Relationship Red Flags And How To Spot Them

Have you ever played the game Red Flags? If you haven’t, here’s the rundown. It’s when players pull random cards that have two positive qualities about a fictional person, and then pull a card that’s a “red flag.” One of the players in the group then has to decide who they’ll pick to go on a date with based on these cards. For example, someone can choose to date a guy who is a doctor, loves dogs, buuuuuut only wears a diaper around the house. This game is meant to be hilarious and funny for friends to play with each other, but recognizing relationship red flags in real life can be a bit harder to do.

Red flags can pop up in any kind of relationship! It doesn’t matter if this relationship is with your parents, your romantic partner, your friend, your sibling – it doesn’t matter. Regardless of how someone is attached to you, these red flags should make you take a step back and evaluate if it’s a healthy relationship that you want to move forward with.

Here are some relationship red flags to look out for that aren’t part of a fun card game. 

Love Bombing

At first, this term sounds awesome! Who wouldn’t want to be loved? Wellllll, unfortunately, it’s not as fun as it sounds.

Love bombing is when a person gives you tons of gifts, texts and calls you all the time, constantly tells you how wonderful you are, and rushes into REALLY intense emotions REALLY quickly. 

Eventually, they’ll want your undivided attention, disrespect your boundaries, and can become extremely needy.

You’ll know the difference between love bombing and regular, healthy love because you can feel it in your gut. There is just something… off about it that makes you uncomfortable with how they’re expressing their intense affection.

Chronic Anger

This isn’t the kind of anger because someone has had a bad day. And it’s not due to depression or anxiety, either. This is when the person in your life is alwayssss angry. They can use this anger as a way to control their surroundings, and this includes the people around them.

If someone is always angry, you’ll inevitably end up feeling like you’re walking on eggshells and you’re constantly tiptoeing around them and their feelings.

This isn’t healthy! You should be able to exist and speak in a way where you feel safe and free to express yourself. No one should ever be angry at you for doing normal things. And you should never feel afraid of your partner.

Disparaging Humor

This is when the toxic person in your life belittles you in a joking way. It’s pretty much just a disguise for anger and ridicule in the form of a joke.

Yeah, sometimes we can joke with our friends at their expense, but everyone is in on the joke and laughs about it at the end of the day. But this is different. It feeeeels different. It doesn’t feel like a joke and it comes across as just… mean!

Your partner shouldn’t make you feel like crap. They should be on your side and build you up! They shouldn’t be the one to tear you down.

Insincere (Or No) Apology

Even though you might be hurt by something this person has said or done to you, they won’t apologize. They might say, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” but that’s not an apology. 

Taking ownership for their actions or words would be an apology, but a statement like this puts the onus back on you. They’re basically saying that it’s your problem that you feel the way that you do because of their actions. In their minds, they didn’t do anything wrong and you’re the one with the problem if they made you feel bad. 

Isolation From Friends & Family

Every relationship starts out with the deep desire to spend every single minute with your partner! This is totally normal because it’s new, it’s exciting, and you’re discovering all these incredible things about this other person. But as the relationship evolves both parties should start being more independent of the other and start enjoying the people and things that they used to.

Isolation starts to creep into the situation when the person you’re in the relationship with starts pulling you and keeping you away from other friends and family. They don’t want you to have access to your support system, and they want to keep you all to themselves. They might put down your friends, or complain about how much they dislike your family. They can even say things like, “Your family hates me and doesn’t want us to be together! Don’t they see that I love you more than anyone?”

Isolation is about creating feelings of doubt when it comes to your relationships with everyone you knew before you were in a relationship with this toxic person.

A healthy relationship doesn’t look like this. Two people can love spending their free time together, but also have independence from the other person. They’re free to see their friends and family whenever they want, and the other person can too. It should be a two-way street of trust and respect.

Manipulation

People who are really toxic can make you feel a lot of guilt and they use your emotions as a weapon against you. They can do this in a number of ways, and they always make you feel like absolute crap. 

“If you really care about me, then …”

“I can’t believe you’d do this. Don’t you love me?”

They also often only see their opinion as the correct one and can frequently convince you to change your mind to match theirs. 

They’re jealous to the point of anger, and follow you online and in-person as much as they can.

Manipulation is all about control. If your partner starts to control and manipulate everything you do from how you socialize with others, to what you wear, to guilting you about the little things, they’re not expressing a healthy version of love.  

So, What Can You Do About It?

If you can, take a break from interacting with this person. See how you feel when you’re not in contact with them. Do you feel safer? Happier? Take this time to reflect on what bugs you about this relationship. Sit with these feelings and allow yourself to come to a conclusion about your relationship with this person.

Taking the time to emotionally distance yourself from someone can also help in situations like these. You don’t need to cut off contact completely (that might be hard to do in almost any situation), but protect your emotions. Pull back emotionally ever so slightly so that you don’t internalize what your partner says about you or your loved ones. Don’t let their opinions define you.

Sometimes, relationships can become scary or even dangerous. It’s best to seek out professional advice to help you make educated next steps and help you decide how to move forward in your relationship. Talk to a therapist, or even call a helpline if you need to.

Emergency Information and Resources 

Canada

Ending Violence Association of Canada 

America

The Hotline: 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 

Remember, you are worthy of love and respect. No one should make you feel any different. We love you!

15 Things Only People With Anxiety Will Understand

If you have anxiety, you might have quirks or habits that you think are a bit unique or strange. Well, we’re here to tell you that you probably can relate to some of the things in this article. You can have a bit of comfort knowing that not the only one who does them! 

1. Biting Your Cheek

Some of you might be reading this WHILE you’re biting your cheek. Lol. Surprise! Many people who constantly bite the inside of their cheek actually might be doing it because of their anxiety. Who knew?

2. Watching The Same Show Over And Over

Did you know that people who watch the same show over and over usually have anxiety? We do this because we find comfort in knowing how things are going to turn out. So, if your friends bug you about bingeing The Office for the 37th time, now you can tell them to “shove it up their butts” because watching it helps your anxiety!

3. Practicing Your Order Before The Waiter Comes Over

This. Is. So. Stressful. The absolute WORST is when you don’t know how to pronounce something. Or if you walk into a Starbucks hoping that there will be a line so that you can take your time to decide what you want to order, BUT THERE’S NOT and you have to order IMMEDIATELY! *Panic*

4. Group Projects

Do… do we even have to explain this one? Group projects are stressful enough as it is, but when you add anxiety into the mix, there are a million more worries that pop up when you’re working with other people. Are they going to pull their weight? Are they going to do things well? We should probably just do it ourselves… But then it wouldn’t be a group project and they might get mad at you… Or would they appreciate the help? Ugh! There are too many things to consider.

5. “Hey, can we talk later?”

Ummm… NO! We can talk right now so that I don’t spend the whole day thinking about every possible scenario that you might want to talk to me about. Yes, it might be a conversation about something good, but my anxiety definitelyyyy doesn’t see it that way. So, the answer is yes, but also no.

6. Unread Texts And Emails

Ignoring texts and emails could be considered a superpower for people who have anxiety. Most people wouldn’t have much of a reaction if they receive a text (or a few texts in a row). They would just answer them and reply without much thought. But for people with anxiety, we avoid those texts like the fucking plague!

7. Having To Call… Anyone

Phone calls? No way, man. If I never have to make another phone call again, I could live a VERY happy life.

8. When Someone Calls You

These are gonna have to be a no for us, dawg. We would say call again later, but we still probably won’t pick up.

9. “What medications are you on?”

When you talk to another person who has anxiety, one immediate way of bonding is asking what meds they’re on. The best feeling is when you’re on the same meds! You immediately become best friends!

