Tag Archives: life

How to Cope with Stress and Depression at Work

This week I wanted to talk about something that isn’t really shared much, but it should be. I have done previous blogs around mental health and depression. This time I thought it’d be important to highlight something that affects a lot of people. Depression at work. How on earth can you spot something like that? It’s a valuable question to ask because quite often a person might simply shrug it off as stress and think they’re just having a bad day. I personally want to talk more about it so people are able to identity depression or stress at work before it gets worse.

Depression at work can slowly creep up on anyone at anytime. In fact, one in six New Zealand adults were diagnosed with a mental disorder in 2013. What’s even more shocking is to know millennials are more depressed at work than any generation. These findings shed some light on why young people or adults might be more afraid to voice their concerns about mental illness because of the stigma around it.

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I’ve talked about the stigma around mental illness in previous blogs but you an imagine how daunting it’d be to share this kind of information in a work environment. A perfect example of this was when I used to work in customer service. The supervisor at the time was talking about an employee’s mental health like it was any other topic. They were gossiping about them and I was listening in horror. That employee had obviously disclosed this information in private and it was been shared with other people without their consent. Not all work places are like this but it could be one of the big problems around mental health and work places. People don’t know how to talk about it or address it.

Employees might not want to tell their boss about their reasons for wanting a day off, so it can lead to people showing up to work 9-5 five days a week. Yet they’ll perform well below average and won’t really seem like themselves. When things start to get out of control there are unfortunate consequences which can eventually lead to losing a job or leaving because you feel completely miserable. This isn’t enjoyable for anyone to go through because a common feeling with depression is guilt, so if you fail in your work life, it’s an ongoing vicious cycle. I’ve been hesitant to open up about my own experience but seeing other people on my news feed be courageous and say they left their job because they were experiencing depression, or struggling, made me want to do the same.

My experience only really happened towards the end after a few months. I had a great team I liked working with, an awesome job, and a healthy pay check. Yet I wasn’t healthy myself. This isn’t to say oh hey I got a new job and it made me depressed. That’s not how it works. Things in my personal life had seeped over where I wasn’t getting enough sleep and I was stressing myself out over little things. So if you aren’t getting enough sleep you aren’t productive at work and you don’t eat properly and so on. I had of course tried to sort out those things in my personal life and things would seem fine but then there started to be more grey days than good days. Eventually it all became too much.

lose itAfter performing well and achieving accomplishments I had gotten worse. I wondered why I couldn’t complete even the most basic tasks. I would drag myself to work and as soon as I walked in the door already I would feel like a failure dreading the day ahead. Surely this wasn’t normal. How could I be feeling this way when I’ve had many jobs in the past and thrived in busy environments? The worst thing to do is to push it aside and pretend it’s all rainbows and sunshine. I was afraid to jeopardize my new position and lose everything. I know I’m a good writer it’s what I love to do and what I want to do for a job yet my weakness was I couldn’t admit I actually had a problem. Partly because I’m a bit stubborn and pride got in the way where I thought the dark cloud would pass.

While you might not have experienced depression like I have, you’ve most likely had a bad day. Depression, however, isn’t just a low day that goes away. Everyone can feel sad, grumpy, or moody every once in a while. With depression these feelings can continue for days, weeks, or even years. It’s a lonely and horrible place to be. Plus, it can seem almost impossible to tell the difference between stress and depression at work if you haven’t experienced it before. So here are some common symptoms of stress and depression at work, but again everyone might be different:

Stress at Work 

  • Increased anxiety and irritability.
  • Impaired sleep and concentration.
  • Verbal or physical aggression.
  • Reduced attention span and impaired memory.

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Depression at work

  • Low, depressive mood with negative thoughts about self and others.
  • Numbness, emptiness and despondency.
  • Lack of interest in life and motivation to do things.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Lack of appetite, or comfort eating.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.
  • Feelings of guilt.
  • Self-neglect.
  • Anxiety.
  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm.

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Getting Help 

If you’re experiencing stress at work it could be to do with your work load or other areas of your life. It’s much easier to pull yourself out of stress if you get help early and simply talk to someone about it to avoid getting burnt out. Decrease your workload or take the time to find a healthy balance. A bit of stress is good if it keeps you motivated where you meet deadlines, but not if you’re falling asleep at your desk and chugging a crazy amount of coffee each day.

