Changes that have helped me with my body image

Growing up I feel like almost everyone I know, at one point or another, has had issues with their body image. Even if, thankfully, it has not developed into anything that’s upsetting them or affecting their mental and physical health. It’s the societal norm to hear ‘my stomach is so big’, ‘I need to lose weight’, ‘I’m on a diet’ or ‘I feel ugly’. I can vouch that I have said all four of those sentences at some point in my life.

This year for Mental Health Awareness Week, the Mental Health Foundation (UK) shared some statistics relevant to ‘body image’. This included the fact that ‘one in eight adults in the UK have experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body image’. It’s quite upsetting to read, especially when you realise how young these obsessions, self-beliefs and worries can start. Among teenagers 31% felt ashamed in relation to their body image. (All stats can be found here.)

Mental Health Awareness Week has passed now, however as you will hear most advocates say – mental illness and mental health struggles happen all year round and can affect absolutely anyone regardless of lifestyle, age, race, gender, size and so on. Today, I thought I’d share with you some of the things that have helped me deal with body image issues and doubts as well as share a little bit of my story.

Growing up I’ve always been quite unhappy with the way I look. I distinctly remember drawing out a ‘self-portrait’ as a kid and exaggerating all the parts of me I really hated or thought made me ugly. Digging my felt tips into the paper with frustration and sadness because I felt like my appearance meant a lot more than it really did.

High school is when social media started to become a thing and I’d spend ages using the laptop webcam trying to get a perfect selfie, to then edit it madly – adding high saturation to my eyes to make them look unnaturally blue, blurring my skin. If the ‘popular girls’ complimented it, it only gave me more reason to keep obsessing over how I looked. I know it wasn’t just me alone in this though, thinking back every girl I knew had something they were insecure about. At one point one of the girls I thought was popular, confident and absolutely invisible asked me what editing app I used on my photos to then go and use it herself. It was almost like we were the generation to see the beginning of the addiction of basing our self-worth on Facebook likes and high school rating systems (Remember the ‘like my status for a rate? xo’, why on earth did any of us do that.)

In my later teenage years I found myself quite obsessed with checking calories, only eating so much a day, trying to cut out sugar, salt, bread, carbs – you name it. I’d follow ridiculous accounts on Tumblr that only pushed unhealthy images of girls who were underweight but labelled as ‘goals’. I’d tell myself off and mentally abuse myself whenever I ate something ‘unhealthy’ even if I desperately needed to eat.

Luckily, I realised I was very much treading in the deep end. One more step and I’d be underwater.

One of the worst things about dealing with body image, is that the problem is so accepted. It’s almost like if you don’t hate your body, you’re not human. If you go to a doctor and tell them you loathe your body to the point of pushing it through unhealthy diets and regimes, unless you’re drastically underweight, they won’t do much (in my experience anyways). I was lucky enough to tackle the very dark parts of hating my body mostly through sheer willpower, but a lot of people don’t always have that and will instead struggle alone and may even develop an eating disorder. It shouldn’t be like that.

Stop making food a villain

We need food to live. We literally need to consume food to keep us going and for the nutrients, protein and other good stuff that it provides. One of the biggest steps I needed to take throughout my life is learning to listen to my body. Even if I’ve already eaten today, if I start to feel hungry and fatigued, I need to eat. Never get into a routine of telling yourself you can only eat ‘X’ because you ate ‘X’ yesterday. Or that because you ate junk food today, you need to do 3 hours of exercise tomorrow. Stop making food a villain and embrace it.

I haven’t looked into it enough myself to completely vouch for it but intuitive eating is the best thing you can do for your body. Ditch all the diet books and listen to your body. Stop categorising food as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and make peace with food.

Let yourself enjoy delicious food

Unfollow any influencer or person that makes you feel bad about your body

Social Media controls more of your confidence, self-esteem and body image beliefs than you realise. This advice means a lot to me because taking it on has probably helped me the most over the past few years. As a form of self-care, I ensure that my entire Twitter and Instagram feed is solely full of content that inspires me, makes me happy and motivates me. I don’t even follow most of the celebrities from TV or films that I like just to prevent me from getting into the mindset of ‘why can’t I look like that?’.

