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

 

 

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.

Walking For Your Mental Health

Even as a qualified fitness instructor, I find the idea of strenuous exercise quite daunting. I’ve fallen off the wagon and been quite lazy over the last few months, especially since I quit working at the gym. Gathering motivation when you’re depressed is very difficult unfortunately.

However, I try my best to keep my fitness up with something I genuinely enjoy, and that’s walking. Walking is probably one of the most underrated forms of exercise in the fitness world as it’s deemed ‘not enough’. But, this post is to tell you that it absolutely is enough and you 100% will receive great benefits from regular brisk walking.

The physical benefits of walking can include;

  • Reduced risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease
  • Increased cardiac & pulmonary fitness
  • Encouraged weight loss and reduction of body fat
  • Increased bone strength
  • Increased muscle endurance
  • Boosted immune system

The mental benefits of walking can include;

  • Improved mood with the release of endorphins
  • Reduction of stress & anxiety
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Improved memory
  • Increased relaxation
  • Helps to control addiction

I enjoy walking for a lot of these reasons but for a few personal reasons too. As I’m not working at the moment I find it very difficult to separate my days, so it all ends up a big blur at times. So, it’s very important for me to get outside as part of a daily routine.

I also genuinely just love being outside in nature. The smell of fresh air is far too underrated and I could happily sit outside for hours with the sun on my face taking big, deep breaths. I find it so relaxing and it really helps me to feel at peace.

Walking ticks a lot of boxes for me and that’s why I love it so much. I’m very lucky to live in Cornwall as I’m surrounded by lots of beautiful places and the coastline is all around me, so there’s always lots to explore.

If you’re struggling with your MH and haven’t allowed your body some exercise, I would definitely recommend giving regular walking a go! Find advice from the NHS on starting out walking here.

Here’s a walk I went on yesterday evening – beautiful!

 

Self Esteem: Being a Girl in The Blogging World

Over these last few months as I’ve started blogging, I have been blown away by the community. There is nothing like having your own group of blogger cheerleaders encouraging and congratulating you at every milestone.

But unfortunately, being a girl in the blogging world means the tons of beauty and fashion bloggers are unavoidable. And, don’t get me wrong I love cheering others on too and these girls are so talented and beautiful they absolutely should be blogging. But, I can’t help but feel inadequate because of this. I mean I’m not exactly your run of the mill girl blogger and I probably do my make-up once a week, if that.

Honestly – I’m not very good at my make-up, I don’t have the loveliest most expensive clothes and my hair isn’t silky smooth. I don’t go out everyday and drink soy lattes and I don’t eat Instagram worthy breakfasts. Normally, I wouldn’t be too fussed about these things but lately (and especially today) I’ve been feeling very self-conscious and low in myself. I did my hair and make up, and then decided I looked awful, wiped it all off again and then sulked in my bed before a nap.

I am surrounded by beautiful, self-taught make up gurus being buried with gorgeous free clothes who are doing great things with their lives. It’s just not very good for my mental health or self-esteem at all.

Ideally I think I need a bit of a break from Social Media and to focus on myself again for a little while, although sadly I find it quite difficult. I often sit on my phone to fill a gap of time rather than doing something constructive or caring for myself.

I’m aiming to read more as I have some lovely books to read (three to review!), and want to start playing my keyboard more too.

 

Twitter Self-Care Giveaway

Follow me on Twitter and RT the above Tweet to be in with the chance of winning over £60 worth of my favourite self care items including;

Ends 4th April!

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25 Questions To Get To Know Me

1. What is your middle name?

Louise

2. Share you favourite subject in high school.

History or Drama

3. What is your favourite drink?

Lucozade or Diet Coke

4. What is your favorite song at the moment?

Perfect / Ed Sheeran

5. What would you (or have you) name your children?

That’s a secret!

6. Have you participated in any sports?

I played Netball in school? I’m not overly ‘sporty’ but I enjoy weight lifting at the gym.

7. What is your favorite book?

Looking For Alaska by John Green

8. What is your favorite color?

I couldn’t possibly commit to one colour!

9. What is your favorite animal?

Dogs or Penguins!

10. What is your favorite perfume?

Calvin Klein Euphoria

11. What is your favourite holiday?

Christmas!

12. On a scale from 1 – 10, rate your childhood.

6? Maybe? I don’t know really.

13. Have you been out of the country?

Yep! I’ve been to Spain twice, Turkey, Italy, New York twice and Ireland.

14. Do you speak any different languages?

Nope. I did French in school but wasn’t very good at it!

15. Do you have any siblings?

Two sisters & 1 brother – I’m the baby!

16. What is your favourite store?

I don’t really have one I don’t think! I do love Waterstones.

17. What is your favourite restaurant?

Anywhere that has Sausage and Mash on the menu!

18. Did you like school?

Yep, loved it.

19. Who are some of your favourite YouTubers?

I don’t really have any – oops! I should get into YouTube more.

20. What is your favourite movie?

Agh, there are too many! All the Harry Potters, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Toy Story, Bridesmaids, The Lion King, Beauty & The Beast, Dirty Dancing. 

21. What are some of your favourite tv shows?

Pretty Little Liars, Riverdale, Big Bang Theory, Friends, Fresh Prince!

22. PC or mac?

Mac! My MacBook is my baby.

