Fifteen Tips To Get Through Social Distancing

Photo by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production on Unsplash

Hey y’all!

I’m back from my hiatus and given the current situation and my newfound endless free time, I’m on a bit of a blogging kick. I’m sure, especially by the time of posting, I don’t really have to tell you all about the Social Distancing situation at hand — it’s probably a bit of old news by now, but personally I’m finding that the reality of it all is really starting to kick in.

I’m not going to get too deep into it all, as I’m sure you’ve all heard it already. All I’m going to say about the virus is that apart from this, I won’t be mentioning it — it’s a bit of a stressful topic for many people, and the whole point of this post is to generate helpful ideas and reduce your worry about the situation. However, the world is coming to a bit of a stand-still, and it can definitely be a difficult and anxiety-inducing situation. However, it’s important that we all do our parts, and for now that means limiting social contact and staying inside for the time being.

I’m not sure about you guys, but I’m barely into the first few days stuck in my apartment and I can feel myself starting to go a little stir-crazy. All I’ve wanted for the last few months was just the ability to take some time off and catch up on everything in my life, but as soon as it was actually mandated I became a little overwhelmed with anxiety and at first I couldn’t put my finger on why. I’ve come to realize that just because we’re supposed to stay home all day (which really would have sounded so enjoyable back in 2019), doesn’t mean that I, personally, can just kind of ride the wave of it all and just do whatever, whenever. If you’re feeling the same way, I’ve compiled some helpful tips to help you get through this period as easily as possible!

