Monday, 24 September 2018

Should we be allowed mental health days?

Hello everyone 😊

Hope you all have something to smile about today and if not then go and do something positive. I have had a successful start to September as I have managed to finish my Web Developer Course and I have passed all my exams which I'm so happy about. I have learnt a lot, I would like to pick up another course but focusing on one aspect rather than many as I do worry it's a lot to remember! But to be honest it's handy to know little things about programming because a lot of the times when you are coding your own websites or creating apps you use the internet and our great friend Google the majority of the time!

Today's blog post is about having days off work for mental health days. I've been reading into it and I also know people that have had time off work for mental health reasons and I felt it is an important topic to cover. I know everyone probably has different opinions on this subject, it could also depend on if you're a manager that has to agree on having these days off for your staff or you're a colleague needing a mental health day off but need permission from your manager.


My Story:

Back in March when I was at my worst I only ended up having a week off work but that's when I got to a point that I was ridiculously ill - I felt like I couldn't just call into work and say 'I need the day off because I'm stressed or my anxiety is really bad today' so I ended up just going to work until it made me physically ill which is definitely not a good way to go about it. I felt like there wasn't an easy way to point out evidence of how I was feeling, no blocked nose or cough that someone could hear over the phone, no being physically sick, and the thought of telling someone that I was struggling felt too awkward for me, and so I would force myself to go to work and stare at a screen while I was mentally in a pit.

But in the end having that week off helped me immensely - I went from being that ill that I couldn't walk around my house to feeling a lot better. Although that was a huge turning point for me as that's when I started to speak out to friends and family and started to get help.

My Opinion:

From that experience I feel it's important to have mental health days. If you're feeling so stressed that you're making yourself unwell that you need to take the time to relax, and if that means just having an odd day off here and there then I don't see what's wrong with that. Of course from a company side there can be that risk that people may not be telling the truth and just pretending so they can have the days off but I guess you just have to trust people. I think a lot of the time you can tell if someone is stressed and struggling, their mood will be different, their work might not be up to the usual standard etc. Of course if it's over a few months as long as that person has a sick note from the doctor it's fine also. At least you know that that person is trying to get better and they get seen by a doctor regularly.

Put it this way, if physical health was impairing your work you'd take the time off so it should be the same for your mental health. It could be that your anxiety is overwhelming to the point that you just cannot focus or lost your motivation completely, or you could notice that while you're feeling like this you keep making little mistakes at work. Surely its best to take the day off to recharge, talk to someone and just have a day of self-care?

However I do feel that when you do have time off it's best that it's a proactive day. Of course it's fine to have that odd day in bed just doing nothing but getting rest but sometimes that won't help for the long-run, you might find that you'll go back to work and within a few weeks you'll feel bad again. Also if you have sick days every time you feel low or anxious then you'll likely set up a pattern of avoidance, you'll keep telling yourself that it's right and that things are too scary to overcome. If it's long term then speak to a doctor or a therapist, read about self-care and what you can do to feel better, if you can write down what's causing the stress, what is the biggest topic that's causing it? If its your job then maybe it's time to move on and find something different?

Also if you do find that it is long-term then it's always best to speak to your boss so they can understand what is going on and what you're going through, that way they'll be prepared if you take occasional days off to deal with things. Sometimes I feel like it's not a bad thing if its a one-off that when you need a day off because of stress you lie and say you're feeling ill or being sick etc if you're not super comfortable in talking to your boss about your mental illness. Although if it is a regular occurrence then of course you should open up to your boss. However it is a very good thing to open up about your mental health to your boss as this can help many things and it is important to start a conversation about mental well-being in the workplace as this may help others to speak up too.



What are your opinions on this? 

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I asked Alyx who is currently having time off work for their opinion on this subject:

🗨I remember being told by my team leader at work that they ‘do not believe in mental health days off as people could take advantage’. This ultimately lead to me having several breakdowns at work and being on long term sick; being unable to even stand a full week at my desk.

Work is stressful, repetitive, and it can make you feel like you’re stuck in this 9 to 5 cycle: ‘wake up, go to work, come home, sleep, repeat’. For people who are suffering with mental health conditions, this can feel like hell, like you can’t escape. At least that’s what it was like for me.

