Social Media, Self Esteem & Mental Health

Shaun Rhatigan is an aspiring journalist with a keen interest in mental health. He also happens to be one of the most thoughtful people I have the pleasure of calling one of my dear friends! Here, he goes in depth concerning the positives and negatives of social media.

We have all undoubtedly experienced the negative effects that social media can have on our self-esteem and mental health. Researching for this blog I spoke to plenty of people who admitted spending hours perfecting their selfies, gaining self-validation based solely on how many likes they received. I’ve been guilty of this too, deleting photos and posts that got little or no attention from friends, leaving me feeling uninteresting and questioning my own self-worth.

With that being said, I don’t want to use this post to focus on only the doom and gloom of social media. Instead I want to show how it can be used to empower those dealing with mental health difficulties and highlight the positive impact it can have on your life. After all, staying positive is key!

One way social media helps me is following inspirational or funny quotes. Starting your day reading a hilarious tweet or Instagram post won’t just put a grin on your face, it will put you in a positive mood to get the most out of your day. Similarly, when faced with daunting tasks reading an inspirational quote can give you the motivation or boost to keep going. A tip for this is to screen-shot posts that have the greatest impact on you, so they are at your disposal whenever you need them. One of my personal favourites- “Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get back up.”

For those of us who struggle with face to face social interactions, social media gives you a great opportunity to connect with others without the worry of revealing your identity. It’s so important to express yourself but not everyone feels as comfortable doing so as others.  Social media opens the doors to groups and forums where you can discuss what’s on your mind or just find out if others are feeling the same way as you without the attached stigma (Check out the MentalHealthForum.com). Away from discussing mental health, joining groups where people share your interests (be it Star Wars, Art or Fashion) is a great way to mingle with others and bond over common ground whilst building your confidence and eliminating thoughts of isolation and loneliness.

Something else we might all be guilty of is preoccupy ourselves by aimlessly scrolling through our news feed. Although looking at how sloshed you and your friends got last week is fun, it’s important not to forget how much valuable information and support is at your fingertips. Organisations such as ‘YoungMinds’ and ‘PAPYRUS’ are doing great work on their social media pages by sharing campaigns, stories and advice. ‘SANE’ is another fantastic organisation that offers support through anonymous forums, their YouTube channel and text care. I can also highly recommend checking out ‘HeadMeds’ which offers easily accessible information on medication and mental health issues. These posts can not only help you get whatever support you need, they are also helping smash the stigma that surrounds mental health as people become increasingly knowledgeable on the subject.

These are just a few ways you can use social media to share with others and experiment with different forms of self-express. I’m not saying the problems aren’t there, but I do believe social media is not the big bad that we are led to believe. As with anything in life, approach social media with a positive attitude and you will reap the positive outcomes!!

 

You can follow Shaun here on Twitter and Instagram

 

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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Caught Up In Social Media

Hey folks! How y’all doing? I thought I’d post a little personal one for tonight about how I’m feeling recently. Now, I do realise that most of my posts are centred around mental wellness and tips on how to stay all good- but that doesn’t mean that I personally feel good all of the time! It’s impossible, and feeling rad comes with feeling bad too. They’re hand in hand, and it’s knowing the balance between the two that brings a certain harmony. Just being mindful of your thoughts and feelings allows you to go with your natural flow ❤

Even though my anxiety is for me, very tame and rarely rearing it’s head these past couple of years, there does seem to be a lil’ anxiety coming from social media lately. If some of you follow me on Instagram or even on Tumblr, you can tell from the content, I like to post photos related to my day to day activities or illustration! However, if I’m feeling good I’ll go ahead and post a ‘seflie’ here and there. But sometimes, I feel a real sense of being caught up in the world of social media. Clicking and scrolling my way through pages of content, it can be real hard to put my phone down.

Caught yourself looking at notifications for recognition or those ‘likes’ received? You’re not the only one. I’ve stopped notifications on my phone from social media now, however with my business Keep Real- I feel like I have to be constantly on the ball with it. It’s trying to find the balance between reality and your platforms online. Sometimes, finding that balance is tough. With our world communicating constantly through different networks- it really is hard to keep up.

We’re in an age where Facebook is just a given. When someone tells you they haven’t got a Facebook- you’re absolutely astounded! Why haven’t they got a profile!? Oh…you don’t have a Twitter? Are you living under a rock!?!? You have to take a step back and realise how involved you are in the world of social media. Is it taking up quite a big part of your day? Do you feel like you cannot go a day without checking your platforms?

I’ve been asking myself these questions, and feel more at ease with my web presence, and in general with my online platforms. Log out, see the world around you. Because it’s flippin beautiful and you’re missing it.

As always, sending my love to y’all- and keep real! x

GIVEAWAY!

As a thank you to all my beautiful followers so far on my blog ‘kimmykeepreal’, and to those that just check in to see what I’m up to- I’m giving three lucky folk the chance to win some Keep Real goodies!!
wpid-img_20150405_164431.jpgThese include two of the following:

  • Headdress Dotwork Tee (subject to availability- only 1 Small left!)
  • Art Print seen in store- as well as not seen!
  • Moon Dotwork Tote Bag

So what two things do you have to do?

REBLOG / SHARE this post on any social media platform! (This can be through reblogging on Wordpress, Twitter by retweeting the giveaway post, instagram by reposting the GIVEAWAY photo and using the hashtag #keeprealgiveaway, facebook by reposting, or via Tumblr by reblogging.

LIKE on Facebook here OR FOLLOW on Instagram here

It’s that simple! You have until the 17th June and you can reblog/share as much as you like. I will be picking three people at random and will announce the winners on the 18th. Shipping is worldwide too

Again, thank you so much for following the journey of light, positivity and good vibes with Keep Real. So much love to you all- and good luck!

(p.s- if you haven’t checked out what you could be winning- take a look here!)

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #1

So my little cherubs, I’ve officially finished my degree- and how lovely to have been given a First for my dissertation! All that is left, is to graduate in July! Hard work has definitely payed off and I’m ready to start my next journey.

With my business Keep Real, I have now signed all the papers so I am now based in the Buckley Innovation Centre in Huddersfield, contracted for a year. A place to do my work and focus on building up KR as a brand of positivity! You can also write to me too which is rad! I wpid-img_20150506_182507.jpghave my own little pigeon hole where I get post from folk or notes from my business advisor (you can find the address here on my Facebook page).

Designs are also in full swing and I plan on creating plenty of mood boards and quirky little look books to get an overall theme for the new collection. I’m so excited to start up!

So many ideas ready to get going on with and I really hope you guys enjoy the products as much as I have been designing and cultivating them. It wpid-img_20150506_104813.jpgwon’t just be garments for guys and girls, but other goods too. I’ll be posting everything on my Instagram, so keep a close eye over the coming months for sneak peeks, design processes and rad snaps!

I also want to say a mahooosive thank you for following my journey of positivity, light and Keep Real. Stay golden lovelies and keep those eyes peeled! ❤