It’s Okay To Not Do It All

img_7557

This summer has been a true awakening for me. I finally realised that I don’t have to do it all. I realised that it’s okay for me to take it slow and just stick to one thing. I don’t have to do everything I want to do all at once. There is no rush. Life shouldn’t be a rush. I now understand that just because I’m not doing something I want to do YET, that doesn’t make me a failure.

Years of being a workaholic, a hunger to succeed, driven by my eating disorder made me obsessive and even more depressed than I already was. Why? Because I was trying to do it all…at once!

Working at my previous job had a huge impact on my mental health. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adored working there, dreams have come true whilst I was there and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. But, many many rejections for job promotions and not feeling like I belonged or appreciated in a team caused my mental health to deteriorate. I had to leave and see what else was out there. It was the hardest decision I made but I don’t regret it one bit.

I now work for ITN (ITV News/Channel 4 News) – so I am still in broadcast journalism, it’s full time, it’s one job and I feel like I am being praised and appreciated. I feel happier and most of all, I enjoy the job. It’s more responsibility too and I learn something new everyday. It has also given me huge amounts of confidence.

But at the beginning, I was still in the mindset that I need another job. This job was full time but I needed something else. I had an interview at Sky News as a Text Producer (driving on screen texts and graphics) and I got offered the job! I accepted the offer (it was freelance). But, as I started training at Sky, I realised that it was too much. I was feeling the pressure. Two demanding, equally exciting jobs in journalism. As much as I always had an ambition to work at Sky News, I turned down the offer because I am not superhuman and I cannot do it all and saying no was okay and did not mean I was a failure. I realised that I need to focus on one thing for now, on one job. I need to be and feel normal for once.

All these years, I listened to the voice of anorexia that told me I need to do it all at once otherwise I’d be a failure, but that is not true. Self care played a part in this realisation. Taking breaks was like a reward to myself after doing something well. I would feel guilty if I ever rested. This is what living with a cruel illness like anorexia can do to your mindset. It’s twisted and full of self destruction.

I admit, I still find it difficult to take breaks but it’s getting better. People/colleagues around me giving me a nudge to take a break helps so much too. I didn’t realise how reassuring that feels. Again, this isn’t good but having someone tell me to take a break is like having permission to do so. It shouldn’t be like that and I am working on it.

Sometimes, saying no to all the things you want to do means saying yes to offering the best you can, to relax and enjoy more of your journey, your path. Because, in the end, that’s what it’s all about. It’s okay to not do it all.

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up on Someone With Mental Health Problems

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 20.11.50

If you are a friend or a loved one of someone with a mental health condition, you would know that it is not easy. You may have tried many times to help them but you seem to be failing each time. As worried as you are for them, you feel frustrated and hopeless. You may feel you cannot deal with them. So you give up and attempt to cut all ties and leave them. If you are friend or a loved one with a mental health condition reading this now, please do not give up on them.

People who have a condition such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) will most certainly have issues maintaining relationships which can make it hard to stay with them at times. Though not their intention of trying to make your life hard with the threats and rage – it is actually a cry for help.

Please bear in mind that this person did not choose to have a mental illness. It is not their fault, nor your fault. However hard it is to deal with this person, if you care enough for them, you should be there for them, no matter what. Leaving them is their biggest fear. In fact, the things they may do is their way of holding on to you because of the fear of losing you. They don’t know how to express this, so it often comes out in anger and rage. This often goes back to the sufferers past where they experienced this before or may have always been very alone, and because suddenly someone finally comes into their life and actually cares, it feels like a determination to make sure they never leave so they don’t feel like they did before.

This is coming from a person who suffers with various disorders including BPD. Love and care has been something I have always looked for but rarely found and if I did, it would not last for long. Constantly being disappointed by people leaving because my condition is hard to deal with. To me, the sufferer, it feels like people use me and then leave me like I mean nothing to them. It feels like the only person who you thought you could trust, who you love, who you care for, hates you. Giving up on this person can ultimately make them give up on themselves. Bearing in mind, they are already feeling low. By giving up, you may have just pushed them over the edge, as guilt-ridden as that sounds. This person does not need that along with what they are already feeling and you don’t need that on your conscience.