People who are dealing with depression, anxiety, stress etc, they need that day. That day to focus on themselves, to just do what they want to, clear their mind and look after their physical and mental health. We don’t give ourselves enough attention, we feel that everything else is more important and we neglect ourselves, when in reality the most important thing to us is our health. It’s not always selfish to be selfish and focus on us.

I understand that there are people who may ‘take advantage’, as my team leader put it, but think about it, whether they are suffering with their mental health or not, everyone feels stress and tired from work and everyone deserves a break.

There is still a huge stigma about mental health and there are still so many people who don’t understand what sufferers are going through, or have been misinformed on the issue.
But as mental health is finally starting to be focused on more in the work place, hopefully mental health days off of work will become the norm and sufferers will get the support they need and deserve.🗩

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Everyone has different opinions on this of course but I feel it is an important topic. I have also been doing some reading about this topic to see what professionals think about it. I had a read on the Mental Health Foundation website who had these statistics:



website link

A recent survey of 4,619 adults over the age of 18 showed that 32% of us get stressed by thinking about work in personal time, 23% compromise our health to get work done and 16% compromise relationships.

Of course stress is a pretty normal thing for all of us however if it becomes constant and overwhelming then it can cause problems that would affect our lives. Stress isn't a mental health problem in itself but it links to depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicide and physical health problems too.

The Mental Health Foundation have a system in place for their colleagues where they all get three 'well-being days' each year. So if someone is starting to feel stressed and feels like work is getting on top of them then they can take a day for themselves and then come back the next day feeling refreshed and ready to work. They have advised that it improves productivity and also sends a powerful message that your mental well-being is important.

National Statistics say that stress and other mental health problems are the fourth highest cause of sickness absence. But from the survey that was done by the Mental Health Foundation it is suggested that 45% of people will make up an alternative reason for absence rather than report a mental health issue to their boss. They also found that 28% of us feel less productive than we could be at work because of stress.


I think it's important to know that your needs are valid. When you call up for a day off you don't need to exaggerate or downplay, make excuses or defend yourself. You're not doing well and you've made an adult decision about needing to take time off.

I hope this post has been interesting and as always,

chat soon








Monday, 17 September 2018

Practising Gratitude.

Good evening everyone, hope you are well❣

I can't believe how quickly September is going, the weeks are just flying by! Hope you all had a lovely weekend and that Monday hasn't been too bad! I hope you're enjoying my layout of blog posts recently, I wanted to make them look more enjoyable to read rather than just a block of writing - hence why I've added more colourful pictures and added in bullet points as well as text so it doesn't look so boring. ☀

Today I am writing a blog post about practising gratitude. Firstly the meaning of gratitude is the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. It's a very good self care practise to follow and really helps to make you feel good about yourself.



Practising gratitude ⇊


If you search online for the 'benefits of gratitude' you will find so much about it. There has been numerous studies on it and there has been loads of benefits found.

Have a look at this post: http://happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/

There are 5 main aspects that come from the benefits of gratitude which I will list below - this is a list found from a study that was done on gratitude.

Emotional:
♥More good feeling.
♥More relaxed.
♥More resilient.
♥Less Envious.
♥Happier Memories.

Personality:
♥Less materialistic.
♥Less self-centered.
♥More optimistic.
♥Increased self-esteem.
♥More spiritual.

Health:
♥Improved sleep.
♥Less sickness.
♥Longevity.
♥Increased energy.
♥More exercise.

Career:
♥Better management.
♥Improved networking.
♥Goal achievement.
♥Improved decision making.
♥Increased productivity.

Social:
♥More social.
♥Healthier marriage.
♥Kinder.
♥More friendships.
♥Deeper relationships.

Have a read of the post I linked, it goes into these points in more detail and explains why and how these have all been improved because of gratitude.

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How to develop a gratitude practice ⇊

When we regularly take time out to notice all the good things in our lives we can quickly turn around negativity or anxiousness. As shown above there are studies out there that show that gratitude positively impacts our mental well-being and encourages us to seek out more positivity in our lives.

1You can create a gratitude jar. 
Everyday write down something that you are thankful for in the day and put it into the jar. Then on special occasions or when you're feeling negative about yourself, open the jar and have a read of everything you have written. You could also keep it until the end of the year and that way you can have a look back on the whole year - it's also a nice way to keep memories. 