Of course it isn’t just as easy as saying you can pull yourself out of severe depression because you can’t. I’m not saying it’s an easy road to recovery but the first step is admitting the problem otherwise it just goes on and on. Reading the symptoms now you may think it’s easy to spot the problem but I was experiencing some of these things without actually knowing it for at least a year. I now look back and realise I can’t blame myself for something that was out of my control. Having a mental illness isn’t your fault.

The best way to get better is to seek the help you need either through counselling or medication depending on how severe the depression is. Little things like exercise and doing things you enjoy can help with depression. Other things like meditation and getting rid of negative thoughts. Even knowing what triggers your stress or depression is a good step towards self healing.

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Walking up Mt Eden for some exercise

Most of all don’t push yourself or ruin your mental health. If the job isn’t working for you perhaps take a break for the sake of your sanity and as hard as it is, leaving a job can sometimes be the only option. There will be other jobs and opportunities in the future, but you are your number one priority. People sometimes ask, “what if that situation happened again?” well, I now know the symptoms of stress and how to handle it. Right now I’m in great health and have overcome depression, but I probably wouldn’t recognise myself a few months ago.

Some people with mental health can hold down jobs quite easily and for others it might prove to be a lot harder. Since we spend a lot of our time at work feeling supported at your job is important. You don’t need to yell it out in the middle of the office that you have anxiety or depression or whatever it is, and you don’t have to disclose your mental health situation to your employer if you don’t want to. Yet chatting to the right people and those who you feel comfortable with can bring a feeling of relief. Whether it’s family, friends or a partner, people who can support you are those who truly care about you no matter what.

If I have any advice for someone who might be going through stress or depression don’t suffer alone. Dealing with depression or mental illness isn’t a weakness. There are the old feelings of will people pity me if I tell them, will they think differently of me and not think I’m capable of functioning properly. The fear of feeling vulnerable in front of others and not wanting to draw attention to myself. When I began to think more positively I realised I wasn’t alone. There are others who have gone through a similar situation or know someone who has.

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Remember you’re valued just as much if you open up to people about a mental illness. Having a mental illness often feels like you’re trapped in your own mind and in a emotional prison. Or that you’re in a fight and it’s you vs you. It won’t happen over night but gradually you’ll get better and win the fight. Just like when you heal from an injury or a broken bone, your mind is also healing, day by day you become stronger until you’re ready to get back on track.

How to Avoid a Flatting Disaster

Moving into a flat can be an exciting time for any teenager. You finally get to have a slice of independence, have your own room, and begin your life of adulthood. When you meet your flatmates everything seems great at first and they seem so wonderful to live with. But soon enough you’ll realise there are many types of flatmates out there that are difficult to live with. The friendly atmosphere can come crashing down at any minute.

While I was at University I learnt that flatting can sometimes be a nightmare, different personalities clash, and some people just don’t see eye to eye. It can be rather scary adjusting to a new city, a new job, and living with strangers/friends. So what can you do when you get bad flat mates? How can you keep the peace? Over the years there are a few things that I’ve learnt. Here we go:

  1. Choose Carefully

Sometimes you might not always be so lucky to share a flat with people you know so well or get to meet them first. Especially if you’re studying and desperate for a flat. If you are looking for a flat look at the job advertisement first. This will usually have keywords like respectful, considerate and so on. Do you fit what they’re searching for? Then again if you’re searching for a new flatmate a good question can be, tell me a bit about yourself? If they don’t meet the criteria or if they send off negative signals, pay attention! Once you sign a 12 month contract, or a long flat contract, that’s a long time to live with people you aren’t so fond of.

If my experiences have taught me anything it’s that you should never live with (some) friends. Even if you think you know them things can turn ugly. Until that person is in your face 24/7 and you start to see their flaws you might be in for a big shock. You eventually have to learn how to stand up for yourself otherwise you get walked all over. There can be tantrums, arguments, and all sorts and you really wonder why on earth you agreed to live with that person in the first place! It’s just not worth ruining a friendship by living together. Then again it’s not all doom and gloom! Living with some friends has been a breeze. We got along well because we were similar people, I suppose that’s what it comes down to.

