So, thanks to the lovely COVID-19, most of us have all online classes or at least a majority of online. Nonetheless, we still need to treat this semester like a real and true semester. We still have assignments to do, exams to study for and a future to work towards. So, let’s get into the back to school essentials to make those goals a lot easier to achieve!
Backpack. So, you may not want to purchase a backpack for this semester because of it being mostly online courses etc. BUT, have you ever worked in a coffee shop? A library? At a friend’s house? How do you expect to haul your books and laptop around? You can find this perfect bag here. It’s a super simple bag with all the necessities you need including a smaller bag that can be double as a pencil case or even a travel makeup bag! It also has a super convenient USB port to connect your power bank too (not included).
2. Pens. Okay, how have I lost all of my pens over the years? It’s actually insane. But, this 24 pack of assorted colours actually excites me. Pens get me so hyped for school because I love note taking and this pack is amazing because now I can note take in all different colours making it easier to study!!! Anyways, click here for these colourful babies.
3. Desk Organizer. Let’s face it, we need to organize that mess. If we’re going to be home all day everyday working at our desk, we need to keep it tidy or things are going to get misplaced and then the anxiey is really going to start pumping. I tried to look for a cute and affordable desk organizer because I’m not a huge fan of those mesh black ones (you know the ones). So I found this one for about $40 and it looks SO clean and well kept. It’s perfect.
4. And then if you’re a freak like me, I like everything to match. So I found this matching monitor stand (I use it for my laptop) and it is super cute side by side! They offer a money back guarantee, so these are no joke!
5. Laptop adjustable riser. This is such a great alternative to a desk riser which tend to be super expensive.. If you’ve been wanting to stand more (because it’s better for you), then I suggest trying out this laptop stand adjustable riser. You can use it while you’re in bed or on top of your desk! Stop slouching and create a better posture for yourself.
6. Notebooks are definitely an essential. I have always opted for Hilroy because of the price, but I found some pretty great notebooks for a steal from AmazonBasics. It comes in a pack of 6 and they are all different colours. These are also all hole-punched so you can add them to your binders if needed. You can get all 6 notebooks for under $20
7. Academic planner, how could I forget that? It’s probably my favourite thing on this list. I found this super cute, large workstyle planner for a pretty decent price and it comes in other colours and sizes as well. It has everything from weekly overviews to tabbed months making it easier to flip to. One of my favourite parts of this planner is the space at the top of each month where you can write down your priorities – super helpful.
8. These highlighters are super cute! Not your typical highlighters, these are pastel coloured so your notes look way better and less dull! These highlighters are also chunky, so easy to control and hold as well as they are pretty smudge proof against a variety of different inks!
I hope this list helped with some online shopping as well as prepares you for this upcoming semester! Good luck everyone, let’s kill it. If you use any of the links provided, tag me on IG @sambeanaxox, I’d love to see what you guys pick up!
So, you have finally pulled yourself apart from that toxic person in your life – or maybe things just weren’t meant to be, or perhaps both? Well, the rules are very similar when it comes to getting over an ex that you aren’t meant to be with and have both agreed to move on, and a toxic ex that you should avoid at all costs because they will make your life hell.
So the first thing that you need to do might be one of the most painful – the pictures. You gotta take them off your phone, and I am not saying you have to delete them all! Just import them to your computer and save them as memories, because it’s true – they are! But, having such easy contact with these photos are nothing but a bad idea. Looking at memories of when times were good and things weren’t messy often clouds our better judgement.
Second, if you find yourself having a difficult time resisting the urge to text them – it’s time to block. Don’t overthink it, you are doing this for yourself and your sanity.
My third tip would be to try and surround yourself with friends and continuously fill your schedule up so that you aren’t alone- at least for the first few weeks or so. I found that I felt great until I got home and went into my room where I truly felt alone with my own thoughts. Try to facetime friends and family, pick up a hobby, work work work! Anything to get your mind off of it.
Fourth tip, FIND YOURSELF. This is the time to really focus in on YOU. Who are you? Do you have hobbies? Do you like things that weren’t because of your partner? What are your morals? Do you have goals? It’s time to work on yourself and focus on bettering yourself and accomplishing your goals. Pick a goal and really put in the effort to accomplish it. Journal your thoughts and try to get to know yourself as best as you can. You are so important, when is a better time to get to know who you truly are than now?
My final tip would be to move on. Yep, easier said than done. Well, I don’t mean get into another relationship (please don’t do this) but don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and have some fun. It’s another way to distract yourself, while also having fun and meeting new people. Ever heard the phrase “get over by getting under”? It’s a phrase for a reason, I’m just saying.
Don’t be afraid to really confide in your friends and family, but get yourself out of that rut as fast as you can. You will be okay, this too shall pass.
It can be extremely hard to find skincare and makeup products that work well with oily skin. If you are someone like me, I get so oily to the point where my makeup just slides right off within the hour! But, since using these products it has actually reduced the amount of oil my skin produces, along with not wearing makeup as much and letting my skin breathe. As some you may know, oily skin also means more likely to break out as well because it’s so easy for bacteria and dirt to slide around and adhere to your skin. I decided to compile a list of products that I use almost daily to help keep track of what I use while helping you guys who also have either combo or oily skin.
1. MAKE UP REMOVER: Find one that is oil free. I have used both Neutrogena Night Calming Wipes as well as Nivea Gentle Wipes. They are great and leave my skin feeling good before I cleanse. Although, I JUST received a brand new makeup cloth called Makeup Eraser and essentially it is a reusable cloth that lasts between 3-5 years, and instead of wasting all of these ordinary makeup wipes (which by the way – is the 3rd most wasteful item to date) you just put some warm water on this cloth and it does the rest!! I find that taking off your makeup is truly an essential part to your routine as to not leave any dirt or makeup residue behind. These wipes have been great especially because I have sensitive skin!
