The difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack

If you suffer with anxiety, you’ve most likely experienced either a panic attack or an anxiety attack, but which one, do you know the difference?

For years I’ve suffered with what I thought was panic attacks, and don’t get me wrong, some of the time they are, but for the majority of the time I have and still do suffer with anxiety attacks.

So what’s the difference?

Panic attacks- Panic attacks often mirror symptoms of a heart attack, they come on very suddenly and are extremely intense. Chest pains, a feeling that the walls are closing in and the genuine feeling that you are dying are all symptoms of a panic attack. They are extremely physically and emotionally debilitating and you may need time to recover afterwards.

Anxiety attacks- Anxiety attacks have very similar, if not the same symptoms, however they are less intense, they happen gradually and happen over a longer duration of time. I sometimes experience anxiety attack’s for hours on end. I describe them as the feeling that you have something sat on your chest, you can’t get your breath, but you carry on your day, and a panic attack never quite erupts. I actually find anxiety attack’s more draining as they happen for long periods of time, and it feels like you are fighting in a losing battle each and every second.

So, there’s the difference. Panic attacks are quick, sudden and intense. Whereas, anxiety attacks happen gradually, are less intense but can last for a much longer duration, sometimes lasting for hours.

Both anxiety and panic attack’s can be treated in the same way. Often through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), talking therapy or in some cases exposure therapy (ERP). If you do struggle with either panic disorder or anxiety, you will find lots of tips on my page, however if you feel you need further support, don’t hesitate to speak to a professional.

To find more information about panic attacks, visit the NHS website ‘Panic attacks’ page. Linked here- https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/panic-disorder/

Thank you for reading, take care and keep shining, even on the days when it’s hard too.

My guide to surviving therapy

The idea of telling a random person how you feel can be scary and daunting. But as research tells us, it works. Therapy is something I would advice anyone struggling to try, it helps you to understand your own emotions, it helps to release trauma, and it teaches you coping strategies for life.

I have studied therapy in the past, I’ve supported people who are having therapy and most importantly I’ve experienced it myself, so I know exactly what journey you are taken on.

It’s a tough journey and often feels like you have taken steps back. You work so hard to be brave enough to start the process and when it’s here it feels like things are worse. But I can assure you that this is all part of the process. Remember…having a splinter isn’t painful, its getting it out that’s painful.

Mental health and trauma is a funny thing (not literally funny). It makes us believe that we need it to survive, and that letting it all out will make things worse. But your mind is wrong, let go of this disorder/trauma that is holding you down.

I wanted to create a little survival guide for those starting their therapy journey. I hope this can help and support you on this tough but wonderfully, liberating rollercoaster.

1). Remember there’s never a good time to start therapy- If you’re like me, you put things like therapy off until it ‘feels right’. You’re too busy with work, you’re having a good day or you have a holiday planned and don’t need the stress right now. If your mindset is like this I can assure you you will never get to therapy, because there’s always something going on in our lives and there always will be. But you have to make the decision that today IS the day no matter what. Take the plunge and do it for YOU. You can’t help everyone else until you help yourself first.

2). You ARE worthy of therapy no matter what- One of the biggest put offs for me is always thinking I’m not ‘ill enough’ for therapy. I look okay, I work 9-5, I exercise and I eat. Surely there’s worse off people than me, I’m surviving so that will be enough. NO. Mental health affects us all in different ways. If it is affecting you just the slightest bit, you still deserve help. When we get a papercut we still put a plaster on. Also. Things grow. Trauma that is left untreated can turn into much more than a ‘paper cut’, so heal it before it gets too far. There are no requirements for therapy, no problem is too big or too small and you deserve to feel free.

3). When you do decide to start your journey, let someone know- This could be a family member, a friend or a work colleague. You will need support on this journey, even if its just a hug now and again. If you don’t know who to turn to, remember the Love Your Mind contact box is always open.

4). Be patient- Unfortunately the current mental health system is struggling. People are struggling more than ever and processes are taking a lot longer than usual. This doesn’t mean people have forgot about you. You WILL get the help you need, but please remain patient and try not to become too disheartened when hurdles arrive. People want to help you and you will get the help you need, it may just take a little longer than usual. In the mean time try to stay hopeful, keep reading my blogs, practice self love and try things that make you feel good like meditation, exercise and setting goals.

