Monday, 29 February 2016

How I am dealing with anxiety and panic attacks

Everyone feels a little anxious from time to time and that is normal, but a panic attack is often an extremely overwhelming feeling of anxiety and often very scary for the person experiencing it.

I have suffered from panic attacks since I think when I started secondary school and to be honest they have progressively gotten worse as I have got older. When I try to think about why that is I come to realisation that I am actually scared of having a panic attack- so I am panicking about having a panic attack which causes a panic attack! which is so silly but I guess I need to train myself out of being scared. The worst attack I have had actually resulted in an ambulance being called as I had almost passed out from being so breathless.

I have had countless panic attacks in public and these are most defiantly the worst.... or maybe they just seem the worst. They tend to progress a lot quicker than if I were alone which is probably heightened by the fact that people are looking or maybe I just think they are looking. I am no expert, if I were then I would banish my anxious thoughts and stop myself from panicking!
But I am hoping it is something I can teach myself and retrain my thoughts to cope with or perhaps even overcome.

A list of things that help me

1) Accept - I have found that if I feel panicky its best if I don't ignore it but reassure myself that no harm can come to me, it is anxiety and it will pass.

A top tip which actually came from my dad is to draw on experiences that I have been super anxious about and maybe even had a full blown panic attack from but then look at what has happened after- I may not of enjoyed the experience but I am still here, I came to no harm. I can then use this to help me in my next situation and reassure myself that I will be ok!

2) Live in the moment- When trying to pin point my anxiety a lot is actually caused by what I think could happen or worrying about an event I have in a weeks time, this type of worry is wasting my time as it may not even happen and all that anxiety could be unnecessary and cause me a lot of distress.

A technique which helps me get back into the moment is a cognitive behavioural technique. I focus my mind on what I can currently see, hear and smell at that precise moment it helps me to clear my mind of what might happen and focus on what is actually happening. Give it a try, it sounds so simple but has actually helped me in a number of panicky situations.

3) Coping mechanisms - Through my anxiety and panic attacks I do suffer a lot of physical side effects and this can escalate into a panic attack as I am embarrassed that people around me know I am feeling anxious.

My breathing becomes quicker and deeper and I can also feel a sudden lose of breathe, I have found it helpful to have chewing gum or a chewy sweet this can help distract myself from focusing so much on how quickly I may be breathing.
I also suffer from blotching and redness, I've not really found anything to hide this apart from the obvious of covering up or hiding!! But I think its something I have to accept just happens and there's no need for the thought of my red neck to cause me to have a panic attack it will soon fade and more often than not people are more worried about what they look like than what I do!

4) Focus on the positives- I have started a one line a day diary, a place to document one good or happy moment of my day. I've found this to really help me stop dwelling on the more anxious parts of my day and help me to feel a lot more positive and appreciate what I have and if I am having a particularity down day it is nice to take some time out and just flick through the pages of happy positive things that have happened.

This is a super personal post but I feel if I am going to overcome my fears it is best to start accepting them and start talking about it rather than bottling it all up which in turn makes me more anxious and withdrawn. I hope this might help anyone that may also suffer with anxiety and maybe if you have any other coping mechanisms you could share them to help me to!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Pros and Cons to being self employed

I thought I would share with you my pros and cons of being self employed. I have been self employed for just about three years, for me it seemed like a huge and scary jump but it has actually been the best step I could of made and has allowed me to be involved in lots of different creative projects and has developed my design skills further as I am now not only able to work freelance for other designers but I can set my own briefs and really push my work experimenting with styles and techniques as I am my own boss.

Pros -

- I am able to set my own work schedule with flexible working hours 

- I have the ability to work from home which means I can just roll out of bed into my studio

- No Boss- I only have myself to answer to 

-I work only for me , I work a lot but I know that what I do is for myself, all the work is for my own good and knowing that it is much easier to work all night long.

- I get all the credit. When you have a boss the credit goes to them when you work for yourself it all goes to you! I get to hear first hand all the lovely feedback

- You will learn everything - As I am my own company , I have learned to be my own IT , marketing, design  and sales. I learn so much more working for myself then I would ever learn as an employee.

- Not being able to switch off - Even though one of my pros was the fact that I can plan my own working day I do often find it hard to switch off and I can never really fully leave my work at work.

- I am my own boss- This can also be a con, as technically I can tell myself to have the day off or take a longer lunch break, sometimes when motivation is low this can be a con!

- Working alone- I found working everyday from my studio alone to be incredibly lonely and for someone that suffers a lot with anxiety this does not help.

- I do everything myself- This can be extremely over whelming as I design, make , promote and post all my products and sometimes this can all get on top of me and if anything goes wrong I am always to blame.

I feel like at the moment I have the perfect balance and a couple of things that have helped me would be having my own studio - even though this is still in my house I am able to shut the door and keep it separate from my living space. 
Another thing that has helped me massively is having a little job on the side, just a couple of days a week helps me have more of a routine and having worked on my own for a couple of years from home It actually made my anxiety a lot worse, I found myself going days without actually speaking to anyone and just working away in my own little world so personally for me working completely for myself didn't work, but now I have that balance I am much more productive and motivated to work on my own projects. 

I hope this was helpful to anyone thinking of going self employed! It was definitely worth it for me now I can see all my work starting to pay off . I am able to create the things I want to create and put what is in my head into reality.
 It is just about finding a balance that works for you.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Bedroom Update - Blank canvas

We haven't started on the bedroom yet but its pretty much a blank canvas. I decided to change up the bedding and add some of my own cushion designs, bulb lights, adding different framed art and photographs to my photo shelf really adds a pop of colour.

The bedroom is lovely and light with a large window but I dont feel it has much personality. I think I want to add some colour on the walls eventually, I have even thought about just adding a little colour to the ceiling , maybe a pale pastel mint or bringing some of the light grey into the room ( I do like the house to match!)
What do you think?

Kitchen before and after photos coming super soon! 

Monday, 8 February 2016

Kitchen Accessory lust list

Over the weekend we started the kitchen renovation!! 
Ive been pinning kitchens like crazzyyy, these three images sum up the look I am going for best. We are having white walls and cupboard fronts, light oak tops with grey flooring bringing in pops of colour through the accessories.

1 - Pale blue Fridge Freezer I have actually ordered this one! I think it will add the perfect pop of colour to the room in a pretty pale blue with silver accents.

2- Wooden chopping board and wooden/colour pop accessories

3- Bar stools - To add more silver and white to the room 

4- Storage jars - We are having open oak shelves to display mugs and vintage glassware but I would also like some glass jars to store food in too and these from Hm Home look perfect!

5- Metal baskets to store dry food and to add another height and texture to the shelves.

6- Silver vase Because I always like to have fresh flowers around.

7- Nic Nacs Little trinkets to add some personality to the kitchen

I am super excited to share the before and after photos of our kitchen in the next couple of weeks! Its looking so much better already.If you have any other cute little kitchen accessory's you think I would like please comment below.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Whats in my Bag

I thought I would share what I carry in my everyday bag!
1-  Monki Metallic wallet I love this purse! The colour of course is my favourite but its also the perfect size to fit all my cards and receipts

2-  Turquoise glitter diary - Such a handy little size for my handbag

4- Turquoise marble notebook I have designed a range of notebooks over on my ASOS boutique this one has to be one of my favourite prints and I love list taking and writing my design ideas down throughout the day.

6- Tom Tom Satnav because I cannot drive anywhere without it!

7- Make up - Bare minerals 

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I keep in my everyday bag, If you have a similar blog post be sure to comment below so I can check it out as I am super nosy!