10.  Only Knowing One Person At A Party

This is our worst nightmare… Like, our literallll worst nightmare! We don’t just have anxiety around going to a party, it’s the fact that there will be people we don’t know that we will have to try and make small talk with. Noooo thank you!

11.  Thinking That Everyone Hates You

It doesn’t matter how much you can be reassured that nobody hates you. People with anxiety will never believe you. Lies! It’s all lies! We know you’re right, but it’s LIES!

12.  Being An Overachiever

We like to make sure that we are doing a good job at literally everything. This way we can prevent anything bad that might happen from NOT overachieving. Washing the dishes? There will never be a cleaner plate on the planet if we have anything to say about it! Therapy? We’re going to make sure that we graduate therapy with honours (if that was even a thing). Whatever it is, we’re probably making sure that we’re the best at it.

13.  Jumping To Conclusions

Did someone phrase something slightly weird? Maybe they looked at you with a different expression on their face. Well, if there’s a conclusion, we’re going to jump to it!

14.  Being Too Comfortable With Your Therapist

The more you see your therapist, the more comfortable you become with them. At first, you start out being honest, but not really being your full self. A few months later, you’re showing up to your therapist’s office in sweatpants and eating a bag of Cheetos as you slump into the chair and greet your them with a “Heyyyy! So, let’s get right into it. You wanna know how my week has been? Buckle up.”

15.  Getting Over One Worry, Then Finding New Things To Worry About

It’s a never-ending cycle of quelling one worry and then discovering another. It’s like a game of whack-a-mole with anxieties. One after the other, after the other, after the other… If you have anxiety, you totally know this feeling because it never ends.

Having anxiety is like being part of your own fun (and sometimes not so fun) little mental health club! Millennials and Gen Z-ers are super open about their anxiety compared to past generations, so it’s easy (and kind of fun) to find people like us. 

But we know that anxiety can be really fucking hard to deal with sometimes, so don’t forget to take care of yourself! Ya, you might need to have a good cry about some shit, but taking care of yourself is so important. Maybe you and your friends from your new-found anxiety club can have a little self care party or even cry together! Do what you gotta do. We won’t judge! 

How To Say No Without Feeling Guilty

There are two small words that we use to guide our actions every single day. Yes and no. In this article, we’ll teach you how to say no without feeling guilty…and that’s the really hard part.  

Yes has been acknowledged as an opportunity-inducing, people-engaging, relationship-building, risk-taking, open-minded kind of word. 

It’s linked to adventure and adrenaline-fuelled escapades because life is short so let’s carpe the heck out of this diem. Yes makes you wanna belt out “I CAN DO IT, PUT ME IN COACH.”

Yes has been so well covered that we are all very familiar with the contexts and sub-contexts of the word. We love the ambition yes draws out from us and we love the empowering mindset that comes with it. 

But its antonym, no, is equally as powerful. In fact, we’re going to argue it’s so powerful that it’s actually really hard to master. 

If you don’t have trouble saying no, then maybe this post isn’t for you. But if you’ve ever struggled to speak out that one tiny little baby syllable, stick around and give this a read. 

Oprah said it best: No is a complete sentence. 

Why Is It So Hard to Say No?

You see, our bodies and brains are so incredible at protecting us. No is hard to say because no is hard to hear. 

This way of thinking has a name in the world of psychology and it’s called negativity bias. What it refers to is this reaction we have to negative experiences, where the feeling is deeper and stronger than the reaction we have to positive events. 

Negativity bias is the reason why embarrassing events, negative experiences, or hurtful insults get amplified and endure for so long. 

So when we have to say no to others, we anticipate it’s going to hurt them. And since most of us want to be liked by our peers, we get the squeamish uneasy feeling that pushes us towards the yes instead of the no

Oh, and guilt. Guilt also usually tags along with the squeamish uneasy feeling. Yay.

Why Is It Important to Say No?

Whether we say yes to avoid conflict or because we’ve been moulded into being people-pleasers over the years, the truth is that it takes a toll on our mental health. When people don’t respect our boundaries or continue to take advantage of our good nature, we can feel hurt and disrespected by their actions. 

So, it’s a really simple answer, honestly. Saying no to commitments, requests, or conversations that you don’t want to be a part of will set boundaries that keep you from getting drained and/or burning yourself out. That applies to work, friends, family, relationships, you name it.  

The same little word helps you set your internal boundaries as well. We call this “self-discipline” and it’s the no we tell ourselves. 

And if we’re being honest (which we always are) …we all struggle with no in different ways. Whether it’s a relationship with food, a lack of work/life balance, or a harsh internal critic, at one point we’ve all crossed that line we drew for ourselves.

Which is why we’re diving thru this! We’ve got your back, sweet baby angels, and we’re here to guide you through the muck on your journey to mental wellbeing.

How To Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Saying no takes strength so we’re going to work our way up. Don’t stress, we would never just push you out into the world armed with nothing but a word!

We had a chat with our in-house mental health professional, Natalie Asayag LSCW, and developed 10 tips to help you say no, and to do it without the guilt that accompanies the word. 

1. Take A Look At Your Own Personal Limits

Natalie highlights how important it is to draw clear boundaries for yourself when it comes to work, family, romantic relationships/dating, finances and your social life.  

So how do we actually do this? We start by looking at the limits we have in place and then expand on them. 

Take some quiet time to think through and even journal about the boundaries you would like to define. Start by asking yourself these questions: 

What would life look like if I did maintain these boundaries? 

Are there any challenges I have to work through to do so?

What support do I need? 

Thinking through these will help you to stay clear and less emotionally reactive.

2. Be Clear About Your No

Sounds easy enough, right? Except we sometimes get lost in the niceties. It’s helpful to think through what would logically happen if you say no vs. saying yes. Would you feel overwhelmed if you take on yet another task or commit to going to an event you don’t want to attend?

If you politely decline, will the individual be receptive and respect the boundaries you are drawing? Play the scenario all the way through. 

3. Be Prepared For The Reactions Of Others

We’re gonna be honest, not everyone is going to be as happy about your ability to say no as we are. Some people will look at you and say, “Good for you! Do what you need to do,” and support you endlessly. Others… well, not so much.

Some might feel entitled to you, your space, your energy, and your time. They might see you as holding some kind of obligation to them where your boundaries don’t apply. These people, when you tell them no, are probably going to be angry. Unfortunately, you have to mentally prepare yourself for that.

The word no is like a magical sword you can wield to protect yourself. When you see people coming your way with “a favour to ask,” get ready to draw a line in the sand. Because while saying no may leave them slightly disappointed or temporarily upset, it will establish a concrete boundary for the future. So, the next time your boundaries are challenged or pushed, stand your ground and flash that shiny [s]word.

4. Journal Your Progress

Take some time to reflect on the responses, the reactions, the whole process. Ask yourself these important questions. 

Where / how did I learn that I can’t draw healthy boundaries for myself? 

What’s the story I’m telling myself about what would happen if I work on my boundaries? 

Am I worried that maintaining my boundaries says something negative about me?

We all want to be loved and accepted by the people around us, but the most important thing is that we are showing ourselves that same kind of love by being true to what we need.

5. Stick To Your Decision

When you stick your boundaries, you will begin to feel more control and comfort in your everyday life. Sticking to boundaries will help you improve your self-esteem while also feeling calmer, and more sure of yourself. 

Often, people don’t feel as though they can say “no” because of what they have internalized about themselves. They fear they are creating conflict by disappointing someone, or that they are taking the easy way out. Pay attention to that little inner voice that whispers one or more of these fear-based statements and work to reframe these thoughts.

