Self love Sunday…

I wanted to take the opportunity to write a post about something that I’ve personally struggled with a lot in the past; loving myself and working on overcoming my anxiety.

I  spent a big proportion of my life in long term relationships, so when I found myself single three years ago, self-love wasn’t something that came naturally to me. This became more challenging with my anxiety and if I’m honest initially seemed like an impossible journey.

Through my blog readers and speaking with friends, from all walks of life (whether married with children, single, travelling, city living, young, old etc.) I have realised that this journey is something everyone struggles with at some stage in their life. Self love (and even just understanding yourself) is a constant journey and a tough one at times! As such, I wanted to share some of my learnings and hope that if someone else is struggling, some of my experience can help them too. Enjoy! X


Don’t be frustrated if you don’t know what sets you on fire. 

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I spent so much time trying to work out what I enjoyed doing and what I was truly passionate about. I went to different gyms, classes (horticulture, make up, immersive theatre – don’t ask), shopping, nights out, eating out etc. The list is endless. I eventually started to get frustrated when I wasn’t finding a real connection to anything that I was doing.

After about a year of trying to work out what I liked, I realised that the pressure of trying to work that out was actually deriving any joy that I would have perhaps got in the first place. As such, I took the pressure off myself and lone behold found out what I love (I’ll give you one guess as to what that is). I’ve also learned that what I enjoy changes and that’s okay, people grow all the time and once I accepted that, I was far more content. So try lots of new things, you’ll never regret a new experience (unless you try immersive theatre) and keep the pressure off yourself.

Give your life a “trim”

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Cutting out what makes you unhappy was and still is the most challenging change for me to make. A lot of things that made me happy 12 months ago, don’t necessarily make me happy today.

I think being able to say “no” to things and people is something that develops over time and with experience. I’m noticing that the older I’m getting, the less shit I’m taking. So whether it’s the night out and drinks you really can’t be bothered with, the job you sit in and don’t enjoy, the friends that aren’t particularly there for you or the Prince Charming that messages you with “wyd” at 1am; give them the cut. (In fact, go grim reaper on the WYD dude)

Social Media and Social Norms “Cleansing”

Whether you are fully self assured or the most insecure person on the earth, today’s world ensures that there is an element of pressure on every person to be the best. Be in the best shape, Look perfect every day, Wear the nicest clothes, Drink the skinny tea, Wear the chicken fillet push up bra (honestly how many of them are there out there?) Is it just me that sometimes feels that I’m the odd one out because I’m not promoting Misguided bikinis on a beach in Ibiza? No? Great.

On a serious note, I can’t deny, I am a huge fan of social media and the bloggers I follow are those that really push positivity and self love. However, no matter how hard I try, there are some days when social media and the pressure of social norms really get to me.

I have found there are two things that really help me when I feel like this.

1. Digital detox

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I know, the horror of it, but trust me, somedays it’s the best thing. If I am ever having a down day, I switch off all my social media. There is just no point in spending a day looking at other peoples lives as you will naturally compare and that isn’t healthy. I always feel better after a day of digital detox and surprisingly the world hasn’t changed.

2. Challenge Social norms 

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Another pressure that I feel quite regularly is the pressure to live my life in a certain way. I can’t count the amount of times that I have been at a family event only to be asked “So, any man on the scene?” or “Don’t you think about kids”. Usually I’m questioned on this by 50 year Susan. When I explain to Susan that I am quite happy just as I am, I receive an sympathetic glance with a “At least you have your career though” (As if that is a bad thing). Note. Susan’s husband Dave’s eyes have been glued to my breasts for the whole evening.

Eat Well, Sleep Well and Work-out well

As simple as this may sound, if you are in a bad place or feeling a bit lost; always try and hold on to a minimum of the above three things. I always find that if one of them slips my anxiety sets in motion and then I have trouble doing the basics (let alone loving myself).

