Category Archives: Beauty and Health

Life With Anxiety

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I’d like to touch on the topic of anxiety. This is a mental health ‘issue’ that touches my family immensely. Between myself and one of my children, we have the market cornered on life with anxiety. It is a genetically inherit trait, along with depression, both running on my side of the family. Unfortunately, my two teenage children and I have depression as well.

My youngest also suffers with social anxiety. Influencing all facets of life, from the struggle to be at extended family events, making friends, ordering a meal or engaging with a cashier. As a teenager these are things most would consider fairly mundane parts of life and take for granite even, but this is not the case here. The anxieties at times can affect life for the whole family. Unannounced anxiety enduced nausea or panic attacks; these can interrupt family outings or keep us from even making it out the door. And, although my two teens are best friends and can engage each other with ease, I do worry what life as an adult for my child will look like. Cognitive therapy (CBT) is a useful tool that we do have, but anxiety will still always play a part in life.

My anxieties are a bit less apparent as I do not have trouble with interactions or engaging in public. My anxiety tends to be in the form of stressful situations. I can have panic attacks when my mind takes over a situation. Whether I begin to feel claustrophobic or I feel like I may be in a confrontational situation. These can send me, but not always, which is the disconcerting part. I find having a strong mind and being in control, keep me centered and away from the panic attacks. Relaxation, meditation and time to myself are great therapies for me, along with good support from my family.

Life with anxiety does not have to be all-consuming, but it can be. However, overall I believe our family has learned to cope with it and just go with the flow most of the time. Afterall this is really all we can do, as well as, being super supportive and understanding of one another. Strength as a family unit is certainly a key part of successful daily living with mental health struggles.© ~Mac

 

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Filed under Beauty and Health, Depression

Dear Agony

Agony: extreme and generally prolonged pain; intense physical or mental suffering (source)

Life has a way of battering, bruising and taking much from me. My gut has taken a beating. It actually feels like a few feet have taken turns kicking it in. Bedraggled and torn, that is me. My heart must look like a tattered and worn blanket at this point, full of holes; it surely has been used and abused by hard times and losses.

If you look at me you may see a smile on my face, it may even reach my dark, blue eyes. But, I’ve gotten good at hiding my pain and showing no fear. In fact, I have learned to swallow my tears and breathe through the agony. Just please, don’t let one more person ask how I’m doing, dear God!

Depression, anxiety or any other struggle that takes a toll on the mind, body and soul– well you may know exactly what I’m talking about! Or perhaps you have a loved one that suffers from mental illness. It can be nearly as hard, yet an inability to fully understand or help, this can leave you feeling helpless.

Empathy can truly be a breath of fresh air, finding a person that understands the path you’re on. Sympathy is also an amazing gift, but can feel like a slap in the face too. No one wants to feel like a basket-case that you pitty or are sorry for, especially during an already very low, difficult time. So, while you love and care for that person in your life, be sure that you work together to find ways that make them feel positive about your compassion for them.

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I have felt for years that depression was my journey to go alone. My husband could not fully understand this struggle, so it was not his to help me through. In taking this approach I pushed him away every time I was faced with a low. After all, it is my illness and my difficulty. But, after nearly 16 years of taking this attitude, I will tell you, it was to my detriment. Over time, I have injured our relationship in a myriad of ways, in “going it alone”!

I don’t know why I have felt the need to do [this]. My thought process, he couldn’t possibly understand all the thoughts and dark places that my mind goes. The ups and downs, anger and sadness, all that runs through my mind, perhaps within five minutes! But, I often haven’t even give him a chance to comprehend where I am or consider ways he may make my journey easier. No, he can’t remove this burden from me, but he can help to alleviate some of the weight and pain, and even brighten some of the darkness.

We have recently decided to come up with a plan to put in place for when I am completely consumed with my emotions; times where I get so dark and tend to push everyone away. These are the times when I actually need people the most, but tend to be in too deep a fog to know how to even help myself, let alone tell someone else how they can help. My mind can be so weak that it will go to places that it should not and would not otherwise, go. I feel like I am a different person, looking from the outside in, like an out-of-body experience, almost. I don’t even know the person looking back at me in the mirror sometimes. My poems Counterfeit Identity and I Feel Like A Monster are poignant in regards to these feelings. 

