Advice To Help Deal With Depression

Hey guys,

So, full disclosure — this was actually a post I wrote when I first started my blog nearly a year ago. I wrote it as one of my very first posts, but I hesitated on sharing it until now. Unfortunately, there is still a massive stigma around discussing mental illness, and while there has certainly been steps taken in the right direction, as a society we still have a long ways to go. Sharing this post is a little scary for me, I won’t lie — it feels very uncomfortable to open up too deeply on the internet to everyone who knows me (and countless who don’t) about my personal struggles with mental illness. It still is challenging to open up like this, but I’m hoping that by sharing this I too will be helping take steps in the right direction to help open up discussion between others, and I’m hoping I’ll also be able to help anyone who’s struggling and doesn’t know where to start.

Mental illness is something I have struggled with for just about as long as I can remember. However, the stigma around talking about it is something that I knew about far before that. The first time I ever had to receive help for my mental illness, I was only twelve years old. At the time, it was something so seldom spoken about that it was even kept a secret even from my sister. This is not something that should reflect poorly on my family — that’s just how everyone dealt with mental illness at the time. In the last eleven years, things have certainly changed a lot — but there’s still a long way to go. My family now is very open with each other about mental illness, and how beneficial it has been has been clear as day. I’m hoping that by sharing this I can help others to be more open to discussion, and help those who are struggling to feel comfortable opening up to family, friends, or doctors. As well, if you don’t quite feel comfortable with that yet, whether you know me personally or not, I’d like you to know you can always talk to me. I may not understand what you, personally, are going through, but it always helps to talk it out in a judgement-free space, especially with someone who could potentially relate. (If you don’t know me personally, you can always feel free to reach me via Twitter DM). As well, if you don’t feel comfortable with that either, no worries — I’ve also attached some crisis hotlines at the end of this post for those who need it.

As a final reminder, the advice I’ve attached below is just what has worked for me personally. It may not all be helpful to everyone, and some of you reading this may think that none of it sounds useful whatsoever. Everyone has different things that work for them; depression is a complex disease and there is no one simple and easy cure-all. I’m just hoping that at least one item on this list may help someone, even the smallest change is still change. The rest of the post following is the original post I created last May.

I know this is something I have discussed before briefly but I have struggled with mental illness my whole life. While some of my diagnoses come and go, depression seems to have stuck around for the long run. Now, I know this is a difficult subject and not everything here works for everyone. Honestly, some people may read this list and think that none of it sounds legit. However, this is what tends to help me out best and I figured I’d share on the off chance it may help someone else.

Living with depression is something that takes constant effort to persevere through. Not everything works for everyone. Some people manage their illness alone, while some use therapy to assist. I myself take medication to help alleviate my symptoms. However, as my doctor pointed out one visit — antidepressant medication helps, but you have to put in the effort to make it work. Simply taking antidepressants while putting in no additional effort is rarely effective. So here’s a list of some of the things I do to help make my medications work best! Even if you don’t take medication, chances are some of these tips will help you out too.

