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If you told me 6 months ago that I would be so heavily involved with social media, I would have laughed at you….loudly. The most experience I had with social media was a Facebook account I opened I opened years ago which didn’t last more than a year or two. I didn’t think I needed it. I felt that if you wanted to keep in touch with me, you can ext me or call me.
I had an Instagram account which I never used and recently a Snapchat account for the kids. I visited You Tube only when I wanted to watch the occasional music video.
As life would have it, changes are always happening and we don’t know how or where life will lead us. Why? Is also a question that sometimes takes a long time to answer.
This Summer, I discovered You Tube. You’re probably wondering why I say “discovered” as if it were some artifact buried deeply in some obscure place. No. I say discovered because I had no idea that there was such a wealth of information available; like makeup tutorials for example.
Where I’ve been hiding all these years?Perhaps under some rock or a cave or some less inviting place? The truth is that for the past few years I’ve worked my butt off at my “so-called” 9-5. Working nights and weekends, days off, sick days and even on vacation. Yeah….I know.
Give Me a Reason
Sometimes in life we encounter what at the time, seems to us, to be a negative situation. This happened to me at work. (More to come in a later post). We look for inspiration, encouragement or motivation but we end up looking in the wrong places, or to the wrong people. When we don’t find it, we believe ourselves to be unworthy or feel defeated. But not to fear… most situations can be turned around for the better.
Feeling very depressed over my condition with PMDD and my recent disappointment at work, I had extra time on my hands and started to watch more tv. My daughter is a fan of tutorials: cooking, making slime, dancing, makeup, you name it. One day, as she watched a dance tutorial, I joined her. When it was over, she was clicking through the Entertainment section on You Tube and I saw this beautiful woman giving a makeup tutorial. Her name is Tati Westbrook the Glam Life Guru.
It was love at first sight. I watched every tutorial I had time for. I discovered other “beauty gurus” and watched them almost daily. I learned to do my makeup differently and take better care of my skin. Let’s just say I looked better, and it was noticeable. I bought a ton of makeup and felt so good about myself. Why? Because when you suffer from PMDD you spend a lot of time hating yourself, hating your looks, your body and everything you do.
I wanted to follow makeup brands to know what makeup was trending, so I opened a new Instagram account. I posted makeup deals and sales and gathering a small following little by little. After Instagram I opened a Facebook account (a different one than the one I had years prior); and was posting to both accounts daily.
One day, it occurred to me to start a blog. I figured I could share some of my newly-learned knowledge of makeup and skin care and share some life stories and recommendations.
I opened an account with WordPress, and the idea of blogging about makeup quickly turned into blogging about life in general, including my condition, PMDD. I called myself FANTABULOUS40s. Why? Because I’m fantastic and fabulous and I’m in my 40s. (see my about page).
What started as a simple idea to share some aspects of my life and Disorder as well as some makeup recommendations took a very unexpected turn.
Social Media for life improvements
What does that heading mean? I’ll tell you. Due to my condition, related medication and the stress from work, I’ve gained about 50 lbs. in the last 5 years. (see my pmdd part 2- medication post). I’m unhealthy, physically out of shape and my self-esteem was nowhere to be seen. But don’t worry, this post will end up being positive.
Through Instagram I have done the following:
- I found a personal trainer named Melanie Lund. Her business name is the Real Strong Mom. She was running a free 3 week challenge for women only and I joined it. I liked her instantly. She’s very sweet and so encouraging. We were held accountable through a Facebook Group. After the 3 weeks were over, she began her Real Strong Coaching Club which I also joined. We’re in the second week of the program and although the workouts are challenging, they are only 20 minutes which makes them easy to fit into my daily routine. There is no pressure and I can do them at my own schedule as long as I check in. This is very helpful because when I’m going through symptoms it’s very hard to find the energy or the will to want to work out. It’s a great program that I’m very glad I joined and I have high but realistic expectations as to the outcome. The link is in the footer if you’re interested. It is NOT sponsored.
- I’ve connected with PMDD accounts like @viciouspmdd, @mevpmdd, @pms.sisterhood and have made small contributions to their pages and their efforts in promoting awareness through Instagram posts. I’m so proud to be a part of something bigger than me and to help other women suffering through this.
- I’m part of an Instagram comment pod where I have met a great group of fellow female bloggers and entrepreneurs; @thewhenlife, @pattyzenliving, @lotus_hause, @sherryaphillips @yourelationshipstoday, @daydreaming_pink, @nadiasfitnessjourney to name a few. Most are busy moms with a great sense of humor. We chat every day and help each other grow our blogs and businesses daily. A true “girl tribe.”
- I found 2 PMDD Support groups on Facebook that have been invaluable to me. I have a community of women who suffer from the same disorder I do and who understand the emotions I describe because they feel the same things. The support and understanding that they offer is incomparable and I now have a sense of belonging that I did not have before. I’m no longer alone in this fight.
- Through one of the PMDD Facebook groups I joined, I met a nutritionist named Katie Brigas who also suffers from PMDD. She and I connected and I retained her services. I’m now under her treatment and we are working together to help reduce symptoms with natural supplements (I’m still taking my medication). I’m in week 2 of the program and have been very strict with myself about taking my supplements. In the coming weeks we will add a meal plan which will hopefully help me shed some very unwanted pounds.
- I met someone who introduced me to CBD oil as a treatment for PMDD symptoms. I’m currently taking the oil and although it’s not the best tasting thing in the world it is not a hassle to take, therefore I know I can keep up with it. The effects are supposed to be very noticeable and helpful. I can’t wait to feel better.
All of these improvements to my life are due to Social Media. I no longer view it in the same negative light I used to. I’m making changes daily and making improvements that will no doubt be long-term. I have my groups of girl tribes and finally getting the help, understanding and support I so desperately needed
I turned my negative work experience into a positive one and allow myself the time to take care of my health and wellbeing.
What positive changes has Social Media helped you make in your life or lifestyle? Please drop your comments below. I would be very happy to read them.