Friday 30 December 2016

Reflecting On 2016

bloggers UK 2016 mental health wellbeing OCD depression support

I know you are going to be sick of seeing these posts in your feeds and timelines by now. They are pretty overdone, aren't they? Even though I know everyone does these posts, I think they are really important. It can be so easy to let your life flash before your eyes and never really take the time to stop and reflect on what you've done and achieved and where you are going, looking into the future. 

The great thing about these posts is that they are little Polaroids or snapshots in time, that help keep a record of everything you did in that year, so you never forget and always have something to look back on to see how far you've come. I did one of these this time last year, looking back at that post and seeing how much has changed in just a year and how far I've come with my blog, is pretty unbelievable.

2016, hasn't been the worst year of my life. Nor as it been the best year of my life. It's been a year of ups and downs, highs and lows. Days of despair and days of joy. But the main thing is that I got through, I achieved a lot, and I have been knocked back. But I've grown a lot as a person and honestly, can't wait to see what 2017 has to offer. Today I'm going to be reflecting on some of the major events that happened in my life this year, both positive and negative. Plus I thought I would also outline some of my plans for 2017! Let's take a trip down memory lane...


Friday 23 December 2016

If You Do One Thing Today, Ask Someone If they are okay.

If You Do One Thing Today, Ask Someone If they are okay. support advice OCD anxiety depression mental health illness wellbeing blogger

I think most people with any form of mental illness, will be able to relate to the fact that their mental illness makes them feel lonely and isolated. I know for sure it makes me feel this way. It's for sure one of the worst parts of coping with a mental illness. I've talked about my battle with loneliness on my blog before, which you can read HERE

In that post, I talked a lot about mental illness being a significant cause of my loneliness. This is for various different reasons, one of the main ones being that it's really hard to talk about it with other people. Especially friends who don't experience mental health issues themselves or teachers who you are worried won't understand and will tell you just to snap out of it.

There's a lot of stigmas that surrounds mental illnesses like depression and OCD. When you say, you have depression people jump to the conclusion that your this bedbound being, self-harming and hasn't washed in a week. Or if you have OCD your just a neat freak or concerned about cleanliness and organisation. This stigma is why I find it hard to talk about my mental illness with others. 


Monday 19 December 2016

The Goldfish Boy | Mental Health Book Review

The Goldfish Boy | Mental Health Book Review books blogger review

"Twelve-year-old Matthew is trapped in his bedroom by crippling OCD, spending most of his time staring out of a window watching the inhabitants of Chestnut Close go about their business. Until the day a toddler staying next door goes missing and Matthew finds himself at the centre of the mystery. Every one of his neighbours is a suspect, so Matthew must turn detective to unravel the disappearance of Teddy, whilst facing his fears along the way- with the help of a brilliant cast of characters"

I don't think I've ever been able to relate to a fictional character as much as I could to Matthew, in The Goldfish Boy. It was like reading my own battle with OCD expect without the missing next door neighbour's grandson. Before I even get into the review of the book properly, I want you guys to pre-order this book. Whether you suffer from OCD, mental health problems or not. It's one of the best portrayals of OCD I have ever read, and it needs to be read by everyone.

Without giving any spoilers, the main character of the book is a 12-year-old boy called Matthew, who suffers from crippling OCD, which makes him practically housebound. One day his next door neighbour's grandson, who he watches from his bedroom window, goes missing. The investigation to solve the mystery of where he's gone commences. 


Friday 16 December 2016

How To Talk To Your Doctor About Your Mental Health

  How To Talk To Your Doctor About Your Mental Health sane time to change help support advice depression anxiety OCD

Going to your doctor to talk about your mental health can seem like the most daunting thing ever. The fear of looking crazy, insane or just plain weird would stop anyone seeking the help they need. The fear that it's all just in your head, you're making it up, and there's nothing no one can do to help you, can make getting support from professionals challenging or even just simply sharing and talking about some of your deepest thoughts can be a challenge and make getting help, seem impossible.

But trust me, it's not. Talking to your doctor about your mental health is never going to be easy. Even after seeing my doctor, basically every month for around a year, I still find it incredibly hard to talk about my mental health sometimes. But what you have to realise is that getting help is one of the best ways you can get better and start getting your life back on track.

Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it's one of the bravest things you can do. Your mental illness won't go on its own, most of the time they just get worse over time if you don't get the help you need, whether that be talking therapies such as CBT or medication. No one is going to think you are crazy, insane or mad. Realising something is wrong and getting help, is incredibly brave and something that should be admired. However, it can be difficult to know where to start, so here are nine tips to help you prepare and make the most out of your doctor's appointment. 


Monday 12 December 2016

Christmas And Mental Health

Christmas And Mental Health mental illness wellbeing depression OCD anxiety

Christmas, it's the most wonderful time of the year, right? It can be! For many it is! December can be a month full of joy, happiness, love and celebrations. The lights are pretty, the Christmas songs are jolly, the food is yummy, and the films are funny. Everyone is having fun, everyone's happy. Everyone is laughing.

But what about the people who aren't happy, laughing or having fun? Christmas can be a really tough time for people who already struggle with their mental health but also those that don't. Christmas is expensive. Not planning and preparing a budget can lead to overspending, and debt, which let's be honest isn't going to be beneficial for anyone's wellbeing. Mental health charity SANE, have made an excellent video, showing the struggle that millions of people face every year with debt around Christmas time, which you can watch HERE.

And then there's winter specific mental illnesses, such as SAD also known as seasonal affective disorder, which is described by the NHS as " is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as "winter depression" because the symptoms are more apparent and tend to be more severe during the winter." which is characterised by " a persistent low mood, a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities, irritability, feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness, feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day and sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning" I personally don't suffer from this particular mental health disorder, but I know people that do and I know how distressing and horrible it can be. Particularly with the added stigma that some people don't even know it exists or believe it's a real mental illness.


