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.

Rad Lessons Learned (so far)

Hello lovely followers, hope you are well! I thought I’d do a cool little post on reflections and (if I can) give you insight into some advice or lessons I have learned over the course of my experiences. I can pinpoint every single lesson and whatwpid-img_20150720_122637.jpg each meant to me at the time. I’d go far as to say the lessons I have learned are pivotal in the experiences I have now!

  1. Trust your gut. Now this one for me is ridiculously accurate. My mum actually told me this many years ago, and she could not have been more right. No matter the situation, whether it be a break up or choosing to go for something you’re not sure about- the gut is the key. Bit weird, I know. But if something doesn’t feel right, that gut of yours knows what’s best for you! Your gut instinct is intuition, the innate wisdom we all possess. Your body is telling you something, so go with it!
  2. Go with the flow. When I had trouble with anxiety I found it so hard to live in the moment. It was hard to focus on the present, when I was so busy worrying about the future. But now the present is all I focus on. It’s so important to be accepting of past experiences to make way for the your experiences right here, right now. Don’t hold those grudges, accept what is and I’m pretty sure your future will go in the path it’s supposed to. Go with the flow of each day ❤
  3. Think good things & good things will come back to you. This lesson I’ve learned through my years of University. This principle is also in effect of being kind and kind things will be returned. Whatever you put out into the world, will come back to you in abundance. I’ve had such a good year all because of my attitude towards it. I’ve had opportunities I never thought I’d have, but it’s all about how you view the world and be within it. Don’t be a dingbat and hate the world, you’re capable of such amazing things! So show the world that you are and look what will be returned.
  4. If you do not ask, you shall not receive. The opportunities I have had with design, my academic work and all my other endeavours is all down to just going for it. If I hadn’t have thought to email To Write Love On Her Arms about what I want to do with Keep Real- would I have ever dreamed of the reply I got? No. They said ‘We are very inspired that you want to help people because you know how hard it is to ask for help. We love your heart and your enthusiasm for mental health and we want to commend you for starting your own business, Keep Real.’ I’m glad I just thought to email them. Yeah, sometimes you won’t get replies or responses you want from asking, but the whole point is to just go for it (or as Shia LeBeouf tells us to JUST DO IT).
  5. Believe in yourself. The last lesson I think is highly important. It ties in with quite a few of my lessons learned. But holy moly is this one crucial! If I didn’t believe in myself, I would not have started Keep Real, gone to University, applied for the jobs I now have or designed for the people I have. Be confident in your abilities! Noticing your weaknesses are your strengths! Check out my post of my favourite quotes here for a bit of posi inspo. If ya start believin’, you’ll start achievin’.

Do you have any lessons you have learned over the years that have stuck with you? I’d love to hear your comments! ❤

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #5

wpid-img_20150618_111913.jpg
working on a commission this week!

Hello lovelies! Man it’s been a crazy week. I have just one week left until I move out of Huddersfield to go back home after the University life!

I’ve been working on a real cool commission for a living room piece (pictured). It’s right up my alley with the whole botanical/mandala vibes going on. It’s become more intricate than I initially thought, but I cannot wait to finish it! Soooo many detailllsss!

There’s so much to look forward to, I have my 21st coming up near the beginning of July then I have my graduation! It only hit me yesterday I don’t have much time left. Student life over- now I gotta get ready for new beginnings!

Speaking of new beginnings, I want to congratulate my dear friend Ayshe- who got ENGAGED this week!!! I can’t believe she will be getting married! I wish her all the wpid-img_20150617_181808.jpghappiness in the world- it was lovely to hang out and catch up after quite a while ❤

This week has ended up being quite an emotional one for me. It’s a fairly overwhelming experience to finish my degree in Counselling Therapy and move onwards. Looking back into the year with working two jobs, finishing a degree, working on Keep Real amongst other things all at the same time, it’s just unbelievable how far I’ve come personally. I work hard to get by, to follow my passions alongside a degree and two jobs. I have become more resilient and determined to get where I want to be.

