Why I Stopped Hate Following

Ahh social media, the technology that allows us to continue viewing the lives of people we no longer see, care about or even like.

If you’re not a hate follower then I commend you. For as long as social media has existed I have been friends with people on Facebook whose content really riles me up, I’ve avoided following people on Instagram yet continued to have a look like their profiles every once in a while and I’ve failed to unfollow Twitter users whose lives are a trainwreck.

Whether it’s insecurity or just humanity, most of us prefer reading the bad to seeing people’s successes. A huge Twitter argument? You can bet I’m refreshing that timeline like nobody’s business. A giant relationship break all over Facebook? I’m probably screenshotting to discuss with my friends. Let’s not pretend we don’t do these things. Unless it truly it just me in which case I’m just a horrible person.

But as I’ve matured (read: aged), I’ve realised that I’m way more interested in seeing people do well and be happy than I am in petty gossip and moaning Insta stories.

These days I’m getting better at this hate-following thing, and by getting better, I mean I’ve stopped doing it. As is human nature, putting others down can feel therapeutic and help you feel like you’re growing socially but in reality, it’s not cool at all. On the other hand, supporting others and building your pals up is incredibly cool.

If you think you’re guilty of a hate-follow, here’s what I did to curb that horrible habit.

  1. Unfollow all of the people you hate-follow. Every single one. Even that friend from school’s mum who writes horrifically racist statuses.
  2. Maybe cut down on your social media use. If you’re spending enough time on social media that you’re searching accounts out to make yourself feel better, then perhaps it’s time to quit that.
  3. Interact! Instead of silently creeping around on the internet, taking sneaky screenshots to send to your friends, use some of that negative energy and transform it into engaging with others. Send your pals funny memes, compliment them on their selfies and mean it! Do anything that’s not being judgy mcjudgerson.

Finally, no one’s perfect. I think everyone has hate-followed some time in their lives, so you’re not a terrible person! But it’s definitely a habit that’s far easier to pick up than it is to break!

Rachel x-x-x

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A Portrait of Depression: Meet Meg

Like people, depression comes in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t present the same way in everyone and you can’t tell if someone is depressed just by looking at them. That’s why every day this week I’m introducing you to someone who deals with depression and their own unique story of it.

Today it’s Meg from megstroudblog.wordpress.com.

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Who are you?

Hey I’m Meg, I am originally from Devon but now I am living in London doing a fun and interesting intern and freelance blogging! I like cats and dogs they make me so happy! And I dislike being who are rude or judgemental.

When did you first realise you had depression?

It took me so long to realise, I knew something was different about me from a very young age, I always struggled to hang on to friends and felt a general sadness about things in my life. It was like I was incapable of accepting my life and being happy. I always felt like something was wrong. And after an abusive relationship at university I came out of it feeling the worst I had ever felt, I didn’t want to leave the house or talk to anyone. I think it was a few months after that I realised I needed to go to the doctors and I was diagnosed with depression. It was actually a relief because I always thought something terrible was wrong with me.

Did diagnosis help or hinder you?

It really helped me, I was less stressed and confused. I realised that I needed to be kind to myself because I couldn’t help my thoughts and behaviour. I finally felt like I was moving forward and not round in circles.

Describe your depression.

It’s like having a negative slant on everything, whatever happened in my life I could always find a bad side of it. It made me afraid to do new things. And because my depression was linked to my anxiety it just filtered out into every area of my life. My relationships were bad, and co-dependent. I never felt settled, there was always something upsetting me. It’s a feeling I felt and tried to bury away because I didn’t want it and the more I did that the worse I felt. It’s like a voice in my head saying “you’ll never be good enough, what’s the point, why even try, people don’t take you seriously, who do you think you are” very self critical and damaging.

What impact has having depression had on your life?

As I’ve mentioned before. I struggle with relationships because I could never be “normal” And because of that I’ve spent a lot of time alone which didn’t help how I felt about myself. It always gave me doubts, it’s like a constant circle of.. “I could do this.. But I can’t” So I never did anything out of my comfort zone in fear of judgement from others or myself.

What has/hasn’t helped?

A few months ago I started to take anti-depressants which was scary, and recently I have increased my dose. I think it helps, I can never tell if it’s a placebo. But in general I do feel better, but of course I still get bad days. So going to the DRs has helped me. Something else that has helped me is getting counselling, with me my depression is linked to my childhood and it’s something I am working on everyday, it’s important to realise if the depression is linked to something is deeper rather than just an everyday feeling.

