Forget Fashion Blogging- Why I’m Transitioning to Mental Health Blogging Only

As you may have noticed lately, I’ve been talking a lot more about mental health and less about fashion. When I started Witty N Pretty way back in 2014, I had a completely different vision for it than what I have now, and as any good brand would do, I decided to reevaluate what it is I wanted my blog to be about. I ended up deciding that fashion wasn’t my thing any more and mental health was a topic that I wanted to focus on. Here’s why.

Mental Health Isn’t Talked About Enough

100 years ago, people that were chronically depressed were put in asylums or other institutions. No one understood the disease, or wanted to. It’s upsetting for me to think that if I had been born in a different era, I could have been one of those people locked away for no good reason.

In recent years, mental health has been talked about more and more… but we still have a long way to go! I want to dedicate my blog to something that can really make a difference. Spreading awareness, helping those who are trying to cope with anxiety or depression, and just sharing my experience are the topics I’m going to be focusing on.

I Can’t Write About Something I Don’t Love

Fashion was always something I was interested in, but I never loved it. I never had a passion for it (or a big budget to match!) I wanted so badly to be a successful blogger that got all of the brand deals, had a big following, and lived a glamorous lifestyle. Rachel Parcell was always my inspiration and what kept me dreaming big. But we all don’t follow the same path in life. I don’t love fashion like she does and that’s ok.

After years of trying to “make it” as a style blogger, I finally felt God’s gentle hand guiding me elsewhere. Ok, it was more like a big push and Him being like “can you listen for 5 seconds?! Do this instead!” So here I am, trying to listen and write about the what I love, which is mental health.

We All Need Someone Who “Gets It”

There’s nothing better than finding someone who totally understands what you’re going through and can commiserate. Sometimes we just need someone to talk to, and I want to be that person for other anxiety and depression sufferers.

I remember I was at a brunch with a bunch of other bloggers in the Dallas area. We all went around the table to introduce ourselves and one of the girls said she blogged about style and mental health because she deals with depression and anxiety. I about shot out of my seat I was so excited to know that at table filled with women who looked like they had it all together, there was at least one person who would understand me. Follow her Instagram here!

So with Witty N Pretty, I really hope this blog becomes a resources for other people that suffer from mental health problems. I am by no means a doctor and certainly can’t diagnose you, but I hope I can at least be someone others can talk to so they don’t feel alone.

5 Natural Elements that Help with Depression

natural elements

Hey everyone! Here lately I’ve found myself jumping on the vitamin and supplement train in an effort to help my body get the nutrients it needs that I don’t readily feed it (read: I don’t eat enough veggies). But in addition to lacking vitamin C, fiber, and a million other things, my brain lacks the right balance of chemicals as well. Brain chemistry is incredibly complex and doctors still aren’t sure what exactly causes depression because it can vary person to person. How’s that for hard to treat?!

I did some research on natural elements that can help with depression. They definitely don’t cure it and shouldn’t be used in place of seeing an actual doctor, but they’re known to help!

St John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort has been prescribed for mental health conditions for centuries. It’s a plant that’s sold as a dietary supplement to help with depression specifically. However, if you’re taking other medication, it can counteract it, so it’s best to talk with a doctor before taking the supplement.

Ginseng

There are 11 different types of Ginseng, which is a type of plant that’s slow growing and has fleshy roots. It’s believed to increase energy and relieve stress. They come in capsule form, teas, and in other supplement forms. I personally love drinking tea with Ginseng in it!

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that our body doesn’t need much of but a lack of it can really throw things off balance. We can get zinc in capsule form but its also found in poultry, red meat, and fish. It’s shown in studies to help people with depression but it’s also used for many other things! It’s all around a great mineral to take.

Lavender

Not only is lavender great for your skin, it’s also helpful when it comes to relieving anxiety. For anyone that’s suffered from anxiety, it often leads to depression as well. For me, when I take care of my anxiety, my depression symptoms often lessen. Although, it is important to note that lavender isn’t specifically proven to help with depression.

Omega-3

Do you guys remember that scene in A Cinderella Story where Heather Locklear is complaining about getting her Omega-3’s? Turns out we all should be worried about getting more of them. They’re still being studied, but people that food with Omega-3s are less likely to be depressed. Pass the salmon, please.