Everybody and their mum knows that a good chunk of Instagram is full of lies, facetune and fakery. Don’t even get me started on influencers who push ‘weight loss shakes’. You don’t need that on your feed! Follow mental health advocates, positive body image advocates and inclusive artists and creatives. Most people spend a large percentage of their day scrolling through social media, the best thing you can do is make sure what you see isn’t reinforcing those negative self-beliefs.

Make sure you enjoy your exercising

I hate the gym. I hate running. These are the two exercises that physically drain me. The only endorphin I get from the gym is when I leave and get to be by myself.

An exaggeration of my dislike, I know. But, taking up exercise that I actually love, enjoy and look forward to has done so much more for me than the years where I’ve forced myself to go to a gym only to feel miserable, anxious and bored. If exercise feels like a chore, what’s the point? Growing up, I always heard 30 minutes of exercise a day is the minimum that is recommended. Now if you want to do exercise you just need to find something that you’ll find fun for that 30 minutes, and eventually it won’t even feel like exercise and you might want to do it for an hour or even more!

It’s also important to remember that it’s ok if it takes you a while to find this or a couple of tries. My personal favourite is dance. I only started dance fitness last year and I feel genuinely sad whenever I can’t make a class. I also find swimming, yoga and long walks enjoyable. I don’t worry too much about exercise now because I acknowledge that going for an hour’s walk is doing something. Enjoyable exercise is different for everyone, there is no one ‘correct’ exercise routine.

Before Dance Fitness, I even tried Pound Fit! Good way to work up a sweat

Shop for comfort, not to fit in

I think I can speak for myself and numerous other girls when I say the crop top trend can be a pain in the arse sometimes. You go shopping, you just want a cute new top but for some reason my entire stomach has to be on show? Trying to stay on trend can be actually nerve-wracking because you feel so uncomfortable in what you’ve put on. But in your head you just want to look like one of the models on Instagram. In my mid-teenage years (17-19 years old) I spent ridiculous amounts of money on crop tops, mini skirts, short-shorts and such that I could just never wear because I felt absolutely stupid in or if I did wear them, I’d spend the entire time scared that I was flashing someone, or that people would laugh at me. Eventually I began to tell myself before going out or whilst getting changed in the morning: if I don’t feel comfortable in this, I don’t have to wear it. Nobody is forcing me.

I started telling myself female clothing sizes mean absolutely nothing and that I should invest in jeans that feel nice to wear whether they were a size 10 or a 14, and not bully myself if I can’t fit into a size 8. I made sure when I was buying clothes that I was happy, felt cute and comfortable. The number on the sizing and trend means nothing.

It might not be a stylish outfit but it made me comfy and happy!

What steps have you taken to make your body image journey happier and easier? Feel free to share in the comments. 💌

Thanks for reading,

Header Image taken by self

Deaf Awareness Week 2019 : What do I, personally, want people to realise about my hearing?

My hearing loss ‘journey’, if you want to call it that, started when I was in Year 2, which in the UK means I was about 6-7 years old. Awkwardly, I couldn’t tell you exactly what happened with my hearing because it’s just a vague memory to me and I’ve never really had the guts or initiative to ask my doctor or audiologist the whole detailed story of how I lost my hearing as a child. I just remember one day in primary school having the most incredibly painful ear ache. The teacher had to call my mum to come pick me up and as I waited for her I cuddled the class teddy bear to my sore ear – the left one. My memory from that after is quite vague but before I knew it I was being taken from doctor appointments to hospital appointments to audiologist appointments and before I knew it, I was being fitted for my first hearing aid.

A teddy bear sits in the road.
Photo by Marina Shatskih on Unsplash

So, I’m not going to bore you with my complete hearing loss journey because, in all honesty, I couldn’t tell you the specifics of it all. I can tell you I’ve been wearing hearing aids for almost 16/17 years. I can tell you it’s been a difficult journey. I decided for Deaf Awareness Week 2019 (6th-12th May) I would share a couple of honest points about how I handle my hearing loss and being Deaf/hard of hearing. I was extremely inspired by an incredible Youtuber and Blogger called Jessica Kellgren-Fozard. Known online as ‘Jessicaoutofthecloset’. Jessica, to me, is a very amazing role model and inspiration because of how she talks so openly about being deaf and disabled. She created a video a while back that semi-inspired me to do this blog post, which you can find below!