2. Hang Out

If there are different cultures and people in a flat it can be really good to just hang out with each other (if you want to). My friends and I would cook dinner together once a week and have a good old chat. We would bake some muffins or go to the movies. Celebrating birthdays was also another big thing! If you happen to be living with strangers there are a few things that can break the ice. I remember watching TV shows with a girl I had just met and eating junk food together. Perfect. There are always going to be people you just instantly click with. Another great way to get to know people is to have a gathering, some call it a flat warming. It gives people a chance to bring their friends round and just chill out. Anyone for cheese and crackers? Yum.

3. Have a Cleaning System that Everyone Agrees on

dirty-dishesWhen there is a system failure in a flat it usually comes down to cleaning. People eventually end up yelling, “Did you do the dishes, did you REALLY do the dishes?” These type of people will leave a mess everywhere. Their room has a stench in it that is slowly wafting down the hallway, and you’re terrified to even think about what is under their bed. As a rule of basic hygiene if you make a mess you clean up that mess. You’d be surprised at how many people cannot do this.

I’ve seen people leave unspeakable things in the toilet, on the toilet floor, and on top of the toilet yet they just leave it there even after they are politely asked to clean it. WHY. Were these people not potty trained early in life? Have they no decency? I admit I’m a tidy person but that does not mean I want to clean up disgusting things. It doesn’t matter if you’re lazy or if you have different levels of hygiene in the flat it’s a team effort. Anyway, morale of the story is that you should try to lay out some ground rules for cleaning. Maybe a roster (if there are like 8 people in one flat) or a quick chat as soon as you move into a flat to see what works for everyone. Otherwise the arguments over cleaning will never end.

3. Be Considerate of Others

You’ve just settled into bed and you’re about to fall asleep, when BAM loud music starts playing and the house starts shaking. When you have to get up early for work the next day or you have an exam what can you do? If you’re losing sleep it can cause bloodshot eyes and grumpiness. Not good. It’s all about the golden rule; be considerate. It’s handy to know when people in the flat work, when they need their sleep, and when it’s appropriate to have friends round. Say for instance if there are quiet people in a flat versus loud and outgoing ones it can be a bit of a clash. If people continue to be inconsiderate and throw loud parties and you don’t like it, perhaps that flat culture isn’t the right one for you.

A Happy Home is a Good Home

There are some big clues as to when a flat is not a good place to live. It really isn’t worth staying somewhere that makes you feel like you have to hide in your room or avoid other people. I’ve met some really cool people while flatting, and others just don’t gel so well together. Flatting can be really fun when you find the right people to do it with.

I hope this helps anyone who might be flatting for the first time, or anyone struggling who is on the verge of tears. If you do end up living in a bad flat hopefully one day you can look back and laugh about it. After all flatting is only temporary. One day you’ll have your own place and it’ll be pure bliss.

Twenty two

Well I’m now twenty two. There have been plenty of milestones and great memories. A few fashion disasters, and a mullet at some point in my childhood due to an accidental hair cut. Most of all in this post I wanted to share a few things I think are important.

1) Believe in yourself. You have to start by raising, and building yourself up when others don’t believe in you. The people who achieve amazing extraordinary things are the ones who were told they couldn’t do it. Be confident in everything you do. I believe you can fly, and yes you can touch the sky.

2) If you’re having a bad day, remember it will pass. Some days you may feel like there is no point getting out of bed. You feel like you’re not where you want to be in life. You’re happy for others who are doing well but wish you could reach that level. It all takes time and everyone works at their own pace. Don’t sweat too much. Try again tomorrow.

3) Find kindred spirits. We often connect to people at different levels. Finding people who are eager to talk about similar interests, and having intellectual conversations is probably the nicest feeling where you’re both on the same page.

4) Don’t be consumed by technology. There are plenty of people who can’t stay offline. We live in a digital age where people are addicted to technology. We can’t go anywhere without phones or taking a selfie on holiday. Sitting a few inches away from a performer and we still somehow have our phones out.

Some wander the streets and get injured playing games on their phones. Families sit in a living room all on their phone, iPad, or other device. It shows how sucked into technology we are. Bring it back to the old days. Write letters or send a card. Read the                       paper. Could you last without a cellphone in your hand?

5) Mental illness. A person may just be feeling down and we can never know the pain of what someone is going through. It could be anything from a break up. Feeling depressed, anxiety or any form of an inner battle. It doesn’t define them the label is what society has created. They’re afraid and they may not even want to tell anyone about it because of the stigma around mental illness. I know people who are affected in different ways but I will always be a friend if they need to talk. During research for study I found Sir John Kirwan to be a great advocate on the matter as someone who has gone depression himself. He says depression is not a weakness. You can check out more of his talk here. 

