Stress During Midterm and Final Week

This is a post for all you people in college or even high school. We all know how stressful tests are, but when you have 4 or 5 tests that take up a big percentage of your grade, its absolute craziness. I know that I get extremely stressed and anxious, and sometimes I even have a panic attack while taking the test! Here are some of my strategies to get through midterm and finals week with a little less negative stress.

  1. All stress isn’t bad stress- yes, you heard me right! Stress is sometimes a good thing! It motivates you to study, to do your homework, and to have a drive to succeed. But too much stress is what we call “bad stress”. When we have too much stress, it can do the exact opposite. It can make you study too much or not at all due to extreme emotions, it can make you dwell on things and obsess over them in non healthy ways. We need to learn how to balance this type of stress, which is not easy. Trust me.
  2. Do yoga/meditate- When I study, I do 30 minutes of focused work, and 5 to 10 minutes of meditation and listening to music. It helps me to stay in the moment and relax when I am starting to stress too much. Stressing to much when you are studying doesn’t help you. For me, it makes me cry and want to go to sleep and stop studying. So taking these breaks to meditate and to stay in the moment, really helps me to not get to that point of despair.
  3. Don’t pull an all nighter!- You may here people saying, “I studied all night long and got no sleep”. This doesn’t help you! While it may seem to work for some people, it doesn’t. Getting sleep fuels your brain with the stuff it needs to function. I’m no doctor, but I can tell you from experience, a tired and stressed test taker, is not a good one! When I pulled an all nighter, I did so much worse on the test then I probably would have if I just stopped where I was, and slept.
  4. Reward yourself- Its like when a kid asks for a cookie because they did something good. Give yourself the cookie after you studied for a while. Tell yourself that you did a good job and reward yourself! I usually watch a Netflix episode of law and order, (my favorite show) and eat some fruit or popcorn! That is my reward, and it encourages me to study, but I know there is a treat waiting for me at the end!
  5. Hang out with friends- I am not someone to study with other people, but I do like to force myself to leave my room to hang out with people for a little while I’m studying. Staying by yourself and having to focus only on being stressed, will not help you de-stress. Go hang out with someone and enjoy your time!
  6. Stay Positive- Yes this sounds so stupid! But its so important. Positive self talk helps! Saying negative things won’t make you feel good about yourself. I remind myself how strong I am and that I have gotten through it before, and I WILL again.
  7. Keep in mind that tests are just that, tests. I have always struggled with test taking. I stress so much because I know they count for a grade. But so does the homework that I do. And my participation. And my projects. The teachers/professors see that. My teachers/professors always say to me that they see my stress. They see me trying hard and that my work ethic is fantastic. That is what will take me far in life, not a good or bad test grade. Keep that in mind. It sure has helped me.
  8. Writing it out- Im in the middle of midterm week right now. I am currently taking a break from studying to right this post! It actually is helping me destress as we speak haha! I just found a new technique that works for me! Write about all the ways you can de-stress and read them to yourself! Know that you are not alone during these stressful times!

I hope some of these de-stressing techniques help you during your midterm and finals weeks! Comment what works and doesn’t work for you, because I love hearing and trying new things. Im in the middle of midterm week right now, and writing this blog has helped me put it into perspective.


Never make a suicide survivor feel worse then they already do.

Ive told you all that I attempted suicide, but I never told you what happened after. After I tried to overdose on pills in my dorm room, my roommates found me and called the RA, who then called an ambulance. I was not expecting what happened next at all.

I never expected my roommates to get there parents to call the dean and tell her they want me gone. After I just attempted to take my life, people wanted me gone. That was lower then low. All I wanted was, to be gone, and now my thoughts were reassured by their actions. I didn’t do it for attention, I did it because I was struggling and done with life. A week after my attempt, my aunt died. I watched the doctors turn off her breathing tube at 2 in the morning after rushing to the hospital. I was now struggling with PTSD. I had watched someone I love die in a way I couldn’t imagine. I literally saw the life go out of her. I saw her struggling in pain on the breathing tube. I had to hear the doctors talking about how she wasn’t going to make it. . To this day, I have flashbacks and nightmares of the her chest still moving, but she was gone. The first thing I see when I look at my phone minutes after my aunt died, was a condascending text from my roommate, my friend, my soccer teammate. I was angry. Hurt. Struggling. And she had the nerve to text me that. I replied with anger. I wrote words of truth that were to much for her to here. It was a set up. All of the replies I wrote back, she sent to my college coach. Her parents and her used this to get me in trouble by the school. They used my mental illness and my moments of weakness to make me “disappear”.

