World Mental Health Awareness Day

Mental health awareness day

Today is Mental Health Awareness Day.

Coming from someone who suffers from a form of anxiety (social anxiety), a form of depression, BDD (body dysmorphic disorder), and OCD. I know first hand what it’s like to be in a dark place that is hard to get out of, or to not have the willpower to want to continue living because you feel worthless, useless, not fitting, and lost & it seems easier to give up and throw in the towel than to fight with your thoughts. Mental health is a REAL thing. It’s not fun to be the person that people think is weird because they don’t understand you or what you are going through. It’s a stigma that needs to be broken, it doesn’t matter your childhood, how in shape you are, your ethnicity or status quo among your peers, IT DOESN’T DISCRIMINATE. 

Mental health needs attention, it needs our help with breaking the cycle of judging a person based on their diagnosis. If you suffer from Mental Health, I want you to know: YOU ARE LOVED, WE DO CARE, and people are willing to help if you let them.  It’s not easy but don’t give up on yourself, because there are people like myself who won’t give up on you.

#BreakTheStigma 

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365 days of self discovery: Day 33

10.05.18

 

self discovery day 33

What matters to you most?

  • This question didn’t tell me to list what matters to me most, so I assumed it meant “The one thing that matters to you most” and well, it was somewhat easy to mention that my family and their health/well-being matters to me most. Especially my immediate family members: mom, brothers, grandmother, uncles, aunts, etc. People who have always been in my life. I take death pretty hard when someone I love passes away and to have any of them pass away would be extremely difficult for me, especially if it was someone who I had a closeness with. 

If it had told me to list things that mattered to me most, I would have mentioned my own health/well-being and mental state, my future and what I am able to do for this world that might make a little bit of a difference. 

Random thought — & I just might do it!

It came to me.. & so I have decided to share it with you. 

 

So basically I have decided to take on a 365 day self-discovery impromptu questions — that will help me to hopefully get started on my journey to learning more about myself and what it means to be me. I know each year I will have different answers, and different reasons and experiences — which is why each year I plan on doing this — maybe same questions and maybe different questions. Who knows, all I know is, I want to watch myself unravel (both on paper and online). I know my blog is a fitness/health/wellness based blog & I don’t want that to be sidelined but I have always talked about mental health importance and I feel this fits in with it. Especially for myself. I need to self heal from wounds, I need to find myself and try not to lose grasp of what’s important to me due to other people not accepting it. I need to rediscover parts of me that I have been avoiding for years & try to grow myself from within to have a balance. I realize I will have bad days, and those can’t be avoided 100 percent but now it’s about coping with the bad days and finding a reason to look forward but not hold a longevity grudge that keeps my mind hostage. I don’t want to be held hostage in my own mind and I don’t want to hold myself back from opportunities that could arise here & now or in the near future. 

Along with this self journaling I will be doing, I am going to be on a spiritual walk as well — as best as I can because I am human. This doesn’t mean I am going to be attending church or reading bible scriptures each day of the week — that’s not on my agenda. I just mean I am going to try to do a prayer daily (and not only when I have bad days) but also when the day is good & I am grateful for the fruits of my labor. Along with this spiritual venture, I have decided to give meditation another go and really implement it daily so that I have some form of mental coping mechanisms and clarity more often when I am feeling overwhelmed/stressed/angry/sad, etc. It won’t be easy because I am used to being part of the hustle and bustle but I am going to give it a go and see where what becomes of it. The goal is to post what meditation I did (duration, teacher, explanation & feelings towards it) and how it might have helped or didn’t help me or what I got from it/learned. Again I know this is odd considering the basis of most my post have more to do with the fact I am in a gym, but I needed to add something new for me & hopefully all of you will enjoy it as well. Not to mention, once my website is running, these are some of the “challenges” I will be writing on my personal training site as well so that my readers can get to know me on a less superficial basis and my clients can somewhat understand me. I don’t know how it will all play out, but I am positive something good will come from this. Especially if I plan on doing it for a long time. 

