Five Reasons to Start Journaling

I love keeping journals. I’m really bad at it, I often skip writing entries for months at a time, but I love it just the same. The first time I started a journal I was in preschool. My mom used to ask me what I wanted to say and then she would write that in the journal for me.

As of right now I’ve had I think 12 full journals and I only have about four pages left in my 13 journal which just blows my mind! I think that keeping a journal is one of the coolest things that you can do because there’s so much you can do with a single page.

So here are my top five reasons to start keeping a journal.

1. You can have a chronological record of your life.

Which you can then look back on whenever you want, which is amazing. Like I love to go back into some of my old journals, especially those from elementary school and just laugh at what I thought were my big problems or the guys I used to have crushes on, it’s incredibly entertaining. And someday, if you continue to journal, then you will have a complete chronological record of your life.

One of my favorite things is going back and finding old prayers that I had written in my journals only to find out that it had just been answered a week ago. There are a lot of coincidences like that which make me really happy.

2. You get to be completely uninhibited creatively.

My journal is my place to write in really bad handwriting, and practice my hand lettering. It’s my place to color and draw and tape things and write about anything and everything.

The picture above is of a “creative” version of a “what I got for Christmas” journal entry. I have so many random things glued into my journal that it makes me laugh, things ranging from napkins to fortune cookie fortunes to dried out flowers, and random doodles from my classes. The thicker I can my journal nowadays the more I love them!

3. You can write about anything and everything.

And it’s all yours! No one else’s.

4. The journals you can get are pretty cool.

Like there are literally thousands of options and trust me, I have an issue with that. Far too many to choose from! (Which is exactly why I have far too many extra ones in a basket I keep at home). The three extra ones I have at school include a sketchbook that I actually just use for painting. A three dollar one from Target (honestly these are some of the best). And a knockoff Moleskine journal that I was planning on making a bullet journal with at  one point months ago.

5. Memories

The good, the bad, and the ugly. Those things will always be there, and honestly most of the time, I like those memories in my journal more than I want them in my head. I have a breakup and a new relationship chronicled. I have my entire journey thus far with depression and anxiety. There’s so many memories that I have in my journals that I’m in awe, absolute awe.

Journaling is so important to me and I hope that this inspires some of you to pick up a pen and a notebook and join me in chronicling your wonderful and eventful life.

Have a great day everyone.

Sincerely,

Meagan

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I Have An Etsy Shop Now!

I’ve been painting a lot lately because it’s a wonderful way for me to cope with my anxiety. So I decided to open up an Etsy shop to sell prints of some of the watercolor paintings that I created.

Here’s a link so that you can check it out! I’m also planning on adding things that I’ve crocheted in the future, but I want to get a little bit better with crocheting before I do that.

I don’t have many paintings up right now, but I have been working on more and I’m hoping to upload a few more within the next couple of days. If any of you happen to check it out, tell me what you think!

Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone!

Sincerely,

Meagan

God is Good

I’m currently reading a book called Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst and I’ve been learning A LOT. It’s all about “living loved when you feel less than, left out, and lonely.”

Recently I’ve been dealing with a lot of turmoil in my personal life and I picked up a lot of “self-help” books. While wandering the nonfiction section at Target, this book immediately caught my eyes and I felt in my heart that I had to read it.

This book is all about relying upon God and turning to Him rather than earthly goals or gratifications when things get rough. Over the past few days I have felt more renewed than I have in years. Though I am still struggling greatly, I feel secure knowing that God is looking out for me.

The last few mornings I have been waking up and making coffee and then spending time in the word. I’ve started to illustrate my Bible and I think it’s turning out beautifully. It really allows me to get creative in the way I worship and I really appreciate the time I get to spend in the word really deliberating it while I color or paint.

So in the book, Lysa highlights how good God is. How He is good to us and that He is good at being God. We need to learn how to trust in God and ignore the enemy that makes us feel rejected and low. The enemy steals our confidence and our happiness. When we put all of our confidence and hope into earthly relationships and items that’s when we begin to feel scared, left out, lonely, less than, hurt.

Our God is an awesome God and He will never abandon us, turn us aside, or leave us broken if we turn to him. That is what brings me so much joy and hope and I pray that you all find that yourselves. We are so loved and so blessed to have an amazing Father creating our life page by page. My heart feels so full.

When our foundation is broken, we feel broken, which is why we need to build our relationship with God before anything else. My brokenness cannot make me stable, but building a relationship with God and fixing myself from the inside out can make me stable. This is what will bring out the best in me and provide me with a life that I will love living.

