It’s Allll Ok: Sadness & Why We Need It!

Sometimes life can throw some mega curve balls our way, sometimes it can sail along fine and dandy, and other times it can really suck. But days do get better. They truly do. The first step, is to say that you truly can. When we start believing that things will be good, or will be better- they will be. You have no idea how much power you hold in the present moment, and ultimately in your future. Yeah, that may be a little daunting,Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 20.55.31 but it’s surprising what our minds can do.

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.”- Mahatma Gandhi

Sadness as one of our six basic emotions (happiness, anger, fear, disgust and surprise as the other five) and is just part of who we are. There’s no escaping it, and it’s a very natural response to things that make us feel things from hopeless, despair and disappointment to loss and grief. It’s an emotion we all want to shake. No one likes to feel it! We all say hell nawww to all of that, but that’s where we go wrong. It feels all uncomfortable because we can’t control it like we can control happiness. We want all the happiness all of the time! But we have to understand that sadness is a natural response which will pass. Have patience and be gentle with yourself. 

Sometimes, we don’t even know why we’re upset- and that’s ok. You’re not weird, or silly and don’t ever apologise for how you feel. Remind yourself that it’s all ok. It’s important to allow yourself to feel whatever you feel.

I will leave with you my favourite quote by a brilliant man named Osho. Take care you ❤

“Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.”

 

A Reflection on Being Butt-hurt.

Hey folks! I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend so far!

As a lil’ lady who is continuously learning about herself, it’s extremely hard to discuss topics that I’m still, well, learning about! It’s soul- baring, and I feel all vulnerable discussing it. I’d like to think I’m self aware, or at least know my own strengths and weaknesses in every day terms, but in a perspective concerning relationships- it’s still something that is developing all the time.

I pride myself on my independence, and being comfortable in my own skin. Which is very true indeed! As some of you know, I was a bundle of nerves and my anxiety was at it’s highest in college years. In other articles/posts, I have stated that it affected my Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 14.56.11relationships, which it definitely did. I look back at that time now, and think how much of a different person I am now. I’m unashamed of my easy going attitude towards everything, I’m confident and chilled out in a mushy-cool combination (or at least I’d like to think so!), I go with the flow- if a guy comes along that I really like, sweet! If not, that’s cool too- because what will happen, will happen ❤ However it has been a slight downfall in relationships where my kindness/ easy going attitude has been taken for granted, or really taken advantage of. And that’s my reflection. It aint cool. It’s not 100% ‘rejection’, its someone manipulating the good within you for selfish reasons. I was butt hurt, and it succkkkkeedd. It hurt my lil’ soul.

Everyone has a fear of rejection/ feelings not returned, but it’s how you deal with it that determines the overall outcome. Learn from it, grow- but also let yourself feel! This has been on my mind from the experience. When someone betrays your trust, or plays on your personality, it flippin sucks. It sucks big time, no matter the circumstance. It’s alright to rationalise an experience by saying ‘some people are not meant to be in your life’ and ‘hurt people, hurt people’ (which are all very true sayings), you have to let yourself feel hurt. This, in my very personal experience, is something I’ve been working on. It feels uncomfortable and has a weird feeling in your stomach, but it’s so important to experience it (Psychologies has a great article about coming back from rejection here). It’s left me a little guarded as a person lately, but I’m taking it within my stride. We’re not all perfect people, it’s taken me a while to admit this butt-hurt. I’m still rolling with the punches and slaying my way through each week the best I can!

Remember, you’re growing as a human being every day. Every day. Sometimes, things don’t go the way you planned, and you have to be very mindful of your actions and reactions. Be gentle, be kind, be yourself. As much as being butt-hurt sucks, don’t react with anger or hate. Take a step back and remember your self worth, and treat the situation with as much goodness as you can. But also stand up for yourself too! ❤ You will come out of a bad experience with more perspective, ready to go with the flow of the world that awaits!

Anyway sweetpeas, I will leave it there ❤ sending all my love to you all!

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Started Shopping Ethical/Sustainable

Hi folks! I am feeling much better lately, thank you so much for the messages of love and goodness ❤ I wanted to share with you my views of shopping in a conscious way. Being mindful mentally goes right into how I shop and why I shop for clothing and goods. It’s also why my business Keep Real is aiming to be as sustainable as possible.

Most of us think we should care about where our clothes come from. But a lot of the time, we don’t. This is the common ground we all share, and the feedback I got from my Keep Real focus group yesterday (which I will review in another post I think!). We want to care, but because of our shopping environments that have been forced upon us- we also feel we don’t have a choice.

