Saturday, 24 December 2016

Anxiety: An update

There have been a few light bulb moments for me with my anxiety. I've realised a lot of things and still learning others. For me there are times I know I will be around a trigger and sometimes new things seem to set anxiety attacks off.

So here's what I have learnt:

- I am a lot more capable than I give myself credit for. I recently went to the cinema, which ordinarily would be a trigger for me. I usually hate going because I know it will be busy, I don't like the sense of being in the dark and people I don't know sitting around me for a long period of time. Halfway through I was so tempted just to stand up and walk out. But I didn't, mainly because my boyfriend was there to hold my hand, telling me to breathe. But also because I was determined to prove to myself I could do it.

-I can do things I never thought I would be able to. I started work a few weeks ago. I never thought I'd end up working in a secondary school. It is where some of my most painful memories were and I thought being in that environment again history would repeat itself. But it hasn't, so far I've only had a couple bad days where I felt like going home, but I stuck through it. Much like the cinema situation, sitting in assemblies is another trigger for me. But I spoke to management about it and they were happy for me to sit elsewhere. Which helped me see I can be a little more open about my feelings.

-People care about me. Now obviously I know people do, but on my bad days I feel a complete burden, useless and not worth anyones time. But that's just not true, people care about me and how I feel.

I'm still learning to talk to people. There are times I'm feeling down and I just can't put into words how I am feeling. It isn't a thing I can put into words, But I am trying, I've started a journal which should hopefully help. Next time I'm struggling I can write it all down, ramble as much as I like in whatever thought train my brain takes me and show it to whoever is asking. If they look a bit taken aback, it'll help me show just how hard it is to express myself.

Sorry this has been a bit rambly again, but as always if it helps you in any way it's what its here for.


Friday, 4 November 2016

Why I prefer to stay in at the weekends

It's Friday/ Saturday night. What are you doing? Some people are curled up watching films, others are getting ready for a night out to go to various pubs and clubs. Me? I'm usually the first one, already in my pyjamas as soon as dinner is finished, ready to watch films or TV shows all night.

But I wasn't always like that, there was a time I used to go out nearly every weekend. I used to be able to dance, drink and party all night and into the early hours of the morning. Usually coming home at around 3 or 4 am. Thinking back I wasn't unhappy but I wasn't really happy either. I just didn't realise it was perfectly fine to stay at home. I feel like there is such a social pressure to go out clubbing and drinking when you hit 18 years old, that I felt like I had to. To those out there who think why didn't I just say no? There is that little voice of anxiety inside which makes you feel like if you don't go out, people will stop liking you.

There are many reasons why I don't go out anymore, largely because I've just grown out of it. I just don't really see the appeal of going into a club anymore. Another reason being I never felt like I fit in, by that I mean I never felt pretty. I would look around see my friends and all the girls wear dresses and full makeup and think I have no chance of being noticed. Sometimes I did, and really occasionally attracted the attention of real creeps who think its acceptable to grope inappropriately. I know the point of going out isn't to get noticed, but for me I felt like I had to. Throughout my teens I constantly felt inadequate and plain compared to my friends. On my down days I still feel like this now, but have much better coping strategies.

Sorry I've rambled a bit. If you were to take anything from this it would be just be happy with who you are. If you like partying that's fine and if, like me, you enjoy staying in whilst your friends go out. That's okay too! Your friends won't stop being your friends just because you don't like going out. If so they aren't real friends.


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Ways to fix a bad day

Everyone has bad days, you could have had a bad day at work, something could be going on at home, or it could just be one of those days where anxiety is just too much for you. For me, there are some days as I've said before where I can't even face leaving home. There are also some days where I have the luxury of staying in and some I have to go out. On those days there are a few things I do to make those bad days that bit better.

On the days I can stay in I usually do a mixture of things, sometimes I draw or bake. Mostly I just binge on TV shows or end up in a YouTube black hole (we've all been there) or I read a book. But there are 3 main things I do every time:

1. This time of year means any excuse to wear jumpers. But I've found when I'm feeling low a throw on some comfy leggings and jumper. That feeling of comfort makes me feel like I can get through the day.

 2. My guilty pleasure is definitely watching Ellen clips on YouTube. She always cheers me up when I need to smile. I picked out a couple of my favourite guests, Wanda Sykes and Melissa McCarthy.

3. Going on Pinterest and just browsing. sometimes I pick something like Harry Potter and type funny or facts. Other times I look up quotes, or random funny things. This ends up getting me through a bug chunk of my day. Pinterest is great at making you find completely random, funny or cute things (sometimes a combination of the three), and before you know it you are sitting there smiling. 

I realise the last two are really just being glued to a screen, but reading a book is just as good. I mainly fall back on having YouTube on as a way to plug headphones in and just be in my own world. Its also because I spend a lot of the day applying for jobs so helps me concentrate. There are so many things you could do and these were just a handful of my examples. But bad days do pass, sometimes the bad days turn into a bad week. But that's okay, just keep going. Things always get better.


