Reflection on 2018 & happy new year to you all! πŸŽ‰βœ¨πŸ’•πŸ’«

Hey lovelies πŸ’•,

Happy new year to you all! βœ¨πŸŽ‰ In this post I will talk about my 2018 and will show you how I celebrated New Year’s Eve. I’m glad I don’t have a cold amymore but just tonight I got my period so yeah that also sucks 😭 I’m glad I take medication for the cramps because otherwise I wouldn’t survive it. Besides, I’m also being anxious about my appointment of getting one of my wisdom teeth pulled out this week. I keep postponing the appointment. I know I have to do it but I’m so scared. H e l p. I also don’t want to do it in Holland. Here in Spain it’s much cheaper and the dentist understands my anxiety but I’m still so afraid and I just feel like I can’t cope. If anyone have some more tips to survive it I will be forever grateful πŸ™πŸ’• I can always take medication for anxiety if that’s enough to help me cope with it.

IMG_20181228_221316.jpg

We are already in 2019. A year has flown by. As usually I want to reflect on my year with this post and also write some important things for you all. Every year has its ups and downs. Every year consists of good things and bad things which happen to us. The most important thing is how we react to all these things. I know how hard it’s to stay positive in this sometimes dark world. I just keep believing that there are so many good things in the world and that there are indeed so many good people. You just have to find your tribe. I’m so glad I did.

I’m so happy with my blogging community, mental health community, Yoga Girl community and the goddess revolution community. I’m thankful that I joined these communities this year. They made me feel less alone and so much happier. If I’m in Holland I will maybe go to a meet up with some yoga girls. I also really wish that we will continue to all be friends and hopefully one day we will all meet ✨ I know the universe brought us all together for a reason which is to be connected with awesome people, share our struggles and feel supported.

I learned a lot this year. I learn every day from this world. This year I realized that there are truly lovely people who care about you and want you to be happy. I learned that it’s better to have a few good friends than a million of fake friends. The ones who love you will always be there for you no matter what. I learned that true love exists when I saw my brother getting married in August in Spain. I learned that this life is an adventure. Sometimes we win and sometimes we loose. We learn from every experience. I also learned that it’s okay if I’m not where I want to be in life. I still have a long way to go. I will find a career I love and will keep growing. It all takes time, pacience and trust in myself. I have to love myself, believe in myself and know that I can make my dreams come true such as working and living in Spain ✨

I also went to my first feminist strike in Valladolid, in Spain on International Women’s Day on the 8th of March with my mother. This was such an empowerful event. I never went to a demonstration before. I really wish 2019 will be the year that less women will be suffering from violence. I wish that women and men have the same human rights. Together we are starting a revolution. This is just the beginning. 2019 will be the year where women can be themselves, love themselves and love each other πŸ’•

This year I also learned that music is the best thing in life 🎢 I would be lost without music. I went to so many amazing concerts such as the OperaciΓ³n Triunfo 2017 concert in Madrid with my friend Maria πŸ’• OperaciΓ³n Triunfo makes me so happy and full of life. I also enjoyed the concert of Pablo Alboran, Chenoa, Hombres G and Celtas Cortos with my mother in Valladolid. I also enjoyed so much the concert of Sofia Ellar with my friend Maria. I can’t wait to see her again. It was so lovely to meet Sofia and get a picture with her. She’s the best and I can’t wait to see her singing again 😍

This year I began to read again a lot which I loved to do so much when I was younger. I will continue reading this new year. I also kept writing and being creative. I hope to create more amazing content on this blog. Writing is amazing. I travelled to Madrid, Granada, Santander and Somo. I discovered Somo which is a beautiful surfing village in the north of Spain. In 2019 I really want to go to a surf camp again πŸ„β€β™€οΈπŸŒŠπŸŒž. I didn’t go surfing for more than two years. I miss it so much. It’s also so good for my mental health. The sea is my home and cleans my soul. The beach is my favourite place on this earth. I can’t wait to travel to more amazing places and meet more amazing people.