Jessica’s Instagram: @jessicaoutofthecloset

Nevertheless, time for me to be honest about my personal experience of being deaf? Let’s see…

1.I don’t know BSL. Yes, I feel like a ‘bad deaf person’ for this.

Believe me, I want to learn! After getting hearing aids as a child, I remember really not wanting to adjust to them. Like, for my child self it was a huge no-no. I already struggled with confidence, making friends and fitting in so I didn’t want anything that, I thought, would make me separate or ‘different’. Unfortunately, because of refusing to wear the things that would help me hear, I struggled even more with communication which lead me to believe my ‘difference’ was the cause. I refused to wear my hearing aids for quite some years and didn’t enjoy acknowledging it or talking about it. Whenever I had audiologist tests to see how my hearing was coming along, I tried and strained so hard to prove I could hear ‘normally’. If sign language was ever offered to me, I probably refused it. It probably wasn’t until about 4 years ago that I started trying to slowly accept that this was who I am, and I shouldn’t be ashamed. However, I still don’t know the language that could possibly help me communicate better! I feel very silly for this and one day want to try and make time to learn it.

Tips for being Deaf Aware: Look at me. Turn your face towards the person with hearing loss so they can see your lip movements. Speak clearly: Not too slowly, and use normal lip movements, facial expressions and gestures. Don't shout: Keep your voice down. It's uncomfortable for a hearing aid user if you shout.
From National Deaf Children’s Society Twitter

2. Yes, I need subtitles. No, my hearing aid doesn’t ‘cure’ my difficulty with hearing.

One of my ‘funnier’ deaf memories is working in a cinema and having to hear a woman complain that the film screening she had arrived to watch had subtitles – asking us to remove them because they would ‘distract her’ and she didn’t see the point. She eventually blurted out ‘who even needs them?’ to which I, without thinking, pulled my hearing aids out and said ‘people like me’. Probably the only power move I’ve made in my entire 23 years of living. She then stammered back ‘yes but surely then you can hear, and you don’t need subtitles’. I don’t think people realise how hearing aids work. I am no expert and can only explain in the bluntest of terms but hearing aids just take the sound and amplify it. If someone on a tv show or cinema screen is mumbling some important plot point that explains their dramatic backstory underneath even louder SFX noises. I ain’t gonna understand it.

My own hearing aids, which are purple Phonak models, sat in their box which has a bright green lining.
My old reliables

3. It can be incredibly isolating.

In the video Jessica made above, she advises particular things hearing people can do in conversations to help deaf people feel more included in conversations and social settings. I empathize with all of them and find myself wishing a lot of the things she requests was just common place. I think sometimes even my friends and family aware of my hearing don’t realise that even with hearing aids on, lip-reading and expression-reading is so vital to helping me communicate. As soon as you turn your back on me mid-sentence or cover your mouth, it’s almost like trying to listen underwater. Noisy bars and social spaces are also the absolute worst. There’s been times where I’ve just gone home from outings because it’s so incredibly draining trying to hear every single word of group conversations and involve myself. I’m spending so much energy trying to understand what’s going on and then asking people to repeat back that I end up barely placing myself in the conversation. It feels like I’m watching it from afar, in some bubble where sentences are choppy and every so often someone talks in gibberish.

People cheering their glasses of wine in a bar
Photo by Yutacar on Unsplash

4. I’m still learning to talk about it.

My brain is one of them silly ones that can hold negative interactions for years but the moments when someone’s been accepting and understanding can easily slip from my memory. I have had some unfortunate times where people, even ‘friends’, have randomly claimed I’m faking my deafness (ah yes, just picked these hearing aids up from the costume store obvs!), that I ‘talk’ about it too much and that I ‘use it as an excuse to not listen.’ It’s unfortunate that, at least 4/5 of these times, I’ve been told to shut up about it just as I was starting to not feel weird about saying ‘I’m sorry could you repeat that, my hearing’s quite bad’ or ‘Sorry, I hadn’t put my hearing aids on yet, could you say that again?’. It’s a massive confidence killer, more than most people even ones close to me understand. That moment when you huff, roll your eyes and go ‘It doesn’t matter.’ when I’ve asked you to repeat something? Literally the worst. Please be understanding with me if there are days where I’m suddenly a lot more confident about talking about it and then the next week I forget my hearing aids. I’m working on it. Yes, I know I’m not the only deaf person (I’ve had this exclaimed at me too when I’ve opened up about a hearing worry – it’s a tad rubbish).

