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Seven Ways To Balance Your Emotions*

Hello loves,

*This is a pre-written/collaborative post

Life is not an easy thing to cope with. As a person, you are equipped with the whole range of human emotion, from happiness to rage. Our emotions are ever present, ever pressing and ever painful. They’re always there and our moods don’t always fit the situation that is present in front of us. We get excited about new things to have. We cry when we get overwhelmed, hurt or angry and we smile when we love. No matter which way that you try to swing it, our emotions are an overwhelming rule over us, dictating our thoughts and actions. The problems arise when we act on our emotions far too quickly or wrongly. Regret is a strong feeling and it’s one that you can feel often, especially when you’ve made the wrong choices.


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Emotions and mood can swing from one extreme to another, and it can be really tough, sometimes, to regulate that mood. If you swing too far one way, you’re met with extreme anger and rage. Too far the other way, and you’re in a moment of pure euphoria. Finding a balance is the hardest thing that you could possibly do with your emotions, but once you find it you can live it as your new normal. Not everyone is born constantly feeling happy or sad; we are slaves to our surroundings and if you feel one emotion more often than others, you’re going to eventually forget how many others you have.

So, how do you start finding that balance in your moods and head toward a calmer, happier existence?

Watching how you react to a situation is probably the first place to start. Are you someone who is quick to temper? Perhaps it’s time to tame that fire in your belly and wait for your logical mind to take over before you allow your reactive mind to decide what to do. Making rushed decisions now is a sure-fire way to have regret later. Always take a deep, cleansing breath before you react to a situation, and this includes happy ones. You could be offered the job of a lifetime or a new house, but you have to take pause and think about how your decision is going to affect your future.

Ask the open air for guidance. You don’t have to be a religious person, or believe in a higher power, to ask out loud what you should do. Every single human being is equipped with a conscience, and more often than not, your conscience is the voice of reason in your life. Making your peace with your conscience and trusting your instinct is important, and when a decision arises that you are conflicted about, you should be able to ask yourself what you would like to do about it. Instincts are very powerful.

Ensure there’s no medical reason for your moods. It isn’t uncommon for teenage girls to need the help of Microgynon to help regulate their mood as well as their periods. If you find yourself feeling your emotions to the extreme, then it may be a good idea to ask for some help. Being on a total high and acting impulsively isn’t always a good thing, especially if it’s joined with a dramatic low, where life doesn’t feel worth living anymore. You are an important person in the world, and you need to remember that you count. Once you accept that about yourself, then you will notice when there are huge mood swings that just don’t make sense. Seek medical help.


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Finding an outlet for how you feel is important. For some, it’s the gym. The adrenaline rush can be burned quicker through exercise than it can through the power of thought. Managing a feeling of rage is far better than taking it out on the people in your life that you love. Channelling your emotions into a constructive avenue is so important if you hope to understand yourself. Meditate, take up art classes or try a kickboxing class. All of these are the perfect way to let go of emotions that are overwhelming you.

Be wise about how you handle yourself. Every single thing that you do in your life has a purpose. The good, the bad and even the ugly all mean something. There doesn’t have to be a huge reason or message in what you do, but you have to believe that every event that happens in your life is for a purpose. If you can understand this, then you can have the wisdom to see the bigger picture. Sweating the small stuff can really put a huge downer on your day. You get 86,400 seconds in a day; do you really want to allow yourself to feel anything other than happy for those seconds? You don’t get this time back. You don’t get these days, these moments and these feelings back. Choose happiness and not sadness. It’s not easy. In fact, some days it can be too hard to comprehend. But you stand up, chin up, and tallyho!

Channel positivity through your heart. If you are faced with anger, stress, sadness and depression, find the light. Being stuck in a dark hole is not something anyone wants to deal with. You can push past it with distraction and making yourself feel happier. Take your negative thoughts and push them into something that you love. Go to the gym and for every punch on the kick bag, let go of a negative thought.

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Forgive your triggers. Emotions are complex. Allowing yourself to feel guilty for a burst of rage or tears of happiness is not okay. Guilt has no place in your well thought out emotions and when you forgive yourself, you detach yourself from the guilt. Let it go – it’s not the end of the world.