2Every morning or night state three things you're grateful for. 
This is a nice way to start your day or end your day. If you list them before you go to bed then you can list something that happened that day or by listing them when you first wake up will probably give you a positive outlook on the day ahead. 

3Keep a gratitude diary. 
This is similar to the jar but you could expand on the things you are grateful for. If something happened in the day you can explain the events leading up to it or have more space to write down what had happened. It's also a nice thing to look back on every so often.

4Sharing with a 'gratitude buddy.' 
It's a nice idea to note at least one thing every day you're thankful for and share it with someone else. It can then also help to inspire each other and it's always good to have people around you that are feeling positive too. 

The compliment challenge ⇊

This is a little segment that links to gratitude and being positive. I've read about this before and I feel it is very helpful and positive to try this out. 

Challenge: For the next seven days every time someone gives you a compliment simply smile and say thank you. Don't push the compliment aside, dismiss it or downplay it. Acknowledge it and accept it for the gift it is. 

You might find it a little uncomfortable to begin with as most of the time when we receive compliments we would respond with a compliment back to the person or just generally dismissing it. 

Whilst doing this another challenge alongside it - compliment other people when you see them do something well or when you notice something else you feel deserves attention. How do you feel when that person you have just given a compliment to lights up and accepts it compared to when someone downplays it or dismisses it? 

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and let me know if you try out that challenge! 

As always, chat soon. 





Sunday, 9 September 2018

The Beauty of Sleep.

Good afternoon guys! 


Hope you had a lovely week and a good start to September! This is my birthday month...I will soon be 24 which doesn't feel like much of a difference for me. However I have some lovely things planned this month that I have to look forward to. 😁

Today's post is going to be about sleep. I don't know about you, but I absolutely love sleeping. It's so peaceful and can make you feel so refreshed, and isn't it just the best getting into a bed with freshly washed bed sheets?!


The importance of beauty sleep ⇊

Sleeping is vital for our well-being but it is often overlooked. We often feel that in order to get everything done or in order to make the most of your day you should sleep less so you have more hours in the day. However being sleep deprived will really impact on your mental state and will interfere with all those activities you have planned to do. There are so many studies on sleep and why we need it, here are a few theories that sleeping can do for us: 

☀Sleep helps us to process and store memories, there are brain scans of people sleeping and it shows how our brains move pieces of information  from short-term memory into the long-term memory. 

☀Also when we are asleep our bodies are repairing and restoring muscles and tissues as well as synthesising hormones which is vital for our bodies to function properly. 

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What goes on whilst we sleep? 

Sleep occurs in ninety minute cycles split into four parts. The first part is where we feel drowsy and we go into a light sleep. This is often called 'true sleep' and makes up fifty percent of a night's sleep. The body starts slowing down, our blood pressure drops and our breathing then slows down. 

The next stage we go into is a slow wave sleep which is then followed by the 'deep sleep' stage. This is the moment where our body starts repairing and restoring our muscles and tissues, renews skins cells and fights off the bad cells. 

The last stage is called the REM stage. At this stage our heart rate and blood pressure rise and our limbs become paralysed as we move into a dream state. It's at this stage when our memories are processed and moved from short-term to our long-term memory. 

Learning about our bodies and minds as we sleep is very interesting as we have no idea what goes on to ourselves and it also shows just how important it is for us to sleep and get enough sleep. 

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What happens if we don't get enough sleep?

There are many studies that show being sleep deprived can affect our health, mental well-being and our productivity. 

People who suffer with insomnia usually suffer from greater levels of depression and anxiety than those who sleep normally. As well as lack of sleep affected our mental well-being it can also affect many physical risks. An example of this is that one in five traffic accidents in the UK are caused by fatigue. 

However it's not always easy to know if you are getting enough sleep. Here are some indicators that you may get if you are sleep deprived: 

🌛Having poor concentration and lacking focus.

🌛Putting on weight and craving more sugary things.

🌛Getting colds, bugs or coughs more frequently.

🌛Always hitting the snooze button on your alarm when you wake up.

These often show that you might need to work on your sleeping pattern a little more. 

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Ways to improve sleep?

There's multiple things you can do to sleep better. You can have a relaxing bath before going to bed, using calming sprays or creams that you can put on or spray onto your pillow when you're about to go to sleep, change your bed sheets so you are sleeping in a freshly made bed, put on some sounds that help you go to sleep (like rainy mood), wear comfortable pyjamas, try not to eat too late at night, try not to watch TV or play games just before you go to sleep, and also ban technology from the bedroom. 