If you are a friend or loved one of someone with mental illness and finding it hard to cope with their problems, before even thinking of giving up on them, calmly talk to them. Get them to seek help. Listen to them. Try not to be divisive or judgmental and most certainly, be weary of blaming them. They already feel like they are to blame. Find another way to help them if what you tried is not working. Sometimes, the sufferer just wants to be heard or even just wants a simple hug. I can tell you that a person who has been deprived of love and finally gets the attention they so desperately need – it is a powerful feeling.

If all else fails and you just don’t understand how else you can help them, please go to therapy with them. Family therapy may help. Couples therapy may help. There are also carers groups where you can meet other carers in the same situation so you don’t feel alone. There is so much out there to help you both.

Whatever you decide to do, please hold on to them. There is hope.

This post was published in The Huffington Post.

Spring Favourites 2014!

Well, it has been a while! I have been rather busy with university and final exams and deadlines but now university is over (university experience blog post coming soon) I thought I should ease my way into blogging by doing a Spring favourites as it is nearly Summer!

These are the things that I have been loving this Spring.

Skincare 

Manuka Doctor Products – My skin has been rather amazing recently and I do think it is to do with this new brand I have discovered. I needed some natural products because I have sensitive skin and came across Manuka Doctor in Holland & Barrett. I decided to buy all the apiclear range – the face cleanser, moisturiser and blemish cream (on a whim) and I have been using them for about three months now and I love it so much. They are expensive but they are so good. Ever since I have been using them, my skin has been amazing and I have had no breakouts. Amazing. This has replaced my homemade face masks that I used to make with Manuka honey. It is made with natural ingredients so amazing for acne-prone skin. I am on my third purchase of all the products and I will continue to buy them as long as it does its job! You can also find them in Superdrug.

jjjj

Beauty 

Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Foundation – I have changed up my foundation and found this amazing one. I will always love my Estee Lauder Double Wear but the Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions foundation has been a winner for me this Spring. It gives great coverage (I may do a review on this) and feels very light on my skin. Photo-friendly too.

clin
Tanya Burr Lips & Nails – I love Tanya Burr and have been watching her on YouTube for years. She has brought out a lip gloss and a nail polish range and I decided to buy some. I gravitate towards red lip and nail colours so I bought the red nail polish in ‘Riding Hood’ and the red lip gloss in ‘Heart Skipped a Beat’. I love the lip gloss and wear it everyday now. I love the colour of the nail polish and how it looks on my nails however, it chips very easily and by about two to three days, half of the colour is gone. So that was quite disappointing but I have been loving the lip gloss and may buy some more of the lip-glosses.

photo

Music

Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots – Damon has finally gone solo anda few weeks ago he released he debut solo album called ‘Everyday Robots’. It is absolutely beautiful. My favourite songs from the album are ‘Hostiles’, ‘The Selfish Giant’ and ‘My Tembo’. 

Lily Allen – Sheezus – Another new album. I have been really loving Lily’s comeback album called ‘Sheezus’. It is really catchy, very funny and quite cool too. I love the songs ‘Insincerely Yours’ and ‘Take My Place’. 

Motivational Monday #1

I thought I would start doing a series on my blog. Motivational Monday came to mind. I am all about self development and improving yourself and I just want some positivity on my blog once a week.

So I thought I would start with a quote I live by which is….

Image

Having been suffering from severe social anxiety for many years, I now wake up every morning and read this quote to myself. I have realised that if you are scared of something, when you keep avoiding it, the problem gets worse, so you might as well do it! What is the worse that could happen? If you mess up, you can learn from it for next time. I was scared of speaking in public before and I still am. That was one of my biggest fears ever since I could remember. Now, everyday, I challenge myself to speak in front people or speak to someone I don’t know…this is helping me build my confidence. I have my own radio show which is a platform for me to break some of my fears. So, if you are scared of something – feel that fear and do it anyway, because trust me, when you do it, you will feel so much better afterwards.