We deal with our emotions every single minute of every day. It’s not going to be something that you can always control, but you should remember that you are human: you’re entitled to your feelings.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

At This Moment #9 | Lifestyle

Hello loves! I'm back with my monthly-ish heads up of what I've been up to.

WATCHING

I've seen a couple of films at the cinema recently. A few weeks ago I saw The Commuter, with Liam Neeson. I dare say he's getting a little old for these action roles now but it was an enjoyable enough watch. Less than a week ago I saw Den of Thieves, the new Gerard Butler film. It was really good - lots of action and foul language - right up my alley! Pablo Schreiber played one of the lead roles. You may know him from his comedy role Pornstache in Orange is the New Black but he's so beefed up in 'Thieves to be virtually unrecognisable. Hubba hubba!

I've just started watching Altered Carbon on Netflix. I've loved Joel Kinnaman (the lead role) since I saw him in another Netflix drama, the American version of The Killing. That's well worth a watch if you've never seen it. Here's a teaser trailer for Altered Carbon. I've only watched one episode so far so I don't really know what's going on, but I'll get stuck into some more episodes soon. My current mental health battles bring short attention span so I only watch 1-2 hours of Netflix a week, compared to probably 3+ hours a day before the split with James.



READING

I'm not reading anything at the moment, for shame, although I did pick up Patricia Cornwell's Red Mist in a charity shop last week. It was only £1 so I couldn't resist, although I don't have an attention span for reading (or writing, or anything else) at the moment either. A few people have lent me books which have gone unread. It's a little annoying as I'm bored a lot but can't get into things.

MAKING

I'm not making anything currently, although I'm enjoying the app Sandbox, which is a colour by numbers app. I usually pick small and easy things that I can deal with (attention span again) but sometimes I get my teeth stuck into a big project on there.

STARTING

I've just started a new anti-depressant after a month without any. My old ones were making me very ill (nausea, etc) and although I'd come up with some coping strategies, I was still really suffering. I'm taking Sertraline (Zoloft) and have been warned the first couple of weeks will be rough. I'm feeling quite low, but then I was before I started them. I hope to feel better soon - I'm a week in today.

FINISHING

Umm, I wouldn't say I'm finished with social media, but I'm certainly on it a lot less than before, with regards to Instagram particularly. I don't love my face as much as I used to so I'm not such a selfie queen, hahaha! I'm on Snapchat more than anything these days - I love those flattering filters!

ENJOYING

I've just started seeing a new man, so I'm enjoying that a lot, lolololol. It's casual but enjoyable.

LISTENING
(This section used to be TEXTING but music is far more interesting than texting).

I LOVE this song by The Fallen State. The lyrics are so sad though, and I'm glad they brought out a second video because the first one was of a little girl who died of cancer. 



These lyrics get me in the feels every time:

Why are you always on my mind?
In my solar system you’re the sun
My supernova
And those heavy hearts
Refuse to run
In my solar system you’re the sun


LOVING

Sleeping! Last month my love was napping and this time it's sleeping. Life is still really tough for me and I'm doing my best to cope but sleep is the best escapism. I love my bed. Well it's my aunt's bed, but let's not be pedantic! 😆

HATING

I don't really hate anything. My new antidepressants bring really low appetite so that sucks a bit, and I'm still adjusting to life without my husband (soon to be ex husband). It's been 5 months - it feels like 5 years - and I never thought splitting with a partner would break me, but it has. I've a long way to go to rebuild myself and I'm still under an awful lot of stress, but there are people far worse off than me. I'm not liking life, but I'm not hating it either. It just is, and it'll get better.

You can read previous posts here.
One Two Three
Four Five Six
Seven Eight 

Tell me what's new with you.

