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.


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


Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Under Appreciated and Unaccepted

Have you ever felt really under appreciated? That no matter what you did, you just weren't accepted? Whether it's from a significant other, a friend, family members, or any group of people you'd like to be a part of, feeling this way is horrible and really discouraging. Especially if you haven't given anyone a reason to have a negative opinion of you, the question "what is wrong with me?" runs constantly through your mind when you aren't being accepted. This is going to be a very short blog post, because I was once given some really good advice and wanted to share it with anyone who is struggling with the feeling of being under appreciated and unaccepted.
As many girls do, I receive the best advice from my mom. She said this to me maybe a year ago, but it's something that has really stuck with me. She probably doesn't even remember it, since I go to her with many problems, but she basically told me not to waste time on people who don't appreciate me. Even if you're not going through a specific problem with acceptance, it's so important to remember this. Don't worry about the these negative people in your life, instead appreciate the people who love you, and appreciate having you in their life.
I once spent so much time and put so much effort trying to be accepted into someones life. All the kind gestures, and nice things I would do would just fly by their heads. I realized the amount I was doing for people who didn't give me the time of day was ridiculous. Don't let people who don't appreciate you control so much of your mind, feelings, and emotions. They just aren't worth it. Your energy would be better fixated on the people who love having you in their lives. My parents and sister love me, and accept me for who I am. I have a boyfriend who appreciates what I do for him in return of him treating me like a million bucks. I have friends who I can consider family, and take advantage of me, knowing I'll always be there for them, while I know they'd be there for me whenever I need support. These are the people that love having me in their lives, and these are the only people I should be focusing on. Don't let anyone make you feel like you're not worth it.


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Blowing out someone else's candle won't make yours shine brighter.

     I love my life. And I'm not saying this to brag, but I'm really happy about where I am now. After going through some really dark and sad times, I'm proud to be happy. I'm proud to say I have parents who love me, friends who I can call family, and a boyfriend that's too amazing for words. But I have been talked down upon for reasons that I'm happy, and all I can ask myself is why. Why must people negatively speak about somebody's life if they are content with their choices? I'm far from perfect. I will admit, I have gossiped, and I have judged people on their life choices. It was only after high school when I realized how stupid it was to worry about someone else's life so much, when you have your own to take care of. Being a hypersensitive person who really feels for other people, I wanted to write something about this, being a topic I'm passionate about. I hope I can open some of my readers eyes. I'm not trying to act snobbish, or high and mighty, please just keep an open mind and really think about what I'm saying!

     I'm at that really awkward age where half of the people I know are traveling and partying, while the other half are getting engaged and having babies. Personally, I want to gain more life experience before settling down and having kids, but I also have nothing against young adults who would prefer to do the opposite. I have heard people shaming young married couples/parents my age, and when I'm asked my opinion about it, my only answer can be "it's not for me, but if that's what makes them happy then good for them". This is only one example. I've heard so many people criticize others lifestyle, people who had absolutely no relation to them. I can't think of why this is such a common thing. I don't know if it's jealousy, that some people can't have somebody else be happy because they aren't, or what. It's just upsetting to think about, and sad that there are people in this world who are so concerned about others choices, that they have to talk negatively about them.

     If you are someone who is unhappy with your situation, do something to change that, rather than ruining someone else's happiness. Trust me, it's a lot more productive. You will feel so much better about yourself if you choose to focus on your life rather than judging others. I've been judged, and I'm slowly learning that this is not because my happiness is invalid, but because I have no control over the lens in which people want to see me under. Unless you're a loved one of someone making choices you don't agree with, your opinion probably doesn't matter. If someone is bashing your decisions, they are most likely just really unhappy with their situation, and want to bring down people with them. As said in the very quotable movie, Mean Girls, "Calling somebody else fat won't make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn't make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George's life definitely didn't make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you." Blowing out someone else's candle won't make yours shine brighter. Focus on your personal growth rather than discussing someone else's successes, mistakes, and/or choices without sympathy.

    Again, this is not me trying to boast myself up to sound like a good person. I just don't like hearing people put others down for their own choices. I think it's perfectly fine to live life the way you want to, and if anyone has something negative to say about it, they need to be reminded to mind their own business. This post might be a bit random, but it is something I'm experiencing now and thought I would talk about. There is nothing more beautiful than living life as you wish, and not having to worry about what other people think. Your happiness is valid, don't let others miseries stop you from believing that.