6. Repeat Reassuring Phrases

This will help you remember that it truly is ok to say no. You can repeat things like:

It’s ok for me to ask for what I need.

You’ve got this. Stand your ground.

What I need matters. I matter.

The DiveThru team believes in me.

Whatever you need to say, say it! You don’t necessarily have to repeat these mantras out loud either. You can journal it, put up sticky notes around your home, or even make it the background image on your laptop. Whatever you need, do it!

7. Take A Step Back From Your Emotions

This can be a SUPER hard thing to do. Remove yourself from your emotions? You’re probably reading this and thinking, “They think that I can DO that?” Yep. We do!

Taking a step back emotionally can help you re-evaluate the situation you’re in. Doing this allows you to try to outline the kind of relationship or environment you would want if you could create it on your own, away from all other influences.

What’s your ideal situation? Think about it and work to create it by keeping yourself and your boundaries strong.

8. Don’t Forget Self Care

Saying no can be stressful. If you’ve said no to a highly reactive person, you’re probably VERY stressed about that interaction.

Taking care of yourself isn’t always like it appears on Instagram or Pinterest. It’s how you treat yourself. Are you speaking to yourself kindly? Are you giving yourself space, grace, and forgiveness? And are you trusting yourself to create space for things that bring you joy?

The more you care about yourself and the more self care you practice, you’ll begin to find more balance and happiness within yourself and your life. It won’t always be easy to practice self care, but it will get better with time.

9. Remember Why You’re Saying No

If you keep your ultimate goal in mind, you’ll remember why you have to stay strong and stick to the decisions and boundaries that you’ve made. Creating a better situation, relationship, or environment is why you needed to say no in the first play, right?

It might be hard not to waver or give in to people who don’t respect your no’s, but remember why you had to set this boundary in the first place.

10. Trust Yourself

Trust your gut. Listen to what it’s telling you. From our experience, it’s rarely ever wrong. Listen to what it says yes and no to. You can trust this inner voice because it’s trying to take care of you.

If you allow this to take care of you, your stress levels will go wayyyy down and you’re happiness will go wayyyy up.

You might not feel this shift immediately, but we promise it’s coming. The more you trust yourself and practice saying no, your life is going to look completely different in the best way possible.

Even if you’re doing all the right things, and you do them REALLY well, your boundaries will always be challenged. It’s not always going to be easy, but we know that you can do it. You have the tools that you need to say no, and you’ve got the strength to make it happen.

Now, go get ‘em, tiger! Go say no to people!

What To Do If You’re Questioning Your Sexuality

When you first start questioning your sexuality, it can either hit you like a ton of bricks or be something that you’ve known your entire life. Either way, hi! Welcome to the club. Some of our team members are part of the LGBTQIA2S+ Community (including the one who wrote this), and they can tell you that it’s an awesome place to be. They are so excited that you made it to this article!

It can feel a bit scary when you’re first coming to terms with your sexuality. Many of us have probably taken the “Am I Gay” quizzes made by 15-year-olds in 2007 at least a dozen times. Or turned to the interweb, plugged in “what is my sexuality” and hoped that would give us answers to alllll the questions we have. Well, we’re here to help you! Hopefully, we’ll help you more than those quizzes did.

If you’re looking up ways to help you discover your sexuality, chances are that you’re part of the Queer Community. And if you’re reading this article, chances are that you haven’t come out yet.

That’s ok! Coming out for the first time can be a really scary and intimidating thing to do. Plus, you might not even be ready to tell anyone about your sexual identity just yet.

It can be difficult to validate your sexuality when you aren’t out to anyone. It’s a quiet conversation with yourself, and it’s hard not to feel like your feelings and attractions aren’t “real.”

But they are! They are totally real! They’re as real as any feeling that you’ve ever had before. But if you’re struggling to feel validated in your sexual identity, this article is dedicated to you.

Be Honest With Yourself 

When you’re in the process of accepting your sexuality, it’s totally normal to have a bit of an identity crisis. Many people ask themselves questions like:

Am I doing this just for attention?

Do I really feel this way?

But I’ve never had experience with this gender. Does that mean I’m not really what I feel I am?

All of these thoughts are normal, and some people in the Queer Community who are out still sometimes feel this way. Acknowledge these feelings, accept them, and try to decipher why you might be asking yourself these things. Is it because of internalized phobias? How about the patriarchy? The patriarchy ruins everythingggg!

Check-in with yourself. What is your heart telling you? If YOU know what your sexuality is, that’s all that matters. At the end of the day, no one can tell you if you’re wrong or right because they can’t experience what you’re feeling. 

 If it helps, journal your feelings! Sometimes we need to reflect inwards and sit with our feelings as we put them on paper. Ask yourself: 

Who are you attracted to? 

How do you feel when you refer to yourself with this new sexual identity? 

How do you feel calling yourself straight? 

If you lived on the side of a mountain with no heteronormative influences, how would you identify? 

How do you feel when you picture yourself with a person of the same gender or someone beyond the gender binary? 

How do you feel when you picture yourself in a relationship with this person? 

What kind of qualities can you give your sexuality? Does it have a colour or smell?

What would it feel like to accept your sexuality? 

Just remember that it’s ok for sexuality to change. It doesn’t mean that what you felt at one particular moment in your life was wrong, it just means that you’re changing and helping yourself reach your ultimate form (like a Queer Pokémon). Go from one end of the sexuality spectrum to the other if it feels right! No one is telling you that you can’t.

Talk To Others In The Queer Community

It can be a really validating experience to talk to another person who has already walked the path that you’re beginning to travel. They’ve likely had some of the same thoughts and feelings as you and can tell you what helped them at the start of their journey.

Talking to other Queer people can also provide you with a safe space to be honest about your sexuality for the first time.

Maybe think about joining an online group (one that can be anonymous of course), or even talk to friends that are already in the Queer Community. Speaking about your sexual identity to other people who have found theirs can be a really powerful experience. Saying it out loud or typing it out for the first time in a safe space can feel sooo liberating! 

Representation Matters

If you’re anything like some of us here at DiveThru, we realized that we weren’t totally straight after we downloaded TikTok. So many beautiful people in the Queer Community started popping up on our For You Page and it helped us realize that maybe, juuuuuust maybe, we weren’t straight after all.

Immerse yourself in the LGBTQIA2S+ Community! Educating yourself about Queer-dom, if you will, gives you the tools to understand your own sexuality better and feel more confident and safe expressing it. 

Surround yourself with Queer creators, read books on Queer history, go to Queer events and Queer spaces. Seeing others thrive in a space that you feel you belong to can help you feel even more sure of your identity. Learning about it can give you more confidence to express yourself as part of the group. 

Finding strong voices of public figures who have come out can also be really valuable! It can help you feel like you’re not alone and that your experiences are something to be celebrated instead of hidden away.

But if you ever need more validation, the TikTok algorithm won’t let you down!

You Don’t Need Labels

If you’re overwhelmed with trying to discover your new sexual identity, sometimes labels can be a bit scary.

Just remember that you don’t have to label yourself right away, or ever! Just go with the flow. Your sexuality is still valid whether or not you have attached a label to it. You’re not a can of soup that is required by law to list what’s inside of it. You’re a breathing human being who may or may not want to have a label define how they feel.

Explore Your Sexuality

If you’re in a position to explore your sexuality, just frickin’ go for it! Download Bumble, Hinge, Tinder, or Grindr. Download all the apps! Swipe right on whichever people you want and date whoever you want for the first time. Just make sure that you’re transparent with your prospective partner about your intentions and where you are in your life. That way, everyone is on the same page.

