My First Cosplay Experience!

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to my blog!

Today I want to share with you something I did that was very exciting for me and that is my first cosplay experience. I am turning thirty next year and I have a list of things I would like to do before this big milestone.

I started going to conventions when I was fourteen and I stopped when I was seventeen. However, I always heard about Comic-Con and in 2014 I decided to go and see what the fuss is about. Let’s just say to this day I look forward to March to attend Comic-Con and it is always so much fun.

I am an artsy person, but when it comes to designing or creating my own outfits that is something I cannot do. I always pay close attention to the details and hard work cosplayers put into creating their costumes. Kudos to them because they are rockin’ it! On the other hand, I bought my costume from eBay for a special Halloween photoshoot last year. When I was done with the photoshoot I didn’t know when I’ll wear the costume again, so I decided it is time to cosplay for the first time. The only thing I needed was a wig, everything else I had in my possession. If you are wondering who I cosplayed as it was none other than Daenerys Targaryen (in the blue costume) from Game of Thrones.

The day of attending Comic-Con arrived fast and my friend and I got ready early in the morning. My friend dressed up as Sailor Jupiter, it was also her first time cosplaying. After we were done, we rushed to the train station and we were on our way. I felt lots of excitement, this is something I’ve wanted to do for 14 years and I felt really happy to finally make it a reality. We attended Comic-Con on a Saturday so there were many people there. The coolest thing about this experience was people asking to take pictures with me or of me. I’m not going to lie, I did feel like a celebrity. I thought I would feel weird being dressed up, but there are so many people there who will compliment you. We were all there to have fun and no one will make fun of you or criticize you.

As I was strolling around the convention center, I stumbled upon Game of Thrones cosplayers. They were part of a group called CosParty who pick themes and cosplays. Later on that day I found out they were on a popular Canadian talk show. Talk about being lucky. They invited me to join them for some photos in the lobby, and then for a professional photo shoot on the balcony of the convention center.

It was an amazing experience and I am actually going to cosplay again for FanExpo as my favorite DC Comics character, Catwoman.

In conclusion, just be yourself and do what makes you happy. If you like to cosplay but you’ve never tried, just do it. You’ll have a blast.

Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Advertisements

Self Care January! Bell Let’s Talk.

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to the final day of Self Care January, today we will be talking about mental health.

Today is Bell Lets Talk Day, an important day to raise awareness about mental health. There is so much stigma surrounding mental health, and there are still people not acknowledging it something that needs to be treated. That’s a problem, that’s why starting a conversation is so important. It’s ok to say you are depressed, it’s ok to say you have anxiety, it’s ok to feel these feelings. There is a cure, there is hope and do not let anyone belittle your mental health.

two thousand eighteen (2)

Mental health is tricky to understand, not everyone will take you seriously or your symptoms. It is difficult for someone to understand what it’s like when they don’t have experience with mental health. Even if you try to explain yourself, they still won’t understand. This can be hurtful, but it is the sad reality. That’s why talking about it will raise awareness of what it’s like to struggle daily. If more people understand, more will be educated about the topic, and know how to help a friend, family member, or coworker.

I’m no stranger to mental health, when I was in high school I battled depression due to bullying. Now as an adult, I struggle with anxiety. It’s crippling, you worry about everything even if there is nothing to worry about. Every little challenge is blown out of proportion and it can be damaging to your health. Some people do not understand, but the important thing is to know how to talk to someone who is suffering. Telling them to “get over it”, or “be positive there is so much to be happy about” is not helpful. If it were that easy people wouldn’t be suffering. Here is what you should say:

1. I’m here to listen, even I don’t really understand what it feels like to suffer so much.

2. It’s ok you feel this way.

3. I’m here for you.

4. You matter.

5. You are important.

6. You are worthy.

7. You are not a burden.

The way you speak to someone who is struggling daily is very important. Saying the wrong thing can trigger their symptoms and sometimes their reaction is beyond their control. The important thing to remember is this condition will not last forever but we have to talk about it. We need to treat mental health the same way we treat physical health. Treat it with kindness, compassion, and understanding.

