It’s been a while since I’ve written on my blog, and a part of me hates that. I had every intention to keep on writing when my daughter entered the world, but my priorities have drastically switched.

I’m finding it hard these days to take those moments for myself and continue with my passion for writing. I’ve been stretching myself thin by working two jobs and trying to get a piece together for the CBC Literary Contest. Most days, I only have three hours to spend with my daughter, so I try to compound everything between 7 AM and 4 PM. Which also includes cleaning, on top of everything else!

Why am I doing this?

Well, the thing is, my love & passion for writing is still in its infancy stage, so I know that I need to keep my primary source of income AND my side hustle intact until I can branch off. I’d LOVE for my writing to be my main hustle, but I’m also a realist, and I’m trying to do everything that I possibly can to get to that goal. That, unfortunately, means stretching myself thin at present.

Most of you ask if my husband helps, and he does. We are great partners and try to split everything 50/50, but I want to be 100% some days. When he is back at work in the next few weeks, everything will fall on me. I knew this day would come, and I’ve tried to prepare for it as much as I could. Working two jobs isn’t ideal, but I need to get to where I want to be.

How is this affecting my anxiety?

It’s been tough to navigate, but I know that I have the necessary tools and support to follow through. Since my last post, I mentioned how much of a struggle it’s been. I think it’s been like this for all of us. I’m taking it day by day and trying my hardest not to stress overly (…I said trying!)

Will I continue to do this? Probably!
As much as I preach on self-care, I have tunnel vision at the moment. I’m trying to secure my family’s future, and this is the only way I know how. The Home Edit isn’t hiring any Canadian Organizers, so… 😉

In all seriousness, I’m not overly worried about my mental health. Stretching myself thin is one thing, but I would never intentionally damage my well being. Thank you all for the continuous support, and hopefully, I can come back next month with some great news!

If you are reading this article, it can mean one of two things: you’re either planning your wedding and need some advice or, your friend is, and you’re wondering how in the hell she’s surviving everything!

Anxiety is the most common mental illness in Canada – you’re not alone. Fear, stress, and nerves are normal feelings and experiences for us. It can creep up on you at any moment and interfere with your daily activities either at work or home. Planning a wedding is hard enough and can almost seem daunting if you struggle with anxiety.

Your anxiety won’t go away during your wedding planning. There are, however, some tips and tricks to help you throughout the process!

  • Get Organized
    Planning a wedding is a challenging task, and you’ll need to get yourself organized. If you’re like me and cannot afford the splurge on a wedding planner try out these simple things:
    a) Sign up for The Knot
    This website is FULL of fantastic articles and pictures. What sold me immediately on this site was their “To-Do List” which they categorize by month for you, so you don’t feel so overwhelmed
    b) Create a Pinterest board
    One of the fun things to do while planning a wedding is to get inspired. Sometimes with an anxious mind like myself, I find it hard to get creative. Browsing through an endless amount of photos can spark some fire!
  • Figure out your Budget
    Oh boy. the tough topic! Talking to the parents/guardians on how they can support you financially! It’s tough to overcome confrontations, but this chat needs to happen. If they cannot offer you any money, do NOT agonize. Paying for your wedding can be nothing but rewarding – your way, your say! Not to mention with all the DIY projects online you can cut costs very drastically.
  • Not everything will be perfect
    As much as you want the day to pass by without a problem, it likely won’t happen. This is OK
    You’re surrounded by so much love and affection that you most likely won’t even realize if anything wrong happens. In my case, I gave my maid of honor the “Day Of Duty,” meaning that whatever happens the day of, they go to her directly. I grew up as a perfectionist, so it was hard to delegate this responsibility. You need to realize that this is your day and you need to enjoy it!

  • Ask for help
    This relates back to what I was saying beforehand – Let’s say this out loud: Asking for help is not a sign of failure.
    Once your to-do list gets created, you’ll realize it’s hard for one person to do all the tasks oneself. Not only will you have your fiancée and immediate family close to you but you did ask some of your best friends whom you trust to be your bridesmaids, they should be the first people you ask! This is what they’re here for; Try to delegate tasks to their skills. Example: My friend Alana is a very creative person, so I asked her to help me design my centerpieces.
  • Don’t forget to make time for yourself
    This is the tough one, planning a wedding is almost like taking on a second job to some people. You need to make sure you don’t cross the lines of personal and job stress. Something that helped me get through the motions was making sure that I took out 15 minutes of my time to stretch. I also caved in and shelled out some extra cash for a half hour massage (YES PLEASE). You’ll realize that once you make time for yourself and clear your head a little, you’ll be more energized and less anxious to dive back into the planning.

This should be an exciting time for everyone involved but don’t forget to keep an eye on your anxiety. If you are feeling overwhelmed it will be best for everyone for you to take a breather instead of worrying about that pesky caterer.

Toxic relationships have always hit close to home for me. I grew up in a loving household, but once my adoptive mother passed away, the tune changed. For the eight years that followed afterward, I noticed my old self-starting to fade away; I was becoming a shell of a person that I once knew. I decided to take action and leave that atmosphere once I was of age. However, I felt lost. Instead of figuring out how to love myself again I jumped into a serious relationship thinking that would solve the problem.

It was a whirlwind of infatuation, and I was drunk. When the honeymoon stage started to fade, the toxicity started to creep up. I kept telling myself that no relationship is perfect, but the fighting and masking kept happening. Everyone who shared moments in our lives was none the wiser; this mostly happened between closed doors. My partner manipulated me into thinking that I was unhinged and I started to question my sanity. I was the one who was getting hurt yet he made me believe it was my fault.