But sometimes, experimenting isn’t always possible. For example, you might be a woman in your mid-twenties and in a long-term relationship with a man when you realize you’re actually bisexual. If this is the case, talk to your partner. They might be open to creating an arrangement within your relationship where you can experiment and gain experience with another woman. Or, if you don’t feel comfortable with that, talking to your partner about your sexuality and opening up to them is a great first step. 

Also, if you’ve never had any kind of experience with the same gender, remember that your feelings are valid! YOU ARE STILL VALID! Many of us who are just beginning to find their sexuality (including the DiveThru team member, Olivia, who wrote this article) haven’t had any experience with the same sex. Our attractions have been there for ages, but we never had the experiences we needed to back it up. It takes a lot of internal work to accept it once you start questioning your sexuality, then own it, and confidently know your own sexual identity–regardless of who you’ve been with. 

Move At Your Own Pace

You might not want to come out just yet for a number of reasons. Some people don’t want to tell their friends and family about their sexuality because they might not be in a position where they feel safe opening up about it.

Or, you might just be nervous as fuck! 

Just remember that there is no pressure or expectation for you to come out. We know that it can be hard keeping a part of yourself from the people you love, but if you’re not ready, don’t do it! We’ll still love you and support you all the same.

To be honest, the best kind of advice that we can give is to basically trust your gut and embrace who you are! Have a dance party while you blast “Metamorphosis” by Hillary Duff. You’ll feel a lot more sure and be questioning your sexuality a whole lot less afterwards. We promise!

10 Physical Signs Of Anxiety That May Show Up For You

The body can be a weird and wonderful thing. Sometimes, it can be weird but not so wonderful. Anxiety is a complicated mental health issue that affects all parts of the body. Surprise! It’s not just all in your head! I mean, it is, but it also isn’t. You know? So yeah, you may definitely see some physical signs of anxiety too.

Shall we look at what those could be?

Physical Signs of Anxiety

Anxiety can manifest in many different ways, and sometimes that means showing up in the body as (really shitty) physical symptoms. We love manifesting, butttt maybe not this kind. Here are some common physical signs of anxiety that may appear in your body.

Sweating

Sweating is a super common symptom that people with anxiety experience. Sweating if you’re anxious is totally ok! Being a Sweaty Betty is completely normal if you have anxiety, and it can happen for a number of reasons. 

It’s part of the body’s natural stress response. The body releases stress hormones and changes its response based on what information it’s receiving. If you’re having a panic attack, these stress hormones will likely cause you to sweat.

If you’re overstimulated for an extended period of time, sweating can be the way that the body involuntarily handles the stress. So, it’s normal to sweat even if you don’t know why. Anxiety can heighten your senses and there might be environmental stimuli that are affecting your level of anxiety as well. If you notice that the room you’re in has become too noisy, or if bright lights are bothering you, it’s your body’s way of hyper-focusing on your environment when you’re in a heightened state of awareness.

This image gives you a tip on how to deal with a physical sign of anxiety. Let your arms and hands breathe. Try to not cover up your palms! Keep your hands out of your pockets and away from your face. Wiggle your fingers to keep from balling your hands into fists. If you can’t let your arms show for religious or personal reasons, try to wear breathable fabrics or absorbent undergarments to help soak up the extra moisture your body is creating.

Thinking about how much you’re sweating can actually cause you to sweat more. Soooo, don’t think about it too much if you can. If you still think about it, no worries. Shit happens and the mind is a bananas place to be sometimes. Forgive yourself a little bit and just ride the anxiety wave as best as you can.

Chills / Hot Flash

How’s this for a fancy word: vasoconstriction.

Vasoconstriction means that the blood vessels in the body contract to move blood to other parts of the body when it’s in fight, flight, or freeze mode. It’s also what makes you feel hot when you have anxiety. 

When the body starts to cool down, even a little, our senses are so heightened in an anxious state that we begin to feel chilly with the temperature change.

You might feel cold, then hot, or only hot or cold. Whatever the case is, know that your body is looking out for you and is just trying to regulate itself.

 

This image gives you a tip on how to deal with a physical sign of anxiety. Listen to your body. Put on some layers if you’re cold. Take some layers off if you’re hot...try to keep up with the sensations as much as you possibly can! Most importantly, don’t forget to drink water. You’re probably sweating if you’re having hot and cold flashes, so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! We don’t need you becoming a little raisin.

If you have any grounding or breathing techniques that you use to help calm yourself, try doing those to soothe your nervous system. This will hopefully calm your body and mind, and help stop the hot and cold flashes from continuing. 

Increased Heart Rate

Thousands of years ago, humans faced a lot more physical dangers than we do now. Giant cats could eat us at any moment so our hearts would pump blood to important parts of the body that could help us run away faster and evade danger.

Now in the 21st century, our hearts still pump blood to parts of our body so that we are ready to run away from our fears and anxieties. Fortunately, we are no longer afraid of giant cats attacking us. We are afraid and anxious about a number of different things. Anxiety is different for everyone, but our bodies still respond to fear and stress like they did thousands of years ago. That means physical signs of anxiety still include an increased heart rate and as you’ll see below, a bunch of other fun symptoms.

This image gives you a tip on how to deal with a physical sign of anxiety. Some experts recommend doing some form of physical activity to regulate your heart rate and get the endorphins flowing through your body. But, we know that when you’re having a panic attack, going for a jog can feel like the last thing you would want to do! If you feel like moving, go for it! There are also other ways of regulating your heart rate.

Like with managing chills and hot flashes, grounding and breathing techniques can be a great way to help a panic attack subside. Some of us here at DiveThru also like to use distraction techniques as well! For example, we like watching our favourite TV series or scrolling on TikTok. 

But seeing a mental health professional is probably the best way to help you effectively manage your anxiety and lower your heart rate. 

Muscle Tension

Just like an increased heart rate, tense muscles were how humans survived danger thousands of years ago.  Our muscles would contract, and we would be on high alert if we felt danger was near. 

So, if your muscles feel tight after being anxious, now you know why! Unclench your jaw, relax your shoulders, take a deep breath, and treat yourself to a massage. You deserve it!

Anxiety Canada has a fantastic blog post about a technique called Progressive Muscle Relaxation. They go into more detail about it than we will here, but we’ll give you the Coles Notes version! It’s basically tensing and relaxing muscle groups all over your body in a mindful way to help calm your mind. 

This image gives you a tip on how to deal with a physical sign of anxiety. Step 1. Set aside some time, like 15 minutes, and find a quiet place to practice this where you won’t be interrupted. Step 2. Tense your muscles! Tense one muscle group at a time and hold this tension for a few seconds. Step 3. Relax your muscles. After you tense one muscle group, relax it and really feeeeeel the sensations in that part of your body. Step 4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each muscle group and work your way around the body. We prefer to start this process at our feet and work our way up our face.

Remember the little muscles too! If you need a guide to walk you through this process, there are many free and fantastic videos on YouTube such as this one that you can listen to while practicing this technique. 

Stomach Problems / Nausea

Has your stomach ever felt like crap when you have an anxiety attack? Has it ever said, “There ain’t no time for rest and digest! I’m afraid and have no time to eat, so I’m gonna stay in knots instead.”

Yeah? Ours too.

This is one of those physical signs of anxiety that is just straight up unbearable for some people.

Cortisol is a stress hormone that can affect the stomach. So, if you ever feel nauseous or have stomach pains when you’re anxious, this might be why.

This image gives you a tip on how to deal with a physical sign of anxiety. Try and avoid caffeine like coffee or energy drinks. Your stomach might also become upset when you eat certain foods. Keeping a food journal can help you narrow down what foods might be causing you to feel gross.

