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What is Fizzbox? | AD

Being a social person has always meant that I love to organise big group events with friends and family. If you've been a reader for a long time, you'll also know that I have organised an event for my blog in the past as well as being the former president of my mental health society at university, where I had to plan events all time - I wish I had fizzbox to help me!

What is it? Fizzbox is a website which allows you to search for a wide range of events in your local area, all in one place. It's been made especially to help with organising big group events like birthdays and hen dos for example.

I began to plan an event for myself and my friends, using my closest main city of London through Fizzbox. To start, you simply choose your location and it takes you straight to a wide range of companies and events that you can choose from. You can arrange the list from price, popularity and activity type. Once you've chosen your event or experience, you simply choose the number of guests and it will give you the price and the opportunity to write a message to the company, if you have any questions to go along with your enquiry. If the business has the availability, then they will get back to you and you can pay straight through them either in full or with a small deposit. You can make an account to enquire, or sign up using facebook. I don't have a problem with this, as they need a way to contact you to get back to your enquiry!

Currently, fizzbox doesn't operate in every city in the country, but it does include some cities from abroad if you want to take your event that far away. In my opinion, it is very simple and straightforward compared to having to endlessly search the web for a range of businesses and then contacting the business individually or ringing them up. With this, you can simply enquire online in a few clicks and everything is in the same place. Each individual business also shows their reviews, so that allows you to have peace of mind as well. All in all it seems like a great service and I will definitely be using it to book future events. As the company grows, it will be able to reach more people across the UK too - so don't worry if your city isn't on the location list yet! You can use them to plan your next event, here!

How to get a first class honours degree

With degrees and their courses becoming more accessible, it seems now more than ever that every other person has a degree of some sort. However this is not to say that a degree is easy to achieve - it takes numerous hours of hard work, study, essays and exams to even get a qualification at the end. In 2017 I graduated with a first class honours Law degree after completing three years of intensive study at Swansea University. Amidst the blood, sweat and tears there were a few rules I stuck by to try and get the most from my course:

1. Set study time
Make sure that when it comes down to revision and essays that you have set times to study. I used to work for an hour at a time and then give myself a 20 minute break. You've got to find out what is best for you and also how many hours you can physically put into a day. When it got into third year I used to complete about 6 hours study a day to ensure I was ready for my exams.

2. Routine
As well as having a set time to study during the day, I found it useful to also get up at a reasonable time during the morning so I could make the most of my day when I had free time. I'd spend most of the morning and early afternoon revising and then give myself the afternoon and evening off. I'd also go to bed at a reasonable time so I could get at least 6 hours sleep.

3. work hard play hard.
Studying for your degree is important but almost just as important is giving yourself free time to relax and just enjoy the university experience. There is no point spending every free minute studying or else you'll end up missing out on socials, seeing friends and generally just doing the things that you enjoy. I found myself running a society, going clubbing and seeing my friends in my spare time. I always made sure I did both.

4. Getting those extra marks
Completing extra reading from resources that others may not have seen, writing out practice papers and timings and meeting up with your lecturers to ask questions on exam topics are all key ways of gaining extra marks to get to the next grade boundary.

5. Don't get left behind
Throughout my 3 years, I didn't go to every lecture. But if I didn't go to one, I made sure that it was recorded in some way so I didn't miss any key information. When I had the time or woke up after a night out, I wrote out all of the notes as if I was in the lecture. However, seminars were so important in my course so I made sure to not miss them to be on top of my learning.

Just remember, everyone has their own way of learning. I spent only a handful of hours in the library over my three years because I just didn't find it useful. You have to find your own solutions and work life balance in order to succeed. Comparing yourself to others in this situation is useless because you will have your own way of achieving.

How to fall asleep fast

Getting a good night sleep is crucial to proper brain function, as well as maintaining strong physical and mental health. Some people have no problem falling asleep, while the process is a little more difficult for others. If you are someone who struggles to fall asleep at night, you’re not alone. According to a new Consumer Reports survey of adults living in the U.S., over 27% claimed to experience trouble falling asleep or staying asleep most nights, and 68% struggled with sleep at least once per week - that’s an estimated 164 million adults! So, what can you do to help fall asleep faster? Here are a few things you can try to help speed up the process!