I will continue to post my normal postings, so don’t feel as though I will neglect those, I won’t. I want to enhance my blog to a more lifestyle/fitness/health and wellness blog where it can cover multitudes of body and mind & not just one side of it. I am new to talking about deeper routed issues, so some questions may be harder than others, but I will give it my all. As far as meditation goes, I want to make it into a 365 day challenge as well — with sticking with it and implementing it daily (this will keep me accountable for both). 

&& on a random note, I have been reading more again, & so I may every once in a while post a book I have read and some insight,  those will probably be part of my thursday thoughts post.. since my blog is not a readers digest , lol.  Thank you for being an awesome audience & again, I hope all of you will enjoy the new adventure… it will begin Monday! 

Shay-lon 

BEGREATGUYS Tips #8

USE Your Failures As Strengths 

If you are going to remind yourself of your failures, then make them into strengths. Might as well make them useful and to your benefit. I’d rather you remember the times you failed or gave up in order to push you than to forget about them; only to end up in the same position you are in now: struggling with trying again. We have all been unsuccessful at something (work, fitness, sports, etc) and regardless if it happened in front of many people or in your own privacy — it still sucked nonetheless. Out of anger and frustration, we try again, only to fail once more because instead of using the failure as willpower, we used it to fuel our negative mindset. I can’t promise the voyage will be easy, but I can tell you one thing: it will be useful. 

I am going to share some simple steps to follow so that when the time comes, you have the power to continue:

  1. Don’t do it with anger or malicious intent. In remembering your failures, it can be hard to think that maybe you aren’t great at something, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get better — if you try again in a relaxed, focused state, you will be better off.
  2. Don’t assume the worst before beginning. It’s easy to assume that if we failed once, we are bound to do it again BUT don’t get caught up with that; that leads to anger/frustration & you lose focus on what is important
  3. Have to be willing to accept either path. It isn’t guaranteed that if you try again you will prevail the second time round; you may fail again but the goal is to try again and get better each time. 
  4. Don’t be afraid to fail in front of others. Allowing your pride to get the best of you, will only hinder you. Failing at something in front of somebody doesn’t make you weak, it makes you stronger. Don’t be worried about what someone may think or say, just worry about producing results
  5. Change your vocabulary. Utilize words that push you: I can, I will, It’s possible, Keep trying , etc. Using negative words can lead to negative thoughts and not so great results. 

For every time I have given up on something, I have regretted it later on. You never know what you are truly capable of, until you have given it all that you have more than enough times to count — Shay-lon

World Autism Awareness Day

For those who are unaware, today is “World Autism Awareness Day” — I am all for mental health awareness (my blog focuses on both mental and physical health). I think it is good that we keep ourselves educated and aware of current events going on around us, mental health issues/conditions and wanting to understand other people’s experiences. I know autism isn’t anything new, but I know people who suffer from a mild form of it, and some of my family members have worked with kids who suffer from moderate to more severe forms of autism. We have come a long way in science, but still there is no affirmative answer as to how some people become autistic and others don’t. It is believed that both environmental factors and genetics play a part in autistic persons but NO specific environmental causes have been proven yet. For a while I know many people blamed the vaccination that prevented childhood infectious diseases but multiple studies have said that the vaccinations did not increase the chances of autism — not saying that these studies are 100 percent true, because I believe there may be studies who slightly disagree with this claim, but I suppose it all depends on what source is saying what and your thoughts around it after gaining more understanding and research on the topic. 

 

If you are unaware of what autism is, it is characterized as “a developmental disorder that that impairs the ability to communicate and interact”. With this being said, it doesn’t mean that everyone with autism cannot speak or form sentences, or is mute; I have a client with autism, who functions and speaks just the same — as said before, some have mild forms and others have more moderate or severe forms of autism. 

 

Common signs of autism?