2. CLEANSER: Soap & Glory, this stuff is amazing and I love that it also has Vitamin C because that stuff is great for your skin!! I also love that it is also a bit of an exfoliating facial cleanser while not being too harsh. The link I have provided is for Amazon, which is very quick and convenient to order from but I believe that Shoppers Drug Mart sells it for a bit cheaper if you have one nearby. I haven’t seen them at any Walmarts or anywhere else really. Definitely pick it up if you’re in the market for a new cleanser – this one is my ride or die!
3. TONER: I absolutely LOVE the Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toner. It is a great product that has truly helped even out my skin tone while helping to contain my oils. Truly an essential! I browsed through Amazon to find you guys a link, but it sells for a lot more on Amazon. The best place to get this toner would either be from Deciem or Sephora, where it is around $7-10 max. Another great toner is from the Inkey List, they are based in the U.S. but are very very similiar to The Ordinary, especially with their affordable price point!
4. NIACINAMIDE: I use Niacinamide about 3-4 times per week and usually at night. I tend to only use a cleanser, toner and moisturizer in the morning to leave my skin feeling light and not loaded with different products. But I use Niacinamide at night along with the rest of my skincare essentials. Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B-3, an essential nutrient. A B-3 deficiency can lead to disorders of the skin, kidneys, and brain. Some people use this product daily, morning and night, to clear any congestion, redness, minimize pores and overall balance their complexion. Figure out what your skin likes and build a routine according to that.
5. LACTIC ACID: Currently, I am using the Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% by The Ordinary and I only use this in the evenings about 3 times per week. Lactic Acid can be a bit harsh on sensitive skin, but it is great to work up to introducing your skin to different acids. Most people have reviewed that this lactic acid is actually more gentle than the glycolic acid toner, so this is a great introductory product. It is mainly used to exfoliate the skin, help with fading pigmentation and scarring while leaving the skin glowy and healthy. Make sure to moisturize afterwards to lock in any hydration.
6. MOISTURIZER: I am currently curing the Tarte H2O moisturizer and has more of a jelly-like consistency. The full sized product lasts so long because you only need two pea sized amounts for your entire face. A little goes a long way and it makes my skin feel so refreshed, hydrated and moisturized. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it on Amazon at all so I have linked it to the Sephora website. It can be quite pricey, but it lasts SO long!
7. FACE MASK: I decided to splurge and get the Summer Fridays Overtime Mask and it is definitely an exfoliating mask – but I need to tell you guys…WORTH THE MONEY. My skin has never felt so smooth and refreshed. I love the smell, the feel of it going on, the massage – everything about this face mask is perfect and I couldn’t be happier. The only downside is the price tag, but so far the bottle is lasting quite awhile because I only do this mask once per week. It has truly made a difference in my complexion, the brightness of my skin and even my boyfriend (you know men!) even noticed how much smoother my skin felt.
8. MOISTURIZER FOR SPOTS: Sometimes I will get really painful pimples that need a different kind of moisturizer to treat and soothe. I have been loving this First Aid Beauty mask because it is more of a cream that helps to calm the spot while providing moisture and relief. The creamy mask helps relieve the appearance of redness, dehydration, irritation, stress, and tightness. The star ingredient, Arnica, is said to have skin-supporting properties that help soothe and smooth. I don’t use it as a full on mask, but rather a spot treatment. I have also heard this does wonders for people with rosacea as well! Give it a try.
9. Rose Hip Seed Oil: I have recently added this organic cold-pressed rose hip seed oil to my routine. I tend to use it 2-3 times per week before bed, as it is an oil so not necessarily made to put under or over makeup. The instructions have said to put it on nightly, but I don’t like putting oils on my skin that often yet. It aids in moisturizing, treating wrinkles, brightening and evening out skin tone. Rose hip seed oil is harvested from the seeds of rose bushes, and is full of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids which overall helps support healthy skin above all else.
10. SUNSCREEN: It is so important to make sure you wear sunscreen especially on your face. But, I have had quite a difficult time trying to find a facial sunscreen that I actually want to wear. I don’t want one that provides a white cast, is oily, thick or just overall feels icky. I received a trial size of this FAB mineral sunscreen and I’m not looking back! This sunscreen does not leave a white cast at all, and when you open it – the sunscreen looks tinted. But, it doesn’t tint your skin really, it feels super smooth to put on and doesn’t leave your skin feel greasy. I love it, and it has spf 30! Sephora has it listed for $45 CAD, but they also have a whole bag called the Fab Four which features the sunscreen, cleanser, facial radiance pads, and an ultra repair cream for $50CAD. I think that’s truly a better deal.
Most likely, I won’t be switching up my routine for awhile as my skin has really loved this one. But I am sure I will be adding to the list and possibly adding different serums. If you are subscribed to me on Youtube you will soon see an updated skincare routine where I show you how I use these products and what order to use them in! Stay tuned for more and if you have any questions feel free to hit my dms!
CBD is the new craze. With the legalization of marijuana in Canada, there has been a lot more information being released regarding the health benefits especially CBD. I was skeptical about trying CBD as I have diagnosed anxiety disorder and I have heard through the grapevine that CBD can work wonders for anxiety. So I took the leap.
I decided to trust a Canadian brand called Birch + Fog because they are so informative and open about their products, lab results, where they get their CBD from etc. Their website is extremely helpful if you are new to CBD (like me) and they explain it in a way that’s easy to understand and grasp without being confused about all the science etc. They also have an Instagram page where you can get the inside scoop on deals and if you have any questions they are really quick with responding via direct message!