5). Take extra care of yourself before and after sessions- If you’ve had therapy yourself, you’ll know the emotional toll it can take on you, especially straight after a session. You may have opened some drawers in your brain you didn’t know existed, you may have opened up about something you’ve been keeping inside. That’s tough and you need to remember that you HAVE to take extra care of yourself. Try to plan therapy sessions for after work, this way you can take the rest of the day to relax. Try not to make any plans, just relax and try not be alone if possible.

6). Immerse yourself in everything- The more engaged you are, the more you will get out of therapy. Be honest. Carry out any homework given and keep on track. The more hard work you put into therapy, the more benefits you will get from it.

7). Enjoy the journey- It’s a tough journey but try to embrace the ups and downs. There will be times’ when you want to give up, times you feel relived and times when it seems too hard. But this is all part of the journey, and I can assure you, the end destination is worth it.

8). Give yourself a break- Like I said therapy can be tough, emotional, confusing and uplifting all at the same time. Just give yourself a break whilst you embark on this journey. If you need more sleep, that’s okay, if you need to take work a bit easier, do it, if you need more chill days, just give in. Look after yourself because your brain is going through a big change right now, but the it’s all good change.

9). Remember therapy is a jigsaw- There’s many different types of therapy…CBT, talking, ERP. Each one different, depending on the individual and what they need. If one kind of therapy isn’t for you, find a new one.. Find which works best for you, and remember that everyone is different. This is your journey and no one else’s.

10). Fight those demons harder than ever before- Like I said, mental disorders make us believe they are good. They make us feel like we are wrong and weak without them. Mine have always said ‘The therapist will just think you’re crazy’. Or ‘You’re not ill enough for this, how selfish’. At the beginning of therapy, these demons will most likely get worse. But this is part of it all. They will keep fighting for oxygen and room within your brain. Remember the therapist is the good, the freedom and the truth. Let those demons go, no matter how badly they want to stay.

11). NOT ALL THERAPISTS ARE GOOD- I’ve heard some sad stories about negative experiences with therapy, and they do happen. Unfortunately not every therapist is a good one. But just be mindful, if something seems off or if you feel what they are telling you is wrong/not right for you, follow your heart and find another therapist. Like I said, its a jigsaw puzzle, you just need to find the right fit for you.

I guess what I’m saying today is. Therapy is hard. But it works. Find what works for you, work hard, look after yourself and keep fighting against these terrible mental disorders. Because life is WORTH IT.

Sending love to you all, and if no one told you today…You are worthy and you deserve to get those dreams of yours : )

How to master the work-life balance

Working is important, it pays the bills, it keeps us focused, it helps us to play our part in society and it helps us to reach our goals and dreams. But work is just a small part of our lives, it shouldn’t take up all the room.

So how do we find the right balance between work and enjoying life?

1). Make the most of your ‘after work’ hours- If all we did was work, eat and sleep, the only thing we would think about in a day is work. Yes you may want to just relax after work but if you’re part of the 9-5 gang, I’d say you have at least 5 hours to do whatever you’d like. Do something you enjoy, something that will take your mind off work and something that’s good for the soul. Go to the gym, go for a long walk, go out with friends or have a cozy night in watching your favourite movie. Whatever it is, make sure it fills your heart with joy and gives you thinking space away from work. If you have kids and time alone is more difficult, take the kids out for a walk or let them join in with the evening cooking.

2). Remove ‘work’ applications from your phone- I think most of you would agree, our phones are our down time, our time to switch off from all things work. Try to remove anything work related from your phone and keep it as separated from work life as possible. Maybe put LinkedIn on your work phone or just use it on a desktop, this also applies to any work contacts, keep them on your work phone away from your personal life.

3). Make plans for the weekend- We might have to catch up on a few jobs over the weekend, but make sure you’re having fun overall! Book a concert, go out for food, go for a walk with friends or take a weekend break in another place. Whatever it is, make sure you have something to look forward to, it really helps, especially when the work week has been a tough one. Also, by doing something completely different to work/home, it helps us to switch off and take our mind elsewhere.

4). Try not to work after hours- We all have days where we end up working a little extra, but don’t make a habit of it. Really try to finish at a set time. The more overtime we do, the more work creeps’ up to a whole new level in our lives, it becomes our every thought and we forget how to switch off from the stresses it brings. Work hard in the day, but as soon as its 5 o clock, its time for you to switch off from the day.

5). Use your annual leave wisely- I don’t just mean take all your annual leave, try to spread it out throughout the year as best as possible. Think about when your body and mind most need a break. I try to leave some annual leave for January, the time of year I find it the most mentally difficult. I will also try to take random days rather than full weeks, this means throughout the year I have a few 4 day weeks, sometimes a 3 day weekend is all we need to de stress. Also try to take a big chunk, at least one week, maybe even two weeks away. Having a big chunk of time off gives you real time away, time to fully detox and not think about work for a good while.

