Friday, July 3, 2015

Five Friday Favourites

This week has been such a great week! I honestly can't remember the last time I have had a week this great.
On Wednesday I met with some of the (amazing) Youth Ambassadors for coffee. I had been feeling a bit discouraged and overwhelmed with the movie night (2 weeks to go!!!) but I got so many compliments and offers for help regarding the event and it was just what I needed! Then while I was there my phone rang and it was about the interview I had been praying about. Today I went to that interview and I think it went well. I am just happy that I got an opportunity to interview for this position at a place I would love to work at. I will find out sometime next week which is thankfully very busy as I am helping out at my church's holiday program so though I will have my phone on me I won't be just sitting there waiting for it to ring like I have been in the past.

Can't Let You Go (Katie Parker Production book 4) by Jenny B Jones - I loved the Katie Parker
Production series in high school, there is something about Katie that I loved plus her crazy foster grandma Maxine always made me laugh. When I was looking at books online and came across the latest in the series I might've done a happy dance! The blurb reads (taken from the link above):

Fresh out of college, Katie Parker had it all—a charming romance, a role in a famous stage production, and an idyllic life in London. Until she found her boyfriend cheating and got herself fired from the play. Leaving everything behind, Katie hops a plane home, only to run into her first love, Charlie Benson. As the couple returns to In Between, Katie questions everything she ever thought she wanted—including a renewed romance with her high school flame.
While she attempts to rebuild her life, Katie’s plan to manage the family’s theatre meets a devastating obstacle, dragging her into a legal battle that will rock her small town. And the boy who once broke her heart seems to have the power to do it again. As Charlie’s secrets unravel, Katie must make a choice. Can she overcome her past and trust Charlie with her heart again?

I loved this book so much and it felt like rekindling an old friendship. I read a lot in Winter so this book was perfect to curl up with.

Stitchers - I admit I am a TV junkie and see nothing wrong with spending an afternoon binge watching a few shows. When I saw this one I had no idea what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. It follows Kristen a bright girl who is recruited to get 'stitched' into the minds of the deceased accessing their memories leading up to the deaths to help solve murders. Along with Cameron a skilled and brilliant neuroscientist, Maggie the brains of the operation, Linus a bioelectrical engineer and Camille Kristen's roommate who is studying a PHD in computer science.
This show is fast paced and I find myself having to watch every episode twice just to get the full experience, if you like murder mysteries like Bones or just want to watch something out of the box this show is worth looking into.

Libra Hotties - These are winter must for me! If I am out at night and know I will be freezing or my lower back is playing up I just stick one of these on and I am good for at least the next 5 hours (though in my experience they have lasted me up to 8 hours). These are amazing and once you have tried them you won't know what you did without them! I always keep a pack or two around and will stocktake them when they come on sale, as you never know when you will need them.

Hilary Duff Breathe In. Breathe Out. - I spent my early teen years listening to Hilary Duff so when she (finally) released her latest album I downloaded it straightaway. It's a great album and the songs are catchy. I love the song Night Like This which is duet with Kendall Schmidt (from Heffron Drive and Big Time Rush) and it has great story in the lyrics. Of course there are plenty of other great tracks such as Tattoo which was written by Ed Sheeran and Arms Around a Memory. This album has a more mature sound to it but its still the same Hilary Duff I have loved since Lizzie McGuire.




I love Buzzfeed videos and the following 2 videos have made me laugh so much lately and are really well done.



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The big picture

I had nothing set in stone for today and after having a restless night (waking up at 3.00am, then at 4.30am until 5.50am drifting off for about an hour and a half) I decided that today I would relax and do nothing.
The next couple of weeks are crazy busy with our churches school holiday program (which runs every morning) all of next week and then its onto movie night prep for my first ever ReachOut event which is the following Friday. So I thought I deserve at least one day when I can just hang around home and do nothing.
Don't get me wrong I love being busy and its great to be needed, but I do need some down time which is going to be at the bottom of my list for the next couple of weeks.
At this stage I am helping out every morning for the holiday program but that's subject to job interviews - which I am madly praying that I will get one as I have applied for a job which seems promising!
I can't believe that another school term has almost passed and still nothing on the job front! I hate being in this between stage and would love it to end preferably sooner rather than later.
Saying that this past term has been one for growth and I can't believe what I have achieved. If you had told me in January this year that I would be a Youth Ambassador for ReachOut and organising a major event for it I would've called you crazy and ran for the hills but here I am in the middle of it and loving it. I have completed 2 units for my diploma of business which is 1 unit a term this is despite me having a major hiccup and going back to see my psych in the middle of my first unit. My self confidence has grown majorly and friends and family have noticed. I have grown so much in myself and find it hard to believe that I am same the person I was in January. A while ago I was complaining that its will be 2 years of unemployed this July and one of my friends told me that I needed to look at the bigger picture and realise that I have achieved a lot in those years. I am open to being spontaneous, taking risks and putting myself out there more yes I still like to be in control of things but if something major happens it isn't likely to affect me as much as it once did.
I know when I do get a job there will be a lot less issues, yes my anxiety will wreak havoc on me and won't make things easy but I will survive it and things will be easier. Now if only I can find that perfect job that God has set aside for me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Thoughts I had while walking 5km today

