365 Days of Hypochondria

And other personal happenings.


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Birthdays Are For Contemplation (Day 191)

If you’re the person behind the camera lens, your life will always appear better in photos. Maybe it’s a narcissistic mentality or a subconscious reality. Either way, here are some photos I took today. It’s my twenty-first birthday.

(Sometimes I attempt to capture reality. Here is a photo of me immediately after waking up. My hair is a mess. But I used a filter to make this picture look better.)

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(My favourite tea. I drink this every day. It’s probably staining my teeth.)

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(My breakfast. I live off of instant oatmeal.)

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(My corner of the shower. It takes a lot of product to be a person (this is satire). I’m not as high-maintenance as this photo makes me look.)

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(I try to be clean. But toothpaste squishiness is always a reality.)

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(The roses that I posted a few days ago are now dying. I’m drying them out upside-down.)

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Today was a really weird day because I thought I wanted to spend my birthday like any other day. I did everything I usually do. Ate breakfast, showered, brushed my teeth, did work, blogged. Now I feel lonely, and I think it’s because of the societal expectation that one’s birthday is supposed to be this ‘huge’ event. My room mates are either working or away for the weekend and I told them (insisted, really) that I didn’t want to do anything special so I don’t blame them. It sort of sucks being alone today though, you know? (I’m not complaining or feeling sorry for myself, I’m simply just thinking too much.)

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January Favourites (Day 189)

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January isn’t my favourite month. Although it marks the beginning of a new year, January symbolizes the end of the Christmas holidays. This is coming from a person who has always preferred to leave Christmas decorations up until March. I have trouble letting go, okay?

The only good thing about January is that the very last day (the 31st) marks the anniversary of my birth. I’m not one for celebrating birthdays, but that day at least gets me through a month of snow and cold.

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Anyways, here are my favourites for the month of January. They are mostly healthy and semi natural.

1. Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer (in Park Ave Princess)

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This is the first bronzer I’ve ever purchased so obviously I wanted to buy something a little more natural. There are so many things I would like from the Tarte makeup line but due to the prices of the products, I’ll have to hold out. I really like this bronzer so far. It definitely gives my face the warmth it yearns for in the winter months.

2. Tom’s Natural Cleansing Mouthwash

I’m on my second bottle of this stuff. It’s alcohol-free and only has 8 ingredients. Definitely a step up from the more chemical-laden mouthwashes on the market.

3. Rocky Mountain Soap Company Body Butter (in Lemongrass)

The packaging. Oh, the packaging. (It’s to die for.) I always hate applying body lotion because it is so time consuming and inconvenient. This month I realized that I desperately needed to start moisturizing and luckily my roommate bought me this little guy for Christmas. Since it’s in a deodorant-style package, you simply have to swipe this on any dry area and you’re done! You don’t even really need to rub the product in. It’s quick and easy and I will definitely purchase this for myself in the future. (It even claims to be 100% natural!)

4. Gin Gins Ginger Caramel Candy

I mentioned these candies in my travel essentials post. They ease my stomach and help lessen my acid reflux. Plus they taste delicious. Like a ‘healthy’ delicious.

5. Caudalie Grape Water

I’ve been wanting this product for a while. It’s so simple but it feels amazing on the skin. It’s also one of the least expensive items that Caudalie sells. There are only three ingredients in this product so I feel good about putting it on my skin. I like to use it to set my makeup (especially when I’m wearing foundation or powder). Sometimes makeup tends to dry out my skin and this product completely counteracts any drying.


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Let’s Talk About #BellLetsTalk (Day 188)

*Warning- may contain unpopular opinion*

I “talk” about mental illness on this blog (in some form or another) almost every day. So today I asked myself- why should I support a company and do the same thing? The 5 cents that Bell is donating for every re-tweet or text message etc, equals a lot when it’s all added up. If I don’t retweet their slogan, that 5 cents is lost. Obviously the idea is that Bell only wants to donate 5 cents for every person who “talks” about mental health. But by “talking” they really mean, supporting their corporate campaign.

