The Black Dog

Hi there. SO this week I am talking about anxiety and depression. OH THE JOY you say. I affects so many people in the world today and it really will touch you or someone you love in your lifetime.

Ive had depression and anxiety since I was about 16. There were a few factors, ones I’ve told my enduring therapist, but I made it worse by not acknowledging it and pushing it down for many years. Then it flared up big time in London a few years ago. It was bad. It was a summer heatwave and there was nothing I wanted to do than huddle on my bed under the duvet, drink wine, in between going to work. I was and am a high functioning derepressionist. This means I can get up, go to work, go and do things, but then also crash for a day or two and be with the black dog for that time period. I changed my situation, thankfully, and am now much happier in Edinburgh. But it still comes up, and I took Citalopram for a year or so to make sure I healed well. Unfortunately it also made me not feel many emotions, which can be great for some, but I wanted to laugh until my stomach was sore, and cry when Jack dies at the end of Titanic (spoiler alert)!!! Ive been off them now for a few months, and working through my issues with my therapist. I am also looking forward to the future, which is a very hard thing to do when you are in the depths. I also meditate, and keep a gratitude journal. I also keep a life planner, which entails my life goals for the next 1, 3, and 5 years. I have many things to look forward to, and thank        jeebus for that.

If you need help, reach out to anyone you feel comfortable talking to about issues. You can also visit a great website that has helped me and my friends numerous times, The Blurt Foundation – they do amazing work and are really a light at the end of the tunnel.  (no sponsorship here, just endless gratitude to them!)

The Blurt Foundation

T xx

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I took 3 weeks off for Mental Health

Hi guys!

So recently, I had to take three weeks off for my mental health. It was out of the blue, and something I had never done before. My doctor wanted to push it to four, but at the time, I knew that if did that, I would find it very hard to go back.

Before I took that time off, I had been burning myself out. I had been working hard on my projects outside of work, working a full time job, and not having much fun at all. I had not been self caring, and had started to think suicidal thoughts. Once I realised that something was wrong, I booked a doctors appointment. I am very fortunate to have a good doctor and she listened to what I was saying and asked further questions. She also asked me what I wanted to do, if I wanted to increase medication or take a break. I didn’t want to increase my medication as I had gotten myself to the right dosage for me, so I talked about perhaps taking a break and getting back to basics. She wanted to go for four weeks but I settled on three, as I knew it would be difficult getting back to work and felt for me that 3 weeks would be ample time for me to sort myself out.  So naturally, I asked what I do over the next three weeks, as I have never been in this situation before.

She replied with the recommendation of having a duvet day for a day or a couple of days, and watch stupid shows and just relax. Then after that, doing one thing a day, not a million. She also gave me a great meditation app to use. So I left my doctors, and immediately called my husband and work. Both were very supportive. After that, I walked home slowly, thinking about what I needed to do over the next few weeks to change what I had been previously been doing. So once I got home, I did what the doctor said. I got under the duvet and caught up with all of my Netflix shows. I spent a Saturday in bed for the first time in ages. My husband thought it was amazing as I am usually up and whizzing about the house on a weekend.

I went to the library and stocked up on books, both fiction and non fiction. I love reading, and hadn’t done it for ages as I have been so busy with other things. I also got out books on confidence, anxiety, and learning to say no. I made my way through these books over the next 3 weeks, reading up on how to be better at prioritising myself and what I needed to do to help myself. I also read books for fun, and had an hour or so just reading and not multitasking.

I used to multitask like crazy. I’d be watching something, and on my phone at the same time. Or typing a blog out while watching something on Netflix. I realised that that wasn’t helpful for my mind, and in fact overloading it with information that it didn’t need. So I eased it back. I would only watch something and only that. I would read a book without listening to music. I would only spend time on one app instead of 4 at a time.

I also used the meditation app, and did yoga every morning. This was a great way to make sure I kept up with some form of exercise and mindfulness too, and it taught me some great techniques. I also started to view it as a treat for myself, instead of something that I had to do in my list of things to do for the day.

I also looked at where I was at in my life. I knew for awhile I wasn’t happy with where I was, and knew I needed to change some things. I knew I wanted to work part time, so I could do my blog and work on my conferences, and also make my way into Social Media, which has been a passion of mine for many years. I didn’t know whether I wanted to make it freelance or work for a company, however I wanted a lifestyle that is easy for me to get a dog and finish doing up our house.