But sometimes the culprit truly is just your body and anxiety hormones. So, managing your anxiety with your favourite soothing techniques might be the best solution to your stomach pains. 

Derealization / Depersonalization

Derealization and depersonalization are really common physical signs of anxiety that not many people know about.

Derealization is when the world around you doesn’t feel real. You might feel detached from the objects and people around you, as if you’re looking at things through a veil or a film.

Depersonalization is when you feel like you’re detaching from yourself, your mind, and your body. It can feel like you’re outside of your body, telling it what to do.

These symptoms are actually quite common! So, don’t worry. Because the blood is rushing to other parts of the body and away from the brain, these symptoms can occur if someone has a prolonged panic attack.

This image gives you a tip on how to deal with a physical sign of anxiety. It might feel scary but the best thing to do is try to greet these symptoms with as much acceptance as possible. We know that might feel impossible in the moment, but know that this feeling will pass and that it’s your body’s way of protecting you.

Numbness / Tingling

When the body is under stress, it takes the blood out of the extremities and moves it towards your core. 

This can make parts of your body feel like they’re numb or tingling. When you have a panic attack, your senses can heighten, and you can end up hyper-focusing on these sensations.

 

This image gives you a tip on how to deal with a physical sign of anxiety. Try to walk around to get the blood flowing through your whole body again, create some movement, and try to do some slow and deep breathing to calm the nervous system.

We know that this is more easily said than done, but we believe in you. You’ve got this!

Chest Pain

Just like muscle tension is a response to stress, so is chest pain. It’s the tensing of the muscles in the chest for a prolonged period of time that causes them to hurt. That plus an increased heart rate can make your chest feel even tighter and hurt more.

First things first. If you have any concern about your chest pain being related to a heart attack, you should go to the emergency room or call your local emergency services. This is not something to play around with! But, it’s also helpful to take note if you recognize other anxiety symptoms, like those noted in this article, accompanying the chest pain. 

You may even know exactly what prompted your anxiety. If so, work on taking several deep, slow breaths. 

This image gives you a tip on how to deal with a physical sign of anxiety. Inhale and exhale for a few counts each and continue this practice. Close your eyes if you feel safe to do so, or focus on a specific spot in the room. You can also visualize a beautiful, calming space. This works best when you have practiced it beforehand. Note the details of the visualization — what do you hear, what do you see, what do you smell?

 

It can be scary! Anxiety is a hard barrier to overcome, but we know that you’ll get to the other side of it eventually.

Sleeplessness

Ok, so you’ve gotten ready for bed. You’re in your coziest pjs and you’ve made a tea to sip while in bed. You’ve had a hard day! But as soon as your head hits the pillow, your brain refuses to turn off, your eyes can’t stay shut, and you can’t seem to fall asleep!

Sleeplessness is a common manifestation of anxiety. Some scientists say that the relationship between sleep and anxiety is bidirectional (meaning that they both influence each other).

So, it’s totally normal if you can’t sleep when you have anxiety. It sucks, but it’s normal!

This image gives you a tip on how to deal with a physical sign of anxiety. Create a bedtime routine! This will help your mind get into the habit of winding down for the night when you perform the same actions before sleepy time. Putting your phone away about an hour before bed is also a fantastic way to help your body relax and let your eyes have a break from the blue light of your screen. This blue light can disrupt sleep cycles and actually make you stay up later!

Having a podcast or music play in the background while you try to doze off can be a great way to help your brain focus on something other than your thoughts. Sometimes our minds are racing so fast that we just can’t seem to fall asleep no matter how hard we try, but having background noise can distract us just enough for our mind to take a break and our bodies to fall asleep for a much deserved rest. 

Shortness Of Breath / Hyperventilating

If you’ve ever had shortness of breath while having a panic attack, we can relate. It’s not uncommon for people to hyperventilate when trying to overcome an episode of anxiety.

Breathing is an unconscious action for humans, and anxiety can disrupt a person’s normal breathing pattern. They then begin to take more shallow breaths, causing an increase in carbon dioxide in the body.

This increase of carbon dioxide can even cause some of the symptoms we’ve already talked about. For example, it can cause chest pains, numbness, tingling, and depersonalization or derealization.

This image gives you a tip on how to deal with a physical sign of anxiety. The best thing to do when you’re hyperventilating is to try your darndest to take big, calming breaths and relax. When you’re in the midst of a panic attack, it can be terrifying when it feels like you can’t breathe. That fear can end up prolonging your panic attack, so trying to calm down as best as you can is unfortunately the best solution to this particular symptom.

Hopefully this list gave you some peace of mind and that you learned a thing or two about anxiety. Just remember that all of these are all normal and common physical symptoms of anxiety. We know how hard it can be to try and overcome them, but we also know that you’re strong as hell!

6 Ways To Be More Accepting Of Adult Acne

The day has finally come. It’s your first job interview and you wake up, excited to conquer the day only to find two new pimples on your chin. You rush to your makeup drawer and quickly begin covering the damage with concealer and foundation. Anything you can find to cover up the ‘monstrosity’ that has manifested itself on your face. As you finish getting ready and head out the door, you catch a glimpse in the mirror…and curse under your breath about the lack of “cover” the full-coverage foundation has. Did we just describe your day? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. 40-55% of adults deal with adult acne.

Acne can be extremely detrimental to one’s mental health, creating problems with depression and anxiety. For some, it can be an all consuming dread and the first thing they think of in the morning…immediately touching their face when they wake up to see if they have any new pimples. For others, the lack of dialogue about adult acne and constant airbrushing in the media can leave them feeling extremely alone. 

If you’ve never dealt with acne before, it may be difficult to understand the concept of acne causing insecurity or self-consciousness. Those with an acne condition will often hear things from “Nobody will notice!” to “Why are you being so superficial? It’s just skin.” Yikes. Seriously, whoooo thought that was a helpful thing to say?

The problem is, those who have not truly experienced acne don’t understand what it means to stay at home because you don’t want people to see your face. They don’t understand the anxiety that comes from thinking no one will love you wholly because of your ‘imperfections.’ And you bet they don’t realize this negative thinking pattern can spiral to the point where you hate mannyyyy things about yourself.

But we want you to know that we get it. And no, we’re not here to share another skincare routine. You don’t need yet another organization telling you to change your diet, drink 6 gallons of water a day, or find your peace in essential oils. 

Let’s get real and talk about some ways we can embrace our natural skin and build up our self-esteem.

1. Take Skin Care Advice With A Grain of Salt

We commend people who don’t comment on someone else’s skin.

***Grabs megaphone and yells “unsolicited advice is the WORSSSTTTTT.”

Because our bodies are all so different (and unique YAY!), we react differently to foods, products, hormones, you name it. For some of us, our cause might be digestive, hormonal or stress related. Shit, maybe we get acne because that’s just what’s in store for us. With this in mind, take advice from others with a grain of salt. Washing your face more often may not actually be good for your skin, even if it worked for your friend. Same with that lemon juice cleanse.

Try telling those who hit you up with unsolicited advice (politely at first, then grab the megaphone) that there are different factors that can contribute to a person’s acne and that it is almost impossible for anyone apart from a dermatologist to say what is going on with your skin. Talking to people about the individuality of acne can help change the negative discourse around it. The unsolicited advice might be coming from a good place, but the reality is that they don’t know your body as well as you do.

2. Take Off The Filter

Acne is a completely normal skin condition. The Journal of American Academy of Dermatology states that 54% of women older than 25 deal with acne. So why isn’t this talked about? Social media has perpetuated the idea that flaws should be covered. Acne should be photoshopped out, edited, angled and filtered to achieve the “perfect image.” 

And, we think that’s a load of bullshit.

