Thursday, 28 May 2015

Helping Others | Raising Money For Charity

 
 
I'm going to be talking about something very different today. Throughout my whole life, I have always given things to charity and made sure I'm not thoughtless and as I have grown older, my passion for helping others has developed. There are so many charities in the UK and worldwide, that it would be selfish if we didn't try to do our bit and give to those who needed it most. It's not as if the only option is to find thousands of pounds to give to one charity; there are so many different ways to raise money and help improve other people's lives.
 
Some of the ways to change lives include:
 
- Support, listen and offer guidance
 
- Go up to someone and talk to them if they seem lonely
 
- Help someone out if they appear to be struggling
 
- Give to charities and do volunteering work
 
Over the next few months, I'm going to be giving back to others as much as I can, no matter how big or small the good deed is. I'm hoping to hold a cake sale, raise awareness for many different charities that have a lot of meaning to me, sort through my old things and give them to those who are less fortunate and spread as much love & positivity as I can. We all have to start from somewhere.
 
 
I have huge plans for the future. I would love to have a profession where I can help people and change lives on a daily basis and that is what I aim to do someday. I know it won't be easy, but I'm starting to attempt to improve the world now, through this blog and my self-project. It is such a rewarding feeling to know that you have put a smile on someone's face, or you have made that one person's day a little bit brighter. Nobody said that life is easy. There is so much hate and negativity in the world as it is and I want to eliminate that. I'm going to be starting a brand new, exciting project within the next couple of days and it will be something that all of you can get involved in so I can't wait to share that news with you! Of course, I'm going to keep you up to date, so if this turns into a series, don't be too surprised ;). Let's all spread a little more love & positivity and encourage other people to do the same. Smile. A smile is contagious, so you never know who's day you might make!
 
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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Haul | Recent Book Purchases

 
How I Live Now By Meg Rosoff - The first book that I picked out is called 'How I Live Now'. It's a young adult novel about a 15 year old girl called Daisy, who is originally from New York City. Her mother died whilst giving birth to her and now her father has sent her away for the summer to live in the English countryside with her cousins who she hasn't even met before. Whilst she is staying there, she will discover what true love is - but, her world will be turned upside down and her 'perfect summer' will explode before her very eyes. Throughout this novel, we will find out how she survives. It's set back in the war time and that means it allows you to get an accurate, historical insight into life back in the olden days, as if you were living along with the family!
 
 
The Year Of The Rat By Clare Furniss - One novel that particularly caught my attention when I was browsing through Amazon was 'The Year Of The Rat'. Although it has quite a strange title, it seems like an incredible story that anyone could easily get lost in. It's a touching book 'about dealing with love, loss and the need to keep living', according to Sunday Express. The storyteller is Pearl, who's just your average teenage girl. She has a new-born half-sister called Rose, who she loathes, because she knows it was Rose that caused her mother's death during childbirth and that has torn her world apart. In Pearl's eyes, Rose is known as 'The Rat.' It is described as achingly sad, yet refreshingly real. It's an eye-opener for anyone and is sure to make you laugh, cry and hold your loved ones a little bit tighter.
 
 
The Ice Cream Girls By Dorothy Koomson - I was recently watching a book recommendations video on YouTube and this was one of the book's that was mentioned in that video. It's known as the novel that inspired the major ITV drama. This is what the blurb says, 'As teenagers, Poppy Carlisle and Serena Gorringe were the only witnesses to a tragic event. Amid heated public debate, the two seemingly glamorous teens were dubbed 'The Ice Cream Girls' by the press and were dealt with by the courts. Years later, having led very different lives, Poppy is keen to set the record straight about what really happened, while Serena wants no one in her present to find out about her past. But some secrets will not stay buried - and if theirs is revealed, everything will become a living hell all over again..'
 
 
The Lovely Bones By Alice Sebold - Out of all of the books I have talked about, this is the one that has intrigued me the most and I have waited so long to purchase it! This is how it is described, 'My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighbourhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer. This is Susie Salmon, speaking from heaven - which looks a lot like her school playground, with he good kind of swing sets, counsellors to help newcomers adjust, and friends to room with. Everything Susie wants appears as soon as she thinks of it - except the one thing she wants most: to be back with the people she loved on earth. Watching from her place in heaven, Susie sees her happy, suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they each try to cope with their terrible loss alone. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet...' As you can tell, it's an incredibly emotional, heart-wrenching novel and I feel like it is going to be very eye-opening and beautifully written.
 
 
Let me know if you have read any of these books and if you would like reviews once I have read them!
 
 ♥

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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Teen Talk #1 | Love & Relationships

 
Today marks the beginning of a new series on my blog called 'Teen Talk'. In these weekly posts, I'm going to be discussing a variety of different topics that most, if not all, teenagers can relate to. The type of topics that I will be covering can be anything from family problems to sex and puberty. Hopefully it will help a few people and if you have any requests for future posts, please let me know.
 
 
The first topic that I'm going to be talking about today is love & relationships. I know that a lot of young people, boys and girls, have a lot of questions and concerns regarding this particular subject and through this post, I'm going to cover as much as I can and hopefully it will help you all out.
 
Love
 
Love is something that cannot be defined, but it is an emotion that we all feel towards other people throughout our whole life. Whether it be for family members, friends, partners, pets, hobbies or anything else, we all love at least one thing at some point. Often, people find that loving the opposite sex in more than a friendly way is scary, or a new experience for them. It can sometimes seem overwhelming and many people can become very unsure when it comes to loving someone romantically. That is completely normal. Everybody is nervous when they experience something new! I was scared when I started talking to a boy for the first time - and I know I wasn't alone!
 
How do you actually know when you are in love? - This might seem like a particularly cliché answer, but you genuinely do 'just know'. Sometimes we can think that we are experiencing love when we are actually mistaken, but usually we will just have that feeling and we know that it is an emotion that comes from the heart. When you care about that person more than anything else and you constantly want to be with them due to the smile that they give you, when you would do anything for them and you would protect them during no matter what, when you think that you could see a future with them and you feel as though these feelings will last a lifetime. Those are some of the ways in which you can find out if you're in love or not. It doesn't just last a day - it should last a long time!
 
