What’s Going On, Kim?

Before I begin, I want to say how my personal mental health has changed over the years. It has fluctuated in response to a multitude of events, grown through a variety of focuses and also stayed dormant through different phases. Note that every part of that sentence, is an accumulative of change. This is what mental health is. Very much like physical health, you take more notice probably of achey bones and tension in your shoulders. However if you take note of your mood changes or events in your life timelines, you’ll know how your body and mind go through transitions. Just know that it’s ok, you’re human. I’m human. I wanted to share a small glimmer of mental hope in my life timeline at the age of 23/24 from the past 10 months.

So here goes.

Currently, I have been on anti-depressants for 5 months. I had such a difficult time during the Christmas period, knowing I wasn’t coping. I knew it was an amalgamation of things; moving out, moving away, commuting, balancing a small business and work commitments, paying my way etc etc. My days off were spent crying and feeling real down. I was even crying at work, I just knew I wasn’t doing well.

I remember going to my doctor (who, by the way- was lovely to me) – and I blubbed out that “I’m finding being an adult so hard.” She also asked me what was making me feel the way I was feeling. I knew- and still know- that I tend to have a lot on my plate. I also know, that I don’t put myself first as much as I should.

When you’ve had counselling, you have tried mindfulness, multiple apps and feel like medication is still a route you haven’t gone down yet- try it. If it helps, try it.

I actually haven’t taken my medication for 4 days. I know I should have collected my prescription, but I’ve been too focused on the fact I’m moving out. It’s also bank holiday weekend. This week has been hard.

I’m at a point where I’m unsure where I am. It’s a little unsettling and I know I need some down time to process some changes. I think I’m just exhausted. But I know there’s hope- that’s what keeps me going. There’s so much I haven’t experienced yet- what a wonderful feeling that is.

Keep going.
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What Am I Up To? (A lot I guess!)

Hey folks, and Happy Women’s Day!!!  Thought I would do a personal update; as there’s quite a bit going on recently!

Firstly, I’m mega proud to say that my business Keep Real‘s ‘proof of concept’ application was approved, so the business is now in the process of doing more research before hopefully launching in July of this year. So excited, and so much to be doing! Plenty of lovely souls have approached me to get involved- so it’s brilliant to have a bit of a team behind Keep Real (Want to know more about us? Click here) who share the same passions and values. Truly humbled, and I cannot wait to see where KR goes. If you’d like to get involved in anyway, feel free to email me at kimmykeepreal@gmail.com! ❤

Also, as I still work part time at Boots (a job I had while at University, and has continued since I graduated!), as well as still being in the works of volunteering with the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust – I’ve been looking for work in mental health, or support work that gives me the opportunity to work with folk creatively. I can happily say that I’m into the second round of interviews at MENCAP, so finger crossed! Within the period of not being in full time employment since graduating, I’ve pretty much dedicated my time to working with non-profits and working on my business. I will hopefully be blogging for the non-profit ‘Trusted Clothes‘ who are based in Canada, and sharing the aims of my businesses sustainability and ethical sourcing of our clothes. The Slow Fashion Movement is something I really believe in, and Keep Real aims to be part of that. Inspiring wellness in all part of our lives, especially in the mind is so important ❤

So yeah, that’s what’s happening with me at the moment!

Hope you are all well, and as always – keep real! ❤

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Sweet News y’all! A Cheeky Update

So after what seems quite a while in the making- things are on track! I had a lil’ meeting with my business advisor today; and everything is looking promising! However, I must admit I’m not sure the official launch of Keep Real will be in the summer. There’s wpid-img_20150923_165211.jpgplenty more to do, and lots of things under wraps (samples for garms happened last week!). Very excited about what holds for the business, however maintaining and making new connections with other businesses and like minded folk is the most important part! So I’ll be off down to London in a couple of weeks (fingers crossed I can book it off work) to attend an Enterprise Conference. I need to actively talk to folk about Keep Real. That as well as being a clothing and goods brand, the brand inspires wellness too. Taking care of yourself, keeping it real *pun very much intended*.

I gave my presentation to the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, who work in schools and other establishments raising awareness, and giving talks about mental health to young people and professionals. They have so kindly offered me a role in their trust!! I am so excited to be giving my time to them, and actively make a difference with young people and their relationships with their own well-being. Training for the trust is ahead- and I cannot wait to begin!

Anyway, I better get back to plotting and scheming! My next post will be some lil tips for wellness ❤ If you haven’t check out some previous posts concerning tips- get yourself scrolling through ‘Hey, November!‘, ‘Be Mindful Right Now!‘, ‘The Art of Happiness‘ and ‘How Do I Stay Content With What I Have?‘. Or if you want to scroll through categories, check out ‘Mental Health’ for the full list.

Sending all my ❤ to you, and as always- keep real! xx

 

 

 

Keeping’ Up With Kimberley – Progress and Procrastination

Hey you wonderful soul, how are you today? Thought I’d do a little personal post about what I’m up to. What a ramble I have for you!

