Why Everyone Should Have Therapy.

Life, Mental Health

Hi guys!

This week I am talking about my experience going to a therapist! I have talked to people over the years about therapy, and seen different experiences and results. The main issues are cost and finding a therapist that really gets you. This can be very difficult if you are under real stress and really need someone experienced to help you.

I found my therapist by doing a lot of research. A good method is to pick a few and go to them for a session. Some places also do taster sessions so you can get to know someone and decide they are right for you.

I liked mine as she made therapy very relaxed and interesting. She brought up studies that would apply to me – almost giving me homework and the initiative to research for myself. I had a cup of tea if I wanted, and a nice quiet relaxed room.

It can be very nerve-wracking opening up for the first time. My therapist was really good in letting me talk when I needed to talk, and asking me probing questions to get me past my stock answers to the nitty gritty. It was funny every time I showed up and she asked how I was I said ‘fine’ which I obviously wasn’t but it’s something we are programmed in to say. However after a few well placed questions we were easily down to the real issues.

I saw my therapist after each burnout, and each time we got more and more into why I burnt out and got deeper into issues and preventing it from happening again. I only maybe had three or four sessions, but these gave me the tools I needed to work on myself and make some major life choices (including quitting retail and following my dreams).

I recommend therapy to everyone. It really does help. Myself and my husband are passionate about mental health, especially in men, and when I heard that one of my friends when to therapy and he found it really interesting, I was so happy to hear. It can be hard for anyone to talk to a stranger about deeply personal issues, but it really helps release a lot and gets you out of your head.

You may think it’s going to be a cliche, or that you dont need it, but I definitely think it is for everyone, with varying degrees. You might only need a session here or there to keep yourself right, or you may need a few intensive sessions to get yourself back on track or to tackle some deeper issues so you can work through them. Either way, I hope you do get to experience it once in your life and see how it works for you. It has helped so many people as qualified therapists tackle their issues and make them see a better way of life!

Have you ever been to a therapist?

T xx

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Busy For The Sake Of Being Busy

Mental Health

Hi team!

So this week I am talking about something that is definitely prevalent in our everyday lives – busyness.

I do like to be busy. Its sometimes hard for me to switch off, with the endorphins of a to do list beckoning. However I discovered not long ago that really, my to do list was helping me achieve nothing. I was working on stuff week to week, but actually not achieving anything. I had set major goals in my life revamp (documented in my older blogs) but instead of what I thought was working towards it steadily each week, some weeks that job would fall off the radar as my to do list was overwhelming me. Then it would just sit in the red, as the days and weeks would go past, taunting me with something I hadn’t achieved.

I do like a to do list. I get a little bit of an endorphin rush when I complete a task (especially as I use an app that sends unicorns over the screen when I have completed a task. I also have a very complex one set up for one of my clients. However my therapist told me that actually, my days were starting to get regimented, and I was actually working hard, but not smart. I was putting immense pressure on myself to perform tasks that didn’t NEED to be done that day, and when they went into the red, my anxiety would start coming in and I would over compensate to get stuff done. Meanwhile the most important jobs would get shoved off the radar and these were the ones that would actually make more of an impact on my life, not that the kitchen needed it’s weekly deep clean.

I have noticed that everyone is busy. Everyone has to go to work, pack a lunch, keep fit, look after their 2.5 children, see their parents, go to family events, keep their house clean, the list goes on. However not much time is left for mindfulness or downtime, and what downtime there is might involve alcohol (nothing wrong with that obviously). The pressure to have it all is very hard, and something that has been debated and ripped apart over the years, but for a lot of people, if they aren’t doing something or achieved something that day, they consider it a failure.

When I signed off work with burnout, I was told to priortise 3 things a day. Nothing else. I was so burnt out that even getting three things done was hard – and this could be having a shower, making your lunch, etc.

When I revamped my life after I got better, I got more organised (I do love to be organised) and started a master to do list that sets things up for even a year in advance. However with my anxiety, I swung it to the extreme, and took it far too seriously. If I were smarter earlier on, I would have set up tasks like meditation, exercise, seeing friends, etc.