Lets take a step back and remember that I had just attempted to take my own life. And now I was being bullied by people I once called my best friends. People I spilled my life to because I thought they cared. They told my coach and the school and their friends about how I was a danger to people and how I am a grenade waiting to explode again. I was more then hurt. I was dead inside. They brought up all of the tragic deaths of my loved ones and friends. They talked about my self harm. They talked about everything. Not in a way where they were helping me, its because they wanted me to “pay” for what they went through.

  1. NEVER make a suicidal person feel like it is there fault like my roommates did. Never make them feel more at fault then they already do. Trust me, they already feel like everything bad in the world is because of them.
  2. Even if you feel uncomfortable, never make a suicidal person feel like they lost you. Yes, I know it was hard for my roommates to see my passed out on the floor, but then turning their confusing and discomfort into anger towards me, did not help either party. Make them feel loved. Tell them they are not alone. Give them support. Tell them where to get help.
  3. Don’t be angry at someone who has attempted suicide. You must realize, for a person to get to the point where they want to take there own life, they are struggling with something greater then you know. Don’t make them feel worse.

I hope one day my old roommates read this, so if they are ever faced with this situation again, they react in a way where it doesn’t make them go through what I did. Luckily, I got help and was able to move out of that toxic environment. Im glad their negativity and anger did not bring me down.


How to control a panic attack

Have you ever felt like you can’t breathe? Like the your stomach is in knots? Like the world is caving in? Well, I have, and this is because I was having a panic attack. Almost everyone has a few panic attacks throughout their lives, but not everyone has panic attacks once or more a day. I have at least 1 panic attack everyday. I don’t know when or where it will happen. Sometimes it happens in class, or when I’m sleeping, or even when I’m having fun with friends. My panic attacks used to control me and embarrass me in class, but now I control them. I will be describing some of the tools I use to decrease the severity of my panic attacks, and to sometimes stop one from happening.

  1. Deep Breathing- when I feel a panic attack coming on, I know that my breath will start to pick up because I will start to feel as though I can’t breath. So before it gets bad, I start to practice deep breathing. I do this by taking in a deep breath through my nose and holding it for 5 seconds. And then I do a deep breath out for 5 seconds. I do this 10 times. When I am in class, I can do it pretty quietly so I don’t draw attention to myself. I used to have to run out of the classroom crying, but now, something as simple as deep breathing has given me some relief. While it doesn’t always stop my panic attacks, it definitely decreases its severity.
  2. Use your senses- Yes! This works! Focus on 3 things you see, three things you feel, 3 things you smell, 3 things you can hear, and 3 things you taste. Repeat this process until you are completely focused on your senses, that you completely forget that you were about to go into panic mode! This has helped me sooooo much! I use this is class a lot too because its quiet and no one even knows you are doing it. Its a type of self awareness. You become so engrossed in your surroundings that you seem to forget that you are having a panic attack. I would suggest doing some deep breathing after you do this, just incase you feel the panic coming back.
  3. Write down your feelings- It is very important to know how you are feeling and what you were doing before you started to panic. I started to do this and I realized that I had a few triggers! My triggers are thinking about upcoming work, thinking about getting sick, and thinking about leaving my bed. Just by writing these down, I now know why I go into panic sometimes. Those aren’t my only triggers, but it has definitely helped me find out some of them. Now that I know what some of them are, I now know I should do some deep breathing before I start to think about them/do them.
  4. Acknowledge- Acknowledging that you are having one is a great tool to practice. I say to myself, “I am having a moment of panic, but I am not in danger, so I should calm down now.”. I say this a few times and once I listen to myself and actually understand that I am right, I start to calm down.
  5. Leave the room- Sometimes, a panic attack is going to happen even if you practice all of these tools. Don’t feel like you are stupid or doing something wrong, it takes practice. Sometimes the best thing to do, is to leave the room your in and go to a quiet space and just let your emotions out. This is not running from your panic, but it is a tool to cope. I do this when all else fails, because sometimes, you just have to let it out. People will tell you that you are running from your fears, but don’t listen to them, because you have to do what works for you.