6). Take your LUNCH BREAK!- Sometimes in a busy day we like to tell ourselves we are “too busy” for lunch today. But you must make time! Even if its just 20 minutes, we all need time away from our desks to refuel and reset. If you do have time for the full half an hour/hour, try to do something that switches your mind off. Go for a walk near the office, eat your lunch with friends, watch something on your phone or ring a loved one. Having this much needed switch off in the middle of the day just helps us to keep that work life balance present in our day.

7). Be honest with your employer- If your workload is too much/ you are struggling with the pressure, let your boss know. The right boss will always put your wellbeing first. Don’t be afraid to let those around you know if things are too much. Reducing your workload a little is much more sensible that not saying anything and experiencing burn out. Your boss is human too, always remember that : ).

It’s important that we enjoy working as much as we possibly can. If you are feeling rubbish in your job and it hasn’t change for a while, consider a job that will be better for you. Life is to be lived, and we must remember that. We deserve to smile everyday, no matter what.

Thanks so much for reading guys, remember to take breaks, keep smiling and enjoy all the amazing things life has to offer : ).

Surviving summer with negative body image

Having a bad relationship with your body is hard at the best of times, but in summer, it’s heightened to new levels. I never realised how hard it would be for me in summer until I went on holiday for the first time in 3 years. It’s tough. And it’s a battle you often won’t win.

I don’t have all the answers but I know one thing, I want to help as many people as possible to overcome the feeling of hating your body. It’s draining, it’s debilitating and it sucks the fun out of almost everything, especially in summer time.

So to help as many people as possible, I wanted to share a few tips that I have come up with from my own struggles over the years.

1). Reduce your time on social media over summer- having issues with your body often leads to constant comparison. Comparing every inch of your body to those around you. And what’s the worst place for comparison? Social media. I am lucky that I have good self awareness and more recently I’ve been aware of the negative affects social media is having on the relationship I have with my own body. Know what’s good for you, stop comparing yourself to others and spend time focusing on you, that’s what really matters. Whilst everyone’s posting their highlight reels this summer, maybe take a step back from scrolling and look after yourself that little bit more🥰.

2). Wear less around the house- When you struggle with body image it’s easy to cover up and hide ourselves away all year round, so when we do get our bikini/shorts out it’s like a brand new scary experience. Get used to it before you wear your bikini/shorts for the first time. Dance around in your underwear at home, wear your bikini around the house, whatever helps you to get used to having your body more on show than usual. Accepting and loving your own body brings so much freedom, you deserve to feel good.

3). Practice positive self talk- Quite often, it’s not our body that’s the issue, but our mindset. Having negative body image can often give us a distorted view of what we really look like. It’s like you have a filter that only sees your flaws. Practice affirmations, speak to yourself kindly and remind yourself of all the amazing things your body does for you. When I struggle with my body I try to see it more practically. For example, my body is allowing me to walk along the beach today, my body allows me to swim in the ocean, my body keeps me alive so I am able to see beautiful sunsets. Thank your body today and give yourself a hug because it does a pretty good job.🥰

4). Plan lots of fun things- It’s a lot harder to think negatively when you’re having fun! If laying on a sun bed all day with your own thoughts is going to be hard for you, don’t do it. Plan a trip to a water park, play games in the pool, go snorkeling in the sea or go for a walk with a loved one. Good times and memories are what we treasure the most over time, not the size of our clothes.

5). Wear clothes you feel good in- Treat yourself to a new outfit or find a style you feel most comfortable in. If I feel bloated, I prefer to wear material that’s comfy and not too clingy, I also find it useful to wear bright colours, it helps to lift your mood and feel good. Find an outfit you feel amazing in and wear it on a bad day.

6). Surround yourself with people that love you and make you feel good- Being around those that love you helps to increase confidence and self esteem. Surround yourself with positive people that make you feel good, the right people will never want you to change. It’s also important to be around people that make you happy, smiling and laughing is the best form of therapy for the soul.

Remember this summer, look after yourself, don’t compare yourself to others, remember you are worthy, you don’t need to change and you deserve to have the most fun filled and happy summer possible!

Working from home- how to protect your mental health

It’s mental health awareness week (MHAW)!! A week that’s all about raising the awareness we need to reduce stigma and educate those who are unsure of mental illness and what it entails. I have been posting some short blogs over on the Love Your Mind Facebook page so please check those out if you haven’t already. The theme for MHAW this year is LONELINESS, something which we all experience from time to time, even more since the pandemic.