I encourage you to start a conversation in my comment box. You can say your name and what you’re struggling with. I’ll go first! Hi, my name is Radostina, I struggle with anxiety. Now it’s your turn ✊🏻

Thank for reading and I sincerely hope you write a comment, this is a safe space and no one will belittle you.

Now that we reached the end of Self Care January, I am going to introduce the new topic for the month of February. Everyone welcome to Foodie February, next month will be all about food and cooking. I hope you are excited as much as I am!

Thank you so much for reading and see you soon!

Self Care January! The Power of Positivity.

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to another Self Care January post! Today we will discuss the importance of thinking positive.

two thousand eighteen (1)

Growing up I was always positive and optimistic, the word ‘negativity’ did not exist in my vocabulary. I was one of the most optimistic people you would ever meet, I was always the one encouraging other people to be happy. However, there came a time in my life when all of this changed.

When I immigrated to Canada I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to experience for the next few years. I was given a false image of what immigration would be like and my optimism quickly crashed. I began to see a change in my personality, I started to become more reserved, quiet, and pessimistic. These characteristics were the opposite of who I was and I didn’t know how to deal with the change. It also didn’t help that I was a teenager going through all kinds of emotional and physical changes.

Middle school was not easy because I was still adjusting to the Canadian life, so I was going through lots of changes. When the time came to move on to high school, I naively thought my troubles were over. Nope. In fact, it got worse! Grade nine was amazing, but from grade ten onwards school became unbearable because I went through bullying. If I started being negative when I was in middle school, then this feeling intensified even more in high school. I felt lost, I didn’t understand why I couldn’t be happy and feel like I did before. Slowly I turned into a pessimist, and that lasted for a few years.

In 2010, I met my best friend who transformed my life and helped me go back to my old self, almost. I became so reserved in high school and that resulted in me having social anxiety. When my friend came along she really helped to come out of my shell and be the person who I always used to be. The change was positive, but then a new set of challenges came along and I was reverting back to that negative mindset. It became excessive, to the point where my friend had to tell me to snap out of it because it was too much handle. Last year, lots of things happened and the negativity led to horrible stress. I developed health problems and became depressed. I didn’t know how to handle these intense feelings, and then something happened in August that forced me to realize my negativity would not lead me to a happy life. I realized how important it was to think positive so you can attract positive vibes in your life. No one wants to be around someone who is negative all the time, and trust me, you will feel fed up with yourself one day too. When you are positive your relationships with others will improve, and be better.

As soon as I started to become more positive again, I noticed my life became calmer and I felt more at peace. I started writing in a gratitude journal, I began meditation and began writing solutions to my negative thoughts. For example, I won’t ever find a job in my field. Instead, I would write, “yes you will, but you have to work super hard before results come along.” When you complain about everything that’s wrong in your life, you won’t live a good life. Obviously, thinking positive 24/7 is hard and not always possible but it is essential to try and be positive. Acknowledge how you feel and accepted, but try not to be stuck in this situation for too long. You deserve to believe in yourself and love yourself. You deserve happiness, and you deserve to believe everything you want in life can happen to you one day.

I challenge you to write one positive thought on a paper each day and put in a mason jar, that way you have a visual representation of your positive thoughts. I know it’s hard, but if you are reading this… YOU CAN DO IT!

Thank you for reading and tomorrow I will post my last Self CareJanuaryr post!

See you soon!

 

 

Self Care January! My Social Media Journey.

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to another Self Care January post!

Today we will discuss social media, and what it means to me now after being part of social media for 11 years.

two thousand eighteen

The 2000s were a pivotal time for social media, it is when the internet was becoming popular and social media was starting to make its way into the internet world. It began with MySpace, Live Journal, and then the birth of Facebook. MySpace was a big deal in the 2000s, you could decorate your profile in a way you liked with fancy wallpaper. You could add music, create a funky username using emojis and symbols, and the famous top 5 or 10 friends. I didn’t have MySpace until 2008, by that time MySpace was losing its popularity. So I didn’t keep my MySpace account for too long and I deleted it quickly. Another social media website I liked was YouTube, I was very interested in anime at the time and Youtube was my source for anime videos. I saw fellow YouTubers making anime music videos, short creative video montages and I thought, “If they can do it, so can I.” I created a Youtube channel and began posting music videos, and within two months I gained 200 subscribers. At that time the word ‘subscribers’ meant nothing to me, today it means profit for full-time Youtubers.

