Browsing Tag:

mental health

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com

    Anxiety: an Everyday Struggle

    Anxiety: An Everyday Struggle

    Perfectionism

    I used to think I was just a perfectionist; each situation had to be planned out to the last detail, homework and projects had to be done flawlessly, and conversations had to flow exactly the way I imagined they would in my head. I fooled myself into thinking I was simply trying to take control of my life, but in all actuality, my anxiety was controlling me.

    In the past, I constantly worried about every little thing. In fact, I was more anxious than I had ever been after realizing just how bad my anxiety was. While my mindset is much better now, I still have my bad days, just like everyone else.

    Doubt, fear

    Anxiety is a dark cloud that looms over all of us. When someone glances at us for a second too long, we automatically resort to worrying about our appearance. We constantly panic about our future, relationships and education. The main thing to realize is that although we all may suffer with anxiety from time to time, our worries don’t define us. At all.

    Based on a study from National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement, data discovered that young women are more likely to suffer from anxiety than young men; while only 26 percent of males had displayed an anxiety disorder, 38 percent of women were affected.

    Under these unfortunate circumstances, it’s crucial to remember that everyone feels this way at some point in their lives. Since anxiety is so common, it’s easy to find someone to relate to and communicate with.

    From personal experience, I’ve found the quickest remedy to anxiety is releasing those negative emotions. Whether you’re more into individual expression, such as journaling or artistic outlets, or collective communication, such as confiding in a close friend, speaking your worries into existence can help to rationalize and comfort. Many people might even have advice or comforting words from dealing with their own anxiety experiences.

    Resources

    If you’re interested in learning more about anxiety, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America has an informative and reassuring website: www.adaa.org. Many women have decided to share their anxiety journey, channeling their emotions into a blog post, such as Adolescent Girls and Anxiety, Back to School Anxiety and Social Anxiety: Imperfect is the New Perfect.

    Remember that you’re not alone in your anxiety; everyone suffers from these negative emotions, and more women are exposed to anxiety disorders. You are not defined by your anxiety.

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com

    A Beginner’s Guide to a Self-Care Routine

    Blogger Believe


    By: Bielle V.   

    Hey there readers! My name is Bielle and I’m a teen lifestyle blogger currently trying to manage her way through high school!

    For the past few years, I’ve dealt with my own mental health and emotional health struggles. I’ve been dedicated to taking care of myself in a positive way, which is what made me realize the importance of self-care. Self-Care is something that is so important for everyone. Taking care of myself helps me understand and appreciate myself more as well as those around me. It is my journey of self-care that has encouraged me on the journey to loving myself.

    At first, I found it difficult to incorporate self-care habits into my daily routine. Now, I have weekly Self-care Sunday’s! In this post, I will be sharing with you my Self-Care Routine and how to build your own!

    As mentioned before, my self-care day is Sunday. Sunday is a day where I can relax and prepare for the upcoming week. My no-stress day. Here is what a typical Self-care Sunday looks like for me:

    • Drink water as soon as I wake up

    This one is super important and I’ve started doing it daily! Tip: Drinking water as soon as you wake up really gives you the energy you need!

    • Have a hearty & healthy breakfast
    • Do a face mask

    Tip: If you want to be adventurous, you could try making one of your own using eggs, honey, & sugar!

    • Taking a nice shower (Blast those tunes!)

    Personally, I am trying to be very aware of my environmental impact so I make sure to take short showers during the week and leave longer ones for Sunday! Tip: Hot showers are very soothing if you are feeling anxious!

    • Clean your space (make the bed, straighten up your desk, tidy your closet, open those curtains, etc.)
    • Paint your nails or cut & file them

    For some reason, painted nails really make me feel happy, so I really enjoy this step!

    • Organize outfits for the week

    Since I attend a school that requires a uniform, for this part I just try to decide what hairstyles and jewelry I want to wear for the week.

    • Do your weekend homework & try to get ahead in your most important classes if you can!

