Tag Archives: Mental health

This Weekend!

So I absolutely meant to post last Friday, as I was having a bakeathon for my upcoming weekend.

However, that upcoming weekend – which included; a bakeathon that lasted into the wee hours of the morning, two long barista shifts, and most importantly being on the crew for my first film of the year!

Expatriation is a film written and directed by my good friend Alex Laird. I’ll be editing the picture, and I already know it’s going to be fantastic! Because I’m editing the picture, I served as set caterer/photographer/general help/person who got in the way this weekend.

Here are some pictures from set this weekend!

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This weekend I learned a lot about filmmaking, in that way you only can understand from actually getting out and doing something.

More than that, I was reminded of the importance of “good sleep, good food, good thoughts”. This reminder that my parents like to throw at the end of conversations is a mantra for healthy living. Despite the stress of the weekend, I made a point of cooking as much of my own food as possible, sleeping well, taking the time to “recharge” myself and generally promoting self care.

I do know that there was a time in my life when this weekend would have been entirely unmanageable, and I’m proud that I can now enjoy hectic weekend like these.

With midterms and holidays on the horizons how are you managing the stress?

 

Let’s Talk About Trich

As you may already know the Trichotillomania Learning Center declared October 1-7 a week of awareness for Trichotillomania, Dermatillomania and related disorders.

Here on Cait and The Real World I am trying to do my part to raise awareness and hopefully let people know they are not alone. So without further ado…

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These are my shins, and this is how I cover them up.

I’m a blogger, a filmmaker, a bunny owner, a sister and a friend. I’m also a person who has been living with Trichotillomania and Dermatillomania for the past five years.

I know that these are not very well known disorders, so I’m going to try and give a crash course right now. It is Awareness Week!

Trichotillomania and Dermatillomania (henceforth referred to as Trich and Derma) are dual classified disorders on the Obsessive Compulsive and Impulse Control Spectrum.

What this means is that these conditions can be the facets of multiple disorders, they can exist on their own or be part of a larger condition like OCD.

Trich and Derma, usually manifest around the ages of 9-13 though it can appear at just about any age. Picking or pulling is usually “focused” on one major area, with smaller areas throughout the body. Most people with Trich or Derma will literally spend hours working on their patches, though they might not even realize it most of the time.

These conditions are difficult to treat, and there is still no “cure”. However treatments such as Habit Reversal Training, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and medication have proven to be effective.

If you’re struggling with either of these disorders, the first thing I want to stress is that you are not alone. There are so many people all over the world, some of us live in shame, others silently fight, and some speak out. But, no matter what the circumstances; most importantly we are out there.

If you’re looking for help, information or support the Trichotillomania Learning Center offers a wealth of resources. Please check them out here.

LINKS

Overcoming Lecture Anxiety – A Guide in Four Steps

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The first time I stepped into a University lecture hall I was terrified.

Not for my class, not because I was worried I couldn’t keep up, not even because I did not know where to sit.

It was just so big – the lecture hall, the number of students, the screen that my Professor used to start up his presentation. Instantly my anxiety skyrocketed. I couldn’t breathe properly; my hands shook and I had to leave early. I felt embarrassed, confused and even more nervous as the tape of the chronically anxious played over and over

“What if It Happens Again?”

Since that first lecture, over two years ago I’m doing better. I don’t skip lectures for anxiety based reasons. I feel proud to speak up when the Professor asks a question, and I can focus – which means I can learn.

So here are my tips for Lecture Hall Anxiety, I hope they can help!

1. Identify Your Anxiety – When I first asked this question I thought the answer was simple – I have anxiety disorders. However, this just means that I’m more prone to anxiety. My anxiety still has a root cause. For me, it was the adjustment from a class of 30 being a huge class to classes where the students range in the hundreds. Once you understand the cause of your anxiety you can begin to unpack it.

2. Find What Works – From stress balls, to progressive muscle relaxation and (my personal favourite) box breathing there are tonnes of ways you can reduce your anxiety without causing a scene in a lecture hall. Spend some time finding an area of the lecture hall where you are the most comfortable (for me it’s the very back) Try taking a mug of decaf tea, or a cosy sweater to your classes, though it may take a while to find the perfect combination, you’re worth the time to figure it out.

3. Practice Kindness – Treat yourself as you would treat your best friend, little sister or child. Positive self talk, gentle reinforcement and patience, patience patience. You are not going to get everything “right” all the time, sometimes you will “fail” and that is going to be okay. Practice realistic thinking, a great example of which can be found in this chart


4. Set Small Goals – Overcoming Anxiety is a monumental and sometimes lifelong task. By setting small goals, you can reward yourself for the HUGE steps you are taking. Start small “I will attend my entire lecture today” and work your way up to things like “I will participate in class discussion” Don’t forget to reward yourself! Buy yourself a fancy coffee drink, a new notebook or a scarf, that way you have a double reward for the work you have done to move forward.

What are your experiences with anxiety at University or College? How did you combat them?

Thoughts on Blogging

 

It’s Sunday night, and my brain is very busy.

When I was thinking about how I would define this blog, I placed it under the “blog genre” of lifestyle blogging. I’ve been thinking about this because a snarky favourite of mine the forum “Get Off My Internets” describes lifestyle blogging as

“You don’t know how to live, they can help”

I would like to state for the record that most of the time I have no clue what I’m doing.

My last post, a cake recipe, shows my second attempt at that cake (as my instagram followers probably already know) in two days. When I went to pick up ingredients, my anxiety levels were through the roof because sometimes I find grocery stores overwhelming.

Our blogs are like our lives, some things we choose to share, and others we hide. For me, this blog focuses on the good things, the lessons I’ve learned and the things I have made.

I want to create a brighter spot on the internet, the way that writing this blog has made my life a little brighter. This blog doesn’t gloss over the bad days; I want you to know they happen, but I’ve learned that dwelling on them outside of phone calls home or therapy sessions doesn’t make them any easier.

I tried to write a manifesto before I started this blog, I don’t think I’ll ever post it, but I do like this quote.

“I believe in living ethically, truthfully and beautifully.”

I’m going to continue to work at it.

PS. I would like to thank the fantastic people at effyeahnerdfighters for featuring my doormat DIY post. If you’ve found my blog through them, I would love to hear from you!

Aside

I think I was fairly naive about this move. I thought it would be like residence part deux, not that big of a deal. But as the week continues I have discovered that there’s a lot more to setting up a home. Though I do have a back to school DIY planned (see you Monday!), and a few house crafts, I’ve yet to start them because it’s enough work just making this house liveable. However, the house became a lot more homey yesterday when this little girl arrived. Meet Wheatley! Though she is named after a (presumably?) male character from my favourite video game series (Portal) I’ve had the name in my head for too long to ignore. … Continue reading