Real life isn’t always the silly selfies you see online. Real life can be hard; real life can be exhausting. Social media offers only a glimpse into our lives. We choose what we want to share, and what we don’t. Personally – I am trying to be more open, sharing the good and the bad. What you don’t always see though, are the days that I cannot leave my bed; the days where my depression tightens… the hold it has on me and I feel so utterly alone and stuck. What you don’t see are the days where I have full-blown panic attacks; where it feels as though the walls are closing in on me and I can’t breathe, nor see through the overflowing tears. What you don’t see are the times where my anxiety is so crippling that I’m left questioning myself, my worth, my everything – all because that little voice in my head is telling me over and over how unworthy and useless I am. What I do want you to see though is that even through all of this – happiness is possible, you just have to choose to fight for it…to fight for yourself. It gets better. #BellLetsTalk
If anyone has ever battled depression, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s that constant feeling of unworthiness, of helplessness. When asked by those around me why I was feeling so down, all I could do was bleakly answer, “I don’t know.”
I was scared. Honestly – I was terrified. I felt myself slipping into a dark place, one that I hadn’t been in for almost four years.
February 17, 2013 – the day of my suicide attempt
I love love. This is no secret. I’m a massive hopeless romantic, so it should come as no surprise that I adore Valentine’s Day. Duh – I love all thing romantic and mushy and gushy. I’m practically the cartoons you see where they have hearts as eyes and are almost always blushing.
…yeah, that’s basically me.
That being said, whether you are coupled up, or flying solo – Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be stressful…or boring! Sure, you could do the same ol’ thang year in and year out – make a reservation at a fancy schmancy restaurant…but, where’s the fun in that?
I’ve put together a short list of fun things you can do this Valentine’s Day – either your boothang, your friends, or heck – even just on your own.
It’s #BellLetsTalk Day, but I really believe the conversation surrounding mental health is one that should never stop. We need to talk about it so that those suffering feel less alone. We need to keep the conversation going so that the stigma can be removed – and hopefully then, everyone suffering will finally get the help they need.
I’m going to share some things I have learned over the years when it comes to mental health. Whether you yourself are battling mental illness, or you know someone who is – these tips will help.
1. If you don’t know what to say to someone who is struggling, just let them know you are there for them. “I’m here for you.”
The feeling of loneliness is palpable. “I’m here for you.” These four little words can change someone’s mind frame immensely. When someone is suffering from mental illness, and is in distress – they feel utterly and completely alone. By letting them know that you are there for them, that may help them open up and start talking. You don’t even have to do anything other than just tell them, “I’m here for you.”
There is something to be said about the classics. Take a look at La La Land, for example. This movie brought us back to a time in cinema where style and class were keystones to making a good film. The music and dancing generating an infectious joy over the audience. The story telling bringing the audience to a state where they feel as though they are, in fact, part of the story itself. Instant classic.
The same can be said for certain cocktails. Cocktails, such as The Negroni, are classics that never go out of style. The fresh citrus burst from the orange, combined with the distinct Campari taste is a combination like no other. Whether ordering at the bar, or making yourself one at home – you can’t go wrong with the classic, The Negroni.
Fun Fact: The Negroni is one of my all-time fave cocktails, a def go-to when I’m out at the bar in the mood for a sipping cocktail.
If you follow me on Twitter, you will likely have noticed that I have this sort of tradition, habit, whatever you want to call it. Every morning (Monday – Friday, at least), my very first tweet will be a friendly reminder to love yourself. A gentle reminder to be a little less hard on yourself and to realize you are doing the best you can. A reminder that sometimes it’s ok to not be ok. They’re just some simple encouraging words that someone may just need to hear that morning.
good morning…if you’re in a rough patch like I am, remember that it’s ok to not always be ok…you're doing your best…ok, love you – bye. pic.twitter.com/kXikzhWRPY
— Jenn (@JennAndTheCity) January 19, 2017
It started out innocently enough. I sent one out one morning, to be honest – it was more so for myself than anyone else. I needed that reminder that day. I was surprised with the feedback, though. People thanking me, both publicly and in private DMs, for the encouragement and kind words; letting me know how much they appreciated reading it and how it put an instant smile on their face.
good morning, gentle reminder that it’s ok to not always be ok…life isn’t always easy – but you’re doing amazing, ok…love you, bye.