At that time I was very careful and skeptical to let people into my personal life, I used a fake name and a random photo as my profile picture. I was very wary of random people messaging me and eventually, I deleted my Youtube channel because I wasn’t used to having strangers on the Internet messaging me. I created my Youtube channel in Fall 2015 and I closed it sometime in 2006. After a while, I joined another social media site called Veoh to post my videos. I still have the account, but I can’t log in because I forgot the password. I created a Veoh account in 2007, and that same year I found out about Facebook. I was in class at the time, I think it was computer class, and most of my classmates were on Facebook. I asked them what is Facebook, and they said: “Like MySpace but better.” Literally, everyone befriended each other from school on the website, so I decided to join it too.

I was instantly hooked, I loved it and I was on Facebook all day, every day! Fast forward to 2009, Twitter came along and I signed up to join the website. I also made a Youtube account again but as a regular user. That was the beginning of signing up for more social media websites, and I couldn’t stop. I signed up for Tumblr in 2011, I created my first blog on Blogspot in 2010, I joined Instagram in 2012 and I signed up for Pinterest in 2013. Then in 2013, I switched to WordPress from Blogspot to gain a bigger audience.

Social media back in the day was very simple, everyone was doing it for fun but then it started to change. It felt like a competition, Youtube turned into a platform for potential artists and content creators to profit from posting videos. Facebook added the ‘like’ button, and people started to become obsessed with likes and followers. Social media went from being a fun carefree activity to do in your spare time, to a competition. That led to people comparing their lives to others on social media, making them feel as if they are not accomplished. Not only that but cyberbullying is now a problem on social media, the comments I see on Youtube and Instagram are atrocious. Social media does not feel the same for me anymore, but I still use it mostly to promote my photography work. At one moment, I got caught up in the comparison mentality and feeling like my life is really dull. The thing is these people on social media post only the highlights of their life, it doesn’t mean their life is perfect. On the contrary, they could be going through a lot of challenges but they won’t share them online. Why should they? However, you’ll be surprised how many Youtubers post very personal information about themselves online.

I think social media has made people very conceited and the element of privacy is not present. Everything about our lives is online nowadays, that’s why I decided to change my approach to social media. From 2015 I started deactivating my Facebook for three months, I started doing this because I wanted to teach myself to use Facebook less. It worked and honestly it felt so good to get away from Facebook for a while. I will do it again this year too, I try not to miss a year. Last year, I didn’t post on my personal Instagram for four months and it felt so good to keep my life private for the first time ever. Why do we feel like we have to post every little detail about ourselves, in all honesty, who cares about our lives so much? The truth is social media affects people’s mental health in a negative way. According to Forbes, social media triggers sadness, jealousy, depression, and anxiety.

No one needs that kind of stress in their lives, no one needs to feel like they are not enough because of social media. So here is what I recommend:

  1. Limit your social media use to a few hours per day. There is a whole world out there and you are missing out on creating memories and a great life.
  2. Delete any unnecessary social media accounts, that you do not need. Keep the ones that are essential to you.
  3. Post less about your life, maintaining that mystery and privacy about yourself is refreshing.
  4. Do social media detox. Just get away from social media, you do not need it to be entertained. Go out in nature, take a book and go to a coffee shop. The possibilities are endless.

Social media is not bad, there are many advantages to it for anyone wanting to start a business, make themselves known as an artist and connect with people around the world. However, do not get caught up in the negative mentality and side of social media, be careful and take care of your yourself.

I hope you enjoyed this post and got a glimpse of what social media means to me! I love it but it’s to detox from social media.

Let me know what’s your favorite social media site, let me know in the comment box below!

See you soon!

 

Self Care January! Dealing With Stress.

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to Self Care January, today’s topic will be about stress and how to cope with stress.

