Saturday, 21 October 2017

Stop the stigma of mental health in young adults

Today's post is very close to my heart. The stigma of mental health conditions in young adults (aged 18-30). Many people think a mental health condition is just depression or anxiety but there are many more conditions that fall under mental health including: 

  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Psychosis 
  • Self harm
  • Eating disorders
  • PTSD - (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • OCD - (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • GAD -(Generalised Anxiety Disorder)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia 
One in every four people are affected by mental health in any one year according to the charity Mind ( Mental health problems- an introduction,2017) 


In January 2017 I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety which i knew I was suffering with for a long time before i addressed the symptoms and went to see my Gp. Everybody's symptoms can be different when diagnosed with a mental health condition. At first, i chose to ignore the symptoms I had an put it down to tiredness and been run down from Christmas and the new year season, also I put it down to an ongoing health condition with my kidneys. It was not until the end of January when I realised that I was feeling worse and not any better, that is when I plucked up the courage to speak to my Dr. She was really helpful and referred me to the local depression and anxiety service who seen me for my initial appointment within a week of referral.At the first appointment, I was asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding my symptoms ( ill put these below), my anxiety level, then some general questions about employment and my living conditions. Even at that first appointment, I was told that medication would be the best step forward alongside some cognitive behaviour therapy ( which again I will talk about below). After the first appointment, the therapist told me she was going to ring my Dr to get a prescription sorted for some anti-depressants. It was decided that the best course of treatment to start on was 75mg of sertraline once a day as this was the safest medication to use with my ongoing kidney problem. My current dose is now 200mg a day and I can definitely tell the difference being on the highest dose.

My Symptoms
When I first went to the Dr's surgery I had a huge list of symptoms and these were some of the following:

  • Feeling anxious all the time
  • Not wanting to be around anybody for social events, nights out, going to work, spending time with my friends, family and boyfriend
  • Having sleep deprivation from having so many thoughts going through my head
  • Being emotional all the time, I could be happy one minute, crying the next, then angry and back to happy
  • feeling like I had the sense of heaviness in my body all the time
  • Worried I was letting down particularly my boyfriend and family
  • Worried that something bad was going to happen if I left the house on my own
  • Pushing people away when i know they were trying to help me. 
Case Studies

My first case study is from a lovely young lady called Miss R- this is her story.
I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and moderate depression in 2012. My episodes come and go. I have had two long episodes (over 6 months) since 2012, the second in 2015 in the middle of my second year. I use CBT and talking therapy to help me, and I have never used medication. Firstly, because I am a very forgetful person (lol) and secondly for me personally, I want to fix the problems I have and I know that if I started taking medication I would rely on it too heavily to make me better. That is just my take on my own health, not anyone elses. Medication is right for so many people, not just me.
So, treating myself with CBT, sometimes it took a while before I would get on top of it. Shall I start with the cons of mental health and training? Firstly, it can be exhausting. Doing placements, university, essays, preping for interviews, keeping in touch with family and friends all the while fighting the battle of my head that keeps me up late into the night and sometimes, stops me getting out of bed on my days off. The self doubt became crippling. Although there was no reason to believe it, I constantly worried (during my bad times) that I would fail all the essays I had to write, so much so that I would procrastinate worrying and would go days without writing anything. This then fed back into the anxiety and became a cycle. I often thought about giving up the course, telling myself everything would be easier if I was less tired and stressed. And baring in mind that midwifery is the best thing I have ever done, and my dream job, my head constantly telling me to give up the thing I loved made me feel ever so low. 
There are positives I have found having a mental health illness whilst training. I found I had a new level of empathy for anxious women in labour. I know what a panic attack feels like, I know how your brain can trick you into thinking the most bizzare stupid things about yourself or your wellbeing. I also decided that my university would benefit from more support for students from older students, so I put a structure inplace so that everone on my course (210 student) could connect with one another. 
My advise to people would be: 
Firstly, own it. There is no reason to hide mental health. And the more we try desperately to conceal it, the more it can harm us. A simple “I am feeling a bit anxious today, so I am sorry if I ask questions that we both know I probably know” to your mentor at the beginning of a shift, is not going to result in an alarm going off and everyone chanting “FIRE HER FIRE HER” (yes, this is what I thought would happen). I had some negative comments from some uneducated individuals when I talked about my health, but they were in the minority and their inablility to understand is not a reflection on my honesty, but their ignorance. Next, hold your loved ones near and don’t push them away. My partner and my family got me all the way through. I would not have been a midwife without their support. Suprisingly to me, when I struggled on an assignment or I cried after a hard shift, they didn’t say “well you will be an awful midwife” they cheered me up, hugged me close and told me all the good things I had done. Finally, get help. Anxiety and depression are not indestructable, but nothing will ever change if you do nothing. The mentality “it will always be like this, there is nothing that will change it” is a hard feeling to get away from, and everyone copes with their feelings in different ways. My point is, whether you want to take medication, attend group sessions, go to one to one meetings or complete courses on line, there are so many ways that you can start to challenge your negative thoughts. My moto to myself is that you have ONE LIFE. Only one. Live it to its full. Do everything you want to do and have no regrets. 


