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excessive daytime sleepiness is a pain but I need to work better with it

So this post is hopefully going to come across a lot more personal and open than any other posts I’ve done in the past where I’ve tried to put on a professional ‘blogger’ persona and give out advice and tips. Not that there’s anything wrong with those kind of bloggers and that kind of online persona is definitely what get’s people into the professional blogging industry. But lately, for the most part of the past year, I’ve been really bad with my blog and unfortunately good at neglecting it which I am mad at myself for.

Now I could write a list of 100 reasons why I’ve been terrible at writing over the past year but nobody wants to read a list of excuses for not doing something because it doesn’t pass on any inspiration or reason to relate, which is the kind of vibes I wanted to give out when I started this blog. I’m only human and I’m not perfect or good at keeping to a schedule or plan, but I’ve always wanted to be an approachable person, I want to start conversations and make people think outside the box or look deeper into themselves. Which is one of the many reasons I started this blog and is one of the reasons I keep coming back to it.

As you know, I started my first year of University in September last year, and I have pretty much finished my first year at this point! I’ve received all my marks from my coursework and classes ended a while back. It was a roller coaster of a first year for me personally because it was such a change to my life that I thought I could handle, but had no idea how it would work with my mental health or my social comfort zone. I struggled with many things over the year personally and tried to keep it mostly to myself so that I could try to learn how to overcome things and survive the next two years of University. But one thing that really came to my attention in University, because it affected it in a way, was my body’s capability and strength. Or to put it in a more blunt, laughable way – I am so easily fatigued, it is hilarious and scary.

I have missed a lot of University this year due to sleeping in or feeling so tired and weak that I actually feel physically unwell. I have fallen asleep in lectures and in the library. Embarrassingly enough, I actually had a little corner in my University’s library for a while that I used to go and nap if I felt too tired. I was pretty sad when exam time came and people actually used that area of the library. If I didn’t get enough sleep at night I would feel sick the next day. My eyes would drop without warning and my legs would ache as if I had attached extremely heavy weights to them. Sometimes I’d get nauseous, other times I’d get headaches. I was feeling a lot weaker this year, and it definitely took a toll on my mental health and stress too. I am so lucky and amazed that I managed to pass this year. But what does this have to do with my blog writing and me now?

Well I think the fatigue or excessive daytime tiredness isn’t something that was just sitting dormant until class-time was around because, boy am I still tired. I have a lot of free time now aside my jobs, to do something with myself and yet I put off writing so much. I’ve actually forgotten to write a concluding post about my JustGiving donations (which are all fully donated by the by! Thank you so much if you did donate!) because I’ve been spending so much free time feeling too tired and putting off opening WordPress and writing! But I don’t want this to be an excuse post or a post trying to give me a reason to not feel bad about neglecting my blog, I want it to be a confession post almost – a post where I’m putting down my main problem on the table so I can think about it, and try to figure out a way to work round it.

Trying to find stuff to write about can be hard, especially trying to find things that people may enjoy reading. But I believe, like most creative processes, doing it again and again is good practice and helps you improve and that’s why I don’t want to neglect writing for too long. If anybody has any advice or ideas on what I could write about that would be great!

But as well as that, if anybody has any ideas of working/writing whilst struggling with fatigue that would be amazing. Feel free to comment or message me.

Thanks for reading my little ramble, have a glorious week –

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I disappeared again (ft. elizavecca hell pore clean up mask review)

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It’s been too long, I wonder if you guys can even remember my name?! I’m so sorry for disappearing again. Life is still being hectic for me or I’m avoiding every responsibility by lying in bed or playing Overwatch (I may have a slight obsession with it). It’s T-Minus 13 days until I go and get the keys to my university accommodation and around 3 weeks until I actually start I believe. As well as that I got a notification off WordPress yesterday saying it’s my 1 year anniversary of starting this blog?! How time flies.

So I decided to return with a silly little cosmetic product review because A) I bought a cute Korean product off Amazon that I wanted to share and B) the packaging is TOO cute not to share widely on the internet. The product is ‘Elizavecca: Hell-Pore Clean Up Mask’ and is a face mask that eventually firms on your skin and you peel off to deep clean pores and remove impurities. One of the biggest things that annoys me about my face is the fact my pores are the most open/obvious thing ever. Especially on my nose and chin area; a lot of the time makeup never really sets well on some areas of my skin and throughout the day it’ll become oily and the pores will be obvious. I’m yet to find a cruelty free primer that makes my skin look almost pore-free but I guess that’s life ey? Everybody has pores and I think me and probably a lot of others forget there’s a softener tool on social media so people can SEEM like they have flawless pore-free skin…

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I purchased it here!

