Posted in 2020, Essential Oil FUN!, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health, thoughts

Extra Tips to Lessen Anxiety & Depression

Wow, I can’t believe we’re at the end of this series! This has been such a cool series, and I have been so blessed by writing it. So, to end this series, I want to give you some extra advice to truly help you lessen your anxiety and depression. The steps that I listed beforehand are the steps you need to do every day, but these are extra tips and suggestions that I believe that are needed, but not everyone needs the same ones or the same amounts.

I’m going to list all my other tips here. I would love to hear if y’all have any other tips!

  • Medication is a COMMON GRACE from God to us. I believe that medication can change the game of fighting the battle of anxiety and depression. So, if you are fighting this battle of anxiety and/or depression and feel like you can never get on top of it, talk to a doctor or counselor. Explore all the options. I personally couldn’t do medication because we weren’t sure how my body would react, but sometimes I wished I was able to take it so I could help my brain more. But, that time has passed. And I did it, even without medication. So, talk with the wise people in your life. Find what would work best for YOU.
  • Counselors/therapists are NOT the same as mentors. I know, you’re probably ‘really, girl, they’re the SAME’, but they’re not the same! Licensed counselors and therapists don’t specifically have to share the same faith as you, though I encourage it greatly. They have to be able to understand how your mind works with what your circumstances are. Mentors, on the other hand, keep you accountable with your time with God. They will help you focus on God instead of your circumstances. SO, as you can see, mentors need to have your same faith.
  • Essential Oils are AMAZING! Next week’s post is all about my essential oils brand & amazing they are. But, essential oils can help you bring you emotions back into control. Some of my favorite oil blends right now are Valor, Peace & Calming, and a DIY Adrenal Support blend. I’ll be sharing more about them in the next few weeks. But, if you want to jump right on in, click this link to sign up under me and get a great deal on a Premium Starter Kit!!! And if you want more oil info, check out my Instagram!
  • Declutter your space. Yeah, this is one that I think everyone either loves or hates. But when you’re space is super messy, your anxiety can go haywire over it, and your depression can keep you doing nothing (it’s too much work to get my stuff, to clean up, etc.). So tackle one thing at a time. Put away your clean laundry. Take a break. Put all the books on the shelf, take a break, and etc. Give yourself reasonable rewards for cleaning up certain amounts. It takes so much work sometimes, but it’s worth it. And, while you’re cleaning up, give your space a lil’ love. It always helps to make our space our own. So, print off a graphic of your favorite verse, put some of your favorite pictures up, just make your space your own.

I don’t have much more to say, so I know this is going to be a shorter post. But I believe it was really important to give closure to this topic. It’s HARD. I believe we, as a culture, are starting to open the conversation about mental illnesses, but it’s not to where it should be. It’s more in the statistics right now. I really want to let you know that there ARE people who understand. They’re hard to find sometimes, but they’re out there.

Whatever you’re dealing with right know, let someone know. If you don’t know anyone to tell in your life, message me. I know it may be awkward, but you need to confide in someone. I recently made a Contact page, so head over there and write a message. I will definitely get back to you. ➡️Click here to immediately go to the Contact page.⬅️

What was your favorite takeaway?

Be blessed 😊

Mackenzie 💕

Posted in 2020, Bible Thoughts, Chronic Illness Things, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health, thoughts

Why God Time is So Important – Plus FREE Worksheet!

Woah, I can’t believe that we are at the end of all the tips! Don’t worry, we will be having one last post to recap and give some extra super important tips that can change this whole battle. 😉 But this post is kind of my testimony of how God has gotten me through my battles with anxiety and depression. And some encouragement to fight this battle. I hope you are blessed by this post.

my story

I’ll be honest. There has been a LOT in my life. And some of it I’m not ready to share. But I want to share the part of my story when I really started to see why I needed my time with God.

