Series List: Anxiety And

“Anxiety &” Series List

For the last month or so now I’ve been running a series on this blog called “Anxiety &”, which basically covers a bunch of topics that can cause anxiety.

The point of this series is two fold: I want to give advice to people who may struggle with anxiety, to try and help them cope in that situation, but also to try and give out the massage that you aren’t alone. I remember when I was growing up I always felt like I was weird because certain things caused me anxiety but didn’t anyone else I knew.

It really used to upset me.

But now thats to the internet and finding the awesome mental health community on Twitter, I’ve realised that I’m not weird at all, lots of people struggle with the same things!

This more than anything has helped me accept and start to beat my anxiety and I hope that this series can help others do the same.

Series List: Anxiety And

Thanks to the demands of university I’ve actually not been able to get a post up for the series this week, which I’m really disappointed about. I’ve been struggling a lot with university and it’s had a negative effect on my blogging and business plans. I talk about it in more detail in this post if you want to know more.

Since I’ve not been able to get a post up I decided I’d create this series roundup, so that all of the posts can be easily found in one place! I’ll update this post every time I add a new topic to the series too so it continues to be useful.

Also if you have any topics you want me to cover then let me know in the comments or over on social media!

The full series:

eBay and Anxiety

Anxiety & Travelling

Anxiety and Shopping

Anxiety and The Pill

Anxiety and Blogging

Anxiety & Bullying

Previous post: Weekly Roundup | 22.10.16

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Weekly Roundup | 22.10.16

Weekly Roundup | 22.10.16

I’ve been a bit MIA from the blogging world these last two weeks, but especially this week as I’ve only been able to write one post- Anxiety & Bullying.

I was hoping that it’d be able to balance university and blogging but it turns out I was mistaken, university work has just ended up taking over my life! As I write this I’m sat in my pjs with a big cup of coffee feeling like I could sleep for a week. Part of it is the amount of work I have to do but its mostly mental exhaustion, having to go out so much to such a busy city is testing my coping abilities to the maximum.

Then when I get home I have to try and make time to write posts, take photos, schedule social media, take part in blogger chats, talk to and socialise with my friends, spend time with my parents and grandparents…there just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything on my list!

Something had to give and unfortunately it’s had to be blogging this week. However I’m hoping that now the big initial panic of “crap I need to constantly be working and get as much work done as possible” is over, I will be able to find a better balance between uni work, blogging and setting up my online store (more on that at a later date!).

So please bear with me over the coming weeks as I try and find this balance.

Weekly Roundup | 22.10.16

This week has been all about photography! I had some problems with my camera during last weeks lesson so I was technically behind everyone else with my portfolio. However I managed to get the camera fixed and went about taking some portraits of members of my family…good job they love me!

I am absolutely in love with the end products! The first one is my dad playing his fender guitar, one of the many he owns. He only loves three things: Mum, Me and his Guitars…not necessarily in that order!

Dad and his Guitar

Next is my grandad working on a puzzle: he’s the person who taught me to play chess and started off my love of all things logical! He’s always supported everything I’ve done in my life and I honestly don’t know what I would do without him! When I was growing up he would always be working on a puzzle in the paper or a magazine so this picture just brings back so many memories from my childhood.

Grandad doing a crossword

Lastly is a picture of my mum looking at her mothers memory box. I wont go into the whole backstory of this, I wrote a post on it a few months ago which you can find here if you’re interested. The short story is my nanna died when she was just 36 years old and my mum was just 19, only a month or so after her first child- my brother- died.

Because of reasons I’m not going to go into my nanna was cremated and her ashes scattered in a place that we can’t go visit, as they’re basically in a random persons garden. So we have no place to go and visit of lay flowers for her on special days. As such my dad made my mum a box and attached the memorial plaque that was made for her onto it, so that she could put the few possessions and pictures we have of nannas inside. This is probably one of the most important items my mum owns which is why I wanted to use it!

Mum holding her Mums Memory Box

Also this week I am starting something I have been wanting to do since I was in secondary school: pole fitness! I’m going with a friend who’s asked to stay anonymous for now but we’re both super excited to give it a go! We both hope to tone up/loose weight and gain more self confidence as thats something we both lack.