1. Sleeping

My sleeping really takes a horrible toll when I have been through stress or I am feeling a bit lost. I also really struggle with motivation in the mornings when anxiety hits. I am sure most people would agree that without sleep, things seem worse than they are. A couple of things that have helped me

Valerian Root Tea

Okay, so it sounds slightly hippy but this has been my life saver. Valerian Root Tea is £2.50 from Holland and Barrett and I actually get a peaceful nights sleep. Try it if you don’t believe me.

Morning Meme Motivator

So this one is personal, I have amazing friends and when we are going through bad times we send meme’s and quotes to one another all the time. One particular friend of mine sends me quotes from Najwa Zebian (link in my Instagram) and she is by far one of my favourite’s in a morning.

2. Eating

Since embarking on training a couple of years ago my diet has changed (massively for the better), I initially started eating well to improve my physical appearance but after actually starting to see slight changes in my mood from my diet, I decided to look into things further.

I now eat clean as this supports my anxiety in a massive way. While I am an advocate of clean eating I am also not going to sit here and say you must eat avocado’s everyday, if you having a pizza over a weekend makes you happy; do it (I certainly do) but I would encourage clean eating; it really helps.

The two main books I live by are Medical Medium; this book is massively “out there” as it talks about the spirituality of food and it’s healing powers (super hippy I know). I personally had to take some parts with a pinch of salt, but picking out some elements of this book has made a huge difference to my anxiety and I would highly recommend. The second is Clean Eating Alice’s Body Bible; amazing recipe’s and I admire her attitude (plus she is little like me!)

3. Working out

It goes without saying that exserice actually makes us feel better. Every time you work out, your body releases endorphins (a morphine like chemical that is released after periods of intense exercise). Endorphins work as part of the brains “reward system” and will help lift your mood. Face it, you’ve never got to the end of a work out and though “I wish I hadn’t done that”

My only piece of advice would be find something you truly enjoy doing. Whether it be running, spinning, personal training, yoga, boot camps or a mix. Make sure you love it! Exercise has really helped me overcome my anxiety and others that I know. One person I would recommend a follow of is Rebecca Jayne Fitness (link in my Insta). She has an amazing journey and story around exercise and mental well being and would recommend a follow.

As I said, I am certainly no guru on self love, but I hope if you are going through a rough time or struggling with the above, some of my experience helps.

Dating post on Oscar to follow tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!

B x

 

 

 

 

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Podcast: Put Down Your Phone – Social Media and the Mind

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Last week we recorded a podcast on social media and how this impacts your mental well being. As a group of girls in our late twenties we feel that our generation have been privileged (or maybe not so privileged) to have seen the world both before and after the trends of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

In this cast we discuss “The Gathering Crisis”, the live for likes, Face-tuning, blogging, networks, communities and how we feel social media has impacted our mental well being.

As always, thanks for reading and listening.

Enjoy, B x

 

How Your Muscles Help Your Mind

From a young age, we are taught about the human anatomy. In fact, one of my earliest childhood memories is my primary school science class. I vividly remember sitting at my table incredibly excited that finally the day had come for my class to learn about the human body. I appreciate at this point in the post you may have the impression that I was some young, eager intellect, let me assure you, this was not the case. The main reason I sat, wound up like a giddy coil about the anatomy class was, as part of my teachers attempt to engage us in the subject we got to play…. 

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OPERATION! 

Does anyone remember that epic game?

I mean, in retrospect, I wonder how appropriate it actually was for Mrs. Gregory to make nine year olds pull a middle aged mans penis out from his body in the name of anatomy but anywhoooo…

As we pulled out the defected pieces of our poorly patient, I remember raising my hand to ask Mrs. Gregory a question

“Misssssssss. I have pulled out all of his pieces. Why can’t I pull out his brain?” 

Mrs Gregory answered and for some reason her response has forever stayed with me. 

