We caught up with Enter Shikari to talk about positive mental health, talking openly, and how they keep their heads above the waves.

Thanks to Front Row Productions for filming & editing this for us!

Everybody’s somebody’s everything; nobody is nothing – Chance The Rapper

18 months or so ago, we asked people to share with us the lyrics that helped pick them up when they were down, and someone wrote this. I’d not really listened to Chance The Rapper before (other than a sick cover of the Arthur theme song), but this had me intrigued, and when I listened to it, I instantly knew why someone had shared this song.

I won’t go on too much about how good Chance The Rapper is musically and lyrically (though I do think he’s flippin’ great), and instead just have a quick think about that one line that was shared with us.

Everybody’s somebody’s everything; nobody is nothing

Sometimes it’s easy to feel a bit unloved or a bit worthless – and heck, sometimes it’s more than that, sometimes you feel totally worthless or utterly unloved and unloveable. But the truth is you’re super unique. You play a role in this infinitely big universe that no-one else can do. Maybe you know how to make your best friends laugh like no-one else can. Maybe you’re the brave one in a  group who asks the question that everyone secretly wanted to know the answer to but were too scared to ask themselves. Maybe you smile at strangers on the street and make their day. Or maybe just by existing, you’ve made a difference in the lives of everyone you see: teachers, your family, your friends. It might not always feel like it, but you’ve got infinite potential and can do so much to make other people’s lives better.

I’ve got a lil niece who’s the absolute cutest thing in the world. Every time I get to see her or FaceTime with her (ignoring how wild it is that a 3 year old can work an iPad) it makes my day. She doesn’t know it – she’s just doing her and getting on with her little life, which mostly revolves around pirates. Which is amazing. I guess what I’m getting at with this is the fact that she doesn’t need to do or say anything in particular. Just her being her means everything to me. And in the same way, you don’t need to do or say anything outstanding; you don’t need to change the world. Just by being you, you can be making someone get as soppy as I do when I see my niece.

There’s that other saying that I’ve seen floating around a bit online too:

To the world, you’re just one person. But to one person, you’re the world

And while it can seem like you’re just lost in a crowd of billions of other people on this planet,

We obviously have a big celebrity culture, and care loads about the lives of strangers we see online or in magazines, but the most important thing is caring about the people around you – and them caring about you in return. Even if it’s just one person (but I can pretty much guarantee you it’s way more than that) by you being here, literally just existing, you might be doing so much more than you realise.

It’s funny because we often think about how much we appreciate the people around us – when they’re kind, when they help us, when they listen to us – but don’t always tell them. Let them know what they mean to you; how much you appreciate all the little quirks that make them who they are, and so important in your life.

And for what it’s worth, I’m glad you exist. Because just by being here and reading this, it means you’re part of this journey towards being stronger, that we’re all in together.

I am on the mend
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I am on the mend, at least now I can say that I am trying” – Brand New

 

Today* marks 4 years since I last self-harmed. A milestone I don’t think teenage me would’ve ever seen coming. But here we are, and that’s something to be proud of. I still struggle, but I am on the mend; at least now I can say that I’m trying. Brand New also just dropped their new album, so now’s probably the best time to actually get round to writing a blog about this lyric that inspires me, and that we have on one of our swing tags for our shirts.

*In a move that’s fairly classic me, I put off posting this for ages, which means it’s actually been over a week since the anniversary, and Brand New’s

I read this line as saying “I’m not there yet, but I’m making the effort to do something about it”, but I guess that’s not quite as poetic as the way that Brand New put it.

 

I am on the mend

If you’re not there yet, that’s ok. Sometimes it can take months or even years to work through a difficult patch, or come to terms with something. That’s ok. Go at your own pace, and don’t be hard on yourself if you struggle or if you fall down and end up back at square one.

 

Sometimes half the battle is actually knowing what the problem is. I often have those days where I just feel rubbish and can’t really explain why. And if you don’t know what the problem is, it’s hard to sort it out. So try to identify what areas of your life might be bringing you down, or triggering you, or making you feel less than awesome. I think writing stuff down is a great way to do this. Write down the situation every time you feel like self-harming. Where you are, if you’re with anyone, what’s been said, what day it is, what time it is, if anything’s happened before that’s on your mind. Then you can start to look for patterns over time. Is it the same place every time? Is there a certain person who’s bringing you down? Once you know what the problem is, you can do something about it.

