Cattitude & CO.

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Copyright © Cattitude&Co., 2016.

Y’all need to check out the ever wonderful Cattitude & CO. Otherwise known as the lovely London based lady Tara, who set up the feminist lifestyle blog in August 2015. The blog covers a whhoollee range of topics from feminism and sexuality to lifestyle and wellbeing. It’s so wonderful to see a blog, as well as the start of the Cattitude & CO Youtube (get yo booty over there and subscribe…now!) inspiring and encouraging women in the 21st Century. Us ladies need that frank content to really live life authentically. We are surrounded by media and content that portrays women in a certain light that isn’t true. (Check out the latest post about the media on Cattitude & CO. here) We need more people like Tara to show us and now tell us with her YouTube, how we can support each other, as well have the discussions we wished we could actively get involved with in our teenage years. Having only just launched the YouTube channel 7 days ago…she is amassing followers already.
To top off the empowering, informative blog and YouTube channel, Tara co-founded a successful women’s lifestyle website Zusterschap in 2015. ZC is a fearlessly feminist blog where no topics are off-limit. As we confront stereotypes, social norms and just about everything we’re expected to swallow without questioning, Zusterschap aims to give an array of women a voice. In November 2015, Zusterschap was shortlisted for ‘Best Sex and Relationship Blog’ at the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards.

 Now this is a lady worth following.

What really struck a chord with me, is that Tara said that her main motivation is to be the woman she needed as a little girl. I think she’s definitely achieved that and beyond. We need more people in this world like Tara, who are showing girls and guys what feminism is and the discussion we need to be having as individuals in this day and age. She’s empowering, strong and really knows her stuff.

You can follow her here on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

You can also Subscribe to Cattitude & Co’s  Blog and YouTube!

 

cattitude
Copyright © Cattitude&Co., 2016.

 

Interview with the Award-Winning Golddigger Trust

Ok folks, I am loving the fact I’ve been receiving messages and some of y’all got on my twitter poll to do more mental health tips. It’s all in the pipeline, so keep your sweet eyes peeled! But first…big news.

Today, my business Keep Real headed to Sheffield to film an interview with a wonderful award-winning organisation called The Golddigger Trust who are just…I have no words. Just incredible! I’ve admired this bunch of lovely folk for a while, and to be asked to collab with them via my brand was just great…and to interview them was just, well, greater. A big whole experience of inspiration. They do AMAZING work for young people (their tagline Unearthing Value, Transforming Lives is just so flippin wonderful) doing courses, projects, mentoring with girls and guys concerning self esteem. Golddigger Kimberley snap

We headed over to their offices and asked them a load of questions about the work they do, what inspires them and what’s coming up for them this year. It turns out they’ve got some incredible things that they’re working on (which you can find out for yourselves in the video we’ll be putting up soon!)

What I can tell you, is that th
ey’re aiming to raise funds for their Golddigger Trust Centre For Young People. They have said that ‘As the Trust has grown, we have long held a vision for creating our own ‘centre for young people’, somewhere that they can feel at home, and from where our award winning work can expand across the city and the UK.’

How amazing!? They need as much help as they can get, and would love for so many folk to get involved with what they’re trying to do.Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 20.24.55

These people are so inspiring, and continue to inspire so many young people every single day. Please check out their campaign here and fundraise or donate to their cause here. These guys deserve so much recognition and I am humbled to have interviewed them. Having had a really sweet talk about my business, what they’re getting up to and what we could potentially do together is just beautiful. I cannot wait to share with you what we’ve done and tell you more about the trust!

Sending all my love ❤

 

Aldred’s Artists 5- Kimberley Robinson — Natasha Aldred Illustration

I had the absolute pleasure to be interviewed by my beautiful friend (and fantabulous Illustrator/ Owner of Never Stop Zine), Natasha Aldred. Go check it out! And also go check out what Natasha is up to, a wonderful wonderful person doing such great things ❤

I am humbled to announce that my fifth Aldred Artist feature is with the lovely Kimberly Robinson. Kimberley Robinson is the founder, blogger and artist of the upcoming clothing brand ‘Keep Real‘. I’ve known Kimberley for a few years now and have slowly watched her grow into the strong independent business woman she is today. […]

via Aldred’s Artists 5- Kimberley Robinson — Natasha Aldred Illustration

Interview with Team Not Ashamed

Hi there lovelies. I had the pleasure of interviewing the wonderful Team Not Ashamed, who are a movement in diminishing the stigma surrounding mental illness, and are a great support network for those struggling with their health. Fantastic work by some wonderful ladies!! You can follow them here on Twitter, and their website. Here’s a little bit more about them, and what to look out for!Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 14.54.47