Somo, Santander (September 2018)

FB_IMG_1546375268526.jpg

Granada, Andalucia (July 2018)

FB_IMG_1546375301138.jpg

La RΓ‘bita, Mediterranean Sea, Granada (July 2018)

FB_IMG_1546375261807.jpg

Madrid (March 2018)

FB_IMG_1546375125136.jpg

Maybe for some of you this year was a hard year. Maybe some of you have lost someone close to you. Maybe you just didn’t felt okay and were struggling. I’m here for you. It’s okay to grief. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to feel sad. Feelings change and emotions change but it all takes time. Try to not be hard on yourself next year. Remember, I’ll will always be there for you πŸ’• I hope you will invest in self love and self care this new year because that’s the most important thing that matters. I also encourage you all to surround yourself with people who love you and who bring you only good vibes because you deserve that ✨.

I celebrated my New Year’s Eve in Valladolid, in Spain. I decided to not go out with my friends. I also didn’t go out last year. I used to party every year but I don’t feel in the mood anymore. I have to do what feels good to me. I went to the hairdressers in the afternoon to cut the dead ends, my bangs and they made curls in my hair. I love to look good for myself. I dressed up at home and did my make up. My mother and I went to the house of the mother of the wife of my brother. We celebrated all together New Year’s Eve: Rafael, my mother, VΓ©ronica, VΓ©ronica’s mother and her brother. We enjoyed eating delicious Spanish food.

We ate cheese, jamon serrano, chorizo, bread and chicken. I didn’t eat the fish because I don’t like fish so much haha πŸ˜‚ At 12 o’clock we watched the television and ate the 12 grapes. We also had champagne πŸ₯‚. It’s a tradition in Spain to eat the 12 grapes. They say it brings luck. We watched television where we were hearing beautiful music and we played Spanish card games. I really loved it so much. I love playing games with my family. At 3.30 am my mother and I went home and we stayed in watching some television. We went to bed at 6 am pretty late but doesn’t matter because it’s a special night. I’m glad I didn’t go out because as soon as we were home I got my period haha. On New Year’s Day we just stayed in and chilled. I saw the movie Grease. I just love that movie & the music so much 😍 I also saw the movie Paper Towns which I love so much from John Green. I already saw this movie with my best friend one day and loved it.

l wish you all an amazing new year full of love, happiness and luck πŸ€βœ¨βœŒοΈ Stay strong & stay safe. We are all in this together πŸ’ͺ I love you all so so so much ❀️. Thank you all for reading. How was your New Year’s Eve? Did you stay at home or did you went to a party? Which are your goals or dreams to achieve in 2019? I would love to know. I will speak to you all soon in my next blog post.

IMG_20190101_050820_592.jpg

Much love πŸ’•,

xoxo Christina

World Mental Health Day; Remember, you are not alone πŸ’•

Hola sweeties 😍,

Before I begin with this blog post I would like to share a short summary of the cremation of Lisa where I went last Wednesday. In case you didn’t read my last blog post here’s the link: Life is fragile. I know her from my choir. She got leucemia 8 years ago and got it back this year. She died at such a young age, only 29 years old. Me and my mother had to go one hour by bus to Lisse from Haarlem. We had to walk through a street surrounded by nature. Then we saw a woman in a car who asked us where the cremation was. She was also going and invited us for a ride which was really lovely of her. We were already near. When we arrived I saw some people from my choir and gave them a hug. It was really nice to see everyone again. They were so nice to me. The cerenomy almost looked like a catholic cremation because Lisa and her whole family are catholic.