After the first week, I started to feel better. I felt calm and collected, and I could feel myself coming back. I knew that I was confident inside, but sometimes in stressful situations, my brain shuts down and that confidence goes away. However at the pace that I was now going at, I could take time with things and think about things I did or said. Over the next couple of weeks I ventured out to see friends, saw the fireworks, and did things that I enjoyed doing.

I also went to see a therapist that I had seen previously, and we had a few sessions on what had happened and how I was going to move through it. She helped me see some things that were influencing my behaviour and also unpacked a few issues also. It was very helpful to me to help me see why I had been doing what I had been doing.

At the end of the three weeks, I can tell you that I wasn’t ready. However, I knew that I needed to go back to see how much I had progressed and if the thoughts and feelings I had been experiencing over the last few months were valid.

I felt nervous when i went back to work, and knew that it wasn’t for me when I went back. I knew i wanted to follow my dream and live my life differently, both in work and out. So I handed in my notice, I now have a part time job, and I am working hard on my blog, my conferences, and I did my first social media coverage for a company. The road isn’t easy, and there have been a few times I have had to stop myself from doing too much, but on the whole, those three weeks were so helpful and I had a lot of great support.

Heres to the next chapter!

T xx

Read up on my other mental health blogs!

I was on a break!

Feeling Journal

Tiredtiredtired – A Woman’s Story.

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I was on a break!

Hi guys!

So this week’s blog is about what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks. If you are an avid reader of the blog, you will have seen that posts have been few and far between over the last month. It has been an interesting time in the Taryn household and I think I’ve been through the wringer and back, but I am in a great place now, and ready to look to the future!

I had to take three weeks off for my mental health. At one point, I was thinking suicidal thoughts. I called my doctor who provided me with a plan – do only one thing a day. I’ll go into more detail about the where why how etc in another blog coming up, but for those three weeks, I recharged, learnt a lot about myself, and worked out a plan for my future.

Then after two weeks of being at work, I flew to New Zealand for a catchup with family and friends. This was well overdue as I hadn’t been back for about three and a half years, and I think it was just what I needed to get some perspective in life. It was an amazing trip, which I will write about in a blog (told you I had been working on more content!)

So after being back at work, I quit my job. I knew that I needed to do it, and go and work on other projects, to further my side hustles. I also wanted to enjoy blogging again, working on my Edinburgh Bloggers Conference events, and get back to basics. I had recently decided to go part time, as I would like to have a dog and also get my house done (which I am now project managing) and get my life on track in the right way.

I am nearing my last week of work, and it’s really scary to think that I am embarking on a new chapter in my life where finally, things seem to be moving the way I want them to.  Not to say there won’t be bumps along the way, but the more that I learn about myself and work on my mental health I think that I will be better equipped to handle things that come my way.

So look forward to more of my Valley Girl-lite ramblings and annoying posts on the internet because Taryn is back in town!

(I’m writing this in my jimmy jams, not out at a cool club or anything)

T xx

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My Tattoo Journey (Sorry Mum)

Hi team!

This week I am going to talk to you about my tattoos. I have 3 of them, and boy, are they all different!

Getting a tattoo is so personal. My first one was very quick, cheap, and of its time.

It’s a Playboy Bunny.

God help Mum when she saw that!!

It was actually well done, the bunny looked quite accurate, I have since seen many many terrible ones. And as I have it placed on my right hip and don’t wear low waisted jeans anymore, this means that no one will see it unless I’ve had a bit of wine and we are talking about it. It usually goes “Guess what tramp stamp I have.” I have no regrets on this one, I was 16, and I went through the sitting like a champ.

The next one I got as I wanted to be like Captain Jack Sparrow and have a swallow tattooed. It took me ages to find placement, but eventually I got it on my right wrist underneath. I got it done at The Family Business Tattoo in London, which is a well respected tattoo parlour, and the guy that did it had a massive swallow on his wrist. He also took my design and enhanced it, adding shading, and it turned out way better that I had expected. I definitely recommend them!

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My most recent one is an Octopus by tattoo artist Kerry Gentle here in Edinburgh. I wanted a big tattoo, from my bikini line to the top of my knee, which is killer. I had looked at placement of a tattoo like this, and some people had them under their armpit to their elbow, on their leg, etc. I felt the placement of it on my thigh was perfect as it was a great canvas PLUS it was hidden and only for me, as I wanted something powerful.

