Bullied Into Anxiety

I had never said the words “anxiety” until I reached the ripe old age of 21, not only that, I can’t recall ever talking about it or even realising that I had been suffering with it for years.

My parents are truly amazing people, but were always the “take some paracetamol, have some water and plenty of rest and you’ll be fine” kind of people. I’m thankful for the most part as I very rarely feel sorry for myself or let a small cold or sickness stop me from doing things.

However, after being diagnosed with anxiety a year ago which, from what I can understand now, was a long time coming. I realised for how long I ignored the signs and that maybe my upbringing had taught me to get over silly things, it’s not like I lost a leg… right?

I was bullied almost every day for the majority of my educated life, even a change of schools didn’t help. I think the constant loneliness, abuse and embarrassment really set the way for the anxiety I have now. I lost out on important social skills because I had no friends, I found it hard to trust anyone because if I did chances are they’d also bully me and I gave up trying and hid a lot of the time.

Sometimes I’ll go days just with mild social anxiety, maybe a bit of awkwardness talking to friends, avoidance of bumping into someone or a few sleepless nights. But other times are when it becomes bad. If it’s some of those times, any little thing through the day can eat me up, I will sit for hours and dread life. Awkwardness of talking will become severe reclusiveness – avoiding texts, calls or even any reminder on social media of friends. Avoidance of people will become not leaving my room for days and hiding, barely leaving for food or water. Sleepless nights are a 4 day insomnia spree with severe mood swings and a catalogue of tears.

I wonder what person I might have been if I didn’t have that experience and if I would be doing more with my life. I wonder if I noticed earlier I would have been able to stop it going this far… maybe.. maybe not. Maybe I was always pre-destined to be like this. Who knows?

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Top 10 Ways To Cope With Anxiety

You might not always be able to stop anxiety, or completely get rid of it, but these are a few things that I find personally help me to cope with anxious feelings. Some of these may work for you and some may not  but it’s completely down the individual and the type of anxiety you might be suffering with.

 

  1. Make a list: I often get overwhelmed with things that need to get done, or even thoughts that consume me and stop me from being myself. A great thing tostep0001 do is to write. Writing a list of things that need to be done (that you may be avoiding) or even organising your thoughts and worries on paper is often a great relief and allows you to confront things head on.
  2. Quiet reflection: Throughout the day I’m constantly over thinking everything and it cloud-705728_1280drives me insane! I get so worried about small things from the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep so a great technique I use is to dedicate a time of the day, perhaps half an hour, to think through everything that’s bothering me. That way, if I’m out with friends and I begin to feel anxious I can tell myself that right now isn’t the best time to dwell on it and that I can reflect later in the day – by which time I feel much better
  3. Exercise: Sometimes distractions around people is too much and I need some solo time to relax. Exercising alone is a great way to take yourself female-1300393_960_720away from business of life and allows endorphins to be released making you automatically more happy and refreshed.
    N.B. Exercising with a friend or family member is also great, especially if they are a calming presence!
  4. Share/Talk: Talking about your feelings, regardless of how ridiculous they sound, will be beneficial to you and the people around you. face-535766_1280My support system consists of my boyfriend and, well, you guys! So opening up to people can not only lift a huge weight off your shoulders but can also allow people around you to understand how they can help and why you may be acting in certain ways. 

     

  5. Read: For me this is a pretty big one, feeling pretty anxious? Picbook-1296329_1280k up a book and get lost in the pages! In a strange way it’s pretty humbling and puts a lot of life into perspective – the same way that gazing into the stars makes little worries seem so insignificant.
  6. WW-D: So this may not work for everyone but whenever I identify that mydd anxiety is obscuring the way I’m looking at a situation, I take a person in my life who I trust and respect and say to myself “What Would —– Do?. This is a way that I can try to correct my abnormal thinking, it really does help me identify where I may be over thinking something and helps to react in a way that’s healthy
  7. Be selfless: I often found that I spend all day thinking about myself or worrying about my life and that seems quite selfish, right? Sometimes remhand-683909_1280embering to ask someone else if they’re ok, or taking the time to do something special for someone you care about, is a great way to not only help distract you from anxiety but to also reach out and strengthen relationships which may be suffering.
  8. Self help: Identify the problem before it can begin to manifest itself. Learn what triggers your anxiety and nip it in the bud before it can consume you for hours/days.
  9. Music: This may be obvious or may be something you’ve never thought of before. musical-1301944_1280Music has a great way of effecting us emotionally and certain songs we like can help lift our mood and others.., well, the opposite! But its a fab way of helping you feel happy and having a secret playlist on pause ready is essential for me!
  10. And finally for the cliché, don’t over think! I bet we’re all sick of this one (and believe me, I am). However, when it comes down to it there are so woman-1000769_1280many ways in which you can deal with the feelings of anxiety and keeping them in our head is probably the worst. Whether we talk, write, or even sing our feelings I can guarantee it will be 100% better than just keeping them in our heads.

