Sunday, 18 June 2017

I Am Life's Punching Bag

I feel like I am life's punching bag, constantly being knocked down. It seems like with every positive thing that happens in my life, 10 other negative things happen and overshadow it. Don't get me wrong my life isn't all doom and gloom and I am so lucky to have the life that I do have, but I can't help but feel like I need a break from it all sometimes. 

Nobody ever really talks about how students with mental health issues cope in the summer. I've kind of touched on this in a previous post, which you can read about here. Just because university finishes, it does not mean that your mental illness stops. If anything, for me it gets slightly worse as I haven't got a lot to keep me occupied therefore, giving me too much time to over think and put myself in a bad and unstable mood. Recently, I have been doing whatever I can to keep my mind occupied and active, whilst of course giving myself a break still. I have focused on my blog more, started working with Student Minds and I have started planning my own little project called 'Student Stigma'

Despite all of this, I still feel like a punching bag because it seems that everything I try to achieve recently, has fallen through and I'm basically getting no where with it. I have applied for over 40-50 internships and work experience jobs and only heard back from a couple of them, who agreed to give me the experience. I sent endless emails confirming dates that I could do, to get little to no reply back. Fast forward a month or so and I have now had replies saying they cannot offer it anymore as they have someone else. This has also happened with a handful of others who have advertised a job to then say that they cannot offer it to anyone anymore. I completely respect that this is the way in which life just happens to work but I can't help but feel disheartened. What am I doing wrong? However, I'm not letting this knock me back... I have applied for a couple of part time jobs which I hopefully have some chance of getting, if not I know I have tried. 

So life just keeps punching and punching but I will not give up. I have so much support around me from family and my friends Nicole (who is amazing;) ) and Katie who is equally amazing and of course Rich. Friends are so important to me and they make life's 'punches' a little less damaging. If you are a student struggling over the summer, surround yourself with as much support as you can because believe me, it helps. Students can feel so lonely and useless over the summer, but we need to remember how hard we have worked and we deserve this break. 

If you ever feel like you are struggling, please do not hesitate to DM me on twitter or to leave a little comment on here!

Don't be life's punching bag!

Saturday, 17 June 2017

University Survival Guide

If you're starting university in September, you may be wondering what it is actually like. I'm going to give you a university survival guide from someone who has lived at home for uni! This might come in handy for you...

1: Don't bother writing down EVERY word you hear in a lecture
When I started university in 2015, I was one of those students who attempted to literally write down pretty much everything that was included in the lecture. I didn't even read back on my notes. I think most 1st year students do this but trust me, it lasts around 2 days then you realise how pointless it is. If you really do want to document everything that is said in a lecture, simply record it and save your hand from cramps! 

2. Try to take your own food for the day
My university cafe is certainly not cheap (for a uni cafe that is) also there isn't much choice. If you have a gluten allergy at my uni, you have no chance. Everything is just white bread with a sad filling that tastes like disappointment. Take your own little snacks or pop to a supermarket instead. Most people say that they put on weight when they go to university and live in halls but trust me, you will put on weight even if you live at home. You find yourself snacking constantly just to fill the breaks or to fuel your endless amount of uni work. 

3. Choose your friends wisely
For my course I have to do a lot of presentations and group work. You'll soon realise that group work at university is basically a living hell. When you start university you are completely chucked into the deep end and you need to suss everyone out quickly. I luckily met someone on my first day who I am still really good friends with now and also someone else who I met in the second week of uni. I would have not been able to do uni without these two! However, I have had my fair share of arguments and enemies... it naturally happens but it needs to happen in order to understand who you work best with. 

4. Public transport is your worst enemy ... prepare yourself
If you are living at home or your campus isn't on site then you will be doing your fair share of travelling. It takes me around 2 hours on the bus to get to uni but only around 20 mins in a car. For my first year I had to get the bus, but luckily this year I have had Rich to take me. You will soon realise how horrible school kids are (a small minority are nice though)... they crowd the whole bus, have zero respect for anyone and drive you crazy. Not the ideal thing when you're travelling on the bus for 2 hours for a 9 hour day at university. 

