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All Mental Health Matters

Mental Health Matters

What is Mental Health?

A mental illness is a physical illness of the brain that causes disturbances in thinking, behavior, energy or emotion that make it difficult to cope with the ordinary demands of life. Research is starting to uncover the complicated causes of these diseases which can include genetics, brain chemistry, brain structure, experiencing trauma and/or having another medical condition, like heart disease.

Inherited traits. Mental illness is more common in people whose blood relatives also have a mental illness. Certain genes may increase your risk of developing a mental illness, and your life situation m (1)

What does Mental Illness do to your brain?

Most scientists believe that mental illnesses result from problems with the communication between neurons in the brain (neurotransmission). For example, the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin is lower in individuals who have depression. This finding led to the development of certain medications for the illness.

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I am still not understanding why mental health isn’t understood by all. It affects your BRAIN people. The motherboard of your body. People are made fun of, belittled and just thrown to the side when there is actually something serious going on. Everyone needs to get on board with Mental Health Awareness and have more compassion and understanding. 

Here is an AWESOME human being. Her name is Lucy Bassett and she is the owner of Hello Stigma. You can also find her on Etsy where she sells “all things mental health, positivity and pick-me-up- gifts”.  She’s also on Instagram as well. 

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A bit of what she sells in support of Mental Health

 

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Stories of those who suffer from a mental illness

 

 

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Mental Illnesses can affect every part of your life. It can change your personality, your habits and your state of mind. It is a REAL thing. I really wish we were making it up, but that’s not the case. 

What you can do to support Mental Health

Ask. Ask your friends and family who suffer from a mental illness how they are doing and if you can help in anyways.

Listen. Really listen to those who suffer. Don’t belittle or toss them to the side. They need the support but sometimes don’t know how to ask for it.

Educate yourself. Research the different types of mental health illnesses so you can get a better understanding of what your loved ones are going through.

Tell your story. Have you personally struggled or currently struggle with mental illness? Don’t hesitate to tell friends and family about it. Your story can encourage others to ask for help.

Stand up for someone. Watch out for bullying and stand up for that person, as this can lead issues such as depression.

Memorize suicide hotline. 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You never know when someone might need it. 

 

My Story.

I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Depression. For me, anxiety and depression is the most awful combination ever. Because of my depression, I lack motivation/desire to do anything. I have frequent mood changes. Having anxiety makes my depression a million times worse. I have no motivation to do anything, like clean my house but then my anxiety goes nuts because my house is so disorganized. One of my other struggles with anxiety is not being able to shut my mind off at night and over thinking everything. I’m also pretty negative about everything and don’t know that I am being that way. 

I’ve coped with these by going to a psychiatrist and therapist as well as talking to others who suffer from what I do. The best way I’ve found to cope is by blogging about it. 

I wish everyone would understand that My mental Illnesses aren’t my choice. They aren’t something I am making up. I’m not doing anything to get attention. I also want people to understand that my depression and anxiety keeps me from really enjoying life the way I really want to- it keeps me from going out and seeing friends, or even just being social. 

The advice I can give would be to seek help. Call a friend or family member or even go to therapy like I am. Don’t me ashamed to ask for help. Everyone needs help in their life at some point. One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give is to cut the negativity out of your life. Whether that be people, jobs or situations. You don’t need anything else giving you anxiety. 

 

Make a difference and support Mental Health because 

Mental Health Matters.

 

Jessie

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Three year old’s and what they do when you’re not looking

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My husband has always said our three-year- old is a ninja. Anytime I left, I always came home to something ruined, or destroyed because of our daughter. I argued with him because our daughter never got away with that kind of stuff when I was home-I paid that close attention to her. So, she never really got into things on my watch… Until recently.

I think she caught on to the fact that I watch her closer (Way closer) than anyone else and she got quicker and sneakier at doing things she isn’t suppose to do. Here is how sneaky my three-year-old has become because of me.

 

Red Lipstick

Averie and I were in my room watching T.V., she was sitting on my bed with one of her toys, watching PJ Masks. I walked out for not even 3 minutes to get a snack and drinks for us, and when I come back in, I sit on the bed and she’s in the bathroom washing her hands. I ask her to come out and when she does, she walks out all nonchalant, with bright red lipstick all over her face, eyes, stomach, legs and arms. I asked her, “What on earth is on your face?!” With a little smirk, she replied, “There’s nothing on my face.” In a matter of three minutes, she managed to find a tube of my liquid lipstick and cover pretty much her whole body in it. It took days to get it all off of her. 