So, why CBD? Why not just smoke weed? Well, CBD (cannabidiol) is an all-natural cannabis compound that provides all of the medicinal benefits of cannabis without the feeling of being “high”. For people like me, I don’t smoke because I get very paranoid and it actually heightens my anxiety. But, CBD provides a calming effect and I love the all-natural compounds compared to prescription medication such as pills etc that can give you a ton of rough side effects depending on which medication you’re on.
When choosing a method, it’s important to think about how fast you want it to take effect. Tinctures take around 20 minutes to take effect and are pretty discreet, but some people aren’t too keen on the taste. Edibles such as gummies can take up to 1-2 hours but this also depends and varies from person to person. Vape pens are almost immediate and take effect within minutes – this is my favourite method because it is so small, discreet, tastes fine and is easy to put in my purse for on the go. But, I have heard that tinctures can be so great and easy to use as well and most people will drop it in their coffee in the morning as some of the tinctures are pretty tasteless. Or, you can drop it under your tongue if you don’t have much time. I love that all of these methods aren’t harsh at all and are very quick and easy to use while also being convenient to take with you in your bag etc.
The most important part is to define what your needs are and the dosage you should be taking. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor or a health professional before getting started on a new form of medication, even if it is natural. They will help you decide which one is best for you and the correct dosage! I have heard the the tincture drops are best for before bed to aid with your sleep, especially if you are like me and have multiple nights that require over an hour just to fall asleep. Do your own research before committing to a product and read reviews.
Hopefully this helped a bit with understanding CBD and what you should look for. If you shop at Birch + Fog, you can use code 20SAM to get $20 off of any order of $50 or more, they always have ton of deals going on so keep an eye out and don’t hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram if you have any questions.
Thinking about your past relationships, it can be so easy to point out your ex-partner’s flaws and issues. They were the reason it all went to shit, right? They weren’t the best partner – they had their own issues. You hope that they fix them for their next relationship, whoever that poor sucker is. But wait – I said that is the easy way. It can be so easy to point those out, but we often don’t take very much time to truly look in the mirror and figure out how we can better ourselves and become better partners. Often, both partners in a relationship can point out the other’s flaws or issues but they fail to point out their own, or if they do – work to change it.
Taking a step back is the first and most important part of being a better partner. Listen to what your partner is saying or what was said, but do not get caught up in it. Try to weed out the actual issue that was at hand. Maybe your partner found that you were being too “bossy”? Or, you were on your phone too much? If things like that sprung up an argument, take it into consideration. For example, try not to be on your phone as much – make a point of putting your phone down during meals, while talking with people etc. The point is – take time to listen and work on the issue even if you didn’t think it was your issue at first. A relationship needs communication and compromise.
When getting into a new relationship – focus on your partner and keep in mind the things that went wrong in your other relationship but be very careful not to let it weigh you down or interfere with this current relationship. Starting over with someone new can feel like a fresh start! Don’t let your previous relationship ruin the excitement – but keep a few tid bits in the back of your head to potentially avoid future issues. It’s all about growth.
However, I think that the real solution to becoming a better partner is ultimately becoming a better person in general. Getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, eating healthier – these things are actually all very valid for ensuring a healthy relationship. Often, if a partner is lacking in any of these areas – it can make them more irritable, off balanced etc. essentially leading to petty arguments that might not have even happened if they felt balanced. Also, not to mention that mental health plays a massive role in all relationships including friendships. So, really take those steps to bettering your mental and physical health to become an overall better person.
Another good idea to help bring the fun back into the relationship is to do something new! If your relationship consists of Netflix and eating out, try taking a hike together or trying a new hobby like painting, biking, playing pool or cards. The point is – do more together and enjoy each other’s company. It doesn’t have to consist of a lot of money or travelling to a different country – even simple things like taking nightly walks together would be beneficial to your relationship.
If there are more serious issues that are reoccurring in your relationship, it could be a good idea to get counselling to root through the problems and get that spark flickering again. Love shouldn’t feel like a battle. Embrace each other – you are on the same team.
I have had enough of hearing people rebuttal and try to argue the #BlackLivesMatter with “Ahem, no…It’s ALL lives matter.” AHEM, no. We never said ONLY black lives matter. We never said that white lives don’t matter or that non-black lives don’t matter. We never said that black lives matter more than other lives. We are simply focusing on the issue that is at hand.
A terrible and tragic event happened that cost George Floyd his life. The officer that arrested him and kneeled on his head for over 9 minutes, while he begged that he couldn’t breathe. He begged until he couldn’t any longer. After countless protests and media, that officer has been arrested. But this doesn’t mean the end.
There are lives that have been taken that we should also not forget. Tragedies are happening in our own backyards. People have become afraid of police, afraid of government. Who do you call when the police are the ones murdering?
There truly isn’t any words that I could write that would be enough to explain my sadness and condolences. I am horrified and angry at our corrupt government and world. Racism is still very VERY real. The colour of your skin should not make a damn difference but it does. When I get pulled over, I am scared of getting a speeding ticket. When POC get pulled over, they are scared of getting killed. That is the difference.
We must use our privilege and SPEAK UP. Don’t just repost an instagram picture and call it a day.
Yeah, yeah. We have all heard it. “Live your best life!” or “How to be a Better Person!” but have we truly looked within and TRIED? And I mean, TRY.
During this time, I started off very motivated and ready to hit my goals because of all the time I had suddenly obtained. However, I fell off and slipped into an unhealthy comfort zone. I stopped working out, I was on my phone and laptop 90% of the day, I wasn’t drinking enough water or feeding myself properly, and definitely wasn’t sleeping properly either. Sometimes I would stay in bed almost all day long, creating back pain and growing depression.
But, I started thinking to myself, “what the hell am I doing with my life?” and it just kind of clicked, after about 4-5 times of thinking that same thought. Finally, I decided it’s okay to lounge sometimes but I need to be productive and take care of myself. The best way to live a better life is to create your better self. The person you want to become, it might seem like a long way to go but it’s actually quicker than it seems.
