Real Day in my Life: Instagram and Mental Health

Check out a typical “day off from work” in my life! I sat down and chatted about Instagram and how I go about doing my own coffee reviews. I also touched on the pressures of working with brands on Instagram.

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Thanks so much for all the support! More coffee guides coming soooooon! Next up is Soho!

Lots of love,

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The fear that no one will read your blog

Why haven’t I been blogging?

On top of nothing exciting happening in my life recently thanks to quarantine, there is the fear that people don’t care enough to even read what I’m putting out.

I’m sure if you’re reading this, that you have been in a similar boat at one point or another (or even now). So welcome to the party!!!

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ok, serious talk now:

Blogging takes a lot more to put together over an instagram caption. It’s not only a platform to express things in more detail, but it requires a lot more planning. I guess that fear of thinking no one actually cares what I’m blogging about stems from the amount of time it takes to put together a post.

I give bloggers SO much credit. They pour so much passion, time and energy into a piece of content that they hope people will care about. But at the same time, you cannot guarantee that people will care or bother to read what you’re typing out.

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Also with the state of the world right now I’m sure the blogging scene is a bit oversaturated.

That’s where I need to make that mental connection that yes, it does take time but am I passionate about what I’m trying to get across?

-for the most part that answer is yes

I guess I just need to tune in more on what’s important to me and what’s going on in my head. All this extra time at home has definitely opened up my emotions a bit so that explains my last couple posts.

I hope all of you are well! I’ll be back soon with more interesting content. If you’ve read this far I’d love to connect further and get to know more people on here!!!

Lots of love,

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How to find validation within yourself: part two

This is part two of this post about finding validation within yourself. The first post focused mostly on the first step I took on my journey for self validation: self-awareness. As you can guess, becoming aware of your thought processes and emotional reactions to things is the first step to grow beyond them.

Last night I found myself researching more into the mechanisms of why I could rely so heavily on external validation. So let’s call part two….

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Research: The Why

Why do I need other people’s approval to feel whole?

Why do I chase after acceptance & validation?

Why does it all define me so much?

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A lot of the articles I came across started with this need for external validation stems from your childhood/early years. I am no expert (as I study marine organisms for a living, not people) but I can totally see this being correct as our early years really shape our brain’s functions and thought processes.

When you are a small child whose whole existence and well-being depends on others, rejection actually equals existential death. And since we are constantly hurt, invalidated, and rejected in many overt and highly subtle ways as children, a lot of us grow up into wounded and self-less adults whose self-perception is skewed or blurry.

taken from psych central

Now I can’t really pin point this to coincide with my childhood but I do remember getting hurt very easily by rejection, or by being an outcast.

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A very personal life example: my work life

At first I didn’t think I ever wanted to get into this, but I feel this example genuinely encompasses how my need for approval has shaped parts of my personal life. Also, maybe some other people out there can relate to this.

I kind of mentioned the back story to this job I had earlier this year here, but I’ll give a quick run down. Basically, I had a job where I dug my self perception down a dark path. I fully let the opinions & possible thoughts of my coworkers control the thoughts and views I had of myself. Whatever opinion I thought they could’ve felt towards me, was what I felt I actually was. If I felt that they thought I was too loud that day, then I was too loud & I had to then adjust my personality to be more quiet. If I felt that they thought I was too opinionated towards something, then I would shut my mouth for the rest of that shift & the next couple shifts to come. I outcasted myself when instead I thought I was adjusting my personality to fit in.

One, they constantly need other people’s approval and validation to feel that they are a good person, to feel pleasant emotions, or to even feel alive. And two, they feel shame or guilt or anger or loneliness or anxiety or confusion or other painful emotions when someone disapproves of and invalidates them, which then often leads to dysfunctional behavior to manage all of it.

taken from psych central

Now let’s elaborate on that one thought “I was adjusting my personality to fit in.”

As a coping mechanism, some individuals become people-pleasers who are afraid to be their true selves or take care of themselves. 

taken from psych central
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By the end of my time with this company, I lost sight of what core values I believed in. I lost sight of who I knew I was. Since I knew I didn’t complete fit in with my coworkers, it ate away at me for months & spilled over into my life outside of work too; I was an anxious mess. In order to get through each shift I would have to read a list of mantras on my phone to remind myself to keep quiet, to not be too opinionated, & to not act too overbearing.

Because of my reliance on others’ approval, I let that shape who I actually was in those four walls. Of course it is no one’s fault but my own.

