Saturday, 29 July 2017

What's In My Bag? Comic Con Edition

Happy Saturday Everyone! Today is the day! It's Manchester Comic Con today, and as this post goes out, I'll be nerding out in my Totoro cosplay! I've been wanting to share a What's In My Bag? post for ages, but I don't get out as much as I'd like. I thought Comic Con would be the perfect opportunity to finally post one. Enjoy!

What's In My Bag?

I always like to overpack whenever I'm going out for the day because I'd rather be prepared for everything than be stuck without an item that I really need. Being a spoonie also means there's a lot of essentials that I need to take out with me, like my medication and things to help if my IBS should suddenly flare up whilst I'm out. I like to put them all into a make-up case, and Comic Con is a great excuse to use my gorgeous Eeveelutions case from Rosewine's Kawaii-eek Boutique on Etsy. Here's a cheeky link to when I did a haul at the store :) 

What's In My Bag?

I've packed plasters and extra socks since I'm going to be doing a lot of walking around throughout the day, and my converse always rub my feet and give me blisters! I think everyone's converse do, right? I'll be applying my make-up before I go, so I'm only taking the things I'll need in case I have to fix smudged eyeliner, etc. I always take baby wipes too for fixing my make-up and they are so handy for when there's no toilet paper in public toilets. 

What's In My Bag?

What's In My Bag?

I always like to take a notebook and pen everywhere I go, because you never know when you're gonna need to jot something down. Plus I get random blog post inspiration often when I'm out and about and I don't want to risk forgetting an awesome idea! I love how much my Eeveelutions pouch/case can fit inside. There's also a zip compartment inside where I can store little important bits and bobs, which is great for hair bobbles and clips, jewellery that I want to take off for whatever reason, and more.

What's In My Bag?

I never don't pack an extra set of batteries into my backpack because I take a ridiculous amount of photos and my batteries usually die before the day is through. Since I've been playing Pokemon Go (which isn't very often anymore to be honest), I've gotten used to carrying a little portable phone charger with me. These are super useful for events like Comic Con because you're probably going to sharing lots of photos or using your social media throughout the day. I like to take this small extra memory card I have just in case I fill the memory card currently in my camera.

I've had my Vans x Hello Kitty backpack for so long now! It's been with me all the way through university and is still going strong, minus a few tiny damages. I love that it's black and has such a simple design. I bought it because I thought that this would be the perfect background for an array of badges. Over the years, I've had lots of different badges on there, but now I've just got two: a big badge that I bought at my first Comic Con from the Tokyo Toys stall, and my adorable Vaporeon badge also from Rosewine's Kawaii-eek Boutique. 

What In My Bag?

What In My Bag?

Something that I really like about this backpack is the little pouches inside the front comprtment. There's a big section at the back where I usually put my notebook and pen, and there's a really handy tiny zip section too. In here, I put loose change and my earphones. 

So, that's everything that I'll be taking with me to Comic Con, plus my phone and my event tickets. Oh, and another cardigan in case I get cold and if it's raining probably an umbrella too, also snacks, a bottle of water and my iPod. I'm taking a backpack with me so that I'll have lots of extra room in there to put in all the merch I buy, which will very likely include a kawaii plushie! I'll share a haul post soon, in a week or two. I hope you all enjoyed having a nosey at what I pack into my bag for days out/conventions. Have an awesome day!

Thankyou for reading!

What else do you like to add to your bag for a day out?

 Check out my previous Comic Con posts: 


Friday, 28 July 2017

Totoro Cosplay

Hey everyone! Today I thought I'd share my cosplay for this year's Comic Con with you all. I also wore it last year and I was a little disappointed at first that I couldn't afford to put together a new cosplay outfit this  time around, but after putting my Totoro cosplay on again, I remembered how much I adore this super cute cosplay! I dont have anyone to take outfit photos for me, however I've taken a few photos anyway! I hope you all enjoy reading; bring on tomorrow!