After deciding to kick my butt into gear and start my daily exercising and yoga (newbie here!!), I decided that it was also time to nourish my body. I love making smoothies so I would try and make a smoothie after every workout to fuel my body and give it protein and energy. Exercise and diet is the most important part of all of this, but what fuels that is MINDSET. Boy oh boy, my pinterest brain was tingling when I decided to search up some quotes to motivate me. I created an entire board of motivational and inspirational quotes that revolve around becoming the best version of myself, self care & self love and the keys to success. It is all about the mindset, ladies and gentlemen.
This blog isn’t necessarily a step by step guide, but more of a tool to help fuel your motivation. My grandfather always reminded me, “If it’s gotta be, it’s up to me!” and I live by that.
What are some strategies you do to live a better life and become the best version of yourself?
If you’d like some inspo, follow my pinterest here – I have absolutely loaded it with valuable content! 💛
So, you’re 20 something years old and it’s really set in that it’s time to get your savings together. Saving money can be extremely hard for some, or most, but if you go about it the right way – you won’t even realize you’re putting money away!
The first step to start saving is to develop a budget plan. I did mine in Excel because the spreadsheet makes it super easy and clean. But there are plenty of printables as well that look nicer, and you can print it out and hang it up in your room or on the fridge.
Once your budget plan is complete, or near complete – you need to think about how much you’re going to set aside each month for savings depending on how much money is left over after expenses are taken out. A good start is to put around $100 a month away (or more if you can!) and also set up a “simply save” on your bank account. In my experience, TD Canada Trust has this feature and I’m sure other banks do as well. Essentially, every time you use your card – it will take a certain amount in a separate transaction and transfer it over. It can be as small as 50 cents, so you really don’t even notice you’re saving – but it adds up!
The third step is to make money work for you. This can be done a few different ways such as investing into mutual funds, GICs etc. It is a good idea to talk to a financial advisor about these investments to ensure that you are getting the proper advice and care for your money.
A bonus step would be to create another form of income other than your main source (your job), preferably passive income. Passive income is income that requires little to no effort to earn and maintain, which can come from rental properties (you own the property and rent it out to people), royalties such as writing your own book, partnerships etc.
READ! Yes, that’s right. Read as many books as you can about money and financial advice/freedom. There are several books out there that have changed lives and they could potentially change yours as well! It is great to have knowledge, especially in your 20’s. Some good books to read that are also on Amazon are:
Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry – it is a great book for beginners who feel clueless about budgeting and getting out of debt. Also, this book is aimed at 20-30 year olds, which is different compared to some books that can be hard to read or interpret.
The Total Money Makeoverby Dave Ramsey – this book is incredible and features his famous “seven baby steps” to building wealth and getting rid of debt. A must read!
Rich Dad, Poor Dadby Robert Kiyosaki – this book will offer personal finance education to help you learn about cash flow, real estate, investing, how to start a business etc. It truly teaches you what kind of mindset you should have if you truly want to be rich/wealthy.
6. Something that has saved me more money than I thought it would is not buying coffee when I’m out, or even any fast food for that matter. Make coffee at home if you’re a coffee drinker – and grocery shop frugally. I found that downloading a price-matching app saved me even more money as well whenever I went out shopping!
7. Thrift shopping versus shopping fast fashion or “sales”. If you truly need new clothes, try thrifting. But, before you do – you should try and sell the clothes that you don’t need or don’t fit anymore. Consider selling them to the thrift store to get your new items for cheaper (but in my experience, I have made more money selling them by myself than giving them to the thrift store, it just takes a bit longer)
8. I have listed books above that are from amazon, but once the library becomes available again – use the library!!! I repeat. Use the library! FREE. BOOKS.
9. Pick up a second job or business. In my experience, I made relatively good money as a pizza delivery driver from tips. It was cash in my pocket at the end of every night, and you can save up and put it in a jar or the bank. A great second job to do on weekends or nights! You could even try delivering for Uber Eats or Skipthedishes if that interests you more, just do some research to see how much they pay etc.
10. Look at the things that you spend your money on. Do you get your nails done? Buy a bottle of nail polish and do your own nails at home – manicures are not essential. Do you get eyelash extensions? These can be pretty costly, it might be time to take a break for awhile. What about subscriptions? Take out any that are unnecessary that you can live without. I know that I used to have a FabFitFun box and an Ipsy bag, that I considered to be cheap subscriptions – but they add up and take away from your savings! If you truly want to save money and live a better life – you need to make sacrifices and act your wage. Buying things that you don’t need and that are too expensive to maintain can lead to even more debt and the wrong path towards success.
Overall, it’s a great idea to talk to a financial advisor. They will give you proper advice based on your situation and change it along the way. Happy saving! If you have any suggestions/questions, comment down below I’d love to see them!! Cheers to financial freedom.
I can’t thank you enough for the roof over my head, the food in my belly, the clean clothes, the toys, the hugs, the kisses and the laughter. You have given your all being my mom. Through every obstacle and challenge, you always seem to push through and you have shown me what determination means. You have shown me what strength is. I couldn’t name a more genuine, kind hearted, selfless and strong woman than you. I hope one day, when I have little ones, that I will be at least half of the mom you are to me.
Mom, I love that we have so much in common. I love playing games with you, watching our favourite tv shows and gossiping about the latest news. Even though I am grown, I am still your little girl and I will always be a mamas girl, especially with an amazing one like you.
From teaching me to walk to teaching me to drive, you have kept your patience (and obviously lost it sometimes too hehe) but you have always encouraged me to keep on trying. I keep your encouragement with me every single day.
