When Your Spouse Has Depression

When a spouse has depression it can effect the whole family. I myself struggle with anxiety and depression and there have been times when my symptoms have impacted my marriage. Many times a struggling spouse doesn’t know how to express what they need, therefore the other person doesn’t know how to care for them. In this post I want to give my personal insight on how to care for your partner (Disclaimer: this is based off personal opinions and experience, I am not a doctor).

When your partner is struggling with depression they may show many signs and sometimes no sign at all. Here are some of the common things to look for when your spouse is hurting:

• anger/ short temper/ aggression

• frequent crying and sadness

• reclusive behavior- not leaving the house much and staying to themselves often

• weight loss due to nerves / weight gain due to using food as comfort

• confusion and excessive forgetfulness

• lack of intimacy and romance

• being clingy and needing a lot of your time and attention (I know it can be annoying but please don’t lash out at them, this is a big sign they really need you right now; Talk to them).

Aside from aggression I have experienced all of these symptoms at some point in my life. Now to the important part: What you can do to help ease their pain:

• Let them know you’re there for them and actually be there when you say you will.

• Show compassion, try putting yourself in their shoes. If they’re too paralyzed with depression to get the housework done don’t get angry with them, even offer to help out if you can.

• Be a good listener. Even if you don’t know the right things to say, just listening means the world to someone who’s mentally struggling. And please, if they start to open up pause the television- they need your upmost attention right now

• Ask questions- find out what’s making them feel this way. This is going to give you a better understanding of why they’re experiencing symptoms and how they are feeling internally. Mental illness causes all kinds of havoc in the body, from muscle aches to stomach pain and so much more.

• If they recluse themselves don’t try to force conversation out of them. Simply let them know you’re here for them, that you love them, and give them a little space if they need it. Let them know when they’re ready that you will be right there to listen.

• Go the extra mile- hold them for a little while. When I can’t pull myself together my husband holds me as I cry into his T-shirt; I feel the weight of the world melt off my shoulders. Let them know you love them.

Severe depression is nothing to take lightly. I have personally lost a friend and a family member to mental illness, my family almost lost me a few months ago. Here are 5 red flags that indicates it’s time to insure that they get professional help (no person handles things the same, there are defiantly more than 5 signs, however I’m covering the ones I personally know all too well).

1. Self Harm / Talking About Self Harming

2. Expressing signs of total despair, devastation, or trauma

3. Cutting ties with people, things, and hobbies that normally bring them happiness

4. Turning to bad habits that may be life/health threatening (drugs is a good example)

5. Participating in reckless activities because they no longer care about their life and what could happen to it

It is very important to keep in mind that not all people are going to have the same symptoms, some may show no signs at all. When you hear people quote about how “the happiest people being the saddest” it is normally true, they wear a mask and that’s the most dangerous thing of all. I really hope you will take this blog to heart and always remember to be kind, you don’t know what someone else is going through. I hope Iv shared good insight to those who love someone with mental illness, maybe this will help you see their situation in a different light. My last piece of advice: Sit down and have a loving conversation with your partner, let them know they are very loved, and ask them what you can do to help them.

Booth Rent or Commission?

Since you clicked on this blog, I’m going to take a wild guess that you have been considering Cosmetology as a career option. I started classes for cosmetology when I was 16 years old at a technical school, went on to collage, and spent 12 years working in salons. In this post I’m going to go over some important key things no one talks about when choosing their first salon job.

So here’s the big question: Booth Rent or Commission?

When you are first starting out I highly recommend taking a job that is commission based. This option is the best for new stylist who do not have built a clientele yet- because if you don’t have clients you can’t pay rent! Many chain salons are ran on an hourly or commission based pay. Working commission has its advantages:

• If they pay hourly you are always guaranteed a paycheck- this could be a big deal starting out especially for moms/dads that need some income flowing in.

• Commission based salons almost always cover your supplies such as color, perms, shampoo, conditioner, styling products, etcetera. Part of the commission they keep off your sales/services help to cover these items.

• It a good place to start your clientele! At most chain salons they have a lot of people walk in without an appointment (hence why we call them walk-ins). This gives you a good opportunity to show them your skill and to start building your client base.

• Benefits benefits benefits! If commission is the route you choose to take do you research! If you don’t currently have any coverage you are going to want to find a chain salon that offers benefits like health insurance. Coming out of pocket to pay for insurance is HIGH, if you have the opportunity to obtain cheaper insurance through your work, take it.

• Tax time. Working under a company makes tax time a absolute breeze because you get a W2- you will see why this is so important when I start discussing booth rent…

Now let’s talk about the negatives:

• If you are working for a big company you may be expected to meet certain sales goals and could be at risk of being written up if you don’t.

