Miscellaneous · Uncategorized

Sleep Easy 2018

So on Friday the 23rd March I took part in the YMCA Sleep Easy challenge. The tag line is “sleeping rough so others don’t have too”. For me taking part in this was something out of my comfort zone. I hate being cold, not having enough sleep and generally being uncomfortable.

It’s took me a week to write this post as I wanted to ensure I wrote what I felt. In the time I spent doing this challenge I reflected a lot on things that I take for granted and also had a change of perspective.

I got there for 7pm and I met everyone, got signed in and was given two boxes to make my little ‘house’ for the night. Other people started arriving and everyone was having a chat. I didn’t actually know anyone so was just talking to a few people. There was a competition for the best decorated box, so we had a bit of a laugh painting the boxes and sticking random stuff on.

We had a bit of food, listened to some stories of how YMCA Sleep Easy will help benefit those in need and also had a couple of buskers play for us.

Around 11, everyone was settling down going to their ‘beds’. By this the time the temperature had considerably dropped and even though I had 4 lots of layers top and bottom I was still freezing.

Throughout various points of the night I wanted to cry. I was cold, uncomfortable and in pain. At around 3am I was ready to throw in the towel, my head was killing as I still hadn’t slept and I just wanted to go home. This was when it really hit me, those who live like this every single night have no choice at all.

The impact it must take on these people physically and mentally is ridiculous. Something needs to be done as this can no longer and should no longer be happening. Every person has the right to somewhere safe to live, to be healthy and to be equal. I hope that this year is the year where change begins to happen and every person who is in that situation will not have to sleep rough again.

This experience changed my perspective on so many things, including how lucky I am, what I can do to help others and how just to be a better version of me.

Here you can see a little snapshot video of my night put together by HeadStart for me.

Bye for now

Crissy.xo

fitness · Mental Health

How Exercise helps my Mental Health

Exercise isn’t just good for your physical health, it’s good for your mental health too.

When I’m feeling down, I just want to hide away and try to avoid things. However when I am feeling like this, I know I need to take more time to look after myself.

For me exercising helps with my stress management. Wether it’s walking with my dog or a full hour/hour and a half at the gym. Let’s be honest though, after some workouts I’m not necessarily happy. I’m shattered, sweaty and normally wanting to eat. I do feel more motivated, proud of myself for actually getting through it without quitting and everything seems just a little bit brighter. Wether it’s home workouts or a gym work out I love it.

Clothes from Wearwolf Clothing

Weight lifting especially really helps me. It makes me feel strong and like I’m invincible.

I’m totally not invincible but it’s fun to pretend I’m Wonder Woman sometimes. I’ve struggled with joint and muscle problems for most of my life and honestly that has affected my Mental Health for definite. Being able to go into a gym, stick in my headphones and just lift helps so much. It reminds me I’m not my illness and if I put my mind to it I can be anything I want. When I hit a personal best, I can say that it does lift my mood even more. Exercise gives you positive endorphins anyway so doing something I love especially when I am having a low day really helps me.

I hate running, I’ll only run for two things. Food and charity. I do enjoy little fun runs or when I’m doing 5k/10k with other people but it’s definitely not something I do for enjoyment.

So for me exercise definitely does help with mental health even if it is sometimes only temporary.

Do you enjoy exercising? Does it help you?

Crissy x

Mental Health

Time To Talk Day

Time to Talk Day is an initiative from Time to Change. Time to Talk on the 1st of February is to encourage people wherever they are whether it be in a coffee shop, on a bus, at work etc to talk about Mental Health. I know what some of you may be thinking, “why on earth would you want to talk about Mental Health in these places?” Well why not?!

Having a Mental Health problem is scary at times, you feel alone and well ashamed at times because of the stigma around it. There is never a ‘right place’ to talk about most problems and issues in life but if we take the step and begin to talk about it, it may just become a little easier. People who don’t know about Mental Health Problems may just feel easier about asking about it and finding out more.