When I have a hard day, or feel so anxious I can’t stand it. I know who I can call. I know that you will always be there, to comfort and to make me laugh. Through the breakups and the bullies, you have always tried your hardest to protect me. You never fail to remind me that I am beautiful and stronger than the words others say. You have always been the mama bear everyone wishes they had.
Mom, you are my best friend and I am so incredibly thankful for you. I love you with all my heart.
Have you ever felt like your brain was becoming more and more tense by the second? Racing with thoughts, unable to concentrate on tasks, conversations, work… It’s a daily struggle for many people, including me. I have struggled with my anxiety for years, even before I knew what it was. I just thought it was completely normal, that everyone gets outbursts sometimes, everyone cries over minor things, everyone is unable to control their thoughts and worries…This happened to everyone and so I shouldn’t think anything of it. Wrong. It got too much, to a point where I couldn’t take it and I finally seeked help from my doctor. But, if you’re like me – medication doesn’t always do the trick and it can also take a very long time for it to even start working effectively. I have some key coping mechanisms that have helped me get through my days and also get through anxiety attacks that I feel coming on.
The most important tip to remember is that your mind needs balance. How is your mind supposed to be balanced if the rest of your body isn’t? It’s time to start eating balanced and healthier meals. Eat regular meals and ensure you are taking in lots of water.
Limit caffeine. I know this one is a total bummer especially for coffee lovers, and I still have a hard time with this too. But, instead of completely cutting it out – try to start with reducing your intake. If you drink 3 coffees per day, try 2. Caffeine is known to often aggravate anxiety and trigger anxiety/panic attacks.
If you feel an anxiety attack coming on, take a seat, and breathe deeply and slowly. I follow a breathing rule inhaling deeply for 10 seconds and then slowly exhaling for 10 seconds then repeating if necessary. It usually takes me a few times before I start to truly calm myself.
Change your focus. If you feel yourself getting irritable, uneasy, anxious etc. try to change your focus to something else. Watch a TV show, read a book, try exercising (which although can be hard to get yourself up and going, is very effective!!!)
Painting or drawing (if you like to), can help ease the mind and enable your mind to focus on the act of painting, the colours, and how soothing it can be.
Journal out your thoughts. Whenever I felt extremely overwhelmed, I would capture those thoughts and put them into poems – it’s actually where my best work came from. It’s a great way to relieve and unload your mind.
Recognize the signs. Everyone is different which means the signs could be totally different. But, recognizing the signs before an anxiety attack can truly help you to be proactive by preventing an attack, calming down before it gets too much and noticing the signs way earlier.
Stay in regular contact with friends and family, especially those who are close to you. Surround yourself with people you can open up to and talk with. Loneliness and isolation can be very hard on your mental health, especially anxiety and depression.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Therapy is becoming less and less stigmatized and is often talked about as being important even if you don’t have anxiety or depression. It can be helpful for everyday life, to enhance it and allow you to truly live your best, mentally. The truth is, you have to allow yourself to get the help you deserve and to talk about what is going on, even if it’s hard to explain.
The last tip is one that I just learned recently, and it may sound silly but it works. When you are feeling anxious, grab an ice cube from your freezer and squeeze it in your hand. The coldness immediately takes your mind off of any anxious thoughts, because it is focused on the cold shock in your hands. If you don’t have ice cubes, try cold water!
It is important to take time for yourself. Your mental state is incredibly precious and self-care goes a long way. The trick is to check in with yourself every so often, ask yourself either in your head or aloud – how am I feeling? If you feel off, proceed to ask yourself what you need at the moment. Maybe it’s as simple as a tight hug or it could be more complex and having a reoccurring issue finally be solved – whatever it is, you are capable of controlling your own thoughts and feelings. We are so strong and life can throw some heavy stuff at us, but we rise up and keep on. Isn’t that amazing?
This whole pandemic has not only set off a whole realm of loneliness for a lot of people, but also a lot of anxiety and uncertainty. If you find yourself unsure of what to do with your life, unable to sleep or sleeping too much, feeling restless – IT IS OKAY. A lot of us have been go-go-go with our jobs, family, relationships, school, side hustles etc. It is totally okay to feel uneasy with how the world is right now. It is not easy for anyone. One of the good things about this isolation period is that the whole world is doing the same thing. Most of us are laid off, at home, unable to see relatives or friends, unable to do our usual routine. It is extremely probable that the pandemic has caused people increasing anxiety, and for people diagnosed with anxiety already – a pretty hard time. “People often don’t realize that their difficulties with focus, memory, sleep and relationships can all be related to anxiety,” says Amelia Aldao, clinical psychologist and founder of Together CBT in New York City. I am here to tell you IT IS OKAY.
So, let’s take a deep breath for a moment. This pandemic is probably going to last a bit longer than we all would like it to and what we need to do is come up with a new routine. Or, if you’re not into routine – just different things to do throughout the day to ensure that we don’t get tangled in all of that anxiety and stir-craziness.
The first thing to do is to limit the amount of news you watch. I know it is a horrific time and that is all that is blasted everywhere, but limiting this is truly what will be best for your own sake and mental health. I am not telling you to completely block it out and act like nothing is wrong, but to limit the amount you watch/read.
Continue with a SCHEDULE/ROUTINE. If you are someone who is normally structured and organized, don’t think of this time as a free-for-all. Keeping a steady schedule despite the circumstances will ensure that you are staying sane and busy.
Which adds to my next point, KEEP BUSY. This can be done in an unlimited amount of ways. Take a bath, journal, draw, paint, garden, work-out, watch movies, get started on a new tv series, read a book or two or three!!!, call up a friend etc.
Wake up and go to bed at your normal time. This one has honestly been one of the hardest ones for me. My sleeping schedule has been out of whack and that causes me so much stress because if I go to bed late, I typically wake up late and then I’m upset that I wasted ___ # of hours of the day. Wake up early still and go to bed at a reasonable time!