• You don’t get to make your own schedule.

• There will come a time when your clientele grows so large that you would profit more by renting a booth (if you’re in the right location).

Now let’s talk alittle bit about renting a booth! Here’s some things to keep in mind when booth renting:

• You have to have everything you need the day you start- if you don’t have equipment or chemicals, you can’t preform the service and won’t make any money.

• Unless you live in a congested area, walk ins might be few and far between. If you don’t have clients you won’t have money to pay rent, that is why I recommend building a clientele first. For most people it takes a few months and sometimes even a couple years to build a clientele, so you have to manage your money wisely especially if you’re living on a single income. Make sure people know where to follow you by keeping in touch- creating a Facebook Page for your work or have business cards is a good idea.

• Booth renters have to supply their own products. Keep this in mind when you cash in at the end of the week- you have to set aside enough to replenish your stock.

• You have to provide your own health insurance, which can be very costly.

• There is no paid time off, if you take off work you’re not making money (and many shop owners will still charge booth rent).

• You don’t get a W2, which makes tax time dreadful. It is so important that you keep up with all your income, mileage, and receipts. Receipts are going to be vital to how much your going to have to pay in at the end of the year (since you don’t automatically have taxes taken out).

• You’re going to have to come up with your own retirement plan. When you booth rent there is no set retirement fund nor 401k.

Okay okay, I know it seems like I am hating on booth renting but it’s defiantly got its perks. Now, let’s shine a light on the positives of booth renting!

• With a built clientele you have the opportunity to make a lot of money. Just remember to deduct your work expenses before you do anything else.

• You have the ability to choose your own hours, which is wonderful for moms who have kids in school activities. If you need to leave an hour early it’s ok! If you want to work a little longer (with permission of the salon owner of course) go for it!

• You get to choose what brands you use on your clients. Not all brands are created equal, and all brands have hits and misses. This allows you to work with what you’re comfortable with and create your best work.

• You don’t have to worry about meeting corporate sales and risk getting wrote up if you don’t. You pay your booth rent and the rest is up to you on how much money you want to try and make.

So there it is ladies and gents! Some pretty important things to consider when choosing between working for commission or renting a booth. I hope this post was helpful in your decision- keep in mind this is all based on my own experiences. The choice is yours!

Ways To Save Money & Earn Money Back!

One of my favorite hobbies is finding ways to save money and earn cash back- it’s literally a thrill for me. In today’s post I want to share with you some of my favorite ways to be frugal. I will leave my referral codes where possible (because on many rebate apps you will get a bonus as well!)

  1. Rebate Apps

If you own a smartphone you have the potential to earn hundreds of dollars back a year, and its on things you buy every week at the grocery store. I will start with my favorite and go from there:

  • Ibotta This has been one of my all time favorites; since I started ibotta thus far I have earned $276.05 back from buying stuff at Walmart. This app has numerous stores you can shop from and get money back via PayPal or a nice selection of store gift cards such as Walmart, Amazon, and even restaurants! Referral code: wihcsvg
  • Fetch Rewards Scan your receipts on this app and earn points that will earn you a variety of gift cards (like Walmart), you could get your rewards on a MasterCard/Visa, or there is even an option where you can donate your rewards money to a charity! Referral code: Q74W1
  • Shopkick This is a fun app! on this app you rack up points by scanning barcodes on certain items (you don’t have to buy them, but if you did you get even more points); you can even earn points just by walking into certain stores! You can have your earnings sent to your paypal, trade them in for gift cards like Ulta, Disney, or Hotels.com. Referral code: SALE393966
  • Receipt Hog This app only requires scanning all your receipts. Each receipt will earn you coins that turn into cash and you can have it put on your Paypal or Amazon.
  • Checkout 51 So far i have earned $68.10 on this app! this one is a lot like Ibotta, you scan for the items you bought and take a photo of your receipt. After the item has been verified they will add the money to your earning, as soon as you reach the “cash out limit” they mail you a check. Referral link: https://checkout51.app.link/20hBgZCRT1

2. Coupons

Couponing can be a little time consuming depending on how deep you get into it. There are many couponing groups for certain stores on Facebook that are very helpful.

  • Coupon Apps & Websites Some websites offer manufacturers coupons such as P&G, Coupons.com, etcetera. Coupons.com also comes in an app form that will allow you to print coupons via bluetooth compadable printer.
  • Newspapers Sunday newspapers have inserts containing manufacturers coupons (expect for on holiday weekends). Some social media groups share what coupons are coming out each sunday so you will know if its worth spending money on the paper. MAKE SURE YOUR INSERT IS IN TACT BEFORE YOU SHUT THE DOOR!!! There are dishonest people in this world who will steal the inserts out of all the newspapers. Before I slowed down couponing I would wake up at 5 a.m. on my off day to meet the paper delivery man (if I didnt people would steal all the inserts and id go home empty handed and 50 cents broker).
  • Digital Coupons Digital coupons are my favorite (except for when the system isn’t working- it happens, its a little embarrassing). I love these because you dont have to pay for them and you dont have to print them, wasting ink and paper.