I highly highly recommend the book Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway (where I got the quote from) by Susan Jeffers. Fantastic book. It has helped me a lot.

Essential Study Tips For Students

y (1)

I have been asked to write a post on how to study in general giving examples of how I study so here it is.

I study everyday. A day without studying, especially at university, is a day wasted. Now, being the introverted and a perfectionist person that I am, I guess you would not be surprised by that.

I am basing this post more around university students but I do speak in general terms at times so it can still apply to school and college students as well.

Plan

The most stressful thing about studying is when and how to fit in your studies on top of everything else, such as a job and social life. Thankfully, I do not have any of those problems because I am solely concentrating on university and university only this year. But of course, everyone’s case is different.

If you have a job, do schedule your shifts on days you may not have university but make sure the shifts are sensible. I would try and leave the evenings free, so that can be your time to study.

As for social life, do go out and have fun but make sure it is not on a day before a lecture. Go out on a Friday night only and leave the weekends for studying. Some of you may not agree though but I think that is sensible.

Also, if you have various modules you are studying for, then split the studying for each module for a different day. A study timetable comes in handy for this. I know that may seem geeky but honestly, it will make your studying so much easier. Every Sunday night, I make a plan for the week ahead and write down what day and what time I will study each module. It really does help.

Space

I don’t know about you but I study best alone, in my bedroom with no distractions. Music is off, radio is off and TV is off. I have my own desk with all my study materials and because I have the space, it motivates me to get up, sit on my office chair and just get on with it. If you have the space, you will find that it will motivate you to study.

Have the Relevant Study Materials

Make sure you have the right study materials. This includes stationary such as a notebook, pens, pencils, highlighters, sticky notes, page markers etc…

Most importantly, look through your reading list and buy or borrow textbooks from the library. Having the relevant books will help you immensely with your studying. I find them incredibly helpful. A dictionary can be very useful too when you come across a word you do not understand. I would recommend the usual Oxford English Dictionary.

A computer. My Macbook Pro is my life and is a lifesaver when it needs to be. When you are writing an essay, you will obviously need your computer so have that at the ready.

Keep all your study materials in one place. That way, you will not lose anything – important papers, notes etc… Get yourself a folder and keep things organised.

Make Notes and Highlight/Underline/Annotate

Making notes is crucial. Read your texts, pick out the relevant points, underline, highlight, annotate. Get your notebook out and write down the most important points. When I have finished reading a chapter, I usually summarise it in my own words in my notebook. It is always good to test your memory – especially if you are revising for an exam.

Recently, what I have been doing to my textbooks is page marking them with a colourful page marker. For example, I am studying Media Law and there are chapters I need to read but because there is a lot and I cannot possibly cover all of them in one day, I get out a page marker and stick the marker onto the end of the chapter. This reminds me that I need to read that chapter soon. This trick is very helpful.

Ask for Help

At university, when you are in the middle of an assignment, you will have seminars – which is a class after your lecture with a small group and everyone must participate and during this time, you can ask for extra help for your assignment. Go to them and ask for help if you need it.

In my case, I do go to my seminars but even though it is a small group, I still feel quite anxious asking for help around other students, so I usually book a personal tutorial with my lecturer so I can have a one to one session/seminar with them and that helps me a lot. If you have issues with anxiety, I would really reccomend this.

Take a Break

Do not just study all day with no breaks. Take a 5 – 10 minute break every 15 – 20 minutes or so. This is important because it relieves stress and it gives you time to take in everything you have just learnt.

…Finally not everyone will benefit from this form of studying because I do understand that life can get in the way. It is up to you to develop a study routine that will work for you. If you are serious enough to do well in your studies, you will put the time and effort into developing a well structured study plan.