 How can I tell if he/she truly likes me or if he/she is just a player? - Finding out the answer to this question can take a long time - it isn't just something that you find out within the first few seconds. You have to really think about it, as well as asking yourself a few questions in the process. If you truly respect that person and they respect you, if you can trust them and be honest with them no matter what the situation, if you can truly talk to them properly and tell them things that you struggle to tell other people easily, then he may just be 'the one'. As far as telling if they are a player or not, you must ask yourself the following questions. Do they call/text when they say they will? Are they reliable, honest and trustworthy? Can you count on them when you need someone to lean on? Do they tell the truth? Be very careful when you start talking to people, as you may end up getting hurt. Talk to them regularly, be yourself, meet up with them a couple of times and then form a judgement on them and see how things go, but don't get your hopes too high before at least 2 weeks of talking and meeting up properly. It also depends on how comfortable and confident you are with them!
 
What does it feel like to genuinely fall in love? - From my experience, it is one of the most incredible feelings in the world. When you are in a relationship with someone and you are both in love with each other, it is almost like nothing else matters, because you are so happy with that one person and you feel like they are genuinely your soul mate. You can be yourself around them without facing judgement or criticism, you can trust them with anything, you feel safe and protected, they can always make you laugh or cheer you up and you feel as if they are your entire world and more.
 
Why does nobody ever show an interest in me? Will I ever find someone? - Even if you feel like you will never be in a relationship and you never have a chance at getting married, you are wrong. I think that every single human has a soul mate, but it just takes time and patience to find them. Who cares if you're 20 and you have never kissed anyone, or had a serious relationship? It doesn't matter! You still have plenty of time and believe me when I say your time will come. You have to kiss many frogs until you find your prince in some cases and that's completely okay. There is always hope!
 
Relationships
 
It can take a long time to form a proper relationship with someone. Often, it can be an extremely nerve-wracking, overwhelming experience and various emotions can become more involved.
 
I want to be more than just friends. What do I do? - Speak to them. It may seem like the most straight-forward, pointless suggestion, but communication is honestly key. Explain how you are feeling and see if the other person feels the same. If they do, then date them! If they don't, just cut them off or leave them alone. It sounds harsh, but if they start distancing themselves from you, or they avoid you whenever they can, then they aren't worth your time or your attention at all. Never chase someone if all they do is continuously run away from you. You could stay friends if you mutually agree on that, but don't waste your time on someone who may not be worth it. If he is ignoring you, just leave him. Don't bother messaging him or pestering him as it will only push him farther away and it isn't worth the hassle. Focus on yourself and those who genuinely do care.
 
Help! How do I tell him/her that I want to start dating them?! - If you feel that you actually want to get into a relationship with someone, then you need to subtly drop hints. Try and talk to them more and get to know them on a better, more personal level. Invite them for trips out to spend time with each other, show an interest in their life, always ask them how they are and let your true personality shine through. Depending on the reaction that the person gives back, then you can decide what your next step should be. If you receive a positive reaction, try asking them out on a date! Then, see where things go from there and try asking them out whilst having a romantic meal or something like that. If the reaction is negative, then maybe this person isn't the right one for you. Maybe you should just stay friends, maybe not! Try not to be too disheartened and just take it all with a pinch of salt.
 
My ex is dating my best friend, but I want him/her back. What should I do? - Wait until he/she breaks up with them. If he really does still like you, then why is he/she still with his/her partner? Why are they still going out? I think that you should talk properly and find out how your best friend and your ex both feel. It's not worth loosing a friend over someone else who got involved in you both.
 
Why do I always fight with my boyfriend/girlfriend?! How can I stop it? - All relationships experience arguments from time to time and as long as they aren't too serious or violent, then you shouldn't have too much of a problem. However, once again, you need to communicate. What are the real issues within this relationship? Can you actually listen and communicate with each other? Listen with an open heart and don't get defensive or mouthy until you have each had your say, then try to calmly resolve things without raising your voice. Counselling is always an option if it gets too much.
 
Flirting
 
Flirting happens during the very first stages of a possible relationship and it can be very daunting getting to know someone that you could potentially start dating, but it does get easier over time and with plenty of practise, don't worry! Try to be confident and remember to stay true to yourself.
 
How do I tell if she/he likes me? - If you are trying to work out if a girl likes you, there are a few simple hints. She gazes into your eyes, she touches parts of your body whilst talking to you e.g. hand, shoulder, thigh etc., she blinks a lot and flutters her eyelashes, she may also twirl her hair or blush.
If you are trying to work out if a guy likes you, there are also a few hints that they drop when around you. They will look at you until you turn around, then they will look in the opposite direction, he may do something physical to try and pay you attention, he talks to everyone else, but becomes choked up when it comes to you, his behaviour may change around you, he may also turn red/blush a little.
 
How do I actually begin to flirt with someone? - Be confident! Don't be afraid to take risks and just try to make yourself noticed by going up to them, making conversation when you can and genuinely show an interest. Have fun - be spontaneous and playful! Make jokes, mess around etc. Always make eye contact and smile! Listen to what the person is saying and respond confidentially and naturally, whilst being yourself. Compliment them and make them feel good about themselves! Use your body language and facial expressions to add a bit more character to the conversation! Liven it up!
 
I get so self-conscious around people I find attractive! How can I feel more confident? - Keep practising. The more you practise, the more you will get used to it and you will learn through time. If you dislike the way you look, do your hair in a different way or change up your makeup routine. Put on a smile and pretend to be confident! Even if you're not, just try pretending as if you were in a drama class. That may help you to actually become more confident. Just don't let things hold you back. Think about what would happen if it went well. Admit how you feel. Don't let your feelings or fear get in the way of things. Just be brave and try your best. You have nothing to loose anyway!
 
Why does it seem like people are only interested in the 'perfect, popular' people? - Just because you don't look or act a certain way doesn't mean people don't notice you! I know at school it seems like everyone is interested in popularity and looks, but not everyone is like that. You shouldn't worry anyway. There is someone out there for everyone and if someone can't see your worth and how amazing you truly are just by being you, then they genuinely aren't worth it. Don't change just to try and fit in or get more attention. Popularity will mean nothing when you leave school/college. You need to try and be confident within yourself and forget what others think. Always remember that you are special and wonderful in your own way and other people's opinions will never change that.
 