Create An Action Plan (6 Ways To Support A Spouse Living With Depression)
This is the most important tip I have to share about this topic. Sit down with your spouse on a good day — a day where they’re feeling happy and calm. Open up a dialogue to co-create an action plan for their low days. How do they want to approach those days? What would they like to experience on those days? And what would help them shift through those days? As the spouse of someone with depression, it’s easy to unconsciously become an enabler by giving into their behavior or letting them slump around the house for days on end because it’s harder to confront them. Don’t let that happen! Co-create an action plan to inspire them to get through those days so they can shift into a happier state of mind. For example, I told my husband that yoga always helps me feel better and even if I have zero desire to leave the house, a yoga class has the power to shift my energy. On my low days my husband will always suggest yoga, and that serves as a reminder of the beautiful action plan we co-created to help get me through those horrible days.

When in the right frame of mind, I and Hubby have come up with our “Action Plan.” These are things that are positive for me, help my mind focus away from the negative and can aide in bringing me out of my low (even if for only a short time).  The list includes things such as: foot massages, bubble baths, ice cream, music and journaling. These are things that I don’t do on a regular basis, but are treats that help me feel well. Most are done with the help of Hubby, because he needs to be involved. If I need my space, he is still there, but in a different capacity. Even these small changes have a big impact, not only on me and my depression, but on our relationship. I highly recommend an action plan! 

Now, I am looking to the future and trying to not deal with my agony all alone, because we are a team, and a team works together. One may have strengths where the other has weaknesses and vice-versa. That is how a team works; they are there for one another, cheering thee other on when they go up against an opponent. So, go team Mac! ©

**Find the song “Dear Agony” by Breaking Benjamin, my inspiration for this piece, HERE.

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Filed under Beauty and Health, Depression

Me, Myself and Hair

“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”~Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

I will admit that I am quite taken with my hair. It is my favorite feature about myself, besides my eyes. And, while I try not to be vain, well, it probably comes as no surprise that I can be.

But, to be honest, I actually have quite a bit of body image problems. I may appear to some as being self-confident, but in all truth, I am not. I have suffered with body dysmorphia for years. Weight has always been a problem for me. Fad diets and easy weight loss pills have been my bane at times. I have yo-yoed for years, gone up and down three different clothing sizes. I would love to say I could blame my pregnancies, but seeing as my kids are nearly 14 and 16, I think not, lol! 

So, as I close in over the next few years to the big 4-0 I am working on being healthy. Walking almost daily and attempting at a healthier diet. My doctor has also gotten on board and is helping me with some medications. Not weight loss pills, but some others that are proven to aide a person if they are doing all the right things. These have helped and I did go down 10 pounds in two months! A very healthy rate of loss. 

And, things I do have going for me- I do not suffer with high blood pressure, high sugar, high cholesteral or any other type of problems that can come with weight issues. Yes, the occassional body ache and I do have a bad back. But, overall I am actually very healthy, according to my doctor. Now, if my mind could just get on board and my body could toe the line. 

And all this, just from talking about my hair. Which, by the way, is all natural me. No dyes, except for the sun which likes to kiss me with highlights in the summer. 

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This is me ~Mac

 

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SocS: hair

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Filed under Beauty and Health, Life Lessons, Uncategorized

Luster Lost

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I feel like I’ve lost my luster

Some days no strength to muster

Why does life get so hard?

It is just leaving me so marred

Emotions can be my bane

Often leaving me going in sane

But then I believe in feeling

Even with outcome unappealing

I won’t give up dreaming

That one day again I’ll be beaming

Luster Lost© by Mac

 

 

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Filed under Beauty and Health, Depression, Love of..., poetry

All Dolled Up

 

All Dolled Up

Long locks dripping with wet
Brushing through the mess
Pump in the hair products
Mousse and serum with finesse

Blowing out the chocolate mane
I comb and tug and pull
A heated iron for all the kinks
Now its thick and full

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Prepping of the palate has begun
A tug a pluck a tweeze
Load on the lotion with SPF
Anti-wrinkle and plumping creams

Base for painting is dabbed on
Proceed with puffs and brushes
Lines are drawn and colors blended
The lips now full and luscious

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Wisely chosen baubles gleam
Gold and silver shimmer
Patterns, textures and fabric
Which will make me slimmer?