Some of these tools may not work for you, and thats ok, because we are all different and unique. I really hope that you all can find some value in this post and I hope that you know that you are not alone! We are in this together!

Dogs can Help Decrease Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression

I have always been a huge animal person. But mostly, a dog person/mom. I have two pups, and I am a dog walker in my neighboring towns. But I also suffer from depression and anxiety. Doctors always rush to prescribe medicine, but I have found that dogs can help as well. This post will be describing how dogs can help people suffering with depression and anxiety.

  1. Exercise- For all you dog owners out there, you know how much exercise your furry friends require. Since becoming a dog walker, I am forced to exercise and walk everyday. While it hasn’t cured my mental illnesses, it has decreased some of my symptoms. I am forced to get out of bed and do something. In recent studies, they have found that dog owners are a lot more likely to meet daily exercise requirements then none dog owners!

    Koda and I on a walk
  2. Sense of Purpose- When you know that there is another living being that relies solely on you, you get a sense of worthiness. I know I struggle with feeling needed, but as soon as I schedule a dog walk, I know that that dog needs me. That the dog is waiting for me to walk it. It makes me feel needed in this world. It has increased my self worth and makes me feel like I have a purpose.
  3. Structure/Daily Routine- Many people who suffer with depression and anxiety know the struggle of having a routine. All we want is structure in our lives in a world where everything is hectic and last minute. Having a dog/being a dog walker, gives you a routine. Most dogs get up to do their business at the same time every morning and they know when its walk/feeding time. Trust me 🙂 It has given me a set schedule and has helped me feel more structured and less crazy!
  4. Forever Companion- Dogs will steal your heart, but you will also steal theirs. They are one of the most loving and caring animals out there. They sense your emotions and will be there for you through your good and bad days. I know that when I have a bad day, I always have my happy little furry babies to come home to. They are my friends when my depression tells me I have none.

    Chloe with my Guinea Pig Daisy
  5. Petting Reduces Stress- It is proven, that the ‘motion’ and the ’emotion’ the goes into petting, actually releases oxytocin (hormone related to anxiety relief), which can help reduce blood pressure!
  6. Mindfullness- For people who are trying to practice mindfulness (anxiety/depression technique that keeps you in the current moment), having a dog will help you do that! They keep you distracted from the bad things that are going on, and make you concentrate on their cute shenanigans.
Koda with a cup on his head

7.    Help with Isolation- For those days when your depression gets the best of you, they help you feel less lonely and less isolated. They will be there for you when no one else is, and knowing that always makes me feel better.


8.     They allow me to smile- Last year, when my depression and anxiety were at its peak, I forgot how to smile. The only time I smiled was when I was in the presence of my dogs. They taught me how to smile again, and I am so grateful to them.

Koda smiling 🙂

My dogs have helped give me my life back. While I am still fighting my depression and anxiety, I am definitely proof that dogs can help in this fight against mental illness. While they also may be a huge responsibility, they are also a huge help in the war with mental illness.

My Story With a Chronic Illness

My CVS Story


My life was going perfect, it was my senior year of highschool in 2017 and I had committed to play soccer at the collegiate level. But then, half way through my senior year, something happened. CVS happened.


