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Blossoming As A Type 4.

Hey guys!

So, I recently discovered that using Enneagram typology, I am a 4w5. I’ve already learnt a lot about this type and after learning about the different levels of healthiness of my Enneagram type, I decided to write a blog post on blossoming as a type 4 as soon as I could.

I believe I’m at level 7 on the four’s levels of development scale.

I think if I were on any level below a 7, I would basically feel much worse than I do now (although I do resonate a lot with level 8 too). In fact, I definitely feel everything written that a level 8 feels, apart from I don’t feel that I am closed off to receiving help – which I think is the biggest distinction between a level 7 and a level 8 in my opinion. In fact, I absolutely love being helped and actively ask for help often, and although sometimes it is difficult to receive it, I’m always happy and grateful once I have. Definitely not a level 9 at the moment though – I think that level is reserved for the lowest of the low points I experience in my life (such as during my foundation year at my first University…) Although, I definitely do experience the odd emotional breakdown every now and then!

I think if I were on any level above a 7, I’d definitely be a lot more expressive than I am now, although I do relate a LOT with level 5, and I think a level 5 is basically me on a good day!

A level 7 resonates with me most because it is a state where chaos leads to one disallowing themselves from basically doing anything that they enjoy, leads to anger toward oneself, leads to depression and isolation… It’s just basically a sort of reactionary state to being in a bad situation.

My bad situation? Well, I’m just not doing great at Uni and am just generally really not very happy with my life and how it’s going at all. It could be worse, but it certainly could be quite a bit better.

So, I want to blossom.

What is it to blossom?

Apparently, according to the Google search result for “define blossom”, it means to “mature or develop in a promising or healthy way.” Synonyms are develop, grow, mature, progress, evolve, burst forth, come to fruition, flourish, thrive, get on well, prosper, succeed, be successful, make headway, bloom, burgeon and go great guns… Antonyms are fade and fail.

Basically, I’m pretty bored and fed up of being a level 7. I mean, it’s okay, but there is a lot more out there for me to experience and I know that’s the person I want to be.

I know I probably seem to be taking the Enneagram too literally, or seem obsessive, or maybe it seems like I’m just using this as another procrastination tactic.

It isn’t that I’m taking the Enneagram literally, rather that it has made me feel quite validated and I definitely resonate with this typology system better than the MBTI (it took 4 tests before I got the same result twice for MBTI, and only 2 for Enneagram).

I’m not obsessive about the Enneagram itself – rather about the prospect of being happy, healthy and successful.

I’m not using this to procrastinate, this is something I need to do so that I will find being productive easier and feel less need to procrastinate altogether.

So, I’m really excited about this. I’m excited about working on me. I work on me a lot to be fair, but in a much less direct way than I intend to now do. This should be priority – type 4’s who are on the extreme end of level 9 are LIKELY to commit suicide! I mean, what’s more important than preventing that? I need to climb this development ladder and FAST.

I’m scared of shifting my focus – scared that my future will somehow fall apart, scared that it will lead to me being unproductive, scared that it won’t work, scared that it will be a waste of time, scared that it is the wrong decision, scared that this will just lead me into an even deeper depression, scared that it might go right and I might actually end up being happy through doing this… That’s the scariest thought of all! It means letting go of who I am, who I have been, and allowing myself to live the life I’ve always wanted. That’s scary when you feel like you’re not good enough to live that life.

So, to start my blossoming, I’m going to get myself some routine going. I’ve heard nothing but good things about fours having a good routine to get them stuck into the reality of daily life. I’m not going to go nuts with a routine, but I’ll just give myself the structure that I think I actually need to be happiest.

I also really need to stay on top of my studies. I NEED to stay grounded in the reality that I’ve created for myself, but without TRAPPING myself! I need to be studying, hard, and doing the work I set for myself and meeting those expectations every single day. I need to be kind to myself and give myself realistic expectations and allow myself time to just be free, but sticking to those expectations is essential to me being happy and loving myself.

I need to begin taking care of myself and making me feel good about myself. I need to take my long Lush baths, do my hair and makeup, use my perfumes, take care in what clothes and jewellery I wear, taking photos of myself and being proud of who I am and of how I represent myself with how I look.