Thursday, 3 March 2016

Monthly Favourites: February

Surprise, two posts in one week! Monthly favourite blog posts have always been something I enjoyed reading, and being the "product junkie"thanks mom that I am, I thought I might share the things I have been loving in the month of February. I spend a ridiculous amount of money on new products every so often, and would love to write a bit about what I've been loving lately. I will also include some of the prices just incase you are interested. I apologize for the mediocre photos, I understand natural lighting is the best lighting but it's really hard taking blog photos when you're a busy student!

XBOX Lunar White Controller - $69.99

I am infamous for spilling wine on my Xbox controllers, which has resulted in a lot of replacements. I bought this one mainly because I love the white and gold theme, but I didn't know about the textured grip on the back, which doesn't really make a difference in gameplay, but is very comfortable. The description also says it has a more sensitive hair trigger, but I can't say I noticed.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish - $22.75

I will never go back to washing my face/taking off my makeup with anything but a hot cloth cleanser. I'm only able to get this in Ireland, which is very sad but worth every purchase. It's such a luxurious way to take off your makeup and get ready for bed, and is a lot more relaxing than your usual face cloth. Each bottle also comes with 2 muslin cloths, so you do stack up on a good amount of those.

Show Beauty Premiere Working Texturizing Spray - $58.00
Ever since I chopped all my hair off, I've been finding it really difficult to style it. Long hair was actually a lot easier. I was able to just wash it, and let it air dry into beautiful curls. Now, not so much. I picked up this spray one day in Sephora just to try out and it seems to do a good job in adding texture. Plus, it smells amazing. 

Fallout 4

This game I actually borrowed from my boyfriend, Karl. I finished Rise of the Tomb Raider and was desperately looking for something else to play. I thought if he became obsessed with the game, after not being a fan of Fallout 3, I had to try it out. I'm hooked. It reminds me a lot of Skyrim, but guns, obviously. I still don't have much time to play, because, school stuff, and I help Karl out running a clan in Destiny, but I'll play whenever I find the time.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Again, I don't have much time for anything other than homework because of school, but I'll bring a book with me when I have to travel by subway, or when I take a bath. I heard some really good things about this book, so I picked it up. I'll admit, I'm not finished yet, but I'm really enjoying it so far. If your into the Hunger Games, Divergent type books, you'd like it. Teenage Megan probably would appreciate it a bit more, but it is a good read.

Peoples Jewellers - Gold Chain

One visit I made to Ireland with my sister, my grandma gave me this beautiful locket of hers with a picture of her and my grandpa in it. It's become very dear to me, especially since his passing. I decided to buy a more wearable gold chain for it, so I could wear it with me. Also, so that all the focus would be on the locket itself.

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

Lavender scented anything is a must if you experience anxiety or insomnia. This is a spray you apply to your pillow and bed sheets before bed, and calms you down for a peaceful sleep. I got this as a stocking stuffer from my lovely Aunt, and I've been using it ever since. I do prefer this over the Bath and Body Works one. I find that one leaves my hair greasy, but this one is perfect.

I hope you enjoyed reading. It's not my usual post but I would like to expand my blog and post a bigger variety of lifestyle entries. I hope everyone has a good week!

Megan x


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Vince Interviews Girls: My First Podcast

     Last week, I had the pleasure of being on my good friends podcast. My good friend Vince has a podcast he uploads to Soundcloud, and the particular series I was apart of was called Vince Interviews Girls which is exactly what it sounds like. Vince interviews one of his female friends on different topics. His first upload, he talked about the NFL with one of his friends, and I really enjoyed listening to it, although I'm not a big fan of sports. So of course, I was excited when Vince asked me if I wanted to be featured on this series and talk about mental illness. I have always told Vince that I really enjoyed listening to his podcasts, so when he asked me to be apart of one, I was really looking forward to it, but also quite nervous considering I've never done one before. What I loved about this podcast was that it wasn't really a formal interview, it was more so two friends talking about their struggle with mental illness, giving tips, and just having a casual conversation. I'll leave the audio below if you want to have a listen, and I'm also going to leave links to Vince's blog and soundcloud for you to check out. I'm only the second girl to be featured on his podcast, but I highly suggest you click back, there are going to be a number of topics he and another friend talks about. I hope you enjoy. I want to give a huge thank you to Vince for having me, please check out the links I provided, you won't be disappointed!