuff. Also, having a 9-5 job is exhausting. I have a bit of an emotional post today, as it's the first anniversary of my grandfathers death. Although it was upsetting to talk about, I smiled thinking of him, and hope it helps anyone who is currently going through the loss of a loved one.

Exactly one year ago, I got the horrible news that my grandfather was admitted to the hospital, and he wasn't going to make it. Before this, I never knew was loss felt like. I would always look at friends or family who lost someone close to them, and think, "I don't know how they're coping. If I were to ever lose someone close to me, I would be a complete mess". It wasn't until my Papa passed away, when I realized how people were able to hold themselves together. I'm having a really down day, so I thought I'd write a little something in honour of him, and talk about what losing someone close to you is really like.

To give a little background information, my Papa was an extremely healthy guy. He had the energy of a 20 year old. He and most of my moms side of the family live in Ireland, but I was so blessed that I was able to see him so often. Even growing up in a different country, I they've always felt like a huge part of my life. He was also the friendliest person I have ever met. He was so funny, and always made sure the people around him were smiling. One of my favourite memories was my last dinner with him. My Papa, Nana, sister and I ate dinner, drank wine and laughed a lot. There were tears rolling down my face, it was a great night. This was during a trip my sister and I took to Ireland. Weirdly enough, before this vacation, my sister had the random urge to go to Ireland. No specific reason, she just felt the need to, and asked me to come. We had no idea that he would pass away the next month, and that would be our last time seeing him. I'm so happy I had that time with him.

Last year, I went to bed excited that my grandparents were going to be landing the next day. They came to Canada for my cousins confirmation, and my sister's 21st (turning 21 is a huge thing in Ireland). I specifically remember looking at the broken handle on my closet, thinking that it would be fixed again for the hundredth time tomorrow. This handle always broke, and my Papa would frustratingly fix is every time he was in Canada.

Long story short, they didn't come to visit. We got a horrible call that morning. It's a really upsetting story, so I won't go into too much detail, but we didn't think this would happen anytime soon. The weird thing is, I didn't feel anything at all. I was in shock, and completely numb. It wasn't until I called my boyfriend to tell him the news that I cried so hard, I couldn't speak. I think it was something about saying it out loud, that's when it became real to me. The whole day was weird. I spent it looking at photos at him, laughing at some, and crying at the others. The best word I can think to describe the whole day was weird. The fact that he was gone was just so odd.

I got so many kind messages. That's when I realized who matters. There were people I haven't talked to in years that sent me their condolences, when people I'd see every day didn't say anything. Horrible situation, but that's how I saw who truly cared about me. I still look back and read what people had said, it's really comforting.

He loved James Bond and Elvis, that's what everyone associated him with. Flowers my aunt & uncle got for his grave.

The next day, we flew to Ireland. People I didn't even know came up to me to tell me how amazing my grandfather was to them. Everything was so busy around the time of the funeral. We were all so distracted by each other in Ireland, that when we got home, things started to go to shit. I used to cry every night. I kept thinking that I'd never be able to get over it, and I missed him so much, and still do.We had a huge party planned for his birthday that year. We already had the band, and the venue booked. It was so disappointing to have to cancel it.

I remember a little over a month after the funeral, the night before his birthday, I decided to listen to some Elvis (he was a huge fan). Jailhouse Rock came on, and I immediately started bawling. I completely forgot that we danced to this song years ago until I heard it. That night was pretty rough for me, but then I had a dream about him. I got to talk to him and hug him. It's crazy how real that felt. Depending on your beliefs, you might think that what I'm saying is so odd, but I truly believe that was him visiting me. The hug and conversation was so familiar and comforting.

I hated when people would tell me it would get easier, especially if they haven't lost someone before, because it just didn't feel like it. The best piece of advice that I got was that it won't, but sad thoughts would be replaced with happy memories, and thinking of him would make me smile rather than cry.


As for now, it's easier to deal with, but still very difficult. One year later, and I still send him a message on WhatsApp once in a while, and cry whenever I hear an Elvis song. Some weeks will he really hard, but others I will smile at the memories we have had together. What upsets me the most is thinking about how he is right now. He was someone who really enjoyed life, and I just hope he's okay. I'm more sensitive to death in movies, and get a little upset when I open my closet to see one of his shirts that I took home with me after the funeral. Him and my Nana bought me a beautiful Claddagh for my 18th birthday that I wear everyday, so I always have a piece of him with me.