“Rebecca, the brain is far too important to be simply removed. The brain looks after everything from your fingers to your toes, your muscles, you feelings and your thoughts. If you didn’t have your brain, you simply wouldn’t work”

At the time, I remember being highly impressed with my brain and the amazing things that Mrs. Gregory said it could do. I thought about it a lot, I remember flexing my fingers and my toes and congratulating my brains achievements, I remember crying at the rather brutal ending of Homewood Bound (#nostalgia) and again feeling rather impressed that my brain was the reason I shed a tear, but the most vivid memory I possess was not just the feeling of admirability but of feeling rather worried (even as a child). I feared, that my brain, as Mrs. Gregory had said, would one day, just disappear. The thought of my brain simply failing to function meaning everything else would also cease to work, well, as I naive nine year old – it scared the heeby jeebies out of me!

Fast forward twenty years and the thought of ones brain simply failing to work is now no longer a silly childhood fear but at times a very harsh reality . As a person that has lived with anxiety for a long time, when I have suffered challenging bouts of the condition, it feels as though my logical brain has actually disappeared and everything has indeed followed suit and stopped working. What Mrs Gregory had said was true! 

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If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that over recent years I have learned to manage my anxiety through different means and now (a little older than nine) I still find the brain incredibly fascinating but for very different reasons. As I mentioned, Mrs Gregory’s words stayed with me, a couple of them now more present than ever before…

“The brain looks after everything from your fingers to your toes, your muscles, you feelings and your thoughts”

She was right, it truly does. Our brains have a tough old job of taking care of everything that our bodies throw at it. Now as a nine year old, I merely assumed that the brain was so incredible it would just keep going, the reality is (a bit like the reality that brains can’t disappear) is that our wonderful brains need some tender loving care and all those muscles and limbs that it takes care of, well, they are actually just as powerful and can give a little back when our think tanks become overwhelmed. 

I am, of course, talking about one of the major coping mechanisms I have come to love and has been key to managing my anxiety: EXERCISE. 

Exercise has been one of the most prevalent activities in enabling me to manage my anxiety. This is not just situational but for the long term too! As such, I wanted to share some of my thoughts, experiences and tips to inform and guide you into something that will hopefully help you, like it helped me.

Why working out?

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Look, no matter where you sit on the spectrum of fitness, there is no wrong way or wrong time to start helping better your mind through fitness. The main reason I initially started to focus on my fitness was not because I wanted to win medals, it was solely to do with how it made me feel. Fitness is truly living in the moment. As a person with anxiety, there is no better feeling than not pondering over the past or fretting over the future, being in that moment whether I am in a class, running, on my bike, I am in that moment and there isn’t an awful lot of time I get to feel that way. 

The Endorphin High

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Aside from the mindful benefits of enabling your brain to “live in the moment” it is scientifically proven that working out lifts your mood. Exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. 

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I mean, if you can’t trust the wise words of Elle Woods, who can you trust? 

On a serious note, if you want to get into the real juicy detail around the science of how endorphins work get onto How Stuff Works and have a read or listen to the podcast, it’s super interesting and really showcases why our brains are so phenomenal.

Don’t worry if you can’t work out what works you out!

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Did you go to the gym, completely confuse yourself with the machines and feel totally out of place? Or did you hit up that Zumba class and hide embarrassed at the back feeling uncoordinated? Or did you go out on a run and find yourself panting against a wall after ten minutes…

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Don’t worry, it takes time to work out what you enjoy in the world of exercise. I have been to countless classes, joined gym after gym and tried (and failed) at so many hobbies. What works for me, could be a total dud for you, so take your time and find your passion. 

Start small

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Okay, maybe not as small as Carrie, but you know where I’m going.

If you are anything like me with your anxiety challenges, you will likely fear failure, so go in hard at most things. Or you could be on the total opposite end of the spectrum and your anxiety may hinder you getting out and about. However your anxiety effects you, I would advise starting small with your workout plan, try and avoid the desire to go in 100% initially so you don’t overwhelm yourself. 

The little lull

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As much as exercise has truly helped lift my mood, there have been a few occasions post work out where I have experienced a low feeling.

