Modern Day Girl

All About Mental Health Inspiration For Women

A Letter to my Younger Self…


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?

anxiety, mental health, depression, well being, life,

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.

Let’s Beat It Together – What Hobbies and Activities are Good for Mental Health?

By the way, my new eBook, “A Step by Step Actionable Guide to Reaching Your Dreams” is out now! It’s for women who want the best from their life but need a push/bit of guidance. It’s action-packed, non-fluffy and full of content. Click here to read/buy now. I’ll happy wait for you to come back 🙂

Don’t forget to download a copy of this to save for later! Just press the button below:

What hobbies are activities are good for mental health?

How can you use hobbies to help anxiety and mental health?

I tell you – loads.

These aren’t just for mental health either. Some hobbies are really great for relieving stress. The thing is, your lives are much less active than they used to me. We’d either be on our feet at work or primitively out hunting animals.

This is our natural way of relieving stress. Obviously, we don’t need to hunt prey anymore and spend much more time sat down.

If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, here is some! I’m going to start off with movement-based hobbies. There is a reason behind my madness I promise!

Exercise is good for the brain

As you know, we all have a brain! This brain needs engaging every once in a while. You might be thinking that you really couldn’t think of anything worse when you’re stressed. Or maybe going through a rough patch with depression or anxiety.

But I promise you. Exercise is great. It releases endorphins into the blood stream. The bodies natural chemical. It helps bust up stress and makes you more alert. It helps to increase energy levels and helps your sleeping.

What is better than that! As well as improving your brain, you’re increasing your bodies strength and wellness at the same time.

You don’t even need to join a gym. Walking around the block is all it needs. Honestly, you’ll thank me later.

Something with rhythm is also spot on for mental health

Have you ever noticed how calm you seem to feel after going for a walk? Or if you’re into running, a quick jog? Ignoring all my huffing and puffing along the way, I find walking and running extremely beneficial.

That bit of peace and quiet is always great to process your thoughts and feelings. You could also practice Mindfulness along the way! Read about that here and get your FREE resources!.

My doctor once told me that any exercise which has a rhythm to it is really good for mental health. Like a regular pattern. Something which you can count. These all help those suffering from anxiety and other mental health issues.

Oh and don’t forget, you can get access to my FREE 7-day eCourse now! Just pop your details in below:

Do something physical to get rid of your anger/frustration

Have you ever thought about doing gardening? You know, pulling up weeds, chopping down trees and decorating your garden? Honestly, these kinds of activities are great for relieving any built up stress and anxiety you might have.

You could imagine that the overgrown bush in your garden is whatever is causing you stress. Take it out on that bloody bush and sort it out. By the end of it, you’ll have a nice neat bush, and you’ll feel lighter for getting rid of whatever it is that was bothering you.

How to use hobbies as a way of helping mental health and your anxiety

Or how about boxing? Lots of people have told me about the great stress-buster boxing is. It’s fantastic for burning fat and building muscle, and you can use an object to take out all of your worries on. Honestly, by the end of the training session, you’ll feel free, and have a hot bod to go with it!

Here are some ideas for exercise with rhythm

For the introverts out there:






For the extroverts



Depending on whether you prefer to exercise on your own or in a group, any of those above could be good for you. Plus, if you enjoy such activities then it won’t feel like a workout because you’ll be enjoying yourself so much.

My problem is that I’m not very competitive. The group exercises don’t really work for me.

So if you’re a bit like me there are still other activities which you might find fun.

Here are some more examples for you:

Reading – there is nothing better than settling down with a nice book! If you prefer time on your own, this could be a good one for you.

Writing – I’ve written lots of posts which talk about why writing is great for anxiety. Here is one for you (includes FREE resources to browse). Honestly, it is really great for taking your mind off things for a while. Sometimes a distraction is great for anxiety (and panic attacks). Read this post on how to use distractions to your advantage!

Keeping a journal – Journals are also great if you want to get some of your feelings out. Sometimes it is easier talking about feelings this way rather than speaking to someone about them. I know I’d much rather write them down that try and explain them to someone!

Crocheting – I used to love this when I was younger! It is actually a really therapeutic activity when dealing with a lot of anxiety. It takes your mind away from the physical symptoms of anxiety and can really calm you done.