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Dish Soap

One day, I was sitting on my bed folding clothes and Averie was in her room playing…So I thought. I keep my door wide open and her room is right next to mine so I should of seen her leave her room… but I didn’t. My husband was outside, working on my car and when he walks in, he finds our daughter at the kitchen sink doing dishes with an entire bottle of dish soap. It was a brand new bottle that hadn’t even been used yet and she dumped out the entire bottle into the sink of three plastic bowls that were already clean before she got to them. There were so much bubbles, that they were still present in the sink hours later. 

Vaseline 

One day, Averie said she had to pee (Don’t know why, but she always insists on telling me before she actually goes to the bathroom), so I tell her to go and to not play in my in my bathroom… I don’t know why I thought she would actually listen this time, but I did. She was in there for 5 minutes and when I went to go get her out, she had gotten into my Vaseline and put it all over her face and in her hair and topped it off with putting 4 bows in the front of her hair. After that, she gets in my bed, full of Vaseline and falls asleep.

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Snack Queen

All this girl wants is snacks. I swear, she just thinks of me as her snack bitch. She won’t eat lunch or dinner hardly ever, but she can eat snacks all day, everyday. The other day, she had already had a string cheese, a granola bar and fruit snacks, all within an hour and of course, she wanted more. I told her no more for right now and then she disappeared into her room. I go in there after about 5 minutes, because she was being quiet, and find her eating more fruit snacks and crackers… I don’t even know how she got them. All the snacks are up in a high cupboard in the kitchen and I was in the living room the whole time and didn’t hear her at all.

My three-year-old has become a master ninja if she’s figured out how to sneak around me. I notice everything. 

Tell me about your toddlers and their sneakiness.

Jessie

Posted on 27 Comments

Things you shouldn’t say or do in front of your kids

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The fact that I even feel the need to write this just bothers me, but here we are. Obviously, there are things you just don’t say or do in front of your kids, right? Well some parents didn’t get that memo or just don’t care if their kids lose all respect for them. Hence why I’m writing this. There’s things that kids minds just aren’t equipped to hear and shouldn’t worry about anyways. There’s also things that they don’t need to see, such as a parent disrespecting another parent, or belittling them. Yeah, this should be common sense, but apparently not to everyone. 

Your kids see what you do and how you act and how you treat others. They follow you. You are their role models. They learn how to be an essential, functioning part of society from you. Think about that for a moment. You are molding a human to grow up and be successful.

Don’t talk about your finances when your kids are around.

Kids should not have to worry about bills

It’s a great idea to teach your kids about finances because that’s something they’ll use in their life, but don’t talk about your household finances in front of them. This is adult stuff. They don’t need to worry about stuff like that. There are situations however that this doesn’t pertain to. No child should have to worry about if you can afford food or things that are needed. Just figure it out and don’t talk about how your late on bills in front of them. Nothing worse than your child asking if you can afford to do this or that with obvious worry in their face. 

Don’t criticize your spouses parenting in front of your kids.

I don’t quite understand why any parent would do this unless the discipline goes to far of course. Don’t tell your spouse they were wrong for the type of discipline they gave just because you didn’t like it IN FRONT OF THE KIDS. Do you understand the risks of this? Your kids seeing you treating your significant other like they did something wrong for disciplining them for something they did wrong will cause them to lose respect for that parent, like they have no say and that you will overrule the other parents discipline. It’s just wrong. Don’t take your significant other’s parental rights away. 

Don’t bad mouth your significant other in front of your kids.

This shouldn’t even be said, but unfortunately there are people like this in this world. Parents speaking so badly about their kid’s other parent in front of their kids. On top of this just not being right, do you understand how awful this makes your kids feel and what image of that parent you are implanting in their minds? That’s not fair to the other parent and definitely not fair for your kids. 

Don’t undo something that the other parent did. 

Kids should not have to worry about bills (1)

What I mean is, don’t undo the parenting that the other parent did- don’t give something back to your kids that was taken from them by the other parent because they are crying about being in trouble. The other parent has the same amount of say as you do. If you keep undoing what the other parent does, your kids won’t take the other parent seriously because they think you will save them every time they do something wrong and get punished for it. Just not okay. 