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Stress and pressure

For me stress and pressure are linked so it made sense for me to merge them into one post. People get stressed and people feel pressure at some point in their lives for all sorts of reasons. Usually these feelings come at the same time. The main ones being work, family and friends, money and society.

Society has become one that has caused more pressure for a lot of people, myself included. Whilst there are days when I can say:

                   'I am me and shouldn't let other people's appearance impact me..'

That isn't always possible. The media puts pressure and girls (and boys) to look a certain way. So sometimes when I watch films or TV programmes, I feel completely inadequate and a pressure to do more to look 'good'. But I eventually convince myself to get back to a level where I feel even slightly okay about how I look. I mainly do this by talking to friends, or I just let the emotions out which more often then not helps the feeling pass.

Work pressure is another massive issue for people. This could be to do with workload from school/college/uni or when you get a job. Finding work for me has been extremely stressful and slowly felt more and more pressure to get one otherwise I wouldn't have money to do things I enjoyed and end up having to spend the rest of my life job hunting. This attitude isn't necessarily helpful getting you into work. So I had to keep telling myself it will happen soon, it just takes longer for me than everyone else. It doesn't mean employers don't like me, just I tend to lack experience.  

When these pressures build up it makes me stressed. Then I start to stress over the little things which then leads onto getting frustrated very quickly. Even over the little things. So here's a couple examples of one thought train I've had quite alot:

-I could be job searching for a month, then get stressed with not getting anything or one interview and being turned down. This then turns into frustration, then slowly turns into anger. Then anger usually leads to tears. I'm one of those people who cry when they're angry so it tends to lead to tears. This cycle could happen everyday for a week before the penny finally drops and I realise I just need to be patient.

-Throughout school up until university I have always hated not understanding a topic. And there's sometimes I could sit for ages and someone could attempt to explain it and I just can't get it. Which then stresses me out because I have to understand it for an exam/essay. This again leads to frustration and more tears. But it's okay not to understand something, you can't expect to know everything in life because what is easy for you is difficult for others.


Saturday, 20 August 2016

What its like to have anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety differently. By that I mean the triggers and how often it happens are different. Its one of those things that is really hard to describe because your head is constantly busy. But the core feelings or symptoms, if you like, are similar (tight chest, feeling sick, jelly legs, shaking etc). The reasons tend to be similar too: bullying, traumatic events, other mental illnesses to name a few.

There's always quotes all over Facebook saying 'Anxiety isn't just panic attacks'. And that's true. For me, it feel like there's a huge weight sitting on my chest and I cant breathe. My hands shake, I get tension headaches and I dig my nails into my skin. I don't do this to purposefully hurt myself and never break the skin, most of the time I don't even realise I'm doing it. Its just a way to distract my brain from the negative thoughts.  There are points in the day where I feel that stressed and overwhelmed I just cry, sometimes I don't even know the reason behind it.

I constantly feel like I am not worth people's time, which the logical side of me knows isn't true. But when I arrange to meet people there's a part of me that always questions why they would want to. As silly and illogical as it may sound. Along with this, it means I find it hard to 'self myself' during interviews because I don't see my worth. I struggle in crowds, busy restaurants, public transport, just anywhere with a lot of people. My head goes into complete overdrive as I hate being stuck in a place where I can't see a way out, I am looking at everyone wondering what they are thinking when they look at me.

For me personally, it's usually when I withdraw completely into myself its because I've ended up at my low point. I sit staring at one place, or curled up with my knees drawn up to my chest. Everything becomes so overwhelming and I have no way to process it when I'm sitting there alone.

There's days when I feel 'fine', days I feel completely low all day and some a mix of the two. Then there's some days that one thing trigger you and it spirals a good day into a bad one. But amongst the negative there's always something positive. What I have realised is my inner strength, the support I have and the little things in life that keep me going. There's probably a lot I've left out either because I've said them in previous posts, or my brain isn't quite willing to share just yet.


Saturday, 6 August 2016

Life lessons

It seems a bit early to be reflecting on life. But there is a lot that has happened and I've learnt a lot from it. A lot of these are quite similar, or link, so if I end up repeating myself. Firstly sorry, and second, I find if I keep telling myself something over and over, eventually I'll find a way to believe it.

1. Don't believe the things you tell yourself late at night
Everyone does this to some degree, just some more than others. You've put your pj's on and get comfy in bed then thoughts start to creep up on you, before you know it, you are in a thick fog of negativity. But pondering on the negative doesn't help you, it affects your sleep which in turn will affect you the following day. Those negative thoughts at any time of the day are false and finding a way to change your thinking will help. I can do a more detailed post in the future when I am further into CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) than I currently am.

2. Things get better
There will be points in your life where you hit low points and sometimes rock bottom. But from that you'll begin to build yourself back up again. It could be anything, like sitting talking to a friend and you laugh until your sides hurt and think, wow I haven't laughed like that in so long. Or someone comes along that makes you feel happy again. As I've mentioned before in previous posts, its the little things that help keep you positive and eventually build you up to a place where you feel comfortable again.