Monday 5 December 2016

50 Things You Can Do To Support Someone With A Mental Illness Today

help support depression OCD anxiety 50 Things You Can Do To Support Someone With A Mental Illness Today

You know I write a lot of posts about mental health on my blog. Most of which are mainly aimed at people who suffer from mental illness themselves whether that be depression, OCD, anxiety or something else. However, I know that a lot of my readers don't suffer from any kind of mental illness at all.

No one is immune from suffering from a mental illness or being caught up in the dangers and destructions that mental illness can cause. When your loved one; whether that be a friend or family member is suffering from a mental illness, it can be extremely hard to know what to do or how to support them. You can feel helpless against this all-powerful demon who's hurting your loved one, and there's nothing you can do about it.

But there is! There's so much you can to help them! You are never going to be able to magically make them better overnight, but there are little things you can do to support them every single day, to make their life and battle against their mental illness a little easier. I realise how tough it can be supporting your friends and family with mental health problems, as I have personal experience of both. Which is why I compiled this list together of 50 ways you can support someone with a mental illness today, I hope you manage to pick some useful tips out of it. 


Thursday 1 December 2016

Thoughts On Turning 18...

Thoughts On Turning 18... newborn baby photo lifestyle blogger UK


Is this a joke? I'm an adult. I'm a freakin adult. Okay, I know I need to calm down. I'm hardly an adult, now am I? I mean, for sure I'm 18, but I still live at home, I don't have a full-time job, I'm still stuck in the mercy of education, and I don't do many adult things like pay bills, or do the food shopping. I know, I'm missing out on exciting stuff!

I know a lot of people read my blog, who are adults, like proper adults. Adults who are married, have proper jobs, who have a mortgage and some even have kids. Yeah, I'm a long way of achieving any of milestones yet. But something I have always wondered is why we define adulthood has having achieved these things. What if you never achieve these things? Or if you have no intention of achieving these so called important milestones. 

Obviously, I'm just starting out on my long journey to adulthood, but even by just turning 18, I have now a greater choice and freedom in the decisions I can make. I can now drink legally, buy 18 movies, get married without my parent's permission, etc. That's the thing about turning 18; it is such a celebrated milestone because, there is so much freedom and individuality in your choices, that you can make once you reach this age.


Friday 25 November 2016

10 Things NOT To say to someone with OCD

10 Things NOT To say to someone with OCD mental health illness depression Time to change mind NHS

( TW/ OCD) 

I did a post very similar to this one, a few weeks back about things you shouldn't say to someone with depression. It seemed to go down pretty well. So I thought I would do one about things you should not say to someone with OCD.

Like in the depression post, I mentioned that some people are just very arrogant to the reality of mental illness because they haven't had first-hand experience. However, some people are just uneducated because of the unhelpful information and perceptions of OCD that they have absorbed through the media and TV, etc. 

Which is why I'm so passionate about ending the stigma that surrounds OCD and mental health in general. If I can change just one person's perception of what OCD is through this post, I will be so pleased. Please do share this post with others, to spread and share awareness of the true reality of what it's like to suffer from a mental illness.

Monday 21 November 2016

20 Myths About People With OCD

20 Myths About People With OCD myths test am I OCD OCPD Depression mental health illness wellbeing

If you ever want to see me angry and frustrated, get me to look at the hashtag #OCD on Twitter or Instagram for about 10 seconds and I guarantee I will get into a rant about some of the ignorant and misinformed people that use that hashtag on photos of things that are just not OCD what so ever! A tidy cupboard, a neatly ordered plate of food or something claiming that they love the smell of bleach and this must make them OCD.

Like no...please! Just like any mental illness, OCD is debilitating and can completely rule and ruin your life. Obviously, different people are affected in different ways. Some more seriously than others but still the overuse of the word OCD bugs the absolute hell out of me. But then again, you can't really blame these people. I know I said it!

Why? Because people with OCD don't like to talk about OCD. They are embarrassed, ashamed or frightened about what others will say if they tell them, so what do they do? They don't tell anyone at all. They bottle it up and let people misuse the word. If you know me, you know I am pretty open about my OCD and mental health. Today I hope to help you understand what it really means to be OCD by busting some of the common myths. If this helps just one person, think and stop using the term to describe behaviour that really isn't OCD at all, I will be so happy!


Monday 14 November 2016

9 Reasons Why Your Mental Illness Is Made Up For Attention

9 Reasons Why Your Mental Illness Is Made Up For Attention response OCD depression anxiety mental health wellbeing time to change rethink

The other day I was browsing around the world of the inter webs and I came across this article entitled ' 9 reasons why your mental illness is made up for attention", you can check it out HERE, if you want but if I was you, I really wouldn't. It's disrespectful, offensive and just plain rude towards people who have a mental illness.

This person has clearly never experienced mental illness themselves or had to watch anyone close to them, battle with a mental illness because if they did, they would rather a much better understanding of what it means to suffer from any mental illness and the daily struggle that comes part of that.

I want to keep this intro pretty short and sweet, as this post is a pretty long one! It's safe to say I was fuming when I read this Article. I don't think I have ever read something so insulting towards mental illness in my life. On the flip side, it's made me even more passionate to carry on working hard to end the stigma and discrimination that surrounds mental illness. 


Monday 31 October 2016

10 Things NOT To Say To Someone With Depression

(TW/ depression, suicide)

Depression is a very serious mental illness that claims the life's of thousands each year. Despite that, many don't even believe depression exists at all. There's a lot of arrogant people in the world, who don't like to believe in things unless they have been through it themselves. 

These people aren't normally very respectful to people with mental illness, which often leaves them saying things to people with depression that number one aren't true and number two are quite frankly pretty rude. That said, some people aren't rude at all. They simply don't understand. We aren't taught about mental health in school, so it's no wonder many don't understand depression or about how to talk about it with others, especially those who suffer from the illness themselves. 