My story starts the summer of 2017. I had an amazing winter and spring season, with getting to know many new people and friends through a retreat I went to. I was so blessed by everything that was happening. There had been some family stress going on, which was very overwhelming. But, I was able to keep myself going. Around the end of April my health started to go down hill. Not a ton, just more food restrictions. It was just one more thing, ya know?

So, with everything that was going on in my life, in June to July, depression hit HARD. I wasn’t able to be a part of some activities that I wanted to be in. I felt like I was excluded purposely, but now I can see it was just kind of what happened. It wasn’t anyone’s reason, just life.

It kind of wrecked me. I became so withdrawn, gained weight, and I didn’t want to do anything. That sounds really extreme when I write it down, and I kinda don’t want to keep it in here. But it’s the truth.

The only thing that kept me from drowning in my own emotions was the summer Bible study that I was a part of. We were going through this book on the Psalms. Every week I would hear the perfect message that I needed. Especially this one week when we went through Psalms 42 & 43 (fun fact: they were originally one psalm!). Here is the main refrain of the two psalms:

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Psalm 42:5-6a

I studied this that week in July. And I went, kind of not wanting to go, that night. But then, on God’s timing, we talked about how this psalm was about depression. And leader was talking about these six steps that I have listed & talked about in this series. I started thinking about it more, but it still wasn’t getting out of that pit yet.

A couple weeks later, in the middle of August, I was drowning in my anxiety and depression again. Late at night, I was in a panic attack, and I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to. So, in desperation, I grabbed my Bible and flipped to Psalm 42. I read it, and I cried. Then I read it again, and cried again. It became alive to me that one summer night.

And I won’t tell you it was all easy from there on. It was a struggle. Somedays I won, and somedays I lost. But I tried to follow these steps, and I know without them I would not have made it out of that pit. Because depression and anxiety are huge, gaping pits that the devil digs for us to fall into. God is the only one who can take us out of that pit.

God time, quiet time, what does it all mean?

Now that you know where I am coming from-a place of struggle, but learning and growing-I want to explain what I mean by quiet time or God time.

Some people call their time with God quiet time, some call in God time. Others call it devotions or devos. Whatever you call it, it is a time of the day where you separate yourself from the rest of the world and take time to learn more about our God. It’s a time of prayer, of communing with our Heavenly Father.

We need this time to give our worries and doubts and emotions to Jesus. We can’t fight and win the battle with our anxiety and/or depression without our Perfect Heavenly Father.

I will definitely be posting a post specifically about my God time. But it is so different for each person, and I don’t want to put y’all in a box. So definitely find what is right for YOU.

it’s a BATTLE

Without God, we will never win this battle. Because it truly is a battle. Anxiety and depression are two huge things that the devil uses to keep us from loving Jesus with our whole hearts. We need to have the armor that is mentioned in Ephesians 6:

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.

Ephesians 6:10-16 CSB

We need to always be on alert, with the armor of God on at all times. It’s sometimes is hard to understand how to use these pieces to fight our spiritual battles. So, I decided to make a free, 3-page worksheet to help you through these steps.

I used this site to help me put together the worksheet. I so hope and pray that it blesses you. Even as I was making it, I was learning more about the pieces of armor, and seeing how good God is that he has blessed us with this passage.

Enjoy the worksheet, friends. I pray that it helps you grow closer to Him in everything. And let me know in the comments below, some posts you would love!!! It’s almost the end of this series, and I am so excited to see what’s next! Let me know some ideas! Love you all. Be blessed!

Mackenzie 💕

Posted in 2020, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health

4-Step Guide to Finding Mentors & Friendships

Hey y’all! Thanks for coming back for post #6 of this series! I’m super excited to see what y’all think about this post. It definitely was a harder post for me to write. So, enjoy. I hope this encourages you. 😉❤️

my story

So, to summarize, this post is all about how having friends and mentors supporting you through your anxiety and depression journey can help so much. If that’s all that you take from this, that’s okay. This is one point/tip that I struggle with MUCH more than I would like to admit. When I am in a time of high depression and/or anxiety, I don’t want to reach out to others. I just want to hide and pretend all is just fine. And sometimes I don’t think people care about me enough or want to actually help. So I just stay quiet.