3. You are worth it
You'll get into relationships and friendships where you aren't always appreciated, or get treated badly. And it hurts. A lot. So when something good does come along, it makes you feel like its too good to be true, or the more popular:
             'What did I do to deserve this?'
And the answer simply is: Because you do. You've found someone who fully supports and appreciates you.
There are people in life you'll come across who aren't nice. But you need to learn to find a way to accept that you are worth the good attention you receive and heal from the bad. It will take a while and you'll feel worse on some days more than others. Stick at it, once you are on the other side it will feel worthwhile.

4. Be true to who you are
You should always be true to yourself. Even if that self is completely different to what is splashed across magazines. If you are a person who loves sitting in on a Friday night instead of putting on makeup and going clubbing that's fine (and vice versa). But don't do it because you feel pressured into it, it's okay to say no. Your friends will understand if they are good friends.

5. Don't regret, learn and find a way to heal.. Enough said really..

I hope you can take something from this ramble and that it helps in some way. Even if its that someone else is thinking the same as you.


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Anxiety misconceptions

Anyone who has any kind of illness, whether its physical, mental or anything else that I can't think of, always face negativity. Here's some things that have been said to me and what its like for me in reality.

'You look fine' 
'You must be faking it'  
'Get over it'  
'I get sad sometimes too so just come out. It'll make you feel better'  
'You don't look like you are suffering'

I could be here all day.. So here's what its like for me in reality.

Most days I go through a whole day where I am fine. By fine I mean I have little to no negative thoughts, and if I do I manage. But on my bad days, everything I do, even the little things like texting friends or leaving the house to go to the shop is a struggle. What's frustrating is that I wish I could go out more. That the thought of going to a restaurant doesn't bring me to a crying mess because I'm worried what people will think of me. There's days where I have to force myself to do things that scare me. That could be something as simple as going to the cinema. What I'm trying to say is that, like anyone, I have good days and bad days.

To those who think people are faking mental illness, try thinking of the last time you were sad, angry, worried or scared. Combine all of those feelings and imagine feeling like that constantly for a week, then a month. Now imagine living with it for a year. Mental health is something we have to take so much more seriously. Just because someone looks as though they aren't struggling doesn't mean they aren't. If you think of it that way you will realise it isn't something that you just 'get over'. Its a constant battle.

This post has come across as a bit more of a rant than I'd like. And I've tried to be as careful as I can how I've worded things, But it is also showing you shouldn't judge someone by the smile on their face because sometimes its hiding a lot of thoughts, most of which could be negative.


Thursday, 30 June 2016

Beauty: A state of mind

After having a really bad day a few days ago I felt it the right time to write about this. All of my life I've struggled with the way I look. There are times when I'm walking by a mirror whether its through a shopping centre, my house or sometimes any kind of reflective surface and I have to look away. On those days I become incredibly withdrawn, I cry over everything and I feel like a burden. The thoughts that go through my head are that I'm ugly, disgusting, stupid... and all those kind of awful negative words.

What helped me was talking. Crazy and simple as it sounds, talking to a partner, best friend or family member can do you the world of good. Why? Because they see you for how you really are, not how you think they see you. They see your inner beauty as well as your outer beauty. By inner beauty I mean your strength, kindness and love.

I honestly believe beauty is a state of mind, because on those bad days, I feel drained. But after I let out all the feelings, and took in (and accepted) how others see me. I felt so much better, it wasn't like it was a magic switch and I suddenly felt beautiful. But I felt like I could look in the mirror and not hate it. I felt like I was loved for who I was, which showed that I can't be as bad as I think if people love and care for me.

But you shouldn't judge yourself based on how others look, because more than likely they are looking at you and thinking exactly the same. What needs to change is how the media portray both women and men. Truth is the people in those magazines don't look like the people in the magazines. It's all been airbrushed, photo shopped and filtered to hide the spots, lumps and bumps that everyone has. Another thing that needs to change is educating children to seeing that we should not only accept our differences but embrace them. Also that beauty isn't just how we look on the outside, but our inner selves too. And hopefully bullying will decrease, which may be a wild dream, but you never know.


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Growing up 'mixed-race'

I wrote mixed race in quotation marks in the title for a reason. That reason being because there are many terms used but this one seems to be the one people use the most (myself included). If it does offend I apologise, but is exactly why I put it in those quotation marks.

 I'm half Japanese, my mum is Japanese and my dad is English. I've lived in England my whole life.

For the most part people think it's pretty cool to be half Japanese, and it is! Its meant I've grown up around being able to try different and amazing foods, been able to visit Japan on several occasions to see family and it has opened my eyes to understanding another culture first hand.

But with that I've faced quite a bit of racism too. I've had someone shout at me in the street telling me go to back to my own country and people saying all sorts of words to me, which I won't write down because its completely offensive and doesn't need to be repeated.

There have also been times when someone will say 'are you Chinese?' and when I reply no half Japanese, I'll get the occasional response of 'Well what's the difference?'...Well its a different country for a start...

The best way to react to racism? Is to not react to it. Most of the time its just idiots trying to look hard by intimidating people. The other times its just lack of understanding.

