Mental Reboot

posted in: HEALTH, LIFE | 7

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Today I wanted to write my weekly update but If I’m totally honest I’ve not quite felt myself this week. I like to think I’m a positive person and try to ‘choose happy’ rather than dwell on things when the option is mine but I’ve been a little low and have struggled to find the motivation to be happy happy in videos and write peppy posts. Mental Health is a buzz word right now, I was listening to the radio on the way back from school this morning and they said 3 quarters of college students are seeking help for depression or anxiety and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I am a cynic and when things crop up en mass I tend to take them with a pinch of salt but perhaps that’s short sighted. I honestly believed that whereas for many it’s a very serious problem, for many more it was just attention seeking. For every YouTuber/Blogger who said they suffered with anxiety there seemed to be 5 more spawn with identical symptoms. It felt less than genuine and so I took less notice than I would have had it only been a handful. The news story sited social media, politics and uncertainty about their future as causes and having lived through the birth of social media, only recently discovering an interest in politics and at 31 actually starting to think about what it is that I want to do with the rest of my life, I get it. They said that, now more than ever we feel that we have a responsibility to change things that aren’t working and that pressure is starting to weigh.

In my own very small circle of reference I see how bloggers could feel the strain, working for yourself with an inconsistent income is stressful and for a lot of us it’s a solitary job so if you can reach out via twitter and find people to connect with then why shouldn’t you? I will never not be suspicious of ‘people’s motives online but I do realise that I have to be more open to the idea that some people are asking (inadvertently or not) for help that they really need. There are degrees of severity but we can’t all be happy all of the time and it’s important to know the difference between feeling ‘a bit hormonal’ vs something else entirely. I suffered with post natal depression after having my daughter 11 years ago and didn’t recognise it in myself for a long time, I didn’t bond with my baby, I felt like she wasn’t really mine and at 31 I think I would have seen it but at 19 I thought, I’m 19, this is normal! I’d like to think I’d see it in myself now but it’s hard to know whether I could be that objective.

We all deal with stress in different ways, I tend to be overly laid back and push it out of my mind until such a time as I’m ready to deal with it or (hopefully – rarely) it’s dealt with its self. This can build up and explode sometimes, I don’t feel like I’m bottling anything up I just don’t see the point in worrying about problems I can’t fix or situations I can’t control. I don’t flip out in traffic or if I’m going to be late, unless I can change the outcome, what good will it do? I thought that was a great way to live and as a result I was happier, less fraught and would definitely get less wrinkles, but maybe not? From time to time I feel down and my way of dealing with that is SLEEP. Crying helps too but my minds way of handling tension that has become too much seems to be to shut down. Maybe I work too closely with computers? It’s a bit like when I have too many tabs open on my browser and it crashes, there’s only so much it can cope with before it needs to reboot. Other people let off steam multiple times a day, they seem a bit stressy and in some cases angry for my liking but I’ll bet they never have a meltdown, they probably sleep really well too because nothing is ever held inside.

I don’t know the right way, I just know how I am and because of that I know I am judgemental when it comes to people sharing their own mental health issues because I like to keep that stuff to myself. That being said there’s a reason I love memoirs and self help books.. I know I need help and had it not been for the trend to talk about mental health I would never have been open to considering my own or learning new mechanisms to cope with situations I previously would have ignored. I feel grateful to be very low on the severity scale but am starting to understand why everyone can benefit from talking about how they’re feeling a little more often.. I would totally be up for a bit of therapy, actually. I know it’s such an americanism but forced contemplation is not the worst idea they ever had. I did see a counsellor after having my daughter but I always felt a bit out of touch with it, they asked me generic questions that I felt weren’t relevant to my state of mind but the general idea of talking to someone impartial, I do like.

If you do think you need help beyond (or rather than) friends and family you find info online here, I went through my GP way back when  but there are more options available now. Obviously my experience was some time ago so if any of you reading feel comfortable sharing a more recent experience that would be really helpful! For right now, I’m going to try to take stock of my emotions more regularly and take an actual day off once a week without any guilt. The solution doesn’t have to be professional help, identifying the problem is the first hurdle, the next step is up to you. I don’t think I’ll be updating on this topic any time soon but I felt inspired to write something today for those of you, like me who really didn’t buy in to the new mental health conscious generation but could maybe benefit from stepping back and looking at their own.