I can remember the day perfectly, it was February 1st, the day I was supposed to sign to be an official soccer commit. I had recently lost one of my friends to cancer, so I already felt like life was against me. I woke up early in the morning to an extreme nausea that turned into hours of violent vomiting. This was supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life. Why did I get sick then? I had to postpone my signing at school, and instead, I signed at home. I put a fake smile on and had a bucket hidden under the table away from the cameras. We brushed it off as a stomach bug, but this was only the start of my invisible illness and my trip to hell. About a week later, it struck again, this time it happened when I went to my Aunts house in NJ to get my prom dress. On the way home, my nausea started, and I immediately started violently throwing up again. This time we went to the urgent care as soon as we got home. They gave me a zofran, but anyone who has CVS knows that once you start having an episode, it is almost impossible to stop it. They said I needed to go to the emergency room and get IV fluids, but at this point in my life, I hadn’t gotten a needle injected into me in a long time because of my serious fear. So I forced my family to drive me home, so I could miserably finish my episode. This is when all my doctor and emergency room visits started. I went from doctor to doctor and no one could figure out what I had. I went to GI’s, neurologists, and other types of doctors. I had to undergo so many tests, but I refused needles. They were running out of tests to do on me because nothing was coming up. This was supposed to be the time where I was having fun with my friends and making memories before college, but instead, I was either at home in bed because my episodes debilitated me for days, or at a doctors office. This undiagnosed illness at this point in my life actually made me almost miss my senior prom. It was a school wide thing to go to Seaside overnight after prom, but I was in extreme fear that I would have an episode. I was so fearful that I made my mom stay in a neighboring hotel. It followed me to college. During my pre season, I slept in the bathroom next to the toilet violently puking. Yet I still went practice early the next morning. Finally, one of my episodes was so bad, I actually started to throw up blood, so my family rushed me to the ER. I once had an episode last 18 hours, but no episode was as bad as this one. I actually told the doctor to inject me before I died, that’s how bad it was. Eventually, the episode ended, after a few hours of IV fluids. I was so sick of being sick. I was so upset. All I wanted to do was be a normal senior in highschool. I thought I was always going to be sick, and that no one would ever be able to find what I had. After I overcame my fear of needles, I was able to undergo more tests than just x-rays, ct scans, and mri’s. I then got multiple blood tests, endoscopies, and other fun stuff. After many months of undiagnosed misery, they finally diagnosed me with CVS. CVS is currently incurable. It is a disease unknown to many. CVS used to control me, but after finding out that I am not alone in this fight, I feel more empowered than ever. It exacerbated my anxiety and depression, but it also brought out my inner warrior. I am currently 4 months episode free, and I couldn’t be prouder of my resilience. Deep down, I know CVS is hiding there, but I don’t fear it. I acknowledge its presence in my life, but I will never let it bring me down anymore.


Thank you to all the doctors that did not lose hope in me, and that worked extremely hard to find my invisible illness.


Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome is an illness that makes you extremely nauseous and vomit for days. It is horrible. It made me extremely depressed since I could not get out of bed and I was away from my friends and school for weeks at a time. My diagnosis led to horrible anxiety and depression, so I hope anyone who is suffering with this illness will know that they are not alone. Please help me raise awareness for cyclic vomiting syndrome!

Addiction is an Illness

I came remember when I was younger, seeing my best friend (my moms best friend who I loved and texted all the time and was a second mother to me) at least 3 times a week. But out of no where, she came less and less; and soon, she didn’t come at all. I would email and tell her to come because I missed her. She would rarely answer, and when she did, she would say that she loves me and misses me, but that she was busy. I thought she was mad at me. I thought she had forgotten about me. Months later, my mom told me she had died. But she never told me why or how because I was too little.

How do you explain to a 12 year old that their best friend has died from alcoholism? I guess that was why they kept it from me. Because it was a hard conversation to explain to a little girl who just wants to be with her friend.

I learned that when she went missing from my life, she was in rehab facilities trying to overcome the addiction. But none of them worked. She sadly passed away from this disease.

People don’t think that addiction is an illness. I 100% believe its an illness, and I would go as far as to say its a mental illness that doesn’t just impact the addict, but their friends and family as well.

For the longest time, I did not understand what addiction was. I was mad at my friend for choosing alcohol over me, but I soon learned that there is more to it then that. She actually loved me, but she had an illness. Just like I would be upset for someone getting mad at me for having a panic attack, I could not be mad at her for being an addict.

