Adulting and Other Things

Helloo out there. I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve blogged. But life has been a bit hectic. I’m in my second last semester of nursing, and between class and placements, things have been a little tough.

I still love nursing and am so passionate, but it’s so time consuming and takes a lot of brain power and physical exertion. My classes are challenging but I feel like I’m genuinely learning so much.

I’ve also lost 5 pounds! I joined weight watchers a couple of weeks ago and have increased my daily activity. I even feel better. I’ve also been mediating again and occasionally even through in a bit of yoga. It’s quite nice and I’m working on balance of self care, career, and living.

My moods have been up and down and sideways. But it’s balancing out again. A couple weeks back I had a major up swing and felt on top of the world. And then of course following I had a major fall, and dealt with my depression side. However I made it out and am feeling a lot better.

Life gives us so many obstacles to overcome even when following our chosen path. And I guess that’s half the experience, seeing your true strength.

We are all capable of so much.


Goodbye 2017, Where are you 2018?

In less than 2 weeks we will be in the new year. I can’t believe that, I felt like going into 2017 I only saw huge mountains to climb and now it’s already 2018 – what happened?

I am an avid YouTube watcher (it’s addicting) but one of my favourite motivational/organizational channels is Lavendaire. I also listen to her podcasts which are really soothing in the morning – seriously her voice is so calming. But she talks about a year in review a lot, she even sells a package that has you break down the year and build goals to the new one. I didn’t buy it, but I looked into my own ideas for my “year in review”. I found a simple guide online – here – and it asks four simple questions. But do not think that the fact that they are simple, that they are easy.

It was such an experience to do this. It took me about 20-30 minutes, but I feel so good and so motivated. So basically it is:

  1. what have you overcome/accomplished this past year?
  2. what have you learned?
  3. how do you feel about the past year?
  4. what’s next?

It does give you more details on how and what to focus on. But very easy overview.

It made me realize how much I’ve accomplished this year. With the mental health struggles sometimes, it is so easy to forget or overlook your accomplishments but this was that voice “no – look at all you have done, be proud” – and honestly? I am proud of myself.

What it also did was enable me to fine tune my 2018 goals. I’ve come away more from resolutions and make more goals to focus my energy on. I feel like resolutions are a maybe. I could or could not accomplish them and that’s whatever. But if I set goals, it’s something I can continuously work towards. I do however have some easy resolutions that are fun and non-demanding but would do me well in the long run.

So here are some resolutions:

  1. get into hiking
  2. re-start my yoga practice
  3. meditate daily
  4. journal daily
  5. listen to my motivational podcast 3x/week
  6. grow my faith

* They are helpful and important but I’m fairly satisfied with doing them occasionally (is that bad?)

So here are some of my goals for 2018:

  1. I am going to get healthy for myself
  2. I am going to lose 100 pounds
  3. I am going to graduate and get my nursing license
  4. I am going to grow my self-love and compassion
  5. I am going to start my positive habits again (ex. meditation/yoga)

These are things that are really important to me and that I will always have to work at but things that will greatly improve my life, my attitude and my health.

Treading Water and Health

So I have been in the full throttle of being a student and an adult. Although I’m very lucky because I still live at home and am being supported through my education – so I am a full time student and not working – let me repeat, I am very lucky.

I am a nursing student, and it takes a lot of time, energy and effort. I have been treading water with my health (physical and mental) and the point is just not to drown. I know this sounds a little dramatic but those who deal with or care for someone with mental health issues will understand. My bipolar does not define me, but it is a part of me. And it is something that is triggered easily by stress and bad health habits (like stressing over studying and not sleeping, or copious amounts of caffeine, etc). So I’m treading water until summer comes again and I can fully focus on my health.

I also deal with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Long story short, my hormones tend to mess with me and that doesn’t help the already fluctuating moods and my proneness to weight gain (+medication weight gain) and struggle to take it back off. I was diagnosed when I was 14 years old and am now 23, and have never really focused on it or dealt with it. So I am doing my research into things to help me.

I used to manage it well before being engulfed by post-secondary education, but I am determined to get back there.

I’ve also started to take a heap load of vitamins to help with overall health and problem specific issues.

So here are some things I’m doing [I am not a doctor and cannot give advice in such – this is just what I’m doing for me]: 

Vitamins –

  • vitamin D
    • there are some studies that show it can help with depression and mood fluctuations, especially with the seasons changing
  • multivitamin for women
    • general overall health
  • probiotic
    • this helps with stomach/intestine bacteria, it helps the body process foods and eliminates bloating pain, discomfort, can help with heartburn (I have GERD) and just overall improves the gut
  • magnesium
    • helps with such a variety of things but I’m taking it for migraines, mood swings, and pms symptoms,
  • evening primrose oil
    • this is to help with the PCOS, I’m still new to it but I’ve heard it can help with hormone fluctuations and therefore possibly east cystic pain
  • folic acid
    • this is for the mental health, its been shown in bipolar to help with both down swings and up swings
  • omega-3
    • this is also for the mental health and overall brain health, helping with moods

I also started drinking lemon water with apple cider vinegar in the mornings with my breakfast and coffee, its supposed to help with weight loss, digestion, lowers blood sugar levels, and helps heart health.

Other than that I am trying to eliminate processed food (so things like white bread), which I know I won’t completely rid of, but I am trying to cut down.