Have you had to deal with stigma?

I like to think of myself as a very honest and open person, and I haven’t tried to hide it from anyone in my family. I wouldn’t shout it from the rooftops however. I feel like there is a feeling of embarrassment, like why can’t just be happy on my own?. But I think it’s something that needs to be talked about more, and it’s more common than we think it is, people are shy hiding it, but I think it’s good when people talk about it then it becomes more acceptable. What would you like to tell someone going through depression? Don’t hide it, don’t go through it alone. It’s probably the best thing I ever did talking about it and going to the DRS. I know doctors aren’t always very helpful about these things but I got lucky with a nice female doctor. Tell someone you trust (mum, best friend, boyfriend ect) I promise you, you will feel better when it’s out and you can start to help yourself.

And what would you like to tell someone who doesn’t know anything about it?

Please do not judge. I know it’s hard for someone to understand something that have no idea about but depression is just like having a physical illness, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Mental health is very important and should be respected.

Anything else?

I’d like to add that getting over depression is different for everyone but it’s no way a fast thing. I believe it takes time and maybe even counselling helps. Sometimes there are deeper reasons to why you’re feeling the way you are.

Find Meg at megstroudblog.wordpress.com and on Twitter here.

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I Can’t Do Fashion: Here’s Some People That Can

Fashion is not a concept I tend to associate myself with. I do not call myself a fashionable person. I buy the cheapest clothes possible in the Boohoo or Asos sales and then accessorise them with more expensive bits and bobs that I buy (cheaply of course!) on Ebay. (Recent fab finds include some £10 Timberlands and a £30 Marc Jacobs jacket.)

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But I digress.

Fashion bloggers are my guilty pleasure. I’m full of questions:

Who takes your photos?

How do you not look stupid in your photos?

How do you know what accessories look good with what?

How do you match colours?

Honestly, I’m in awe. So I thought I would shout out some of my faves.

callmeamy.co.uk

I know Amy doesn’t call herself a fashion blogger but we can all see that cheeky ‘style’ category on her blog, so go click on that! She makes fashion look effortless and don’t even get me started on her braids because how?!

Check out: Autumn Wardrobe Staples

veeosullivan.co.uk

This girl can pull off outfits that I can only dream of. She is the ‘coolest’ looking gal on the planet, like a baby Hayley Williams. And I hope to God she thinks that’s a compliment because it definitely is!

Check out: Vee doesn’t have any outfit posts because she’s silly so I’m sending you to her Instagram. Vee’s Insta

lucyalana.blogspot.co.uk

Lucy is that person who just seems to know what to wear on any occasion. She’s the queen of a good dress and can even rock a playsuit (which is no easy feat!)

Check out: Holiday Lookbook

northern-blood.blogspot.co.uk

If you haven’t noticed yet, there’s kind of theme with these girls. They all pull off outfits that I just could not and Amyleigh is no exception. She makes DOUBLE DENIM LOOK GOOD and has a hat face. Oh how much easier life would be if I had a hat face!

Check out: Return of Double Denim

Before you go read these lovely ladies’ style posts, let me know your favourite fashion bloggers in the comments!

Rachel x-x-x

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Life For Sale: Are You Buying?

Do you ever get those bursts of inspiration to write a post but can’t articulate what you want to say at all? I’ve written and rewritten this post so many times but hopefully you’ll understand where I’m going with it!

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As a blogger it’s not uncommon to receive emails from companies asking you to promote one of their products, sometimes for something in return or sometimes for nothing. I’m well aware that brand deals are a big part of blogging and something that many people strive for, and also that pay the bills! And, I have a few posts on my blog that are brand deals but I would never promote something that I didn’t believe in.

Something I feel really strongly about though, is that I wouldn’t ever want anyone to read my blog and think that they have to have something I have in order to live the life that I’m living (or more realistically, that they perceive that I’m living). From a quick look at my blog or Instagram account, you might think that I spend all of my life with my boyfriend in coffee shops, reading books and blogging. From my online presence, it could look like I’m living the high life. In reality, I spend 40 hours a week on my nursing placements, blog in my few spare moments and only see my boyfriend at weekends. So sometimes it feels like I’m ‘advertising’ a false life.

Except, I’m not advertising anything. I’m not trying to sell my life to anyone. I’m just trying to capture the nice moments for myself and to share with others. But brands are using people like us, bloggers, ‘influencers’ to sell a lifestyle. And nowadays, there seems to be a common misconception that if we buy certain products we can live the lives we associate them with. We are made to feel empty without these products, as though having them in our lives will fill that gaping hole.

