Product Review: Aromatherapy with Stress No More & FitAir

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week Stress No More are offering 20% off all Aroma Diffusers with the code AROMA20 – don’t miss out. (Offer ends 14/05/17.)

I was lucky enough to receive a FitAir Eden Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser with FitAir Aromatherapy Oils with Carved Wood Storage Box from the lovely Stress No More to try for myself – so, thank you very much!

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If you’ve read previous posts from my blog you may know that aromatherapy is something I rate highly with management of my anxiety and stress levels. After purchasing a diffuser starter kit last year, I fell in love. I could hardly wait to get into bed each night, put together a new blend of oils and relax.

After getting in touch with Stress No More, who have been very supportive of me, they recommended trying this set of oils and diffuser (which they use in their office!) and I was delighted at the opportunity. Anything to do with essential oils and you can count me in!

First impressions with these products; the diffuser is compact, simplistic and portable. Unlike a lot of diffusers, you are able to charge this one (providing up to 50 hours with each charge) and put it where you like. It actually fits in my handbag, which is great! I’ve always wanted to take my other diffuser away on holidays but it just takes up too much suitcase space!

The size takes nothing away from the effectiveness of the product itself, as rather than diffusing with water, you diffuse the oils alone. So, you literally screw a bottle inside the diffuser and you’re away. You can use a standard 10ml oil, but they also provide you with an empty bottle to make your own blends. 10/10 for convenience!

The technicality of the product is great. It comes with different intensities and you use these depending on the size of the room that you’re in. You can also set a timer for up to 1, 2 or 4 hours, so if you’re going to bed you don’t have to worry about turning it off or wasting any of your oils. If you enjoy convenience and are looking for a high quality product, I would 100% recommend this diffuser.

The oils themselves are 100% Pure and you can buy them individually as well as the set. As well as diffusing, you can use them for massage with a carrier oil or pop a few drops in your bath.

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In the box you receive the following 6 oils (as quoted on each bottle);

  • Energise & Revitalise; an energising mix of citrus and uplifting pure essential oils. Containing Lemon, Scotch Pine, Rosemary and Lime.
  • Strength & Harmony; combining clearing Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Pine, Peppermint and Tea Tree to banish Winter blues.
  • Sensual & Arousing; combining the juicy aroma of Sweet Oranges, sensuous Ylang Ylang, Patchouli and sweet floral Palma Rosa.
  • Focus & Concentration; to help keep you on top form and a great companion during exams or when working. Combining Rosemary, Basil, Peppermint and Pine.
  • Relax & Mindfulness; to leave you feeling relaxed. Containing relaxing Lavender & Marjoram, balancing Bergamot (FCF) and calming Petitgrain.
  • Invigorate & Inspire; to kick start your day. Containing uplifting Orange & Lemon oils, comforting Mandarin, stimulating Pine and reviving spearmint.

Both products are rated 5 Stars on the website and I can see why. They’re convenient, simple to use and great for aromatherapy beginners. If you don’t want to get caught up in which oil does what, and what oil blends best with another, this set of oils is definitely the way to go.

Overall, I’m very pleased with these products and they work brilliantly together. I enjoy being able to carry this around with me and use it when I wish!


Find out more about Essential Oils – #MentalMovement / How Essential Oils Could Improve Your Mental Health

Check out my product review of The Beurer TL60 Right Light for Stress No More – #MentalMovement / The Beurer TL60 Bright Light: How Light Therapy Changed My Mornings

 

 

The Anxiety Solution: A Quieter Mind, A Calmer You by Chloe Brotheridge

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I’ll tell you now, I am incredibly guilty of judging a book by it’s cover. And, that was literally what had drawn me to this book at first (shame on me). It is so beautiful, and makes my book shelf look totally gorgeous!

But, oooobviously what brought me to read it (and cheekily ask for a copy from the lovely Chloe herself, thank you!) was the title itself. It’s simple, easy to understand and straight to the point. Perfect for an anxiety sufferer such as myself.

The problem I have found previously with Mental Health related books is that they allow too much dedication to profanities. Sure, the phrases ‘Life’s too short’ and ‘Tomorrow is a new day’ are inspiring, but realistically they’re just not going to help me move forward.

This book is separated into easily digestible chapters which touch on helpful subjects andIMG_7291 self-help tips, that you can bring into your everyday life as slowly or as quickly as you feel comfortable with.

It sections off different parts of your everyday life and delves into where we might be going wrong and how we could turn that around.