After panicking something was wrong (obviously), I did what every anxiety sufferer does and conducted an extensive internet search on my little lull. On this occasion, the search was a productive one and turned out, after a period of intense exercise, my body was experiencing low blood glucose levels. If you experience this, don’t panic (no pun), this is an extremely common side affect 24 hour after a particularly intense exercise sesh! The post-exercise hypoglycemia is often referred to as the “lag effect” and can be easily countered by ensuring you eat a sugary snack after your workout. So, my advice, stock up on apples and protein bars, the last thing we want is to feel sad. 

Lastly… Enjoy, don’t over do!

If your work out plan starts to feel obsessive or, for whatever reason, stops making you happy, change it up or take it down a notch or two. 

Remember, exercising is a mechanism to help your mental well being and that is how it should stay. 

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I hope you guys have enjoyed this read. Next week, as part of my fitness plan and exploring new ways to help improve my wellbeing, I will be writing a post about my experience trying a month of Veganism! 

As always thanks for reading. 

Passion and Purpose

In one of my earlier posts around self love, I touched briefly on understanding yourself and what you love. I am still a firm believer, that understanding your passion, provides purpose and having purpose is key to a happy and healthy mind.

As I’m nearing the big 3-0, I’ve noticed that the desire to understand who I am and what I am passionate about has become more significant than ever before and something I no longer can or want to ignore.

As that desire grew, I felt that I needed to talk to people around me to ensure I wasn’t going crazy. Turns out, I’m not the only person to feel this way and the more I continued to speak with people around me, the more apparent it has become that passion is a subject, that everyone, in some way, connects to. 

I speak to friends who feel deflated by their work; they are people that strived admirably to carve fantastic careers and have reached that goal, only then to feel a sense of dissatisfaction. 

I speak to friends who have only ever desired a partner or children and when they finally sit behind the perfect white picket fence they have built, feel trapped and as though they have lost their individuality. They crave their own passion, that they don’t have to share.

I speak with friends who feel when their feet aren’t moving, not in the literal sense, but if they aren’t flying from country to country, hopping from one adventure to the next, that they are confined and not achieving. 

And then there is how I feel (and I am sure many others); I enjoy my job, I have amazing people around me, I have hobbies that I enjoy but there is something… well… missing. 

The only way I can describe the sensation is similar to that of a small burning flame; you can feel something is there but it hasn’t quite set alight. I believe that flame is passion and no matter where you are in life that passion is what defines, differentiates and gives you purpose. 

I believe finding passion is an ongoing journey and I am certainly still on mine. Not understanding where you see your career, what you love, your future or even where you sit in the world can sometimes be overwhelming and the reality is, it’s a challenging puzzle to solve.

The pressure of solving this puzzle is ever hindered by social media and consumerism. They play a huge part in us being disconnected from our true selves and what we are passionate about. We are constantly pedalled to by the likes of Instagram and Facebook what should make us happy and how we should live our lives. You see beaches, products, happiness, perfection and the reality of this is, it’s not reality.

Because of this, I have found myself in a place where I feel slightly lost and I want to define what truly makes me happy. As I go along this journey, I want to share with you my experiences (as always a pretty honest and uncut version). So, I hope you enjoy the posts that follow, as always, over-sharing all the fads I pursue! 

In the short time I have been actively pursuing what my passion is, I have learned a few things and as this is my first post in this subject, I wanted to share my little survivors guide that is helping me through my journey and is a reminder to be authentic.

Failure is a finding 

There have been so many things I have tried and failed at. Being a bit of a perfectionist means that when this happens, I probably don’t take it too gracefully. 

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I always remind myself, that in searching for something I am passionate about means I will probably come across things I am not all that good at and that’s totally okay…. (I repeat to myself)

Taking the time out 

Remember the saying “slowly slowly catchy monkey”. No? Well I do, because my Grandma always reminds me of it (being impatient and all). Not all loves are an immediate spark, so, when you try something new make sure you also pursue! Not everything is fireworks initially, that doesn’t mean you can’t be passionate about it.

