How the Foo Fighters helped me overcome depression 

opinion piece

Yesterday I read an article on post graduate depression; which I have briefly mentioned in previous blog posts (how to deal with rejection), and it is definetly a thing. Infact, it’s a big thing that needs to be recognised. Once you graduate you are thrown into the big wide world, with the expectation that getting a job is not so difficult. And it isn’t really, if you want a job. If you want a career in something you studied – that may be slightly trickier. 

I went through this awful depression, and I know other people that have experienced the same. You feel down, powerless, useless. I got that dark feeling a few months ago. I had just got what sounded like my dream job after graduating – a marketing executive for an educational institution. It wasn’t journalism which I studied, but I vowed to keep my freelance work on the side and save up to enable me to complete internships for journalism. 

I won’t go into extreme detail as I would quite like to leave this subject to a forthcoming blog post; but this new ‘job’ turned out to be a complete and utter facade. The company was built upon lies – I had left my long term loyal job to work for a scandalous agency! I felt so betrayed that I had been manipulated and indoctrinated into thinking I was entering a completely different type of company, compared to the bleak reality. The only way I can describe this place (I refuse to refer to it as a workplace because it is NOT), it was like being in what I would imagine WW2 East Germany to be like. We were in a room with no natural light, in a cellar type environment. Our ‘manager’ watched us like a hawk throughout the day, talking was not allowed. We had cameras everywhere (the reason for this was never confirmed), and we were all pretty much convinced that these cameras had sound. It was terrifying to me that this type of work place exists – continues to exist and that individuals are subjected to these unhealthy working conditions. 

This ‘job’ came to an end after just two months and I was left with nothing. 

This is when it hit me. Like a ton of bricks. Waking up at 5am daily, shaking and sweating in pure angst. My anxiety had reached new levels. I knew what was causing it but I had zero control over the situation. It was the lack of structure to my day, the innate fear that I would never find a job. The utter self depreciation of consistently telling myself I was no good, useless. You will never get a decent job repeated in my mind like a choir hymn. 

There came a point one random monday I was getting ready to attend a job interview, I put my iTunes on shuffle. Foo Fighters came on, I remember the moment so vividly. Because it was the pivotal moment where my attitude took a turn for the better. It was their song ‘The Pretender’ which had been playing. So much feeling within the song, and the lyrics at that point in time meant the world to me. ‘What if I say that I’ll never surrender?’ 

I continued to listen to the band for the rest of the day, their uplifting, reflective lyrics helped me remember why I even started trying in the first place. And why I would never give up. 

The Foo Fighters are a great example of why you should never give up. Dave Grohl started out his music career in Nirvana, after Kurts death he was traumatised – but made the controversial decision to start another band. For which he received a lot of criticism for. Thr band went through numerous members, and numerous dramas. But they ploughed through, Dave never gave up. 

Eventually their efforts and talents were recognised. But if they would have gone and got a day job and given up on the music dream – they wouldn’t be where they are today. And that’s just it, despite my self depreciation and anxious thoughts ripping at my inner confidence – I won’t give up. I really no longer care how long it takes me to get where I want to be. I know that I will be there one day, and that is comforting enough. It’s enough, you are enough. 

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Deciem – far from Ordinary, AHA Peeling Solution review 

product review

The word ‘Deciem’ actually means ten in Latin, and that is exactly what the brand initially wanted – to own an umbrella of ten different companies. Deciem is the company behind The Ordinary skincare range, an award winning, yet humbly acclaimed ‘ordinary’ skincare range. 


After attending an event (an amazing event by all means) and talk between Deciem and CEO of http://www.reallyree.com, Anne Marie Lodge; I am now practically a brand ambassador. Let me take a brief moment to explain what The Ordinary is about. 


The brand has a strong focus on ingredients. They utilise seemingly ‘normal’ ingredients which have been established as popular for use within skincare. Hyaluronic acid for example, a firm favourite for skincare brands for improving elasticity. However Deciem doesn’t believe in exploiting its customers, here’s where they are different. An ingredient like hyaluronic acid is pretty bog standard nowadays, and not particularly expensive to produce. Moreover, a similar product which would contain the ingredient produced by a high end brand would probably be three times (if not more) the price. The Ordinary range is all amazingly affordable, aesthetically pleasing – and in my eyes, anything other than Ordinary. 

After attending the talk I decided to use and review the peeling solution facial peel, which is £6.30. Now, it is beetroot in colour and the same consistency as blood. But don’t let that put you off! 

The peel used a lot of free acids, and so it an be abrasive for sensitive skin. It is advisable to leave on for 5 mins if you have sensitive skin, 10 if your hardcore. (See the scientific listing of ingredients below). 

