Lifestyle and fashion.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Six things no one tells you about depression

As a long time sufferer of depression as far back as the age of 5 I have never been 'right' and that's because I have depression. I know this bully pretty well and there's a lot to him. Many people see depression as black and white, but what no one tells you is that it's more than just emotional. Here I list what no one tells you about depression.

Source: Here.
1. It's boring
Like really boring. It puts you in such a bad mood that seeing people; eating food; watching films; exercising; doing pretty much anything you can imagine is too difficult. You lack any motivation whatsoever and are not interested in anything. Everything bores you.

2. It hurts
Depression can cause random aches and pains as well as pins and needles in your body and they can be a little painful or REALLY painful. It can last for a short while, long while or come and go. For some people, it's almost constant.

3. It's tiring
Depression is EXHAUSTING. Let me paint you a picture: Imagine you had a really bad sleep and then the following day another bad sleep, let's say this goes on for a few weeks. Then randomly your boss asks you to come into work early and you have to set a 5am alarm to get up but you don't end up falling asleep until 1am. Imagine how tired you are when that alarm goes off. Times that by 10 and that's how tired depression sufferers can be some or most of the time. It's not pretty. Yawn.

4. You get mood swings
Depression changes you. You can be fine, maybe even happy for an hour and then out of the blue depression strikes you' down to the lowest depth out of no where. Maybe after a few hours you get really angry and then before bed feel calm. It really gives you a mix of emotions. You feel it all.

5. Sometimes you feel nothing
There's times when depression can make you feel emotionally numb. You can be awake and just feel nothing: not happy, not sad, just numb and there's no telling how long this will last. Someone could crack a joke and you wouldn't laugh; you could get a new job and not feel happy. It's an eerie sense of emotion.

6. There's not always an explanation
For many depression sufferers, there's no explanation to their diagnoses. Some people are built this way because of genetics or a chemical imbalance in their brain.

No matter how depression can bully people like me and others, we fight it everyday with pride knowing that we're stronger than it.

How does depression effect you?


Monday, 27 February 2017

How to stay motivated at the gym when you just can't

Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don't. Keeping that motivation to stay fit is sometimes quite the challenge. I've been there multiple times; I want to be gym fit, but sometimes lack the motivation and willpower... Thankfully I have some ways around the dilemma. Here's some tips and tricks to keep you going when you just can't.

1. Track your progress
Using a notebook or some form of fancy software, track every time you go to the gym. Specifically, the amount of weight you lift each time and the length of time you do cardio. By using this method you'll notice you are developing every week, so you can stop stressing that you're not because the data doesn't lie. Keep going!

2. Verbalise your goals
This one isn't as crazy as it sounds. I do it ALL the time. All you have to do is say your intentions out loud including why you want to exercise and what you hope it will do for you. Maybe you wake up in the morning before the gym and you say out loud "I'm exercising to get fitter and gain muscle". Maybe you do it at the gym when the reps are getting a little tough you say out loud "I'm doing this for stronger arms". Sounds silly, but I cannot emphasise enough how great of a motivational tool this is.

3. Take photos 
Most of us hope for instant results and when we don't see any, we might cry...or is that just me? Truth is your body IS changing, whether you can see it or not. It might just be slight changes but small changes always lead to big results. If you're after concrete proof, try taking a photo first thing in the morning before you eat. Strip down to your Bridget Jones undies, take a snap just for your eyes and in a month take another photo. Compare the two and you might be surprised to see what great progress you've made. Keep doing this every month.

4. Follow fitness accounts
This one is purely for vanity purposes but it might make you ambitious about changing your body. Follow a few fitness accounts on social media and see what their body transformations they post and use that to get you pumped.

5. Use clothes as your motivator
Maybe there's a dress you like but you can't fit into it yet or maybe it's a vest you're not confident in just yet. Whatever it is, make that piece of clothing your motivator by hanging it up where you can see it everyday. This is pretty simple and gives you something to work towards - imagine how good you'll look in that top after all that exercise!

Those are my tried and tested tools. How do you stay motivated?


Sunday, 26 February 2017

Black & Cosy

With the weather a little gloomy and the days a little cold, I succumbed to wearing black layers (shame...N O T). Check out what I wore to keep me cosy and stylish.

*Thinking about pizza...
With black being a key winter fashion colour, I got out my dark clothes and faced yet another cold day. I layered up and got extra cosy in my black & white knitwear jumper; plain black shirt; black skinny-stretch jeans; black peacoat and; faux suede black chelsea boots. Did I mention how black I dressed this day?

I broke up this outfit with my over-sized staple knitwear jumper which kept me hella cosy. Cosiness aside though, I'm a massive fan of the detailed stitching on the jumper. It looks great and gave this outfit some extra character. The jumper was my main focus in creating this outfit. I chose to work the items around it rather than the other way around as it's the most eye catching item.

Besides very cosy jumpers, I also wore a shirt as my under-layer and a peacoat as my outer-layer. A massive fan of peacoats, this cotton number gave me that smart city boy vibe which was per-fecto! I also opted for skinny jeans to dress things down a little. I was looking for little ways to make this outfit a little more casual as most of my items were pretty smart, but it goes to show you can dress down any item no matter how smart it looks.

*Thinking about chocolate...

