Thursday, December 7, 2017

Getting Into The Spirit!

*Warning I talk about my experience at a blood drive in paragraph 5*

Whew! It has been a long first week of December. I volunteer with my church teaching preschoolers, and Sunday was a bit of a crazy one. As any teacher or parent knows there are some days where little ones are just not going to focus. I had one of those days yesterday. The morning started off well, they all seemed to be playing fine during check in, until two boys started fighting over a car ('they're four' I remind myself) so we have some talks and get some new toys out to share, and it seems fine, it even gets nice and quiet for a while, some kids are coloring, others are playing, they clean up very well when it's time to start the bible story, I get them into a circle, and then oh my goodness it's time for 20 Questions.

Child 1: "What are we doing?"
Me: "It's time for our bible story. We're going to talk about Christmas."
Child 2: "I like Christmas! I've got my list done! Do you want to hear it?"
Me: "yes, but after the story."
Children 4, 5, & 6: "I want to tell you my Christmas list too!" *Simultaneously start talking about the things they want, oblivious to each other*.
Me: "That's great, but let's get back to the story."
Children 4, 5, & 6: *Unfazed* And a Power Ranger, and Paw Patrol..." 

And it went on no matter how many times I did an attention grabber ("1 2 3 eyes on me", "put a bubble in your mouth", etc.). Finally they all felt that they had satisfactorily told me their entire Christmas lists, and we start the lesson a few minutes late, and just when we're about half way through, and they're actually paying attention: It's song time!

Our preschoolers are learning a Christmas song to sing at our Christmas Eve service, it's really a cute song, they've been practicing for a few weeks now and they're actually getting pretty good, but with the added craziness of the morning I was praying that our song leader would be a little bit late, if only a minute or two, and unfortunately she was not. But it ended up fine, our story ran a little bit late, and then they practiced their song, and it was time for coloring. And of course, they all calmly go and sit down to color, and play with toys, until parents pick them up. As if nothing that morning happened. In hindsight it was hilarious but I was both baffled and irritated at the time because the first half of the morning felt like an entire day in itself. But I guess that's the thing about kids, especially at this age, that I have to remember: their attention spans are incredibly short, and they learn in their own way. I talked with each one as they were being picked up about their morning, and they all seemed to remember the lesson and the song as if they had all been taking notes!
South Hills Corona

After the service our church was hosting a Blood Drive to replenish hospitals in the Las Vegas area. After the attack in October, hospitals in the area have been low on blood supply, and so we wanted to help out. It was the first time I had participated in a blood drive and the first time I had a needle in me since infancy. I'm not one of those people who get really freaked out by medical stuff, or needles, but because I had never had an experience like it before (my family chooses not to vaccinate, and I've never had an injury where I've needed to go to the hospital) I was a little on edge. I'll spare you the details but I'm glad I did it. Another fear conquered, and one I didn't know I had. And hey if I ever finish that book about vampires, well then it's research.

After that I felt braver. It was something I had never done before and now I know I can do it. We went home and then out to pick up some Christmas trees. We went to Greenspot Farms up in Mentone to get a Christmas tree. It was somewhere we had never been before and so we thought we'd check it out. It was a really cute place, that I would love to explore again. I was feeling really tired, as was to be expected, so I didn't get to explore as much as I normally like, so I didn't get a lot of pictures, but I'd love to go back and explore more thoroughly some other time. All of the buildings were these cute log cabins, and it was all decorated for the season! The farm does hayrides, they have a pumpkin patch, they have trees and wreaths, and a cute general store where they sell honey, maple syrup, decorations, and a bunch of other seasonal things. My siblings enjoyed seeing all the animals in the petting zoo they have, and just exploring the property. It was a really cute place to go, and I had no idea it even existed!
Greenspot Farms

Tuesday was a really weird day at Remnant, the youth group I volunteer at with my church, we had about two or three Jr. High girls at our bible study, where we normally have about nine or ten. It was to be expected what with the holiday season, and finals, but it was still a good night, we've been going through a series on the kinds of storms we have in our lives, and what we can do to fight through them and grow from them. It's been a great series and last Tuesday got really good! It's been a really great opportunity to get to work with these girls and hopefully be the person in their lives that I wish I had at that age. I have some amazing girls there, and some equally amazing co-leaders.