PS. Took a duvet day yesterday and watched the entire of The Santa Clarita Diet (with Drew Barrymore) on Netflix.. it’s awesome, watch it! #noregrets

My Smear Experience

posted in: HEALTH | 78

My Smear ExperienceI know for some this will be majorly TMI but I trust that those people wouldn’t have clicked on the post or at very least as they’re reading that yes, this is in fact going to be about cervical smears that they will make their exit now. It’s not something people talk about but it could save your life.. we SHOULD be talking about it. When people say ‘you should go for a smear’ it conjures all kinds of images in your head, legs akimbo and major embarrassment so I thought I’d share my personal experience for those who might be nervous.. it’s not the most dignified thing you’ll ever do but it’s probably not the least either 😉

I only recently (as recently as last weekend) went for my first smear, my Mother (who screens them for a living) has been hounding me for years so it’s shameful that I put it off for so long BUT I had a reason. I first got my invitation when I was pregnant with Milo, I called the clinic and informed them I wasn’t able to attend and they said they’d make a note on my file to follow up after the birth. I then received 3 further ‘invitations’, each more menacing than the last.. they actually got quite threatening (as the NHS goes) and given my irrational delicate emotional state it made me want to throw a chair at someone quite angry and just totally put me off the whole thing.

When you’re going in for something a bit intimate you want to feel comfortable and if you’re on the fence even the person on the phone when you call for an appointment can push you the wrong way. Now I didn’t put it off because I was nervous or shy but because it’s so damned awkward to get time during the week (doctors office hours) without one or both kids in tow and BELIEVE me when I say they do NOT need to see THAT! I discovered that my local family planning clinic was open on a Saturday for drop in appointments so turned up first thing, no waiting, straight in. Dunzo! I would 100% recommend your local family planning clinic over your GP for ANY ‘womens issues’ purely because it’s what they do day in day out and if we’re talking about something a bit more invasive I want someone who knows what they’re doing!! Of course knowledge and experience don’t always come in a super friendly package however, I’ve had exams from nurses who barely said two words to me but then some people might like that. I’d rather have some light conversation with a person before they enter me with a foreign object but hey.. that’s just me.

So when I rocked up on Saturday morning I wasn’t sure what I was going to get, I was lucky and the nurse was lovely, EXTREMELY helpful and forthcoming with lots of advice and info on what would happen not only during the exam but once the sample was sent to the lab. She told me what to expect in terms of how long for results but also prepared me for the eventuality in which the result may not be what I was expecting. Given that my Mum IS the lab I knew a lot of it anyway but was pleasantly surprised at how far she went to put me at ease without me having to ask a single question. Now in the past I actually had the contraceptive coil (mirena for those wondering) so I’m all too familiar with the speculum and internal inspections of this kind, FYI – if any of you have ever had ‘swabs’ taken and are nervous to go for a smear – it’s pretty much the same thing so you needn’t be. For me the most uncomfortable part is the insertion of the speculum (if you’re drawing a blank here’s google images – you get the idea) but it’s not at all painful. Not to be crude but unless you’re a virgin this wont be a totally foreign concept it’s just a totally bizarre situation in which it’s happening and it’s ONLY uncomfortable if you can’t relax – ie: me. Have you ever tried to MAKE yourself relax? I swear to Lucifer it’s IMPOSSIBLE! Anyway.. so the speculum is in there and they can see what they need to see, from there they basically brush your cervix, imagine if you will that you’re cleaning a glass.. similar thing – they twist a little to get the sample cells and they’re done. That part is a really odd sensation but again not painful and apparently some people can’t even feel it – those people probably have painless child births too so whoopeedoo for them!