Make space for your own dream

We all have things that get in the way of pursuing our passions; jobs, partners, children, life. It is so easy to be drawn into that project, or your children’s hobbies, or your partners dreams. Remember to always make space for your own dream.

Comparison is a killer…

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It really is.

Don’t worry about the amount of likes and followers you have or what other people are doing around you. Your journey is your journey and watching someone else on their’s will only distract you from your own destination. 

Only follow what sets your soul on fire

Again, it is so easy to follow the crowd. When you are trying something new, seriously ask yourself if you are doing it because you love it or because everybody else is doing it? If that little fire isn’t burning, probably best you put it out. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with you. 

As always, thanks for reading. 

B x

Harry the Hot Hat Thieving Hippy

Following the best date ever, I realised that as much fun as I had, I probably shouldn’t settle down with a really hot gay guy, you know? Sexual orientation really isn’t something you can or should overlook. (Dating guru advice tip #1)

After my last date, I gave up on dating apps as the guys I met kept turning out to be oddballs plus the likelihood was, I wasn’t going to meet the man of my dreams on there. (turns out the world works in funny ways but that comes later in the story).

Anywhooooo, after giving up on the dating apps (for about the third time in 2 years) and hearing everyone talk about how meeting some “organically” was the way forward (who knew I should be approaching men like my vegetable shopping hey?), I wasn’t overly surprised when one of my friends suggested setting me up on a “half” blind date.

Now, by half, I mean, I had kind of already met my mystery date at a party. Turned out, at the party, I  had decided that it was more important to drink a bottle of prosecco, roll up my t-shirt into some make shift crop top and pretend I was sporty spice. (standard) I was clearly too busy high kicking my way round the bar to notice the ruggedly good looking guy who was there.

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 #truestory

So, my friend had set us up on a “half” blind date.

Turns out the half blind date was called Harry and from what I could vaguely remember, he was kind of cute. We had messaged a little back and forth but between holidays and festivals on both our sides, we hadn’t really managed to build up any rapport ahead of our date, so when the day finally came round, I was feeling slightly nervous (which wasn’t like me).

We had agreed to meet at a local bar in East London which wasn’t far from where I lived at the time. As I walking down to the bar, I messaged Harry to check in.

“All good and on my way” he responded.

After a short ten minute walk, I arrived at the busy bar. I squeezed my way through the crowds and looked round for Harry. I was pretty sure I hadn’t been drunk enough at the party to totally forget what he looked like. I shuffled my way to the bar and ordered a drink, followed by a quick message to Harry.

“Hey. Just arrived and at the bar. Can’t seem to see you”

There was no response.

As I waited for my drink to arrive, I looked down at the phone. 20 minutes late? Now, for anyone that knows me, I love a to do list and being organised, so, as the minutes went by, I started to feel a tiny weeny bit antsy. Finally, the door to the busy bar opened and a face I recognised walked in.

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Jokes (but nearly)

Lucikly, Harry was super cute, so I overlooked the lateness.

As he waked towards me and I realised how hot he was I mentally scolded myself for prioritising a spice girls rendition over making acquaintances with him that evening (wait, who am I kidding? I totally didn’t) and stood up to say hi.

Although Harry was hot, he wasn’t your “typical” type. Rather than the straight laced city boys I had dated recently, before even having spoken with him, I could tell he sat on totally the opposite end of the spectrum. I mean, don’t get me wrong, he was gorgeous but with his long hair accompanied with a hippy necklace (that from memory was a tooth or sand or something along those lines), Harry for sure sat more on the side of hippy than hedge fund.

“Hey” he said and kissed my cheek “You look a lot different than I remember”

I had a sudden flash back of my sweaty self, energetically high kicking round the party..

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I shook it off…

Harry and I sat down and started to chat. As we got further and further into conversation, it became quickly apparent that he really was a “free spirit”. The conversation flitted from Glastonbury, to him buying a poncho, to cycling, to Artic Monkeys… I literally couldn’t keep up. After finishing our drinks, Harry then pulled me up to dance, being slightly drunk (and slightly surprised at the sudden change up from chat to cha cha) I just went along with it. After dancing, we were then moving again, this time to the beer garden where Harry did something that couldn’t be a bigger turn off to me…

He lit up a cigarette…

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Eww.