It’s problematic AF because it makes flawless skin the norm…when that’s not actually the norm. Taking off the filter and embracing our natural skin helps combat the narrative of perfection that the world of Instagram would have us believe.

3. Write Your Positive Affirmations

Even after coming to terms with the fact that acne is a completely normal thing to have, you may still struggle with your self-confidence. So, how does one build themselves up, despite being in despair from their skin? Positive affirmations.

We know, it can seem ridiculous to stare at yourself in the mirror and say all the wonderful things you see, but it will help. Pinky promise. Writing out or speaking out your affirmations helps subconsciously change what your internal critic is saying. Instead of looking in the mirror and noticing your face may be red or inflamed, tell yourself how strong you are. 

Here’s another thing to keep in mind as much as we feel that our acne draws attention to our face and our blemishes, other people don’t notice our skin as much as we do. Psychotherapist Azra Alic dismantled the belief that our acne is visible and obvious to other people through a number of behavioural experiments with her own clients. Turns out, no one really sees your acne the way you see it in yourself. 

4. Don’t Accept The Myth That Acne Is “Dirty”

Did you know that the face wash industry itself is worth $22 billion? And yet, despite the exorbitant amount of money spent by consumers on skin-care products, there is still “a great need for more evidence supporting the use of washing and cleansing in acne treatment.” So as a consumer, ask yourself why acne is being equated with being dirty or unclean. Is it all just a marketing effort? 

To someone suffering with acne, it can be extremely overwhelming to walk into a Sephora and be ambushed by the amount of clearing, purifying or detoxifying products. It sucks. It’s impossible not to leave feeling like maybe if you bought the more expensive face wash, all your breakouts would go away. We wish we could tell you we have a solution for this but we don’t, because we don’t know what’s best for your skin. Heck, we’re still trying to figure this sh*t out ourselves. Here’s what our founder, Sophie Gray, has to say on finding the right skin care routine for you:

 

“I spent 8 years at war with my skin. After coming off of birth control, my face was ‘a mess’. I tried everything. And, I mean everything. I spent hundreds of dollars and so much time thinking about my blemishes. After giving up on finding a fix, I focused on building my confidence away from my physical appearance. When I arrived at a secure place, I decided to give skincare products another go. And, what I learned was this…. It. Takes. So. Much. Time. In my spare time, I would watch video after video talking about products, the science behind skincare and dermatologists recommendations. From there, I tried numerous different products and routines before landing on a select few products that actually work for my skin. It’s been a journey, but was much easier mentally after I chose to accept myself as I am, blemished and all.”

 

5. Unfollow Social Media Accounts That Make You Feel Bad About Your Skin

Social media, particularly Instagram, can be one of the worst platforms for misleading, altered, or even completely fabricated photos. In order for you to become comfortable in your own skin and your realness, we may need to remove the accounts on your socials that cause you to question the beauty of your authenticity. 

You will no longer be looking at perfected and edited photos, but rather real people that are confident and unapologetic in their own skin. 

When scrolling through the ‘gram ask yourself… Does this person make me feel good about myself? Are these photos damaging my self confidence? Would my life be better if I wasn’t following this account?

6. Follow Skin Positive Influencers 

While social media can cause a wide range of problems, it has its benefits. Following acne positive accounts is a great way to make peace with your skin. Seeing people so comfortable in their flaws and unapologetic about their skin is truly inspiring. We’ve followed these accounts to build us up when we’re feeling down about our skin!

 

 

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It’s important to remember that everyone is fighting their own battles every single day. It can seem disheartening to think that our acne is something that defines us, or that it is all that people see when they look at us. So here’s our gentle little reminder: be kind with yourself, your skin, or any other adversities you face. You’re doing great, sweetie.

How To Be A Better Listener

We’re all guilty of this at some point: your friend is telling you a story about something that happened. At first, you’re listening intently like the good friend that you are. But then you get distracted. Your phone lights up with a new text. Your mind starts to wander and suddenly you’re thinking about where you should order takeout tonight. Maybe butter chicken? No, you had that a few nights ago. You know it’s rude but you can’t help it…you reach for your phone to see what it says. Maybe it’s an emergency, you tell yourself. Before you can read it, you realize you’re being an asshole. Didn’t you say you were going to learn how to be a better listener this year?? 

Ughh.

Meanwhile, you’ve missed 80% of your friend’s story. And now they’re looking at you – waiting for you to chime in. There’s an ahhhh shit moment. You have zero idea what they have just said, and you’re about to look like the Worst. Friend. Ever.

It happens. It’s not that you don’t care about what your friend is sharing with you. It’s just that you’ve got a lot on your mind! But here’s the thing: we all want and deserve to be heard.

So how can we become better listeners? Here are some easy tips.

1. Minimize Distractions

Look, phones are great. We love our phones. They keep us connected to what’s happening literally all over the entire world 24/7. But what about when someone is right in front of you and they’re telling you about how their job is stressing them out and they really, really need to rant about it for a minute… or 10? 

Constantly checking notifications during a conversation makes it seem like you’re not interested in what the other person has to say. And being on the receiving end of that, sucks. So keep your phone on silent and face down – it can wait!

2. Take A Pause

Sometimes we get so caught up with what we want to say next in a conversation, that we don’t really hear what the other person is saying. After someone shares something with you, allow a second of pause. Instead of trying to finish their sentence or offer up advice (also, did they even ask for advice?) give the other person a chance to finish their thought.

Think about it. When you’re sharing something with another person, how frustrating can it be when they keep interrupting? Sure, it’s probably not on purpose. But it may feel like they aren’t really listening to you. Let the person speaking have the spotlight!

3. Ask More Questions

One of the best ways to show that you’re really listening to someone is by asking them questions. Obviously, we wanna be genuine here – don’t ask something completely unrelated to the conversation. Instead, ask for more details on that passive aggressive comment their sister made over Thanksgiving. Throwing in something like: “That was a shitty thing to say to you! How did you feel about it?” shows that you’re paying attention. They’ll appreciate your interest and feel like you truly care!

4. Validate Their Feelings

If someone is sharing their inner cluster-fuck of thoughts and feelings with you, validate them. By adding comments like: “I appreciate you sharing that with me, that must have been hard” or “I understand why that really upset you” you’re acknowledging that their feelings matter. All we need sometimes is a little validation!

5. Be Patient

We all have that friend or family member who can talk for daysss. But if they’re telling you something that is clearly important to them, just be patient. If you’re actually in a hurry, ask if you can continue talking about it later so they don’t feel cut off.

6. Share Your Perspective (At The Right Time)

This can be a tricky one. Offering advice or your own take on someone else’s situation can be really helpful – but only if they want it. Sometimes it makes us feel less alone when people share their similar experiences. But other times, we just want a good rant session (okay, a lot of the time).

Before you offer up your hot take, ask the other person if they want to hear it first! Try saying something like: “I have totally been there. Do you want my advice?” Or: “I think I have a suggestion – are you okay with hearing it?” It shows respect for their personal boundaries.

7. Show Interest And Do It Genuinely

Sometimes we think we already know everything about someone. It’s easy to tune out the people in our lives if we start to think: “Meh, I’ve probably heard this before” or “I already know what they’re gonna say.” Try to listen like there’s more to learn – they might surprise you!

8. Be Honest

If you keep zoning out because you have a lot on your mind, be honest! It’s okay to admit when you’re stressed and you just can’t focus. Apologize and let the other person finish their piece, or respectfully ask if you guys can chat when you’re in a better headspace. Give your full attention when you can, and they’ll return the favour when it’s your turn to vent!

Listening can be tough. It might take some practice, but it’s definitely a skill that’s worthwhile. Your relationships will come out stronger than ever! And chances are, your good habits will rub off on those around you. 