It usually starts out as a logical tactic. We gain others’ approval, make them happy for a moment, and feel pretty good about ourselves. It seems like the perfect path to take—and it’s one we can continue on for many years, believing it’s reducing our anxiety about disapproval in our daily lives. 

taken from psychology today

Up until this year, I didn’t realize that I was caught in a feedback loop leaning on others for their opinions and thoughts of me; I have been conditioned to aim for that validation. Each time I felt validated by my coworkers’ opinions and thoughts of me, my brain released dopamine of some sort. It felt good and rewarding so I kept going back to it and aimed for that specific feeling. I was comfortable with that feedback loop because that’s what I was used to; that was all I knew.

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But there will come a time when the constant seeking of approval—the very solution to our problems—will run its course. And that very behavior that brought us so many feelings of accomplishment will become the problem itself. 

taken from psychology today

Being able to pin point my need for external validation on my more recent life experiences, makes it feel so much more real. It becomes more apparent how vital it is that I come to terms with it all now. Only from there can I grow and reshape my thought processes surrounding approval and validation.

I’m still becoming more aware of the times in my daily life, or past life, that I’ve fallen into this feedback loop. Only now am I coming to terms with how much of this can shape my day-to-day life. I’m still figuring all this out.

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So thank you for taking the time to read this. It will not be the easiest for me to open up about this.

Join me on my journey by hitting that follow button. We’re in this together.

Lots of love,

foot

how to find validation within yourself

Validation: Why do I care so much what people think?

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I’m going to be honest, I have no clue yet. I’m writing this so maybe future me can have a little journal entry to look back on. I am no expert, just another face trying to make sense of all this.

That first statement on its own was hard enough for me to say. For the longest time I was so sure that I didn’t care what people thought and that none of it mattered to me. But at the same time, it’s not black & white.

Yes, I do care what my loved ones think of me. I whole-heartedly do not want to disappoint the people I care about. I crave their approval deep down.

“When we urgently aim to please other people, we’re seeking approval of self from outside sources. And whenever we reach for something in the outside world to give us what we should be giving ourselves, we set ourselves up for disappointment.”

psychology today

This quote hit me hard because I have been living it almost my whole life. I externally seek validation and get my hopes up; this makes me more susceptible to disappointment: it’s that little gut feeling I have when I feel like my instagram followers don’t like something I posted about or it’s the feelings that consumes me when my mom isn’t the happiest with me for not doing my dishes right away.

I am looking for their approval, and I get engulfed with disappointment in myself that I’m not perfect.

I think the biggest thing here is not only a confessional to myself, but a reminder that we are not perfect (cliche but true). Finding validation within ourselves takes time. It’s a long process.

Step One: It all starts with self-awareness.

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But the biggest first step is self-awareness & remembering that you are in control of your own life.It can make us more proactive, boost our acceptance, and encourage positive self-development (Sutton, 2016).

Self-awareness allows us to see things from the perspective of others, practice self-control, work creatively and productively, and experience pride in ourselves and our work as well as general self-esteem (Silvia & O’Brien, 2004).

Positive Psychology

Realizing that we are in control and we each have the power to reset or relearn how we see things. I’m going to start my “self validation journey” with this first step and go from there.

Join me on my journey by hitting that follow button. We’re in this together.

Lots of love,

foot

Officially losing a job to the pandemic

I’m sure I’m not alone in losing a job during this time. I don’t exactly have a direction for this but here I go.

The other day I had a call with my manager at Lululemon (if you saw this post, I go more into my work life and such). I started out as a seasonal hire and then they asked to extend my contract till May (yayyy!!). Before the pandemic, it was spoken about that depending on when I was leaving for grad school in Tasmania (more on that here), my contract would extend even further. But at that time I didn’t know exactly when my research would start over in Australia.

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It didn’t even cross my mind that there was a possibility that my contract would not get extended. Pretty naive of me, especially with everything going on, but it didn’t cross my mind that I would lose that part-time job of mine. But of course, as the title of this states, I did lose the job. It’s of course sad that I will not get to actually work at that store again with the closures being maybe till June/July. The hope was for me to transfer from my current store to one in Tasmania if they are hiring.

Anyway, I found some articles that might give you hope if you are going through a similar situation. Sending you a massive hug.