I mean up to now, it was quite apparent we weren’t that similar (I mean I’m all for energy and good vibes but I’m not wandering around Glasto with no bra and a poncho just yet) but, the night had been fun. It’s just for me, smoking, kind of a no no.

As the bar quietened and the evening came to a close, I said good night to Harry and headed home. I had a nice evening but could tell we were for sure different people, the thought of being so laid back actually made me feel anxious (lol) and Harry was so laid back he was basically horizontal. I mean, I probably could have seen out another date with him but was heading to a festival the next day, so would probably just let this one dwindle out…

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One festival later…

Now, I don’t know about anyone else feels, but after a full weekend festival, I was travelling back on the train feeling like

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It was safe to say the weekend had been fairly heavy and when I arrived back to my apartment and sat down on the sofa.

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I wasn’t feeling all that human.

As I stared into space contemplating life, my phone buzzed. It was Harry.

“Hey, just wanted to say I had an ace time with you” (Only three days later) “Would be good to hang out again some time”.

Now, judge if you will, but that day, I was in a place where a hot man and pizza was basically my alternative to staring at a wall feeling rather emotional.

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…and although I had established he and I were very different, I called Harry and that evening, we had our second date chilling on the sofa with pizza. (dream).

Throughout the evening, It was still apparent Harry and I had very little in common, but he was super good fun to be around and perhaps his laid back energy rubbed off on me a little.

Turns out, it rubbed off so much, Harry ended up staying round the night.

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Turned out, for two people that had not so much to talk about, we didn’t really need to.

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So after that evening, Harry and I continued to date.

Dating Harry was not really like anything I have ever experienced before, we had very little in common but when we saw one another, just had a really great time.

There was however a very slight problem. For me, personally, someone who likes to plan in advance and know what I’m doing and when I’m doing it, the nature of Harry’s free spirit-ness sometimes (well all of the time) didn’t really gel. For example (and I don’t know about you other ladies out there), usually, when I am going on a date, I like to have maybe a couple of days’ notice (minimum a couple of hours), but that apparently was not something  Harry had in his remit. I remember one time, we were talking generally over message, he then mid conversation stopped talking (normal), I didn’t hear anything for two days (not normal), then randomly received a message midday on a Sunday afternoon saying he was round the corner and wanted to invite me to a food market, well you can imagine…

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And things continued this way.

The dates we went on always seemed to reflect Harry’s sporadic personality; we once arranged a date to watch a movie, we ended up gardening (yes, me). Another time we went out for a quiet pub drink, somehow ended up on an hour long hike in the pouring down rain.

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Then there was the time I was sat in a pub waiting for Harry to arrive (in a dress with a glass of prosecco) and he turned up in leathers with a spare helmet and we ended up out on the country roads of a motorbike in the middle of the night. That is about as wild as it gets for me…

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(P.s. Sorry Mum)

Harry’s free spit was rather fun and if I am totally honest probably taught me to relax a little and go with the flow.

There is however a limit to my free spirited nature (turns out it’s not a high limit) and while I enjoyed/developed slight anxiety around Harry and I’s last minute dates, random messages, lack of planning and lack of direction, his nature eventually started to annoy me. I realised that as much as I sometimes would like to be, I was never going to be that “boho”, last minute, free spirit kind of girl, turns out, I like to do lists and working out and spending hours getting ready.

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I’m not even sorry.

Anywhooo, Harry and I’s messages tailed off naturally, however, it wouldn’t quite be dating diaries style without something odd happening to send off our whirlwind romance.

Anyway, after about a week of Harry and I not chatting, I was getting ready for my Tuesday run (see I love a plan). After changing into my work out gear, I looked around for my cap that I wore constantly to work out. I was kind of frustrated as it was a great mask for my humid hair, it had been missing for a week and I just had no idea where I had misplaced it. Feeling frustrated, I shook it off and head out for my run.

