Art And Anxiety #2

As you guys may know I have started doing some art again. I have talked about it in a couple of my other posts and I thought I would give you guys an update because I have been doing a lot more art these days and I also have kind of gotten the hang of how the apps work so I feel like my art work is definitely getting better!
Before I get into the art I want to talk a bit about anxiety because I realised I have not posted any mental health posts in like a while. I’m not sure why that is but this is my theory. You may know that for almost an year now- about 10 months I think- I have been taking CBD oil on a regular basis. I started out taking it every day and then every other day and now I take about three to four drops every two or three days depending on how I’m feeling. CBD oil has significantly reduced my anxiety as well as insomnia and I just don’t really experience most of the symptoms I got due to anxiety. So, I usually write about what I’m going through or things that I am experiencing and since anxiety is not a major part of my life anymore I feel like I kind of stopped writing about it just because I don’t think about it that much anymore. If you want to read more about my CBD oil journey please click here.
I have noticed that art has really been helping me with my anxiety and stress management as well. You probably don’t experience this if you don’t have anxiety but people with anxiety disorders have brains that never turn off. Basically, there is always that voice at the back of your head and it can be extremely exhausting. What I have noticed recently is that when I do art I concentrate on it so hard that the voice at the back of my brain shuts up which is such a relief even if it’s for a little while.
What I have been really enjoying more than colouring is doing my own art from scratch. As much as I love art I’m really not very good at it so I decided to draw something that was not too difficult and complicated- The Simpsons! Last time I showed you my picture of Bart Simpson which I was not fully satisfied with (I still am not so I will be editing it):

I am also done with the rest of the family now and that’s what I wanted to share with you guy!
The next one I did after Bart was Homer Simpson- this one took me A WHILE but I am finally pretty satisfied with how it turned out.

Next I did Lisa and I’m pretty happy with this one as well! By this time I had gotten the hang of how to use all the options on the app and was getting a lot better at drawing and colouring so I did not take as long to make this one.

After Lisa, I did Marge. Now her face did not take that long as I was used to drawing their faces now but her hair! Her hair took me more than an hour to get just right but I am super happy with how it turned out and I was even able to shade it!

And lastly, of course I drew Maggie. This one was pretty easy to draw and I love how she turned out!

Apart from that I’ve been doing random paintings like this one. I don’t know why but I just love not actually painting something specific but just splashing paint around.


App for colouring: Paint.Book
App for The Simpsons: ibisPaint X
App for painting: PaperDraw
I hope you guys enjoyed my art- I was so excited to share it with you guys!
Have you guys learnt anything new during quarantine or have you started doing something you really enjoyed but stopped doing? Do you guys enjoy doing art? Have you ever tried art on an app? Do you generally do art on an app or for real? Does art help you manage your mental health? Who’s your favourite character from The Simpsons? Let me know in the comments below- I would love to chat or simply stop by and say hi!
For posts about mental health click here. For posts about art click here. 
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5 Ways To Reduce Anxiety Long Term

Mental Health Awareness Month

Anxiety is something that has effected me for a long time now and since it’s Mental Health Awareness Month I thought I would share 5 ways to reduce anxiety long term that have really helped me. Although anxiety can be something that effects you your entire life it doesn’t have to control your life. These 5 methods to reduce anxiety have really helped me better deal with the symptoms and live my life as “normally” as possible. I hope they help others suffering from anxiety, panic attacks or other mental health problems.

Yoga

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Yoga is something that a lot of people with mental health problems find incredibly beneficial. Although it does not work instantly practicing yoga over time can really help you with anxiety. There are also a number of specific yoga poses for anxiety and there are a number of tutorials online so that way you can even do them from home if you aren’t able to go to yoga classes in person.

Meditation

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This is something that has personally helped me more than anything for my anxiety and mental health in general. It really helps you control your brain better as well as calm your brain down. If you have anxiety you probably have a difficult time with calming your mind down even when there is nothing to be anxious about. This can be extremely helpful with that problem. It also helps you stay calm in stressful times and situations.
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CBD Oil

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This is something I tried out recently that I have found very helpful. I started using CBD oil a few months ago for my anxiety and insomnia and have been using it regularly since then. I have found that over time it has helped to significantly decrease my anxiety- especially my social anxiety. For a more detailed post on using CBD oil for mental health click here.

Breathing/Relaxation Techniques

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Breathing and relaxation techniques can be very helpful for anxiety. Certain situations, events or experiences may be particularly stressful and these techniques can help with dealing with these situations without being anxious or having a panic attack. Over time it can help you be in better control of your emotions and mind.