There's been studies done on people who bring technology to the bedroom and it is now known that this can affect how you sleep. 

→Our bodies are programmed to respond to light levels and as it becomes night outside our bodies naturally start producing melatonin which makes us drowsy and ready to sleep. However the lights that emit from laptops/mobile phones etc can suppress the production of melatonin which can then lead to us feeling more awake and harder to get to sleep. It is also known that if you have your phone on your bedside table and you get a notification the screen lights up your body responds to the light and starts to bring you out of sleep. 

→This impacts our sleep cycles but it also impacts our health too. Melatonin has a key role to play in our body and if there is less of it, it has been shown to increase risk of heart disease, stroke, type two diabetes, depression and dementia as well as many more. 

It's always a good idea to keep your tech out of the bedroom, which is why many suggest it is better to have an old fashioned alarm clock rather than your phone as an alarm that way your phone isn't in your room. However you can always have your phone in the room with you but make sure you turn it over so you can't see the screen or any lights flash up and disturb your sleep. 

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Why not set up a night time routine?

Having a regular bedtime routine can really help with giving you the sleep you need! Here is a little list of things that you should consider doing every night: 

🌛Turn down your lights. If it's getting late and it's almost time to go to sleep why not turn down your lights so the room isn't as bright and your body can start producing melatonin. 

🌛Turn of your tech. If you know you have about half hour before you usually go to bed why don't you turn it all off, maybe put away the dishes you used for dinner or get into bed with a book.

🌛Have a bath. As you know baths are known to relax you and the hot water can really help with relaxing your muscles, If you don't have a bath then a shower could also be a good thing. 

🌛Lighting some candles. It is well known that candles and their scents can help to relax you, you could light a few candles and place them on your bedside table whilst you're reading your book.

🌛Buying luxurious and soft pyjama's to help you feel more cosy and relaxed.

🌛Play some relaxing music, like I mentioned above rainy mood is a very good one for this.

🌛Spraying calming spray onto your pillow, like lavender for example. 



I hope you have enjoyed my blog post on sleep and why it is so important! Thank you for reading, enjoy your Sunday. 

As always, chat soon. 





Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Boosting your happiness: Part two.

Good evening everyone! ☀


Hope you enjoyed your bank holiday weekend! If you haven't already have a look at my previous post: Boosting your happiness - before reading this one! This is a second part as I explained in the post before that I wanted to show you my list of things that make me happy and also to just expand on the happiness subject.


As I'm writing this I'm actually having a pretty bad day today - I feel like it's important to document sometimes because it just shows that you're not alone and I still have bad days. I'm feeling pretty lonely today and I think that's why I'm not feeling so happy. If you have read previous posts on my blog you'll be aware that I moved out and away from home to a new place in Birmingham which I absolutely love don't get me wrong. I have had a lovely few weeks here and I am looking forward to the weeks to come! In leaving my home in Northampton I made the choice to move away from my family, my friends, leave my job, and move away from people that I could easily hang out with when I wanted to. Living in Birmingham I don't know anyone here except for my boyfriend and yes of course I can travel to see people, I have been back to Northampton and I have had people come up here to see me but sometimes I do feel a bit on my own I guess - I can't really set up a random 'oh let's go to the cinema tonight!' with my friends or family because I have to travel to do that now so it has to be planned. That's fine though, it's what growing up means and I still get to see the people I love but I just wanted you to see that I still have bad days - tomorrow will be a new day and every weekend I have met up with people, gone out, visited home etc.

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Things that make me happy ⇊

Here's a list of some things that make me happy - my list I have is very long because I did start it over five months ago and I do add to it so I will only list a select few: 

🌞A warm shower.

🌞Eating my favourite food.

🌞Listening to music.

🌞Going to the cinema.

🌞Watching a film/TV series on Netflix.

🌞Hanging out with friends and family.

🌞Watching Yogscast and Hatfilms videos on YouTube - Particularly the TTT videos. 

🌞Being with Adam and talking to him.

🌞Funny SnapChats.

🌞Playing the keyboard.

🌞Playing a game I'm in the mood for.

🌞Treats from myself or other people.

🌞Compliments.

🌞Being included.

🌞Cuddles.