I woke up early for a driving lesson, and started my day plotting and scheming for my business. I feel like I keep talking about my brand Keep Real far too much for my good- but I don’t necessarily share that much about it. I talk about it too much in my own little head, and realise that I’m not being productive!

After two years of saving up while at University, I finally purchased a MacBook Pro for my work yesterday. TheApple-logo-grey-880x625 software wasn’t up to scratch on my old laptop, and for the work/business I will be doing, it was time for an upgrade. It feels so good to spend my money on
something as wonderful as this (yes, I’m typing away on it as you read!). After all the hard work on my two part time jobs while studying for my degree, paying bills, paying rent etc- I saved up small amounts throughout the year. After something like this, it puts into perspective where your hard earned pennies go. Who needs clothes, make up or more pairs of Vans? Not me!

Now I have the right kit to work on, I finally feel like I can be more efficient with my time, and to get my head together. Since Christmas, it’s been quite a struggle for me to get going with Keep Real. So purchasing this, has put me into gear.

I’m still working on my  presentation for the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, which is next Monday! Exciting stuff!! I also sent my final design to Heads Above The Waves for the Keep Real Collaboration. Also extremely exciting stuff!

I’ve also been reading an incredibly motivating book which I’m sure quite a few people have heard of, called ‘#GIRLBOSS’ by Sophia Amoruso  which has really helped me to take control of my negative thoughts about setting up my business. I cannot sing enough praises about this book. Thank you Sophia. Man. With the right determination, things will work out. Leave the negative folk behind, and the people that don’t push you to be the best version of yourself. Work hard, play hard. Focussing too much, can sometimes lead to a blurry goal. I just gotta keep at it, and not expect so much of myself all the time. A downfall I have to work on!

Anyway folks, thanks for reading my morning ramble. I hope you enjoy the day ahead!! Kill it! Own it! Rock it! And of course, keep it real!

Much love y’all xxxx

 

 

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #13

Hey folks! Sorry it’s been a few days since I did a post- but with life getting in the way (as it does!), it’s hard to find a time to sit down and type some good things up! So here’s what I’ve been getting up to…

Next Tuesday I will be on BBC Radio 4 with Claudia Hammond for ‘All in the Mind’ discussing mental health in teenagers. Exciting times!!! I will post a link nearer the time, but if you’d like to check out the wpid-img_20151019_194311.jpginfographic, you can do so here. Discussing on a panel of wonderful souls concerning mental health was such a humbling experience. Raising awareness is so important, and it was nice to share parts of my story too. Be sure to tune in on the 27th at 9pm!

I’ve really been focusing on establishing my goods brand Keep Real as a concrete idea, ready to process all my thoughts and ideas into something I think has masses of potential. Once it’s out there, I really hope you love it! Just gotta have the drive and faith to create ❤ I’ve been taking in all the inspiration from my lovely home in Yorkshire, which you’ll see through the brand as a collection.

This week wpid-img_20151020_093301.jpghas also been part of a job search, as I had my second interview at Hollister Co as a Manager in Training. I have my fingers and toes crossed- and I am extremely thankful for whatever way it sways. What a beautiful brand to be interviewed by!

I’m taking every day as it comes, going with the flow and being kind to myself. I am feeling all kinds of good fuzzy vibes lately, and I hope it continues into next week.

I hope this post finds you well, and that your week has been good to you so far!

Sending all my ❤ to you, and as always – keep real! x

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

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #11

Hey you! Here’s a little update post on what’s been going on recently. As some of you have gathered, if you follow me on Instagram that is! I have been profoundly inspired by my long weekend away in Stratford. I took some real good photos while down there, so it’s been lovely to look back on them!

These past few days, I’ve been sketching and scheming my way through designs (take a look at the photos in this post!), looking at internships for next summer (It’s looking like Edinburgh is gonna be the place!) and applying for full time positions in the City. Just trying to gather all my little ideas up and move forward. I’ve been writing a lot and trying to manage a plan for my business. It’s been quite hard for me to develop ideas further, as I’m quite new to starting up my own brand! So I’m being kind to myself and taking it easy. It will progress and Keep Real will be what I want it to be. I just gotta believe in it ❤

I hope you’re having a lovely, and as always – keep real! x

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Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #8

Hello my lovelies! Man, this week has been rad so far! I’ve been having such a wonderful time and there’s so much to be getting on with. Here’s what I’m excited about lately and some updates on my adventures.

I got a beautiful little email this afternoon from Rethink Mental Illnesscropped-wpid-img_20150525_132636.jpg, saying that they are going to publish my post sometime next week! I’ll keep you informed when it is up on their page so you can check it out! It’s all about my experiences with anxiety and how it is possible to come out of the other side. It is possible to break through those barriers you feel you have ❤ I thought to share my experience so it could hopefully help some folk. Plus, I’m training for my fundraising with Rethink- so I’ll be posting up a JustGiving page real soon!

