Bouncing Back From When the Door Shut On Me

October 2017 – Instagram rolls out their first major algorithm change.

November 2017 – my small shop ends the year stable but not great since these changes affected my sales during peak season.

2018 – I continue to see record low months as Instagram, Facebook, Google, and Etsy all change their algorithms again and again.

November 2018 – my small shop sees 1/7 of the amount of sales as the previous November.

By the end of 2018, I finally concede. The last year has left me broke, stressed beyond repair, shattered emotionally, and utterly defeated. I have to make the decision to move back in with my parents because my bank accounts have been drained and my credit cards have been maxed out in failed attempt after failed attempt to try to get my business back up on it’s feet. But it’s been no use.

By January 2019, I have been looking for a new job for a month and have been turned down countless times with one company looking at my resume and even saying “oh you own your own business? So you don’t have any time for us.” Well, no.. Otherwise I wouldn’t have applied here.

But a late birthday present arrives for me in the form of a call back from one of the places I sent an application to – the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The next day I am there for my interview with Flightline and Jungle Ropes Safari. I left feeling great (despite the fact that I cussed during my interview….) and optimistic! I would know by the next day if I got it or not.

That next day, I wait. All day. Just waiting for my phone to ring. That seemed like the coolest job in the world to zipline and do obstacle courses and get PAID for it! Finally the phone rings – and lucky me, I GOT IT! I would get to be a tour guide for Flightline and Jungle Ropes! I would get to be around animals, give tours to people who also love animals, zipline, do the obstacle course, and literally just have fun all day.

I am writing this now ten months into this job. I have met the most amazing, funny, sarcastic people in the world that I love working with. I have taken on another position in the park for a new night time safari. AND as of last week, I have officially been promoted to a relief lead position along with one of my other coworkers and friends, Austin!

Ten months has felt like ten days! That year and a half of feeling like a total failure left me feeling pessimistic and honestly kind of a grouch, because, at the time, what would I have to feel happy about? But as soon as I started working there and started working with people that were happy to be there, were helpful in getting me trained quickly, and wanted me to succeed and be better, my mood started to lift! Month after month, I could feel my stress slowly dwindle down and I could feel my true, happy nature starting to come back. I literally get to run around all day in the outdoors, overlooking some of the best views of some of the most endangered and beautiful creatures in the world, and have the most fun coworkers ever. It took a lot of time (probably up until these ten months here) for me to calm down a little, not be so uptight, and enjoy my work again!

So why am I telling you this?

Because my small shop was me. My small shop was my CAREER. That was MY thing that I built from scratch, and I built it up to be successful and it was something people really cared about. And then somehow practically what felt like overnight, some big company took that away from me.

I felt like a complete failure. It felt like I had wasted my time and energy pouring my life into a business that now gave me no returns. And the worst part of it was, applying to new jobs was the most degrading towards my hard work. Why? Because not a lot of people view owning your own one-person business as actual experience because no one but yourself can vouch for your work ethic. What did they view it as? “Cute. You had a hobby, congrats.” Yea ok, don’t look at my business degree as having helped me navigate record-keeping, doing the end of the year taxes, handling customer service, creating products, marketing those products, collaborating with other people as a way to boost reach, all the while not having any other job during this time because this one brought enough business for me to sustain a living in San Diego. Yea.. that definitely sounds like a hobby to me too….

But I kept trying to make that dream of mine come back into view. But I can’t and don’t know how to bring my dream back. Everything I have tried does not work. And it was finally coming to that realization that made “applying for a new job” seem like a step backwards. It made me feel like I failed. I created my shop so I wouldn’t have to work for someone else and here I was doing exactly what I didn’t want to do.

But you know what? Ten months later, I am fine with it. You know the saying that “when one door closes, another one opens”? Well when my small shop’s door started to close on me, I honestly never imagined another door would open. BUT IT DID! In the form of the best job in the world!

Do I make as much as I used to when my small shop was in it’s prime? Not even close. But I have something so much more valuable than that. A job I care about, people that I love to work with and hang out with, an environment that is fun and sarcastic and chaotic in the best way, and a better attitude.

I want this little story to inspire someone. Someone who has ever felt like I have. Because what I thought to be my worst blunder ended up being the reason for the job I have now. Ten months in and I am writing this as a newly promoted, so much more fit and tan, happily employed by someone other than me, person!