    Tip: I always try to start studying for my hardest classes 2 days in advance! This almost always requires weekend studying but if you plan out your time, you can make sure it doesn’t conflict with your much needed free time!

    • Exercise & Yoga

    I usually do this during the evening. My exercise routine includes yoga poses that help build my upper body strength and leg stretches! These typically last around 10-15 mins! Occasionally I will do an upbeat dance routine that I find on YouTube! My yoga routine is just the Full Sun Salutation done three times.

    • Meditate

    I love meditating so much! Meditation grounds me and helps me be in the present. I typically try to meditate every Tuesday & Thursday night before bed because it helps me fall asleep easier.

    • Read a book

    I love reading, but I often find myself unable to indulge in the hobby during the week. Reading right before bed is so calming and really boosts my creativity.

    • Go to bed early

    I cannot stress enough how important it is for teenagers to get a healthy amount of sleep! The right amount of sleep can change your life!

    So that’s my Sunday Self-Care Routine! While binge watching Netflix and snacking like no tomorrow are also part of my weekend plans, I try to make sure they don’t get in the way of my self-care time. Some weeks I’m able to complete all of these tasks, and others time, I struggle. The point is that in life, sometimes we find ourselves struggling with finding the time to truly appreciate ourselves. Self-Care can help you build the bridge to loving yourself, at least that’s what it’s done for me!

    Building your own routine is easy! You can designate a certain day just for your routine or you can try to spread out your self-care practices throughout the week. To make the most out of my time, I always plan backwards from when I want to go to sleep. The sleepyti.me website really helped me organize my sleep schedule and my whole daily routine in general!

    Self-care consists of a bunch of different things! If you want to focus more on your mental health, I would recommend crafting a routine including meditation, journaling, self-help books, & podcasts! If you want to focus more on being healthier, I would try to include healthier eating options in your routine as well as some exercising or stretching! If you really just want a Self-Care routine that boosts your happiness, try setting a day to do things you enjoy and spending some time to get to know yourself on a deeper level. Some other helpful self-care ideas include: Drinking tea, making plans with your friends, making a vision board, immersing yourself in nature, listening to music, doing an artistic activity, learning about or trying something new, and taking a phone break!

    Overall, what you do for your self-care practices are  completely up to you!

    Remember: Self-care helps to self-love, and loving yourself is a beautiful thing!

    Hope you all enjoyed this post! For more of my content, you can check me out on my blog, How To Live Your Life! You can also follow me on Instagram @bloggerbiellev & on Pinterest @biellev. For more self-care advice, check out my Self-Care Pinterest Board!

  • Photography

    Top 10 Rapid Stress Relief Activities for Girls

    Stress Relief

    Top 10 Rapid Stress Relief Activities for Girls

    Girls undergo some emotional breakdowns which may be related to relationship issues, low self-esteem, problems at work, tight curfews by parents, trying to impress their friends, and even worrying about getting married when their biological clocks are ticking! The female gender loves attention, and failure to receive it can derail them emotionally. Therefore, they need to find a constant source of happiness and satisfaction to help them cope with the challenges in their day-to-day lives.

    Here are some of the top 10 rapid stress relief that girls can try out:

     

    • Going for a ride

     

    Research has proven that connecting with nature and pumping up some adrenaline in the system can be an excellent way of relieving stress. Thus, the best way to go about it is hopping into a car with a friend and hitting the road. The vehicle should be at high speed on an isolated road to avoid being irritated by traffic jam which may increase the stress levels. Besides, they can always hire a car if they do not have one. It is a must do for every girl who is stressing out because of the various reasons mentioned above.

     

    • Taking a walk

     

    Walks should be taken in the evening when there is less commotion in the area. Girls can do this within their neighborhood or wherever they please. Walking helps in elevating the moods of the females which eases their levels of depression. Another reason that makes walking a mandatory stress-reliever to try is that it aids in releasing endorphins making the person involved in the exercise happy. However, the pace should be fast to increase heart rate which also helps with hormonal balance.

