Living With Depression & Self Doubt

Today I wanted to be extremely raw with myself and whoever reads this. Since this is mental health awareness month I wanted to share a bit of my story.

Sometimes I find it really easy for me to write. Other times I struggle with even finding the first few words. I like to think of myself as a pretty open book, I’m good at letting myself be vulnerable and I’m learning to be more present with my emotions. I also like to think I don’t often give a shit how others view me, as their thoughts and opinions don’t define me and my reality. However, I’ve been finding that I hold myself back a lot and have had to ask myself why. I often don’t fully execute ideas and projects to my full ability. I know I could if I tried maybe just another 25% harder but I don’t.

So why don’t I? After some time looking inward I’ve come to the conclusion that somewhere deep down I must have a fear of failure and probably do care a little bit what others think of me if I don’t succeed. This stems from my history of depression. I’ve never been one to get anxiety that often but I’ve been struggling with manic depression from as far back as 11 years old.

The good news is, since I’ve become more aware of this I’ve been letting myself stay in my feelings and my “episodes” for a few minutes, and really just surrender to it. Sometimes I’ll fucking sob on the floor and lose my damn mind. It can get pretty lonely when you’re in that dark place.

But one thing resonates with me… Yes I have depression and it cannot be changed. But I’m aware I live with it and I CAN change my thoughts on the byproducts of the emotions. The byproducts being that feeling of failure and what others think of me. Here’s the thing though… PSA: These negative thoughts you experience aren’t yours! You are conditioned over the years of your life and fed these soul sucking thoughts by external sources.

Other people may have said or done things to you and put those thoughts in your head and now you believe them. Well don’t because they truly aren’t yours to begin with!! The sooner you realize that and diminish these EXTERNAL thoughts you’ll be able to control your INTERNAL growth!

Since I was actually able to get the courage to share this, I’ll be diving deeper into my history with my mental illness and writing more about my experiences with it.

This also stemmed from me stoping my podcast…I was afraid I’d fail and afraid what people would say, was I good enough? Was it boring? Do I sound dumb? But honestly fuck it. I’m doing it for the 1% out there that may need to hear what I have to say. If I can help just one person suffering from any mental illness then it’s worth it to be judged. That being said… I made a new episode. Go check it out, or don’t. But either way spread some love and compassion today. You never know who needs it.
❤️❤️❤️

My Super Specific Morning Routine

Since I know everyone loves a good am routine I figured I’d join the club and tell you all about mine with every detail imaginable.

But first my pre wake up is my cat. My angel darling sweet boy likes to try to wake me up usually an hour before my alarm because he thinks that is when I want to snuggle….I do not. So after like 5 mins of him touching my face with his stinky cat litter paw and licking my salty eyelids I try to push him away or I’ll grab him and hold him down until he gives up and goes back to bed. Super annoying, this is a for sure thing every damn day. I hate it but if I’m being honest I love it.

We snuggle and go back to sleep until my alarm. I have a Google pixel 2 (not totally sold on this though, thinking of going back to iPhone… thoughts?) However, it has this really cool function called Google assistant routine. So I have my alarm set for 6:45am. As soon as that alarm goes off my “assistant” says good morning, because who doesn’t want to be woken up by a cold robotic toned woman in the morning?? She then tells me the weather for the day, goes over anything in my calendar, reminders and then plays me a podcast! SUCH a fun little trick to actually wake me up and get me going.

I may hit snooze for 10 mins to just get that extra slow none rushed wake up brain zen going, ya know? I hate having an alarm go off and just jumping out of bed so I do 15 mins prior to the time I actually want to be up. After about 10-15 mins I usually turn my podcast off if I need silence, to do some morning meditation in bed. I just lay exactly where I am and practice belly breathing and I like to repeat certain things. Setting my intentions for the day is key so nothing can fuck with me! Make yourself and your space unfuckwithable! I do this usually 5 minutes. Practicing longer meditation but it’s really hard for me to be still and turn off my thoughts for long but this is something I’m working on.