So what I am trying to say is that maybe the dream that you thought was your true purpose was just a stepping stone. And just maybe what truly is the best place for you is still patiently waiting for you.

If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

– Marc Anthony

– Donna Faaborg

{Shoutout to any fans of The Office who can understand why I wrote this quote the way I did}

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Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

Happy birthday! Happy anniversary! Happy whatever-it-is that you say when your business is another year older!

In January 2014, on my short fight from Salt Lake City back to San Diego, I came up with a vague shirt shop idea. I drew up some shirt ideas and I called it Brand By You. Why? Well that answer is two-fold.

At the time, I guess I was a little upset whenever I would shop – it seemed like I had to compromise on my tastes when it came to buying anything. “Oh my gosh, I love this design, but I hate the color it’s on..” “Wow this color is perfect for my style, but the cut is extremely unflattering..”. Time and again I found that my closet was filled with stuff I only half liked and it was getting tiresome. If I was going to make a shirt shop, then I was going to give people options. If blue doesn’t fit their aesthetic, then they could get a different color. If they don’t feel comfortable wearing tank tops, then they could get it on a crew neck or a sweatshirt or literally anything else. WHY NOT?! My only job would be printing, so why is it considered so much extra work if the person I am working with wants something that fits their style? Answer – it’s not.

Not to mention I was also shopping with my mom a lot at Nordstrom and I found the designer collection names to be so ridiculous – Marc by Marc Jacobs, Michael by Michael Kors. Really? You couldn’t think of anything more original??

Thus blossomed Brand By You. An ode to the idea that this shop, this brand, was for the people who would be buying it. I wanted those people to be able to choose what they wanted so they never had to settle with their wardrobe. And secondly, the name is a playful hit at those designer labels. Because “Marc” might have been created by Marc Jacobs for people like Marc Jacobs – but this brand is by and for people like you.

So now here comes the cliche question that interviewers or first dates ask you: Where do you see yourself in five years?

A lot can change, right? Did I think this would be popular 5 years in – no, but I was hopeful. Did I think my brand’s success would be subject to the countless social media algorithm changes that would actually cause a number of successful businesses to suffer or even go out of business – no, but I would always keep pushing. Or better yet – did I even think my dream would become a reality thanks to the people that I named the business after – HELL NO! Which is why even though these plans were created January 2014, Brand By You did not become Brand By You until August 22, 2014 {The same day I signed my paperwork to work at Gap, and a week before I started my junior year of college. Stress overload happened exactly a year later!}

Looking at 2019 as the fifth year of BBY, I have new hopes and new dreams. A lot has indeed changed since I first opened this business, and honestly that algorithm change has been relentless!! For me this year has been me finally getting on top of new designs and launching them in time for their corresponding movie releases. It has been collaborating more with the other small shops that I respect so much and were around to help me get my business off the ground. It has been experiencing more of what the Disney parks have to offer me and having all of you, my amazing followers, interact with me on those experiences. And most importantly, it’s now actually been moving away from the business side.

Wait what? Didn’t you just say that you were staying on top of movie releases with new designs?”

Well… yes. But halfway through the year, I decided that for my own sanity that it was time to start doing what I wanted to do. And it was also time to stop letting this algorithm take the best parts of myself and making me feel like they were worth nothing. I moved away from the business side 1) because the algorithm was shoving me (and many other small shops I love!) out of their businesses, and 2) because I wanted to start having fun with my page again. I wanted to start posting Disney Style and Disney Bound pictures and writing blogs that will help and inspire people. I wanted to take back everything I felt like the algorithm was taking from me.

Overall, I just wanted to have fun again!

After five years, everyone keeps telling me it’s a feat to have a business last that long despite all these changes. But after five years I never thought I would end up feeling like such a failure with that same business that brought me so much joy, life, and the sense that I had a CAREER. I never thought that after five years I would be back to having another job, living at my parents house to try my best to pay off all the debt that I accrued trying to “save” the business, and having this new direction with BBY that didn’t focus on trying to make money. And most importantly, starting this blog site!

And this isn’t a pity party – I don’t want people to feel bad for what’s happened. It sucks, yea, but a lot of things that make us better in the end always start out as really sucky scenarios. I would like to believe that this is sort of my rebirth into something better. Because the truth is I love my new job and I love my new direction with BBY and this blog, and I love not paying for rent so that I can focus on paying off debt and really get on track with my future.

