It's time for my second ever (small) giveaway! This Christmas season, I will be giving away various different products which will be posted to the winner.

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is:

1. Follow me on bloglovin:
2. Follow me on twitter:
3. Retweet this tweet:

Email me with your bloglovin username and twitter username to with your reason why you read my blog posts or how you found my blog.

Open to residents of the UK only. 

The winner will be drawn at random using a randomiser and will be notified via email and twitter if applicable. The closing date of the competition is February 1st 2017. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas & Good luck!

Thank you all for being so supportive of my journey. I hope we can continue on this journey together towards better mental health. 

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx

(Note: terms and conditions can be changed at any time during this giveaway competition) 

My year in review 2016!

It's come to that time of year again where I look at the past year. I can't believe that I have been doing this for three years now! Where to start...

Although I expected this year to be one of little change, it turns out that there have been some things that have happened which have been unexpected, I suppose! One of my biggest achievements of this year was getting my first car and driving by myself. This is something that I was petrified of in the beginning, but as soon as I got used to it, it become second nature to me. This was even more so the case when I got my first paid job. If you have been reading for a long time, you'll know that getting a paid job was at the top of my anxiety hierarchy and after doing volunteering for two summers, I finally got the courage to go for a paid job. This was extremely hard for me. I spent many days crying both before and after getting the job, panic attacks whilst at work and swearing I would never go back because the anxiety it gave me was just too much. Nevertheless, this paid job allowed me to earn my own money and with that came a sense of achievement, it allowed me to drive my car alone a lot more and definitely increased my confidence. It also happened that this year, I handed in my resignation for this paid job too because with third year degree studies and working so many hours in a week, it just wasn't good for my mental health, so I took that challenging step too. Even though I only worked there for three to four months, I don't regret undertaking it.

In the ice bar of Amsterdam!
During this year, I also went on holiday with my friends to Amsterdam. Now, that was one of the best trips I have been on. I definitely recommend Amsterdam and I will hopefully be going back. I also went on my first holiday with my partner. This makes two holidays where I've had to rely on my own instinct to get home in one piece. I will hopefully be travelling a lot more.

As many of you know, I am now into my third and final year of my Law degree. I have managed to survive it this far, so I'm just hoping that I will graduate next year. Further to this, I also became the president of my university's mental health society in which we set up events for people to come along to and raise awareness. I also try to improve the welfare side of things at university by working with students and staff as a member of the welfare committee. It's a very busy final year and can also be very anxiety provoking!

Renting my own flat with my partner is something that I have never done before until now. In theory, it will be my first flat where I will no longer be a student and out in the big wide world of work. This will be the first time we will be living together outside of shared accommodation, so a new challenge will be underway!

A final challenge I can think of is part of my weight loss journey. Since January of this year, I had been determined to lose the weight that had been put on, partially because of medication. To this date, I have lost just over three stone. It has been extremely hard and for me, it's been about counting calories and going to the gym. Nothing more and nothing less. I have had times of crying, I have given up, but most of all I have still made it. I have little bit more to go, but If you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. This is the same with your mental health. Sometimes, mental illness can require a lot of willpower to overcome your fears. Sometimes, you won't be able to, like I have felt many times before, but sometimes you will find that spark that allows you to take that bit of courage and run a mile through your fears. I promise, that with will power comes hardship, but it's worth it and every single one you is capable.

Overall, this year has been full of many achievements. But there have been also some times of severe depression, suicidal thoughts and self harm and feeling utterly lost and out of control, especially during the Summer months. These elements are still present in my life and are things I still tackle on a daily basis, however I feel I have improved year on year and it just goes to show, even if you have faced times of extreme lows, you can still go ahead and achieve things. We are not alone in this battle, and I know you have the strength to battle this illness. It's not easy, but it's definitely worth it.

I'd love to hear what your year has been like.  Let me know in the comments below.

Merry Christmas! 

Amy Xx

what is meant by mental health?

We all have a mind and we all know that it doesn't always work as it should do, just like any other area of our body. Although I have addressed the problems and advice coming from certain mental health problems, I haven't addressed what mental health is itself. 

Everyone has a mind, and looking after it is just as important as looking after your body because without one, you can't necessarily do as well without the other. It's becoming more common that perhaps people's mental health isn't as it should be - 1 in 4! This tends to be defined under the umbrella term of mental illness.
Just as if you were to have a physical illness, mental illness just means that your mental health isn't working perhaps as it should do, for example causing different behaviours and moods. Disorders can include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and so on and these all have a range of remedies to try and help bring your mental health back to where you'd want it to be. 

Just like physical illness, recovering from mental illness may take a while and may take a range of different remedies to find the best way for you to get better. 

Mental health is the same as physical health and it's just about trying to get better in the best way you can. It's common to experience mental illness and you shouldn't be ashamed of doing so. Getting a cast for a broken leg is just as important as getting medication to balance your serotonin. 

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx

Self harm advice

This post is following on from my previous one giving an introduction to self harm, which you can read, here. This time round, I'm going to share with you some advice of perhaps other coping techniques, or how to deal with self harm itself.

  • Talk - talking is always key. If you have someone to whom you can share how you're feeling with, I believe the chances of self-harming reduces because the intensity that you're feeling should lessen. You also know that you have that support around you.
  • Find your own techniques - Self harm for me tends to be something that can happen when you can't find any other way to release the tension and to not take part in it, can require a lot of will power. But to try and avoid it - try to do things such as going outside, doing kick boxing, mindfulness, talking and so forth. Give yourself the image of how you would feel afterwards.
  • Thinking - If you have the urge to self harm, try to give yourself some breathing time to consider whether you really want to go down that route or not. Giving yourself this time can mean that you don't harm myself in the end.
  • Care - If you do find yourself self-harming, don't feel ashamed. It doesn't mean that you have taken a few steps back, it just means you needed to do something to get rid of the pain you were feeling. Of course, embarking on less harmful ways of reliving pain is something to work on. Make sure that you look after any wounds, and give yourself some time to heal afterwards. 
You can find Mind's self harm advice, here.

I hope this has helped in some way. If you have any other advice, please leave a comment below.

Best Wishes,
Amy Xx