If you suffer from depression, I almost guarantee that you have had at least one of these things said to you, if not more. I know I have, on plenty of occasions. By sharing this post, I hope to educate those who don't suffer from depression about how to talk about mental illness sensitively with the depressive without triggering them or making them worse. 


Friday 21 October 2016

Group Therapy For Mental Illness- What's It All About?

Group Therapy For Mental Illness- What's It All About? OCD anxiety depression mental illness support health mental

When I was diagnosed with OCD, I was referred to see a therapist at my doctor's surgery, who referred me to a CBT group therapy course at another doctors surgery which specialised in OCD. This course was six weeks long, and each session lasted two hours. In total, there was between six and eight of us in the group, which was a pretty nice round number, not too big or small. 

At first, I was very apprehensive about signing up. Talking about my issues in front of a group of strangers? Was I really ready for that? I mean I talk openly about mental health to thousands of people but you're not directly sat in front of me, are you? It's a bit different! I mean I know we are all in the same boat but would they judge me? How much should I share? Should I not share anything at all? 

Obviously, I have only had experience of my local mental health services and therefore can't speak on behalf of all the mental health services across the country, and I can't tell you that your group therapy course is going to work for you or not. But what I can do is tell you about my experiences and help you make a decision about whether group therapy might be for you or not. 


Monday 17 October 2016

Why The Education System Is Ruining My Mental Health

I am not a robot. I am a human, and I have a life. Although sometimes it's a life I don't always want, it's my life nonetheless, and I treasure it enormously. But college, school and the education system, in general, seem to ignore the fact that I am a human just like them and have a life full of my own struggles and interests outside of insane amount of work, textbooks and exams.

My mental health and general wellbeing have been battered and kicked about for the 13 years I have been in education, and I have no doubts that are not going to end anytime soon. Because hey I don't care if your suffering with moderate to serve depression, OCD and health anxiety don't forget you have a recap test every lesson about what we learnt in the last lesson and when I say what we did last lesson I mean what I made you do as homework, which I'm not going to go through in class because hey I can't be bothered. 

Oh, your struggling? Come to extra lessons on a Wednesday for more work. Oh and don't forget we want you to do five hours further study per subject per week. You also have to come to an enrichment club every Wednesday afternoon just because we know that's what uni loves. Talking of uni; tell me what you want to do in 10 years because hey I don't care if you have a mental illness and sometimes you don't want to be on this planet at all, we are going to shove uni down your throat till you give in. 

You been to any uni open days yet? Written your personal statement? Done any work experience? Got a job? Don't forget you have a target for your A level results which you should always be achieving for if not more. What about hobbies outside of college? Don't forget you need eight hours of sleep and at least an hour of exercise per day. 


Friday 7 October 2016

15 Quotes That Inspire Me | Project Positivity

It can be so hard to remain positive all the time. Of course, we are only human, and it's completely natural to experience a broad range of emotions. Some good and some bad. There's no right and wrongs when it comes to emotions. It's how we react to them that makes us who we are.

When you struggle with your mental health, dealing with your emotions and trying to remain as positive as you can, can be a bit of a challenge. Let's be frank here; just simply getting out of bed in the morning can feel like you have been asked to climb Everest. 

We all have our individual ways of coping and trying to stay as upbeat as possible. There's an infinite number of ways you can try and be more positive from; doing more exercise, trying a new hobby or even trying to eat better. One of the ways, I like to be more positive is by reading inspiring quotes. I know what you're thinking; " God, that's a bit cheesy isn't it?' Yes, alright it doesn't work for everyone and no, I don't go around preaching these to everyone I meet but something I do like to do, when I'm having a shit day is have a quick scroll through Pinterest and read some of the inspiring quotes on there.

For the second installment of the positivity project, run by my best chummy Hannah and me. (You can check out my first post HERE and Hannah's first post HERE) We thought we would share some positive and happy quotes that inspire us! Don't forget to check out Hannah's post as well! Enjoy! 


Wednesday 5 October 2016

Undiagnosed | #SpeakUp

Undiagnosed | #SpeakUp what's wrong with me ? Why my medical problem has no name headaches
You guys know that I talk about mental health a lot here on my blog. I mean I am a mental health blogger, what would you expect? Although I might not be mentally very well, I am lucky enough to have no significant physical ailments or illnesses. But whether you do or you don't, one thing I am sure we can all relate to is going to the doctor and having a list of possible things wrong with us but not actually getting a proper diagnosis.

Whether this is short term problem or is ongoing, it's a pain in the bum. Someone who knows all too well of this is Annie. In today's #SpeakUp post, Annie is going to be sharing her experiences with having illnesses and not being able to have them diagnosed. Having something clearly, abnormal about you and not being able to have a formal diagnosis can be highly irritating for many different reasons. Not only does it stop Annie being able to get the support she may need but it makes it incredibly hard for her to explain to other people without having a name for what is wrong with her.

Whether you do or, don't go through this at some point in your life. I think it's paramount to remember and have in the back of your mind at all times because you never know when you might meet someone who is suffering and can't exactly tell you what's wrong with them. Just because they can't give you a formal name for what they are going through, it doesn't mean there is nothing wrong with them. I don't think this is a topic we think about a lot, but I'm so glad Annie chose to talk about it for the #SpeakUp series as it reminds us all to be more open-minded and respectful for everyone. 


Monday 3 October 2016

Living With Depression

At first, it's just another bad day. Something's irritated you made you upset, but it won't last forever. Tomorrow will be better; you kid yourself. 

But it's not better. Nor is the next day or the day after that. Soon the days become indistinguishable. It's just heaviness, thick fog that consumes you and makes even doing the little tasks unbearable.

You think it will pass. Like a cold or a headache; it's only temporary. You start to realise the things that used to bring you joy and happiness are now worthless because they never work. You feel empty. Emotionless. Heavy. These feelings that are so hard to explain and describe. Maybe they don't exist at all? 