1. Lower the Thermostat

Your body temperature fluctuates as you transition into sleep. If your room is too warm, it could be affecting your ability to fall asleep. Try setting your thermostat to a temperature somewhere between 62–73°F. Everyone has their own preferences, so try to find the right temperature that works for you! As your body cools down, it can help send a signal to your brain to go to sleep.

2. Guided Sleep Meditation or Soothing Music

Studies have found that sedative music promotes deeper sleep. Guided meditation can also be very helpful in helping you transition into a state of sleep. Here is a link to a video that has helped over 6 million people fall asleep faster! Just listen with your eyes closed and you’ll be fast asleep before you know it. Give it a try!

3. Eliminate Distractions

You may unknowingly be struggling to fall asleep because you’re distracted. Browsing social media or keeping the TV on can make it significantly harder to fall asleep. This could be because your mind is stimulated by these distractions. When it’s time to sleep, make sure that you are in a quiet, comfortable place that is free from distraction. Doing so will help you fall asleep much faster.

4. Get on a Schedule

Many people find that setting a sleep schedule helps them fall asleep easier. Waking up and going to bed at the same time each day can help your internal clock keep a regular schedule. This will help your body know intuitively when it is time to go to bed and when it is time to wake up. When you’re setting your sleep schedule, plan for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night and make sure you allot for the time it takes to fall asleep.

5. Take Sleep-Enhancing Supplements

Certain natural supplements can help you fall asleep faster. They have been shown to encourage sleep either by boosting the production of sleep-promoting hormones or by calming brain activity. Supplements that can help you fall asleep include

Magnesium which helps to activate the neurotransmitters responsible for sleep.

Melatonin which is a hormone naturally produced by the body, but can also be taken as a supplement to help regulate your sleep. Melatonin taken 30 minutes before bed can help to improve sleep quality in some cases.

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)which is a compound produced in the brain that inhibits certain transmitters and can help the central nervous system relax.

6. Try a Talk Therapy Session
Talk therapy can be a very effective approach to treating insomnia. Many times, insomnia is caused by underlying stress or anxiety which keeps an individual awake.  People who suffer from lack of sleep or difficulties falling asleep worry about the impact that it will have on their functioning the next day. This thought pattern keeps people awake and becomes a repeating cycle every night. Talk therapy is effective because it addresses the root of the problem: why you can’t sleep. It turns out that it’s also been backed by science, studies show that a single talk therapy session helped 60% of those with short term insomnia sleep better and fall asleep 20 minutes more quickly. 

Author Bio

Brandon Christensen is a passionate business leader and mental health advocate working to make talk therapy more accessible, and less intimidating. Brandon is the co-founder of Modern
Therapy, a tele-mental health company. He has been featured as a keynote speaker on
mental health topics at colleges like NYU and Columbia University. He
holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Twitter: @_moderntherapy

Thanks to Brandon for the great post about sleep! I know it's something I'll be taking notice of over the next few months as I begin shift work.

The anxiety solution

With any disease or illness, trying to find the solution is always the hardest part.

A few years ago now, I was sent a book written by the lovely Chloe Brotheridge and I've finally finished it. It only took me a few days to read it from cover to cover because it's just so good! I just never found the time to sit down and read until recently...which is something that the book actually taught me - to take more time out for self care and stepping away from technology. So instead of reaching for my phone on lunch break, I went for this book.

For those of you wondering what this book is about, it's not like your traditional self help book, which I've never been able to get on with, but it takes a more realistic approach using other people's experiences, as well as her own to portray how anxiety is in daily life. I often found myself saying 'that's me!'. It almost felt like this book was speaking to me now and again.