Overall its pretty great and enjoy being able to tell people about the adventures I've been on, foods I've tried and generally random stuff I know. I hope anyone else is able to feel comfortable and proud of who they are and no one should make you feel otherwise.


Monday, 23 May 2016

Dealing with exam/assignment stress

Exam season is here, which means for many, its a month or so of stress..stress and more stress. It took me a long time to be able to mange how I dealt with revision, assignments and exams. even the words 'you have an exam' makes some people (myself included) feel like your stomach is dropping. So here's what I do:

1. Use alot of colour- highlighters, pens, pencils.. anything that you can do to highlight important information like equations, quotes..etc. Using colour is a good way for me to remember things, I will highlight information..then write down what I can remember and see if I got it right. If highlighting is impossible (like because its a library book) then write things down in sections, separate with colour make it something you want to read. 

2. Treat yourself- You know all that loose change you have stocked up somewhere? It probably adds up to more than you think. So add it up, find something you want to buy and when your exams are over buy it as a treat for yourself... Well maybe don't give £40 in change to a shop, I don't think they will appreciate that too much.. 

3. Snacks- I'm a big fan of snacking, doesn't always have to be healthy!! fizzy strawberry laces are a big favourite for me.

4. One big thing is rest. Getting sleep, however difficult, is important. It'll help you feel more relaxed and you won't worry about sleeping through an exam. 

I hope this has helped a little, even if it meant you were reading this while having a break from revision, good luck to everyone and hope you all stay as relaxed as possible :)


Tuesday, 26 April 2016


You always hear people saying 'I wish I didn't do that' or 'I regret that'. I've been known on occasion to say it, but do we always mean it? Sure sometimes we joke about regretting that extra cupcake or takeaway. But its the bigger things like relationships or the conversations we have that can directly impact our lives that make us feel true regret.

I've always been one to say you can learn from the mistakes you make, for example being in a destructive relationship. By destructive I mean one where one partner causes sometimes irreparable damage to the other whether that's through physical or emotional pain. Once its over you feel a whole mix of emotions, regret being one of them. But we shouldn't hold onto that regret as it can hold you back from new and exciting things, like meeting new people and starting new relationships.

A lot of the pain will still be there, that can stay around a while, but letting go of regretting your decisions means you learn if you were ever in that situation again, you'll know how to deal with it. In theory of course because in reality it's easy enough saying let go and things will be fine, but regret links with so many other emotions that it takes time, learning to build yourself up and learning to trust again.

If there's one thing to take away from this its that everyone makes mistakes and everyone feels regret. But you shouldn't let it rule your life.


Thursday, 7 April 2016

Optimism and the little things

There have been many times throughout my life where I hit some pretty low points. It's only really in the past two years where I really felt I could be more optimistic than I used to. Being optimistic does have its perks, especially when the people you care most about are feeling down. Trying to see something good or positive in their situations can sometimes help show them the bigger picture. 

I always try to see the good in everyone and everything, mainly because there usually is something. Admittedly some things are harder to find good in than others!! I feel like if you see the good as well as the bad in things it helps you see the world isn't always against you. And despite the awful things that may be going on, there are things that make you restore your faith in humanity. 

Not only this but I try to find the little things in life that help cheer you up. Because like they say its the little things in life that make it worthwhile. It could be anything from a hug, a text, or even a Sunny day. I took a few pictures to show only a few of mine:

Learning to play new songs on the keyboard. It took me about 2 hours to learn the chorus of Let it Go from Frozen. To some that seems an incredibly long time to learn, but my memory and co-ordination is terrible so its an achievement in itself. 

 Haribo Tangfastics are by far the best sweets to eat when you want to watch a movie and just chill out. Fizzy sweets in general really..

 I was in Sheffield last week, and went to Edale in the Peak District, Going on long muddy walks with some amazing company is by far the best way to enjoy some peace and quiet. The picture below was where we sat (on the only bench for miles) for lunch.

To many these things are nothing, but to me these are the little things that give my life that extra sparkle. 


Monday, 28 March 2016


Everyone is afraid of something, and if you say you aren't you are kidding yourself. Because we, as humans, are born with fear. We need it to survive otherwise all those thousands of years ago, all of our ancestors would have been eaten by tigers or something.. Sure over time we develop new ones and may learn how to overcome it, but the fear response is always there. So, I'll give you three of the bigger ones and how it can sometimes trigger anxiety. 

-Deep water, especially when you can't see or reach the bottom. This fear stems from a couple of bad experiences in water. It got to a point where I would think of any excuse I could to not go in a swimming pool. Luckily now I can at least walk in up to my waist without panicking. 

-Crowds, I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but I hate going into town when it's busy. Sometimes I don't really have a choice if I'm passing through or meeting someone. But in terms of shopping I avoid going in after lunchtime. 

-Small spaces, I regularly dream of being trapped in tiny spaces (I'll do a dream blog post soon I think). The fear of not being able to move or getting stuck somewhere is a massive fear for me. 