I NEED TO BE FEARLESS AND MAKE TIME TO DO THE THINGS THAT I ENJOY! I need to allow myself to READ my books, to write my blog posts, to edit my photos, to paint my pictures, to learn my instruments, to sing my songs, TO CREATE. I NEED TO MAKE TIME EVERYDAY TO BE CREATIVE! How else am I going to express myself? I NEED THIS. I think this will absolutely bring me the most joy in my life. I need this so, so much.

I’m going to leave it there, because I think that amount of focus is the right amount to allow me to thrive.

This is, of course, before the fact – so I will do my best to update ya’ll on my progress at a later time to say how it’s all going.

Thanks for reading,

Storm

 

 

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Depression Tip #4

Depression Tip #4:

If you’re not on any medication for your depression, you should be taking supplements! I personally decided to not opt for medication when my doctor offered – SSRIs just really don’t agree with me at all. Instead, after a lot of research, I decided to begin taking Tryptophan supplements. Tryptophan is a natural amino acid that your brain needs to produce serotonin – an important brain chemical that helps regulate mood, sleeping patterns, focus, appetite, energy levels etc. The purpose of prescribed SSRI medication is to increase the levels of serotonin in your brain – taking Tryptophan supplements effectively do the same thing!

You should always consult with your doctor before taking any supplements – particularly if you are already on medication. Do NOT take Tryptophan if you are already on prescribed medication related to your mental health – too much serotonin in your system can do a lot more harm than good! 

There are other healthy ways to self-medicate from home – such as taking vitamin D supplements, taking vitamin B complex supplements, using a SAD light or using SAD alarm clock.

Taking supplements really helps me. Just knowing that you’re actively doing something to help yourself feel better feels really good!

– Storm

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Depression Tip #2

Depression Tip No #2:

Keep your hair brushed! Again, this is going to seem like something really simple, but it can become a big problem for those suffering from depression. There was even an episode on ‘The Doctors’ very recently about a depressed teenage girl who’s hair had become extremely matted after being bed-bound for months. It took a hairdresser hours to untangle her hair and to provide the lady with a fancy new hairstyle.

Quickly brushing your hair will keep it untangled, neat and will make it easier to keep your hair out of your face. It always feels good to have newly brushed hair, and is something very quick that we can do to help make us feel more human, cared for, comfortable, beautiful and happy.

When I’m feeling very depressed, I know that every tiny little task adds up to create an impossibly huge amount of things I feel responsible to do in a single day. Brushing your hair will easily take one of those tasks away from that daunting pile, and will help to make you feel a bit more confident about tackling something else.

– Storm

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Depression Tip #1

Depression tip #1:

Brush your teeth! I know this first one is going to seem overly simple, but it’s something that definitely makes me feel a bit better. If you’ve ever been so down that even brushing your teeth feels like climbing a mountain then trust me, you’re not alone. You’re not disgusting. It’s not your fault. It’s none of anybody else’s business, and it is something you do for yourself.

It’s very easy to get into the thought cycle of “I don’t deserve to take care of my body, why would I take care of myself when I don’t even like myself? Why would I take care of myself when I don’t even care about anything at all in life right now?” I know, it can be really, really difficult.

My first tip is to brush your teeth, because it’s something that will be over and done with REALLY quickly, and is honestly something that will always make you feel a little bit better. Clean your entire mouth – you’re tongue too, and the sensation of having a clean mouth will just make everything feel a little bit less crap.

– Storm

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Health and Maintaining Weight Loss

Hey guys!

Just wanted to write a post to update you all on how maintaining my weight loss has been going, and how I’m going to proceed from here in terms of health goals.

If any of you didn’t know, last year I began my own little weight loss journey, and completed it a few months ago. I say little weight loss journey because I only wanted to lose 15 lbs (from 142.8 to 127.8 lbs,) so the visual transformation in my body isn’t super noticeable! Regardless, I feel much happier and healthier now 🙂

I have successfully kept the weight off (exactly 127.8 lbs when I weighed myself this morning!) Below I will give 5 tips on how to lose weight based on how I managed it (I’m not a health professional by any means,) and then 5 tips on how to maintain weight.