 
  • Social impairment and communication difficulties — some people find social interactions difficult. Simply avoiding eye contact, not respond to their name, children with autism may find they would rather be alone (play games by themselves vs playing with other children), many people with autism may have a difficult time with talking about their feelings and understanding other people’s feelings. Delayed speech, no speech, inappropriate forms of speech, awkwardness while talking, may repeat phrases, or give unrelated answers to questions.. etc.
  • Repetitive & characteristic behaviors: Repetitive movements or unusual behaviors, become obsessive over certain topics, preoccupied with certain aspects of a toy, many people with autism thrive from routine (changes can be challenging for them), anger or emotional outburst. etc. 

There are more signs I hadn’t listed but this gives you somewhat of an understanding but it’s always good to get more information from your medical doctor or a specialist in the area of mental health who can provide more answers. 

 

Treatments can include medications that DON’T CURE OR TREAT MAIN SYMPTOMS, medications can help some of the symptoms (anxiety, depression, obsessive behavior), another treatment is “educational & behavioral interventions (which have been proven to be helpful) 

 

Diagnosing autism can be difficult at times because of the fact that sometimes symptoms go unrecognized for a period of time & not everyone experiences the same type of symptoms. 

Some early on indicators might be: 

  • poor eye contact
  • no response to name
  • no babbling or pointing by age 1
  • no smiling or social responsiveness

just to name a few. Later indicators:

  • impaired ability to make friends with peers
  • repetitive or unusual use of language
  • abnormally intense or focused interest
  • preoccupation of certain objects or subjects

plus more that I haven’t listed. Again, the best thing to do is ask questions to medical professionals or do your own research, because even if you don’t know anyone who suffers from autism, it doesn’t mean you won’t ever come into contact with someone who doesn’t have it. Hopefully this information was somewhat helpful and more of you share your own tidbits of information in the comment sections; thanks for reading, comment, like, and share! 

 

Shay-lon 

26 compared to 25. (Motivation Monday)

It’s probably fair to assume that since turning 26 on Thursday March 22nd, I have looked back on my life & everything that has changed (my goals, my maturity level, my growth, my career goals, my morals, my circle of friends, etc) some of the changes haven’t been big, but gradual over the course of the years and other changes, I made right away because it was “time”; time to develop myself and strive for new goals for myself. Goals that would challenge me and that could be accomplished by the time I reach 27 of next year. 

To begin with, I believe the big change in my life since turning 26 is my maturity level and level of understanding myself, this doesn’t mean that I won’t have fun at 26 or will live life “seriously” every given day; it means I have new priorities and obligations that mean more to me this year to have accomplished than it did the previous years. It means when I tell myself I want to do something — I will do it, because I am getting older and time is of the essence; and it means I am going to focus on my prospering my life a whole lot more. The fun will be there; the living life to the fullest won’t disappear, but the journey will be more focused and more dedicated than before. The “understanding myself” part is the time I have taken to clear my mind of the past mistakes and opening my mind to what it means to be happy within myself, finding ways to conquer my bad days, humbling myself in order to create a better circle of people who surround me, taking time to “treat” myself, putting myself first, getting to know my flaws & learning to better myself in all areas of my life one step at a time. All of these things about understanding who I am, is going to take time & won’t come fast but it shows I have progressed when I can see changes in myself that make me happy. 

 

My career goals, have pretty much stayed the same but with a addition of things that will help fulfill my life & add more fun to my goals — keep me on my feet but not overwhelm me with stress. Of course these goals will also take some learning on my part and some networking and possibly even more sacrifices — in the beginning, I wasn’t prepared for this, but now I feel I am more prepared because I see what I do on a daily basis and realize I have to have balance in my life to achieve my success — I have to work harder with more effort but not work harder and stressed. That’s a huge change I am making for myself, learning to find ways to cope with overwhelming amounts of stress (stress won’t disappear, because I know it happens) but instead of shutting down; I want to work through it and find my “coping ways” so that I can live a more positive lifestyle. My career choices will be stressful in the beginning because it will be a whirlwind of emotions and dedication — but in the end, I want it to be fun and take my breathe away every time.