🌞Otis and Xavier (my cat and hamster).

🌞A tidy room.

🌞Keeping busy.

🌞Getting dressed up and doing my make-up.

🌞Being cosy and having a hot chocolate with marshmallows. 

🌞A cup of tea.

🌞Aerobics with Geoff (sadly I no longer can attend his classes😢).

🌞Playing card games. 

🌞Watching animal videos. 

These are a select few and you might read some and think they're strange or why would that make me happy but it's personal to me so we all will have different lists. 

It's a nice activity to do and I would recommend you do it to, list ten things now that make you happy...go! 

Also whenever you are feeling down you can always have a look at your list and do one of them, you'll know for sure they'll cheer you up even if it's just for that moment. 

Professional information and self help for boosting happiness ⇊

I read a lot of self help books and looked online for advice from professionals as I got to a point that I need the help and I needed to learn how to help myself. Here are some more ways on how to be happier: 

(I have taken these select few from the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/feel-better-and-happy/)

1Manage your stress levels. 
If you have a build up of things that are making you feel stressed then this will have a huge impact on your happiness. It's a good idea to work on the those things and find a way to manage them, clearing your mind will help you a lot. You can also do some exercise, some breathing techniques, or taking control of your time - all of these are positive steps to help you feel better. 

2Enjoy yourself. 
As I have mentioned before it's always good to treat yourself and partake in activities that you know you'll enjoy. Try and find the funny things in certain situations, and also a good tip is to try not to do something that is only enjoyable at the time - for example drinking alcohol or eating too much junk food. 

3Boost your self-esteem. 
If you haven't already have a look at my previous post on this subject: Tips to improve your self confidence. Try and treat yourself the way you treat a friend that you value. They have added an example for this on the NHS website which is - notice when you're putting yourself down, "I'm so stupid for not getting that job" but if that was a friend would you say that to them? You wouldn't, you'd say something like "don't worry about it, you did your best and they'll be other opportunities out there." 

4Have a healthy lifestyle. 
Limit your alcohol intake, choose a well-balanced diet - a good diet makes your brain and body work efficiently, do some exercise and get enough sleep. I have written about these a lot in previous posts but it's so important to look after your physical health because it has such a big affect on your mental health. 

5Talk and share. 
When you have something that's on your mind and it's really bothering you how do you feel when you tell someone about it? I find that talking to people about things that are bothering me really help. You don't have to go to a professional, talking to loved ones can be just as helpful. However if you find it difficult to talk to the people you know about it then there are so many anonymous helplines out there. 

6Build your resilience. 

Resilience is what allows you to cope with the ups and downs in your life. Making something worthwhile out of painful times helps your resilience grow. If you go through something bad in your life try and make something creative out of it, you could write or sing - this helps you to express pain and get you through those hard times.


I hope you have enjoyed my little series of posts about happiness - I know there's a lot of information to take in but I hope something you have read has helped. Enjoy your week and I will be back as soon as I can. 

As always, 
chat soon. 

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Boosting your happiness.

Good evening everyone! 

Hope you are well, apologies that there hasn't been a post for a few weeks now sometimes I find it difficult to juggle everything all at once. I took a bit of time off my blog to concentrate on other important things that I have going on at the moment, hope you didn't miss me too much! 😉

For a few days now I have wanted to write a post but I have struggled to choose what to write about. I have a lot of ideas for blog posts but sometimes I don't like to write them if I'm not feeling it at the time. Today I thought I'd do a post on happiness - what is happiness? What makes you happy? How important is happiness to you? How often are you happy? How do you find happiness?


To me, life is all about happiness, your own happiness and the happiness of the people around you. I feel that it's so important to be happy, when you're in a good mood you just feel as if you're on top of the world. It's a beautiful feeling but sometimes it can often be hard to make yourself feel happy. It's not normal to be happy every second of your life and you will probably go through some hard times but it's important to pick yourself up and work on your own happiness.


🙶 Happiness isn't a switch that's on or off, it's something you grow.🙷- Lynn Hord. 