Top Tips on how to be deaf aware: 1) Make sure you have the attention of the person before you start speaking. 2) Places with good lighting and little or no background noise are best for conversations. 3) Use plain language, normal lip movements and facial expressions. 4) Check whether the person understands what you are saying and, if not, try saying it in a different way. Never say 'don't worry about it'. 5) Keep your voice down as it's uncomfortable for a hearing aid user if you shout. 6) Learn finger spelling or some basic British Sign Language.
From Action on Hearing Loss’s Twitter

The best thing to bear in mind if you are a hearing person – not all deaf people’s experiences are the same. Not all disabled people’s experiences are the same. This is a post from my personal view, so someone who has been deaf since birth will have a completely different life story and needs and requirements to me. What works for one person with a learning disability will probably not work for someone who is deaf. What works for someone who is deaf will probably not work for someone who only has one leg.

Thank you for reading, you can find out some more about Deaf Awareness Week and being ‘Deaf Aware’ below!

Everything you need to know about being deaf aware

Tips for communicating clearly

Information on British Sign Language

Action on Hearing Loss’s Instagram

How to take a break from social media

Last night I spent just under a good hour worrying about my Instagram. I used to have better hobbies, I swear. Instagram has become one of my favourite platforms to mindlessly scroll through in the past year or two and it’s the platform that I’ve lead myself to believe I can be more ‘genuinely myself’ on. Last year I told myself to curate my Instagram feed so that I’m only seeing things that make me feel good and inspire me but what happens when you get to a point where you’re not even taking in the ‘positive vibes’ that you’re pushing in your own face and sit bothering yourself for minutes on end about how many of your ‘friends’ are liking your posts or interacting with that dumb poll you put on your story? What happens when you feel literally agitated that your photos aren’t as ‘pretty’ and ‘high quality’ as an ‘Instagram influencer’?

Ridiculous Instagram obsession happens, that’s what.

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

I found myself considering deleting all my accounts – to take a break and then if I wanted to come back to Instagram I could start afresh. But even that idea filled me with pathetic stress – but what if I regret it? What about the really nice photos I’ve taken, what if any new account in the future doesn’t look that cool? What if people won’t care if I delete my account?

If I’m worrying that people won’t care if I delete an online account that I literally survived my whole life not having up until like 2014 and that if people don’t acknowledge me deleting it is suddenly an equatable value to people not liking me in reality, then I think I’m having a completely different problem. Social media is both a blessing and literal hell. It can be a great place for sharing your art, sharing your creations, your achievements, building a career or finding people with common grounds to begin long distance friendships and communities – but it can also grind your confidence down until you find yourself putting your own worth into the number of followers or likes you have.

What I’d like to do is give some tips on how to reduce your social media usage. Scroll time, if you will.

Put your phone in the bottom of your bag

Sounds daft but almost everyone now keeps their mobile phone in their coat or trouser pocket. If you stuff your phone deep down into your bag, it makes the mindless act of grabbing your phone and tapping away much more of a chore and you can start teaching yourself to think ‘do I really need to check my phone right now?’ Obviously take safety into account with this one, if you feel much safer carrying your phone on your person when walking down the busy street do so, but when it comes to chilling at a friend’s house or in the library pop it away – it will help you stay more present in the moment.

Check in on a friend instead

Easier said than done from someone as shy as me, but if you are feeling nosey about what your friends are doing and find yourself opening Facebook or Instagram to seek out what’s occuring – consider texting or calling them instead and asking how they are – maybe see if you can meet up for coffee. There’s two sides to this idea; either you’ll start a lovely conversation with your friend and you’ll also make them feel cared for by checking in and you will then be distracted from endlessly swishing through your Twitter feed for gossip. Maybe even buddy up with a friend who wants to spend less time on social media and encourage each other!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Use the Forest – Stay Focused app

I have mentioned this phone app before but it really is such a good concept for reducing the time someone uses their phone! On the Forest app you pop in an amount of time you want to stop yourself from using your phone, start the timer and lock your phone. As your phone is locked and you don’t unlock it you grow trees and plants on the app to build a mini forest – if you unlock your phone, your tree dies. Using this and turning off your lock-screen notifications is a great way of reducing your scroll time. Perfect for when you need to be studying or you are sat down with a group of friends or loved ones.