Through subjects and topics such as diet, exercise, worrying, schedules, alcohol, self-esteem, mindfulness, meditation and many more, we learn of the affects of seemingly small habits that can cause a much larger butterfly effect on the health of our minds, negatively and positively.

Another great thing that separates this book from a lot of Mental Health related reads is that it provides us with helpful advice, but then also gives us ‘exercises’ to utilise that advice. These exercises are bite size ideas, given throughout the book and are also a part of ‘The Anxiety Solution Toolkit’ in the final chapter, which gives you space to write things down. I find this all incredibly useful, and in my opinion the more something is broken down, the better!

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Chloe is a therapist and also a sufferer herself, so you can trust that these are tried, tested and successful techniques. This meant more to me reading this as I often don’t find a connection with books that are written by those who haven’t suffered themselves, as I find them to be more like ‘textbooks’ than anything else.

Overall, I found this book an effortless and enjoyable read, with giggles and quirks along the way. Chloe becomes your best friend throughout the book, building your trust and reeling you in with each and every word.

From The Anxiety Solution by Chloe Brotheridge

A post shared by Gemma (@gemcals) on

I would absolutely recommend reading this if you suffer with anxiety, and also reading it and reading it again, which is exactly what I plan to do! And, whilst the book is generally directed at female readers I definitely wouldn’t discourage males to read it.

As well as this book, Chloe has a website with lots of useful resources and links, check out Calmer You here and also have a watch of the video below!

Film Review: Disney Pixar’s Inside Out

Inside Out is a Disney Pixar movie based inside the mind of an 11 year old girl named Riley, rated 8.2/10 by IMDb.

The movie begins with an introduction of five emotions that are physical characters inside of Riley’s mind; Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust.

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They navigate Riley’s mind and reactions through a control panel in a space age looking ‘headquarters’. Memories are created that form in the shape of glass balls, colour coded by emotion. These balls are then fed through a big tube into Riley’s mind from headquarters.

giphy (2)We are then introduced to the ‘islands’ of Riley’s mind, these are created by ‘core memories’ which look similar to memories, but glow brightly. The islands build up Riley’s personality; Honesty Island, Hockey Island, Family Island, Friendship Island and Goofball Island.

The storyline itself surrounds Riley’s big move to a new city from Minnesota with her Parents and the emotional challenges this can cause a young girl to have. Whilst Joy seems to be the dominant emotion at the beginning, trying very hard to keep Riley happy, the trail of events invite the rest to the forefront of Riley’s mind. giphy (3)

After an accident happens with Joy and Sadness, they are both, along with the core memories, sucked through the tube that takes memories into Riley’s mind. This causes the islands to be ‘down’ and Riley’s reactions to be turbulent with just Anger, Fear and Disgust left at headquarters.

With no clear route back to headquarters for Joy & Sadness and challenging events happening in Riley’s life left, right and centre, the islands begin to fall and are forgotten.

Joy and Sadness traipse through Riley’s mind experiencing their own challenges, but eventually make it back to headquarters along with the help of Riley’s imaginary friend from her childhood, Bing Bong, who they find amongst her memories.

Joy and Sadness get back just as Riley is running away from home. And, instead of Joy taking control of things she lets Sadness take the reins for once, telling her “Riley needs you.”

Once Sadness takes hold of the controls, Riley returns home. Joy passes the core memories to Sadness who puts them back where they belong. With Sadness’s touch they turn blue, encouraging Riley to feel sadness for these memories and tell her parents that she misses home.

Sadness pulls Joy to the control panel and they press a button together whilst Riley hugs her parents. This creates a new core memory which is coloured both happy and sad, bringing back all the islands. With this new experience new islands form and they expand their control panel to allow all the emotions to take control at the same time.

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I found this ending to be very profound for a children’s’ movie, but it really made me think. Instead of living for one emotion at a time or trying to feel Joy 24/7, it encourages you to allow all of your emotions to be felt to have a healthy mind and reasonable reactions. This allowed Riley’s mind to expand and form more ‘islands’, building on her personality and wisdom. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and the message it conveyed and I hope that children understand the moral of the story.

13 Reasons Why / A Short Review & My Thoughts

After three sessions of binge watching, I’ve finished watching 13 Reasons Why. And just wow, what an intense and powerful story.

Interesting fact – Selena Gomez was an executive producer!


13 Reasons Why is the powerful story written by Jay Asher as a novel, and now a series on Netflix. Led by character Clay Jensen, it tells the secrets that resulted to the suicide of Hannah Baker.