And that's basically been my week! Last night we had a Christmas Party for all of the volunteers at South Hills Corona, and we got to look at how far our church has grown in the year, and have a bit of fun as well. There was food, and games, and a white elephant gift exchange and it ended up being a really fun night. Unfortunately I left my phone at home all day and so I have no photos.

This weekend I need to do some TLC on my bedroom and bathroom, and bathroom, as well as some Christmas present work (I've barely started!), before the month gets too crazy! I've got Ikea on Sunday, Remnant on Tuesday, St. Lucia Day is next Wednesday, my sister Grace is having a Ugly Sweater party the 20th, and somewhere in the midst of all of that I have to figure out what I'm doing for people for Christmas presents because I have got to buy a car before next summer, and so I am trying to be more responsible with my spending.

Whew that was a long one! As promised I will have a few reviews coming up as soon as I finish reading the books, and I am planning to do a 2017 Wrap Up to my reading near the end of the month, though I may hold off and post it in the new year. Normally I am so anxious about the new year, especially when it comes to my reading goals but I am feeling really comfortable about the conclusion to this year, and the start of the next. I hope you are too!


Friday, December 1, 2017

This Autumn

Chelsea's Scones
Okay! I'm getting back into the swing of things, or trying to. I had three days off of work last week with a weekend following it, and I have to say I felt more tired than relaxed when I went back to the office on Monday. But it was a very delightful week. We had a lot of cleaning to do as I had been storing all of my yard sale stuff in the dining room because we had some rain a few weeks ago. I've been planning a huge yard sale because I'm trying to save for a car, and my family has been trying to de-clutter our house these past few months. My mom and sister Bri re-landscaped our front yard a few month back and a few of us had been helping with that. I sold my trailer that had been falling apart, and I'm putting the money toward my car fund.
Dessert Table
I took most of last week off because we had people coming for Thanksgiving and our house was a disaster! We spent the entire day getting things cleaned, setting out decorations, and making pies. Then Thursday came and it was a really nice day! We kept it small this year and so it was really relaxed. I got to sleep in a little (most of us didn't even get dressed until noon!), and my sister Chelsea made fresh cranberry scones for breakfast, and they were so good! We had a few people over but for the most part it was just the siblings and parents. We played board games most of the afternoon after watching the Macy's parade, which was so much fun! My family really loves board games and so we had a ton of fun relaxing all day. And then we sat down for dinner. It was a simple day and very much fun. Lots of quick games of Uno, laughter, puppies, and food. Especially since Dad's birthday was Wednesday, and for some reason my mother and I thought it would be a good idea to buy three cakes (it wasn't).
Cosying up with Penny(left) and Henny(right)
on the Couch.
Dinner Table
We've also been dog-sitting for my sister's friend, and so we've had his dog with us since October. Her name is Penelope, Penny for short, and she is such a roly poly of a dog, and an endearing pain in the butt.

Coco Dia De Los Muertos alter at our local movie theater.
Last weekend we went to see Coco, the new Pixar film and it was so beautiful! If you haven't seen it yet I highly recommend it, it's such a great story and the animation is beautiful. A really great family film for the holiday season. I was crying for most of it but it's also really funny, and a great story to add to Pixar's amazing lineup. My family really love Pixar films, and I have to say this one goes up there with Finding Dory in my absolute favorites. The whole thing was just so great, and I thought it was a wonderful time to go see it.

And that was my Thanksgiving! Bri did a really cool job on the table decorations and I painstakingly tried to have seemingly good handwriting with chalk (I am getting better, honest) for the clip on place cards my mom has. I have got to get back to working on my handwriting, it's improved a lot over the years, but still it's pretty crap.

I decided to wear my hair down because I had bun curled it the night before and it looked great, unfortunately it was not practical for anything other than these pictures here. Setting the table, helping with food, playing games, and even laying down is just too hard when you have as mush hair as I do. A difficulty that was worsened by the weather making my hair both frizzy and static. But at least it looked good for pictures. The dress I am wearing is a gift from my sister Bri. She gave it to me for my birthday back in March and I just haven't had an occasion to wear it to until now, what with being at camp all summer long. Honestly I wish I had, it is one of the softest dresses I've worn and makes me feel a million feet tall (but maybe that's just the heels). There's a tan slip underneath with clear straps and then the black lacing over top. I need to see if I can take the straps in on the slip because it's a little low-cut in the chest and they would slip off my shoulder every once in a while, but the lining is so soft.