Once I got back out the other side, I did just that. I (sadly) now have programmed my friends into it so I see them at least once a month (hopefully more). I also have programmed to do Yoga and Meditation every day as this is a really great mindful part of the day I look forward to. I also have programmed exercise, daily tasks, and redid my deadlines so tasks are more realistic to what I am doing that day.

I know there are people out there that thrive from busyness. However it is really important to make the most important task of the day you and your self care. Have something on your list that makes you happy that day, such as a run, or a magazine read, or watching a crappy tv show (I do love Project Runway). Cut your to do list ruthlessly. Do you need to go and see your aunts cousins daughter? No. Do you need to clean the kitchen today? Can it wait until tomorrow? Yes. While being busy is thought of as being productive, it is very easily to get caught up in it and then find out that actually, nothing is getting done and you are stressed and exhausted.

Tell me three things you can cut off your to do list – STAT.

T xx

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Self Worth and Self Confidence.

Life, Mental Health

Hi team!

So this week I am talking about self confidence and self worth, both of which I struggle with on a daily basis.

Self confidence is something that as I am getting older, is getting harder and harder to achieve. It is never too late to start work on this, and I am, doing yoga, mediation, kicking up my exercise game, and spending time pampering myself. I am also trying to say nice things about myself and appreciate myself and my physical health.

Some days it can be very hard. If I am not feeling confident I will put on glasses and headphones and steel myself against the world, not looking people in the eye, not sticking up for myself, and beating myself up when I make mistakes. Because I get quite bad anxiety, this plays into it as well, until I don’t feel that great about myself and try to ignore my body tell me to look after myself. I also have started the fun game of treating food as a reward, and while I have gained a bit of weight, I am not finding it that much of an issue. However I have noticed my fitness has gotten worse and this in turn makes my confidence take a dip. It’s funny how much of your confidence relies on certain weird things huh?

My self worth is tied up in my job. Whatever job I had, my self worth has always gone up or down depending on what day I had at work. Weird/stupid right?

This is a trait that I am desperately trying to knock out, now that I am a freelance Social Media Consultant, as I am now my own boss, however the thoughts and opinions of my work still manage to make me feel amazing or worthless. I do tend to go to ‘the world is ending’ in these kinds of situations, and I am learning to dial it back when a minor inconvenient thing happens. Working in retail and with the public did contribute to this heavily, with me taking things very personally when a customer yelled at me, because my self worth was tied up in my job, and I often left work stressed, thinking about the situation for the next week and getting high levels of anxiety. If I got told I was doing a good job, I was on a high. If I got told I wasn’t great at my job (which happened towards the end of my retail career) then I would sink into a depression.

I want to question you. Where is your self worth based. Is it in your family? Your work? Yourself? And when do you feel the most confident?

T xx

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That’s right, I have Anger Issues.

Life, Mental Health

Hi guys!

So this is a blog about a trait of myself that I don’t like, and am trying to control a lot, nearly every day.

For those of you that know me, this may be obvious or not obvious, but I do get angry, and quite a lot.

These days I tend to work through it as I have a routine I now go through to calm myself down, but before it was really hard, I would either internalise it, or go and punch a pillow or something (such a badass).

Anger and losing my temper is something that I deal with a lot, and it’s something that I constantly work on. When something doesn’t  go my way I couldn’t deal with it like an adult, instead either bursting into tears of frustration or throwing a wobbly as they say. I hadn’t developed the skills to deal with this well, and this was something that as I grew older, I knew that I needed to deal with in the right way.

Having high levels of anxiety and depression as you can imagine didn’t help this, and would help turn this into a blind fury, where I would lash out with words that I later regretted. I would pretty much say I am sure I have said something terrible to almost everyone in my life, and am thankful that a lot of them didn’t ditch me. I tend to spout opinions that I don’t mean, or get worked up on issues that I find very hard to deal with, and it can be hard to calm down after this. This is something I try to control, but often if I am anxious, or tired, its almost a place of comfort, to make myself feel better by saying things I don’t mean, and if I were in my right mind, I wouldn’t say. Sometimes I have looked back at the things I have said over the years, and gotten very anxious as it’s something that I think about when I see that person next.