Here’s a really great video on this topic by a sweet, sister in Christ, Emma Mae Jenkins:

The song that I’m including in this post, The Stand by Hillsong UNITED, started playing as I was writing this post and I felt I had to share it. How beautiful is our God that loves us so dearly.

I want to offer up a prayer of love and peace for those who might need it and a prayer of thanks for the God who gave it all so that I may live. And if you’d like to pray here’s a little something:

I am yours, God

I am faithfully yours

God, I am going to trust you because you are good, and you are going to be good to me

Amen.

I hope you all have a spectacular night and feel the heartwarming embrace of a God that truly loves you.

I’ll leave you with a quote that really stuck with me:

I don’t have to figure my present circumstances out. I don’t have to fill the silence left behind in another person’s absence. I don’t have to know all the whys and what-ifs. All I have to do is trust.” Lysa Terkeurt, Uninvited, Pg. 23.

And trust is what I shall do.

Sincerely,

Meagan

My Favorite Self Care Tips

I think self care is really important. Especially during the times when you’re experiencing a really low point in your mental health journey.

When you’re at your lowest, it’s hard to do anything sometimes other than lie in bed and stare at the walls. Despite these feelings, it’s extremely important to get out of bed and take care of yourself.

Before I get into my own favorite self care methods, here’s a video by Lucy and Rosianna, who are awesome, talking about self care.

(Also I wrote this before making Wednesday’s post so hahaha, enjoy another video).

So moving into my four favorite self care tips, tricks, and methods if you want to call them that.

1. Hydrate yourself

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Drink a glass of water, I love to drink a glass of ice water, or at least cold water of some sort in order to wake up a little and almost jolt me out of whatever funk I’m in at the moment. It’s definitely not a cure all but it helps immensely with motivation to then do other things.

2.Clean yourself up

Shower, brush your teeth, wash your face, put clean underwear and pajamas on or actually get dressed. Sometimes I’ll even put makeup on just because it’s something to distract me and I also love the process of applying it. It’s really important to prioritize personal hygiene when you’re feeling low. Leaving yourself dirty and feeling grimy can often make yourself feel worse than normal just because you do feel gross. It’s hard to actually care about yourself as a human being if you’re not feeling quite human.

I also think it’s important to have a cleanish space. I would change my bedding and pick up the biggest messes on my floor (probably all clothes). If you have a dishwasher, definitely put any dirty dishes in there and if you don’t, don’t feel like you have to wash them all right away however, getting that task done would be a big accomplishment. I know finishing a task always makes me feel better since it gives me less to do some other time, and I feel productive!

3.Eat something

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Eat something small and snacky if you’re not feeling up to cooking, or make yourself a nice meal and store the leftovers for the next few days. I personally like to bake when I’m sad. Sweets are kind of my weak spot. Right now I have a ton of extra peanut butter in my cupboard here at school (because I got a jar in my stocking for Christmas) and I definitely think I’m going to make some of the peanut butter balls from this post the next time I need something distracting and worthwhile to do.

I think it’s important to get your blood sugar up and some nutrients into your body. I know I can always tell a huge difference in my mood when I eat something. Carbs are my friend when it comes to being sad and I love pasta for meals. A smoothie is always good too. I tend to lean towards a chocolate protein smoothie with frozen bananas, chocolate protein powder, peanut butter, and almond milk when I’m sad. It tastes like ice cream and always makes me happier because it doesn’t come with the lovely stomachache that real ice cream gives me.

4.Do something you enjoy

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Now when I say do something you enjoy, I mean do something that you absolutely can’t mess up no matter what that you actually like doing. Like reading, or watching YouTube, or for me I really enjoy to stress crochet. I find that it’s better not to do something that could possibly be messed up, you don’t want to end up getting angry with yourself or even more sad because you can’t do what you want to do. This is not the time to start a new hobby! That is definitely a task for a different day! And don’t try to deep clean anything either, if things do need to get cleaned, see my above cleaning category.

When I do stuff like this, this is when I like to also treat myself. Usually this means drinking a soda, sometimes even a Diet Coke (because honestly I never drink diet soda).

So, when you’re really feeling down and getting out of bed is almost impossible, I really encourage you all to form a simple routine that you follow when you need some structure the most. The four things in this post are pretty broad and there are so many different things that you can do to take care of yourself.

I hope you all have a great Friday.