Now although I’m not specifically talking about loneliness today, I am looking at a topic which is very similar. Since having my own experiences and hearing from others about the impacts of working from home, It’s come to my attention that it can be lonely, isolating and be generally bad for our mental well-being. But this is the new world we live in, and it’s reality for a lot of us now. Being alone all day can be lonely, it can lead to us feeling low, unmotivated and a lot of the time leaves us being left with our own negative thoughts, which can spiral into depression.

I want to help those struggling and help to make your life at home that little bit brighter. So here’s my tips on how to look after your mental health whilst working from home-

1). Get dressed as normal- This is simple yet so effective. If you’ve been working from home for a while you’ll know how easy it is to slide down the slippery slope of rolling out of bed 10 minutes before work and working in your dressing gown. STOP. Our body and mind needs time to wake up and reset before a long day at work and how does your brain know it’s work time when you’re wearing the Christmas pyjamas you’ve just slept in for 8 hours?? Not only does it wake up your mind and body but when you look good you feel good. Give yourself a purpose to get up, what shall I wear today? Shall I try my new lipstick? if you look bright you feel bright!!! Plus, know one wants to smell of 8 hours sleep for the day.❤️

2). Plan even more breaks in the day- It’s really easy when working from home to forget that you need a proper lunch break. At the office you’d probably waste half an hour catching up with people throughout the day, remember you need these breaks at home too. Make yourself frequent drinks throughout the day, eat your lunch away from your laptop or spend your lunch break on a little walk. Our brains get tired and need breaks, the harder you work it the less productive it will be.

3). Move your body- Think of the steps you accrue naturally through the day, walking to the office from your car, walking to the shop at lunch time, walking up and down the office whilst you print/copy documents. These steps are lost when working from home, but your mind and body need that stimulation. The less we move, the more aches and pains we get and the more brain dead we feel. Whilst waiting for the kettle to boil at home, run up and down the stairs a few times, walk round the garden, do a few star jumps, or go to the gym after work. I always save my long runs for working from home days, it makes me feel revived and gives me a burst of energy for the evening. Not only is it good for our bodies but increasing your heart rate increases oxygen to the brain and helps you to stay focused. If you’re feeling brain dead and tired, get up for 5 minutes and get moving…thank me later!!

4). Stay in contact with people throughout the day- Got a question for one of your colleagues? Why not ring them instead of typing it in an email. You might not be at the office but it’s important to stay connected. Keep talking to people, communication is a great boost for our mental health. It helps us to feel less isolated and strengthens work relationships which are vital for a happy workplace. Also, why not ring a loved one on your lunch break? They’d probably love to hear from you. Whatever it is, keep socialising, that’s what humans are meant to do.❤️

5). Get out the house after work- Before the pandemic would you stay in your 4 walls for 5 days at a time? No of course you wouldn’t because it’s boring, lonely and makes us feel rubbish. So why do we do it when we work from home? Plan things out of the house after work. Even if it’s just your weekly supermarket shop, don’t save it til the weekend, get out after work and wind down from the day. Go for a walk with friends, get a coffee or even go to the cinema, if we don’t leave the place we have been working all day our minds will still be in work mode.🤍

6). Try to separate your office from your home space- This may not be possible for some people, but if you have the space, try to separate the place you work from the rest of the house. If you work in your bedroom, your mind will relate that room to work/stress/worries and you will therefore struggle to sleep at night. Let your brain know that the desk upstairs is for working and everywhere else is for resting/relaxing/sleeping. Also put your laptop away at the end of the day, out of sight, out of mind, that is tomorrow’s worry not tonight’s.🥰

I could carry on for ages but I don’t want you to get bored of reading so I’ll end the tips here for today. Thank you so much for reading to this point. Remember to look after yourself that little bit extra when working from home, you’ve got this.🙌🏻

P.s. In relation to MHAW I just want to let you know that I will continue to blog for as long as I can. I will never stop raising awarness of mental illness and want people to know that they are not alone in this fight. Thanks for coming along on this journey with me….lots of love x

How to have a healthy relationship with social media

Social media is amazing.. We have access to so many things and we are connected as a human race more than ever. So how come it makes so many of us feel DISconnected?