6) Don’t think just write. My friend gave me an inspiring book by Steven Pressfield about creativity.

One of the first things Pressfield talks about is resistance. He basically sums up my problem when it comes to writing; procrastination;

“We don’t just put off our lives today, we put them off until our deathbed. Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second we can turn the tables on resistance” – The War of Art; Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. 

7) A higher power. Some meditate and find peach within. Whereas others still search for that extra thing that seems to be missing from their life. Whether it is faith or religion everyone has a different opinion. People seem to be on the same path of trying to discover the meaning of life. All of the various religions lead to the one conclusion of finding a higher power. Many people feel at ease knowing someone is guiding, and watching over them no matter what. What do you believe in?

8) Share the love. To many people bring each other down because of jealousy or hate. The pressure from the media is always telling us how to act, look, and feel. Share the positive attitude. Women, and men are constantly battling with self destructive thoughts and you might not even know it. The world is a dark place to live in right now. There is a lot of negativity in the news. Martin Luther King Jr and his wise words resonate today more than ever.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

9) Spend time alone. You don’t need to chase after people to prove you’re important. Focus on yourself. Practice what you enjoy to do. When I’m older I will probably want to have told my younger self don’t waste time to just try to put effort into pleasing other people, men, women, friends, relationships. It will be there for you to pursue when the time comes.

10) A balanced mind goes well with a balanced body. If you look after your mind then the results show on the outside. Good food with a few treats. Now it may take me a while to get rid of some dark eye circles due to years of studying, but hey the crinkles and wrinkles show character right? I enjoy a nice face mask at the end of each week from LUSH, and a chance to detox all the stress or jumbled thoughts. A cup tea with a good book is a nice little getaway.

11) Love. The word has been thrown around so much by people who don’t know how to express or show it in actions rather than just words. It can be used against someone, and an excuse for bad behaviour. I don’t think it’s fair to settle for less if someone gives it their all, and in return they get half attempts at romance and no effort. Today’s generation confuses short satisfaction with real relationships the notion has become so twisted that it’s all turned into fun and games. There are shortcuts and cheats to trying to win someone’s heart just for a “laugh.” I give a round of applause to the good gentleman, and kind women who respect and value the word love. So when can you know what on earth the mystery is? The four letter word that has had people puzzled for centuries it remains an unsolved riddle for many.

12) Laughter.  Sometimes a sense of humour is the best type of charm. Those quirky and fun people you meet who dazzle everyone with their wit and charm. If I’m remembered for one thing I hope people say I made them laugh. I once dreamed of been a comedian but performing in front of people is not a strength of mine. I do enjoy it when people make me laugh. You’re doing something right.

13) Forgiveness. Whoever did you wrong, stole your barbie, and called you names or bullied you in school. Whoever hurt you do your best to forgive. It doesn’t mean they need to know or that you need to get in touch. Some people do enjoy upsetting others, and if that’s how they treat people that’s their problem not yours. Let it go and feel at peace.

14) Speak up about causes. Save the animals. Stop the violence. There are plenty of things to fight for in today’s society. Since when did violence and hate become the norm? It’s the few people who speak up that make a difference. Peaceful protests, and positive leaders who inspire those for generations to come.

15) Friends and family. They are always there for you and see you grow, and become who you are today. Encouraging and also many laughs along the way it always a blessing to have supportive friends and family.

16) Never stop learning. Education doesn’t stop once you leave school or stop studying. Going out into the world with new experience is where the learning begins and it never stops. The thirst to know more about life is always there.

17) Have good role models. Looking up to people who are down to earth, and kind can influence a person a lot. They can be inspired by those around them, and influenced in a positive way that makes them strive to achieve great things. I’m inspired by women who continue to fight for their rights for equality and everyday people who try to make a change. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the sacrifice of those people.

18) We are all geniuses. Some of the people considered to be the smartest in the world were ridiculed, and laughed at. It’s the people who think outside of the box that make you really sit up and listen. Everyone is good at something, and has different talents. We all have something to offer.

19) What is an empath. A great quote from Sylvester McNutt says;

My superpower is the ability to feel. I am an empath. I relate to and feel other’s pain, joy, and happiness. It’s a gift and a curse.