5. Create your own deadlines
If you have a deadline set change it to a week earlier, this'll make you work faster and be able to submit it early knowing that you can make changes etc. Do not leave all of your work until the last minute... a degree isn't the kind of thing you can do the night before. Start it 3 months before the deadline because you are going to have about 5-10+ other things to do on top of it. 

Are you starting Uni? 
If you have any questions,  leave them in the comments below and I'd love to answer them! 

Friday, 16 June 2017

Self-Care Is Important

If you're someone like me who suffers with a mental illness or you're someone who just generally gets caught up in everything and needs a break, then self-care is so important. We tend to forget about looking after ourselves from time to time. We are brilliant at keeping our physical selves healthy but when it comes to our mental health, we tend to leave it behind and push it to the corner of our brains. 

I am a strong advocate of self-care days, I mean every day should be a self-care day but I know realistically we haven't got the time to have a full pamper day. However, recently I have been doing little things to help with my mood and mind in general and I strongly urge you give them a go yourself! 

Run yourself a bath...
This is such a simple one but the most effective for me. If I'm ever feeling poorly or a bit sad or deflated, the first thing I do is run a bath. I make sure I make time in my day to have one, this can be done by doing errands whilst waiting for the bath to run. Like today for example, I went on my exercise bike while the bath was running and when I had done my workout I could jump straight into it. When I was at school, every Sunday evening I would run myself a bubble bath with candles and watch my favourite YouTubers and then jump into bed and read a book. It prepared me for the week ahead and it was like I was ending the week positively. 

Pamper yourself...
Even if it is just a quick 5 minute face mask, it makes you feel so rejuvenated! I've recently been obsessed with the Loreal Pure Clay Masks, they leave your skin feeling so smooth, cleansed and radiant. The best thing is, you can put the different masks on the different problematic areas on your face, all at once! I feel that when my skin is looking good my mood is better because I feel confident enough to go out into public without any makeup on (which used to be so scary and unimaginable for me).  

Take a social media detox...
If you have read my blog post that I uploaded on Monday, you'll know how much it helped me to have a little break from social media. It enabled me to completely clear my head and 'reconnect' with the world physically rather than digitally. We have become so accustomed to having our phones right by our sides 24/7 and our thumbs just naturally click onto the apps, that we have forgotten what the real life is like, the unedited version. I strongly urge you to try this... delete the apps... or just leave your phone at home for the day. You soon realise that you can actually live without it! 

Watch some crappy TV...
We all have a guilty (I'm not guilty at all) pleasure when it comes to trashy TV. Mine is Keeping Up With The Kardashians. I got into this last summer and it is definitely my go-to programme to watch when I am home alone and feeling a bit 'meh'. I don't know what it is about it but I just find it so relaxing to watch and it is the best form of escapism for me. I also love Hollyoaks, I don't think I've missed a single episode for the past 8-10 years! There's always something happening, someone is always being killed! I love to watch this on catch up in the mornings when I am home alone, with my breakfast and a cat by my side. It just makes me forget about life for half an hour! 

Tidy...
I know I'm not the only one when I say this but I get so stressed and agitated when my room is a mess. It's a mess at the moment and I cannot wait to clear it all out. As the old saying goes 'A tidy house, is a tidy mind' and I definitely live by this. It is a chore but if you just whack on a soundtrack on Spotify or pop on a playlist of your favourite YouTuber, it is so therapeutic and rewarding once you have finished. 

So they're just a few things I like to do when I am feeling a bit down in the dumbs or anxious and I strongly urge you to do the same! 

Self-care is so important and we need to remember to give ourselves a break!

What do you do to wind down and give yourself a bit of self-care?
Let me know in the comments below!