Friday, 29 September 2017

Five Easy Ways To Reduce Your Anxiety

Five Easy Ways To Reduce Your Anxiety help support mental health illness wellbeing panic attacks OCD depression

I know all too well what it's like to struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. Panic attacks can be terrifying, you feel like you are going to die. The reality is you're not. Although scary, panic attacks will not kill you. It often feels like you are having a heart attack, I know what that feels like but it's just your mind tricking you. 

Over time I've picked up quite a few little coping techniques to help keep my anxiety under control. Sometimes they won't work, that's okay because I learn from the experience and maybe sometimes I even pick up a little coping mechanism from it too.  

Keeping anxiety under control and dealing with panic attacks do not have to be complicated. Which is why all of these methods are very simple and to some of you will seem completely obvious. However, if anxiety is something you have only recently been struggling with, you may find these super useful.

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Monday, 25 September 2017

We Are Not Your Stereotype

We Are Not Your Stereotype mental health illness OCD depression anxiety PTSD

I've heard time and time again from so many people that it's not always the mental illness that is the hardest part to deal with, but, the stigma that surrounds it. Whichever mental illness you think of there will be some stereotypes attached to it. These stereotypes are damaging, they curate stigma which makes it hard for sufferers to seek support.

I suffer from a range of mental health problems. Every mental illness has some kind of negative label or stereotype attached to it which makes talking about the problem a lot harder. I know all too well what the stereotypes are around depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder, as I experience them almost on a weekly basis.

However, for this blog post, I thought I would spice things up a bit. Instead of reading me waffling on about OCD, I thought I would get some other people in who struggle with their mental health and different illnesses to talk to me about the stigma they face. When I sent out the tweet I got a fantastic response, thank you, everyone, who replied. Sorry I couldn't get back to everyone. I hope this blog post aims to educate you on the stereotypes attached to a wide range of mental health problems, not just the illnesses I suffer from. Sit back, grab a cuppa...it's going to be a long one.

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Friday, 22 September 2017

My Hair Timeline (2003-2017)

My Hair Timeline (2003-2017) pink blue green red dip dyed blonde black brown copper bleached short long bob fringe

If there is one thing you need to know about me, it is that I LOVE dying my hair. I've been dying my hair for over four years now. I started with the natural colours, branched out to dip dyes and then full on bright colours. I know I don't normally do beauty related posts if you can even call this post, that but my hair is a very important part of my identity.

Dying my hair different colours, especially the brighter colours make me super happy. I love the confidence it gives me. The first time I dyed my hair bright pink all over, I felt like an entirely new person. My mental health improved so much, and I noticed the change in myself for sure, and so did the people around me.

Dying your hair bright colours isn't going to be for everyone. Some people like tattoos or piercings. My thing is dying my hair. I know people say I shouldn't because it's going to fall out from all the damage. But I'll rather have had fun with my hair while I can before I'm restricted with how I express myself in an office job. I hope you enjoy looking through these old hairstyles. I've included some right embarrassing ones. You are definitely in for a treat.

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Friday, 15 September 2017

A Beginners Guide To CBT

A Beginners Guide To CBT NHS anxiety help support depression easy

I feel like CBT has become quite a well known and frequently used term within society, nowadays. Lots of people know that CBT is a form of therapy for mental health problems and that NHS waiting list times are ridiculously long. You wouldn't be wrong there, but that's really as far as their knowledge goes. 

Maybe you stumbled across this post because you are planning on having CBT soon or are interested to find out more, to see if it's right for you. Maybe you haven't got a clue. You think CBT stands for something like changing brain time and believe that it involves a long black couch and a man with a long grey beard.

For whatever reason you've clicked on this post, don't worry you are in safe hands. I'm going to be taking you through the basics of CBT. Including; what it is, how it works and what problems it can be used to treat. I aim to provide an educational and informative guide for beginners to this what can seem alien concept at the beginning, a lot easier to understand. 

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting

The Manifesto On How To Be Interesting review book blogger Holly Bourne YA young action fiction story blogger UK

It's not often that I find a book which it is so creepily similar to my life I have to double check it's not a biography about me. Obviously, not every aspect of this story resembles my life, thank God for that. If you've read this book, you will know EXACTLY what I'm on about. 

Holly Bourne is YA's answer to well the best thing since white sliced bread. Holly just gets it. I don't know about you but when I think of young adult fiction, I just think of the stereotypical and very over done storyline of boy meets girl, some friend drama, but everything always works out well in the end. Holly has a knack of easing on the cheese factor of YA fiction and actually making in modern and enjoyable while still including boys, school, and friendships. The three essentials on any YA novel.

The manifesto on how to be interesting is one girl's heartbreaking but equally heartwarming journey through romance, friendship and most importantly finding yourself. I couldn't put this book down, it was that good. Which is why I needed to dedicate a whole review to it.

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Monday, 11 September 2017

My Favourite Podcasts

My Favourite Podcasts mental health iphone podcast itunes blogger

I love myself a good podcast. I like to think of myself as some what of an educated young lady. I don't think I have ever said a more up myself statement, than that before on my blog but eh, there is always room for a first. Where was I? Oh yeah, podcasts...I bloody love the things! 

