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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Thursday, 28 April 2016

How To Conquer Worry

I wrote a post of my favourite well-being books, and I included a book called How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. It's a book for not only those who suffer with anxiety, but everyone who has a tendency to worry. Worrying is not only really unproductive, but it is horrible to your health. Not just mentally, but physically. Having anxiety only makes worrying worst. This book has several different sections, all containing tips on how to stop worrying. There was one that stood out to me, and it was a step by step way on how to conquer worry. I wanted to share it, considering a lot of my readers suffer with anxiety, or know someone who does. Having an anxious mind, it is really hard to follow steps, and to stop yourself from overthinking. I haven't mastered this technique yet, but I'm positive that once I do, I will worry a lot less than I do now. If you'd like to read the book, I have inserted the Amazon link here.


For the purpose of this post, I'm going to make up a hypothetical situation in which I might be worried. Let's say I lied to a life long friend about something very important, and I'm scared she might find out.

The book states that there are 4 questions you should ask yourself when you're in a worrying situation. What am I worrying about? What can I do about it? What am I going to do about it? When do I start? I believe this is a good way to figure out if what your worrying about is legitimate, or your anxiety. The following is a formula to use if you have a worry problem, that Willis H. Carrier, an American engineer created:

  1. Ask yourself "What is the worst thing that can possibly happen?"
  2. Prepare to accept it if you have to.
  3. Calmly proceed to improve on the worst.

So let's apply that to the hypothetical situation I created.

1. What is the worst thing that can possibly happen?
If my friend finds out that I lied to her from hearing it through somebody else. She can become angry with me. She becomes so angry that she decides she wants to end our friendship, despite us knowing each other all our lives. 

2. Prepare to accept it.
Doing this will make the situation a lot less worst if it happens. If I were to accept that because of the lie I told, I might lose a close friend of mine, then it won't be a crazily drastic thing. It's something that I expected.

3. Calmly proceed to improve on the worst. 
I know that the worst possible situation is a falling out with a friend. I accepted the fact that it might happen, but what can I do to prevent it? I can tell her I lied to her myself. This way, she would find out from me, and not from somebody else. This might help her regain trust in me, and not jeopardize our friendship. So, now I've accepted the worst that could happen, and tried to improve on it. Because I accepted the worst possible outcome, working on bettering the situation will not only prevent worry- but help you be more productive.

I'm sad to say that this will not cure your anxiety (boo). But, if you are worrying about a particular situation, this is a good way to be productive about it. There is nothing worse than being so distracted by worry, that you can't focus on anything else. This formula might take some practice, but I think with enough willpower, it would be easy to perfect. I'm trying to accomplish this technique at the moment, and I'm looking forward to a more peaceful mind. I hope this post helped anyone who worries as much as I do. I really wanted to share it, because I thought it was really good advice, and that some of my readers would benefit from it. If you have any further questions, leave a comment, or message me on any of my social media platforms! Although I'm no expert, I'm happy to help.







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Monday, 25 April 2016

My Support System


While thinking about what to write about next, I was reading through some of my old blog posts for some inspiration. I realized how often I talk about the amazing support system I have, yet I never took the time to talk about how great they are individually. This post is to show how amazing the people I have in my life are, and to thank them for everything they have done for me. There are a lot of people I appreciate having in my life, but I unfortunately do not have good photos with everyone. Here's a little collage I made of the people who make me feel special. To those who didn't make this post but think they should have, know that I love you, and acknowledge the positive impact you have made on my life. Writing this has made me a bit nervous and scared that I have missed some specific people, but I hope you understand!



My Family: Mom, Dad, Holly & Karl
My Friends
The Keegan Family
The Lawlor Family
The Inness Family 
The Samuel Family 
Extended Family in Ireland


Love you all. Thank you for everything.

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Sunday, 17 April 2016

Personal Post: Artistic Journey

I usually don't like writing personal posts, because they can seem uninteresting, and unhelpful to those who actually read my blog, but I thought I'd take a look back. I just spent hours looking through my old portfolio and reminisced about the time when art was my life. I know I still talk about my passion for art, but every since I was a little girl up until a couple of years ago, I would spend all my free time creating. It started out as little sketches I would do when I was bored, into something a lot bigger. I learned and taught myself so much, and I was so excited to turn something I loved into a career. While looking through my old art pieces, I remembered the roller coster of a journey I was on during the whole process. I think it's a pretty interesting story, so I thought I'd share. Writing about the past is something I love doing, I really enjoy getting to relive my experiences so I can remember how it's evolved me into the woman I am today.