The fine print.

The fine print over at: http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/.

If donating towards mental health initiatives can only occur through the sharing of a brand or logo, then we are perpetuating a capitalist society through a capitalist marketing strategy. And one could argue that capitalism and its effects can be attributed to poor mental health in ‘developed’ nations.

As well, one must ask questions concerning convenience. When and why is it only convenient to advocate for mental health over social media during certain times of the year? And why use social networking to boost a campaign? Through social networking, Bell can reach a mass amount of people, and raise awareness at lighting speed, all while keeping the cause central to the theme of their business. It’s smart. But does social networking really equate to talking?

Am I going to feel more comfortable approaching someone about an issue because I saw that they retweeted #BellLetsTalk? Probably not. (Internalized stigma and shame run a lot deeper than that.) I know exactly how easy and how mind numbing it can be to press a button on a laptop or phone-not much thought goes into it. Of course, I’m not trying to denounce online activism and awareness that takes place in the twitterverse. Social media is powerful. But I question the power of social media when it is- in a sense- being controlled by equally powerful businesses.

There is no doubt that Bell has donated millions of dollars towards mental health programs (on one hand, I applaud them) but regardless, it is important to ask questions about marketing strategies, especially when not for profit organizations (who started their organizations for their initial cause) employ year round efforts to raise awareness around mental illness, yet their causes gain less attention and less social networking support than causes run by larger corporations.

Is it worthwhile to even ask questions? Especially when every effort counts in regards to ending mental health stigma? I would argue, yes. But of course the majority will disagree.


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Fake-Laughing At Myself (Day 187)

Some days it’s good to laugh at yourself. And if you can’t force out a real laugh, a fake one will suffice. Today I had a really stupid episode. It involved an email and sheer panic.

A few days ago I woke up late with a kink in my neck. I did what I usually do under these circumstances- I stretched my neck out and made sure that I could bend my chin forward to touch my chest. Why, you ask? Because my high school french teacher told the class that an inability to perform that task is a symptom of meningitis (I think she was a hypochondriac too). Now, whenever I feel sick, I quietly perform this routine. Anyways- all seemed fine. Until this evening.

You really can’t trust other people in regards to your health. Especially if those people are students. University during the winter months is a storm of used tissues and viruses. Gross, I know.

Tonight I happened upon a special email that was just waiting to trigger me into a state of panic. The email was basically a cautionary message stating that a member of the university had contracted meningococcal disease, a disease that “results in meningitis”.

Of course I proceeded to go into a panic and text family and friends for reassurance that I did not have this disease. Over the proceeding hour my neck felt worse (even though it has actually gotten better) and I started to feel sick and tired.

A few hours later, I am sitting at my laptop, writing this post, feeling fine, and pretending that I could laugh at all of this. Realistically, I am not really in the mood for laughing, but I’m sure that one day, I will find this post comical. Until then, let’s hope that a)I am fine and b)I don’t get another panic-inducing email any time soon. I’m really not the fake-laughing type.


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Sleep to Dream (Day 185)

Tonight I stayed in and had a really great time with my roommates. We talked for a bit, then watched a really trippy seventies movie. Kate bought a new couch for our living space and it makes the room so cozy and homey. We lit a ton of candles and the ambience was super relaxing.

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Is it weird that I’m excited to go to bed? I really want to start working on my lucid dreaming. I read up on ‘sleep paralysis’ today and apparently it is easy to transition into a lucid dream from that ‘paralyzed’ state. So instead of panicking when it happens, I’m going to start embracing it.

As well, I also read that sleep paralysis is indicative of stress, and is usually classified as a sleep disorder. I’m trying not to let that get to me though. If it isn’t keeping me awake or distressing me greatly, then I’m not going to count it as a negative occurrence.