 

Why Toxic Positivity Is, Well…Toxic

How many times have you started telling someone about some really tough shit that’s going on in your life and they respond with “Just think positively! You’ll feel better!” …like oh that’s it?? All I needed was some of your toxic positivity?? 

We’ve heard it a thousand times before. Think positive. Be positive. Positive vibes only. Ugh! It can become frustrating when you feel like your emotions are constantly being invalidated. It’s like people are telling you that you’re not allowed to feel anything negative at all!

Well, humans don’t work that way. We have soooo many feelings. We can’t simply shove our ‘negative’ emotions deep down inside of us and only feel happy all the time. That’s not healthy, and let’s be honest, life would get boring real quick. 

People who promote the idea of constant positivity have good intentions because they’re trying to help you see the beautiful things that surround you. We believe that being grateful for the life you have is important, but we also believe that we should be allowed to experience other feelings as well. 

Especially if we’re ever faced with hardship. Not every bad experience is “a chance for us to learn and grow.” Sometimes, life sucks and we just want to be sad, dammit!

Toxic Positivity In All Its Glory

Optimism can be a really important concept for some people, especially those who centre their belief system around it. They might want to make their lives beautiful and full of loveliness, and want to share that same feeling with everyone around them. That doesn’t sound too bad, right?? So then what is toxic positivity?

Toxic Positivity is the idea that staying positive and ONLY staying positive in any situation is The. Only. Way. To. Be. The term refers to the overgeneralization of happiness no matter what.

But if this positivity isn’t coming naturally from within yourself and is being forced onto you, it’s inauthentic. It’s repressive and it denies your other emotions. It’s toxic as hell. 

When this version of extreme positivity is being forced upon you, it can become really damaging, especially if you’ve gone to someone looking for their support.

Toxic Positivity is actually a version of gaslighting. Surprise! I bet you didn’t expect to see that word in an article talking about “Good Vibes Only,” hey?

What It Sounds Like In Practice

Here are some toxic positivity examples that you’ve probably heard or unknowingly said at one point in time… 

“It could be worse.”

“Just don’t think about it. Keep positive!”

“Everything happens for a reason.”

“Every cloud has a silver lining.”

“There’s always a rainbow at the end of a storm.”

“If I can do it, anyone can.”

Saying these things can hurt someone’s ability to accept what they’re being challenged with. It can cause a person to feel shameful about how they’re processing their emotions because they don’t want to be seen as the party-pooper. 

Toxic Positivity puts a certain level of blame onto someone as well. It’s basically saying that the only reason someone is having such a difficult time is because they “just aren’t thinking positively enough.” It can even end up affecting your mental health in the long run. Always being positive, or being told to be positive, can cause people to go into denial, develop self-doubt, and even cause depression (ohhhh the irony!).

For example, only praising someone’s positive feelings can lead to them questioning if they have a right to their negative feelings at all. It can make someone feel like they’re “playing the victim,” when in actuality, they might just need to vent!

How NOT To Play Into Toxic Positivity

Accepting someone and their emotions can be a really comforting and validating experience for them. So, if someone comes to you in need of advice or comfort, here are some things that you can say that don’t play into the idea of Toxic Positivity:

“That sounds really difficult. I’m so sorry that you’re going through this.”

“How can I support you?”

“Tell me how you feel. Don’t hold back! I’m here to listen.”

“I love and care about you and I’m here to support you no matter what.”

It’s totally normal to feel sadness, grief, or worry when dealing with a difficult situation. Accepting hardships and the emotions that come with different circumstances can actually help you process everything and move forward in a healthy way. 

So, if you’ve gone to someone to ask for their support and they’ve responded with Toxic Positivity, remember that your feelings are valid. How you are experiencing your emotions is completely normal and you don’t have to feel bad about how you’re feeling. Be sad! Be mad! We support you regardless of what your emotional state might be.

If you’re an eternally optimistic person reading this, how you choose to look at the world and tough situations is valid too. Just remember that everyone is unique and that we all process difficult life events differently.

Sometimes, all we need is to complain a bit. Let us have our moment and maybe cry a little. Or a lot. Both work!

 

10 Journaling Prompts To Help You Be In Love With Your Body

Bodies are a beautiful thing. They are fantastic, magical, and phenomenal! They come in an array of colours, shapes, and sizes. No two are the same. There are peaks, valleys, scars, and stretch marks that decorate our skin. But so many of us see these marks as something to be ashamed of. We pick apart each soft spot on our body because, for the majority of our lives, we’re taught that our bodies are not good enough as they are. Is there even a way to be in love with your body?? Asking for a friend.

In a 2011 article, Glamour Magazine conducted a survey and found that 97% of women will be cruel to themselves every day. That’s SO MANY PEOPLE! And that’s so much self-hatred.

Let’s undo the self hate and let’s begin to rediscover what loving ourselves feels like. These journaling prompts will help you get past all the hateful bullshit that’s been programmed in your brain, and help you begin a healthy and caring relationship with your body.

1. Who benefits from you feeling bad about yourself?

Think back to when you were a kid. Did you ever think that your body looked “wrong?” Most of us didn’t start feeling bad about how we looked until someone told us to feel that way.

Now, we are constantly being told that how we are isn’t good enough. There are images everywherrrreee and they’re designed to intentionally make us feel bad about ourselves. Instagram, magazines, television… We aren’t given a frickin’ break! It’s become a way to profit off of our insecurities.

So, think about it. Who benefits from you feeling badly about how you look? Do you want them to dictate how you feel about your body so that they can make a profit? Probably not! No one should be allowed to tell you how you feel about yourself because your opinion is the only one that matters!

2. What relationship do you want with your body today?

Ideally, we all want to look in the mirror and love what we see. It’s entirely possible to get to that point of limitless self love, but don’t worry if you have to start slow. Big shifts in perspective don’t happen overnight!

Write down what it would be like to look at yourself in the mirror and think, “Wow! I’m a fucking catch!”

Have this goal to come back to and remind yourself what kind of relationship you’re working towards.

3. What is stopping you from having that relationship?

Yep! We’re here to ask the hard questions. No easy-breezy journaling prompts today! 

What kind of mental barriers are you facing when it comes to loving yourself? Sometimes there is a voice in the back of our minds saying that we aren’t good enough as we are, and sometimes there are other factors influencing how we feel about our bodies.

Write allllll of it down. Sometimes when you see what’s standing in your way, it’s not so scary. 

4. What does it sound like when you speak to yourself?

Write down your inner monologue. Everything! Good, bad, and ugly! 

This way, you can see how you’re speaking to yourself. Would you ever say these things to anyone else? How about yourself as a child?

It’s easy to be harsh with ourselves because we don’t often verbalize our thoughts. We don’t see or physically hear them, so we give ourselves permission to keep repeating them throughout our day. Having this constant criticism playing in your ming can be exhausting mentally and emotionally.

So, BE NICE TO YOURSELF! You deserve the same kindness that you give to others.

5. How could you be kinder to yourself?

What can you do to show yourself that you are worthy of love and kindness too? 

Sometimes this means showing yourself a bit of forgiveness if you didn’t accomplish everything that you wanted to in a day. Other times it’s telling yourself what you really want to hear:

“I love you.”

“Thank you for keeping me alive and healthy today.”

“You don’t need to change for anyone.”

Listen to what your body needs, what your mental health needs, and what you need! Showing yourself a bit of extra love doesn’t have to be a huge or grand gesture. It could just be giving yourself a little hug, or leaving a sticky note on your mirror reminding you what a badass you are.

Whatever kindness you need, give it to yourself.