Knitting – Very much like crocheting. Knitting can also be great to take your mind off issues and worries temporarily. It allows you to focus, process and digest your thought processes.

Embroidery – Again, similar to the two above but this one takes more practice! It’s probably not for everyone either.

Become a milliner – Another take on using thread to create your own designs, except this one could make you some money! If you have a creative flare, not only could you design your own hats, but you could sell them for money too. *cough* new business idea right there *cough* 

Drawing – If you have any artistic bone in your body, this could be really great for you. Saying that though you don’t need to have the talent to draw! Literally, anyone can draw, even if you think you are awful at it. 

Painting – Again this is a little like the above, but just with paints rather than pencils. Heck, you could paint with any material you see fit, to be honest! My point with these two is that they are amazing at helping you focus on the job at hand and worry less about your thoughts. Anxiety has a way of taking over the brain so use painting as a nice distraction.

Joining a social group – If you don’t feel like meeting any friends or family, you could instead join in on some social groups. Just doing a quick search on the topic in Facebook brings up huge lists of them. Get more social using the internet rather than in person. Sometimes discussing your passions and emotions is easier this way. It might be helpful for you, and you could make some great friends along the way!

Join an online forum – Online forums are again a great place to meet new people and share your hobbies and interests with other like-minded people. 

Don’t forget the printable with this post! Press the button below to get hold of it:

Learn a new language – I am awful at learning languages. I know a few French, Spanish and German words. That. Is. It. So, don’t be like me and start learning a new language! There are apps to help you and free resources all over the internet. You won’t struggle to find anything I promise you!

Dabble in web design – I used to do a lot of this during college years. Unfortunately, I’ve stopped now! But that’s not to say you shouldn’t. If you run your own blog, this could be a particularly handy skill to master. Plus, you could earn a few pounds along the way *cough* another great business idea! *cough

Logo design – This is another really great way to delve into the creative industry. If you enjoy designing using Photoshop or something similar, this could be for you. I bet you could waste hours away designing logos. Again this could be really great if you run your won blog. You’ll definitely save money doing it yourself than paying someone else.

Graphic art/design – To keep things simple I’m not going to go into detail about all the different types of graphic design as there are literally hundreds of them! But if this takes your fancy I would recommend doing some research on how to get started. If you have a gift for it, you could be rolling in mega bucks if you take it seriously!

Selling your wares on eBay – I love reading about rags to rich stories about people who have made a bit of money selling on eBay. If you’re drowning in stuff, selling them on eBay will rack in a few pounds and gives you something fun to take part in. 

Pet sit/dog walking – If I didn’t have to work full time, I would basically spend my days looking after animals! This is my dream job, to be honest. I couldn’t imagine anything better than looking after animals for a living. If this is something that interests you, offer it to friends/family. Eventually, you could start charging and turn it into an awesome side hustle. Plus, the walking will do your anxiety some real good.

Volunteering – It’s been proven that helping others can actually benefit ourselves too. There’s nothing better than knowing you are doing some real good. Volunteering is perfect for this. Scout your local area and see if anyone needs any help with anything. I’m sure there will be people glad of the help.

Become a collector – Collecting isn’t really my cup of tea (US translation: not an idea of fun :)) but to you, that might be different! If you love picking up wares that are collectible, you never know you might enjoy this hobby. Plus, you could make a bit of money out of it and have a really worthwhile hobby.

Get a pen friend – Did you ever have one when you were younger? I did. it was a lovely girl from Holland. Unfortunately, we lost touch now and this is one of my regrets in life! But it is still possible due to all of the technology we have nowadays. So if you fancy having a pen friend in another country, do a bit of research. I bet you’ll have no trouble finding a friend you can write to.

Take up baking – If you love food (I LOVE FOOD), then baking could be a really great hobby to pick up. I know I get a sense of achievement when making a nice meal. Baking, not so much! But hey, this might work for you. Your family and friends will love you forever!

Oh and don’t forget to grab your free copy of today’s post! Download it/share it/ throw it away, do whatever you like with it! But ti might be good as a nice reminder when you’re struggling a bit. Just click the button below:

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post! There’re lots of hobbies that work great for mental health. The best hobbies are the ones that distract you away from your thoughts for a while.

Not only will it help you deal with them, but your physical symptoms will reduce too. Have fun!

What do you do for a hobby? Do you exercise for stress relief and your mental health?