Cheating 
 
Unfortunately, cheating is a part of life sometimes. It can be an extremely heart-breaking, tricky situation to deal with, but you do get over it eventually and find happiness afterwards, I promise.
 
I've just been cheated on - What do I do?! - I know exactly how it feels to be cheated on, I really do. As much as you may love the person (or think you do) and you want to keep running back to them and try to sort it out, it won't make any difference. A cheat is always going to be a cheat and you shouldn't be wasting your time on a worthless loser when you could be with someone amazing who will actually treat you right. It will be difficult at first, but you need to remove them from everything. I appreciate that may not be easy if you go to the same school or you have to see them regularly, but limit contact as much as you possibly can. Block and delete them off all social media, burn/get rid of any memories such as clothing, presents, cards, pictures etc., just generally remove every single thing that reminds you of them. Distract yourself with other things and other people in your life. Eventually, it will get easier and you will begin to stop thinking about them as much. Just remember what they did to you and how it made you feel. Do you ever want to experience it again? If you stay with them, it will most likely just happen again, so think of escaping whilst you can!
 
Should I forgive my partner for cheating on me? They said it was a mistake. They promised they won't do it again. - Whatever you do, don't make the same mistake as me. Don't ever forgive them or take them back, not even for a second. What they did to you cannot and should not be justified in any way and they shouldn't be given a chance for the same thing to happen again. They are toxic; they are poison. Get rid of them! Ignore every single word they say. It's all lies. You don't cheat on someone as a mistake. Please don't forgive them or tell them it's okay, because it absolutely 100% is not okay. Never, never, never. Put yourself & your own happiness first and leave them!!
 
Why don't people leave their partners before they cheat? - For example, if you had a boyfriend/girlfriend, but you felt attracted to someone else and you didn't feel you genuinely loved them and wanted to be with them anymore, then why didn't you break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend before going behind their back and sleeping with/doing stuff with someone else? If you no longer feel a connection, or you know you're going to go out and get drunk, don't stay with the person! Break up with them before you sleep with/have an affair with someone else. Simple.
 
I have just cheated on my partner. How can I apologise? - I really don't think there is anyway to apologise for cheating on someone. Instead of sugar-coating things and lying, I think that you should always tell the truth straight away. Be honest with your partner and explain the situation. Be honest with yourself and accept responsibility. There is no point hiding away. You must take responsibility for your actions and understand what you have done wrong. Don't beg and grovel in order to try and tempt them back. It makes you look desperate and even more pathetic. Don't hide. Face up.
 
Break-Ups
Usually, most break-ups are pretty tough to get over and they can take a long time, which is perfectly normal. However, remember that everything happens for a reason and you will find someone else.
 
I don't love my partner anymore. How do I break up with them nicely? - Falling out of love with someone is normal. It's ok to loose feelings for someone - it's a part of life. Always break up with someone in person. Never do it through text or social media. Break up with someone as soon as you decide that it's time. Don't just string someone along when you no longer have feelings for them. Realise that all break-ups will hurt and it will take time to heal, so don't beat yourself up over it. Try to part on good terms. You may bump into them sometime if you live locally and it will be a lot less awkward if you are civil with each other. Be honest and meet up properly to talk the situation and your feelings through before making any decisions. Listen to each other's point of view first.
 
My boyfriend/girlfriend has just split up with me. I'm heartbroken! - Calm down. Everything will be okay. Keep smiling, no matter what happens. Give it time to get over, because it will get easier over the next few weeks/months, but you just need to be patient and try to distract yourself. Go out to see your loved ones or give them a phone call, take up a new hobby, book a holiday, have some drinks or a pamper night one evening. Block them off everything and delete all their social media accounts from your life. Don't have anything to do with them if you don't want too. Leave yourself to have some time away from romance/dating and just focus on other people/things.
 
Even though we have broken up, is there still a chance of friendship? -  It's completely up to you. Some people may find it really awkward and uncomfortable to stay friends with an ex, but for others, it may be different. There is no right and wrong, it's just down to personal opinion and it really does depend on the situation and how you broke up. It's not my place to say what you should do!
 
I don't want my ex to love anyone else! - I understand that this can be one of the most difficult things to come to terms with, but you need to be strong and understand that it will happen eventually and it's just a part of life. You will end up loving someone else someday too, I'm sure. Just remember that your ex probably wasn't the right one for you, but there are plenty more fish in the sea. If you happen to see your ex and their new partner out and about, that's fine. Don't make eye contact, don't talk to them, just ignore them and pretend you didn't notice. It will hurt at first, but it gets easier. The way you are feeling is a completely normal, natural reaction, so please don't think you're being silly!
 
 Q&A Time
The next few questions are random ones that I haven't answered yet as I thought I'd leave them to the end as they are a little more open and miscellaneous.
 
How can I manage my boyfriend/girlfriend and my friends? - I would suggest purchasing a diary and setting dates in advance. Maybe you could ask your group of friends what their plans are for the week ahead and see what they say, then set a few dates and then find out when your partner is free and set a date on the days you aren't busy. They will all understand that you need to have a social life as well as time for your partner, so try not to worry about it and research tips if you need too. For things such as an anniversary, where you will be with your partner, if your friends wanted to meet you then you could just explain that it's your anniversary, but you will meet them the next day! Everything will work out, but you just need to stay organised and try to plan your time better.
 
What activities can I do with my boyfriend/girlfriend? - You could go to the cinema, out for a meal, go shopping, go to each other's houses, go to the park, bowling, zoo... anything at all!
 
What about if people try to get in the way and break us up? - Insignificant people do not matter! I have always had people getting in the way of relationships and trying to steal my boyfriend off me, but if your boyfriend/girlfriend is truly worth it and is committed to you and the relationship you have, then it shouldn't matter or even affect what you both have. There will always be jealousy from others, but try to talk to your partner about it and just see how it goes. Talk to the jealous person if they are really getting in the way or distance yourself from them. It will all work out, don't worry!
 
