Taking Care of Your Big Ol’ Brain

Mental health awareness month? It should always be mental health awareness month. I can’t stress that enough. What’s life without mental hygiene? It’s lonely. It’s sad. It’s depressed. Its anxious. It’s confusing. It’s overwhelming. It feels like there is no escape and things will never get better.

I’ve been there. Many times. I didn’t take care of my mental health for a long time. I felt myself gliding through life. Not living it. I settled for less than I deserved and was “content” with what I had. I lived everyday not caring about what happens next. I was constantly anxious and worried about what everyone thought of me. I was insecure and couldn’t hold a relationship with anyone. Family, friends, boyfriends. I felt weird going out in public. I’d back out of opportunities because I was.. scared. I can’t tell you how many opportunities I’ve missed due to my unhealthy mental health. I ate like crap and didn’t take care of my body. I didn’t care who was walking out of my life. It was a downwards spiral that I didn’t even know I was on. I wasn’t happy but I was content.

Are you ok with being content? I know I’d rather be happy. Life’s hard for sure. There are curveballs thrown at us each and every single day of lives. Just because there are curveballs, doesn’t mean we have to stop living. You see, when you take care of your mental health and that big ol’ brain of yours, life doesn’t get easier. But it does get easier to deal with. It’s ok not to be ok sometimes. But how long will you sit in your shit?

Taking care of your psychological well-being looks different on everyone and some need it more than others. Some people just naturally are happy and carefree. Others need more work. Some people feel better just by spending the day driving around listening to music. Others might need some form of therapy to get by to gather tools and resources to help. Some need to be medicated. Everyone’s story is different and require different methods. My coping skills are different than yours and there is no “set of tools” better than any other “set of tools.”

For me, I speak to my therapist weekly. I also use music, my support group (friends and family), scents and candles, lemon water and the outdoors. That is how I take care of my mental health. If you’re reading this and feel like you resonate with just a little bit of what I’m saying, make a list of all the things that relax you. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for. You’re not alone. If you need help, ask for it.

There is always a way out. You just have to get over the initial hump of asking for help.




P.S. I love You Day

In honor of PS I Love You Day tomorrow, I figured I’d share a little anxiety awareness to let y’all know you’re not alone if ok you feel this way, too.

What if I don’t wake up on time tomorrow? What if there’s more traffic than anticipated? Omg! I hope we don’t get to the school too late, then I’ll have to go inside. What if I get into a car accident? What if I am the cause of a car accident? What if I get pulled over? Then I’ll be late for work. Do these pants look bad? I wear the same shoes every day. How about this shirt? I wear the same 3 outfits every day. Do you think they notice ? Why do I keep wearing these pants even though I don’t like the way they look? What if I get yelled at by a customer today? I’m not in the mood to get yelled at. Look how cute my pups are.. it makes me so sad that they’ll be crated while I work. I hope the don’t go to the bathroom in the crate, I’d feel terrible if they had to sit in it all day. What if something happens at school while I’m at work? I’m so far away. My gas lights on. I’m not going to make it to work. I need to stop for gas.. but if I do, I’ll be late. Do I take the stairs or the elevator? If I take the stairs, I’ll be catching my breath for 10 min. If I take the elevator, people will think I’m lazy. Omg all these big trucks on The expressway. What if this person next to me doesn’t let me merge and I miss my exit. You don’t have to stare at me, I know my hair is wet in the middle of the winter but I didn’t have time to get ready this morning or any other morning because I have a five-year-old to get ready for school. OK time to go home. I’m sure there will be a ton of traffic. I will most likely get stuck at every red light. I hope my daughter had a good day at school today. I really don’t wanna go to work tomorrow.Where does this traffic even come from? Did I mention I don’t want to go to work tomorrow?

If you made it this far, congrats. You just read 10% of the ridiculous things that go through my head on a daily basis. Mental illness is something that a majority of people struggle with. The fact that there are so many different types of mental illnesses amaze me. Though, I can only speak on my experience with generalized anxiety and depression.