Delete your social media apps

Stop panicking I’m not saying delete your accounts! Whenever you feel you’re spending too much time obsessing over an app or scrolling through a platform is just distracting you too often try uninstalling it for a bit. Maybe tell yourself you can have them installed on the weekend but on Sunday night 9pm you delete Instagram and you can’t reinstall it until Friday 5pm. Short breaks from a platform are better than nothing and eventually you might find yourself not even feeling the need to reinstall a particular app.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I know from experience, when you have a bit of a social media dependency, this is all easier said than done but I hope some of these tips help you take a much needed break from social media and it’s fierce grip. Remember to check in on yourself 3-4 times over a day and ensure you are looking after yourself in a way that suits you and your beautiful self. Not the ‘bubble bath and cheeky prosecco’ self care that Instagram shows off. Although there are more and more people acknowledging how fake social media photos can be and claiming they are showing a ‘truthful’ side to their lives, it’s very rare you will see anybody’s properly low days. Never equate yourself to a face, body or lifestyle that you’ve only seen through a screen.

Thank you for reading, I hope you have a beautiful week!

Header source: lalo Hernandez on Unsplash

Long time, no blog

Something about Spring peeking its way back into everyday life really jumpstarts my motivation. And by jumpstart, I do mean in my own clunky, hectic way. It has never been a nice and simple procedure of one small idea popping into my head and I can carry it out as soon as I can and feel content and happy with it – it’s more as soon as the skies are blue again and I have the slightest bit of energy in my body, I have a million different ideas of exciting things I want to do. I want to redecorate my room, I want to change up my wardrobe, I want to take up a new hobby, start painting again, learn how to bake etcetra, etcetra. My brain works like a switch with one click pushing my brain to go a hundred miles a minute and the other is essentially off but with the basic energy to carry out everyday tasks and meet deadlines, remember to eat and drink water and the nagging at the back of my brain that I should be doing more.

If I had to define the past few months for me I’d describe it as a good balance. Obviously not everyday goes the way I want it to. But I’ve felt productive and I’ve been kept busy, which is what I want. I’m in my final academic year of my degree, I’ve written a bloody dissertation which got a FIRST (still not over it), I was lucky enough to be production manager for a university society-led play and one of the best things that have happened recently is my new job. I’m now a student social media assistant/blogger for my university. My mouth automatically conjures itself into a smug and grateful grin whenever I talk or think about it. I’m really bloody enjoying it, basically.

In the background is a word document of my dissertation, in the foreground is a white and rose gold pen with the text 'Today I am going to... conquer the world' on it.

One of the main tasks in my working day is to plan, write and organise new blog posts for the student blog. A lot of them are student interviews because my main goal is to promote the student experience of our university but don’t get me wrong it’s actually been really nice to learn more about experiences and the opportunities other students get on their course since most of the time I’m just thinking about my course or the courses of my friends. But because of writing blog posts at least 2 days of the 5 working day week, my motivation and love for blogging has obviously resurfaced. I’ve missed writing on here so much. I know I say that every damn time but now I really want to push writing/planning for my own blog into my weekly schedule.

Pastel pink notebook with the text 'Don't be like the rest of them darling' ingrained in a gold metallic colour. On top is a white and rose gold pen.

I have a couple of plans for blog posts coming up and I also have plans for revamping how my site looks as change inspires me. One of my main wishes as a writer, in general, is to just invoke the feeling of excitement, curiosity or gratitude that I get and if I’m sat around procrastinating even opening my blog, then that goal is never going to happen and I’m never going to get better. So I’m hoping to change that soon.

Please keep an eye out for new posts and feel free to pop a comment below of what kind of content you’d be interested in. Feedback and interaction always makes me smile!

I hope you have a lovely day that brings even a slight smile to your face!

