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Mental Health

Fandom Mental Health

Why I Find It Easier To Communicate Through Gifs

Gifs

For as long as I’ve used Twitter, I’ve loved using gifs in my tweets. At first I would get them off Tumblr and then I decided to collect some of my favourites to use whenever I wanted. I have seperate files for different fandoms that I love such as Harry Potter, Merlin, Sherlock and Disney. Yes I’m a little bit extra but I love finding new gifs that I can use. Obviously I use them for fun but I also use them when I can’t think what to say or if I can’t describe how I’m feeling at that minute.

Some don’t always get what I’m trying to say through the gif and then I have friends who get the fandom I’m using and even take part in whole conversations with me only using gifs. The times I’ve been able to do this have been the best and I’ve had more than a couple nights when I’ve just been giggling. I know that not finding it easy to communicate offline with other people but I find it so much easier to do so since people aren’t talking face-to-face and they also follow me because we have the same interests!

I may have many files to choose from but I have a handful of gifs that I love to use for various conversations and over and over!

If anyone has been mean to someone, been particularly dumb or just gotten to me in some way, you’ll see me using this gif from the Philosopher’s Stone. It’s amazing for getting the point across and Hermione just has a way with words!

Luna Lovegood…my spirit animal! I’ve never related so much to a character than I have with Luna. I love this quote from her since it’s the first one that we hear from her in both book and film. If anyone is thinking they’re a bit weird or if they like the same thing as I do, I always use this to try and make them feel better. We might be a little different compared to others but that doesn’t mean we’re alone!

Doctor Who has some incredible quotes people can make gifs on but one of my favourites has to be during David Tennant’s time. The Doctor is in a massive library and describes books as some of the best weapons in the world! I love using this if books/reading are ever judged negatively!

Do you enjoy using gifs in your tweets?

Lifestyle Mental Health

Dealing With Grief Through A Memory Bear

Memory Bear

This is a post that I’ve been 50/50 about posting due to it being a little morbid and others may think that I’m weird to have this if they don’t understand. I actually remember Shane Dawson mentioning this in one of his creepy videos and him saying that it was creepy to own. That said, there are so many people who may love one of these so I’m going to talk about my memory bear. I will be talking about death and cremation so this is my trigger warning for you!

Let me take you back to the beginning.

It was a few days before my Mum’s funeral and I was really struggling with the idea that I wouldn’t get to be with her anymore. It had been difficult losing my dad and knowing that he was going to be cremated (even though I knew that he wasn’t there properly anymore and that he’d gone to be with my grandparents), but the part I had had rode the shoulders of and hugged when I was upset was still there. I know it sounds a little silly but I was only 14 at the time and it was my first experience with the Chapel of Rest.

Before Mum passed, she had already made it clear that she wanted her own ashes to be mixed up with my dad. I totally understood why and was determined to do that for her. What you might not know about cremation is that the urn your loved one isn’t in a nice teeny tube. It’s in a massive pot and really heavy! One is bad but try having both your parents in one bag! I actually found myself visiting my local Co-Op because there was a lady called Maria there who was the loveliest person and made me a cup of tea when I came to chat about Mum’s funeral.

Mum had made the funeral process super easy for me since we had spoken openly about what she wanted over the years and vice versa. I was so happy that I got to make things happen for her. She wanted it to be a celebration of her life so I had her entering to ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ since she loved Queen and thought it was hilarious since she was being cremated. During one of my chats with Maria, I spoke about the fact that I would miss my Mum’s hugs (she gave the best!) and she said that it was one of the biggest things mentioned by those who had lost a loved one. That was why the Co-Op made it possible to get a Memory Bear! It is pretty pricey but it is so worth it!

I didn’t ask about how the ashes were transferred into the bear because I didn’t want to know but they’re in there! The amount of times I’ve hugged this little bear is off the chart. Whenever I’ve been really struggling, missing my parents or just needed comfort that only a parent could give after a long day, I hugged. Personally I actually sleep with it beside me. Morbid I know but it’s just reassuring for me. Every one is different!

What do you think about Memory Bears? Would you ever get one?