Anxiety and depression is something I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. Depression comes in waives and I can fight through it but the anxiety…. Woah. Let. Me. Tell. You. It’s not fun.

Anxiety is holding back. Anxiety is not making new friends because you already feel like they don’t like you. It’s losing relationships you already have because you feel like they’re fake to you. Anxiety is not going to the gym be you fear you’ll be judged. Anxiety is not getting up to go to the bathroom because you don’t want to bring attention to you. Anxiety is not sleeping at night because you’re afraid you won’t wake up. It’s a feeling of constant failure because you feel you’re not normal. It’s something that someone who does have it, doesn’t understand. But those who do have, are your biggest supporters.

What can we do about it? Talk. Let it out. Be the voice for those who have none. Ask questions. Be interested. Genuinely interested. If you don’t get it, try.

We’re not weird. We’re not different. We’re just more careful and cautious than others. The person sitting next to you may have a whole lot more going on than you know. So please, be kind. Please, be respectful. And please, love one another.

Ps…. I love you

XOXO Samantha

empowering · lifestyle · motivation

Staying Focused

This morning someone asked me “If you could pick one word to focus on in 2019 what would it be?”

I hadn’t really thought about it until now. But for some reason the word came to me so quickly.


Staying focused could mean SO many different things, thats why its important to me. It branches off to so many other goals of mine.

When your brain is focused, you’re motivated. You’ll do whatever it takes to reach your goal.

It’s very easy to lollygag around life without a worry, completely unfocused. But it takes strength and willpower to remain concentrated on your mission.

Some goals of mine for 2019 are getting and remaining healthy, becoming secure and happy with my job, saving money to move to Florida and continuing to improve my mental health.

When you break each of these goals break down, it all comes down to one thing if you want to be successful. Staying focused.

Think about it as taking a test in high school or college. You can study and prep all you want. You could be the smartest kid in the class. But if your brain is somewhere else the day of the test, you probably won’t score as expected.

Staying focused is not only essential for reaching your goals but it is an imperative to all decision making, perception and learning. Steve Jobs didn’t get to where he did by watching TV while he worked and researched. RIP💕

When I think of the word focus, I think of everything I spoke about thus far. But if I dig a little deeper, I also think about me. It’s time to not worry so much about other people – just worry about my family and myself. Stop comparing myself to other moms or other writers. Stop measuring the difference between myself and other people at work or my friends.

I need to focus on me

..And I’m sure you do, too.

Until next time,

XOXO samantha

blogger · empowering · Growing up · inspire · lifestyle · motivation · photographer

Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.

Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.” Let me say that again for the people in the cheap seats” – Rachel Hollis, Girl, Wash Your Face

Please say that again. Repeat it so many times that you start to believe it. I started listening to the audible version of “Girl Wash Your Face” and I feel like I found my blogger/social media/author spirit animal/soul mate. Rachel writes about her experience with life and aspires to inspire and motivate women.

I’m about halfway through the book and each chapter is better than the last. My favorite part of the book so far is where she talks about something her therapist told her as a young girl.

Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.


First of all. My therapist tells me this ALL the time, so kudos to the great therapists that hold us women together.

Second of all. Wow. This quote speaks to me on so many levels.

We are always so worried about what people think of us. Truth of the matter is, people are entitled to their opinions on books, politics, music, movies AND what they think about you.

As humans, its in our nature to wonder (and worry) about how we are viewed. Society is cruel. High school was cruel. The workplace can be cruel. Sometimes so cruel that it gives us so much anxiety we are unable to perform our daily functions.

I’m pretty sure every woman has been called fat or ugly at some point in their lives. (By the way, you are not fat or ugly. You are perfect just the way you are in every way.) Now, those asshole guys from high school that called you fat brought your confidence DOWN. You used to love summer and being at the beach. Now you wont be caught dead wearing shorts, let alone a bathing suit.

You may have a really difficult co-worker that just doesn’t get you. Everything you do, they have to criticize. Everytime you try to help or develop or bond with your team, they think youre kissing ass. Reality check: you’re just being a good person and doing what makes YOU happy. But because of the judgement, you decide to back down and not lead the way anymore.

