Bell Let’s Talk

It’s that time of the year again, Bell Let’s Talk, the campaign that brings awareness to mental health and helps break the stigma surrounding mental health. Every time you text and join in the conversation on social media, Bell will donate  5¢ more to mental health initiatives.

This yearly event is important because mental health is more prominent for this generation, many people are affected but at the same time they are reluctant to share their struggles. Bell Let’s Talk encourages people to talk about mental health because in order to get better, it begins with a conversation. When we are physically hurt it is easily treatable and doctors are more willing to help. However, mental illness is invisible, it is an emotional pain that affects so many people of all ages. We need to take a stand recognize the problem and help people, instead of ridiculing them.

Depression is not a joke.

OCD is not a joke

Anxiety is not a joke.

Hypochondria is not a joke.

Mental health is not a joke.

Stop making a joke of something that affects people so much to point where they cannot function in their daily life. If you feel ashamed of dealing with mental illness, don’t! Get out there and open up because you have nothing to be ashamed about. I’ll open up about past or current struggles I’ve had with this.

I am a 27 (almost 28) year old female, I have been through my fair share of hardships in life. When I was sixteen years old, I used to have depression, anxiety and panic attacks. They were caused by the bullying I had to go through in middle school and high school, whch was a very rough period of my life. I wasn’t diagnosed fully because I was at a mild stage. I have a very strong will and I managed to get through it without medication, instead I applied cognitive behavioural therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy is a form of psychotherapy where the individual applies technique to change their thinking patterns. I didn’t want to give in to it and let it control me. Not many people are like me and in some circumstances medication is the answer. Seeking therapy to simply vent about your worries is not a bad thing. Counseling or therapy is good for you to express yourself, in addition, it’s good to explain to your family what you are going through because they might not understand. Be prepared, bring some reading material so they can educate themselves and understand why you are depressed, why you are anxious and so on.

You may ask me, why am I telling you this about myself? It’s simple, I am not afraid of sharing a weakness I had that made me stronger. However, there is something that  still affects me and it is SAD, Seasonal Depressive Disorder. Winter is very gloomy and it affects my mood greatly, I have to deal with this every winter but I talk about it and ask my family doctor about coping strategies. It helps greatly to speak to someone! Also, even though my anxiety is not what it was when I was teenager, I still get anxious about stressful events. The difference between then and now is that I am more open to talk about it with my friends and family. Never be ashamed of who you are, life has obstacles and sometimes we need help to overcome the challenges. Do not think you are alone, there is always someone who will be there to listen to you. I’ve been open with my family doctor about having hypochondria, fear of having a life threatening disease. Any symptom that seems out of the ordinary triggers those thoughts, but luckily I have a family doctor that is understanding and helps me. You see I am very open about these things, if it was before I would’ve been ashamed. I have nothing to be ashamed about, because I have overcome and still overcoming these obstacles.

So today, let’s start a conversation to lead to a better world where we are not afraid to seek help and talk about mental illness. Bringing awareness to mental illness also starts with societal change. Implementing programs to help people who suffer and have workshops to educate people about the effects of mental illness. Everyone has it, if someone say they don’t, then they are very good at hiding it. 

If you feel brave, please share below how you are battling mental illness. Let’s end the stigma and create change!

Thank you for reading and see you soon!

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Travel Q/A

Hello everyone,

I am currently working on the final part of my West Coast travel story, but in the mean time I wanted to answer some travel questions. The purpose of these questions is to find out more about my travel preferences, and which countries I want to visit.

Enjoy!

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1. Where are you from in the world?
I was born in Sofia, Bulgaria which is a small country located in Eastern Europe, close to Romania and Greece. I am currently living in Canada and I immigrated here with my family in 2002.

2. Have you been overseas? When/Where?
Unfortunately, I haven’t traveled too much for past few years. I got the chance to start traveling when I graduated from university and got a job. I’ve only been to the USA, but I want to go to Japan this summer.

3. Do you prefer summer or winter? Why?
Definitely summer, because I can walk around and not worry about being cold. When it’s winter time, I am constantly thinking about how much I want to go inside and escape the cold. Plus, the summer is more fun and there is more to do.