What inspired Team Not Ashamed? When did you start?
Team Not Ashamed was started by Rachel Griffin, this is what she has to say. “I wrote an article for the Huffington Post “5 Reasons Why I’m Not Ashamed of My Mental Health Condition” and started the hashtag soon after that. I knew how detrimental shame had been in my own life and how liberating it was to let it go. I wanted to invite others to do the same and stand proud in who they are regardless of a mental health condition. 5 amazing ladies joined and took it to the next level and we made the movement more organized.”

You have six lovely ladies who are leading this lovely movement, can you tell me a little bit about each of you?
Here are all of our names, twitter account and blogs
Justine- @JMcNeil_ http://www.justinemcneil.com and http://www.jsdaze.wordpress.com
Rachel- @rachelgriffin22 http://www.wehaveapples.com
Carly- @karbarr2
Nicole- @soupernic http://www.soupermental.wordpress.com
Mar- @mar_andras
Megan- @mentalmetanoia http://www.mentalmetanoia.wordpress.com

What are your main aims with your movement?
To spread the message that mental heath conditions are nothing to be ashamed of! They are not a choice, character flaw, or a weakness. We are helping end the harmful stigma associated with mental heath conditions and advocating for better and more accessible healthcare.

What helps you manage your mental health? i.e any books, therapy you can suggest, or tips on staying well.
Things that help us manage our mental health:
A good support group (like Team Not Ashamed!)
Exercise
Self-care…knowing when you need to spend more time taking care of yourself (this could mean staying away from social media for a few days, taking a day to yourself etc)
PETS!

It’s wonderful that you’re spreading the message that mental health conditions are nothing to be ashamed of! What advice do you have for those struggling with mental health problems?
Know that if you are struggling with your mental health and/or have mental health conditions that it is not character flaw, it does not mean that you are weak and that it is not your fault. There is a large mental health community that is here to support you, know that you are not alone.
Any favourite quotes that get you through the day?
Not necessarily to get us through the day, but one that aligns very well with the campaign is ‘Don’t be ashamed of your story, it will inspire others’

Do you have anything upcoming for Team Not Ashamed? If so, what can we look out for?
We will be making #imnotashamed bracelets and other fun goodies that will be available on our website. We hope to start a blog on the website as well. We have “trending days” once a month on twitter where we try to raise awareness about mental health by trending #imnotashamed

Trusted Clothes and Keep Real!

The wonderful Canadian non-profit Trusted Clothes are documenting my brand Keep Real’s journey of sustainability and inspiring wellness. So sweet! Please go ahead and check it out.Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 16.06.15

It’s no good promoting mental well-being as a business, if the business doesn’t have the foundations of trying to be the best version of itself either. So we expanded the definition of wellness to include our sustainable souring policy within our supply chain.

Here’s the first blog post I did as the founder. Excitingggg!!! ❤

Challenges of Starting a Sustainable Fashion Brand

Emma’s Story: Navy to Never Giving Up

Emma’s Story: Navy to Never Giving Up

Hey folks! I had the pleasure of interviewing the very inspirational lady Emma Macdonald, who is embarking on a new journey after her time in the Navy. Through her personal struggles, she is aiming to set up her own coaching business called ‘Seize the Day Performance’ working with individuals who struggle with self-esteem and mental health issues. A story of true determination, resilience and over coming personal experiences ❤

Hey Emma, please tell me a little bit about yourself!

Allow me to introduce myself… My name is Emma MacDonald. I grew up in small village outside of the city called Perth (East coast of Scotland). School was a little bit of a challenging time in my life, not really knowing who I was, or what I wanted to do with my life. I also still carry a belief around that I wouldn’t amount to anything due to not going to university, Crazy right?? I also found myself growing up really fast, being introduced to drinking & drugs at very early age (15). I worked in retail for the majority of my time selling phones for o2, up till I joined the Navy at age 22.

What inspired you to go into the Royal Navy?

