My reason for blogging, 10 year plan and favourite drink? | Twitter Q&A

Despite putting what seems like my whole life on social media, I obviously can’t share everything. I share a lot about mental health but not a lot about the rest of my life. I think it’s important to be seen as more than just my mental health because there’s so much more to my life too! So I took to Twitter and asked for some random questions. Boy did you guys provide! Let’s delve right in…

What do you think about Euthanasia? @RydeMePeek

Nice light hearted one to begin with! I actually have very clear views on this one. As long as the person requesting it is in a state of mind where they know what they are doing, I think it is definitely okay. I especially believe this as medical advances have taken us so far that I think people are living beyond the age they are supposed to. While prolonging someone’s life seems like a good thing, we need to ask ourselves at what age is it no longer justifiable to keep someone alive? The film ‘Me Before You’ is excellent at this as it shows that there is no hero who convinces him otherwise, the hero just looks after him until then. I don’t think that anyone should be able to force you to stay alive and, like many debates on drugs, I think people are going to do it anyway, should it not be a monitored and painless experience?

What is your favourite song at the moment and why? @ailovemusic89

There are far too many to decide! I listen to ‘Dead Girl Walking’ from Heathers a lot recently so that’s probably up there. I also love ‘Let Your Troubles Roll By’ by Carbon Leaf which I was reminded of when someone on Twitter was asking for relaxing music.

What inspired you to help other bloggers with their battle against mental illness? @NoddyMaccy

I think that anyone who has struggled with mental illness has this immediate connection with anyone else who does as well. It is a bit like a secret language. It can be difficult when the people in your life, no matter how amazingly supportive they are, don’t speak this language. So I thought it was important that we all knew that each other were there. Nobody should have to struggle with something that is so incredibly misunderstood even by people who are supporting it.

Who would your celebrity best friend be? @indierella_

There are so many people! I think that Amy Poehler would be up there. I absolutely loved the character Leslie Knope and always saw myself as a less extreme version of her. So when I read her book ‘Yes Please’ (everyone needs to read this book) I realised that she was also just a moderate Leslie. She and Tina Fey are basically friendship goals!

Older men or younger men? @HappyBowWow

I wouldn’t say that I necessarily limit myself to older or younger men (or even men for that matter!) but my boyfriend right now is the only boyfriend I have really had and the only one I hope I ever have and he’s two months younger. So I guess I’d say younger.

If you were on a hot beach, what would be your cooling drink of choice? @GFLBlog

I love Mocha Frappes or anything that consists of mainly ice. Also anything with Malibu in it. You could put Malibu and Orange Juice in a blender with ice. I’d sip that all day.

What is your ultimate fantasy job? @StealTheMGaming

Funny you should ask this because it has nothing to do with writing despite that being what I want to do now. I have always wanted to be in Musical Theatre. If I could go back in time and change my qualifications I would have been an actress with my dream job being Eponine in Les Miserables. I could do that part in my sleep!

What would be the best question someone could ask you on here? @Plgrimnow

Very funny! I like questions that make me think. If someone were to ask me a question that I didn’t already know the answer to then that would be impressive.

What is the most insensitive thing someone has said to you about mental health and how did you reply? @OneMoreLightLB.

I can’t remember! I am absolutely certain there have been remarks in the past but I just brush them off. Not worth responding. Not worth reacting. I don’t take note of anyone’s harsh comments really.

What is your absolute dream job? And what do you plan to be doing in 10 years time? @DSmithCreative1

I’m going to answer this differently to the other question that was about careers because it was worded slightly differently. My dream job at this point in time is to be a freelance writer and preferably a travel blogger. If I could get paid to travel that would be perfect! In ten years I see myself starting to consider settling down. I would have already been places and done all sorts of exciting things and I probably won’t want to stop but would also want a family. I’m sure in ten years I’ll be just as undecided on my future as I am now.

What would you put in your personal self care kit? @wantforwellness

I love this! First of all, one of those water bottles that tells you how much you should’ve had to drink by certain points in the day. I’d have the aforementioned book ‘yes please’ by Amy Poehler because it always inspires me and I would have some bath bombs to encourage me to get clean. I’d have my cuddly elephant Bernard for encouragement and an adult colouring book. And some mixed fruits and nuts because that will be easy to eat and not to overwhelming. And a hairbrush and some dry shampoo and deodorant in case I don’t quite feel like showering. That’s a big kit!

Why Blog? @iamataryn

I actually wrote a blog post on this and if you want more detail (AKA falling for my shameless self promotion) then you can find it here. Assuming you don’t want to do that then it’s because it gives me a sense of purpose. It gives me a something to do and helps with my mental health. I also think that I can help others in my situation and connect with so many other bloggers!