I’m sure you have dealt with judgement at least once in your lifetime, if not hundreds of times. It’s not about what these people think of you. It’s how you react to it.

“So and so called me fat.”

“This one thinks Im a kiss ass.”

“Another one thinks Im a bitch.”

“Did he just call me stupid?”

“They always said Ill never get anywhere in life.”

The most successful and happiest of people do not let people’s opinions of them get in their way. Let’s take the most beautiful and amazing plus size model for example. Ashley Graham. Many people have called her fat. She did NOT let what people say get in her way. She’s been on TONS of magazine covers and even on the cover of Sports Illustrated. She didn’t let the assholes get in her way.

The female business owner was always told she would never amount to anything because she is a woman. Because she doesn’t have an education. Because all she knows how to do is be a mom. Day in and day out she was criticizing by people around her. Dealt with HR related issues for being treated unfairly and even struggled with unfair pay because she was a woman. She did not let these people’s thoughts get to her or get in her way. She did what SHE wanted to do and what she was nade to do.

My point is simple.

The act ? Not so simple. It takes TIME and EFFORT to practice not giving a shit about what people think of you. It takes patience and lots of falling down and picking yourself up again, to not listen to words that shouldn’t concern you.

Start off small. Keep a picture of the quote “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business” as your background on your phone. Remind yourself day in and day out that their opinions are invalid and mean absolutely nothing. Eventually, you won’t even be phased by most of the negative talk.

After all, the only opinions that matter, will be given to you with the purest of intentions by the most amazing, loving people in your life, that want to see you succeed.

Crazy to think that there’s people that want to see you happy, right?

XOXO Samantha.

blogger · empowering · Growing up · inspire · lifestyle · motivation · photographer · Uncategorized

Girl, Slow Down.

I’m the type of person that always needs to learn something or take something away from negative and positive things that happen to me. It’s my nature. Sometimes it just clicks and I get it right away. Other times it takes a little time. This particular incident took me a few months to learn from.

Back in November I was involved in some scary stuff. I’m going to spare the details for now but I will say, it was 100% not my fault and I got messed up pretty bad.

I remember thinking to myself, “Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this? I’m getting some bad karma right now.” That was the mindset I had. Instead of just taking away something from it, I had the “Everything happens for a reason” motto stuck in my head. I felt that I did something terrible and was being punished for it.

Our brains go to what we know. It’s who we are.

It took a lot of therapy and thinking outside the box to figure this one out. What I learned from this actually has nothing to do with the incident itself.

What I learned has everything to do with my physical health, mental health and relationships. I learned who is there for me through thick and thin. I learned that it is SO important to take care of your body. Feed it right, move it right and don’t take it for granted. I learned that money isn’t everything. But most of all I learned to slow the heck down. Life is not a race. Time doesn’t really matter. What you make of your time is what matters.

Life is not a race? Yeah, OK, try telling that to every single Long Islander in rush hour traffic. Well, getting to work on time is important. If it’s so important, get up earlier. Plan better. ( I know I have to plan better ) What I mean by “slow down, life is not a race” is exactly what I said. For example, when this first happened, all I could think about was getting back to work and moving on with my life. I suffered from some pretty extensive injuries from this and it wasn’t as easy as “getting back to work and moving on with my life.” I had to put what really didn’t matter aside and put my health first. For once in my life, I had to put myself first.

I now find myself driving slower, taking my time when doing things and not being in a rush to get life out of the way. We should not be in a rush to get life out of the way. 

It took me a while to learn this and get used to putting myself first. At first I felt lazy for knowing my limits. I found myself comparing myself to other moms and my friends. I often found myself getting depressed over not being able to go to NYC during Christmas. Or not being able to go Christmas shopping. I literally ordered all my Christmas gifts from Amazon this year. NO JOKE! I was stuck in a funk. But none of those things mattered. I was taking care of myself. And from this day on, I will continue to do so.

Please, don’t take your life for granted. As a human race, overall, we take advantage of the simple things. We can change the way we think and become more appreciative of the little things in life. It starts with you!


XOXO Samantha Erica