how I combat depression…

Bursting the Bubble, Lifestyle/Personal

…when five important members of my support system are on vacation and I’m having a rough week.

1. Forget about negative comments and unhappy people. Although you’re realistic, you don’t need to keep hearing how hard it is to find a job or how much it sucks to get older or anything along those lines. Remember that you’re young enough to live the life you want to live. Have the courage to ignore the haters and keep on dreaming. 

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2. Facetime your family whenever you can. Just seeing the face of your niece or hearing the voice of your sister might make you forget about work related problems.

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3. Spend time with the family you have here. Make dinner with your brother and his girlfriend. Go to Burger’s Priest with your Uncle and boyfriend and yap until the rain forces you to go home. Invite your cousin over and make her some pasta with broccoli — then watch Catching Fire and have an open debate about who is hotter (TEAM PEETA!).

4. Invite your besties over and make them dinner. No, you don’t normally cook but you can totally lose yourself in a recipe and still feel in control — it’s getting everything ready at the same time that’s the tough part BUT you’ve got it covered. In fact, dinner comes out perfectly and your besties nearly lick their plates clean. After dinner, make a cake. Forget about your diet and eat the damn cake. Sing songs from your favourite boy bands, gossip your hearts out, discuss the important stuff, and give them the biggest of hugs when they leave, you’ll sleep easier at night.

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5. Head up to the cottage for a few days and let the fresh air clear your head. Eat all of those delicious things that are bad for you, drink loads of coffee (with cream), have a glass or two of vino, and treat yourself to good conversations with great people. Try something new, like driving a huge pickup truck or using a screwdriver. Don’t look at the clock, especially when holding hands with the love of your life, while sitting on the dock in the early morning light. Breathe it all in, let it all out. There are so many wonderful things in this world to be happy about.

6. Message your Buddy, she has the best advice, ALWAYS.

“I know buddy but I have accepted that my job doesn’t define me. I need money. So I’ll work and make money. And not worry about what work it is. I won’t give up on finding something great but it is Everything else I do in life is for me.”

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Let yourself feel giddy and happy over the littlest of things.

Write your heart out, even if no one reads it.

And that is how I combat depression, my friends.

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Thrive [Book Review]

Book Reviews, Lifestyle/Personal

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Arianna Huffington is the cofounder and editor-in-cheif of the Huffington Post Media Group. I’m sure we can all imagine what kind of life she must lead, being one of the most efficient media outlets doesn’t come without its consequences. Thrive begins with the moment that Arianna Huffington realized she was completely and utterly burnt out. Brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep Huffington fell, hitting her eye and breaking her cheekbone. Is this what success really looks like? she wondered. There has to be more to success than just money and power, she thought. And so she is redefining success by adding a third metric to the equation: Well-being, Wonder, and Wisdom.

I’m at an impasse in my life; an infuriating and stressful impasse. As such, I sought out a book that could help me get out of my funk — Thrive was the perfect choice. Weaving her personal stories with statistics and facts, Huffington shines a light on the issues facing the modern generation. She helps you answer questions like what kind of life do I want to have? and re-invents what it means to be successful. Thrive opens your eyes with an in-depth look at lack of sleep, technology and the affect that being connected 24/7 has on a person.

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Famous quotes are scattered throughout the book adding an extra emphasis on certain points (my favourite is above). The quotes add a certain wonder and wisdom to the book (two important elements of her third metric). Filled with pointers on meditation, ideas and websites to visit for volunteering, personal stories and anecdotes, Thrive has something for every business woman and man out there. It’s also great for millennials like myself, to make us aware of the kind of world we’re walking into and how WE can make a change.

Thrive comes out March 25th — I urge you to pre-order a copy!

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Disclosure: I chose Thrive from a list of Random House Canada titles and received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

If you are depressed…

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

If-you-are-depressed

I was beginning to wonder if there was something wrong with me. I haven’t felt anxious or depressed in a while and then my friend sent me that quote by Lao Tzu and things started to make sense. So thaaaaatttt’s why I’ve been feeling so calm lately. That’s why when I sit down to work or write and surround myself with coffee, candles, and flowers I don’t feel panicked or anxious. That’s why I’ve been letting my mind sit still sometimes and focus on the task at hand.

Because I am living in the present.

Why haven’t I done this before? It feels freaking amazing! It’s the best way to live and I think it’s been essential to my improving work ethic and bursts of inspiration this past month or so. I still make TO-DO lists and keep a day planner but I no longer feel so anxious that my heart beats out of my chest, my left eye twitches, and beads of sweat start trickling down my neck. Now, I feel a hint of excitement when I look at my planner or my lists and I tackle them one at a time.

I’m walking hand-in-hand with the Present and I’m enjoying every peaceful second.

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

HIYA Jack!

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

Yesterday I found this article on my Flipboard app – if you don’t feel like reading it, it’s about the best life advice from Jack Kerouac. I have never read any of his work but I did spend the last few minutes or so googling his bio and famous quotes.

I have two favourite quotes of his (that may even urge me to pick up a copy of his books).

“…we all must admit that everything is fine and there’s no need in the world to worry, and in fact we should realize what it would mean to us to UNDERSTAND that we’re not REALLY worried about ANYTHING.” – The Dharma Bums

How true that is. So many times in life we make ourselves worried, angry, or depressed. So many times we make lists in our head (or even write them down), we stress about saving money (or spending too much), we worry about how we look and what our future looks like, we make a Da Vinci’s code out of what someone says to us because they must have meant something more when they told you “You look great tonight!”.

When things are going great, we think of all the possible things that could go wrong. When things aren’t going well, we think of ways that they can get WORSE. Most times, we really don’t have ANYTHING to worry about – and yet we worry. We make ourselves sick with anxiety and depression for absolutely no reason. This needs to stop.

“UNDERSTAND that we’re not REALLY worried about ANYTHING”.

That is my second favourite quote. Read it again. It gives me goosebumps .

Happy Wednesday!

Love Always 
Vanessa Xo