However, I was mad about not knowing about the situation. This is what I wish I was told or knew about addiction when I was young. (also, what needs to be done to help addicts)

  1. Educate. We need to educate kids at a younger age about addiction. I feel as though I would not have went through that stage of anger towards my friend if I was educated more about addiction. Schools need to start doing a better job (well, mine does at least). While it may be a hard conversation to bring up, it is one that is crucial to understand at an early age, especially if someone the child knows is an addict. Not knowing just makes it harder on the child. I felt as though I did something wrong, and that was why my friend wasn’t coming around. I would never have felt that way if I was educated.
  2. I wish someone told me it wasn’t my fault. After I was told about why my friend died, I thought it was my fault. I thought that her  addiction somehow had to do with me. But no one told me that I couldn’t have done anything but love her and try to get her help.
  3. I wish I knew about the recovery process. If I was told about her treatment plan,I could have helped support her and encourage her through the process.
  4. Bringing up the conversation at an earlier age, will increase the childs perception and understating towards the topic.

While I know addiction is a hard subject to talk about, especially with kids, hiding them from the truth will only make it more confusing for them in the long run. If I had known from the beginning, I never would have went through the process of being angry and ashamed that I had done something wrong, and that I was the problem. If I was told that it was a disease, I would’ve not had to go through the phase of self hate.

What I Wish I Knew Before I Attempted Suicide

A few months ago, I attempted suicide in my college dorm room. It was the worst period of my life. I had never felt so alone and so stressed. I was playing division 2 soccer, I was a freshmen in college, and I was recently diagnosed with a rare stomach condition. My stress was at its maximum, and I was so lost.

What led me to that night, was all a mind game, played by yours truly, depression. It led me to believe I had no friends, no talent, and no purpose. But the reality was quite opposite from that. I had wonderful friends, pretty good soccer and academic talent, and I did indeed have a purpose.

I let depression do what depression does best, take over my life. I never really took my mental health seriously, and I never actually believed I was suffering with it. I wish someone would have told me sooner that suicide was not my way out from feeling like this. I am so blessed to be here still. Since I am a survivor, I am going to speak for the many people who have sadly lost their lives to suicide. This is what I wish someone had told me, and all of those who have attempted/died from suicide, before it led to that point.

  1. You are NOT alone. The big thing for people who are suffering with mental illness is that it is so isolating. Well, to be correct, it makes us feel isolated. In reality, we are not isolated/defined by our illness. Our brains make us feel that way. Most of us don’t even know that some of our friends and family members are suffering too! So many people suffer with mental illness, so just know, you are not alone in the least.
  2. There is hope. After my attempt, life opened up for me in a way it never did before. While the immediate aftermath of my attempt was a bumpy road, the months following have been some of the best of my life. I moved out of my old dorm and into a new one and I have made so many different friends that I never met before. I quit the regimented soccer team and joined a club team where I am having sooooo much fun. I have joined clubs and have so many new friends and interests. And lastly, I have more time to work at a farm, where I sit with animals all day! If I wasn’t here, I never would have had the chance to turn my life around. While I am still coping with my attempt, I really wish someone would have told me how easy it is to turn your life around by just changing the smallest details that we all overlook.
  3. You don’t need to be perfect. I am a perfectionist. I need my grades to be perfect, my  life to be perfect, everything to be perfect; and if it isn’t, I will freak out. That was me before my attempt. I have now learned that getting a few bad grades isn’t the end of the world. I’m not going to be a failure at life if I fail a course. I don’t need to control every aspect of my life. I used to have plans for everything and if it didn’t go as I thought, I would go into panic. I am now learning to go with the flow and accept things as they are. Maybe soccer wasn’t for me, so I quit. And I am so happy I’m not living as a person others want me to be. I am me.
  4. Its hard. Yes, the one I wish I didn’t have to say. Yes, life is hard sometimes. Life was so hard for me, and I thought that their would never be that turning point that everyone talks about. Sometimes it will take awhile, so we have to learn to make our own happiness sometimes.
  5. You don’t need to compare yourself to others, because you are beautiful as you are. I am still working on this one, but its true, we are all beautiful in our own way and I wish I knew that a long time ago. Just remember that everyone is fighting their own battle, and some peoples are just more prominent then others.