Looking for the latest trend, and having the habit of eyeing up the inner labels of the garments- can actually be quite off putting as a conscious shopper. I personally love shopping, trying pieces on and feeling real good about my choices. But are my choices making me truly feel good? I check the labels in the fast fashion chains like Primark or Topshop for example and knowing that they are not sustainable is so disheartening. If only all our clothes we select when shopping were ethically/socially conscious, so we didn’t have to second guess the majority of the time.

Most of us think we should care about where our clothes come from, but because our shopping environments don’t really give us that option- we feel we don’t have a choice.

It surprises me that everywhere I go, apart from H&M having an extremely small ‘Conscious’ collection, that brands continue to produce collections that aren’t ethically sourced. The big chains have a lot of money to make conscious decisions. However, they exploit their workers in other countries, contribute to being the second largest polluter in the world as an industry, and use materials that aren’t fantastic for the environment. Why are we actively buying into this? It’s because we can’t actively see it. We see the clothes on the rails, and the prices on the tags.Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 19.31.57

It makes me upset, to be a small business start-up trying to do the best in making the better decisions- when such large companies could make the changes with every season to develop and improve the ways they produce their clothes.
I find it easier to shop ethically for skin care/beauty products- for example, Lush Cosmetics, The Bodyshop and the cruelty-free brand Barry M Cosmetics here in the UK.
Fashion as one of the largest industries in the world, it can be tough to change the ways which have been working ‘effectively’ for many years. But being responsible should have been common sense from the start. This is why it is so important for businesses right now to make the changes from the very beginning. It makes me so proud to see people making more conscious decisions, I know it can be hard to gradually create a sustainable wardrobe but you’re making the right step by just thinking about it!

This is why I shop sustainable/eco fashion/ethical/socially conscious brands. Because you know what you’re buying into, you’re contributing to improving the environment, to workers better wages and making yourself feel good too ❤

Next I’ll be discussing my favourite sustainable brands and why I shop from them ❤

Peace is Every Breath

Here’s a quote from Hans Nhat Thich that I wanted to share with you folks ❤

“If you know how to be happy with the wonders of life that are already there for you to enjoy, you don’t need to stress your mind and your body by striving harder and harder, and you don’t need to stress this planet by purchasing more and more stuff. The Earth belongs to our children. We have already borrowed too much from it, from them; and the way things have been going, we’re not sure we’ll be able to give it back to them in decent shape. And who are our children, actually? They are us, because they are our own continuation. So we’ve been shortchanging our own selves. Much of our modern way of life is permeated by mindless overborrowing. The more we borrow, the more we lose. That’s why it’s critical that we wake up and see we don’t need to do that anymore. What’s already available in the here and now is plenty for us to be nourished, to be happy. Only that kind of insight will get us, each one of us, to stop engaging in the compulsive, self-sabotaging behaviors of our species. We need a collective awakening. One Buddha is not enough. All of us have to become Buddhas in order for our planet to have a chance. Fortunately, we have the power to wake up, to touch enlightenment from moment to moment, in our very own ordinary and, yes, busy lives. So let’s start right now. Peace is your every breath.”

 

Self Awareness & Development

Hey y’all. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend so far! I wanted to share with you my thoughts on self awareness, as I think it’s very important to everyones wellbeing. We studied ‘the self’ quite extensively in my Counselling degree; and self development is atumblr_n52j4gnAML1r5gmiko1_500 major learning journey. Not just for those wishing to become helpers, counsellors or therapists- but for any beautiful being in this world. You wanna know more about yourself? Well here’s a little how-to and a bit of know-how, from my tiny point of view. (If this triggers anything for you, or you find this a little daunting at all, please go to my page of helplines who are there to talk whenever you wish) ❤

“Self-awareness is a continuing process of improvement, not arriving at a given state of awareness.”

This quote is sooooo important. Many folk who are trying to learn about themselves more, or reach this ‘enlightenment’ will find that they will never obtain this state of being. It is a continuous and ever evolving process. How cool is that though!? That we are continuously evolving as human beings, growing and developing! However, when people think of ‘self awareness’ this misconception is where folk go wrong. Because it’s not about achieving, it’s all about the process. It shouldn’t be rushed or forced, but a cool part of being you. Enjoy what’s going on! Learn and growwww. It may feel weird, but it’s rad to know more about who you are. From the weird and quirky, to the assertive and sweet. There is no wrong answer, because we are who we are. Rock it!