Helena

Credits:

Header Image: Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

September reading goals and blog rambles

According to WordPress today is my 3 year anniversary of blogging! It’s so weird to think about how many blog posts I’ve done, how much work I’ve put into it or things that have gone well for me because of it. It’s almost ironic that the past few months I’ve felt incredibly down and stuck when it comes to my blog – honestly some days I can’t even find the motivation to do a blog post because I don’t think people will read it or I’m struggling to find the topic to write about. Some times I want to write personal posts – I want to share with the lovely people who continue to read my posts and support me stuff that is strange, sweet or a struggle in my life. I want to talk more about mental health or university/work struggles and break any stigma about discussing depression, anxiety and such. I want to talk about what it’s like to have a hearing disability or how I felt at 3am last Tuesday when I couldn’t sleep and the shadow of my coat hanging up in my room looked more like a ghoul than usual.

I want to help people, advise people, I want to talk about my experiences in hope people might relate or find hope or inspiration. But then I feel ‘god, who wants to hear me rant and ramble on about my life?!’ and I consider taking my blog in a direction of it being like a service to people. Reviews, tips and tricks and general advice about simple things that most people have covered before. But it just feels so not-me. So commercialized and through that I lose my real writing voice. I feel I’m focusing more on ‘will my friends share this on facebook?! will this get me noticed by a company?! will this get lots of views?!’ instead of ‘did I enjoy writing this? did I put my heart and soul into this? would I enjoy reading this if it was someone else?’, which at the end of the day is what matters more and the blog posts that come from me wanting to be genuine and the writing that comes from my rambling heart tend to be the posts I have more pride in.

Does this mean I won’t write reviews or tip posts again? As you can see by this title obviously not. When I say I love helping people or advising people, I take that in every aspect of life. If someone even tries a new flavour of tea or watches 5 minutes of a TV show because I suggested it, it makes me smile. Much like if I can make someone laugh after they’ve had the most horrible day at work or if I can let somebody rest by helping them with the washing up or a chore I feel better about myself and feel a lot happier. Whenever anyone even says they like my writing or enjoy reading it – that makes my heart soar. So when I combine advice and writing it’s almost like a very small, itsy-bitsy bit of therapy.

So today I thought I’d share 3 books I’m planning to read and complete by hopefully the end of September and the themes of these books are to help me better myself, help me in a dark mental health time and just in general cheer me up. Reading is beneficial, no matter whether it’s fiction, a self-help book or a picture book.

The first one in my list is ‘How to be a Better Person’ by Kate Hanley. This adorable little book shares 401 simple ways to help you become a better and kinder person as well as make a positive impact on the people around you. Although sometimes these books can feel like you’ve paid money to read something you already knew, the real trick is taking in everything you can from these simple tips. Sure, of course it suggests being more interactive with nature – but this book helps you recognise why this will make you feel better and make you more mindful and present and why simple things like drinking more water, getting better sleep, complimenting people more, smiling at strangers etc. will benefit you and make you a more positive, approachable person in the long run.

betterpersonbook

Second is a fiction YA novel I bought a while back that I’m going to try to finally get round to reading this upcoming month and I’m holding out that it’s going to be a book that’ll make me feel good and keep me immersed in a fictional world whenever I need a bit of a distraction and break from real life. ‘Ramona Blue’ by Julie Murphy is a young adult novel that is a story about friendship, growing up, sexuality and family. I’m excited to read this since the description implies a discussion about possibly bisexuality and how sexuality is fluid and I’m really looking forward to discovering Ramona as a character since I’ve found it hard to find books with female bisexual characters (I’m probably not looking hard enough – would love some recommendations!). A lot of people on GoodReads have said that parts of this book stayed with them after finishing it so I’m very excited to have that feeling of absolute amazement and generally be dumbfounded and emotional after finishing a good book because I predict it will happen with this one!

ramonablue.png

The final book in my little pile is a book by an author I’ve been following on social media for a while and for ages kept meaning to pick up one of his books and finally I’ve managed to pick up ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’. This memoir is by the amazingly talented Matt Haig and I’ve heard so many positive comments about this book and his other things so I’m very much ready to curl up and read this one. ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ is Haig’s story of dealing with depression and mental illness and how different it can be for everyone but also the tale of how he survived and overcame some of his lowest points in life. I feel this is a book I really need right now as I am at a point in my life where my mood is fluctuating constantly but when I’m down, I’m very heavily down almost like I’m stuck in a well and somebody’s covered up the hole so I’m alone in pitch darkness. I feel ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ is going to help me find something to relate to amidst the stress of starting back at University and other things and I am so excited to start it.

reasonstostay.png

Although most of my reading these upcoming months should mainly be dissertation related I thought I’d share these so you guys could have an insight to what book reviews might be coming up, plus I would always love to hear what people are reading at the moment or have on their to read list! Sometimes when mental illness is being a bit crap, it helps to push yourself to do a hobby you love (in my case reading and writing) despite how much you want to give up and how you feel you are losing hope. I’ve chosen these books this month because I think they’re good choices if you need a little bit of pick me up or something to reignite that spark of hope in you.

