Let’s Talk Mental Health, Success and Not Going Crazy.

As many of you already know I suffer from mental illness, one that allows me to be a semi-functioning human being…most of the time.  There are weeks where I feel completely fine, I’m productive, not as moody, able to handle things that come my way. Then, there are other weeks…weeks where I am angry, irritable, tired, and feel like staying in bed all day.

Success does not happen in spite of mental illness, for many of us it happens with it, sometimes because of it. Last month I felt happy and focused, working around 25 hours a week with good pay. This allowed me to write, blog and network for about 20 hours a week at home. I felt totally balanced. A week ago my brain betrayed me and I became convinced that I needed more; more money, more things, more education, that I could now pay for with all of my extra money. That week I worked 65 hours, felt exhausted, stressed, miserable and didn’t write anything.

With Alexis Ohanian talking about hustle porn (entrepreneurs telling everyone the key is to work more and sleep less) I felt a great sense of admiration for his views. First, because for some of us with mental illness this philosophy works, we are full of energy, vision and ideas; and for the rest of us sacrificing sleep and self-care makes our illness unmanageable.

Jenny Lawson, author of Furiously Happy, is a prime example of the fact that having a mental illness does not mean sacrificing success. If you’ve read her book you also know she practices self-care, admits fully to the often dysfunctional aspects of illness and uses a lot of humour to work through it. She openly admits to taking five years to write the book, something that a lot of us can relate too. Creativity can come with stereotypes, like having a mental illness, being an alcoholic and being a hopeless romantic. Call me a blazing torch of stereotypical representation by checking off every damn box.

In the age of “The Hustle” it’s easy to get lost in it all, as you hear messages of 100-hour work weeks and tales of sleep deprived break throughs. It’s easy to feel self-conscious about the work that you’re doing. It’s easy to feel as though the hours you put in, the work that you’re doing will never be enough, how could it be? When you come at it from the perspective of “out working everyone around you”, you will always be running.

My perspective today, is quite simple but does take some effort to master. Find a good balance between the work that you do and the rest of your life. Put in the hours that feel comfortable, manageable, productive. Keep up with the trends if you feel so inclined, read the stories, look at the LinkedIn profiles for the sake of networking. As for all the rest, forget about it. Forget what Margaret is doing with her novel, or what Peter is doing with his blog. Focus on you, on what you’re doing and on doing it well. Hell, if any part of what I’ve just said doesn’t feel right to you…change it. Its your life; you’ve got to live with it.

Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s a necessary management system. Losing to our mental illness in order to “win” isn’t the answer, it will never be the answer.

Love to you all,

Carlee.

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CELBEBRITIES POOP…AND OTHER WEIRD THINGS THAT MAKE US ALL EQUAL

YEARS ago (or so it seems) me and my bestie (miss you!) came to the sudden realization that celebrities like Brittany Spears and Meg Ryan poop, just like us.

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It was the most hillarious thing to imagine Brittany Spears pooping in a luxurious bathroom, but it was also the first time we started thinking that celebrities were just normal people.

If you’re still with me after that image, this blog post is actually about something a little more meaningful.

For those of you who didn’t make it this far (and aren’t even reading this) you’re welcome, Brittany on the poreclain will stay with you forever.

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This post is about the fact that we all have strengths and weaknesses. So many of us are held down by what other people think. Whether it’s our parents, friends, neighbours, co-workers, for some reason what these people think affects most of our lives in a pretty serious way.

I know that for literally the first…26.5 years of my life (working on it!) I cared about what people thought of me and it held me back from so many things. Dancing to music in a beautiful open field concert was one of them, losing a huge sale because I was scared to ask was another.

Remembering the fact that celebrities poop reminded me that we are all human beings. We all have stuff we are good at and stuff that we completely suck at.

The best part is…everyone sucks at something, so don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad for what you aren’t good at.

Smile at the haters and do YOU boo.

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Everyone has suffered middle-school embarrasement, had an awkward first kiss, botched an interview or tried something and failed. There isn’t one person I know that doesn’t have a shameful story from their past that they’d rather not talk about.

Trust me… the first two decades of my life should just be written off.

YES I stuffed my bra in elementary school only to be discovered in the change room… I wanted boobs okay, is that too much to ask?!

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YES I got too drunk to make it to prom and ended up sleeping in the limo.

YES I have burnt water while trying to cook………….

YES I have a huge darth vader tattoo on my back… … ……

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Were all equal…equally bad at something and equally awesome at something else.

We’ve only got one life to live, unless you believe in reincarnation… do you? I’d love to dive into your world.