Friday 30 September 2016

An Open Letter To OCD

An Open Letter To OCD mental health mental wellbeing anxiety depression UK lifestyle blogger

Dear OCD,

Why are you even here? I never asked for you to be here? Can you go now, please? Pretty please? You're making my life a misery and I'm sick of it, and I'm sick of you. Your this big bad bully that never goes and this overcasting dark shadow which never leaves me alone. I don't want you here anymore.

What did I do to deserve you? Why do I deserve all this pain, discomfort and distress? Is it because I'm a bad person? Did I do something wrong? Is it genetics? Was I always going to have OCD? Is it innate? Was it me? Was I working too hard? Too much stress? But I thought it was the bullies? Why does the pain continue even though I haven't seen these horrible people in months?

You crept up on me silently with deafening consequences. You made me feel like nothing was wrong, but then I started to realise. I felt like I was going mad, insane, crazy. I didn't know what to do. You had this overwhelming ability something which I have not witnessed before. You had control over me, and I couldn't fight back. I had no hope. You made me weak. Weaker than I had ever felt before. I didn't know what to do.


Wednesday 28 September 2016

How To Deal With Stress | #SpeakUp

STRESS! Give me an S. T. R. E. S. S. What does it spell? STRESS! Yes, okay, I think I have gone mad? Maybe it's the stress! OMG, it's the stress! Don't talk to me about stress! Actually, do talk to me about stress! Not talking about stress, makes you more stressed, which adds to stress and OMG STRESS!!!!!!!

For this installment of the #SpeakUp series, the wonderful Ellen is going to be talking about stress and how to deal with stress. To be honest, I don't think this post could have come at a better time for me. I am so stressed right now. Starting college and doing three A levels requires an enormous amount of work and effort. Not only that, I have to run a blog and keep up to date with my social media, and if that's not enough, I suffer from multiple mental health problems which quite frankly makes me feel like I am drowning in my sweat, blood, and tears!

And you think I'm exaggerating? Okay, maybe I am a little bit but Christ oh mighty, Stress is just killing me! Even when you're organised, have all your beautiful multicoloured fine liners lined up, you can still feel like you are drowning. Luckily, Ellen, has it covered and is going to be sharing some fabulous tips to cope with stress levels! I hope you find them helpful; I know I certainly did!


Monday 26 September 2016

Why People Who Share Their Mental Illness Experiences Are NOT Attention Seeking

Why People Who Share Their Mental Illness Experiences Are NOT Attention Seeking mental health support advice help

When I decide to tweet, Snapchat or blog about anything to do with my mental health I want you to know it takes every ounce of courage to do so. When I really want to share how bad or good my days been, how's my mental health treating me or share one of my exposures with you, I think twice before sending it. That's a lie. I think a lot more about it than just twice. 

I want to be very transparent with you guys. At the end of the day my blogs a mental health blog amongst over things, but I'm not here to sugar coat life or to pretend it's all glitter and unicorns. Because it's not. Sometimes life gives you a tough time and just like you might do with a physical illness, you are just as entitled to share your mental health experiences/ challenges. If you want to of course. 

If I want to Snapchat about how low I'm feeling right now or if I send a tweet in an apparent state of despair it does not mean I am looking for attention. Far from it. Sometimes they are just a cry for help but other times I just want to perpetuate the reality of what suffering with mental illnesses can be like you can't always just cheer up or be happy. Just because I was fine an hour ago it doesn't mean that I'm faking it- that's just the unpredictably of mental illness. 


Friday 23 September 2016

Thoughts On Loneliness

Thoughts On Loneliness mental health mental illness blogger UK lifestyle

I am lonely and I am 17. Two words you don't expect to hear in the same sentence. Young people get lonely? I thought it was just old people who get lonely? Don't be silly- you will find someone one day, you won't be alone forever. 

Oh, I wish loneliness was that simple and straight forward. You see the thing is loneliness affects people of all ages, from all ethnic backgrounds, genders etc. Loneliness isn't exclusive to old people contrary to what most people think. No one is immune from being affected by loneliness at any stage of their life. 

Today I want to share with you why I accept my loneliness and how I come to terms with it. I want to talk to you about how it feels to be young and lonely. If you feel like you are going through a similar situation right now- I am always here to listen. Loneliness is one of the worst things you can ever possibly go through, I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy.


Wednesday 21 September 2016

The Reality Of Self-Harm | #SpeakUp

You may remember Matti? She has already written a post for the #SpeakUp series, but she wanted to cover more than one topic, and because I was so impressed with her last post about anxiety and paranoia, which you can read Here, I couldn't really say no! I'm so proud of Matti for sharing not one but two personal stories of hers to help raise awareness for the #SpeakUp series. She's honestly so brave and deserves all the love and support. 

In today's #SpeakUp post, Matti is going to be talking about self-harm but in particular the reality of self-harm. How there is a lot more to self-harm than the stereotypical image of a teenager cutting their wrists. Self-Harm is serious. There are so many different ways of self-harming than just cutting, which Matti goes into during the post. People also have lots of different reasons for self-harming. I also have personal experience of self-harming, which is closely related to my OCD, which I don't really talk about much on my blog. Matti's post really spoke to me and helped me feel less alone; I hope it does the same for you if you have or are self-harming. 

It goes without saying that this post carries a massive trigger warning. Matti does go into detail about self-harming, so if you do think you will be negatively affected by reading this post, please don't carry on reading! If you need to talk to me about any mental health problems you are experiencing my emails and DMs are always open. 


Monday 19 September 2016

Why Acne Doesn't Define Me

Why Acne Doesn't Define Me beauty blogger UK  teenager lifestyle skincare spots zits

I've battled with shit skin for most of my life. Ever since I was a little baby, I had very sensitive skin and eczema. As a child, I came out in a rash every time I used a fancy bubble bath or bath bomb, which pretty much put Lush out of the question! Yes, I don't ever have the pleasure of going into a Lush shop and getting excited over the wide array of colorful and adorable looking bath bombs and shower gels *Sad face*

At the end of year six, I developed acne. Hello, puberty! Mainly based on my cheeks, a couple of spots here and there were annoying but never really affected my confidence that much. Let's just say, my interest in fashion, caring about my appearance hadn't really caught up with my body and all the changes that were happening inside it yet. I was marched off to boots, and my mother bought me a wide array of skincare products and face washes to control the spots. Spoiler alert- it didn't help!