There is so much more to explore and do! I cannot wait to share with you more adventures and happenings with Keep Real!

So much love to you all ❤

Be Radiant!!

You were given life; it is your duty to find something beautiful within it, no matter how slight. – Elizabeth Gilbert

I have always believed if you radiate good vibes and treat yourself and others with kindness, good things will always find their way back to you. I guess you could call it karma, the principle of causality. It flows with the same principle as motivation in a way. How would you know you’d be good at something if you have never put yourself out there? Without action, there is no consequence- good or bad. Now what kind of life is that?! It’s safe and it’s in the comfort zone. If you’re happy with it, then that’s all cool. But if you have aspirations and dreams that you aint fulfilling, you need to get off that pretty little bum and do something about it!

Be good, stay well and forever keep real ❤

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared- Buddha

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #3

Hey lovelies, hope you are all well! I’ve managed to be quite the busy lady lately, as I’m moving out of my house and going back home to my family for a while. The University life has come to an end, so it’s time to pack up my bags and get back to the shire until I move out after Christmas! Plus, I’ve been working both my jobs and making the most of the West Yorkshire life (which means lots of wine, lots of friends…and lots more wine)!

With the giveaway of last year’s collection happening at the moment, I’ve been doing a hell of a lot of scrapbooking for the new collection. I’ve accumulated a huuuggeee amount of labels, wpid-img_20150604_184839.jpgsketches from KR, notes and cards from different independent brands and local stores. It’s a great source of inspiration for new ideas or ways to evolve the Keep Real brand. Research is key!

Also, I’ve become an Activist for Mental Health with ReThink Mental Illness!! I’m trying to find ways of raising money for charities at the moment- but blogging about mental health is so so important to me. Let’s see where the Activist journey takes me!

I’ve been doing a lot reading recently- especially ‘The Quantum Universe- Everything That Can Happen, Does Happen’ by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw (you can purchase it here). Its so beautifully written, with the advantages of not making the reader think their IQ doesn’t qualify for such a read. It talks about quantum physics, coursing through topics of historical beginnings to understanding what surrounds us today. My mind has been blown this week, so thanks Brian & Jeff!

I haven’t had the chance to do mindfulness mediation recently, and in all honesty I’ve noticed the difference. I still feel good and take the time out to write, wpid-img_20150604_185243.jpgbut man is my sleeping game poor! I’m restless and unable to sleep the night through. It’s time to get back into meditation to heal my little hobbit soul.

Hope you are all well and having a wonderful time, wherever you are in the world ❤

Love Yourself

Hello you beautiful souls!
Ah, ‘love’. Probably the most powerful emotion we feel. It can be unconditional, potent and overwhelming. It sinks through our skin and pours out of us like some kind of tidal passion, which influences our lives whether we want it to or not. ‘Love makes the world go round’. They aint’ wrong.

It cannot be bought or sold; there is nothing it cannot face; love is life’s greatest blessing.- Catherine Wybourne

Such a powerful thing, yet when it comes to loving ourselves- we find it difficult and hard to do. We bruise our own capabilities, passions and aesthetics but find it easier to love and accept others. You are a source of wonderful things!! Love, forgive and accept. Create a strong relationship with yourself, and love will come back to you in abundance ❤

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #2

So it’s official, kimmykeepreal.com! ❤

I’ve been designing away and getting down and dotty (heh) with my artwork. Really focusing on key pieces to bring to the collection, from t-shirts and crop tops to notebooks and accessories. At this stage, its all about the grafting and wwpid-img_20150525_132636.jpgorking on finding the right materials and fit for all you guys and gals. Patience is a virtue at this point, so I wanna be 112% happy with the overall outcome of Keep Real’s first positive goods collection.

