How to be a Better Partner

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.

Live a Better Life

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.

Sylvester McNutt via Pinterest

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! 💛

10 Crucial Steps to Saving Money in Your 20’s

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 Makeover by Dave Ramsey – this book is incredible and features his famous “seven baby steps” to building wealth and getting rid of debt. A must read!
  • Set for Life: Dominate Life, Money and the American Dream by Scott Trench – this book is built on debt and making choices and sacrifices in life for the greater good. This book is recommended for “younger people who want to live life on their own terms as quickly as they can.”
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad by 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.

10 Tips for Coping With Anxiety

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!!!)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?

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.

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

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 💘