I listen to podcasts on a broad range of subjects, from mental health, books and feminism to name a few. I think podcasts are really underrated, most people just tune into to Youtube when they're bored or listen to music, but I have found listening to Podcasts a much more productive use of my time. Unlike listening to music or watching the same Jermery Kyle compilation videos on YouTube (Don't judge me) I actually learn something! 

Listening to podcasts broadens my knowledge and understanding on a wide range of different topics. I get to listen to others perspectives on issues, which I may not have thought of. I often learn new information and more importantly, they give me food for thought. They often leave me going away thinking about the topic they have discussed. More than any Jermery Kyle video will ever do. I've included a mix of well known and smaller podcasts in this list, I really hope you find one you like. Let's get amongst it. 

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Friday, 8 September 2017

Not Being Ill Enough To Be Good Enough

Not Being Ill Enough To Be Good Enough mental illness depression anxiety NHS treatment

At school, I was involved in all kinds of competitions. Skipping, sports day and reading challenges to name a few. I still have all the certificates stored away in a dusty box in my attic somewhere. The general premise of most competitions is that you had to be good enough to win. Which I'm sure most people would agree with unless you're one of those who believes that every kid should get a medal for taking part kind of person.

I generally thought I left those competition days behind me when I hung up my school blazer for the last time. Turns out, I didn't. And it seems that more and more people with mental health problems are experiencing the same. Whether that be in heated disagreements on Twitter about who has had it worse or more importantly, when trying to access fundamental life-saving support.

MENTAL HEALTH IS NOT A COMPETITION 

( Trigger warning: This post contains mentions of suicide, which some readers may find distressing) 

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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Review: Washed Away From Darkness To Light: A Memoir By Nikki Dubose

Review: Washed Away From Darkness To Light: A Memoir By Niki Dubose book mental health illness depression anxiety child abuse support help review

You know when you read a book, and once you've put it down, you're still thinking about it, yeah? Well, that was with me with this book. Washed away from darkness to light is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. A heartwarming but equally heartbreaking tale of one girl's struggle through child abuse, addiction, a chaotic family life, rape, grief and complex mental health problems. 

A good book has to trigger emotions, whether that be happiness, sadness, anger or something else. I cried while reading this book, so I think it's safe to say what emotion it provoked. I was deeply touched by Nikki's struggles. I couldn't fathom how someone could go through so much yet still be fighting on. And for that, I only have admiration for Nikki. The courage it must have taken to keep going is unthinkable. 

Like Nikki, I had a childhood filled with trauma which has left me with complex mental health problems. Although under completely different circumstances, I felt a strong connection and great empathy for Nikki while reading, as her story unfolded. Whether you have mental health problems or not, I'm sure you will be moved my Nikki's stories as well as learn a lot about the devastating impact of childhood abuse and unresolved trauma.

(Warning, this review contains spoilers)

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Monday, 4 September 2017

No More Boys And Girls: Political Correctness Gone Mad Or a Step In The Right Direction?


 Recently, John Lewis decided in the act of defiance against the gender stereotypes decided to remove all their 'boys' and 'girls' labels from their clothing. Instead, labeling their clothes for boys and girls. This means that dresses say they can be worn for girls and boys. Girls and boys can wear pink, blue, yellow or whatever colour they want under the sun. When they go into the shop, they can browse all the clothes and pick out what they like, because they like it, not because of it is what they think they should like or are expected to wear. 

I stand firmly supporting this decision by John Lewis. I think it is a fundamentally important step in the right direction to encourage children, just to be children and not be what society thinks they should be. Constant reminders of differences between boys and girls, sink in and have a lasting impact. One which many don't realise until it is too late. 

There are of course many people who are against John Lewis's decision, claiming that is is politically correct nonsense. Parents inflicting their views on children, who really don't care what they wear at that age. Some simply don't understand the argument and reasoning behind removing girls and boys labels from clothing because they are so blinded by society's beliefs of what a girl and boy should be like from the day they are born, what toys they should play with, what they should wear, right up to what job they should be doing in the future. 

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Friday, 1 September 2017

Mental Health Self Care Wishlist

Mental Health Self Care Wishlist depression anxiety OCD help support lovethesales.com cheap self-care mental illness UK blogger

We all need to treat ourselves once in a while. Something which I do not do enough. I preach self-care on here. I've done countless blog posts on the importance of self-care and sharing some of my self-care ideas. In reality, I don't practice what I preach. 

I want this to change though. Which is why I have compiled this list of things which I am going to buy in due course, to treat myself, in some much-needed self-care. If you know me, you will know that my methods of self-care are anything but traditional. Bubble baths and candles are just not me, which is why you may be scratching your head at some of the things listed in this post. But don't threat, they all help me. 

And that's the thing with self-care, it's so individualistic. What works for once person is not necessarily going to work for the next person. The most important thing is that you find what works for you. Whether they are cliches or not. I hope this list has inspired you to treat yourself and invest in some proper self-care time. 

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