Pinterest's Mental Health Help

This post is in no way sponsored by Pinterest, a site which I know and love very much, but I stumpled across something the other day that increased my appreciation for Pinterest so much. Something I have been struggling with for the last four years is my mental health, mainly dealing with stress and anxiety. As I have been navigating how to deal with these feelings, I have actively searched for ways to bring myself ease. One thing that has been theraputic for me is to create a quote journal with quotes covering various topics by different people. One topic I was trying to include more was anxiety and quotes that I thought could calm me when I looked back on it in a time of struggle. I have found most of my quotes through pinterest and with one search, all I wrote was “anxiety”. I was doing this on my phone and this is the first thing that came up with my search:

I clicked on this link and found a small forum with advice on how to handle your stress and anxiety. I clicked on the first self-help option – Make A Plan – and saw that it was a great reminder of ways to push yourself to take time to think of things that can help pull you away from any anxious thoughts. I am so grateful that I found this and I am very happy that Pinterest is playing a part to help its users who struggle with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issues. Please keep these in mind if you need a little extra help guiding yourself away from any anxious thoughts or feelings.

There are so many other great options for you to look into, and it provides diversity for what you may need in any given situation. A lot of people cope with their emotions differently, and I feel like there is a wide variety of options for people to choose what may work best for them.

Thank you so much to Pinterest for providing this for its users!

Just a heads up, I could only access this through the Pinterest app on my phone. I was unable to access this through my computer. But if you are ever in need of help and aren’t sure where to start, Pinterest could just be it.

I Wore A Bikini To The Beach

So a few months ago, I did something I never EVER thought I would do… I wore a bikini when I went to the beach with my friends. I’d had the swimsuit for over a year but I never had a chance to wear it and when my friends and I decided to spend a day at the beach, I knew it was time to bust it out.

Before this time, I only wore one piece suits or tankinis that covered my entire stomach, but never a bikini that left my midriff exposed to the world. If I was ever in the market for a new swim suit, I would immediately look for a more conservative option. Not necessarily because it was a style I liked, but I assumed that people who look like me should never wear a bikini. I assumed that if I ever dared to wear one that people would stare at me, people would whisper as the passed me in judgement.

When we got to the beach and set up our spot, I suddenly remembered that when I took off my cover up, I would be in a bikini in front of a lot of people… and I was suddenly terrified. But I wanted to have fun and go in the water and not have to worry about anything so I ripped off the bandaid and took off the cover up and I felt okay, but still nervous. Suddenly my friends were exclaiming about how cute I looked and were asking where I bought it. So far, so good. No judgement and I was getting used to the sensation of being more exposed in public.

Every now and then I would hear people laughing and immediatly fear that they were looking at me and laughing that a curvy girl was in a bikini, but I’d look around and it was just friends laughing as they played frisbee, or parents laughing with their young children making sand castles, or the people laughing in bliss as they played in the water. One of my friends and I decided to go for a nice long walk on the beach and just catch up and I started to forget about my fears about being judged. If anyone did judge me, I never noticed.

In the end, I guess what I’m trying to say is try to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while.

Gaining Weight in College

When you go to college, something everyone talks to you about is the dreaded “Freshman Fifteen”. This alludes to the fact that most people, if not everyone, gains a little weight in college. This is a major fact for me as I have gained close to 40 pounds in the last three years. In high school, I was extremely often. I was a part of my school’s dance team which had me practicing 4 hours a week in addition to games, dance classes at a studio for 4 hours a week, and I acted in plays, keeping me on my feet a few hours every week. Once I got to college, a mix between my more sedentary lifestyle, eating unhealthy food (because it’s cheaper), and alcohol took its toll on my body. Below are pictures of me at prom and me at the PSF gala last summer. It’s me but the look of my body is completely different.

 

Gaining weight in college is totally normal, but you shouldn’t let it get you down. Most colleges have exercising facilities on campus that you have full access to. Take advantage before these are no longer at your disposal. One of the most annoying things about grocery shopping on a college budget is the fact that the healthier food is so much more expensive than the less healthy options. It’s easy to fall into habits of going for the cheaper options because you can afford it. When you’re at the dining hall, focus on the types of food you are getting. Go for healthier options more often so you know you are getting quality food in your system.

A great resource that I have been using since highschool is an app called My Fitness Pal. This is an app that allows you to track how much you need to eat in a day in order to lose some weight. You also track your exercise and water intake. It’s great because you customize it to your needs and lifestyle. If you have a more active lifestyle, the app will encourage you to eat more throughout your day. If you have a very sedentary lifestyle, the app will encourage you to eat less but still in a very healthy and reasonable way.  Throughout the day, you keep a diary of your food, water, and exercise and it gives you an idea of how you are progressing from week to week. When you load a food item or beverage, if it has a bar code, you can scan it into the app and it will give you all of the nutritional facts that are on the lable. You can also search all the food you eat in a day and it will give you several options to show you the calories and other nutritional facts. Below are a few pictures to give you an idea of what the app looks like.

