Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sunday Links #2

My problem exactly. Via pinterest.

Here are this week´s links:

- A few pieces of life, happiness and knowledge taken from Psychology Today: A love failure is not a life failure ("Sometimes our biggest breakdowns lead to our biggest breakthroughs. In this sense, there are few mistakes in love. There are no missteps, but merely fresh opportunities for growth and self-development."); 7 reasons to be more physically affectionate; Can the simple act of making a list boost your happiness?

- A bit sad, but true in many ways: Things 20-somethings are tired of hearing

- Although most my tech has the Apple stamp on it (iPod, iPad, Macbook...), I have never converted to the iPhone, having been in a serious relationship with my Android smartphone for at least a year and a half. Will this be the iPhone that brings me to the dark side? 

- Autumn/Fall is officially here. Who else loves cool weather cooking? Here are a few recipes that got me interested: apple spreadblueberry pancakesthe world's best crumble (I highly doubt it, and I don't want to sound pretentious but mine is the best I ever tasted :p), roasted fall vegetable and ricotta pizzaclassic mac and cheese with minty peas.

- I love this one from Refinery 29: Cool hostess gifts

- I'm dying to go on a relaxing SPA break: A list of the best SPAs in the UK and US

- And finally, Saturday Night Live has now an international youtube channel for all of us who don't live in the US. 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Happy Weekend #2

Untitled #18

I took Friday off and travelled to my parents' place for a long weekend of doing very little. And, to be honest, after last Saturday's disastrous attempt at big group socialization it feels very nice to spend a couple of days with the folks, enjoying their company and relaxing. I'm planning on keeping it simple and chilled out.

1. Going to the cinema or staying in and watching a movie. A big bucket of popcorn MUST be involved.

2. Window shopping (and 3. possibly buying a new pair of earrings).

4. Marathon of "Parks and Recreation" - I've only just started watching it and I'm finding it so funny! I'm totally in love with the dynamics between Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones - adorable with the right amount of awkward.

5. Playing with the dogs - a LOT. I just missed them so much!

How about you? What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Today's Exercise: Does changing appearance help?

Jessica Stroup and her sexy pixie.
Carey Mulligan's adorable pixie.
Mandy Moore's lovely cut 
During my not so long life I have watched people going through some bad moments in their life.

Is changing the way you look a step towards a new start and a happier life?

For example, lets take a moment to ponder about breakups. They're never easy on anyone. Yeah, one party usually takes it lighter, but it's still hard (unless you're a complete a**hole!)... And how many times haven't we watched people around us doing a complete make-over after finishing a relationship? Some people buy new clothes and change their style, some people change their hairstyle, chop off their locks or dye it in a different color, etc.

I haven't really looked into whether this is something that, scientifically, can help you overcome difficult moments in your life. However, I can state for sure that I do feel better when I decide to make some bold fashion statement, something that I didn't do before. Last weekend for example, I decided to wear some bright raspberry lipstick and it totally made me feel a bit more cheerful. 

What do you think, does changing the way you look help you overcome a hard situation? 

That being said, should this be the moment where I finally go forward with my secret desire to try a pixie cut?

Or maybe go a little less crazy and just cut some bangs. 

Via maaadmind
A la Rashida Jones. 

Via rashidajoneslove
Via ludgateswanson

Thanks to Akshara from Simply Akshara for inspiring this post. 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Monday Blues: On life and meltdowns

Via Pinterest

Sometimes a single word, a simple question, the cheerful tone on the voice of a specific person will trigger a meltdown.

You will try to occupy your mind with something other than the negative thoughts, maybe you will start cleaning the house obcessively. That night, you will cry yourself to sleep and think about mistakes, choices and everything that went wrong. You wonder why and what went wrong. You wonder why your logic failed. You wonder how it all seems like a long, sad, scary dream.

And you can't attribute faults. No one is to blame. And you will think it's you. That you are the one who doesn't know how to become. You can't put the negative thoughts to the side and you will ruminate on everything over and over again.

Wounds that were starting to heal will re-open. And there will be no one to help you but yourself. People will try, they will hold you, they will try to get you to speak to them. Except that you don't want to. Or you do. You're not even sure what you want.

Numbness seems a gift you can't even reach.

You thought it would be easy to go out and try to have some fun. But the noise, the happiness, the people, it's all a bit overwhelming. You take loosing on a child's game as a personal attack. You don't try a certain dish because it's too close to the heart. You get moody and people will think you are too serious about life. Maybe you are. Maybe you're trying not to be. But it's a process. A long process.

There will be moments when you want to give up. It will seem that no meds, no counselling is having an effect. Don't give up. You're young and life we'll certainly get better. Believe. 

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Sunday Links #1

via Pinterest

Today I'll leave you with some cool finds from around the web:

- An interesting post from Psychology Today on What to do on a second or third date

- Spot on: The 10 stupidest things you can say to a depressed person from Thought Catalogue. 