Let’s make the most of it. Whenever your down and out or worried about keeping up with whoever the neighbourhood Kardashians are, remember they all poop… we all poop..

No one’s any better or any worse than the next.

I’ll see on instagram or  snapchat,

Carlee. xoxo

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LET’S RECOGNIZE ARIANA GRANDE’S STRONG SELF-CARE DURING MAC MILLERS PASSING (Hate me if you want it needs to be said)

With the passing of Mac Miller two days ago, September 7th, Ariana Grande shared a simple but heart felt image of Mac, who had a song titled “Self Care”.

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In this post I’m not going to get into drug use or addiction, as many of you know I have had my own struggles overcoming alcoholism.

What I am going to talk about is the amount of self care Ariana Grande practiced in the last two years and why it’s so damn important.

First I’d like to go on record and say yes I think Mac Miller’s death is tragic, he will be missed and so will his talent. It’s never okay when someone dies, it always hurts and in cases like Mac’s you wonder what might have been.

But, there has been so much backlash towards Ariana about his passing that I’d like to touch on a few key points. Hate me if you want but someone needs to say it.

ONE: 

If anyone chooses to leave a toxic relationship that is their RIGHT to do so. We cannot be held accountable for someone elses actions, no matter how tragic, when our own actions are to keep us safe, healthy and happy.

Since when is it okay to force a woman to stay in a toxic relationship?

Is this what we are accepting now? …

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TWO: 

Making the decision to leave a toxic relationship IS a form of self care and it MATTERS. Staying in a toxic relationship will only ruin two people at the same time. There are no advantages to staying.

It is not Ariana’s fault that Mac Miller got charged with a DUI, had a substance abuse problem for years and has now passed away.

What was going on before they got together, during and after they seperated in terms of Mac’s substance abuse was not Ariana’s fault.

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Addiction is a bitch.

It will take your family, friends, house, relationship and eventually your life.

To blame anyone is to completely miss the point.

 

THREE: 

Let’s think about the fact that all breakups are hard. Walking away from someone who isn’t good for you, even if you love the crap out of them, is completely heartbreaking.

It takes a strong person to say … “I love you, but I love me more.”

We should recognize the human side of ourselves that can relate to this because I’m sure every one of us has either had our hearts broken, had to set boundaries or had to walk away from someone who wasn’t right for us no matter how hard we tried.

Staying in a relationship where you aren’t happy, safe or respected in the hopes of saving the other person means completely ignoring what you need.

Standing up and doing what is right for you is always YOUR first priority. There are women in shitty relationships right now who need to hear that it is okay to leave. They need to hear that whatever their partner chooses to do after they leave is not their fault.

They need to hear that they are WORTH it.

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Like I’ve said in previous posts the truth about self -care is that it’s messy, challenging, and you’re sometimes not sure if your doing it right.

When you walk away from anyone toxic you have doubts, insecurities and fears. Imagine what it would feel like to practice self-care and then have something like this happen. It would be devastating. Right now Ariana needs to practice self-care even more so.

I’m not blaming her and honestly I don’t think anyone else should be either.

I’m not bashing Mac, like I said I loved his music.

What I’m saying is self-care looks different for everybody but when I recognize someone making tough decisions for themselves and then the world responding in such a shitty way….I’m going to say something.

If you’ve ever left a relationship for whatever reason then you must have a little empathy.

To all of us strong, capable women out there,

I see you and I’m with you.

Carlee xoxo 

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MY TOP TIPS FOR DEALING WITH A BREAKUP

 

Can I just say…”ughhhh”.

Breakups suck even when you’re the one doing the breaking up…even more so when you’re not.

Girl if you loved him, like really loved him, this shit is going to hurt, there’s no getting around it.

For all the ways I’ve coped after a breakup (there have been some major disasters) I can share with you my top tips in hopes that something might spark within you and lessen the hurt.

Things have changed with all the hype over not eating icecream on the couch and crying your eyes out while watching He’s Just Not That Into You… choosing instead to workout, buy cute clothes and “ruin his life”. While that does sound kind of fun, in the worst way possible.

Depending on your age chances are you’ve already had your first breakup and have uttered the classic words “I can’t live without him”.

Then, 6 months later (maybe less, maybe more) you realize you most definitely can and as a matter of fact you are living without him.

In all of my relationships I’ve looked back and come to terms with the fact that I stayed much too long. In hindsight a breakup can even be a blessing.

When I’m about to break up with someone or have had my heart crushed (knock on wood baby) I look back at my previous breakups.