About 5-6 months ago when I was having a really bad time I felt like it was impossible to feel happy. I couldn't think of anything that could make me feel happy again and if I went out and did something or my boyfriend came down to visit me I would feel happy temporarily, and it would be gone as soon as those things came to an end. I really hated myself for being like that and thinking so negatively about everything and that just made me feel worse. I also hated that I made others around me feel sad because of me, it was a vicious cycle that I felt would never end. But it did. Of course I feel down every so often and I have negative thoughts, this last month has been very stressful for me and recently I have thought that I'm not getting anywhere with life but I also stop myself from thinking that because I know it's silly and I am trying my best to get where I want to be.

Simple ways to boost your happiness ⇓ 

Here is a list of fun little activities and changes you can do to help with boosting your happiness.



Write a list of things in your life that are great right now and that make you happy. This is something I have done a few times, it can be really surprising just how long the list is. Also you can keep adding to it, you might discover something new that makes you happy. It's also quite therapeutic to list things that make you feel good. Once you have your list whenever you are feeling down you can always look back at it and try and action one of those listed.


Choose a happy song to play to lift your mood whenever you need it. Do you have that one song that you absolutely love, and every time you hear it you can't help but smile, or it just lifts your mood as soon as you hear it? Play that song. Close you eyes whilst you listen if that helps too. You can also find a 'happy' playlist online to listen to, music really helps to change your mood.

Another music idea is to change your alarm on your phone to a favourite song or a song that immediately makes you happy - it can be a lot nicer waking up to that in the morning than just that droning beep!


List some activities you can do that don't cost any money to do that you know makes you happy. A good one for me is going on a picnic, I love getting it all ready beforehand and then going somewhere you know is a good spot, chilling, talking, eating, or even just sitting there quietly reading or people watching. Maybe you enjoy going for a walk?


Create a happiness planner. Plan events or goals that you'd like to do and write them down into a planner. You can then add to it by writing down what actions you can take to complete the goals or countdown the days to those special days and events you have planned for.


Buying yourself the things you love. Do you feel happy when you buy some new clothes or a new book? Does it spark joy and increase your happiness when you buy something you love? It's not good to go crazy and buy things all the time to make yourself feel good however every once in a while it's always a good happiness boost to spend a little time on yourself.


Create a morning ritual to start your day with a smile. If there is something that puts you in a better mood before you start your day off then go for it. May that be something simple like having your morning coffee at the table whilst reading a magazine or listening to the news on the radio. If you have the time to maybe going to a exercise class in the morning, taking a walk, or doing some meditating. I find that when I wake up not feeling great that mindfulness is something that really helps me. I use this whenever I'm feeling anxious or stressed about something too. I'll stop what I'm doing, close my eyes and focus on the noises I can hear around me. When I hear a certain noise I'll name it in my head, even if I'm somewhere that's super noisy like in a restaurant I find it helps to just close you eyes and focus on the sounds around you - it really relaxes me.

I hope there is something in this list that can help you with boosting your happiness. I will do another part to this post this weekend where I will show you my list of things that make me happy. I will also give you some more advice on boosting happiness.

What makes you happy? Comment below!

As always, chat soon.








Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Tips to improve your self confidence.

Hello all!

Hope everyone is feeling good. I wanted to write a post on some tips to improving your self-confidence and esteem. I've always struggled with being confident in myself for absolutely everything. May it be for a job interview and not feeling like your good enough, leaving the house and not feeling like you look good enough to be seen in public, creating something - for example a blog and thinking it's average, thinking that you're not good enough for someone because of the way you act or look etc. The list can go on and on and I'm not the only person in the world to feel like this. A good while ago for me my self-esteem was pretty bad, all those things I just listed are examples of how I've felt in the past and some I still do to this day struggle with. I wouldn't say I'm fully confident and never say bad things about myself because I do it all the time but why do we do it?

Having low self-esteem and having zero confidence can stop you from living the life you want to live. It can get in the way of so many things and can cause you to not do something because of it, which you will probably later regret or you'll be thinking 'what if?'

I wanted to include a list of ways you can improve your self-esteem and confidence, I did a lot of research into this before writing this post and it's a good positive for me to read about tips too.



⇨Firstly it's good to think what it is that is affecting your self-esteem that way it'll be easier to help yourself. 

There could be many reasons to why someone may have a low self-esteem, it could be down to that person being bullied, finding it hard to get a job or loss of a job, having ongoing stress, having a physical illness can make you feel low, or being in a difficult relationship/going through a separation. There's a lot of factors that can bring your confidence down but there's always a way to pick yourself up again. 

