Tuesday, May 15, 2018

self love + mental health awareness

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month

As a public health graduate student, mental health is something I am truly dedicated to advocating for. Mental health is significant and should not be taken lightly. If you or anyone you know is suffering from any mental health conditions, take action and get help. I grew up in a household that did not believe in mental disorders or illnesses like anxiety and depression. When I was younger I was always raised with the mentality that if you were sad that it was a sign of weakness. If you were anxious or depressed it just meant that you did not try hard enough to not feel that way or overcome it. As I grew older and experienced more I have learn that it is okay to have those feelings. The thoughts and feelings never truly went away and I didn't understand why. Not everyone experiences anxiety and or depression on the same level but there are many people out there like myself, that experience it on a day to day basis. It is difficult but manageable and there are resources available to help. The topics I would like to focus on today in honor of Mental health Awareness Month is Depression and Anxiety. 

I choose mental disorders as my topic of choice for my graduate research. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. For some individuals, major depression can result in severe impairments that interfere with or limit one’s ability to carry out major life activities. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the prevalence of major depressive episode was higher among adult females (8.5%) compared to males (4.8%) and the prevalence of adults with a major depressive episode was highest among individuals aged 18-25 (10.9%). The NIMH is an excellent resource that aims to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses.

My story? I did not realize I suffered from depression and anxiety until early college. At my lowest points, I would just imagine what everyone's life would be like if I did not exist in it. The thoughts progressed to the point where I couldn't control it and I would go days just staying at home and crying. These thoughts did not come often but did so during my darkest hours and felt like a disease with no cure. It sounds so extreme but the thoughts and emotions were so amplified when in that state of mind and getting through it felt almost impossible. In high school, I did not realize that having panic attacks was where I was short of breath and feeling so nervous and scared. These were early signs of anxiety I did not realize I had. Today I am living with my depression and my anxiety has been diagnosed as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Clinical Depression (MDD).

How to live with it? Acceptance is so much easier said than done. I have found a few outlets that enabled me to channel and somewhat manage my anxiety and depression. I know that you might hear these things often but I mean it, hobbies help so much. I have been doing photography for quite some time and even though I do not have the time to shoot as often, every time I am able to shoot I feel so at peace. When I am depressed I feel as though I lose my sense of creativity and there is a void I feel where I am unable to be creative or even productive. However, overcoming the sadness is incredibly difficult but doable. Exercise has been one of the greatest outlets recently when I am unable to endure the dark moments. Something about pushing myself while at the gym has given me the feeling of self-fulfillment and accomplishment even if it meant just being able to do one extra push up or adding an extra weight to my workout. Finding your own outlet is important but I never realized how having a strong support system truly helped. I always felt like I was a burden and that people would become overwhelmed by my problems. I love my family, boyfriend, and friends to pieces because they have stuck right by my side, pushed me to better myself and help me continue to grow and move forward. 

I know that there are a lot of self-help books out there but here are a few books that have helped me overcome some difficult time and that I cannot recommend enough: Moments of Being by Virginia Woolf, Salt. by Nayyirah Waheed, Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, and She Felt Like Nothing by r.h. sin.

I am working so hard on loving myself and being the best that I, personally can be. There is no cure and I have come to terms with that. I am living with this and I am doing the best that I can by myself and with the support of those close to me.

Some resources + additional information:


Monday, May 7, 2018

every girl + her bff's essentials.

I have recently partnered up with the amazing Pop & Suki to share with you my absolute favorite products from their online shop. But first, let me tell you a little about the company. 

Pop & Suki was started with two best friends, Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse. I love love love how that is their true foundation and many of their products are geared towards matching with your bff. All products are designed by them and made from the highest quality with low and reasonable prices. 

They're well known for their make up bag. I got the bigger one because I have a lot of stuff to pack in there. The quality is superb and it has now become my travel essential where I squeeze in all of my skin care and make-up!

Speaking of cases... their laptop case was a must have for me. Whether I go to school, meet with clients, or just need a cute little something to keep my laptop in, their customizable laptop case is the perfect addition. I was able to print my brand directly on it and I have received nothing but complements! 

A little more loving for yourself? Got myself their Camera Bag in Noir Nubuck. I have a giant camera so I usually use this bag for a casual day out for a small bag for travel and or night life. I love how the quality is and the inside is their beautiful signature soft pink color.

And lastly my two smaller favorites are their compact mirror because who doesn't need a good little reminder everyday that FYI you look really good today? And their new vegan leather card holder. I hate clutches and large wallets so this card holder was the perfect thing for me. I am also surprised about how much can actually fit in the card case. It';s not too tight and holds everything in perfectly. 

I hope that you enjoyed this little haul from Pop & Suki. Please feel free to reach out with ANY questions you may have. I am here to help!

All customizations are complete free AND you can save 15% off on any purchase with my discount code "HELLOEMY669715" sorry I know for some reason my code is so long but hey it saves you $$ and why not treat yourself a little? You deserve it! 


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

glowing skin + st. ives skincare


Those who know me or have been with me for a while know that I LOVE to try out new skin care products. Preen.Me recently reached out to me to try out St. Ives newest Korean inspired products. I already love St.Ives and have some of their products already so I was 100% on board to try their newest products before their launch. So let me share my experience with you!

St. Ives recently released these cute little on-the-go cleansing sticks which make cleansing your face extremely easy. All you do is simply splash some water on your face and roll away and massage then rinse. These all smell so amazing and are 100% coconut oil based. I've been using them for a few weeks now alternating between the different formulas they have. 

These bad boys deliver insane benefits while making it super fun to use. My current favorite cleansing stick is the Matcha Green Tea + Ginger cleansing stick because it focused more on detoxifying all of the toxins on your skin leaving it glowing. 


I love love love scrubs! I love that feeling of buffing out all of the dead skin or excess junk on my face. 

I don't really have an issue with blackheads but I was excited to try out the green tea scrub. It has a moderate exfoliating factor. I like using this for when I feel like my pores start to get clogged (usually from lack of sleep or me eating way too many fried/greasy foods). Problem skin has met its match with this scrub! The key ingredient is a salicylic acid which packs a big punch and unclogs pores and calms redness for glowing, bump-free skin!

I was so excited to get my hands on the cult classic. St. Ives' beauty editor's favorite the deep cleaning apricot scrub. This scrub has100% natural walnut shell powder and works so well for exfoliating because my skin ends up SO SO SO soft, smooth, and of course glowing skin. The smell is spectacular. I am usually not a fan of really fragranced products but these just smell fruity and all natural which is a huge plus. I just use a dime size and scrub it all over in my face in the shower or some nights roughly two times a week.

I hope this post has helped! There are so many steps to a skincare routine and St. Ives is meant to reduce that and make skincare easy and on-the-go!
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