And there we have the beginning of my seven years and counting battle against my acne. Over the years I have been teased about my acne, I've beaten myself up about it, I've hated it myself for it and let it rule my life. But over the very long and stressful seven years of battling with these little devils, I have learnt one thing. Acne does not define me. I am not just the spots on my face. If you can see past my acne, you will see that I am a very loving, understanding and slightly weird human being that is NOT dirty or contaminated. 


Friday 16 September 2016

The Importance Of Taking Lots Of Photos

The Importance Of Taking Lot's Of Photos blogger UK lifestyle blogging beauty memories

For as long as I can remember, even since I was a small child I loved taking photos. This passion for photography has never left me. I have collected many cameras throughout my childhood and adolescence all of which I have thoroughly enjoyed using and took many a photo with. I have always had this innate interest for documenting my life whether that be through video, photography or writing- which is probably why I enjoy blogging so much. 

There's something about photos. Something so extraordinary and mesmerising about them. They capture a place and time, frozen in the past but will be remembered forever. You may forget that family day trip out you had when you were seven but with the aid of a photo you can remember so much that without a photo you would never be able to do. Photos can bring back so many memories; both happy and sad memories. You may have been in a good place, or you may have been going through a hard time but with the aid of a photo, these memories can come back to life. 

I love photographs. Not just digital ones but film ones as well. There's something so special about having a printed out copy of a photo. The days when you used to go into Boots and get all your photos developed, from every, day trip or holiday. I'm not going to lie; we were one of those families- which have now left me with a lot of loose photographs which are currently just been stored in a plastic bag. And when I say a lot of photographs. I do mean A LOT! But I love every single one. They all have a really unique story to tell. 


Monday 12 September 2016

My Experience With Contacting Samaritans

My Experience With Contacting Samaritans  mental health illness troubles teenagers advice support help

In my ultimate directory of mental health and organisations post, which I shared on my blog a couple of months back, I mentioned that I had personally contacted Samaritans. Lot's of you congratulated me on being so brave, and some of you said that you wouldn't have the courage to do what I did. I want you to know about my experience, to hopefully reassure you that seeking help from an organisation like Samaritans does not make you weak. I am also going to be providing you with some factual information about the Samaritans, so if you want to get in contact with them but are scared for whatever reason, my post will hopefully help you out.

Okay, so what is the Samaritans? The Samaritans are a confidential charity that supports children and young people, with a wide range of problems and difficulties, which includes mental health and suicide. However, please note that; YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE SUICIDAL TO CONTACT SAMARITANS! I wasn't, and it's okay, they will listen to all your problems no matter how big or small they may seem.

In order to get in contact with Samaritans, you don't have to just ring them. You can email, visit one of their branches, text or even write a letter. Though if you feel like you are really struggling the best thing to do is ring them. They are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so by ringing them you will get immediate help unlike if you send them an email, it will take them around 12 hours to reply.


Friday 9 September 2016

A Letter To My Younger Self

A Letter To My Younger Self kids children memories photos happy blogger UK lifestyle

I want to tell you something. I want you to know something Nicole. You were incredibly lucky and fortunate, but you didn't appreciate it. The good times have come and been and now your stuck in sinking sand. You fall further and further down each day into a bottomless pit of darkness and destruction.

The bad times will come, and they will hit you hard. You spent years upon years watching your loved ones around you struggle and crumble to helpless heaps on the hospital floor. It's now your turn. You won't be ready. It will hit you out of the blue. It's like the 5th of November; there are all these separate fireworks which together create something beautiful. In your case, these single fireworks are just bad events which individually don't cause much harm but when they go off in close concession they cause something destructive.

You are so beautiful, Nicole! But you didn't believe it. You were happy and healthy, but you let the voices in your head take hold. You developed an unhealthy relationship with food. You will get a buzz of energy every time you see the number on the scales go down a little bit more. The voice in your head is lying to you. You need to ignore this voice. Every time you run up the stairs, you will desperately try and feel the bones in your legs as a way of reassuring yourself you are beautiful just like the morbidly thin girls in the magazines. These are bad habits, which will be hard to break, but you will get out.


Wednesday 7 September 2016

Growing Up As a Young Disabled Person | #SpeakUp

You guys know, if you have been following my blog for a while and have been keeping up with the #SpeakUp posts you will know that I like to cover a wide range of subjects on my blog and with the help of you lovely lot, that is expanded even more. Often, the topics that are covered in the #SpeakUp series, I have had at least some personal experience of before. But for today's #SpeakUp post, that isn't the case at all! And you know what? I'm so okay with that!

For today's #SpeakUp post the lovely Shona ( a beauty, lifestyle and disability blogger) is going to be sharing her story with growing up as a young and disabled person. I cover mental health on my blog A LOT! You guys know that! But as unfortunate, I am to suffer from mental health problems, I have never had to deal with any kind of chronic pain or illness. On the contrary to Shona who battles every day with Marfan Syndrome which causes her extreme pain and distress. 

I know, this may seem bad of me to say but I guess I never really give people in wheelchairs a second thought, I don't think about all the pain they must be in or the simple things that must be so difficult for them such as accessibility that non-disabled people take for granted. But I am sure, it's not just me? Many of you, who are fortune enough to be active and fully abled bodied also don't think about the difficulties disabled people face? Shona really opened my eyes in this post to the reality of growing up as a young, disabled person, something I have never really thought of before. Despite all the pain, Shona remains positive and optimistic which is so inspirational. She's one brave, strong girl! Make sure you go and give her some love! 


