mental wellness | designlovefest

i’ve been really open on here about my struggle with anxiety, depression, balance and all sorts of mental health challenges i’ve had throughout the year. i’ve been consistently going to therapy for the last two years which has made a huge impact on my life but i’ve also gotten a lot better at stress management and incorporating small healthy changes in my daily life that make a big differene in how i feel. i have a tendency to get frantic or to feel overwhelmed easily. i know stress management is different for everyone but i’ve come to accept that i’m just one of those people who get stressed or anxious more easily than others and instead of beating myself up about it i’m learning to deal with it on a daily basis.

i know a lot of you have shared your struggles with me and i partnered with Blue Shield of California to pass along some tips that i love and that have positively impacted my life and hopefully you can share habits you practice that make you feel more balanced. the comments on the mental health posts i’ve done in the past are always amazing and your stories are inspiring so feel free to share with me. the focus of this campaign is to encourage people to never stop pursuing what makes them feel good both mentally and physically which is something i really believe in.

mental wellness | designlovefest
mental wellness | designlovefest

technology-free meals: i’m sure this seems like a no brainer to people but when my entire job revolves around my computer it can be really hard to shut it, eat a proper lunch and take a break. there was a time not that long ago that i frequently skip lunch and i would end up really moody around 3pm and totally burned out on my work. i’ve been really into cooking lately and i love making simple balanced meals, chicken + green beans, cauliflower rice bowls, avocado and sesame crackers, smoothie bowls, etc. it doesn’t need to take a ton of time, but the process of slowing down, cooking something, making it beautiful and eating it really brings a sense of balance to my afternoon.

mental wellness | designlovefest
mental wellness | designlovefest

establishing a morning routine: i really love my sleep but i also really don’t like feeling rushed. i made the move about six months ago to wake up two hours before i had to leave for the office so that i could start my day feeling relaxed and not frantic and taking the time to make breakfast, drink coffee, read, write, but do nothing business related. it helps to start my day anxiety free and focused. i also really struggle to drink enough water during the day so i’ve been making a big pitcher of “spa water” in the morning (water with lemon, cucumber, limes, mint, etc). if you’re like me and struggle to stay hydrated, try it! starting the day hydrated really makes me feel more awake and has helped a lot with my skin dryness.

bedroom environment:ย i am highly impacted by my environment and notice every single detail (for better and for worse) so having a calming bedroom is really important for me. it’s a combo of calming colors, no clutter, essential oil diffuser, candles and a clean + pretty bedside table that really works for me. i’ve learned that when my house or bedroom feel like a mess i’m much more likely to feel off or stressed as soon as i wake up.

indulge in the small stuff: there are a lot of things that can be added to your room and routine that don’t cost too much but can have a big impact. for me, the essential oil diffuser was a game changer. i don’t think essential oils are miracle workers but i do think the can be a valuable part of your wellness practice. i particularly love lavender before bed. i also love candles. turning off the lights, lighting a few candles and practicing deep breathing can do wonders after a long day.

mental wellness | designlovefest
mental wellness | designlovefest
mental wellness | designlovefest
mental wellness | designlovefest

incorporating calming rituals: taking the time to unwind at the end of the day is important to me. i will sometimes jump from one thing to the next, going straight from work to meet a friend and then to an event and by the time i get home i’m exhausted. it’s not always possible to chill for a minute but if i do i generally feel more balanced. my boyfriend doesn’t get home from work until 8pm so often evenings are my time to re-connect with myself. taking a bath, tidying the house, starting to cook dinner slowly and purposefully can all help me to feel less frantic.

as i’ve gotten older i’ve become better at accepting who i am and part of that has been embracing my tendency towards anxiety and stress. i’ve really been working on creating more balance, structure and routine in my life, all of which help me tremendously to stay on track mentally. we live in a crazy world with a lot of things we can’t control and i’m always working to let go of what i can’t control and focus on what i can, taking care of myself mentally and physically so that i feel my best.

i hope you found some of the tips helpful and that we can encourage each other to never stop working towards a healthy and happy life!

mental wellness | designlovefest
mental wellness | designlovefest

this post was created in sponsored with Blue Shield of Californiaย to help support people on their journey to mental and physical health.


Add your own

    Micaela says:

    I love all of these tips! I love inhaling lavender essential oil before bed (I have the same Vitruvi essential oils!). Where is your essential oil diffuser from?

    bri says:

    i just saw someone else post about that one, it looks beautiful! the one i use is from muji: http://www.muji.us/store/ultrasonic-aroma-diffuser.html

    Chandra says:

    I’d also like to know about which oil diffuser you use!

    mary says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these tips, and sharing your story. I have been a reader for years and always appreicate how open you are about your anxiety. I have been dealing with panic attacks since I was little, and it’s tough to feel the need to be “normal” when I see other social influencers living a “perfect” life. I love how you wrote that you want to deal with your anxiety in a healthy and beautiful way instead of beating yourself up about it. Preach girl!!

