Modern Day Girl

All About Mental Health Inspiration For Women

Month: January 2016

Fascinating Fancies #2

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Evening everyone!

Hope you are all having a good morning/day/evening?

This is number two of my weekly special, containing my discoveries over the past week. Hopefully you’ll find them interesting!

As you know, I’m all about being organised! There is a book review here which looks at “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” which has been sweeping the internet recently. I know I’ve been tempted by this book and Life Hacks provide a good review of the book.

Freecyle – This is another website which is not a new discovery for me but I have recently remembered it. The website is not-for-profit and unites items with new owners for free. It’s ideal for home movers in need of new furniture, or if you are looking to upcycle which I know is quite popular at the moment. Not only can you get rid of your unwanted items easily, but you can pick up new items for free. Great stuff!

For the fantastic fashionistas – Boohoo is great for trending fashion items at decent prices. I never seem to have enough money to shop here but I would highly recommend.

There is a great blog post here by J for Jen giving great ideas for bagging bargains at The Pound Shop! I’m a new converted frugal-er and love this post. I know this is a pound shop but you can never rule them out! Quality isn’t always great but have a read of the post as she gives good tips for bagging a bargain.

Grow your own vegetables from scraps! I shared my new project with work and think this is a great idea if you eat a lot of salad and vegetables – which I do! You might be surprised to know a lot of veg grows back in water without soil needed. Have a look at this page from Buzzfeed which shows you how to do it. I will certainly be doing this!

What have you found this week which you feel like you just have to share?!

A Letter to my Younger Self…

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Dear young Jess

You’ll probably be surprised to know that you made it to 27 (and counting)! You have held down a job for many years and have turned into quite an ambitious person which will probably also surprise you. You’ve been to university, passed, and still love Geography. You are quite a massive bookworm now, and actually enjoy a bit of English literature every now and then.

You’ve also done a lot of things which would surprise you, but then maybe they wouldn’t. You’ve drunk a large amount of alcohol (haha!) and took up smoking (now on the ecigs). Back then you would never have dreamed of smoking, and would give your parents a hard time for it, but you also don’t feel bad any more about it. 

Some things haven’t changed though. I suffer from anxiety ‘now’ but this was always a large part of your life without realising it. You would be nervous getting on the bus to go to college, and not staying in contact with friends would eat you up big time. You would read each message over and over again to ensure the right meaning was given and wouldn’t offend anyone. Sometimes you wouldn’t reply for fear of being misjudged or might cause someone to be upset with you. At the very worst you would go into a shell for a few weeks and not respond to anyone during that time. No essays would get done and that would just make things worse. Sitting there for hours on end in front of your laptop trying to write, would turn into no sleep, further anxiety and stress. Your friends would tell you off for not keeping in contact but as much as you tried, it wouldn’t work.

If I could tell you something now which would have eased your university years; it would be that you are suffering from anxiety. What you are feeling is extremely normal with a mental illness such as anxiety and you should get proper help. Counselling doesn‘t work for you and you need to seek further help from the doctor. You are extremely stubborn, but also don’t know there is medical reason for the things you are doing/feeling. You cry a lot randomly with no explanation but this is also the anxiety making you tearful and frightened.

Try and open up with people a bit more. Anxiety can be such a lonely experience because you never let anyone in to talk about it. It is hard work I’ll give you that, but take tiny baby steps at a time. You’ll be surprised at the number of people around you who also suffer from some sort of mental illness. Everyone is different but there are qualities and symptoms that you feel that others also feel. You even got a high 5 from a colleague a few months ago from posting something on Facebook about it. He said “big up on getting over anxiety”. I haven’t got over it but that feeling of accomplishment actually telling him, but also his reaction, meant everything to me.

Try not to drink to ease the feelings of anxiousness. Looking back now I know this is what I was doing. It wouldn’t be every day but it was never far from your mind. I feel bad saying this now but I’m admitting it which is hard. You would drink a lot but because you were a student that was about being involved. Starting a job after university was a big transition and that should have been the moment things changed. But they didn’t and it’s no biggie. 

You have some really close friends now who mean a lot to you, and you to them. Don’t worry about that, as I know you would in my younger self. You’ve had a lot to deal with but now you wouldn’t change it for the world. You have an awesome, if not strange, family and a boyfriend of 2 years who also helped you along the way.