That Marc Jacobs bag will replace your lack of a relationship, the Olivia Burton watch will fix your self esteem. We’re told time and time again that owning these items will fulfil us. We too will be beautiful and successful if we can just own these products that are advertised to us.

Except, we’re trying to fill a hole that cannot be filled. That hole does not exist unless we allow it to. If you like the bag, buy the bag, but be warned, it won’t make you happier.

Rachel x-x-x

 

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Blogvember Day 18 // The Blogger Tag

I was tagged by lovely Beth over at adventureandanxiety.com to do the Blogger Tag. And who doesn’t love answering questions about themselves?

1: How tall are you?

I’m as short as they come. 5ft1. I used to hate it but it really doesn’t matter does it? Except when creepers try to pick you up in clubs.

2: Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?

Not really. Most people don’t know I sing so I suppose that’s somewhat hidden!

3: What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve?
I hate clickbait and those annoying people that follow/unfollow on Twitter!

4: What’s your biggest non-blog related pet peeve?
Oh gosh, how to choose? I cannot stand bad grammar. Things like ‘could of’ make me want to scream.

5: What’s your favourite song?
I really couldn’t choose but my current faves are On Hold – The XX and Love on the Brain – Rihanna.

6: What’s your favourite social media website?
Couldn’t pick a fave, it’s like choosing a favourite child. I’m joking though. Twitter is my favourite because I’ve made such lovely lovely friends through it. But Instagram is a close second.

7: What’s your favourite way to spend your free time when you’re alone?
Just having baths and watching trash TV. I also love reading but I really don’t do it enough anymore!

8: What’s your favourite junk food?
Pizza. Pizza. Pizza.

9: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?
I have Pepsi at my parent’s house. She’s my gorgeous King Charles Spaniel. She’s convinced she’s a human because she doesn’t like other dogs. She also has a total ‘better than you’ attitude but I can see why because she’s such a princess.

10: What are your number one favourite non fiction and fiction books?
I love non fiction self improvement stuff but my favourite is probably Matt Haig’s Reasons To Stay Alive or Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before. I really think everyone should read these!
As for fiction that’s so hard to say but I love Never Let Me Go. I could read it time and time again and find something new on each read.

11: What’s your favourite beauty product or tool?
Beauty tool? Not a clue. I’m not really a big brush fan, I just use whatever’s around.
Beauty product though? Maybe Nars Sheer Glow or the whole original Naked palette? That’s a really hard question!

12: When were you last embarrassed? What happened?
Probably today. I’m constantly embarrassed.

13: If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Cranberry juice. I rarely buy it but it’s my ultimate fave.

14: What’s your favourite movie?
Hmm probably Conversations With Other Women because I love Helena Bonham Carter and it always makes me cry buckets.

15: What was your favourite lesson in school and why?
German was my favourite because I had the best German teacher ever and it was the only subject that I actually felt like I was good at. Also I just love words and linguistics and languages and everything about it was fab.

16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
I’d love to live in New Zealand for a while. It’d just be nice to know that the weather was doing what it’s supposed to in the right season!

17: PC or Mac?
Mac for sure. I was always such a PC girl until I got a Mac and now I wouldn’t have anything else. Also GarageBand is an amazing addition.

18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse? (Or kind gesture from a friend?)
My boyfriend bought me the most thoughtful gifts for my birthday: the Hygge book, a selfie stick and a little thing to attach my phone to my tripod. He’s the best.

19: Favourite celebrity?

Helena Bonham Carter. Enough said. She’s such a babe.


20: What blogger do you secretly want to be friends with?
Well I’ve already made some amazing friends who I will mention in question 22. But secretly be friends with? I’d love to be friends with Kayleigh from whitedaisiesbluejeans.co.uk because she’s just such a stunner. I’m hoping she could pass on some tips. Hahaha.

21: Who is your biggest inspiration?
I find all my blogging babes inspiring. Also Miley Cyrus because I know she’s super controversial but I do love her.

22: What is your favourite blog to read?

23: What is your favourite high street shop?
 Can I count Urban Decay as a high street shop because obviously it would be that. I’m not a big high street shopper, I’m more of an online girl so Boohoo.

24: Are you in education or do you work?
I am in education permanently. I’m halfway through my second degree (woo hoo). Cannot wait to be a working lady though!

25: One thing you are proud of?
 My blog. Because I never ever thought anyone in the world would read it!
I’m going to tag AmySianKayleigh and Tori
Rachel x-x-x
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