We are all going through daily life stressors, and then there are also the bigger stressors in our lives. Stress is not an easy thing to deal with because it affects your judgment and emotional response. In addition, prolonged stress can lead to negative effects on your physical and emotional health. The best way to handle stress is to begin by recognizing the signs and how your body reacts. Being self-aware is so important for our physical and mental health.

When you are self-aware you can apply the necessary coping strategies to deal with the stress before it becomes excessive. Obviously, you can’t fix yourself in one day this requires constant effort. So today I decided to share a list of strategies that can help you cope with stress.

two thousand eighteen (3)

Let’s begin.

   1. Meditation.

Related image

Meditation is wonderful because it teaches your mind how to focus on the present moment and bring your mind inward. It helps you focus on your breathing, in addition, paying attention to any bodily sensations. Are your shoulders tense? Are you sweating from the stress? Has your breathing increased? When you are aware of these factors, you can meditate to bring down your adrenaline levels and breathe. Meditation is all about being aware of your surroundings, being aware of the noise around you, what you see, what you feel. I am not the greatest at medication, my mind wonders around a lot, but I do my best to teach my mind to focus on the present moment. Meditation is great whenever you feel like you are about to have an anxiety or a panic attack.

2. Writing in a journal.

Related image

Sharing your personal struggles with people all the time is not something they are always open to hearing. I’m sure you might have a few people or one person to turn to, but you want to make sure the sharing is not excessive. I started using a journal to write down my thoughts, anything negative or positive for the sole purpose of venting. Sometimes when we are emotional we may say things we regret, so writing in a journal you can write whatever you want because it’s only for your eyes to read. It has proven to be helpful for me, I can be myself and be authentic.

3. Socialize.

Image result for socialize

After my friendship breakup last summer, I became anti-social, I started to prefer spending time alone. This is not a bad thing, but we are human beings and we crave contact. Even the most independent person will start to feel lonely. Going out with friends will distract you from your life worries, and make you have some fun. I went out recently for lunch with my best friends, and it made me feel more relaxed. It made me remember how good it felt to go out and have some fun with friends.

4. Aromatherapy.

Image result for aromatherapy

I rely heavily on aromatherapy to relax me, I have the worst anxiety but when I use my diffuser and it fills my room with the relaxing scents, and it makes me feel better. I typically prefer lavender and eucalyptus mint.

5. Adult Colouring Books.

Image result for adult colouring books

Adult coloring books are absolutely wonderful, I feel like a kid again when I use them. The reason why I chose to include them on this list as a stress reliever is because they allow you to be fully focused on one task. When I first started using adult coloring books, I was fully focusing on coloring in the details. It took me two or three hours if I am committed to coloring more pages. During that time I didn’t really think about anything else, but the task at hand. I really enjoyed it and in a way, it is similar to meditation. It helps you focus on a task in the moment.

6. Therapy.

Image result for therapy

Sometimes applying these coping strategies may not be enough to cure your stress if it’s been going on for a long time. Seeking the help of a therapist is nothing to be ashamed about and it doesn’t mean you are weak for seeking their help. In fact, you are strong enough to realize stress is affecting your well being and you need a professional to help you. There is a negative stigma attached to seeking a therapist, with the idea of you being crazy for going to therapy. This is not the 1900s, in our world today mental health is more prevalent than the past, therefore, making an appointment with a therapist could be helpful.

7. Excercise.

Related image

Many people say that with exercise you get those happy endorphins, and it is true. I remember a time when I went to the gym and I was feeling very overwhelmed with my job. I had no energy prior to going to the gym, nevertheless, I decided to stick to my regular routine. When I started doing my workout, I started to feel energized. I don’t know if it was the groovy music I was listening to, but I felt so hyper and completed a full hour of workout. I was smiling more and I stopped thinking about my job woes. According to Harvard Medical School, exercise has the capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress. I agree with this statement 100% it really helps your physical and mental health.

8. Yoga.

Image result for yoga

To add to the workout point, yoga is also great because it allows you to fully stretch your body. Any muscle aches or soreness that you may have will feel more relaxed with yoga, and yoga allows you to focus fully on the present moment.