Totoro Cosplay

My Neighbour Totoro is one of my favourite Studio Ghibli movies and Totoro is such a lovely, adorable character. I'm very amateur where cosplay is concerned, but I still had a lot of fun putting together this one. It was super expensive to get a custom made totoro dress, and there's a massive gap in the market when it comes to kawaii plus size clothes. It's such a shame :(

To 'create' my Totoro cosplay, I bought a grey dress from Asos Curve (as far as I can remember) and I purchased a Totoro apron like this one from Amazon, which I stitched to the front of my dress. Then with the help of my sister's hot glue gun, me & my mom made my Totoro ears. We used a thick hairband/headband, some grey felt and some green felt for the leaf, some carboard cut-outs in the shape we wanted the ears to be, and some wire that my mom picked up probably at a sewing stall or something. The wire is what keeps the ear shape in place. This year I picked up some grey leg warmers to add to the outfit. I wear black leggings and a dark grey cardigan too. 

So without further ado, here are some photographs of my cosplay... 

Totoro Cosplay

Totoro Cosplay

Totoro Cosplay

Totoro Cosplay

Last year, when it came to make-up I wore my everyday combination of concealer, foundation, pencil and liquid black eyeliner, mascara and a nude/pink shade of lipstick. I then put on a little light grey eyeshadow, and drew on whiskers with pencil eyeliner. This time around, I'm putting more effort into my face, adding a nose, some white eyeliner to make my eyes look bigger (my crappy attempt to create an anime-style look) and drawing some of the Studio Ghibli soot sprites onto my cheek. Here's some photos I took when I was practicing the other day...

Totoro Cosplay Make Up

I am soooooooo excited for tomorrow, albeit nervous because of all the people! Plus I'm wearing my cosplay all the way from my hometown's train station and I'm expecting everyone to stare at me, probably get some annoying comments as well (ugh, such a lovely town it is). As soon as I get off the train at Manchester's Oxford Road, there's lots of other people in cosplay and it feels so much more relaxed. I love Manchester for that, it's a city of diversity and creativity. Fingers crossed that it doesn't rain tomorrow, although I'd rather have rain than it be boiling hot inside the convention centre. Nonetheless, I can't wait :) What do you think of my cosplay guys?

Thankyou for listening! 

Have you ever cosplayed? I'd love to hear about it in the comments.
If not, who would you dress up as?

I'll try to share as much as I can tomorrow on my social media:
| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr |  SC: raiin_monkey  

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Learning To Be More Outspoken About My Period

Hello lovelies! This week feels like it's passing by so quickly! Don't you think? Not that I'm complaining, because I'm sooo looking forward for Comic Con on Saturday and I hope the next two days go as quickly as the start of my week! I don't think I'm going to be able to shut up about Comic Con for the next few days, so sorry in advance! For now, let's get on with today's topic before I get carried away with my nerdy ramblings!

Period Positivity

Some of you will have read my post all about having my contraceptive implant removed and giving my body a break after years on contraception. Well, after a whole year without even a trace of a period, it finally arrived a week before the General Election in June (me & my best friend totally joked about how my body is running red in support for Labour, oh dear hahaha!). It was a relief though; I have never wished to menstruate so much in my life! I was getting so many worries that my uterus wasn't functioning properly and all sorts >.< That first period was all over the place- heavy then light then heavy again, missing for days and then suddenly coming back, and it dragged on for what felt like ages! It made me feel so drained, too. 

Last week I came on again, and it was a bittersweet experience. I am really happy to be having a period again, it relieves my anxiety after not having one for so long! However, this period was super heavy; I went through two packs of pads and I kept leaking. Ugh, and my boobs were so painful. All I wanted to do was sleep all day. Okay, that's enough complaining about it and on with my main objective... there were a few times over the five days that I was menstruating when I was inspired to write this post. I experienced things that made me think about how taboo the discussion of periods is, how little it's talked about. I spent a lot of time pondering about how it's barely discussed in my everyday life.

I am usually outspoken about most topics around my family and friends, and especially when those topics are the kind that are considered 'taboo'. I like to get people thinking about things and 'challenging' people's opinions. It felt strange that when it came to my period, I felt embarrassed around my male family members. It is so ingrained in my mind from being a teenager that it's something that you just don't talk about openly, like it's something 'dirty', something that should be kept private. It's ridiculous! I'm a period positive person and I wasn't expecting to feel like I did when it came to talking about it. 

