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Depression Triggers

Following on from my last post…

I also have depression. Yay!

And I get depressed a lot.

Sometimes this can be worsened or brought on by a “trigger”.

I’m going to list some of my triggers – maybe the list will help some of you know what sort of things to AVOID if you have someone in your life who is also suffering from depression, or maybe it can be something you can relate to if you have depression, or something that can educate you, or entertain you?

I dunno guys, use it however you will.


 

1.) My relationship with my partner not being exactly how I want it to be. Maybe I overthink the situation when he doesn’t give me enough attention, which leads to me feeling really un-special, unattractive, plummets my self confidence, makes me really dislike myself and my life and wish my relationship was more than it is and ugh… Leads to depression. Guys, just to clarify, my partner is amazing. I’m just a person who needs a certain amount of attention from their partner to actually feel like I’m wanted so when he isn’t feeling very affectionate towards me, it brings on my depression haaaaaard.

2.) Not waking up at a good time. You know how nice and, well, NORMAL it feels for most people to simply wake up at like 07:00? On a full 7-8 hours of deep, undisturbed sleep? Yeah, that doesn’t happen to me. This is the earliest I’ve been awake in a while – and it’s around 10:15. I go to sleep at maybe 03:00 at night. My sleep is disturbed because I always go to sleep super anxious, and watch maybe 3 hours of TV in bed before sleeping. Before bed is usually when I discuss problems I had in my day with my partner, so I also normally go to sleep really down and ugh… It’s just proper screwed up and disorganised and it’s really really difficult to wake up happy after sleeps like I have!!! I should be in bed at 23:00, without any electronics or anything, after having taken a bath and after having a GOOD evening with my partner and a really productive day, and then just actually fall asleep easily for a good 7-8 hours. That’s all I need. It really sucks starting every single day late. Caused by depression and induces depression, a beautiful cycle. This also leads to me sleeping during the day and having an even less productive day and leads to even more depression and leads to my night sleep causing me to actually be over-rested, so I also always wake up with a headache and feeling unwell. Amazing.

3.) Not doing well on my degree. I’ve been missing SO many lectures recently because of my lack of energy and my weird sleeping pattern. I’ve been hardly working, and earlier this week I received the first grade that I’ve been very unhappy with this Semester. It’s okay, I’ve come to terms with it and have thought of a way to level out my grade to bring it back up, but it’s just upsetting. I have an assignment I wanted to hand in tomorrow that I haven’t even started. It’s just never-ending work which is just almost impossible for somebody with mental health problems to actually succeed with. I just feel lazy and really disappointed in myself for not doing better, and I know everybody else just views me as lazy and unreliable as well. It’s easy to judge what you don’t know or don’t care to understand.

4.) Not having a great support network. I don’t have any close friends whatsoever. I have my partner, my mother, my little sister, my little brother, my older brother, my older sister and my father. That’s every single human being that I feel I can turn to. I also have my niece and nephew but y’know, they’re kids. I plan to get married next Summer or possibly the Summer after, and those are all the people (minus my little sister who’s in America, and my partner who will obviously attend) who I will invite. With me having full power to invite whoever I wish, 7 people, at maximum, will attend my side of my wedding. I mean, it could be worse, I could have a small immediate family. The problem is though, that as I said before, my little sister lives in America and well, the rest of my family all live in Glasgow (I live in London), so they’re not exactly super close. I hardly see them. I hardly speak to them. It sucks.

5.) The fact that my anxiety is kinda taking over every aspect of my life. I’ve bought bags and bags of beautiful new clothes, that have just remained in their bags for literally 2 years, all because of my anxiety. No, clothes do not scare me. The decision to just wear them when I had planned to do haul blog posts with them scare me. The prospect of all the steps it takes to create a haul blog post scares me. This is the exact same problem I have with using bath bombs I bought like, 3 years ago. Nothing in my life is simple anymore because my anxiety over-complicates EVERYTHING. Which leads to depression.

6.) Winter. I hate worrying about having the heating on all the time. I hate feeling cold. I hate the static in my hair. I hate the silence and stillness. I hate how ugly it looks outside, how dark and glum it is. I just despise it. I get seasonal depression every single year without fail, meaning that although I have general depression year round, my depression gets more severe during the winter months. Which is just lovely when everybody else is so excited about finishing up work / education for the winter and about Christmas.