Therapy

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If other alternative methods do not help with your anxiety I would highly recommend seeking professional help. Try talking to the people around you that you trust if you don’t feel comfortable talking to a stranger or are not able to see a professional therapist at the moment. If you are able to see a trained professional this would be very beneficial for you as they will help you recognize your symptoms and find ways to deal with them. If you are not able to physically go to therapy there are also professionals that offer sessions online. Therapy can be extremely helpful in the long run.
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Update: CBD Oil For Anxiety

So I did a post on trying out CBD oil for my mental health some time ago- mainly for my anxiety and insomnia- and a lot of people did seemed interested in CBD oil, how it works, how it has helped me with my anxiety and the results of using it regularly, so I decided to do a little follow up. I thought that since I’m doing posts on mental health this entire week since it’s Mental Health Awareness Month this would be a good time to post this update. I have continued taking it on a regular basis- mainly for my anxiety and insomnia- since I first started taking it a few months back because I saw the benefits/results and wanted to continue with it. My anxiety reduced significantly after taking it for a few days and I wanted to see what would happen if I took it on a regular basis long term. I found that over time the results got better and I stopped having to take it daily. I began taking it every other day and currently I take it every two days. I take three drops of the CBD oil every night- about an hour before I go to sleep.
For this post I wanted to focus on the effects of CBD oil for my mental health (anxiety and insomnia) because as you guys know that’s been something I have been struggling with for a while now. I also want to talk about the effects that the CBD oil has had in my life in general as well as address some of the cons I mentioned in the first post I did about this topic. I also thought this was a good time to talk about my experience as I know with everything going on right now a lot of people are experiencing an increase in their anxiety and even people who don’t necessarily have an anxiety disorder are experiencing high levels of anxiety and not everyone knows how to deal with it or how to reduce it. I thought that since CBD oil has helped me with my anxiety sharing my experience may help others experiencing similar problems.
I do however want to point out that it is not some magic cure it is sometimes made out to be by influencers. Everyone’s body is unique and what helps some people may not be helpful to others. It also does not magically make all your problems go away- my anxiety has not gone away completely it has just reduced significantly. It is also a herbal/natural/alternative “medication” so it is not as strong as anti-anxiety prescription medication and it takes a couple of days to a couple of weeks depending on your body and your levels of anxiety before you really start seeing results. To check out the original post I did on CBD oil click here.
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Update:

Insomnia:

CBD Oil For Insomnia
My insomnia has seriously improved after taking CBD oil on a regular basis. It used to take me about an hour to fall asleep but now it takes me a couple of minutes. It has really made a huge difference for me. I also wake up a lot more well rested because my sleep is much better too. I was also a really light sleeper and the slightest noise would wake me up but I’m pretty sure I can sleep through almost anything right now.

Anxiety:

CBD Oil For Anxiety
CBD oil has definitely done wonders for my anxiety. I am so much more comfortable with social situations and my random anxiety at random moments has stopped almost completely. It has also really helped me improve my mood. To be honest when I was anxious all the time I was pretty tightly wound and I kind of stopped laughing and being happy very often. This has really changed that- I’m happy like way more often and I actually find things funny enough to laugh out loud instead of just smiling.

Concentration:

CBD Oil
Since my sleep has really improved and my anxiety has highly decreased I can concentrate a lot better. I’m less distracted, more motivated and my brain is just working a lot better in general. My memory is better too- I used to be distracted so I forgot things faster but now that I’m concentrating better I can remember things better too.

Life:

CBD Oil
I’m a lot easier to live with according to my sister 😂. I am also much more comfortable in social situations, I genuinely enjoy talking to people now, I also find it easier to converse with people without being super awkward and I’m much more comfortable in crowds or talking to a larger group of people.

Dry mouth:

CBD Oil
So this was something that was kind of a “side effect” for me with CBD oil and it was something I mentioned in the last post. It didn’t bother me that much at the time but I still felt that I should mention it. The dry mouth has gone away by now and I haven’t had this problem in a couple of months. I think I just needed to get used to it. Drinking more water can also help.

Vivid dreams:

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This is another “side effect” that I had mentioned. It did not bother me because I actually found the dreams pretty amusing and entertaining but I know not everyone feels that way. I am having fewer vivid dreams but I am still having some but honestly they have been pretty good dreams so far. But if vivid dreams bother you I would suggest trying out a very small amount of the CBD oil first and if you have a negative experience you should stop using it.
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Trying Hemp Oil For Anxiety (Review)

So I tried using hemp oil for my anxiety when I was back in Kenya and tried it once more when I came to Canada. Here are my thoughts about hemp oil for anxiety/insomnia. Just a heads up these are my thoughts and how my body/brain reacted to the hemp oil so it may be subjective.

Pros

Reduced anxiety– It definitely did reduce my anxiety. After using it for about 3-5 days I noticed a decrease of anxiety, however, not a complete disappearance of the anxiety though- just a decrease. Even after using it for a few weeks it was only a decrease in the anxiety.
Better sleep– It definitely helped me fall asleep faster and made my sleep deeper which was nice since I’m usually a very light sleeper and have a hard time falling asleep.
Better Concentration- The reduction of anxiety and better sleep also helped improve my concentration which was really helpful.