     

    • Girls’ night out

     

    Girls can choose to have dinner together, go clubbing, hang out anywhere in the city, or decide to go to the movies. With this, they get to spend quality time with their loved ones as they participate in the activities they cherish together. Also, having the people they love around them dilutes tough situations that they are experiencing hence making them enjoy life the more.

     

    • Snuggling with a pet

     

    Another essential tip is adopting an animal either a dog, cat or any other that they may prefer. It is an activity that has proven to release hormones that introduce a gentle spirit for the girl.

     

    • Consider a spa night

     

    Spa dates can be expensive, but they can still do it at home to minimize on expenses. The easiest way is it to buy scrubs and prepare homemade face masks, use the best diffuser to diffuse essential oils to create that well scented and relaxing atmosphere, and take some wine or any drink of choice. These will make her feel relaxed and free from the pressures of life. But she can also spice it up by taking a bath in a tub with candles around. The beauty and ambiance that these bring are enough to make life less stressful.

     

    • Get to the kitchen and cook something

     

    Cooking is a creative exercise that makes people explore their abilities. But for it to be interesting, they have to prepare meals that take less time to make and which require minimum skills for the activity to be enjoyable. Some of the foods to consider cooking include sandwiches, burgers, salad, cakes, blending juice or smoothie and even coffee. All these will keep their minds off the stress. Therefore, girls should try this stress-relieving hack.

     

    • Go shopping in a mall

     

    Malls are beautiful places packed with all kinds of commodities. Seeing beautiful stuff that most girls have always wanted will automatically make them feel good about themselves. Also, they can merely window shop as a way of planning on what to buy next.

     

    • Read a good book

     

    Reading books helps with engaging the mind which is a way of killing idleness. But the plots of these stories must be intriguing to prevent the reader from getting bored. It will automatically ease stress especially when the victims connect well with the characters in the stories.

     

    • Put some loud music and dance to it

     

    They say music is a drug that almost everyone gets high on and girls are not an exception. Therefore, it is a rapid stress-relieving tip that they must try out. But it is more fun if they do it with a friend or a sibling for them not to feel lonely. With this, their moods will be elevated especially when they sing along and scream to the top of their lungs.

     

    • Take a nap

     

    Rest is as good as a change, and sleeping is the best way to relieve stress. It helps the whole body to relax including the brain hence rejuvenating to better body functioning.

     

  • Articles

    Recognizing Mental Health in Young Girls

    Recognizing Mental Health in Young Girls

    Last May, I had the opportunity to attend the “Dear Evan Hansen” event at TIME magazine in New York.

    The event was held in order to discuss the importance of recognizing the effects of mental health on teens. Rowan Blanchard, Disney channel’s star on Girl Meets World, was interviewed during the event as a guest speaker. She answered a question about her own experience in coping with mental health. In her response, she gave her thoughts on why mental health has become so prevalent among teens.

    During the interview Rowan spoke with compassion about the implications of mental health, specifically on young girls.

    Rowan is not surprised “that girls are sad because there is so much stigma to be happy.” She stressed to the audience that it is okay to be unhappy at times and not be perfect. Her talk emphasized the importance of recognizing to not blame teens for any mental health problems. Rowan highlighted the fact that too often do girls feel like they are the “problem” and are to blame. Girls can drown in guilt and should be empowering one another as opposed to feeling ashamed.

    Rowan touched upon her own experience with mental health and that for her the best way to cope was talking to her parents.

    Rowan acknowledged the fact that she knows parents may not be an option for everyone. However, when it comes to sharing how they are feeling simply talking to anyone can help. Find people who want to help you feel better. Talking to others about how you are feeling is one of the healthiest ways to get better. Even though it is difficult, because it puts you at your most vulnerable state, it’s helpful.

    The interview concluded with Rowan stating, I finally feel like “I can just be.”

    She expressed how although she may still face mental health struggles from time to time, she feels comfortable in her own skin and expressing the raw, uncut, and true version of herself. Whether it is through social media, meeting fans, or interviews, she does her best to always put forth the most genuine version of herself in order to show young girls that it is ok to be exactly who you are and it is ok to be perfect not ok all the time.