Plus if I’m ever short of cash….

Weekly Links:

What Is A Panic Attack? | Mental Health: This post by Meg is brilliant and so relatable! Just reading it made me feel like I wasn’t alone and that the things I feel and do when having a panic attack myself are completely normal, which they are!

Why The Education System Is Ruining My Mental Health: Another post I can relate to so much since starting university. I feel that since starting uni my mental health has gotten so much worse and the points Nicole raises are really important! You really need to read this post!

Stop the internet, I want to get off: Amber bet me to writing this post. Seriously, what is wrong with people these days?! Why do people think that they can say whatever the hell they like just because they’re typing it on a screen rather than saying it to someones face?! I won’t start to rant as she covers everything I want to say in her post, but I honestly can’t believe what the world is coming to these days!

10 Free Stock Photos for Creative Entrepreneurs: Louise is a lifesaver with this gorgeous photography pack! These are going to be such a time saver, meaning I can concentrate on creating better content rather than worrying about the getting the photography done while I have some natural light left!

Check out my previous post: Anxiety & Bullying

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Anxiety & Bullying

Anxiety & Bullying

Bullying is seen as a sad fact of life. We seem to accept that it’s going to happen to us at some point in our lives and this really upsets me.

I’ve been bullied for the majority of my life- non stop for every single thing you can think of: my eyes are too blue, my hair is too flat, I read, I’m a Boff (in case you don’t know what this is it was the insult of choice for people who were smart back when I was a teenager)…well you get the drift: according to other people I’m a fat, ugly waste of space that will never amount to much.

And for a long time I believed that. Too long.

These days I see comments like that as a motivation tool: you think I’ll never achieve anything in life? Watch me! But it’s taken a verrrry long time and a lot of unpleasant shit happening to me to get to this point.

Anxiety & Bullying

And I’ve made some pretty big mistakes along the way. From being 4 to about 7/8 I was beaten up at school by one particular boy, I won’t give his real name so let’s just call him Guy. I was a tiny kid (what’s changed there) and Guy was a year older than me so you can imagine the size difference. It started off with some nasty words and poking/pulling my hair/pushing me over which I just tried to ignore but very quickly it escalated to actually been punched/kicked/slapped.

Now I’m sure that seeing a tiny little girl that didn’t really fit in with her peers, he assumed he’d have no trouble with me. Wrong! There’s a joke in my family that my dad taught me how to punch before he taught me how to talk and I’m actually inclined to believe it! I’ve always known how to defend myself, for as long as I can remember, and dads always told me to take no shit from anyone- if someone hits you, you hit them back twice as hard.

And that’s what I did.

I can still see the look of shock on his face to this day! I bust his nose and he ended up leaving me alone for the rest of that week. I thought I’d won. Hmm yeah, wrong on that count- he just came back with friends.

He had one guy to pin my arms and one or sometimes two people to cheer him on. Because of course you need your friends to support you and cheer you on when hitting a girl half your size.

For some reason I never did fully find out, Guy moved schools and I was free of him. But by this time the damage was done. I was socially isolated and he’d set a pattern. Not physically I’m glad to say but the rest of my time at school (both primary and secondary) was marred by a constant stream of verbal bullying.

For the most part I’ve managed to move past what happened and the consequences of it but remnants of it will always be with me. I can’t trust people, I don’t let people get close to me and as such have very few friends and I always think that people are being sarcastic when they say things like “you’re pretty” or “you look nice today”. It’s part paranoia and part what I’m used to.

Maybe I’ll work past it like I have with the whole physical contact issue (I didn’t used to let people hug me before and now I’m the first to go in for one usually!) or maybe I won’t.