I hope some of these tips will save a life. I really wish I knew this before I attempted suicide. If you are feeling like death is the only way out, please talk to someone or call the suicide hotline because you are important. You are beautiful. You are needed.

-Much love-

Tips for ‘alone’ time at college

Some weekends I come home from college since I live close enough. Its a nice break from school work, and it gives me time to see my family and many animals. While I love being at school with my friends, I also love having time to myself, since at school, time to yourself is almost impossible.

For college students like me, sometimes it great to just sit down and relax, but when your friends/roommates are constantly coming and going, it can be nearly impossible. Here are some of my tips for getting some alone time for a little almost everyday.

  1. Go for a walk on a path in the woods. I don’t know if all of your schools have them, but my school has some great hiking trails in the woods. It’s so great, because I can just go for a walk and tune everything out. The birds chirping and sound of leaves crunching can soothe anyone. I know it works for me.
  2. Find an empty lounge and read. At my school, we have lounges in our dorm buildings. For my school, it is a great place to just go by yourself and do some homework. They are typically quiet, and sometimes they’re empty! I love to just find a nice book or magazine and just go to town on it. It clears my mind and gives me some peace and quiet.
  3. Yoga room. Most campuses have a dance room or yoga room. Find out the hours for those rooms and grab a mat and do some yoga. Most people say they don’t know how to do yoga, but all you need to do is go on youtube and look up yoga exercises. They are usually not that hard, and they are quite relaxing and peaceful. If you find it to be too hard, you can always look up a beginner video and they will teach you everything!
  4. Turn off your phone for 20 minutes and just relax in your room when your roommates at class. I know I know, everyone is so scared of missing a text from their friends or significant other. But spending just 20 minutes a day to just worry about relaxing and just thinking about yourself, is a great way to stay mentally healthy. Just turn your phone off and sit. Meditate and take deep breathes. I know that I do this a lot and it helps me relax so much.


I hope these were helpful to college students who just need some time alone! Some of these tools can even be used for people who aren’t in college and who need time alone also!

Fitbit Relaxing Mode Helps Reduce My Panic Attacks in Public

Hi everyone!

For everyone who doesn’t know what a Fitbit is, it is a device that is worn as a watch that has some really cool applications. It tracks your steps, workouts, calories, food, water, and it also has this cool relaxing mode.

There are a few different types of Fitbits. I have the Fitbit charge 2. This device has a section called Relax mode. All I can say, is that it is very helpful for people who suffer from panic attacks.

This mode actually gets in tune with your heart beat and tells you when to breathe in and breathe out. It is 2 to 5 minutes of deep breathing that relaxes your body. You can do it anywhere and anytime. I do it about 3 to 4 times a day, or whenever I’m feeling really anxious or stressed. It is a very simple piece of technology, so for those who are worried about not being able to learn how to use it, don’t stress! Its very simple, and with just a few clicks, you can decrease your stress in no time. Buying this device has helped me so much.

It releases my stress with this relax mode and it also motivates me to workout. Working out is a great way to decrease anxiety and stress, so having this device will most definitely help with that as well. All you have to do is wear it on your wrist, and you can know your heart rate within seconds. If you see it going up because of stress, all you need to do is press the button to show the relax mode, and within minutes, you will be relaxed and ready to start your day again.

Its very quiet, so I use it in class all the time. I used to have to excuse myself from class when I started feeling a panic attack, but now all I do is press the relax mode on my Fitbit, and silently relax myself in class without drawing attention to myself! It has boosted my performance in school since I don’t have to leave as much anymore, and it has boosted my self esteem because I don’t have to worry about people looking at me when I start to panic.

The workout part of the fitbit is great too! It monitors your walks, runs, bike rides, and all different types of workouts. It allows you to set goals for yourself, so you don’t have to worry about other peoples accomplishments, just your own. You don’t have to worry about comparing yourself to others, because they are the goals you set for yourself. Start small, so when you complete a goal, you feel great and it motivates you to workout again.

My Fitbit on Relax Mode

I have no complaints about this fitbit because it has helped me with so much. I don’t have to worry about panic attacks becoming a scene in the classroom, and I can set small goals  for myself to feel great about my accomplishments, no matter how small!


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