1 in 4.

1 in 4

Mental Health Awareness Week. Controversial. It’s a topic so many people are afraid to talk about. Some may argue that it’s great to have an awareness week, but do those same people give it a second thought in the following week? Or the week after that? Others act like it doesn’t exist, in complete denial. Ingratitude. And then there’s the people who are mad. They’re mad because they believe that mental health awareness should have no lifespan, no expiration date. I’m on their side. We need to talk.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that Mental Health Awareness Week does a great job; all day I’ve seen so many posts, people showing love and support, sharing stories, essentially doing what they feel obliged to do – raising awareness. And it’s great. But here’s the thing… after this week is over and people (not everyone, but some) stop posting on social media and stop talking, it’s over for them. It doesn’t stop for everyone. In fact, it doesn’t stop for 1 in 4 of us. There’s the statistic – ‘1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year’ (mind.org.uk, 2017). Research shows that that’s remained a pretty steady statistic. And the problem? Talking. I mean that in every single sense of the word.

Think about it like this: if mental health was as valued every single day of the year, as much as it is in this single week, would the same number of people feel too ashamed or scared to talk? I don’t speak for everybody. I have to make that absolutely clear. I know people will experience different feelings towards the idea of talking about what goes on in their head… but here’s what I want to dissolve away – the stigma attached, this idea that talking about your mental health isn’t good. Why the fuck wouldn’t it be good?  My example. When you hurt yourself, maybe you fall over and hurt your knee, usually your first reaction is to clutch it straight away because it hurts. You know it’s not going to fix it, but you do it because it reassures you. It keeps you going until the right help comes, whether it’s a plaster if it’s mild or somebody to come and give you assistance. Stick with me. Mental health, things going on in your head, or if your want the fancy-pants definition *ahem*:

psychological well-being and satisfactory adjustment to society and to the ordinary demands of life’ (dictionary.com, 2017).

Now, imagine instead of your knee, it’s your mind. Instead of clutching it, you talk. Just like when our body feels pain, we find ways to keep ourselves going until we find our source of support.

Talking is hard. God, I can tell you that it is so hard. There is a constant fear that you’re going to be judged for whatever comes out of your mouth. ‘Are they going to look at me differently?’ ‘Are they going to tell people?’ ‘Is there something wrong with me?’. The answer, believe it or not, is no. Not at all. Because you will make the decision to tell the right people, the people who won’t just hear you – they’ll listen. When you’re ready to talk about something, through very careful decision making, you’ll pick the person you trust through your own good judgement.

The way I look at it, talking is the starting point. When you don’t voice anything, it all stays in your head, the only person you tell is yourself. It becomes heavy, it becomes constant, it intensifies and it will consume you. I promise, opening up little by little will change your life. It’s the bravest thing I’ve ever done. It’s taken me a while to get there, and I’ve had to learn how to deal with telling the wrong people, but at this point, I know who to talk to when things are rough. Here’s the important bit, this applies to every single one of you reading. You do not have to be the one who is suffering to be a part of this because your job is to keep everyone talking! And I mean everyone – forget gender, religion, culture, sexuality – address mental health issues and help us to kick it’s ass. Spread the word, make people aware, do your research. Most importantly, let those around you know where you are. Make it clear that if at any time they need somebody, whether it’s for 5 minutes or 5 hours, tell them you’re here to listen. Please don’t assume people know they can talk to you, let them feel comfortable in the knowledge that they have your support. Hey, even something as small as asking somebody how their day was… it can make a huge difference. Let’s get talking and don’t ever stop.

Because really, your mind controls every single part of who you are. Your physical health is responded to by your minds. Your actions. Your movements. Your thoughts. Your intelligence. So, if your mental health is suffering, how can you expect the rest of you to be ok?

Help to end stigmas against mental health. Encourage talking. Encourage thriving. Encourage a future to look forward to.

For more information or support, you can visit the following links (and of course, never hesitate to send me a message – I’m never far!).