I haven't had my first kiss yet - what do I do? - I only had my first proper kiss a couple of months ago and I'm 14! It doesn't matter what age you are or anything. As long as you are ready, then that is all that matters. So what if you're 20-30 and you have never kissed anyone or done what everyone else has done. That doesn't matter! It goes to show that you have respect for yourself and your body, which is more important than popularity and fitting in with what everyone else is apparently doing. When the time is right, it will happen naturally. Tell whoever it is that you are a little nervous and if they respect you enough, they will take it slow and go at your pace. It just happens naturally. Copy what the other person does and go with the flow. It really isn't that hard, I promise you. Google it or watch YouTube videos if you need to in order to give you some peace of mind! I did it too!!
 
Everyone else is having sex and getting physical, except me. Why is this? Am I weird? - Quite often, there is a lot of pressure within today's society and a lot of competition to try and get as sexual and as raunchy as possible, when it shouldn't be that way! Be proud that you're 20 and you haven't had sex. That doesn't matter at all, neither does people's opinions. It's not their body or their life, so they shouldn't even be focusing on what you're getting up too. Take your time, do it with someone you trust and ignore what other people think. Listen to your own body and forget the crowd. Half the time, people end up regretting it as they are so young and they just want to show off, so be proud that you saved yourself and you didn't regret it! Just because people say things, it doesn't mean they are true.
 
People keep pressurising myself and my partner to do things. - Ignore them and absolutely don't do what their saying! The first time I went out with my now boyfriend, everyone was constantly pressurising us and trying to make me do things, even threatening to chuck me in the lake or the bin and they stole my phone until I kissed him! It's absolutely pathetic. You shouldn't even be around those types of people. Just forget they even exist and stay away from them as much as you can. Don't allow them to break you and your partner up. It is between you two, nobody else! They are irrelevant.
 
I really hope that this blog post helped some of you. If you have any further questions, feel free to let me know and I will try my very best to answer them. Remember, everything happens for a reason!
 
 

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Monday, 25 May 2015

Mental Health Monday #7 | Depression

 
 
What Is Depression?
 
Depression is the most common mental health disorder in Britain, according to research. It can be an incredibly debilitating and draining condition which can have physical and emotional effects on a person's life. It can effect someone in many ways, but it typically interferes with a person's ability to complete daily tasks, find interest in things and even to function properly. I don't feel that enough people understand about depression and that is one of the reasons why I am doing this post today.
 
 
What Are The Symptoms?
 
Feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. You have a bleak, uninterested outlook on life. You may feel as if things will never get better and there truly is no light at the end of the tunnel, or anyway to help you situation.
 
Loss of interest in daily activities. You feel no interest towards any activities e.g. hobbies, relationships, work, friendships or anything else. You feel little to no joy or pleasure anymore.
 
Appetite or weight changes. You may find yourself eating a lot more, or a lot less than what your regular amount is.
 
Sleep changes. You may either be experiencing insomnia (inability to fall asleep properly, or stay asleep for a long amount of time) or you could be oversleeping, which is also called hypersomnia.
 
Anger or irritability. You may feel increasingly agitated, restless or even violent. Your temper may be short and you may feel as if everyone and everything is annoying you, no matter what the issue.
 
Loss of energy. You may be feeling tired, sluggish and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy and you may find it hard to even complete small, simple tasks.
 
Self-loathing.  You may feel as if you aren't good enough or that nobody likes you or cares about you. You harshly criticise yourself far too often.
 
Reckless behaviour. You may begin self-harming, turning to alcohol, drugs, careless driving or engaging in activities that may harm your body.
 
Concentration issues. You may have problems focusing, making decisions or even remembering things.
 
Unexplained aches and pains. You may have random headaches, back pain, aching muscles or stomach pains.
 
 
 
The Stigma Around Depression
 
Mental health problems are extremely common, but 9 out of 10 people that experience them have said that they experience stigma and discrimination from others. This stigma and discrimination can be very hard to deal with as it can result in loss of friendships, relationships, social isolation, exclusion from activities, difficulty in getting and maintaining a job, not finding any help and therefore resulting in a slower recovery. Equally, stigma can cause people to shy away and bottle up their problems in fear of being judged or laughed at, so they won't be able to receive the support they need. This is why we need to join together and help end all discrimination and stigma so this illness is not such a taboo and then sufferers will be able to get the help that they deserve to be able to recover.
 
How To Help End Stigma - Time To Change Campaign
 
The aim of the Time To Change campaign is to encourage all of us to open up and discuss our mental health, which will hopefully mean that we can start conversations with those who may need guidance. You could take part by raising awareness and talking to those around you about mental health issues. You could share a blog story to raise awareness, sign up to receive Time To Change emails and you could even add your name to their pledge wall, just like I did, joining hundreds of thousands of people to encourage others to open up and discuss the taboo subject which is mental health issues.
 
The Road To Depression Recovery
 
Ask for help and support. Even if the thought of tackling your depression may seem very overwhelming at first, don't panic. Just because you are currently feeling this way, it doesn't mean you are weak, or pathetic or anything else! These emotions are completely normal due to your illness and that is not within your control, so don't think that there is no way out of this tunnel. You should try starting with baby steps and ask for help. Find someone who seems like a good listener and discuss your feelings and your emotions with them. Don't be afraid. Its better to be out in the open rather than bottled up where it will only cause you more pain instead of making anything better. Having a strong support system will help to encourage and fuel your recovery process. Reach out to others, even if it may feel like you're a burden to them or as if you are not important. Please just try it. Most people will be delighted that you have chosen to open up to them; they'll be flattered that you would actually consider opening up about something that is so personal to you. Let your loved ones know what you are going through and then they will be able to support you and find you proper help. Although it's really important to have support of other people, you have to try to not rely on others too much as if they did stop becoming so involved one day, then you would be lost, so you do need to rely on yourself and build a positive relationship with yourself too, just to avoid further upset.  
 