4. Summer or winter fashion?
Definitely winter fashion, it’s easy to put together winter outfits. I am not a big fashion person, so when the summer rolls around, I have a hard time putting outfits together. I usually rely on Pinterest for fashion ideas.

5. Where is somewhere you would love to travel to?
There are so many places but a few are Japan, Korea, Italy, Spain, Norway, Austria, Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tibet, Nepal, New Zealand and Iceland.

6. Name your essential makeup items for the beach
Nothing, I don’t wear makeup to the beach. If I put anything on, it would be a tinted lip balm.

7. Are you currently saving up for a trip?
Yes, I am saving up for New York City and Japan. Hopefully I can go to Japan in the summer 🙂

8. Do you like/dislike travelling?
I love it, I can’t think of a reason anyone would hate travelling. The thought of it sounds absurd, we live in such a big world and it would be shame not to see it all.

9. Name a place in the world you would love to shop.
Japan, I love Japanese fashion.

10. Who is your favourite beauty guru and where do they live?
I have lots of favorite beauty gurus i.e. itsJudyslife, Bubzbeauty, Ingrid Nilsen and more. Most of them live in the States and Bubzbeauty live in he UK.

11. What accent in the world is your favourite to hear?
I love the Australian accent.

12. How many countries have you visited?
One lol, but I’m working on adding more to the list.

13. Why do you travel
I travel to get away from the daily hustle of life, and remind myself that there is more to life than work. I also travel to get in touch with my inner peace and take that with me home and start fresh.

14. Favourite city or country?
Japan!!!

15. Most memorable experience abroad?
Traveling to Cannon Beach, Oregon was an amazing trip. It was the first time I’ve seen the ocean and that was a big deal for me. It was super relaxing, my friend and I relaxed on the beach and had roasted marshmallows. It was the best!

16. Best item purchased abroad?
I love the Converse shoes I bought, a hat from Portland and a purse with smiley faces from Journeys.

17. Advice for those who want to travel but think they can’t?
It might sounds like traveling can take a big chunk out of your bank account, and it can do that. However, it doesn’t have to be that bad because you can look for chartered flight which are cheaper, and booking a hostel. Hostels are significantly cheaper! Most of us cannot travel due to financial reasons, while others who can afford it make up excuses. Just pack up your bags and go, it’ll be the best thing you do.

18. Travel accessory you always pack?
A neck pillow for long flights.

19. Can you recite your passport # from memory?
No.

20. Preferred method of travel: planes, trains or automobiles
Anything, airplane, train or car.

21. Top 3 Travel items?
Hmmm this one made me think, but it would be my electronics (laptop, camera, chargers), sanitary wipes (for when I am out all day or on the plane to wipe off any sweat) and travel size shampoo, conditioner and body wash. These would be the essentials, but of course, there are more.

22. Hostel or hotel?
I would prefer a hotel, but for a more inexpensive trip I would book a hostel.

23. Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?
I am a repeat visitor, but I do enjoy visit new places too.

24. Do you read up on your destination for culture, history or safety or do you wing it?
Yes, I like to go prepared to a new country I’ve never been to before. I especially read about the country etiquette, I want to make sure I act respectfully. For example, Japanese people are very quiet and shy, I am more outgoing and loud. I would have to bring it down a notch if I’m interacting with a Japanese person, but I don’t mind doing that.

25. Favourite travel websites?
I like trip advisor because it offers great reviews, and tips when travelling to certain destinations.

26. Where would you recommend a friend to visit? City and why?
Well, I haven’t traveled too much but I would recommend Cannon Beach because of the amazing beach and peaceful town. Portland because it is small and hipsterish, and very unique. Lastly, Vancouver because of the amazing nature and landscape, it is one of a kind.

27. You’re leaving tomorrow, money is no option, where are you going?
Asia such as Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, Tibet, Taiwan and New Zealand. I want to explore the East, I am not that interested in the West right now.

28. Favourite landmark you have visited?
The Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, Canada.

29. Beach holiday or travel/explore holiday?
I can’t choose, I love both. It’s nice to go on vacation to lounge around and tan in the sun, but I also want to explore and discover new things.