So what I want to do in this post is give you some advice that I’ve learnt from my own experience. I guess it fits into the “Anxiety &” series because if you’re starting a new school/college/university or even job (because yep, sorry to say but bullying does happen in the workplace) there’s always that underlying worry of it happening to you. So enough of my rambling, here’s what I’ve learnt:

Don’t retaliate. I can’t believe I’m actually typing that. I am a huge believer in standing up for yourself and giving as good as you get. Our family motto might as well be “never start a fight but always make sure to finish it” but in all honest it doesn’t help the situation. If you can don’t show any emotion, just stare them directly in the eyes and smile. It will really freak them out! Or if you’re not into that kind of thing, don’t make eye contact with them and carry on with whatever you’re doing.

Tell someone. When I was getting bullied I kept it quiet from all but one person that I trusted completely. I know what some people will be thinking- didn’t people see the bruises? The truth is I didn’t really bruise much and he wasn’t stupid enough to hit me where it would show like my face. I kept it all bottled up and that did more damage to me that all of the people combined. So please, talk to someone about it! It doesn’t have to be your parents or friends- if you’re under 18 there is the Childline service available to you. If your over that age Samaritans is open 24/7 and available to people of all ages. Always remember, you don’t have to go through this alone.

Keep a happy memory/jar. I won’t go into too much detail on what one of these are, I wrote a separate post on the subject which you can read here, but keeping on of these can really help you when you have a bad day. This isn’t just related to bullying, it’s something I’d encourage everyone to do! Being reminded of everything good that you’ve done and all the happy memories you’ve made is a great way to fight off those negative voices and intrusive thoughts.

Have you been the victim of bullying? Do you have any tips that you would give to your younger self?

The series so far:

eBay and Anxiety

Travelling and Anxiety

Anxiety and Shopping

Anxiety and The Pill

Anxiety and Blogging

Previous post: Weekly Roundup & My Goal For The Rest Of The Year

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Weekly Roundup & My Goal for the Rest of the Year

Weekly Roundup & My Goal For The Rest Of The Year

This week has been a really mixed week; on the one hand I’ve still been struggling with university (worse than ever actually) but at the same time I’ve also really improved within myself.

I’m not going to go into university and my dislike on how much weight I’ve gained since entering recovery, I don’t want to make this post negative- I’ve written enough of those lately. Instead I want to talk about a few personal achievements I’ve had this week that have really boosted my confidence in myself.

First off I’ve managed to go into a packed pub within the Students Union Hub and sit and eat a meal- on my own! Now some of you reading this might not know why something this simple is such a big deal to me, but I have always struggled with eating some place new thanks to my emetophobia.

Yes I finally know what it is called thanks to Nicole at @ who wrote an amazing post on the subject (which you can read HERE). If you’ve ready My Anorexia Story  you’ll know it was triggered by a fear of being sick and things just went downhill very quickly from there!

Not only is this a problem but going anywhere on my own has always triggered a panic attack, especially if I’m in a place with a bunch of people my own age around me. But not old did I manage to go and do this but I did it without feeling anxious!

Can I get a gold star?

Weekly Roundup & My Goal for the Rest of the Year

I also did a good deed and helped out an older lady who had stood in some dog much and had got it on her hand when trying to clean it off! Seriously, how hard is it to clean up after your dog?! This time of year its so difficult to see it under leaves, it makes my stomach roll just thinking about this again! I gave her some hand sanitizer and tissues and she managed to clean it off well enough until she could get to a toilets and clean up properly.

We ended up talking for the whole train ride and it was lovely to hear her stories and opinions, I really do love listening to older people, I could do it all day! She lives fairly locally and comes into the charity shop where I volunteer so I’m sure I’ll see her again.

Lastly I had a wonderful experience in Ann Summers when I went in to buy a new bra…or two. I’m a sucker for a nice bra, even if no one is going to see it but me! It just makes me feel great about myself, if that doesn’t make me sound vain…

Ann Summers Bras

Anyway since I’ve put weight on and come off the pill I’ve noticed that my boobs have got bigger! Now I’m not complaining at all, they’re now at a size where I’m fairly happy with them (finally!) but it means that my size has changed and I wasn’t sure what size I’d now be. I’m usually too self conscious to ask for help but the lady seemed really nice so I decided to just go for it and I’m so glad I did! Not only did she help me get the right size in this gorgeous leather/gothic bra (pictured) which I can safely say will be worn constantly for the foreseeable future, but we just got talking in general too. By the time we had got the sizing right for the two bras I ended up buying, I felt like I’d known her for years!