My Second case study is from another young lady called Miss S
I am 22,  I suffered with depression while I was at university which was quite bad and I ended up dropping out of uni just 4 months into my course. I tried to contact the uni helpline specially dealing with depression, and my 'emergency' appointment was 4 weeks later. Useless! I found help once I went home. However I am never free from it as people with depression don't just 'lighten up' do they 😊Mental illness runs in my family. My sister 
Miss C who is 24 has bipolar when she's had since she was 19. Her doctor says it was due to severe upset from failing her A levels and not being able to study medicine, and shortly after our grandad, grandma, and cousin dying all within 3 months of each other. It's been a rollercoaster for our family, she's run up thousands of pounds worth of debt because she feels on a high when she spends, she has bought a Rolex on card and let it bounce because she was in her high state. But she has awful lows. Her ex girlfriend has borderline personality disorder, which saw her be sectioned twice this past year, she is also 24.My cousin, Mr J has schizophrenia, he is 23. He has been suicidal many times. 

These two case studies were particularly important to.get into this post. Below is some contact details to acgencies who can help.

MIND Helpline 0300 123 3393
Samaritans helpline 116 123
Childline for under 18s 0800 1111


Many thanks for taking the time to read this post.

Lauren xox

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

How to be more body confident and body happy!

Body Confidence and self-esteem is quite a high thought in my brain right now since I've been poorly my weight has been up and down and recently I have lost 4 stone from being unable to tolerate decent meals without vomiting. This little post is just to show how you can be more body confident about your self and help support your friends to be so as well. 
Spending day and night exercising and dieting is a waste of effort if you haven’t got that initial body confidence. So many people live with the belief that as soon as they ‘fix’ that one thing they find ugly about themselves they’ll suddenly feel beautiful – but this isn’t the case!
  Having this type of mindset can have a serious consequence on the body, both physically and mentally – when people set goals for themselves that are unrealistic, which can only cause more distress and upset. 
Here are some ways you can be more body confident!

Stop comparing

We’ve all been a victim of Instagram searches.You end up following an endless list of accounts from models to celebrities just to scroll through their page with envy when really they do nothing to help so unfollow to get the negativity out of your life.sign out from social media and concentrate on yourself – even if you do this for short periods at a time.
The sooner you stop forcing yourself to compare with others the happier you will be.
Invest in clothes that make you feel beautiful, In the last decades, businesses – especially clothing brands – are moving to social media to advertise their products.It’s easy to get caught up with the latest fashion that your favourite celebrities have inspired, these are usually hideous anyway, set your own style and buy clothes that you actually feel comfortable in!You don’t need to feel pressured to buy that skimpy bra-let if you aren’t going to feel confident wearing it. The results will truly show when you feel like you’re slaying an outfit as you’ll be so much more confident, happy and carefree!

Silence your inner critic

It’s important to acknowledge and stop putting yourself down, especially using fat talk or calling yourself ugly-embrace what others are saying when they say you're beautiful. It’s so easy, especially as girls/women to use our group of friends as outlets to our insecurities. But men/ boys do this also - Body confidence doesn't stop at women and girls.

I recently read an article while doing some research for a university module and it says ‘”If a woman says ‘I’m so fat,’ the other woman might feel like she has to say ‘no, I’m the fat one. Have you seen my thighs?'” when in fact neither woman is fat, they both say it to try and make the other feel less self concious. If you can be more aware of these types of conversations with your friends, you can change the topic to actually EMPOWERING each other – that’s what friends are for after all and it works even better if you twin it with a glass of wine or two. 

Pamper yourself

Make time to treat your body right!
Setting time aside for yourself can be an amazing treat when you’re not feeling your best it can make a massive difference to your mood.Get a massage, get your nails done, or even just have a long relaxing bath with a bath bomb or a candle to set the relaxing scene.Anything that gets you feeling pampered is a must to feel sexy and relaxed – you and your body deserve it. The most important thing is to slow things down – There really is no time to rush and make sure you enjoy every last minute!

It really is mind over matter

Think about the bigger picture.In 30 years time do you wanting to be thinking ‘oh I wish I loved myself more’ or looking back on amazing memories with people you love where you were happy and carefree?
I think we all know the answer to that one.
Many thanks for reading
Lauren xox 

Betty Collective Box September 2017

Good Afternoon and Happy Monday
Welcome back to my blog and happy 1st of October. Hasn't it turned autumnal. I personally love this time of year. Bring on the winter boots and scarves. 