I highly recommend checking this app out if you want to become healthier but don’t know where to start. It does a lot of the work for you and is a good motivator to keep up healthy habits since you must physically enter the food and exercise throughout your day.

Part of what I want to do this year is improve my health so I can become a kidney donor for my dad. This is overwhelming for me because I want to succeed but I get so self-conscious when I work out because I fear that people will judge the overweight girl at the gym. Luckily, my parents own an elliptical and I can work out at home but it isn’t healthy for me to assume that people will think poorly of me for wanting to exercise. I can’t let my fear of what other people will think of me get in the way of me pushing myself. If i truly want to get in better shape, the person I need to worry about is me. Fitness is a lifestyle that takes dedication and a strong will to keep it up. This is something that I will definitely struggle with moving on, but that’s okay.

A New Health Journey

As I mentioned in my blog post titled “My Pledges For The New Year”, I mentioned that a major goal for me in 2019 is to start losing weight. I am doing this for myself so that I can become a kidney donor for my father. He has had a kidney disease for the last two years that has forced him to go on dialysis and put his name on the kidney transplant list. He is in great health as of right now but I want to get tested so that if there was an emergency, I would be right there to help, as kidneys aren’t always in great supply for those in need. I have been in contact with the transplant center and they said that my BMI is a bit high for me to be a good candidate and that was the push I needed to tell myself to get off my butt and do something about it. I weigh over 220lbs and am on the short side, which means that I need to work on my physical health. Not only will this be good for me, it will be good for my family My father is an amazing man who deserves the world. He has done so much for me in my life and I feel that I need to do everything in my power to be there for him. I can’t imagine a world where he isn’t in it and that love is my best motivation.

IMG_0145
My high school graduation. Me and my dad (pre-kidney issues)

This is something exciting but also scary. I have never had major surgury before and if I am a match and my dad needs me, this is something that I will do. Although I have some fears, my dad is worth fighting for. This weightloss journey is going to be hard for me. I love food and am lazier than I’d like to admit and it will be an adjustment becoming a more active person but there is nothing more important than helping those you love.

My Pledges For The New Year

Going into 2019, the year I graduate from college and start to navigate the scariness of adulthood, I promise to myself that I will believe in myself. No more doubt and putting myself down. Just because someone else wants something or is good at something doesn’t mean that I can’t want something or do something. I have been digging a hole for myself in the past and now as a young, passionate woman with a bright future, I need to be the force that propels me out of my abyss into the bright, shining future ahead of me.

I also want this new year to become a year of becoming a healthier person physically, mentally, and financially. Physically, I want to become more active and start losing weight. It’s not that I don’t love my body, but I hope to become a kidney donor for my dad and the doctors at the transplant center say that I need to look into losing weight to become the best match possible. This is something I really want to do because if I can help my dad become healthier, I want to do everything in my power to make this happen. Mentally, I want to accept the fact that I have anxiety and have panic attacks from time to time and that as I discover coping mechanisms, to never fear implementing them when necessary. Financially, I want to practice the art of spending less and saving more. I have a bad habit of spending much more than I’m making and then putting myself in anxious situations where I panic about my lack of money. By practicing financial self-control, I will be able to have a better piece of mind for my future.

A lot of people say, “New Year, new me” and I want to make this a reality for my future. 2019 is a huge year for me and it’s up to me to grab life by the horns and take control.

Self-Depricating Humor

Let’s talk about self-depricating humor. I am a huge implementer of this in my life and I always forget how toxic it can be. Sometimes I use it to get positive attention and sometimes I can’t accept that I actually am beautiful and good at things so I force myself to believe that I’m not.

Don’t trick yourself into doubting your self worth. Employ mind over matter. Instead of tearing yourself down, build yourself up. This is something I really need to work on this year and I want to dedicate 2019 to pushing myself toward a life of self-love and appreciation. If I can’t be my biggest supporter, I will not achieve the success I hope to gain when I graduate from college.IMG_1678.jpg

Love Yourself

Life is far too short to hate yourself. You can’t prosper and suck the marrow out of the bones of life if you aren’t willing to show yourself, especially your body, the love it deserves. If you have a problem, love yourself enough to fix it. If you think dropping a few pounds will make you feel better, find a way to become more active that will bring you joy. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a lazy day or pig out with your friends, but by loving your body in different ways, you can find the peace you need to love yourself the way you are meant to.IMG_3209