Perfection is not Happiness

Perfection. What really is it? It’s something that many of us strive for, even when we know it’s simply a fantasy that does not exist. I have been trying to reach perfection for my whole life. I want my house, my hair, my makeup, my body, my car—the list is endless—all to be perfect. Yet, I know that is an unachievable goal. Perfection does not exist, and as many a philosopher have stated… the real beauty lies in the imperfections around us. So I ask the question, why… what makes us all aim for a goal that we know we cannot attain? It hurts us in more ways than it helps us and if we really took a minute to look around and understand that it’s not real, maybe we could be happier.

I am 23 years old, and I feel like I should have everything figured out and planned for my life. It seems as though everyone around me has that, and that they all lead the “perfect” life. Social media really plays a part in all of this, because it allows for everyone around us to post the corner of their lives that they want everyone to see. People don’t want to post photos about the shitty day that they’re having, and how they’re broke or depressed or just lost their job. What we see, and what we post ourselves even, are the shiny pieces of our lives; the new kitten, the brand new car, or the trip that we are about to embark on. It can definitely leave a sour taste in your mouth when you’re not feeling so hot yourself.

Social media is so great for many things, it gives people opportunities that they may not have had otherwise, it shines light on issues that need attention, and it brings people together as a community all over the world. However, it also has a tendency to engulf people and suck the life out of them if they’re not careful. I say this as always—speaking from experience. We see others showing how they have “achieved perfection” when in actuality, they are sitting behind their screen striving for the “perfection” they think that we have. It’s a vicious cycle.

If perfection exists, I believe it exists in the little things; the feeling of my cat nestled against my legs at night, a giant cup of your favourite coffee, or a walk with someone you love on a crisp autumn night. That is the kind of perfection I want to learn to strive for. Leave all the rest in the dust.

5 Tips For Getting Out of Bed When You’re Depressed

As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety for the majority of my life, I have firsthand experience with what it’s like trying to get yourself out of bed. Getting out of bed can be a struggle for everyone at some point, but when you’re in the midst of a bad depressive episode the only thing you want to do is sleep. That’s when having responsibilities can be a challenge because if you aren’t getting up, the consequences can be major. If you’re like me, you’ve probably grown tired of people telling you to just suck it up, and to get up and take on the day in spite of how you’re feeling. Sometimes that’s just not an option. Over the years I’ve come up with a short list of things I do that help me crawl out from under the covers, even on the worst days.

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  1. Set up the coffee pot the night before. If you’re someone like me who deeply depends on coffee to get the day started, then the most beneficial thing you can do for yourself is remove all of the work and thinking from the morning. This may sound simple, but if all you have to do is get up and push a button to get your steaming cup of caffeine, it’ll be a lot less intimidating. Even better if you have a coffee pot with a timer! If coffee isn’t your thing, fill the teapot with water before you go to bed and have the teabag already in the cup so all that’s left to do is boil water and pour. This can work for any of your morning routines in the kitchen; whether
    that’s prepping as much of your breakfast as possible, or getting the blender or toaster out for easy access! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been able to get up easier, knowing all I had to do was push a button. Just try it, and tell me if it works for you!
  2. Clean up the kitchen. If you don’t do anything else before going to sleep, tidy the kitchen! It will make your morning so much easier. There is nothing worse than waking up to a sink full of dishes and a counter top scattered with pots, pans and last night’s leftovers. Of course this is easier said than done, and it can be difficult when depressed to muster up the energy to do this; but I’m telling you that waking up to a tidy kitchen will allow your mind to feel less cluttered. Plus it’ll be far easier to get breakfast ready to go and find the coffee pot! This doesn’t mean you need to scrub the sink, mop the floors and clear out the fridge; all you need to do is clear the counter tops and be done with it!
  3. Decide on your clothes before bed. You’re probably noticing that most of these tips take place the night before, and that’s because it is much easier to do things when you’re already awake versus when you’re dreading waking up. So tip number 3 is to decide on your outfit and how you’re doing your hair (if applicable) before you hit the pillow. You don’t even need to physically get the outfit ready—although that’s an added bonus! Just simply thinking about it, checking the weather, where your day is going to take you, and maybe just making a note about it in your phone so you don’t forget. It also helps to shower at night so you have less to do, and it takes you less time getting ready because you don’t have to moisturize or blow dry your hair. This tip can save you if you’ve woken up late, or struggled to get up; and it also takes the stress out of it in the morning.
  4. Book appointments for early morning. This tip generally works on days when you aren’t working, or in school or wherever it is you normally have to be 5 days a week. On my days off, I find it the absolute hardest to get myself away from my pillow and comforter. I have no obligations beating down on me, and no mangers expecting me to be at work. I tend to sleep in a lot later, and then I feel like I’ve already wasted my whole day—so what is even the point of getting up? I would be lying if I said there were days where I just… didn’t. However, I have found that by making an appointment for around 9 or 10am on my days off, it really helps get me motivated for the rest of the day. I mean of course there aren’t always appointments you need to book like doctor, dentist or counsellor, but if you make a plan with a friend to get together for coffee it’ll work the same! By making it earlier in the day it forces you to get up and be somewhere and gives your body time to adjust to the day. Then when it’s over and you’re home, it is slightly less tempting to dive into bed and cocoon yourself.
  5. Baby steps. If you are finding the thought of getting up and getting ready for the day, making breakfast, and driving to work extremely intimidating; try taking it slow. Get from your bed to the couch, and once you’ve adjusted move your way to the kitchen and start the coffee maker. Go back to the couch for a minute if you need to, and then go brush your teeth. Once you get started you’ll start to feel better and will be able to finish your routine. Put on some music if it helps!