— Jenn (@JennAndTheCity) November 21, 2016
I continue sending out these messages every morning, and they increasingly get more popular. The number of retweets and likes keep increasing, but more importantly – more people are seeing the tweets and benefiting from them. And I’m benefiting from them.
Before 2016 came to an end I was running on all cylinders. I triple booking myself at events, putting in extra hours at work, spending a lot of time with friends and family…and then on the off chance that I had a night to myself, I was far too tired (read: lazy) to do any grocery shopping. So naturally, when the lovely people at HelloFresh Canada reached out to see if I would be interested in sampling a couple of their recipe boxes, I jumped at the chance.
Pick a HelloFresh Canada Plan That Fits Your Lifestyle
HelloFresh Canada delivers fresh ingredients, packaged out proportionally for the recipes you select. Seeing as I live alone, I opted for the 1-2 serving sized meals…obvs.
Tis the season for all things festive and delicious, right?
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll remember that a few weeks ago, I had the biggest craving for a rice krispy treat. I hadn’t had one in years (seriously – I can’t remember the last time I had one) and I don’t know where the craving came from…but it was all I could think about. Unfortunately – this craving hit me in the middle of what was the busiest week ever! I had no time to go to the store to grab one. I’m not just saying that, either. I would wake up and have to rush to work where I was super busy all day, even working through lunch. Then after work I would have to rush straight to events every night, and by the time those were done – it was past my bedtime and stores were closed. Finally – I had a few hours to spare one afternoon, and decided that I was just going to make some treats for myself.
I switched things up though, and made a cake batter flavoured batch of treats. You read that right – cake battered flavoured rice krispies treats. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but the batch turned out so great that they were all devoured pretty quickly by myself and a certain cutie.
In fact – they turned out so delicious, that I decided to make another batch over the weekend for my coworkers. This time around though, I made them into little bite-sized balls, and referred to them as “Snowman Poop” because I’m a dork. 🙂
I added a little gift card to each package I put together for my coworkers that read,
You’ve been naughty, so here’s the scoop. All you get this season, is snowman poop!
This delicious treat is so ridiculously easy to make, even a non-baker like myself can make them in no time!
I know ALL too well that dating can be difficult…but it doesn’t have to be.
Check out how the dating app happn can help!
PayPal Siri integration now available!
Starting November 10th , for the first time in Canada, iPhone users can tell Siri to send or request money through an integration with the PayPal app.
So here’s the thing. I don’t often have very much downtime. I’m usually on the go-go-go, whether it’s heading to work, or an event, off on another travel adventure – whatever the case may be. Very rarely do I get a chance to hang out with friends and just ~*chill*~.
But, when my friend Casie and I’s schedules FINALLY aligned for a little gab sesh, I jumped at the chance (even though I had landed from NYC that morning and had been on MAX 9 hours sleep over the previous 3 days combined, lolz).
— Jenn (@JennAndTheCity) November 9, 2016
I met up with Casie on the adorable back patio of Bar Reyna for some nibbles and cocktails and a long overdue catch-up. Between chatting about our lives pre-blogging days, to current crushes (mine new, hers her amazing BF of 10+ years who she still has a crush on to this day, #cute), to the US election (…ugh) – time was just flying by on the patio.
When we were ready to leave, Casie just picked up the tab as opposed to us splitting it. We were in a rush to head out to watch the Election Night coverage! I assured her I’d pay her back for my portion, obvs.
But come the next day – I was just a ball of mush. LOL
I was exhausted and drained and struggling to put together sentences. I mentally checked out and went to bed at like, 7pm. After a MUCH needed night of rest – I remembered that I owed Casie a couple of bucks for our patio night. Oops!
I don’t know about you, but I ALWAYS feel awkward asking friends for money that is owed to me. I also feel incredibly awkward when I owe a friend money.
I know I’m not alone in this, because according to a PayPal Money Habits Study* conducted by Koski Tesearch in 2015 – on average, 30% of Canadians have actually lost a friendship over an I.O.U.