    I hope this helps you with some of the anxious feelings that you may be having but I would love to hear if you guys have any more tips or ways that you cope with anxiety day-to-day as I’m learning too!

The Real Science Behind Healthy Hair

I’m going to give you the real advice that those cheeky hair care adverts DON’T tell you. Using my biological knowledge and prior experience I’ve compiled together the top things to keep in mind when rejuvenating dry  hair into flowing glossy locks.


Ok so I generally hate all these false claim brands which spout out ridiculous rumours about how certain hair care routines help your hair without having any credible scientific evidence! Sooooooooo I like to get behind the biochemistry of it all and help you guys understand which chemicals and routines are actually beneficial to your hair.

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A quick science lesson: Your hair is essentially made up of Keratin, a protein which provides a strong fibrous strands and your hair follicles are what we call the “roots” of the hair. These are tubules which are located from the epidermis (skin) of the scalp and are responsible for being the site of growth. These are key components to healthy hair and what a lot of people don’t realise is that this is the site of growth of your hair, not the ends! This explains why peoples roots become visible when they dye their hair and also why the bottom of your hair can become split and dry.

Healthy hair = Know your roots

 


A well balanced diet and lifestyle 

So this one is pretty self explanatory and I think it’s a given that the healthier your eating habits = the healthier your body. There are certain foods which provide your body with vitamins and protein to help build, not only strong and healthy hair, but strong teeth, nails and bones. Girls, we all know that dooming time of the month can cause us to be sluggish and just generally feel run down. This is due to the overwhelming loss of iron in our bodies and it is essential to keep this replenished in order to stay healthy. I will be doing a follow up post of what food help promote a healthy head of hair and some of personal results


Oils, oils and more oils

All we hear about these days are oils but how do we know what is actually going to help our hair?

Water diffuses into the hair (by osmosis) and makes the hair swell which in turn creates a rigid structure of the cuticle scales, this makes the hair more likely to become broken and then the hair becomes more porous. The proteins in the hair become hydrophobic (repelling water) as the oils penetrate it in the hair, and this is the key to healthy strong hair. There is a balance that needs to be established, the hair needs to be able to take on water when dehydrated (dry) to re-hydrate but as the hair is porous it can take on two much water causing it to become brittle.

A simple rule is: the smaller the lipid molecule = the more successful it is at penetrating the hair shaft.When shopping for hydrating hair products, look out for ones that contain vegetable glycerine. These products attract water and bind to it themselves. Not only does it attract the moisture into the hair but it creates a layer of oil over the hair strands and this holds the water already in the hair. The chemistry behind the polarity of the triglyceride, in which plant oils can be slightly positive which attracts to the negatively charged proteins in the hair (similar to a magnet). This means the triglycerides can be pulled into the cuticle membrane of your hair into the inner hair.


#1 Oil of the Royals

So a general rule for coconut oil is that it is a pretty good all rounder and has the highest absorption rate– meaning that- not only is it good for skin conditions e.g. eczema or for dietary reasons, but it is magic for hair. Whilst most hair products these days target the hair and the tips, as we identified earlier the production of hair cells at the follicles of the skin are where the healthy hair is located. Coconut oil, used correctly, penetrates the fibers and moisturizes (pretty standard jargon, right?) but there’s more! The lauric acid in coconut oil has an affinity for the proteins which make up the hair strands and it is so light in its molecular weight that it penetrates the fibers in such a way that it doesn’t drag the hair down making it heavy. (argan oil is known for just “coating” the hair and can drag it down.)

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What ingredients to look out for?

Plant oils reduce water loss and soften the hair with added bounce and plasticity. like most plant oils shea butter is an emollient, and creates a protective layer on the hair strand in order to stop water loss.The key to glossiness and sleekness of hair is due to the oils applied which allows the hair to line up more smoothly and to slide against each other due tot he increased lubricant property. 

Oils help repel water either by coating the hair or by penetrating it. Dry and course hair will be more benefited by penetrating oils as well as those that are more porous ( damaged by environmental causes e.g. sun). The amount of triglyceride (and the small fatty acid chains) it contains depends on how the oil penetrates.

lauric acid, caprylic acid, palmitic acid, myristic acid, oleic acid, or linloeic acid.