Mind – for better mental health

Samaritans – confidential listening service

Time to Change – ending mental health discrimination

Support from ‘Heads Together’

How to access mental health services

Crisis services

My post on intrusive thoughts


Anonymous Acknowledgements

thank you

– Each acknowledgement is genuine and real. They are aimed towards people who were/are in my life. The beauty of anonymity is that I can be as honest and raw as possible. It’s down to the reader to decide whether they’ve been acknowledged or not. So…

Thank you for doing everything you can for me. I can only hope that one day I will be as wonderful of a woman as you are.

Thank you for doubting me. You’ve allowed me to experience what it feels like to prove someone wrong.

Thank you for making me laugh more than anyone. Because of that, I know what it’s like to have your tummy ache from laughter and become completely absorbed in enjoying what’s happened there and then.

Thank you for calling me a slut. You’ve shown me what self-respect should look like and empowered me because of that.

Thank you for the pep talks. Your words of motivation got me through some incredibly stressful times and you made me smile when I needed to.

Thank you for ignoring me. You taught me strength and how to walk away from people that don’t have time to ask me how I am. You taught me that it means nothing to know a person for years if you have no intention of maintaining a friendship.

Thank you all for fucking me over. Several of you made me realise what I deserve and what I’m looking for. You fit neither.

Thank you for making plans with me. Nothing is better than commitment in a friendship and your effort is highly creditworthy.

Thank you for including me in your friendship group. I love creating memories with lovely people and appreciate you all very much.

Thank you for saying I’m ‘fucked up’. You acknowledged my problems before I did and now I’m viewing myself the way you did. The difference is, I’m doing something about it, so thank you for your criticism. It led me towards getting help. Do not however take any credit for the person I become; your thank you has not driven me towards help. Your thank you is for teaching me the right and wrong ways to support myself. Your way was wrong.

Thank you for rekindling our friendship. Life is far too short to lose special friends. I am very happy that you gave us a chance.

Thank you for breaking my heart. I became strong and resilient and had time to focus on myself. You taught me that I didn’t deserve to be treated the way I was and allowed me to raise my standards.

Thank you for your words of wisdom. Your inspirational words and kind messages warm my heart. Your spiritual nature inspires me.

Thank you for our memories. I miss you but I cherish every moment we sat together, chatting, laughing and watching movies and tele. Thank you for making me so proud to have been a part of your life.

Thank you for being secretly protective of me. It’s reassuring to just know that you care and have got my back.

Thank you for saying you’re proud of me. I strive to make you proud of the woman I am becoming and owe many of my successes to you.

Thank you for making a new experience so much easier. For making it less daunting and getting me through a very trying year.

Thank you for being so supportive, understanding, patient and loving with me. I appreciate every single day I have with you and feel incredibly lucky to have been blessed with you. Thank you for showing me such chivalry.

Each person that we are faced with in our own walks of life serves a purpose. You have met them for a reason, be it positive or negative. The positive is to teach you happiness and love. The negative, to teach you lessons and strength. Thank them for making them the amazing person you are today, but never give satisfaction to those who made you learn the hard way. Show them you are unbreakable. Unbreakable and completely unstoppable.

Thinking about thoughts.


You can’t control your first thoughts, nor are you responsible for them. What you can control is your response to them and that is where your responsibility lies. Your response is what represents the person that you are.

A thought is defined as ‘an idea or opinion produced by thinking, or occurring suddenly in the mind’. Essentially, this tells us that there are two parts to the way thoughts work in our crazy little heads – often an initial one followed by a response to it. The word ‘suddenly’ in this definition speaks volumes. Suddenly can mean unexpected, unrelated, even unwanted.

I think what is quite scary is the number of individuals who believe they must always have complete control over their brains 100% of the time (and yep, I am included in that bunch). Let’s try and think about this logically for a minute ok… Now, our brains are bloody complex things. I mean, you must think that your brain is your most important organ…but just think about who’s telling you that (conceited little devils they are). They make you walk into rooms and forget why you’re there, they remind you of that awful thing that happened in primary school x number of years ago (that nobody has actually remembered…you’re all good) right before you go to sleep, they make you listen to a new song until you eventually hate it, they make you read signs that tell you not to touch the wet paint and then convince you that you should check if it’s really wet (the sign could be lying)… yep, brains can be complete assholes and it’s completely fair to say that we don’t control every single thing that goes on inside of it. The same goes for your thoughts.