Lifestyle Mental Health

What Are My Social Media Peeves?

social media

These days social media is a massive thing to a lot of people! It’s important to bloggers, our readers and companies alike! There are loads of different sites: you have Twitter, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Snapchat, TikToc, Tumblr and more. Social media lets you reach so many people from all over the world and I do adore that but I do have a few peeves that make using it annoying sometimes.

the comparison factor

Ahh! This is one giant peeve! I compared myself to others long before social media was a thing but now it’s a big problem especially to children and teens. They see their favourite celebs/vloggers/bloggers posting what seems like such a perfect life and look that they can’t help but compare what their life looks like. They don’t always realise that what they’re seeing has been edited into such a way that it looks perfect. It can really play upon the mental health of kids and I hate that. I’m trying to not be as triggered by what I can’t be but focus on what I can.

Fake accounts/bots

Whoever started with the first ever fake account should’ve been banned for life! Fake accounts and bots are a nightmare to deal with! As a blogger you’re constantly trying to build your online presence and reach actual people who want to read/watch! However we get hassled by these fake accounts. You look at your follower count, get excited when you see it has gone up and then see it go down almost immediately. They ask follow for a follow, random comments that make actually no sense and are even sometimes gross porn accounts. Ew.

triggering images/videos

This is a sad peeve since it has actually involved me muting some friends in the past. I totally understand why people want to either want to share or comment on something that they feel passionate about, but I think they sometimes forget that they may trigger others.

I’ve seen pictures or clips online of some horrendous things such as animal abuse and they have sent me offline. Along with that you can also get posts where someone has added a trigger warning (which is greatly appreciated!) at the start but immediately get into the topic. This is usually around mental health. I love the fact that people are talking more openly about it but…yeah. I’ve now muted the words that trigger me in hopes I don’t see any of this.

trolls/perverts

I ask myself every day why not more is done to prevent these people being online. They are some of the worst types of people and they don’t care. The trolls that find one of your posts and immediately start bullying, leaving awful comments about the way you look, wishing you the most horrific death in detail and doing everything they can to push you over the edge for fun. You then have perverts. I’ve been doing my best to avoid these guys and it helps that I’m not interesting at all, but I’ve recently seen some of my friends being targeted such as HelloMissJordan and FromSarahLex!

I do have so many other social media peeves but I thought I’d let you leave before you have me ranting for hours. I’d love for you to share what annoys the heck out of you about social media whether it’s through working on it professionally, blogging or just in general!

What are your top peeves?

 

Lifestyle Mental Health

Why I Haven’t Posted On Youtube In 6 Months

youtube

If you’re new to my blog then you probably won’t know that I have a Youtube channel. It’s like my blog in terms of Harry Potter with a dash of lifestyle and mental health! The only difference is that you can see and hear me! I’ve been on there for a year and a bit but as you can see from the title, I haven’t posted in 6 months. There are so many reasons why I haven’t posted anything so I thought I’d choose a handful so you can see what is going on inside my head.

i hate the way i sound and look

Yeaaaah. This is definitely one of the very top reasons why I haven’t posted. I have no problem chatting to the camera! That is something I find a lot of fun especially when I can be a little more creative or I’m chatting about something I’m excited about. It’s when I get to editing my video that I have to listen to myself talk and I hate it. I’ve always hated the way I sounded ever since I was a child. I sound super nasally which I have tried to have rectified over 10 years ago through a septoplasty, but nope…no change. I do sound clearer than I did thanks to doing acting over the years but not enough for me to like.

As for the way I look, that is a major issue I’m hoping to come to terms with in therapy. A lot of body issues right there especially with my smile!

my neighbours are noisy

I moved into my flat just over a year ago and what you don’t know is that I’ve had a few little issues with my neighbours. Don’t get me wrong…they are really friendly and I can chat to them whenever I see them. However, the neighbours below me are alcoholics and love to blare their music extra loud during all hours of the day and sometimes late into the night and the ones near them love to chat super loud outside, play the car radio super loud and yell at each other. All of these factors make filming awkward.