  1. Stick to a routine. It’s so easy just to think of this time as a “mini-vacation” and just wake up and go to sleep whenever your body feels like it. However, I personally found that doing this caused my life to crash pretty quickly into just having no real sleep schedule at all, which was pretty detrimental to my ability to function and my overall mental health. Take a few days to catch up on sleep if you need to, but after that stick to an 8-hour sleep schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. It’ll help you keep on track later on once we’ve been at the whole distancing thing for a while. Plus, if you’re someone who struggles with this normally, hopefully you’ll be so used to it by the time this is over that you’ll stick with it in the long run! This also goes for eating meals at a regular time — it’ll help you not lose all sense of time if you’re keeping your days as routine as possible.
  2. Get some fresh air. Make sure you open your windows at least once a day and let the air in your home circulate. Not only will it help move around stagnant air and keep your place from feeling a little gross, but the fresh air will help you feel more alert and a little less claustrophobic during long days inside.
  3. Catch up on everything you need to get done. While it can be easy to view social distancing as an annoyance, it really can be a precious resource for getting on top of your sh*t. Don’t delay it — start now! We have no idea how long this will last, really, but it’ll feel amazing if you come out on the other side completely on top of all your tasks that you’ve been putting off for a while. I’m sure just a few weeks ago you were thinking about how you wished you had some time off to help you get on top of things — so take advantage! This can mean anything, from getting ahead on blog posts, to catching up on schoolwork and work tasks, to home repairs or decorating or anything else you’ve been putting off lately.
  4. Get moving. Even if you don’t exercise regularly, you probably don’t even realize how much movement you’re missing out on right now. Walking to get around isn’t something you’re probably doing for the time being, and if you live in an apartment like I do, there’s not even much space for moving around inside. A whole lot of companies such as Lululemon (as well as many of your local fitness spots) are holding online Instagram live work out sessions that you can partake in from the comfort of your home. It’s easy to fall into the routine of just sitting on the couch or lying in bed, but keeping active will help improve your physical and mental wellbeing, and will help keep your spirits up.
  5. Pick up an old hobby. I’m honestly someone who can binge-watch Netflix for ridiculous periods of time — name any TV show on their site, and I’ve probably seen it. Given the situation, I’ve gotten back into visual art — I was an art student in high school, and I spent just about all my time filling up my sketchbooks. However, with how hectic university was I ended up rarely having time. (Also, I can’t lie, the pressure of having to complete art on a deadline for a grade in first year along with all the other classes I had to complete kind of sucked the fun out of it for me — but that’s kind of just how I am, I can’t turn hobbies into work). I’ve tried a few times to get back into it over the years, but I finally have the time to put real effort into it and I had honestly forgotten how much I loved it. It really helps the time pass when you’re actively doing stuff!
  6. Take time for self-care. I always try to stress how self-care isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. However, time and time again I hear about how people don’t have the time, and don’t realize how important it is to reduce stress levels and take care of your mental well-being. For the foreseeable future, you have all kinds of time to practice self-care. If it’s something you’re not used to, you have plenty of time to experiment and find out what works best for you. Self-care can (and should!) be both practical and enjoyable, so if taking baths or self-indulging isn’t really something you’re interested in, there’s still plenty of other options. Hopefully, if you make a point of it, you’ll get into the habit of taking around half an hour to an hour a day (or a week) to yourself and will be able to add it into your routine going forward. If you need some ideas, you can check out my post on Fall Self-Care Ideas (and don’t worry, I’ll be coming out with a spring edition soon!).
  7. Keep up your hygiene. This one kind of falls into the category of keeping up a routine. Especially if you live alone, it can be easy to fall into the mindset that it’s okay to kind of let things such as showering, brushing your teeth or washing your face slide when you don’t have to go out into the world. However, you should aim to keep your life as normal as possible — it’ll help you FEEL as normal as possible, even though this is a very strange time.
  8. Spring clean. Now is the perfect time to totally Marie-Kondo your life. I’m going to be posting a spring cleaning guide sometime soon, but for right now, just take this time to tidy, organize, clean and sort through your belongings. Regardless of the benefits a good spring-clean can have, just making sure your space is tidy will make it a lot more livable.
  9. Meditate. Maybe it’s just me, but the idea of being unable to leave my house and having no work or class has sent my anxiety through the roof. Why? I have no idea. Just a few weeks ago the idea of time off would have been heaven, but I guess it’s probably to do with feeling like there’s stuff I’m supposed to be doing and being inside by necessity rather than by choice. I know it sounds a little corny, but meditating has helped to mitigate my anxiety in the past — so I’m trying to make a point to practice it at least once a day. Even if you’re not sure how you feel about meditating or don’t see how it would be beneficial, there’s no harm in giving it a chance!
  10. Generate some Insta content. I mean, why not? If you have time to spare, try out that make up look you’ve been meaning to master or throw on some cute spring clothes you want to show off and take some photos of it! I know for bloggers Instagram is a hugely beneficial platform, but I personally find I never have time to create content to post. Personally, I’m going to take this time to stock up!
  11. Limit how often you check the news. Shout out to my roommate, Beth, for giving me this idea. This one is especially important if you’re already feeling nervous about the situation going on, but it’s a good practice anyway. If you’re stuck inside and feeling bored, it’s tempting to check up on hourly updates about what’s going on in the world. While it’s important to stay updated, consuming every piece of news constantly does a lot more harm than good. At the best, it harms your productivity — and at the worst, just fuels your anxieties (which may about news in parts of the world that don’t really effect you). It’s important to stay educated, but you can accomplish this by checking the news just a few times, if only once a day.
  12. FaceTime family and friends regularly. Social contact is important, especially during such isolating times. Texting is great and all, but the best way to feel connected and socially fulfilled is with FaceTime or a good old-fashioned phone call.
  13. Learn a new skill. Back over the summer when I had more free time, I used Duolingo to help me learn Japanese. I lost track of it as things in my life picked up between work and school, but now’s the perfect tome to pick back up where I left off! Who knows, maybe I’ll have a whole new language under my belt by the time this all blows over. It doesn’t have to be a language — maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a new musical instrument, or paint, or sport, or whatever it is you’re feeling.
  14. Take a day off. Again — why not? Don’t feel any pressure to spend every second of this time being productive — not only is that not what life should be about normally, but especially right now. There’s still value to spending time doing nothing. The beauty of productivity in this time is that you can complete tasks stress-free, and it helps you keep your life on track. But apart from whatever your current life demands are (such as homeschooling or #WFH), it isn’t a requirement. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for just taking some time to chill — whether it’s Netflix, scrolling through Insta, or just lying in bed — who cares!
  15. Do whatever makes you stay positive. These are really weird times for all of us. Just try your best to relax and make sure to take care of your mental health — whatever that means for you is whatever you should be doing right now.