  • Lets do this, 5km isn't that far how hard can it be?
  • There's a marker, ok so it says 1.5km so in order to walk 5km I will need to reach the marker that says 4km then turn around and walk back.
  • Time to blast some music, yay for downloading the latest Hilary Duff album!
  • This isn't to bad so far.
  • There's the next marker only .5 of a km walked?! Stay focused.
  • Try to keep up a decent pace.
  • I wonder what the other walkers think of me? Forget about them stay focused!
  • Oh wow I have already walked 1.5km's only 1 more to go then I can turn around and walk back.
  • Why did I choose to do this on the coldest days in the year so far?!
  • Stay focused, this is training for the run/walk you are doing on the 26th of July.
  • Why did I sign up for the walk? That's right ReachOut needed more Youth Ambassadors to participate and you thought it would be good to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
  • Where's the next marker?
  • Only 500 metres until you reach the halfway point.
  • Ok I am halfway now to head back.
  • This isn't so bad.
  • I wonder how sore I will be tomorrow?
  • This song is one of my favourites.
  • Ok 3.5kms done.
  • I really should walk around the lake more, its such a beautiful place considering its so close to home.
  • This water tastes weird, I really should've filled it with clean water before I left.
  • 1km to go! I can't believe my pace has stayed the same the whole way round.
  • Maybe I should try running some of next time? Oh wait do I have a death wish, lets just stick to walking.
  • 500 metres left! I think I can see my car.
  • There's the final marker, so close!
  • What's my final time? Around 45 minutes, that's not too bad. Hopefully I can better it next week!
  • Made it! Now to recover before attempting it again next week.
If you want to help make walking 5km a bit easier please sponsor me here all money raised goes towards ReachOut :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Life After High School

I found my old high school year books, I honestly thought I had misplaced them and yet there they were in such an obvious spot forgotten but still there. I found myself drawn to 2011's the year I graduated, something that not many people felt possible for me as there was a period where my anxiety was so bad, yet I graduated. I flipped through reading random articles before landing on the back pages where my classmates and I had profiles. I found a few familiar faces, faces of the people I keep in touch with, faces of the people I would say hi to in the shops or meet up for coffee with, the rest I would avoid even if I did happen to recognise them. High school wasn't easy for me, and like I said before it was a miracle that I even graduated as there was a time when my anxiety was so bad that high school was my least favourite place in the world.
When you're in high school its your whole world, you care what your classmates think about you, you feel like if you fail a test its the end of the world, there is a pressure to work out what to do with your life and how you need to choose your career now, none of that matters. You will learn not care what people think, failing isn't the end of the world as there are so many options in the real world and you can change your career as much as you want.
In the years after high school, my life has been challenging and there have been times where I have wanted to give up (and I almost have) but I have become more myself. I have taken challenges and risks, I have put myself out there more, my self confidence has grown and I have learnt how to manage my own life now there aren't teachers and parents (well not often!) in my face telling me what to do.
Yes life after high school may more challenging yet in the real world you can be you and you can change yourself as much as you want because you're finally free.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hard

I keep getting told to think of myself as a student not being unemployed buts its hard. Its hard when you get another email telling you unfortunately weren't successful in getting the job you were positive you would get. Its hard when you are trying to budget and save for things and your income is limited. Its hard when you begin to ask yourself if its really worth it when it comes to applying for jobs. Its hard when people tell you that maybe you should look into other options and that I should be realistic when it comes to jobs. I never thought that I would be unemployed for this long or that it would be this hard, but I have come to realise the following:

  • Life is hard AND challenging AND terrifying AND unknown
  • Sometimes you just need to stay focused on the bigger picture
  • I have acheived so much and overcome many obstacles to get where I am now
  • I may be unemployed but I am also a student and youth ambassador
  • God KNOWS what he is doing
 I guess thats the good thing about being a Christian is that even when times get hard you know that you have God to rely on and that he has a plan for you even if you have no idea what exactly that is.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Taking care your mental health