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Those are my 5 tips for getting out of bed when you’re depressed! I’m not going to be the one to tell you that exercise, meditation and essential oils are what will help, I mean I’m sure they would but they aren’t the only options! Not to mention, they can tend to feel kind of overwhelming. These tips are more like basic survival skills when in a time of need. I hope these helped you, and if they did I would love to hear about it! Depression is different for everyone, so if you have any other helpful tips please feel free to comment them down below!

Thanks for reading,

xo Sara

Why I Decorated Early for Christmas and Why You Should Too!

If you told me a year ago, that I would have my Christmas tree up in the middle of November I would have laughed in your face. I grew up in a house where we decorated on December 1st every year. No sooner and no later. It was a day we all anticipated and when it came, the attic seemed to have thrown up garlands, glitter and Santa Claus ornaments. It was an absolute blast!

Then I grew up, moved out and had my own place to decorate. I had a small tree with a few scattered glass figurines of snowmen. My parents moved and in the process had to stay in rental for a few months without access to their proper décor. My mom made due with what she could but it wasn’t the same.

After that year, things seemed to continuously get worse around the holidays. In 2013 my mom spent Christmas in the hospital for an unknown medical issue, and my dad passed away on Halloween of 2014. Two days later my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She made it home for Christmas that year but was too sick to remember it. Come Christmas 2015, she was ecstatic and determined to make it the best one yet since she had missed so many years prior. Her tree was beautiful (as usual) and she was set on spreading the Christmas spirit even though the majority of my family, including myself, were being a bunch of grinches. We’d all been through a lot and the time of year seemed to hold a dark cloud over our family. We were scared of what was to come, and rightly so. My mom never made it to Christmas, as she passed away on December 16th, 2015.

Needless to say, last Christmas was one of the hardest yet. I have been dreading this season all year long. I wanted to put my foot down and refuse to decorate or partake in Christmas activities. A lot has changed since last Christmas, I have a long list of people who are no longer in my life and it has been a very challenging experience. However, try as I might, I can’t help but give in to the excitement and beauty that is the Christmas season. The decorations, the atmosphere, the chilly weather; it brings such joy even when it comes with bad memories.

So instead of being a scrooge this year, I took inspiration from one of my favourite Youtubers, Nikki Blackketter and put my decorations up on November 13th. Nikki was so open with her audience about not being in the best spirits following some life things, and to make herself feel better she put her Christmas tree up insanely early. I thought that was so awesome!

If you’re feeling down, or in a funk, or even if you just love Christmas decorations and see no reason to wait; I highly recommend putting them up ASAP! The warm glow of the lights on the tree in a dimly lit living room, feel like a cozy hug. Especially on a cold day after work. My favourite thing to do now is to make a cup of tea or coffee, grab a book or turn on my current favourite tv show and just relax.

I’m the type of person who mainly prefers bright rooms, with natural light and fresh air but due to the fact that I live in a dark basement suite where my lightbulbs burn out once a week, it is such a refreshing feeling to actually enjoy the darkness. I like my house better in the dark at Christmas time, because that means the lights really stand out. I also love that it makes it feel like the season has begun early, and therefore I am ready to go to all of the Christmas markets near me, and light mazes and tree-lighting festivals, I can’t wait!

As a kid, I always found the Christmas season to go by WAY too fast, but if you start early you can really stretch it out and enjoy it for so much longer. I remember getting that sad feeling on Christmas morning, knowing that the hype was over and by tomorrow it would all be over, when I didn’t even feel like I got to enjoy it. So now, as an adult, I have decided to make it last longer but starting early. I mean why not? The malls all start the day after Halloween, and why should we let them have all the fun?!

I hope this inspired some of you to put up your decorations early, and if it did I would love to know!

xo Sara