It’s been five years of fun, adventures, new, old, mistakes, successes, learning, re-learning, trying, failing, and pain. But I survived even though there were countless moments of self-doubt, stress, and crying on the bathroom floor about everything I felt I lost.

But look at what I have gained in the process?

Five years. A lot can change in that amount of time. So to answer the question for the next five years – I have no freaking idea where it will take me next.

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You’re Being Too Loud

Alright it’s time to point some fingers.

Does everyone have their index finger poised and at the ready? Because it’s time to reveal who we will be pointing our finger at today! Are you ready? THE BIGGER WINNER IS…… YOU!

Um, excuse me?

Yup, today we are going to be taking our index finger and pointing it at ourselves.

Let me give you some context though. The first time I heard “You Need To Calm Down” by Taylor Swift, I got to admit, I absolutely loved it – and her music isn’t really my kind of thing. When Taylor Swift went rogue, she turned her Reputation (pun intended) upside down. She shocked people, and she continues to shock people! This song in particular really brought that index finger out front and center when it came to pleading with her fans to stand up for those in the LGBT community and to start making waves in getting equality for those individuals because the government wasn’t doing it.

That is what is on the surface. Now what I am about to say next is most likely NOT Taylor Swift’s original intention with the song, however her words still ring true.

The reason I am saying that our fingers will now be pointed at ourselves is because admit it – you need to calm down. Instead of singing the song like you are telling someone else to calm down, imagine if someone was singing this about you.

This day in age, I feel like everyone is pretty quick to play the victim card. They like to place the blame elsewhere – “anywhere but me, please!”. As a visual, just imagine the type of hysterical performance that a soccer player puts on when someone steps on their foot. Only to find out by slow motion footage that the other player kind of stepped near it but not actually on it. It’s like they are TRYING to find a way to be inconvenienced.

Now, I am not pointing the finger at you to say that you specifically are doing stuff like this. What I am trying to get all of us to do is to just take a step back and be more aware of our actions and how those actions affect others. To look at things from someone else’s view. To ask the hard questions. And to, most importantly, play devil’s advocate.

I cannot tell you just how important it is to play devil’s advocate. I know you love your friends dearly, but can’t you agree that sometimes they are being ridiculous? That maybe that person that they just have so many problems with is actually in the right and your friend is in the wrong? That you can see the other person’s point of view of why they would be upset at your friend?

Now instead of doing that for your friend, do it for yourself. Calm down. Take several seats and try to restore the peace and control your urge to scream about all the people you hate.

No, it’s not fun being wrong, it’s not fun admitting fault, and it’s certainly not heart-warming saying that out loud. I know that because I’ve done it – lots of times.

Just like the saying that it takes two to tango, it takes two to fight/argue/break-up a friendship or relationship. I will put the disclaimer here that sometimes (not all the time) it is fully someone else’s fault. It is definitely possible for things to fall apart that was 100% out of your control, and even if you were perfect in every way, it still would not have made the situation turn out differently. That’s life.

But life is not lived without mistakes. And it is certainly not lived in a bubble that you, and only you, made.

So right now, I just want you to think for a second. Think about the mistakes, the falling-outs, the lies. Humor me – do it. I mean you stay up until 3am thinking about all your mistakes in life anyway (starting with what happened in second grade, right?). Don’t lie. So instead of waiting until 3am, just think about it now!

I’ll wait…..

Now be honest. Not with me – with yourself. I don’t need you to confess or admit anything to me. But I think before we start going around throwing fingers at other people, it’s important to be reflective and self-aware on ourselves first.

So let me start. Back in January, I had a falling out with one of my best friends. It tore me up, and as it was happening (over text!), I was crying because I was so sad and even more so mad at myself that it was even happening. But there was a lot that went wrong that until that moment I did not know that there was so much. Yes, there was fault on her, but I was not immune to the finger pointing. What I failed to understand from her point of view was that whenever I stopped being Donna, her friend, and became Donna, shop owner to Brand By You, that she couldn’t tell the difference. What she could tell was that one moment I am her friend that she wants to be fun and lively with, and the next I am her friend that is kind of making her feel stupid and worthless. I, of course, did not mean for my words to be translated as hurtful – she was my friend after all! But my more professional speech or more distanced responses that I gave her did not make her feel like I was talking to her as an equal.

Not to mention that I was a little late on some promises I made to her, asked probably one too many favors from her (especially since I was going through a break-up and she was right there for me), and overall just kind of let her out to dry without even realizing it.