Make healthy lifestyle changes. Try to make positive, supportive relationships with those around you. Get regular exercise and plenty of sleep each night. Eat healthily as this will help to boost your mood. Learn how to manage your stress and practise relaxation techniques. Challenge your negative thought patterns and change those negative ones into positive ones as often as you possibly can. Keep yourself busy with other things and try to distract your mind. Treat yourself to something nice once in a while such as a pamper night, shopping, get your nails done, go out for a meal etc.
 
Build emotional skills. Many people struggle to balance their emotions and learn how to manage stress. Building emotional skills can help you to bounce back from any trauma that you have experienced, causing you to feel these negative emotions. Learn how to recognise and express your inner feelings.
 
Seek professional help. If support from your loved ones, healthy lifestyle changes and building emotional skills still isn't enough when tackling your mental health, then please seek help from a professional mental health expert. There are many treatments for depression, including therapy, medication, and alternative treatments. Learning about your options will help you to decide what is best for you and your situation.
 
Resources
 

Samaritans

24-hour helpline: 08457 90 90 90
jo@samaritans.org
samaritans.org
Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, Chris
PO Box 90 90
Stirling
FK8 2SA
 
 
 
 
If you are unsure on how to bring up the topic, you can just sit one of your loved ones down and either give them a letter explaining your thoughts and what you are going through or if you have a comfortable, open relationship with your parents or someone close to you, then you can just bring it up into conversation and arrange on getting a doctors appointment or facing the next step together. Once you have got that first step out of the way of accepting and admitting your illness, then you will be able to take the next steps towards recovery and finding a happier you. Remember that you are never alone and there is always going to be support available. I will always be here for any of you that have mental health issues, or any other concerns or questions in general. I promise you.
 
Ways To Contact Me
 
Instagram - jademillardx
Snapchat - jadey_millardx
Tumblr - teenage-insanity
Kik - jade_millard13
 
If you need to contact me, just go for it. I promise I won't judge anyone, no matter what you tell/ask me and I will do my very best to help, whilst remaining strictly confidential. I love you all so much.
 
♥
 
 
 

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Sunday, 24 May 2015

Social Issues | Road Safety & Drink Driving

 
When you're young, everyone always talks about road safety and how you should always be cautious when it comes to crossing and travelling about in public. I used to always get presentations and various talks in primary school, but believe it or not, that was all for an extremely important reason. Road accidents occur so often and many people get injured or even lose their lives because of them.
 
 
When crossing the road, you have to be alert at all times. Get off your phone, take your headphones out and focus your eyes on what is around you. A vehicle could suddenly appear from out of no-where and then your life could be hanging by a thread in an instant. Always be very cautious when you are out and about. Make sure that the traffic light man is green before you go and press the button if it isn't. Even if it is green, you should still look left and right, just to make 100% sure. Stop when you are at the lights, look around and see if any cars are moving or about to move and listen to what is going on. Is there an engine revving? Is the traffic light man beeping to signal either red or green? Make sure you take care when stepping out as it only takes a second to get knocked over.
 
The same can be said for vehicles too. If the lights are red and you see people crossing, let them cross and take note of the lights. They are the colour that they are for a reason. Do you want to be the reason that someone breaks a bone or ends up in hospital in a critical condition that night, with their life literally hanging by a piece of string? Never go too fast when driving. Whether you're in a rush or not, pay attention to speed limits, cameras and what is going on with everyone else. It really isn't worth the risk. Drink driving isn't cool either. You can put your own and other people's lives in danger, all because of making the foolish mistake of driving whilst under the influence of an excessive amount of alcohol. Please don't be that careless. Stop, look and listen. Don't drive whilst drunk. It will most likely end horribly with devastating consequences. If you have had one too many, whether you think it's cool to drive fast or not, just get a taxi or a lift off of someone who is sober. It's better to be 'uncool' aka safe rather than risk your own health and safety, as well as other's too.
Take care and be sure to stop, look and listen. Always. Safety doesn't happen by accident.
 
♥
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Friday, 22 May 2015

Lifestyle | Staying Organised With School Work

(image is taken off google images, it's not my own!)
 
Get folders for each subject. If you want to keep all your work for each subject organised, then a folder would an ideal solution. It ensures that everything is neat and in the right place, so you won't have any loose papers and you will always know where everything is when you need it.
 
 
Get supplies you may need. Even if you think that you may not need a protractor for that specific exam, or you don't need to bring in all your notes for that one English lesson, just do it anyway. You can never be too prepared and if you didn't have something when you needed it the most, you could end up getting in trouble, or failing all because of that one piece of equipment.
 
Always be prepared. This leads on from my previous point, but you have to be prepared. Organise your school bag the night before, get rid of papers that you no longer need, keep a tidy space to study in and always revise for everything until you are 100% confident that you know what you are doing. It's better to know a lot about a couple of subjects than to only know a little bit about one.
 
Focus and stick to deadlines. When you focus and keep on track with dates and deadlines, then everything will become much easier. Focus in class and get down all the notes that you may need and ask questions if you are even a tiny bit unsure on something so that clears things up. Write down all your deadlines in a planner or a diary and keep a timetable so you can organise all of your time properly and you don't miss any important exam dates, or cram revision in at the last minute. Don't allow yourself to get distracted and always try and revise in a quiet space, so you can properly work.
 
Do homework as soon as you get it. It can be so easy to procrastinate and put things off all the time if you don't want to do them, but it's best to get everything done when you receive it. Just get it out of the way on the night that you get it and then you won't have to worry about it anymore.
 
Keep everything tidy. Make sure that everything is always neat and in it's place. Keep your papers in folders and in the right order, get rid of all the loose sheets that you don't need any more, keep all your books and stationary in an organised place, or in a pencil case and always make sure that you have everything you need where it should be.
 
 ♥
 
 

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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Beauty | Top 5 Foundations

 
 

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream - A couple of months ago, this was my go-to base product, because I literally wore this all the time. It's quite a watery, thin consistency, but it applies very smoothly and easily. If you have spots, redness or any noticeable imperfections or flaws when it comes to your skin, then this product will reduce the appearance of them and it will even out your skin tone. If you have dry skin, it supposedly hydrates your face, but whether that's true or not, I can't say. I found it made me look a little cakey and flaky at times, but if you are looking for a light, smooth base product that isn't as heavy as foundation, but does a decent job, then I'd recommend this hyped CC cream.