9. Getting enough sleep.

Image result for get enough sleep

Believe or not, but when your body is not fully rested it will affect your cognitive abilities. It will make you feel fatigued, cranky, and easily prone to stress. When we are not getting enough sleep we are also most likely to feel irritated easily or respond strongly to the stressor. Getting up to 7-8 hours of sleep is very important, when you are well rested you will feel better and think adequately about the situation.

10. Nature walks.

Image result for nature walks

Nature has a healing effect on my mind, body, and soul. In 2016, I was constantly sick and also very stressed out from work. That year I went on a trip to Vancouver for two weeks, on that trip I hiked with my friends and we were constantly around nature. I suddenly felt very at peace and forgot all of my troubles. Being around nature, and seeing its beauty was very calming for me. Now, I prefer to go out for a walk around the neighborhood to the nearest park. I sit with a book, or simply sit on a bench and enjoy my surroundings.

I hope these tips were helpful for any of you who are going through a lot of stress right now. Remember, healing and taking control of your stress does not happen overnight. It requires constant effort and works, but it is worth it.

Thank you for reading and see you soon!

 

Self Care January! Embracing Change.

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to another Self Care January post and today’s we’ll be discussing how to embrace change. This post will include lots of personal life examples of my struggles to love change.

two thousand eighteen (2)

Change is a natural part of life that brings you to the next chapter in your life, change can bring you a lot of positivity. However, I’ve always had a negative attitude towards change. As a child, I embraced change well, but I after I immigrated to Canada when I was 13 I began to have a negative attitude towards change.

When my family and I first moved to Toronto, we lived in a bigger apartment which was not necessary for newcomers to Canada. I remember vividly the day my mom came into the room and told me we might have to move to another place to pay for cheaper rent. Looking back on that day, my behavior and reaction were overly dramatic. I began crying and being a brat because I would miss having a view of the CN Tower from my bedroom. I also really liked the size of my bedroom and I didn’t want to move to a smaller apartment. We eventually moved and I began liking the building, it was closer to the bus stop, it was closer to the plaza with all of the shops and closer to the other parks. In the end, it turned out to work out for the better.

This is an example of a time when I had to go through a change that has a happy ending, however, as an immigrant teenager, there were changes that were not positive. When I was told we were immigrating to Canada, I was so excited to move to a foreign country. But I never expected the challenges I had to face, some of the changes I went through gave me a negative outlook on change. As an adult, I realized I hate change so much because in the past change was negative for me. Holding on to comfort became something I cling on for dear life. Change scares me, leaving something that brings me comfort is unsettling.

I noticed recently that I am holding on to change because I am afraid if the next step will be successful or not. Here is a very recent example of this circumstance. I am currently employed at a company I’ve worked for five years, but from the beginning, I didn’t like the job. I work split shift, I start work at 7:30am and there is a lot of moving furniture and cleaning. For those of you wondering, I work as a teacher/assistant supervisor at a before and afterschool program. There have been many moments where I’ve been close to quitting the job, at least a few times per year. The only reason why I still work there is that of my students. They are the most precious, beautiful and kind children! I only stay for them, but the thing is the company has many flaws so staying long term won’t make me any happier. But here I am still working for this company because I fear change and whether or not the next step will be better than my current situation. I am going through a career change to work in my dream field, and I’ve been working hard on this for the past few years. Therefore, the change that awaits me is supposed to be positive, but again my insecurity about change is a barrier in my life.

As soon as I began to realize why I dislike change, that’s when I started to take action and fight those negative thoughts. What I do now is write down why I am scared of the change and then I write the pros and cons of the potential change. If the pros list is longer than the cons, that’s how I know I am making the right decision.

In other circumstances, change will appear negative in the beginning but as time passes you will see why it was good for you. I’ll give a quick example, last summer one of my long-term friendship ended with a friend who was like family to me. It was heartbreaking and I couldn’t make sense of what was happening. It felt like the end of an era and hated going through this change of losing a friend and not having this friend in my life anymore. However, for a few years I was going through something tough and when the friendship ended I got a rude awakening to start my own healing. In the end, this change that seemed so negative turned out to be beneficial for my well being. I still miss the friendship, but you never know how life will unfold and who comes back into your life.