What goes hand in hand with this is my work on saying ‘sorry’. Often if I made a mistake, I wouldn’t take accountability, or say – yes that was me, I am sorry I did that. I would instead over compensate to that person, to try make myself feel better or mask my shame on having done something wrong. Taking accountability is a very important step in getting better and I am trying my hardest now to stand up and say when I have done something wrong and to apologise – and to most importantly accept that an apology doesn’t always mean forgiveness. If someone doesn’t forgive me then I have to make sure my anxiety doesn’t go overboard, and I don’t stress about it for weeks.

I am very thankful that my anger hasn’t gone into the physical side – although I don’t think it ever will, as my true self would never even think of such a thing, but I can see how people get so worked up that the drive to punch something or someone comes about. This is not condoning it at all, but you can see how fights happen in high schools, or in bars.

Do you struggle with anger? How do you work on it?

T xx

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Your Self Care List

Hobbies, Life, Mental Health

Hi guys!

This week I am talking about how to compose your own Self Care list. This is for everyone, to make sure your mental health is doing well and it enables you to rest your mind in a busy world. Over the last year I have been making mine – taking off and adding on items –  and no doubt you will too, as your life changes. I put my self care first, because I never used to, and I could see the dramatic changes it made my health, my work ethic, and my relationships. Now I can be my full self because I know I have filled my health back up (nice video game reference huh huh huh).

Here is my list, and it will be similar or very different. The point of me sharing mine is to get started with yours. It can be in your mind, or on a piece of paper, or on your phone. The main thing is to try fit in as many things as you can with the time you have, even if you are a full time parent or work 40 hours a week.

  1. I play games on my phone. There are 4 games i play every day, and throughout the day, and its a nice break for my brain, being at a computer all day. They are silly games that help me relax and unwind.
  2. Reading. I love to read, and have recently taken it back up. If I’m stressed, it can take me awhile to settle down into the book – but I very much liken it to meditation, as you get absorbed in the story and it stops your mind racing.
  3. Meditation. I do this as often as I can, and am now at the point when I know exactly when I need it, such as when I’ve had a busy day, or am stressed about something happening. There are many great apps out there to help!
  4. Yoga. I do Yoga as my main form of exercise to help my back and gain strength. More often I do it to be focused on the practise of it and stop worrying about my to do list. It really pushes me to strengthen my muscles and also gets my breathing to a good standard, which as people with anxiety know, this is very hard to get under control.
  5. Pamper Night. I do a weekly pamper night where I get the face mask on, moisturise, paint nails, shower, bath, wash hair, all things to make me feel I am floating on air by the end! Taking the time to take care of yourself is very important and if you do it right before bed it means you are more relaxed and sleep better, plus you know that you look great for the next morning!

This is my surefire ways of making sure I look after myself before I look after anyone else, as I can’t help with a half filled cup. Choose your own self care list, and don’t be afraid to get right to the heart of what you like, whether its a nerdy hobby, a lavish beauty salon treatment, or reading trashy books. You know what you need to function and get on with your own day and its challenges, so it’s important it makes you happy.

What’s on your list? I’d love to know!

T xx

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Burnout: Story of my life.

Life, Mental Health

Hi guys!

So I have been off the last few weeks (unplanned by the way) as something reared it’s ugly head. That word is BURNOUT.

A few weeks ago I definitely started to feel burned out. We had an event coming up, I was working a little more at my day job, I wasn’t making time to do fun stuff, and I was also at the mercy of my to do list. I started to get tired and irritable, and lost all joy for life. Luckily we had a holiday booked, which was a cabin in the woods in Yorkshire. We had this holiday a few years ago when we were both burned out from the life we were living in London, and taking that time out to get back to nature. We love to tramp through forest and hike through the countryside, and we got that in spades. This time was the same, except even more magical. I will document and show pictures in a blog coming up, but I want to concentrate on what I did to work through my burnout. Now it was lucky that I had a hot tub also at the cabin (that always helps) and we had a few nights under the stars watching bats nip around.