 

Dermalogica Sheer Tint Moisturiser -  I received this tinted moisturiser as a gift for my birthday back in March and I have liked it ever since I started trying it out. I'd never tried any products from this brand before, but I would recommend it. It has an SPF of 20, which is especially beneficial for these upcoming months as the weather begins to get warmer and people's skin can tend to get oiler. I would say it's quite a matte finish as it doesn't appear dewy on my skin. (not that I have noticed anyway) There is quite a minty, menthol scent when you apply it, but that doesn't really bother me in the slightest, as it's actually pretty refreshing. It's easy to blend in and it just glides on the skin if you know how to apply it properly, either with a brush or your fingers in circular motions.

 
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum - This is my favourite foundation of the moment and it has been for quite a while now. It smells of apricots, which is very pleasant and I don't think many people would be put off by the scent of fruit, if I'm honest. It's quite a dewy formula, hence the serum in the name, but it isn't too runny or too thick, so you don't look cakey or dehydrated. It allows your skin to look dewy without looking like you need to immediately moisturised and scrub at your skin to get the dry patches off. At the moment, I'm not wearing much makeup, but if ever I do, I will wear this foundation as I find it most suitable for my skin and it makes me look radiant at the same time.
 
 
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation - There was a lot of hype surrounding this product a couple of years ago. In the bottle, it appears to be really glittery and sparkly, but it actually isn't. It's one of those products that gives a dewy, radiant finish. Instead of applying super shimmery with tonnes of glitter in it, it makes your skin look luminous, well looked after and glowing. However, saying all of that, I've actually given this product to my mum as I found it too dark for me, which is purely my own fault for picking up the wrong shade, but there has always been a love for this foundation, ever since it was released, which clearly shows just how wonderful it really is.
 
 
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - I am fully aware that this is not a foundation, nor a BB or CC cream and it is infact a concealer, but I thought I'd add this one in here as I didn't have another foundation I really loved and felt appropriate to rave about and I don't have any other concealers that I particularly like either, so I thought it's a win-win situation if I add this concealer in here. This is probably the most hyped up concealer on the whole of the internet. Everyone consistently uses it and raves about it and I can honestly see why. It does an amazing job at covering up those pesky, dark under-eye circles and sometimes I use this by itself as a substitute for a foundation. It's that great. The only fault I have with this concealer is the shade range. It isn't that amazing, but if you can find a colour that suits you, then that's obviously perfect. If you can't, you can always buy two and mix them up. It doesn't create a sticky texture, oiliness or creasing, so I would definitely recommend it.
 
 ♥
 
 

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Monday, 18 May 2015

Mental Health Monday #6 | Holding Onto Hope & Moving On

 
During life, we all endure many struggles; some of which can make us feel like giving up. So, how are we supposed to continue holding onto hope when everything seems to be going wrong? I have changed quite a lot over the past couple of months, regarding this topic and I'm going to be sharing with you my tips and the lessons I have learnt along the way in today's post.
 
Every single one of us has good days and bad days. It's a part of life that you just have to deal with. I have certainly had my fair share of trauma and heartbreak throughout my life. When you feel like the whole world is against you and nothing seems to be going right, it can be hard to wake up and get out of bed in the morning, let alone deal with those everyday activities such as going to school or work. There have been times where I have wanted to hide away in bed all day as I have felt school is far too much effort and I'm not mentally prepared for it and I'm sure some of you know how that feels too. But, does that mean that I, or any of you should give up? Of course it doesn't! Regardless of whether you're having a bad day, week, month or even year, it doesn't mean you can stop fighting. It should make you even more determined to carry on trying and find what makes you truly happy.
There is always at least one reason to live, no matter how pointless your life may seem within the moment. It can be a family member, your best friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, pets, a specific hobby, your future dreams and ambitions, upcoming holidays, or just anything that is guaranteed to make you smile. You should want to live so that you can see that things do get better and you can have a happier, brighter future. Instead of thinking negatively and looking at the bad things in every situation, try to look at the positives. You might have to go to school/work and see people that constantly criticise you, but that should encourage you to try harder and not let them think they have won. Instead of waking up and thinking that everyone's going to be mean to you, wake up and tell yourself that you are going to try your best in everything today and you are going to prove all the haters wrong. Why give them the satisfaction of knowing that you are going to give up and let them win? You're going to win my lovely! Not them! Never give any of the doubtful, negative people the satisfaction to think that they will win. Whenever I get haters, or purely vile people judging me and looking down on me as if to say I'm incapable of something, it makes me even more determined to prove them wrong and succeed more than they ever will. Trust me, you should definitely try it!

I was looking through Instagram yesterday evening and I found this quote. It honestly lifted my spirits up so much. Imagine that in 5-10 years time, you could be living the life you have always wanted; your dream life. I know you may be going through hell right now. You may have already written out your suicide note; the last thing your loved ones will have from you, or you may have it all planned out in your head, how you're going to end your life. That is not the way it should be, sweetie. You are worth so much more than that, I promise you. If you were to pass away, so many people in this world would have their own world ripped apart and their happiness taken away from them. Whether you believe it or not, there are people out there who care so much that they would take a bullet for you. They would do anything just to see a smile on that beautiful face of yours. Please think ever so carefully before you make that drastic decision that would not only take away your future, but other people's too. It's hard, I know it is, believe me I do, but when you're living a life that brings you pure happiness and appreciation, day in, day out, you will be so thankful that you held on and so will your loved ones. Knowing that you got a chance to see the world, to create a family of your own, to have a day where you feel like a fairy tale character marrying their soul mate - aren't all those precious times worth so much more than giving up during your younger years?
As hard as it may be, just hold on. Hold on with all the strength you have in you. You can not give up until you reach happiness. Nobody knows what the future holds, it's all a mystery. So, why don't you fight through the tough times and then see what your future has in store for you? It's all a mystery, but it's bound to be beautiful if you give it a chance to be. Tomorrow is never guaranteed so don't waste time being sad and suicidal. Find that strength from deep within and live to see your future!