How often has a thought popped into your head and you’ve been like “what. the. fuck” ? Like, you’ve thought of something and been so shocked, maybe even disgusted, with yourself, or been unable to comprehend why that’s entered your head in the first place. This ‘initial thought’ (as we’ll call it) is likely to be influenced by several things – by your experiences in the past, by your environment, by society, even by your instinctive brain (you know, that part of your brain that’s concerned with basic things like survival and mating – for more info on different jobs from parts of your brain, click here, it’s super interesting!). This is ok!! It’s out of your control. Plus… there’s not a lot you can do once it’s happened.

Now onto the more important part – your response. This determines the validity, reasonableness and rationality of your initial thought. Chances are that 9 times out of 10, you’re a decent person and your response may be that of dismissal, anger, disgust, denial, anxiety or sadness along with worry. This shows your character. It shows that you have no reason to worry about thoughts that you cannot control because you have shown the power and logic to reason with it and your true self empowers through it. It may occur sometimes where you have an initial thought about something and you’re confused, you begin to question it. Be patient here and think carefully. It is likely that it is a passing thought that meant nothing; your brain was just checking that primitive part was still in tact!

On a more serious note, intrusive thoughts are slightly different, but not completely. When they happen, it can feel like they are in control of your entire mind and body. Like there’s an evil little monster or devil sitting up there telling you things you don’t want to hear. They can convince you of things that didn’t even happen, make you doubt yourself and make you feel like you’re worst person you know. Sometimes, they can be controlled through talking. I know… something as small as talking. See, by gaining another perspective, it will help with reasoning what’s going on in your head and allow you to view it rationally and clearly.

You are not your thoughts. You are so much more. So go easy on yourself, give yourself a chance and don’t let negative, unwanted thoughts consume you. You are not a bad person. You are a human being. You make mistakes and you learn. You come up with things in your head sometimes, for no reason at all, but you also respond to it in a way that has shaped your personality. Remember that you are capable of using that fantastic brain of yours for so many things, to create beautiful things and to experience the world from a unique point of view. Don’t let a passing thought hold you back from realising happiness. As always, thank you for making the effort to read my ramblings.

*Of course, if you are concerned that your brain isn’t feeling like you think it should, contact your GP and make an appointment – go with somebody if it makes it less scary – because there are so many options to support you; it’s essential to look after your mental health at all times. Below are some links to organisations that may help also. Keep shining, be your own number 1 fan, make yourself happy and show the world what you’re made of. Love always x*

Mind Infoline – 0300 123 3393.

Information on ‘intrusive thoughts’ and ‘OCD’

Information about ‘anxiety’

Article – intrusive thoughts – ‘Mind’ (Mental Health Charity)

‘Mind’ Home Page – Mental Health Charity Website

NHS Mental Health page

‘Heads Together’ – Mental Health Organisation

‘Samaritans’ contact information (quick number to call UK – 116 123)

List of various contacts to talk to people who can help – you are never alone ♡

10 Steps To Smiling.


‘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). Our happiness can be so heavily influenced through the ideas of other people, through sharing our own experiences, knowledge and suggestions. Now, I’m no expert, but I do have some points to share with you which I believe will have an impact on how to create your own happiness. So get yourself comfy, it won’t take long and see what you think.