I usually say I can’t talk to people very well either so this is a big achievement!

It also made me reevaluate the way I think about myself, on the same day I managed to hold long conversations with two radically different people and not only not make a fool of myself (like my anxiety says I will), but actually enjoy myself doing it! It makes me think that if my anxiety wasn’t so bad that I’d actually be a really social person.

So this is my main goal for the rest of this year: to work on my anxiety and become more social. I can remember how social, fun and just a generally lovely person I used to be when I was a child and all this shit happened to me and I just want to get back to that. I’m sick of being depressed and anxious and nasty and to be honest- just not feeling like me anymore. So wish me luck and anything you think might help please feel free to send me, I’ll take all the help I can get!

So onto the links I’ve found this week that I’ve loved:

I’ve already plugged this once but in case you skimmed over the above bit I’m plugging it again. What’s It’s Like Living With Emetophobia (A Fear Of Being Sick) is an amazing post about something I suffer with myself, without even really realising it. Obviously I knew I had a fear of being sick but I didn’t know it was an actual phobia! Since reading this I’ve actually felt much better about this problem, like putting a name to it and knowing other people have it too has made it okay somehow.

5 THINGS WE WISH WE’D KNOWN ABOUT FREELANCING WHEN WE WERE YOUNGER is a great post that has some great tips and advice for if you want to start freelancing. I’ve been wanting to start my own business for a long time but I’ve always been too scared to take the plunge…until now. I’m finally starting to plan out what I want to do and how I plan on doing it. While it might not happen this year, I’ve started on the path to getting there and this post has been a great help for me.

Also in-keeping with the above comments is 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM WORKING FOR MYSELF. This has helped me with university too as while I’ve always been that person who finishes a project a week or two before deadline, I’ve not always been as productive with my time as I could be. However I’ve started to adopt these tips and I’ve noticed my productivity levels skyrocket!

DAILY JAZZA is the vlog channel for one of my favourite YouTubers, Josiah Brooks (aka Draw With Jazza). Not only do you get to see the ins and outs of running your own business but he’s a really funny and happy guy that never fails to make me laugh, I always try and start my morning by watching this! Watching him make his own app was so helpful for me when I was creating my own prototype app for university. He’s part of the reason I managed to get a Distinction for my Final Major Project!! Also you get to see glimpses into his family life with Mrs Jazza and Mini Jazza (his wife and toddler son) and MJ is literally the cutest!! Worth watching just to see him dance while Jazza plays the piano (which happens almost every vlog!)

What have you been loving this week? Let me know in the comments, I’m always looking for new blogs and posts to read!

Previous post: Anxiety & Blogging

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Anxiety & Blogging

Anxiety & Blogging

The advice I’m giving here comes from being terrified of starting up this blog, I was so worried about doing it but once I started it, I quickly realised it is one of the best things I’ve ever chosen to do!

So below I just wanted to list some of the tips, tricks and general advice that might help; with blogging and maybe with life in general really.

(For some reason WordPress has deleted most of what I wrote yesterday and I have a lecture in an hour so I don’t have time to re-write it, so apologies for the rather short post!) 

Anxiety & Blogging
Don’t give up. When I started my blog I repeated two of my favourite quotes like mantras- “Fear cuts deeper than swords” and “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear; The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.” These are the things that get me through the terror and the “omg what the hell was I thinking, I can’t do this” moments. Whatever your favourite motivational quotes are, keep repeating them to yourself when you have these thoughts. Also focus on how far you’ve come and what you managed to achieve the last time you thought these things! A great technique I use is called a Happy/Memory Jar. If you don’t know what one is and want to know how to make your own then check out this post I wrote on them.