Stores like publix and dollar general will allow you to use coupons on most sale items so make sure you compare your ad to the available coupons. This is where you’re really going to save some cash!

It is also very important that you learn your store’s coupon policy! Plus make sure you read the fine print on your coupons and verify that your item matches. Don’t try to use coupons on items it wasn’t made for, people will tell you “it will go through” but its dishonest.

Fun Fact: Sometimes big companies like Frito-lay will mail you coupons if you send them feedback on their websites (I always let them know how much my husband loves Doritos).

3. Earning Free Products

  • Influenster This is an app where you connect your social media and give honest reviews of products you’ve used. Followers on social media and referrals earn points on your “impact score”. The higher your impact score, and the more you review and interact, the more likely you are to receive a Voxbox. A voxbox is when Influenster sends you a free product(s) in the mail in exchange for an honest review. Once you receive your box you will be given a challenge to earn badges by sharing on each of your social medias your honest opinion on the product, then submitting it to Influenster. Referral link: http://www.influenster.com/r/4777348
  • Food Apps Many restaurants are building their business with rewards apps you can download on your smartphone. Usually the jist of it is “if you buy so many you get something free”. Some of my favorite food apps are Panara Bread, Jimmy Johns, and Firehouse Subs.
  • Retail stores many retail stores also have rewards systems where you can earn free stuff! Make sure you download the apps to the stores you shop at. Stores like Ulta and Maurice’s have a wonderful points system.

I hope you found this blog helpful. Thanks to couponing and rebates I was able to supply my home, my parents, and my brother’ home with hygiene, household, and even sometimes food and pet items for two years. If you have any questions feel free to ask; Also if you have a favorite way to save please share in the comments!

How Media Can Affect Your Mood & How To Fix It

Modern media has taken over the world! it’s like our little escape from real life. But when does it start to become “too much”? In this article I want to explore the possible effects that different types of modern media may be having on your emotional well-being.

1. Social Media

Social media can be an amazing thing, I mean how else would you remember everyone’s birthday?! Social platforms offer some pretty handy features that can really brighten your day, such as:

•Reconnecting with lost loved ones

•Keeping contact with your friends and family

•Seeing photos of Betty Jo’s new baby or Billy Franks new puppy

•Memes, videos, recipes, and more!

Unfortunately the internet isn’t always paradise. The internet has the potential to put a damper on someone’s day, especially those who are dealing with strong emotions. If you’re looking to improve your mental state you may want to consider:

• unfollowing any page or person that radiates negativity. Drama pages are an absolute no go. And then there are those people who are constantly posting sad/controversial things all day long…we all have that one person who comes to mind haha! You don’t have to unfriend them but if it’s taking a toll on your mental well being you might want to consider the handy dandy unfollow button.

• quit comparing yourself to other people online! No one has a perfect life, not even your beloved favorite lifestyle vlogger on YouTube or Instagram. More times than not someone isn’t going to post the “bad parts” of their life online. The next time you feel yourself getting a little frustrated that you’re not where they are, remember: things are not always what they seem AND everyone’s journey is different! If you need to take a break it’s ok to unfollow them for a while, I had to do that temporarily to allow myself to see my own journey clearly.

• stop snooping! Yeah we all do it, don’t lie! If you’re secretly digging deep into people’s profiles it’s usually not for the best reasons. Don’t worry about what other people are doing, especially if they’re not your friend. It’s time to let the ex best friends, boyfriends, and high school bullies go.

• Limiting time on your phone, especially when you’re around your friends or family. And please for the love of GOD don’t be on your phone during family dinner. There is so much life to be lived outside of a phone screen.

2. Television & Video Games

TV and video games… people can spend HOURS, plopped down on the couch, starring at a TV screen. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to watch the tube maybe an hour or two each day, but here is when it could become a problem:

• when the free time in your relationship is spent mainly in front of a screen. Watching tv together can be nice and relaxing especially after a long work week, however it’s not the best form of quality time. When you’re in tv land you’re not really talking or listening to the other person, it’s not the ideal way to really spend time with someone. My advice, dedicate some time out of each week to do something interactive and fun like taking a walk or playing a “non-digital” game together.