Its easy to take care of your physical health and just a quick online search regarding it will come up with new diets, exercise regimes and the latest super foods. But when it comes to taking care of your mental health there isn't a lot about it, I mean sure physical health ties into it but mental health goes beyond skin deep. Over the years I have learnt to take care of my mental health as the moment my anxiety starts disrupting my daily life everything becomes that much harder to handle. There is no right or wrong way for taking care of your mental health but here are some ideas of how you can:
  • Get enough sleep - if you're pulling all nighters or not in a good sleep routine this will change your train of thoughts and your mood long term. Work out how many hours of sleep you need a night and try to get into a good routine. For me I need around 9 hours and I like to read before bed so I aim to be in bed by 9.30pm and lights off by 10.30, this is what works for me some people may need less sleep to function others may need more everyone is different! If you want to get out of bad sleep habits I recommend using Recharge which is an app that will help calculate how much sleep you will need and help reset your bodies clock. I have found this invaluable in resetting my body clock and I see the difference.
  • Treating yourself - Once a week I treat myself to a piece of cake (or something sweet) in a cafĂ©. I spend an hour or so reading a book and just relaxing this puts me in a better frame of mind and its a time when I focus on myself and ignore the hundreds of things on my to do list. It can be anything just make sure you have an hour or two to yourself weekly and I guarantee you will find yourself more calm and level headed throughout the week.
  • Setting goals and meeting them - I get a sense of satisfaction ticking things off a list when I complete them, it reminds me that I am capable to doing things and it keeps me motivated. This is a great way to keep moving forward when times are tough, if lists aren't your thing you can set goals that need to be met weekly or monthly and work towards them.
  • Let yourself worry
    - I have accepted that I am a worrier by nature and that not worrying does more harm than good. So instead of worrying 24/7 I set aside a few minutes a day to worry and that gets it off my chest and I can continue with the rest of my life like normal. Saying that it can be hard to set aside that time so I use the WorryTime app I put all the things that I am anxious about into the app and set the alarm to go on the app at a set time for 5 minutes and for those 5 minutes I go to town worrying! This makes me feel overwhelmed during the day and I'm not banning myself from worrying just restricting it.

  • Breathe -
    When you start to feel overwhelmed breathing can help so much and can help refocus your mind. I first learnt how to do deep breathing exercises to help deal with my anxiety attacks and its been an invaluable skill to have. I have done these exercise before job interviews, during drivers test and whenever I begin to feel really overwhelmed. It can be hard to remember the exercises when the time comes up so thankfully there is an app called Breathe that will teach you how to do the exercises and help you calm down when you need it most.

There so many more ways to take care of your mental health but the above are ones I do most often and have been invaluable for me. Everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you. At the end of the day its important to remember that you should take care of your mental health as much as you take care of your physical health and that you need to be both physically and mentally healthy to be your best.

*I was in no way compensated to review these apps I just love using them and wanted other people to know about them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mental VS Physical

'Anxiety is all in your head' a (ex) friend once told me. 'You're only doing this to disrupt the class' said my year 8 Maths teacher when I was in the middle of an anxiety attack. 'We knew you had anxiety but we didn't think it was going to be this bad!' a boss at a job I lasted only 2 days at exclaimed the day after an anxiety attack (which caused me to later go see a psych). The above are all comments I endured because I had anxiety. I didn't choose to have anxiety, it has made my life hell at times and getting those comments only made the tough times worse. Considering 2 of them were from adults as well is just crazy you would think adults would know that anxiety (and mental illness in general) is something that even with treatment can't always be helped. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean its not there.

If someone has a physical illness people understand that. Its ok if you tell people that you are going to the dentist because of sore tooth or you are seeing a physio due to a bad back but the moment you tell people you are seeing a psychologist they tell you that they are sorry or look at you as though you will fall into a million pieces right in from of them. It shouldn't be a big deal, mental illness is no different than a physical one just that you can't see it. The brain controls everything and if that's not healthy then rest of the body begins to suffer, so in reality shouldn't it be ok to talk about mental illness more than physical illness?!

Its ok to ask for help when you have broken a bone or need support doing tasks due to not being physically able and its ok to ask for help when you feel as though you are falling apart and don't know why, either ways its ok to ask for help when you need it.

This video by Buzzfeed is a real eye opener and well worth a watch.