I think looking at these its a general fear of feeling or being trapped. Which says a lot about my anxiety and triggers as these ones are usually the ones to cause me the most panic.

Overcoming fear is difficult, it takes hard work, small steps and a lot of support. For example I didn't just jump in a pool again to make me feel safe in water, I started at the shallow end and worked my way through. Is it scary? Sure, but with the right support from friends and family it can help you significantly more than going it alone. 


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Being shy

I've been wanting to do this post for a while. Being shy for me isn't just hiding in the corner at parties or being quiet round new people, it's a genuine fear of unknown situations and to some extent conversations where I have to say more than usual. I feel it is also another root to my anxiety. 

Anyone who has read my older posts knows I've been bullied, but the shyness for me runs a lot deeper. My whole life I've been talked over and had people roll their eyes when I actually start talking, so it gradually got easier to keep quiet. People often mistake this quietness for being rude or reserved. When in fact I have quite a lot to say I just feel like I can't, its easy enough to say 'talk more' or 'stop being shy', and I would like more than anything for me to be able to do that. But like with many things in life, it just isn't that easy.

Going to uni, meeting new people and the experiences I gained from that have helped me come out of the shyness more than I ever expected it to. Now although I struggle sometimes, it's definitely easier to talk more than I used to be. I feel like I can voice my opinion and not have people roll their eyes at me. The days I do struggle, I feel frustrated more than anything because I know I can do it. 

I learnt that there's more people who care what you have to say compared to those who don't. I also learnt that it isn't my fault, I never have, or will do say something that would purposefully offend someone. So its not like people spoke over me to shut me up. Fair enough I'm not the loudest person, growing up in a family where I was taught to be respectful and keep my voice levels reasonably quiet. But that gives no one the right to treat people with any less respect because they have been brought up differently. If you take anything from this post it would be to not disregard someone because they are shy, more often than not they have plenty to say they are just afraid to say it. 

This post ended up more of a rant than I expected. So, I'll leave the post with the flowers I bought for mum for Mother's Day, because they are really pretty and the weather has been really dreadful so bring a little colour to an otherwise grey and rainy day. 


Sunday, 28 February 2016

Changing/ Moving school

I figured I could do something that could appeal to a slightly younger audience. Although this is still pretty relevant to any teachers, parents with children or younger siblings. Moving school especially when everyone else is already settled in can be terrifying, so thought I'd share my experience of moving schools.

Thinking way..way.. back in Year Six (aged 11) I was both excited and nervous to start secondary school. Of course what followed was a year and a bit of on/ off being bullied and generally just disliking school. But at the start of Year 8 I got a letter through the post saying I was somehow enrolled into two schools, and if I wanted to move schools I could. I absolutely jumped at this chance. By around October/ November a few meetings with senior staff and entrance exams later, I had moved school. Just to point out what I did find funny was I was in bottom set for maths in the previous school but the test placed me in second set (For anyone unsure of how sets work, classes are set by ability). So either I was in a seriously high achieving school beforehand, or I just was never tested properly until then.

The first month or so was me settling in, I already knew several people from primary school so was lucky in that respect. It felt a little hard having to sort of latch onto someone else's friendship group, but they were (and still are) pretty great so wasn't too hard. What surprised me the most is how comfortable I felt, there were some amazing people I met at my first secondary school I won't discount that at all. But at this school I felt much more relaxed, bullying was reduced to a minimum and I started to enjoy going to school again. From then it just got easier to make friends of my own, and now here we are around 11 years later. I'm still friends with a few of the people at my first school and a lot more from my second.

Here's what I learnt from this:
- People are a lot more welcoming then you think
- The thought of moving could be scary but its worth it
- Don't discount the good, it can help you through the bad times
- You are more capable then you realise


Saturday, 20 February 2016

Anxiety: Journeys

I thought I'd talk about journeys, I don't mean the personal journey of my life because even though a lot has happened there's still a lot to go, and I'm enjoying the mystery of it all. No, I mean journeys to and from places, anywhere from meeting a friend, going to an interview or just going to a new shop.

I hate the thought of being lost, and causes quite a bit of anxiety. And even though it still happens occasionally, with these steps it only occurs rarely now.

1- Know where you are going- For me knowing exactly where I am going eases my anxiety a lot. For example if you have a job interview, knowing the location, post code and general area means you not only will be there early, but have one less thing to worry about.

2- Look at a map- This leads nicely onto looking at maps, with the technology today Google maps is a life saver as it means you can look at a satellite view as well as the road view. However if you like to go old school and look at a map that works too. Have a look where it is, how far it is from home and think how long it will take.

3- Plan a route- Once you've had a look at the map, plan the route that suits you best. If you are using Google maps they will usually provide the route for you. But more often then not you'll find your own route you'll feel most comfortable with. See how long it takes using whatever mode of transport you use, as you'll have to know which buses you'll have to take if you don't have a car.

4- Pick out memorable landmarks- Using the satellite, I usually drag and drop the little yellow man and walk along the route where I have to walk. This sounds mad but when you are unfamiliar with the area you need to be able to pick out landmarks that will remind you you are still going the right way. And by memorable I mean, shops, a park, a building. Anything that will make you think yes I know where I'm going and feel a little calmer.