First up, I give this show an 8/10 because of it’s rawness and honour to what can really happen to those who are bullied, abused and neglected in both minor and major ways. It depicts the potential, real life affects of seemingly small events in the modern teenage world. 

Please be warned, there are triggering scenes in this series which I believe Netflix warns you of.

*Spoiler Alert. Do not continue reading if you haven’t yet watched.*

The series begins with Clay finding a package on his doorstep. He opens it to find a shoe box full of cassette tapes numbered 1-13. Clueless to the content, he eagerly borrows his Dad’s ‘Boombox’ and begins listening to tape 1. This is where Hannah enters the story.

There are 13 sides and 13 Reasons Why Hannah chose to take her own life (with 13 hour-long episodes to the show, conveniently). Each side represents a different ‘Why’ where Hannah tells a story about an individual person. We follow Clay as he listens to each tape and battles with more and more pain as the truth slowly unfolds, discovering the onslaught of betrayal.

I found this show to be incredibly eye opening, and it left me with a heavy feeling of sadness. As although it’s fiction, it’s content mirrors realities all over this world – these are the realities of teenagers dealing with challenging lives with the feeling that there’s nowhere to turn.

Bullying isn’t just kicking a kid to the floor and stealing his lunch money. It’s spreading rumours, whispering, laughing, writing nasty things online and telling people’s secrets – it’s an awful lot of things and we see multiple types of bullying occur in this series.

More mercilessly, this story involves the rape of two young girls on different occasions. The scenes themselves are fairly graphic and would be triggering to those who are sensitive to these subjects. I felt very sick, but I feel the representation of rape was a very important one to portray and will open eyes, shocking people about what can and does happen to young girls. Huge message: just because a girl doesn’t say no, it doesn’t mean she’s saying yes either.

The suicide itself is included in a scene at the end of the series and will definitely be triggering for those sensitive to suicide and self-harm. I felt the inclusion of this scene was as necessary as the rape scenes to show the harsh truth.

Overall I really enjoyed this series, my only criticism would be that I felt it dragged a little in parts and probably could’ve benefited from shorter episodes.

However, I did thoroughly enjoy it and felt it touched on some really important issues in young people’s lives today. I hope it touches people like it did me, and helps them to understand the emotional damage that could be happening to those around them through the hardships of teenage life.

The Willoughby Book Club / Subscription Box Review

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

Reading is an absolutely fantastic way to escape your thoughts, distract your mind and discover new worlds. Which is why it’s my favourite thing to do when times are hard. What better way to take a break from life than by living someone else’s through your imagination?fullsizeoutput_877

I am a massive fan of subscription boxes as I love surprises, and when I discovered The Willoughby Book Club I was so excited and had to have get my hands on a sample! See, I love reading, but I can just never pick one book. Put me in Waterstones and it’ll take me a good half an hour at least to pick a book to take home. (My poor boyfriend.) So knowing that part will be done for me is just grand!

This subscription box works with your reading preferences and interests to handpick books that you’d like to read. So you can get a new, surprise book every month that’s tailored to you!

There are different packages including; Young Adult, Contemporary, Bespoke, Classic and more. The subscription itself comes in 3, 6 or 12 monthly subscriptions with varied prices.fullsizeoutput_878

“Reading gives us some place to go, when we have to stay where we are.” – Mason Cooley

The book arrives carefully packaged for you to unwrap (just like a present!) with a badge, sticker and bookmark as extra little gifts.  It also comes with a slip saying ‘This book belongs to…’. Nice touch WBC, I like that.

And if the whole idea wasn’t lovely enough, for every subscription sold they donate one new book to Book Aid International, which supports the vital education and literary development work that the charity performs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Overall, I absolutely love the personalised feel, making you feel as though you’d been sent a real gift. If you’re an avid reader looking to broaden your bookshelf, I would definitely recommend getting a subscription!

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#MentalMovement / Neal’s Yard Remedies: Creating a Beauty Routine for Self Care

When I’m having a depressive episode, the first thing that goes down the drain with me is my hygiene and self-care. Suddenly, brushing my teeth is the equivalent to climbing Mount Everest. Twice. And, showering? Not in a million years.

I have found a huge way of combatting that and pushing through the wall, is by creating a beauty/self-care routine that makes me feel good and that I promise myself to follow.

Even when getting up and out of bed is last on the list of things I want to do; I push myself to get up and begin this self-care routine. By doing so I jump start my self-esteem and positivity and set myself up for a good day.

I wouldn’t be without my beauty products which sculpt my self-care routines leaving me feeling great, inside and out!