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Getting tattooed is an interesting experience. I would say it is a hot needle running over your skin. And if you see the detail of my octopus, you will see how much it would have hurt! I got tattooed beside another girl getting her millionth tattoo, and it really helped, as it kept my mind off things but also it was a great camaraderie also.

I also come from New Zealand which has a huge Maori community, a lot of whom have Maori themed tattoos. I definitely think I would like to get tattooed in New Zealand as it’s a part of my blood and culture, and it means I will always have a part of New Zealand with me. And after that, who knows?

I’d love to hear stories and pictures of your tattoos, tag me on social media!!

T xx

Read my other blogs!

Fashion in Film: My Best Friend’s Wedding

Short Hair, Don’t Care

GLOW Fashion Edit.

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The Fuck Off Fund.

Hi! Welcome to another blog!

Its been really fun exploring some things us ladies deal with all the time, and now here is one giving hopefully helpful advice!

I came across this idea and it really spoke to me.

The Fuck Off Fund.

Basically you save money for a rainy day, but with a much more integrated personal touch.

Shit hits the fan? You have a little pot of money sitting there.

Now I am not going to say “You need to save x amounts of months pay etc” – I am just going to introduce the idea to you and why you should have it.

Every person needs a Fuck Off Fund. If you need to get out of a situation (e.g. relationship ends badly and quickly, you need to leave the country to see dying family, you need to leave your job, you need to support a friend or family member, or what individual purpose you need it for. The Fuck off Fund is entirely suited to you, but it’s not about saving for a great holiday, or that sale at the mall *Valley Girl voice* – it is a tool that you will have to throw money at a situation you maybe have found yourself in or something super unexpected hits you.

It’s not to run away from your problems because you have had a bad day. Thats what your Big Girl panties are for. Unless they are out on the line.

You need to be financially stable and know that whatever happens, it’s sitting there. Heck get a high interest bank account for it and watch it grow.

A nice idea I thought of is if that Fuck off Fund doesn’t get used, donate some to charity, and thank the heavens you never had to use it! Or start someone else’s Fuck off Fund.

So have a think about what the Fuck off Fund means to you, and let me know if you do start one off and what you would use it for!!

T xx

PS Want more related blogs? Check these out!

Sorting yo shit out

Getting yo mind right

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Hobbies: Making a Happy Jar

So this last Christmas, I decided it was a great idea to handmake a lot of my presents for people.

Just wow guys. What a lot of hard work (especially as I love being creative but rubbish at it!)

One of the ideas I came across is having a Happy Jar. I made two for two friends and they are a great idea to boost your self esteem when you are low.

All you need is coloured card cut into cards, a fancy swishy pen, some glitter, and a cute container (I used an old fashioned sweet jar!).

I proceeded to write down quotes that have helped me, and left some blank, folded them up and with the glitter, popped them in the container! I used all different colours but really you can do them in your favourite colours, it really is so personal. Other things you can write are:

  • Memories
  • Favourite songs
  • A self-care prompt
  • Leave them blank for writing your own quotes or ideas as you go along
  • A funny story or joke

You can do so much with this and I am now hooked on making them. They look so pretty (see picture below)

Have you made one? Show me!

Want to see my other hobbies that I am terrible at? Follow this link!

Hobbies: Origami!

T xx

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Im 31 and I have a 90s Obsession. (Music)

Hi team!

So this week I am going to talk to you about music of the 90’s (and 2000’s)

What about it huh. What about it. I was a pop girl at this point and which I appreciated grunge at the time, pop was what I was living for.

It was tacky, amazing, catchy, everything had a dance sequence, and everyone wore those weird face microphones so they could dance and sing (lip sync).

I was all about Britney, AJ was my favourite Backstreet Boy, and Return of the Mack was my party jam. I was living my best life.

Here is a breakdown of the music I liked at the time, and that my boyfriends DESPISED.

Vengaboys

Backstreet Boys

The Spice Girls

Britney

Christina

Aaliyah

Missy Elliot

No Doubt

My first CD(s) was Shaggy’s Boombastic, and Mariah Carey. I know those albums inside and out and are still fans of them today.

I adored Gwen Stefani and still do, she was cool and rocked out, and I loved Britney as she really could dance, while Christina was a vocal goddess.

I amassed a collection (who said impressive? Not me) that encompasses ALL of the 90s and 2000s songs that I loved and that I hadn’t owned. I feel like most of my music collection is from the 90s, and every time I listen to a song from that era it really makes me feel good.