Some of my comments have disappeared from my fat girl in horizontal stripes post. Dandi and Dianne - thank you for your comments. I can see them in my email but they haven't posted on my blog. I'm so sorry! I was very touched by both of them.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Refreshing the Body and Mind*

 Hello lovelies

*This is a pre-written/collaborative post

Image Credit
Image Credit
We put our bodies and our minds through a lot. Sometimes we just can’t help it. The daily stresses of life really do take its toll on our bodies, but it is something we can’t avoid. We’re always going to face stress from work, relationships, friendships etc. It isn’t just stress that does damage, what we put into our bodies and how we treat them also has a big effect. So every so often, you need to give your body and mind the refresh it desperately needs. If you’re looking to cure that run down sluggish feeling that you might have been carrying around with your for a while now, we’ve got a few remedies, read on to find out more.

The Body

There’s nothing wrong with giving your body a treat. In fact, some would say there’s nothing better than tucking into that all important slice of pizza on the weekend. But continually abusing our bodies with the food it was never meant to digest is eventually going to have some negative effects. Try leaving weekend treats as just weekend treats. Don’t drag it out as a Monday or Tuesday treat, they don’t exist. Something we think works nicely is a bit of clean eating Monday through to Friday, with maybe a cheeky midweek Ben and Jerry’s to celebrate, and leave the splurging for the weekend. One thing a lot of people need to do is have an alcohol detox. Dry January may be over, but it doesn’t mean the damaging effects of alcohol are too. It has negative effects on body weight, liver function, and on our mentality. A cheeky glass of wine might seem like the perfect way to get over the stresses of the day, but it has the potential to make them worse. A drink either makes you feel really good, or really bad. Try and limit yourself to a little drink each weekend, rather than resorting to it on a weeknight.

The Mind

The mind is a powerful thing. The more we feed it, the more it grows. But there’s plenty of things that seem to get in our way that cause a disturbance to our minds calm. This relates more to the social factors involved, the ones we’ve talked about not being able to escape. Well, the more you face your problems, the more relaxed your mind is going to be. One of the reasons why we’re constantly feeling so bogged down is because we try and run from our problems. But even if we feel as though running might solve the issue, the thought of the problem still runs through our minds, even subconsciously. So make 2018 the year of tackling your problems. If you hate your job and your manager treats you so poorly, don’t be afraid of throwing in the towel and walking away. There will be a company out there that values you more than you could ever believe. If you’re stuck in a terrible relationship where you know you’re not happy, have the guts to end it and walk away. Surround yourself with your friends, and enjoy life until somebody comes along who will truly make you happy. Life really is too short to be worried over issues we can more than easily solve if we try.

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Fat girl in horizontal stripes | OOTD

Hello lovelies,

It's been a loooong time since I did an outfit post and this one is from October, which shows how organised I am! I went to Westfield Stratford with my cousin Sara and her friend Violetta on this day and this is what I wore to walk round the shops.

I'm some kind of idiot because I've since sent this dress to the charity shop, which I regret, but there'll be other dresses.
We ate at Rhythm Kitchen at Westfield which does the most amazing soul food. The fried plantain was to die for! I highly recommend it if you're at Westfield Stratford. I'd definitely eat there again, especially as it was very affordable for such a lot of food.

I hardly ever take photos of my clothes now because I'm not really buying new things. I'm wearing old things over and over again, but primarily being dumped so suddenly knocked the stuffing out of me and I've lost almost all my confidence. Hopefully I'll recover in time.

I'm wearing:

Dress, very old Asda
Leggings, Yours Clothing (maternity ones so they pull up under my boobs)
Skechers
Bag (no longer available) Spiral

Thanks for reading, those of you who still do. Leah xoxo

Funding Your Blogging Lifestyle When You're Just Starting Out*

Hi lovelies!

*collaborative/pre-written post

Lots of people love the idea of becoming a blogger and writing articles for a living. However, it can take a long time to create a reliable revenue stream, and so many folks find it hard to pay the bills in the meantime. With that in mind, this article will offer some advice on the best ways to reduce spending during the early stages of your new career.

Reduce the cost of your bills

Firstly, you’ll need to bring the cost of your bills down if you want to reduce some of the financial strain. There is an infographic at the bottom of this page that provides some excellent suggestions that should point you in the right direction. Switching energy supplier is essential!

Haggle over every purchase

You never want to spend more than is necessary on anything you buy. So, get used to the idea of haggling when you visit small businesses and market stalls. Companies like Tesco aren’t going to listen, but less established brands and entrepreneurs might.