So this is the box it came in! I’m absolutely in love with the design, the colours are so bright and the illustration on the box is so cute and funny. I love the little devil pig that looks like it’s going ‘huff huff!’ in annoyance of the blackheads! As I said this product is Korean so a lot of the text on the box is not in English aside from this one side, which was quite helpful!

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This side of the box basically explains what the product is meant to do and the warnings just in case of allergic reactions! This product is basically a face mask that dries on your skin and when you peel it off it should remove impurities such as blackheads and whiteheads from your pores. I instantly thought of those nose peel masks you can get to try and individually cleanse the pores on your nose or of the clay masks that help firm your skin and remove dead skin. So let’s go through the application and my outcome!

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My silly face up there is how my skin looks when I’ve taken off my makeup and prepped my skin for this face mask! If you look closely you can see I have quite a few blemishes on my cheeks and chin, as well as that my nose and the patch of skin in between my eyebrows have quite open pores or tiny, tiny blackheads. Has anybody else got those tiny blackheads in their nose, that have seemed to be there since forever but are yet to find a way to get them out without making your nose break out?

The dark grey face mask is contained in a tube so you can use the amount you require and easily seal it back up afterwards which is really useful! So I applied a thin layer to my face making sure all the nooks and crannies such as around my nostrils and under my chin were covered so I can catch them tiny blackheads and I left the mask on for around 20-30 minutes. Definitely make sure you do not accidentally put the mask on your eyebrows because that will hurt when it comes to taking the mask off.facemaskselfie

After a lovely little session on Snapchat pulling stupid faces and trying to sing songs whilst my face was basically feeling like cement (the face mask dries very firmly) I decided to start peeling off the mask – let me warn you, I completely forgot about the practically invisible tiny hairs on the bottoms of my cheek but instantly remembered them when I peeled this mask off! I swear it may have plucked a couple out cause it stung a bit, but after I got past that it was very easy to peel off!

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I did notice my skin felt a lot firmer when I peeled the mask off and the pores on my nose were dramatically smaller. I tried to inspect some of the mask I had peeled off but I’m not sure I could see much aside one or two bits of dry, dead skin. To conclude, I think this mask definitely worked in a small way. Perhaps I may have expected a bit much of a face mask cause I was expecting to see all my blackheads suddenly pulled out but I think that was me dreaming too much. Although I am super happy to see my pores reduced and think I will keep using this mask, maybe even just around my nose area instead of the whole face to help keep my pores minimized and tight!

I hope this was a good read guys and I hope it helps anyone planning to buy this product or looking for something new to try in their skincare!

Thanks for reading,

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Should I write more about my ‘struggles’?

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Define struggles.

Obviously struggles comes with the negative connotation that I don’t want to talk about it, hear about it or acknowledge it; but some of my personal stuff I do like talking about. I like raising awareness to the topics because I know other people could be waiting for that push to be more settled with what they deal with on a day to day basis. Believe it or not, people with mental health problems or disabilities can be on ‘ok terms’ with what they have. I like to picture it as having a creature that follows you around, the creature can be designed or have the appearance of whatever you think suited, and some days it overreacts and can get the better of you – but other times you can just accept its company and try and positively calm it down if it feels agitated. I guess this mostly works for anxiety, depression etc. and sometimes not work at all! Everyone is different and goes through different things.

I ‘struggle’ with anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia disorder (another form of anxiety); as well as obviously my hearing impairement which I have discussed in past blogposts. I also have to wear glasses since I am slightly short-sighted but I have learnt to adjust to that a lot easier than the other stuff. This isn’t going to be a long pitiful post talking about each of my struggles in detail, because frankly the internet does not deserve to have all of that on it as it is personal to me and even after deep detail, a lot of people would not understand because they do not share the same things as me. Not even people with depression or hearing loss share the exact same experiences. There are people deafer than me or whom have not been able to hear since birth. I would never know what it’s like to live like them.