My inspiration for joining the navy was that I had enough of living in the same town I grew up in, doing the same un-fulfilling job, heavy partying. I was just wasting my life… So on the 3rd March 2010, I joined HMS Raleigh to start my training for the navy. From here, I joined a ship in 2011, which was a type 23 frigate called HMS St Albans. We were tasked to do a 6 month deployment of the gulf, patrolling areas where drug trafficking was rife, at threats of piracy to container ships was also a threat.

What were your highlights of your career?

I have managed to visit some incredible places with my time on board St Albans. Dubai, Greece, Lisbon, Malta, Iceland, Hamburg, the list goes on…

Tell me about your experiences concerning mental health.

In late 2012, after being attached to St Albans for nearly two years, I was playing football when I incurred an injury to my right knee, rupturing ligaments and tendons.  This was severe injury, so I was then taken off my ship and landed shore side. While I sought medical treatment & rehab, during this time I have to say I had bit of a breakdown. Many things came to my head, which had been building for quite some time. I became very withdrawn, sleeping a lot, drank a lot, thoughts of killing myself. I knew this was only going to get worse unless I sought out help.

I was referred to the Defence Centre of Mental Health. This is where I underwent treatment for my then diagnosed depression. For around 6 months, it only involved talking therapy, which I kept to myself.  As you know yourself, the stigma involved in mental health, is not something I wished to talk about with others back then. During this time, I resisted going on medication. After 6 months of some mild improvement, I was told that medication alongside therapy is the best chance of my recovering from my depression.

For many years during this time, I must admit I was going to pursue a career in the navy as a Physical training instructor.  I came up against massive amounts of resistance, and lots of hurdles I had to jump through. This went on for a few years, all with still being injured due to my knee and mental health. I eventually had surgery in March 2014 to repair my damaged ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament).

With this added stress and uncertainty regarding my future, all the added worry of gaining weight while recovering (not being able to exercise fully) I developed what you might call an eating disorder…

As someone who was seen to be fit and healthy on the outside, this was a very hard thing for me to get on board with. I fought the system hard believing that there was nothing wrong with me, it was just who I was…

After some time now, I have come to realise that some of my behaviours are not normal, then what’s normal? Who wants to be normal!!! As my current condition does not fit with in military life, I will be discharged in June 2016. If I am going to be completely honest, this is something that my psychologist and I have agreed on. I have had the most incredible life changing experience while being in the navy, I just feel it is time for me to know move on, and pursue my passion…

Tell me about your passion!

I am in process of setting up my own coaching & mentoring business called  ‘Seize the Day Performance’.  The name comes from my thought process of being in tune with the here and now. This is because all we really have is this moment. If you can do the best you can today then tomorrow will be even better, so seizing today, tomorrow etc.  It’s all about making this day count, however small that little triumph is!

My coaching business is aimed at people who have or are still suffering with mental health issues. Empowering others, to then empower themselves through sound nutrition, movement and mind-set… These three key elements have helped me get where I am today, stronger in body and mind. I truly believe that if these three things are not practiced, you will have a very slim chance of recovering from mental health issues…

Do you have any advice or guidance for people struggling with these issues?

My advice to others would be…

I have been on such a journey, I have been in some very dark places, so I know what it feels like to feel you have no one or nothing to live for. As I gradually introduced these practises in to my life, things began to change.  I didn’t bombard myself with trying to juggle as many habits as I could. I slowly implemented small sustainable habits, which have now led to me feeling like the person I am today. Things like reading for 15 minutes a day (mindset books), implementing protein & vegetables in to one meal at a time until I was eating protein/vegetables with every meal.

Also if, you can afford the investment hiring a coach or mentor to hold you accountable, to give you guidance a help hand, I also highly recommend this investment. This is something I have been undergoing for nearly two years now, being coached & mentored by Wildepreformance.. I could go on and on!

The key is small changes, Small daily changes = big results!

What are your aims after your time in the Navy?

My aim within the next 5 years, is to help as many people as I can, get unstuck from destructive behaviours, for them to see that life doesn’t have to suck. There are ways and means together, and we can aid you back to becoming the awesome self you once were.

 

Check out what Emma’s up to on her social media platforms (Check out here Instagram account)! She’s going to be some amazing and inspiring work, and I wish her all the best for the year! Go Emma!