Although we feel most at risk when we contemplate baring our soul to others, it is, paradoxically, from the genuine responses of others that we stand to learn something about ourselves.

We have to feel safe when we expose ourselves for all we are. Fears, dreams, values, attitudes, even our sexuality. Have you ever had it where someone has pointed out a mannerism, flaw or a positive thing about you- that you didn’t really notice about yourself? I remember something as small as someone pointing out I use my hands a lot when I talk to or when I’m in conversation. This is a form of self-awareness, and people around you can help you there. I must reiterate, that we need to feel safe and trust those around us, feel mega comfortable. We don’t have to do self-exploration with others, in small groups or in a pair- we can do this by ourselves too. Write some things down. We have to be honest with ourselves. Be kind to yourself first my dear!! ❤262005_947454b3639547eda1d2775e6a535fdb

Ask yourself some questions first. It can be a little scary or even daunting to ask yourself some questions, but do not rush. A greater understanding of yourself is a wonderful thing ❤  for examplleeee

  • Are you satisfied with being who you are?
  • Are you comfortable with the age you are now?
  • What are your fundamental beliefs? How did you acquire them?
  • What life experiences are significant for you and why?

Be gentle with yourself, and take care ❤

Self Love

It’s so much easier to love other people, than to love ourselves. It sucks, but it’s true. Unconditional love is a complete and whole love without limitations. Accepting ourselves is so important, and unconditional love comes from within, before we can completely and  unconditionally love others. Go with your gut, trust yourself and accept all of the things that make up who you are as a person (that’s your bad habits and flaws too!). Remember, your body is a beautiful thing. It heals you without any conscious thought. You’re here breathing, and moving your eyes along the screen. Your body is your temple, and it’s worshipping you every day!Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 12.47.51.png

Feeling comfortable in your own skin is difficult, but important to your wellness. We always pick out our flaws as a person, then cannot understand why others do not see them as strongly as we do, if at all. For example, If I’m worried about my skin, or a bad habit I have- my friends seem baffled. I think a lovely way to the journey of self love is the saying ‘treat yourself how you would treat your best friend’. We all have days where we’re not so confident in ourselves, and feel uncomfortable in our bodies. It’s ok. Who is 100% happy with themselves all of the time? No one. Treat yourself with kindness, and the world will bring it back to you in abundance. Be gentle, you’re doing so well already ❤

We need to feel secure in ourselves, so it’s that little bit easier to not rely on others for happiness. If we constantly look to others for acceptance, how will we truly learn to love ourselves? We need to seek it within, so loving becomes such a wonderful and rad thing.

Be gentle with yourself, you ❤

March Mental Health Essentials

Holy moly, we’re into another month already! I always feel like this time of year goes so so quickly. What better way to start another month off, by doing a lil’ list of essentials I think will help your month ahead! Take care of yourself you, and as always – keep real! ❤

  • Reflect– With another month beginning, it can be extremely beneficial to take a moment, and reflect on the month before. What have you done that’s real cool? Anything that you have learned, or some event that you were like ‘oh yeah, that was a fun day!’. Even if it’s the little things, reflect on the good stuff. img_20160301_175441.jpg
  • Plan ahead– What have you got in store for March? Personally, I love seeing what’s on my calendar, if there are any goals I want to achieve within a specific time frame. Whether that’s wanting to meet a deadline for some work, organising a get together with friends, or to simply read that book that’s been accumulating dust on your bookshelf. Little plans can give you structure for your month, and it feels real good to know some lovely things ahead!
  • Be kind to yourself – I know that when we’re working, or when we’re running around trying to get everything done- we get real stressed and tend to be quite hard on ourselves. Slow it down, and take some deep breaths. Allow yourself to have breaks, and make time for you and you alone. As Buddha says ‘there is no pain like disharmony’, we have to take care of ourselves and live in harmony with our minds. We live most of our lives inside our own heads, so let’s make sure they’re nice places to be. How about trying a Mindfulness Journal?
  • Allow yourself to feel – This goes with being kind to yourself. Are you having a good day? A bad day? An everything is not going right kinda day? It’s ok. Allow yourself to have these feelings and moments. It can be frustrating I know, but when we accept ourselves it actually makes us feel better. Let yourself be bummed out, don’t struggle against your sadness or stress. Sit with it. Being human is a complicated mush of emotion, and we even get upset and not really know why. But it’s gonna be ok. Days do get better, having a bad day doesn’t mean you have a bad life ❤ take time out and allow yourself to feel whatever you feel ❤

After The Rush

Hey folks, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!! I’ve personally been laying low on the blogging front, as I’ve been working like mad before the rush of festivities and due to personal reasons, have taken a gap out to spend more time with the family. My heart has been elsewhere, but I’m sure you’ve been busy soaking up all the food, drinks, love and presents!