I was there for him; I supported him. I was good to him.

When he brought up the conversation of parting ways (third time in over five years), I accepted. I felt drained, and I couldn’t keep apologizing for moments that were not my fault.
If this sounds familiar to you, I want you to take a step back. Are you making this person a priority when you’re not one? I didn’t realize how toxic our relationship was until after the fact.

I became depressed. I stopped eating. I didn’t know who I was anymore.

After a couple of weeks of wallowing, I knew that I had to do something about it – I couldn’t rely on someone else for my happiness. The only issue was how was I going to learn to love myself after being berated for so long?

  • Surround yourself with Love
    Support systems are different across all boards but make sure that you engage with those who are there for you in good or bad times. I surrounded myself with my closest friends whom I’m happy to call family. They kept offering their support and reminded me that things would be OK. I started to listen to them more even though I didn’t believe them at the time. I know they had my best interest at heart
  • Keep Busy
    I found that staying home under a blanket wasn’t doing me any good, so I decided to work extra hours at my retail position, and I stayed back from several classes to engage with other students. I didn’t want to do this, but I forced myself too. I was still exhausted from everything that happened, but I pushed through. (I got a promotion at work shortly afterward!)
  • Be Positive
    Yeah, OK Andrea easier said than done.
    TRUST ME, I KNOW. I’ve always struggled with being a positive person since negativity always surrounded me. It’s so easy to feel that you will never find love in yourself or others but you need to know that this is not true. Create a mantra for yourself: “Everything will be OK – You are where you need to be” I know it sounds corny but saying it to yourself every day does help.
  • Make ‘me’ time
    I’m not saying to be positive all the time here, that’s not possible. You will cry, you will hurt – and that’s NORMAL. We’re all human, and there’s no shame in having low points. If you need to stay home, eat a pint of ice cream while watching Grey’s Anatomy – DO IT. I cannot stress this enough. Making time for yourself is a major part of healing!
  • Define your self-love
    Everyone’s definition of self-love is different; mine is to be comfortable in my skin & not apologize for my personality. Yours will most likely be different, and that’s OK because it’s for yourself. You need to understand what works and what doesn’t so you can stand up for what you believe. A great way to start this process is by making a list: What are your best attributes?

Happy with yourself
None of this will work if you continue to hold onto the past. Don’t feel like you can jump into this, either. I’m still navigating on my route of self-love, but I can thank my change in atmosphere. Leaving all of that behind really did make my transition to being happier easier.

If you’re unsure about toxicity – please read my post “It’s not you; it’s them” 

For the longest time, people mention that I take things too personally or that I’m too sensitive. Hearing it for years and from different groups of people, I started to look in on myself and ask: is there something more to this?

Last year I decided to research this aspect of my personality as I started to believe that there was more to me just being “emotionally sensitive.”
On top of being emotional, I know I get easily overstimulated by
a) Noises (One Example: When my husband sharpens the knives I cannot be in the same room)
b) Lights (One Example: Some concerts I have to lower my head to withdraw from the strobes)
c) Smells (One Example: Old Spice triggers me)
d) People (One Example: Feeling others emotions all too well)

All signs were leading to me being a “Highly Sensitive Person” (HSP for short). I couldn’t believe it! When I was a kid all of my peers called me “shy” or “quiet,” but I was mislabeled. Since I was highly sensitive, I often felt overwhelmed in most aspects of my life that would make me clam up and withdraw from others. Especially when people subject emotions around me on a daily basis. Through being highly sensitive, I’m more susceptible to anxiety through this absorption.

MIND. BLOWN.

It also affects the way that I think, since I have a more creative and active imagination, it can become more challenging to remain calm or convince myself there’s nothing to worry about since I deep dive into negative ‘fantasies.’ It usually feels like there is nothing that I can do to lessen the intensity.

AHHH what do I do?!

Well, first things first – You need to learn how to stop allowing emotions from invading your mind and protect yourself. Easier said than done, right? In all honesty, you just need to find the willingness to react differently if you don’t want to be overwhelmed.

  • Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of getting overwhelmed: for me; it’s usually dry mouth and a racing heart. Being in the present will help you overcome your situation.
  • Focus on yourself: If you’re anything like me, you tend to put everyone over and above yourself. Well, STOP. Self-care is imperative to recharge yourself and to boost your self-confidence.
  • Get mindful: you cannot control what others are going to do so live in the now, breathe deeply and try relaxation techniques. I cannot emphasize enough how important exercise is to burn off the adrenaline coursing through your system
  • Set Boundaries: Avoid the sources of your fear but don’t run away. The more you understand about your boundaries you’ll be able to prepare ahead of time to avoid or adjust your day to reduce the effect on you. I don’t like to avoid things as I feel it sometimes makes my anxiety worse, so I adjust.
  • Remember that it’s not the “end of the world” all of the thoughts racing through your brain is part of your imagination – let them go!

Curious to know if you’re an HSP, too?
Take this test to find out

My best friend started a Facebook group this month with a goal to write 25 Self Care Tips in 25 days. It’s been great waking up to these tips, especially when you get caught up in your own mind and forget certain things.

Self Care TipToday’s tip is a good reminder for anyone with anxiety to write it all out. It’s definitely helped me over the years and I find it quite therapeutic at times.

As Mitzi states in today’s post

Writing is cathartic. It allows you to let go of all the thoughts and emotions racing around inside your head and get them out on to paper. This actually helps to put them into perspective and diminish them. 

I couldn’t agree more!
If you’d like to sign up for the next 10 tips join her Facebook Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1783629398596564/