I was artistic for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl, I was always drawing. I was always called an artist by my family, even though I know my drawings sucked. Of course they did, I was only a toddler. I was happiest when my parents brought my sister and I out to do creative activities. There was a place called the Clay Room on the Danforth, I don't know if it's there anymore, but it's basically a place where you pick out a clay object, and paint it. They had little ballerina boxes, clay figurines, all that jazz. I think I remember my visits to this place so vividly because it's what started my love for painting.

Every little girl needs a ballerina box. This is me painting myself one at the Clay Room.

I think I was 10 when my parents got me an easel for my birthday. I unfortunately don't have a picture of it, but it looked something like this. I didn't know I wanted it at the time, but once I got it, my easel was the best thing I could have gotten as a present. Along with the easel, I got a whole set of paints, paint brushes, a huge sketchbook that was safe for acrylic paint, and a book teaching the basics. I remember the easel being in my room, beside my bed, and across from my TV. I painted while watching Lizzie McGuire or listening to the CD's my dad used to burn me. I also remember this being the first time I sat down to really teach myself something. I read that book, and always had it open when I was painting. I learned about all the different strokes, colours, brushes, absolutely everything.  I'm surprised I was able to teach myself a lot about acrylic paint, I have always had a very short attention span. I don't know how I didn't get frustrated learning all these new techniques on my own. I also had a crazy number of sketch books, and would always be drawing in them. My favourite thing to draw was really badass looking women.



My drawings and paintings continued all throughout elementary school, but it's when I went to high school that things became more serious. I started getting interested in all things art. I continued to paint, but turned to YouTube to learn about watercolour. Knowing I wanted to get into photography, my parents bought me my first DSLR camera for Christmas in 2010. It was a Canon T2i. Admittedly, I did not know how to use it. My mom and I would always talk about signing me up for photography classes, but for some reason it never really worked out. At the time, my camera was my most prized possession. Even though I didn't know how to work the thing, I brought it everywhere. I used to bring it to Ireland all the time, the beautiful scenery made it easy to take nice photos. Luckily, I have an uncle who is also really into photography, so he taught me how to use it a bit.

Photography Club 2013
In grade 11, I took a class called Communications Technology. I had no idea how much this would change my life. I was exposed to all kinds of creative outlets. I found a passion for graphic design, film, animation, and even more photography. I absolutely loved cinematography, and I loved created beautiful images using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. My teacher had such a huge impact on me, and opened my eyes to so much more. He taught me about simplicity, and how to properly use a camera. I specifically remember him lecturing me, saying to never keep it on Auto mode. It was this class that made me decide I wanted to be a graphic designer. This was also around the time I was diagnosed with anxiety. Art became therapy. On bad nights, I'd listen to music and draw or paint whatever came to mind. I was also preparing for my portfolio which I new I needed for art school. 

In grade 12, I was very involved with my school. I took Communications Technology again, and was also on the Yearbook committee as a designer, in photography club, and working backstage for a theatre competition the drama department was having. At the same time, I was working on my portfolio. This is when my anxiety was at it's worst, so stress just drove me crazy. Not only did I need graphics, but I needed paintings, advertisements, sketches, basically everything you can think of. I was up crying while painting for the specific pieces I needed for my portfolio, and art just wasn't fun for me anymore. Even though I was stressed, I felt lucky that I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life at such a young age, when my friends had no idea what they really wanted to go to school for. One exciting thing I did, was create my first "commission" piece. I put commission in quotations because it wasn't paid, it was more of a favour. It was the poster for the show I was helping back stage for (see below). It was something I was extremely proud of, and it's something I keep in my portfolio to this day.

My Communications Technology teacher chose me to compete in Skills Canada. If you don't know, Skills Canada is a competition for students to compete in different art categories. A lot of students went, some for animation, some for film, I went to compete for graphic design. I was terrified, since I was the only student who went that was working by themselves. We were called Team iOS- "Institute of Swag". It was a funny inside joke our class had. I was so excited for the opportunity. While competing, I had a panic attack. How convenient, right? I was crying, and my teacher told me to just do my best, and not to worry about the outcome. I definitely don't think I was prepared for a competition, considering my anxiety levels at the time. Despite the panic attack, it was a really fun day. 