While I was at the cabin I made room for relaxation and fun. Sadly, this involved me watching Homes under the Hammer every morning (my utmost favourite show) and planning what we were doing that day. We would go on a hike, then come back for lunch, spend some time in the sun, and then get into the hot tub. I tried to stay off social media as much as possibly other than work I needed to do, and I brought books to read which I love to do. My doctor talked about me doing 1 thing a day, and scaling my life back to a simple routine. This I had done last year, and while it was very difficult for me, it really helped. The only thing I maybe had to do was food shopping, or putting washing on, or finishing a blog. This was very easy to do when I was away as all I had to do was plan our walk for the day and that was it.

Burnout affects many people on many levels. Its something that you consistently have to monitor, and more people are prone to it than others. Multitasking is very harmful and only pushes you to burnout faster, and I would be doing this all the time – watching something on Netflix while checking on social media etc. It is important to be in the moment (and while I am writing this blog I am listening to a podcast, old habits die hard), and not be focused on the next thing or the next thing.

Since I came back from holiday I have made another appointment with my therapist, just to get it sorted before it gets any worse, but I also found I was much happier. Happy to go back to work, generally genial with everyone, and also much more relaxed with setting boundaries and reading more. I am hoping this means I have more of a grip on it, but like depression and anxiety, it is something I will have monitor consistently.

Have you ever had a burnout?

T xx

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Being an INFJ

Life, Mental Health

Hi team,

So this week I am talking about being an INFJ personality type.

INFJ’s make up less than 1% of the worlds population, and well known INFJ’s are people such as Nelson Mandela, Alanis Morissette, and Oprah.

People who are INFJ’s look to help the world. They want to run for charity, but most importantly we want to help people to not become statistics.

INFJ’s firmly believe in the phrase “All you need is Love”, and use this strategy to win over people. Don’t get them wrong, they can be very strong in their opinions and are decisive and strong-willed. However they will not use this for their own gain. but want to make life fair for everyone.

INFJ’s love people, but can also withdraw to recharge. So when you are talking to an INFJ you may feel you are talking to an extrovert, however don’t be surprised when they shut off. It’s for their own health. Talking of which, burnout is a big factor for INFJ’s. They give too much of themselves to other people, and can also take criticism very hard and personally. With friends, they love quality. They prefer an hour of deep conversation to a small talk ten minute coffee.

The combination of being creative, empathetic, decisive and inspiring is something that the INJF uses to forward their beliefs. If an INFJ tells you they are going to climb Mt Everest, you can believe that they have a plan and the will to see it through, especially if it is for a cause they believe in.

However there are some weaknesses to this personality, as there are with any other one, such as being quite sensitive to conflict and criticism as mentioned before. They are private and will retreat. However if you show a genuine interest in them they will respond well. They need to have something to believe in and fight for – and through this fighting they can burn out very easily if they aren’t careful.

INFJ’s want to find their lobster. They want to find ‘The One’ who they connect with and they look to build lasting relationships with their chosen one.  They can be picky, and can see when people aren’t being their real selves, which can help in the initial stages of a relationship.

INFJ’s crave real friends. They don’t want superficial, they want the 3am talks at 10:30 in the morning. They detest small talk and really just want to talk openly and honestly with you. They can be hard to make friends with in the workplace, but if you share their passions and interests, then they will be a great friend to you. You do need to work at them a little bit, being a little private it takes them a while to open up.

 INFJ’s hate gaining power, and try to avoid people that want to gain power. You won’t see them on Instagram with their shiny highlighted face and new car.
When it comes to their career, INFJ’s do tend to avoid corporate paths, as it doesn’t fit their life journey. and this goes hand in hand with not wanting to acquire power. INFJ’s also have a hard time deciding what they want to do, being pulled in many different directions. They suit roles as life coaches, doctors, and counsellors because these job choices help people directly. They also want to be creative in their chosen career.
They also thrive setting up their own business, as they can plan their own workload and career goals. Often INFJ’s also go into writing, music, photography and art.
I love being an INFJ, and I love even more that I know what I am and why. It’s saved a lot of stress and overreaching the last few years, and also lets me know when and where to push myself.
Are you a INFJ? Let me know in the comments!
T xx
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How I stopped playing a Victim and took control of my life!

Life, Mental Health

Hi team!