Monday 5 September 2016

Why Taking Antidepressants Does NOT Make You Weak

Why Taking Antidepressants Does NOT Make You Weak mental health illness wellbeing depression OCD anxiety help advice

When you have a physical illness, you go to the doctor. When you have a mental illness, you go to the doctor. Right? Wrong! 1/4 people (which is around 450 million people- probably someone you know) suffers from a mental illness, but only 1/5 of those people take medication to balance out the chemicals and hormones inside their bodies and only 1/3 people go to a doctor to seek help when they are mentally ill!


Why? If we know something isn't right, if we know what we are feeling is abnormal, if we lose interest in the things we used to love, feel on edge on all the time, have out of control mood swings, having unwanted or intrusive thoughts and use compulsions to relief anxiety, feel sad, depressed, upset for days on end, feel worthless and hopeless or become to scared to leave our own house- why do we not talk about it? Why do we not go to a doctor? One little word;



Friday 2 September 2016

50 Things That Make Me Happy | The Positivity Project

50 Things That Make Me Happy smile blogger UK lifestyle beauty style

The world can be such a negative place at times. A place filled with illness, war, terrorism, hate and anger. It can be very easy to get caught up in this constant and consuming negativity. You really can't escape it, can you? Every time you go on Twitter or read the latest headlines we seem to be mourning the loss of hundreds of people or praying for another country. 

It's really, really sickening to think the world can be such a horrible place at times yet so beautiful at the same time. It can be very easy to let this constant stream of negativity in the news damage your own personal life and even your mental health. This is not okay. Although I can't bring an end to terrorism, war or cancer, me and my best chummy Hannah from fluorescent photographer have come up with a new little project to spread a bit of positivity and happiness. 

On the first Friday of each month, there will be a new post up on both mine and Hannah's blog for ' The Positivity Project' where we will be sharing all things positive, happy and fun to hopefully bring a smile to your face and brighten your day; even if it's just a little bit. We have got lots of ideas for the future but today we thought we would start with 50 things that make us happy! I hope you enjoy!


Wednesday 31 August 2016

101 Things In 1001 Days

101 Things In 1001 Days blogger challenge update lifestyle UK
If you suffer from any form of mental illness, you know how hard it can be to get out of bed in the morning! You know how easy it can be to slip into a never ending cycle of self-hatred. You know how easy it is for your motivation just to disappear from in front of your eyes. I know I have experienced all of these things.

As part of my recovery, I want to focus on overcoming my obsessions and compulsions. One of the best ways to do this alongside other strategies is to distract myself and make sure you are focusing your energy on important and positive things. My brain automatically thinks that overloading myself with studying and work will be a good thing. Well yes, I'm going to work very hard in the next couple of academic years, I need to make sure I am not just focusing all my energy on studying but other, more enjoyable things as well.

This is where the 101 in 1001 days challenge comes in. This challenge has been around for a while now, so I am sure you are very familiar with it. But basically if your not, the main principle is that unlike a bucket list you actually have a time restriction on how quickly you do the things on your list (1001 days which is around 2.75 years) which gives you plenty of time to achieve some of you're smaller and bigger goals. Most of the things on my list, are not that extreme. There's no swimming with dolphins on here or anything like that because well let's be real; that's unlikely to happen. 

I will be updating you on the list as I go along because I really think I can achieve most of these things on my list. I would love to know if you are inspired to create your own 101 in 1001 days list in the comments down below or if you already have one; let me know how it is getting on


Tuesday 30 August 2016

How Sexual Harassment Impacted My Life | #SpeakUp

How Sexual Harassment Impacted My Life | #SpeakUp blogger lifestyle beauty UK feminism taboo subjects

When I allowed Claire to write a post on sexual harassment for the #SpeakUp series I didn't really know what to expect. I have been fortune enough not to have to go through something as horrible as sexual harassment. If I'm honest, I didn't know much about sexual harassment before I read Claire's post. I am an advocate for supporting the importance of consent and believe that I am pretty educated when it comes to what consent sounds like, but when it comes to sexual harassment, I'm pretty clueless. 

Sexual harassment is "harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks." but I we all know it can be so much more. The impacts of sexual harassment can be devastating and pretty horrific for the victim. Sexual harassment can take many different forms and can last for varying periods of time. Someone who knows all too well about this is Claire.

I'm so proud of Claire for sharing such a personal story in such a delicate way. Sexual harassment is definitely something which is not spoken up about enough in the blogging community or in society in general. Whether that's because women ( or men for that matter) are embarrassed to talk about it in the fear they will be told they are making a fuss about nothing or if they don't even realise It's a problem, to begin with. You don't have to go through sexual harassment alone. Tell someone and keep telling them till something is done about it. I'm so proud of Claire for writing this post so please be kind and so her some love. 


Sunday 28 August 2016

22 Pieces Of Advice I Would Give All College/ Sixth Form Freshers

For some people, college can be the best two years of their life. You have more freedom and expression. Your doing subjects that you should enjoy and you have more control over how you study. You can wear your own clothes, eat more food and just generally experience more than what you ever did at school.

For others, college is hell. It's a big place, with lots of new people. It can be lonely and intimidating all at the same time. There are more work and responsibility. There are more things to remember, more deadlines and tests. With all this on top of any other issues or problems you are going through; mental illness, family troubles, relationship difficulties, etc. College can be a tough place. 

Whether you are excited or nervous to be starting college in September or even a bit of both, I wanted to share will you 22 pieces of advice, of things I have learnt from my own personal experiences. I hope you find this useful.


Saturday 27 August 2016

The Ultimate List Of Hashtags and Retweet Twitter Accounts for Bloggers

The Ultimate List Of Hastags and Retweet Twitter Accounts for Bloggers UK lifestyle beauty

In my how to use Twitter to boost your blog traffic post, I did earlier in the year, which you can check out HERE if you missed it! I told you guys that adding hashtags and retweet accounts into your tweets where you promote your latest blog posts is really useful and totally worth doing! I promised you guys in that post, I would compile a list of the hashtags and retweet accounts I could find which are relevant to bloggers and here it is...