It doesn’t help that the walls are pretty thin so you can every little thing and I find it a little difficult to be as energetic as I want to be in case they hear me. Maybe I’ll find the confidence to be me but we’ll see.

i’m too boring to watch

That annoying comparison demon loves to hit me! I always think ‘Why would anyone watch me compared to that person? I’m so boring!’. I have images of what I wish my videos ended up like but they either never turn out that way or I don’t have the means to make them like I want. More and more Potter Youtubers have been joining and I see them doing so much better. Their content is really good but they also seem to have a bit more money than me so can buy merch to do unboxings and things! I hate how whiney I sound yet I want to be completely open and honest with you on how I feel.

my camera hates me

Alright so it isn’t so much that my camera hates me or at least I don’t think it does, but I can only film 2 minutes before my camera stops recording. When you’re trying to film a 5-minute video, it makes you lose the will to record anything. I could be chatting away like crazy or actually like what I just did and then I realised that I’ve been cut off. Gah!

I’m going to add to my July goals by saying I’m going to try and film at least one video this month. I will be extremely rusty so, if I do, please don’t judge!

Have you subscribed to me on Youtube? If you have, which video did you enjoy? If you haven’t, what would make you subscribe?

Mental Health

Tracking My Anxiety Triggers Through A Week

triggersPhoto by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Oh boy…the last few days everything has triggered my anxiety and left me sometimes a sobbing, trembling wreck. It’s a nightmare! If you suffer from anxiety too, there may be a few triggers mentioned so this is a little warning for you just in case. They shouldn’t be too bad since they’re my own personal triggers but you never know!

This post was actually inspired by Career Girl Daily who wrote about tracking your mood and the things that work and don’t work in your day. I thought I’d put my own swing on things and try to track some of my triggers last week to see if I can figure out what I can change or just learn to deal with!

Periods/pmt/lady time/hell

Ooooof! Excuse me while I rant at Eve for causing ladies to have this chaos every month. Every girl deals with her lady time differently. Some have it light, some heavy, some not at all. We all have hell! I seriously get triggered every few weeks by my period starting and it feels like it heightens my anxiety x100. I cry, I hate the way I feel bloated, my skin looks terrible and my mental health just takes the worst rollercoaster ever!

I would love if any of you ladies have got tips you’ve found helped you during this time.

Weather

The UK is known for its freaky weather. One minute it could be glorious sunshine and the next, it’s the ice age! You literally can get 4 types of weather in one day! Right now I think Mother Nature is having her lady time because it keeps going hot and then cold and then extra hot. Nothing nastier than feeling icky at night and not knowing what to do with yourself. I hate being sweaty and never have the right night-clothes for the job! I have tried to drink more water and sleep with a sheet on top but I can’t control the weather.

*mumbles* Stupid weather ruining my life…

Social media

To be honest, the only social media I use consistently is Twitter and that site can be bloody awful sometimes! In the last week I’ve had people I follow either tweet or like tweets that have been extremely triggering especially one with a cat being kicked. WHY?! Why does that need to be a thing online?! That actually started a very low night for me and lasted for 3 straight days. It doesn’t take much to trigger someone so please:

  • Be mindful of what you comment on or like especially if it shows a form of abuse.
  • Be respectful if someone asks you to delete a tweet. They aren’t forming a vendetta on you personally but may be triggered by what you’ve typed.

Neighbours

Not everyone has noisy neighbours or idiots that visit them but the last week has been crazy for one of my neighbours. She constantly has people coming back and forth to her flat at 2am revving their car, full headlights on, laughing loudly or even yelling at each other. This could happen at least 2/3 times every other night. I chose the flat I have now because it was quiet and made it easy for my Aspergers but AHHHHH! I was actually triggered today because I was told that a rat has been seen near her property.

Anxiety attacks are NOT fun. Thankfully one of my elderly neighbours saw me, brought me into her bungalow, gave me some tea and let me listen to music while I calmed down. She’s a godsend!

What are your anxiety triggers? Have you found things that help?

Mental Health

Thank You BBC Three For Listening | Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

BBC Three

One channel that I have adored both on TV and now online has to be BBC Three. Like Channel 4, they are not afraid to look at the documentaries that target real life issues such as LGBTQ+ and mental health.

Carrying on with my mental health posts for this week, I’m going to look at some of the programmes/videos that have made me feel as if I’m not so abnormal. I’m going to put a trigger warning here because quite a lot of these may trigger you so don’t be afraid to click away or just read what I’ve written instead of watching.