So in my blog last week I talked about the comfort of depression. While I was in my depression there was some characteristics I didn’t like about myself  that I am constantly working on every day. I have another symptom that might have happened to you, and I certainly know a lot of people that have this. The important thing is moving on and growing from it.

So I want to talk about being a victim. I’m sure you know people like this. Oh this happened to me. This person did this to me.

The road to managing your depression and anxiety is a long one. You will have many amazing moments along the way and truly get to know yourself, and then you have moments that set you back.

I recently became aware of a stage a long time ago that I had turned into a “victim”. I shared when I was sick, I made excuses for things, I said “it happened to me”. I turned into a version of myself that I thought I would never be, and refusing to take ownership and work through a situation.

Part of this is my hatred of being told off especially in front of people, or people thinking I am bad at my job or homelife. I get really anxious and get a bit shaky. Then I refuse to do something about it.

I’ve recently learned something – that people that challenge your self esteem or your self worth are either full blown douche bags – OR – they see your potential and are forcing you to do better than you are. I got challenged a lot and it made me go inward instead of thinking and using my skills to get through the situation and deal with it properly. It also meant people around me started to shoulder the weight of me refusing to deal with issues, which is not their fault.

I tried a different way of approaching things and not working to a formula. I treated challenges as levelling up myself, and worked to support the people in my life and be more proactive. I recently heard a quote – “Lukewarm is no good”, and it really does apply to life!

So here are some things that are helping me to not be a victim.

  1. Take ownership. If you do something good, yell about it. If you do something bad, own up and offer a solution.
  2. Don’t make excuses. “I was late because of this,” “I’m sick,” etc etc. They switch off people. If you are sick, stay at home. If you are late, think about re-adjusting your travel time. Show up and work hard in all facets of your life. Even if you need to clean the oven (ugh hate that job).
  3. Look at routines and ask how they can change. Try new ways of doing things and you might find something that works really well.
  4. React quickly. The old tested one is if someone comes in (a friend) and is feeling a bit low, shove them a cup of tea and a biscuit and make them take a minute. Then help to sort our their problem. At work, if something isn’t going to plan, try plan B.

I am consistently finding out things about myself that surprise me but we all do, on the journey to recovery. If you start thinking hey, I don’t like when I do this, start thinking about ways to change it and yourself for the better. And remember, it’s a work in progress, not an overnight thing. You just have to work on it!

T xx

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The Comfort of Depression

Life, Mental Health

Hi team!

This week I am talking about the comfort of depression.

I have been out of the woods for depression for a little while now. I had made some major life changes and learned to look after myself well. The next time something happens, I hope I am at least better prepared than I used to be at recognising the signs and looking after myself.

I turned to music a lot when I was depressed, and had a lot of songs that I would listen to to try and work through my emotions. The unfortunate thing is that those songs are still on my playlist, and when they come on I get a familiar rush of a low feeling. Now I am able to recognise that this isn’t a real feeling. Depression to me now feels like I am not well. Back then it felt like I felt better, as I had shoved things to the back of my mind and didn’t realise that I wasn’t at my best.

Having depression means you can’t get out of bed, you can’t eat or eat too much, you develop fixation on things, and so many more factors. You go right into your mind and don’t worry about other people. This isn’t necessarily bad, but the loss of the awareness of the world around you is quite damaging. You lose entire days to it, and then start to be aware of the fact you don’t want to leave the house, even to just get milk. You feel safe in your own space, where you don’t have to deal with other people.

Even seeing friends is a real struggle, even though they understand and want you to be happy and healthy, because you don’t want to be treated differently. You turn down invitations to things, then scold yourself for not going to something.

I used to use fashion as a shield against the world. This was my comfort level. I would wear sunglasses to go out for a walk, no matter the weather, headphones all the time, and loud crazy clothes to focus the attention from myself (weird aye). I am now in the process of changing my style to be my true self (still a little crazy, lets be real) but where I am comfortable and it suits the age and mind state I am today. I will miss crazy clothing Taryn, but you can’t say I missed a trend in my 20s!

I now carefully look at my days and construct things so I have breaks all the time, I meditate, I exercise, and I can make time to lie on my bed and zone out with a tv series or movie. I no longer put pressure on myself to do a million things, and I am mindful most days of what I do and how I feel.