I hope you guys are all doing well out there! I know it’s weird and difficult, but do your best to stay inside and minimize contact with others. The more we stick to it now, the sooner this will all blow over and we can all return to our normal lives. Just keep in mind that this “social distancing” isn’t about you — even if you’re absolutely certain you’re going to be fine, it’s about those who may not be. Please try to keep them in mind during this difficult time.

Be sure to stay tuned tomorrow for my all-time favourite post of the season — my FabFitFun Unboxing! I’m already loving my spring box so much, and I can’t wait to share it with you guys! And in the meantime, stay safe, stay indoors and feel free to hit me up for Netflix recommendations (I have plenty!).

Much love,

Meredith

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

How To: Look Your Best Every Day!

Hey y’all!

As someone who previously spent many years actively being the definition of a “hot mess” I spent years in University going out in public looking pretty rough, which always made me feel super self-conscious. You know those people who go out looking “terrible” but still look pretty decent? Yeah, that’s not me. Without hair and makeup, I honestly look like a seventeen year old who hasn’t had a proper night’s sleep in months. I would stress about running into people I knew, who often wouldn’t recognize me because I looked THAT BAD.

However, over the years I’ve come up with a couple basics to make sure I at least look a little put together every time I leave the house. These may not all apply to you, but hopefully if you’re struggling to go out feeling good about how you look, some of these tricks will help!

Step One: Remember You Don’t Have To Look Perfect Everyday

Honestly, this one was a huge learning curve for me. I either went out with a perfect outfit and full-face of makeup or bare-faced and gross — there was no middle ground. If you’re busy and don’t have time to spend hours getting ready in the morning (or just value your beauty sleep!), remember you don’t have to go all-out every day. It’s going to help you look better AND feel better, trust me.

Step Two: Take Steps To Enhance Your Morning Routine

This one is a bit more of an undertaking, and something I’m just starting on myself. However, it helps SO MUCH to help you get ready and look great everyday. I’m taking about anything that’s semi-permanent, that’ll take steps out of your morning routine. Whatever this may be is completely your choice. Some possibilities are getting your eyebrows done (ex. tinting or microblading), lashes done (lifting or extensions), and hair done (perm or straightening). These treatments may seem expensive up front, but the money and time they’ll save you every day much outweighs the cost. Plus, if you ever have to roll right out of bed and go, you’ll be already looking great!

Step Three: Hygiene, Hygiene, Hygiene!

This is the most important step, IMO. Making sure you’ve showered daily and have clean hair will make you look waaaaay more put together than all the other steps combined. (Obviously you don’t have to wash your hair every day, but make sure you keep up with having it clean all the time. Personally I wash my hair every other day but you know your hair best!). Now, I know this can be daunting for those of us who are busy, or those of us who suffer from depression — I’ve been there so I know. But if you’re going to do one thing before you leave the house, let it be this. You’ll feel 110% better knowing that you’re clean and fresh.

Step Four: Create A Basic Makeup Routine

As much as I’d love to have the time to put on a full face every day, I really don’t. Depending how much time I have to get ready on any given day, I have different makeup routines that require more or less time decided by what I have available. The best way to determine these routines is to take the time to find what features, makeup, and looks are most important to you and what you wish to focus on. For so long I felt the need to do a whole routine every time I did makeup with foundation and everything — which didn’t necessarily focus on the features I feel I need to define most, but rather just a watered-down version of my full routine.

Now I have different routines for every situation. For myself, I have VERY light brows and lashes, but my skin is overall pretty nice and my other features (besides my eyes) are generally pretty well-defined. If I’m REALLY pressed for time, I just go for liner, mascara and brow gel. If I have a bit more time, I take my Glossier concealer, skin tint, cloud paint blush, lidstar and highlighter and add those in as well. If I have a normal amount of time, I do my regular routine, and for special occasions I’ll do a full-face look, lashes and eyeshadow and all. As much as I’d love to have time to do a full-face every day, I really don’t have that much time often — but I do have a solid plan for no matter how much time I have available.