7.) Just not being who I want myself to be. I feel like if it wasn’t for my anxiety and depression, I’d be who I actually want to be and feel like I AM, on the outside. I’d be able to live my life in a way that reflects my actual wants, likes, beliefs. I’d have hobbies, a good routine, friends. I’d have all the tattoos and piercings I’ve wanted to have for years, would wear the clothes I love, would go out and just be happy and enjoy myself. Instead I’m just quiet, isolated, unhappy, anxious.


 

The only ways I find relief from my depression is when things actually go right, which is kinda rare?

It’s not that I’m ungrateful – I am SO grateful for what I have. I do feel that it’s difficult for me to get things right and how I want them to be though.

I’m very critical, and am a perfectionist at heart, so unless I feel like something is basically done exactly how I want it to be done, I won’t be happy. I know that it’s bad, and is something I’ll work on.

If there’s somebody you care about who is suffering with depression, keep this perspective in mind. Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand, so it’s likely that similar things will “stimulate” their depression.

My advice would be to just help. Help make things in their life easier. Help make things actually go RIGHT in their lives – whether that’s getting out of bed at the time they wish they would, or going to bed at the time they wish they would, or getting them to shower before bed so that it’s one less thing they’ll have to worry about in the morning. Whether it’s through being the support that you are and taking them out, bringing some fun and excitement into their life. Showing you care about them by making them a card, giving them cuddles, complimenting them.

Helping them get their to-do list done!!!

I think that’s genuinely the biggest way to help somebody with their depression. Go onto trello.com, create a ‘To do’ list, a ‘Doing’ list and a ‘Done’ list, and ask them every single thing in their mind that they would like to get done, big or small. Fill up the to-do list, and update it every few days with new things that they’d like to do. Help them get items moved to the ‘Doing’ list and ultimately, the ‘Done’ list. Trust me, this will help them SO much!

Storm

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My Hair!

Hey guys!

This post is all about my hair! I’ve been wanting to write a post about my hair for a while because it’s definitely something I feel quite proud of, and I’d love it if some like-minded ladies found some hair inspiration in this post 🙂

I hope you enjoy!


BEFORE… 

(Dying process took place sometime between 3rd June 2014 and 16th July 2014.)

Before I began growing my natural hair out, I had been dying it for the previous 8 years or so. I literally hadn’t seen what my natural hair looked like since then, and I always assumed it would be a mousey, grey-blonde, super unattractive colour going by what I could see of any roots that would show.

Nonetheless, I became absolutely sick and tired of trying to maintain a dyed hair colour. It just felt like a losing battle against nature, so in the end I thought “Fine hair, you win. If you want to be natural, healthy and long, you can be natural, healthy and long.” I decided it was time to let nature take its course and to just accept my unique genetics for what they are – rather than trying to hide them. I decided to go all natural, and to grow my hair out completely. My goal was to grow out my natural hair, without any cuts besides trimming off split ends, to the point where I would find my hair to be actually less attractive than when it were a tad bit shorter. I’ve always loved long, natural princess hair, so I assumed this would turn out to be a very long length!

To begin this process, I first cut my hair at the time as short as I possibly could without getting upset, so that I would have as little “starter” hair as possible. I also dyed it with a permanent dye in my favourite colour (magenta) – both so that I could enjoy having beautifully coloured hair one last time, and so that I would have a permanent marker between where my old, damaged hair ended and where my natural, new and healthy hair would begin. Basically, I had a very short (around lip length) straight across magenta bob, with a fringe (or bangs.) The natural hair process had officially begun!

DURING…

During the hair growing process, I would check my roots everyday in the mirror for any progress. I was SO EXCITED by the sign of any new, healthy, natural hair growth! I took such good care of my hair during this stage – I made sure to wash it very, very rarely (only once it would become very, very dirty,) and made sure to condition it in the shower every single day. I even went so far as to put BODY BUTTER AND BODY LOTION into my hair, to help add in EVEN MORE moisture!

Every now and then, when my hair would start to become a little bit longer, I’d ask my partner to cut my hair back to its original bob length, straight across, whereas I left my fringe to grow out. My plan was to get all my hair to be natural, and all the same length.

After maybe a year or so, my hair was entirely natural and my fringe had pretty much grown out – yay! It was also just below shoulder length. I decided to cut a fringe in around this point, which I then grew out, and I then cut another fringe and some face-framing layers in a year later. I basically have just maintained my fringe, grew my face-framing layers out and have just kept growing my hair out, only trimming it straight across to get the split ends off every now and then.