This post did take me some time and I know I have probably missed some off because there are so many niches in blogging these days, it's hard to keep up! If I missed anything of either one of the lists then do let me know in the comments below and I will try to keep this post as updated as I can for you.

I hope you find it useful! Also quick side note, all the account names should directly lead to the associated Twitter account if you click on them, so you don't have to go hunting on Twitter for them! I am kind like that! Anyway, I hope you find this helpful and it wasn't a complete waste of my time scrolling through Twitter for hours trying to find them all (Yes, I want you to feel sorry for me! Hint hint)


Friday 26 August 2016

Anxiety And Paranoia | #SpeakUp

Anxiety related disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses that people experience with 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population being affected. (Source: National Institute of Mental Health) However, I believe that not only is it important to talk about and raise awareness of mental illnesses that affect a lot of people, it is equally important to educate people about less common mental illnesses that people suffer from.

One of those is paranoia. Paranoia is actually more common than you would think, as Matti explains in this #SpeakUp post. Despite, it being very common it is very rarely spoken about and if I am completely honest with you , I didn't know much about it either until I read this post. Paranoia can be really hard and difficult to understand and cope with. You are definitely not mad, crazy or insane, there is help out there for you.

Which Matti so brilliantly explains and highlights in this post. If you feel like you are suffering from paranoia or anxiety after reading this post, please do seek help, you are not alone. I am so glad that Matti decided to not only focus on anxiety in her #SpeakUp post but paranoia as well. She did an amazing job at explaining what it feels like and I am so proud of her for sharing her personal story. I hope you enjoy this post and it educates you a little bit more about what it is like suffering from anxiety and paranoia. 


Monday 22 August 2016

9 Lies My OCD Tells Me

You guys know I have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and I am very open about it here on my blog. A lot of you have very kindly said that you had learnt a lot from my posts in the past about emetophobia and OCD which is reassuring to hear, but some of you don't completely understand it or want to find out more about the disorder.

As part of my recovery process, I like to write down some of the intrusive thoughts I have in my head. I call these lies. There lies my brain tells me because it wants to trick me into thinking things that aren't true. Sometimes I can stand against them, and sometimes I can't. OCD is not just about being neat, clean or liking order- far from it. It's a serious and debilitating mental illness. 

Unfortunately, I'm not the only person that has to live with this devil of a disorder. Through blogging, I have met lots of other supportive and understanding individuals who also struggle with OCD, one of those being Naomi from Tea time with Naomi. Today we are both going to be talking about lies our OCD tells us. Please check out her post, as OCD affects suffers very differently, meaning that I on my own will never be able to give you an accurate reflection of what OCD is like for everyone. 


Saturday 20 August 2016

31 Things All College/Sixth Form Freshers Need

31 Things All College/Sixth Form Freshers Need A levels stress exams bag school college Uni

I went to college for the first time last September but I am starting again this September. Blah blah blah! You have heard this story all before. You know why etc. Basically, this means that I become a fresher again this September. However, this time, I am armed with my previous experience.

You need a lot when you go to college. A lot more than you ever did at school. The teachers aren't here to look out for you anymore (I mean, they still are but they are not going to be reminding you of all the things you need to bring) if you don't bring a planner or diary- that's your own call!

To stop you making some of the same mistakes as I did, I have made you a comprehensive list of all the essentials you will need at college. I highly recommend you take all 31 of them with you because trust me on this one guys... Your probably gonna need them!

Friday 19 August 2016

A Beginners Guide To: Understanding Photography Terminology

A Beginners Guide To: Understanding Photography Terminology Help advice tips tricks photos blogger blogging

You guys know I love photography and you also seem to really like my blog posts I do on photography, whether that be my photo diaries or posts where I actually share my photography tips. However, sometimes I feel like I get a bit too technical. I am a big camera geek and I forget that not everyone shares my passion for getting excited at pieces of plastic.

I recently posted my most comprehensive photography tips post to date; A Beginners Guide To: Getting into Photography' where I went through everything from buying the camera to cleaning it. However, that post was very long and I didn't get the opportunity to really explain all the words I was using, in that much depth. I know a couple of my blogging friends have recently invested in their first proper cameras, so I want to help them and the rest of you guys out as much possible.

I thought what would be really useful is a photography terminology guide for beginners. There's a lot of fancy words used in photography which can seem pretty complicated at first. Trust me I know, it took me forever to get my head around what most of these words mean. But now I know and have a good understanding, I want to make your life easier. So here is a very long list of photography words which you may not understand fully, but hopefully, I have explained them clearly in this post. If you have any more photography questions or want anything clearing up, don't be scared to ask! 


Tuesday 16 August 2016

Let's Talk About Being Bullied | #SpeakUp

Let's Talk About Being Bullied | #SpeakUp bullying help support lifestyle blogger UK

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that a while ago I did a post about bullying. You can read that post HERE. Before the start of this year, I had never experienced bullying before. I now realise how lucky I was. Bullying is such a horrible thing to go through and is a topic that is very close to my heart. Some people don't even realise bullying is still going on, they roll their eyes and just think the victim can't take a joke and needs to lighten up.

This is not the case at all! Bullying can happen for so many different reasons. It can build up gradually or happen suddenly. It can get better and then worse. Some people are affected more than others, but nonetheless, it's this an important topic that needs to be talked about. Being bullied can make you feel alone, vulnerable and scared. It's a really unpleasant thing to have to go through and can really knock your confidence. No one should have to go through bullying. Period.

Although I have talked about my personal experience with bullying before, bullying can take so many shapes and forms, with so many people being affected differently. Which is why I wanted Severina to share her personal experience with bullying, for this week's #SpeakUp post. Severina is so brave for sharing her story; I'm so proud of her for overcoming such a hard point in her life and still managing to see the positives. I really admire her for this. I hope you find this post helpful or reassuring if you are going through something similar right now. You are not alone and worth so much more than the bullies words. 