Linger at the mirror
Then comes the final touch
A boot or flat or a heel
Last just grab my clutch

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Dolled up, now where shall I go
I’ve spent just over an hour
Perhaps I’ll go back to the store
To buy more primping powder

©All Dolled Up by SBDMB (MM)

 

Daily Word Prompt: Primp

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Filed under Beauty and Health, humor

Things I Can’t Live Without

 

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This is a bit of a different topic for me. But, as a woman and quite the “girlie” one at that, I do love my beauty products! If I could only choose a few products, those that I couldn’t live without, this would be my “it” list. These are in my daily routine and my must haves for maintaining my appearance.

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1. Aveeno “Pure Renewal” shampoo and conditioner

I have very thin, fine hair. A few years back I noticed that it was getting thinner and I was losing it more than what is normal. After trying multiple vitamins and different hair products, I came across research regarding sulfate.

Sulfate is really in every shampoo and conditioner, unless otherwise specified. Many say that it can lead to hair loss. Right away I changed over to Aveeno’s “Sulfate Free” formula. I have stopped losing large amounts of hair and it feels more healthy. The products themselves have the same consistencies as other shampoos and conditioners. The price is a touch more, but well worth it!

 

clq_7t5r01_402x4642.  Clinique “Dramatically Different” moisturizing lotion

Since coming across this lotion my face has changed, well…dramatically. I suffer with very dry and flaky cheeks. I had tried just about everything under the sun, with no avail. This has been a game changer. I am a huge fan of Clinique and this is my number one go-to product of theirs.

Along with Very Dry, they have Dry Combination and Combination Oily. You can also check out their 3 Step face care that the lotions are part of.

 

429c7a2b-be0a-45b6-add8-3b5d07faf484_1-9757b092e24ada972b7ae4e865c3919a3. Covergirl “Aqua Smooth” Foundation & “Ready Set Gorgeous” Powder

As I mentioned prior, I have problems with dryness on my face. I also suffer with redness areas due to my fairer complexion. This is the first foundation that I have found that both covers and keeps the moisture in. It goes on smooth and lasts all day. This also has an SPF which is important to stay off wrinkles.

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This pressed powder is also one of the first I’ve found that does not dry me out and stays on. It also helps set the foundation. I have tried many pressed powders, but I’ve always come back to this one. Now I just stick with this combination, as I have found it to be the best for my skin. I also like the sponge applicator verses a brush or puff. Again, this has SPF.

revlon-volume-length-magnified-mascara4. Revlon “Volume & Length Magnified” mascara

Along with my fine hair come fine eye lashes. I am always looking for the perfect mascara. And while I’ve found others in the past that I like, this is a newer find for me and I LOVE it! I have already gone through a tube and am on to my next. It is fairly new and Revlon has an entire line of five different “Ultras.” It goes on easy, bulks up my lashes and adds just enough length. As I don’t like to look over-done with the makeup, it gives me just the appearance I’m going for.

screen-shot-2014-02-09-at-7-04-33-am5. Nivea “Lip Care” & Maybelline “Baby Lips”

As I get older I find myself drawn more towards lip balms and tinted moisturizers, and away from lip sticks. I also tend to lick my lips or bight them frequently. Moisturizers help with the chapping that occurs from these habits. They also help prevent wrinkling and the look of drying that comes with age. These brands do offer some lip care that also contains SPF.

I go back and forth between the two brands and have a hard time picking a favorite. I keep tinted and non-tinted in each brand. I have many around the house, in cars and purses. I’m a bit of a lip balm collector.

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Michelle by Michelle

I hope you’ve enjoyed this different side of me and the beauty products I can’t live without. I’ll have to come back another time with more items “I can’t live without.”

I would love to hear about an item or two you can’t live without. Or maybe you would like to know about something in particular I use or recommend in another category. Be sure to let me know in the comments. And feel free to share and reblog!

 

 

 

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