Stress Not! 6 Self Care Treats to Help Improve Mental Health & Relax

Mental health is one of those things that gets thrown under the bus a little too often. Our country as a whole has a bit of an issue with mental health care and perception in my humble opinion, even though mental health is just another facet of health just like everything. Like health itself, self care for mental health is different for everyone. I’m going to share some of my favorite items that help me destress, but remember, as always, yours may be totally different, and that’s okay! The fun part about self care is that it can be tailored to each person for what they need.

That being said, for the most part, self care can be totally FREE. However, I do have some favorite things that help me to make my routine more effective and comfortable. After dealing with anxiety for the upwards of about 10 years now, I feel like I have my routine down to a near science. I would like to note that self care routines are important for everyone, even if you don’t experience any sort of mental health issues or long term anxiety. Everyone experiences stresses and hard times, and taking the time to take care of yourself is more important than you would think. Taking the time to take care can help you to be more productive, happier, and healthier! To me, thats more than worth it.

There are two different types of self care days that I have; ones out and about, and ones relaxing at home. Exercise is one thing that has been proven to help mental health and relieve stress, so that is one of my go to ways to boost my mood. However, a day in sometimes helps me just as much. I’ve divided up my favorites into two categories; on the go self care, and self care night in. I hope that some of these products can help you just as much as they’ve helped me!

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click the links and make a purchase, some money may be allocated to me in order to help keep my blog running and me writing. This is at no additional cost to you! I really appreciate the love and support! 

On the Go Self Care

Self care is important, even if you don’t have the time to take a day to complete it! You can always get some self care in on the go, on your lunch break, or when you have a free few minutes!

One thing that I find to be super important is exercise. If any of my family members stumble upon this post, they are probably dying at that statement, but since moving away, it has become so true. Exercise helps to boost up the good feeling chemicals in your body, without any sort of intervention. I don’t really enjoy going to the gym, but I do like to go for long walks around my campus and get some fresh air. One thing that is super important when getting in those steps is having some supportive shoes! My favorite pair are Nike trainers, similar to this pair. It helps keep my feet comfy so I can fit in more steps!

Also important when I go walking, is my Fitbit! It helps me to track my steps, heart rate, and sleep, and even sends me notifications when its been a while since I’ve last moved around. It helps to quantify my steps, so I can try to do around the same amount everyday. It’s suggested that you get around 10,000 steps per day, so its nice to have a definite number! You can also track your foods and water consumption within the app.
Water consumption is another thing that is pivotal to feeling good, and drinking more water is a great way to practice self care daily. I mentioned S’well bottles in my March Favorites but I had to mention them again here. S’well bottles are great for bringing your favorite drinks with you on the go!

Self Care Nights In

Somedays you just need a break! I love days where I have time to slow down and focus on myself and what I need.

While I don’t exactly buy that essential oils can cure all your ailments, I do enjoy diffusing them from time to time to make my space smell lovely and some smells can help me to wind down after a long day. This diffuser would be perfect for a smaller space like my tiny apartment or a bedroom! 

Oh man. These facemasks are some of my favorite I have ever found, but are also so cheap that you can get a bunch ahead of time! They smell lovely, are gentle on skin, and never fail to help me relax. I usually buy about 5 at a time, so I always have one on hand if I need one.

Last but not least is a good weighted blanket. While most do come with a hefty price tag, I would die without mine at this point. It helps me to sleep, relax, and just helps to deal with stress that I hold in my body. Mine has a super soft cover, which makes it all the more lovely!

I hope that some of these treats and tips can help you to relieve some extra stress you may have in your life, or just help you have a relaxing night in. They certainly are my favorites, and maybe they can become favorites of yours too!

Happy Sunday!

XOXO Em

March Favorites – What I’m Loving!

March has come and gone again, and it feels like this year is flying by. March was full of school, learning, and work for me, but the month was for sure not without some new favorites! Shopping is one of my favorite things to do and I love getting to try new items and products out just to see how they perform. I used to be very much only into beauty, but as of late, my interests have expanded, and I’m going to share some with you!