Left: My first "commission" piece. Right: Team iOS the day of Skills Canada
Ironically, the portfolio review for the school I wanted to go to was the next day, in the same building. If you have panic disorder you might know that going to a place you once had a panic attack causes sever anxiety, and usually another panic attack (don't ask why, our brains are tricky). Nervous is an understatement. I was terrified. I walked into the room with my tea and portfolio, ready to be evaluated on my art work. Three very scary people came in and said there was an assessment we had to do while they looked through our portfolios. I handed mine in and picked up the assessment. It was basically to test the knowledge that we had on graphic design, then we had to draw our hand, holding our eraser. I was surprised to see my drawing coming out very realistic, and how simple that test was. After a couple of hours, they handed back our portfolio's and I left feeling confident. You can imagine the excitement when I got the email saying I was accepted into the program. The summer before school was amazing. I was anxiety free for months, and I was excited to start.

I didn't know what to expect on the first day. I was 17 years old, stepping into college for the first time. I was doing really well in school, but after a couple of months, I just couldn't stand it anymore. My anxiety rocketed. After having panic attack after panic attack in between classes, I told my mom I hated art and that I needed to drop out. She was confused, "but Megan...you love art". I was in denial. I convinced myself that I hated art, despite doing it my whole life. In reality, I wasn't mentally ready for school. That might sound stupid, but I wasn't. If I were in graphic design now, I know I'd love it, I was just going through a really hard time. I dropped out of all my courses, except for my drawing one. I kept that because I thought I was going to switch into game design, I needed drawing and I thought I'd might as well transfer that credit. I was in school once a week, and still feeling horrible. After that semester was over, I still wasn't ready to go back full time. My mental health was at it's worst. I got so depressed that I threw out all of my paintings. Please, never do this. Even if you're angry and you feel as if you don't care, you might in the future. I'm so upset I threw out all of my canvases. I wish I still had them. I worked so hard on those paintings, and just because I blamed my anxiety on art school, I lost all of it. 

We all know what happens next, I've mentioned it so many times. If you don't, read my mental illness journey here.

So after all that horrible stuff happened, 2 years later I'm in a Public Relations program, which I'm happy to be in. Turns out, I still love art. It's still a huge passion of mine. I was just at the right place at the wrong time. I miss graphic design so much. I don't regret anything though, I love my program, and I've met amazing people. Plus, I'll be graduating when I'm 23 years old, I will still be so young. There's no such thing as too much education, so I plan on doing a post grad in graphic design or film studies.

As for now, I don't need a certificate to consider myself an artist. I do a lot of work for friends. I make graphics for others blogs, podcasts, posters, anything. I even designed my whole blog by myself, and create all of my graphics. If you'd like me to make a graphic for you, you can find my contact information here. I'm still very active with Photoshop, Illustrator, and photography. I want to find more time to draw and paint again, but unfortunately I'm always drowning in school work. I continue to add to my portfolio, by all the graphics I make for myself, and friends!

I didn't anticipate this post being so long. Thanks for sticking around to read the whole thing if you did. I hope you found my story interesting, and took something from it. Don't let anything or anyone stop you from doing what you love. Thanks for reading,




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Friday, 15 April 2016

ONE YEAR OF BLOGGING: THANK YOU! ♥

I looked back to see when I showed my first blog post to the public, just out of curiosity, and realized that on April 7th 2015, was when I built up the confidence to share my blog, and finally start doing something I was scared of, but wanted to do for a very long time. I missed my Blogiversary!



I did not want to share my blog when I first started it. I was scared of what people would think, and I was terrified of putting myself out there. Suffering with anxiety really made me stop doing what I really wanted to do. It was Lynn, my amazing aunt who first pushed me to share my blog on Facebook, and start up a page for myself. Thanks so much, Lynn! 

I also want to thank my amazing boyfriend, Karl. There have been times I got extremely anxious and thought I wanted to stop blogging all together. I'm grateful I have him there to say "you're being ridiculous, you love blogging, shut up"  whenever I have the urge to delete all of my posts.

It was when I published my first post on my anxiety when I got an overwhelming amount of feedback (in the best way possible). The amount of personal messages and comments I got, amazed me. That's when I realized that I can use this platform to help people. I want to continue to write about mental illness, but also many other things that will inspire, and comfort people who take the time to read. I started this blog as a hobby, but then it kind of turned into something so much more. I have family in different countries who I haven't even met before, but connected with through some of my posts. That itself really made me happy I started blogging. My public relations program has also taught me a lot about writing, which has made a huge improvement on some of my posts.