 

At least now I can say that I’m trying

 

It’s gotten easier over time to resist the temptation to self-harm when everything gets too much. That’s thanks in no small part to me having things in place that I actively go to when I recognise that I’m starting to get into a negative headspace. And making that conscious effort to do something else instead of self-harm is the biggest step you’ll take on your journey to recovery.

 

I play drums whenever I can. It’s hard living in a block of flats, but knowing that I can rag a drum set in a practise room or at a show, gives me something to hold onto, and a chance let out everything out. In the short term in the flat, I can still tap my knees or a pillow or a practise pad, even if it’s not as satisfying as making loads of noise.

 

I’ve got better at talking about it too. If I’m having a bad one, I’ll let someone know when they ask. Rather than just being as typically British as possible and shrugging out a “Yeah, I’m fine”. Talking it over with people helps to identify problems, and get ideas for ways to deal with it from another perspective.

 

And as much as I hate to admit it, exercising is actually a pretty good way of working through stuff. Going for a run, or doing some push-ups/sit-ups at home (which can be done while watching the TV, so it doesn’t feel so much like hard work). There’s all sorts of scientific reasons why it’s good too – it releases good chemicals in your brain, so you’re legit gonna feel good things.

 

So with a few lil tools in my arsenal, I’m on the mend. Even if I’m not fully all the way there, it’s ok, because I’m making the effort, and I’m trying.

– Si

Hygge Spotify Playlist



Last Christmas I got given “The Little Book of Hygge” (2 copies of it, actually. Am I predictable, or do my family/girlfriend just know me really well?)  and since then, I’ve fallen in love with the Danish concept of hygge.

There’s no literal translation of what hygge is – but it’s something close to cosiness. That feeling you get when it’s raining outside, and you’re curled up under a blanket on the sofa, with a cup of hot chocolate, basked in candle light. Or the nice feeling that you get from sharing a meal with people you love. The author of “The Little Book of Hygge“, Meik Wiking, puts it way better than I can:

It’s about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world…

With this in mind, and inspired by a conversation we had in our shop the other day, we put together this playlist of songs that could be the background to a dinner with some old friends, or a way to unwind, calm down, and be in the moment by yourself. We hope you enjoy it!

Lush Charity Pot Party!

On the 1st and 2nd of July, we teamed up with Lush in Cardiff for a Charity Pot party. We’re stoked to announce that through the sales of Lush’s Charity Pot we’ve raised an amazing £299.16 towards our work. Which is amazing; thank you so much to everyone who grabbed one, and to the brill staff in Lush Cardiff for having us.

While we were in store over the weekend, we were asking people to share their favourite thing about themselves, or the nicest compliment they’ve ever received. Bit of a tricky one, eh? Because it’s easy to compliment other people, and show love to your pals. But how often do you compliment & show love to yourself? Take some time to think about the things you like about yourself – the things you’re good at, the stuff you can do that no-one else can. Or think about the things that your friends/family say to you – the compliments you might usually shrug off, try to take them on board! Write them down and remind yourself of them if you’re feeling down.

And if you feel like treating yourself to some Lush goodies to show yourself some love, you can either grab some from their store, or online & have a beautiful smelling box delivered straight to you: https://uk.lush.com

Here’s a few things that people shared with us in Lush at our Charity Pot party: HATW x Lush-1 HATW x Lush-2 HATW x Lush-3 HATW x Lush-4 HATW x Lush-5 HATW x Lush-6 HATW x Lush-7 HATW x Lush-8 HATW x Lush-9 HATW x Lush-10 HATW x Lush-11 HATW x Lush-12 HATW x Lush-13 HATW x Lush-14 HATW x Lush-15

Well. It’s been nearly a year since we last did one of these playlists (where did that year go?!) so we figured it was time to put one together again – especially since there’s been so much rad new music recently.

Chance The Rapper – ‘All We Got’

A while back, we were getting people to write out the lyrics that pick them up when they’re feeling down, and one of the first ones was Chance The Rapper: “Everybody’s somebody’s everything; nobody is nothing” –  it’s a nice lil reminder that everyone’s fighting their own battles, and everyone is important. Whoever you are, you matter to someone. You’re important. Annoyingly though, it isn’t on Spotify, so I went for ‘All We Got’ – the first track off his album ‘Colouring Book’ . Whenever I listen to Chance the Rapper, I imagine laying on grass in the sun, looking up at clouds, and this chilled song is a great example of why.

Anderson .Paak – ‘The Bird’

“We see the same things, we sing the same songs, we feel the same grief” was the line that stood out to me. This song, like Chance The Rapper, chills me right out, however I’m feeling. I like to lay down with headphones on, and listen to Anderson .Paak when I’m having a lazy Sunday.