  1. Get out of bed as quickly as you can in the morning. It’s hard, but do your best not to hit the snooze button too many times. Chances are if you’re able to push through it you’ll feel much less tired while waking up, as well as throughout the day.
  2. Set an alarm every day, even on the weekends. Having a routine is key. Even if you have a day off, you should still do your best to wake up and stick to it.
  3. Have a morning routine you follow everyday. Do your best to follow the same steps every morning. I’m not too sure why, but this one really helps me.
  4. Eat healthy. I personally find the key to maintaining a healthy diet is moderation. If you try to stick too hard to eating 100% healthy, odds are you’ll end up binging or even fall off the wagon completely and end up in a phase of super unhealthy eating (I know I do). So try to eat healthy, allow yourself an unhealthy snack when you want it, eat some junk food everyone once in a while, and just try to keep a normal balance.
  5. As a side note, try to eat breakfast every day. I find it helps keep you on track to eat at least three meals, as well as help jumpstart your day. I’ve gone until dinner without eating more times than I can count, but if I eat breakfast I often follow with other scheduled meals as well.
  6. Keep yourself busy throughout the day. It’s exhausting, but at least you’ll be ready to sleep whenever your scheduled bed time is.
  7. Take some time for self-care. This is important for everyone, but it’s especially important to check in with yourself if you struggle with mental illness.
  8. Get outside. Just go for a walk if you’re not feeling up to something big. The fresh air always helps me clear my head.
  9. EXERCISE. Yes, people say this one all the time. It really is for a reason. If you can learn to love working out, it will improve your mental health SO MUCH. Personally I’m being a bit of a hypocrite here as I haven’t been to the gym in months. But whenever I get into the routine of working out I notice immediate changes in my quality of life. In particular, if you’re in a more severe depressive state, about halfway through your work out you can literally FEEL the endorphins have an effect on your brain.
  10. Socialize as much as you can, based on your schedule. Even if you’re tired and stressed. Spending time with people you love, who don’t cause you stress, really does help. It doesn’t have to be anything big, either — it can just be hanging out at one of your houses doing nothing at all.
  11. Try to plan out your day as best as you can. At my best times, I schedule my life almost to the hour. It helps keep you out of bed if you’ve written down that you have somewhere to be.
  12. Clean your space. I really knew my medications were starting to work when I started keeping my room clean. Back before I started taking them, my room was a MESS. Nowadays, I keep my space tidy, do my laundry regularly, and even make my bed every day. If you’re not ready to deep clean everything, just try to tidy up. If you’re already pretty tidy, try to make a routine of stuff such as vacuuming, mopping, and regularly cleaning up your space. If you’re ready for it, do a whole Marie Kondo-style clean up of your things. Her show really did inspire me to go through my stuff and clear out things I didn’t need. Keeping a clear space helps me to keep my mind clear and reduce stress.
  13. Try to present yourself well when you go out. I don’t mean start doing your hair and makeup every day if that’s not something you usually do. Just do whatever it is that makes you feel presentable when you go out in public, even if you aren’t going to see people you know. It helps with your confidence and overall happiness when you aren’t worried about how you look.
  14. Make changes in your life. This is more for people in severe depressive episodes who can’t seem to get out of them. Shake things up a little. I recently had to move out of my old apartment, which wasn’t my choice, but the move to a new space really did help me out of a bad phase. It doesn’t have to be something that big, but if you can do something that really makes a change in your life, go for it!
  15. Lastly, talk to your doctor. Even if you’re coping 100% fine on your own, it doesn’t hurt. Talking about things helps. On top of that, you may not even realize how bad things are — I know I didn’t. I thought I was coping just fine on my own, and was totally missing the signs I needed medications and was back in a depressive episode. With Major Depressive Disorder, it is possible to go into remission. However, even if you’re in remission and doing fantastic right now, you may slip back into a depressive state without even noticing it. Medical professionals know what they’re doing, contrary to many people’s beliefs. They know how to help with psychiatric issues. You may feel like no one understands what you’re going through, but that is the nature of depression. Your doctor may not “get it”, but they will know how to help.

I know that depression presents itself differently in everyone and these tips will not work for everyone. But I really hope that for some of you guys reading this, you find something here that helps. If anyone wants to chat with me about anything, I’m always open to discuss! It may seem on the outside, especially over social media, that everyone else around you is living an absolute perfect, struggle-free life, but that is rarely the case. Big or small, everyone has a battle in life you likely know nothing about. Remember how important it is to be kind. And lastly, if anyone has any of their own tips they’d like to share I’d love to hear them.

Love you all,

Meredith

Crisis Hotlines

Distress Line Numbers BC

Greater Vancouver: 604-872-3311
Toll Free: 1-866-661-3311
TTY: 1-866-872-0113
Senior’s Distress: 604-872-1234

International Crisis Hotlines

1-800-SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433

Fall FabFitFun Unboxing!

My Fall FabFitFun Box!

Happy first day of September y’all!

So, to start off, I’d figured I’d give a little life update — after a couple of the most hectic weeks of my life, I’m finally moved into my new apartment! I’m far from being done and probably have a few more crazy weeks ahead, but after that things should hopefully settle down. However, I’ve survived it all so far so cheers to that!

Now, onto today’s blog (which I am so excited to share) — unboxing my fall FabFitFun box! These boxes are absolutely my favourite thing in the world, I look forward to the start of each new season just to see what’s inside. Not only is every product I’ve received so far amazing; I swear FabFitFun knows what I need in my life before I do.