I guess what I want to say, is thank you. Thank you for sharing, thank you for commenting, and thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. But most importantly, thank you to everyone who has sent me a personal message regarding my blog. Honestly, the amazing feedback is the best feeling in the world. I also have inspired some friends to start blogging, which is also kind of nice.

One year later, a lot of blog designs from being awful to amazing, and some new blogger friends. Thank you for sticking with me.







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Monday, 11 April 2016

How I Overcame my Agoraphobia


Let me start off by saying agoraphobia sucks. It completely took over my life at one point. Since I'm bad at descriptions, Mayo Clinic describes agoraphobia as a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and often avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed. I developed agoraphobia from having multiple panic attacks in public. I remember being at a subway station once, walking up the stairs, when my throat suddenly closed up and I started panicking. Thankfully, I was with Karl which made the situation a little better, but having everyone stare at me while I was hyperventilating, crying, and freaking out, was humiliating. Not to mention, being in a public area while having a panic attack is not the ideal situation, especially when everything's louder, walls close in, and being in any sort of inclosed space freaks you out. I've missed out on so many opportunities and events because of agoraphobia, and it's upsetting to think about everything that I backed away from, just because of my fear of having a panic attack. I got extremely nervous every time I had to leave my house.





I remember 3 years ago, having a panic attack for no apparent reason walking up the stairs in a mall. Because of that panic attack, my brain marked these set of stairs as a dangerous place, even though I was in no danger at all at the time. But because of that panic attack and the flight-or-fight response, this was registered as a harmful environment, and every time I got on those stairs, I panicked. It's amazing how our mind can do these things without any intent, but it's also frustrating to have no control over what locations my body perceives as dangerous, even if they are not dangerous at all. 
http://www.trauma-informedpractice.org
The fight-or-flight response is a psychological reaction we all experience when we are in a harmful situation. Whether we intend it or not, our sympathetic nervous system kicks in. Basically, when we are in danger, our body sets ourselves up to either approach (fight) the problem, or run away (flight). The fight-or-flight response will kick in if your body thinks you're in danger, whether you are or not. Us who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, usually just have a much weaker sympathetic nervous system. 
Because of this, I secluded myself and thought it would be best for me to not to risk a panic attack by avoiding everything. I would turn down invitations, events, and basically every opportunity handed to me. This was all because I was scared I was going to have a panic attack. Living a life in fear is not the way I wanted to live, and the fact that I was too scared to do anything really took a toll on me. There is no way you can have a happy life, while being afraid of everything. Of course, doing this causes deeper issues such as depression, but I won't go too deep on that subject here.
If you suffer from agoraphobia, you're probably going to hate me saying this, but the best thing to do is to honestly get yourself out there. Whenever I was about to turn down a proposal because of my agoraphobia, I would say to myself, "you can't live a life where you are afraid of everything". Once you get yourself out there, you might realize how much you've missed out on, and it will slowly, but surely make you more comfortable with accepting offers that are given to you. You'll definitely surprise yourself with the amazing things that will come your way just by pushing yourself.  Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has also helped me overcome agoraphobia. It's a type of therapy which changes the way you think, so you don't see the world as such a scary place, and I also got a lot of tips on how I can calm myself down before a panic attack. If you can't receive CBT for whatever reason, there are a lot of books that also give advice on how to stop a panic attack before it starts. I think back about how I was too scared to apply to school, and go to my portfolio reviews and interviews, but I wouldn't have gotten accepted if I thought about having a panic attack the whole time. Taking the initiative and finding the power in yourself to open up to situations you might perceive as scary, is how you achieve what you want. Also remember to find the right coping mechanism to calm yourself down before a panic attack. Everyone is different, and something that works really well for someone else might not work for you, but you will definitely find something that will fit your specific needs. 
I know that I might get an anxiety attack when I go out, that's just something that usually happens to me, but I'd much rather know I can calm myself down, than just totally miss a chance I will never get back because I'm too scared. I hope this helped anyone who suffers with agoraphobia. I know how horrible it can be, but you can overcome it, and you will be impressed of the amazing things that will come your way.