AFTER…

(Hair at the present, 3rd September 2018)

After all that time, 4 years and 2 months later (wow, I didn’t realise it had been that long,) my hair is now pretty damn long, and I still have my fringe! I still haven’t reached a moment where I look in the mirror and think to myself “My hair actually looked more attractive before, when it was a bit shorter.” So, I’m still growing it 🙂 After all of this process, I now absolutely LOVE my natural hair. I think the colour is absolutely gorgeous – a golden, sunshine caramel colour, and think that it’s such a unique colour for people with my warm, olive skin tone to have. I love how healthy it is. I love how free it is. I don’t interrupt its natural process at all – besides to shampoo / condition / add hair moisturisers to it, and apart from cutting it to maintain my fringe length and to keep the split ends at bay. I just really, really love it. I feel that my hair is more unique, true to myself and self-expressive than I have ever felt it has been before.

I aim to keep growing it until I reach the point I stated earlier, and to then to cut it and maintain it at the length I decide looks the best. I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting a fringe – I love how I never have hair in my eyes and I just think a fringe really suits me (and most people honestly!) After reaching my ideal length, I MAY cut it into some sort of style – like into a V-shape, cutting layers into the front to frame my face and layers into the back, MAYBE. It’s far more likely that I wont though, because I just really love my hair and don’t want to cut any of it off! I have also toyed around with the idea of perming it – I’ve always LOVED curly hair, but the thought of it growing out, having to maintain it and it just not being natural really puts me off. I’ll more likely keep trying overnight hair curling methods. As for dying it in any way, I do love the look of sun-kissed hair – pretty surfer-esque highlights or a balayage effect, but I don’t know… I think I’d prefer to try to achieve that naturally, by applying chamomile and lemon to my hair and sitting in the sunshine! Basically, I kinda love my hair now, like, a lot. The thought of it taking on another colour besides my own scares me! I absolutely love bright colours like magenta – just not on my hair thank you very much!

The way I do add some interest to my hair is by using overnight curling methods to curl my hair, by maintaining my fringe, by using hats and accessories, and by putting my hair up into different styles like braids, high ponytails, side ponytails, messy buns etc. I love my hair! 🙂


 

Thanks for reading this essay about my hair!

What are some things you love about your hair? What are some things you love about your natural self?

Let me know in the comments below!
– Storm

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I’m Determined To Enjoy Autumn!

Hey guys!

So as you lot may or may not know, I hate the cold. I mean I really, really hate it. As in it’s 21 degrees today outside and I genuinely feel cold.

So, it doesn’t take much to make the jump from I hate the cold to I hate the colder seasons – including Autumn. It’s not that there aren’t things about Autumn that I like, rather that there are so many things about Autumn that I dislike.

So, this blog post is me trying to get myself to enjoy Autumn this year, basically.

My plan is to do something EVERYDAY that would be perfect for the season, to help me to enjoy it more.

So, here’s my first week!


ENJOY THE SEASON – AUTUMN

Saturday September 1st – Go for a parkland walk. This is something that is just SO Autumnal. I mean, walking along parkland walks is something fun to do in any season, but I just can’t imagine it being any more appropriate than when it’s all colourful outside.

Sunday September 2nd – Go to the local pub for drinks, board games and a meal with my partner. This is again, something great to do all year around, but I do find it a cosier thing to do in Autumn more so than any other time of the year!

Monday September 3rd – Meet my partner after work and go to Lush Oxford Street together to buy some cosy products to use in the bath. Obviously, again, baths are great year around – but they’re just the absolute BEST in Autumn – as are using Lush products in general. Summer is too hot to indulge in Lush as much, Spring is just a tad too warm too, in Winter the air is too cold to want to take baths but Autumn? Absolute perfection.

Tuesday September 4th – Cosy night in with red wine, popcorn, pies, face masks, baths, movies and cuddles! I love indulging and snuggling in Autumn!

Wednesday September 5th – Get myself down to the Poundland in Camden to pick up some well deserved Uni supplies! Obviously the best time to prepare for Uni is in Autumn before term time begins, and is something that always helps me to be excited for the year to come.