In this particular box, I received so many items I had just run out of/was looking to go purchase, so needless to say especially with the move this makes my life A LOT easier right now. Keep reading to see what I received in this season’s box!

Amika Strand Perfect Ceramic Straighter

Ceramic Straightener by Amika

This is the PERFECT example of FabFitFun seemingly knowing my needs before I do. For years, I’ve only had a cheap old drugstore straightener which did a terrible job of straightening my hair. It felt damaging, caught and tore my strands as I used it and took forever to use even on the highest setting — and my hair is naturally pretty straight. I am SO excited to give this fancy new straightener a go — maybe I’ll even be able to master flat iron curls!

Twine Cheese Board And Plate

Twine Cheese Board

This plate is so cute and perfect for if you ever have guests over! It’s incredibly high-quality and looks super classy for wine nights with your girls. It is 100% what I was looking for in terms of kitchen gear and I cannot WAIT to get some use out of it!

Cosmedix Pure C

Cosmedix Pure C

I cannot wait to give this stuff a try! It seems like such a simple way to add some extra Vitamin C to your skincare regimen. Simply add the powder to your serum or moisturizer, and it adds a boost of Vitamin C to your skin! Cosmedix is a fantastic brand as well — we carried it at the spa I used to work at and the whole line is incredibly high-quality. So while I haven’t tested this one out yet, I know I’ll be in for a treat when I do.

AfterSpa Hair Towel Wrap

AfterSpa Hair Towel Wrap

Yet another great example of FabFitFun having my back — this hair towel is SO cute and just what I needed! I’ve had the same cheap towels since I first moved to Vancouver, and over the years they’ve began to fall apart. Moving seemed like the perfect time to replace them, but now I’ve been saved a trip. I’ve had a towel in this style before; it’s designed to fit over the back of your head, wrap up your hair and then fastens with a button to keep it all together. While I haven’t had one of these since high school, these towels are amazing for your hair — they’re comfortable and convenient. Onto of that, the towel fabric is clearly high quality AND it’s pink! So cute!

Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks

Wander Beauty Eye Masks

FabFitFun has introduced me to a whole bunch of amazing eye masks since I started receiving their boxes — but these are my favourites so far. They’re packed with all sorts of amazing ingredients, including hyaluronic acid. Within one use, I already noticed a significant change in my dark circles and eye area. You guys already know how much I struggle with my under-eye area, but these actually seemed to fix up all sorts of issues in just minutes. Plus, they’re super cute so when I had a surprise guest it wasn’t even embarrassing to be seen wearing them!

Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair

Aveda Damage Ready Daily Hair Repair

Again, an example of FabFitFun knowing my needs. I had just ran out of my beloved Ryo hair mask, but this one arrived just in time for me to have to go mask-less. After one use alone I have to say, I’m pretty sold on this stuff. At first, the idea of leave-in treatment had me a little stressed — it sounded like something that would just leave my hair oily and gross. However, this stuff is non-coating and light, and I couldn’t believe how fantastic my hair felt after use.

Human + Kind Body Soufflé

Human + Kind Body Soufflé

While I haven’t had a chance to give this product a try, I’m beyond excited to! The ingredients in this moisturizer sound lovely, and I love a nice, light body cream — I’m really not a fan of heavier stuff as it often lingers and leaves a residue on my skin. I just used up the last cream I received in a FabFitFun box and it was one of the best products I’d ever tried, so I can’t wait to give this one a shot!

Harper + Ari Exfoliating Sugar Cubes in Juice Cleanse

Harper + Ari Exfoliating Sugar Cubes

The last item in my box — these exfoliating sugar cubes — are just another example of FabFitFun knowing exactly what I need. (See what I mean now? Out of seven products, four of them filled a direct need I’ve been having lately. I don’t know how they do it, but I’m impressed!). As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of exfoliating, however I just ran out of my Herbivore exfoliator and haven’t had the time to purchase a new one. These cubes are pretty cool — while I’ll admit I probably wouldn’t repurchase them myself, they’re small and make it easy to ensure you don’t overuse and waste product. They smell amazing and are packed full of ingredients to leave your skin moisturized. While I’m still pretty married to the Herbivore Amethyst exfoliator, this is certainly better than many other products I’ve tried and would definitely recommend it!