Here are some quick before and after photos. All the before ones will be on the left and are from August 30th – September 6th 2016. All the after pictures will be on the right and are from June 17th – September 6th 2017. (Sorry they’re not clear, I can’t be bothered to edit them right now…)

I at least can see the changes! Before I looked a lot less happy and my body looked disproportionately large in comparison to my head! After I look more happy, much more shapely, healthier, everything looks proportionate and I look a hell of a lot younger in my opinion!


Tips on how to lose weight through diet:

  • Try to only eat until you feel content, do your BEST to not eat until you feel FULL!
  • Drink plenty of water – 2-3 litres a day. This is a perfectly healthy amount to drink in a day, and doing so really helps with weight loss. When we are dehydrated, we easily put on water weight because our body is scared to let any water go! Also, often when we feel hungry we are actually just thirsty or bored. Drinking water gives you something to do without causing you to gain weight, and keeps you hydrated. You’ll also feel a lot more hungry if you’re not drinking enough because your stomach will be more empty than it should be. On top of all of that, water helps a LOT with digestion, which in turn helps with weight loss and bloating. Water helps you to feel more energetic. Having the energy to move around helps with weight loss! Basically, water is amazing. Drink lots of it!
  • Try to avoid unhealthy, carby foods with low nutrient-density. Try to limit your intake of sweets, cakes, chocolate, crisps, noodles, pasta, bread, biscuits etc, and find lower calorie options where able to. Since I began my diet, I only drank unsweetened almond milk because of how low in calories it is, and now that’s the only milk I actually enjoy drinking! This change reduced my calories from 39 per 100ml of milk to 13 per 100ml of milk – that’s a third of the calories! I also really try to go for healthier options when I eat, and tend to steer toward vegetable based meals with tons of greens like kale in them. Use low calorie carbohydrates like couscous and cereal. The more nutrient dense your food is, the more satisfying and filling it will be.
  • DON’T GIVE UP! It took me a REALLY long time to lose 15lbs, and I became disheartened a lot during the process. It’s really easy to give up, but just pick yourself back up and keep going. You’ll get there in the end and trust me, it will be 100% worth it once you do 🙂
  • This might be a really obvious one, but count your calories! This is real stressful but, honestly, if you REALLY want to lose that weight then the most direct route to doing that is by counting your calories. Use a calorie calculator to see how many calories you should be eating a day to lose a maximum of 2lbs a week and do your best to stick to your chosen amount of calories everyday. This is how I lost weight and the only times I didn’t lose weight consistently was when I got lazy with my calorie counting. This method isn’t fun, but it does work!

Tips on how to maintain weight through diet:

  • Don’t go absolutely nuts with junk food just because you reached your weight loss goal! It’s really easy to feel like you are allowed to reward yourself with a good old binge on your favourite snacks and food items, but really, don’t. I mean, it’s okay to overeat every now and then but you just have to remember that for every day you over-eat during the week, a day will need to be spend under-eating in order to balance your calorie intake and outake and to maintain your weight. It’s all about balance guys!
  • Don’t get lazy and stop drinking so much water when you finish your weight loss journey. Just because you feel more full because you’re able to eat more food now, it doesn’t mean water becomes any less important! You’ll gain weight pretty quickly if you slack on your water intake!
  • Don’t change the good, nutrient dense food that you’re eating. I still eat loads of kale, tomatoes, broccoli etc, it’s just that I’m more able to also eat other foods like carby noodles, rice and bread with my meals too now. If you switch over to less healthy foods once your diet ends then again, you’ll gain the weight back very quickly.
  • Don’t stop checking your weight! It’s scary how quickly you can gain / lose weight when you’re not keeping an eye on it. I’d make sure to quickly weigh myself at least every 2 weeks or so (preferably once a day) just to keep an eye on the direction that things are going. It’s much easier to nip a weight gain of 2lbs in the bud than it is to have to lose 7lbs all over again!
  • If you do notice you’ve gained a little weight, don’t feel disheartened – weight fluctuations are normal! 1-2 lbs of weight gain will only take 1-7 days of drinking lots of water and eating nutrient dense, low calorie meals for your weight to spring back to normal.