1. Accept your flaws.  Ok, I understand why you might think this is nothing to do with being happy, but it does. Flaws. We all have them, every single one of us. Even Beyonce and Ryan Gosling have their flaws (granted, they probably differ from those of you and I, but they exist nonetheless!). If you can first identify your flaws and begin to accept them as part of who you are, you’ll begin to find new ways to look at them. For example, my flaws – I worry, all the bloody time, about almost everything. This used to be such a problem, and I’ll be honest – sometimes it still can be. But it’s also highlighted who the incredible people are in my life that are there for me. Being a worrier also means, in turn, that I am a fantastic planner which means I can be great at organising things! Another flaw of mine which I have been told many times, is that I’m ‘too loud’. I used to view this so negatively, until I realised actually no, this is a great thing – it means I’m energetic, excited, enthusiastic, passionate, comfortable and confident. Try to think of your flaws as not being flaws, but being part of who you are. Remember that they are subjective; what you may hate, another person will love. Trust me, I’ve learnt through experience.

2. Learn to be happy on your own. I don’t mean sitting alone, in your room, blasting ‘walking on the sunshine’ trying to force yourself to smile (although, there is nothing wrong with a one man dance party!). Take time to be independent, figure out how you like to spend your time doing things you love that don’t always rely on other people. That might be through having a long bath (or shower, no preference), listening to music that you like, it could be baking, writing, shopping, gaming, reading, talking – even going places on your own (honestly, people realy do not give a shit. Nobody notices.). Learn that you can be in a great mood through your own personal decisions, not those of others.

3…and then begin to share it with others! Once you’ve established your sassy, independent woman (or man) persona, don’t be afraid to share your experiences with other people. That way, you know it’s something that you can enjoy either alone or in company. Sharing something you love will make you love it even more. You can then have a balance between doing things in your own down time and making plans to do them with whoever you like! In my own experience, I love to write. Writing makes me happy. I can write in my own time and then choose to share it with other people. You never know who is sharing the same interests as you!

4. Be aware of the people you surround yourself with. Point 3 leads me quite nicely into this one. I cannot stress the importance of being around the right people. Like I said earlier, we are so influenced by those around us. If for any reason, people in your life are pulling you down, making you feel like shit, stressing you out, making you doubt yourself, making you feel bored or if you associate them with something bad, do not hesitate to, let them go. Get rid. Bitch, bye. Delete their number, unfollow their social media so you’re not reminded of them, be brutal. If you cannot think of a positive influence they have on your life, do not waste time on them, in the hopes that ‘they might change’. The fuck is the point in waiting for someone to be a decent peson when there’s plenty of them already walking around? Surround yourself with people who make you laugh, who make you smile, who don’t let you down, who make plans with you, who put effort in with you and who make you feel bloody fabulous!

5. Don’t act your age. I feel like too many people take life too seriously and lose their sense of fun and excitement. We were all kids once (funnily enough) and we all had moments of immaturity and silliness and we were playful. I say, what stops us from still having moments like that now? Ok, we can’t spend all day playing with lego and running around in the garden and making a mess about the house (but it would be fun, let’s be honest), but who’s to say we can’t do things that encourage us to be kids again? Be silly, talk in silly voices, buy a marshmallow shooter, laugh over episodes of Spongebob and find joy in the little things. Make time to play and take time off from being a grown up every now and then and see how much fun you have!

6. Find your ‘thing’. Everybody has something that they find complete joy in. Whether it’s spending money online shopping, being creative, being inquisitive, or binge-watching episodes of Come Dine With Me (we all love that though, surely?). Explore your interests and find the thing that makes you tick. What can you do for an hour or so that you know you’ll really enjoy? Could you turn your interest into something regular, like joining a club or society? Could you even make a career out of it? For me, I’m creative! Drama is my passion, I love to go to the theatre, I want to perform more. But I also love coming up with pieces from writing prompts (if you’re the same, I recommend ‘642 things to write about’, you can buy it by clicking here ), I love singing and music, I bloody love colouring books! But I also love to go out shopping for the day, or drinking with my friends. Find your thing and enjoy every second of it.