 


Oils for penetrating AND coating

Aloe vera is great for hair growth and is also a great product for the scalp and is best used if you mix it in with your regular shampoo/conditioner. Aloe vera treatment can help hair growth due to its enzymatic properties which stimulate the hair follicles. As already stated, the key to healthy hair is where the hair is still alive and growing at the cuticle. The aloe vera product can be massaged into the scalp and rinsed to create a dandruff-free healthy look after about 3 months.

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Castor seed oil and tea tree oil are great for natural anti-fungal properties for your scalp – once you improve the quality of your scalp and hair follicles can perform better and produce healthy new hair molecules. Castor seed oil can also be applied to the temples of your head to help increase the thickness of thin hair. Tea tree oil is exceptional as it also has an anti-septic and antibacterial properties. Tea tree oil is very aromatic and helps clear sinuses and is great for overall clarity of health. Use the tea tree oil very sparingly to massage into your scalp as it is very concentrated and too much can cause irritation.

Extra virgin olive oil is produced without the use of machinery and also has no chemical treatment, making it quite pure and super healthy for the hair. Using it as a pre-shampoo before your normal routine can seal the moisture into your hair and soften the overall appearance creating a light feel.

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Jojoba is also a humectant, similar to vegetable glycerine, which works really well when its added to the ends of hair that is damaged. The special properties of this oil means that it is good at replicating the natural oils of the hair and can be used to help balance the lack of the natural oils at the scalp and also the overproducing glands which give people oily hair. 

Let me know which hair products you use and if they contain any of these oils. I will b posting a step by step blog about my rejuvenation 🙂

A nugget of relationship wisdom for an anxious soul

No relationship is “perfect” and to sustain a healthy relationship things happen. Feelings happen and there are good times and there are bad times, things are never truly amazing until you’ve felt the worst in comparison. It’s OK to cry and get upset with your partner, it shows compassion. It’s common to feel jealous, you’re not alone – it shows you care. It’s alright if you squabble and have fights and then make up and laugh and joke, it shows that you are willing to work at your relationship. It’s good to have heated arguments, it shows you have passion. You will laugh, you will cry, you will break up and you will make up, you will shout, sometimes scream, you may say things you don’t mean. You’ll apologize and then perhaps feel guilty, you may even feel so angry that you don’t want to see them. You might get irritated by their small annoying habits, you may have amazing conversations and some days you will having boring conversations. Sometimes they are your best friend and sometimes just your partner and on those amazing occasions they will be both. 

It’s OK. This is totally normal, anyone who claims that their relationship is perfect and they never have that passion is lying (or leading a very lackluster one).

Being able to get past all these things and say “I love you” at the end of the day and mean it is the true test, being able to put the effort in and work for something that you want is what it means to be in a relationship. You are a team, not individuals.

Please don’t over think it. If it works for you then embrace it. Fuck the haters.

 

Conditioning of a woman

I’ve had a lot going on this year and I’ve really struggled to post anything and my blog is looking bare but something happened to me today and I want to write a message to everyone. This is aimed at everyone, the seasoned fashion blogger, the prospective philosophers, the nomads – whether you may be 11 or 101, whether you identify as male, female, bi-gender, third gender or transgender.

I am a woman. That’s an accurate representation of what I actually AM. That’s what I am and always be, right? I am a woman, disregard my education, my humor, my passion for caring, my sometimes – very- short temper, my ability to speak another language, my loving family, my zest for life, my ability to be positive even during difficult times, my piggy snort when I laugh, my dreams and aspirations, my fears, my challenges with anxiety, my doubtfulness, my insecurity in social situations, my wariness of strangers – of strange men.

The sun sets at 8:30pm where I live. It’s 7:50 and I’m changing clothes for my imminent run. I stop and deliberate; do I save the run until tomorrow so that it will be daylight and I will be safer from any potential harm? Or do I live my life, not in fear, but run my usual run as I always do and take the risk. I chose the latter.

During my run it became dark. I was approached by a man. He was dressed in red and black. He appeared out of nowhere in the darkness of the field. He followed me. There was no one else around. I was scared. He was empowered. He tried to get my attention by cornering me. I ran away.

I am lucky as I fortunately did not have to “learn” the hard way. I rang my partner in hysterics and was terrified and felt alone and scared. I wasn’t “me”, this fun caring person, on the contrary I was self loathing. My partner was trying to reconcile me by reassuring me that it could have been worse and that now I knew to not run late in the evening.

And then he said something that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

“I can’t imagine a life of having to make decisions based on the fear of being a vulnerable woman to attackers”. 

I suddenly realized, what I heard so much through my life as a woman, but nothing ever hit me as hard as what my partner had just said.