Now more than ever it is time to talk. We live in an age where so much is going on for every single person. People shouldn’t be ashamed to talk about how they’re feeling. People shouldn’t be afraid of being silenced or being judged. It’s time to continue to break the stigma and ensure that we start to be there for one another.

There isn’t really a right way to talk about Mental Health, everyone is different and will express themselves differently. It might be awkward and even silent at times. Silence is okay though. Make sure you are giving the person your full attention, don’t play on your phone or do anything that shows you aren’t listening to them.

Keep things normal, just because someone has been diagnosed with a mental illness doesn’t mean they have changed. Trust me we don’t grow two heads and we don’t have random changes. However I could potentially have two heads when I’m hungry as that’s never good! We’re still the same person, don’t treat us any different.

For me talking about my own mental health has been a struggle. In secondary school/sixth form and well university there wasn’t really anyone there for me to speak to and if I did it was “Oh you’re just a bit stressed with the work. You’ll get over it”. Over the past few years, it’s been getting slightly better. I still have the odd comments from people which I’m starting to learn to bounce off me. I’m now using my own experience to help others especially young people by volunteering with HeadStart. I’ve had the honour to talk with HRH the Duchess of Cambridge about young people and Mental Health at the recent HeadStart Learning Conference in London alongside one of my fellow ambassadors Hannah and the HeadStart Hype team.

It’s Time to Talk, it’s time for the stigma to finally be broken and it’s time for people not to have to be ashamed about how they feel. So sit have a cuppa or a coffee and a little natter. Remember it’s okay not to be okay.

Crissy x

*Photo from EBPU

Beauty · Lifestyle

My Winter Morning Skincare Routine

Hey Everyone,

So from my life goals 2018 post, I said one of my goals was to look after my skin better.

This winter is doing my skin no favours at all, it’s so cold, and no matter what I was doing my skin was constantly just drying out. My skin became so dull and dehydrated which was just horrible. Then the breakouts started. I’ve had trouble finding the right skincare but a few years ago I started using The Body Shop products and I’ve never looked back.

Every morning, I start with Drops of Light Cleansing Foam – £12. With my skin I do use a few different cleansers but at the moment with this weather, Drops of Light helps my skin look brighter and it’s one that doesn’t dry out my skin.

I then use Vitamin E moisture cream – £13. A little goes such a long way with this. When applying it you barely need a pea size amount. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated but not greasy.

I tend not to wear make-up in winter too much due to my skin always drying out but I’ve been using Vitamin C Skin Reviver – £17. This is basically my primer, it keeps my skin feeling super soft and makes my foundation last all day. This product lasts for months, it’s worth it’s weight in gold for me.

My foundation varies every few months. My skin tone changes with the seasons so I have various shades. The one pictured is my current one which is Fresh Nude Foundation– £16. It includes SPF 15 which is a must for me. SPF is important in my daily routine especially since two of my family members have had skin cancer in the past. The foundation gives a medium coverage and it doesn’t even feel like I have it on at all.

To finish off my morning routine I use the Vitamin C Energising Face Mist – £12. This sets my make-up perfectly. It keeps my skin feeling hydrated and gives me a nice little glow. I use this after long-haul plane rides when my skin just needs that extra bit of hydration as well.

Here’s hoping for a little bit more sun and a little less snow/rain. I do love winter for cozy nights but I’m missing the sun and brighter evenings.

Crissy x

fitness · Miscellaneous

My Fitness Journey so Far

For me a normal week sees me going to the gym now at least twice. If I would have told a 17 year old me I would actually love the gym she would have laughed in your face. I loved rock climbing, swimming and karate but hated P.E with a passion.

My gym story began in 2015, I decided it would be a good idea to sign up for a Great Wall Of China trek. Now I wasn’t extremely unfit but I definitely needed to up my fitness levels and work on my balance. The balance thing still hasn’t happened, I have the nickname Bambi so that should explain all.

