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mental health Uncategorized

IT IS OKAY TO FEEL UNEASY IN TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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!)
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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!”
  11. 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 🙂

Categories
mental health

Take Care of Yourself

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.

Well wishes xo

Categories
feminism

Women are Changing the World

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. Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

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. Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images

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. Remko De Waal/Getty Images

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.

Cheers ladies, let’s change the world.

Categories
feminism

Be a Lady

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.

Categories
Uncategorized

The IUD

It came up when I was talking with some friends and the different types of birth control. I had seen others have used it and there were so many pros and cons, and horror stories. But, there were also success stories. I had researched it for months and then finally decided to talk to my doctor on my next visit. I told him that I was debating either an IUD or the Depo Shot…He advised me to see a gyno and booked me an appointment. It took about a month or two to get an actual appointment, but then it all happened very quickly. I went in for my consultation and asked about side effects, which of course there were including cramping – but for me, I have always had terrible cramping during my periods and if this even lightened it a little bit I would be happy. Also, she told me that the Kyleena is her favourite form of birth control and she recommends it to everyone. The main reason was convenience for most but also the fact that it worked at a rate of over 99% effectively. That means less than 1 out of 100 people who have an IUD will get pregnant each year. There also was a possibility of lighter periods, and eventually not having a period. I was locked in.

Retrieved from BAYER

So, I went home that day and sat down at my laptop thinking…It’s going to hurt. I’ve heard horror stories of girls having surgery to remove it because it was excruciating pain. I typed every single thing I could think of into the search bar. Do IUDs hurt? On a scale of 1-10 what is the pain level of an IUD? What is the chance of an IUD going wrong? Let me tell you…Google is not always your friend. My stomach dropped and I felt very faint, I don’t know if this is right for me. I got scared. But I didn’t cancel the appointment, this was a one and done kind of deal. It lasts for 5 years, and the insertion will probably hurt but it’s just once. I kept trying to reassure myself. I went and picked up the prescription from my local Shoppers Drug Mart and it came in a HUGE box. I didn’t open it. It was really expensive too, luckily I had a bit of coverage from being in school. Eventually the big day came around. My boyfriend drove me to the gyno and sat outside of the office and waited for me. One of the doctors came in to calm me down, as she could tell I was tense and proceeded to tell me that it is going to hurt a lot, to be prepared for it and when it’s over not to sit up right away because I will most likely faint. Was that really her way of calming a patient down? I thought it was ridiculous and I wish she never came in. I took a deep breath and laid on table, they had a picture taped to the ceiling of some clouds and I tried to focus on that until my gyno came in. She finally did after a few minutes (felt like a lot longer) and she smiled and said “ready to go?” and honestly, she was genuinely calm and collected and that soothed me a LOT more than the other lady. She told me it’s not a big deal, it won’t hurt a lot and she’s done this many times before. It will just feel like a bit of cramping, no worries. When it finally came down to it, it didn’t hurt a ton. My pain tolerance isn’t very high and she was right – it felt like cramping because my body is trying to understand where this foreign object came from. It was nothing like what Google said. Nothing like what the previous doctor said. Nothing like the horror stories. I brought my boyfriend because I felt that after the appointment I wouldn’t be able to drive myself home, but I was perfectly fine! I strolled out of the office and thanked my gyno. I ran out to meet my boyfriend and he asked me how I felt, and it was no big deal. I am protected for 5 years (or whenever I would like to have it removed if I want it before that). My advice to any girls going to get theirs is to not let your mind trick you and scare you, because the truth is you really have to relax your muscles and if you tense up that is what will hurt you. Just relax and breathe. Like always, I would like to put a disclaimer that you should ALWAYS talk to your doctor first to see if this is right for you. All experiences are different and I just wanted to put my personal experience out there!

Thanks loves x

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Uncategorized

A Letter To Me

Dear me,

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.

Categories
Uncategorized

For the love of Valentines…

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.

Sincerely,

Your Valentine 💘

Categories
college study university

Midterm Blues

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!

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Uncategorized

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Boyfriend

‘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:

52 Reasons Why I Love You
Disclaimer: This is my photo and I created these cards
The Five Senses
Disclaimer: This is not my photo, I have linked the photo to where I found it
A Picture Frame with Written Words
Disclaimer: This is not my photo, I have linked the photo to where I found it.

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:

A Duffle Bag Full of Sports/Gym Related Items
Disclaimer: This is not my photo, I have linked the photo to where I found it.
Engraved Pocket Knife
Disclaimer: This is not my photo, I have linked the photo to where I found it.
Nike Lover (and other gifts)
Disclaimer: This is not my photo, I have linked the photo to where I found it.
Men’s Giftbox
Disclaimer: This is not my photo, I have linked the photo to where I found it.
Hockey Puck Love
Disclaimer: This is not my photo, I have linked the photo to where I found it.
Engraved Watch
Disclaimer: This is not my photo, I have linked the photo to where I found it.

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!

Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas 🎄

Categories
Tesla

Tesla Cyber-Truck

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.