My point with sharing these stories I’ve shared today is that change is not easy, but in the end, it is the best thing for you. Everything happens for reason and how life will lead you down your chosen path.

Fear of the unknown kills more dreams than anything else. The change means growth, change means living a better! I am still a work in progress and I am still working on embracing change, but one day I’ll learn to love it. Look at change as a way of taking you closer to the life you’ve always imagined.

Image result for change quotes

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you found this article helpful!

See you soon!

 

Self Care January! Dealing With Toxic People.

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to another Self Care January post, I hope you all have enjoyed them all so far.

Today’s topic is toxic people! We have all encountered toxic people at least at one point in our lives. This may be a strong word to use, but I refer to them as emotional vampires. It feels as if they suck out your positive energy and you’re left feeling drained. I have dealt with all kinds of toxic people, coworkers, friends, and family.

Over the years I have learned that prolonged exposure to toxic people can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. It is important to learn how to deal with such individuals in an effective and healthy manner.

Before I begin listing ways of dealing with toxic people, I will proceed to explain key characteristics of a toxic person.

  1. They absolutely refuse to admit they are the problem, however, keep in mind sometimes they do not realize they are the problem. I had a boss who was very toxic, the difference with her was she knew what she was but she refused to change. Which brings me to my next point.
  2.  Toxic people cannot change. Either they refuse to change or they are not aware they need to change. Not all toxic people refuse to change, some may realize they have a problem but it has reached a point where it is too difficult to change. Keep in mind though, if this person genuinely realizes one day they are the issue then I don’t see why they can’t be given second chance. I am all for giving second chances if someone genuinely realizes they were toxic. Of course, I don’t mean anyone who has done something extreme.
  3. They are very good at making you feel guilty. They know exactly what to say to make you feel like you are the problem. It is very important not to give in to what they say about you and believe you are a good person. Of course, be self-aware if you have done anything. Sometimes we could react in a strong manner but in most circumstances, the toxic person is the challenge, not you.
  4. They are emotionally needy. There is a difference between someone going through a tough time and needing a shoulder to cry on and someone who makes you feel like you are responsible for their life. As people, we are only responsible for ourselves, we are not obligated to babysit anyone.
  5. They are manipulative. They are very good at saying the right thing to make you do what they want.
  6. They are judgemental and are critical of everything.
  7. They do not apologize.

These are a few of the characteristics toxic people possess, now we will talk about how to deal with them.

two thousand eighteen (1)

1.Do not react.

Do not react in a strong way to their criticism or bad words, if you do you will look like the bad guy. It’s best to count to ten before you respond to any disrespectful remarks. They want you to react, so do not give them the advantage of doing that.

2. Set Boundaries.

When you set boundaries you let them know you are not tolerating their behavior and you won’t allow them to disturb your peace. You can set boundaries by limiting communication, walking away if they try to start an argument and simply calling out their behavior. I did this with my old boss, and she bothered me less after I put her in her place.

3. Find the triggers.

Find what triggers a toxic person and avoid putting oil on the fire, unfortunately, it’s like walking on eggshells but that’s how it is with a toxic person.

4. Cut ties.

This happens in extreme cases when there is no change to your circumstances, it’s hard to do this with coworkers. I would suggest having minimal communication with your coworkers unless you absolutely have to speak regarding work-related matters i.e. completing an important project.

5. Speak up.

As much as we want to avoid confrontation, it is important to stand up for ourselves when people are being disrespectful to you. Put them in their place and let them know it is not ok to be treated this way.

6. Do not engage in fights.

Toxic people like to stir up conflict, do not engage in it and simply walk away. Remeber to pick your battles, do not engage in anything if it will disturb your

7. Have a conversation.

Try to have a conversation and understand the underlying reasons for why they are acting this way. Sometimes they might be going through a tough time and they are lashing out. This doesn’t excuse the toxic behavior, but it allows to see what’s going on and what steps are necessary to take to fix the situation.

These are a few of the tips I have for you that have helped me when I am dealing with toxic people. It’s very easy to let their words affect you, but in the end, you have to remember that they are the problem. The moment I realized my old boss was the problem I began to have more peace.

I hope this was helpful, my next Self Care January post will be about embracing change.

See you soon!