 

Interview with Si from Heads Above The Waves

Hey folks! Hope this post finds you well!  To start off a great week and all that Monday Motivation, I had the pleasure of interviewing Si from Heads Above The Waves, a non profit organisation providing hope and help full-logofor people who are struggling with self harm. I loved how I reached out to Si a while back, as he found me through my post over on Rethink Mental Illness, and messaged
me on Instagram. I truly look forward to seeing HATW improving mental wellness and providing a place to talk openly about mental health too. Big things to come!

1) So, for those who don’t know- what is Heads Above The Waves?

Heads Above The Waves is a non-profit organisation that raises awareness of self-harm in young people, promoting creative and positive ways of dealing with the bad days.
We talk openly about self-harm and depression.
We sell merch with a message behind the designs to help get people talking.
We run workshops to give people the chance to find what works for them.
We create content to let people know that hope and help exist.

2) Where did the name of your company come from?

I think Heads Above The Waves is quite simply a summary of what the whole ethos is – life is all about figuring out the best way to keep your head up and stay afloat amidst whatever waves life might be throwing your way. I think the name might’ve also come from me mis-hearing the opening of ‘Mike Kennedy is a Bad Friend’ by The Wonder Years.

3) Who is Heads Above The Waves aimed at?

HATW is mainly aimed at young people aged 11 – 25 who are struggling to cope, but really, I believe that a positive message that hope and help are out there for you can apply to anyone. Personally, I think there’s enough negative stuff on social media – which pretty much everyone is on these days – so it can be a nice break to see something positive as you’re scrolling through your feed.
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4) What inspired you to start HATW?

Heads Above The Waves essentially came about from me wanting to share my story and experience of how music helped pull me out of depression and self-harm. The goal really was to let other people know that it can, and does, get better. For me, it was specifically finding pop-punk music, and the positive message in a lot of the lyrics, as well as actually playing the drums.
But Heads Above The Waves is all about finding what works for you and accepting that one size doesn’t fit all. Not everyone plays the drums; not everyone makes music. But everyone’s got something that they do that helps keep them positive, regardless of whether they’re struggling with self-harm or some other battle. The more people I spoke to about it, the more I found that different people with different experiences, cope in different ways, so I wanted to build a collection of these experiences as well as positive things that I’ve drawn inspiration from to share with people, so that anyone can be inspired.
Heads Above The Waves is all about finding what works for you and accepting that one size doesn’t fit all.”

5) Tell me a little bit more about why you chose to raise awareness in mental health.

From my personal experience, I found that a lot of stuff out there talking about mental health was either quite cold and clinical or a bit childish and condescending – I wanted to make something that could speak to young people on their level. I’ve got this silly, and grammatically awful saying that I keep coming back to: everyone is people.
We’re all human beings, trying to figure out how to live life and cope when the odds get stacked against us – however big or small that may be. Even if you’ve never experienced a full blown issue with your mental wellbeing, you still know how much it sucks to feel sad. My main aim is to help everyone find what works for them to pick themselves up when they fall down, as well as trying to encourage an atmosphere of people helping other people out.

6) Do you have any tips on keeping mentally healthy? 

It’s obviously going to be different for everyone, but I’ve got a couple of things that I do to try and keep myself on top of things.

I write lists – lists of stuff I need to get done (seriously, it’s so satisfying to cross stuff off a to-do list) – lists of things that are going wrong and what I can do about them – lists of just generally what’s going on with my life (my office is covered in post-it notes). It helps me keep visual track of what’s going on, and stops everything going too wild in my brain.

I also play drums – practising repetitive rhythms is actually really good for distracting me and focussing my brain. Plus if I’m getting worked up and angry, I thrash out on a drum set and it helps.. but probably not so good for relations with the neighbours.
And something that I struggle with but I’m trying to get better at is actually giving myself some ‘me time’. Even if that’s just an hour in the evening to play some PlayStation or have a bath. Sometimes you need to shut off from other things that are going on, and not worry about being around other people or being productive – and most importantly not feeling guilty for taking time to yourself.
That’s just a couple bits that work for me, but what’s most important is to keep on trying out different things until you find what works for you.

 

“My main aim is to help everyone find what works for them to pick themselves up when they fall down, as well as trying to encourage an atmosphere of people helping other people out”

7) What is your favourite aspect of running your own business?

D’you know what’s funny? I’ve got some friends who run their own businesses, and they’ve always been the types who have wanted to run their own businesses – but I haven’t. I think ‘entrepreneurship’ kinda fell on me. I always assumed I’d come out of uni and get a ‘real’ job and just live out a typical suburban life. Yet, here we are. So the best bit for me, is probably the fact that most days are a little bit different and new and unknown. It’s exciting. It’s also utterly terrifying. But I think that the best of you can come out when you’re outside of your comfort zone, so I keep on pushing myself and learning new things pretty much daily.