• Certain tv/movie genres can make an individual feel a certain type of way. If scary movies give you anxiety and make you lose sleep, stop watching them. If chick flicks make you cry and resent life, don’t watch them. Only take in what is going to make you feel good, I personally stick to comedies and action flicks.

3. Music

Music is EXTREMELY powerful, it has the ability to change or enhance the mood in seconds. Lyrics can deeply impact the way we feel because they express strong emotions we experience but don’t know how to put into words. Music can also bring back memories, good and bad.

When you’re going through hard times music can either help you or hurt you, here are some of my personal tips on music vs. moods:

• When you are depressed do not listen to sad music, it’s only going to make you feel a million times worse. Instead try listening to upbeat motivational songs. It will lighten the mood and possibly empower you with the lyrics.

• If you’re feeling anxious try toning the tunes down a bit. Put on something soft and soothing, maybe even try searching “rain sounds” on YouTube (this is perfect for sleep as well).

• When you’re angry it’s probably best to stay away from songs containing negative lyrics. Listening to negativity is only going to fuel the fire. Instead maybe cut the music off for a little while, take a moment to breathe, and meditate.

To sum things up, modern media has the strong ability to shift a person’s mood. Be cautious of the things that you take in, especially if you suffer from mental illness. I believe if you surround yourself with positivity and good vibes it will bring you peace; if you take in negativity it will cause chaos in your mind.

Continue reading “How Media Can Affect Your Mood & How To Fix It”

Smells Like Clean Spirit

Life can be chaotic, between work and family it’s super easy to fall behind on housework. When your space is cluttered you’re more likely to become frustrated and anxious. I want to share with you my top 5 tips on how to incorporate housework into your hectic weekly schedule, without becoming overwhelmed.

1. Having Daily Tasks

I say “tasks” because it sounds a little more enticing than “chores”, sometimes it’s the small things that change the mindset. I like to have three tasks that gets done daily- for me personally it’s making the bed, loading/unloading this dishwasher, and putting a load of laundry on to wash/dry. It’s best to choose three simple tasks that don’t take a lot of time, that way you don’t get overwhelmed but still manage to get things crossed off your list.

(Some of my favorite cleaning products!)

2. Focusing on One Thing at a Time

Trying to take on a million things at once when you’re already stressed out is never a good idea. Breaking things down chore by chore (or room by room) helps you get things done more thoroughly without becoming overwhelmed. Don’t forget to take breaks and drink plenty of water!

3. Kick the Clutter!

I’m a recovered “clutter bug” and have been on a minimalistic journey for the past two years- by far one of the best changes I have ever made in my life. If there is an item in your house that is expired or broken toss it! If there are items that are still in good shape but do not fit you or doesn’t serve a purpose in your life, donate or sell it! I highly recommend trying a quarterly declutter and get rid of things that are taking up space and collecting dust in your home. Three of my favorite areas to start are:

• Toss all expired food / give away unexpired food that you are not going to eat.

• Declutter your closet at the start of each season. Yes it’s time consuming but if it does not fit or if it’s torn it’s taking up space.

• Get rid of expired beauty products. Sometimes we forget makeup and hygiene products have a shelf life. You don’t want to get an infection using old mascara! Also don’t forget to clean your brushes and sponges, they harbor bacteria.

I love Mrs Meyers! It smells amazing and its safe!

4. Once a Month Deep Cleans

I already know some people are probably thinking “only once a month?!” But I’m just being real here; when you’re fighting mental illness on top of working a job there are some chores you just don’t make time for. Anywho, choose a one day out of each month to devote to the “big stuff” like mopping, wiping down walls, baseboards, etc. I know these are the things no one wants to do but you will feel so much better once you do!

5. Don’t Be Afriad To Ask For Help

Whether you’re working a full time job or you’re a stay at home mom, everyone needs help sometimes. If there are multiple people living in your household ask each person to help out with one task a week, this will take a huge load off of you (and I promise it won’t kill them to help out, they live there too!).

I hope this post motivates you to go through your home and tidy your space. When I started my journey it was a little stressful at first, but it becomes addictive! I find myself less stressed and more at peace when my space is clean and everything is in its place. I would love to hear your cleaning tips and motivation in the comments!

Encourage, Inspire, Motivate

Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Melissa Carter, I am a wife, dog mom, and cosmetologist. I have struggled my whole life with depression and anxiety… honestly my heart is racing right now writing this first post!

My goal is to create a blog that will motivate, encourage, and uplift others who are struggling.

I hope you enjoy my blog and that it brings peace and positivity to your life. I plan on posting every Tuesday (and Thursdays if possible), if you like this type of content please subscribe to my blog and feel free to share!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, this blog is all based off my life experiences and what I have learned.