Don’t use your significant other’s past that was before you, against them.

I don’t understand why people do this. It’s cruel. It’s done out of anger I’m sure, but it shouldn’t even be an option. We all say things out of anger, no ones perfect, but refrain from doing it in front of your kids. The past is the past for a reason. Leave it there. They didn’t have to tell you about their past, but they choose to, so you shouldn’t use it against them, especially in front of your kids. Again, this is one of those things that shouldn’t be said, but unfortunately, there are selfish people in this world. 

Don’t tell a step parent that they aren’t the real parent.

This! This upsets me to the fullest. I am a step mom and not once has my husband, or the mother’s of his kids ever told me that I wasn’t their parent. Not once. In fact, the mother of my step daughter reads my blog and sees me refer to her daughter as mine and she doesn’t disagree. If that step parent has been the only other parent in your kid’s life, then this shouldn’t even be thought of. Instead, it’s used against them when it comes to disciplining and responsibility to them. It’s wrong. The worst part is, telling that step parent they aren’t really their parent IN FRONT OF THE CHILD THAT THINKS OF THEM AS THEIR PARENT. Not only did you belittle your significant other, you said that they weren’t your child’s parent in front of your child. The outcome of this could be many things. Your child could lose respect for that parent because they aren’t his parent, or it could break their heart. Either way, you’re doing damage that is very hard, if not impossible to undo. 

 

Kids are sponges, they hear and repeat everything they see their parents doing. They are sensitive, easily impressionable and just innocent. Don’t ruin that for them. Let them have a childhood. I didn’t have this. I saw and head things that I couldn’t ever imagine my kids enduring. Enough to scar me and have a lasting affect on me. 

Jessie

Posted on 27 Comments

Insomnia Awareness day

INSOMNIA

I guess March 10th is insomnia awareness day, so I’m here to shed some light on insomnia and what it can do to someone who suffers from it. 

I’ve struggled with insomnia for over 10 years now. I remember it started when I was in my sophomore year in high school. I went through a lot of emotional stress growing up and it got worse in high school. We aren’t going to get into that, because I don’t want to relive those days. Since having insomnia for so long, I’m pretty sure I can tell you every side affect there is, and they all suck.
When I try to go to sleep, not matter how mentally and physically exhausted I am, I can’t fall asleep. This is an every night battle. On a nightly basis, I get maybe 4 hours of sleep, if I’m lucky. 

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Here is what can happen if you don’t sleep.

Not feeling rested once you do sleep

This I think is the worst one. Chances are, you’ll feel more tired if you get a full 8 hours of sleep one night because your body is running off of so little sleep. This sucks. There’s that once in a blue moon that you actually fall asleep no problem and stay asleep no problem and then it does nothing for you. I hate this. This is my life. 

Weight gain

This is honestly not a horrible thing for me because I have always been so skinny, but it can be harmful for others. When you don’t sleep, your body isn’t getting enough sleep, everything slows down, including your digestive system. Sleep is an essential part of the digestive system. When you don’t sleep well, your brain produces too much Ghrelin (Which is a hunger hormone your body produces), meaning you feel hungry more of the time, and therefore eat more than necessary. 

Becoming a flaky person

This is so true. When you don’t sleep, naturally, you’re tired all the freaking time. And I mean too tired to even shower. This keeps you from wanting to go and do anything outside your house. I’ve been that flaky friend. Not so much now. It just sucks that you can loose friendships over having insomnia. 

Health Problems

Not sleeping enough can cause a variety of health problems including mental health problems. My insomnia has been worse the last few years than it’s ever been and so has my health. It feels like I’m sick all the time with one thing or another. If I’m not sick, I have massive head aches. 

Irritability 

Just like babies and younger kids, if they don’t sleep, they are grouchy. Your irritability level sky rockets if you go so long without decent sleep. I would know, I get told I’m irritable on a daily basis. You just have no patience for anyone or anything let alone for yourself. 

 


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Insomnia is a real issue. I don’t choose to stay up all hours of then night. I am not a night owl and would love more than anything to just go the hell to sleep, but it’s like my body and brain are arguing the entire time about me going to sleep. My mind races a million miles an hour. I’ll finally remember the thing I forgot earlier when it’s 10pm and I’m already in bed, and of course, I can’t stop thinking about that and all the other random thoughts dancing around in my head all uninvited. Having insomnia has taken a huge toll one my mental health as well. It Causes more anxiety attacks for me. 