But that is NOT right, and I shouldn’t feel or think that way. God gave us other people so that we don’t have to be alone and go through the tough things in life without any help. We need someone who we can trust, to encourage us when we feel like we can’t go on anymore.

And, before y’all start think what I know you are thinking, Jesus should (and is!) be our Best Friend. We need to run to Him when anything hard happens, whenever we a feeling overwhelmed with life. But lots of times He works through other people around us and who are in our lives to encourage us. He gives us people to show and remind us of His perfect love.

So, keeping that in mind, who should you confide in? As you realize your struggle with anxiety and/or depression, who should you tell?

tips to finding good relationships

Now that y’all know when I am coming from, from a place of still figuring out the best way to do this in my life. Not that I don’t want friends and mentors, but finding close people to lean on can be so hard sometimes.

I am still learning this, but I can help you with four tips that I have found true!

  1. Find your close friends and mentors in good places – You can’t find truthful, kind, but yet honest friends and mentors in an untrustworthy setting. As you find close friends and mentors, look for them at church, youth group, or Bible studies. It’s not something ‘hard and fast’, but you want a mentor and friend that has the same beliefs as you, and the same kind of passion for the Lord as you.
  2. Your mentor should be older and wiser than you – This one should be kind of obvious. But, you can’t gain wisdom from someone who is still in the same stage of life as you. Depending on your age and time of life, your mentor should be 2-10 years older than you. Or older than that too. But you need someone who has walked through all the emotions of that stage of life to help you through it.
  3. Your friends and mentors should have good senses of humor – Weird tip. I know. There are so many crazy things that happen in life, and sometimes you just need someone to laugh with you. I know sometimes I make a little joke about all my allergies, and when someone laughs with me in it, that’s when I know I have made a good friend. 😅 But you need to make sure it isn’t a humor that kinda puts you down for what is different. That is a type of joke you need to STAY away from.
  4. Your friends should look out for you and check on you – We all want to have someone reaching out to ourselves, so we don’t have to put as much effort into the friendship. But friendship is a two-way relationship. Really, any relationship is two ways, not just one person reaching out. So, maybe reach out to one person for a while. Someone you know well but is maybe struggling a little. And you also should have someone reaching out to you, whether it be a friend or a mentor. If you don’t have that right now, I get that. I’m finally starting to grow out off that season. It hurts. But watch out for those relationships where you can see that it could turn into a very close two-way friendship. Nurture it, and watch it grow.

Life is HARD sometimes. I get that probably more than you know (not bragging in any way), but sometimes reaching out to others is not only going to help them, it will also make you feel happier and more satisfied, whether you share what’s going on in your life right now or not. We need community. We desperately need community outside of our screens.

Whatever your life looks like, anxiety and depression is real. It’s so hard to admit that it is a problem, especially to our friends who usually only see that smiling, laughing versions of ourselves. But we need someone to confide in, to take care of us when we don’t now how we can go on anymore. Keep reaching out. It’s humbling, but so needed.

I hope this post encouraged you. It’s hard to navigate relationships sometimes, so I hope this was a good guide to help you keep on keepin’ on. And there is only TWO more posts in this series! So be sure to follow me on this blog (in the sidebar on laptops/larger screens or down below this post on mobile) and on Instagram to keep up with all the fun!!! Love y’all so much!

Mackenzie 💕

Posted in 2020, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health, thoughts

The Importance of SLEEP!