If you have recently lost a loved one, I know the last thing you want to hear is that it will get easier, but it does in a way. Of course thinking about their absence will upset you, but you will learn to smile at memories. I'm not going to lie, I still find it hard to believe that he's not with us anymore, but I'm so grateful to have someone as amazing as him in my life.

One thing I want you to take away from this post is to always show appreciation to who you have in your life. You never know what could happen. None of us thought he'd be leaving us so soon. One night we're expecting him to fly over from Ireland, and the next day he unfortunately passed away. Never take anyone for granted, everything can change in a matter of seconds. Also, make sure the people who love you know you appreciate them. Do kind things for them, and never fail to make them feel loved back.



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Monday, 2 May 2016

Tranqool

If you're reading my blog, it's probably because you suffer from some sort of mental illness. If this is the case, I have some very exciting news. I've recently come across a website called TranQool, and they are doing a great thing for people who suffer with mental health in Ontario. TranQool is helping those who need the opportunity to easily receive Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for a variety of different reasons. If you know me, or have read my blog for a while, you know that I recommend CBT to anyone who can get it. It's what helped me the most when I was having a tough time with my anxiety and depression, and I think it's such a life changing experience.

cog·ni·tive ther·a·py
noun
noun: cognitive behavioral therapy
  1. a type of psychotherapy in which negative patterns of thought about the self and the world are challenged in order to alter unwanted behaviour patterns or treat mood disorders such as depression.


What's so great about TranQool is the accessibility. One of the things I worried about most is scheduling appointments when I had school and work. I thought it'd be crazy trying to fit regular appointments in my schedule when I had so much else to do. TranQool wants to help you find a therapist who fits your specific needs, and schedule convenient appointments via video chat! This way, you can have your therapy sessions in the comfort of your own home, which is actually really nice. Of course there's the option of no video if that makes your more comfortable, but I think having visual communication helps. Again, you are not obligated to.

The therapists are all high quality, registered, and experienced in CBT. There's a variety of issues they can help you on.

  • Social Anxiety and Low Self Esteem
  • Relationship and Family Issues
  • Stress and Work-Related Problems
  • Sleep and Eating Disorders
  • Concentration Problems
  • Anxiety and Depression


Making an account is incredibly easy (I have one myself!) Here's a list just to give you an idea on how TranQool works:

  1. Sign up for Free - All you really need is your email and password to sign up. .
  2. Become familiar with your dashboard - You get your own personal dashboard where you can browse therapists, and update your profile. There will soon be a Daily Emotional Tracker which you pretty much just track your emotions, anxieties, stressors, all that fun stuff. I personally find tracking my mood very important, so I know what triggers my anxiety, and what I can do to prevent it. 
  3. Find the right therapist - You can set your preferences, and what specific issues you have, before being matched with a therapist. This way, you're talking to someone who is educated on the specific subject and able to help you. You'll always have the option to browse therapists in TranQool's directory.
  4. Talk to your therapist - Make your appointment and speak with your therapist anywhere with access to internet.
  5. Apply your CBT learnings and witness your progress - I love this. When I was doing CBT, I had so many little assignments to do that really helped me understand what was going on in my mind. You can do all of this from your personal dashboard. 

I know, it sounds too good to be true. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy from your own home, with a therapist who can help you with your mental struggles. I absolutely love this idea, and I'm so excited for my first session. If you have any questions, or just want more information, you can find it here at TranQool's website. They also have a blog where they talk all things mental health.

I have a link to a short survey you can complete about therapy. At the end of the survey, you'll get a little discount code to you can use toward your first therapy session with TranQool. Click here for the survey.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy was the best decision I have ever made, so I wanted to share this with great company with you, knowing most of my readers suffer with mental health issues. Having a professional outlook on my anxiety was extremely helpful. The advice a therapist can give you is amazing, and you have the ability to learn so many great coping techniques. I couldn't recommend it enough. 










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