And that’s it for this season’s box! I love these boxes so much, not only do they introduce me to so many amazing products and brands, but they’re like a little gift to myself every three months. On top of all the amazing products they sent me, they come packed with all sorts of other little goodies such as gift cards, free boxes to send to your friends, and a magazine detailing all the products in your box! All in all, you get your money’s worth so many times over with these boxes as so many of these products are full-sized and quite expensive to purchase. I’m already beyond excited for next seasons box — my only complaint is that I have to wait three whole months to see it!

Happy fall, everyone!

Love,

Meredith

Update: Blog Things!

Hey friends!

For any of you who’ve been following me for a while, you may have noticed I’ve kept up a consistent blogging schedule of posting three times a week (crazy, I know!). When I first started this blog, I was SO excited to share every thought I had, completely unfiltered. Shortly after I started, I had a bit of a whirlwind two months of travelling and the content potential just kept coming — I felt like I couldn’t even keep up with how much I wanted to share.

However, since then, my life has slowed down in some ways and sped up in others. While my two months of jet-setting have come to a close, I have an insane month of completely upheaving my life ahead. Not only will I be moving into my brand new apartment, I’ll be searching for a career job and settling into my new downtown life — which is going to be a big change from living on campus for the last 5 years.

While, yes, I have been living on my own out in Vancouver since I was seventeen, there’s something about campus life and university that makes it all a little simpler than the real world. School schedules can be adjusted to your exact choosing, university campuses are set up with nearly everything you’d ever need, and all your friends live within blocks of you. It’s a time, I’ve found, that mistakes are meant to be made and learnt from. Not that this isn’t true for all stages of life (we never really stop learning, even when we leave educational institutions), but settling into “real world” adult life is certainly a little more serious and unforgiving than university is.

All that being said, I’m excited for it all — I cannot WAIT to move downtown and experience it. However, the adjustments I’m going to be making over the next month are going to be numerous. I have to deal with lots of exciting things — furnishing my apartment, finding new go-to’s for all my health, food and beauty needs, meeting potential roommates and more. However, there are countless more “serious” things I have to accomplish as well; I need to switch over my Ontario residency, find new doctors/optometrists/dentists etc, finally get my licence (yes, really), find myself a job …you get the point. It’s going to be a very hectic and transformative time for me.

Anyway, this is all just an incredibly long-winded way of letting you all know to avoid burn-out, I’m going to be limiting myself to two posts a week — My Tuesday Favourites, as well as a Sunday post of my choosing. I’m hoping this way, I can work on curating more quality content for you all, as well as making sure I don’t fall behind with posting content on schedule.

So, here’s to the next month! Fingers crossed I survive it all and make it out to October in one piece. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated, as well as sharing all my favourite beauty and skincare products and whatever posts each Sunday may hold. But for now, this is my last Thursday post.

Love you all, and thank you all so much for your support so far over the last few months! Every comment I receive from you guys means the world to me, I love knowing that my blogging is actually making an impact in people’s lives.

Stay tuned for this Sunday, when I share my latest Sephora haul with you guys!

Love y’all,

Meredith

10 Facts About Me

Hey everyone! Welcome to my blog.

I really had no idea where to start with this, so I figured as good a place as any was a quick introduction to who I am with some fun facts!

  1. I am currently 22 years old residing in Vancouver, Canada
  2. I have a degree in Psychology from UBC
  3. I am an alumna of the Kappa Kappa Gamma organization
  4. My hobbies/favourite things include exercising, travelling, makeup and skincare, as well as hanging out with my friends
  5. I’m a HUGE cat person. My parents have a Siberian Forest kitten named Dmitry and he might be the love of my life
  6. I’m originally from Toronto, Canada and I moved to Vancouver at 17
  7. Tea over coffee but I still love both
  8. I LOVE the outdoors, plants are a huge essential in my home decor
  9. I’m an aspiring Wedding Planner
  10. My absolute favourite beauty line is NARS (with Tarte being a close second), and my favourite skin care line really depends on the product but I’d have to say probably Naturopathica.

So that’s me! I’m hoping to use this blog to share stuff about skincare, makeup, design, fashion, lifestyle as well as my life and I’m super excited to start sharing with you all!

xoxo,

Meredith