Today's post is all about Betty Collective
 Pink Parcels little sister box. Betty is focused primarily on teenagers with its bright colours and funky shapes on the packaging. The website works just like Pink Parcel where you chose what products you want whether that be tampons by Tampax or u by Kotex, pads by Always or Bodyform or a mixed box of both all in a variety of absorbency depending on your flow. They also asl about your cycle including how many days it is and how many days do you bleed for. The only exception to Betty Collective is that you can chose the exact date you want delievered choosing any date between the 1st ans the 28th of each month where as Pink Parcel gives you a choice of 3 dates a month. 

So in box itself can fit through 92% of uk letterboxes and is packaged discreatly so nobody will know what is inside the packaging. The box inside the packaging is amazing with the bright colours and random shapes such as stripes and circles. 

As you can see the inside of the main box has 3 smaller boxes and a pouch. 
The pouch is handy to keep in your bag for when your out and about or at school as you can easily take it to the toilet without anyone knowing whats inside and contains pads or tampons and 5 light liners. One box says for later which contains either the pads or the tampons you have chosen, another box says for night which contain 5 night pads regardless of if you ordered pads or tampons and the final box says for you which i will go in to more below.
For you Box 
The for you box is the most excited box, it contains a range of beauty and general treats, sweet treats and a lovely drink to help you through the worst time of the month. In the Septembers Betty box the following was received and even though im 23 i was so impressed with what was in the box.
  • Joe and Sephs salted caramel popcorn- sweet and salty
  • 3 MontyBojangles truffles in Butterscotch, choccy and orange flavours
  • Trust Fund Beauty nail polish in OMG! Dying
  • Stablio Boss highlighter in pastel green
  • Unicorn sticky notes by bic
  • The good karma llama iron on badge
  • 2 Tzone charcoal and bamboo nose pore strips
  • Chirp hair mask
  • Bubble T cosmetics Moroccan mint lip balm
I was so amazed with the products that were received in the Betty box and with all of this plus the tampons, pads and liners i got all for £12 including postage and packing. i would spend more than that on just sanitary products alone every month so getting the treats is a gorgeous extra.

You can get more information about the Betty collective and information about periods and general   life advice such as fashion, growing up and joke from the website here Betty Collective .

Be sure to check them out and also check out my Twitter and Instagram accounts where i have an exciting collaboration and give away coming soon. 

Thanks for reading everyone 

Lauren 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

The vegan treat box- july 2017 review

Good Morning 

Today's post is a review of The vegan treat box which I was kindly sent after contacting the company to see if I could possibly try on of their boxes. A lovely lady called Kelly emailed me back to say she would send out the Ultimate Treat box that usually costs £16.50 and contains between 10-13 vegan treats to try every month. 

Here is some of the information that Kelly sent out while I was waiting for the box to arrive/
  • UK’s first 100% vegan box scheme - helping you to go, stay and enjoy being vegan.
  • Options for everyone - single, subscription and gift boxes available
  • 2 different sized monthly boxes - no commitment, cancel anytime
  • No need to miss out on exciting vegan treats as different products every month- our boxes are 100% vegan and always will be!
  • 10p from each box is donated to vegan causes each month
  • It’s not just boxes- we also stock a fantastic range of treats sold individually in our online tuck shop
  • Winner of Vivas Best New Vegan Food product award 2014

I forgot to take a photo of all the treats that came in the box but I did manage to get a picture of the contents sheet that came with the box that tells you all about the possible products you can get.

I haven't had a chance to try all of the products in the box yet but I have reviewed the few that I have had a try.
Moo Free Chocolate Banana Bar -RRP £2.85- This was the first item that I tried and oh my god it was absolutely divine. For someone who does not like banana, I loved this and would definitely buy this again next time I go down to the health food shop. I can't wait to try the rest of the range also.
Next, I tried the crunchy choco bites RRP £1.80, these taste just like Maltesers but dark chocolate and are a little bit more crunchy, they taste lovely though and are going to be bought next time I go into town. 
The final item I tried so far in this box is the kinky kookies RRP £3.00 which unfortunately I didn't like one bit, they were far too dry for my liking and gave me a horrible aftertaste in my mouth after eating them made me feel like i needed a drink straight after. from this experience, i will not be buying these again.

Kelly kindly gave me a code that I could give out to my followers which you can use on the vegan tuck box website which will allow you to have 20% off your first box. This code is " blog20
The website is https://vegantuckbox.co.uk/ 

Thanks for reading 

Lauren xx

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Sunkissed Bronze Professional Rapid Tan and Toned PR mail

Good Evening guys 

Yes its the final post for tonight. This post is the Sunkissed Bronze Professional Rapid Tan and Toned tanning mousse. I was again kindly sent this from Frankie at Kilpatrick PR. 