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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

A Simplistic Lifestyle

My very first lesson while being taught graphic design was that simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication. I have always applied this to art, as you can probably tell by my plain blog design, but I hope to implement it into everyday life. I wrote a blog post including a book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which is all about how having a decluttered life = a decluttered mind. Clutter is not the same as mess. I'm someone who likes a clean space, and I tidy up almost everyday. What this book says cleaning up does, is hide clutter. If you were to get rid of everything you do not use, there would be no need to clean up. Along with reading this book, I have been following a lot of blogs that focus on simplifying your life, decluttering, minimalism, and all that fun stuff. I hope to reach a point where I own less than half the items I have building up right now. I want to be more minimalist, and focus on passions and experiences, rather than material possessions. I have four months off of school which means when I'm at home, I don't have homework or projects to be focused on. During these four months, I plan on doing everything I'm going to list in this post. I guess my main goal is to write everything I have to do to live a minimalist life, so I can feel really bad about myself if I don't reach my goal by the time school starts up again (hah). Also, inspire anyone reading to do the same. With all of the money I have spent on clothes, makeup, and products, I could have probably gone on such amazing trips. Experiences trump material items, especially being so young, and having so much more to discover. What I'm going to do is break up all of my tasks into different sections, and talk about each specific thing I need to do in order to achieve my goal. If you are interested in this lifestyle, or on how I plan on carrying out simplicity, keep reading!


Products: Makeup, Body, Nails, Hair - I think I have the entire store of Sephora in my room. No joke. The amount of makeup and products I own is ridiculous. I just keep buying and buying, I have at least seven different lotions in my room. I have a pretty big dresser, and it's covered in hair, skin, and makeup products. I also bought a set of three drawers at Walmart to keep all my makeup in, which is full. On top of that, I have a huge makeup bag where I keep everyday makeup, and an even bigger makeup bag to hold all of the items that don't fit on my dresser, or in my makeup drawers. I also have a box in my closet of things I don't use regularly, but didn't want to get rid of.
  • There is absolutely no way I use all of my makeup. It's going to be hard, but I'm going to throw out every piece of makeup I do not use on a monthly basis. I will throw out my set of makeup drawers to stop any temptation of buying more makeup than I need. The only time I will purchase something, is if I run out of it (or Kat Von D releases new shades of her liquid lipsticks...no one's perfect). This is probably going to be so hard for me to do, but I know I'll feel refreshed after I'm done. I bought an acrylic makeup organizer on Amazon,  my new rule is all my makeup has to fit on it. No more than that.
  • I have multiples of the same product. I will buy a new body lotion just because I like the way it smells, even though I have a billion others at home. Again, I will throw out (or give to a family or friend, if hygienic) a lot, so I only have one of each product. There's no need for multiple hairsprays, hair oils, body oils, and lotions of more than one brand. 
  • After working at a beauty supply store with an amazing employee discount, I have a shite load of nail products. Polishes, oils, files, you name it. No exaggeration, I have probably 15 red nail polishes, all with slight colour changes. Again, something that's going to be really hard for me to get rid of, but there's no point in keeping all of this if it's impossible to use. I only need one of every item, and definitely don't need all that I have. 

Bookshelf - My bookshelf is full of stuff I don't need. Aside from books I read for enjoyment (which I plan on keeping or donating), I have so many old text books from previous semesters. The only excuse I can think of why I have kept them is that they were expensive. I have to accept the fact that they are no use to me anymore, and the damage has already been done, whether I keep them or not. 


Clothes - I find myself donating clothes every week, but I'm constantly running out of closet space. I have been blessed with a big closet, and a set of six drawers, all completely full. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I have too many clothes. Not to mention the huge collection of purses sitting at the top of my closet. 
  • I like the idea of a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is essentially owning only 30-40 items of clothing, including bags and shoes with the exception of workout clothes and underwear. The clothes you own should be classic, timeless pieces. This way, you spend less time getting ready, but still look good.
  • Being the huge shopaholic I am, I know it's going to be nearly impossible for me to stop buying more clothes. My solution: every time I buy a new piece of clothing, I have to donate an old one. I'm hoping this stops me from over stuffing my wardrobe again. 

http://stylizimoblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Omkledningsrom_Vinkelveien21.png