Step Five: Have A Go-To Hair Do

This is one I’m still getting the hang of, honestly. If you’ve followed the other steps above, you’ll already be ahead of the game here; as long as you’re hair is clean (and ESPECIALLY if you have some kind of permanent treatment) you’re already good to go. If not, try to put whatever effort in it takes to get your hair to look nice — hair makes up such a large proportion of our overall appearance that sometimes (especially if you’re like me, and can’t do hair to save your life) it can be easy to forget how big an impact it can have. For myself, if my hair is looking a little less-than-wonderful on a certain day, I’ll quickly straighten it before I leave. Whatever your basic hairstyle is is up to you — but try to pick something quick and easy that looks polished enough to work for every day!

Step Six: Keep Your Outfits Simple

There’s really only three basic steps that I find crucial for putting together cute and put-together outfits on the fly. Firstly, if you can, try to plan your outfits out the night before! Yes, okay, I know this kind of contradicts the whole “on the fly” concept, but we all know that panic when you’re on your fifth outfit that just doesn’t seem to be working and time is running out. Eliminate this stress entirely by picking out an outfit the night before, and throwing it on before you leave the house! It’s SO much easier in the long run.

The second step is to avoid leggings if you want to look put together. Yes, there are some LITERAL goddesses out there who can make leggings look amazing. But if you’re like me, and not one of them — try to at least throw on a pair of jeans or pants. It takes just as long to do, and if you’re worried about it being “less comfortable”, try to find a pair that are just as cozy as any leggings ever could be! The jeans I’m wearing in the picture above i just recently purchased from Topshop, and they’re SO comfy I’ve literally slept in them once. (No judgement please — I get really tired after work!). Anyways, the point is if you need to be comfy, there’s pants out there for you that look a little more presentable than leggings! I love leggings as much as the next girl, but I’ve been trying to cut them out of my day-to-day wardrobe lately and feel 100% more put-together when I leave the house.

The final step is, if you’re crunched for time, stick to basic colours (or better yet — no colours at all!). Black, white and grey all mix and match so easily that’s it’s easiest to throw them on and not even worry about it. Plus, keeping an outfit simple can help make it look a little classier — colours and patterns can look fantastic sometimes; but generally take more effort, thought and planning to make them look spectacular. If you still want to wear colours some days, know which colours always look best on you in advance. This way, you won’t have to worry about throwing something on and having it look a little off. For me, I tend to stick to olive green or light blue, and I choose one or the other depending on the outfit. However, you know what colours suit you best! But just remember, when in doubt — keep it simple. It’s so much less stress anyway!

Step Seven: Accessorize!

Fall is the best time for looking fashionable on the fly because it is SO EASY to make any outfit cute just by having a cute jacket, purse and pair of shoes. All you need is one of each and you’re good to go for absolutely every day for the next few months. If you’re on a budget, one jacket, pair of shoes, good jeans and a cute bag is really all you need for the season — just make sure they all match! My go to is my black leather jacket, black heeled booties and a black bag. This final step really pulls your outfit together and makes you look put together every day if you do it right. For cheap options, check out Fashion Nova, Instagram shops or hit up Forever 21’s liquidation sale!

Step Eight: Keep Your Nails Cute And Maintained

The final step in keeping yourself put-together, cute and ready to take on the world every day is cute nails! As someone who gets acrylics religiously, having to take them off and give my nails a breather is always so sad for me — I literally sit around counting the days until my nails grow out and I can get a fresh set! If you’re not one for long acrylics, anything that makes you feel like your nails look nice will do — whether it be gel polish, regular nail polish or even nothing at all! Just ensuring your nails look clean, healthy, smooth and taken care of will ensure you’re looking and feeling your best.

And there you have it! Eight simple steps to ensure you’re looking and feeling your best before you leave the house every day. If this is something you’re already in the habit of — you’re already ahead of the curve, you go girl! If not, it may all sound kind of daunting, but once you get into the habit of these steps, it gets a whole lot easier.