Period Positive

I felt shy whenever anyone was around when I was putting my pads into the bin. I felt anxious every time I got up off the sofa or a chair or whatever because I was scared that I'd leaked through my pants and everyone would see it. I even felt a little awkward whenever I was walking to the bathroom with a pad in hand and someone saw me. I felt so uncomfortable as it was, then I had to deal with the added feeling like I couldn't talk about when I was experiencing. It made me think about my High School days and how literally no one talked about periods, not even amongst my friends who also had periods.When it was the most embarrassing thing ever having to ask a friend for a pad or tampon because you'd ran out, or asking to be sent home from school because your cramps were so bad. It made me think about how the boys would joke about someone 'being on the rag' if you expressed any kind of emotion, and how there's plenty of grown men that still have the same attitude now! It made me remember how awkward it was in class when you would ask the teacher to go to the toilet and they would ask you why you were taking your bag, which then made everyone else in the class aware of the fact you were menstruating and you had to endure their stupid remarks about it until they got bored. It made me reminisce about how worried I was when I was with my first boyfriend about staying over at his house when I was on my period in case I leaked during the night. It all seems silly now that I felt like that, until I realised that I still feel a hint of the embarrassment that I felt back then. 

I decided that this is something I'm not allowing myself to feel embarrassed about. It's natural and it's part of life, and hopefully the people around me are not going to act like 12 year old school boys and get grossed out. I don't care if they do! If people are not willing to talk about 'taboo' topics, then the way society as a whole sees them is never going to change. This is why I'm determined to be outspoken about my menstrual cycle from now on. I'm not going to censor myself when people ask me what's up or why I've had a hard day. I'm not going to try and hide the fact that I'm bleeding and I hurt everywhere and I'm exhausted and emotional and I've got cramps. Periods are not something to be ashamed of, to be embarrassed about discussing, or gross. They are a sign of a good health and not at all dirty, no matter what anyone makes you think. You don't have to deal with them in silence and although they may be annoying and painful, there are so many products out there now to make them easier to deal with. I am happy to have my period back and I'm going to keep talking about it. 

Period Positivity

This post turned into a much more chatty post than I intended, but I like it :) I hope you all enjoyed reading it too. I think it's important to share posts about topics that are 'taboo', especially when they can make people feel better when they read them. I wish that as a teenager, I would have been exposed to more period positivity. I also wish that the school sex education curriculum had been better for all subjects, sex and periods alike. The only facts I was taught about menstruation where the reproductive diagrams in a GCSE Biology textbook, and when I was in Year 8 our school sent all of the girls to the library for a presentation about pads and tampons, but it was so straight-forward and used one of those typical blue-liquid demonstration videos. They gave us all a pack filled with pads and tampons and sent us away without even knowing how to properly apply a tampon. Way to go the UK high school education system! Although I understand why the talk as a girls only one, I think it's bad that boys are not taught about periods in the same way. By doing this, they could ensure that young men grew up informed about periods and not believing the misconceptions that exist about it. That they might not be the subject of jokes anymore, because they wouldn't be so 'weird' and unknown to them. Let's hope that it changes soon.

So, the message I wanted to share by posting this is that it's okay to be open about your period, don't let people make you think that it's gross and that it's not appropriate to discuss it. It might be hard at first but I'm learning to be more open about it and to not let people's opinions about periods stop me embracing mine. 

Thankyou for reading!

 What misconceptions or negative comments have you heard about periods?

Found this post interesting? Check out my other posts about 'taboo' topics:
| Being a Feminist & a Submissive | National Masturbation Month

Monday, 24 July 2017

The Best Friend Tag

Hi guys! It's the start of a new week and officially five days until Comic Con! Yay!! Yesterday, I watched so many youtube videos of 2016's MCM Comic Con in Manchester and it's got me even more excited! It's a bit of a shame that this year I can't make a new cosplay outfit, but I love being Totoro so I'm not too bothered. I feel super cute as Totoro anyhow! What are you all looking forward to this week? For today's post I'll be sharing another tag with you all. The lovely Natalee over at There Might Be Coffee recently tagged me to do the Best Friend tag so here goes. Go check out Nat's awesome blog :) Enjoy! 

The Best Friend Tag

I really like this tag! I think it's really different from other tags I've done because it's for two people to answer. My best friend is called Jessica, and we've been best friends since we were 13 years old. I'm going to represent my answers with an S and Jess' with a J. I hope you all enjoy reading our answers!