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The best advice I can give is…

Surround yourself with people who care and not people who mock your illnesses. You need support, not criticism. Try going to bed the same time every night and getting up the same every morning. Your body needs a routine. If you have real bad insomnia, try seeing a doctor about it. Remember, take care of you!

 

Jessie

Posted on 27 Comments

5 Important Reasons Why Your Kids Should Clean

5 Important reasons why your kids should clean

My Three-year old has known how to use a vacuum since she was one and a half. She helps me do laundry, clean the kitchen and fold towels. She was taught at a very young age that she needs to clean up after herself. I can ask this girl if she wants to help me clean and her answer will always be, “YEAH! I love cleanin!” She does more than what other kids her age would do. (She does have an OCD mama, who loves a clean house.) I’ve been told, “Why do you have your kids clean so young?” and, “They are just kids, let them have fun.” Well, I will tell you why my three-year old already cleans up after herself and cleans with me. ONE: I don’t want her thinking it’s okay to trash anything without there being consequences. TWO: I also don’t want her thinking it’s okay to destroying other people’s houses either and things. And THREE: From day ONE, you are teaching your kids. You are teaching them what love is, what caring is. Then they learn what respect is and how to be independent and responsibility is. It’s just ridiculous to not teach them something while they are young and their brains are sponges. Makes no sense. 

What everyone does in their own house is not my business, but think about it this way… What favors are you really doing for your kids if you aren’t teaching them how to be more self-reliant, respectful and responsible? Absolutely NOTHING. You are ;ruining them. I’m not saying give them full on chores every single day. None of my kids have daily chores. They just know that if they make a mess, they clean it up. I am preparing my kids for when they go to other’s houses, school, college and just adult life. It’s just common sense to teach your kids this really. There’s just no excuse for it really. Them not doing it right is not an excuse… How else are they going to learn to do it right if they don’t do it wrong first? 

A lot of parents just don’t even know where to start with assigning chore tasks to what ages, so I have created a guideline to help y’all out. 

1. Chores help kids learn responsibility and self-reliance

Assigning your kids tasks around the house teaches them responsibility. Chores that personally affect your kids such as cleaning up their room/toys and doing/helping with their laundry can help them become more self-reliant at the same time. It also gives them something to be proud of themselves for-that they are mature enough to take care of themselves.

2. Respect 

You don’t fully know how much your parents do for you until you’ve left home and are now doing everything for yourself. Giving kids chores to do will  reinforce respect for the ones that care for them. They will become more aware of the messes they make if they are assigned to cleaning tasks around the house and have more respect for the work that goes into maintaining a household. 

3. Chores help teach life skills

your kids won’t be young forever. In just a blink of an eye, they grow so fast. Eventually, they will be out on their own or in situations where they have to know how to do things for themselves. It’s your job as a parent to provide them with that knowledge of how to take care of themselves. They are going to learn to do that if you always do everything for them. When they are out on their own, they will need to have learned how to do their laundry, cook, and just how to maintain a home. Not all of this is taught in school, therefore it is your job. You aren’t doing your kids any favors if they are 10 years old and you’re cleaning up their toys, or doing their laundry. You are then at that point teaching them that they will have someone to do these things for them. you are suppose to teach them how to be an essential part of society.

4. There are consequences

This is important. Like super important. Think about this. You teach your kids right from wrong. You teach them that they need to take responsibility for themselves. These life skills are going to be used for the rest of their lives! They need to know that there are consequences for everything they do. Obviously the consequences differ in different situations. Action: They don’t take care of their toys/stuff. Consequence: Their toys/stuff get broken or lost. Action: They don’t clean up after themselves at someone else’s house. Consequence: They may not be wanted over there anymore because they have no respect. The action and consequence thing can fall on the parents as well. Action: Not teaching your kids to clean up after themselves and to take care of their toys. Consequence: They more than likely won’t do it at someone else’s house and that’s pretty embarrassing for you as a parent. Action: They aren’t taught basic life skills growing up. Consequence: You might be the one doing their laundry, and making their bed and catering to them after they should of already moved out. 

5. Help improve time management skill’s

Chores can help older kids and teenagers build good habits early. It teaches them to set priorities and manage time. Think about it this way, if they were taught at a young age to just pick up after themselves instead of leaving it and contributing to the mess, then they would save time and not have to handle an even bigger mess later. 