 What I wore:
  • Shirt - H&M, £15
  • Jumper - H&M, £30
  • Jacket - Urban Outfitters, £69 (sale)
  • Jeans - Primark, £10
  • Shoes - H&M, £30
Total cost: £154

Keep cosy folks! And let me know if you're a fan of black outfits.


Thursday, 23 February 2017

Exercise: Is it worth it? My Journey

So it's been a little over a month into my new year's resolution of getting fit and strong. I must say I'm proud of myself for sticking it out. There's a first for everything! Have I seen any changes? Grab a cuppa and I'll tell you all.

Sadly I'd like to say I now have the body of a god; a body that needs to be worshipped, but I still look like little'ol me. But that's okay, because that's what I'll look like next month, right? Vanity aside I have noticed some great changes so let me tell you.

I've taken up running 2-3 times a week and I workout using weights and weight machines in the gym between 3-4 times a week.
1. Sleep
Well I actually get some now. I'm not talking miraculous sleep, but from doing intense weight lifting and running I now find it easier to hit the hay and get some snooze in.

2. Strength
Did someone call for a muscle man because I'm right here (Yeah you could say my increased strength has inflated my ego)?! Really though I do feel a lot stronger and each week I have been increasing the weight I lift in the gym and it's a good feeling.

3. Fitness
Instead of crawling up a hill and begging for the torture to end, I now walk up one with ease and accept the challenge. All the running I have done alongside the weight lifting has seen my fitness sore and I can't wait to see how much fitter I get.

4. Mood
No longer a grumpy monkey, but instead a happy chappy. I can't get enough of all the endorphins I'm getting. I say keep em' coming! Exercise really gives you a happy high throughout the day and makes you feel good about yourself. It's great and yours for the taking.

5. Weight
I bet you're expecting me to say I've seen a weight loss, but actually I've gained 5lbs. I'm hoping this is muscle weight and not fat...let's hope it's the former! I've also noticed a reduction in my waist line so I'm a little less curvy (sad times, I digged the curves).

These a just a handful of the benefits exercise offers, but there are many many more.

I'm enjoying my fitness journey and will keep you all updated on all the changes I go through in future posts along with fitness tips.

Disclaimer: I don't endorse exercise as being easy. It is in fact very hard, but it is so worth it.

Why do you exercise?


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Why Checked Shirts work

If you read my blog posts, you know checked shirts are my thing (I'm even wearing one as I type this blog post). My wardrobe is filled with them and I keep adding to the collection #NoRegrets. I honestly think they are great and here's why...

What is it about them?

They're the perfect pattern. Not too boring and not too bold; you can get away with wearing one at most social events and fit in looking the part. The style is simple and easy on the eye but that's exactly why they're so versatile for any occasion: formal, informal and everything in between.

They're easy to accessorise with your favourite daytime pair of jeans and cardigan, but you can style them up with a pair of black skinny jeans and a blazer for an evening outfit. That's the beauty of checked shirts: they're not set for one type of event or occasion. You create your outfit around the shirt, rather than the shirt defining the occasion for you.

The fact that they offer such a simple design makes certain that they won't clash with other clothes you wear on the same day - like a paisley shirt might do (for example ). Whatever you choose to wear, you're in safe hands knowing that this shirt can't mess up your outfit. Although one simple design they come in all sorts of colours and materials like polyester and cotton.

What do you think of checked shirts?


Finding motivation when you have none

You might have all the ambition in the world, but sometimes that task you need to do seems as hard as walking on water. It can be one of the trickiest and hardest things to conjure; motivation, or the lack of it can disrupt your day and make you frustrated, but here are my top tips on regaining control.

1. Exercise

I thought I'd start off with the dreaded 'e' word; the activity you may not want to do even though it's good for you. Everyone tries to put it off, but it really is great at energising and motivating us all for the day ahead. Yes really. Exercise pushes you to knuckle down. Is it the boost of happy hormones or all the energy it gives you? Whatever it is, try doing it in the morning to rev your engines nice and early.

2. Meditation

When you have no motivation, it could be because there are issues playing on your mind making you over-think. Thankfully you combat this with meditation which has the purpose of helping you to find calm and clarity in your thinking and ultimately banish whatever it is holding you back. Taking just 10 minutes out of your day might be all you need. Headspace is a good site which guides you into the world of meditation.

3. To do lists

Easily one of the best ways to help you in your mission to find motivation. To do lists are easy to make and get you organised. Seeing what you have to do ahead of time takes the planning and thinking out of the equation, both of which are things that can effect your energy and motivation. Plus there's nothing quite as nice as crossing tasks off your to do list to make you feel a little proud of yourself. Tip: Only prioritise 3 main tasks to do as this is achievable; anything more may have the opposite effect by demotivating you.

4. Reward yourself

If this can't motivate you, then we're in for a challenge. What better way to get you going than to know you'll get a treat at the end. Rewarding myself is a personal favourite because I LOVE to treat myself and if I know I've got some food, a nap or a Netflix marathon at the finish line, then I'm sold. Rewarding yourself gives you something to work towards so it's a win-win.

4. Distractions

You know what I'm on about. Close Netflix. Put your phone on Airplane Mode. Log out of Facebook. When we're demotivated, we can procrastinate which leads to more trouble. Stop this while you can by getting rid of your distractions. Your only focus should be the tasks at hand.

What are your tips?

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