Uni | Mental Health

After spending what seemed to be the longest 9 hours of my life in A&E, it really dawned on me how much of an issue we have in the UK regarding mental health and how common it has become.

The words mental health can be pretty daunting and I know a lot of people immediately think of a crazy person, but mental health simply refers to the health of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. This ranges from loneliness to phobias, bipolar disorder to anxiety and post natal depression to self-harm. The conversation around mental health is a delicate one but one that should be discussed openly, honestly and regularly. I myself have had my own experience with mental health, I’ve also seen it first hand in close friends and since coming to university I have gone out of my way to do my research and educate myself on everything surrounding this topic.

University has really made me a better person and has opened my eyes to so much. Despite being on a fashion course we are really encouraged to seek knowledge beyond the industry and really develop as young individuals ready to go out and make a difference in the world. Since my charities blog post I have been actively seeking ways in which I can do my part, and with an incredible following on social media along with my up and coming Youtube Channel, I thought what better first step than to spread awareness from the platform I have been given. This blog post is my first step to get the ball rolling.

So starting with signs and symptoms:

  • A change in personality – Not acting themselves or not feeling like their usual self
  • Isolation and withdrawal
  • Difficulty remembering or concentrating
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lack of self-care
  • Tired and drained
  • No self-confidence or self-esteem
  • Lack of sleeping, or sleeping too much

How you can help others and yourself:

  • Regularly check up on family and friends
  • Listen more and allow others to open up
  • Be observant
  • Be understanding
  • Be supportive
  • Go out in nature
  • Keep a journal of your feelings
  • Encourage expression of gratitude
  • Encourage a balanced diet
  • Encourage exercise

 

This year Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May 2019, and the theme for 2019 is Body Image. I feel like this is an important topic to raise awareness of due to the dramatic link between body image and mental health and with the rise of body shaming on social media.

I will be making these mental health posts a regular thing, and I hope this had helped someone out there.

Love always

AHVB X

Uni | My Self-Care Routine

Two years ago now I had my very own experience with anxiety. At first I didn’t know what it was, I just knew I wasn’t feeling myself and I couldn’t put into words how I was feeling or why I was feeling this way. I became very lost, life wasn’t what I expected it and I felt like I didn’t have my life in order for someone who was about to turn 19.

After speaking to my family and doing my research, I started writing my gratitude list. Each morning I would list 10 things that I woke up and immediately felt grateful for, each time listing 10 different things. This is my first and most important self-care ritual and is still something I do to this day. It not only stopped me for reaching my phone first thing every morning, but it also made me realise it wasn’t my life that I didn’t have in order and instead it was my mental health and my way of thinking.

This then lead me onto my next few self-rituals:

  1. Having a morning and evening skincare routine
  2. Drinking 2 litres of water a day
  3. Have a bedtime routine
  4. Having a healthy balanced diet

After repeated writing my gratitude list, I realised there was so much richness in my life that I was taking for granted. My health was one of them, and so I decided to take more care of physical well-being. By doing each of the rituals listed above my mood each day got better, my attitude to life improved and I was able to think more positively. I also had more energy and less headaches which made my days more productive.

From this I was able to move on to improving my intellectual state, which lead to my sixth self care ritual of ‘having a plan’. This ritual includes anything from creating a vision board for the year to a to-do list for the day, it’s all about having a goal or target that you can visually see and physically tick off. This is important for personal growth as well as keeping a positive mindset.

And lastly my final four rituals are made up of social, spiritual and emotional factors. These factors are vital as they nourish our souls and evoke feelings of love, happiness, belonging and acceptance.

  1. Spend time with family with no technology
  2. Make plans with friends
  3. Meditate
  4. Spend time alone

These are my top ten self-care rituals that have really helped me and transformed my life. I also like to follow positive quote accounts on Instagram such as @mindsetofgreatness and @vybesource. And I regularly use Pinterest for inspiration and new ideas.

I know everyone’s experience with anxiety is different, but I know everyone has their days where their vibrations are a little lower than usual, and so if I could help atleast one person with my top ten rituals then that’s something.

I hope you all have an amazing week.

Love always

AHVBX

 

 

Uni | What Can I Do? (Citizenship)

After today’s seminar on charities and brand collaborations with charities, it really got me thinking about what charities I connect with, what charities mean a lot to me, and what I can do to help. And so this evening I went out to create a list of charities that I would like to support in 2019. 

Cancer research UK is a charity that is very close to my heart and is one that I have supported from a very young girl, and so that took top spot on my list. But then after I found that I was stuck, I realised that shockingly I didn’t know of that many charities and the ones I did know of I didn’t connect with personally. And so I started out by listing what type of charities I would like get behind and what issues I feel strongly about. I knew I wanted to get behind an organisation that worked to help period poverty, an organisation that worked to help women who had been victims of sexual violence, an organisation that worked to help refugees and an organisation that worked to help mental health. 

In my research I came across Plan international, My Body Back, Save the Children and CALM. All four charities I felt a genuine connection to and was massively impressed by in terms of their story and their work.

Plan international strive for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls All over the world, girls suffer discrimination in education, health, work and family life. The Sustainable Development Goals cannot be realised without a specific focus on achieving gender equality, and this is what the charity is working hard to change.