If you work from home – try not to overload. With this stress and anxiety, it can become overwhelming and chances are your memory and work ethic is not what it was. Break up tasks, give yourself breaks, drink lots of water and feed yourself properly.
Which goes again, feed yourself properly. I know that because the routine is off, sometimes we may forget to make breakfast or lunch, or maybe just hydrate properly. Try to truly make an effort to nourish your body and eat properly (bonus if it’s healthy!)
Pick up a new skill/hobby. When is the last time you painted? What about gardening? Working out? Is there a task that you’ve been putting off such as painting the basement, redoing the deck? Take this time to do the things that you weren’t planning on doing before while you have the time.
Check up on friends and family. Although you may not be able to go and visit, or maybe you can if you stay 6 feet apart (do not come for me if they change this rule!!!) A simple facetime call can help to stay connected while also checking up on your loved ones. We all need checking up on, especially if we are struggling through this. Take a few minutes and call that person (or multiple people), they will really enjoy your company.
YouTube. I have been catching up on some of my favourite YouTubers lately and I am really enjoying it – especially because there are a lot of them who have decided to post daily vlogs, which gets me excited to watch and gives me something to do every day. Or, if you’re feeling creative – make your own YouTube channel and get recording!
Get yourself ready. I have found that whenever I get out of bed, take a nice shower and do my hair/makeup – I feel way better. I feel like “hey, at least I did that today!”
Take some online courses. Ever heard of Shaw Academy? They have a variety of online classes that you can take that range from marketing, social media and graphic design to beauty, music, finance, photography and more! They are doing a free trial and then if you’d like to continue afterwards it’s $69.99 CAD. It’s interactive, they have Q&A sessions, quizzes, assignments, and unlimited access to all of their courses – so if you wanted to take photography and finance, you can totally do that. Also, this is not an ad, I just really enjoyed their platform. Of course, there are many other platforms that do relatively the same stuff for online courses.
Stay safe, healthy & sane everyone.
Ps. Quick reminder to follow my blog to stay updated on new posts and also wash your hands 🙂
I think that it’s in most peoples minds that the world feels like it’s closing down. When you walk down the street of once-busy downtown Toronto, you will find it feeling very eerie. The roads are near empty, the sidewalks too. Everyone is at home, self isolating themselves from this horrendous virus that has changed our lives globally.
At first, when I saw the news, sitting at home eating a big bowl of spaghetti surrounded by family, I thought to myself, “it won’t come here, though…” and I changed the channel. It is crazy how things change and how fast a virus can spread. My heart goes out to China and Italy, who have experienced the worst of it. This virus is no joke and nothing to change the channel about. I didn’t realize it could get this bad, to the point of closing shops, malls and banks. Taking a trip to the grocery store feels as if we are all gatherers, trying to find things that will keep our family healthy and able to live throughout this isolation, I mean, who knows how long it will be. The shelves are bare, toilet paper, soup, cold/flu medication, any form of sanitizer, it’s all out of stock. The people who need it most, the elderly can’t even get any of it – the grocery stores have had to restock and restock, opening up an hour early just for the elderly and disabled to come in a have a chance at getting some necessities. The world is in true panic.
Sitting at home, unable to visit my parents and sister in fear that they will somehow get the virus or if they have the virus – give it to me. I have no idea if I am a carrier of this virus, I show no symptoms – but there have been many positive cases with the same thing. The fear has truly set in for me, but I have been trying to really take the time I have to practice self-care and truly take care of myself during this time. I know that in times of panic, fear and isolation it can often result in problems with mental health including depression and I want to make sure that I am giving myself the proper care to avoid that. I’ve been trying to make sure I don’t start eating a bunch of junk just because I am home all day, which can be very tempting because of boredom. I also have gotten into some at-home workouts which fills some time and makes me feel really good. But, my go-to activity is YouTube and Netflix. My favourite youtubers Julie & Hunter Havens have been putting out daily vlogs and it’s really neat to see how they are being productive and going about their day throughout this whole fiasco.
I hope that everyone is staying indoors, safe, healthy and mentally well. I know this is going to be a bit hard for some people to self-isolate and being home majority of the time, but this can also be a great time to pick up a new hobby or skill. I’ve been trying to read more and I see some people are picking up painting, drawing etc. Which is also a really great idea. All in all, find what works for you and makes you happy. Try not to sleep too much and try to be productive through these next few weeks.
Women are changing the world. When it comes to boss ass women, there are definitely a ton. But some names that have made it globally are:
Megan Markle – who was the most Googled person of 2018. She has inspired girls everywhere to see themselves as beautiful princesses and it doesn’t stop there as she advocates for education, support for women and animal welfare.
Malala Yousafzai – who is a woman who survived a tragic terrorist attack. She has written three books and her words are being carried around the world as inspiring – her ability to forgive her attackers as the best revenge she could give. A lesson to keep in mind. You can watch her on David Letterman’s Netflix Show called “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction”.
Michelle Obama – Her memoir “Becoming” has been a huge hit, filled with inspiring quotes as well as revealing her vulnerable and true self. She inspires women to share their voice and BECOME who they want to become. She revealed struggles in her life such as IVF and going through a miscarriage, which is still very taboo to some.
But, what about in tech? There are so many male names that we know around the world. To name a few, have you ever heard of Elon Musk? Steve Jobs? Bill Gates? Mark Zuckerberg? There are so many leaders around the world in tech. But, what is odd is that most of you can’t even name three top leaders in tech that are women. That’s because there really isn’t a ton, that profession has been swept of women and is male-dominated. If you haven’t realized yet – tech is absolutely HUGE and it is just getting started. Our world revolves around technology and new devices, new smartphones, new inventions. According to the Women and Technology Study conducted for PwC in 2017, “only 3% of women say a career in technology is their first choice, 78% of students can’t name a famous women working in technology, and only 5% of jobs in the technology industry are held by women.”