- Some lovely ideas for today, courtesy of Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere (I have a huge girl crush on her!), I particularly like the wear a top-knot bun and bright lipstick one. Also, the leaves are just starting to fall, may be a good idea to get out on the park and pick up some pretty ones (if only I felt like going out...). 

- These chocolate avocado tartlets look so yummy! 

- This Pinterest board full of true stuff. 

- Who else is excited about J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie adaptation?

- Good for those suffering from insomnia, like my-self: how to disguise dark-circles. 

- How long has it been since you last hang out with your best friend? It's been ages for me (probably because we've got a whole lot of ocean between us). Lauren Conrad gives you 10 best-friend date ideas. I wonder if I could plan a fun weekend with my BFF for when we're both on the same country... SPA weekend would be so relaxing! 

- This TED talk is old but so amazing: the brains of people in love. Very interesting for the likes of me, who (too) easily fall in love. 

- And finally, 6 practical and powerful ways to overcome depression from Zen Habits. There isn't much from this post that I haven't heard before but it's never too much to repeat it constantly to ourselves: 

"Anti-rumination strategy is vital to breaking out of depression and other emotional ruts. (...) Whether it’s the jerk who cut you off in traffic or something a little closer to home, don’t give yourself the luxury of a negative thought."

This column was inspired by "Have a great weekend" from A Cup of Jo

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Happy Weekend #1

Weekend plans

I often find it hard to find the will to get off my room and do something, specially on a particularly hard day. I hope that, if I write it down and actually make plans with other people (who are, therefore, counting on me), this will help me getting out the house and enjoying myself, even if I don't feel that much like it. 

Here are the plans for this weekend:

1. Go to town with a friend and grab a coffee.

2. Try these Topshop booties. 

3.  Bake a cake (baking is one of the most therapeutic activities for me)! 

4. Attend a multicultural dinner party at a friend's place.

Friday, 20 September 2013

The Happy Brain Project

via Pinterest

My name is Mia Smith.

No, not my real name. My pseudonym, actually.

I decided to start this blog to help me get through a bad moment.

See, the thing is, I have been diagnosed with a depression. It's been a couple of months now and I do feel better, but some days, some particular days, are quite hard to sail through.

I am taking my meds, I am listening to my counsellor. But I am still struggling. It doesn't come easy, happiness. I guess you must work hard for it, you must be persistent.

I have always been a nervous person. Anxious, an over-thinker, some would say. My mind is always processing hundreds of thoughts at the same time and I overanalyze everything that is said and done.  I dwell on the past and plan too much the future. I fantasize and inherently believe that things will turn out the exact way that I want them to. Except that, sometimes, they don't and I don't seem to be able to accept it and let it go.

Don't take me wrong, I have always been extremely lucky and I am so grateful for everything I have. My parents gave me everything I needed and more, I am successful in what I do and, although still in my early(-ish) twenties, I am starting to build the career I have dreamed of.

But it doesn't seem to be  enough.

 I am a nice person (although a bit spoiled and stubborn and moody at times), I go out of my way to make others happy, I'm not bad looking, I'm fit and I am smart. However, I am not complete. I am not able to build long-lasting, healthy relationships with others and I am emotionally quite strange. I have short lasting obcessions and I get extremely unhappy and insecure about numerous things. I struggle to secure an amorous relationship, I have one or two old friends. Also, my biggest mistake is to expect from others exactly what I am willing to give. Maybe this is pretentious. Maybe it is utopic. But the fact is: it does not bring you happiness. No-one will give you exactly what you are expecting. Especially if you dream as big as I do.

In addition to this, I have always depended on others too much to make decisions. My aforementioned insecurity made me quite needy of love, tenderness, attention and help. I am yet to become comfortable with being an adult that needs to take care of herself (despite the fact that I have been living on my own for over 5 years).

Apparently, mindfulness is something that, according to my psychologist, could help my case. We shall talk about that in the future as I have yet to delve on it deeply enough to be able to convey any sort of opinion.

Following that thought, I will also try to learn and write about some Buddhist and spiritual concepts (nothing too religious, I swear, just purely academic and conceptual) that I have briefly come across and that maybe can help me feel better about who I am, and deal with my daily obstacles in a better manner.

My over-analyzer ways also mean that I am very attached to scientific research and peer-reviewed publications. Meaning that I will (almost) always try to base the concepts and techniques I will use to become happier in actual science.

Finally, I most certainly will talk hobbies and funny/cute puppy videos (sorry cat lovers, I am a dog person). Keeping your mind entertained with something you like and smiling about silly things improves your mood and health (yep, it is scientifically proven).

This being said, although my aim is to get better and feel well about who I am (and actually learn who I am...), I hope this blog helps other women (and men) that are going through similar problems.

Any suggestions are welcome as well as criticisms and any sort of comments.

I really hope you join me in this journey. And I hope it helps me grow in a significant way, towards a happier, healthier mind.