Send your blog posts to news companies

If you write a lot of blog posts, there is a decent chance you could get some of them published in a magazine or newspaper. So, be sure to build a list of journalist contacts and forward your articles. You never know when someone will offer to buy it.

Now you know how to fund the early stages of your blogging lifestyle; nothing should stand in the way of your success. With a bit of luck, these suggestions will assist you in avoiding having to take a part-time job.


Infographic by sunny.co.uk

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Does Your Diet Affect Your Mental Health*

Hi lovelies,

*This is a collaborative/pre-written post. 

Disclaimer

I know the subject material in this post may be sensitive to some of you who may have issues with food and eating disorders so I'm putting a Caution Note on this post for diet talk, although this post mainly refers to diet as food intake rather than a diet of restriction. There is some advice in the last paragraph about what we should be eating in moderation - foods high in fat and sugar - but assuming you're an adult if you're reading this you're in charge of yourself. I feel happiest mentally when I'm eating lots of fruit and veg, but pizza features in there occasionally too!

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Mental health sucks. There is now a study that has shown that one in four people will have some form of a mental illness. A shocking figure to reveal, and the awareness of mental health has always been rather low. People see it as a bit of a taboo subject still, and there is still a stigma around it. However, slowly but surely, people are understanding mental illnesses more.

Diet is one thing that can massively affect mental health, rather than just health. Today we’re going to explore a few points, and whether a good diet can alleviate some symptoms.

The Basics

Two of the most common mental health issues are anxiety and depression. With so many things going on in the world, and our lives always being so busy, it is easy to understand why these issues are so common. There has been research done in the last few years that suggests what we eat in our diet can influence our mental health disorders. The study suggests that nearly two thirds of people who eat fresh fruit and fruit juice every day are twice as more likely to not get a mental health disorder. So, this is what the study suggests we should be eating and doing to relieve symptoms.

There are some diets out there that really boost mental health, and make you feel wonderful about yourself. One of them is a vegan diet. A lot of people aren’t willing to try this, but it is a sure fire way of making sure you get all the vitamins and minerals that your body and mind are missing. For all the things you’ll lose from switching to a vegan diet, such as protein and omega 3, there are replacements out there. Vegan omega 3 is easy to come by, and tofu is an excellent replacement for the protein lost. This diet will see you eating so many more fruits and vegetables, which is feeding the mind with all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function at an optimal level.

Now let's explore what you should be eating in moderation. There’s already plenty of knowledge out there that we’re sure you’re aware of. Two of the things we’re sure you should be eating in moderation are foods high in sugar and fat. When you first eat something really sugary, such as a chocolate bar, the sugar within it is absorbed pretty quickly, creating a sort of high from the sugar. But what goes up, must come down, which is what happens to your mood. There has been evidence to suggest that chocolate is somewhat addictive due to the rise and drop of dopamine levels. As soon as the dopamine levels drop, you’re left wanting another one to bring yourself back up again, even if you don’t want to. Fatty foods can leave us feeling sluggish and lethargic, as well as make us put on weight. If you suffer with depression, the last thing you want is a reason to feel any more sluggish and down!

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

Wooing Your Partner for Valentine’s (or any) Day*

It doesn’t seem five minutes since the turn of the year and already we are thinking about Valentine’s Day – the most romantic day of the year bar none. However, whilst well-intentioned, it does seem a little sad that the day seems to be used as an excuse to splash out and make that little extra effort. Surely you shouldn’t need an excuse to spoil that special someone?


Anyway, whether you want to sprinkle rose petals for Valentine’s Day, or regard the 14th February as just another day in the calendar to say ‘I love you’ to your partner, below are some great ideas of how you can woo your significant other.

Cook Their Favourite Meal

Anyone can reserve a table for two at a plush restaurant and have their favourite meal brought out to them, but it takes skill and precision to be able to cook your very own feast. Chefs will say that the very best food is cooked from the heart and that’s exactly what you do when preparing your partner’s favourite meal.