6. What has your body done to help you today?

Think of everything that your body has done to love you. It has breathed in the air, it has digested your food, it has moved you to and from places.

Write down all the wonderful gifts your body has given you today. No matter how small! It might seem silly at first, but you’ll begin to see and appreciate how hard it’s working for you. 

7. How can you thank your body?

This is the perfect opportunity for you to spoil yourself!

You can thank your body with a sudsy bath and a candle if you want, or you can relax and watch your favourite TV show. It’s totally up to you! YOU get to decide how to show yourself appreciation.

Write down ways that you can show gratitude to your body and keep this list close by. If you’re ever feeling like you could give yourself a little extra love, come back to this list and do some of the activities you’ve written.

8. How can your body bring you joy today?

Did you eat a delicious meal? How about dance around the kitchen like no one was looking? 

Our bodies are not meant to be shameful things. They are meant to bring us happiness and allow us to experience the world around us in ways that make us happy. So, be happy! Write down what your body helped you do that made you feel this way! Don’t let anything stand in your way of unabashed joy!  

9. What makes you uniquely beautiful?

It sounds cliché, but it’s true when we say that there is no one else like you in the world! So, celebrate that!

What makes you unique and wonderful? List your favourite things about yourself and really take the time to appreciate them. Absorb the love that you feel for these parts of your body and appreciate their beauty.

The next time that you’re feeling badly about your body, remember what you love about yourself by looking at this list. Having a tangible list can help you remember why you’re so frickin’ amazing!

10.  How are you going to love yourself today?

Make a commitment to yourself as you write this. Don’t slack on it! You need to be able to show up for yourself when you really need it. 

It doesn’t matter how big or small the feeling of love is. All that matters is that you showed yourself the kind of affection and care that you need. It’s so important that you stick to this commitment of love each and every day. You’re going to be with yourself for the rest of your life, so now is the perfect time to begin this new caring relationship with your body.

If you find that you need more journaling prompts or want more ways to work through your relationship with yourself, download our DiveThru app! It’s full of fantastic resources to help you rediscover what it means to be in love with your body.

How To Support Someone With Depression

Oof! Depression. It’s more than just feeling sad. It can actually be incredibly debilitating for those who battle it. One day they can seem fine, the next, getting out of bed can feel like climbing a frickin’ mountain! Their room might become messy, they might forget to shower for a few days, and their meals might become strange, simple, or non-existent. Soooo yeah, we think it’s incredibly important to learn how to support someone with depression!

People who have depression need a lot of love and support. It’s nuanced and complicated, so you need to be well prepared to ride the depression wave while supporting your friend or loved one. There’s a lot of information out there on how to support someone with depression and it’s hard to know where to start. Andddd, that’s why we’re here! Consider us your emotional Gandalf, here to help guide you through the beginning of your supportive journey.

Make Sure You’re In a Good Space

First thing’s first! Make sure that YOU are in a good emotional and mental space before offering support to your friend. Having patience and kindness for someone with depression is important. But, you need to be in a healthy place so that you’re able to offer your friend the kind of unconditional love that they need.

Check-in with yourself and be honest. Do you have the emotional capacity to help your friend today? Are you mentally ready to help them carry the weight of their feelings? If not, that’s ok! Make sure that you’re ready for anything before you help your friend.

Learn About Depression

Become as informed as you possibly can be about depression. It’s different for everyone, so taking the time to learn about the ins and outs of depression is a great start to helping your loved one. Learn about how it affects people, what the symptoms of depression are, and even treatment options. 

Learning about depression can also give you more empathy and a better understanding of what your friend is going through. You don’t need to become an expert on it, but having helpful information in your back pocket that you can rely on will be soooo beneficial. The more you know, the more you’ll be prepared to provide support for someone with depression!

Ask How You Can Support Them

Everyone likes to be supported in certain ways, and that goes for people with depression too. Some might say that they want you to help them find treatment options, help them get groceries, cleaning up their home, or simply sit on the couch and watch a really cheesy movie with them (Netflix Christmas rom-coms, anyone?). Asking someone how you can help them when they’re depressed is the best way to know how to effectively support them. 

What they need might also change, so check in with them regularly and make sure that the help you’re giving is the kind that they want. Also, let your friend know that it’s ok if and when their needs change. Tell them to communicate openly and honestly with you so that you’re able to cheer them on!

Listen to Their Feelings

Sometimes a good cry and vent session can mean everyyythingggg to someone with depression (OMG that rhymes!). They can feel so alone and isolated and like they’ll be a burden if they talk about their feelings.

Give them a shoulder to cry on and an ear that’s open to listening to what they have to say. And be sure that you TRULY listen. People with depression sometimes think that their problems don’t matter, so someone who is there to validate their feelings and hear what they have to say can be a game-changer for them. 

They might not always need advice, so ask if they want to hear your thoughts or if they just need to unload their brain onto someone else.

Being a safe and judgement-free person that they can turn to in their darkest times can help out someone with depression more than you know.

Help Them with Self Care

When someone is depressed, self care doesn’t always come in the form of bubble baths, candles, and a glass of wine. Sometimes it is, but other times it’s cleaning up a messy room, making appointments, paying bills, and taking a shower for the first time in a few days. Our TikTok Queen, Brittany Broski, illustrated this perfectly with her depression meal check.

Being there to help someone with the tasks that are too overwhelming for them can help get the self care ball rolling, no matter how slowly, but rolling nonetheless.

Encourage Treatment

Here at DiveThru, we loooove therapy. It’s a fantastic tool to help you get your mind back on track and have a professional walk you through some really tough shit. Seeking help from a mental health professional is sometimes seen as a sign of weakness when it’s actually the opposite. 

It takes a lot of strength to admit that you can’t go on your mental health journey all alone. If your friend doesn’t know where to start looking when it comes to treatment options, offer to sit down and look with them. Figure out together how to choose a therapist.

Do some research on therapy, medication, mindfulness, the whole 9 yards! Encourage them to seek treatment, and even offer to take them to their first few sessions. Having you there will be comforting to your friend who will likely be nervous as fuck if it’s their first time in therapy!

Therapy can also be hella expensive. We won’t sugar coat it! However, there are some clinics that are able to accommodate a lower budget. Looking up affordable therapy options can be a helpful step in the right direction.

Don’t Take It Personally

Your friend or loved one might try to push you away when you offer your help. You might be met with resistance, and they might even completely reject the help that you’re offering. Be prepared for your friend to potentially try and isolate themselves from you, and possibly say some hurtful things as well.

It might be hard, but try not to take this personally. They’re going through a lot that you might not know about or completely understand. So, forgive them, love them, and stick by their side no matter what!

Love, Love, Love Them

Your friend is going to need some loving. A lot of it. Unconditionally. 

You know how your pet loves you no matter what? You need to be that for your friend. Not a pet (obviously), but a source of unconditional love. When someone has depression, they can sometimes feel unlovable or not worthy of receiving love from others. You need to show them that you do love and care about them regardless of what their depression might be telling them. 

Sit with them in their most painful and uncomfortable times. Emotions are hard and they’re often difficult to address, especially on your own. Showing your friend love and kindness might help them seek out treatment, and even help them start to show a little bit of love to themselves.

But remember that you need to take care of yourself too! Your mental health and wellbeing need to be looked after just as much as your friend’s. It might be hard to set boundaries and take time for yourself, but showing up for yourself means that you’ll be able to better show up for your friend. 

There you have it! You’re not an expert but now you know a few ways to provide help for someone with depression. Remember, depression can feel like a never-ending battle for everyone involved so keep your head up, keep fighting the good fight and encourage your friend to go to therapy. We promise, it’s really fucking awesome.