     

  • Portfolio

    Fear of Failure

    Fear of Failure

    by Paige Kouh, featured contributor

    There is one piece of our lives that is so strong and so powerful, that it has the power to hold us back from living life to its full potential.

    Failure. Failure is the fear that unites us all and can catch us at our most vulnerable times. As humans, we encounter so many obstacles throughout our lives. Yet, we allow something so simple to eat away at our self-confidence and build a wall between our dreams and reality. Overcoming the fear of failure is the key to reaching success.

    Whether it is failing a college exam, not passing driver’s test, or messing up an interview, we all face failures. No matter how perfect someone might appear to be.

    Failures are the steps to finding success and force you to grow in the process of learning from your failures. Over time, the idea of failing has been marked with the negativity and a condescending reputation. However, how are we expected to evolve and build upon our intelligence if we never have any mistakes to learn from.

    As scary as it may seem, failures can be some of the most valuable parts of life.

    It takes time. However, learning to face the fear of failure head-on will allow you to jump fearlessly into new adventures. Hopefully, it will enable you to find more happiness within the darker times that life presents us. It is important to remember that it is possible to view failures with a positive mindset. In some way, failures hold a piece of beauty in the sense that they allow us to eventually find the good in the bad, giving us hope that life will get better.

    Do not let the fear of failure restrain you from discovering your own potential.

    Do not let fear keep you from exploring your own destiny. Do not let fear overpower you.

  • Articles, Health, Woman's History

    Important Women in the Field of Mental Health

    May has just ended, and is mental health awareness month, which is why I want to celebrate the achievements of some of the many women who have made significant advancements in the field of mental health. Before we can get into that, here are some important mental health resources:

    Free online counseling: https://www.betterhelp.com/
    Birmingham Crisis Center Teen Hotline (call or text the following number): 205 328 5465

    Here are some of the most important ladies that have made some lasting impressions on the field of mental health.

    Dorothea Dix (1802-1887)
    Dix was an important activist on behalf of the mentally ill in the US. She helped establish the first generation of American mental asylums through a rigorous process of lobbying. Additionally, she helped change people’s perception of the mentally ill as being more human than animal in the US and in Europe.

    Eve Johnstone (1943- present)
    Johnstone has contributed a hefty amount of research to the clinical study of schizophrenia. She is most famous for her 1973 study that shows the differences in the brains of schizophrenic patients vs the control group. Additionally, she has written a total of 6 books on the topic of schizophrenia.

    Melanie Klein (1882-1960)
    Klein was a psychoanalyst that contributed knowledge and techniques that influenced child psychology and therapy. She thought that children’s play was their primary way of emotional communication, and attempted to decipher the specific meaning of child’s play.

    Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004)
    Kubler-Ross was a pioneer in near death studies. Near death studies is a field of psychology and psychiatry that studies the after effects of near death experiences on individuals. She innovated the 5 stages of grief, which is known as the Kubler-Ross model. Her book On Death and Dying came out in 1969, and was groundbreaking for the time period.

    Sula Wolff (1924-2009)
    Wolff worked as a child psychiatrist in Britain with children who were mostly socially withdrawn and reclusive. She is the author of 2 different books on the topic of child psychology. Additionally, she was the first person to receive a grant from the Medical Research Council Grant to study child psychiatry. Her work emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

    Wolff also understood and pushed the importance of talking to and addressing children in a non stigmatizing way. In the end, her work became used as the basis for a lot of research being done today on Aspergers and autism.

    sources:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothea_Dix
    https://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/dorothea-lynde-dix
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoanalysis
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eve_Johnstone
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanie_Klein
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabeth_K%C3%BCbler-Ross
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sula_Wolff
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near-death_studies
    https://www.goodtherapy.org/famous-psychologists/sula-wolff.html