This post is mainly a question – should I discuss things like mental health, hearing loss/impairments, wearing hearing aids, dealing with anxiety etc. more? I never have put a label to my blog – it’s always been what I want to write, I will write and of course it will stay that way! I just wonder if anybody out there would like to see more content focused on this. You don’t have to have any of these things to want to read about it and if you do but you don’t like talking about it, don’t be shy! Growing up it took me a while to find voices and people I could relate to. It’s only in recent, young adult years I’ve felt a twinge in my heart and my eyes well up when a book or a TV show or art has portrayed exactly something I have felt. It’s not a bad feeling but almost comforting. Comforting to know you’re not weird or abnormal or broken. Comforting to know you are not in the wrong for the things you can’t control.

So that’s my question – feel free to answer it.

Want to see me write more about topics like that?

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When you want to change your personality

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Mental wise, I’m honestly probably not quite stable or healthy. As mentioned in other posts before I do have depression and anxiety and although I do not like to dwell on them or get too open with them on my blog, this post is slightly sinking onto that topic and mostly personal to me and looking for advice on my feelings and thoughts.

Everybody I know has unique and interesting personalities, I feel all of my friends and loved ones have twinkles of loveliness in each of them that’s unique to them. On and off for a couple of years I’ve never really been happy with my personality and I think it has a lot of traits in it that I wish I could improve on or get rid of. Therefore, I’m writing this to try and make myself aware of my clingy flaws so I can work on them and change that part of my personality into a trait that’s more healthy and helps me be more secure and safe with myself.

I’ve always struggled with friendships and relationships since starting high school and I know a lot of other young people struggle with stuff like this but sometimes when I’m in my own head I feel terribly alone on it. Everyone seems set in stone with childhood friends or friendship groups or regular outings with friends, however I feel alone. Like if there was a tree where all the connecting branches were friendship groups, I’d be a single branch that’s broken off the tree somewhere along the way. But because of social media and having friends who have their own seperate groups, I’ve still got to watch from afar and I can never reattach myself into it because, hey, nature doesn’t work that way. You can’t tape a dead branch to a growing tree and expect it to bloom and grow again. Am I making sense? Probably not.

When I get the hope up that I’m going to finally be included in outings or groups I do get extremely clingy and I am honestly embarassed by myself. It’s like an out of body experience where I’m watching me double text all my friends and try and call them and plan stuff, and I watch her get ignored or rejected and I feel like I can’t do anything to initiate the self-control to stop her from bugging people more. It seems like natural human knowledge if someone doesn’t seem interested to leave them alone but I feel like along the way my brain’s gotten foggy in this area. Sometimes people will be like ‘I rarely message first out of feeling clingy so please message me first’ so that’s why I seem to have no shame in bugging people cause I feel like unless I put some effort in; nobody will ever message me. I wish my anxiety and shame would pop up in these situations to help me calm down and get on with something else. But instead it pops up in the worse times – thanks mental illness!

So I think regarding this flaw that I pump all my self-hatred into, I’m going to try and attempt the ‘Quid Pro Quo’ phrase or ‘This for that’. I’m not gonna do a 180 and be like ‘I won’t message people first if they need me, they’ll message me’, because I already know deep down that means I’ll feel more alone. If I need someone or want to hang or talk I’ll message them, but after that message I will refrain from sending anything else(unless it’s necessary/an emergency) until I get something back. I will also try to stop initiating conversations whilst I’m at work or before bed; when I also go off to York for University, I will try my hardest to put my studies as main priority. At home it’s a bit harder because I’m always dwelling on what social media shows me so I never act productive unless something else makes me feel involved in the world. It’s like my room is a little bubble of disassociation, unless I’m talking to another human being via online or in person; I feel alone and that time is stood still so I normally just laze around. I honestly regret it every evening or even days that I do that. I want to be productive, I know I need something to keep my mind occupied to help my mental health yet it’s been so hard lately. I feel like I need to finally accept the period of my life of friendship stuff or making friends is over or at least on hiatus until University. I need to put my heart and time into other things such as my family, my love life, my work, my health and hobbies instead of repeatively scratching open the wound that is, my whole teenage life and the world convincing me if I am not constantly with friends or have stuff to do on a weekend etc., I am lonely and not worth people’s time.

I’m sorry if this post is depressing or even dark. It is a very personal post and will probably not be shared much via social media. Has anyone else ever gone through this kind of phase or hardship? Has anyone got any advice for putting your time into other things after a long period of unstable mental health? Or even just easier advice for being more productive?

Thanks for reading!