So who are your favourite 90s/00s artists? Let me know!

T xx

Read my other 90’s blogs:

Im 31 and I have a 90’s Obsession. (Clothing)

I’m 31 and I have a 90s obsession. (Toys)

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Feeling Journal

Hi team!

So today I am talking about my secret weapon – my Feeling Journal.

It might go under other names but for me this is what I named mine!

Like a lot of people I know, I have a million notebooks lying around the house, waiting for a purpose. I am addicted to buying pretty notebooks. One of them was given to me by my best friend she bought when she was away on holiday. This book has provided me with a venue to talk about my day in short snappy bullet points.

The point of a Feeling Journal is to note down three positive things about your day. This is particularly helpful when I am feeling down or feeling like my day hasn’t been productive or interesting. For example I could write:

  • Had a nice coffee and chat with my sister in law
  • Met a dog
  • Got done one thing off my to do list.

This enables me to look back over the week or month and see that actually it was the small things that made up a day, and not may the one bad thing that happened that I thought took over the day.

This book is great to reflect on your day, and think positively for the day tomorrow. I have nearly filled up this one, and am going to start fill out my new diary with 3 things so I never forget. And it doesn’t matter if you do forget. You can encompass the days you missed into one post!

This is a great technique for getting your thoughts onto paper and really changing the way you are thinking. After all, life is about those little moments.

Have you tried this? Comment me and let me know how you get on!

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T xx

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Fashion and Confidence

Being a Lady today.

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Hobbies: Origami!

I have many hobbies. I like to pride myself on being creative, but rubbish at it. I recently got back into origami as I really enjoy the process of it and making cute little shapes. I was pleased to realise that I could still fold a paper crane with the best of them!

Origami began in the 6th century and it’s modern form started in 1954. It is a form of playing with paper and there are communities around the world devoted to origami, such as the British Origami Society. While a lot of the designs are traditional, there are a lot of great people coming up and making super different shapes and designs. Perhaps not for the beginner but once you get skilled enough you can go fold a Darth Vader (no joke). I would say that this is another form of therapy for anxiety as you have to really concentrate on folding correctly and if you get it wrong, start again, you will get it! I have folded a swan, a crane, and a heart, and have my eye set on a butterfly next. It’s a great game for children as well, as it expands the art of paper folding beyond paper planes.

Here are some examples both modern and traditional.

 

 

If you do get folding, I recommend going on Youtube and finding tutorials as I find that the easiest way to see how you are getting on with it. Let me know how you get on, i want to see!

T xx

 

Here is another blog about my other hobby!

Hobbies: Making a Happy Jar

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My Address Book!

Hi team!

So this is where we delve into the nerdier part of me, and if you are the same, please holler at me!

I have a well used address book that I have had since I was 16. I keep everyone’s address in it, and there are many crossed out ones where people have moved, changed names, or I have simply fallen out of touch with.

I write letters and postcards to people, and send birthday cards, anniversary cards, and cards just because. I find this dying art fun and fascinating, as a lot of people are very social media minded (me too obvs) but I love sitting down and writing a letter to someone to genuinely enquire on how life is, whats changed, and whats to come. I love receiving letters in the post (who doesn’t) and I love getting proper stationary to write on.

Now a lot of my friends don’t write letters, but there are a few that do, even if they come once a year on my birthday. I love these momentos, and keep them as they remind me of particular moments in my life.

I had many pen pals in school, due to me being more confident on paper that in person (still true tbh) and I have kept many of the letters that my friends and I scribbled in primary, high school, and beyond.

I am a true stationary girl, and love going into a stationary store and buying pens, paper, postcards, post it notes, you name it. But I have never given up my funny old address book that is way too young for me now, and has nearly filled up to the brim with addresses that I’ll never send letters to. However I really can’t give it up as it is a vital piece of my history and tells me more than many more momentos I have.

In a world of networking and swapping business cards, there is still a place for thank you cards and letters, or a card sent to congratulate someone for a new job. I definitely think if you sent someone a letter today, you will get a great feeling when they message you via social media to tell you thank you or better yet, write you back! Make room in your life for an address book, as it is a vital part of connecting yourself to someone in an ever-changing world.

Show me your address book and make a stationary nerd happy!

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T xx

PS Read some of my other blogs!

Goals for Autumn

Tiredtiredtired – A Woman’s Story.

Job Hunting today.

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