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 🙂

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!

Dear Stress, I think we should see other people.

Dear Stress,

It’s not me…It’s you. Lately, you’ve been just a little too much for me to handle and I think that it’s best if we go our separate ways. You have such low energy, you’re always up in the night talking about random things – keeping me awake all hours, and leading me to be exhausted in the mornings. Stress. I’m truly sorry to be blunt but you give me the WORST headaches, it feels like a clamp is tightening around my skull all the way down to my back. These headaches and exhaustion just make me into such a grouchy tense person and I think that my other relationships and social life are suffering because of it. Not to mention, you’re not really that nice to me. We are constantly in an argument, I get a little overwhelmed and you just explode! I know that we have some good times, and maybe we can hangout when you’re feeling a bit on the motivational side but If I’m being honest, you make me sick to my stomach usually and I mean that quite literally. I just don’t feel right when I’m with you. My whole body just feels like a heavy weight. I think I need some time to de-stress, and possibly have a glass of wine. I need to establish more balance in my life and learn how to break large tasks down into smaller ones to avoid getting overwhelmed, I just need more organized life back. Stress, you’re probably really insulted but I promise you that we will meet again – but it might be for good reason this time, take some time to collect yourself and get back to being the good stress that I used to love. This is for the both of us.

Sincerely,

The girl that’s getting her life back on track