It's good to remind yourself that you have the right to feel good, it can be hard to break bad habits but there are steps that you can take to feel better about yourself even if it is one baby step at a time. 

⇨Avoid being negative - this is a massive one. 

Everyone does this, it could be that you're entering a competition and before you have even participated in it you're saying you won't win. It could be that you've learnt a part of a song on your instrument but you say to yourself that you'll never be able to learn it all. There's so many examples of this and I'm sure you can think of many more yourself. I've woken up before thinking 'this is going to be a bad day' - but why is it? It's not started yet, you'll only know it's going to be a bad day once you experience the day. 

Learning to identify and challenge your negative self-beliefs can have a positive impact. There are also so many self help resources out there that can help with making you think much more positively, often any reading you might find on cognitive behavioural therapy may help you to think about the way you view yourself and get you into the habit of thinking and saying positive things about yourself. 

⇨Connecting with people who love you. 

If you hang around with people that say negative things about you, even if they joke about it constantly it will affect how you feel. If you hang out with those that say good things about you, you're more likely to start believing it yourself even if you don't to start with.

It can also help for you to talk to love ones about how you feel because they will point out all the great things about you and make you feel good about yourself.

⇨Learn to be assertive. 

If you don't like yourself it's easy then to think that others won't like you either. Sometimes you might go out of your way to help people but if its not reciprocated it makes you feel worse about yourself. It's good to be nice to others and to help them out but don't over stretch yourself to please others as it leaves you with less energy to focus on yourself, and can have a bad affect on your mental health.

Learn to say 'no' - if you don't want to do something then don't, you can't do everything just to make someone happy when you're not looking after yourself and making yourself feel happy. Take control of your own decisions as well, if there's something you want to do but someone else is telling you not to why should you do as they say? Unless it's something stupid but you get what I mean.

You'll probably find it hard to break these habits but making small changes to be more assertive will help you get used to it.

⇨Set yourself challenges. 

If you have a hobby you enjoy doing then do more of it. You could join a new class or volunteer for something you are really passionate about. It can be difficult to set goals and challenges especially if you don't feel confident or if you worry about what people may think. But these goals and challenges don't have to be massive, they can be small goals. You could make a challenge of trying to cook a new recipe or learning lyrics to a song you really like, these can still help you feel more positive about yourself. 

Always remember you don't have to be perfect at something to enjoy yourself. As well as starting a new hobby and joining a new class, it's a good way of meeting new people that you have something in common with. 

⇨Focus on your positives and act positive even if you aren't. 

If you automatically think that you're not good at something this may stop you from doing the things you enjoy or stop you from trying something new. Sometimes if you decide to do something that you're not confident in it's always good to fake it. You know what they say, fake it to make it. If you start thinking positively and confident and say to yourself 'I'm going to be so good at this' you'll probably find that you'll do really well. 

Why not try to celebrate your successes, no matter if they are really small to you, take time to praise yourself and reflect on what you did well. It's also good to accept compliments from others, you could even write down any compliments you receive and when you're doubting yourself have a look at them. Continuing with noting things down sometimes you can surprise yourself and make yourself feel good by writing a list of what you like about yourself. It doesn't have to just be the way you look, but also your personality and what you like doing/what you're good at. 

⇨Take care of yourself, dress nicely, stand tall and smile. 

Sometimes when you're not feeling confident it helps to really dress up for the day. Who cares if you're not going anywhere special or not even leaving the house at all? Sometimes making yourself look well presented makes you feel good about yourself. Smiling is also a very powerful thing. If you're not feeling confident sometimes if you just plant a smile on your face it can change the way others see you and therefore can help with your confidence. 

Usually if you have low self-esteem its hard to find motivation to take care of your physical health. You might even feel bad or feel you've let yourself down when you spend time on yourself, but it's so important for your mental well-being. 

⇨Get support if things are too much.

Lastly but not least, if you are struggling then please do get the support you need. May that be professional support or support from loved ones - there are people out there who want to help. 


I hope you enjoyed reading this post and remember to look after yourself.

As always, chat soon. 
💕


Thursday, 26 July 2018

What would you tell your younger self?