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Small Steps to Cruelty Free

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Sometimes I feel very contradicting whenever I write about pro-veggie or cruelty free stuff in blog posts, cause in all honesty I do still use or consume products that are probably very against that ethic. I still have a few makeup products knocking around that are Maybelline or Benefit – both of which aren’t confirmed cruelty free, and I do still eat chocolate or products now and again that contain milk or eggs. I never confirm myself as vegan although I am interested in the research and evidence behind it and I know deep down, transitioning to a vegan lifestyle might benefit me in a lot of ways.

However my beliefs are mainly that if people are open to trying more pro-veggie and cruelty free products and reducing their ‘footprint’, if you could call it that. If someone goes vegetarian and uses more and more cruelty free products – that is better than nothing. If people go vegan for two days a week, that’s pretty impressive to me. I think transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle isn’t something anyone can just do. It requires money, time to prepare meals that are completely vegan, research and such. So I decided to write this blog post to introduce some small steps for different ‘areas’ in your daily life that you could switch out products to be more cruelty free/pro-animal.

Kitchen – Butter/Margarine

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Vitalite is only £1 in most supermarkets and is a full tub of dairy-free, sunflower oil based margarine. It’s an easy, food swap out that is vegan because it literally tastes no different to usual butter. In fact I personally prefer it because it feels a lot lighter than butter when used on toast, for example.

Living Room/Decoration – Wax Melt

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So these might be a little bit pricey to some, but if you’re a fan of Yankee Candles or decorations like such. This little UK based shop on Etsy called CarolineJaneCandles has a lovely selection of vegan wax melts and candles made with natural soy wax. The candles are a little bit pricier but the wax melts go at £1.50 so you can’t go wrong! They come in lovely scents as well, my favourite is the shop’s cinnamon whirl melts as the smell of bakeries and pastries are just divine.

Bathroom – Toothpaste

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I have mentioned Kingfisher Toothpastes on a blog post in the past, and I still stand by the toothpaste now. You can get a three bulk pack of Kingfisher’s Fluoride Free Mint Toothpaste on Amazon for £8.91, and these toothpastes would definitely last you a good while, if not a year. They are fluoride free, vegan and cruelty free.

Handbag – Lipbalm

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Lush cosmetics is one of the favourites for many cruelty-free shoppers. They are very committed to their ethics and a lot of their products are vegan. The bath products of Lush are super popular and a great treat for yourself or friends however I want to promote the excellence of their lip balm tins. They are quite pricey but last a long time and definitely moisturise your lips. My favourite lip balm by them is Honey Trap because the ‘flavour’ is so lovely however they are only really ‘cruelty-free’. They are not labelled vegan because of the honey ingredient however Lush do many vegan alternatives like the lip balm ‘None of Your Beeswax‘.

Have you used any of these products before? Is there any other cheaper alternatives you may recommend to people on a budget who want to add more cruelty-free products to their life? Tell me in the comments below and share!

Thanks for reading,

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The Five H’s of University Worries

I’m so excited about university, lately it’s probably one of the most prominent things on my mind and tongue. I recently accepted my unconditional offer from York St John university and come September this year, I’ll be a student there! Am I bricking it? Absolutely.

Obviously it’s normal to get a bit nervous and have some anxiety, especially if you’re moving away from your hometown to this new place. So I thought I’d share some of my 5 current worries about starting university because who knows, maybe other people have them too! Or students might have had them and known how to overcome them!