ETC
  • The "junk" drawer. Everyone has one. Everything in there has to go, no exceptions. I don't even open it because of how much anxiety it gives me, there is nothing in there that's important if I don't even have to urge to go in it. 
  • All of the papers I find throughout my room; stuffed in my shelf, under my bed. If it has had no relevance to me in months, it's going to be recycled. If I need it, I have a file where I keep important papers. But, that file is going to be the only space I allow myself to keep them. So I have to decide what's worth keeping.
  • CD's... I've kept them because of memories. I don't even own a CD player anymore.
  • Being the nerd I am, I have a lot of...toys. Action figures, replicas, all type of memorabilia. At first, I had no idea how I was going to go about this. I decided since collecting these is a hobby, whatever can't be displayed properly will be given away. 
  • I'm going to paint all of my walls white. Not only is it simple, it's timeless. Right now, I have two white walls, one dark grey wall, and one wall that has a Victorian style wallpaper on. As cute as it is, I've had it since I was 14, and I'm ready for something new.
  • Buy white sheets. Same reason, simple and timeless. 
  • Use less tabs - one of my favourite minimalist blogs proved how much time you save only having one tab open. Something about less distractions. 
  • Remove any file or graphic on my computer that I don't need anymore. I'm making new graphics every week, my desktop can get a little cluttered. 




I'm hoping by the end of this huge lifestyle change, I own a lot less stuff and learn to appreciate everything I do have more. If you are interested in becoming a minimalist, I highly recommend The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Not only does it inspire you to live a much simpler life, but it does a much better job than I did on explaining the benefits of living that way. Here are some of my favourite blogs that expand on the subject:


If you're up for it, try decluttering, and downsizing to become more minimalist. I know it's going to be a long, difficult process, but I'm excited for the refreshing feeling once I'm done. I already know that I'm going to feel so light and fresh. I'll probably be back with a result post, to show if I've succeeded, and how the whole journey was.




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Saturday, 2 April 2016

March Favourites


I can't believe it's already April. It feels like I just started my new program, but I'm finished my first year in a couple of weeks. This year is going by way too fast. I wanted to do another monthly favourites post, because I really enjoyed writing one for February. Here are some of the things I loved during March:



Tom Clancy's The Division/$79.99 
Graphic Design: The New Basics/$55.00 
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter/$22.00 
Kill Bill Volume 1 & 2/$8.00
Two Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Nude/$25.00 
Ro's Argan Body Conditioner from Lush 
Clarin's Stretch Mark Minimizer/$54.00 
ALDO Alize Flats/$80.00 


Thanks for stopping by!




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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

5 things you didn't know were triggering your anxiety



HealthyPlace describes an anxiety trigger as an object or situation that can cause your anxiety symptoms to appear. Here are some unknown triggers that cause anxious behaviour:
  1. Caffeine - I used to be a huge coffee lover, but after finding out that caffeine contributes to my anxiety, I quit. Caffeine was just not worth being on edge all the time. I do still love coffee, but I'll only drink decaf. I've converted more toward herbal tea, and I feel a lot better about myself. I allow myself to have one English Breakfast tea a day, just because I get a headache if I don't have one, but even that is a lot less caffeine than coffee. It's extremely mood altering, and increases heart rate, which can sky rocket anxiety. Here is WebMD's article on coffee-induced anxiety.
  2. Stress - Definitely the main contributor to my anxiety. While a certain amount of stress is a normal part of life, stress and anxiety disorder do not work well together. I find myself most anxious during exam week, which is usually a concerning time. Finding good coping mechanisms for stress relief is so important if you are diagnosed with any anxiety based disorder. I find that keeping a planner with me is so useful, and keeps me motivated. There are many other methods, such as yoga, that will also help.
  3. Medication - This goes for anti-depressants (or any other medication for mental illness) and any other meds that you have been prescribed. Always talk to your doctor, and do research before taking a medication. I will always look up possible side effects to see if anxiety is one. If it is, I'll know that if I'm feeling anxious for no apparent reason, it might just be my medication. Always talk to your doctor before starting or stopping medication. 
  4. Alcohol - Like most 20 year olds, I enjoy having a few drinks with my friends. I will always feel anxious the next day, it's a given. If you're anxiety isn't severe, you might not experience anxiety drinking alcohol at all. If you do, you don't have to worry. It's always nice to have a couple of drinks. I will just mentally prepare myself for the next day. I'll make sure that I'm not doing anything important, and I can take a mental health day if I need to. If I'm having an anxious day and plan on going out with friends at night, I will make the decision not to drink that night. It's all about working around your feelings. 
  5. Too much self pity - I have always said it's okay to feel sad, and sorry for yourself. But there is a limit. You'll have good days, and bad days. Take advantage of the good days, and spend your bad days caring for yourself. 