As much as I love social media, it has so many flaws. It causes constant comparison, unrealistic views of how life should look, our bodies should look and how relationships should look. I’ve battled with my views on it so many times. I’ve been through periods of completely removing social media from my life, yet had periods where social media has got me through a bad day. My relationship varies with it. I’m aware that I’m not the only one who feels this way and therefore I thought id share some tips on how to have social media but in a HEALTHY WAY.

1). Only follow accounts that make you feel good– Fill your Instagram page with positive, feel good posts. Social media can be positive and good for you, but only if you make it that way. I fill my feed with body positive accounts, motivational speakers and lots of cute rabbits. Remember your brain lives off the food you feed it. Do you want to feed your brain, comparison and ‘perfection’, or realism, honesty and positivity?

Here’s some of my favorite, positive Instagram accounts-

  • Chessieking
  • Karinairby
  • Busybee.carys
  • Steven
  • Thespeakmans

2). Unfollow people that are no longer in your life- It sounds stupid but you’d be surprised at how many people still ‘check up’ on their ex partners/ex friends. Without realizing this can be emotionally debilitating and lead to unhealthy comparison. Being emotionally attached to social media is where the problem lies. Cut those ties and concentrate on yourself, because that’s what truly matters. You won’t be able to move on from an ex boyfriend if they pop up on your Instagram feed every week.

3). Limit the amount of time you spend on social media- A couple of weeks ago I gave up social media and I couldn’t believe the difference it made to my life. I felt less anxious, more connected to myself and just better in general. It’s easy to get caught up in the habit of being on social media but we don’t realise the affect this actually has on us, so having regular breaks is a lot healthier and better for our overall wellbeing.

4). Remember not to believe everything you see on social media- Unfortunately Instagram and similar platforms are often just the ‘highlight’ reel of someone’s life. People will post their holidays, loved up couple photos, good angles and good days. What people don’t post is their 9-5 job, their disagreements in their relationship, their bad angles and their bad days. What you’re seeing is often the best of someone’s life. So don’t think that your life isn’t good enough. Try to think about the bigger picture when scrolling and remember that one tiny snapshot doesn’t tell us everything.

5). Be mindful of what makes you feel good and what doesn’t- It’s really good to be mindful and check in with yourself when consistently using social media. What made you feel rubbish and what lifted you? I tend to find that Tik Tok is a really cheerful platform for me and makes me feel uplifted, but Instagram can lead me to have negative thoughts and anxiety . Just be aware of this and remember if something makes you feel worse than you did before, it’s not worth having in your life. Also unfollow any accounts along the way that make you feel rubbish.

6). Step away from caring about followers/likes- The issue with social media is that it has created a dopamine fix for people (yes Instagram affects chemicals in our brain). Likes and positive comments create a quick fix of dopamine, a good feeling that we hope to replicate. This leads to obsession and a shear disappointment when this fix is no longer met. The less we care about it the better. The amount of followers you have or likes you receive does not define you and does not say anything about your worth. So have Instagram for reasons other than the likes and followers you receive, these things really don’t matter.

I hope these tips can help you to have a healthier relationship with social media. Remember it’s better to leave a positive mark on social media than using it as a tool to impress people. Thanks so much for reading, look after yourselves and remember you are more than enough.

How to combat that “Sunday anxiety”

Happy Sunday guys!! This weekend has flown yet again, but thank goodness the sun is shining. I wanted to drop in with a quick blog today about Sunday anxiety. Now this is something I seem to hear about more and more often. At first I thought it was just blues about Monday, but honestly Sunday anxiety is a real thing.

Anxiety on a Sunday can happen for a number of reasons. Maybe you’re dreading the work week ahead, maybe you don’t feel organised or maybe you’re anxious about things in your personal life…whatever it is Sunday’s can sometimes magnify all our worries.

This is because work can bring a lot of pressure and stress and it’s like you have to just switch the “relaxing” to “work” switch so quickly. On Sunday you’re one person and on Monday you’re another. It’s hard.

So here’s my tips on how to combat your Sunday anxiety this week.💪🏻

1). Plan something– Now I understand that Sunday is a really good day for self care and relaxation, but if you’re anything like me, your worries and anxieties thrive on those “chill days”. If you find Sunday’s hard, plan something fun as if it was a Saturday. Keep your mind occupied and get yourself out of the house. Maybe swap your chill day to Saturday and make your dinner date or theme park trip a Sunday thing.

2). Exercise– Again, Sunday is seemed to be a chill day, but there’s nothing better for a mind and body reset than a good workout. Have Monday as your rest day (as this creates so much less pressure for the start of the week), and do a fun and uplifting workout on a Sunday!! It will set you up for the week and leave you feeling splendid…you can thank me later for this one!