7. Exercising (don’t write this off…see what I mean first!) Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to join a gym or sign up to a marathon. ‘Exercise’ is such a broad term and it’s scientifically proven that exercising makes you feel happier; when you’re actively exercising, your brain releases ‘endorphins’ which are there to make you feel good! This can be achieved through so many things – have sex, make up a ridiculous dance, walk somewhere instead of driving, join a ‘Clubbercise’ group (more info here – you won’t be disappointed!), do some work with your mum or dad, assemble IKEA furniture (that can be bloody exhausting) or keep it simple and go running for 10 minutes. Exercise doesn’t always have to be half an hour of you hating life, questioning why you can’t breathe – in fact, you should enjoy it so do it through something you want to do. Don’t join a gym just because your entire Facebook feed is about the gains life and doesn’t shut up about it; join something that will make you feel good!

8.  Be realistic and give yourself a chance. You are going to have bad days. It is going to happen. You’ll feel sad or deflated or angry or anxious or anything else that’s the opposite to feeling good. This. Is. Normal. You’re not Superman, you’re human (apologies if I’ve just broken reality to anyone). Your body and your brain will be affected in so many ways and you will feel so many different emotions. What’s important is that you know how to power through it. Let yourself be sad, but know that you can pick yourself up afterwards. It can be something simple like a phonecall, watching a movie, even having a nap! Don’t be harsh on yourself for feeling down about something. I promote positivity as much as I can, but I know I’ve had days where I haven’t even wanted to get out of bed and that’s ok, because I know that the negative feelings will pass. It’s just how it goes. Don’t criticise yourself for not being Sally Sunshine every minute of every day for the rest of your life. Let yourself feel your emotions, but power strongly through them and look forwards – you’ll soon be smiling over something again, even if it’s just a puppy meme or a Buzzfeed food vid (I have so many of them saved it’s unreal…).

9.“Happiness is the art of never holding in your mind the memory of any unpleasant thing that has passed.” You can’t let yourself be happy if you’re always holding on to things which prohibit that. In the words of Disney princess, Elsa, let it go (we could all learn a thing or two from Disney, I don’t care how old you are). Once the unpleasant thing has happened, and it’s passed and been dealt with, screw it up, turn on the fire and chuck it in (metaphor.. not promoting fires before yous get all reckless). Forget about it. We have a magnet on our fridge that says ‘don’t look back, you’re not going that way’ (I mean, I never look back when I’m at the fridge, all I’m looking at is what’s inside…). But my point is, don’t cling on to the negativity. Your happiness is there, don’t suffocate it with unnecessary, pointless, buzzkill dramas.

10. The Happiness Planner. This last one is a more specific, personal one. Last year, I filled out something called ‘The Happiness Planner’. You would not believe how much I learnt, It encourages you to write down good things in every day, things you’re excited about, you can rate your moods for each month, write down what you are thankful for, set yourself goals and there’s section for daily planning and to-do lists too. It revolutionised organisation for me and taught me that every single day holds something good. While every day may not be a good one overall, there is still good in that day somewhere… you just need to spot it. The Happiness Planner comes in several options – there’s the 100 day planner, with no dates, so you can fill it out as and when you please, or there’s the 365 day planner which you fill out for a year. Their website also have printouts that you can try and there’s an app available to download. I couldn’t recommend this enough. For more information, click here.

Ultimately, it comes down to you. The things I’ve talked about have worked for me. They’re my own experiences and ideas. They might not work for everyone, in fact they probably won’t, but if I can help 1 person find 1 idea to make them smile more, I’m happy. Feel free to comment any of your own ideas, I’d love to read them. As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read this; you’re a legend. Be kind, have a laugh and fall in love with your life. I shan’t keep you any longer, off ya pop!

*This post was not sponsored by any of the products or companies mentioned*

A letter to my 16-year-old self.

letter to me

Things seem pretty shitty don’t they? But hey, I’m proof that they haven’t stayed that way. You’re 16 and feel like you’re going through absolute hell. I’m going to tell you a few things that I think will help.