Overshadowed

BBC Three

Everyone knows how popular Youtube is these days with famous vloggers documenting beauty routines, what is new this month and a day in their life. That is why I loved watching this short but incredible series following a vlogger called Imogene who starts by vlogging her life and slowly starts noticing something so much more: anorexia. You are able to see it taking hold on her and hear all thoughts about herself and those around her. You wish you could help her but all you can do is watch.

This is actually based off a play by Eva O’Connor so, if you love theatre/reading play texts, check it out!

George Shelley: Learning To Grieve

I’ll be honest with you: I never listened to Union J. I knew who they were and sometimes caught their songs on the radio but they never really interested me. It wasn’t until I watched George Shelley on I’m A Celeb that I noticed him and heard the story of his mental health. Hearing about the death of his sister is awful and grief is something I’ve struggled with a lot in terms of losing my parents. There is something called survivor’s guilt that some people have to battle with where you feel intensely guilty for being alive when the person you lost has died. It feels like your life loses all meaning for a while and watching this documentary a year after losing my Mum really helped.

Things Not To Say

This little series on Youtube by BBC Three was the first mental health thing I watched by them! I adore all of these videos for being brutally honest, really funny and beyond relatable especially when the people talking suffer/are going through the same thing as you. You even get to see my friend and fellow blogger, Sarah, in one of these about wheelchair users! They look at so many subjects that other channels wouldn’t touch and one day, I will be on one of these chatting about something…BBC Three, call me! (Haha).

I’m gutted that BBC Three is no longer a TV channel because it was so different to the standard BBC that we know and it reached more eyes than it seems to online. That said, I just wanted to say thank you to the team and to the people who help create these programmes based on mental health of all different kinds and for making others aware of how much it can affect a person.

What programmes/videos have you watched on BBC Three?

Mental Health

Why Mental Health Needs To Be Understood In Hospitals

If someone told me that I would start May being rushed into hospital and having emergency surgery, I probably would have snickered or rolled my eyes in disbelief. Well, that happened! I always suffer with a bunch of pains due to Fibromyaligia and IBS but the pain I got that Sunday was horrendous!

‘d tried taking my usual medication for IBS but nothing seemed to help it. I’d been to my out-of-hours GP with pain in my legs, stomach and back and was given an anti-inflammatory. Called 111 and they actually called for an ambulance.

Hospitals

I have the biggest respect for paramedics seeing as they dedicate every day to helping people who are sick or injured. However, one of the paramedics who I saw actually scolded me. I was finding it hard to explain everything (was in pain and a lot was happening) and all she could keep saying was “why didn’t you taking your pain meds if you were in pain?” over and over. Remember that this was at 2am, I was already in tears and this person had me feel ashamed for no reason.

You would think the fact that I’d already given her information about what I had taken 3 hours before and that I had anxiety and Aspergers, she would be a little more understanding. Nope. Not one question if I was okay. Just a sigh.

Even now it upsets me.

Thankfully her partner was a lot nicer and brought me a wheelchair when the other was trying to get me to walk into A&E. Apparently her cousin has a form of Autism so she kind of knew how to help.

Fast forward to the night before my surgery.

Cue absolute anxiety attack!

The tears, the sobs, the wanting to go home. The works.

I’m usually alright with hospitals since I was pretty much brought up near them with my parents being in the NHS, but it’s like someone switched me to a scared kid. I reckon anyone, regardless of whether they had mental health, would be scared of the idea of going under.

The nurses knew I was having a battle in my head, even the other ladies in my bay knew and they were suffering worse than me! One of the reasons my anxiety was up was that no-one was telling me at the time whether I was having surgery or not.

None of the doctors came to see me, I asked the nurses if they had an idea so they went to go ask and never came back and the hours of this just piled up. Part of me wishes that I could have been dramatic about all that…

My GP has told me about a disability health passport that you could use whenever you go into hospital and I had the form sent off but never thought I’d go in as soon as I did. If you have Aspergers or any other ASD, check out here for the form I used!

Have you had any experiences like this in hospital? What do you think they could change?

 

Mental Health

Interview with Eggtooth | Daisy Interviews

Eggtooth

Back in March, the lovely Grace Latter tweeted out about an amazing company called Eggtooth which just screamed me! It would have been great if there had been something like this when I was at school because suffering with mental health at school is not a lot of fun.