The next step is introducing exercise again, but thats a work in progress.

Until next time!


Well School Is Something

Hello again!

I have been gone for so long because my school semester started up in early September. And oh boy has it been a whirlwind. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely loving it (except pathology) but every accomplishment and learning moment is a moment I’m closer to becoming a nurse. Something I no longer have any doubt – that I’m meant to do.

I have 5 classes, and 1 placement. In total I have school about 30 hours for the week not including breaks, and about an additional 10 hours for homework, assignments, research, etc. So it’s a full time job at 40 hours a week. Most students in general will say higher education is a commitment, but my fellow nursing students will tell you by the end of the day (if possible) naps are your very good friend.

So what’s my point, other than life’s busy? Self-care, self-love, self-compassion.

My self-care, with a lot of effort, has stayed fairly solid. I sleep when I can in the day, and I go to bed no later than 9pm because I’m up early everyday. I practise meditation, but I’ve adapted to a more concise version – I find often I don’t have 10/15 minutes to just sit (even though I should make the time). I will count my breathes on a 1, 2 cycle – 1 inhale, 2 exhale. I will practise alternating nostril breathing before bed (block right nostril, breathe in; open right nostril, block left nostril, breathe out) – this usually puts me right out. I have also been practising gratitude. Where I’m in placement there are a lot of clients who need a lot of personal care, and some who have no support outside of themselves. It fills my heart to help them, and reminds me how wonderful it is that I do have that external support systems. And what’s more gratifying then getting to do something you love everyday? Every weekend I prep for the week: set alarms, reminders, plan out homework sessions, and review class content.

With very mental health specific self-care parts, I set reminders to shower, and shave on Sunday. I then ask my family to remind me if I forget or don’t feel up to it – shower every night and quite honestly to brush my teeth some days. It is so easy when we are in high stress, or crazy busy that we forget or drop things that already take us more effort to do – but these habits are essential to feeling good.

Self-love and self-compassion. I’m a work in progress on this. I don’t even bat an eyelash when I feel I can help someone, but when it comes to myself – I bat my eyelashes a lot. So I’ve been working on and researching some affirmations to start my day and have even recently set an alarm about mid-day to remind me to breathe and try out a positive, compassionate affirmation for myself. This section I will keep you posted on.

I could talk for days, and I will – I’ll just try to break it up a bit in my blogs.

If you have any questions about school, organization, self-care plans, pretty much anything – let me know and I will happily explain what I can and give tips on what I do.

That’s all for now !

30 Day Self-Care Challenge | Day 3

Ok so I’m genuinely surprised how hard this is to remember to make time for myself to do about 20 minutes worth of self care in my entire day. But it is such an amazing feeling as I do this list and that I am learning not to judge good or bad reports on my ability to accomplish but that it is something I am successful at because I am trying.

My picks:

  1. Meditate for 5-10 Minutes a Day
  2. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for
  3. Watch a TED talk
  4. Yoga

The rundown:

Meditation – I started a 15 minute guided one, and managed about 3 minutes until my distraction was pulled by people around. So far this is my biggest opportunity for growth.

Grateful for – 1. dinner with my boyfriend 2. liking my mom 3. bubble baths

TED talk – This fell through today, but I watched Youtube videos on healthy habits and routines, which was just as lovely.

Yoga – I managed to go a little bit longer and a little bit deeper into my stretches! It felt really nice with my music going, and a lot of deep breathing. I will definitely get back there.

30 Day Self-Care Challenge | Day 2

So yesterday was day 2 of my challenge. You can find my previous post outlining what I’m doing here. I would say yesterday was semi-successful.

My picks again were:

  1. Meditate for 5-10 Minutes a Day
  2. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for
  3. Watch a TED talk
  4. Yoga

The rundown:

Meditation – I did not manage to get to it.

Grateful for – 1. my decent health 2. the ability to drive 3. personal phone calls

TED talk – I watched a 10 minute ‘inspiration’ on my TED app (All it takes is 10 mindful minutes) about meditation. He was a great speaker and it was really interesting. Totally captivated me.

Yoga – I’m still gentle due to being post-surgery, and my dogs really wanted to be apart of it. So my down dog became “tackle the owner” but it was nice to stretch and still ease myself back into it.

Setting Up My Happy Space

A lot of what I’m coming into is embracing my life and change – while maintaining special spots in the house for myself that just make me plain happy. Today I set up a small office area in preparation for back to school (2 weeks!) where I can store my stuff and printer, have my laptop set out and plenty of space for the mass quantity of textbooks I just purchased (ouch).

It’s in our living room / slowly becoming library. Which is right by the kitchen and in open space. Why this is so important for me – I need dedicated space to work, but I hate feeling isolated while working, I need interaction even in the essence of just presence around. I am so happy. I plan to get some cute little desk decoration ideas and amp up my space a little. I’m all over Pinterest, who isn’t?

I’ll update on the desk space.

Also, I’m starting to prep to make a yoga room/meditation spot for myself. This is what I’m most looking forward too. Again, Pinterest is huge. But I’m really putting positive energy into this process and feeling great about it.

I strongly believe the better and more positive vibes/energy/karma you put out, the better you feel overall. It’s simple, be kind and you feel kinder.

If anyone has links or ideas on desk decor and/or meditation spots please let me know!