(1) How and where did you meet? 
J: We met in high school, we was in year 8 before we actually spoke to each other properly after a mutual friend was off sick. We discussed Busted (very serious topic) and our friendship started from there. 
S: As Jess said, we met in Year 8. She had another best friend at the time who she had gone to Primary School with, and I made friends with her best friend. We all shared lessons together back then. One day, our mutual friend didn't come to school and so we sat together awkwardly at break time. Both shy and both having never hung out without our friend before, we didn't speak for a while. So when I spotted a Busted keyring on Jess' backpack, I thought yay! Conversation topic! :D We chatted about Busted for ages and our love for Matt Willis, and our friendship blossomed from there...

(2) What's your favourite memory together? 
J: Ooh... I would have to say attacking her with a fork when we was on a holiday in Yorkshire. 
S: Haha! She did indeed harrass me with a random fork that she found in the grass on a cliffside. Thanks pal XD Omgosh! I can't pinpoint a favourite memory! I have so many lovely memeories with her: gig memories, school trips, hanging out with our fellow alternative friends in town when we were teenagers.... hmmm... one memory that always comes to mind whenever I think of our friendship is this one. 

Nearby to Jess' house, there's a little woods known locally as 'Bluebell Woods'. I'd been there with her before but always out of season for the bluebells. One day in Spring I was over at her house and we planned to go to the woods. It was absolutely stunning when we arrived. I was in awe! We hung out in the woods for a few hours, relaxing on the grass between the bluebells and chatting. We also just chilled there and I got lost in whimsical thoughts about fairies :) It was really beautiful; there was a carpet of bluebells as far as the eye can see. To make it even better for a nature nerd like me, two pheasants showed up before we were gonna head home. It was wonderful to get to see them so close up, to look at their pretty plumage and watch their behaviour, even if it was two males fighting. I'll never forget that day

(3) Describe each other in one word

J: Geek

S: Dork 

(4) What's her dream job?

J: She used to want to have a ranch in USA (is it called a ranch?) with loads of animals. She would probably like to work in a zoo with all the reptiles.

S: She's wanted to be lots of things over the last 10+ years! I'm sure that her dream job now would either a professional music/gig reviewer, or something in content writing and/or media. I still want that ranch :p just picture it with alpacas everywhere, because it's gonna happen! 

(5) What's her favourite make-up brand?

J:  I don't know really... she wears Revolution eyeshadows a lot so I think she likes them haha!

S: I have no idea... I don't think she even knows :D We really need to get more make-up savvy!

(6)  What's something that annoys you about the other person?

J: I guess the lack of confidence she has, she's intelligent, a really good friend and really pretty she just needs to believe it a little more.

S: Awww :') you've made me cry girl ♥ I also wish that she had more confidence in herself; I wish she wouldn't underestimate herself as much as she does. She's gorgeous and funny and passionate about the things she believes it. She's just so bloody awesome! I couldn't ask for a better best friend. 

(7) If you could go anywhere in the world together, where would it be?

J:Probably Germany, we've been somewhat learning German so it could be good to try it out. Plus there is this thing called ''M'era Luna Festival'' that be awesome to see. 

S: JA! GERMANY WOULD BE AWESOME! We've always said that we'd go back to Belgium, to the town we visited when we were on our High School history trip. We want to go back to Ieper, to this cute little cafe which sold the most delicious vanilla milkshake especially :)

(8) Favourite inside joke?

J: HAHA Feet

S: (omg fu!) We have so many. Our friendship has been made up of constantly teasing one another and aiming to make each other blush (which really isn't hard, like at all) ... Shut up Jess, go listen to your favourite knife play songs! 

The Best Friend Tag

(9) Who takes longer to get ready in the morning?

J: Probably me... I am usually late for things (eek!)

S: Definitely Jess

(10) Favourite Season?

J: I would say Autumn for both of us. More things to do in autumn with Halloween and bon fire night.

S: We are both Autumn babies :) Virgo & Libra, which actually is supposed to be one of the most compatible of friendships, if you believe that kind of thing. 

(11) Favourite Song?

J: Jesus of Suburbia I know that's her favourite from Green Day.

S: Since we are going with a Green Day theme, her favourite Green Day song is 'Wake Me Up When September Ends'. We have A LOT of favourite songs. 

(12) What is it like being best friends with someone who is obsessed with blogging?

J:  It's good she helps me out whenever I am stuck, we proof read each other's work.

S: Thanks for being my designated proof reader from the start! Jess has just recently started blogging, and it would be awesome if you guys could go check out her blog. As for my answer... I bet it's been interesting for her dealing with my constant photo taking for years, like not being able to start eating her meals at restaurants until I've taken a photo, etc :) Also, I've constantly used our facebook messenger chat to send photos from my laptop to save them onto my phone quickly (sorry!). It's nice that we can share this hobby together now. 

(13) Heels or flats? 

J: Flats for both, I don't think I have seen her wear heels, ever.

S: Flats. Yeah, I don't do heels. I would most likely break an ankle in about ten minutes wearing heels XD

(14) Comedy, horror, or click-flicks?

J: She loves her horrors.

S: Thanks for watching all those horrors with me over the years ♥ Hmm, she enjoys comedies but I'm going to say click-flicks and hope I'm not wrong!

(15) What is something weird that she eats?

J: I am not sure, she is quite a fussy eater like me so I can't really say I find anything weird lol.

S: Being the ridiculously fussy eater that I am, I think everything I don't eat that other people do is weird :D 

(16) You guys have anything matching?

J: I know we have matching MCR and Green Day tops!

S: We used to have some of those cute best friends merch when we were teenagers but they have gotten lost over the years, oops. We both have hello kitty and a charmander build-a-bear plushies :) 

The Best Friend Tag
Some oldies!
Well, that's the end of the Best Friend tag. I hope that you all enjoyed it :) Whenever I read posts about friendship, it makes me feel emotional and it's nostaglic too. When I read about other friends memories and special moments together, it makes me think back and reminisce about my own with Jess. This girl means the absolute world to me, and I don't know what I'd ever do without her :') *insert more soppy words*. I hope that whilst reading my post, you all thought about your best friend. You should totally go tell them how much they mean to you... do it! 

Thankyou for reading!

I'd love to hear some cute best friend stories, let me know in the comments how you met your best friend.  

Also, what's your favourite thing about your best friend?

Keep up to date with my life snippets by following me on my social media:

Friday, 21 July 2017

6 Tips For Your Graduation Day

Happy Friday guys! You all excited for the weekend? The arrival of the weekend isn't any more exciting than the other days of the week for me, but next Saturday is Comic Con day so I'm really looking forward to that and counting down the days until I can get my nerd on (not that I don't everyday, haha!) but it's nice to be a place full of fellow nerdy folks :) Today is a special date for me, it is the anniversary of the day I graduated from university. It has been two years now, two years!?, and last year I was planning to share some tips for those in their final year of study or for those who's graduation ceremonies will be happening soon, however I forgot, oops! So, it's finally here. I just wanted to share a few little tips, pieces of advice that helped me get through the wonderful albeit stressful day! I hope you all enjoy reading. 

Tips for Graduation Day

 1. Bring a comfortable pair of shoes 

Graduation Day is a long and tiring one. You will be provided with your schedule before you arrive with times to get there to register your attendance, the time to collect your graduation attire and the time that your ceremony will take place. You usually have to arrive hours before your actual graduation ceremony and you might be heading out for a celebratory meal or drinks with your family and friends, or have to walk from one university building to another across a city, like I did. All this time spent on your feet wearing the perfect shoes to match your dress or formal wear can cause you a lot of discomfort, and you don't want your feet hurting too much when you've got to walk across the stage during the ceremony. I brought some comfy shoes to wear and it was so so helpful. I also brought plasters for stop my shoes rubbing or to keep those dreadful blisters at bay!

2. A portable charger is essential

Your graduation is a special day, one to celebrate all your hard work and accomplishments for the last three or four years. You're going to want to record this important life milestone by photographing all of your happy moments and obviously documentating your day on social media :) I was really thankful that I had brought a portable charger with me, since my phone died after snapping lots of photographs with my friends outside the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall.

3.  Come prepared with bobby pins to keep your cap in place

Bobby pins, hair pins, hair grips... whatever you like to call them. I used to call them slides until everyone else around me at uni called them something else and I got used to calling them bobby pins. Those little metal hair thingies that you always buy a big pack of but end up some how loosing every single one. Well, I do anyway! These fabulous little inventions are perfect to bring along with you on Graduation Day. Caps look awesome, with their cute little tassels and are the most iconic symbol of Graduation. I always remember the scene at the end of the musical Grease 2, watching the characters throwing their caps in the air when they graduated from High School and thinking, I can't wait to do that when I'm older :) So, I was really looking forward to wearing one. Little did I know just how annoying they can be to keep on your head! I used bobby pins to keep it secured to my hair, although I had to keep adjusting them, I am so glad that I did this. So guys, remember your bobby pins.

4. It is so important to keep hydrated

Graduation ceremonies usually take place over Summer, and although in England we can never be sure of how the weather is going to turn out in this season, it's super important to be prepared for it to be a lovely but boiling day. My Graduation day was just that, lots of sunshine and lots of feeling really hot inside a thick black gown that reminded me of something from a Harry Potter movie. I did love my gown though! I made sure that I brought several bottles of water for this day, which I really needed because of a combination of the weather and also trekking all over Nottingham city. Make sure you remember to bring drinks with you, and have one handy throughout the day. 

5.  Pack some safety pins for securing that hood

You may be wondering what exactly a Graduation hood is. Even I didn't know that this was the proper name for the coloured material that you wear along with your gown until I had a google. I've been calling it a sash for so long! Anyhow, this sash/hood is usually a specific colour depending on the level of your degree, i.e. undergraduate, masters, etc. Then, there may or may not be another colour incorporated to show which school your course falls under in your universities faculty system. My hood was a greeny-turquoise shade which represented that I was graduating with an undergraduate degree, paired with orange to show that my BSc (Hons) Zoo Biology course was part of the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences at Nottingham Trent University. 

I thought these hoods made a lovely addition to the Graduation 'uniform' as the gown and cap were black, so it was nice to have a touch of colour. These hoods are placed over your head so that there is a 'V' shape at the front of you and then the material trails down your back to form a 'hood' like garment. The problem with this is that even though there was some velcro to keep this hood in place, it didn't really work. I was given advice to take some safety pins with me by my best friend and it was the best advice! It stopped the hood constantly trying to become a scarf... a scarf that seemingly had a desire to strangle me! :D I recommend that everyone take some mini safety pins (so that they don't stand out in your photos) with them just in case.

6. If, like me, you struggle with mental illness, make sure that you take 'time outs' 

Graduation is a busy day with lots of things going on and places to be and tasks to complete. There are people everywhere: fellow students, lecturers, everyones family members and friends, and other university officials/staff. You are likely to be worried about being in crowded situations, about the general stresses of the day and about the idea of walking across that stage in front of all those people. I know that I was! I almost didn't go to my ceremony because of my anxiety, but I decided that this was a very special day and that I would regret missing it. I wanted my parents to be able to watch me walk across that stage, shake the officials hands and take a roll of paper that is supposed to represent your qualification certificate. I wanted to feel proud of my accomplishments and to see all of my fellow students, maybe for the last time ever! It was an important, meaningful day and I am so glad that I worked through my anxiety to complete the ceremony. 

There are a few steps that I took to make this possible. I stayed over in a hotel the night before graduation so that I wouldn't have the added stress of travelling on the day. I wrote a breakdown of the day and a to-do-list in my phone notes to keep looking at whenever I was panicking. It really helped having my parents there too. I also made sure that I took regular 'time out' breaks. These are moments when I went to a quiet area of the foyer in the building where my Graduation took place. I went outside for fresh air. I went to the toilet to sit in the cubicle and just calm myself down a little. I sat down and put my iPod on for a while. I did any little thing I could to just take myself away from the hustle and bustle of my surroundings, to concentrate on my breathing, to clarify my thoughts. This is what got me through the day so to all my fellow spoonies, I think that this is one of the most important tips on my list. It's also a helpful piece of advice for everyone, whether you suffer with a mental health condition or not. It can be easy to get overwhelmed on such an emotional day like this so look after yourself, take those breaks :) 

Tips for Graduation Day
I'm not usually a fan of photographs of myself, but I really love this photograph of me & my dad on my Graduation Day. It's so special to me :) <3 i="">

I hope that my little pieces of advice help you feel more prepared for Graduation. If you have any other tips that you can give my readers, then please leave them in the comments :) Congratulations to everyone who has graduated this year already; I've seen so many lovely photos over on instagram. You should be so proud of yourselves. To those of you preparing for your Graduation, remember the importance of preparation and most of all, enjoy yourselves. You deserve it! 

 Thankyou for reading! 

What were your favourite memories of your Graduation Day? 


Thursday, 20 July 2017

10 Ways That I Practice Self Care

Hey lovelies! I usually try to avoid starting posts off on a sad note, however right now I'm not feeling very good. Not long after I sat down to write up this post, I learnt the terrible news about Linkin Park's singer Chester Bennington, and it was such a shock. During my teenage years, when I struggled with my depression in silence and felt truly alone, the words of Linkin Park's songs helped me through tough times and allowed me to process my emotions. They made me feel like I wasn't so alone in my feelings. These songs I loved so much have continued to help me throughout my life, the lyrics are tragically beautiful and really speak to me. So the news struck me hard. RIP Chester ♥ Self care feels more important than ever right now, and this post feels so appropriate today. I wanted to share with you all my favourite ways to provide myself with some care and to cheer myself up when I'm feeling gloomy. I hope that you dinf this post helpful. Enjoy! 

Ways That I Practice Self Care

The Importance of Self Care 

Self care basically means doing something that is beneficial to your mental well-being, something that makes you feel good, cheers you up when you're down, or that helps you relax when you're feeling stressed or tense, something that can calm you and help relieve any anxiety. There are so many different forms of self care that are practiced by lot of people to help them feel better. Here are the things that make me feel a little better on my dark days, things that help settle my nerves and ease any stress I might have....

1. Hot Bath, Pretty Colourful Bath Bombs & Sweet-Scented Candles 

I love a good bath; the hot water makes me feel relaxed and soothes the aches and pains that I experience as a result of my chronic pain conditions. However, because of my depression I find it difficult to motivate myself sometimes to have a bath. It makes me embarassed to admit it but I will avoid looking after myself when I'm having a hard time with my mental health, so I like to use candles and bath bombs to encourage myself to have a bath. I absolutely adore bath bombs... the fragrances, the colours, the sound of them fizzling away in the water and the way they swirl around the bath tub spreading colours as they go, the bath art that they create, the way they change the colour of the water and how they make my skin feel and smell afterwards. I also love to burn candles in the bathroom too, usually Yankee Candles because of how strong the scents are and also because they have so many wonderful kinds available. I put my music on, turn the light off, and once I'm in there, I never want to get out. It just feels really tranquil :) 

2. Listening to music

Music has always been important to me and I've forever found myself getting lost listening to the meaningful words, the instrumentals and the rhytms, and the way they make me feel. I prefer to listen to different genres and certain artists depending on how I'm feeling, but very often when I'm feeling frustrated or stressed, my go-to is loud, heavy music. It just makes me feel better, to channel my emotions and almost vent them. When my depression is making me feel down, I like to listen to 'sad songs', because they help me to feel like I'm not alone in what I'm feeling and also make me feel like I can get through whatever feelings I'm experiencing at the time. Other times when I'm feeling gloomy, I enjoy pulling on my musical soundtracks or disney songs, and singing along to them! They make me feel uplifted and cheer me right up! 
Ways That I Practice Self Care

 3. Relaxing in nature

Nature has always been a place of sanctuary to me. When I am surrounded by plants and trees and flowers and wildlife, I feel at home. I feel content and I get a feeling of inner place and it really helps me relax and escape from my worries and the stresses of life. There is so much beauty around me and so many little details to observe and explore, that I almost forget my troubles and just focus on the things around me. I like to the sounds of nature: the wind blowing through the branches making the leaves rustle, the tweeting and singing of the birds, the sound of squirrels and other forest-dwelling creatures scurrying through the leaves, the trickling of a stream, twigs crunching under my shoes... there's just so much activity. I love to lay on grass and look up at the sky and the trees, to feel the grass brush against my fingers. I like to watch insects flying from flower and flower. All of these different scensory elements just distract me and I always feel a little happier when I leave the natural space. 

4. Watching movies that make me laugh or cry

Depending on how I'm feeling, I like to watch movies that cause completely different reactions on me. Sometimes I want to watch an uplighting movie with a cheerful storyline, of romance and adventure and comedy, those with fairytale happy endings. I want to feel full of joy when I watch it, to feel inspired and motivated and ready to face whatever the world throws at me. Other times, I want to have a good cry, sometimes being able to let out all of my pent-up emotions really helps me feel better. Who else feels better after a good cry? I'll watch movies that I know have heart-wrenching scenes, usually Disney movies, or movies that are about heartbreak or hardship or that I can relate to when I'm feeling shit. Whenever the movie does, whether it makes me giggle or sob, they often help distract me from my internal thoughts and this makes me feel better for a while. Let me know in the comment which movies always make you laugh or cry. I'd love some recommendations!

5. Colouring in 

There are some really creative and beautifully illustrated 'colouring therapy' books available since adult colouring books became a thing. There is something to suit every taste, from wildlife, to mandalas, to fictional characters and colouring books based on popular movies and books, and even colouring books that are combined with puzzle books. I love all of them, but my favourites are the ones by artist Millie Marotta (check out a review I did about one of them here). She creates illustrations with so many little details to colour and as I've never been the best at keeping my colouring inside the lines, I find that I really have to concentrate as not to mess up. This helps me focus on what I'm doing rather than on my thoughts and so it can be really helpful for taking my mind off things for a while. It also makes me feel happy afterwards when I look at my completed picture and love what I've done :) 

Ways That I Practice Self Care

 6. Masturbation 

I wasn't sure about whether to include this in my post at first, but then I thought why the heck not? It is something that a lot of people do, even if they'd personally prefer to keep it private, and it is a massive stress-reliever. Last year, I shared a post for all about the pros of masturbation if you want to check it out. It is something that always makes me feel better afterwards, it relieves tension, improves my mood, and it feels great! It is the most natural type of self care there is. 

7. Binge-watching Cartoons

Sometimes being stressed can make us feel drained, and I know that when I'm feeling drained that my concentration is not at it's best and I cannot seem to focus much on anything. All I want to do is longue around and do something that doesn't require much thinking. This is when I find it fun to watch my favourite animated shows. They are easy to watch and make me laugh and I don't need to concentrate on complex storylines and characters. They are usually short episodes, too. I can watch them back to back for hours effortlessly, and this is perfect for me when I just want to lay in bed with some yummy food and snuggle up in my duvet :) 

Ways That I Practice Self Care

8. Getting Lost Within the Pages of a Book

If you enjoy reading then you'll know that there's nothing that takes you away from your everyday life and a overthinking brain quite like a good book. Whether you're re-reading one of your favourite books or discovering a new one, it can be so catharic to let your imagination run wild, to get lost in a book, especially if you can relate to the characters or the storyline is really captivating and interesting. Books are wonderful things!

9. Cuddling With My Pets

Animals have always been able to instantly cheer me up. Watching their little mannerisms and observing their behaviour makes me smile and laugh and feel so much love for them. Cuddling animals or stroking/petting them or feeding them or brushing them is really therapeutic, and my gorgeous pets always make me happy, especially when they show me love back. I love the way that my rabbits nudge me with their noses or hop over to be when I'm sitting in their rabbit runs with them and flop down next to me. I love watching them binky (this is that super cute behaviour that rabbits do when they jump in the air and then hop or run around afterwards). It makes me feel so loved when my sister's puppy Aurora gets excited to see me when I get up or whenever I've been out of the room for a long time. I love when she brings a toy to me because she wants to play, or like now for example when I'm sitting on the floor typing after on my laptop, she comes and lays down next to me. Animals are amazing. Who else has pets? I'd love to hear all about them :) If you don't have your own pet, you can always go to a friends who has one, or go to a petting zoo, or volunteer at a rescue centre. 

10. Photography

Practicing self care is doing anything that makes you feel good, that has a positive impact on your mental health and that brings you happiness. One of my hobbies that I enjoy the most is photography. It makes me feel focused when I'm trying to capture the beautiful things I see and this in turn keeps my thoughts occupied, meaning I've not analysing all of my anxiety thoughts or worrying about things. When I take a photography that I'm happy with, it makes me feel good about myself. I am really interested in wildlife and I enjoy the challenge of photographing insects, so whenever I manage to shot the 'perfect' photograph, it makes me feel so happy. I love flowers too, and I love documentating all of the cool flora that I see when I'm out and about. Looking through the photographs when I'm back home is something that I enjoy as well. All of these things make me feel contented and joyful so I really passionate about photography. 

So, those are all of the ways that I practice self care, depending on how I'm feeling or what it is that I'm having a hard time dealing with. I hope that this post has given you some ideas of self care to try for yourself, or that you can relate to some of the self care that I do. Right now, I'm in need of some self care so I'm going to cuddle Aurora and put on Bob's Burger :) 

Thankyou for reading! 


What are your go-to self care practices? 

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