By this time Fish (my cat) is awake and needs his morning attention. I literally cannot even touch my phone because he will head bump it right out of my cold white dead hands that have zero circulation because it’s freezing in my house.

We spend a good 15 (ok maybe longer) snuggling and talking. He walks over my head, claws at the blanket to get under, rubs his lips and mouth on my face, you know the usual. No morning is complete without him! I wake my daughter up at 7:15 and she gets ready for school. She’s 10 so she’s very independent and gets her own breakfast, makes her own lunch etc. It’s sad and I feel like she doesn’t need me anymore lol time for more cats?

While she’s getting ready and I’m done the meditation and snuggles I sit in bed and chug as much cold water as I can. I bought a giant water bottle that holds 1.2L of water and keeps it cold for 24 hours but for reals FOREVER. It’s unreal. I got it from home sense for $15!! The brand is called Takeya. You need one! Life changing!!

Next I get up and put on my black yoga pants that I got from Ardenes for like $10 because they have the softest furry lining and they are ultra comfy. These are my go to’s but if they are in the laundry I’ll grab the next comfy choice. I have my big over sized Taylor Gang blue hoodie hanging up waiting for me to slip my frail cold body into and my fuzzy socks. My mom literally buys me a new pair every chance she gets. Go mom! And my fiance’s giant slippers that I stole that are aka mine, and I’m off to the bathroom for my am skin care routine. I have my pants, socks and slippers next to my bed in a laundry basket the night before so they’re ready to go. HATE being cold and rummaging around for clothes.

Am skin care: this actually varies because I have a few different favs that I’m loving at the moment and this needs an entire blog to itself. (Will post asap!) I do my am routine and once I’m finished I head to the kitchen, put the kiddos lunch etc in her bag and do her hair. The one thing she’s not the best at but again I’m psychotic and need to do it myself so she doesn’t look like shes living outside the house in a van. I drive her to school and head back.

As soon as I’m back I fill up my diffuser with whatever oil I’m having a moment with. Right now it’s called Clary sage and OMFG it’s the best smell. You know those scents you smell and they trigger moments in your life and you can literally remember times you had with that scent?! This one smells like a cream I use to use that I got from the skin care clinic I use to go to a few years ago and it’s like a summery fresh but almost floral but not like old lady flower floral ya know? I got it in a big pack from winners that has 14 oils in it. It’s hands down the best one I’ve found, and has ALL my favorite kinds inside. Grapefruit, lemon, blood orange, cinnamon, so many good ones!

I feed the cats and my bird, open all my blinds so it’s nice and bright and I sweep my kitchen floor. I cannot make breakfast if my floor is dirty. I’ll usually open my windows too if it’s not freezing outside. (These routines will vary with the season changes).

My kitchen is most likely clean because I wash dishes after dinner. I swear I’m not ocd…or maybe I am? I clean my house numerous times a day, maybe I have a problem?! I just need a clean environment ok?! I think having a clean space is EXTREMELY important to time management. I can’t function in dark messy places.

Once my floors are clean, blinds open, house smelling fresh I make breakfast. I either do gluten free oatmeal with fruit and nuts. Mostly cashews because that’s my main nut, but I’ll settle for a pecan or walnut I suppose. Some say a nut is a nut but once again I’m picky. Whaddya do?

Or I’ll do coconut dairy free yogurt with gluten free granola…YUM! And last but my new fav and not least. A toasted gluten free bagel with vegan mayo, lettuce, bacon Maple flavored tempeh, avacado, little bit of hotsauce and of course herbamare herbed sea salt. So delish guys, you need to try. You can put tomato on too for a “VLT” but I cant have tomatoes right now so I exnayed it.

Aaaaaandddd now that that’s done I’m off for the rest of my day. Afternoon routine coming soon?

Jesus Christ I hope I didn’t scare you guys away! haha If you guys liked this blog post, let me know your thoughts, drop me a DM, comment on my latest instagram post, email me, anything! Always love feedback 🙂 Thanks for reading.