An article from Forbes:

Stay Future Focused

“It’s easy to get stuck in the past and what shoulda-woulda-coulda happened, but didn’t. Doing so only perpetuates destructive emotions that fuel anger, self-pity and a sense of powerlessness. Focus on the future, and on what you need to do to set yourself up as well as possible on the job front, in how you are budgeting your money, and in your relationship with those who can help you find a new job. What you focus on expands, so focus on what you want, not on what you don’t”

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Don’t let your job status define you

“Sure, losing your job is a very personal experience, but don’t take it too personally. Who you are is not what you do. Never was. Never will be. Research by psychologist Marty Seligman found that the biggest determinant between those who succeed after setbacks of any kind is how they interpret them. People who interpret losing their job as a sign of personal inadequacy or failure are less likely to ‘get back on the horse’ in their job hunt than those who interpret it as an unfortunate circumstance that provided a valuable opportunity to grow in self-awareness, re-evaluate priorities and build resilience. You define who you are, not your job or a company’s decision whether or not to employ you. Don’t take it as a personal rejection against you”

Especially with the economy right now, as hard as it can be, it’s important to step back and remember that you are most definitely not the only one.

More posts coming soon. Just needed to get this off my chest. Comment anything below if you actually read this. Thanks.

Lots of love,

foot

My Current Quarantine Favorites

I am switching up my content a little bit (trying to get creative with being home). also i’ve been testing out my new Iphone tripod to delve into the whole flatlay world!! first try not terrible?

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  1.  my next 90 days planner: @savorlifeplanner acts not only as a planner but a place organize my goals, self reflect and have fun with washi tape. the “90 days” is a less intimidating length of time to achieve goals ⁣
  2. a journal: i’m still trying my best to get into the habit of journaling!! it’s taking a while but progress is being made⁣ (this one is from urban outfitters, not sure if it is still available cause I got it as a gift)
  3. airpods duhhh: my method of choice to keep up with my fave podcasts and multitask⁣. Some of my favorite podcasts have been Gals on the Go, Happy Hour with Gretchen and Pretty Basic.
  4. nintendo ds: everyone talking about all the animal crossing they’ve been doing has gotten me to miss the simpler times of just chilling home on my ds. as much as i adore all my pokémon games, recently nintendogs has been my shit⁣
  5. pinch me: i got this for christmas and with my spiked anxiety at the moment this “therapy dough” is a great tool for me. i’m a big nail biter when it comes to being anxious and nerves and also i can never just do one thing at once. so this has been perfect to keep one of my hands busy (while driving, watching youtube, etc.) and feel 7 again playing with dough⁣
  6. COFFEE: genuinely the real star of my entire life but this coffee SLAPS ok. My current favorite is this “Toro” roast by Devocion in Brooklyn.

—–—> (for all the coffee content check out my instagram) <———

i hope you enjoyed this mini favorites. i’d love to hear some of yours below or dm me!! we’re all in this together ☽⁣

Lots of love,

foot
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finding a new normal & learning to forgive yourself

I’m sure we are all in a similar boat; we’re still trying to find a new normal, a new routine, a new purpose, a new channel of motivation.

The hardest part for me has been to accept that my productivity is going to look different right now. I’m not going to be able to go go go and knock everything off my to-do list (if i even have one). It’s been hard to forgive myself and let myself sleep a bit more, or mindlessly scroll on my phone more. I’ve never been the best at going easy on myself so this period has helped me self-reflect and really hone in to what that could mean for me.

I have been living home with my parents since I graduated last May from my undergrad, so thankfully being home isn’t completely new to me. But of course now with quarantine my brother is home from university and all being stuck inside together has its challenges.

Anyway onto some positivity!!

A couple weeks ago a professor I’m working on a research publication with sent me a link to an article on forgiving yourself during this mess of a time. It really resonated with me so I thought I’d share it here.

Some of my highlights:

“Your first few days and weeks in a crisis are crucial, and you should make ample room to allow for a mental adjustment. It is perfectly normal and appropriate to feel bad and lost during this initial transition.”

“Next, ignore everyone who is posting productivity porn on social media right now. It is OK that you keep waking up at 3 a.m. It is OK that you forgot to eat lunch and cannot do a Zoom yoga class. It is OK that you have not touched that revise-and-resubmit in three weeks.”

“Ignore the people who are posting that they are writing papers and the people who are complaining that they cannot write papers. They are on their own journey. Cut out the noise.”

The biggest stand out to me was how we are all on our own journey. Simple, but true. My ways of coping and finding this new normal is going to be completely different from yours. It’s been hard to forgive myself and accept that I’m making the most with what I’ve got.