Once I had run the full length of the park, I lay down on the grass to relax and started to scroll through my Instagram to pass the time. After a few seconds of swiping through my feed, a picture of Harry came up and I couldn’t believe my eyes…

There he was..

Amidst a group of friends

At a festival…

 WEARING MY BLOODY HAT!

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Now ladies, if this had been a sister or house mate, world war two would have erupted. However, I knew I probably couldn’t passive aggressively steal an item of Harry’s clothing back and as such, resorted to a text asking if he had my hat.

“Oh yeah, B, I totally forgot, I borrowed it and was going to let you know”

Ohhhhhh okay, at least now had an alibi for when I robbed a bank.

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On a serious note, I don’t care who you are, free-spirited or otherwise.

You don’t take my hat.

After a fairly curt response to Harry, he agreed to give me back my “stolen” hat. I went round to collect it and was surprised to find my hat accompanied with a little love letter, that expressed how much he had enjoyed hanging out with me and he was sorry about the hat.

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I still have no words to this day.

On a more serious note, Harry was genuinely a lovely guy and his free spirited, laid back nature was something I definitely required needed a dose of, in some ways, it did me good…

But you know what they say about too much of a good thing 😉

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Lol!

Thanks again for reading.

B

x

Podcast Six: Mental Health and Relationships

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For anyone who is a regular reader of my blog, you will know how close mental health is to my heart.

I have lived (I dislike the word suffered) with Generalised Anxiety Disorder for a long time. In fact, I can’t actually remember a time where I haven’t had to manage and at times battle with my thought processes and emotions.

Although there is a never-ending debate as to whether mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, OCD, eating disorders, bipolar etc. are a result of nurture or nature (I am totally aligned with the notion that it is an amalgamation of the two) at some point in any one persons life, we have all felt the pinch of our sometimes (very unhelpful) brains. Whether that is looking in the mirror and not liking who looks back, feeling lonely, lost, lacking purpose, worried, not sleeping well, addictions … we have all probably suffered a symptom or bout of feeling mentally overwhelmed. And in a society that constantly drives the tools to compare ourselves with others, projects a false sense of perfectionism and drives us away from our true selves, it isn’t a wonder mental well being is at an all time low.

Over the last three years, I have truly managed to understand and accept myself as a person and rather than fight and become frustrated with what some would see as a flaw, I  have embraced my anxiety, who I am and become the best version of myself.

I could talk forever about mental health as it is truly something that lies close to me and a subject, that I believe, although we claime live and breathe acceptance, is a false projection of an accepting society and is still stigmatised.

As such, we decided to run a Podcast on mental health (and relationships). Due to our experiences we went completely off topic around the relationship element and I think this Podcast is a pretty raw, uncut and honest view of mental health (potentially what people who live with conditions wouldn’t want hear) but truly incapsulates why there is still a very real stigma and unconscious bias in this subject.

Please enjoy, it has been my favourite cast to date!

B x

 

Prince the Perfect Date

So, following Henry and I’s brief fling, it was back to the singles market. 

Now, I’m not sure about how other ladies feel, but about a year and a half into dating, I started to lose interest/hope. Conversations and small talk felt repetitive, the same dull bars, filled with the same dull people …. urgh, I was so over it, yet, I kind of didn’t want to give up hope that there were some normal people out there.

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For me personally, it wasn’t just the dullness, it was the sheer amount of weirdo’s I seemed across, from one lunatic to the next. I mean, I wasn’t looking for the man I was going to marry, but surely there was just one normal person out there that could give me some hope? Or even just a great date?

After Henry and I had got back on level terms, I had decided to get back on the dating apps.

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After the standard few conversations that didn’t lead anywhere, or even worse, conversations in which I realised that I would never be able to date a man that couldn’t spell. I started to chat to a guy called Prince.

prince yes

Yes, ladies, actual name. 