So after the rush of Christmas, what now?

Perhaps you’re already thinking of 2016, what it will bring, what you want to happen. Or maybe you’re thinking of nursing that food baby, and regretting your decision to eat the whole trifle with the last of that chocolate log your Grandma made you.

Whatever you’re thinking of, I hope you feel all that festive fuzz and enjoy each and every moment. The important thing is, is to focus on the present. Enjoy what’s happening now. Take some deep breaths, and go with the flow.

After the Christmas period, and after the New Year too- we also put pressure on ourselves to make resolutions, and perhaps regret some decisions made the year gone by. We regret we spent too much in the sales, ate too much, drank too much, did that thing in summer you wish you hadn’t or maybe regretted something you wish happened. There’s so much we wish happened differently, and it sucks that by the end of the year, our thoughts are sometimes consumed with the negativity of the year instead of the good.

2015, the 365 days you had, has made you who you are; right here, right now. Do not regret, or feel that you wish things were different. Celebrate what you have done, or haven’t, and grow from your experiences. There is so much more to come, and what possibilities to look forward to! Who knows what 2016 brings. How exciting is that?! That you are awaiting experiences you’ve never had, opportunities that are yet to come, and dreams waiting to be made a reality.

❤ you can do this, reflect on 2015 with a smile and be thankful of your year to come.

Sending all my ❤ to you and your families. Thank you for reading and as always – keep real! xxxx

Anxiety and University

Afternoon folks, hope you are all enjoying your week so far! If you’ve been following my blog a while, or have read my personal post over on Rethink and/or heard my broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind concerning teenage mental health- you will know that during my first year at University, I struggled with anxiety. After seeking help through the University’s well-being services, I sought Counselling which turned out to be mindfulness based. I still practice mindfulness every day! I wouldn’t say anxiety is a part of my life as much as it had been, but sometimes it plays a role. It’s a natural part to life, like wanting to be on time for work or passing an exam. It’s just the balance of managing and being aware of your responses to it.

I found an article that was published in the Guardian quite recently discussing anxiety and University that I thought would be a great read. It also has 10 Tips for Anxious Students at the bottom of the page. Click here for the article.

Happy reading folks! Much love, and as always – keep real! ❤ x

Winter Blues – How To Beat It!

Hey folks! I hope this post finds you well! It’s been a week or so since my last post- but I have much planned to fill this blog up with some lil’ tips and posts full of mental wellness and motivation!

It’s mid November already! Can you believe it?! Most folk struggle more with their mental health (as well as physical too!) in the winter months. However, despite this ongoing problem that quite a lot of us experience, with a mild form of ‘winter blues’, some of us also experience SAD this time of year. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD, or otherwise known as summertime sadness or seasonal depression) is a form of depression that here in the UK, is said to affect about 1 in 15 people. There are many forms of depression, which can find here on Rethink. Symptoms for SAD generally appear between September and November, and continue until March or April, when there may be a sudden burst of energy and activity wpid-img_20151022_220531.jpgaccompanying the longer, brighter spring and summer days. Symptoms can include lethargy, loss of concentration, sleep problems, anxiety and social problems (please find more information over at the Mental Health Foundation)

We all feel down now and then, but winter for some can be quite a difficult time, with or without a diagnosed mental health problem. We all have to take care of ourselves the best we can ❤ Here are 3 key tips to keep you going, and to cope with the longer days and colder nights
. Be safe folks, and stay well.

  1. Try get outside in the daylight if you can. Even if its that small lunch break at work, soak up as much natural daylight as possible. If not outside, sit near the windows if possible and chose colours in your room that are pale to reflect light from outside. ❤
  2. Keep warm. Wrap yourself up with all your jumpers, scarves and hats- like the warmest little burrito possible! Hot drinks and food will also fill that wonderful tummy up of yours. Whether that be hot chocolate, green tea, broths, soups- you name it! Eat up and stay snug.
  3. Stay active. I know it’s cold and very chilly on the bones- but you gotta move about! Whether that be running up and down the stairs a few times, doing yoga, going for a walk round your house, or doing some stretches. One hour’s walk in the middle of the day can be just as helpful as light treatment or therapy.