Sincerely,

Meagan

Day at the Museum

Recently went to the Minneapolis Institute of Art with some lovely friends of mine. We were going to see the Martin Luther exhibit that is there but then ended up finding out we we probably should’ve done advanced research and decided to wander around the rest of the museum instead.

It had been years since the last time I had been at the museum and I remember some of the jade sculptures that were there as well as the giant glass chandelier in the lobby. That chandelier is absolutely stunning and I remember being so awed by it as a kid when I’d go to the children’s theater that is right next to the art museum.

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I love that they had this projected on the ceiling at one point. Looking up at it was kind of scary but I think it looks so cool!

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Mirror selfie in a 17th century mirror.

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We spent hours wandering around and looking at all the art pieces. Every corner we turned there was more to discover and learn about. I loved seeing the ancient work and comparing it to modern work. It’s interesting how much of art has gone from being practical and functional (pottery, etc) to just being creative outputs that don’t necessarily have to have a purpose other than to express something. To see the individual styes of artists is always inspiring and makes me want to create more and experiment more.

So now that I’ve shared some of my pictures from my time at the museum, I’d like to share with you all some of my favorite pieces that I saw while I was there. I’m also going to add links to more information about the individual artists if you’re interested in their piece.

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View of Dresden, Ernst Ludwig Kerchner

I love the colors in this piece. I definitely am drawn to pieces with cool color schemes. Or warm color schemes, or neutral color schemes. Basically I love anything that is not a rainbow. But I also love rainbows.

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Tempest in Yellow, Dorothea Tanning

See what I mean about the rainbows? I love the colors in this! I really liked her work and I think I might actually look into more of it soon!

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Maja by Antonio Saura

This piece has so much emotion in it. I was immediately drawn to this when I saw it in the room.

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Springtime of Life, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

This reminds me of a photography in a way with how in focus the girl is and how out of focus the background is. It’s stunning in the simplicity of it.

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My Alone Time, Claude Monet

Again with the colors. I love the colors that Monet uses. His paintings are some of my favorites of all time.

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The Duluth Living Room, Anthony Marchetti

These pictures were my favorite things in the entire museum. The artist took historical rooms and merged them onto the outside of buildings or other scenes that related.

There were a lot of other pieces that I liked and they even had Chinese cricket cages that reminded me of the movie Mulan and I loved them. I’m looking forward to being able to explore other museums this year.

Well, I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Happy Monday!!

Sincerely,

Meagan

Depression SUCKS

I have depression.

I mean that’s kind of obvious from the title, probably anyways.

So yeah, I have depression. I’ve had it for most of my life, but I only started seeking treatment for it within the last year.

Over the summer I was at a pretty high point. My anxiety was controlled for the first time ever and I felt like I was finally living life. I did have low points, that’s for sure, but for the most part my life was one giant high point in my depression.

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That’s me, last summer, I was so incredibly happy with who I was, I felt good! I was gaining confidence, I was working to become the person I wanted to be…

Then the school year started and I fell into a depressive episode that has barely lifted since September. And let me tell you, depression SUCKS. For almost the entirety of fall semester I did nothing but go to class and work and I barely did any homework. Thanks to the fact that I took such bad care of myself and stopped taking my anxiety medication my anxiety came back and I feel like that’s the ONLY reason that I passed my classes this semester.

I got sucked into this mindset that I wasn’t depressed enough to be depressed. When I say I passed my classes I mean I got straight A’s (minus one B). I missed two work shifts all semester, once for being sick and once for a final. I went to most of my classes, though I did skip some, compared to missing only one class at all last year this was not normal for me.

I’ve never gotten this low with my depression before and I hate it. I hate who I’ve become and it’s hard to look at myself and compare who I was just a few months ago to who I am now.

I want to get better and I’m trying. But the thing about depression is that sometimes it just sucks you down and it won’t let go. I have days here and there where my brain isn’t fuzzy, where I’m not irritable and hostile, where I find myself smiling genuinely and I truly feel like I’ve finally reached the other end of this chasm that I’ve fallen into. But I barely go four days at a time where I feel like this.

I’ve never spilled this much of my mind on a public platform. I’m not that type of person. I’ve never admitted publicly that I am depressed. That I have so many problems with myself; my mental health and my body. I am not a happy person right now. I’m lost and I’m suffering. I want to change, I really do. So here’s to 2017: I hope I can change.

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Sincerely,
Meagan

PS: I am starting a new category on my blog, titled Year of You. I’m going to use this as a way to track my progress mentally and physically as I work through a lot of stuff in this upcoming year.