Now I am not about to give her any blame in this blog for what happened between us, because this blog is about self-awareness. I know how I talked to her was not what she deserved from me as a friend, and honestly I do still wish I could make things up to her because she was a phenomenal friend to me.

So my vow to her is to be better than I was so that I don’t lose a friend like her in the future. Because what I failed to learn until it was too late was that we all got crowns. Just because I believe myself to be in the right does not mean that the person I believe to be wrong doesn’t have a crown. I am not better than them because I believe myself to be right.

I loved writing this blog because ever since the song came out, this feeling has been building inside of me, and truthfully this blog topic is something I think more people need to hear. Our own stubbornness and blindness is keeping us from growing up in this world, and it’s also blocking us from incredible people because we are refusing to let anyone but ourselves win. By allowing someone else to win does not mean we lose, but instead lets us continue to have that person in our lives – and that’s the real prize, isn’t it? To be surrounded by friends and family that love and care for us? That’s the beginning to being a part of a world that is more loving than hateful. But that won’t happen until we learn to calm down!

Now the challenge here is on you to be truthful with yourself next time you are at a difference in opinion with someone. Remember that you need to calm down, and don’t be too loud that you overbear on their thoughts and feelings. It’s gonna hurt to take off your crown for a second, but it’ll be worth it, I promise.

{And for the Lover of all things Taylor Swift, STOP PLAYING VICTIM. I don’t know who needs to hear that (I’m hoping it isn’t you!), but you are an adult. Be responsible for your own actions because you made them.}

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This Is a Shoutout to My Exes (Romances & Friendships)

So you four might be wondering why I have asked you here today. Well to be quite frank with you, you all suck. Honestly, you guys put me through so much shit and I don’t understand what I did to you to deserve the treatment. But here’s the thing, I never got the opportunity to tell you how I really feel and well now you guys are going to sit there, shut up, and listen.

First to you, Number One – my best friend all through high school and college, the person I thought would be my maid of honor, the person I thought my kids would call Auntie One. You are a big, fat liar. I looked up to you for so long and I looked after you for so long, and somewhere along the line I morphed into your shadow as opposed to your equal. And at the most intimate moment of my adult life, I turned to you. I came to you as a scared virgin to ask for your honest advice. Now you could have told me the truth, but instead you took this as an opportunity to somehow win a game that I didn’t even know we were playing. For whatever reason you had, you lied about your current relationship and how your sex life was to give me advice and made me feel like my relationship and my sex life (or lack there of) was not good enough. You made me feel like my relationship was doomed to fail because it wasn’t as sexually exciting as yours, and I believed it. And when your world came crashing down and your relationship had you literally fleeing your house, I was there for you. I was also there to learn that everything you ever told me was a lie, but by that time the damage to my relationship was done. The thoughts and doubts about the man I was with were already planted and that kind of damage cannot be undone or un-thought. You betrayed my trust in one of the worst ways a girlfriend could. But something I learned in the rubble of my first relationship and the growing pains of being a single adult was that you were stuck in high school. You thrived on competition and gossip, and you mistakenly thought my world revolved around you. I looked around at our mutual high school friends and all I thought was “I’m too old for this. I’m too old to be hanging out with these high schoolers.” So to you, thank you for teaching me the value of letting people go that you grow out of. I am also happy to report that after 4 years of silence and individual growth, we have found a casual way back to one another. And although the brief conversations are over social media and only once or twice a month, I am glad that we can have those talks. I am hoping to find you to have grown out of your high school days because I would love to get to know the new you.

Next to you, Number Two. And boy do I have a lot to say about your manipulating little ass. What makes our falling out so painful was that you were my first true guy best friend. You made my life so fun and full of adventure and life! And you knew that I wasn’t thrilled with the lack of fun I had in my relationship, which only made your adventures and good deeds seem that much more substantial to me. You planted the seeds of doubt in my head and well it worked because I started developing feelings for you, and in some way my relationship ended because I wanted to be with you. I was curious about you and I had so much fun with you that it seemed brainless, and you were all too excited and willing to have me. But we were short lived because you had to go back to college. And during our months apart, I got back together with the person I left to be with you. But then One had to go and interfere in my relationship and well, we broke up again. However, what you didn’t know was that I no longer had feelings for you – you were just my best friend and nothing more. And in the midst of my failed relationship, in the personal dilemma to understand how I became such a jerk to people I supposedly cared about, all I needed was my friend to help me understand why I didn’t recognize who was looking at me in the mirror. But what did you do? You tried to manipulate me into choosing you. I was confused, lost, and sad, and your response was to hit on me? Not ok. You tried to invoke my emotional side to get me to recall our good times together, to remind me of the feelings I had for you, to live the excitement with you again. And well it would’ve worked if I didn’t have a severe wake up call in the moment that you told me that you were going to break up with your girlfriend for me. So thank you for teaching me the importance of finding a true love – one that cannot be so easily manipulated by the nice words of someone new. Thank you for teaching me the importance of taking time to find that love, even if that love just happens to be with myself. Because when I have learned to truly love then I know that nothing will break that. And after 4 years of silence and personal growth, I am happy to report that we too have a casual friendship with one another. But I warn you, I do not want to be close to you because I know the sly words you are capable of and I will not let you disrespect or put down the love of my life with those words.