Empaths often have great hearts, and people feel comfortable opening up to them. Showing emotion is seen as a sign of strength, and consideration of others. It seems that often these people put others happiness before their own so it is important to take care of yourself as well. If you’re interested to read more about empaths this article by Christel Broederlow is quite interesting. I can relate to some of these things, and I’m sure many others do as well.

20) Enjoy every birthday. As the years go by I still like waking up to balloons. Eating cake, and having a jolly good time whether I’m ten years old or fifty. Yay for Disney movies.

21) Embrace yourself. Imagine if we were all content with how we looked. The scars and the quirky things about ourselves. Would you hide that cute laugh that sounds a bit like a seal when you get excited or would you embrace it? Would you step outside without make up on? The truth is we’ll always feel a bit insecure. Learning to love yourself is like climbing the mountain of self acceptance you will fall a goat may get in your way, and one day you will reach the top. You are you, and I am me. How brilliant is that?

22)  Take a step back and see how far you’ve come. The ups and downs of life have made me hopefully a bit wiser. Knowing right from wrong. Things could have gone different and sometimes things happen that are out of my control. I am always taught a lesson by life whether I like it or not. I have achievements behind me which I am proud of. They’re milestones to look back on to say hey I actually did that! If something embarrassing happens I try to laugh it off. There are fails and triumphs. As a huge Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fan I shall say each day has an unexpected journey around the corner so let’s go on an adventure!

What are you afraid of?

It’s 2am and you’re a mess.

Something is hurting you deep inside if you can’t let go of that glass of wine. You pour yourself another and pretend your scars aren’t a part of who you are. Your smile may glitter the surface but your blood shot eyes tell another story. You wince and wrinkle your nose when you look in the mirror. Every error every glitch you wish you could fix. If only you could see you have a heart of gold and a mind so intricate you could paint a picture with your dreams.

What are you afraid of? Speak to me. Let me in. Let me break down this wall you’ve built around yourself. Maybe I can tell you what is wrong or what is right. Your mind is a powerful fortress. It can and will destroy you if you deem yourself unworthy. If you believe every cruel remark that has come your way. Don’t call yourself these names. You put yourself down and throw yourself in the gutter when you should be rejoicing for all of the things you have conquered, and the things you have yet to do. Cover yourself in glitter and know that you shine brighter than a supernova.

I sit here looking at you and you don’t open your mouth. Your shoulders are hunched and you’re shivering. I can’t solve you. I can’t help you unless you help yourself. I have seen you hurting. I don’t think anyone truly knows self loathing until they have covered their mouth with a shaking hand, their body trembles and nothing comes out. Not a sound. Just tears that resonate deep within the soul. You could be crying for what could have been, or for no reason at all. It is the most haunting experience to feel everything at once. Anxiety, fear, and doubts. Everything is fine until you’re left alone in the dark surrounded by your own thoughts. I am not here to speak of nightmares. I speak of your own mind working against you. It can destroy you more than anything ever could. Maybe it is just a nightmare. You might just wake up. You might stay awake not knowing what reality is and what the truth is. To be trapped in such a prison is a lonely place indeed.

I want to rip through the exterior of small fears to get to the deep meaning. Perhaps you’re afraid of yourself. Utterly terrified. Of what you may or may not become. You aren’t weak. You just lack confidence. You once told me you were insecure, that the insecurities would soon devour you. You blame yourself for every mishap, every failure. You can’t forgive yourself. You cannot walk down the street unless you’re looking at the pavement. Sometimes you’re afraid to even go outside. If you can’t take care of yourself then how can anyone else try to? You push people away to ensure your safety and to know you have two feet firmly on the ground. I cannot fathom a life repeating the same cycle of letting a stranger know your secrets then have them disappear leaving the pages you wrote to them ripped from your core. You sang a song and no one sung back. I guess I don’t want to hear about happiness with another person. I need it for myself and myself only. Are you afraid of been alone? Keep yourself distanced and don’t let anyone touch the tip of your delicate soul. The last few years you’ve relied on the feeling of been wanted. Of knowing someone actually gave a shit. That maybe someone could love such a complex person. People should either come closer or stay away, having them inbetween is exhausting. They all gave up on you and now you’ve given up on yourself. Maybe advice we give to others is advice we wish we had given ourselves in a past life and I’ve learnt, yes I’ve learnt.  If you don’t love yourself you’ll always run around chasing people who don’t love you back. They don’t want to know your middle name or your problems. You’re better than that.