And that was my Thanksgiving! Besides all of that we got a lot of Christmas movies in and some Halloween ones we missed. Dad and I watched Arsenic and Old Lace, we all watched Miracle on 34th Street, and the siblings got in a viewing of all the cheesy Halmark and Freeform holiday movies, and even a viewing/sing-a-long of this gem.

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving as well, and that you enjoy the rest of the holiday season! ~Delaney
Outfit: Headband- Target, Necklace- Hand-me-Down,
Dress- Dress Barn(gift), Shoes - Thrifted

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Review: When Santa Was a Baby by Linda Bailey and Geneviève Godbout

Since I've been trying to write more often I thought I'd take the opportunity to talk about a few thing I've been doing this past week. And what better place to start than with a book review, especially one that's as seasonal as this. I have a few reviews I'm a bit behind on so I'll be doing a few of these this month. If you like bookish updates let me know and remember to follow me on LibraryThing, Goodreads, and Libib (@deelinnea).

This was such a cute little book. I really love reviewing children's books from LibraryThing because I can go through them quite fast (I'm a fairly slow reader when it comes to fuller sized books) and I like
having books I can someday read to my kids. I know, it's super sappy to say that, but I like the idea anyway. So over the past few years I've been collecting some children's literature as I browse books stores, and online. Some of my favorites are Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty (I have got to start picking up more from her), and Carson Crosses Canada by Linda Bailey. I saw this one  on LibraryThing's Early Reviewers and thought that it looked so cute. I mean look at that face! So I requested it. If you haven't done Early Reviewers I highly recommend it, it's a great way to get books for free. Just sign up, and under the "More" Tab select "Get Free Books". It does take a little while for them to get to you, depending on where they ship from (I've had some from UK or Canadian publishers every once in a while) but you can get physical copies or e-books for free. I will say I don't know how they choose reviewers, but it helps if you review some of the books you've already read. So onto my thoughts.

First off the illustrations, all done by Geneviève Godbout are so pretty all throughout the book. It's that rustic, airbrush look that always makes me think of Christmas or winter in general (like The Little Match Girl or The Snowman). It's got very vintage stylizing, and every page is beautiful. The story is, of course about how Santa grows up to be the jolly Father Christmas we know him to be. It starts with his first "HO, HO, HO!" and goes to show how Santa is a symbol of the kindness we show to each other, and the joy that come with having a generous heart. And the thing I love the most about it is the ability to say all this in a 30 page book without it sounding preachy, as many children's books can do when they have a moral lesson.

One of my favorite lines in this book is, "When Santa became a teenager, he continued to be unusual. He knew his own mind. He didn't always fit in with the crowd. But his parents thought he was wonderful." I think that's a very good message and says something that everyone, no matter how old, needs to be  reminded of: It's okay to be a little weird.

I think this is a really good book to get you into the spirit of the Holiday Season, especially if you have little ones to share it with. My little sister and I both enjoyed it very much, as I'm sure you will too!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Something Wicked This Way Comes

I'm getting into the spirit of Halloween, and Target is a deep chasm to which I pour all of my money into. Lol I'm just kidding. But I bought a dress, and took pictures of other dresses I plan on buying when I can reasonably do so. I'm trying to get better at money management, at being a responsible adult (I refuse to use that word that people use on the internet that sounds childish). I'd like to get a car here soon, though I need a license first, an so I've been saving, but that being said I have been sorely in need of nice clothes to wear to work. I tend to be opposite when it comes to money, I'm okay with buying inexpensive things when I want them, but I'm not willing to fork over the money for good quality things that I need and know will last longer. I also sew, and constantly tell myself "I could make this", but the problem is I don't. I share a room again and so getting out my sewing machine and making a skirt isn't as easy as it was before. Also I tend to be lazy with projects like that and so I take forever to finish them (all things I'm working on). So a week or so ago I went out and I bought myself some nice dresses that will hopefully last me a good while so I can weed out some old things in my closet.

