Stress is my middle name

Becoming an adult comes with great responsibility – besides the general pay your bills, clean your apartment stuff tending to your mental and physical health is an important responsibility that is often forgotten. It’s easy to push stress and physical pain aside and not handle them until they become a real problem. I’m diagnosed with an anxiety disorder (as well as bipolar disorder) so stress is something near and (not) dear to me. I often ruminate about things that happen at work, school, or some random irrational fear that pops up in my head (funny story about that, one time for a week I had a fear that my dog would get rabies from the squirrel she chases (damn squirrel always steals the seeds from the bird feeder) so I’d watch her carefully on the deck to make sure that squirrel didn’t touch her). I’d turn to food or isolation to help ease the anxiety however as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that those methods aren’t the most helpful.

A therapist I use to see gave me one of the most helpful suggestion for dealing with irrational fears/anxieties. He suggested I create a chart – one column describing the fear, one column describing all the reasons I have to believe the fear is true, one column describing all the reasons I have to believe the fear is false, and alternate theories to why a situation is the way it is. This suggestion really has helped me through some of my more personal, difficult fears as well as some of my more generic fears (I.e. Will I fail in life? type fears). What makes it so useful is getting the feelings out on paper rather than keeping them inside my head.

As childish as they may seem, adult coloring books are also a strategy that helps tame my anxiety. When I’m most anxious just spending 20 minutes coloring a picture helps distract me from the thoughts swirling in my head. Some of the anxiety is still there but the majority has passed by the time I’m done coloring that picture. Another childish one but video games help for me as well. I’ve been playing the game Ocarina of Time for the past month and I forget about most of the stressors of my day while playing. Both of these strategies (for me) help me disconnect from my busy head and focus on something else other than my anxieties for some time.

Learning how to handle stress and anxiety is a big part of that transition from childhood to adulthood. For myself, I feel that I’m still on that learning process of figuring out other strategies to handle the stress and also learning how to not stress about certain things (not sweating the small stuff so to speak). When I’ve talked about my stress to my fiancé (who is about 5 1/2 years older than me) he’s described that dealing with the stressors of adulthood gets easier with time. Things that seemed like a huge deal to him at 23 now don’t seem so huge at 29. I definitely agree with him in that respect but also acknowledge that finding those coping strategies helps make dealing with the stress easier. As with most things, it’s a learning process.

What coping strategies do you guys use to deal with the stressors of adulthood? Hope your week goes well!

Steph xoxo

Monday Update

Hey all! Hope your week and weekend went well. It’s Monday and I’m sick in bed with my puppy (she is just the most perfect nurse).

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So perfect time to write a blog post! I have another post I’m working on about journaling for mental health that I’m excited about. I thought I’d use this post to give an update on my life and catch up with everyone.

Despite being sick most of last week I had a really good week. I saw two of my favorite bands in concert this week (Envy on the Coast last Saturday, 3/18 and Senses Fail on Thursday, 3/23). I haven’t been to a concert in a while so getting to enjoy some live music was great (though my neck still hurts from head banging a little too much…).Music for me has always been a release (at one point in my life I wanted to become a music teacher) so seeing two concerts last week really helped me relax and decompress. I tried to get some pictures in between songs and caught a few good ones.

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I also received some exciting news at work. I had been pining to learn more of the development and programming side of things at work (it’s not *true* coding but it’s still an aspect of it) and finally am heading in that direction. My work computer was set up to be able to develop  and I should be receiving some training this week on it! I am so excited – I’ll be able to get my feet wet in development and learn some new skills.

Despite being sick this weekend (because I am stubborn as a mule and do not listen when I’m told to rest) I decided to dye my hair. I’ve always loved having some red in my hair and decided to go back to that color (a good portion of my hair was previously  bleached to a golden blonde by a professional hairstylist at a salon, so I did not use any bleaching agent). My wonderful Mom dyed/blow dryed the whole thing for me and it came out exactly how I wanted it to.

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I’m excited for this week and hope it’ll be a good one. I hope you all have a good week!

Steph xoxo

Oo Shiny!

Hey all, hope your week is going well!