If you're feeling anxious for no reason, it might be one of those triggers listed above. There are a lot more triggers that we probably don't know of, but I found these are the ones that cause my anxiety to increase. I hope this post helped, let me know of any other triggers, or if these ones apply to you.



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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

My Favourite Health/Well-Being Books



I absolutely love reading. I'll always search for new books on Amazon to see what I'm going to read next. Whenever I pop into Indigo, I will always head straight to the Health and Well-Being section. I've read so many great inspirational books, and I think there's no such thing as too much positive reinforcement and advice. There have definitely been some books that have given me confidence, great tips, and an overall brighter outlook on life. I wanted to share a list of some of my favourites, and give a little information on them. I definitely recommend the books below to anyone, and if you have any suggestions please let me know!

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie



I'm pretty sure everyone with anxiety has heard about this book. If you haven't, you need to read it. When my anxiety was taking control of my life, and I couldn't leave my house without having a full blown panic attack, this was the book I was referred to. Though after reading it, I realized it's not just for people who are diagnosed with anxiety. This books gives a lot of great advice on how to...well, stop worrying. There are so many real life examples, motivational quotes, and lists on things you need to remember if you suffer from chronic worrying, from anxieties that occur in almost everyones lives. It's just such a great book to have, highlight, and sticky note, to refer back to if you feel like stress is taking over. Dale Carnegie is also the author of many other top selling motivational books, so I do believe he knows what he's talking about.


The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo





I know what you're thinking. "Megan, did you seriously buy a book on cleaning?" Yes, I did. But it's more than just about tidying up. I got this book because I live a very cluttered life. I'm someone who always keeps my room clean, and I know I can't get anything accomplished if things aren't organized. I just have a lot of stuff. I find myself donating clothes every week, but I still have no closet space. I want to live a more simplistic life. I haven't really been able to get rid of "stuff" until I read this book. I somehow thought I was going to need things that I haven't even touched in years. The author even has clients (yes, she is a professional declutter-er).The whole concept of this book is that a decluttered life = a decluttered mind, and that's something I have always believed. I find I'm a lot more productive when I don't have the distraction of everything around me. This book tells you how to quickly and drastically organize your life.

The Universe Doesn't Give a Flying Fuck About You by Johnny B. Truant



Yes, I have a Kindle (please don't kill me). I absolutely love this book. When I saw it on Amazon, I immediately bought it. It's pretty much about how big the universe is, and how small you are in comparison. It talks about how the universe was here before you, and will be here long after you, so your pretty insignificant to it. As brutal as that sounds, it has a very positive message. "The universe doesn’t hate you, but it doesn’t love you, either. You’re just an atom in its infinite workings. The universe doesn’t care if you live, die, suffer, or thrive. Whatever your life here will mean is up to you." This book encourages you to stop worrying about what other people think, be who you're supposed to be, and "do epic shit".


Did I Ever Wake Up? by Mod Sun



I have a more in depth review of this book that you can read here, but I think it's worth mentioning again. I actually met the author, Mod Sun, and he's probably the happiest man I have ever met. This book is all about being positive. If you put positive thoughts out there, the universe will return them back to you. He also talks about how being selfish isn't necessarily a bad thing, and it's important to think about and focus on yourself. 

Grace's Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown Up by Grace Helbig



My boyfriend bought me this book because he knows how obsessed I am with Grace Helbig. I appreciate anyone who can make me laugh, and she's absolutely hilarious. If you don't know who she is, she's a comedian who is also very popular on YouTube. The only reason I wanted this book is because I've always been a fan of hers. What I didn't know was the amount of great advice it gives. She has quite a bit of life experience, and gives advice in such a humourous way. The whole book is pretty much about how to "pretend" to be an adult, and she talks about everything from break ups, anxiety, hangovers, the "walk of shame", and even how to throw a sophisticated "adult" party. The book includes so many fill in the blank features, and also has a number of pages quoting her mother, because we all know, moms give the best advice.

I hope you found this post helpful. I truly recommend every single one of these books. I tried to include ones that everyone can benefit from. Remember, there is no such thing as too much positive reinforcement. I'm always looking to expand my library, so if you have any book recommendations, please let me know!

Megan x

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