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Activism, Self Improvement

If a story moves you, act on it!

“Stories are necessary, but they’re not as magical as they seem, says writer Sisonke Msimang. In this funny and thoughtful talk, Msimang questions our emphasis on storytelling and spotlights the decline of facts. During a critical time when listening has been confused for action, Msimang asks us to switch off our phones, step away from our screens and step out into the real world to create a plan for justice.” -quote from TED talk discription

Activism, Mental health, Self Improvement

Getting through your worst days with mental illness + more

Having anxiety, depression, low self esteem, any mental illness or even if you’re just having a tough time can make it extremely hard to see the light in the future or even the light in that day. Here are some tips and strategies you can take to actively beat your worst days and relax your mind for even just a short period of time. Life can be extremely stressful and we all need to take a step back sometimes!:)

Ending it all is not an option. We all have days, weeks, months and even years where we feel at our worst and we don’t feel like we are accomplishing anything. Some of us feel as though the only resort is to end it all but my biggest piece of advice I can give is to think “Ending my life is not an option.” Wether you believe it, agree with it, think its valid or not, live by those words. Because although it can be extremely hard to see, there is light beyond what your feeling and life beyond what struggles you’re facing and you need to tell yourself that suicide is not the answer no matter how easy or good of an option it may seem like.

Write and walk! Get yourself a pen and paper or a journal and just write for a while! You can write about why you’re feeling the way you are or even relive a really good day that you had and why you are grateful for that day. Write about whatever your mind wants to let out. If you choose to write about why you’re feeling sad or what triggered you on that specific day, after writing it out, throw it in the garbage then go for a nice walk! Walk around, listen to some music or even just listen to the sound of the world and just take some time to yourself. Sometimes in stressful situations we forget to stop and breathe for a minute which will cause a lot more stress. It’s always a good idea to get some fresh air.

Netflix and chill? Sounds great! No, not the Netflix and chill you’re thinking of! Sometimes you just need to chill out and watch your favourite TV show or old movie. I personally like to have a hot bath (add a nice bath bomb or bubble bath!) and set up my computer in the bathroom and relax while watching some old Disney shows (those always bring up my mood!) Or a favourite childhood movie. This should take your mind off whatever’s going on around you and give you some time to just relax and lay low for a while.

Do some art therapy! A lot of people find drawing, painting or even just colouring extremely therapeutic. If you already have art supplies, Great! But if not, you can find colouring books and pencil crayons for under 5 dollars at a local dollar store. Draw anything you want, quote paintings, dogs, a skyline, anything your heart desires. This will give you something to put all your focus into. Having your mind very focussed on your art will relieve your brain for a while from all of its stress.

Talk to a trusted friend. Sometimes on our worst days we don’t feel like talking to anyone but isolating yourself for a long period of time can become extremely counterproductive. Meet up with a friend or family member (or even just give them a phone call) and tell them how you’re feeling! They may not be able to help you directly, but talking about how you feel will feel a lot better than keeping it all to yourself.

Take a really deep breath. Sometimes what you really need is a big deep breath! When something is making you sad or stressed out it’s extremely easy to work yourself up and bring more and more stress upon yourself by thinking of every little thing that’s wrong in your life. But do yourself a favour and just take a few deep breaths and try to make your body and mind relax. It’s a lot more effective than you think!

 

Disclaimer: There are just a few personal tips that I find helpful on some of my harder days. In no way am I saying these tips/strategies are a cure for mental illness. These are just a few strategies you can use in the moment to calm yourself down in a stressful situation or time. If you are or think you might be suffering from mental illness, there are endless methods of help out there for you. Like I said before, these are strategies for relieving current stress, although some people might be helped long term by these, not everyone will. Seeking professional help is crucial to recovery and know that you are not alone!

 

Thank you for reading!

 

Don’t forget to smile today!!

Activism, Bullying, LGBTQ + Sexism

A very important post for a very important group – The Get REAL Movement

I first discovered the get real movement when we watched a video in class called “To my Grade 7 Self.” This video featured members of the get real team sharing advice with their younger self. This video had a big impact on me because it showed me that being mean to others to be accepted is something you will always regret. As a child I thought it was important to do anything an everything to be accepted, even if that meant being mean to others and not being myself. Through watching this video I realized that I needed to change and be the kind, generous and tolerant person that I was before I was overcome by social pressure. Later on that same year The Get REAL Movement did a presentation at my school for all of the students. Right off the bat i found them so relatable and easy to listen to. They told real stories about experiences they’ve gone through and how it shaped them into who they are today. Throughout my school years the team did a presentation for us every pink day and every year I became more and more of a fan of what they stand for and who they are as people. Standing up against bullying has such a positive contribution to society and I truly believe that the TDSB, Canada and the world have changed because of the efforts and actions of The Get Real Team. Check out their website and youtube videos for more info!

http://www.thegetrealmovement.ca/

http://www.thegetrealmovement.com/to-my-grade-7-self/

Activism

How can I raise money to donate to charity?

This is a question that I often found myself asking as a child and young adult. I wanted to donate to charity but I really didn’t have any money of my own. Here are a couple of easy and fun ways to make some money to put towards the charity or organization of your choice.

-School fundraisers! Start off by asking your parents and principal for permission to make sure your idea is possible for them to help you with. Before this step, make sure you have some background information so you aren’t purposing an idea with no depth or ideas behind it. Choose what kind of fundraiser you want to hold (ideas will be in a link below!) Then decide where you want the proceeds to go to. Ask your parents or a teacher to help you find a legitimate organization that you can trust with the money you’ve raised. After you’ve taken these steps, get some friends or classmates involved to help you with it. Running an entire fundraiser by your self can be an extremely tough task and its best that you have some additional support. Make sure to have an adult involved so they can handle any technicalities or help with the donation process.

Click here for fundraising ideas: http://www.clicsargent.org.uk/content/z-fundraising-ideas-schools

-Split your allowance. I use this technique whenever i’m looking to save some money. If you get allowance from your parents or money from doing odd jobs around the house, put half of the money in a savings jar or piggy bank. Example: If your allowance is $4, keep $2 for yourself and put $2 into your jar. This method might take a bit more time but you’d be surprised how much you’re capable of saving! TIP: If you have any loose change, throw it in the jar as well!

-Hold a garage sale. We all have old junk that we haven’t touched in years so why not get rid of it? Gather up some old toys, games, dishes, ANYTHING that you have that can be sold for a garage sale. You can also ask your parents, family and friends to get involved if they want to contribute to your donation as well.

Don’t even raise money! If none of these methods work for you, you can always contact the organization you’re wishing to help and ask them what YOU can do. Offer to volunteer or promote them on social media. Volunteering is a great way to help your charity or organization of choice by taking action and its completely free!

TIPS

  • If you’re choosing to donate to a local animal shelter or humane society, to ensure your money is going to your preferred use, most of their websites provide a list of items they might be in need of.

I hope these ideas gave you some inspiration to take action and make a positive contribution to society! If you have any other ideas, feel free to comment below!

Upcoming Blog Post: Legitimate organizations to support for your social justice topic of choice!