I’m a huge make up lover but only as of recently – when I was in a not so healthy relationship I stopped wearing makeup because he didn’t like “made up” girls. However after healing and moving past those experiences I’ve rediscovered my love of make up. It’s amazing how much you can do with make up and what beautiful looks you can create with a few eye shadows.

The highlighter trend has been huge lately and admittedly I have never worn a highlighter before. I saw how gorgeous highlighter looked on most people but couldn’t find one that really made me go “Wow!”. However, I saw the Anastasia Beverly x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit collaboration on Instagram and immediately wanted to go to Sephora and get it. The colors in the pictures were absolutely beautiful – bright pinks and rich golden colors – and even if I decided I didn’t like the look of highlighter on me the colors looked beautiful enough to be used for eyeshadow.

I dragged Dan to Sephora to pick it up and I was incredibly excited for it.

The colors are really pretty – My favorite is Forever Lit – it really pops in the light.

Given that I’m new to highlighter I’m learning (lots of youtube tutorials) how to properly apply it to my face however I am so excited. I’ve already tried out Forever Lit and Kitty Kat – I love how the highlighters give a little more dimension to my make up looks. I thought they would be a too glittery but not at all. These colors are awesome.

Have any of you tried this Glow Kit out? What do you all think of it?

Hope the rest of your week goes well! I may post another time this week with a quick update on my life (or something else random).

Steph xoxo

Hello :)

This is my first blog post and actually my first blog so I’m really excited to start writing. My blog will explore my different interests including makeup, baking, video games, mental health, and dogs. I’ll share new experiences I have on this blog as well as reviews/any cool helpful ideas I come across. Feel free to leave comments or contact me if you have anything you want me to do a post about or any suggestions.

I’ll give a little background on myself for my first blog post. I am a 23-year-old recent college graduate. I graduated with a degree in psychology and worked for two years at a suicide prevention hotline. At the time I was working for the suicide prevention hotline I was also pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work. The work I did was incredibly meaningful however from working there and from the classes I took in Social Work I realized that the field was not for me. I switched gears and decided to go back to school to pursue a degree in computer science. I love technology and after using an e-learning book to learn the basics of Python and other coding languages, I quickly figured out that computer science was right for me. I took a position at an IT company to gain some technical experience and am currently taking some preliminary courses at a local college.

My job could honestly be a whole blog by itself; while I am learning an incredible amount of knowledge, the job (and the environment) can be incredibly hectic, stressful and trying. I’ve worked in a lot of different work environments (from fast food to corporate to family owned business) however this work environment is a first (one of my closest friends thinks I’m being punked sometimes based off of the stories I have). Right now I’m trying out different strategies to cope with it (I took my work email off my phone and am trying very hard to develop that work/life balance) however I may touch upon my job in some posts on this blog.

As a person, I’m learning more about myself day after day. A very toxic relationship led me to lose myself for 3 years however with the love and support of those around me I began to regain myself and learn who I am. I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder a few years back, which has been a huge part of my life. While I have my disorder under control now (after years of medication and therapy) a lot of my day still consists of checking in on myself and asking myself how am I feeling today, is something bothering me, do I need to take a break and relax. While I have come a long way from where I was when I was first diagnosed there is still work left to do in order to maintain and continue to become a stronger person.

I’m someone who loves animals and will go out of my way to pet a dog or visit a sanctuary. I have a 4 ½ year old rescue pup who’s #1 in my life (to my fiancé’s dismay). She’s a beagle mix and is just about the cutest thing on four legs – she loves people and attacks new people with hugs and kisses when she meets them. She is honestly the best pup in the world.

I’m also a hardcore make up lover. While I’m not the best at putting it on (mornings are trying with that liquid eyeliner) I love playing around with eye shadows and new palettes that come out. My favorite is the Naked 3 palette (with all the rose gold colors) – the colors are gorgeous and make my brown eyes pop. I’m also on the search for a good matte liquid lipstick – if anyone has any good suggestions leave them in the comments! I’m thinking I may do reviews of liquid lipsticks/durability of different brands.

There’s a lot more to me but I’ll save that for later blog posts (I know, the suspense is killing you!). I’m excited to start blogging and meeting new people!