I love this dress, it's so comfortable! A bit tight in the upper arm when I bend my arms, but I've started walking again and I'm focusing on a healthier eating routine now (no more midnight scary movie, popcorn and ice cream!). I'm doing this for me. I'm not good at following routines,and completing goals (Remember my beginning of the year plans back in 2015?), but I am honestly trying. So I bought a few things. And I have to say I love this dress. It's dark blue and the detail is beautiful! So I dressed it up with some grey tights, and some kitten heels from Poetic License. And then of course my new favorite accessory: the Time Turner my sister Bri and brother Fraser brought me back from Platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross Station.

I have loved it so much and worn it every day since! I am loving this autumn so far, though it could be colder (it's 86 today!). We've gone to pick some pumpkins an it was really fun. An autumn tradition my family has is going to Los Rios Rancho in Oak Glen to pick our pumpkins, we get some apple cider, and pie, and look around in the shops and it's all really lovely.

We went the Sunday before last and again I wore my Time Turner, a dress a friend of mine gave me, though I don't remember where she bought it, and some boots from Target. It was nice and cool, which was a good change, and although we weren't able to go hiking I wore some boots, and this green dress which ended up being a smart decision because the temperature did pick up in the late afternoon. The boots are from Target for a year ago and the purse is as well. This sweater is something my brother was getting rid of I think. None of us are really sure where it came from, unfortunately a common ordeal when you live with a lot of people and you all love thrift shops. But it fit me so I took it! They had this adorable pumpkin house at the place we went to go pick our pumpkins and I just couldn't miss that photo opportunity! Also this is what I imagine my house would look like if I lived in a autumnal forest as a fairy (one of my life goals).
We all got to look in the shops and I found this really weird and cool witchy cloak in one of them. It was incredibly heavy and kinda smelled like it had been sitting in an attic for years, but it had arm holes and a really cool hood, but I forgot to get pictures of it up.

We spent most of the day there just looking at everything, and trying out some of their jams and other fun things. They have you-pick raspberries when the season is right, and some nice trails to hike. So if you can battle the crowds it's quite a cool day trip!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

And We're Done!

I made it to midnight! So much fun! so here's the total:

I've finished four books today:

Audiobook - The Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Audiobook - Classic American Short Stories featuring Ambrose Bierce, Steven Crane, Mark Twain, O. Henry, Jack London, James Fenimore Cooper, and Kate Chopin
Comic - Mickey Mouse & Goofy: Mystery Island (A vintage comic but the author and artist are not names)
Paperback - A New Kind of Leader by Reggie Joiner

 and I've made effort on two others:

Paperback - The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo
Audiobook - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

And believe it or not I cleaned most of my kitchen, so I'm quite proud of that!

Now I am just continuing with Hitchhikers' while I wait for my sister to finish showering, because I haven't showered in 24 hours and I still have to teach a class tomorrow at 11:30. But I am so glad I did this! My first full Readathon! Well goodnight!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Readathon Day

2:00 a.m.
So it's started. I've officially been reading for two hours! Switching between a audio, Bone Gap by Laura Ruby, and a paperback, The Fire By Night by Teresa Messineo. Both very good so far!

11:08 a.m
I read from midnight until two last night, and then slept for six hours, and picked up Bone Gap again. I'm nearly finished with it.

11:26 a.m.
Finished Bone Gap! I lived it, and will definitely recommend it to anyone! So good! Onto the next one, Classic American Short Stories!

3:37 p.m. Finished with Classic American Short Stories by Ambrose Bierce, Steven Crane, Mark Twain, O. Henry, Jack London, James Fenimore Cooper, and Kate Chopin. It was pretty good, some were more interesting than other, as is normal when you are sampling different authors all at once. Next I'm on to a few more chapters of The Fire By Night by Teressa Messineo, and then I'll probably switch back to an audio. I never thought I'd get so much accomplished today! I've cleaned almost all my kitchen! I love audio books!

4:33 p.m. I finished Mickey Mouse and Goofy The Idol of Mystery Island. An old Disney comic I bought at a yard sale once. Super cute stories, if not a tad culturally insensitive. Onto the next one!

8:07 p.m. I finished my next book.! A New Kind of Leader by Reggie Joiner. It's a short (123 pages) book on youth ministry and being a a good leader and connecting to kids that may have completely different lifestyles as you. It's really good and if you work in youth ministry I highly recommend it! Next up is finishing The Fire By Night my Teresa Messineo Because the last book I have is the one I'm most excited for!