My Body Back is a charity that elps women who have experienced sexual violence and rape. They strive to change the perception women have of their bodies after sexual assualt, and help them love their bodies and feel confident again. They run cervical cancer screenings, have a maternity clinic and have also created The Clit List, a list of erotic media for people who would like to explore their sexuality using feminist, non-misogynistic and empowering content, curated with women who have experienced sexual violence in mind.

I came across Save the Children in my research for a charity that worked to help refugees. Save the Children  stand side by side with children in the toughest places to be a child. They do whatever it takes to make sure children survive, get protection when they’re in danger, and have the chance to learn. Although this isn’t a charity that mainly targets refugees, I was really moved by their stories and how much they have done to help so many children in the world already as well as their future plans to make some great changes.

And lastly I came to find CALM – the Campaign Against Living Miserably. Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, and the numbers are continuously increasing. Mental health is hard on everyone, but in a society tha has taught boys that talking about your feelings and crying is a sign of weakness, I feel like it is especially tough for men. I want to support this charity in their amazing work to change the culture around gender and mental health.

Through doing my research of these four charities I have discovered ways in which I can help support and volunteer in order to do my part in helping improve the world we live in. I have sent out emails to all four charities and will hopefully be able to work with them over summer and be able to come back with a blog post on how you all can also get involved.

What charities do you connect with? Comment below

Love always

AHVB X

Uni | Innovative Brands I’m Loving

Currently in my fashion studies we are exploring the world of innovation and what it takes to be an innovative brand. In my research so far I have come across a variety of new brands who I believe to be very innovative, as well as a changed perceptions on a few old brands who I would have never described to be innovative at all.

function_of_beauty_review.jpg

So kick starting with the new, I first came across beauty brand ‘Function of Beauty’ which is a bespoke shampoo and conditioner brand based in New York. The concept behind ‘Function of Beauty’ is to give individuals the best possible hair products that cater to their own personal needs and goals by gathering data from their own online questionnaire. They are big on individuality, diversity, authenticity and creativity as well as social status, making them the ideal brand to a Gen Z audience, similarly to brands like Saturday Skin and Glossier. What makes ‘Function of Beauty’ so innovative is the customisable element to their products, in which they are able to produce a range of products for a range of consumers and each one being nothing like the other. For me this is very important, as I am a mixed race and so I struggle to find a shampoo and conditioner that works for my scalp condition, hair texture and hair condition.

drunk-elephant-04

Next up is Drunk Elephant which is a skincare brand I came across not too long ago on Pinterest, and then again on Cult Beauty whilst getting my monthly shopping fix. Apart from their clean clinical Instagrammable packaging and beauty shelf worthiness, what really intrigued me about the brand was their strong ethos of excluding ‘question mark’ ingredients. After reading about this, I immediately thought of ‘ The Ordinary’ another skincare brand who pride themselves in only using the best ingredients and keeping ingredients to a minimal. However, after digging a little deeper I discovered that Drunk Elephant research well into the skin as an organ and so from this have come up with the ‘Suspicious Six’ which are 6 ingredients at the root of almost every skin issue we come across today. The suspicious 6 include silicones, essential oils, chemical screens, SLS, drying alcohols and fragrances/dyes which they avoid using these at all costs. It was then I saw Drunk Elephant as an innovative brand, because unlike many skincare brands they look at solving problematic ingredients for the skin and works around using those rather than looking at solving problematic skin. To me this is something very new and in some ways quite disruptive, and so I’m excited to get my hands on some Drunk Elephant products.

fenty-beauty-all-inclusive-foundation-shades

And then there was Fenty Beauty. Now to me this brand didn’t seem very innovative, I feel like I was just so excited about it being Rihanna’s line that I didn’t take much in of the brand itself. So after doing my research which I wish I did a lot earlier, I have a new found respect for not only Fenty Beauty, but Rihanna as a business woman coming into the beauty industry. I know you all know what I’m referring to when I talk about Fenty Beauty so I’m not going to described it to you and you give you a break down, but instead I want to highlight what made it one of the most innovative beauty brands to date. So in terms of diversity Fenty Beauty offered 40 shades of foundations to a option-starved beauty consumer who had been deprived of their true match up until this point, creating an inclusive feel to her brand rather than an exclusive one. This recognition of needing more options within the beauty industry for women of colour, lead to a variety of women having an immediate emotional connection to the brand and therefore this disrupted the industry who had never seen this happen before. I think personally for me, I didn’t immediately see this as an innovation because it was something that needed to be done and so for me was an expectation of Rihanna. But now with the knowledge I have, I can see how big of a move this was for anyone in the Beauty Industry whether it be Rihanna or not.

BlurTheLines-MilkMakeup-13

And lastly is Milk Makeup which is a 100% vegan cosmetic brand who promote clean beauty and raise awareness of environmental issues surrounding make up. What I found very innovative about this brand was their inclusive campaigns promoting gender fluidity, and how authentic their approach was. Gender fluidity is still something quite new and something quite sensitive to discuss in some parts of the world, and so to put this conversation at the front of your brand is very bold. COO Dianna Ruth stated “People are more complex than their gender. I think it’s refreshing to see different options in packaging, formats and formulas in beauty”.And so this is another brand I will be keeping an eye on.

I want to take this time to thank you for reading my post, and for coming with me on my educational journey.

What brands have you come across lately that you find innovative? Comment below

Love always

AHVB X