Plus some exciting news concerning my garment and goods brand Keep Real (follow on Twitter and Facebook). Designs are being finalised and selected for the brand new collection. I am so excited about these dotwork illustrations!! I able to tell you that the new collection will be called ‘Brotherhood/Sisterhood’.cropped-wpid-img_20150608_1012111.jpg It’s all about feeling real good, doing good and celebrating the bond we all have with each other. We all stand together. We shouldn’t be tearing our friends down or making other people feel bad because they are on different paths- we should be supporting each other and pushing ourselves and everyone around us to be the best they can be. We are part of a brother/sisterhood and collectively, we all have the ability to stay true to ourselves and be humble in our walks of life. We gotta keep real. 

I will keep you all up to date with my ‘Keepin’ Up With Kimberley’ posts- so have those lovely eyes peeled in your inboxes or wordpress readers!

P.s it would be awesome if you could fill this quick poll in for my blog ❤ Sending you all the love and posi vibes!

 

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #7

Helloooo lovely people! Sorry for the lack of posts- but it was my 21st birthday yesterday (woo!). So I’ve been out celebrating the last few days and spending time with the family. Very blessed to say the least ❤ wpid-img_20150711_092915.jpg

So apart from that what have I been up to!? I submitted a piece for Time To Change as a ‘StoryShort’ which is a little post about my experiences with mental health. My little post may be up at the tail end of Summer, so I’ll keep you posted on that! I think it’s important to share such things, as even an experience like mine could help someone feel not so alone. Anxiety used to be quite a big part of my life in college, but now I feel more confident than ever. Mindfulness has helped a lot, if you’re feeling a bit stressed or find it hard to calm down your day- check out Frantic World.comIt’s a simple form of meditation that can make you feel wonderful inside and out.

With Keep Real, the designs have kicked into overdrive lately, and it’s been such a wonderful experience seeing the collection come together in quite an unexpected way. My style has definitely come through, I am so pleased with the outcome. I have a lot of planning to do, but the designs are grounded and are 80% ready to go! After I’ve posted this, I will be taking down the online store so I can focus on building up a rad as hell site.

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Also with kimmykeepfit, I have been planning my runs and exercise to really go for it. It’s been quite hard lately with the weather, as well as my celebrations too! But it’s important to be patient and be kind to myself. Incorporating mountain bike riding will also help. I used to go mountain bike riding quite a lot in my early teens, so my Dad has offered to go with me as he’s so passionate about it himself. I love how my family push me to do whatever I set my mind to!

Anyway, that’s it for now! I hope this post finds you well.

Keep Real xxx

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #6

It’s been a whirlwind of little events this week. Plusss this weather here in the UK has been crazy! I’ve been designing, reading, working, running and organising some cool thaangs. Everything seems to be in full swing, plus I turn 21 next week! Rad!

I’ve started to read Patti Smith’s Just Kids, which is her autobiography (purchase it here).download (1) Now, this book has been on my wish list for a good year and I have only just got around to purchasing it. So far, I cannot recommend this book enough! In case you don’t know who Patti Smith is, she is an Artist, Writer and Performer (she’s an all-round creative) who gained recognition in the 1970’s in the Punk Rock movement. I find myself reading it whenever I can (mostly on trains and buses!), it leaves me feeling extremely passionate and driven to do what I want to do creatively through Keep Real, as well as work hard and get to where I want to be. If you’re feeling a bit of a creative block, read Patti Smith’s memoir. I cannot praise it enough.

wpid-img_20150701_175503.jpgAlso this week, I’ve been working on some designs for the new collection as well as some pieces for other people. It’s been slow going, as cultivating a theme of mandala inspired works has left me with the laborious task of dotworking large pieces bigger than my head! It’s quite therapeutic creating what I’m creating though. I’ve been trying out varied techniques such as cross-hatching, which so far seems to be working a treat!  wpid-img_20150704_121440.jpg

Last night I had the privilege of seeing Alkaline Trio and NOFX at the 02 Academy in Leeds. The last time I saw Alkaline Trio, it was 2008 and I was the ripe ol’ age of fourteen. I remember them playing at a festival in Sheffield and hearing ‘Time To Waste’ which blew my tiny little mind. So to see them now at nearly 21- brought back a lot of memories of being that awkward teenager who still wore fake converse and studded belts. NOFX however, were incredible. I did get a little battered in the pit- but I LOVED it. Probably the most fun I’ve had at a gig in a long time.

I’m also organising which events I will be running in to raise money for Rethink Mental Illness. I have to calculate how long it will take me to have the justified amount of physical health, in order to for me to feel comfortable in running. I’m thinking of doing a 5k run, then a 10k run later in the year. Plus I want to do the Three Peaks Challenge next year! It has been fairly hot temperatures lately, but doing a tiny mile run round the woods near my home should be sufficient in the meantime every day.

Hope you are well and as always- Keep Real! x