We could see pictures and videos of Lisa. The choir sang some beautiful songs and also the brother of Lisa sang solo Ave Maria. It was so beautiful and even didn’t feel like a funeral. It was heartbreaking, emotional but also so beautiful. There were some beautiful speeches from her mother, her sister, her brother and her husband. Especially her sister and her hushband had a difficult time speaking. You could hear them crying which was so sad 😒. I didn’t cry that much. I cried already so much at home. It felt strange because I always cry so much. I could see everyone crying. At the end of the cerenomy we had to walk near to the coffin and first I was afraid but it wasn’t so scarry. I didn’t see her dead. The coffin was closed with flowers. I was sad seeing the family in the first row all crying. Then the rest of the cremation was only for the family, friends and some choir members.

Afterwards, I saw some teachers of my primary school and they hugged me and they were all in tears. Also one lovely man of the choir talked with me and I received a message afterwards that he wanted to talk longer with me. He said that I’m always welcome to go fridays after choir repetition to see my choir even if I don’t sing in my choir anymore. I will go once because he always understand me so well. I also told him once about my anxiety and everything. He support me so much. I will always be there for the family, friends and everyone who knows Lisa. I hope she’s in a better place now πŸ™β€. My heart is with all of the people suffering from cancer or any illness.

Now, I’m going to talk about something really important too. This blog post will be about mental health. Today, October the 10th is a really important day in the world. Today it’s world mental health day. This topic is really close to my heart because as you all know I suffer from an anxiety disorder. I have had anxiety my whole life. Some days, months, years are better than others. People always told me that everyone gets nervous for an exam or for big changes in life such as moving out or getting a new job. It’s true that everyone get nervous or anxious. We all have physical and mental health. This two are not separated from each other. They’re connected to each other. Body and mind are one. I also talked about the difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder in this blog post.

Here are some pictures of beach time 🌊🌞 today in The Netherlands πŸ‡³πŸ‡± I especially bought and wear this shirt of Positive Pages to spread awareness about mental health.

IMG_20181010_181752.jpg

When you feel like you can’t go trough life and your mental health is affecting all aspects in your life you may have a mental illness. When I get really anxious I feel so sick as in being dizzy, nauseous, heart beating fast, crying, feeling like you are going to die, shaking, and even throw up in some cases. That aren’t just nerves. That’s an anxiety disorder. This is my life. My anxiety disorder effects every aspect of my life. Right now, I’m struggling with my dentist fear and with my fear of trying something new such as getting my first job. It makes me feel so uncomfortable that sometimes I feel like giving up πŸ˜”.

Having a mental illness is so exhausting. I’m not ashamed of sharing my story anymore especially online. In real life I still feel sometimes that I can’t open up 100% and that it’s better to not be real because people wouldn’t understand it. I learned that there will always be people who would understand me and some people won’t. It doesn’t matter. I hope with sharing my story on my blog and on Instagram to inspire other people to be open and talk about it. Spreading awareness about mental health illnesses is just so important. You can also suffer even if you don’t have a mental health illness.

Sometimes I also even felt that my anxiety disorder isn’t such a big deal as there are people who have depression, commited suicide, self harm, bipolar, borderline, ocd, eating disorders and many other mental health illnesses. I’ve learned that every illness counts. Just because someone has it worse than you doesn’t mean your struggles or illnesses don’t count. Every feeling and thought is valid because you are feeling it. You are the only one who suffers from a mental illness every day.

I think the best way to help a loved one who is going through a mental health illness is just to be there for them. Listen to them. Sometimes the best thing you can do is give them a hug and say that you’ll be there for them. Often people give the wrong advice and that doesn’t help at all. For me, knowing that my family, some good friends and my online mental health community on my blog and Instagram will be there for me in good and bad times already makes a difference in my life. I love that I can be real, vulnerable and honest here without feeling judged. I think that’s so important.

There are people who always want to give advice to people and don’t want to hurt that person with their advice but in some way it isn’t good for the person who is suffering. They would say to someone suffering from depression to go for a walk and try to be happy. They would say to me to try to think positive and don’t always think about the worst and to stop worrying. It just isn’t that simple right. I hope that every day we are breaking this taboo of mental health with speaking up about it πŸ’ͺ. Mental health illnesses are real and everyone who suffer from them need support and professional help. How many times did I think I was crazy in my head?! So many times. The thing is I’m not. My mind is sick, this is my story but I’m more things that just a woman with an anxiety disorder. I’m brave to share my story and inspire people. I’m honest. I’m a highly sensitive person. I’m flawed but I’m beautiful and enough. So are you πŸ’œ.