The most important thing to understand is that you aren’t alone, as much as you might think you are! Spend more time on yourself as you know you don’t do this enough. Learn meditation or relaxation techniques to calm you and sleep much better. Talk to your friends about your feelings; as much as you might hate it. If speaking to friends is too hard – join a forum or speak to your doctor.

You are going to make it!

What is Anxiety?

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Hi, guys!

So I’ve mentioned in the About Me section that I suffer from Anxiety. I thought I’d share some information about Anxiety and how it can affect you.

I felt this was needed as a lot of mental illnesses are still misunderstood and if you haven’t suffered from it before it can be hard to understand.

Also, it took me many years to realise that I suffered from Anxiety and wish I’d known the warning signs before.

So here are a few things to have a read of if you’re interested, you’ll be surprised how common the symptoms are! I want to show everyone that mental health is not what it seems. This is for those who suffer from it, and for those that don’t.

So what is anxiety?

Anxiety is caused by adrenaline which is released when under stress. It can cause both physical and psychological symptoms.

Physical symptoms include:

 – Increased heart rate

 – Sweating

 – Change in breathing

 – Change in heart beat

 – Headache

– ‘Butterflies’ in the stomach

Psychological symptoms include:

 – Difficulty sleeping

 – Not being able to concentrate

 – Feeling of being on edge/nervous

 – The feeling of not being able to relax/restlessness 

Anxiety affects everyone differently however all of the above symptoms I would feel. I have it under control with medication now however I would experience the majority of these feelings on a regular basis.

I thought it was what everyone felt and that I was just a nervous kind of person. Oh how wrong I was!

The above feelings can accumulate and spawn as a panic attack. These are frightening experiences and usually cannot be explained at the time. 

It was only after speaking to other people, as well as not being able to go to work one day that I realised it was more than that.

What is a panic attack?

The NHS describes a panic attack as “a rush of intense psychological and physical symptoms. These symptoms of panic can be frightening and happen suddenly, often for no clear reason”. The experience can last between 5 minutes up to an hour.

It is not a pleasant experience and can feel like you are dying but you can’t harm yourself by having panic attacks. Try to remember this when having a panic attack!

Slowing your breathing can really help if you find yourself in this situation. If it isn’t you having the panic attack, try and get the other person to mimic your breathing and to take long deep breaths.

I can say however that the feeling of anxiety is healthy and can be good in certain situations. It can make you more alert and improve concentration levels. But it is when these feelings are occurring the majority of the time that isn’t healthy.

It can also be a sign of someone staying strong for a long period of time which has to end eventually. I don’t know about you but my personality means I am stubborn and hate asking for help; I feel this has probably led me to suffer from anxiety now but oh well!

It also means I am a bit of a perfectionist – I ensure everything I do is completed to 100% for the fear that someone discovers something wrong with it later on. Sometimes I also find change difficult so having a good schedule really helps me.

If you have noticed you suffer from some if not all of the symptoms above, it may be worth speaking to friends and family, and your doctor.

I am in no way a doctor and cannot advise on this area but taking the plunge and speaking to my doctor was the best thing I ever did.

We worked out a plan and discussed diet and exercise to ease anxiety (exercise is wonderful for stress relief) which was really helpful.

Here are a few links to resources that may be of benefit to you:

Moodjuice self-help guide – I’ve only just found this today but I love the part which explains events which cause anxiety. I can certainly see myself in all of the areas covered and you might find this useful.

Breathing exercise apps for your mobile – There are many apps you can now download which have breathing exercises for sufferers of anxiety and can be useful in the time you feel a panic attack coming on. Anxiety Coach also has breathing exercises here which are also particularly useful.

Learning relaxation techniques can be useful for panic attacks and anxiety in general. The NHS has a page here devoted to relaxation techniques. Here is another page about relaxation techniques in a bit more detail.

An article written by me on how being organised beats anxiety.

All I’d say on anxiety, whether you suffer yourself or know someone who does, is research.

The more you know about the condition the better. We shouldn’t be shying away from this as it affects so many of us. I want us to come together and challenge anyone who contributes towards the stigma. It’s just not ‘all in our heads’.

How do you deal with your anxiety? What steps have you taken to cope?

Fascinating Fancies #1

Some of the best bits from across the web. Interesting bits to discover

This is my first post dedicated to Fascinating Fancies.

Every Wednesday I will share with you the various things I have discovered which includes links/interesting titbits and knowledge from the past week. Have a browse and see what you think!

Jumpstart January – If you have seen my post here you will know I am all about organising at the moment. If you need any advice on how to organise and declutter, this post over with Penny Colightly is the start of her week-long series. Have a browse, I found it very useful!