I don’t know if I will miss the comfort of depression. I know when it comes on and can usually adjust myself accordingly, however it takes constant work and patience to make sure that it doesn’t come. It takes little steps to get out into the world after being in the comfort of depression, from leaving the house, to going and meeting a friend, to attending a large social gathering.

The important thing is to keep chipping away at this. Leaving your bed to get a glass of water. Going to have a shower. Doing a household chore. Popping out and getting something nice for lunch. All are mountains to the heavily depressed, but the good news is it all doesn’t have to be done in a day. You can work and work and work at it, because you have the rest of your life to look forward to. Unfortunately for a lot of people, depression is a lifelong thing to balance and you have to make the right choices for you to make sure that you are okay with yourself and your health.

I have seen many friends fall into depression. Some are out, some are still in, and some are working their way towards it. I am grateful I can now see the signs and monitor friends from afar to make sure that they know they have a support base. It’s a journey that many people go on in their lifetime, some for only a month, to a year, to a lifetime. Some for different factors brought on. The important thing is to keep mindful of yourself and learn to say no to things that harm your mental health.

How are you in your mental health? Are you having similar thoughts? Comment me in the comments!

T xx

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How to have a Great Mental Health Day

Life, Mental Health

Hi guys!

I thought this week I would share on how I try to have a great Mental Health day so that I feel great at the end of the day and not crazy tired or burned out, and to not have regretful feelings about not having done certain things. I tend to put pressure on myself to get many things achieved in a day and forget to have fun, breathe, and rest.

First of all, I try and have a great sleep. Often it takes me awhile to wind down, so I allow half hour, an hour if I can to start winding down, and not look at my phone or iPad, and reading a book, colouring, or meditating.

When I wake up in the morning I try not to hit snooze as often that makes me feel more tired. I also try to think of 3 things I am grateful for before I get up. This really helps set the mood for the day.

I have a little morning routine that ensures no stress in the morning and I get time to chill out before I head out for the day.

At work, it is often quite busy so I make sure that I am mindful and in the moment with customers and staff, and make sure that I am not taking on too much. Lunchtime I am tempted to work on my blog or other things, but I read a book and enjoy the moment and rest.

After work, I sometimes walk home to debrief from the day, especially if it has been a busy and stressful day. That means I can leave work at work and feel great when I walk through the door of my house.

I write 3 great things about my day in a book that I keep on my desk and explore if things haven’t gone well and why. Sometimes I will write about triggers and why they come up, and then write myself advice for the next time.

Nearing bedtime I will do some yoga and meditate from an app that my doctor gave me (although any one is great) and then take time to relax without technology by reading, which is one of my favourite pastimes. This helps with insomnia as a few pages in I am often asleep!

This is by no means what I do every day, and often I do miss steps, as everyone does. The other thing is, not everything here will work for you. The important thing is that you make sure you shake up your day to make time for you. These steps took me a long time to implement into my life as I did not put my mental health first, but I know if I do at least one of these things over a day, I will feel better.

So have a look at your day. Are your mornings rushed? Could you afford to go to bed a little earlier (or at least try) and get up earlier? Do you make sure you have breakfast and get yourself ready for the day without feeling rushed?

Do you remain in the moment over the day, making sure you are thinking about the tasks at hand and when things get busy, to make sure anxiety doesn’t creep in by remaining in the moment?

What exercise do you do? You can do whatever feels right to you, but making sure you are moving for at least 20 minutes a day can really help with your mental health. Getting out for a brisk walk on your lunch can really help blow the cobwebs away and take you out of your environment.

Lastly, what do you do to wind down at night? It can be anything, but preferably non technological, so your mind can rest. I like to read, or colour in, or talk about my day.

There can be a lot to do to sort your mental health routine, but it is so worth it. When you start feeling unwell, you know there are practical things you can do to start the road to feeling better. And you don’t have to do it all in one day. As long as you try and do at least a few a day, you are on your way.

What are your never fail ways to make sure you feel great all day? Let me know in the comments!

T xx

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Changing Who You Are For The Better!

Bright Tools – The Brightness Plan

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