You’re on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr and WordPress. What’s your strategy for communicating about mental health within and across these platforms? How do the platforms you use influence how you communicate about mental health? Why do you call yourself a blogger? @estherchinmedia

At the moment I only really focus on Mental Health Content on my Blog and Twitter. I am definitely looking to put it into my Instagram soon and then maybe further but at the moment I just use other platforms to promote my blog posts about mental health. They probably influence the way I portray it because I know that I have a more mental health based following on twitter so my posts are addressing it with the assumption that people know whereas Instagram is far more about awareness because my followers are largely unaware of the movement. I call myself a blogger because I blog! That’s really all there is to it. I wish I had some witty answer for you.

What fictional place would you most like to go? @glaizabinayas

I remember that in a Doctor Who episode they mentioned going to a place called Space Florida and that pretty much sounds like the best place ever!

What’s your favourite thing about blogging? @blueocean455

The people and community! I feel like I have a place and that I’m supported by so many others and I love it! You’re all so wonderful!

So that’s it for this time around but I have had a lot of fun so I hope that I can do this again sometimes. Thank you all for your contributions!

Love,

Amber xxx

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Men’s Mental Health: James Conlon Interview | Mental Health Mondays

So this week we have something a bit different. I am constantly looking to be more inclusive on this website and I know that I don’t suffer with everything and therefore don’t have a complete perspective. That’s where the wonderful James comes in!

James is an advocate for men struggling with mental health and talks quite openly about it on his twitter. I thought I’d ask him a few questions to help raise awareness of the issues men face surrounding mental health.

Hi James, How are you?

I’m well thanks!

So first of all, what led you to being a part of the mental health awareness movement?

I’ve suffered with depression since I was 15 years old and more recently have seen the incredible amount of work people suffering from mental illness have been doing on Twitter raising awareness of these illnesses. I’m inspired by so many amazing advocates including the wonderful Hattie Gladwell.

You tweet a lot about men’s mental health in particular, do you feel that there is more so a stigma for men than for women?

I believe there is stigma regardless of your gender but for men it seems a lot harder to be able to be open about their mental health and their emotions. It’s the classic stereotype of the man being the strong one and looking after everyone else.

According to the Men’s Health Forum, 3 out of 4 people who die from suicide are male, do you think this is because of the stigma surrounding it?

I think the stigma surrounding men’s mental illness has a lot to do with it but also the stereotypical gender balance. Many don’t know where to turn or if they are able to talk about it. Mental health services are not as strong as they should be which also doesn’t help.

What can we, as men and women, do to reduce the additional problems men face with mental health?

By just being kind. Being there for everyone, regardless of their gender. Letting someone know you are there. Encouraging them to talk when they are ready. Talk more freely about our struggles.

How can we support a loved one and encourage them to seek help?

Give them time, Let them know you are there. Listen to them and be patient.

And finally, what advice would you give to a young boy struggling with mental health on his own?

Firstly, you are not alone. It’s really difficult to see a light at the end of this really dark tunnel but I promise you that there is a light. It makes you no less of a person or a man suffering with your mental health. If you can’t reach out to your friends, speak to a family manager. Visit your doctor.

Thanks so much for taking part!

If you want to see more from James, and trust me you do, then you can follow him on Twitter or go check out his excellent Blog!

As always, if you need help I’m always here on Twitter and the Samaritans are available on 116 123 if you feel you need to talk.

Don’t forget you can now visit The Safe Space on this site, where there are nearly 200 bloggers out there who all talk about mental health! So you can go and check that out!

Until next time, stay safe and well.

Love,

Amber xxx

7 Days Of Almost Autumnal Fashion

Okay so you’re here so the chances are, you’ve been wishing the day will come that it is officially autumn and the whole style comes out all at once! You’re wondering what clothes look good in this pre-Autumnal weather we’ve had recently. If you’ve been following my Instagram you’ll have seen me using the hashtag #7daysofalmostautumn which would be fun if you guys used too for inspo to others! There’s every chance that September will become a big mess of sunny days and winter days so here’s how I’ve been tackling it: 7 Days of (Almost) Autumnal Fashion.

Continue reading 7 Days Of Almost Autumnal Fashion

A Guide To Navigating Stressful Situations Without Affecting Your Mental Health | Mental Health Mondays

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Having a mental health issue is difficult for anyone who has one but, for the most part, we are safe in the knowledge that whatever is happening is completely irrational. Knowing this fact can be a key instrument in coping with panic attacks, depressive episodes or bouts of OCD but what happens when your fears aren’t completely irrational? When the irrational part of your brain latches onto the rational part of your brain to form a heightened version of a bad situation?

I’ll give an example. An irrational thought may be that somebody that you are very close to you doesn’t like you anymore. But here, we see irrational thoughts with substance, a fight between you and a partner or a best friend who hasn’t spoken to you in days. This is an example of this happening from an anxious perspective.