So when I first started off training I was doing a lot of cardio, that was a good & bad thing. It did help me gain stamina and i wasn’t getting tired easily but I was losing weight easily. That was a very big issue as I’ve always been on the slim side, having a high metabolism has its issues. I knew from then on I needed to do something a little different. A little bit of a background too, 3 years ago I was on and off the verge of being hospitalised for my weight, now thankfully I’m at a steady weight and not at risk anymore.

The left is me in Nov 2015 and the right is me in Sept 2017.

It’s took a few years really but I’ve finally got into a place where 1. I’m not afraid of going to the gym & 2. I’m not afraid of putting on weight. The second one for me is a big thing for a reason I still cannot explain I was scared to put on weight but I always wanted to because I was sick of the ‘aren’t you anorexic?’ ‘You should try eating more’ ‘if I just hit you you could snap in half’ comments. I still hear those in the back of my mind sometimes but they don’t bother me as much now.

I absolutely love weight lifting. I just find something so satisfying about it. Especially when I hit a new personal best. I can admit I hate training arms/upper body. I’m not good at it and get really frustrated with myself if I fail at a set. Training legs is my favourite and if it didn’t make me walk like a penguin after I’d do it all the time but also that just isn’t feasible. So I do either a leg day then a whole body or an upper body day then a whole body. Mixing up my routine really keeps me actively going as when I used to do classes they were so repetitive and I got bored far too quick.

I’m not sure what’s next for me with my fitness journey, I’m not sure I could ever compete in a competition but I’m just going along and see where it takes me.

Do you enjoy going to the gym? Or is there something else you like to do to have ‘me time’?

Crissy x

Lifestyle · Mental Health

2018 Life Goals

Hi everyone,

Hope you all had a joyful Christmas wherever and whomever you spent it with. I had a lovely family day with my anxiety rearing it’s lovely head only once which I was very thankful for.

With 2018 approaching I’ve been thinking about what I want from the year. I had setting resolutions as they fail and then I get mad at myself. So I’ve split them into 4 categories to help me keep track a little more.

Mental health

⁃ Work on building my resilience.

⁃ Keep working on my coping strategies for my anxiety.

Physical health

⁃ Eat healthier.

⁃ Stick to a gym schedule.

Daily

⁃ Take better care of my skin (cleanse, tone, moisturise).

⁃ Spend at least an hour reading.

Activities

⁃ Take a MH first aid course.

⁃ Go sky diving.

⁃ Enter a new job.

⁃ Pass my driving test.

So these are my goals for 2018. Honestly I’m looking forward to entering a new year. This year has been full of ups and downs and looking back now I’m thankful for it. I’m coming out the other end a stronger and wiser person.

Do you set any goals or resolutions? Or do you just go with the flow?

See you all in the New Year

Crissy x

Mental Health

Christmas and Mental Health

“Tis the season to be Jolly fa la la la” Honestly it’s the season to feel however you want to feel. Now don’t get me wrong I’m literally like buddy the elf when it comes to Christmas, you’ll hear me singing and see me trying to spread Christmas cheer. Sometimes though I do want to lock myself away and just have some me time.

Christmas season can be overwhelming and with stress levels rising it can be challenging for everyone. Crowds of people literally everywhere and just the planning and organising to see people, what to get family and friends is challenging. For myself, I love getting together with friends and family. However the crowds around the shops, making sure everyone’s cards get sent off on time are just a few of the things that can set me off.

Last year, I had one of the worst panic and anxiety attacks I’ve ever had. I was on my way to Birmingham to do some shopping, the train was packed and it just kicked off. My heart was racing, my chest was so tight that I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t get two words out. I slumped to the floor just to feel stable as I knew I wanted to pass out. Luckily for me the people around me were so helpful but it could of been a very different story.

Anxiety and Panic attacks come in many different forms. During a panic attack:

Focus on your breathing. It can help to concentrate on breathing slowly in and out while counting to five.

Stamp on the spot. Some people find this helps control their breathing.