Here I am again! 😉 I am back for post #5 of the how to lessen anxiety and depression. I hope these tips are helping you! I am convinced these steps will help you lessen your anxiety and depression. It’s rough sometimes, but I want to come alongside you in this trial. 🥰❤️ It really is hard. We hear all the stats and reasons about all the negative, all the rising stress, anxiety & depression, but we usually never hear HELPFUL tips about how to change and help ourselves and others. We need to stop stressing about the rising rates of anxiety and depression, and actually DO something. Ok, I’m done ranting now. 😅

This post is about sleep. Boring topic, right? Something you could actually fall asleep to? (hahaha…ok I’m sorry not sorry) But even as I was researching for this post, I finally saw more of the reasons and logic behind the importance of sleep. So, I hope you learn lots from this post, and, even more importantly, are able to find practical ways to make this part of your life better and easier.

yes, sleep 😴

Most people understand this step, but don’t make it a big focus while dealing with anxiety and depression. And probably there’s a few of you who are about ready to click off of this post. But hang on with me! We all kinda start to shut off when we hear people talk about sleep. But, y’all-this is IMPORTANT.

Let me say it again: don’t click off. This is important.

We should have seven to nine hours a night, but most people around my age barely get five hours! Why is this? I believe that we think of sleep as something we need to get out of, so we can do what we really want/need to do. Others really know they need sleep, but they believe that they can’t say ‘no’ to certain events or they need to get things done BEFORE they can sleep and rest their bodies and minds. But we desperately need to start making sleep a priority.

So, like I have been doing with all the other posts, here are some stats (found here and here) to back up this tip:

  • Having an insufficient amount of sleep can lead to depression and weight gain.
  • Having a regular sleep pattern helps restore your brain and body for the next day.
  • On the other hand, insufficient sleep diminishes your mental clarity

This is one step that I personally don’t struggle with that much, but I understand how much others need it. For me, with my chronic illness, I need around nine hours of sleep to be able to function well. I can hardly function on seven hours, while others need about seven to eight hours to function well.

Another important tip is to go to bed around the same time each night. I try to turn off my light around 9:30, but on Wednesdays and Sundays, I have extras going on so I head to bed later. But it really all depends on your schedule, and when you get tired.

It really is all about how to have the least anxiety and depression, and finding what it best for YOU. I don’t want to you to take everything I say extremely seriously, because you need to find what is right and best for you and your lifestyle.

So, that is all I have to say about sleep. It’s another one that it slightly awkward to talk about, but it is SO important.

I will see you next week Wednesday to get back on my regular posting schedule!!! I’m really looking forward to some content I am preparing for the next few months.

Love you guys so much. Thanks for staying around to hear all my thoughts that I put up on this lil’ corner of the Internet.

See y’all next week!

Mackenzie 💕

Posted in 2020, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health, thoughts

Why Fresh Air is Vitally Important to Us!

Wow, we are already onto post #4 of this series!!! Thank you SO much for all the love for this lil’ series. And, I apologize for skipping a week–it was rough last week and I did not have enough time to write this. I am really focusing in on writing and getting content out that will be super helpful! And I am so excited for some posts coming up after this series. But for now, this post will be all about fresh air and getting outside! It’s a little weird talking about this subject, because no one really talks about this. Anyways, please enjoy!

why is getting outside important?

Again, as I said in the intro, most people don’t talk about this part about lessening anxiety and depression. It seems so obvious, but also so different. We all feel better when we are outside, but we don’t make it a priority.

But it helps your body SO much! It helps your blood pressure and heart rate, strengthens your immune system and makes you happier! Plus many other great benefits like:

  • Fresh air cleans your lungs and makes them healthier
  • Fresh air helps your brain work better
  • Fresh air helps your digestion
  • Fresh air & being outside improves your self esteem

these facts were found here and here

Now, why would we not want these things?!?

let’s be practical now

As we see more of the benefits of getting fresh air, why do we not make it a priority? What are some practical ways to get fresh air regularly? How can we change this in our lives?

I believe the first step is to see and acknowledge that we don’t get enough fresh air. So, as you read this, if you are thinking, ‘wow, I need to get outside a LOT more!’, that is such a great step. Now we just have to find practical ways to do this!