I screenshot parts of the route where there's junctions to make sure I don't veer off in the wrong direction. Also listening to music or audio books can help make the journey go a lot faster and acts as a good distraction. A final part which I regularly forget about is accounting for traffic and the time of day you have to go out. If it's early and mid afternoon you'll hit the school rush traffic. It also means the buses are packed with school kids.

I hope this has helped if you feel like you struggle with going on journeys.


Thursday, 11 February 2016

Anxiety: A-Z Part 3

Here's the final part of my A-Z of anxiety.

R- Reassure: So constant reassurance can be a little stifling, but having people who care and tell you the feeling will pass soon helps. The same goes for being that person who's there for someone when they need a bit of help. 

S- Self-care: Looking after yourself is key, whether you have anxiety or not. Making sure you eat, sleep and get some exercise everyday helps maintain you health. And when you feel well you've usually got one less thing to worry about. 

T- Triggers: Triggers are something that..well.. trigger anxiety. It could be going into crowds and you start to feel panicky, or small spaces and you want more than anything to get out. 

U-Understanding: Having someone even if it's one person who just gets how your feeling is great. Because it means you can confide in them knowing they can help. Also having you own personal experiences means you can help others too. Which leads nicely onto the next one: value. 

V- Value: Everyone is valuable whether you feel it or not. Everyone means something to someone and to me no one is alone. There is always something you are good at whether its listening, talking, drawing etc. Never underestimate how valuable you are. 

W- Walking: Walking is good for the soul, there's always something wonderful you come across. Like in Autumn walking through fallen leaves or in Summer seeing the Sun shining through the trees. Not only that but its great exercise, you don't have to walk alone. In fact walking with a friend I'd recommend more it does me more good than walking alone. 

X- Extreme emotions: So there's not a lot beginning with X apart from xylophone.. So had to improvise a little. So extreme emotions and anxiety seem to go hand in hand, it feels like even tiny things can get blown way out of proportion. You analyse every possible scenario that probably won't even happen, which makes you miss out on a few things. 

Y- Yoga: This can be very relaxing, much like meditation it'll take at least a week before you really begin to feel a difference. It's another good form of exercise and helps with breathing techniques you can use day to day. 

Z- ZZZ (sleep): Again like with the letter X.. I think there's little beginning with Z. Sleep can be a bit of a problem, but it's important to get some every night. The only way I can get to sleep is either by listening to an audiobook or music. At the minute Tina Fey's autobiography 'BossyPants' is a favourite, but My Sister's Keeper is a close second. Listening to either one of these helps me sleep throughout the night, where I couldn't before. 


Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Anxiety: A-Z Part 2

Here's part two to my A-Z of anxiety.

I- Instinct: As I mentioned before the bodies natural response is the fight or flight response. Your heart is racing, your chest feels tight, your body starts shaking. But its just the bodies way of reacting to a situation. It's not something you can necessarily control but how you help bring the body back to ''normal'' is something you can control. Whether that's by breathing, walking away until you've calmed down or sitting somewhere quiet. 

J- Jelly: No not the food kind, I mean how your legs feel when you have a trigger. I feel like I can't walk and if I do my legs feel like they've turned to jelly. So the best thing for me to do is sit until the feeling has passed enough for me to calm down a little. After which I try to find somewhere quiet, if this isn't possible then take some deep breaths and focus on something else.

K- Kind: Being kind to others is always important, it can help make someones day that little bit better and you feel good for being kind too. What do I mean by being kind? Texting someone how they are, smiling if someone smiles at you. The little things mean just as much as the big gestures. 

L- Listen: This leads onto listening. Everyone is always going through something good or bad, and its natural to want to tell somebody. So if you are that somebody, listen and be proud that they trust you enough to share their story. And if you want something to share, there's always someone, somewhere who wants to listen.

M- Meditation: This is something I've tried relatively recently, its not an instant fix. It's something you have to try everyday for at least two weeks before you really start to feel any difference. The great thing being that everyone has 5-10 minutes in their day to meditate. You start to feel a sort of inner peace where you know there aren't issues over crowding your brain. I use an app with rain sounds because this sound has always relaxed me. For others it could be the beach, white noise or anything. Guided meditation works well for beginners and those more used to it if you feel you need it. 

N- Natural therapies: I've spoken about natural remedies like Rescue Remedy and Scentered before in my post Anxiety busters for on the go. So I'll keep this brief, they work better for me than conventional medication and there aren't set doses so can't really overdose by accident. 

O- Opportunities: Accepting new opportunities can be difficult for anyone. Even more so for people with anxiety as new things can bring new challenges and triggers. But sometimes it's good to take on something new. There's a famous quote which says do something everyday that scares you. And I think we should do that, even smaller things like going to the shops when it may be busier. All of this can help in the long run.