  1. Hunger
    So technically, if I was to receive my second accommodation preference this might be less of a worry(living that self-catered life), but my ideal uni flat would require me sharing a kitchen with flat mates and also cooking for myself. Now if you know me well enough you’ll know I could probably try and cook beans on toast and still mess it up. Ok maybe I’m not, that bad – but I’m hardly a chef or baker. I’m also hugely unreliable with money. I can imagine I’ll end up blowing my food allowance mainly on crap I might not need and come home and be like ‘well I forgot an actual important thing like dinner’.
  2. Home sickness
    Now I did get offers for Manchester based universities but I wanted to take this opportunity to get out of town and try a new city. York is absolutely lovely and I can imagine I’ll get used to it as a nice home but I am really prone to getting home sick. When I was in year 7 at a two night camping trip, I remember crying to sleep because I wanted my parents. God forbid this happening at uni. Not because I’m ashamed but literally not having my parents in face-to-face distance for once might be a bit more shocking to my system. My anxious, easily frightened system.
  3. Hearing
    This worry is probably not as ‘relatable’ as every students worry but I’m mentioning it anyways. Maybe to get it off my chest or maybe hopefully I can look back and be like ‘this was nothing to worry about’. Obviously my hearing will play a big part in my university life, whether or not I want it to. I’m highly scared of missing stuff in lectures or even missing out on conversations with people that might end up with not feeling as inclusive with potential friends or maybe being seen as rude or strange by others.
  4. Homework
    I have not had homework for almost 3 years. Therefore having to do essays and important work in my free time is definitely going to feel really strange to me. I am positive I’ll enjoy my course and probably the things we’ll be given assignments on but I’m praying that my procrastination side won’t kick in during university. I hate being stressed and late on work so I need to try hard to get stuff done as soon as I get assigned it.
  5. Humans
    Ok bear with me, I had a hard time think of a ‘H’ word for people/friendships. But basically, the worst fear of university – especially one in a new city – is being able to make friends. Now I don’t want to get all open and mopey but making friends has always been a toughie for me in the past. In recent years it’s obviously changed and I’m glad I’m seeing my self-esteem and confidence grow but I can feel inside me, I’m going to be shy when I go to university. Hopefully Freshers and the staggering amount of alcohol will maybe dissolve that shyness but ho hum.

So that’s basically my anxieties about the upcoming student year but the positives and excitement definitely weigh it all out! Did you guys have any of this starting university? Or maybe even have it currently about your future university? I’d love to hear people’s views on it!

 

Thanks for reading,

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Youtube vs. WordPress

Youtube is an extremely popular social media/blogging platform in these recent years and a lot of ‘youtube stars’ can go on to amazing opportunities like appearing on tv shows, radio appearances and invitations to premieres and events. It seems like a dream job for a lot of teenagers to make videos discussing  their favourite things or joking about like stars including Danisnotonfire or having a youtube channel with tons of subscribers watching as you play video games and commentate however it is a massive struggle to get to the place some of these people do. You can hardly just quit your job and depend on running a youtube channel when you only have one or two subscribers.

Lately I’ve pondered working creatively on both my blog and a youtube channel and tried to explore the process of making videos, talking to a camera and video editing and I am on and off about it. Some of the differences I’ve noticed from doing one or two videos is that, personally, I feel it’s a lot less pressure expressing through writing. Maybe that’s based on my personality and comfort zone. I am quite an introverted person but I love expressing my feelings, opinions and talking about stuff, however growing up quiet and shy, talking for long periods of time can end up with me stammering, falling over my words a bit and going off on a tangent.

My latest video I uploaded last night was me talking about my favourite phone apps – something I believe if I had written this piece, maybe I could of gone into more descriptive reviews of each app, however when you are making a video, you feel you’re on a time limit and to captivate and draw in a new audience – nobody ever really wants to listen to someone drawl on unless they’re already along for the ride of a youtuber. Let’s be honest some youtube videos I only watch the whole thing and stay until the end of the video because I like the personality and as someone who is introverted, my personality isn’t going to be fully presented to somebody watching me however through writing is might be. I can’t mispronounce or forget what I had to say as I type and if I feel I have missed an important point, I can go back to it later.

Another difference to youtube expression vs. writing expression is possibly it is easier for a lot of audiences to sit down and read my blog. When you’re commuting, scrolling through a post and skimming it allows people to take more information in than a video where you may have to concentrate and have the volume up. Blogging is also a lot easier process for someone with a busy schedule or impulsive ideas, such as myself. A lot of effort has to be put into a good video where you are discussing a subject. You think of your idea, make notes or even a script for your video, sit down, get the lighting and camera ready, film, put your film on the computer, go through all the editing, rendering and then finally upload/process on youtube. However, say I want to talk about something important or I have a writing idea randomly, I can easily sit down and write about it.

Finally, the one favouring point that draws me towards writing is that I can be a lazy bum behind my laptop, however if I want to make a youtube video I feel very pressured to make sure I look decent and pretty in my videos. I am extensively picky about how I look in photos and videos and after I’ve uploaded my videos, a bad habit of picking out flaws in the way I look or act in my video kind of overcomes me. I do not have that insecurity with my writing which means I feel much more happy, proud and comfortable with it.

So yeah, thought I’d share my feelings about writing and youtube! Feel free to check out my youtube videos if you want, I may upload some more in the future but I definitely feel dedicated to my writing.

Thanks for reading,

Helena x