The peel promises to peel off dead skin in order to reveal newer fresh skin underneath. And it does just that. Admittedly it is very acidic and astringent, but if you don’t leave it on too long and use a good moisturiser afterwards, you should achieve amazing results. My skin is glowing from within after just one use. Considering the product is under £7, it feels like a high end spa treatment. How you could call this Ordinary, I can’t imagine! 

I was fortunate enough to receive an entire goodie bag full of the skincare range. And I have a sneaking suspicion that upon use my skin is going to be healthier, and positively glowing. ✨✨✨ 

How to (try to) control your anxiety 

top tips

At first you don’t even realise what is wrong with you. Overcome with a cold shudder, accompanied by fluttering palpitations, palms sweaty and confusion. Utter confusion. You can’t move. But hold on, 5 minutes ago you were fine? But now, now you can’t move. You can’t get up. There is a heavy invisible burden upon you. If you do attempt to get up, what if you fall? What if everyone around you bursts out laughing at you falling? 

Silly silly silly intruding thoughts enter your mind at this point and you wonder if it will ever stop. Until you get up, walk for a bit and realise you will be ok. That was it. Your first panic attack. 

The problem is, sometimes we don’t realise we are having one – or worse still we don’t know why they happen. I am referring specifically to panic disorder, whereby sufferers will have intense panic attacks. 

Unfortunately there is no fast cure to ‘healing’ these episodes. But you can overcome it, I managed last year to completely get rid of them. Unfortunately recently I have been under a lot of stress and they have returned to rear their ugly head. Here are my top tips on controlling your anxiety / panic attacks; 

1. Cut off the source of the problem

If you can pinpoint the stress or issue which causes the panic attacks you have a very good chance of ending them. You need to cut it out, whatever it may be. If this is near impossible, for example if your job is stressing you out and you can’t afford to leave. Perhaps discuss with your manager working less hours or moving to another department. You need to home in and pinpoint what aspect of the job is stressing you and causing these episodes. 

2. Coping mechanisms  

Along the way in this intense journey, there are a few mechanisms you can use to aid your recovery and help yourself. 

If you have a panic attack at night and your brain is doing overtime, thus resulting in not being able to sleep. I would suggest investing in some ear plugs, putting relaxing music on YouTube and practising breathing exercises. These techniques, in particular the breathing exercises will really help slow down the palpitations and regulate breathing. (This can be applied any time of day). 

If you have one during the day and you are occupied, you can try the breathing exercises. Or splashing your face with cold water, maybe leaving the room and taking 5 minutes to calm down. It’s jusg about finding out what works for you as an individual, we all suffer for different reason in different ways. 

Last but not least, keep things in perspective. Remember you haven’t always had this disorder, more than likely an event has triggered it. Which means, there is light at the end of the tunnel and you can overcome it. It’s just going to take a lot of mental strength and determination. You got this! 

How to take flattering pictures even if you aren’t attractive 

top tips

Like your Instagram profile is basically your portfolio these days. So of course, without sounding totally shallow and like a materialistic Bitch. You need to look good. Obviously there is more to life than looking good. But it’s just better if you do also happen to appear to look good. Don’t ask questions just go with it. 

Typically speaking I don’t have the most photogenic features and I really do understand the struggle to take a good pic, so over the years I have picked up a few fail safe tricks to ensure the perfect selfie prevails. 

Here’s my top tips; 

1. Flash is not your friend 

Listen, unless you are a professional photographer or you look like Angelina Jolie I would not use flash in any circumstance. Avoid it like the plague. It shows every little blemish

2. Natural 

Of course good lighting will make all the difference to a photo, and you can’t beat natural light. I often stand next to windows or in areas where you know there is good natural lighting. This may involve awkwardly moving around a bit with camera phone in hand, and shuffling until you find the right spot

3. Base 

Of course your face needs to look great off camera too before you even attempt to get a good selfie. What I do is tend to try and contour the areas I don’t like, for example my nose. I straighten it as much as possible with darker lines, on camera it will look much better. This is also where highlighter comes in, you can highlight the points you do want to accentuate 

4. Filters 

Sometimes it just takes the right angle and filter to make a photo great. I know this isn’t great photography and it’s not very innovative – but it’s just what you need sometimes. If you use one which makes you look perfect and flawless then why not? 

Happy selfie Sunday! 💕 

How to make a budgeting plan to save money in 2017 – and actually stick to it 

top tips

The sheer discipline which is required when saving money can be utterly draining. I won’t lie to you, it is severely difficult especially when you work hard. 

You work bloody hard right? All the hours God sends, and you can’t treat yourself? Sounds like torture? 