Sunday 14 August 2016

50 Thoughts I Have On a Daily Basis

50 Thoughts I Have On a Daily Basis lifestyle blogger UK mental health blog thoughts mental wellbeing

When I saw the amazing, beautiful and utterly inspirational Amie from Thecurvaceousvegan do a post about 30 thoughts she has on a daily basis which you are can read HERE, I found myself internally agreeing and nodding my head at lots of the points she was making! 

I enjoyed the post so much; I was inspired to share a similar post on my blog about all the thoughts I have on a daily basis! The great thing about these posts is 100 people could do them, and they would all be totally different! All our minds are different and work in completely different ways! Which makes us all unique. Granted there are some thoughts we have which are pretty universal but others not so much! 

As most of you know, I suffer from mental health problems, so lots of the thoughts I have on a daily basis aren't very nice, but I have tried to mix it up with some light-hearted thoughts which I also have in the day! This post could have easily gone on for ages! I have WAY TOO MANY crazy thoughts every day to list in just one post!! I hope you enjoy nonetheless!


Friday 12 August 2016

How To Balance Life And Blogging

How To Balance Life And Blogging quick easy ideas spreadsheets college school organisation notebooks

It can be easy to let your blog get on top of you if you struggle with organisation. Equally, life can get in the way and stop you enjoying blogging. However, both of these can be combated by having strategies in place and certain items utilised to help you manage your time more efficiently. A lot of you very kindly say that I'm very organised, and I seem to be able to manage everything very well. Yep, that's true! I've got to be! Otherwise, the five websites/ magazines that I write for including my own would never get any new posts and articles.

There are so many ways you can manage and organise your life. Many people are divided between paper and electronic methods. Personally, I like a bit of both. I'm going to show you how I manage my college work using both digital ways and paper. As well as how I handle the day to day chores and my blog. 

The key to time management is finding a method or strategy that works for you and sticking to it. I use lots of different methods to manage college, life and blogging. I know I am not the only one! Lots of other bloggers use different methods to me, which is why today Kizzi from Beauty and Brownies and I have teamed up to show you how we balance life and blogging using different organisational methods. Don't forget to check out Kizzi's post to get lots more ideas on how to organise your time and hopefully you will find something that works well for you. 

Thursday 11 August 2016

What It Feels Like To Be An Outsider

What It Feels Like To Be An Outsider introvert blogger UK lifestyle
*Takes a deep breath* Hi, I'm Nicole, and I'm an outsider. An introvert and all around misfit! I don't have the same interests as most people my age; I don't enjoy what most people my age do, and I find it incredibly hard to make friends because of this.

I am an outsider, and I will tell you something; it's pretty tough! As a kid, I was a bit odd, but come on all the best kids are! I'm an only child I had to entertain myself some way! I used to entertain myself for hours playing witches, teachers or mums and dads with my teddies and dolls for company. I was a complete bookworm; I loved to write, draw and just genuinely be creative. I was my happiest with a jigsaw puzzle or colouring book in my hands! 

I was a pretty normal kid in many aspects. I had friends; a small group of close nit friends who I enjoyed to play horses with or make birds nests with when the school field had just been cut! Don't laugh; I bet you did this too! I worked hard at school and did my best; it wasn't until year 11/ college that I realised how much of an outsider I was. I never fitted in with large friendship groups, no matter how hard I tried. 


Wednesday 10 August 2016

Let's Talk About Teenage Relationships | #SpeakUp

Let's Talk About Teenage Relationships | #SpeakUp love advice boyfriends girlfriends blogger UK lifestyle

If there is one thing you will never see on my blog is relationship advice or anything to do with relationships for that matter. At this current moment in time, I'm 17 I've never had a boyfriend, had sex, been kissed, hugged or for that matter or been touched by a boy who isn't related to me by blood. WAYYYYY..... Don't I live a wild life? This is something that really used to get me down when I was younger. I used to always think I was never going to find a soulmate and be alone forever.

As I have got older, I have realised that as selfish as it sounds I have to put myself first. I have to learn to love myself before I can love anyone else. I have lot's issues and problems that I have to overcome before I can become consumed with a relationship. Living with a mental illness, especially one that stops me making physical contact with any other human beings for fear of being contaminated, dying and killing all those others around me. I need someone who understands; that will have to be a very special human being.

Thankfully, I know someone who has a lot more experience with teenage relationships than me who can offer you some very helpful advice. For this week's #SpeakUp post, the lovely Jade is going to be sharing with you her advice about teenage relationships. For those who have never been in a relationship before, those who are in a toxic relationship and those of who are in very happy and fulfilling relationships. There's something here for everyone! I hope you find this post very helpful and informative (Jade did a fantastic job at covering all the bases)

Monday 8 August 2016

How To Make A Media Kit For Your Blog

How To Make A Media Kit For Your Blog help guide easy quick step by step

Some of you may have clicked on this post with not a clue what the hell a media kit is and some of you may have heard the term before but have no idea where to start and are looking for some inspiration. Whatever the reason you clicked on this post, I've got ya covered!  

The best way to describe a media kit is it is basically a CV for your blog. Your blog's media kit should be an extension of your blog, so it needs to look professional and outline your best bits. Like a CV is a quick way for an employer to see if you are suitable for the job, a media kit works in the same way. If you have a media kit, brands and companies can have a look at it before working or collaborating with you.

There are so many benefits of having a media kit for your blog; not only does it make you look super professional and like you've got your shit together, it's a perfect way to answer questions that brands may have about you and your blog, before working with you without having to exchange countless emails. In some cases, brands may ask to see your media kit before working with you, so it's always handy to have an up to date version at hand. You don't have to be a full-time blogger, to make a media kit either. Anyone can make a media kit for their blog!

In this post, I am going to cover everything about making a blog media kit from what software to use, what to include, things to bear in mind and how to upload it to your blog in PDF format so it is accessible to everyone who may want to work with you. I hope you find this post really useful!

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