As you move on through the book, there are loads of suggestions as to how to handle and overcome your anxiety and a lot of them incorporate aspects that I've have learnt from therapy and counselling, so it's good to reinforce that but also helpful for people who haven't had the opportunity to experience those methods to give it a go with the aid of the book. It's split up handily into different sections as to what anxiety can affect and how you can affect your own anxiety.

Out of all of the books I have read, I have found this one the most useful. As a side note, I didn't have to write this blog post about this book, but I just thought it was so good that I had to share it with other people. I also find that Chloe is a lovely person and the way she writes to her audience is realistic and takes an outsiders view, rather than being patronising and childish in the delivery which I have found with some books and counsellors in the past. I completely recommend you read it!

Start feeling more calm, confident and positive today - download this free relaxation MP3 from @cbrotheridge Grab yours now ---> http://bit.ly/2F5QvZB

An honest letter

Recently I turned twenty-three and I can't believe how quickly time has passed - it has flown by in a blink of an eye. It seems that only yesterday I was sixteen and revising for my GCSE's at school. But with time passing I can't help be haunted by the thought that I'm wasting my seconds or that my life isn't as fulfilling as it should be. But it's important for me to remember that there is no 'should'. Social media infers that there is a certain way to live your life, with perfectly aesthetically placed food, or bright white beaches and somehow still having all the money in the world to achieve it. Every one is different and has different goals and achievements they wish to reach, but I still can't help but feel in competition with time as to how much I can physically do. Life on earth is short and just by sitting in my room after work watching TV I find myself asking whether I should be doing something extraordinary instead.

I feel we can get caught up in the busyness of life and we can sometime lose sight of what's important and what we want. It's impossible to fit every single thing we want to do into every day. And it's not easy to try and balance every aspect of your life into one perfect package either. If you want to reach something, then it takes a lot of willpower because often we can get swept up in every other small task or the tiredness that we feel.

At the same time of realising how fast time has gone, twenty-three is still young and many would say my life is only just beginning, but who's to say that life suddenly stops when you leave your twenties? It seems like such an odd phenomenon. Is it because beauty and athletic ability are the most sought after characteristics and when that is no longer something that comes naturally, we're put at the bottom of the pile? It seems strange because after all what others think of us shouldn't make a difference because they're not going to stop their lives just to impose on us. It may only have a negative effect on the person at the receiving end. Believe it or not, we are still living and breathing human beings no matter what the age and with that comes endless possibilities.

Being young is also a lot more challenging than I imagined as a child, and it's not a woe is me moment, because life can be hard no matter the age, mental health or ability. But I feel with being young, you learn a lot of things the hard way and that is why people say the older the wiser you become and perhaps it's true. At the same time every day is a school day - just when you're young it may be the first time you're experiencing something. There's still a lot of pressure to get it right the first time around because if you don't then are you wasting your time making the wrong decisions? But, through every decision ever made you've still seen the light of day afterwards and handled the outcome. It may have been hard, but you can't change it so you might as well grow with it.

Trying to make others happy and keeping yourself happy seems like a constant battle throughout life and something I have never struggled with until recently. Although it doesn't matter what people think, I don't feel that this is the main factor that's causing the struggle between self and person. I think as humans we all want to be attached and not be lonely and by spending a lot of my time in my own company recently, it's made me realise how we try to hang onto anything that will protect us. I often ask myself, is it so bad that by doing and saying what we want, that it will hurt others? I'm not sure that living a life for other people is the reason we were put on the planet. I'm sure we are here to help others, but in how much can we sacrifice ourselves for that? At any time, is it appropriate to be a people pleaser at the sacrifice of yourself, no matter how hard it gets? It's important to remember you're no longer a child having to waiver to every body else shapes and sizes. You're an adult and you can make choices that are right for you and how someone else receives it cannot always be controlled. But we can control what we do. We cannot have everything at once. We cannot have and hide at the same time, so sometimes doing the thing that is right for us, may also be letting parts of us down that we don't want to. But either you keep sacrificing yourself for others, or you simply do what's right and control the damage afterwards.

...so many questions at the age of twenty-three!