8) What are your plans for HATW in the future?

Really the plan for HATW is to grow and spread and impact and hopefully make a difference to even more people. We’ve got our new site launching, we’re sharing a range of ways of coping through social media, we’re branching out and running workshops in even more schools. So the main hope for 2016 and beyond is that HATW can become a more practically useful resource to help people find their way of coping with the bad days.
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Please go and check out Heads Above The Waves on their website, twitter & instagram.

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #12

So folks! What a busy week! I hope you are well and are enjoying your day so far. After my post onwpid-img_20151013_111857.jpg ‘3 Best Mental Wellness Apps’, I’ve been really getting into using apps that organise what I’m up to more, and get my head in a good place if I’m not feeling so great. The app ‘What’s Up’ from my Apps post has a ‘Help Right Now’ section, with uplifting quotes to a ‘Here & Now’ button which tries to keep you in the present (love the mindfulness of it!) and a ‘Stay In Today’ section too. Plenty of useful resources on this free app. Give it go and see how you get on! The link is in my Apps post previously linked.

So what have I been up to? Welllll, yesterday I went down to the BBC in London for an exciting series on Radio 4! All will be revealed on the 27th October, and I will post a web link nearer the time! I’m so excited! I met some wonderful people on the panel, coming all the way down from Yorkshire was long and worth it!

I also have a second interview lined up to be Manager In Training (MIT) at Hollister Co, which I’m equally as excited for! It seems like everything is happening all at once, but all my hard work is paying off. Very thankful ❤ Amongst all
of that, I have my business to get going with, driving lessons to do and do my bit raising awareness for mental health. I’m extremely determined!

Also, if you’re interested; I would love to do a series on my blog dedicated to other people views on mental health, and what you think can be improved in MH care. Share your story, what helped you and what hindered you too. Send an email over to kimmykeepreal@gmail.com and I’ll send over a document of questions for the series. You can remain anonymous when I post, it is entirely wpid-img_20150923_165211.jpgup to you! All information is confidential ❤

Sending all my love and positive vibes to you! And as always, keep real! x

Interview and the Art of Wandering Aimlessly

On Monday, I travelled to my home city of Sheffield for a wonderful interview by an independents focused magazite/website called Sheffield Unchained‘. I met up with a lovely lady called Tricia at the Blue Moon Cafe, which is opposite the cathedral in the centre of town (they do fantastic vegetarian and vegan food- click here to check them out!).

By talking about Keep Real and the aims I have with it, it really opened my eyes to what I really want to do. So if you’d like, you can check out the interview which has been published today! It is featured on their front page, so I am extremely humbled and proud about it! So have a look at Keep Real – The Interview. woo!!

After the interview, I got the chance to look around the recent Exhibitions over at the Millennium Gallery and the Ruskin Collection. I’ve been dying to take a real look, as it feels like I never get the chance to when I visit Sheffield. Ruskin is actually quite an inspiration for me with his ‘connection between nature and art’. I actually have a really old hardback book of Ruskin’s titled ‘Sesame and Lilies and Unto This Last’. So it was really beautiful to take my time looking around the exhibition.

I then ventured through town (having stopped off at Sheffield’s German Christmas Market for a huge lamb and mint burger), to see my Auntie’s Art Studio. However, I nearly forgot the way and just wandered around aimlessly until this wonderful chap called Nathan- who I learned to be studying Computing something-or-other at the University of- showed me the way, having noticed I looked utterly lost. Had a fleeting conversation with him before we parted ways through the city. Wherever you are Nathan- thank you for being cool!

Finally I met up with my Auntie Bekah, which is always insanely badass. I see her as my big sister, so we always have a good natter. Her art studio is so beautiful too, two rooms of just craft goodness- and a loom!

Anyway, after my long day I just felt truly blessed. Sometimes, you need to hear someone else’s views of what you’re doing to truly understand what your aims are. Plus, wandering around my home city felt so natural. Being in my own company used to be so daunting- but I now feel I can hold my head high and do whatever I set my mind to. IMG_20141201_115908 IMG_20141201_120113 IMG_20141202_201628 IMG_20141202_205011