Focus on your senses. For example, taste mint-flavoured sweets or gum, or touch or cuddle something soft.

Try grounding techniques. Grounding techniques can help you feel more in control.

(Tips from Mind) after a panic attack try and find somewhere quiet to rest and compose yourself, if you feel like you need to eat or drink ensure you do. Self-care is seriously important!!

If you know someone who is suffering this seasonal period please try to check in with them to see how they’re doing and if they need anything. Sometimes it’s the people we’re not in contact with regularly are those who need a listening ear or a friendly face.

If you’re suffering this seasonal period remember it’s okay not to be all jolly all the time. Looking after yourself is the most important thing. Talk to someone you trust, let them know how you’re feeling and let them know if there is anything they can do to help you. Most importantly be kind to yourself, whatever you’re feeling is perfectly fine!

You can go onto Mind if you do feel overwhelmed or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed. Samaritans is also there if you need to speak to someone or if you don’t feel like you can speak you can text this number and someone will respond 07725909090.

Crissy x

Miscellaneous

Autumn Tag

Hey,

I know it’s been a while since my last post & we’re also nearing the end of Autumn but I thought I’d share some of my favourite Autumn things before the season ends.

1)What signifies the start of autumn to you? – The leaves changing colour and the nights becoming darker.

 2) Best way to spend a rainy day? – Wrapped up in a blanket, watching a Disney movie with a hot chocolate.

 3) Your most fond autumn memory? – Going on a trail hunt around the local nature reserve and seeing the deer running about.

 4) Favourite Autumn scent? – Yankee Candle Fireside Treats as it reminds me of going camping.

 5) What are you most excited for this Autumn? – Outdoor walks, I loved bonfire night this year as well as we went to Alton which is one of my favourite places.

 6) Favourite autumn song? – Erm not sure about song but the Beautiful Trauma album by P!nk is definitely one of my favourites at the moment.

 7) Favourite autumn movie?- The nightmare before Christmas. It’s like a pre-christmas season movie.

 8) What TV shows are you looking forward to this fall? – Stranger things 2, Riverdale.

 9) Favourite autumn colour? – Burgundy, I’m not normally a fan of reds but burgundy and autumn go hand in hand for me.

 10) Your most loved outdoor fall activity?- Going round the trails at the nature reserve, seeing all the wildlife and the changing of the land.

So those are just a few things about Autumn which I love & have been looking forward too. Stranger Things 2 has been brilliant, I binge-watched it in a day and i have no regrets!

What are your favourite things about Autumn?

Crissy x

Mental Health

Resilience and why it’s okay not to be okay 

You need to get thicker skin” That one little phrase can really mess your day up. If someone is upset that is okay, no-one has the right to make you feel bad for feeling upset. I’ve always been someone who is sensitive and well ever since my depression and anxiety kicked in it has been considerably worse. I get that the world isn’t sugarcoated and full of rainbows and that is perfectly fine but what is not fine is having a go at someone when they have the right to be upset. You have the right not to be okay when you need that time. 

We’re currently in a society which loves to use phrases such as ‘perk up’ ‘You just have to deal with it’ ‘what do you even have to be depressed about?’ and my personal favourite ‘you’re strong, you’ll be fine’. Okay so first off let’s start with the fact that mental illness is NOT a choice. Trust me if I was able to choose anything I’d quite like longer hair and the ability to contour properly but hey sometimes we don’t get a choice. 

‘You’re strong you’ll be fine’ so this phrase literally makes me want to cover my face and scream. I consider myself strong physically sometimes especially when I’m at the gym with my hair in a bun ready to squat. However I also consider myself equally not strong physically or mentally at times. There are times where I have to stick on a brave face, pretend I’m coping and just get on with life until I get back to my room. I can feel weak and helpless at times even when I don’t have the time to be feeling like this, again another lovely effect of mental illness you don’t get to choose when or where it happens. 