  • Depression

    My Story On Living With Anxiety and Depression

    My Story On Living With Anxiety and Depression

    Living with anxiety and depression is exhausting. You swerve between being unable to sleep because you fear everyone you love is going to die, to feeling absolutely nothing when someone actually ends up in the hospital. You spend hours fighting the thoughts in your head that tell you that people would be better off without you. You can’t stop clenching your fist to stop your hand from shaking, as your heartbeat paces uncontrollably. Depression and anxiety can take up so much of your headspace, that you can no longer keep up with day-to-day activities, like eating nutritious meals, maintaining a work schedule, or sometimes even being able to get out of bed. The worst part is, you may dismiss your feelings as unimportant: but this dismissal is as much a symptom of needing to consult with a mental health professional.

     

    When I was dealing with anxiety and depression, I was scared that I would have to rely on medicines forever. My doctorwas quick to assure me that mental health recovery, like all disease management, was not that unmanageable. He told me that while counselling and (when needed) medication were primary to recovery, there were small lifestyle changes I could make to ease out, quicken and sustain the recovery process. Just hearing this reminded me that I had control over my life. It made me feel less anxious and more hopeful. If you are living with anxiety and depression; besides getting trained help, here are some small lifestyle changes I made that can be beneficial for you too:

     

    Food

    When I began experiencing the symptoms of depression, I was in college. Living away from the home for the first time gave me the independence to eat and drink what I want. I ended up drinking alcohol and eating junk food a lot, due to stress and the party culture in colleges. This took an instant toll on my mental health because I would feel guilty and hateful towards myself the whole week. So the first lifestyle change I made was in my diet.

     My doctor suggested to have healthy foodsand to incorporate vitamins in my diet, especially Vitamin C and Vitamin E into my food as studieshad found Vitamin C and E can help reverse the neurochemical imbalances that cause anxiety.

     I added fruits containing Vitamin Clike guavas, blackcurrants, and peppers, and Vitamin E-rich food like almonds and kiwis to my meals. Not only did I feel mentally and physically better, I even felt I had regained control over my diet and body.

     

    Fitness

    I was an ardent swimmer when I was younger, but I had stopped swimming as I grew up. During a depressive spell, I had beaten myself up this and felt as though could never return to being a good swimmer. My psychologist alleviate my fears and told me to simply plunge into the pool and keep at it for a week. At the end of the end of the week, not only was I feeling happier because I had conquered my irrational fears; the exercise also boosted my endorphins, which made me feel happier. While researching, I also found that another factor could have helped me feel better: the sun. I found out that Vitamin D deficiency can cause depressive feelings, and eating foods rich in Vitamin D and exercising in the open can be the best way to lap up this vitamin.

     

    Perspective

    Dealing with anxiety can be debilitating because your irrational thoughts often conquer you. If my parents wouldn’t pick up the phone, I would keep ringing them till they did, because I irrational thought the worst had happened. My friend (who was also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder) would lose sleep if her desk was not arranged in a certain way. We both found that a few perspective changes would actually help stop these thoughts. If I felt as though I couldn’t stop thinking about my loved ones dying, I would force myself to focus on my sensory abilities. Sometimes, I slowly chewed a raisin and tried to mentally describe its texture, taste and shape. Other times, I would walk on wet grass and focus on its sensations on my feet. This usually distracted me from my thoughts and curb their power over me. If this did not work, I would write down whatever I was fearing, and tear up the sheet. This helped me feel unburdened. 

     

    Supplements

    However, when my anxiety or depression really acted up, I resorted to a few supplements besides my standard medication. As these supplements were primarily plant-based, they had no side effects and did not cause any issues. I tried fish oil supplements, filled with healthy Omega-3 acids, which has been foundto help counter the effects of depression. I also took CBD Oil for anxiety, as it helped me de-stress and relax. I also added saffron to my tea. Not only did it add a wonderful flavour, but it helped in healing my depression.

     

    Now that I have recovered, and my mental health is much better, I find, that in fact, it is these small lifestyle changes that helped me get healthy quickly. It is by incorporating these changes that I can now sustain my mental health and live happily and healthily.