10:23 p.m. Change of plans. I've been doing dishes for the past few hours so I chose to stick with audio books and am currently listening to The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. The audio book is read by Stephen Fry and so good seeing as he did the voice of the narrator for the film! I have an hour and a half left in the day and I am so glad I was able to complete this day! So far I have completed four books and I will only have about three hours left in the book at midnight so I can finish it off tomorrow. So I am going to start packing up and spend the next hour getting ready for bed! Goodnight!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Dewey 24 Hour Readathon Booklist and Prep

This year I'm going to commit to the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon. I wanted to do it last year but I didn't plan it ahead of time and I ended up having a lot of things getting in the way. So here's me planning ahead.

If you haven't heard of the Readathon it's a worldwide reading event where readers take the day to do what they do best: Read! It takes place twice a year, in October and May, and the next one is Saturday, October 21st. I am Reader 102 on the list of readers and I am super excited to get going. These past two years I've been in a bit of a reading funk and haven't had a lot of enthusiasm for the books I'm reading so this is going to give me a chance to dig into my TBR, and find some good reads!

I've been reading a lot about the challenge: tips for readers, people getting really excited to start and I feel I am ready to get going! I'm stupidly excited about this challenge, and so I'm gearing up! I'll update you all the day after on how it goes.

If you're interested in doing it too sign up at the Readathon's website and let me know what your reader number is! It would be awesome to know some people who are reading along with me!  Also do a little bit of research. There are some really good tips I'm seeing on blogs from people who've done the Readathon before about preparing. Things about what types of books are easier to binge, ideas for Readathon parties, snacks, and more! This one from Book Riot is pretty good. Lots of them say to pick shorter books, and to mix it up. If you aren't making a lot of progress on a book switch to another. Oh and make sure you eat and adjust your eyes every so often! It sounds like a pretty fun event.  Apparently they do give out some prizes, and there's some mini challenge as well if you're not able to participate in the whole challenge.

So, on to the books! Lots of what I'm seeing says have a variety of books and formats available to you, and obviously, know your strengths and weaknesses. I am a slow reader, so they suggest starting with shorter books, it helps you feel like you've accomplished something from the get go. I tend to go for YA or Chick Lit kind of books, so I thought this would give me a chance to crack open some of my other genres. I am really good at bingeing audio books and tend to finish them quickly, so I have a few of those on hand.

I decided to start with a pretty small list and work my way through the shorter pieces. And if I can manage that I'll add to the list, still keeping the texts pretty short.

2017 Dewey 24 Hour Readathon Booklist

  1. The Fire By Night by Teresa Messineo - Paperback
  2. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby - Audiobook
  3. Classic American Short Stories by Ambrose Bierce - Audiobook
  4. A New Kind of Leader by Reggie Joiner - Paperback
  5. Mickey Mouse and Goofy: The Idol of Mystery Island - Comic
I decided to pick some of the books that I've technically already started but never finished. I tend to pick books up all at once and then never devote enough time to one of them and finish it, so I'll definitely start them over one at a time, though some people have suggested that breaking a book up as you read another helps when you start to feel stunted.

Ultimately this is all about the fun of reading so whether I finish all my books or none I'm still going to love having an entire day devoted to reading!

Remember to let me know if you are taking part in the festivities, and share your booklist. Happy reading!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

This Is How My Brain Works: Anxiety, Decisions, and Getting Things Done

I think I'm going to be starting a series. Mostly I've been writing a lot lately and I've fallen back into liking it again so I think I'm going to just run with it. 'This Is How My Brain Works' is going to be my unfiltered thought process. I'll pick a topic, or just start writing and see where it takes me. It could end up being a Magical Mystery Tour into my psyche, boring AF, or somewhere in between. 

Lately I have been dealing with a lot of anxiety. I am going to be starting school this Monday, and I'm very nervous. I haven't even started yet and I'm worrying about falling behind, or dropping out. I was never a really great student when I was in school, and going into something new in general makes me nervous. Well mostly everything makes me nervous.