 
Everything that happens, happens for a reason. You are strong enough to handle everything that comes your way and you really do have the power to overcome any hurdle that tries to obstruct you and your path. Remember who you are and why you are here. Take a moment to appreciate your surroundings and reflect on your ambitions and the things that you want out of life. Just keep moving forward. The past is in the past for a reason. If you keep turning the page back to the previous chapter, how do you expect to move to a positive future within the next chapter of your story? Just let it go, leave it where it belongs. Don't allow the previous pain to dictate your future happiness. Appreciate and be thankful for those who have stuck by you through both the hard times and the happy times and forget about the poisonous people. If something or someone is causing you so much pain that you feel trapped in a negative, hurtful bubble, then pop that bubble and move on. You have come through that stage in your life and now you have the chance to be genuinely happy, so make the most of it while you can. Don't take anything for granted in this world, as you never know when it may be taken away from you. Be strong, be brave and be positive. Better days shall come your way.
 



 
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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Social Issues | Internet Safety


 
 
In today's generation, most of us have at least one (or multiple) social media account on the internet. While social media can be an incredible thing for more reasons than one, it can also be the main source of cyber-bullying, child exploitation, paedophilia and many other dangerous issues.
 
I watched the above video when I was in an ICT class in Year 7. It actually made me really upset, as I'm sure it would you if you saw it.
 
When you are on the internet, you have to be so careful. People may be talking to you on a messaging platform and you may arrange to meet them because you think they are so lovely and you could the time of your life if you saw them in the flesh. But, don't ever arrange to meet people that you got talking to online. It's incredibly dangerous and you could end up putting yourself into a serious position if you do go and meet them. A couple of years ago on Hollyoaks, there was a character named India who was advising her friends to avoid online dating, yet she then decided to create her own profile and got talking to a guy supposedly named Cameron. She is on her way to meet him when she spots an older man (who is called Silas) who's car has broken down. She lends him her phone to contact assistance, but then she soon realises that he is actually Cameron after she realises he knows her name. She tries to fight him off and escape, but he ends up murdering her and dumping her body in an old carpet in the nearby woods. That particular storyline terrified me and I had nightmares about it for days on end, but as disturbing as it may be, it can raise awareness and teach so many vulnerable, naïve people an important lesson when it comes to staying safe on the internet.
 
In all honesty, I have spoken to people I don't know before and I honestly don't recommend it. Although nothing terrible happened with me, I never talk to complete strangers anymore, as you never know what could happen. People could take advantage of your vulnerability and you could potentially lose your life over it, so please, please be very careful when it comes to online messaging. Don't give your number out to any strangers, always put all of your accounts to private, don't put up personal information for everyone to see and be careful with the content you post as once you put something up, it's available to anyone and it won't just disappear, even if you delete it because people can screenshot and save things so that loads of people end up seeing it. Just don't talk to people you don't know and always block, delete and report if something is happening that you think is wrong.
 
Helpful Articles:
 
 
 

 

 

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Friday, 15 May 2015

Lifestyle | Confessions Of A Blogger Tag

 
 
I thought I'd do this tag today as I was recently searching through tag questions the other day for inspiration and I came across this one on the lovely Chloe's blog - http://www.chloesway.com so I thought that I would do it myself.
 
 
When did you start your blog? - I started my blog on the 5th of April 2015, so I have been doing it for a little while now. Time does fly by really quickly though and I have gained extremely positive feedback in the short time that I have been producing these posts.
 
Have you had any past online presence before (Other blog, YouTube)? - Ever since I was about 9 years old, I've religiously watched YouTube videos, mainly beauty related such as Zoella, Swalkermakeup, Sprinkleofglitter etc., but I didn't have an account at the time as I didn't fully understand the whole Internet thing, considering I was only young. My YouTube channel was created on the 26th of May 2013, which means I have been interacting with channels for almost 2 years. I have never had a previous blog, or any other channel apart from the ones that I have currently.
 
Why did you start a blog? - In all honesty, I started my blog quite spontaneously. I'd been reading them for quite a long time, but I'd never actually known how to start, or even where to start. The idea had become more and more appealing to me in recent months though, so when one of my close friends randomly had an idea that I should start a blog, I jumped at the chance. She made me feel 110% definite that that was what I wanted to do and gave me that little boost of confidence I initially needed. The reasoning behind this creation was quite simple. I first started my blog, because I'd been persuaded too and it just seemed to be the perfect solution to the ideas and thoughts I had in my head. I have always been incredibly interested in writing and I have also always been extremely willing to help whenever I can. If someone needs something, or wants some support, I'm always there, trying to help and give advice to sort out whatever the problem is. So, a blog is the perfect idea really. If you combine wanting to change the world and help to improve people's lives with writing and a love of the internet, you will find my blog ;). This way I can express my thoughts and guidance on all sorts of different topics (including beauty and girlie things) and I can improve lives and reinforce positivity to everyone that reads my blog whilst still doing something I enjoy and feel passionate about. Therefore, it's a win-win situation!
 
When did you become serious about starting a blog? - Well, thinking about it, I don't think I have considered blogging seriously yet. It's purely just a hobby that I feel passionately about and it's something I do on the side that is different to my education and social life. It's not a job and it may not ever be a job, but I'm happy with it that way. If anything does come out of my blog and it does become very successful, then that would be absolutely wonderful, but I'm not expecting anything!
 
What was your first post? - My first post was actually an advice post on beating body image issues, which actually got pretty amazing feedback, considering it was my very first attempt.
 
What has been your biggest challenge about blogging? - Considering that I've only had my blog for a short amount of time, I can't say that there really has been many challenging parts. It can be difficult to think of ideas and actually get the content out and ready for the scheduled dates, but that isn't so much of a challenge if I'm honest. I haven't received any hate or criticism for it, even though I know people have found it because I've plugged my blog on social media and people gradually find out over time anyway. I'm not too bothered whether people know or not, because regardless of their opinion, I'm still going to continue what I'm doing as I enjoy it, so nobody is going to hold me back.
 