Just do it. This is such a stupid thing to say and I hate that I’m saying it now but just taking the plunge is the best things you can do. When I was about 14 I went swimming with some friends and they found out I couldn’t swim so one of them took naive, innocent old me up to the deep end and pushed me in! Now to be fair to him he did jump in after me and pull me up when he realsied I wasn’t going to surface on my own, and maybe he didn’t deserve the almighty slap he got when I’d coughed up all the water I’d swallowed, but thats besides the point. Write a hello post, take some gorgeous pictures, sign up for a free WordPress or Blogger account and hit publish. Create a design and put in on social media to see if  I promise once you’ve got over that first hurdle it will get so much easier!

Get some help. I don’t mean this as in you need to speak to a preexisting blogger: I mean if you can then great! But if not there are literally tons of posts about starting your own blog on sites live Bloglovin and Pinterest! If you don’t want to search yourself I have a blogging section on both of these that you can have a browse through (links are at the bottom of this post) or just type in something like “How to start a blog into Google”, you’ll find all the information you need I’m sure.

Bribe yourself. This is something I soooo often but it honestly works! It’s basically like training a dog; you reward them when they do something good, well take that principle and apply it to yourself. Write out a to do list, pick a task (or two if they’re only small ones) and do them. Then reward yourself with something you like when you finish them. For example this is the third post I’ve written today so once I’ve finished it I’m going to go make a large coffee in my favourite cup and saucer with a couple of custard creams on the side to dunk in- Heaven!

Don’t worry about what others will say. This was one of my biggest fears when I started blogging- online trolls. If you look at any large blogger or YouTuber you’ll find trolls or nasty people in their comments. Bullying all but destroyed me at one point in my life and even though I’ve built myself back up and grown a thicker “I don’t actually give a shit” skin, I still worried that nasty comments could bring me down again. However in the 4 months I’ve been blogging I’ve only received one nasty comment! The rest have been so supportive and kind! And if you do get one? Hit delete straight away! Don’t re read it and dwell on it, delete it and move on to the positive ones.

The series so far:

eBay and Anxiety

Travelling and Anxiety

Anxiety and Shopping

Anxiety and The Pill

Previous post: How Blogging Has Changed My Life: #WorldMentalHealthDay

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How Blogging Has Changed My Life #WorldMentalHealthDay

How Blogging Has Changed My Life: #WorldMentalHealthDay

I started my blog in June last year as part of a mental health project I was doing at university. For it I was creating a prototype of a mental health app, which I hope to actually make one day- when I get my butt in gear and stop being so scared!

I’d always wanted to be a writer/journalist but things didn’t work out as planned thanks to an arseholes and medication. However when I was creating my FMP (final major project) I decided I would finally take the plunge and give blogging a go for myself- and I’m so glad I did!

The name mymentalhealth was taken from the name of my app and this is the only place I have a slight regret. When I eventually switch over to self hosted I plan on rebranding as myself (JadeMarie) as I feel that blogging is very real and very personal and that should be reflected in the name. Or I may just stay as mymentalhealth. Who knows!

How Blogging Has Changed My Life #WorldMentalHealthDay

Now like the title suggests, blogging has changed my life in ways I never would have expected. It’s given me access to the blogging community and they are such a lovely bunch of people! They’re so kind and supportive and for a woman who spent her entire time in education getting physically and verbally bullied it was a bit of a shock to say the least! I had to constantly remind myself they weren’t being sarcastic, they actually meant what they said…emoticon are a lifesaver!

Bloody hell im showing my age here! Only us old MSNers call them emoticons! They’re emojis now…right?

Anyway back on point Jade.

I’ve also discovered the mental health community on twitter and this was another game changer. After reading all the tweets about peoples struggles with their own mental health I started to realise: it’s okay. It’s okay to have MH! It’s okay to struggle and fight with it every single fucking day! It’s okay to lose that battle from time to time and have days where all you do is hide under the duvet watching Disney films and eating your body weight in chocolate!
Once I started to accept and even embrace this fact, I noticed myself changing. I was comfortable with my MH. I was comfortable talking about it, both on social media and on this blog. I wrote some very personal posts and have some more planned for the near future and the response has been mind-blowing!