Now that i weigh a healthy amount, it’s time to move onto a different health goal. Being the best weight you can be for your height does generally improve your health, but it definitely isn’t the only important aspect of being healthy! I’m still incredibly unfit, have a high fat to muscle ratio, have pretty poor waist to height measurements, still eat somewhat crappy foods, still don’t drink enough water and so on and so fourth. There’s an infinite amount of ways that you can improve your health, and it’s something I intend to keep trying to do until I can’t any longer.

I chose becoming my ideal weight (ideal BMI of 21.75)  to be my first health goal because I was just so sick of not being a healthy weight. Absolutely everything about it made me miserable, and it was a no-brainer for it to be the first health goal I try to achieve.

I’m going to make my second health goal to be to bring my water intake up to my ideal amount everyday. Hopefully this should be a very quick health goal to complete, and is fairly crucial in order for me to achieve other future health goals (such as fitness!) I’ll begin working on this tomorrow! The idea is to put my full focus into whatever health goal I’m currently working on, meaning I won’t be putting any focus on maintaining my weight while I try to get my water intake up. Instead, I’ll make sure that my weight has been maintained once I have finished my current goal, and if it hasn’t then I’ll quickly sort it out! I find it much easier to work on one thing at a time!

You can work out how much water you should be drinking based on your weight. A good guide for a healthy adult is 35ml of water per kg of weight, which is around 2 litres for me (2028.91868ml apparently,) or around 680ml (24oz) of water with every meal. With water, it is important to remember that too much isn’t healthy – it’s important to be getting in the right amount of fluids for your body and your levels of fitness!

That’s all from me for today 🙂

Love you all!

– Storm x

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Lush Cheer Up Buttercup Bath Bomb Review

My partner bought me this as a cute gift the other week! He said he went to the Lush Oxford Street store and asked for exclusive items, and that they showed him this 🙂


Cheer Up Buttercup Bath Bomb

 

Rating: 5/5*

Cons:

This has a super sweet sherbet lemon scent to it. If that sounds horrid to you, don’t try it!

This bath bomb leaves the bath water a very translucent greeny-yellow colour. Not everyone’s cup of tea.

This bath bomb doesn’t really leave much bath art on the surface of the bath water after it has finished fizzing away.

Lots of little bits come out of this bath bomb while it fizzes, which is absolutely fine. However, once in the bath, these pieces kept freaking me out! One piece was really big, and I honestly thought it was some sort of bug like a wasp or something, so I scooped it out with my comb in an attempt to save it – only to find it was actually just another planty piece from the bath bomb! I’d also find little pieces stuck to my legs which, from a bit of a distance, looked like some sort moths or flies were stuck to my legs. If this sounds kinda creepy to you then perhaps it is best you not try this bath bomb.

I found that because this bath bomb left the bath water a very translucent colour to begin with, any product I used in the bath would really colour the water, until I was left with a really murky, grey, dirty, soapy looking bath! If you like your baths to be very colourful, this bath bomb won’t provide you with that.

Once the bath bomb has fizzed away, the scent is still there, but not as strong as it is when the bath bomb is in solid form.

This was an exclusive product, and isn’t readily available to purchase from stores at the moment. That means that if you do manage to find one of these bath bombs, and happen to love it, you could find yourself in a bit of a pickle trying to stock up on some more!


Pros:

I think the scent of Cheer Up Buttercup is absolutely amazing! It REALLY does smell like Lemon Sherbet sweets… Mmm… Just for the scent, this bath bomb is TOTALLY worth a go!

The scent of the bath bomb will last for the entire duration of your bath, and even leaves a subtle scent behind on your skin, hair and in the air 🙂

This bath bomb helped chill me out and cheer me up! I was all stressed out and moody before I got into my bath, and I came out feeling super chilled out and very happy! It was definitely great for improving my mental state.

This bath bomb is really moisturising!

The name is absolutely adorable. I mean, Cheer Up Buttercup, c’mon. So cute!

The colour of the bath bomb is a super cute pastel yellow colour, and it has little delicate purple flowers pressed into the top of it. So pretty and gorgeous!

The little purple flowers floating around are quite relaxing (so long as you don’t mistake them for being bugs in your water.) I also love the colour purple and think the flowers themselves are absolutely gorgeous.