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Yes, they hurt like hell. 

Yes, I thought I was dying. 

Yes, I watched romantic comedies. 

Yes, I ate way too much chocolate. 

But, 

You know what else happened? 

I got through it. 

I realized what an asshat the guy actually was. 

I honestly couldn’t believe I chose to date him in the first place. 

I started doing more with friends, family, hobbies and business.

I became happier, more focused… and thinner. 

I remembered my value.  

 

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Specific top tips? 

Block his number…at least for the first 72 hours. (come on, WE all know how hard this is)

Drink lots of water. (beautiful hydrated skin is a must, especially now)

Buy the cute clothes & look damn fine. (I know I said revenge was the worst, but it feel soo good)

Tell yourself “I love you”

Get out with family & friends

Start a new project

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Allow yourself to cry, wipe your tears, remember you’re a badass and that good things are coming your way.

Oh.. and shoot me a message (or comment below) on Instagram or Snapchat and we will talk you through this together girl!

How do you get through heartbreak?

Carlee. xoxo

 

 

HOW TO BE A FOCUSED BADASS EVEN WHEN YOU’RE LIKE, SO BUSY. (and the best iced coffee recipe)

Right now I’ve got a lot of things on the go (don’t we all?).

School, working full-time and building The Self-Care Enthusiast.

Oh, and taking care of Alice. She has her own doggie blog section you can find right here.

All of this got me thinking, how does one keep it all together while juggling so many things? Shout out to the moms doing all this and more.

There’s the obvious answer like time management, which I’ve honestly had to work on and there’s a LOT of growing room left for me to improve.

I sat down to think about the not so obvious answer…

Things honestly didn’t change for me until I got concrete about what I wanted out of my life, my business, my relationships and my home environment. I had to get serious about where my future was going and realize I was the one that was in charge of it.

Not my boss, not my boyfriend, not my dog, not my parents…me.

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Before I got serious I was just floating through life, not focused at all. Like zero focus. None.

I grabbed a journal and got real with myself, like really real.

What did I want? What would my future look like? What would happen if I stayed the same?

It’s tough but the focus came when I set real goals AND started working on my own business. Having something that was mine, where it would fail or succeed based on how much work I put in was the game changer.

I feel like a great employee, I show up and get the work done, but for all the jobs I’ve had my heart just wasn’t in it. I’m SO much more focused and decisive when I have the freedom I need to make decisions and work towards supporting myself.

But that’s me, you might be the same or you might be a little different. The best part is you get to decide.

So, how do you become a focused badass even when you’re busy?

Intent, passion, set real goals… and using the calendar on your phone wouldn’t hurt either.

Of course never let anyone waste your time. I had to understand my own value and believe it before anyone else saw any value in me. Self-worth means saying no when you need to and if you’ve got shit to do, stay focused girl. Not everyone is worth your time right now. Yes, they deserve respect, kindness, a smile, but you’ve got 24 hours in a day and you need to remain a focused badass…okay?!

Oh, before I go, one other thing I’ve learned is that if I think of something I have to do, like call my dentist to reschedule an appointment, I have to do it right then in that moment or else I wait WAY to long…(this can’t be just me?)

 

 

….priorities, priorities, priorities.

Shall I just say this, especially for you my dear reader, the world would like us to be organized to perfection, every t crossed and every i dotted. I live life a little more on the wild before 9pm side. A little messy, a little chaotic, a little insanely focused on what I’m passionate about and litterally ignoring the rest until im forced to look up…

You’ll never go wrong with an alarm reminder, a paper calendar and utilizing the calendar in your phone, and a precise set of goals for the day.

If you want to go the extra mile iced coffee with cinnamon instead of sweetner is the best compliment to a kickass focused productive day. (Recipe for my favourite below)

Let me know how you stay focused…we can help each other.

Message me in the community or I’ll see you on snapchat,

Carlee. xoxo

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I try not to have dairy anymore for my own personal health reasons so I have my iced coffee with almond milk but you can subsitute with actual milk, soy milk, cream etc. 🙂

Iced Coffee With Cinnamon

Step 1. Brew your coffee. (easy enough, sometimes I brew a whole bunch so I can have it throughout the day)

Step 2. Let chill in fridge (in freezer if you’re seriously in a hurry)

Step 3. Get your cup or beverage container and add the desired amount of milk. (first)

Step 4. Add cinnamon 1-2 tsp and stir into milk.

Step 5. If you wish add a dash of  vanilla extract

Step 6. Add 5-10 iced cubes

Step 7. Pour in chilled coffee & stir.

Enjoy!