People commenting saying I was so brace to talk about my experiences and that what I’d written had helped or inspired them! Little old me; a girl from a little village no one has heard of, granddaughter of a pit miner, had managed to reach and help people from all over the world! It sounds corny as hell but it gives me a little glow in my stomach every time I think about it.

Photo 18-07-2016, 11 00 25

Being a blogger isn’t this easy thing that everyone seems to think; it’s like having a full-time job! However it’s so worth it when you know you are doing some good and helping people. I don’t get a ton of freebies, sponsors or opportunities- as of now I’ve had a grand total of zero. Zilch. However that isn’t my goal. I mean of course I’d love to be able to earn some money blogging and maybe even turn it into a full-time business, but that takes time and consistency, it’s not an overnight job.

Right now my focus is on ending the stigma around mental health.

It’s not something to be ashamed of. 1 in 4 people these days have some kind of mental health condition! Stand tall, be proud of how far you’ve come & what you’ve achieved and never let anyone dull the sparkle that is the unique brilliance you bring to this world!

I just wanted to include the links to a few of my favourite mental health posts incase you’re new here or there’s a certain topic you want to read about:

Previous post: Weekly Roundup | 09.10.16

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Weekly Roundup 09.10.16

Weekly Roundup | 09.10.16

I’m sat here writing this running on three hours sleep so apologies if this post doesn’t make much sense, I’m not one of those girls who can function on less than 8 hours sleep!

So I’m having a little change on my blog from now on- I’m scrapping my Dear Diary formats. Not only did they not get as much engagement as my other posts but I didn’t really enjoy writing them. The name felt wrong and since my life isn’t particularly interesting I always felt like I was repeating myself and just boring everyone.

So instead I’ve decided to create a weekly roundup. Basically the idea is that if something interesting has happened in my life I’ll still talk about it like in the DD posts but I also want to start sharing links that I’ve found during the week. This could be blog posts I’ve loved, news articles I want to talk about or even links to freebies (because who doesn’t love free things?!).

Weekly Roundup 09.10.16

On Saturday I had my first ever sleepover! Yes i’m almost 23 and no I’d never had a person sleep over at my house before. Partly because my dads always been funny over it for some reason but also because I’ve never really had friends. I don’t say that for people to feel sorry for me, I was always perfectly happy on my own so it didn’t bother me- if anything I was happier on my own! However this last year or two I’ve found some absolutely awesome people and that has changed, I actually want to socialise, go out and do all the things that everyone else does.

So when Liz suggested we meet up, have a few drinks and a takeaway I took the oportunity to ask if she wanted to stay over. It ended up being a really great night watching Disney films and pigging out on McDonalds! The reason I’m only running on three hours sleep though is I just cannot sleep when theres someone else in the room with me- never have been able to! I’m hoping its one of those things that will stop being a problem if I do it often enough, like I said- I’m a girl who likes sleep!

Links I’m Loving

BLOG HOSTING REVIEW: HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST WEB HOST FOR YOUR BLOG?– As someone who is looking to make the switch to self hosted I’ve found this post so helpful!

22 REASONS WHY BEING IN YOUR LATE TWENTIES IS BLOODY ACE– Okay so technically I’m not in my late 20’s but in all honesty, I might as well be! I’ve always felt like an adult trapped inside a kids body and this post not only makes me feel like the stuff I do is okay, but that its actually a really good thing! Thank you Hannah!

Five Life Changing Lessons I Learnt by My 25th Year– This post is so relatable! I do all of these things and I really do need to stop, they aren’t healthy for me or my mental health. Seeing someone as successful and awesome as Suzie saying she struggles with these things has made me realsie that it’s something we probably all do from time to time. We’re all human after all!

Blogging Tips & Blog Posts– Okay so I’m doing a little bit of self plugging here but its for a good reason! Pinterest is a great place to find new blog posts and I’ve been loving creating this board full of my favourite posts. I’m always pinning so if you’re looking for something new to read with a cuppa on a lazy Sunday morning I would definitely recommend having a browse!

What are the posts you’ve been loving this week?

Previous post: Superdrug Haul and Review

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