The cure for recovering from a mental health illness is different for anyone. Some try therapy, others try natural meds (in my case it didn’t work out), others take medication such as antidepressants and others try other things or a combination of therapy and medication. I tried some therapy sessions two years ago but it seem to make me even more anxious and I always threw up before I go. I still don’t know if therapy would be good for me. Maybe, I can try therapy in Spain when I hopefully found work there and live there. I’m already taking antidepressants since February 2017, almost two years. It works well but sometimes I can still feel high anxious. I also got subscriped in Spain anti anxiety medication. This really helps me to cope in situations when I feel really anxious such as going to the dentist.

The stigma of taking medication for our mental health illnesses needs to end too. Taking medication can save lives. If it’s okay to go through chemotherapy to cure cancer or to take parecatamol for our headache then it’s okay too to take medication to cure our depression or anxiety. We need this to make us feel a bit better. We don’t have the natural neurotransmitters. We need some help with it. Those aren’t magic pills but will just keep us cope with life.

The thing is there’s no magic cure for curing a mental health illness. It all takes time. Recovery is hard. I think I will have anxiety my whole life but I just find along my way things which help me cope a bit better with it within time. Therapy, medication or other ways… there’s no right way. You just need to do what feels good for you. I hope anyone reading this who is struggling right now with their mental health can get the help and support they need. Speak up and go to a professional. They can help you further. I also know how difficult it’s to speak up so if anyone sees someone struggling or acting different than you are used to, talk with them and ask them how they’re really doing. It’s so important to be able to speak about our feelings and thoughts without feeling judged.

You don’t have to talk about it with everyone. I always thought that if I said I’m doing well and it wasn’t true that I wasn’t 100% real or honest. I got some comments on my blog post a few months ago that it’s okay to not tell everyone everything. I’m always so used to be open. I’m an open book. It’s just important to be able to talk about heavy and uncomfortable stuff with people you trust. Be careful who you let in your life. I hope to not make again mistakes as in way of telling people personal things so that they can hurt me with it. Find friends who love and support you unconditionally. If you feel like you haven’t someone you can trust, remember I’ll always be there for you all πŸ™β€.

Here’s a list of things I do which makes me feel good. It really helps me with living with an anxiety disorder. Maybe, there are things on this list which will help you too.