 

Trash Boat – ‘Brave Face’

I think the main sentiment behind this for me was “I know that nothing I write you can change what you’ve been through” – an acceptance that you can’t change the past, and even the best will in the world can’t change what’s happened to you. But you can do something about it moving forward. You can find ways to grow, not ignoring the past, but learning from it.

 

Holding Absence – ‘Permanent’

Holding Absence have been smashing the UK scene recently – a super hard working band, who make beautiful & emotional music that doesn’t shy away from talking about struggles with mental health. Their first single Permanent in particular touches on the idea of struggling with not wanting to be here, but the fact that dying is a permanent solution to a temporary problem “you want to die today, you don’t want to die forever”. It also brings in hope – the idea that you’ll get there eventually “you will find a home, you will find a place” in this big crazy world, you’ve just gotta keep on hanging in there.

Plus they’re a Cardiff band, and we love a bit of local talent.

 

Rembrandts – ‘I’ll Be There For You’

Hey, who doesn’t love F.R.I.E.N.D.S.? This just came on the radio as I was putting this list together, and as cheesy as this song is, the chorus is a nice sentiment isn’t it? Look out for your friends & take time to check in with them regularly & if someone’s done that for you, return the favour! Plus, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of cheese every now and then. Plus you can’t help but do the claps in the first verse.

Stormzy – ‘Blinded By Your Grace, Pt. 2’

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Stormzy’s album – grime isn’t my usual kind of scene. But I had a bunch of people tell me to listen to it, so I did, and I was pleasantly surprised. There’s a bunch of different stuff on the album, including some really gospel-y stuff, so I wanted to include it because it took me by surprise, and I like the idea of not judging a book by its cover. I also saw an interview where Stormzy mentioned writing about his battle with depression too – and it’s great that people from all scenes are starting to talk openly about mental health, and using music to work through it.

Stranger Things – ‘Eleven’

I recently re-watched Stranger Things, and I forgot how much I love that show. Obviously because it hooked me in and ended each episode with me desperate to find out the answers to all the questions I had. But also because there’s a really lovely theme throughout the show about friends looking out for each other, and accepting people who some might see as “weirdos” as special, valuable & unique. I won’t go into any more detail in case you haven’t watched it yet, but the soundtrack is beautiful. It’s also actually really great to work to, if you’re ever in need of some chill music to help you concentrate/study/stare out the window on a train & pretend you’re in a movie to.

Novo Amor – ‘Carry You’

Novo Amor is featured on all sorts of Spotify playlists. And with good reason. It’s beautiful music, and the single from the new EP ‘Bathing Beach’ is no exception. From listening to this, I took away the idea of looking out for the people you care about. Perhaps in a less cheesy way than that Rembrandts song, though.

You Know The Drill – ‘Repose’

I was lucky enough to get to do a short tour with these guys earlier this year, and they just won a competition to play at Slam Dunk, which is awesome because they totally deserve it. Every night I watched them play this song, which is about losing someone, and it stood out as a highlight of their set. I also really love the hook/lyric “You make my life much better” – which is a sentiment we’re trying to share loads with our “I’m Glad You Exist” campaign.

Paramore – ‘Hard Times’

It actually worked out pretty well that I didn’t get this playlist finished in time for the start of May – cuz it means I got to include this absolute banger, which also actually has a pretty posi message in there too. I love it when a plan comes together.

Loyle Carner – ‘NO CD’

This song is a total banger. The first time I heard it playing in a store and I ran around asking everyone if they knew what it was. Great beats, and gets across the sentiment of loving music. And I love music.

 

 

 

 

Artist Interview with Kimmy Keep Real

Hello! What’s your name & where do you come from?

Hi there! I’m Kimberley, otherwise known on the ol’ social media as ‘kimmykeepreal’ and I live in South Yorkshire, UK. Big up the steel city of Sheffield!

How long have you been drawing/designing for?

A fair few years! I was intensely interested in Art at school, and ended up pursuing it in my spare time. Designing compared to doodling, I must say has been in the last 3 years of doing it more professionally. Overall, it has been a steady flow since an early age.

What inspires you most?

Nature and landscapes from where I live is the main source of my inspiration. I don’t live too far away from the Peak District, which is flippin’ beautiful. I twist that inspiration into symbols and all those good vibes from buddhism. I tend to draw a heck of a lot of mandalas! I also adore old school traditional styles of work and tattooing too- so that flickers through my work a fair bit.