3). Get organised before the last minute– Getting your bag and lunch ready for work on a Sunday evening can feel like the weekend is over already…so don’t wait until the evening. Get your bag ready and organised Sunday morning and you can forget about it for the rest of the day. That way your evening won’t be interrupted worrying about what you need for work tomorrow.

4). Plan something for the week ahead– I’m not saying spend loads of money and do something extravagant but definitely plan something exciting for the week. This might simply be going out for tea one evening or nipping to the cinema on a Tuesday night. Just have something to look forward to that will take away a bit of work stress mid week. And if you detest Monday’s so badly then plan it for a Monday night! The week will be so much better for it!

5). Practice self care- A lot of stress about work can relate to how we feel about ourselves. Maybe you’re worrying you won’t hit targets at work this week or maybe you’re dreading the one to one meeting you have with your boss on Tuesday. Whatever it is, make sure you feel as confident and fierce as you can for the new week ahead. Practice speaking kindly to yourself, listen to a motivating podcast or maybe do some journaling, whatever makes you feel good about yourself and your abilities!❤️

Also just a side note. We all experience anxiety at times in our lives and a lot of us have lots of anxiety surrounding our work. Work isn’t always fun and monday mornings can be blue, but if you are experiencing severe dread everyday, remember you can always change jobs. Sometimes I think we have all been programmed to believe that everyone hates work, so much that we forget work can be enjoyable and should be as enjoyable as it can be. Never be afraid to leave a job that makes you depressed, low or unhappy. We work for the majority of our lives so make sure your job is good for your soul and your mind. No one finds there dream job overnight but it’s important we keep learning and growing until we find a job that is best fitted to us.🥰

Thanks so much for reading this weeks blog guys. I hope you all have a good Sunday and an amazing week!❤️Also, if you’re going through something right now, you’ve got this. Lately I’ve had to keep reminding myself that I have survived every bad day until now and I will survive every other. Please remember this for yourself. Lots of love and I’ll be back next week.🥰

How today’s society is fuelling eating disorders

Eating disorders affect around 1.25 million people in the UK and unfortunately this number is rising everyday. This year for eating disorder awareness week rather than giving tips and advice, I wanted to write in a more formal manner about my thoughts on eating disorders (ED’s) and why they are on the rise.

As you know on this blog page, I am extremely passionate when it comes to talking about ED’s and it’s something I continue to educate myself about. As much as it may just seem like an issue with food to some people, ED’s result in death more than any other mental illness in the world.

As much as ED’s are not necessarily caused by one single external factor, I believe that the factors we are creating in society today are fuelling these disorders even more.

The culprit, AKA, Social media-

As much as I love social media and think it’s an amazing asset to the modern world, it is so damaging to people’s minds and perceptions. Filters, angles, lighting, photoshop, the list is endless. All of these things listed create a misconception. Under one lighting you may have cellulite, yet under another lighting it disappears. Which one are you going to pick for social media? Of course the one in which you look better. But over time this choice of lighting turns to slight editing, more filters and before you know it you are trapped in the cycle of “Instagrammable photos”. We are victims of it all.

A good example of this is the new update on the iPhone. As you can see below. The first picture is one I took on my camera, unedited. My OWN iphone has suggested that I change it to this in the second photo👇🏻clear skin, brighter eyes, more “flawless”.🙄Even my phone is suggesting I should just “edit” as few things. And this is where the cycle begins. Social media makes us believe we need to change.

As a child I remember Instagram being a really nice platform. I would be able to stay in contact with other kids id met on holiday, I could post photos of me and my friends out at the weekend and I could post silly quotes about being heartbroken when I’d not even had a boyfriend yet (lol). But over time it evolved. People don’t post memories anymore. People post photos that they know will get likes. Photos of themselves in a bikini because a photo with their boyfriend won’t get as many likes. This is the world we live in. People now create fake lives online, posting only the good days and only the good angles, basing their worth off how many likes they receive.

With all of this comes comparison. Why don’t I look like her in a bikini? Why don’t I have as big muscles as him? How do they afford all these luxury holidays when I can’t afford food this week? We have created a monster. Comparison and unrealistic realities lead to self doubt, a knock in confidence and worst of all a misconception of what life, your body and relationships should look like.

Now I’m sitting here writing all this and I know that all of these things have affected me before. But right now I feel like they don’t bother me, and this might be the case for you. But without even realising…every click, every scroll and every image will be acknowledged subconsciously and can affect you without even realising.