First of all, your relationships with other people couldn’t be on a bigger scope. Some people will say the most awful things to you and about you. Some people will love you so, so much. You’re going to meet people that are going to absolutely break your heart. That is not a reflection on who you are, it is a reflection of them. Pay attention to the people you go to school with, some of them are going to play such an important role in your life in years to come. Not all of them though. Some, you will never hear from again – create memories with them now. Some people are going to treat you horrendously and call you ‘emotionally unstable’ ‘pathetic’ ‘messed up’ ‘stupid’ to name a few. You know what you do? You do not fucking listen. The people that say these things are irrelevant to you. Do not let people tear you down for every part of your worth. In 5 years time, you will be surrounded by people that have nothing but love for you, start with that now. Cherish moments with your loved ones because you never know what might happen… (I don’t want to reveal any spoilers).

Secondly, your weight… stop.fucking.worrying. You are 16, your body is going to change soon anyway. Eat the cake. It doesn’t matter. That’s all I’m saying on that.

Third, try not to worry. I know that’s easier said than done, and chances are in 5 years you’ll still be a worrier… just not as bad. The things you’re worrying about now, don’t matter anymore. You get through them. You solve them. You move forward. You work so bloody hard and you get where you want to be – trust me.

There are so many fun times ahead. I know it’s impossible to see that now; things seem clouded. But in 5 years time, you will be resilient, you will be strong, you will be proud and you will be happy. Keep looking forward but take each day one at a time. You can do it and you bloody well will. Yes, you’ll make mistakes on the way but who cares? What kind of life would it be if you never made mistakes and nothing ever went wrong? Ok, probably a decent one… but not a realistic one. Truth is, there are so many other people feeling just the same way as you do, be brave and talk to people… but talk to the right people, not people that don’t care or won’t give you a decent response. Be brave enough to talk to people that will help you.

And finally. Please, please, please do not take anything out on yourself. You will break so many people’s hearts. You mean a lot to such a vast number of people and as you grow up, that number grows. Look after yourself. The best is yet to come.

Damn, I look good (sometimes)!

Body image; oh the predictable nature of a first post being about body image. The idea to talk about this came from observing changes in my own body. Some days, I’m completely ok with that. Other days, it’s a baggy hoodie and ignoring the fact that my hips aren’t as small as they used to be by indulging in a selected binge (food, drink, Netflix… other binges are available).
I’ve learnt so much lately (I know… I’m shocked too) about understanding my body and knowing where my dips and bumps are and one key message that is never (well… never in my experience at least…) plastered on any social media platform is that it is ok for your body to change. Chances are as well, it bloody will. Trust me, I live to tell the tale. I’ve bought dresses that have looked great and a couple of months later, it’s a bit tighter on my bum or around my tummy. A couple of months after that, it’ll fit as it did the first time. This is because I am not consistent. I am not somebody who has routine meals, routine days to work out, routine sleep patterns (definitely do not have that last one). *Time for a cliche…and so early on!* This is because life is all about balance. Some days, I eat my greens, my 5-a-day, drink my body weight in water and others I’m promoting a lifestyle fueled by chicken nuggets and wine. Balance.
But balance needs to be there in your thoughts about that reflection in the mirror. Accept that your body is not likely to look exactly the same every single day. Some days you might bloat. Some days you might find stretch marks. Some days you might hate your boobs (or lack of in my case). But who the fuck says that that’s such a bad thing? Your insecurities do not define you and I guarantee, 9 times out of 10, you’re the only one noticing it. Body changes should be embraced, especially because what you might discover as something you can’t stand, other people are out there somewhere complaining that they wish they had it.
Not everybody wants a thigh gap, but some people do. Not everybody cares about the number on the scales, but some people do. Not everybody wants to tone up and be fit, but some people do. Not everybody wants to diet, but some people do. Not everybody celebrates the way that they are made, but everybody should.
Goal: I’ve learnt recently that having somebody tell you things which they like about your figure has such an impact on the way you view yourself. I used to hate the size of my hips in comparison to my waist but since being told ‘I like it’, I’m so much more accepting of the way my figure is changing. My point here is, tell somebody something you’ve noticed about them that will make them smile and watch how it makes you both feel. Body positivity must conquer all.