How to Be There For A Friend During a Life Changing Event

How to Be There For A Friend During a Life Changing Event

When a friend is grieving or fallen on hard times, it’s easy to feel helpless. Sometimes we think we’re doing the right thing by trying to cheer them up, pointing out the positives or letting them know that they should try to move on. Well-intentioned as we may be, those efforts tend to put pressure on them and leave them feeling invalidated. So here are 5 ways to help you support your friend in times of need

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DIY Bullet Journal: The Ultimate Way to Track Your Goals

Hello Lovely,

I may be a blogger, and a former poet/story writer, but I hate journalling. Nevermind the fact that journalling is how I got interested in all forms of creative writing; that was kid me. Adult me just cannot find the time for something like this. I even tried it during my personal therapy sessions but just could not be bothered to keep up with me. Despite being so bad at this, I still understand the importance of tracking emotions and personal growth. So I decided to try the Bullet Journal style of journalling. You've probably never heard of this, so here's the 411.

The System

The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.

Rapid Logging

Note-taking and traditional journaling take time; the more complex the entry, the more effort is expended. The more effort expended, the more of a chore it becomes, the more likely you’ll underutilize or abandon your journal. Rapid Logging is the solution. Rapid Logging is the language in which the Bullet Journal is written. It consists of four components: topics, page numbers, short sentences, and bullets.

Bullets

Rapid Logging relies on the use of short-form notation paired with Bullets. Every bulleted item should be entered as short objective sentences. The Bullets will help organize your entries into three categories: Tasks, Events, and Notes.

You can read more on how to do traditional bullet journalling here, but that's not exactly what we're doing here. I originally got the idea to try this from Margot over at A Hearty Home. I thought this was a great way to track my emotional progress and would also be great to use with clients, especially couples going through hardship. Using the wheel charts, each chart represents a goal that you want to work on over the span of 3 months. So each wheel is sectioned off for three months. Then they're colour coded. So using a colour pencil, crayon, paint, anything you'd like, colour each segment for each week of that month. Red obviously means it was a bad week for that goal, yellow means you did something towards it, but it could use improvement, and green symbolises that you knocked it out of the park for that week. Over time, your weeks should start to be green more often.

As a couple, goals can be increasing physical intimacy, or increasing quality time together. Each week, you would look at overall, how well did you succeed with these attempts. I've attached a note sheet for each wheel chart for you to note in bullet form any particulars on why your week went the way it did. It's very important to pay attention to the thought processes that led to each decision you made over the week that either pushed you closer or further away from your goals. By having a tangible record of this, it will be easier to track any maladpative thought patterns and correct them.

7 Signs You’re Headed for a Nervous Breakdown

7 Signs You’re Headed for a Nervous Breakdown

The signs and symptoms of your 'nervous breakdown' are an indication that you have reached your limit, not that you're going mad! You're just at breaking point - completely 'stressed out' and at the 'end of your tether'.

There's a limit to us all and there's a limit to how much you can cope with too. Maybe life has just thrown too much at you, and/or your resources - internal and/or external - have become depleted. You can no longer deal with all that stress and you feel you're falling apart.

I hope to help you make sense of what is happening to you or someone you care about - your partner perhaps.

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Motivational Mondays: Know Your Worth

Motivational Mondays: Know Your Worth

Today I get personal on how events in the past have now come full circle and made me realise that I am a better person because of it. If you're in a difficult relationship and can't decide whether or not it's time to leave, this post is for you.

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How to Unplug and Let Go

Happy July!

 

This year is going by so quickly! I can't believe it's almost time for me to start shopping for Christmas decorations again! Think about it, next month we'll be swamped by 'Back to School' stuff, then it's Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas! (Sorry if I missed any other major holidays). Can you tell I really like Christmas?! I'm not sure how I'm going to top last year (actually I still have to properly decorated for summer this year). I'll get it to soon enough though. I'm trying not to stress over it.

I'll admit, I'm not the biggest person when it comes to letting go of grudges (when I'm angry at someone, it takes awhile for me to forgive and move on). But even I understand that this is not healthy. Sometimes we get so caught up in our feelings and everything that happens around us, we lose sight of what's really important. When that starts to happen, it's good to just unplug and let go. One of the books on my list to read this summer is Eat Pray Love. Even though I haven't started it yet, I can genuinely see that this will be a summer of unplugging and letting go for me. Freeing your mind is one of the best things you can do for yourself and it's easier to do than you think.

  1. Let's go to the Beach! (In my Nicki Minaj voice)

I love a good beach day with my gal pals! Not only do we get to parade in our swimsuits, drink beer and Instagram the whole thing, there's actually many health benefits attached to going to the beach. 

Sea water contains high levels of various minerals, which may help fight infection, heal physical wounds, offer therapeutic effects, and potentially help the body heal and detoxify. Swimming is linked to decreased stress and increased sense of well-being; studies have shown swimming and water-based exercise help to decrease anxiety and depression.Aside from its therapeutics effects, swimming provides excellent physical exercise, employing most of our major muscle groups, especially as the water provides gentle resistance.

 

2. Not a beach fan, or don't live near one? What makes you happy?

It's not always easy for people who don't live on islands to access the beach. So they've got other ways to unplug and let go. Whatever that is for you (maybe it's video games, or blogging, or TV) it's yours to do.

 

3. Slowly turn your electronic devices off, one at a time.

I actually started doing this a few months go. I started with my television. When Scandal and all of the other TGIT shows ended I didn't have any major shows that demanded my attention on TV. I found myself just aimlessly flipping through the channels. One day I just didn't turn my TV on at all. And then another, and then another. It was so easy I almost didn't even think about it. So now, on weekends my TV is off. I'm either sleeping or out with friends, so TV just isn't a priority on weekends any more. 