  • Surfing πŸ„πŸŒŠπŸŒž: I really feel sad that I still didn’t surf since two years. I can’t wait to surf again. The feeling of standing on your surfboard and hearing the waves creates a sense of freedom. I’m forever a beach girl and the ocean is my home.
  • Reading πŸ“š: Lately, I’m into reading again. I used to read so many books in my childhood. It makes me so happy to read great novels and also self helps books which help me cope with living with anxiety.
  • Writing/blogging βœ’πŸ’­: I love to write in my journal or use a scrapbook for all my memories, thoughts and feelings. I also love to write poems. Blogging also always makes me feel better. I’m so happy to have this amazing blog and community where I can write and let everything go. Writing for me is such an important tool to just let all my thoughts go.
  • Singing/Listening to music 🎀🎢: I used to sing in a choir for 11 years. I really miss that time. Hopefully, I will sing in the future again in a choir or something. Singing also always release my emotions and make me feel so happy. I love to record covers and share them. Listening to music also always make me feel so peaceful. It feels great to listen to songs with a lyrics that you feel like it’s written for you. Music is life and will always be there for you in good and bad times.
  • Taking medication πŸ’Š: It can be antidepressants, anti anxiety medication or other medication. Just anything that makes you feel better. Medication saves lives and are important when you need them.
  • Being surrounded by my family and friends who support me πŸ’•: It feels great to talk about your struggles with people you can trust too and who will be there for you. Find your tribe/community. Try to share your inner feelings and thoughts.
  • Enjoying nature πŸŒ³πŸŒΉπŸŒ»πŸ‚πŸƒ: Going for a walk or just being outside in nature can do so many good things for your physical and mental health. Fresh air is all you need to just stay present.
  • Photography πŸ“·: I would like to pick up this hobby again because I love to take pictures. I once used a lomography camera and I’ve made some really mysterious and beautiful pictures. Maybe, one day I will share them on my blog.
  • Being creative 🎨: I love to create a mess of art. I love wreck this journal, paint something abstract or just decorate my room. It feels good to let everything out of your mind and create something with the mess in my mind.
  • Travelling 🌍✈: I love to discover new beautiful places on this big world. Whenever I travel I can distance myself from all the worries I have. Then I feel like my worries aren’t that big compared to the whole universe. Travelling gives me another perspective of life.
  • Swimming 🏊: Swimming is soooo good for your health in general. It makes me feel more peaceful and happier. It’s also good for my back pain and muscles. I need to swim again because it also makes me sleep better and is so good to have less anxiety in life. Swimming is just so relaxing.
  • Yoga πŸ™‡: I tried some yoga classes a few times in my life and I loved it. It made me feel more relax. Yoga create a sense of calm. Yoga is really good for your health too. I have to go to do some classes again.
  • Yoga girl postcasts πŸ™: Rachel Brathen is a famous Swedish international yoga teacher. I will soon share a blog post about her because she is just the best. She’s my biggest inspiration in life. I can’t wait to go on one of her yoga retreats in Aruba in her yoga studio Island Yoga. Her postcasts are out every Friday on Spotify or Itunes. She also has a Youtube Channel. I love her postcasts so much. They are full wisdom and inspiration. They are about parenthood, trauma, self-love, mental health, anxiety, yoga, body positivity, rape, family, grief, achieving your dreams, and so much more. You can also now join her Yoga Girl community on Facebook.
  • Eating and sleeping well 🍴😴: Eating the right food is so important to feel good in your body and good for your mind. Also sleeping enough and sleeping well is really important for your wellbeing. If I don’t sleep enough I feel even more anxious the next day and I can’t concentrate well.

There are so many other things too which you can do to feel good. You just have to find what’s best for you. You know yourself as the best. Remember, to always be kind to yourself. You are loved and not alone. You have so many gifts to offer to this world. Together we are going to end this mental health stigma πŸ’ͺπŸ’•πŸ’Š. Every day is world mental health day not just today.

Mental health is as important as physical health. There are still so many people from all different ages and nationalities suffering. They all need help and we need to end the stigma around this issue. We aren’t crazy in our minds. We are sick. We all need help, support and compassion. To raise awareness about world mental health day you can donate money to a mental health organization, you can draw a circle on your hand with the hastag #iamwhole or wear something yellow with the hastag #helloyellow and post it on social media.

I hope that you all liked this blog post. I hope it made you feel that you belong in this world. I’ll always be there for you all. Keep going my fighters and warriors πŸ’ͺ We are all in this together. Do you also have a mental illness? What do you do to feel better? Can you relate to my words? I would love to know your thoughts in the comment section.

Much love πŸ’•,

xoxo Christina

It’s okay to take antidepressants or other meds for your mental illness

Hey lovely bloggers <3,

I’ve always wanted to make a blog post about it. I felt a bit scared to share of all this but since I’m always honest on my blog and you all are so supportive I know it feels good to share it. It’s really an important subject to me. I think many people with a mental illness can relate to this aswell. I have anxiety for like my whole life. I started to take antidepressants in February 20 mg of Lantanon. I also take a benzo when I feel really high anxiety. First, I felt really ashamed of it because I already felt ashamed of having a mental illness: anxiety and taking a medicine to recover made me even feel more weak and guilty of feeling this way. I thought that it’s all my fault and I thought that I have to help myself. It’s really crazy to think that it’s wrong to take a medicine when you have a mental illness?