Do you find that illustrating & designing is a helpful way for you to unwind & deal with life?

Oh yeah. Being creative in any way, is for me (and I’m hoping for a lot of folk too!) is a way to calm down and just breathe. It’s a form of mindfulness/meditation that allows you to focus on you, your body and that creative flow. If I’m having a day where my mental health is suffering, where my anxiety picks up and takes off- designing brings my mind back to the motions of my work, instead of worrying about everything and nothing. I can definitely tell when I haven’t done any artwork for a while, my mind feels restless.

Is there anything else that you do to help you stay positive?

I love going for a good walk. Going back into nature is so beneficial to staying grounded and feeling positive. We live in such a fast paced world, so it’s great to bring it back down to you and the natural world. Seeing friends and connecting with other like minded folk definitely helps to keep me positive. When you surround yourself with inspiring and wonderful people- that’s what keeps you going. That energy is just the sweetest thing to be around.

Do you have any advice for anyone out there who’s maybe struggling right now?

Keep going. Allow yourself to feel what you truly feel and be gentle. What you’re going through- you’re going to get through. You are capable of growing more as the beautiful being you are tomorrow, as well as today. Think about that tomorrow, let it guide you, let it be that light. Sometimes we can’t express how we feel in words, we’re human and it is hard. Never feel alone in this.

How about some tips for if you wanted to get into designing as a career?

Practice and persevere. Ask yourself what you’d like to do as a creative person. For me, being an ‘Artist’ fits in very well with my method of work. I’m an old school paper-and-pen- doodler who isn’t that confident turning intricate pieces of work into logos or mathematically correct digital images. Don’t take on a project or commission if it compromises your style of work. Stay true to your methods- and folk will come to you just for that. I started out by obsessively doodling on my own tote bags in college; to being in the local paper when kids started paying me to do it for them! I don’t have an art degree (but a degree in Counselling Therapy!) and finding your style is important to your self- development, and you potential customers/clients. I’ll admit, I still find it hard to use Illustrator and Photoshop. I’m an old school artist who does everything on paper and for the life of me can’t translate it to digital form. But I can try my hardest, and that is all you need. You got this- make your art a part of your ‘self’.

Can you tell us a lil bit about your own brand Keep Real?

Keep Real is a brand of ‘inspiring products promoting emotional wellbeing’. So we aim to bridge that gap between fashion/goods and mental health with products that have that ‘keep it real’ ethos. We aim to produce our goods as sustainable and as ethical as possible too. It’s about feeling good inside and out, so we’re setting up a ‘Real’ blog on how to take care of yourself through the products we make and raise awareness in mental health. So so excited for the launch- which will be around summer time 2017. It’s been a lonnng time coming of around 2-3 years of terrible sketches, idea development to last year’s trademarking sweetness. We’re bringing out a small collection first (tees to stationery) and then bringing out collections throughout the year! Woo!

Where can we find out a bit more about you & your work?

You can take a peep on all platforms for my personal posts, mental health blog posts on @kimmykeepreal and have a gander on all platforms for @KeepRealUK <3

Check out the shirt that Kim designed for HATW here! 

Why We Need Release – In More Ways Than One

I suppose university hasn’t been a total loss if things don’t quite go as planned…I learned a lot about the gastrointestinal tract.

Although that’s just an aside, as I’m really just using that as a segue to references to flatulence.

Gas is painful when you hold it in, yet loads of us hold it in all the time…and to those who don’t, I’m not judging you! In fact, I actively encourage people to pass the gas.

The thing is, although I know the idea of people constantly passing gas is perhaps unpleasant…most people are discreetly passing gas anyway, so why don’t we just make peace with the fact that we’re all pretty stinky on the inside? It’s so much easier to be nice to others when you’re not cursing your productive digestive system, battling with crippling bloat and trapped gas!

So, I compared mental health to farts the other day.

Sounds a bit silly, I know. Hear me out.

We’re so ashamed of something that all of us are affected by every day. Something we all know about, but we would rather pretend we don’t deal with, for fear of embarrassment, shame.

Farts, but what I really want to focus on –feelings – can cause intense pain when held in.

The other day, someone unabashedly shared with me that she had cried six times that day.

Something flickered in me, in that moment. I have cried countless times in recent weeks.

I cry when I’m in the shower.

I cry when I wake up.

I cry when I’m listening to music on the bus.

I cry when I’m walking around in the park or in town.