Number Three. Honestly I don’t even know how to start this because I still have no idea what happened. We didn’t know each other long but you soon became one of my best girlfriends. I appreciated your company, I loved you for the help you extended me, and I respected you for everything you chose to be for yourself. And don’t get me wrong, I still believe all of those things and more, but you confuse me. Our falling out blindsighted me because you never told me there was an issue. What’s worse is that you even told me that you expected me to just know that you were upset from your text messages. You called me rude and selfish in regards to one incident, but casually forgot everything I did for you and your friends to make sure that you had fun. And then when everything officially fell apart, you did the exact thing that makes me not like being friends with girls – you gossiped. Oh trust me, I know you did. How? Well it’s pretty easy to tell when people who I know have been following me for a while, have wanted to work with me in the past, and had frequently liked and commented on my pictures all but disappeared. Now see that would only happen if someone was telling them something personal between us, correct? But do they know the whole story? I would think not otherwise they probably wouldn’t have unfollowed me. Because if they knew the truth, guess what, they would find a lot of fault in you too. Like the fact that I tried my best to get you something you wanted but then because I couldn’t make it move fast enough for you, you told me to stop and scolded me for not telling you how long it would be (when I didn’t even know!). Or like the time that you accused me of stealing from you when I took an idea you gave me, changed a minor thing about it, and still gave you credit for the idea. Oh but because I gave design credit (not idea credit) to the person that actually designed it graphically, that’s a no go. News flash, lady, the idea you gave me is already being made by so many people on Etsy. Why aren’t you accusing them of stealing your grand idea? And last but not least, I heard through the grapevine that even after the falling out I screwed up in your eyes. During our falling out you told me to not contact you. So I ended our conversation confused and rightfully sad about your departure. I told you that I would respect your space and that hopefully we could be friends in the future. Well what you didn’t know before the falling out was that I was preparing to give you something but since the falling out happened, I didn’t want to send it to you – at least not right away. I’ve been manipulated in the past, so I know how it would come off if I sent you this gift right after a falling out. So I waited. Months. I finally sent it to you with a letter explaining why I was sending it, wishing you nothing but the best, and leaving it by saying that I 100% did not want you to feel like you needed to respond – this gift had always been for you, I wanted you to have it, and there was nothing more to it other than to give it to you. No strings attached. And you didn’t have to but you texted me saying that you had a lot to think about and that you still needed space and time to think. I didn’t respond because I wanted to respect your request for space and time. But what do I hear from other people? Oh, I didn’t apologize fast enough. If I had that gift for months, then I should have sent it sooner. You ask me to give you space, I do, but I’m still the bad guy. I continue to be punished for what happened between us. Which only makes me wonder that by me not continually apologizing that we will never be friends again. I’m not going to beg you to be my friend so if that is what you are looking for then I want to thank you for all you did for me in the time we were friends. But I respect myself too much to grovel for you to be in my life.