Last years collection when I first started Keep Real, was just a tester to figure out what products and designs I could ultimately create (you can have a peek at some existing products that are now on sale here!). In my mindset, I wanted to give back with some of the products, such as giving 10% of each art print sold to Mind, the mental health charity here in the UK. I am still working towards raising money and awareness for mental health. This is so important to the Keep Real brand! Promoting a healthy relationship with yourself and others is key to Keepin’ It Real ❤

As well as designing the new collection, I also got another design by the amazing Niall Shannon tattooed! Bit of a celebration of finishing my degreewpid-img_20150523_184438.jpg and working so hard. The moth is a wonderful symbol of the soul and its transforming course. It follows the light, and that is where my journey goes too. I just knew I had to get this! A wonderful end to three years and a new beginning.

I’ve had a crazy week of working, designing and seeing some beautiful people. I’m ready for another wonderful week and I hope you are too. Let’s do this!

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.- Arthur Ashe

Let’s Do This!

Morning folks! (Or afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world!). It’s easy to talk about things you want to do- but not necessarily when it comes to ‘going for it’ and taking the plunge into your aspirations. Talking and doing is not the same thing! So let’s see if we can change that around and start reaching our goals one step at a time!

“There is no royal road to anything. One thing at a time, all things in succession. That which grows fast, withers as rapidly. That which grows slowly, endures.” – Josiah Gilbert Holland

Slow things down. Who ever said greatness is rushed? Refine your strengths and be aware of your weaknesses. You (yes, you!) have the power to achievetumblr_n3lopr0UUl1rkm4r8o1_500 whatever you set your mind to. You wanna travel the world? Travel it. You wanna apply for your dream job? Apply for it. The only limit is your own mind most of the time. Don’t be put off by the word ‘failure’. Just because things are not happening right now, doesn’t mean that they won’t. Be kind to yourself, and take things one day at a time. ‘Failure’ is only the word used for people who have not tried. Learn from the experiences and endure!

It’s all easier said than done as they all say. Which it is! But I shall leave you with this quote and leave you to decide if today is the day, in taking steps to reaching your goals. Recognise what they are and take your time with them, be kind and keep on going (and keep real of course). ❤

If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse

Senti(mental) Health

Hello my lovelies! Hope you’ve all been keepin’ well and keepin’ real.

I stumbled across a box of letters I’ve been keeping these past three years. It started at the beginning of University when I moved away from home, right up until now- where I’ve finishedwpid-img_20150520_180337.jpg my degree! The majority of the letters are from both sets of Grandparents, some are from other relatives and friends. What a beautiful way to keep in touch! Reading through all of them and delving into all the past letters brought a smile and plenty of memories back.

Writing letters and the act of writing can be an extremely cathartic process for many. Even though it is one way of communication, it is also great for your mental health! It’s fulfilling, wonderful and full of positivity. Especially when writing to loved ones, or even just to write letters for yourself. Writing down how you feel, or writing a note or letter for someone is just a beautiful thing to do. You can put anything and everything you want down on that piece of paper. It’s total free will and there isn’t much else that can be more liberating as a person.

You can pour your soul into those words, your hopes, dreams and frustrations. wpid-img_20150520_175727.jpgCompared to the rush of an email or a text it is so much more powerful. Feeling that pen in your hand and taking the time to write it all out, is a process which is sadly lacking in this age. But it is ssssoooo good for you! Whether it’s to catch up with family and friends, or to write down in a diary your thoughts and aspirations- the act of writing is an influential tool to the freedom of the self and expressing sentiment.

It is a profound act of expression. We tend to dwell on past experiences or problems that we cannot see the solution to. Sometimes our heads are so full of thoughts, we cannot see a form of resolve. However, writing down relieves the feelings of inhibition and gives us a greater perspective of our experiences. You can write and write some more, the power is with you. You don’t have to be fantastic at grammar or have fancy handwriting- you just have to be you.

Let those words flow, whether it’s for yourself or to family or friends. It’s good for the soul ❤

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! ❤