    Anxiety is not something that everyone wants to talk about, but everyone feels it. Thanks for being so open! (And also for this cute post, with inspiring photos and creative content!) <3

    bri says:

    thanks for your encouragement, mary! everyone has their issues/struggles, even if it doesn’t always look like it from the outside.

    Pau says:

    I have the same struggles as you. Anxiety, depression and feeling overwhelmed often. I used to get it weekly or several times a week, now I probably get depressed once a month but it is really manageable. I too have a business that is composed of two locations and also wholesale accounts. So I am always on the run and it is pretty stressful and exhausting.
    I have four tricks that have helped me control my anxiety and depression almost completely:
    1. Exercise (weight-lifting) – helped me to control my mind, be more self-disciplened and made me conscious about my foods. (if you don’t eat correct you pretty much die at the gym)
    2. Food and water – only clean natural foods. No greasy, fast-food. I noticed that when I ate greasy and bad foods I would get depression and anxiety the following days. your gut and what you eat has a lot to do with those things. Water is magic. keep hydrated if not not only is your body hurting but your brain is the main one that suffers. try drinking a pedialyte (no flavor made for infants) every week at least once. it helps a lot. i drink 2-3 a week specially on hot days or if i sweated a lot at the gym.

    3. No alcohol at all not even when I go out. – I completely stopped having alcohol. not even one beer/drink. alcohol is a depressant, at the moment it relaxes you and makes you happy but the aftermath is that it messed with your nervous balance and you will feel the effects on the days coming aka depression and anxiety. Since i stopped completely i am more in control of what goes on in my brain, including my thoughts.

    4. sleep !!! extremely important ! its a life changer when you make it a priority to sleep at least 7-8 hours every night. and keeping to the same schedule even on the weekends.
    it sounds boring, but once you see how good you feel and how in control you are . you won’t care

    thank you for sharing your tips

    bri says:

    all such great tips! the alcohol thing has been big for me lately, coupled with drinking more water it really has helped me feel better and sleep better/wake up clear headed. i agree that sleep is so important to maintaining balance, i’ve been experimenting with sleeping without an alarm when i don’t have to wake up early and allowing my body to rest as much as needed and wake up naturally. it has been working so far!

    Holly says:

    I have always loved how open you are about your mental health and it has really helped me find my way. These tips are beyond brilliant and I love the idea of incorporating calming rituals – so simple, yet so effective (as with so many things that can help anxiety). Thank you for another great post!

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

    bri says:

    thanks, holly! i’m a girl who thrives on structure so the rituals really help me stay grounded.

    Marie O. says:

    While I don’t suffer with anxiety I’ve gone through depression & am attempting to begin a business venture. I know how overwhelming all the start up details can be & commend you for pulling all of your wonderful projects off so flawlessly even with the challenges of anxiety. Good on ya girl!

    bri says:

    good luck with your venture! work can be overwhelming but also bring a deep sense of satisfaction when you’re creating and working on something you love.

    Scout says:

    Wow, your bedroom is glorious! And your bathroom…Having a house that pretty would definitely make me more relaxed! I’m the same way about noticing my environment, and, it feels kind of lame sometimes, but it stresses me out of my home (or wherever I’m staying, even if it’s temporary) is ugly. I was staying at a place once with ugly red walls and a green blanket that didn’t match and black shelving…I couldn’t sleep at first because it was so bad!
    Also, I LOVE when my house smells nice, especially like Eucalyptus. That instantly makes me feel calmer.

    Andrea says:

    As a mother of two, one kid being nine years old and the other being two years old I often find myself being pulled into completely different directions. In addition to that, my job is really flexible, and while I love the flexibility, I find myself jumping from one persona to another because I’m constantly running around with both of my kids and taking work calls, work emails, etc.. especially when I’m not in the office.. furthermore, because of my flexible schedule I handle the house hold chores, grocery shopping, cooking, etc.โ€ฆ So by the end of the day I feel so worn out and drained that I find it hard to think. Over a year and a half ago, I decided to join a book club and that has inspired me to get back into reading many more books, so one of the things that I do to unwind at the end of the day, after both kids are asleep, is to sit in my favorite chair and read and have goldfish (it’s like my comfort snack). I also love cooking and running especially when the weather is really nice. I truly do Believe that taking time for yourself, no matter how or when you do it is so important for your overall well-being. Thank you for sharing your tips!

    bri says:

    i love this! thank you for sharing and i’d love any book recommendations you have. i find that if i like the book it’s very relaxing but if it’s at all tedious reading starts to make me feel drained and tired at the end of the day!