Moral of the story: Get your vitamins in check and talk to your doctor about what you should be taking! I’m not a doctor, but I know what works for me and I love sharing ideas on how I have improved my health naturally. I still take medication for depression and anxiety, but I love the boost some vitamins give me!

 

How a Morning Mantra Helped My Depression

Mantras have never been my thing. Especially in the morning. I’m barely functioning when I wake up and then have to drive to work, so having a morning mantra to say every day was something I laughed at. For awhile. Then, I needed a change! My depression was coming and going all the time and at random moments that would completely ruin my day. So I decided I needed to do something about it, and a simple mantra was all I needed.

Today will be a good day

My morning mantra is “Today will be a good day.” And it’s really helped set my mind and heart to positive mode for the rest of the day! I’ll be completely honest and say its hard when you’re depressed to even find the energy to say those words. Really hard. But even thinking them at first can be enough to get you going in the right direction!

It took about a week for me to really feel different. But I swear as soon as I started believing my own words, good things started happening. Some were big things and some were little things, but they all made me smile. Sure, my depression still comes and goes so this is by no means a cure all. However, just starting your day in the right place can make those depression swings easier to cope with.

One note: there are two definitions of “mantra.” One has to do with hearing a sound or word repeatedly. My future sister-in-law listens to a mantra on YouTube everyday that has a certain sound frequency. The other definition is what this blog post speaks to, which is a phrase I repeat to myself.

What Should be My Mantra?

It can be anything! I usually ask myself how I want to feel. The answer is usually “happy.” I want to feel happiness during the day. So that’s how I came up with my mantra. You may want to feel confident during the day so yours may look something like “I am beautiful and worth others’ time.”

Having something to remind you of how valuable you are every day sets you up for success. Will it entirely cure your depression? Probably not, but in my experience it’s really helped cope with it and even alleviate some of it.

Reach out if you have questions or would like to share your own mantra!

 

Shhh! This isn’t a Feeling You Should Have: Wedding Planning Depression

flippen park engagementI’ve always promised myself (and you!) that I’d be totally honest about my mental health struggles. So I thought it was important to admit and talk about how wedding planning can actually be a bit depressing for the anxiety and depression-prone gal!

How are you not super happy?!

I am super happy about marrying David, the best man in the world! I can’t wait to begin the next chapter of our lives! It’s not that I’m not happy to get married and be a bride, it’s that the other little things that lead up to that change give me so much to worry about it!

I think people see depression as a black and white mental state. You’re either happy or you’re not. But I think it’s so much more complex with tons of gray areas!

A wedding is a big deal with tons of emotions involved that can be on totally different ends of the spectrum. For example, I get so excited going to our venue with David, but it also makes me sad that my mom can’t be here for any of the fun wedding planning. Ugh.

What Else Could be Dragging you Down?

So many little things that add up. People that haven’t suffered with long term depression often think it’s a choice and you can “snap out of it.” Ehhh not that easy. Sometimes it’s a chemical imbalance in your brain and other times it’s an event that’s upset you. For me, it’s the chemical imbalance and little things that freak me right on out.

The hardest part about being a bride and planning a wedding (in my experience) is how out of control your thoughts can be. Worrying about paying vendors, what guests will think of your wedding, or choosing small details can cause so many irrational thoughts to occur. One of my biggest worries right now is how I’ll look on my wedding day. Will I look bad in my dress? Will I have acne pop up all the sudden? Yikes! So many crazy thoughts that add to my depression and anxiety.

What do you do about it?

That’s what I’m trying to figure out. Being depressed and anxious while planning a wedding isn’t something a bride *should* be feeling but sometimes you do! And in my opinion, that’s ok. I asked my future sister in law how she felt when she was planning her wedding a few years ago and she voiced similar things. The most important thing is that you balance it out with the happy feelings too!

I’ve found that going to our venue (its an old hotel in Dallas!) and just walking around picturing everything gives me so much joy! Updating my bridesmaids in a Facebook group chat we have going gets me excited too because I can share the big and little details with them. Listening to music options for my wedding is also a favorite of mine!

Finally, I think talking to a doctor is one of the best things you can do when you’re feeling depressed. I routinely see a mental health counselor to help me cope and it’s been very helpful. I still have my down in the dumps days but I can make sense of them now.

Anyway, if you’re getting married and have a similar experience, please leave me a comment! I’d love to hear from you!