P- Panic Attacks: Panic attacks can be scary, it's one of those things that unless you've had one its hard to explain how you feel. But when people say they feel like they are having a heart attack, they aren't far wrong. Okay so I've never had a heart attack, but I have had panic attacks. And they are terrifying, you shake, feel like you can't breathe, tingle all over (because of the lack of oxygen), cry, feel like you can't move and so much more. Having someone there comforting you is helpful, not being too crowded as it can make you feel worse. Remembering to breathe, failing that the person you are with keep telling you to breathe in through the nose and it'll pass soon. 

Q- Quiet: Sometimes having some quiet time to yourself to read, listen to music, sleep.. anything really can be quite healing. A time where you can just do something you really enjoy, just as long as you remember to join your family and friends again afterwards! 


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Anxiety: A-Z Part 1

I decided to do an A-Z of Anxiety, going through each letter of the alphabet and how I either deal with it or how it affects me. I've tried to keep each one as positive as possible mainly because I'm trying to turn my anxiety into something I can control, and by doing that I have to be positive. I'll break it down into 3 parts and start each one with one of my quote cards. So here it is..

A- Anxiety (Slightly obvious I know): My anxiety usually is triggered by crowds. I think its the thought of what people may/ may not be thinking as well as not feeling like I won't be able to move about. Everyone's manifests its self in different ways and for different reasons, even then the way it presents itself can be different. Whether its panic attacks, stomach aches, feeling sick or not wanting to leave the house.  

B- Breathe: This leads onto breathing. Taking deep breathes is important to keep the Oxygen flowing in and the Carbon Dioxide out. Breathing quickly and shallow leads to hyperventilating which is when you tend to panic more because it feels like you can't breathe. Whether you're feeling like you are going to panic or in the middle of an attack remember to breathe! Inhaling deep and slow through the nose and out through the mouth (belly breathing). The feeling of not being able to breathe will soon pass.

C- Conversations: Talking to people you trust can lift so much of the tension and stress you are feeling. Whether its your friends, best friend, family anyone you know you can confide in. Because they tend to be able to give you the best advice and cheer you up.

D- Diary: Keeping a diary, notebook I think is a good idea. I use my notebooks to write favourite quotes, lyrics and little doodles. But the important thing is they are all positive things you can look back through when you are having a bad day. Even during the bad day, noting down nice quotes or songs you love gives you that little distraction where you aren't thinking about the bad stuff.

E- Exercise: I don't mean going to the gym, there's plenty you can do like exercise dvds at home, walking, pilates, yoga, the list is endless. The advantage of dvds is that you don't have to feel uncomfortable of people looking at you in the gym and do it at your own pace. Exercise makes you feel good within yourself and it shines through whether you realise it or not.

F- Fear: Fear is natural, gives us that fight or flight response. Some fears are easier to stay away from than others, but doing something that scares you sometimes does you good. For example I used to be afraid of heights, I went to an adventure holiday camp when I was about 13 and had to climb and jump off a 40 ft pole. After that heights didn't bother me so much because I realised if I could do that I could do anything, now I love going up skyscrapers the higher the better.

G- Groups: Joining online forums like Ele-friends or Facebook groups is great as you can talk to people who understand that little bit more what you are going through. I would recommend talking to charities first to see what kind of support is out there. The charity Mind have Ele-friends, which provides a bit more anonymity that Facebook lacks.

H- Hope: Having hope is such a big thing to hold on to. The hope that tomorrow could be better, that things can turn around or that you'll be able to do something new and scary.


Friday, 29 January 2016

Body shaming and self image

I think everyone at some point in their life has felt awful because of what someone has said to them. From other posts you know I've been bullied in the past. And as much as I say I've got through it, when I have one of my bad days they resurface.

Words hold so much power, it's something we all use everyday whether through speech or writing things down. I'll give you an example, with my NF1 I have birth marks or cafe-au'-laits marks over my body. This includes freckling on my armpits, groin area and chest. So, being told by a friend 'ew what's that on your chest' bothered me. Purely by choice of wording, I felt like I was being pointed out for something I was born with. This is the same by telling someone they are too fat, skinny, tall or small. On the surface it seems like nothing. But to the person you say it to, it can hold a lot more power than you realise.

How you see yourself is just as important as how you see others. Personally I feel that even though I know I'm not perfect, I know it makes me.. me.
-My scars have shown the surgery I had, without which I'd probably be severely crippled by now.
-My birth marks show I have NF1.
-My face shows I'm half Japanese.

 Being able to embrace who you are takes time, I'm only just starting to get to the point where I am able to do this. That knowing you are enough and people should never have the power to make you feel any different. So smile more and remember it's alright not to be what other deem to be perfect.

There's been no one exactly like you in the past, and no one will be like you in the future.. unless we invent cloning. But that's not my point..


Monday, 25 January 2016

Anxiety busters for on the go

As promised in a previous post, I'm going to review rescue remedy and Scentered. I don't claim to be an expert in any sort of way, there isn't a magic cream that removes anxiety (although that would be handy!!). These are just a method I have found that helps to keep it at a more manageable level. I decided to go down the natural route as I've been on all sorts of tablets from painkillers to antibiotics for most of my life. In all honesty wanted to try something new that didn't involve going to the doctors constantly and taking tablets that will numb instead of sort. I felt a combination of these natural remedies, meditation and exercise work best for me.