Note: This article contains affiliate links. What that means is that I may be reimbursed for any purchases made through my links. However, these are products that I own and love, and want to share with you! Any earnings help to keep my blog up and running. Thanks for the never-ending love and support!

Beauty Favorites

Beauty will always be something that is near and dear to my heart. After all, I started blogging with a tiny beauty blog about a year and a half ago! I love getting to try new products and March had so many good releases!

 

One thing I have been totally in love with are the Essie Gel Polishes! These polishes are so pretty, come in a million different shades and don’t require an LED light to cure! All you do is paint your nails, with the color of your choice, apply the top coat, and BAM! Fresh new mani! Once you have the starter kit with the top coat, you can purchase more colors separately for about $10 a pop. Not bad at all!

Another thing I have been loving is the Roller Lash Mascara by Benefit Cosmetics!My lashes are on the sad side, don’t curl whatsoever, and really are nonexistent. However, this mascara has been my favorite for helping my lashes pop a little more! One bottle has lasted me quite a while, so it helps to justify the price. Love!

My last beauty favorite for March are the Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow shadows! These are to DIE FOR if you’re into glitter shadows! I hate the mess that comes with applying glitters, but in these shadows, the mess is contained and the glitter is comfortable to wear. I hate the feeling of normal glitter on my eyes but this is weightless. Definitely will be getting more shades in the future!!

Lifestyle Favorites

I’ve also really fallen in love with some “lifestyle-esque” items! Now that I live on my own, it’s funny how my shopping patterns have shifted to be a little more practical. Definitely not ALWAYS practical, but sometimes!!

I do not leave the house without my S’well Insulated Bottle! It is the only bottle I have that can stand up to the amount of abuse that I subject my stuff to, without scratching, denting, or leaking! My bottle has tiny walruses and I love popping a straw in the top so I can sip while I write or work. Must have item!
HOME ESSENTIAL ALERT! I would likely starve to death if it wasn’t for my Crock Pot that my sister gifted me! Perfect for nights in, meal prep, and just about everything else, I have had so much fun trying recipes in my crock pot! It has definitely helped me to eat healthier, get in more veggies, and save tons of time!

My new backpack has made carrying my things to school and work so much easier on my back. Mine is a Vera Bradley Iconic Deluxe Campus Backpack and I love how spacious it is and that it has a space on the side to tuck my water bottle! My favorite thing about Vera backpacks is that I know that if they get a little dingy, I can always toss them in the wash to freshen them up! Cute for school, hiking, and day trips!

Fashion Favorites

Spring is here, which mean my wardrobe is about to evolve! I’m ready for warmer days, cute outfits, and the SUN! I feel like its been years since I’ve been outside without a giant jacket on, and I’m hoping that pleasant days are close ahead!

This Lace Edged Top is one of my favorites! Super cheap, soft, and perfect for casual days at work or just hanging around with friends. I’m looking forward to pairing it with some cropped jeans and flats and maybe a statement necklace. It comes in a ton of colors and sizes, perfect for everyone!

My new Birkenstocks are my go to shoe for spring! I love how many colors they come in, styles, and more! Mine will be worn all spring and summer long, and I purchased mine in a fun pink color! I love the pop of color with a more muted outfit. They are perfect for slipping on and running to the store, going for a walk or a day out!

This month discovered so many new and great products, and I’m so happy that I got to share them with you all. I want to make this a monthly sort of thing where I share my new favorites, and ask for new thing to try! I love discovering new brands and I would love to get to try out what you guys are loving!

As always, thanks for stopping by and showing your support for my tiny corner of the internet. Have a great week!