Check out my go-to beauty products and the full post here!

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#MentalMovement / The Happiness Planner (And Why You Need One!)

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It’s no secret that my love for journaling, pretty notebooks and planning is second to none. I spend half my days scribbling something totally random down in any one of my 3,000 notebooks (seriously, I have a notebook dedicated to the populations of countries…) So, when I stumbled across The Happiness Planner I just had to have one!

When I received my parcel with the planner in I was so excited to open it. The planner is perfectly packaged in a box which is coloured corresponding to the planner. And as well as the planner itself, the box provides you with a pen, clips, and cute posters to reflect and plan the year ahead – just what I needed!

Happiness Tools

As explained by ‘The Happiness Planner’

Throughout the Planner you will be guided to create Your Happiness Roadmap and integrate that into your daily life. You will be prompted to:

  • Discover yourself
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses
  • Integrate more of what makes you happy into your daily life
  • Plan to make changes to the things that make you unhappy
  • Set goals that you want to achieve and write down action plans
  • Start each day with an inspirational quot and an exciting thought
  • Pinpoint your focus for each month and each day
  • Rate yourself on your energy level and happiness level
  • Reflect on your day and see things from the positive side
  • Reflect on your month and set goals for improvement
  • Reflect on 2017

Read my full review here.

#MentalMovement / The Beurer TL60 Bright Light: How Light Therapy Changed My Mornings

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of disorder that occurs seasonally. People suffer particularly in the Autumn & Winter, when the days are shorter and there is less daylight.

Symptoms of this disorder can include;

  • Low mood
  • Lack of motivation
  • Feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of libido
  • Insomnia
  • Tiredness or feeling lethargic (lacking in energy)
  • Sleeping for longer periods and struggling to rise in the mornings
  • Craving carbs and gaining weight

Most people are affected by the change in seasons and experience improved moods when the sun is shining and the daytime is longer. But, those with SAD (1 in 20!), experience far more severe symptoms.

One recommended way of treating Seasonal Affective Disorder is with light therapy. This has been medically proven to improve symptoms of SAD within a week of exposure. The Doctor may also recommend it to you.

Whilst I don’t struggle specifically with SAD, I do struggle with the ‘winter blues’. This time of year is always a lot tougher for me, as my anxiety and depression really peaks. So – this year whilst struggling with my mental health, I decided to try light therapy.

Keep reading here.

BuddyBox: A Hug in a Box

I received a Buddy Box from the Blurt Foundation today and it is the. cutest. thing!!!

I absolutely love the idea of subscription boxes. Getting delivered exciting, little goodies to surprise you each month is wonderful. And, hooooow perfect is this one? A mental wellbeing box?! Hallelujah!

This month’s box included:

  • t+ Immunitea – 15 bags of super green tea (orange & blueberry flavoured), which is high in Vitamin C, has natural functional herbs and real fruit flavourings.
  • The Make Arcade Sloth Keyring Kit – Make your own sloth keyring. Oh yes!
  • Self-Kindness Squad Mug – A mug with a sloth waving a flag that says ‘self kindness squad’, need I say more?
  • Self-Kindness Wall Decal – A flag shaped sticker reading ‘self kindness squad’. Who doesn’t love stickers?
  • Mapology Guide: What’s Bugging You? – A powerful 7 step coaching session.
  • Issue 5: Blurt Zine – includes; 3 ways to practice self-kindness, self-compassion wisdom with Kristin Neff and 4 books to help with self-kindness.

The tea is now brewing in my amazing, new mug and the decal is safely stuck with it’s new sticker family on the back of my MacBook. Lovely.img_4521

This was a gorgeous pick me up to come home to today, and worth every penny. Sold at the reasonable price of £21.50 per month; I find this box of happiness to be very well priced.

If you’re looking for something to encourage self love, ‘self kindness’ and wellbeing on the reg’ you should definitely try a BuddyBox.

You can have a monthly, quarterly or yearly subscription or dip your toes with a one off buy. Why not?! 

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#MentalMovement – KoKo Speaks Volumes in the Kardashian Self-Help Book

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Title: Strong Looks Better Naked

Author: Khloé Kardashian

Publication: 2015

KoKo Speaks Volume

Khloé  Kardashian’s book ‘Strong Looks Better Naked’; is not what an outsider might first think. Upon reading the introduction to this book I knew I would love and benefit from it. Khloé speaks of fitness, food, the soul and much more in this both refreshing and enlightening chapter of her life. Her humble and beautiful personality shines.

See more here.