I was so excited about trying this as I love finding tans that are quick to develop and tans thats do not have that horrible fake tan smell. This one smells fruity and gorgeous. 

Here is some material that i was sent along side the product. 
 "Have you ever wanted complete control over the colour of your tan? Well now you can with the new designer formula , Rapid Tan & Tone mousse from the Sunkissed Bronze Professional range. Personalise your colour to compliment your skin tone. 

The super light tanning mousse smoothes on easily for instant colour and enables you to control your final shade.

1 Hour- you will have a warm, soft glow
2 Hours - You will have a beautiful golden tan
4 Hours -  your tan will be a beautiful stunning deep bronze

This luxury formula contains VitaTone, Sunkissed's unique blend of vitamins C, B5 and E, designed to even out your skin tone to make it look visibly smoother and more toned. The complex also deeply nourishes your skin and helps to protect it again environmental damage caused by free radicals.

Like all Sunkissed tans the Rapid Tan and Tone is skin kinds, contains 0% parabens and is vegan friendly. it also has the delicious coconut fragrance that will have you dreaming of summer holidays. 

So if you lack motivation when it comes to getting your body beach ready or you just need that extra boostm then the new Rapid Tan and Tone from Sunkissed Bronze Professional collection might just be your new best friend.

Sunkissed Tan expert Cheryle Britton recommends " for the best results apply a little at a time and build on your colour.The non tacky mousse dries quickly to leave your skin feeling and looking silky smooth,

More Info:
Sunkissed Bronze Professional Rapid tan and tone
Tineted light weight mousse
Apply with the Sunkissed Double sided mitt
Control your colour
Contains skin smoothing Vitatone complex

Now exclusively available at superdrug for £9.99 

Thanks for reading all about this gorgeous product.

Lauren xox

Ghost Sweetheart Forever Blogger Mail Reivew

Good Evening 

Just another post for you.This one is a PR Review from Kilpatrick PR. I was kindly emailed by two lovely ladies that work at Kilpatrick called Chloe and Harriet asking if i would be interested in trying and reviewing the new Ghost fragrance which has recently come out. Its called Ghost Sweetheart Forever.

Here is some of the material that was sent with the fragrance. 
"On a sun drenched afternoon, intimate moments captured, forever. Two lovers hang out overlooking the sloping rooftops, gazing up at the Eiffel Tower, getting lost in the winding backstreets of Paris. Longing gazes and sweet scents, excited for what's next... my sweetheart, forever"

Sweetheart forever is a captivating floriental fragrance. Bursting with blooms of delicate rose and white flowers, it follows the unique path of these lovers, leaving an oriental woody trail. Teamed with fruity cassis, zesty orange and delicate lychee top notes , you're left besotted, forever in love.

The Fragrance Notes

Top Notes- Cassis, Lychee, Orange
Heart Notes - Rose, White flower
Base Notes - Patchouli, Vanilla, Wood

Sweetheart Forever is available exclusively at Boots now, 30ml- £27.00 and 50ml -£38.00

Chloe kindly sent me out the 50ml bottle with a gorgeous tin with a sample of the original Sweetheart Fragrance and a gorgeous lip gloss in. I have added the photos below.

The lip gloss is a vibrant bright pink and is absolutely amazing for the summer. The little ghost sample is gorgeous i love the fragrance of it and is perfect to wear during the day or on a night out.

Thanks for reading 

Lauren xox 

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Yankee Candle Haul

Good Evening and welcome back to the blog

today's little post is about my amazing little Yankee Candle haul I managed to pick up over the last week from a shop called ratellca which is at a local shopping centre to myself.
They currently have a closing down sale on so all the candle from the wax melts up to the large jars at all significantly reduced. I love anything Yankee so when i seen the closing down sale i just needed to buy some.


Io these are the candles I purchased and they all smell amazing. I have the following
  • 4 x baby powder votives
  • a sweet strawberry votive
  • a raspberry sundae votive
  • a black cherry votive
  • a red raspberry votive
  • a mango and peach salsa votive
  • a moonlight small jar
  • a black coconut small jar
  • 2 x mango and peach salsa small jar
  • 2 x  fresh cotton home inspiration medium jars  
  • a medium black cherry jar
the votives were £1.99 down to 60p each
the small jars were £7.99 down £2.70
the home inspiration jars were £9.99 down to £2.10
and the black cherry jar was £13.99 down to £6.00 

i consider these all to be amazing bargains and im chuffed to bits with them all <3 

thanks for reading 

Lauren xox  

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