 

There are chore tasks that are appropriate for each age group. My daughter is three and has known how to use a full sized vacuum since she was one and a half though. 

Chore list per age group (1)

 

There should be no reason at all why your kids can’t help clean up, especially if they’ve contributed to the mess. If you continue to do everything for them, they will never learn. This is a rule in my house. My girls know that they have to clean up their room when they are done playing in there, as well as other kids that play in there, they have to clean up their own mess too, or there’s no playing. 

 

Jessie

Posted on 30 Comments

Activities for your kids when they are bored

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This is the number one phrase that drives a mom crazy… “I’m bored, mom!” My teenager use to say it all the time. He doesn’t anymore since I started giving him no so fun things to do so he wouldn’t be bored. HA! Right now, it’s my 5-year old that says it. She’s got a sister and a room full of stuff to play with and she tells me she’s bored. My idea to solve bordem is make them clean but then we all  know they’d be complaining about that. So here is a list of kid friendly things to keep your young ones from driving you crazy with that phrase. 

Arts & Crafts

Arts & Crafts

What my husband and I did was cleared out one of our lower kitchen cupboards and turned it into the craft cupboard. We have everything from coloring books to glitter in that cupboard and our girls love it. Keeps them entertained for hours. If  you’d like to create something like this, here’s what we have in ours: 

  • Coloring books & crayons
  • Markers
  • Glue sticks
  • Notebooks
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Stickers
  • Foam shapes
  • Googly stick on eyeballs
  • Construction paper
  • Pencils
  • Kid friendly scissors
  • Glitter glue
  • Color by number books
  • Puzzles

Forts

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The other day, my husband build a blanket fort in the living room for the kids and they spent like 2 hours in that thing. Literally just laying there. We filled it full of pillows, books and their stuffed animals and they just had a blast. Here’s what you need to make a successful blanket fort:

  • Blankets of course
  • Furniture such as couch and/or chairs
  • Pillows
  • Books/coloring books
  • Toys

Learning activities

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My 5-year old is all into homework and learning right now. She loves learning to read and write words especially. I have partnered with education.com  to provide you guys with some awesome learning activity worksheets. Here is a message from Courtney at Education.com:

Little ones are always on the move, so they will love tracing these transportation words. Moms will love the practice kids get with letter formation and word recognition. For even more fun educational resources, visit education.com.

Here is a list of what education.com offers:

  • Maze
  • Word search
  • Word search with images
  • Crossword puzzle
  • Word scramble
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Division
  • Multiplication
  • Spelling Test
  • Matching words to images
  • Word Tracer

Right now, I am featuring their word tracer worksheet. My 5 year old loves things like this, especially since she’s learning to read and write. This has been a big help to her and it’s such an awesome feeling to see how proud of herself she is for writing words! You can download their worksheet below or go to their website and look at all their worksheets they have for grades pre-k to 5th grade! Click the link below to download this word tracer worksheet!

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Movie & Snacks

We like to all watch movies in the living room. On the floor with pillows surrounding us, eating snacks. The girls love to do this and so does my teenager really. Good way to keep them all occupied. Another genius way to keep them entertained would be to put them in a box. Don’t know why, but kids love boxes. A good snack would be fruit pieces. My kids love fruit. Below I have listed everything that would be good to use during movie time:

  • Pillows
  • kid tray full of fruit
  • blankets
  • Boxes
  • Juice boxes

Cat Toys

As funny as this sounds, give them cat toys when they say they’re bored. They’ll either play with it (Like my daughter does) or play with the cat with it if you have one. If not, then the toy should entertain them because you know that things that aren’t theirs seem to entertain them more than the stuff that is theirs. My three-year old will play with our cat for hours with a cat toy. The funny part is, our cats will following her for hours.

Outside

Outdoor fun!

Let them play outside (Not when it’s freezing of course). Get a swing set or a jungle gym for them to play on. My daughter would sleep outside if I let her. She has a playhouse, a jungle gym and a swing. She lives all of them, but would play in the dirt over anything. Even if we had absolutely nothing in our backyard, she would still rather be outside.  She is actually okay with the idea of her sleeping in her playhouse.  She won’t sleep in her room, but she’ll sleep outside. Go figure. 

 

There are a ton of other things your kids can do, these are just my personal favorites!

Hope you all enjoyed, and please check out Education.com.

XOXO

Jessie