Your sanity is more important than a body filled with empty promises. Is that it, you’re afraid you aren’t normal? If anybody calls you crazy it’s because they know nothing about you and they don’t have the decency or patience to understand. We put labels on ourselves to make sense of it, to cure it, to fix it. Only those close to us know our personal battles. We should not fight it alone. If only there was more compassion in the world. We should bathe in it and lather ourselves with patience and kindness. Give everything you have in life, in friendships, in failure and defeat. Don’t let the past put a shadow over your future. Your downfalls do not define you. They build you up and make you stronger. I know you will do great things. I’m here for you if you need me. We could talk for hours or say nothing at all. Basking in the silence. Solitude is far more comforting than lonliness.

If you breakdown take all the time you need, and when you can’t bear to be around yourself just know I find your company a pleasure.

You’re not nothing.

You’re everything.

It’s 3am and I hope you feel more at peace.

A fresh start

It’s a hot summer day and you buy your favourite flavour of ice cream. It sits proudly on top of it’s cone. You will care for those two delicious scoops. You won’t let any part of it go to waste. Your tongue dances around the sweet chocolate, making patterns as you go. Bam. One wrong move and it’s fallen out of your hands. You don’t know what to do you just sit there as it falls to the ground in slow motion. You can only stare at the ground in shock.

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Well that is kind of how it feels when the most important person to you has just vanished. Poof. You just stand there stunned. You can’t believe what has just happened. They no longer exist in your life and you don’t exist in their life. How do you even process that? You simply refer to eachother as “ex” as if neither of you deserve a name anymore. As if you can’t bare to say their name outloud. The moments you shared and the plans you had for the future are over.

Move on. Sure we can say that outloud and post inspirational quotes online but really many girls will be doing the exact opposite. The sneaky stalk on Facebook. The longing look at the photos and memories you once shared with your significant other. Hoping that they will walk through the door and say “What a fool I have been I want you back!” whilst throwing some roses at you. No. Life is black and white. You break up. That’s it. But wait…

Then it gets even better. Someone who you thought was your soulmate suggests you can be mates. Oh the pain. Now if a person breaks up with you and says this well it’s their way of not feeling guilty because they have offered friendship regardless of whether they dumped you by text or in person. Even though you have seen eachother naked and have shared intimate moments somehow you are meant to go from love to friends. It doesn’t happen straight away. Maybe for some people it can work and I know people stay friends afterwards. Sure if you’re ok with your ex telling you about their hot date last night. No? I didn’t think so. In the end you’re never really friends you’re more like awkward acquaintances. You’ll never really know what’s happening in eachothers lives and why would you want to tell them anyway if you still feel sour about the break up. You can never properly move on and meet new people if you’re hanging on to this idea of “friendship” when really you’re just hoping for a reunion. One wants to be friends, one wants more. It’s like been in the friendzone forever.

So if you don’t want to be friends with them but you simply can’t stay away there’s no harm in going back to them once in a while right? It’s comfortable and it’s why so many people go back to their exes because it’s familiar. You know eachothers bodies, smells, likes and dislikes. Just one more night and then you tell yourself you will be ok. They said they still love you so that makes it fine. Well if they truly loved you they would never have let you do darling.

Now of course where would we be without our friends. They listen to us complain about been a relationship, and then we complain when we aren’t in one. We tip toe around the subject and think of ways to solve the problem when really we know the only logical explanation is to BREAK UP with them. Our friends nod their heads and say things will be ok and that we deserve better. We sulk because we don’t want better we want back what is rightfully ours. Which is why the very last few weeks of a relationship is when determination turns into desperation. You feel like you should read poetry outside your partners window at 2am to win them back. You bombard them with texts when they ignore you because yes some women feel no shame in doing that. You stare at your phone hoping it will ring then the anger kicks in because you just rung them when you know you shouldn’t have. You become paranoid that there is someone else because why else would this person be behaving this way? You drive yourself mad. You’re literally begging for attention from someone who should be adoring you not ignoring you. Then you finally understand that all the excuses and the empty promises lead to one conclusion..

People change. Feelings change. It doesn’t mean that the love once shared wasn’t true or real. It simply means that sometimes when people grow, they sometimes grow apart. – 500 Days of Summer.