 

Friendships & family members. I have decided that I won’t chase after people in order to keep them close. I will make better efforts to keep in contact with close friends and mend relationships that might need mending and I will eliminate any negativity that keeps me from thriving. I will be happy for those who succeed in life and hope that when I progress, they will be happy for me. I will stay humbled, no matter how far I come, because I won’t forget where I started and who helped me to get there when I needed the boost of motivation — that’s really important, staying humble. I am going to make new friendships but be picky in choosing my friends, I will not allow family to keep me from being who I want to be in this world because it might not fit their dream. I have decided that if you want to be in my life for the long haul, then I won’t have to ask, because I will know 🙂 My friends and family I love dearly and always will, but with love doesn’t mean I have to stop going for what I want for myself, it means they should be my biggest fans and always support me through and through and if I should fall, they will be the people who I can cry on & the same people who tell me to get back up and keep going. 

 

My physical well-being. I am transforming my body to new heights, I am becoming stronger and more willing to push myself past limits that before I was too scared to try. My physique is showing changes — some I enjoy and some I do not, but with my continued fight to accept myself, I will keep training and continue to make this a trial and error situation until I find the right balance with my body and diet. I will also take more care of my skin, my hair, my outer appearance because I want to feel good and look good. 

 

Mentality — My mental state will need work, because I have anxiety and mild forms of depression at times, but I have come a long way in handling these two things and also, have found new forms of better managing them without having to take medication (I refuse to take medication, never have) so I want to keep my mental state in check and make sure that on my off days, I really take the proper “me” time. I have also decided after talking to a friend to start up writing in a journal (keeping a diary of everything each day); I used to do this but stopped last year during my break up with an ex, but I enjoyed doing it, so want to give it a go again. My body dysphoria (lack of seeing myself the way others view my body) is ongoing battle as well but I am learning to look at myself and not nit pick everything. It won’t go away, but it does have it moments where it isn’t as bad. Thankfully having an encouraging circle helps soften my blows to myself. 

 

Goals — life goals will be ever changing because I have many of them and some that I want to do before 27 and others I want to do before dying. I plan on writing them all down and checking them off. Some of the goals will be with friends and others will be done on my own but either way, I want to stay motivated and having goals will help with that, but I won’t allow myself to become upset if I shouldn’t make them in a deadline because shit happens. 

 

Financially stable. I have reached a point in my life where finances are becoming more and more important; I can’t rely on money falling from the sky, so I have to work to keep myself responsible for my lifestyle choices. While being rich would be nice, I aim to be more comfortable and to live a less lavish lifestyle and more minimal way of spending money. I will spend money on travels, food, shelter and for memories that I can keep, I will buy clothes when necessary and new shoes when needed, and will continue to spend money on loved ones on special occasions.  I won’t allow myself to go broke in order to keep up with the “Jones”, and I won’t allow myself to feel obligated to buy things for a few compliments. Taking care of myself, that will be important, making sure I can pay on credit cards, being sure I can afford groceries and living circumstances, being sure that I can afford having a social life with friends, being sure I can afford my needs — that is important to me. There was a time when affording materialistic things in order to “fit in” mattered to me, but after growing up and realizing most people don’t give a shit and realizing that I have no business trying to impress someone who is superficial in the first place — I am going to spend my money more responsibly so that in the end, I have savings, I have emergency funds and have a better grip on my finances. I began this process by cutting up all my credit cards. 

 

Dating — If I am being honest, I am single and currently not in any rush to jump into a new relationship. I am  over my ex, but not yet ready to share my life with someone because I have things I want to do on my own for the time being BUT I am open to dating and meeting people. I even started talking to someone but was upfront on my intentions. We both agreed if we end up together — awesome but if not, then we are totally okay with having a fantastic friendship — right now I enjoy their company and they enjoy mine, we have some great conversations and share many personal things with one another. I find that this time around, I know what I look for in a potential partner and have also opened my mind to other things about people that I was blinded to in the beginning because of my superficial thoughts. Wherever this road takes me, I don’t know, but for now I am enjoying myself and this is important because I want to be happy alone before adding someone to my life. 