Just remember these are not hard and fast rules, they’re just what I’ve found are the 8 foundations for myself. My list may be missing a step that you consider crucial, or you may completely disagree with one or more of the points I’ve made, and that’s okay! But if you’ve been feeling like you want to make sure you look presentable every day, and feel you’re missing something (or don’t know where to start), I hope this list helps! Remember we are all works in progress, I don’t have all these steps down and it will take a while to make them a routine.

I hope you guys are all gearing up to have a fantastic week, go out there and accomplish whatever goals you have for the week and overcome any obstacles that lie in your path. And for my fellow Canadians, happy Thanksgiving! If you’re lucky enough to have a long weekend, hope you enjoy your extra day off! Spend it well — whether that’s with family, with friends, or just taking a self-care day to yourself!

Xox,

Meredith

How To Cope With Feeling Overwhelmed

Hey y’all! Happy Sunday!

This week’s posts has to do with a topic that currently has a lot of relevance to my life. This last month, as many of you may have noticed, has been incredibly overwhelming for me. Just one month ago, I began the process of moving into my new apartment — which has been incredibly challenging in itself, because although I’ve been living in Vancouver for five years now, I essentially had to start from scratch. Four months prior, I sold all my furniture and therefore moved into my place without even a bed frame or a mattress. On top of that, I legitimately had to move all my belonging via buses and cabs as I don’t have a drivers licence (and for my fellow Vancouverites, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how painful relying on cabs for absolutely anything is — yet alone moving across town).

However, that was just the beginning of my crazy month. Around the same time, I began a new job as a hostess at a bar — right in time for their “busy season”. As such, my job has been incredibly time consuming and exhausting — I do love the environment and my coworkers, however I also work on my feet in a busy, high-stress environment 6 out of 7 days of the week, leaving me with little energy to complete other tasks when I arrive home.

On top of that, I actually have one more class I’m taking currently — Biopsychology — as well as trying to maintain my blogging schedule, errands and appointments, and of course, a social life.

For a while my stress consumed me entirely — I was hardly able to function. However, I took a step back, reevaluated, and have since began to manage my life a little better. My hope is to be able to share what I’ve learned with you, so that if you’re feeling a little in over your head with life right now, this advice just may help you stay afloat.

Take One Night Off Per Week

Self care is important. If you’ve been following me since I started my blog, you KNOW how big of an advocate I am for taking time off for yourself. If you have a busy schedule, taking a whole day or weekend to spend on yourself may be unrealistic. However, I truly believe everyone should learn to prioritize one night to yourself. Not only does taking a self-care night help you destress and put your upcoming week in perspective, but it helps to refresh you in the way that a night of going out, socializing, or procrastinating never could.

The key here is that you’ll have to learn to manage your time to do this — but trust me, it is WAY more important in the long run to have time to yourself. If you feel like you spend all your time procrastinating on your work and don’t have time, take the self-care night first. Trust me — you’ll have time to do your work after (and you’ll get it done in a much more efficient manner!). I’ve met so many people who claim they don’t have time to take a night to themselves, but really — you do. No matter what, you can always find a few hours to yourself. If it really seems too daunting, just try half an hour a night! It’s still beneficial to feeling refreshed in the long run.

When you take your night off, make sure to clean and tidy up first — maybe it’s just me, but mess gives me anxiety, so I can’t fully relax in an untidy space. Clean up, light a candle, make a tea or drink of your choice and choose a relaxing activity to spend your night on. You’ll feel so much better the next day, trust me.

Make Time To Socialize, But Control Your FOMO

This one was a big learning curve for me. Back when I was in University full time, it felt like I could always make time to socialize — I never once missed a major event for anything. However, especially with work, I’ve had to learn to be okay with missing social events. It doesn’t do you any good to stress about missing out — there will always be another social event. That being said, you should try to make time to see friends a few times a week — it doesn’t have to be anything big! I often grab dinner with my coworkers during my break, and I try to see my friends from University at least once a week.

However, you shouldn’t prioritize your social life over your real life. It can be daunting to learn, and it can make you feel like you’re missing out on events or being left out. If you don’t have time in the week to complete all your tasks, such as work, school, or basic tasks such as showering/cleaning/eating/etc., it may be time to admit you prioritize your social life a little too much. Take a step back and remember your friends aren’t going to forget about you if you can’t attend every party! There’s always going to be another one, so if attending is a detriment to keeping your real life maintained, it may be best to skip out for once.

Learn Prioritizing Over Time Management

Okay, I know prioritizing and time management may kind of sound like the same thing, but hear me out! For those of you who are already fantastic at time management, you may have already gotten this one down. But if you don’t, and feel like you have more going on if your life than you have to fit into your schedule, learn to prioritize the important things first.

For me, my top priorities are school and my job. After that comes keeping a clean room and regular schedule (which I’ll be discussing next!). Unfortunately, next comes blogging — while I wish I could make it more of a priority, making sure I complete my class and show up on time for work are more important. Next is scheduling appointments — personally, I know getting my eyes checked and attaining my drivers licence is more important, unfortunately, than my current dire need for a hair cut. Next comes other things, such as seeing friends and decorating my apartment, for example.

Everyone has their own priorities, but I’ve learned to accept that while I may have to wait a few weeks to have time available to get my eyes tested or buy furniture, I will get there eventually (and I can get by in the meantime). Time management, for me, has become more than just scheduling my daily activities — it’s learning what has to be done RIGHT NOW, versus this week, versus sometime this month or even year. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it could be a good practice to try this out — it can help you from feeling in over your head with all your responsibilities.

Keep A Clean Room And Regular Schedule

Part of feeling overwhelmed may be your environment or lifestyle. For me, my life feels 100% less complicated when I have a clean room, am showered and put together, and have had 8 hours of sleep the night before. With my job’s unusual and ever-changing hours, it’s not always possible to plan out going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. But I’m always sure to get at least 7 hours, shower before I leave, and not let my personal space get too messy.

So many people love to brag about how they were up until 5 am last night completing tasks, and are running on a mere 3 hours of sleep — but that’s super unhealthy and deep down we all know it. Plus honestly, it’s often unnecessary to live life that way. If you can just maintain these three basic things, it will help you feel like you have your life under control.

I’ve discovered maintaining sleep and my space has had a huge impact on my overall health as well — a few years back, I was the QUEEN of all-nighters and pulling off tasks at the last possible minute. However, I spent years feeling crappy and tired and my immune system was almost non-existent — seriously, it felt like I was always sick. In the last two months, even with how crazy busy I’ve been, I’ve yet to stay up late completing tasks and have managed to look at least a little put together whenever I leave my house. So far, I’ve managed to avoid getting sick — fingers crossed I keep it up!

Take A Breather

Sometimes you need to stop, take a minute, and realize that everything is going to be okay. It may feel like everything happening now is the end of the world (over the last few years, I’ve dealt with this feeling more times that I could ever count). However, no matter what you have going on right now, you will survive this. Plus, probably won’t even remember it in a month’s time. As long as you keep moving forward, everything is going to be okay.

The only thing that can hurt you, really, is not moving forward with your tasks. Odds are, you’ll push through whatever’s ahead just fine. But, let’s say you don’t. You fail a test, maybe, or crazy, worst-case scenario — you get fired. It’s going to be okay. It happens to so many people who are able to move on to great things afterwards. Just keep moving forward, remember that whatever’s happening probably isn’t as life-ending as it feels in this moment, and everything will be fine eventually.

And that’s my advice to you all this week! Maybe this doesn’t work for everyone, but personally, I’ve found it all to be life-changing. Two weeks ago, I couldn’t cope with everything I had going on — but now I feel like my life is back on track. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up with blogging a little better, too — I’ve had so many many things recently I’ve been dying to share with you all! So stay tuned for a couple of super-delayed posts in the next few weeks, and remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed — just take a step back and reevaluate. It’s going to be okay.

If you have any advice relating to this topic, feel free to share! I’m still learning myself and would love to hear it.

Stay tuned this Tuesday for my upcoming Favourites post — for real, this week! I promise!

Lots of love, and take care of yourself this week!

Meredith

Self Care Tips: Part One

Hey friends!

So to start off, anyone who knows me in real life knows I am a huge advocate of self-care. In this day and age, with burnout becoming increasingly common in the population, taking some time out of your day just for yourself and to relax is super important. While so many people I know claim they don’t have daily time to take for themselves, I find that if you really try, you can always make time. Whether it means finding ways to free up your schedule a bit or maximizing your efficiency throughout the day to leave more spare time for yourself, taking a bit of time every day is important to maintaining good mental health.

Mental health is important, something we all have, and not the same as mental illness. I find this distinction to be super important, as someone who has struggled with mental illness my whole life, as nowadays people advocate a lot for mental health but do not often do the same for mental illness. Often times, people lump the two together while they are really two separate concepts. Everyone has to maintain good mental health; stress is one of the most detrimental things to your health. I won’t get too deeply into it right now, but stress is truly a silent killer. Daily stress can lead to many health issues, both in the short term and in the long run. This is why I find daily self care so important — anything you can do to reduce your daily stress levels, even if just a little, is hugely beneficial for your overall health. The distinction here is not everyone struggles with mental illness, even though it is highly prevalent in the modern day population. However, many people who do not cope with mental illness don’t really seem to see the point in taking care of their mental health, which is something I have seen take a toll on so, so many of my peers. So I’d figure I’d share a little list of some of my favourite self care practices! Some of these are daily activities, while some of them are just things to improve the quality of your day to day life.

I know you’ve probably heard plenty of these before, but if you guys like this list I’ll keep publishing more and hopefully you can all find new techniques that work for you!

  1. Invest in a diffuser. You don’t need an expensive one, you can find them fairly cheap on sites like amazon. They help keep your room smelling nice and fresh and also improve the air quality in your room!
  2. Watch an episode of your favourite TV show. You don’t have to do a whole binge, just taking half an hour for an episode is a great way to take a break.
  3. Go for a walk! Just getting some outside air, exercise, and taking some time away from life’s stresses actually does wonders for your mental health.
  4. Buy some plants! It’s been shown that having plants inside helps lower feelings of depression, as well as improve the air quality of your home. Personally, I love succulents as well as medium sized leafy plants, and always keep a couple of fresh flowers in my room.
  5. Shut off all social media for an hour before bed. Yeah, this one is hard and many people may deny that social media effects your mental health. But think of it this way — so much is always going on with social media, and the constant notifications get hectic. Isn’t it nice before bed to just be able to calm down, relax, and not be distracted while you take some time to read, draw, watch TV, listen to music, etc? The amount of things you can do in this hour are endless.
  6. Pick up an old hobby! I feel the older we get the less hobbies we have. Take some time to do something you love that you haven’t had time for in a while.
  7. Use a face mask! I mean, if you’re into skin care you’re probably doing this anyway, but it’s also a great way to relax and feel refreshed.
  8. Invest in something nice for yourself! In particular, maybe a cute new outfit, makeup product you’ve been dying to try, nice decor for your room or a nice candle. Any of these things can help as a little pick me up. Personally, I’m gonna use this one soon and invest in a good candle. I love Bath and Body Works as much as the next gal, but their candles are actually kinda pricey and for the same amount you can get a nice soy candle with a nice, relaxing scent.
  9. Go on a date with yourself! It can be weird at first, but hanging out by yourself at a cute cafe, at the beach or wherever works best for you can be a great way to relax mid-day and take some time for yourself.
  10. Take a really long shower. I don’t even think I have to explain this one, but nothing really feels better than taking a nice, warm shower before bed and going to bed feeling clean and relaxed (bonus points if you’ve just washed your sheets).

Anyways, I hope everyone can find something on this list that’s new and works well for them! If you guys like these tips I’ll compile another list in the future. Make sure to take care of yourselves, it’s a crazy world out there.

Love you all,

Meredith