Where do you see your blog in one year? - That is pretty much impossible to say. I will definitely still be blogging, but as for followers, content and such, I have genuinely no idea. And, I really don't mind either. If I get a whole load of new followers, regular positive feedback, new, exciting opportunities and outstanding success, then I would be on top of the world, as I put a lot of work into my blog. But if I don't, then who cares? That doesn't affect me at all, because I'm doing what I love and everything else is just a bonus that I will think about if and when it comes!
 
What is the most rewarding thing to you about blogging? - Without a doubt, knowing the impact it can have on other people. That's one of the main reasons I do this blog after all. People can give such amazingly sweet feedback and just one of my posts could affect someone so massively that it changes their entire mind-set and helps to make their day more positive. The world really does need more happiness & love in it, rather than all the sadness & hate! Just one small space on the internet could change so many people's lives. And that's what I aspire to do.
 
What is the most discouraging thing that happens to you? - Honestly, I don't find anything particularly discouraging. I've been very lucky and I haven't yet had to deal with any hate or nasty comments, which is always a nice thing. It doesn't bother me with anybody else thinks anyway. If they want to laugh, then that's cool. I'm enjoying what I do and it's nothing to do with them, so why should I care what they think? It will only bring me down to their level, when I'm above them. :)
 
What's your lasting inspiration or motivation? - As I mentioned previously, knowing the impact that myself & my blog can have on other people definitely does make me want to continue putting in the hard work and effort. I'm determined to change the world and improve lives in the future, so why not start now and start aiming to do that whilst I have the opportunity? I may not be able to travel the world and volunteer everywhere just yet, but step by step, I will get there in time, believe me. We all have to start somewhere and this is one way that I can start changing lives and improving the world that we live in. With determination, perseverance and an aspiration to aim for, you can do anything.
 

 
 
 

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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Beauty | Top 5 Lipsticks

 
Today's post is all about my favourite lipsticks. I'm going to be picking one from each categorised shade that I can think of and then recommending my favourite from each one. I hope you enjoy!
 


Nude:

L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Exclusive Nudes in Eva Longoria's Shade - This lipstick is quickly becoming one of my favourites out of my entire collection. It has a creamy, moisturising formula that means it will apply effortlessly across the lips, whilst still allowing your lips to appear healthy. As far as the shade goes, it's the perfect nude that would compliment any skin tone beautifully.
 


Pink:
 
Mac Lipstick in Bombshell - Underrated would be the word that I would use when describing this next lipstick. I don't think that I have ever heard anybody talk about it in the blogging and YouTube world, which baffles me immensely. It is genuinely such a stunning colour and it deserves to be recognised and raved about so much more than it currently is. This particular shade is a 'frost' finish, meaning that there are frosted shimmers embedded within the bullet. The shimmer isn't too noticeable when on the lips, but it just adds a little something to the appearance of it. When I'm wearing a pink lipstick, it is most likely this one, as I find it goes with absolutely everything and once again, it can compliment any skin colour, making it versatile enough for everyone.
 
 
Coral:
 


Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick By Kate Moss in '16' - Seeing as we are heading into the warmer months now, I thought it was an appropriate choice if I added in a coral colour. If you are going on holiday this summer, or the sun decides to make an appearance, then I think this would be the perfect pick for you. I wore it a couple of times last year and I will be wearing it more this year, as it is literally the ideal coral. It's not too bright and in your face, but it's not dull and drying either. It's not necessarily moisturising, but it doesn't make my lips chapped, or flaky, which is always important for those hotter days. Overall, it just adds a pop to your outfit and it can look particularly flattering in spring and summer.

Red:
 
Mac Lipstick in Ruby Woo - I can't even begin to explain how hyped this lipstick is in the beauty community. I'm pretty sure that most people, if not the vast majority have got this in their collection. It's a favourite amongst everyone from makeup artists to average adults. I haven't had an event where it has been appropriate to wear this shade yet, but I will definitely be using it as soon as I get the chance to. I think that it would be perfect for a more formal occasion, such as dinner, or a work event. Since applying it for the first time as a tester when I got it for my birthday, I noticed that it is very matte, which I think is perfect for such a bold colour, as this means that it will stay on for longer and it shouldn't budge. Even though I said that it would be perfect for a formal occasion, you can certainly tone it down for a more informal occasion.
 
Purple:
 
Topshop Lipstick in Fast Lane - This Topshop lipstick would be the perfect option for an autumn/winter shade. I know we have gone past those seasons now, but I thought that I would still include this anyway. It's the only purple lipstick I own and it's quite vampy and bold, but trust me, it is perfectly wearable and it does actually look really lovely as long as you don't go too bold, or heavy. It's reasonably moisturising and it just gives a lightweight sheen to the lips for those colder months.
 
 
Runners Up:
Nude:
 
Soap & Glory Lipstick in The Missing Pink - I would class this lipstick as more of a brownish beige, but I'm going to put it in the nude category. In my opinion, it is a suitable 'my lips but better' shade, as it just adds a little something to the lips rather than them being completely bland and colourless with no product on at all. I think it would suit paler skin tones, as it can wash you out, or make you look a bit pasty, but I just think it's a decent, easy to wear shade that you can't really go wrong with, so I thought I'd add it as a runner up, because it didn't quite make it to my top favourite.
 
Pink:
 
 
Topshop Lipstick in Brighton Rock - As I mentioned when talking about the Rimmel lipstick, the weather is going too be getting warmer now and many of you may be going away on summer holidays, so this lipstick would be particularly loved around this time of year. Many people have raved about it, including the likes of Zoella, so I can assure you that it is well worth the purchase! It adds a pop to any outfit and it can also really brighten up your face as it will draw attention and can make people in a happier mood too, like the warm weather can! I shall definitely be taking this with me in my travel makeup bag when I go on holiday in August. It isn't drying and it doesn't apply too heavily either. A quick swipe across the lips will add a gorgeous hint of colour, whilst keeping your lips moisturised, so you're on trend and your lips will be looking smooth and supple! What more could you ask for? 

Let me know what you think of this new beauty series idea, and tell me what category you would like me to discuss next! Have you tried any of these products? What do you recommend?





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