Whether it’s a traditional Sunday roast, a simple pasta meal or a steak dinner, home cooked meals almost always taste better, and certainly more appreciated. Set the table, get out the fine cutlery and treat your partner right – after all, the best way to the heart is through the stomach!


Fine Wine

Along with that slap up meal you have prepared, you are going to need a bottle of something delectable to wash it down with. The art of serving wine is knowing how best to store it – some bottles are better lightly chilled while some are best served at room temperature.
For serious wine connoisseurs, a wine rack in the kitchen or cupboard makes for a welcome addition to the home. This way you can stock up on fine wine from across the world, ensuring that you have the perfect bottle for any occasion. Check this site out for more information on the types of wine racks that you can find.

Setting the Mood

If you are planning a romantic evening in with your partner for Valentine’s Day, or just because, then you have to set the mood beforehand. Ensure that love is in the air with scented candles, romantic background music and dimmed down lighting. What would be even better is if you have the option of lighting a fire to provide that truly passionate feel.

When the mood is just right, love can blossom regardless of whether you are in the early or later stages of romance. It will be a night that neither of you will forget in a hurry.

Speak From the Heart

This isn’t for everyone, but if you really want to allow your romantic side to run loose then open up your heart and write down whatever it says. A love letter or poem may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but to the right person it can be regarded as the best present that one can ever hope to receive due to the thought that has been put into it.

If penning your feelings doesn’t sit quite right with you, then say them out loud. Look into your partner’s eyes and tell them exactly how you feel and why you are lucky to be with them. Communication is the cornerstone of every solid relationship and, sometimes, we can all be guilty of not telling that special someone what they mean to us enough.

Whether you make use of any of these ideas for Valentine’s Day, or any other occasions, you will undoubtedly make someone feel pretty special by whisking them off their feet.

*collaborative post

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo

At This Moment #8 | Lifestyle


WATCHING

I'm currently watching Season 2 of Frontier, which features my bae Jason Momoa. Here's the trailer. Season 2 is a bit slow so far and doesn't have much J-Mo in it but hopefully it'll pick up soon.



READING

I'm not really reading any more as bipolar makes it REALLY hard for me to focus. I'm either too sluggish or too hyper. I'm skim-reading You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay at the moment but it's a bit hippie-dippy for my current frame of mind. One day I hope to be able to immerse myself in books again, especially as at some point I'd like to get back into education.

MAKING

Right now I'm making my hair fall out from stress and poor diet. My bipolar tablets interact with my anxiety meds and make me throw up nearly every time I clean my teeth, which sucks. They also make me feel really nauseous at all other times, affecting my appetite. On top of that I'm on such a low income I can't feed myself properly, so I'm probably malnourished, hence the hair loss.

STARTING

To take a daily walk, no matter how exhausted I am.

FINISHING

I've finished taking my anxiety meds. As mentioned above, I'm nauseous on them all the time. I'd rather be anxious and not feel ill than take them and want to vomit all day.

ENJOYING

Naps! I love to nap. The nap is the world's greatest invention.

LISTENING
(This section used to be TEXTING but music is far more interesting than texting).

I'm really digging this Naughty Boy ft. Beyonce song at the moment. Although the lyrics are intended romantically, these really get me in the feels right now:

Ain't runnin' from myself no more
I'm ready to face it all
If I lose myself, I lose it all


A reminder I have to face this current time head on and I have to prioritise me.



LOVING

Hmmm.......am I loving anything right now? Think positively, woman! I'm loving the support my family and my good friends are giving me through this time.

HATING

Hate is a strong emotion. I don't think I hate anything. I wouldn't choose to go through what I'm going through, but I hope it's going to make me as tough as a uterus. I would say tough as balls but a uterus is way tougher!

I think the worst thing about my situation at present is the exhaustion. Fibromyalgia is painful and pain is tiring. ME is tiring. Bipolar is tiring and the meds they put you on are tiring. I'm a sloth, ha! I live for my daily nap. I hope things get better when spring arrives and my Seasonal Affective Disorder fades a bit.

You can read previous posts here.
One Two Three
Four Five Six Seven

Let me know what you're watching in the comments - especially if there's something good I should be checking out on Netflix!

Thanks for reading. Leah xoxo