Thank you for reading,

signaturejune18

Little Blog Update ♡

Hey everyone!

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted any reviews or pieces on here and I do have quite a few planned, including two book reviews, but at the moment my current day to day situation is that my main laptop in which I use photoshop to create headers and edit photos for my blog is at my boyfriend’s house so when I’m at my family home I, unfortunately, don’t have access to it and I’d rather wait to make a blog post with better quality photos and a header and such instead of typing up blog posts at home and adding in the rest later in an update!

In general I am enjoying the sunshine and coping with the heatwave we are having in the UK at the moment, so in general, on my off days I am lounging about and basking in the free time I have now University is finished for summer. I recently went to Blackpool Pleasure Beach for a day out and had a really lovely time, as well as discovered some nice cafes around my area, tried new cruelty-free/veggie products I think others may enjoy and just in general trying to be more grateful for the things I get to do in my free time and things I discover and see on a day-to-day basis!

Photo 29-06-2018, 20 03 57.jpg

If you would love to read any particular topics from me in my future summer posts please let me know in the comments! Anything from cruelty-free products, wishlist posts, cafe/food reviews, makeup reviews, book reviews, bullet journal updates/how to go about starting them or anything!

Photo 02-07-2018, 22 51 20.jpg

As a little add on to this post, here are some uplifting/nice news stories I’ve read recently I thought I’d share to cheer people up:

Thanks for reading and enjoy your week!

signaturejune18

Some of my Pinterest boards

I first made a Pinterest back in 2013/2014 time whilst studying Art and Design in college to look for inspiration for my college sketchbooks and my final college art project. It was actually a really useful and secretly fun to be able to source many posts and images together in an almost ‘online scrapbook’ to refer to for inspiration and ideas. Pinterest isn’t one of the most reliable websites for keeping art attached to the correct artists since the internet is a horribly unfair place with people rudely reposting art and not sourcing where they found it however when finding art or posts that have kept the creator’s link or name connected it can be such a good website for stockpiling stuff from interesting blog posts, quotes and bringing different images together to create, like I said above, an online moodboard.

I thought I’d share with you my Pinterest and some of my boards that I have muddled together over the past year and a bit. Some of the boards I make can range from an ‘aesthetic’ moodboard where I’ve collected imagery and pictures and quotes or boards with blog posts and tips and charts for things to look back on for help.

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Link to ‘Workspace Goals’

The first one here is Workspace Goals, which basically explains itself in the title. I dream of one day having a really cute little study room or even a desk/work space set up in the way I like it and this board is just there for me to pine over the cute, minimalist photos of other people’s desks and such.

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Link to ‘Journal Inspo’

‘Journal Inspo’ is for pinning other images of bullet journals and such for inspiration and ideas for spreads as well as pinning people’s blogposts where they discuss tips and tricks for starting a bullet journal!

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Link to ‘uni tips’

This board has been super useful for me this past academic year because even the simplest photos on here that give you tips on managing your workload or suggesting more suitable vocabulary and words to use in essays. I definitely recommend checking some of the stuff pinned on there, if you are studying like myself!

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Link to ‘2018: motivation, discipline and self love’

This last one has been very personal and centered to helping me deal with my mental health, productivity and such in 2018. My goals as a person is that I would like to increase my productivity and motivation, keep myself disciplined but obviously learn to love my self a bit more. This board covers a lot of those things with links to blog posts and lists of stuff that discusses ‘good habits to develop’ or how to ‘beat bad feelings’, but also with lovely and empowering quotes and poetry. It’s one of my favourite boards and I’m glad to have found some of the stuff pinned on there.

Please find my pinterest page here; if you would like to follow me and definitely do as I’d love to check out other people’s boards! I hope some of my boards might be inspiring to others or have links and such on there that are useful!

Thanks for reading,

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