XOXO Em

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“It’s All In Your Head!” – Things Anxiety Sufferers Are Sick Of Hearing

It’s really, really likely that you know someone who has some sort of struggle with anxiety or a full fledged anxiety disorder. You would think that since anxiety is so common (literally everyone experiences it from time to time, just with some to a higher severity), that people may be a little more understanding, but sometimes, it can be hard to find sympathetic people. There are definitely moments where you want to look at people and just scream, because they just don’t get it. And thats fine! Not everyone is going to understand the struggle, and thats okay. However, here are some things that I am tired of hearing as an anxiety sufferer. Disclaimer: Everyone experiences anxious feelings on different levels and has different experiences. Yours may not be the same as mine and thats okay!

“It’s all in your head!”

Well.. no duh. Things that make us anxious vary from person to person, but if you’re like me, sometimes you don’t need much of a reason. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD for short), which makes me anxious for no no reason most days. So yes, it is all in my head, but that doesn’t make it any easier or less real. Everyday comes with its own challenges and little uncertainties, with some of those challenges being unseen.

“Can’t you just snap out of it? You’re being dramatic!”

This one sucks. I manage to keep my anxiety under wraps for the most part, but when it comes to the surface from time to time, all I want is a hug and some encouragement. I promise that I’m not trying to act like a baby or be annoying, but the physical responses that my body has to anxiety can be terrifying. Sometimes it can cause me to act on the strange side, but only in dire situations where I have no other escape. While it might seem dramatic or aloof to the outsider, it’s just an attempt to get to a safe place to calm down my physiological responses.

“You’re no fun! You never want to go out!”

Ah. This one. A true favorite.

I am wholeheartedly an introvert. I would rather spend the day snuggled up on the couch watching documentaries, eating snacks and with a glass of wine than going out to bars or partying. This might just be a personality trait, but it’s probably affected by my anxiety as well. Places like parties, bars, and other crowded places just add fuel to the fire, and I need rest with all that social interaction. It really wears on me. A couple hours where I have to work hard to keep my anxiety in check can leave me totally dead. Its like a mental marathon for me.

“Can’t you just get over it?”

I wish. Lord.

I’ve had anxiety and anxious feelings way back to when I was maybe 7 or 8. Things didn’t start to manifest more until I was around 11, but trust me, if it was something I could just “get over”, I would have done it ages ago. For me, I have a feeling that anxious feelings will likely be with me my entire life, but working towards better coping skills is always on the fore front for me. As I grow and my anxiety changes, I learn new ways to circumnavigate the issues and deal better. So in a way, this might be “getting over it”, but not quite. It’s my constant companion, just like any other chronic illness. I’m working hard everyday to learn how to thrive more!

“Oh my gosh, I’m having a panic attack over this exam!”

Oh boy. Somehow, this became a thing, and I hear it ALL THE TIME. “Panic attack” seems to be a synonym for freaking out or the like, and I hate it. I don’t have full fledged panic attacks frequently, but the ones I have had have been some of the most terrifying experiences of my life. If you haven’t experienced one ever, to put it into perspective, people sometimes will go to the ER when experiencing their first attack because they think they are having some sort of cardiac event. They’re absolutely no joke, and not your synonym for being nervous about a test or for “freaking out” over school. It’s a symptom and an illness, and not really much of a joke.

However.. here’s what you can do for your friends and family when they aren’t feeling their best.

I know, you’ve read through this and probably are like “Could you complain any more?!”, so I wanted to be sure that I included the things that my friends and family could do to alleviate the pressure that comes with daily anxiety.

  • Encourage me! The little pats on the shoulder and encouragements mean the world and I NEVER forget them. I log those little moments away for when it gets tough again in the future.
  • Hugs. Not during an attack (please no.) but after or the next day always are nice. I’m often really run down the day after a bigger attack, so a hug always makes things a little bit better.
  • Ask! If you have a friend who struggles with anxiety, ask them what you can do to help! Everyone is different, responds differently, and might have a suggestion for you that can help them in the future. Plus, understanding how someone else feels during those moments is just about priceless.

For more information about mental health and anxiety disorders, feel free to visit the National Institute of Mental Health’s website.

Awareness and education is key to better understanding of those around you. As always, feel free to reach out in the comments below if you have any questions regarding my experience or anything experiences to share of your own.

Much love, Emily

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