After chatting to Prince for a couple of days, he seemed so much fun, his jokes on message cracked me up to the point I would be crying at my work desk (always working hard), he lived in Chelsea (lucky thing), was a creative (big tick) and when he threw a Rupaul drag race line at me mid message, I was sold. Date it was. 

We agreed to meet at a pub South Ken way, which is usually waaaaay out of my willingness to travel to a date, but Prince seemed so fun, I made the exception. Even the date location sounded fun, we were meeting at a pub with old school board games which was also known for 90’s music, I mean, even if Prince turned out to be the dullest man on the planet, as long as there was a bit of “I’m a dreamer” rocking out in the background, I would enjoy it. 

As I walked into the pub, I noticed Prince straight away. I mean how couldn’t I, he was so hot…

But not just hot, Prince was immaculate hot. He looked like a catalogue model. 

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Jeez, I felt underdressed and undergroomed and that says a lot.

I made my way over to the table and as the male model stood up, the next thing that, well, I wasn’t quite expecting….

“Oh my god, B, babes you look totally amazing” he exclaimed. (Hands in the air)

He then followed this greeting by pulling up the corner of my coat up and announcing ..

“And Reiss, this season, wow, you got this gurl” 

titus shock

Oh good god, he knew this was a Reiss coat, he was immaculately hot and dressed better than me, surely this could only mean one thing. 

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But I’m not one to be jump to conclusions or anything. 

Anywhooo, after greeting one another (air kiss on both cheeks noted) Prince and I settled down to our date. He was amazing and we had so much in common. We chatted about everything, from blogging, to design, to travelling, to the Kardashians, to Rupaul drag race… (okay in retrospect I’m judging me too). 

After chatting for an hour and honestly not realising where the time had gone, we pulled out “Guess who”

guess who

(See, I told you, best. date. ever)

Now a bottle of prosecco down (noted), we were being overly critical of the faces staring back at us from the cards. After starting with the standard Guess Who questions; “Are they wearing glasses?”, “Do they have hair”, “Are they male of female”, things were taking a sinister turn;

“Do they look like they would hang around a kids playground?” 

“Would you have sex with them?” 

A few of the great and drunken Guess who questions we threw out there. All of a sudden, Prince hit me with another unexpected line…

“Put down any bitch that is looking less than basic” 

okay reiss

Okay, camp slap number five, noted.

I mean, truth be told, I actually loved this man, for all the wrong reasons, but none the less, loved him. 

As the prosecco continued to flow, the date just got better and better, we moved from judging our cards to judging pub goers and making ridiculous stories about them. 

As we judged people walking in and out of the bar. A pretty beautiful man strutted through the door. 

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I looked at Prince. He realised. I realised.

We were both checking out the same man. 

I had to hold in giggling, but Prince looked a little uncomfortable I had just caught his stare (bless him), so stopped myself.

The rest of the night was perfect and so much fun. It ended with us energetically dancing round the pub to 90’s classic “Finally”. 

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I honestly had the best date, not for the right reasons of course, but was so sad it was over. (Sadder than most of the men I have dated to be honest – LOL).

As the evening came to a close, Prince and I headed outside where I ordered an Uber, he insisted on paying (such a sweet guy) but I politely declined. 

We both stood there awkwardly. Usually a great date ended with a great kiss, but it was so obvious that neither of us wanted that. As we went in for the awkwardest hug in the world…

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It was so obvious that Prince had seen me, seeing him (makes sense) checking out the hot pub guy and I think it was a little mutual understanding. 

“Thanks for a great date B and for letting me be totally myself” he said. 

Honestly, my little heart has never quite melted like it did that night. He was the nicest guy ever and it was so nice that he had managed to feel himself for an evening.

It was safe to say, I didn’t hear from Prince again. It seemed it wasn’t just me looking for my Prince charming in our pairing and I genuinely hope that he is somewhere right being totally himself with some hot pub guy in tow.

Following the great date, that I was so in need of, as much as I enjoyed myself, I really was looking for a none gay date that I could enjoy.

Turns out the next date, definitely wasn’t gay….

Thanks for reading again. 

B x