23. What phone do you have?

Rose Gold iPhone 6s

24. How tall are you?

5’4

25. Do you have any pets?

Yes – I have two French Bulldogs


I’m having a relaxing Sunday today as I’ve had a stressful week! But the sun is shining and I’m okay. Lots of love to you all x

Anxiety Self-Help / My Journal

If you know me in real life, you’ll know I don’t go anywhere without a pen and my journal. And it’s not your everyday journal, titling each day with the date and what I had for breakfast. It’s the most messy, confusing and inconsistent diary you’ll ever read. (Not that I’m going to let you read it.)

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But, it is an absolute life saver for me. Whenever I’m feeling anxious, I take out my journal and write about it in that moment. I’ll ask myself questions such as;

How am I feeling?
What are my symptoms?
What is causing me to be anxious?
What are the positives in the situation?
Why everything will be ok.

And, questions like these really help me ground myself when I find my mind is spiralling out of control and losing all logical thought. They help me to see the positives in a situation, swaying my focus from negative thinking.

Often I find myself having an anxiety attack before doing something I know should be excited about. I know I’ll have fun and that it really will be fine, but just because it’s not in my routine it sends off huge alarm bells. So, I find it really helpful to list the positives in this sense. These could be things like;

I’ll be with people I know and who will look after me if things go bad.
I won’t be too far from home.
I can leave if I feel too unsafe or scared.
I’ve been here before and it was fine.

A lot of the time I feel anxious because of things like lack of planning or I if feel vulnerable about going to a place I’m not familiar with. But, if I know I will be able to take myself away from a situation/people (by going home or to somewhere I feel comfortable/safe) it tends to stop the anxiety altogether.

Not just thinking these things but writing them down and reading them back, sometimes saying them out loud, really helps me to take a step back from the emotion and fear, and analyse a situation with logic (as we all know logic and anxiety don’t go hand in hand.)

If you suffer with anxiety and find it difficult to ground yourself during an attack I’d recommend giving this a go! I know not everything works for everybody, but you may be surprised!


Happy Friday and I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

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Mental Health and Why You Need To Lose The ‘Miracle Cure’ Mindset

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the miracle cure doesn’t exist. I wish it did, but it just doesn’t. And, the sooner you realise this, the sooner your recovery will begin.

The problem with Mental Illnesses and Disorders is that they’re largely and collectively still a grey area. See, we can’t just open up the skull and point at a part of the brain and say ‘yep, just tweak that one a little’ and ‘oh, just rewire that somewhere else!’ Believe me, I wish we could.

So, we must experiment with the techniques, medications, therapies, self-care routines etc. that are out there to find what best suits and helps us. We’re all different and not everything works for everybody. And a spoiler with a lot of these: You have to want to help yourself.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate it when people say that just ‘being positive’ will solve your deepest and darkest mental issues, because they see you’ve perked up today. What they don’t realise is as soon as you’re alone or in comfort, the mask falls right off and the base of your emotions and thoughts is still there. Ah yes, hello negativity, it’s been a few hours.

I saw a psychiatrist a little while back and he said to me that you need to practice the self-help techniques on your good days too.

There’s no use waiting until you’re hiding under your duvet to say ‘Let’s start some CBT!’. And it’s true, you’re lucky if you find me out of bed that day. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so in theory practicing a self-help ritual for three weeks will help form a routine. Which is definitely a lot easier than it sounds, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything solidly for 21 days. But, I think it’s definitely worth a try.

So, my point here is just to stop looking for the miracle cure. First, start looking for those little sparks of happiness that you find in each day. Whether it’s putting your make up on, going out for a walk, reading another chapter of a good book – whatever it is, keep doing it! Self care in my opinion, is anything that makes you authentically happy. So I urge you to think about what things make you feel this way!

Write them down, schedule them into your daily life, ask yourself why they make you feel good and find similar things you can do! Here are some of the things I practice for self-care:

  • Reading
  • Having a nice hot shower
  • Watching a funny movie
  • Going out for a walk/generally getting fresh air
  • Literally just pushing myself to get up and have a cuppa’
  • Tidying my room
  • Diffusing Essential Oils

And secondly, trust that your counselling or therapies provide some form of help and to utilise those as well as you can. Some things may seem like they’re never going to help you, but give them a chance and allow yourself to explore the help you’ve been offered.

Take your time, keep your mind open and look for positivity in your every day life. You don’t have to be ‘better’ next week, next month or even next year. You just need to believe tomorrow will be a better day. You can do this! 

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Backwards? 15 March ’17

I feel like I have gone so, so far backwards since Monday. The guilt has already set in, the shame, the depression. All I have done today is sleep, I haven’t even spent 5 minutes out of bed. I can taste my hunger but I can’t seem to eat. I know I should change my clothes but, why bother?

They say money doesn’t bring you happiness, but the ominous ‘they’ never thought about what happens when you don’t have it?

Waking up to the same texts each day; ‘You’re on or over your limit. Please make a payment before 3:30 to avoid extra charges’, ‘You have missed your payment, reply YES to pay in full now.’

If I had just had a physical illness, somebody might help me.
Somebody might tell me that they’re sorry I’m not well.
They might send me a message asking how I am.
They might care.
But instead, not working for mental health purposes suddenly becomes a dirty secret, an excuse that I ought to just get over.
I see it in the avoidance of eye contact, in the ignorance of my health even though it’s everywhere to be seen – oh, you don’t understand?
Well, that’s okay then, we’ll forget about it.