To recap with a TOUCH more detail for those who have NO idea what a pelvic exam involves, you’re clothed from the waist up and covered with paper towels to protect your modesty (you have NO modesty, this is clearly so you don’t make awkward eye contact with the person doing the exam), you bend your legs and ‘RELAX’ while they insert the speculum and adjust so that they have a clear shot at your cervix then they sweep a brush around for a second and your done. It’s quick and painless and you have almost as much control of your comfort as the nurse does, if you’re a naturally relaxed person you can probably take a nap but for the rest of us it’s an odd 5 minutes that isn’t the way we’d choose to spend our Saturday morning but that might just save our lives!

If you want to share your experiences (I know not everyone had a good one but we generally learn from the bad ones so pass on your wisdom) feel free and if you have any questions I didn’t cover already let me know and I’ll do a follow up. As is the minimum age for a smear test is 25 (controversial and I wont even get in to it but that’s the current law) but if you have symptoms or cause for concern your GP can refer you at any age so don’t let that stop you from attending if you feel like you need something checked out! You can find lots more info online here and I hope my experience and the limited info I have was useful for some.

Oh and you can find your local family planning clinic here

Miss BB

The Hottest Day

posted in: HEALTH, STYLE | 14

fffYesterday was supposedly the hottest day of the year. I was in the office most of the day but managed to snap these pics with Lee after work and it was seriously sunny.  I’m fairly certain is was also the ‘Day Of The Ants’ (look it up) I swear they were in full swarm mode it was horrendous. Needless to say I didn’t spend much time in the sun.. hopefully those of you that were off to enjoy it weren’t chased inside from your plans.. let me know if they were crazy near you too.  I’ve been considering setting up a ‘closet’ area in the spare bedroom to inspire me to shoot more outfit pictures, would you like to see more? As a reader I do tend to spend more time on style blogs than I do on beauty ones.. with beauty reviews etc I’m usually looking for something particular whereas I feel like I can scroll through and read years worth of fashion posts. Is it just me? I think it’s something to do with actually seeing a face.. I like to see how said blogger has evolved over the course of their blog.. it’s tough to see that from product pictures etc. I think I connect more to a blogger when they actually pop in and say hi regularly enough. I’ve been really enjoying Bows&Sequins recently but I’d love to hear who your favourite style bloggers are as I’m always looking for new reads!

IMG_1133jjj*What I’m Wearing*

Top – Next / Jeans – Topshop Joni / Shoes – H&M / Sunglasses – RayBan / Bag – LV Neverfull MM / Watch Michael Kors Lexington / Bracelet – Stella & Dot / Nails – China Glaze Highlight Of My Summer

ggghhhOn another note, the heat has been KILLING me lately. I am SO not a Summer person but this new Brita Water Bottle* has helped encourage me to stay hydrated. I’ve been putting in a drop of juice here and there to make it a bit more interesting (not sure if that might mess with the filter but tbh.. not hugely bothered about that) but I’ve been drinking so much more water now I have it. I try to remember to refill the bottle and pop it in the fridge so when I want to go in and reach for a diet coke I have the option of ice cold water instead.. any little push away from the fizz is welcome.. I’m very much an addict. One thing worth mentioning about it is that it’s not like a regular water bottle, I really struggled to drink from it at first but once I figured out that the nozzle is actually attached to a STRAW and you don’t have to tip it up to get the water out it was plain sailing. Well.. I say that but it’s a pretty bizarre concept to get used to. Have any of you tried One of these bottles?

Lastly I just received this new Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Cannes Crush*, this is the first time I’ve worn it so I’m not ready to say yay or nay yet but gotta be honest.. first impressions weren’t great. The texture is very odd and although it feels balmy on the lips it seemed to bleed and not really stick around or stain.. I’m hoping that more time and more colours will win me round because I was SO excited about this launch. For those wondering they’re going to be available in August.

I’m praying for a spot of rain to bring the temperature down a bit now, we have the sofa coming tomorrow (still very, very excited) and a trip to IKEA in the afternoon and I REALLY don’t fancy the IKEA warehouse in this heat!

Do any of you have exciting plans for the weekend?

Miss BB

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