When we have a physical illness such as fever or a cold it’s so normal for all of us to take paracetamol, ibuprofen or antibiotics. We even don’t think about it. We don’t find it a big issue. You are physically ill and you have to take a medicine to recover, like that’s so common. Nobody looks strange at you when you are having a cold and take a paracetamol. Also when I have my period I take Aleve Feminax which is a Naproxen that helps to relieve the cramps. It’s just all so normal. You go to the doctor and they give you the meds you need.

But then….. You can also have a mental illness like depression, eating disorder, ocd, anxiety…. You can recover with therapy but some people also need to take a medicine to recover. I did some therapy sessions in The Netherlands and it didn’t help for me. I even felt more anxious than ever before. You have to search the thing that works for you. Only you knows what’s the best thing for you to be able to recover. So, some people need to take meds such as antidepressants or anti anxiety meds to be able to function. There is a stigma surrounded with mental illnesses and with meds even more. You can’t get it so easy as when you have a cold. They even warn you for all the side effects and I read that when you stop taking it you will feel so bad. These meds are soooo important. They are saving lives and help people to cope with their mental illness. Why is their even a stigma about it? This really need to change.

IMG_20171119_223011_059

I will admit that I was afraid to take antidepressants too. I read some stories about the side effects and I felt really scared. I tried naturall stuff like tea, valerian and St. Jans Wort and it all didn’t work. I just can’t stand when people are like yeah you just should try natural things and everything will be allright again. I tried that and it didn’t work. I also don’t like when people say like yeah just sleep more, do sports and you will feel better. Sometimes you can’t sleep good because of anxiety or don’t wanna move. That’s what depression and anxiety is about. You just feel tired all the time and don’t wanna do anything and in some cases people have suicide thoughts which makes it even harder to cope with life. I also can’t stand the people who say it’s all about seeking attention when somebody suffering with depression for example say that they wanna die. They feel so bad and have horrible thoughts and they are all suffering in silence. It’s so hard for them to open up. When they finally open up to aΒ  loved one, they say it’s seeking attention or not true. I think that’s really the worst thing you can say to someone mentally ill. If you can’t be kind, then don’t say anything at all. Be there for that person. Let them know you will support them and help them in seeking professional help. That’s just so important.

DHy3XGcUAAEcGbV.jpg
Sometimes you need help and take meds for your brain. The brain is an organ too. This organ can also misfuction just like any other organ. I was scared as hell when I began to take antidepressants since february 20mg and a benzo when I feel high anxiety. I even read the description and it said some people will have suicide thoughts and you can call this number when you feel that way. Fortunately, I didn’t had that.Β 
I think there are a lot of horror stories which even aren’t true. They just don’t want that we take it. I mean antibiotics also can cause danger and nobody said anything about that. My father had high cholesterol and got a medicine. This medicine caused him pancreatis. He almost died because of it….. I was 11 years old. In the subscription of the medicine to lower his high colestrol there was even written that it would cause this infection…. You see, you can’t trust these meds too. Every thing has sife effects and stuff but it’s important to know that in many cases nothing badly will happen. It’s also important to seek help by a qualified doctor. To anybody suffering of a mental illness, don’t be afraid to seek for help and take meds for it. If it makes you feel better, then do it.

IMG_20171119_223011_058

I hope this blog post helped the people who are suffering with a mental illness. I believe that if you need to take meds for your mental illness, then you should take it. It saved my life. I cry less and my anxiety is much better than before. Ask for help and take what you need. I know that the more we talk about it and raise awareness, the more people will share about their mental illness an seek help. Recovery is possible and we have the right to speak about our struggles. We don’t have to feel ashamed of anything.

We are all in this together! ❀ You are a warrior! πŸ’ͺπŸ’œπŸ’• Together we are stronger and together we can beat the stigma of mental illnesses!

I love you all <3,

xoxo Christina