Rescue Remedy
Rescue remedy is a mixture of plant and flower extracts which when combined help keep you more calm when faced with stressful situations. This remedy work by dropping four drops onto your tongue, this then works it way round your system.
The great thing about this is that it is all natural so anyone can use it and you can't really overdose on it. So you don't have to worry about accidently putting more drops than you were supposed to. Also its small enough to fit in your bag, if you feel embarrassed about taking it in front of people there's alternatives such as putting some in your drink.
I came across Scentered recently via Twitter, I read the reviews and decided to give it a try. The one I decided on was the escape balm. The delivery was really quick and it actually smells good. It comes in a cute tin and the actual remedy itself is small enough to fit in your handbag or pocket. This works by rubbing a little on your pulse points, in this case the best place is your wrist and your neck (I made sure this was right by asking the company before I used it myself). They tell you to: Stop apply to pulse points, Inhale deeply and Reset your mood. I think it's great how simple it is and the range of options available cater for lots of needs.
I love both of these products and would recommend them to anyone who wants to go down a more natural route or just wants to try something a bit different.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Anxiety: Overthinking

There's nothing wrong with admitting that you are struggling. Sometimes there's that voice in your head telling you that you should curl up in a corner and hide from the world, another one saying you aren't worth it and another one saying you should give up. All of which leads to a pretty noisy head.

I always joke that I can do things if I can convince my brain. Its pretty accurate really, the more I tell myself I can do it, the more likely I am able to do things. This can be anything from going to the shops, to going out with friends. Going to the shop is something alot of people take for granted, but when you worry to the point where you can't leave the house. This is when many people will sit back and think, how can you be scared of going to the shop? For me its not necessarily the shop that triggers my anxiety but more the amount of people that will be there. I hate feeling like I'm trapped and feeling like I'm being judged. Again to many this seems completely irrational, and maybe it is. But for me it can stop me from leaving my house and if I do, my heart races and my whole body tenses.

Overthinking can damage relationships, because you are forever analysing everything and wondering why something has or hasn't happened. And I'm doing everything to try and do this a little less everyday. Talking to someone you trust is usually a good start, a best friend, family member anyone who knows your story and can be there for you. Talking not only takes some weight off your shoulders, it makes you feel wanted.

Another thing I do is take recue remedy, this calms me down enough to ease some thoughts (I'll do a review blog soon!). This is also great if you tend to overthink before bed, alongside this I listen to an audiobook. Being read to helps you sleep quickly, and it reminds me of being younger. I listen to anything that's on my iPod and put it on loop in case I wake up again in the night.

Sorry this one as a bit wordy, if you have any questions feel free to ask.


Thursday, 14 January 2016

Anxiety: Graduation

Today was finally the day for my graduation ceremony. I woke up after a really restless night sleep thinking what am I doing?? But then I kept telling myself this is my moment, it doesn't happen much in life just go for it! I chose a simple dress that was easy to breathe in. And some lovely boots from the New Look sales.
My anxiety was so high and my heart was racing, mainly because of the huge amount of people that were there. I managed to spot and talk to a couple of lecturers and that eased my anxiety a little. It also helped that I was sitting with people I knew so could chat. I honestly don't regret any of the choices I've made throughout uni and the graduation ceremony was a way to show that hard work pays off. Here's me in my grad gown. To anyone with anxiety, sometimes doing what scares you can turn into positive things sometimes!
It's been an exhausting day, both mentally and physically. And anyone whose helped make my day easier (and is reading this blog) a massive hug and a thank you to you). It helps more than you realise when you see how much support is around you. I'm now in my jammies with my feet up and mums decided we all need a treat, so a Chinese it is to celebrate. Any excuse really.. Yummy!! xx

Friday, 8 January 2016


I don't get complimented all that often, but when I do I always find it difficult. A lot of this is down to bullying in the past. More often than not the bad stuff sticks and never leaves you. There could be something someone said years ago and it will pop in your head randomly and you wonder why. Then you realise its because someone said something really lovely to you. But because you've been sitting there with these other thoughts, you just don't believe the good ones.

People always say you could been given all the compliments in the world and its the bad ones that stay with you. This is completely true, when friends, family or anyone else say something nice I never believe it. I will always shrug it off or just say thanks without really thinking about it.

I drew this quick sketch to anyone who doesn't understand what I'm trying to put across.

 It feels like you are in a box, one that stops the positive things getting through. To anyone in a similar position, next time you get a compliment write it down, screenshot the text or message. So whenever the bad stuff does creep in you can push it right back down again. Compliments could be anything from being called pretty to being told you make them smile. Because being able to cheer someone up always means something. Whether this is because I personally don't feel in any way attractive or just because a smile can change anyone's day, I'm not sure. But what I do know is this:

Whilst you may not be able to break through the box just yet, you will one day, because the bullies of your past will never win.