This past Sunday I even went as far as turning my cell phone off. When I turned it back on, I disabled the WiFi so that no social messages could come through. I only used my phone to read my book. And it was great. Sometimes you just need to not be needed. And to know that the world won't end if you don't respond to your friends' cat GIF right away.

 

4. Tell someone what you need

It's hard for people to let you go if you don't tell them to. I have a friend that's famous for telling me when she's taking a sabbatical so that she can reflect in peace. If you're feeling overwhelmed and need a getaway buddy or just need someone to understand that they're emergency is not your emergency, you've got to tell them. Communication is key. It's gonna be pretty hard to get your zen on if you can't get any space from the people or things in your life.

 

5. Find the source of your problem and let go.

Now I understand that this is going to be hard if the source of your problem is a person; or so you would think. We often think that our problem is with a particular person, when really it's with a particular action or behaviour that you didn't like. No one's perfect and even though someone should be wise enough to know when they've hurt someone, people aren't always going to admit to wrongdoings. It's up to you to ask yourself, "Is this really worth stressing/fighting/crying/worrying over?"

Ex: I had a best friend that pretty much just fell off the map with me, during a pretty rough time in my life. She stopped calling and even stopped taking my calls. I cried and fussed for awhile, trying to figure out if I may have offended her someway. I even thought about confronting her about it. Until I really stopped and analysed the situation. My problem wasn't with her, exactly. I have abandonment issues so I got hurt when she 'abandoned' me. Then I thought more about how this wasn't the first time she had done this. She was always flying in and out of my life. And I always held the door open for her. So this time, I let go. I let go of that imaginary door and I was done.

 

No one can make you let go; it happens in your own time and in your own way. But you've got to be able to see your problem for what it really is, if you're ever to truly let go.

 

What's your favourite technique for unplugging and letting go of negative things in your life? Sound off in the comment section below or on my Facebook page!

 

Thank you for reading,

XoX,

Olivia

How to Tell Your Friends that They Dress Badly

I firmly believe in wearapy; that being the way we dress has a significant effect not only on how others perceive us, but how we feel about ourselves. The way you dress should be a reflection of who you are. You can also express your mood through your outward appearance. Not everyone dresses the same, and that’s okay. But somewhere along the line, you’ve deemed yourself to be more knowledgeable in fashion and trends, and now you’re looking at your friends, trying to figure out how to save them from a fashion disaster. This could be either a fun or a really sensitive topic when confronting the person. But sometimes you just need to let your friends know that they dress badly. Here’s 5 tips on how you can begin to have that conversation.

1. Let Them Know You Care

This can be a delicate situation to handle. It’s always better to start out with how much you care and appreciate them. Make sure they know that you only want what’s best for them. Maybe you can try having this conversation over a glass of wine or their favourite comfort food. Make sure they’re comfortable before you begin the attack. Don’t make them feel like this is an intervention, even though it basically is.

2. Ask Them Why They Dress that way

Before you go off on what you think is wrong with what they wear, it’s good to get their perspective. Everyone has their reasoning for why they think it’s okay to wear pyjama pants or a satin cap in public at four in the afternoon. You may not agree, but to them it makes sense.  Whatever their reason is, help them get over it or through it. Be a good friend. After finding out why they won’t change, give them a reason to change.

3. Ask Them if They Want to Change

No one likes to have someone else’s views shoved down their throat. Don’t forget, opinions are like private body parts: It’s great to have, but when you start swinging it in someone’s face, no one’s happy. When they do decide to change, make sure you’re there for them and willing to help. Don’t be the friend that nags them to change but doesn’t help. That’s unsupportive and what kind of person does that make you look like?

4. Be Upfront about it

Upfront. Not mean. Sometimes that friend just needs to hear it straight, no lies, no sugar coating. Don’t leave any room for misunderstanding, and let them know you’re being serious. You can start by telling them why you question what they wear. Maybe the slouchy pants and stained t-shirt makes them look a little sloppy. It’s also better if they know that it’s not just you that is bothered by how they dress. Explain how their appearance affects their lives. Is your best friend still single and only has her cats to look forward to on a Friday night? Or maybe that job interview ended before it even began. Bring up past experiences in their life and let them know that the reason why something happened is because they dress badly. This involves explaining what is wrong with their clothes. If the crop top is too small for her body, let her know! Plumber crack is not sexy people! And no one wants to be seen with 18th century school librarian. Not only is she making herself look bad, she’s making you look bad as well because other people are going to say, “She couldn’t tell her friend she looks bad”?

5. Tell Them How They Can Change

Maybe your friend already knows they want to change but has no idea where to begin. Telling someone to change without giving them the tools to do so is a setup for failure. Give them inspiration; whether it’s reruns of ‘What Not to Wear’ or ‘How do I Look’, or making them a board on Pinterest. (And if they don’t know what Pinterest is, there may not be help for them at this point). You can also go the subtle route and just buy the clothes you would want to see them in as a birthday or Christmas present. You can even go the cheap route by just offering to share your closet with them. Explain how fashion works and give them choices. Explain the difference and why one choice is better than the other. Help them find their actual style in a modest and subtle way.

 

Some of you probably have one person in mind the entire time you’ve been reading this, or maybe that person is you. If you’re having trouble with defining your sense of style, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some of you may genuinely not care what others think of you and that’s fine. There’s no need to depend on the validation from others to feel special or good about yourselves. But if you find yourself constantly falling on hard times, or feeling like you just can’t catch a break, it’s okay to make a few cosmetic changes, if it means that at the end of the day, YOU are happy with yourself. Because if you’re not putting your best foot forward, you’re only doing yourself a disservice.

XoX,