I cry when I think about my late Siamese cat, who was my confidante (yes, we conversed) all throughout my childhood and adolescence.

I cry when I remember my heart being broken by someone who I trusted and envisioned a future with.

I cry when I’m sitting alone at home on the sofa, candle burning on the coffee table, wondering if I’ll live here forever, or if my life will take me somewhere new.

I cry when I remember the old friends I made throughout university. Or the carefree days of high school, when I lived at home, and the beach, my friends, and my bicycle were my life.

I cry when I remember my grandparents, my paternal in Denmark, and maternal in Puerto Rico. Visiting these homes. Feeling loved and cherished as though I was their miracle. Imagining what my late grandparents are doing and if they are watching me.

I cry when I think about my younger self. Little me. When my precious time was filled with reading for hours in the nooks of bookstores and libraries, playing with my cat and dog, frolicking in cherubic nudity in the garden, writing short stories in Comic Sans on Windows ’95, scorching villains in Spyro (the original trilogy on PlayStation…).

I wonder what I would say to her, if she felt like I did.

I know what I would do, however – I would care for her. I would be there for her. Listen to her. Ask her if there’s anything to do that would help, offer or search for ideas. Make her a comforting, nutritious – or any favourite – meal. Put some soothing music on (though child Monica does love a bit of Limp Bizkit and Offspring, so she might have that instead) or an audiobook (she would listen to storytelling cassettes tapes in bed back then). I’d offer her a warm bath with a dash of eucalyptus oil so she could breathe easier. Or, if all was offered, or if she didn’t want me around anymore, and just needed some alone time, that would be okay too. But I would still be there.

I’ve talked about caring for this childlike version of myself. Somehow this allows me to consider myself as a person worthy of self-love. I remember that I am this little girl inside, navigating the stormy seas of life and trying to make peace with the krakens, creatures in my mind, that I discover along the way.

I am often thankful for the rainy days, because it means you can cry freely and passersby will assume it’s the weather.

If my childlike self needed to fart, I would tell her to fart. If she were crying, I would allow her tears to flow. I would want to help her, if that meant consoling her, a hug, letting her vent, coping with her thoughts or emotions. Krakens cannot be fought alone.

Krakens and farts. That’s what this all boils down to.

I like irreverence. It makes light of our struggles and can draw humour from the worst of circumstances.

Though reading this may not have convinced you to pass wind quite as openly as I propose we help each other by sharing our emotions and finding ways to stay afloat – together.

Flatulence can have quite an oppressive stench, but it dissipates on it’s own once passed a relatively short time.

Krakens live in us…constant, invisible burdens that we cope with as conscious, ruminating beings…they are there to be dealt with. To be tamed. To be calmed. And in this task you must never be, and are never, alone.

– Monica

Anxiety for me started in college, some 5 years or so ago now. I remember not really having a term for it, but I knew how I felt; and I knew it was disrupting every day tasks and my relationships at the time. I put so much pressure on myself, I couldn’t stop thinking about everything all the time. I’d ask myself why I couldn’t just switch it off, but it only made things progress negatively for me.

When I made my decision to go to University, it was probably the best thing I had done for myself. It was a huge leap for me wellbeing wise, as it was going into the unknown- but at the same time, I think I needed to mix things up a little. I chose to do a degree in Counselling Therapy, because Psychology and helping others was a passion I had alongside my illustration work. My aim was to become an Art Therapist. Modules were based on self awareness, therapeutic practice as well as developing knowledge on psychological difficulties. By learning and growing as a person throughout my first months of University, left me taking a step back and looking at myself as a whole. I was still getting the bus an hour early to lectures because I couldn’t face people looking at me in such a crowded space. I hated talking in front of people and I didn’t go out with my friends at night because it was too daunting for me most of the time. I was having panic attacks, chest pains and always feeling extremely on edge. I just remember not being able to let go.

I confided in my friends at the time, and I spoke to my lecturer about how I was feeling. She suggested the Counselling Service at the University. The therapist catered to how I was feeling by giving me more information on mindfulness, and we incorporated that into our therapy sessions. I didn’t understand where my anxiety was coming from, and to learn how to cope with it and be present was something that, in all honesty, changed my life.

From knowing about Mindfulness and bringing that into everyday life, allowed me to gently allow myself to feel whatever I feel. Focus on the moment right now, that wherever you are right now is where you’re meant to be. Of course I still have my bad days, and I’ve only had one panic attack this year- which is a huge achievement compared to my college years. I know what it feels like when your mind is just on that continuous loop of over-thinking. It can swallow you whole and it’s so very hard to control it. However, mindfulness can gentle make you aware of yourself and your mind- breathing is key.