Athlete — being an athlete is my job and hobby, it’s my thrill and stress, my fun and competition. I love it, and my continued goals of competing and influencing others to be their best self in whatever they do is ongoing. I have been sponsored by companies, have been lifting since may 2016 and will be competing in powerlifting and will then broaden my horizon in other fitness industry sports so that I am well rounded and can offer more help when training my clients and growing my business. 

In becoming an athlete and growing my social media platforms, I have found where I need work when it comes to my own lifts and where I want to grow mentally and physically. This is part of who I am and who I choose to be, I don’t need fame to make me relevant within the industry, having made my own path and working towards growing my brand — I hope my athletic ability will motivate others to be reckless, kick ass and smile every chance they get when they want to better themselves in their sports. I want my brand to be about confidence, humbled experiences and thriving from positive people. xo 



Of course there are many other aspects to my life that I feel are important == but to keep this post short and sweet, those aspects I won’t mention at this time. I believe where my life is now, is not where I want it to be next year, I want it to be bigger, better and have more achievements. I know today is Monday, and what better way to spend it than to start this new journey at 26 now. I have a book I want to write, actually two books I want to write, so that will be a whole other addition to my goals that I want to accomplish. 26 never felt so inspiring, but I am thrilled to get this path started! 

 

Thanks for reading, hopefully all of you enjoyed this read. Feel free to leave comments, share and follow my blog. 

 

Shay-lon 

 
 

Seasonal Affective Disorder

It is getting to be that time of year where people typically get more gloomy because of the weather, and the seasons changing. Not only do people tend to get allergies or aches/pains, their personalities or moods can change. I have to thank a friend of mine for bringing this disorder to my attention because we were talking about how the weather makes us both kind of “blah” because of the lack of sunshine and it becoming more and more cold outside. Neither one of us has been diagnosed with “Seasonal Affective Disorder” and I don’t believe I have it and neither does she, but it brought up a good point because this isn’t a disorder that I hear much about until it gets to be about this time of year – even then, I don’t think a whole lot of people think twice about it. I decided to do some research and learn something new about a disorder and hopefully share what I have learned with all of you, BUT I always appreciate it more when it comes from someone who has the experience because it is more realistic and more personal – so if you have something to add to this, please do in the comment section 🙂

 

First things first, what is seasonal affective disorder? In simple terms, it is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. Most often occurs in the early fall/winter and usually ends sometime around spring/summer. Clearly not everyone loves the cold weather but it doesn’t mean you have seasonal affective disorder. With this being said, I have some fun information below:

 

Word of caution: This disorder is not considered as a separate disorder. In order for someone to be diagnosed with SAD, they have to meet the full criteria or major depression coinciding with specific seasons for ATLEAST 2 years. This means it needs to be more frequent compared to other depressions. So having said this, there are reasons for why someone would be diagnosed with this, this isn’t just somebody who doesn’t like winter or cold weather – more goes into a diagnosis. 

 

Signs/symptoms:

Winter Pattern:

 
  • Low energy 
  • hypersomnia
  • overeating
  • weight gain
  • craving for carbohydrates
  • social withdrawal 

Summer SAD:

  • poor appetite /weight loss
  • insomnia 
  • agitation
  • restlessness
  • anxiety
  • episodes of violent behavior

Then also consider some of the major depression signs/symptoms along with these. 

 

Risk Factors Associated with SAD

  • Females are diagnosed more often than men with this disorder (lucky us ladies!, lol)
  • Living further from the equator
  • Family history of depression
  • Younger age

Treatment options:

  • Medication
  • light therapy
  • psychotherapy 
  • Vitamin D

With this being said, Vitamin D supplements haven’t been 100 percent proven to treat seasonal affective disorder, but having more time in the sunlight seems to help and taking the supplements is neither here or there in research.. depending on the individual. Now there may be new treatments available or perhaps more treatments I have not listed, and so share them if you will. If you have your own way of dealing with SAD, please share it for my readers and so I can also learn something as well. Thank you for reading, please feel free to share, like, reblog, and follow!

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon