Unhelpful Festive Social Comparisons

It is officially Christmas in less than a week and so we are officially in the full swing of things now as we count down the days. Christmas comes with many things, sending Christmas cards and gifts (often to people you never say two words to at any other time of the year!), carolling, and more importantly to this blog – comparing ourselves to everyone who matters!

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During Christmas time being with lots of people is inevitable and so it is human nature that we are going to start to compare ourselves and our achievements to those of those people around us. There are of course those lovely people (usually older family members, or the less sympathetic parents) that feel it is their duty to highlight just how well our second cousin Ginny is doing in her new six figure jet setting career on the other side of the world… But I think that we can all agree, that this kind of social comparison is just simply not helpful nor healthy!

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As much as I would love to have the perfect life that I have spent my life dreaming up and concocting inside my head, simply put I don’t. I definitely do not have that perfect life. If six year old Emmie were to look at my life now then she would sit and sob for hours after locking herself in the bathroom….(I did that a lot, sorry Mum!). But that doesn’t mean that my life isn’t a happy one!

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Sure, there are down sides (lots) and there are always going to be negative periods and people in my life that only want to bring me down or make me miserable (plenty this year thank you very much 2016!) but I am proud of the life I am living. This time last year, thanks to my anxiety I could not be left alone in a room for more than a few minutes without panicking and either reaching for the phone or going to find someone to sit with me. I was stuck in relationships and friendships that were doing nothing but drain me and was generally miserable.

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But now? I am living alone and renting my own place where I pay my own bills. I have my own car and have a gorgeous bunny called Gimli and adorable little tortoise called Flash to take care of. Point is, life is what you make it and despite the shit storm of naff-ness that has descended my life in 2016 I have certainly made the best of it which I something that I am keeping in mind when others start to make these pesky comparisons.

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No matter what people tell you about other people in your life remember this, you have a long and unpredictable life ahead of you and this is certainly not “it” for you! There is plenty of time left for you to do whatever you want to do. As cringey and cliché as it may appear there is an awful lot of truth in it! As long as you have a goal of what you want to achieve, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed if you aren’t already there. So hey, when good old Granny is boasting about your lovely older cousin Jeff, why not be happy for him and raise a glass? After all, it could be your successes that she’s doing everybody’s tits in with next year…

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Blogmas 2: 8 Gift Ideas for Someone with Depression

As someone who suffers with depression myself, I have a few ideas when it comes to gift giving to us black dog owners! Although they will not, of course, apply to everyone, I think that these are my list of ideas that I think could be the most beneficial and enjoyable by the larger portion of people. Hope you like them!

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  1. Happiness Journal/Record Book
    Over the years I have found that journaling can be oh so beneficial, and being able to vent is great when you are having a crappy day. Also, when you are having a good day then it is awesome to have a record of that for you to look back on in the future. I recommend this One Line a Day: A Five Year Memory Book, it pretty much does what it says on the tin and is an awesome way of remembering the important moments of your life – even if you do have to learn to keep it brief! Get yours here.51fq-w9eq7l-_ac_us160_
  1. Photo Album/Frame
    This is a great way to immortalise your memories together which can help your loved one to deal with their lower moods by having something to remember that someone loves them a lot. Having a tool to force you to remember the happy times can be really useful. Get this super cute one here.41iq6ksqsdl-_ac_us160_
  2. Scented oils or sleep mist
    Depression can often make sleep very unlikely or at least difficult to achieve! I have found essential oils or sleep mists so useful in helping me finally get some rest. Personally, I think that this sleep oil roller is a life saver. I use it throughout the night, and it really helps me if I am struggling to keep me calm meaning that I get slowly closer to sleep before I actually get into bed. Click here to find yours.buddybox-ad-4
  3. Buddy Box – individual or subscription
    I used to do unboxing videos for my Buddy Box subscription on my YouTube channel so if you are interested in looking into what is in some of them then feel free to take a look. A buddy box can be bought as a subscription or as a lone item for someone in your life who is struggling. It was designed to be a cheer up tool to help people who are struggling with depression. Here is where you can find your own.51csqi4opl-_sr100100_
  4. Huge fluffy blanket or dressing gown
    Nothing feels as bad when you are wrapped up in a warm and fluffy burrito of fluffy contentness which comes alongside a dressing gown or blanket. The colour will obviously changeable with the preferences of the individual but the fluffier the better. I have a mermaid blanket myself in blue which is just perfect for a cosy night in with a cup of tea. Get yours here. 

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  5. Encouragement/Why I Love You Jar Happy Box
    This will require a little DIY but if you fancy putting in the effort to make your gift extra special this Christmas then an encouragement or why I love you jar is perfect! All you need to do is get an empty cookie jar and fill it with encouraging statements or reasons that you love the person which you can fold up and place inside. When they are feeling sad and lonely, then can open a few of your suggestions and always have a smile at their fingertips! Try a jar like this.61fo4navn-l-_sl150_
  6. A pretty notebook with awesome stationary
    There is nothing better than new pretty stationary. It gives you the freedom to create something, whether that is by writing down your thoughts, a story, drawing or simply creating lists to make your day easier – as we all know by now, I LOVE a good list! Whatever your reasoning, stationary is undeniably awesome! I found this paper chase notebook with all kinds of awesome vintage style things on the cover which I absolutely adore!410guwy48ll-_ac_sr160160_
  7. Good slippers!
    Now I have these exact slippers and so can personally assure you that they are the cosiest damn things on the planet. I absolutely love them and taking care of your feet always makes you feel extra special. It’s far too easy to forget about your feet, but your tootsies need some love too! Treat them to these beauties here

 

Blogmas 1: Christmas – Planning is Everything!

Recently I have come to the realisation that I can no longer deny that Christmas is only around the corner. The festive favourites have been playing at work for a few weeks now, but seeing as I opened the first door of my advent calendar today, I guess it’s time to accept it for what it is – it’s nearly Christmas whether we like it or not! Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, the only thing I resent is when Christmas starts in shops as soon as Halloween ends. Just no! There is an entire month in between that I refuse to forget about – what’s wrong with November!?

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Christmas can be a terrifying and overwhelming at the best of times for a variety of reasons – it’s a period of forced reflection, forced socialisation and trawling your way through packed out shops and streets. But planning is everything to give yourself a stress free festive period! Remember, nowadays you don’t even need to leave the house if you don’t want to!

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Planning is everything! Make all of the lists and trust me, you will thank me later. First of all, take a look at your finances and make a note of how much that you can realistically afford to spend. Create a list  of all of the people that you need to buy a present for and allocate a part of your budget to each of these people so that you don’t end up overspending! Can you tell that I like lists?! Lists are your friends! I mean Santa has his list – you aren’t questioning the big man himself are you!?

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Don’t get me wrong, I can admit there is a certain magic about wandering round town, clutching a hot chocolate as you trot around your local centre during late night shopping. However, a lot of people will also inevitably have the same idea and so chances are, those streets are going to be rammed! That kind of destroys the relaxed and festive atmosphere and just kind of turns your evening into a predicted panic attack.

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To avoid such a fate, my recommendation would be to scour the internet for anything that you can buy online without having to leave the comfort of your sofa with a glass of red wine. I mean who wants to go outside and actually speak to other humans am I right?! Yet another list can help you here, if you just spend a few minutes having a think about what people might be interested in and create a few gift ideas before you hit the shops. There is nothing worse than leaving everything till the last minute and still having no idea what you are going to get for your Auntie Debbie (it seems everybody has an Auntie Debbie don’t you think?) Make a plan of action so you don’t go in and flail around like a headless chicken.

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Thanks for reading this little post, I know that it was a lot shorter than usual however I am going to be (trying to) do blog/vlogmas where I will be posting a blog post or video on my YouTube channel every single day in the lead up to Christmas. Because of the new high volume of posts, I will be keeping them a little shorter than usual to give me the best chance of actually following through with this idea and avoiding burnout prematurely! Hope you have a lovely day – oh, and happy December!

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My Happiness Jar

2015 was an extremely crappy year for me, with many things seeming to go wrong I felt even more crappy than usual at New Years. That time of year is always a struggle for me as it is a period of forced reflection as my anxiety feels the need to highlight all of my failings and struggles throughout the past year. Coming into 2016 I wanted to try and combat that feeling that I experience every year by doing something about it. If you follow this blog you’ll know that I suffer from Bipolar and anxiety disorders and so the negative moods and low points are inevitable, it is all about changing my attitude and outlook to the situation by the end of the year.img_5392

This is when I started my happiness jar. I got a cookie jar from Wilko’s and decided that every day I was going to write down at least one positive thing that had happened that day, or that had given me a reason to smile that day and place it into the jar. This means that by the end of the year I can look back through all of these moments to remind me that there were some good times, even if I cannot see them at that moment in time.

Of course there have been days when I have forgotten or been away or too busy to find time (I have lazy days, I’m getting better!) but I have really found it beneficial. Even the process of just sitting down with my notepad to think through the events of the day to find the good in it has been really therapeutic for me. We all have days where we feel like nothing has gone right and it has just been a complete write off of misery and suffering (okay, maybe that’s my inner drama queen talking but you get the point!). However, being forced to find the good in days like this, and thinking about what has made you smile really does help!

I find myself going to bed with a smile on my face most day now, even when the day has otherwise seemed pretty dark and hopeless. It has been so unbelievably tempting to take a look at the moments that I have already placed into the jar, however I have made sure to resist as I want it to be a complete surprise. I can’t wait to sit down in December and open my happiness jar to read through all these moments to relive my happy memories. It is a reminder to me that no matter how dark it seems there is always light somewhere, no matter how small that light is.

img_5394It has really helped me to put things into perspective and if you are like me and suffer at New Year or Christmas time then I really would recommend starting your own happiness jar to keep a record of these little moments that make you smile. It is helping me to see that there are more people that love me surrounding me than I like to tell myself when I am down, and that really does help to get me through the day. So, if you are one of those lovely people, then thank you 🙂 you really do help!