Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Why I dyed my hair ginger

For four months now, I haven't pulled my hair out. For someone who has trichotillomania it's incredibly hard to stop pulling hair and by stopping myself from pulling was a challenge. I would to thank people who've helped me.

The reason i dye my hair was because I wanted to start showing respect to myself as I've always hated my natural colour and for the past years, I've semi-dyed my hair but this time is different. Not only have I permanently dyed my hair but I wanted to celebrate how well I've been doing with my progress. 

I've already had some bad comments about my hair, people saying that they want me to stay dark brunette which I absolutely hate. I've had people make fun of my hair colour. I wanted to show people that I am a strong person and that I'm trying my hardest to beat trichotillomania which as made me so down for six years, I just want to prove to people who've told me that I can never get better that I can get better.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Helix FAQ

I recently had my ear pierced in what is most commonly known as a ‘Helix’ piercing (to denote the outer ear) and is sometimes also called a ‘Pinna’, or the more anatomically specific ‘Scaphoid Fossa’. This type of piercing goes through the cartilage of the ear, and therefore takes much longer to heal than the ear lobe. Cartilage piercings are notoriously tough to heal on some, while others do well with this type of piercing.

I went for a double helix on my right ear as I've already had a helix piercing on  my left ear. As I am being asked a lot about this piercing and my experiences with healing, I thought I would share some of the best pre-piercing and aftercare advice/research I’ve come across so far, in the hopes of good healing. I hope the following info is helpful for those of you who are considering a new piercing or are having troubles with old ones:

All piercings should be carried out by professionals – including the common ear lobe piercings – but it is especially important that cartilage piercings, and piercings on other sensitive body parts are carried out by trained professionals who do such piercings for a living. As a professional, your piercer should be able to explain the pros and cons of your choice and all aspects of aftercare, and you should be able to return if you encounter any problems or need to change the jewellery for any reason (which is not recommended during healing, ideally, as changing the jewellery can re-traumatise the wound).

Ear piercing guns are often inaccurate and are known to cause unnecessary blunt trauma, forcing a blunt-ended stud earring through your ear, resulting in tearing and scar tissue. (Or leaving you with a very sharp, pointed backing on your earring, which for obvious reasons is also problem.) They also commonly give you a shorter length studs, which in some cases can cause the earring to be ‘swallowed up’ by your ear when it swells during the healing process. (Reports also suggest ear piercing guns may have sterilisation issues, and can therefore potentially spread serious infections.) In short, they are not recommended for this type of piercing. If you go to a piercing professional, they will not use a gun. If they want to use a gun, think again about how experienced they are.
A professional should make your piercing using a sterile hollow gauge needle.

A Helix will take a long time to heal, and you will not want sleep on it for some time. Personally, I like the asymmetrical look, but if you intend to get both ears done to match, I recommend doing one at a time and not doing the other side until the first one is as healed as possible. Multiple piercings up one ear can look great, but again I would personally recommend playing it safe by doing one at a time, and letting each heal before getting another, so you can get a handle on any swelling or other issues that may arise for you.

Keep your piercing clean, always clean your hands before touching it, use only clean pillows and bed linen, and do not use any cosmetics or makeup on the area of your piercings under any circumstances. Expect some redness and localised swelling. This will pass. Cleanliness is key, and as with everything else, clean living will also help your healing time and general health.

Salt or saline baths are generally agreed to be the best tried and tested technique for keeping piercings clean. Most piercers will recommend soaking your piercing in this way every day while it heals. It is not recommended that you use drying or harsh cleaners like peroxide, alcohol, etc.
To make a salt bath: boil water and pour it into a small bowl or wide mouthed mug, and stir in one tablespoon of salt. (I have been using pure rock salt). Allow the salt to dissolve in the water and wait until the hot water to cool enough that it won’t burn you. I test with my finger, or even my other ear to make sure it is comfortable enough. Once it is a good temperature, dip your piercing into the water and keep it there for 2 minutes. (For me that involves resting my right ear into the water and waiting patiently for the 2 minutes to pass.) You may feel it sting very gently in the piercing after about a minute. Have a towel on hand as the hair around your ear will be soaking wet.

I bought a saline spray for piercings as a back up because of my frequent travel for work, and though it was probably better than nothing I found that it did little.
Have 2 salt baths a day for the first month if at all possible. If your piercing takes a turn and starts to swell again and feel hot (some of which is to be expected initially) salt baths will likely again help.

Avoid tight necklines that will pull on your ear. Avoid swimming in pools. Avoid submerging your piercing in a bath as baths can harbour bacteria (Showers are preferred). Avoid sleeping on top of your new piercing. Avoid playing with it or touching it except when cleaning. Protect your new piercing from being bumped against because trust me, it hurts.

Cartilage ear piercings may take up to a year to fully heal, but generally take 3-6 months (as opposed to the ear lobe, that takes just 4-6 weeks). They heal from the outside in, so even if it looks fine on the outside, you should not assume it is fully healed. Having said all this, everyone heals differently and some piercings don’t work out on some people. If it doesn’t work out for you, make sure you seek professional help, and don’t blame yourself.
I am thrilled with my piercing so far, and it is healing extremely well. Wish me luck with the ongoing healing process.

Here is a photo of my double helix.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

5 Questions With Me

1. What inspired you to start a blog and how long have you been blogging?

I followed a bunch of fashion/lifestyle blogs while I was in secondary school, and in the back of my head it was always something I wanted to do.

2. What has been your proudest blogging moment?

When I reached over 1,000 views in my first year.