I don't ever really talk about it, but I worry about everything all the time! Even silly things.
  • I smiled way too much at that barista. Now he'll think I'm hitting on him.
  • I haven't washed my hair in a week, people probably think I'm an ogre.
  • That joke was mildly insensitive if you don't get the reference to this show or that movie. They think I'm horrible!
  • Is 'crap' a curse word when you are talking to the parents of preschoolers? Should I have said 'Shoot' in front of them or does that sound too much like Sh*t?
  • Does the other receptionist know that I wore these pants twice this week?
  • Should I really be wearing jeans to work this many times anyway?
And those are just the day to day worries! The stupid little ticks in the back of my mind that go off as often as they see fit, as I go about my life. Then there's the Big Picture Worries! The ones about my life and future, the ones that make me nauseated every time they squeeze their way into my mind.
  • Do I eat too much? Too fast? Too frequently? Not often enough?
  • I know I've known my best friend since 4th Grade, but does she really find me funny or am I irritating? Am I an obligation?
  • What's going to happen when I get a real job?
  • I know I'm excited for this or that opportunity, but am I really the kind of person they want watching their kids? Leading their teenagers? Being an example?
  • Is it too late to start college?
  • Is it really worth going when I know it's going to be a challenge?
  • Can I make it as a teacher?
  • Should I just give up now?
  • Should I pursue new friendships when I know it's going to be hard to hang out because I still don't have my license?
  • If I haven't had a boyfriend by the time I turn 22, will I ever meet someone?
  • What will I do if I ever have a baby with MAS as well?
  • Am I good enough?
I tend to be a person who either shares way too much or not enough, and then I end up going over that awkward thing I said again and again in my mind until I'm not really sure what I said, but I know it was probably something dumb and I should just go hide under the bed for a year.

You know that dream when you go to school and everyone laughs at you because you're in your underwear? Well I never really had that. But I have had that fear of being called out as different, of being told, "You don't belong here." That dream where even the people you are closest to turn their backs on you because they're finally done with your stupidity, your immaturity, that weird laugh you have, or how you're always biting your lip when there's a lull in the conversation and you can't think of what to say next.

This last summer was basically that feeling for six out of ten weeks straight. I got a job with a travelling summer camp and I knew nobody. I have a really hard time introducing myself in the first place, and because of that I tend to come off as snobby or even doltish. I feel like I don't make enough of an effort, but I don't really know how to. Which is weird because everyone else in my family seems to make friends wherever they go! I just get tongue tied, I forget people's names, or I say something stupid and then leave abruptly (True story!). I am awkward AF! I don't volunteer myself, nor do I start new things without worrying about it for weeks on end.

But for some reason at the beginning of the year I got up one day and said, "I am going to start school." And the only thing that could possibly have any influence on that decision was a book. No thought, no preparation, I just decided based on some pretty words someone I don't know said!

Not that that's completely out of character! I tend to be the type of person who either over thinks and then doesn't follow through or makes snap decisions and jumps blindly into an abyss. That's how I ended up working for NDC this summer, that's how I ended up joining 4-H in high school, that's just how I make my decisions! When I think about an option for any length of time I usually just end it with, "I could never do that." or "What if this ends up happening?" and I chicken out. I think of every little thing that has gone wrong in my life, and I say, "That is why we can't have nice things! This is why friendships end! There is the reason you are a hopeless person!"

I try not to talk about my anxiety. I feel like it's a word that's thrown around so often that it's lost all meaning now. That people who use it are just lazy, or they're making excuses instead of facing the world. But the fact of the matter is we all have it, some much more than others, but all of us nonetheless. The issue is that instead of teaching ourselves and our kids to treat those anxieties, to work through and overcome them, we give it a free pass. We turn it into an excuse instead of a problem in need of solutions.

Now before I get called out I will say this disclaimer: No I am not a doctor. I am basing this all on my own personal research and experiences. There are all kinds of manifestations of anxiety. Depression is a real medical condition where your brain releases the wrong gasses in the wrong amounts, causing many problems, not all of which can be cured by just, "Getting some sunshine and hugging a puppy".

Depression is defined as:
"condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal;sadness greater and more  prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason."

(It is also worthy to note the definition of Clinical Depression).

Whereas Anxiety is defines as:
"Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune."

I have known people with depression and it is a constant battle that they are actively working through every day.  Anxiety, for the most part, is fear. It's can be overcome with a diligent routine to make the right choices to prevent our emotions from taking over. Depression is something that takes constant work and never fully goes away.