When it’s all over we demand closure. We need to know what went wrong, we must get this answer in person. We wonder if they miss us, if they think about us. The obsessive thinking and replaying of what went wrong or could have gone right will drive you bonkers. Seriously just write it down or something.They’re a robot! A heartless tin robot. Busy is another word for asshole. Or just not interested. Am I that stupid? I deserved a phone call. He has a stupid haircut now anyway. At least I never gave up hope. There doesn’t that feel better?

Now it’s time for a spring clean and a chance to break old habits. Showing up at their workplaces whilst dating is cute but after you break up it’s just considered creepy. Avoid them. Send all your cute selfies to the rubbish bin on your phone or laptop. Delete that number so that you can save yourself from embrassing drunk texts. Yes throw out that jersey of theirs I don’t care how nice it smells. You are freeing yourself up for something better in the future. Do what you need to do to get over it. Do things that make you happy. Stay single until you’re thirty and focus on your career because by golly you’re going to achieve wonderful things. Or eat until you can’t move because food is the healer of all things, heck go kiss some random lovely person in town (if you’re into that) because you are hot and now single.

Don't give up hope
Don’t give up hope

When you finally take the love goggles off you realize you were just trying to hold on to the good memories. You can slowly see after all the tears and the tissues covered in boogers that you have wasted SO much of your time thinking about this person who is getting on with their life. You have thought so much that you realize things weren’t perfect, there were things that bothered you. Maybe your ex had a gross habit or there were just a few signs you missed. Yes there were great times and memories made but all you can do is just accept the situation. Say it out loud. We are over. We. Are. Over. They’ve let you go so it’s time to do the same. They had one shot with you and they blew it. Maybe you both did. It doesn’t matter now. Just learn from this. Evaulate your behaviour because maybe you did lose yourself somewhere along the way trying to hold onto this person, and choose wisely next time. The heart can love again and come back ten times stronger. Sure the next few weeks or months there will be lonely nights where you miss having someone to cuddle, to talk to and just be with. There will also be awesome nights, and amazing days with friends. There will be new memories, new people, and new ice creams. All you can do is walk away from the old ice cream and let it melt. There is no saving it. As much as it hurts and as much as you want that darn ice cream you can’t pick it up and try to fix it. You just have to let it melt and walk away.

There. You are free to focus on yourself and your own happiness. Well, that’s my plan anyway. The hilarious and down to earth author of He’s Just Not That Into You sums it up nicely. Read it, and believe it. May your future serve you well;

“Hey, hot stuff, can’t wait till you get over that guy you were with. He sounds like a real jerk. Hope it’s soon. You’re way too tasty to be alone for too long. Come find me. I’m out here waiting. Your future.”
Greg Behrendt

2014

Here are the top twelve resolutions I have found along with a few of my own. This way seems easier to focus on with one goal per month. I use the word goal because it reminds me of football. Once you complete it you can run around with your shirt over your head Kidding. Alas, at the end of the year I will reflect and see how many I completed. Some keep notebooks, but I saw this is quirky artistic way to remind myself of my goals with a vision board

Get creative and make a collage like this lovely person!
Get creative and make a collage like this lovely person 🙂

1) Only you are the reason for your happiness.

We live in a world where it’s drilled into our minds how to look, talk, walk, and dress a certain way. People think you need a good job. A partner or a family, and a house to be happy. What if you have one of those things yet you’re miserable? Big, small, round, or thin be happy with yourself for nothing is nicer than a smile that radiates from the inside to the outside. Be a bundle of joy this year. Let know one come to you without leaving happier. 

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2) Spend more time with friends and family.

I’m rewinding and bringing it back a few decades. Fade technology because I want to write letters to people. Not typed, but handwritten. With a feather and ink if I’m feeling a bit fancy. I was seriously born in the wrong era. I used to have many pen pals. It was a easy way to stay in touch with my family who live mostly in Europe. A letter feels more special than reading back on an email or text especially if there’s a dramatic tear on one of the words. In general I hope I can do better this year, and keep in touch with the people who are special in my eyes.

3) Make peace with your past so it doesn’t spoil your present.

What I’ve done in the past I have learnt from, but it doesn’t mean it has to be brought up everyday to get back at someone or to feel sorry for myself. We question what is going to happen then get all caught up about it when really who knows what on earth will happen. I know friends fall apart and fall together. I have learnt it is best to leave some of them be. You can’t please everyone, but I’m the type of person who just can’t leave an argument hanging. Make peace so you can have your present.