Love Jenna

3 Quick tricks to regain that creative spark.

Let me start by saying I’m the queen of letting a dull uninspired mindstate get the best of me. We all have those days don’t we? Where we want to lay around and binge watch real housewives and dream of fancy, warm vacays, bottomless mimosas for breakfast. But unfortunately that shit doesn’t pay the bills. Well, not in my life it doesn’t.

So what do you do when you can’t write, create, think straight etc. Before I started this blog I was having a massive 3.0 writers block and let me tell you it’s V V ANNOYING. Like helloooo, why does it feel like there is a cute, white fluffy kitten patting a ball of red string around inside my head? It’s excruciatingly hard to concentrate some days.

I wanted to make a “how to” post about how you can instantly clear your head and get down to the nitty gritty.

Step 1: I do this every morning in my living room but it’s nice to do in a small space if you’re trying to have some quiet inspo time. Essential oils. Wether you use a diffuser or prefer some quick spray or roll on scents, my favorites currently are citrus flavors. Lemon, grapefruit and sweet orange. Citrus oils are great for enhancing your mood and help reduce feelings of anxiety and irritability. They also boost your mental energy levels and pep you the fuck up! Perfect right?!

Step 2: Breathing. Kinda need to breathe to live I know but how often do you actually just sit or lay down and have some really good breathes? Taking 5-10 mins to focus on just breathing with your belly and not your chest is so fulfilling (see what I did there?) No seriously though, it feels SO good. I like to imagine white and pink sparkly light coming in through my nose and filling up my belly as I breathe in, breathe in alllllll the way, hold it for a couple seconds and exhale. As you exhale imagine all that same white and pink sparkly, magical light is being released through your mouth, along with whatever worries, bad thoughts and negative energy you were harbouring inside you.

Step 3: Next I like to put on a few tracks and dance around in my room aka in front of mirror like a total idiot. You gotta get that blood flowing and what’s better than shaking your cute ass. Maybe I’m old but remember Electric Circus on much music circa 1999? I use to watch that religiously and dance like a maniac in my room with my door barricaded so my nosey older brothers couldn’t come in and bust me living my best life.

So there it is! Some super easy, super cheesy but effective ways to get out of your slump.

Have some other favorite ways to get inspired quickly? I want to hear them!! Comment on my latest IG post with some great ways to undull your mind and I’ll add them to a future blog or podcast!

My social media awakening and how I conquered the dreaded hold of Instagram.

Ok guys, I’m going to try to make this short but knowing me that actually won’t happen and I will most likely ramble on so I apologize in advance.

Let me first start by saying HOLY FUCKING CAT SHIT is social media ever a headache! If only I had a dollar for every second I’ve wasted trying to piece together the shit show that has been the last few months of my life online. Now don’t get me wrong this story has a happy ending so over all I’m happy and content. Let’s rewind back to November.

It was just a normal day for me, posted my usual daily post with more than likely a smart ass caption that took me way too long to figure out. I kissed my cats a few million times, talked to my bird, annoyed my fiance. Totally normal stuff, until later in the day when I went to check my Instagram. Nothing. Logged out. Glitch in the Matrix? Possibly….but no it in fact was fucking not.

It actually took over half hour until I got the dreaded “your account has been disabled for violating terms” message. I panicked. Now I know it’s only social media and not real life but when you spend 6 solid years building an honest following…no bought followers etc, and when you make a living off your social media; it’s kind of hard to not worry about it.

So I appealed it, over 30 times since then if we are being honest. No response. Now, knowing in my heart I did nothing wrong as I’ve never posted anything that would violate terms, I figured I’d get it back so I vowed not to make a new account. Well 2 weeks later I caved. Made a new “backup account”, and here is where it gets nuts. A few weeks into this new account I reported a fake account using my photos. Then I got the notification “this account has been taken down for pretending to be someone else”…. I thought OH FUCKKK YA, one point for me. Wrong.

I then clicked on the notification and boom…logged out. Instagram deleted my account (again) INSTEAD of the fake one using my photos. Zero points for me. So flash forward now a few more weeks. My jewelry page (shameless plug, if you haven’t yet be sure to follow it on IG) was thriving. I was getting good exposure, lots of hits on my new site. Business as usual, I go to check my account….logged out. Fuck me right. This time it was hacked. Completely deleted and gone forever.