Eggtoth are “a brilliantly innovative and creative counselling organisation who don’t just help people of all ages (but particularly the young’uns) with their mental health, but also with employment opportunities and nurturing their creativity.” (Thanks Grace for this beautiful explanation!)

The two directors of Eggtooth, Sally and Laura, were kind enough to let me send them questions and anyone who lets me ask has to be great, right? Haha.

1. Where did the name ‘Eggtooth come from? It sounds amazing and creepy at the same time!

An Eggtooth develops whilst the chick is within the egg and is primarily used to help the chick break into the air sac within the egg. Egg shells are porous and allow the movement of oxygen into an egg but towards the end of the incubation period this flow of air is insufficient for the chick to ‘breathe’. The chick, using its egg tooth, will then break through the membrane of the egg and into the air sac where sufficient oxygen can be found. It is then that the chick will use the egg tooth to break out of the shell, known as pipping. After a little while it falls off as it’s not needed anymore.

2. I read that you trained to be an actor at Rose Bruford (that’s the dream for me!). Did your training give you any insights into mental health and to the people who needed help?

I loved Rose Bruford it was an amazing 3 years and the main thing I learnt was resilience, resourcefulness and adaptability. A lot of the drama students were fragile and it’s been really interesting to see who has stayed with an acting career and who decided to change tack and do something different. I was there from 1990 -1993!

3. What has been the response to Eggtooth’s influence in schools?

Back in 2012 it took an innovative school to take us on. It was the senior leaders that really appreciated there were some serious needs of students that were not being met and they knew it would take a very different approach to address those needs. Fast forward 7 years and it’s only fairly recently that creative therapeutic approaches are now taken seriously.

4. What more do you think schools could be doing to help those students with mental health?

I think schools do so much already. Or at least are given responsibility for so much.  I think recently it was put forward by government that schools and the NHS should be doing more to prevent knife crime.

Unless you work directly for a school, it’s very difficult to appreciate how challenging it can be. When emphasis is put on targets and data as opposed to relationships, there will always be limitations to how effective a school can be. It takes courage to put the emphasis on the relationships with students as the most important aspect of education because this may have an impact on exam data!

5. Grace mentioned that you were nominated for the National Lottery’s People’s Project! Congrats! Why do you think people should vote for Eggtooth?

Yes we’ve been nominated for the People’s Project!

There is absolutely nothing like The Egg – it’s a fully funded therapeutic offer and the client can choose their therapy – we have a Art, Music, animal assisted and soon drama and outdoor therapy available – we also provide a travel buddy if needed who will transport them to and from their therapy appointment- same buddy for the whole time they are in therapy.

6. Is there anything else you’d like to say to the readers of my little blog?

We are 7 years old now and feel that our work is finally getting noticed

We also have a beautiful and supportive arts mentoring project called Incubate and at the mo we have around 50+ musicians that are all emerging artists and some have had access to mentoring by professional musicians.

Next step is Hatch – a stunning restaurant with top training opportunities for young chefs, front of house and business trainees.

Thank you so much to the ladies of Eggtooth for being so lovely and answering my questions! If you have time, please go and vote for them at The People’s Project and check out their different social media: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

Do you think there should be more of an effort to teach students more about mental health?

Mental Health

Wellness/Self Care Gift Guide

self care

Mental health is a big part of my life and my blog even though I wished it wasn’t. I’m constantly battling against the anxiety building up inside me or my depression dragging me into the dark. I love the fact that some mental health sufferers refer to themselves as ‘warriors’ and it’s so true! We battle against the enemy within out minds so no wonder we’re always exhausted by the time we’ve finished work, done our errands or even just taking that first step out of bed.

It’s why everyone needs a little self care in their lives and, after being inspired by Paula’s gift guide, it was only right that I created my own!

Whether you suffer with mental health or are someone who wants to help a friend/family member to discover self care, then I really hope that these little items give you some ideas. Though the one free thing you can give them is a comforting presence. It’s not easy for people to sit and hear that it’s ‘going to be okay’. Simply being there with them, being that shoulder to cry on, that little listening here. It’s the best gift you give!