I think the colour of this bath bomb and the colour it left my bath water also helped perk me up. Yellow is just such a happy, sunny, optimistic colour!

This was a perfect gift from my partner. It is just so cute! If you want to give someone a really thoughtful and cute gift, this is the perfect item to do that with.

I didn’t notice this until just a bit ago, but the price of this bath bomb was actually only £2.95. This is AMAZING value for what this bath bomb has to offer!

This being an exclusive bath bomb certainly makes it feel like quite a special item to own and to use 🙂

The inside of this bath bomb was an adorable bright pink colour!

The final bath art left behind was just a subtle ombre rainbow type effect – one end was more pink, which faded to orange, then yellow, then green, then blue. Each colour was super subtle and really pretty!


Overall Conclusion:

Overall, I really liked this bath bomb! It was just so incredibly cute, and really uplifting.

I’m going to rate this bath bomb a 5/5* rating. I know I had quite a few complaints about it, but its pros just carried so much more weight. It really was a lovely bath bomb to use, and I’m so blessed to have been able to receive it as a gift from my partner 🙂

– Storm

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Lush Happy Happy Joy Joy Conditioning Hair Perfume

Happy Happy Joy Joy Conditioning Hair Perfume (100g)

Rating: 4/5*

Cons:

The scent of this conditioner is STRONG. EXTREMELY strong! If you don’t like the scent of flowers then seriously, give this one a miss, because it has an extremely strong floral scent to it.

This conditioner doesn’t go a long way. You need a decent amount of product to truly condition your hair. Not absolutely tons, but definitely not a small amount. This product wont last you very long!

I found this conditioner to make my roots a little greasy. I don’t actually apply conditioner to my roots, but after conditioning my ends, I do sort of spread the product throughout all of my hair. I also comb the conditioner through the entire length of my hair before rinsing it out. Once I used this product in the evening, and the next morning, I have to wash my fringe again before going to college. As I said, I didn’t even apply the conditioner directly to my fringe or roots – only to my ends! If you have a fringe or your hair gets oily quite fast at the roots, I might stay away from this one!

This is an extremely expensive product – the most expensive conditioner that Lush do. I’d advise you try a sample of this conditioner before purchasing it, as a little 100g bottle of it costs £9.95!


Pros:

I personally like the smell of this conditioner a lot. It smells really fresh and makes me feel happy. It reminds me of the outdoors, of nature and of the Summertime 🙂 If you like very natural, floral, outdoorsy scents, you’ll really like the smell of Happy Happy Joy Joy!

After rinsing the product out of the hair, a scent lingers – but not the exact same scent as the product smells in its container. The musky floral scent of the product is hardly present, and instead the scent is much more zesty and citrusy. I think it smells lovely in the hair!

This product did condition my hair very well (almost too well!) My hair felt almost perfectly conditioned after using Happy Happy Joy Joy in face, and I only needed the smallest amount of R&B Hair moisturiser to reach that perfect level. If you are in some SERIOUS need of hydration for your hair, try this conditioner! This finding seems odd to me, considering that most reviews that that this conditioner is extremely light. Perhaps it is because of my hair being extremely straight, very fine and very thin and all natural! Perhaps if you have hair similar to me, you will also find this conditioner to be extremely conditioning!

This conditioner is very natural and it really feels like you are genuinely feeding your hair when you use it. My hair certainly feels healthier after having used this conditioner!

The name… Okay, so it’s just a name, right? But Happy Happy Joy Joy is just such a happy, cute, uplifting name, how could you not love it?!


Overall Conclusion:

Overall, this is an absolutely lovely conditioner from Lush. It just smells so happy, outdoorsy and natural! It also actually works extremely well at conditioning the hair (at least for my hair!) I found this conditioner to actually be TOO conditioning for my fringe area, but only just not conditioning enough for my ends. Considering that I didn’t even actually apply the conditioner to my fringe area, I’m not quite sure how I would be able to find balance with this product! The scent is very strong before rinsing it out – possibly even almost TOO strong. But I do really like it!

Overall, I’m going to have to give this lovely conditioner a 4/5* rating. If it would just leave my fringe and root area a little less oily, I’d probably give it a higher rating!

I hope you enjoyed my review!

– Storm