Also, knowing that life is not an achievement, but a never ending growing process helped me tonnes. I thought by a certain age I had to have done certain things, that I needed to know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life by the age of 16 in education. Your passions find you, whatever your thing is, believe in it- and your path will slowly but surely happen whether you know it or not.

I left University so unsure after being in education for so long. Although I did have an idea of how I could turn my experience into something sweet and inspiring. In the last year, I spoke about Teenage Mental Health for BBC Radio 4, collaborated with some amazing mental health organisations and own Keep Real- a sustainable clothing and goods brand that inspires wellness. I also work for The Body Shop (I’m super passionate about supporting ethical cruelty free companies).

I never would have thought I’d be where I am now without seeking help and admitting I had a problem. Be gentle with yourself and do one thing at a time.

Switch Off
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I’m going to start off by pointing out how I realise how ironic it is that you’ll be reading this on a screen. Possibly your phone. Heck, I’m even writing this on my phone. Let’s just put that fact to one side for now though.

I’ve found myself getting super stressed out lately by my phone. I’ve found myself in a way better headspace when I’ve turned my phone off and focussing on where I am and who I’m with. I’m gonna try to convince you to put your phone/tablet/laptop down (but only once you’re done reading this post, yeah?)

Here’s a familiar scenario: it’s late at night. You’re tired but figure you’ll just scroll through Instagram in bed before you settle down to sleep. Then Snapchat. Then Twitter. Then Instagram again. Then a few YouTube videos. Before you know it it’s 3am and you’re watching those reeeeeally weird videos that make you say “that’s enough internet for today”. You put your phone away ready for sleep but just lay awake.

The truth is, the light on your screen is kinda tricking your brain into thinking it’s daytime, and it needs to be wired for keeping awake, ready to do daytime stuff – no matter how tired you actually feel.

My challenge to you: put your phone down, turn it off (or put it on airplane mode if you use it for your alarm like I do) and don’t look at it for an hour before you go to bed. Instead, use that hour to maybe read a book, write in a journal, reflect on your day, or do some yoga. You’ll find that your brain and body start to wind down, cuz you’re telling them it’s time to switch off and rest.


Or how about this one. How many times have you looked at someone else’s social media and said to yourself “I wish I was as pretty as her” “I wish I was as cool as him” or “I wish I had as fun & cool a life as they have”?

The problem with that, is you’re comparing your whole life to a snapshot of someone else’s. If it was a movie, you’re comparing your behind the scenes, extended directors cut to their highlights reel. It ain’t the same thing, and the highlights are always gonna seem better & more exciting than all the deleted scenes.

My challenge to you: Stop comparing your life to other people’s & putting yourself down. Instead, write out a list of all the things that are great about your life or that you like about yourself. Ask other people what they like or admire about you too, and get that on the list too. It’s not big headed, it’s giving yourself credit.
If you want to go the extra mile, write a list of goals, hopes & dreams that you want to achieve and think about how you can make them happen. Instead of wishing you had a life like someone else’s, make plans and work hard to have the life YOU want.


Ok, one more challenge. I don’t particularly have a clever, well worded set up for this one. But that’s ok, by now you’re probably shouting “hurry up and finish, Si! I’m ready to put my phone down already”. Thanks.

My challenge to you: Live more in the moment. Take a second, right now, to notice and appreciate one thing you can see, one thing you can smell, one thing you can hear, one thing you can feel (and one thing you can taste if that applies..!). There’s a similar technique called ‘Grounding 1 2 3 4 5’ which is pretty cool (and helpful for dealing with panic attacks). It’s real easy to get lost in your tech, and not take in all the stuff that’s happening around you. Look out for things that make you happy, however big or small they might be. Challenge yourself to try something new, rather than settling for the safe option of flicking through every app on your phone.

Phones etc are cool, and useful, and can do so much good. And I think it’s unrealistic to say that everyone should stop using phones in this day and age. What I’m talking about here is balance. Have a healthy balance of using your phone and living your life/looking after yourself.

Try turning your phone off for a longer & longer time each day. Start with 10 minutes. Work up to an hour. Work up to a point where you only check your phone a few times a day, rather than constantly having your head down, facing a screen. Make it so that you’re the one controlling your phone, rather than your phone controlling you. It won’t necessarily be easy, but you might find yourself a little less stressed and a taking a little more care of yourself.