However, times are changing fortunately. Stephanie Lampkin, CEO & Founder of Blendoor had a vision to create a matching app to reduce the bias when it comes to recruiting in the tech field. By doing this, she wants to prove that this will essentially add more value to companies by providing them with the best tech people regardless of gender, looks etc.
I think that Stephanie has such a great idea and vision. We need more women in tech. We need more role models and mentors to introduce this field to younger women who may not even know this could be an amazing career choice. Working for a tech company comes with an unbelievable amount of benefits. The tech world is crazy, and growing every day, there are so many new inventions being created. Think about driverless cars, brain computer interface, mobile apps, there are so many sectors that are available to work in and they are always hiring. Which is again, a huge reason why women should get on board.
Now, we do have women in tech that are in the sector of social media managing, marketing, advertising, digital media etc. Those women are super bad-ass and are taking over social media by storm. Most of my favourite youtubers, bloggers and instagrammers are female and they are SO inspiring. My favourite podcast to listen to is Girls Gotta Eat Podcast, which features two lovely women who are all about empowering women, teaching them, relating to them and overall inspiring them to be better and that we can achieve our goals. They are absolutely hilarious and are by no means disregarding men, either. They feature a lot of men on the show and really love to dig into their insight. Feminism is NOT disregarding men or believing that men are below women. We are just fighting for equality, to be known. To be heard. And all of that – properly and seriously.
Be a lady, they said. Women are set to standards that aren’t reachable. We are taught from such a young age to watch what we wear, what we say, what we do. We are taught gender norms such that we must be in specific professions to obtain success, and even if those weren’t shoved down our throats – the norm forced it anyways. As women, we need to be very particular and careful about everything from clothes, to hair, to lips, to coverage etc. Making careful considerations about what kind of outfit to wear, because we want to look sexy but not slutty, cute but not prudish. The money that we spend is not for men, but in actuality to impress or just in fact survive in the female world. It is only getting worse, we have learned that if we do not like who we are then we can change ourselves. We can get filler, we can use machines to tone our bodies, spray tans to change our complexion, lashes, hair, implants – you name it. And it is not the men’s fault for this outrageous phenomenon. It is ours. We are the ones that are judging, creating these norms.
An undeniably powerful video called “Be a Lady, They Said” was created by an account on instagram (@girls.girls.girls.magazine) that starred Cynthia Nixon who is an American actress best known for her role in Sex and the City. “Don’t be too fat, don’t be too thin. Eat up, slim down. Stop eating so much. Order a salad, don’t eat carbs. God, you look like a skeleton!” Nixon says in the video, which hit home for many. But another thing that was talked about was the fact that we must hide ourselves from the men, in fear that they will hurt us. The world we live in has become so scary and the fact that we are teaching our daughters to protect themselves and to dress as conservative as possible to prevent harm – of course the argument has been going both ways for years. The empowering video has been shared by thousands of users on the site. As the day went on, top celebrities such as Madonna and Cara Delevingne began to share and talk about it which attracted more and more views. It is such a wholesome action to share something so powerful across a platform in which you can truly make a difference.
To watch the video on Instagram, click this link. I am not affiliated with the account or Instagram.
Society norms are that women are set to such a standard that is simply unachievable. Whatever you do, you will be judged for it – so do whatever the hell you want. Don’t apologize for being yourself.
I am sorry for putting you through stress and anxiety. I am sorry for the shaking and the tears. I did not know that you were strong enough. I didn’t have faith that you could do better than this. I trained your brain to believe this was love, to hold onto it so tightly your knuckles ached. Nobody else could love you. I let you become so small, fragile and weak. Unsure of your own opinions and own thoughts, constantly over thinking your own values and who you were until you became so lost. I allowed you to be brainwashed with “I’m sorry” and “You make me act like this” and “I love you”. I allowed the cruel words to be spit at you, I allowed you to break. But that’s what I had to do, these things are what helped you grow. You grew and became strong, you realized your worth and you left, because you ARE worthy of love and kindness. I am sorry that it took you so long to come to terms with it, but you found it on your own. The tears are dry now, you are okay. I will never allow a man to step on you again, to spit at you, to yell and scream. You are not small.
I have learned to love you, even on bad days. The mirror is your friend, you are wonderful and happy and full of life now. Keep it. Hold onto this. This is love, self-love.
Now, I am writing this as a happily taken girl, so there will be a *little* bit of bias here and there.
To start the conversation, why is Valentines a holiday? Well, this day is known for its romance and celebrating a couples love through gifts, dates, flowers etc. to name a few. But in reality, Valentine’s day and where it came from is actually quite morbid. It’s history revolves around Christianity and Lupercalia which is an ancient Roman fertility festival (what?!) that is held from February 13th to the 15th which is said to be the reason why Valentine’s day is the 14th. What happened was that each teenage boy would draw a name of a girl to be paired with for that year and the women were obligated to be with that boy under the Roman law. These relationships often led to marriage. Other stories are much more disturbing and the Romans would sacrifice a dog and a goat for purification and fertility. Then, the women were said to have been slapped with goat hide as it was believed to make them more fertile (hence the Lupercalia) thus leading into the name drawing and marriage.
Aren’t we glad to be living in the grand year of 2020 where women (in most countries) are now free to make their choices of whom to marry and when?!
Personally, Valentine’s day is seen as a joke to many but I still love the day and commercialization that society has put into it. I am a sucker for a sappy card and flowers…dinner date nights??? Count me in.
The dreaded midterm blues are here for all you college and university students. This time around, you’re going to kill it. Don’t let these midterms take over your sanity.