Social media has led us to question our own bodies and has given us unrealistic standards of beauty.

You Tube

YouTube is one of my favourite platforms. I think it can be so positive and informative and it gets me through a lot of bad days. Some YouTube creators create content which is perfect for recovery. However in more recent years it seems to be more “food” based than ever. I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all, I think it’s great that creators show how to have a positive relationship with food and it often really helps me, however it still needs to be addressed as a possible trigger point. In lockdown a lot of us spent time watching YouTube, I know I did, and it seemed the majority of these were food based. “The 10,000 calorie challenge”, “what I eat in a day”, “eating like a Victoria’s Secret model”, the list is endless. It seems YouTube and tik tok trends are hugely food based and unfortunately this is bound to have some sort of affect on its young viewers today.

Diet culture-

We are in 2022 yet we still haven’t moved away from diet culture. Britain is obsessed with new fad diets and what you can and can’t eat each week. We also haven’t moved away from eyeballing celebrities for weight change. We all know that as soon as someone gains 10 pounds it straight in hello magazine…yes even in this modern day!! One prime example was when Adele lost loads of weight. Papers, magazines and social media were more interested in her weight loss than the new music she had released. The photo shown on the right went viral, everyone wanting to know how to lose weight like Adele and everyone became obsessed with her “transformation”. The truth is, she was always beautiful, and her music is what should be making the papers, not how much weight she lost.

I know that there’s a lot of factors can lead to an eating disorder and not one factor is solely responsible, but I do personally feel today’s society is making the situation worse. Please just remind yourself that social media is not always real. It’s important to take breaks from the world sometimes and realise what really matters. Love yourself a little extra, speak positively to yourself and speak positively to those around you. Be mindful of what you post and be mindful of what is good for your soul and what isn’t. If anyone needs support for an eating disorder, here is a useful helpline that you can contact🥰-

BEAT eating disorders- 0808 801 0677

I also just want to make people aware of the signs of symptoms of an eating disorder-

Signs can also include-

-Feeling guilty after eating

-Obsession with weight- whether that’s yours or other people’s

– Feeling like you have to “earn” your food

– Obsessive calorie counting

– Starvation/ Binging

– Avoiding certain “bad” foods

– Anxiety around food

– Anxiety about eating in front of others

Remember it doesn’t matter what weight you are or how “ill” you feel. Everyone deserves to recover from an eating disorder and you are just as worthy as everyone else. I send my love to anyone struggling…the world is tough out there but you are tougher. Fuel your body and take on the world. Thanks so much for reading, love to you all.❤️

Random act of kindness week

Hey guys!! Happy Thursday. Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while, I’ve had some time away to recuperate and spend time with friends and family. Anyway I’m back this week with a blog all about “Random act of kindness week”. RAOK week is a week that encourages individuals to carry out an act of kindness, whether that is giving to charity or helping a friend with a project.

I wanted to acknowledge it on my blog page because kindness is such an important thing. By kindness, I don’t mean buying a present for a loved one. Kindness is in the small things, like smiling at a stranger down the street, calling a friend who is struggling, or offering to help someone when they are busy.

These small acts of kindness are the most powerful and we underestimate how important they can be. A small act of kindness may be the only nice thing in a persons day, and you could bring a small glimmer of light into someone’s dark day. Imagine if your small act of kindness this week changed someone’s life. What if we did that every day for the rest of our lives? The world would be a much better place.

So let’s start spreading some joy. Here’s some ways that you can spread the world with kindness this week-

1). Message an old friend- As a world, we’ve been through so much in the past couple of years and unfortunately a lot of people are still struggling, so keeping in touch is more important than ever before. Remember to appreciate the technology we have…we can practically message anyone within seconds. We watch each others Instagram stories yet don’t actually ask how someone is doing. What’s stopping you? Message an old friend and see how they’re doing. It might really make someone’s day (in fact I KNOW it will).❤️

2). Give to charity- Rather than just giving to any charity, spend time this week finding a charity that you would really really like to help. Maybe it’s one you are already aware of that is close to your heart, maybe it’s a small charity you haven’t heard of before, or maybe it’s a friends fundraiser on Facebook. Whatever it is, make sure you feel good about where your money is going…and remember it doesn’t have to be a lot.🥰

3). Compliment someone– I don’t mean force a compliment or make an effort to, but if you think someone looks nice or you like their outfit, tell them!!!! Don’t hold in your kind thoughts, spread them. On a day where I feel rubbish or down in myself, a compliment goes such a long way. But also remember, a compliment doesn’t have to be image related…tell someone they’re doing a great job, let someone know you really appreciate their exsistence or tell someone how far they’ve come.