But take a depressive episode. This is different but follows the same basic concept. An irrational thought may be that you are going to fail your exams because you haven’t revised enough. An irrational thought with substance here would be that you are going to fail your exams anyway so there is no point in trying.

This could apply to any potentially stressful situation: a bill you can’t pay, a broken appliance or being made redundant. Regardless of how severe the problem is, your substance can make it that much harder to come out of an episode and can hinder your chances of recovery.

How Do I Know What Is Rational And What Is Irrational?

As a general rule: the problem at hand and how to fix it are rational worries whereas the perceived consequences are irrational. But it isn’t that simple for everyone. Some ways of separating the two include:

  • Writing a list of everything that is worrying you. Evaluate it for potential problems. If possible, talk about it with a partner or friend to find out what is really worth worrying about and what is probably just in your head.
  • Try and imagine what you would say to someone else if they were the one panicking. Would you be letting them worry over these things? How could you help someone else in your situation?
  • Say your problems out loud. Sometimes you will catch yourself sounding irrational and this will help you out of the situation.

So I Know What Is Irrational, How Do I Stop Believing It?

It is difficult to claim that it is simple or that there is a quick fix when it comes to calming down from a situation. I know from experience that there isn’t. But here are some things that generally help when you are feeling as if you can’t see the wood for the trees, even when you know what is and isn’t irrational.

  • Firstly, if at all possible, delegate any tasks causing you considerable grief to somebody else. While I know that this isn’t possible for those experiencing exam stress, for example, a broken plug socket can be fixed when your husband makes a call to the electrician and a fallout with a loved one can usually be resolved if somebody else close communicates that you are struggling with it. You don’t have to face an issue if it is too difficult for you.
  • If that is not possible, chunk your problem into lots of smaller, easily manageable problems. Write out a step by step list of what needs to be done, with each step on different pieces of card or paper. Take one and put the rest in a drawer. Don’t look at step two until you have completed step one. Each step seems easier as you go along.
  • Give yourself an incentive to do what you need to do, stick on some badass music and try to sing along as you’re doing your tasks (though preferably not on the phone). Sometimes things have to be done that will make you feel completely awful, so don’t be afraid to take a bit of time to yourself after whatever has to be done is resolved. While it may seem silly to take a day off work because you had to ring up the boiler man, I assure you it is something you probably need and definitely deserve.

What If It Has Affected My Depression? Even List Writing Is Beyond Me!

It is incredibly normal for this to occur. You can become so overwhelmed by something that you find yourself unable to get out of bed for fear of the tasks you have to do. This can seem even trickier to navigate and can lead to a vicious cycle of not being able to do something because you’re worried about the fact you haven’t done it yet. Here’s what to do:

  • Treat it, first and foremost, as a usual depressive episode. It may seem more severe especially if you have a reason you need to be out of bed but if staying in bed is the right thing to do for your health then that should still be what you do. Focus on your basic needs first and then drip feed yourself challenges you need to face as the day goes on.
  • Try and get someone to help you. Whether they are chatting on the phone or sat on your bedside, vocalising way you are feeling can often put things in perspective. Ask people around you to get your clothes for you or maybe some breakfast. They may even be able to help you with what you are worrying about.
  • Challenge yourself to do things in short minute long bursts. It is often starting something that is the hardest part so you may well continue with whatever you were doing now that you’ve started. Just be kind to yourself and if you need to stop, then stop.

While you’re here, why not check out the safe space, a page where you can find other Mental health bloggers and blog posts and connect!

So I hope that this post has been a help to some of you and that you have figured out how to manage stressful situations around your anxiety, depression, OCD or anything else. And remember, if you’re struggling, my inbox is always open on twitter or Instagram or you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123

Love,

Amber xxx

The Reason for my Weird Absence| Mental Health Mondays

So it isn’t Monday, it’s not even Tuesday. I’m sorry. But I have come away with a message that is far more important than the one I would’ve published anyway. All going well, we should have two posts today.

Continue reading The Reason for my Weird Absence| Mental Health Mondays

The Future of this Blog

It’s been over a month since I started here and I never expected it to get so far but here I am. And I have found that I am completely loving it!

So I have decided to do things a little more professionally, which really doesn’t mean anything for you as a reader at all. This post is more here as a divider between what I already have and what is to come.

Continue reading The Future of this Blog

Playlist Swap: Indierella

Hello! Welcome back to playlist swap. If you’re back you may remember my last one with Laura, if not the premises are quite simple: One blogger will send a playlist of ten songs that really mean a lot to them. The idea being we can get to know the blogger through the best medium possible: music. The music we listen to says a lot about people. This time I’m teamed with Kat from indierella.com (this is one of the most beautiful websites I’ve ever been on by the way) to swap our playlists and let other bloggers get to know her wonderful self! So Kat’s in Bold Italics and I’m just normal text.

Continue reading Playlist Swap: Indierella