4) Don’t just exercise, have fun.

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A good body is 80% diet,10% genetics and 10% exercise. This doesn’t mean starve yourself. I have heard people not eating after certain times of the day or working out at the gym for eight hours. Get fit not sick. Also sitting around liking photos of girls/guys who have intense abs well they certainly did more than sit around to get where they are today.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is another good inspiration for myself at the moment. After watching Pumping Iron with the men and the sequel with the women. It is truly insane to see what lies underneath the body, and I respect people who do it the natural way. There is a difference between looking strong, and being strong.

Exercise. Arnold is on to something when he states you can’t tell someone to exercise because it’s a put off. Do what you find fun! Instead of doing the same thing at the gym change it up, go for runs, boxing, like hikes? Go hard. Run around. Kick a ball. I do Pilates. I run to change it up because I prefer to be outside than in the gym unless I have to be. The biggest motivation is you it’s all in your mind. You’re stronger than you think! If I throw up after an intense workout like Arnold so be it…

The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That’s what most people lack, having the guts to go on, and just say they’ll go through the pain no matter what happens.

5) Don’t compare your life with others, you don’t know their journey.

In other words don’t be a “closet hater.” I saw a video about this and loved it. We revolve our energy and emotions so much around hating other people because they they may have something we don’t have. Rich parents. A good job. No debt. A better body. Guess what? If you want it so bad go and work for it instead of hating from a distance. I was brought up with this word meaning to kill someone in your heart. Even if I wasn’t I just really dislike the word. So stop saying that word unless you’re talking about hating spiders, go ahead. Give someone a daily compliment instead and see how much better you feel. 

6) Save money

I need some back up money because I have been in awkward situations where I have had to go into credit card zone when I really didn’t want to. When I tell this to people they say you’re young! You have time to save! I’m a student and having fun. Worrying about money is all I do sometimes so it’s time to put a bit away each week because my goal is to go overseas next year for my 21st. Money is a big barrier but at times it can be a blessing. I’ve spent over a grand on my tattoo and it’s the most special part of me. I would rather be broke and happy than be rich and miserable. 

7) Only have a few glasses

This is a personal one for me. I did a three month sober challenge last year and want to up my game and try for a year. We shall see what happens. I may not quit forever but I feel so much better when I don’t drink. One of the main reasons is it’s the biggest barrier to becoming fit. I can’t make you give up alcohol, I just hope to inspire people who think they can’t do it. Only you can change you. As for me? I want to explore the world not the bottom of a bottle.

8) Learn something new.  

Do you always trudge to the takeaway pits of doom? Pizza Hut, McDonalds. Halt my friend! It really isn’t that hard to make. I for one am addicted to Asian food. However, I can’t handle anything spicy. So I’m starting to learn how to cook it myself. I realize how cool it is to actually know what’s going into my food and alas I now have some quirky recipes to experiment with. Everyday is a new exciting adventure with these people! Bring on 2014.

  • I want to learn how to do the splits, without breaking my hips
  • Maybe learn some Muay Thai and boxing, self defence could come in handy
  • Learn how to eat/cook fabulous healthy meals/desserts/snacks.

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9) Help others.

I always see videos of kind strangers helping homeless people on the street in the right way. Not handing them money but giving them a day of luxury. A day in a motel. Taking them shopping for clothes and food. I want to do this. Give someone food some clothes, and see a smile on their face. Instead of judging them for sitting there, and taking up the sidewalk. People are to quick to judge. Many homeless people do have qualifications or can get a good job but hey things are tough. I always walk past them with no change in my wallet and feel terrible. So this is my goal for this year help a brother out.

11) Read and follow these awesome top ten tips from my favourite blogger

I know I post a lot of her work but I truly admire her advice and want to follow it because it’s the dang truth! Especially this one…

Don’t lose yourself while trying to hold onto someone who doesn’t care about losing you.

12) Live life on your own terms

I really admire people I met who live life according to them, they break the rules but hold the best conversations. I want to do this, this year is my year, in every way. I am in control of my body and my mind. If I say this people call me a hypocrite for something I perhaps didn’t achieve.

Take it one day at a time,  I wish you all the best for your year ahead may it surprise you, challenge you, let you meet good people, and make you laugh more because..

The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.

 

Don't be like this, step away from the computer and enjoy life instead of posting about it!
Don’t be like this, step away from the computer and enjoy life instead of posting about it!