One very practical way to do this is combine with the tip beforehand, exercising regularly! You can take a run or walk outside, or even do your yoga or cardio out in your backyard!

You can also take a book outside to sit and read. Eat meals outside! Whatever you can do outside, take it outside!

But even if you only get outside walking from your car to the building and back, that’s good too! It’s hard to get this step done right now, because of the Michigan weather (it’s COLD in the winter over here!). But maybe even try to not always take the closest parking spot. It’s OK to walk a little. It’s actually really good. Especially before an appointment that you could get nervous about. Between the exercise and the fresh air, that would actually be really good for you.

That’s all I have for today y’all! I hope you enjoyed this post, I know it was a little different than usual, but it was very important to talk about. What are some of your favorite ways to get outside? Let me know in the comments below!

Posted in 2020, Chronic Illness Things, Health & Wellness!, hope2020, Lessen Anxiety & Depression, Mental Health, thoughts

Exercise Daily to Lessen Anxiety & Depression!

It’s time for post #3 of my series about lessening anxiety and depression! This post is all about exercise, and how to find the right type of exercise for your brain and body. I hope you enjoy!

why do I need to exercise?

Exercise is another thing that I think people either love or hate. But our bodies are made to move a LOT more than they usually do in a day. Less than 5% of adults have 30 minutes of exercise a day. 30 minutes of movement (movement to get your heart rate going) is what we are SUPPOSED to get. And kids are on screens 7 1/2 hours a DAY! That is wayyy too much screen time in my eyes.(not intention pun lol) And it is even harder to get active, because only 1 in 5 homes have a park or recreation center/gym within a half mile (click here for the statistics). These facts show that we are not getting enough movement, and the reasons why we don’t, make sense.

Not only does exercising strengthen your body, but is also helps your brain and emotions! This is a little explanation from WebMD:

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.


how do I change this cycle?

But when you exercise, find the best version of it for YOU. Some people love CrossFit, or gym equipment. Others like yoga or Zumba (aka dance exercise or dance cardio). Whatever gets you moving that you ENJOY, do that.

My fitness journey has been definitely long and crazy. My whole life I have had low muscle tone, and that means I had to ‘exercise’ as much as I could, but I fought my parents the whole way through. It wasn’t fun to me, and I didn’t understand how and why it could help me.

Finally this past year, I started to see how important it is. I did yoga through the Down Dog app for a while, when my pain was bad and I couldn’t do much at all. I usually did about 15 min of Hatha yoga in the morning that’s a little more strenuous and strength training. At the end of the day I did 10-15 min of the Restorative yoga, which is all on the floor and just mostly stretching, which keeps my muscles loose while I sleep. And for me, yoga is super calming and lessens my anxiety.

But after my bad flare in December, my muscles became so tight that yoga became kind of painful. And I needed something else to get my heart rate going, so I actually started doing PopSugar’s Dance Fitness exercises. I LOVE them! They’re so much fun and I get my heart rate up, which is something yoga doesn’t do as much.

I rotate between the 10 minute dance video and a couple of the different 30 minute videos. Here are the links!

If I’m doing the 10-minute dance video, something I am trying to do more is do a bodyweight exercise or walk around with 3-pound weights for about 7 minutes. It gets me moving even more, and is really strengthening my body.

And I know that lots of people with chronic illness & different kind of health issues can’t exercise much. And that’s okay! Even if it’s just walking around at home for five minutes or doing yoga or dance, just get MOVING! Learn your limits, and push yourself as much as you can, but don’t overdo. Find the perfect balance for your body!

I will be keeping y’all updated on my fitness and health journey over on my Insta!!! Go check it out here!

I’m so excited to see your reactions to this new post!!! Leave a comment about your health and wellness journey! Let’s change this world by being statistic-changers!

Love y’all!
Mackenzie 🥰💕