Home app for Android – I found this when browsing Facebook a few weeks ago. The idea is that there are wonderful home improvement items at a discounted rate. I have already ordered a large rug which cost £17 (including delivery) and 4 cushions (without covers as I always struggle to find these)!

The delivery time is longer but you can bag a real bargain if you’re willing to wait 2-4 weeks. You can also sometimes unlock extra discounts when buying to get off your next purchase. Lovee it!

Everything 5 Pounds – So this isn’t a recent discovery but if you are fashion conscious and also want to bag some bargains – have a browse. The range is huge and you just pay for delivery on top. The idea is that everything is £5 (as you may have realised haha). I’m talking clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, and they even do childrenswear and homewares now.

I would highly recommend.

Penny Pincher Fashion – A blog by Kimberley who, like me, wants fashion on a budget. I love her ideas and style, as well as her career advice. Have a browse – that it something I will definitely be doing.

Have you got any blogs, websites or stuff you just want to share? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you.

You Can Thank Me Later! How To Make Time for a Hobby

Do you ever think that you should be spending more time on yourself?

Do you feel like you want to kick-start a new hobby or pick up your old one?

Read more below to find out how!

 

I think everyone is guilty oft this at some point or another. You know, forgetting to make time for yourself or picking up that crocheting you’ve always enjoyed doing. I know exactly how you feel.

I’d plan with mates and my other half but never actually planned time for me. I’m an introvert as well so I really need time by myself. Otherwise I’m a grouchy annoyed mess. No one wants that around them!

So as you can see, it’s so important to do spend time on yourself. If not, you risk burnout from work and making yourself ill. Hobbies are a sure way to bring your stress levels down and make you happier as a whole.

You might be thinking, “Nah it’s not true”.

But I can only really sit here now and say this now looking back with hindsight. I hate to say it but I’ve also found so much inspiration through Pinterest (c’mon now, who DOESN’T like Pinterest?!)

It’s made me start to re-evaluate life’s little pleasures and myself.

Whether you are a student, full-time mum/carer or work full time – it’s important to think about yourself sometimes.

So if you find yourself not having enough time for ‘me’ time, here are a few ideas:

Decide what hobby you want to do

This is the first step really as without knowing what you want to take up/do, planning it will be difficult.

Think about what you enjoy doing, or what you never seem to have enough time to do. Maybe even make a list of things if you aren’t 100% sure. Psst. I wrote an article about why lists are amazing. Go read it now!

Stick with a few things so you don’t overwhelm yourself right now. Being overwhelmed is the last thing I want you to feel, seriously.

By the way:

Mentioned in previous posts, get a planner/diary. Putting your appointments in here is good to help you be more organised; but also make some space for yourself.

Set aside a time and day per week which is completely free from anything else. Make a conscious effort to leave everything else aside while you partake in your hobby.

If you do this, it should start to get easier as the weeks go on.

Make a conscious effort to leave everything else aside while you partake in your hobby. If you do this, it should start to get easier as the weeks go on.

Prioritise tasks that need to be done

If your like me I always seem to get a feeling of accomplishment when dealing with chores/housework/general admin for the house.

I write everything in my planner I need to do, get them done early and then I have time to do what I want without guilt.

In addition to this, make sure you aren’t doing anything that isn’t needed to free time up elsewhere.

I don’t know about you but I spend a lot of time just surfing the web. I still do surf the web but try and keep it down to spend more time blogging!

In addition to this, make sure you aren’t doing anything that isn’t needed to free time up elsewhere. I don’t know about you but I spend a lot of time just surfing the web.

I still do surf the web but try and keep it down to spend more time blogging!

Learn to say no

I used to agree with everything that was passed by me. I couldn’t really understand why but someone asked me a while ago to think about whether I actually WANTED to.

The guard went down and I started to turn down invitations and I now feel much better now.

I’d be spending money and time on things that I generally didn’t want to do but did it anyway. I’ve saved money in the process and am much more content now.

I’d be spending money and time on things that I generally didn’t want to do but did it anyway. I’ve saved money in the process and am much more content now.

Switch your phone off

If you find yourself easily distracted by your phone due to constant emails or texts, turn it off. Your spare time is for you and the message you have receved can wait.

I think the main thing here is to keep prioritised as mentioned above and think about the distraction realisticly.

I think the main thing here is to keep prioritised as mentioned above and think about the distraction realistically.