3. What is something you would like to learn more about?

I definitely want to learn more about photography! I know the basics of my DSLR but would love to know more.. especially about indoor photography! ​

4. Favorite place to sit and blog in the city?

 I haven’t found my favorite spot yet! I am on the lookout for the perfect coffee shop!​ I  mostly blog in my room 

5. If you could grab coffee with any blogger who would it be?

I would definitely have to say Zoella as she inspired me with this dream.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Bad Reveiws

Today, I received a bad review at work regarding my service. I feel upset as as I know that I could have done better. As waitresses we do make the odd mistake but I do apologize to people. I feel that I can't do waitressing anymore as I feel that I might make an mistake again. This is affecting my mental health as it's causing me a lot of anxiety.

I'm sorry, I can't do this job anymore. I'm just worried that I might get a bad review again.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Social Media and Mental Health

This is a huge topic but really I’m coming at it from someone who uses social media every single day, and I’m a heavy user too because it’s my job. It gives me the opportunity to see, day in, day out, the impact, both good and bad, it can have on other users. It’s not enough for Facebook, for example, to suggest that social media itself isn’t bad, it’s how individuals use it that can have a negative effect. It’s not enough for program makers to offer up snippets of insight on the impact on self-esteem and relationships and it’s not enough for the NHS to issue reports on the rise in self harm amongst young girls linked to social media. Because these findings from research, while useful knowledge, don’t change a single thing for someone enmeshed in world where their strongest influences are from strangers via a phone screen.
While it’s often younger people that find it hard cope, it’s not exclusively so. You can ask just about any content creator, regardless of age or gender and they will have had their moments. On the one hand, it’s a great thing that social is open and available to anyone who wants to join it, but on the other hand, nobody ever questions whether its right for them. They just assume it will be, and then it isn’t.
In my time on Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram, I’ve seen people crumble from bullying, unmet expectations and overwhelming negativity. I’ve known suicides, hospital admissions and disappearances. I would love to see, in schools, starting right at the beginning, for students to be empowered enough to realise there are choices and that some aspects of social may not be beneficial to them. We all know sensationalist, worst case scenario stories of social but it’s the day to day grinding down of it that affects people more. It seems on the surface all of the fun, but for many it’s a pathway to self-doubt.
A lot of social media interactions, particularly on Twitter and Instagram are with people you don’t know. You have no idea where they are in their own lives, whether they have mental health issues, physical issues, are robust or fragile, are lonely or gregarious, or even whether they like cheese or chocolate. It seems to be though, through observation, that the more fragile you feel the less happiness social will bring you. In fact, it can exacerbate everything and spin small things into insurmountably big things. We have no clue, when we talk with someone on social media how our words will impact and we need to think harder about this – nobody else will take responsibility for how we behave on social so we have to do it ourselves.
Self-image is a recurring theme that occupies a great deal of social time. There are plenty of positive image content creators out there doing their very best to boost confidence and take on their shoulders some social responsibility to help. But they can only do so much and it is no substitute for person to person contact and friends in real life. What’s right for them is not necessarily right for you and in fact, it can often make things worse when you see others appearing to manage their own issues when you struggle to manage yours. Exposure creates immunity and with the physical barrier of a screen, social media users become immune to the emotions of others making it easy for accusations and bullying to escalate and expectations remaining unmet. A lot gets lost in translation.
If I have any advice to give, it’s to join something – a choir, St John’s Ambulance, the TA, a flower arranging group, a reading group, a hot yoga class, a cycling group – anything at all that brings you into contact with people that don’t just exist on your lap top or phone. Social media can’t replace reality and it can make you lonelier than you thought possible. It allows you to isolate yourself under the guise of being sociable and slowly, slowly you allow yourself to think that it’s just easier to stay home and ‘socialise’ on line. Before you know it, you’re very alone.
Choose your channels wisely and maybe pick just one – I’m across everything for my job (except Snapchat) but the place I’m most likely to be ‘social’ is Twitter. It’s where I choose to be myself. I’ve had periods where it’s been very difficult (I tweet, nobody replies, why does everyone hate me) to continue (why do I bother, nobody cares), especially on Instagram (I post a selfie and lose 100 followers), but social isn’t the sum of me. It could have been, because as a content creator, popularity is how you’re measured, but it’s really not – I’ve had to work on that.
Edit your channels – ensure you’re not following anyone who makes you feel worse about yourself, for any reason at all. And be honest about it. If looking at interiors influencers makes you wonder why your house is a tip, if looking at fitness influencers makes you feel less confident about yourself, if looking at beauty influencers makes you wonder why you can’t look like that, stop looking. Replace them with accounts that are fun or funny or where you’ll learn something. If looking hurts, it’s like bashing your head with a stone every day, and if you caught someone doing that, you’d advise them to stop. Take a notebook and write down your feelings after looking at each account you follow (yes, it will slow down your Instagram scroll) and then look at the words you’ve written. It’s very revealing.
We have to teach ourselves to use social in a way that does not diminish us  – it’s easy to look at statistics such as the Royal Society for Public Health and Young Health Movement’s survey HERE – without realising they mean us; most of us involved in social anyway. The survey found that Instagram and Snapchat are the most damaging for mental health while YouTube is the least. It talks about increasing anxiety, depression and loneliness and would we ever, ever sign up for something that noted those side effects as a public health warning?
So, you know, be mindful, for yourself and for others. And bring back phones that fix to your wall and see how exciting Instagram is when you have to stand in a cold kitchen to see it .