Now that I've cleared that up I'd like to say that even though we know this, it can still be hard to help ourselves when we're hit with anxiety. I tend to be the type of person who denies I even have it, and so when I have peaks I bottle it up, I say, "That's not you, you're being a paranoid and you just need to get over yourself." But that is probably the worst thing you can do with anxiety because, at least in my case, I tend to shut down and just avoid facing my fears, which furthers the problem in the long run.
Part of fixing something is admitting that it's hurt, right? So here are some of the things I try to do when I'm overwhelmed and anxious, and a few others I found online that I will definitely use in the future:

Stop whatever it is that's making you anxious for about 5-10 minutes. Put it down, you will get to it later.

Take some deep breaths. I am a visual person so I like to think of anxiety as a dark cloud in my lungs. I really focus on filling my lungs to their fullest, and slowly expelling it from my chest. Maybe try closing your eyes if it helps.

Think of AT LEAST three positive things about yourself. Say them aloud if it helps, "I like to decorate cake. I have a huge family who loves me and wants me to succeed. My entire left hand is an inch longer than my right hand. I am awesome at math." Reassuring yourself always helps with stress.

Take Care
Get a drink of water. Sometimes hydration is the best cure. Do you need: To get a snack? To open the window? To go to the bathroom? Then do so. Ignoring basic needs when under a lot of stress only adds to the problem.

Doodle a bit to calm yourself and boost creativity. Hum a song that calms you. Have one thing that helps you relax quickly at your side for when you can't get up (like when you're in a test or about to make a speech): Are you a fidgeter? Then maybe have a ball of Play Doh to squeeze and roll in your hand, or try one of these. They're small and so they won't be noticeable in your hand, and they're way less distracting than a clicking pen or a tapping toe. (I actually just bought one and I'll do a review of it here in the near future.)
Don't do all of these though! That's going to be really distracting. Find one that works for you and still allows you to focus on the task at hand. Then stick with it!

And always remember to breathe! Try taking deep breaths before going into interviews or doing a presentation, or anything else that causes anxiety for you. Use the silly cloud method I talked about to cam yourself or take some power breaths to amp yourself up if you're feeling a bit down or frightened.

Think of the first thing that needs to happen. Make a physical to do list or just a mental one.
Sometimes to do lists don't work for people. You get overwhelmed by all the things you need to do that you end up staring at the list instead of completing it. So instead say, "What do I need to do now?" For example when studying: Right now you need to read a chapter of "X" Book or write "X" amount of words for an essay. Focus on just that and nothing more. Once you're done move on to the next step or...

Find a reward system that works for you.
Reward yourself with an Oreo for every chapter you read. Or a chapter of a book you're reading for fun for every hour you spend on your power point for work. But set limits or you'll end up abusing your reward and your work will fall by the way side. Found something that just distracts, or makes your more anxious? Cut it out of the routine!

Watching your time is really important! Making sure you're not powering through to the point of exhaustion is always good if you're that type of person who just wants to get projects completed. Make sure you are taking those breaks at least to just eat something, or relax your eye if you're working at the computer or reading. But you also need to watch your time during breaks if you tend to get distracted by other things when you need to focus. Ask yourself questions periodically, "How am I doing? Do I need gum? Do I need to remember to breath? would I be more comfortable without shoes on? Would anyone notice if I slipped them off for a moment? Assess quickly and take care of it now to avoid them irritating you later on.

Proof that I'm still working on these? I just had to pull myself away from a jar of raspberry sorbet and a long scroll through Facebook after taking a break on this post. A break that was almost twenty minutes! This proves that social media and desert are distractions for me and not good ideas for breaks. Try out different things, and figure out what's not allowed to be a break for you. If you too can't help but sitting on social media, than make sure that is not your reward. If you are the type of person who's always saying "one more chapter" or "just after this episode" then make sure that reading and Netflix are not your rewards. If you know you won't be able to stop don't even start.

And that's what I've got! I am not going to say that these work for me 100% of the time. I still really struggle with distractions and anxiety. And usually the latter is caused by the former. But it's all about finding your balance. If you have a friend who also struggles with anxiety or distractions ask them what they do to combat it. Maybe there's something you haven't tried before. And likewise if you have some tips, advise or critiques on some of my suggestions by all means let me know!