4). Be kind in the smallest of ways– By this I mean instead of choosing to carry out a grand gesture this week, simply show it in the small ways. Be more patient when driving and let other cars pass first, say a little more when speaking to a shop assistant, make your co worker a coffee even when they haven’t asked, or say hello to the woman you run past on your morning run. However small, it could be powerful and will definitely be noticed.

5). Give your time to someone– It’s not always a grand gesture people need, it’s just time. Have you spent enough time with loved ones this week? Offer your time to someone you love this week, maybe it’s just a little walk or maybe it’s a trip to the cinema. Whatever it is, it will go a long way.❤️

Not only is it important to be kind to others, it’s also extremely important to be kind to yourself. Sometimes we get so caught up in helping others, we forget about ourselves. So here’s my tips on how to be kind to YOU this week too!-

1). Plan something you’ve always wanted to do– Once again, this doesn’t have to be something grand like a holiday abroad…maybe it’s just watching a film you’ve always wanted to see or maybe it’s a gym class you fancy trying out. Do something for you this week that you will enjoy. Bring some self love into your week.❤️

2). Compliment yourself- A lot of people struggle with this one but it’s so important. Instead of being hard on yourself like you always are, love yourself this week. Write down 10 things you love about yourself and try to speak kind words.

3). Forgive yourself- We often forgive other people a lot quicker than we forgive ourselves for things. Stop holding onto all the bad things, and let them go. You deserve peace within yourself. No human is perfect…remember you are doing your best. Be kind.❤️

Thanks so much for reading this weeks blog and remember to be kind!!❤️

How to deal with gaining weight (ED Recovery)

A big part of eating disorder recovery is gaining weight. Gaining weight in recovery is the body’s way of becoming nourished the way it needs to be. Although it’s a great step in recovery, it can be one of the hardest parts for the individual going through it.

I understand this struggle and thought I would give my tips on how to come to terms with and deal with gaining weight🥰-

1). Wear baggy clothes- Definitely don’t cover yourself up forever but for the time you are coming to terms with gaining some weight, wear clothes that make you feel comfortable. Wearing baggy clothes gives you time to feel comfortable with yourself again.

2). Avoid looking in the mirror all the time– As hard as it is, really try to avoid analysing your body for long periods of time. Give yourself the time you need to get used to your new body but in a rational way. Don’t become obsessed with every inch of you, give yourself the time you need to really love your body. By looking in mirrors all day it keeps our brain reminded of all that we’re going through, don’t let your day be consumed by food and weight gain, fill your mind with other happy thoughts🥰

However, one thing I would recommend for eventually using the mirror again are these affirmation stickers👇🏻

Sometimes a little quote is all we need to remind ourselves that we are beautiful and enough. These ones shown above are from etsy, there’s loads of different options on there and all at a great price.❤️

3). Love yourself a little harder- When gaining weight it can test our relationship with ourselves even more. It can become harder to be nice to ourselves at times, but at this time more than any, we need all the self love we can get. Practice being kind to yourself, hug yourself, remind yourself of all the things your body has got you through and remember you are worthy. As well as affirmations and positive self talk, take more time for yourself too. Take things slowly, get more sleep, have more self care evenings and do what makes you happy. Love yourself a little extra through this period of change.🤍

4). Trust the process- Remember to trust the process. Our bodies change everyday for all different reasons. Some days you are bloated, some days you are not. Some days you hold water retention, some days your stretch marks are more visible. Take all of these things into account and accept whatever your body has to go through today. What your body looks like today, isn’t what your body will look like forever. Although our body changes each day, make sure you love it and accept it through each step, each process and each day. Our bodies are very clever and will settle at a weight they feel healthy and happy, till that day comes, love each step.

5). Stop looking at the past and be present It’s really easy to get stuck in the past, but it only ever makes things worse. Whilst going through this process try not to look at photos of yourself from the past. Whatever your weight has been in the past, it doesn’t matter. Be present. Be in the now and remember that every day is different and we are living for today. Be proud of where you are right now, because that’s truly what matters. Being healthy and happy in this very moment is what matters. Your past doesn’t need you anymore…but your future does!🤍

I hope these 5 tips can help at least one person struggling with weight gain right now. I know it’s hard, but it’s all worth it. Remember you are beautiful, amazing and worthy of everything you dream of. Thanks for reading, and keep smiling!🥰