Well it isn’t torturous actually, it’s sensible. Budgeting helps you to decide when the correct time to treat yourself is, whilst saving at the same time. 

I have been using this budgeting plan which I formulated myself for a few months now, and it’s been very successful. 

How to formulate the budgeting plan (you will need a pen, paper and a calculator for this part): 

1. Jot down your total income, let’s start with what you earn per month. (Any additional incomes should not be taken into consideration at this point, they can go straight into savings unless needed for bills). 

Once you have calculated your average monthly income, you need to work out your monthly expenditure. For example; 

Monthly income – £1000 

Monthly Bills: 

Rent – £200 

Oyster card – £90 

Food shopping – £45 

Toiletries – £20 

 Phone bill – £30 

Going out – £160 

Misc bills – £30 

The next step is to analyse how you can cut the monthly expenditure. So to use the example at hand, of course something like rent is difficult to negotiate; however food and going out budgets can be reduced. 

2. How to cut your expenditure 

Continuing from the example above, you can try to cut food bills by shopping around. Instead of buying from Sainsbury’s, why not try Lidl. It is a lot cheaper, but still excellent quality. You could reduce your food bills by up to 20%.

Also with going out budgets, try to minimise these also. Perhaps give yourself £20 per weekend to go out for a meal etc. If you want to drink you can always invite a friend round, after all a decent bottle of wine only costs £9! This is much easier to practise in winter. Hibernation is key. 

In regards to your phone bill, unless you are stuck in the Stone Age chances are you’ll have a contract. So your monthly tariff isn’t up for negotiation. But what you can do is plan to get an alternative, cheaper deal when the time comes to renew the contract. So that the next year you are saving that extra amount per month. 

Miscellaneous bills – of course things like gas and water bills can be reduced slightly by careful usage of utilities, but they aren’t bills you can do away with. Any other subscriptions or direct debits you have that aren’t absolutely necessary, cancel them right away. 

Toiletries; as a woman it can be difficult to minimise the amount of toiletries we need, we get taxed for bleeding once a month for starters. But what I have found really useful is buying these essentials from the pound shop. They have all your favourite products and brands for £1. You just need to go once a month spend £15 and stock up. Essentials like: make up wipes, feminine washes, Tampons, shower gel, shampoo & conditioner, hair products etc. This will save you bundles. 

3. Maximise your income 

In addition to minimising your outgoings, what you can also do is spend every piece of spare time you have trying to maximise income. And this extra income can go straight to your savings. 

For example, selling unwanted items on eBay (not so great these days as fees have risen, it is difficult to make a profit), depop is a popular app where you can sell make up and clothes. The selling pages on Facebook are handy for selling stuff too, free to advertise. 

You can also check your local area for weekly car boot sales, and sell your unwanted items for cash. Whilst you are there, you can also look for bargains to resell for profit. 

Why not start your own business? 

Everyone has a skill, and you never know who out there could do with yours. This money on the side will help immensely, with the aid of social media, advertising your skills and services has never been easier. 

Conclusion: 

Of course everyone’s situation will differ, but using these guidelines you can create a budgeting plan each month on a sticky note / paper. Attach it to your diary (so it’s always in mind), and stick to it. The motivation will come from seeing your savings stack up. The rest my dear, is up to you. 

Hope everyone has a prosperous 2017. ✔️

Recognition: Liebster award 2016

award

So I’ve heard of this award before – but I honestly never thought I would ever be nominated. As cliché as it sounds, I sometimes even wonder if anyone reads my blog posts?

Like who even are my audience? My cat, my mother and a few random friends who make the effort to read my rushed blog posts (it’s kinda difficult to keep up with working 60 hour weeks).

It feels great to get recognition for what I love doing. Writing is a skill, and it’s a passion. For me it’s what I’ve always loved doing.

Just wanted to thank ”Bluish Taka” for nominating me, go follow: https://moreorlessbluish.wordpress.com/

Blogs that I love that I nominate for the Liebster award:

  1. https://adryanabblog.wordpress.com/
  2. https://emlymay.wordpress.com/
  3. https://plantpicker.wordpress.com/

3 excellent blogs – all written by bloggers who have supported me!

Questions for my nominees:

  1. What inspired you to initially start blogging?
  2. How do you generate ideas for new blog posts?
  3. What are your future goals regarding blogging?
  4. Do you think WordPress is an effective platform for bloggers and why?
  5. What do you think makes your blog unique?

 

To accept your nomination you must follow these rules (see link posted below):

http://theglobalaussie.com/the-official-rules-of-the-liebster-award-2016/

 

Good luck guys!