Thursday September 6th – Have a cosy night in to brush up on my Astrophysics course before the term begins. I’m sure this sounds really, really not fun for a lot of people but I promise, the best time to do this is in couple of weeks of Autumn you have before your course starts up again. It’s a time you’re able to actually be indoors and have the time to focus on brushing up on what YOU want to brush up on.

Friday September 7th – This would be a fantastic day to have some ciders and a takeaway while my partner teaches me some programming. I just really enjoy having cider in Autumn, and obviously you can’t beat having takeaways during this season! I also, as I said before, love studying during Autumn before term time begins, and my partner teaching me what he knows will help me to get ahead in my programming module before it’s even begun!


 

There you have it! How I’m going to enjoy my first week of Autumn. I hope I gave you Summer lovers some ideas on how you can help yourself to enjoy Autumn this year too 🙂

– Storm

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How To Keep On Top Of Your Laundry!

Hey guys! 😀

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote a blog post – sorry! I recently finished up at University for the year, and have since been catching up with a whole ton of chores that I let get on top of me during the academic year.

I live away from home in a cute little flat with my partner, and doing the laundry for the household is my chore. Studying for an Astrophysics degree is, well, basically rocket science right? So it’s pretty damn difficult, and has taken up almost my entire attention since the end of September / beginning of October last year. This meant that I fell behind TERRIBLY on the laundry front (and honestly, basically every front in my life, I just decided to tackle the laundry first!)

Finally, a billion full loads in the washing machine later, and I have actually managed to get all of the laundry done… As in, to fill up the washing machine right now I’d have to wash the bed sheets on my bed or something, which really don’t need to be washed right now as we changed them quite recently!

Now, you guys, you have no idea how bad the pile of dirty laundry got. It got pretty bad. So, I’ve come up with a strategy that will make doing the laundry easy, and prevent it from getting this bad ever again!:


  1. img_01681Don’t put dirty laundry onto the floor, into a laundry bag or basket or anywhere else. Do put dirty laundry STRAIGHT into the washing machine, and let it act as your laundry basket.
  2. Don’t wait to add fabric softener and laundry detergent into the washing machine for when you actually need to turn the washing machine on (if your household contains 2+ people.) Do put in the fabric softener and laundry detergent as soon as one load is finished (using a generic fabric softener and detergent suitable to wash most clothing items,) so that when you do need to turn the washing machine on, the job will be done that much faster.

  3. img_01751Don’t be super picky with the temperature, speed and setting that you wash clothes on apart from for clothes where it ACTUALLY makes a difference. Do find a general speed, temperature and setting that works for the majority of your clothes and put your machine on those settings, so that you can get a load of laundry washed that bit faster when you next need to.
  4.  

    Don’t leave clean, wet laundry in the washing machine when you have noticed it has finished its cycle. Do take out the clean laundry and hang it out to dry straight away.

  5. img_01781img_01771Don’t leave laundry out to dry for days and days and days. Do check everyday to see what pieces of laundry are dry, and bring in, fold up and put away any items that are STRAIGHT AWAY!
  6. Don’t wait until more than one full load of laundry is dirty before using the washing machine. Do check to see how full the washing machine is whenever you add in new items and when it is full, take out any odd items that won’t be suitable being washed with the rest of the items, turn on the washing machine and start a cycle.

And there they are – my pro tips to keep your laundry under control!

I don’t think leaving fabric softener etc in the machine will be a problem because we somehow come up with dirty laundry in our home pretty quickly, and I can sometimes even find myself needing to do a full load of laundry every other day! Even if some of the tips don’t look appealing to you, maybe some could be adapted a little so that they help make your laundry easier to do too!

– Storm x

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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 #3

Depression Tip #3:

Take a really thorough, long, hot shower. Bathing is something that can become very difficult for those of us with depression – but being unclean just makes us feel even worse! If you’re feeling down and haven’t showered in a while, or even if you have showered recently, almost nothing serves as a better pick-me-up than being clean (at least for me.)

Take the time to give your hair a really good wash and condition. Thoroughly wash your body. Exfoliate and cleanse that beautiful face of yours. When we’re clean, everything feels a bit simpler and easier.

Follow by drying yourself off thoroughly, applying anti-antiperspirant (if you’re like me and anxiety makes you perspire like crazy,) and putting on a clean, warm set of clothes. I personally love to leave a set of clean pyjamas, underwear and socks on the radiator while I shower, so they’re super cosy when it’s time for me to put them on!

– 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