Cons

Makes me drowsy- If I drank one or two drops more than usual it made me drowsy the whole day. I was also a bit drowsy for one or two hours after waking up which can be annoying.
Weird dreams- I had super vivid dreams, sometimes nightmares, which was fun sometimes but very annoying other times.
Anxiety doesn’t go away completely- Like I said earlier it only kind of reduces anxiety it doesn’t make it go away completely or even significantly. It just kind of decreases it to an extent.

Final Thoughts

I have had anxiety for a while now and it does get pretty bad at certain times so that may be why hemp oil didn’t work for me as much as it does for some people. Maybe if you’re anxiety is not that bad than it would probably do a better job helping to reduce it.
It did help significantly with my insomnia which in turn helped with my anxiety since sleeping better helps reduce my anxiety so if you are suffering from sleeping problems I would recommend trying out hemp oil. But try very little first because it can make you drowsy the whole day if you take too much. I would also recommend taking it like an hour before you sleep instead of in the morning.
This is the hemp oil I used in case you’re interested in trying that one out specifically click here.
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Six Word Story #21

A million thoughts per second- insomnia.

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How To Look After Your Mental Health When Physically Sick

Recently I was really sick and I realised it affected my mental health more than it should have. When I thought about it I noticed that my physical health plays a big role in my mental health and when I’m feeling sick physically my mental health also seems to deteriorate. It’s like your brain knows your defences are down and it attacks. Anyway, these are some of the things that help me out with that and I hope they help you too!

  1. Talk to someone- talk to your family members, friends or even a professional if you feel as though your physical illness is seriously effecting your mental health. Talk to someone and tell them how you feel. I can not emphasize enough how important it is to make sure as you recover physically you are feeling good with your mental health too.
  2. Meditation and yoga- if you can’t do a lot of stretchy yoga positions there are still some really easy ones that pretty much consist of lying down or sitting. If you still feel as though you can’t do these try doing some meditation. You don’t even have to move to meditate and it’ll make you feel tons better to just clear your head for a bit and relax.
  3. Check for side effects- A lot of medicines have horrible side effects including things like depression, anxiety and insomnia. If you already suffer from any of these they might make them a lot worse so make sure you know what you’re taking and that it doesn’t have these side effects. Or if you can’t change your meds try taking something along with them to counter the side effects.
  4. Talk to your doctor ahead of time- Talk to your doctor and let him know if you have any mental disorders that you fear may have gotten worse or will get worse because of your physical illness. Be open about it because that’s the only way they’ll know what’s going on with you. And even though it can be terrifying to open up about your mental illness/es it’s important to remember they’re professionals and it’s their job to treat you not judge you.
  5. Take extra care of yourself- Remember that you should be the most important person in your life. Take care of yourself- eat healthy, drink lots of fluids, get lots of rest and just do whatever it takes to make a speedy recovery. Once you feel better physically, you’ll feel better mentally too.
  6. Stay distracted- Read, sleep, play games, start working on your doctorate… whatever, just keep yourself distracted from negative thoughts. I’m usually not one to say distract yourself or bottle up your thoughts but sometimes it’s better than dealing with them when you’re already feeling down. You can deal with them when you get better.

If you feel like your mental health is still not improving please seek medical help as soon as you can.

For more posts on mental health click here.

For more posts on anxiety click here.

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My Canadian Experience

A lot has changed in the past few days. I’m in a foreign country where I know absolutely no one, have no idea where anything is located and I haven’t found an apartment to stay in yet however I have no anxiety at all what so ever. Since I have landed in Canada my anxiety and insomnia have seemed to completely disappear. I don’t know why or how but for some reason Canada has a way of making people feel as if they’re finally home. Like you’ve finally reached the destination you’ve been looking for your entire life. No I haven’t had only good experiences but I haven’t had any horrible experiences either. Seeing new places, trying new things, just being somewhere else is exhilarating. I love travelling and new experiences and this has been the best one yet.

I unfortunately couldn’t get pictures of everything because I’m lazy but I did get pictures of the food (duh!). As you may or may not know I’m trying to go vegan so I decided to try out a vegan place in St. Catharines called Rise Above. I think it’s the only place in St. Catharines that is completely vegan (it also has gluten free options) and no they are not sponsoring me to write all this 😂

So I have orientation tomorrow which I’m really looking forward to! Tell you more about it when I get some time!

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The Ramblings Of An Insomniac

Why are we here?

What am I doing with my life?

I should really clean my cupboard tomorrow

What outfit should I wear tomorrow?

I should stop binge watching stuff

What time is it?

If I fall asleep now I can still get enough sleep

What year was the Berlin Wall torn down?

Why are humans so annoying?

Why am I still not asleep?

What if I never succeed?

What if I have to drop out of college?

What if I never become a psychologist?

And have to work as a receptionist forever

What am I doing with my life?

Why am I here?

What am I going to post tomorrow?

Maybe I should write a post about this…

I have a lot of trouble falling asleep and I usually think way too much instead of trying to fall asleep so I decided to write about it. I really have a hard time calming down and my brain just refuses to stop sometimes.

If you want to read more poetry on this blog click here.

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