Now let’s rewind again and go back to when my first original account got deleted (I hope you’re still following) At this time I was really feeling down, depressed, uninspired and most of all I was already feeling like social media was sucking the life out of me. The constant pressure to make good quality posts and stay relevant was always weighing on me hard. I was working a job I wasn’t 100% sure of, I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go with that and if I wanted to seperate it from my Instagram. I was confused.

Through the months of November and December I stayed feeling this way, all of the social media bullshit was too much so I deleted my Facebook and tried to stay off of it all as much as I could. Some issues in my personal life were bothering me and I was at a very low point until after new years. I kept thinking why is all this bad shit happening to me? That’s when it hit me.

None of this was happening to me, it was happening FOR me. I wasn’t happy but I wasn’t changing because I was fighting the natural flow. The universe was sending me sign after sign and I was ignoring it because I was so far down, deep in my pool of self pity and deflection. All of these things were happening FOR me to clear space in my life for new, better things to come. I was literally being forced off social media. That time I had to myself was so nurturing and healing.

I was finally able to think clearly, to feel more, to be present, to look up into the fucking sky instead of into a tiny piece of soul sucking technology. It was short but it was so sweet. I got back into writing, editing, shooting, all the things I had been putting off because I was so absorbed into what I thought I had to post next, just for some superficial admiration from strangers.

I had the time to think about what my intention is for social media, what purpose I want to use it for and what direction, and message I want to give to people following. Posting because I felt I had to wasn’t making me happy. I used it like a drug, it was an addiction. I want to use it as a tool to connect with a community and of course a job I enjoy. We are given this platform, the internet; our gateway to everyone, everything, and anything and we let it control us.

Well FRIG THAT, not anymore. Being back on social media but with limited time has been so refreshing. Posting and putting my phone down without the urge to pick it up every 2 seconds is fucking RAD.

So guys, I want you to do this with me. TRY to consciously use your time online wisely. When you find yourself scrolling remind yourself to stop. Literally say in your head over and over “fuck off phone”. There’s a thing on most devices these days that can track your time on each app. Check it, you’ll be amazed and probably partly disgusted. I was anyways. Let’s get that number way way down!

Here’s a lil trick I do. Think of 3 positive words to describe yourself… Mine are ambitious, loyal and caring. Everytime you pick up your phone to check your socials think of those 3 words. Think of how much time you can spend off your phone really BEING those 3 words for yourself, your friends and fam. Repeat those words and use them as fuel to get shit done! Social media isnt everything but without spending so much time on it YOU can be everything you wish to be!

And with that im getting off line and going to work out and be present with the day!!

Xo Jenna

Gratitude is an attitude!

I cannot put into words how much gratitude I’ve been feeling lately. I’m literally in tears as I write this because just a week ago I was so low I didn’t want to live. I’ve accepted myself and my vulnerability and I’m listening. I’m listening to my heart, my mind, my body, my well being. When I was down it felt like I’d never be up again. I had to get outside of myself. I forced myself to change, I started working out, practicing feeling grateful. I started taking care of my health, eating clean but mostly I got the fuck off social media.

I use to think things like money, social media, being liked by everyone mattered, of course you need money and social interaction to live but it truly does not matter. It doesn’t make you genuinely happy. Social acceptance doesn’t make you happy. I use to think I needed all of that to be who I am but it’s the exact opposite. Today I have less followers, less money, less “friends” and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Quality over quantity is a saying that is so fucking real, props to whoever figured that one out.

I had to change my self confidence and self trust. A shift in the ego. Ive been telling myself to keep my promises to myself to do better. I’m so fucking grateful. I’m content. I’m happy to be alive.

If you are ever feeling depressed, please reach out. Get into a routine, a ritual. Work out, eat clean, give yourself time to be still and meditate. Associate with happy spiritual people. Get rid of toxic people and things. Have a will to win. And you will.

Get grateful. Get driven. Get better.