And lastly to you, Number Four. I have two words: fuck you. What makes you the worst person in this room is the fact that you act like you are godlier than everyone else. You pretend to be a saint but you are lying to yourself. We began our romantic relationship with one another and honestly I was so excited. Here you are, a tall, handsome, intelligent, and extremely kind guy, and I was crazy about you. I had just gotten out of my long term relationship and you were everything he wasn’t. You were a breath of fresh air and you treated me so well. So when you said you wanted to wait until marriage to be sexually intimate, I was disappointed. You told me that you made mistakes in the past with the women you had been with and that you wanted the next time you were sexually active to be with your wife. That makes sense, and it was hard to hear, but I respected your decision. But you didn’t. Alcohol tempted you to do things with me that you wanted to do. You made the decision, and I did not force your hand in the slightest. And if you recall, I always asked you beforehand if it was something you wanted to do. Also I said no to you more times than I said yes when you asked me for a good time. But every morning after, you would regret your decision and take us back to first base until finally you couldn’t take it anymore. And what couldn’t you handle? The fact that I was pressuring you into sex! Are you fucking kidding me? You can’t be serious, right?! That first night you wanted to be intimate, I said no. But you said it was fine. I said no it won’t be. An hour long back and forth until I was convinced that you were making this decision with me because I was something special. But no, you just wanted to get off, right? Because that’s what it ended up making me feel by the end of it. Because in the sober morning light of that last time between us, still tangled in the sheets, you broke up with me. Blaming me for being the person who made you do things you didn’t want to do. But as I recall, every time we did anything, you were always the first one out of your clothes. As I recall, having sex was never my suggestion – it was yours. As I recall, often times I would tell you no and ask you not to sexually tease me because I was trying to respect your decision on not having sex until marriage. But it is not my fault in the slightest that you couldn’t respect yourself enough to uphold your own rules. Because news flash, it is not my responsibility to say no for you. But because I said yes to you asking for it, I’m the devil? If you truly did not want to have sex, then you wouldn’t have suggested it. If you truly did not want to be intimate, then you would have removed yourself from the equation every time you were feeling tempted. And because you broke up with me literally ten minutes after our last encounter, that makes you the biggest ass in the room. So thank you for being everything I didn’t know you were capable of being. You have taught me nothing except that pain does make you stronger. I do not wish to ever have you back in my life because your life is a lie that you live in order to fulfill your own agenda. Whether or not that is true reality, I guess you will never know because you’ll just change the story to fit your beliefs.

So overall, to all of you, thank you for who you were to me. And I am saying that in the past tense because I truly hope to never know the people who you were and only hope the best for you on who you could be. Thank you for shaping my life in one way or another, I wouldn’t change a thing about what has happened because it has made me who I am. To One and Two, I hope some day we can grab a cup of coffee together. To Three, I hope I can somehow stop being such a bad guy in your life through my actions to respect your space. And to Four, leave me alone.

You are now dismissed.

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A Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Mental Lifestyle

Mental illness is no joke, and now more than ever it seems to be popping up everywhere and in everyone.

It’s not hard to understand the effects it has on us without any prior research or doctor consultation:

  1. it sucks, and
  2. it has the ability to effect our daily routine in our personal life and professional life.

Although May is Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important to recognize the fact that our mental health is something that we need to focus on all year around. As I have been reading over some articles on the topic, one thing I noticed the most was that the first thing we need to learn is to recognize that we may have an illness to begin with! And honestly this was my biggest problem.

In just this last year I was able to finally admit to myself that I have anxiety. I have had a few panic attacks before I even knew that’s what was happening to me. I was also made to believe that having anxiety wasn’t a big deal.. NEWS FLASH – it is. We all cope differently and we all have our own little tricks to give ourselves what we need to calm down the rattling in our head and chest.

I read this article called “The Ten Worst Habits For Your Mental Health”, and some of the habits were kind of shocking! But what wasn’t shocking was that overuse of social media, and overuse of a smartphone (not even on social media) were two out of those ten habits! That makes so much sense with one of my previous blog posts on “How Instagram DOES Effect Self Image”!

In fact, “in the United States, almost half of adults (46.4%) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime” [], so this is definitely something we need to talk about more often considering so many people are experiencing mental illness in one way or another. And of that 46.4% of adults experiencing a mental illness, one of the most common is anxiety – “an estimated 31.9% of adolescents had any anxiety disorder” []. Finally, with the rising dependence on our phones and social media, it is not surprising at all that the “rate of youth experiencing a mental health condition continues to rise” [].

However, one thing I have also learned is that sometimes we may not know what we need to do to calm down, or that what we think we need is not enough to fulfill our needs. It may even be possible that the things that we do to make ourselves feel better are having a worse effect on our mental health. Which is why I opened up this discussion to all of you over Instagram! And boy did you guys have a lot of options! I am sharing them with all of you so that hopefully if you are experiencing a mental illness of some sort, that you can fine-tune exactly what you need to get back to a stable sense of self.

For some ideas on how to maintain a positive healthy lifestyle, watch this video below! I also share my own personal journey in finding out I even had anxiety.

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