First things first – be prepared. Personally, I have learned from my mistakes (and I have continued to make these same mistakes semester after semester until I finally said enough!) and I have tried my best to simply PREPARE. Now, this can be done pretty easily if you attend every class and take great notes. But, if you’ve missed a class or two – make sure to ask a friend (well in advance of the midterm!!!!) if you could copy their notes. Without notes, it is super hard for most people to be prepared for midterm exams, it is extremely hard to sit down and go through an entire textbook because almost half of it is full of jargon that will most likely not be on the actual exam.
Second, studying even when you don’t feel like it. Trust me – I know it is easier said than done. But, this step is crucial for the above step to work. It certainly does not have to be long either, break it up so that it doesn’t seem as taunting. For example, study a little bit every day after class to ensure that all of the information that you’ve just learned actually resonates with you. Take your notes home, and sit down for 20 minutes then grab a snack and get on with the rest of your day.
Third step/tip is to know when to seek extra help. At the start of the semester, it may be beneficial to get extra help after class right away to get you on the right track. Typically, the school you are going to may have extra resources that you can go to during certain times where they touch on certain subjects to help students that might be struggling. But, another way you can do this is to form yourself a little study group. With the people sitting around you, ask if any of them would like to form a study group to prepare for the upcoming exam – or reach out via a facebook group (if your school has one).
Fourth and my most useful tip is to re-write. I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my note taking, however, these notes do not mean I am an amazing student. But, it means that I genuinely take my time to ensure that the knowledge gets stuck inside my head while also ensuring that my notes look neat and tidy. Whenever I try to write out my notes in class, I tend to write them very quickly and usually messy so I like to go in after and re-write them adding key points, highlighting, starring important phrases etc. This also works a ton if you use your laptop for note-taking, when you are done typing – write it out! It is known that re-writing something actually ensures that you are really reading it rather than mindlessly typing it.
Remember, we are all different learners and all have different ways to study so this list is kind of a universal study tip list. If you need extra help – remember that it is not embarrassing, and it is actually crucial for you to get that extra help in order to pass or get a better mark. Your success and learning is what matters most!
‘Tis the season for gift giving and gathering around the Christmas tree. It is a wonderful time of year. Now, I know if you’re like me – I care way too much about what gifts to buy and also trying to save a few pennies whilst doing it. It is quite the difficult task, especially if you just end up going to the shopping centre without a plan in mind. Here’s a few gift ideas for that special guy in your life, you can mix and match them to suit your man!
Let’s Talk About DIY Gifts…
So, it is totally up to you what kind of gift to get your partner. But, personally I like to be a *sappy* girlfriend and go for the DIY presents, or at least DIY ideas per say. To pull on those heart strings, think back to what you and your partner do together. Do you two play cards together? Do you love board games? Scrabble? What about physical activities like skating? When thinking of what to get them, try to focus on something you both love or have in common to do your DIY gift. A few examples could include:
Gifts Based on Interest
Then, try to think of what he likes. Is he a sports guy? Does he love finance? Maybe he’s a movie fanatic or video gamer? Here’s a few examples of some gifts based on interests:
Overall, you can mix and match these for Christmas, Anniversary, Valentines etc. The point is to know your guy and think outside of the box. I hope these ideas helped!
Tesla had one of their many live-streams where they unveiled yet another futuristic vehicle. This time, Elon Musk unveiled their “Cyber Truck”. This truck has been speculated over the past few months, hundreds of different pictures of what people thought the truck would look like. But, once the livestream revealed the truck – nothing compared. This vehicle looks like a futuristic army vehicle – being stainless steel, bullet proof, scratch proof, dent proof etc. This truck is a total MONSTER. With the base model only being a mere $39k, Tesla’s competitors don’t stand a chance. The speed tests were unbelievable, as Elon showed statistics where the 0-60mph was hit in just 2.9 seconds. Fully self-driving. This truck can TOW over 14 THOUSAND pounds with air suspension that adjusts on the fly with what you have in the cargo, and the tug of war test proves just that as the Ford F-150 stood no chance to the Cyber Truck as it got dragged with ease up-hill. But, what disappointed many viewers including Elon was the shocking mistake of a broken window. The team tested the armoured glass window itself first, dropping steel balls from tall heights…The glass didn’t break, scratch or leave a mark. But, when Elon’s demonstrator tested it out on the actual vehicle on stage…Well, the windows smashed. Elon’s vibe totally plummeted as he told the audience that he didn’t know why it didn’t hold up there. It’s a shame that the test failed, but Elon kept presenting and the audience remained intrigued. At the end of the livestream, Elon dropped another surprise unveil which turned out to be an ATV that loaded into the truck and charged itself in the back. What a livestream. Another job well done, Tesla.
You are so so appreciated and loved. I may not express it enough in words, but I see you.
When I struggle to climb out of bed or go to work or go to the gym or even just take my vitamins – you are there to help me. You lift me up, you pull me out of bed with love and kisses, you inspire me to be better and to work hard. When my days are roughs and my brain plays tricks on me, you are there to comfort. To hold. Thank you for being so genuine, thoughtful, kind and gentle with me.
To the one who carries my groceries, who helps me do laundry, who takes turns washing dishes. You make everyday tasks so much easier. You are a help. These things that may seem little to you do not go unnoticed.
To the one who buys me coffee when I’m behind you in the drive thru, thank you for setting my heart on fire with only a dollar. You excite me and surprise me in the weirdest ways.
To the one who sings with me in the car, belting out the words to Shallow and rapping along to Childish Gambino and Hopsin, I have so much fun with you. Our crazy (and totally extra) dance moves are what make my smile go all the way up to my ears. The little kisses on my hands as you drive with your other one. I love being myself with you. I love being happy.
I thank you for bringing me so much joy and fun and laughter. You are always there, in the low times and the high. I appreciate you & the small things you do, they never go unnoticed.