It’s only recently I’ve learnt that it is okay not to be okay. I’m allowed to have days where maybe the only thing I do is get up, washed and put on a fresh pair of PJs because that’s all I can face doing. Some days can be great and I live for those days and then you have those other days which I used too call fog days when I was little. These are the days where everything can hit either all at once, or during the middle of the day or even when you are having a laugh and a joke with your family/friends. 

The one thing I have learnt to help me at these times is to be resilient and it is harder than it sounds. Some days I can be quite good at it, other days it goes out the window completely but I gave it a shot so it counts. For me going to the gym helps a lot, exercise = endorphins. I love being able to stick my headphones in and zone out of the world for an hour. I feel relaxed when I leave and can face the day again. Sometimes I just take a step back from everything and try to focus on having me time, this can be reading a book or taking my dog for a walk or even just having a chat about anything with my bestie. I’m not completely there yet and I don’t think at the moment or anytime soon I will be but as long as I keep trying and becoming stronger with it that’s all that matters. 

“Resilience is very different than being numb. Resilience means you experience, you feel, you fail, you hurt, you fall. But you keep going” 

I love this quote and well it explains the steps I’m currently on loop with and that many other people are too. Remember be kind to yourself, it’s okay not to be okay and just take it one step at a time. 

Crissy x 

Uncategorized

25 Questions about me

So I thought I’d do a post which tells you a little bit more about me as my first few posts were very out there and personal. So here we go. 

1. What is your middle name? – I don’t actually have a middle name as my first name Is double barrelled. 
2. What was your favourite subject at school? – I loved music and also religious studies. I find it so interesting to learn about different religions and cultures. 

3. What is your favourite drink? – A good cup of Tea is the way to my heart but I do love a hot chocolate especially in the autumn and winter. 

4. What is your favourite song at the moment? – Erm IDGAF by Dua Lipa as I feel like I’m relating to it at the moment.

5. What is your favourite food? – I love a good pasta dish, carbonara is my absolute favourite. 

6. What is the last thing you bought? – Some boots, a few jumpers & a blanket from Primark.

7. Favourite book of all time? – This is a hard question as I have a few favourites but my all time favourite book is Harry Potter & the Philosophers Stone. It was the first book I was able to read on my own all the way through and well I’ve been a Potter head ever since. 

 8. Favourite Colour? – Blue 

9. Do you have any pets? – I do, a lovely rescue staffy called Marley. We will have adopted him a year ago on the 6th November. 

10. Favourite Perfume? – Daisy by Marc Jacobs.

11. Favourite Holiday? – Christmas, I just adore the season and the atmosphere that comes around the time of year. I love being able to treat my family and my god-children and Just see everyone come together. 

12. Are you married? – No.

13. Have you ever been out of the country? – Yeah, I’ve got the travel bug! I’ve been to Florida, California & Vegas in the USA. I’ve visited China and trekked the Great Wall. I’ve taught in India for two weeks, visiting Dubai on my way back. Also been to a few places in Europe; Slovenia, Verona, Rome, Tenerife, Kos. I’ve got so many more places on my list though.

14. Do you speak any other language? – Considering I took French for A level, I probably should be quite fluent but I’m not really.

15. How many siblings do you have? – None. 

16. What is your favourite shop? – Waterstones as I could spend hours in there. 

17. Favourite restaurant? – Erm my go to restaurant is Bella Italia if that counts?

18. When was the last time you cried? – The first week of October, it was a very testing week and I just needed a cry. 

19. Favourite Blog? -There’s a few that I read daily:

Gabby Fabrizio

Hannah Gale

Corrie

Alice Spake 
20. Favourite Movie? – Peter Pan but Harry Potter comes a close second. 
21. Favourite TV show? – Friends, Pretty Little Liars & Full House.

22. PC or Mac? – Mac. 

23. What phone do you have? – iPhone 6.

24. How tall are you? – 5ft7 & 3/4 (the 3/4 is really important). 

25. Can you cook? – Erm not really but I’d love to learn properly. 

I hope you found that even the slightest bit interesting! 

Crissy x