    Christina says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I can relate to several things here and love your tips for achieving less stress with more balance and structure. I will definitely be trying some of these. Thanks for being so open and honest, it’s one of your best qualities and I love following along for just that reason. Love from Texas! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Patricia says:

    Thank you for this post. I could have written this, that’s how much I recognize all your struggles. The not eating until 3PM, being extremely sensitive to my environment, needing enough time to check in with yourself… Might have to print it out and pin it on my wall somewhere for those (many) days where my brain seems to forget what’s really best for me.

    J.C. says:

    Thank you for your honesty! I love your blog, and admire the balance you strive to bring into your life. It’s not easy!
    -Canadian Fan

    PS – Can you tell me where the rug in your bedroom came from!!

    Kailey says:

    Couldn’t have seen this post at a better time, thank you so much for sharing Bri <3

    Kelsey says:

    I really appreciate this post so much! I’ve been feeling much better over the past few months because I’ve been eating healthier and (trying to) exercise, but implementing these tips will help a lot – especially having a better morning routine ๐Ÿ™‚

    Stephanie says:

    Wow such a great post, just looking at these pictures automatically make me feel relaxed, especially the one with the bathtub with the water running and the candles! Thanks for the great tips, definitely have to try some of them!

    …lovely pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚



    Kirsten says:

    I am coming off of Cymbalta. I thought my fight against depression and anxiety was hard before but recently I was lower than ever before and ending my existence on this Earth was an option. This drug came close to killing me. I am still fighting nightmares and crying jags.

    Reading this post of yours has given me some ideas to bring peace back to my life. I have been discussing changing key points in my bedroom for a long while. I printed this off so my husband and I can put this as a priority.

    Every day is a struggle, but every day is also a new beginning with hope and promise.

    Mys says:

    When my world comes crashing down, I just drop everything im doing and holding and jump in the ocean, alone. Being in something bigger than my problems helps w perspective. The water clears my head.

    PS I would also Love to know where the rug is from!

    Julia says:

    Bri, I feel so happy that youยดre feeling better and has learned some great ways to stay mentally healthy ๐Ÿ™‚

    Milene says:

    I get anxiety attacks sometimes too, and am often sensitive to my environment. Nice post.

    Milene says:

    I get anxiety attacks too and struggle with those things you said. Nice post.

    Rachel says:

    I was wondering if you could give us an update on your birth control. I remember you posting a while back that you thought it was working against you and that you were thinking about trying different brands. In the comments many people suggested trying a non-hormonal option. I got really inspired and started researching all the options out there. I just wondered if you had an update. I would be extremely curious as I often relate so well to the way you talk about your anxiety and depression, it feels close to the same way mine manifests itself. Thanks, Bri.

    Kristy says:

    This is great Bri. As someone who has struggled with anxiety her whole life and panic attacks for half of it, I can relate. This isn’t a particularly answer but something I finally took the plunge in in the last year was starting meds. I had my third son 18 months ago and I think
    I finally hit my breaking point, that Something’s Got to Change moment. I’ve never wanted to get on meds, and it felt humbling to do it but I was past the point of caring. And I have to say it has helped me significantly. I feel like now I have a foundation on which I can add other self-help measures, where before I wasn’t well enough to take care of myself. Thanks again for your transparency in this post!!

    bri says:

    thanks so much for sharing, Kristy! and good for you for getting the help you need even if it was outside of your comfort zone. that’s not easy! there is no shame in taking meds and i hope more people continue to talk about it and normalize it for others who may need to get help. all the best to you!

    Trayce Smith says:

    Thank you for opening up about your struggles. I’ve recently started daily mediation since… I don’t know… about late January (hint, hint) and find it so helpful in calming my nerves and centering myself in this chaotic world. I brew a cup of my favorite tea and sit on my back porch with candles and practice my breath and visualize positive affirmations. It has made a huge difference on my self-talk and general outlook on the world around me. I’m sure there are others but the Inscape app is awesome. Each day they have a morning mantra, an afternoon break, an evening meditation and then a bedtime sleep session. Some days I do them all and some days I squeeze in just what I can. I highly recommend it! Good luck on this journey. You certainly seem to be headed on a path that is working for you, congrats!

    Belle says:

    These are such good tips. Thanks for sharing your journey ๐Ÿ™‚


    ed says:

    I have some of the same struggles as you due to my TBI. I appreciate your bravery for sharing your struggles. I can relate to the part that you put about routines. They mattered to me before, but know they help me feel in touch with my life. I thought what you put about the small stuff was a good point. Some people like to focus on what they don’t have and get in a worse situation than before.

    Anja says:

    Have you been tested for the MTHFR Gene Defect? AKA: Folate Anemia? If you’re unable to process folic acid properly you’ll develop issues with dress, anxiety and depression. It’s a simple, cheap blood test any doctor can order.

    It’s an easy fix if you come up positive.

    Cindy Pugh says:

    Please share the recipe for your smoothie bowls

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