Good evening, 


Hope you're well. I've been a bit absent lately due to major changes going on with me, the top two being a job change and moving out of my home town - so it's been a bit busy I guess you could say! It's emotional having to leave things behind that you're so used to and being away from people you've known forever but at the same time I'm excited for my new journey to begin! I always think if you don't leave your comfort zone and push yourself to do new things then you'll be stuck in the same place doing the same thing and that's no fun right? Life's for living, creating and learning new experiences. Anyway before I blabber on for far too long about deep things let's start this blog post!

So I sat here for a little bit thinking about what I could write my next post on and this idea popped into my head. If you think back to when you were a bit younger and maybe you were stressing about your school exams, or you thought you'd never be good enough at something, or you wanted to travel the world but thought its not possible, all these things that you've ever failed at but then tried it again and succeeded and no matter how much longer it took you to succeed at it, you still did it, and then you think back to the time that you failed and stressed for nothing?

I decided to write a post about what you would tell your younger self. Also instead of me just going on and on about what I would tell myself I thought I'd include everyone else's answers. So what I have done is asked around people I know for a little quote of what they would tell their younger self and I shall write them below. Names are only included with permission.

WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF? 

"Please don't stress so much. Life gets hard and things don't always go the way you want them to but if you keep at it you will succeed and achieve anything you put your mind to." 
                                                                                                                    (Chloe)

"Make the most of the people in your life while they are around."
                                                                                                       (Sue)

"Worry less, don't be afraid to make mistakes and if you're passionate about something don't give up."
                                                                                                                                             (Adam)

"Work hard and think carefully about your love life, be sensible as well as in love."
                                                                                                                                  (Anonymous)

"It's going to be tough but it does get better, you have an amazing family that will support you and love you and you will find genuine friends who will be there for you! The best thing is that you'll find a guy who genuinely loves you for you and he'll change your life." 
                                                                        (Alyx)

"You're not being a burden, go to the doctors, they are there to help."
                                                                                                                    (Matt)

❥ "You'll be okay, life gets better and better, keep playing video games (turns out they don't rot your brain), get more tattoos, be more confident, you're better than you know. Put all you can into your art and studying, be open and compassionate. Keep pushing because you're doing okay. You might work in an office but its not as bad as you imagined. Plus you're getting married to a wonderful person and your journey through life will create some great friendships. Good things lie ahead, keep blooming flower boy." 
                                                                                                                              (Karl)

❥ "I would tell myself not to try and stick to friendships that you knew in your gut were never going to work out, that when you get older your going to be surrounded by the people who mean the most to you and to jump head first at the chances that you are offered because it definitely leads to exciting things."
                                                                                                                                                     (Anna)

"Enjoy yourself, life is too short."
                                                (Martin)

❥"You're embarrassing please stop before you get any older."
                                                                                                                        (Amy)

"You're not as fat as you think, wait five years."
                                                                                                  (Lee)

"Don't worry so much about trying to fit in, Trust your gut and instincts and know your worth. Don't worry about not taking the path everyone else is - it turns out great!"
                                                                                                                                                              (Kayleigh)

"Do well at school."
                                   (Darren)

"Do what you want and don't let anybody put you down and say you can't."
                                                                                                                                                          (Sarah)

"Don't waste time. Never leave what can be done today till tomorrow. Commit, dedicate time and effort to whatever it is you want to do instead of putting it off, because if you keep doing that you'll miss it."
                                                                                                                                                                       (Andy)

"Trust your instinct. Even the people you think should have your best interest at heart do not."
                                                                                                                                                                      (Kim)

"Don't let anyone dim your light." 
                                                                     (Kim)

"Always believe you can."
                                                   (Sue)

"Believe peoples actions and not their words."
                                                                                             (Kim)

"There can be more than one princess at the ball. You are no less than anyone here."
                                                                                                                                                                            (Kim)


I really enjoyed hearing everyone's thoughts and advice on what they'd tell their younger self and at the same time it's so uplifting and positive to see all these lovely comments. I just wanted to say a massive thank you to all those that have took part in this blog post you are all amazing. 🖤

For anyone reading this that might be going through a hard time at the moment I just want you to look at this wonderful list and know that it's going to be okay. It might take time and you might fail at something over and over again but you will get there I promise.

If there is anything you would like to add then please do comment below what you would tell your younger self. I've had some great comments come back from those that gave me these answers that said it made them feel positive and therapeutic even thinking about this question and I'm so glad, this is what I was hoping to achieve.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post and as always chat soon!

xx



p.s. Here's the younger me..