Slip Silk Eye Mask

This is something I need to add to my own self care. When there are days when everything is too much such as noises and light from my window, I always tug under the duvet to ease everything. It makes such a difference to have that option to block out the world around you until you’re ready to see it. Sleep is something that a lot of people struggle with (me included) but this mask and a few other things can help!

Ren & Now To Sleep Pillow Spray

Like the eye mask above, this Sleep Pillow spray is amazing!! I managed to get a small sample of it from a friend and the gorgeous smell that took over my pillow was perfect for night-time. My anxiety hits me so much harder before bed (super annoying) so I will literally try everything to get to sleep earlier!

This Works Deep Sleep Bath Soak

Where is the best place to relax? A lot of people would say the bathroom where you can dim the lights, maybe put up a candle, play something from Spotify and relax. It won’t be just me who has awful aches through my body from the tension especially around my shoulders and neck. I wish I could get a massage but a relaxing soak would help too! Haha.

Pomegranate Noir Travel Candle

What better candle to use in your self care relaxation than to burn a Jo Malone candle! They do get pretty expensive but this mini travel candle is definitely more affordable! You can burn this while you’re in the bath or burn it while you’re reading.

The calm app

I’ve been using this app to help me sleep for a few months now and I’m actually loving it! Can’t afford the premium but I still love being able to close my eyes and listen to relaxing music or birdsong! My mind goes extra crazy at bedtime and, if it’s too quiet, then it takes advantage! Thanks for the help, Calm!

Owning It: Your Bulls**t-Free Guide To Living With Anxiety

The last thing on my gift guide is this amazing book! Even when you are really struggling with your anxiety, sometimes you just need to not take yourself seriously and Caroline Foran’s book is perfect! It does what other mental health books do in terms of explaining what anxiety is and ways you can help it, but she does it with style! She has the kind of humour you can’t help but smile at and that smile means it works!

What self care gifts would you give to someone struggling?

Books Mental Health

Book Review | Quiet by Fearne Cotton

Fearne

I’m going to be showing my age now but when I think of Fearne Cotton, I don’t automatically think author or even DJ. I remember her presenting Childrens’ TV such as Diggit and EurekaTV. Yep, definitely old. I tended to see Fearne popping up on shows as the years went by and really enjoyed her sense of humour. However it wasn’t until I read Quiet and learned about her battle with mental health when I really started to relate more to her.

Quiet had my internet even before I turned the cover page!

Fell instantly in love with the pastel rainbow colours of the birds flying and the description ‘Silencing the brain chatter and believing that you’re good enough’. If there is anything that I wish I could figure out, it is shutting up my head! I think that’s the same need for anyone that suffers with any type of mental health!

The first thing you see when you open up the book is a rainbow-blended brain which I adored. It was an interactive part of the book which you fill in whenever you see the brain symbol shown throughout so you can jot down any negative thoughts.

“We forget how capable we are, how strong we can be and how deep we have dug before. There is confidence there even if it’s hidden; there is courage, beauty, wisdom and belief – we just need some quiet to notice it.”

I love the chapter ‘Quiet Self-Love’ because that is something that I struggle with a bunch. There is a tiny section called ‘How To Talk To Yourself’ which starts with one of the best sentences “Hands up who often talks to themselves like a piece of s**t (Me, me, me!!!!)”. I have long since forgotten how to talk nicely to myself. I think the last time I honestly spoke about myself truthfully and positively were the years before I turned 10. I hadn’t  yet experienced all the bullying I was subjected to and still had both my parents.

Amazing what life can do to change the view on yourself.

Unlike other self-care books that are out there in the market, Fearne makes me feel as if she is sitting right next to me sharing her experiences, her fears and not forcing me to listen. I can step away from a page if I’m feeling triggered and can return when I feel strong enough to listen to what she has to say.

Not only has it got her own personal experiences with her ‘mind chatter’ but she also has interviews with different people such as Dustin Lance Black (Tom Daley’s husband), Billie Piper and specialists. That is really cool to read especially from Dustin and Billie since I never really knew about that part of their lives.

If you want to read more of Fearne’s books on mental health, we have Calm, Happy, Happy The Journal and she even has a Happy Vegan Recipe book coming out in October!

Have you read any of her books before?