Yes I am a woman, but that is just my label. I am a human being. Like your mum, like your sister, like your niece or your daughter. Why have I, and so many other women like me become conditioned, repeatedly in our lives, to plan our life around the fear and worry of being a victim.

Why did I pause before I left the house in consideration of the fear of being attacked? Why is it that men don’t have this so called “fear”, imagine needing to go to the shop at night but being so crippled in thoughts of being followed or attacked that you either don’t go and wait until the next day, or do go and have creeping paranoia follow you around?

Why is it that my first thought when I returned home safe that I had “learned my lesson the easy way” not to run again in the evening. Why is it fair that women are forced to base their day-to-day activities on whether there will be safety in numbers or the risk of partaking in normal activities that many men taker for granted? Why is not getting harassed or attacked “the easy way” why is that the consolation prize.Why am I even considering a man approaching me and propositioning me but not attacking me a “to be thankful” moment? What would the hard way be? And would I have learned that all important lesson? Is there really any lesson to be learned when it’s not even a woman’s fault, she wasn’t asking to be raped or attacked, but maybe next time she will KNOW not to walk on her own. Because this means that walking on your own means the WOMAN is liable and SHE put this on herself.

All i could think about all evening was how stupid I had been. How have I allowed society to teach me to punish myself for running late at night because people are monsters. Why have I now convinced myself not to run again, in fear I may encounter him again. I am fortunate, even if that is contradictory to what I have been saying, but I am. Well at least that’s what society has told me. I am lucky. The women who have been sexually assaulted are not so lucky. The constant fear, anxiety, sleepless nights and life long scars. But then again it was their own fault, they’ve learned their “lesson” and as I have learned from my peers and from generations, and as I will do and have done, women will continue to teach this “lesson”.

Blog Award!

So I’m pretty much really new to here and definitely was shocked to be nominated for the Versatile Blog Award by Okaaythen. It was such a lovely surprise and after visiting her kick ass vibrant blog I knew that it was definitely something I want to be involved in. So before I begin, she deserves big thank you to you and anyone reading should definitely head over to her page!

I have selected a few blogs that really stood out to me for completely different reasons.

The Nominees:

1.revolutionizedlife Its very rare to read such a refreshing blog that can be so thought provoking. Just ace.

2.Theworldbetter “The butterfly effect” was really lovely to read and totally put me in a good mood. Some great posts!

3. sodianascrapbook The big three S’s. Sleek. Sassy. Smart. Very motivational.

4.herfunnyvalentine LOVE! Its a rare quality to poses to have an opinion and to be so empowered.

5.privatepublicgirlwordpresscom A chilled vibe and I could feel myself really relating to your articles.

6.natkjc I love that you’re a book worm (as am I) and you mentioned Alex Turner.. need I say more?

7.krrism With the way social media is heading in this day an age it is so important to promote your passion and to get business online. Excited to read more.

I only managed 7 bloggers unfortunately and there are so many great ones out there. Feel free to take a look on my site as I am also very new!

7 Facts about me

  1. I’m a second year university student who lives a semi-nocturnal life.
  2. In my spare time I ballroom and latin dance as well as kickboxing. My rose has thorns!
  3. I have a lovely boyfriend who has put up with me for 2 years. What a gem!
  4. I enjoy drinking beer rather than girly drinks. I think i get it off my dad haha
  5. Favourite Xmas film: National Lampoons Christmas vacation. One of those timeless ones that I’ve seen a billion times.
  6. I am from a family of 7. They are all my best friends and i love them so much!
  7. I once got a tic-tac stuck up my nose and had to wait for it to dissolve. disgusting. it burnt!

If you have been nominated by me it would be really ace if you would nominate some other up and coming blogs that you like! here’s the rules more in depth – NETWORK 🙂 https://okaaythen.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/christmas-blogging-gifts-cards-blog-awards-networking-blogging-101/

Merry Crimbo lovelies x

 

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

My story starts when I realised that I was in trouble. I was lonely, but didn’t feel it, I was lost and didn’t know who I could turn to. I had friends abandon me when I was at my worst. Suffering from life halting anxiety and losing touch of who I used to be. I didn’t want to look back in 20 years time and regret wasting my time worrying and not taking advantage of a time in my life which I could never have back. I felt grounded by the idea that by the time next winter happens, the things that made me feel so scared would be insignificant in my life. I decided to make a change and to begin again from the start. I’m hoping to experience the benefits of sharing my deepest feelings with people.. anonymously. I want to take you on my journey of change from the very start to what, hopefully, will never be the end of a positive life changing experience.

Signed,

A stranger and a friend