30. To travel is to…
Feel alive and have an open mind about the world, travelling is fundamental for me and it changes you in a positive way.

Thank you so much for reading everyone, let me know what’s your favorite travel destination. I will be writing a post about my favorite foreign cuisines, so look forward to that 🙂

See you soon!

 

Note: Every blog graphic is created by me!

Understand Our Dreams!

Life is short, you never know what will happen in a day! In one day all you’ve ever wanted may come true, however there are people who will try to stop us.

People may claim they know what’s best for us, but we know  better than anyone. We are not meant to live life in misery and settle for less, just because that’s what other people do. No, you are a fighter and you work hard to accomplish what you want in life. You work day and night to make your dreams come true, but there are always those people who will discourage you.

I have only one question for those people: why?

Are you unhappy? Was there ever a time you wanted to accomplish something, but you didn’t? Are you jealous? Do you wish you had that drive and passion too? Do you simply wish no one is more successful than you? Do you not understand why this person is passionate about their dream or do you claim you know what’s best for them?

It could be a combination of all these factors, or people simply do not understand. You see most people are content with living a simple life, going to a job they somewhat like and following the same dull routine daily. I don’t know about you, but for me this is not a happy life. It’s like being a prisoner of this life society says we should live. According to society, you are born to go to school, then university, after that you graduate, get a job, get married, have kids, and retire. So that’s it? There has to be more to life than this, life is too short to do something you hate.

Whether your passion is to travel or change careers, you should feel free to do so without people’s objections. Nowadays it feels as if people are more opinionated than they were years ago. There are many celebrities who were told things to discourage them from pursuing a successful path. However,they didn’t listen to the negatives and continued working on their dreams. Here are some honorable mentions!

Oprah Winfrey

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We all know how successful Oprah is today, she had her own talk show, TV network, magazine and so much more. Can you believe she was once told that she is “unfit for television”. Who is laughing now in her big mansion, and success. Oprah is a legend!

Lindsey Stirling

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YouTube sensation and violinist, Lindsey Stirling, used to be a contestant on the America’s Got Talent. Lindsey’s style of music is very unique, she clashes the worlds of classical and electronic music, while adding choreography to her performances. If you ask me, this is a  very unique style and I like it. However, Sharon Osborne who was a judge at the show told Lindsey the following, “You need to be in a group, what you are doing is not enough to fill theaters in Vegas”. Stirling has stated she was devastated and humiliated, but she turned this experience into the fuel she needed to succeed. She started a YouTube channel, from that it led her to earning millions of subscribers, millions of views on her videos, chart topping songs/albums and sold out shows. If that’s not hard work and determination, I don’t know what is.

J.K. Rowling

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The beloved author of the series, Harry Potter, that defines my generation, faced obstacles too.  J.K. Rowling had a rough patch in her life when she was a jobless, and  adivorced mother with a dependent child. She suffered from depression, had difficulty making ends meet and applying for government welfare. She made it through the struggles, and she is now known as one of the most famous authors. We cannot be victims of our circumstances, we need to learn from them and become stronger.

Walt Disney

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I grew up watching Disney movies, there are simply magical and so, so wonderful. Can you imagine, Sir Walt Disney was told that he had “lack of  imagination and good ideas”. The person who brought us Mickey Mouse, and many timeless classics triumphed on top of the adversities.

I hope these few examples of people who achieved their dreams was inspiring.

Today I have a message for people who tried to crush our dreams…please mind your own business! If you do not understand what it means to have a dream, do not interfere and dim the flame that fuels a person’s determination. I would encourage you to ask three questions, to gain a deeper understanding of a person who is a dreamer.

  1. Have you always felt this way about this?
  2. Why does it make you happy?
  3. How can I help?

Dreamers want to feel supported and have people who are rooting for them, trust me they will never forget this kind gesture.

To all the dreamers out there, keep dreaming high and mighty! Do not let small minds make you feel that something is impossible, it is only impossible if you think that. The mind destroys more dreams, than people do. Be brave, take risks and step out of your comfort zone. It all begins when you say, “I can do it”, prove it yourself!

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Good luck lovelies! Make 2017 your year, but remember to take it easy too 🙂

See you soon!