“Know that you are not failing. Let go of all of the profoundly daft ideas you have about what you should be doing right now. Instead, focus intensely on your physical and psychological security.”

But most importantly, I want to end with this.

“Understand that this is a marathon. If you sprint at the beginning, you will vomit on your shoes by the end of the month. Emotionally prepare for this crisis to continue for 12 to 18 months, followed by a slow recovery. If it ends sooner, be pleasantly surprised. Right now, work toward establishing your serenity, productivity, and wellness under sustained disaster conditions”

We’re all on our own journey and I hope that you guys are all safe. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

Lots of love,

foot

Monthly update: blogging motivation

It has been a while and I didn’t intend for that to happen. I have traveled around New Zealand so much more and have wanted to post about it, but haven’t found the time or motivation. I am blogging for me first and foremost; I guess I needed time to breathe a bit and miss it.

Mid-semester break was not too long ago. Since then, school work has piled up & balancing that with travels has been hectic. I plan to make posts about some of the awesome places I’ve visited: Coromandel Peninsula, Tauranga, Auckland, New Plymouth, Taupo, Te Kuiti, etc. So they are coming don’t worry!!!!! ALSOOO simultaneously popping by new coffee shops in Dunedin and thinking of following up on this post.

Studying abroad comes with a lot of free time, a lot of time to let your mind wander or even get lost. It’s mini trips or walking around new places in town that grounds me. (like I am in New Zealand huh???)

I have to admit the one thing I have been keeping up with for the most part is my twitter (so check that out for more photos & updates).


Sorry this has been more of a ramble, but the plan this week is to get back on the grind.

I am looking forward to documenting my journey. All of the support so far has been amazing, so thank you.

Lots of love,

foot

reflecting on a plane

I took advantage of down time, casually reflecting on a flight to LAX.

Traveling is hard and stressful, no doubt about it. Security can take way too long but…. here I am!

It’s amazing how relaxing flights can be; once you’re in the air you don’t have much room to stress about what is going on down on land. It’s like I’m in my own corner of the world, just watching TV.

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…but I’m flying through the stratosphere. Weirdly, it makes the emotions and anxiety worth it, to have time like this.

Every flight is different: some are relieving but some are hell; the emotions range from time of day, to who you’re sitting around. Right now the key is hydration (no mater how in the mood I am for a coffee). I’ve had the most water I ever have on a flight (wooo!!!) and I have a carry on hand cream and all that jazz. If i can knock out some of the dehydration to come that’d be great, because to have anything on top of jet lag is not ideal.


Finally it’s starting to hit me where I’m going (see here). Look at me being so optimistic!!!!!! (when next, I have a 7 hour layover and three more flights)! Emotions are weird let me tell you!!!

question for you: How do you stay sane on a plane?

okie,

over & out

foot

traveling with anxiety

It took me a very long time to figure out what anxiety was, and if what i was feeling fit that.

I don’t want this to be a sad post, I want this to be helpful for anyone who may feel the same.

Traveling involves a lot of indirect trust and loss of control; there are a multitude of unknowns. We don’t know if our flight will actually be on time and if it will arrive the time it claims it will. We don’t know how long the airport lines will take, or if you have time to eat before boarding. As I prepare to head to the airport tomorrow, anxiety is subconsciously on my mind. A reoccurring theme for me, personally, is time.


main questions

the kinds of questions that are most common when I am anxious

+ what is going to happen if I don’t get there in 5 minutes? will the world end? something explodes?

+ what else could I be doing in that time I’m saving/losing? Is it productive?

+ but what do I gain from rushing around besides saving time?

side effects

physical & emotional results of my questions

+ come off as impatient or pissy, but depending on the anxiety it could be distracting/consuming as well

+ faster breathing & rushed heart beat

+ can be paralyzing; only focusing on what is making me anxious

coping mechanisms

ways that I try to ground myself

+ deep breathing

+ focus on something else (listen to music, watch something, etc.)

+ call/text someone

+ but if that is not possible, then write

+ helps piece thoughts together

+make sense of what is rational vs. irrational

+ self pep talk!

+words, phrases or songs that calm me

+ telling myself to calm down (in a way lightens my feelings and brings humor into it)

question for you: How do you cope with anxiety over things you can’t change?

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I leave for the airport TOMORROW! A lot of fresh content is coming your way!!

stay updated  —-> twitter —-> instagram —-> bloglovin

All of the support so far has been amazing, so thank you (somehow hit 100 followers??? AHHH)!!

Lots of love,

foot
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