September.

There is a lot of good things happening this month for me. The summer is now over and in a few days my entire family will be getting back on with their usual routines. This summer holiday has been really fun and I always enjoy spending time with my family. I’ll miss all of us hanging out together. It’s always good when the school holidays come around.

I know I’m officially an adult because tomorrow I’m getting a new mattress and (shamelessly) I’m really excited about it! I bought a new bed a couple of months ago and I’ve been waiting patiently and the time has finally come to put a new mattress on it. The only things I get excited about now is new furniture and new clothes. That’s normal right?

Next week me and Tiegan have plans to go to London to listen to Josh Savage, a singer/songwriter from Winchester, who I found through Stef and Hannah from The Michalaks. We both really like his music so we decided we would go down to London to have a listen. I’m thinking of doing a whole blog post on this day out so keep an eye out for that. You can find his YouTube channel here, I like his most recent cover of Dakota by The Stereophonics. (Who I just bought tickets for their tour in December.) I really recommend you give him a listen.

After that I’m starting my new job. I’m kind of nervous and I have an induction week in Bedford with the academy that runs all the training, since it is an apprenticeship. I usually get anxiety about these sorts of things but so far I’m only excited and really looking forward to getting stuck in.

After that, I start the job and I’ll be entering the adult world officially. Me and Fran from franciscarockey.blogspot.co.uk are hopefully going to meet up at some point during that week, which I am pretty excited about since she lives near by.

And then finally on the 30th me and Tiegan are going to see James Bay. It feels like it has been ages since I bought the tickets and I’ve had them sitting around waiting to be taken. Fran is also going to be there, which is why we are meeting up before hand and then hopefully we will meet up again for the gig!

What are your plans for the month?

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Being Happy With Depression.

We all know that there are plenty of misconceptions surrounding mental illness. As time goes on, more and more people are talking about their mental health and how we can correct those misconceptions we all too often hear.

Disclosing my mental health was never at the forefront of my plans when it came to my blog posts. Not because I don’t want to talk about it. I do and I think it’s important to.

But this is not a pity party. I’m perfectly comfortable and happy with my mental health. It’s not perfect. But that’s OK. Today, I wanted to talk about how, with the help of time and patience, I have become happier in myself and how my depression is now easier to live with.

I’m not going to get too personal, this isn’t about me. This is about other people who may be struggling and want to know that happiness isn’t impossible to achieve.

We all know now that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance. We know it’s not a trait, or a choice. It is simply just a chemical reaction. It’s the way my DNA is structured. If you want to read more about clinical depression click here.

So how can I be depressed and happy? For a long time I would only feel down. Happiness came few and far between and any happiness I did feel felt fake. Now, I feel both happy and down and whilst not at the same time, I am living happy, with depression.

“Am I really happy?” Is a question I often ask myself. On a good day this is easy. There is a lot of good in my life and I choose to be happy about it.

On a not so good day, this becomes a little trickier. In the midst of feeling depressed, it’s easy to forget about all of your other emotions. It takes time and patience to understand your depression.

There have been a lot of steps over the last two years which have led me to a point of acceptance. My entire outlook on life has changed. About a year ago my dad introduced me to meditation. I find that there is a fine line between my happiness and my depression. Things can change very quickly and for no reason at all. With meditation I can find a sense of calm and begin to accept how I’m feeling. Rather than trying to fight it all the time.

It took a long time for me to be able to laugh at something honestly. To smile at something fully. To be able to accept all of my emotions and feel them as they are. Depression can often make you feel guilty if you feel happy in any way. This is something that takes a lot of time and convincing to undo. But it is possible.

Making and taking time for yourself will feel uncomfortable at first. Sitting and telling yourself that you have a lot to offer and that you deserve happiness just as much as the next person will seem ridiculous. And as awful as this is; the depression probably isn’t going to go away. At least for me, I’m still facing it every single day. But this doesn’t mean you have to hate it. It helps make us who we are. I’m only who I am right now because of all the things my depression has taught me. But it doesn’t define me.

Accepting your emotions as they come and go is the easiest way to balance them. Accepting that you feel happy and allowing yourself to feel it is important. Do not be in denial about your happiness. It is there and it should be felt. Accepting your depression, your down days and all the awful things that come with it are important too. If you’re in denial about your sadness, you will always be ignoring it. Pushing it back and it will always fight its way forward and it gets uglier every time it appears. Once you accept that those feelings are there and that they need to be felt, it becomes so much easier to understand them. Then it becomes easier to overcome them. You begin to know what to expect and how to deal with it.

It can be difficult to accept. I’m not trying to make it sound easy. Sadness is not a nice way to feel. It’s painful. I’ve spent more of my time crying in the last two years that I have my entire life. Finding happiness with depression and having them run alongside each other is hard and sometimes terrifying.

A lot of people now assume that my depression is gone because I’m a lot better at dealing with how I feel. I can sit and enjoy spending time with those I love and not let my depression interfere. But it is still there. I still have bad days, weeks and sometimes months. I do have a brighter outlook on life now and I do handle my depression much better than I once did. But I can’t change my DNA. I can’t change the way my brain and body works. This is just how it is.

I’ll always be changing and growing. I’ll always be finding new ways to live a little easier. The point is, everyone deserve happiness and I just want to tell you that you can be happy too.

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Thank you for reading if you have made it this far. If you have any questions then please leave them down below. Of course, this entire blog post is relative to me. Take what you want from it and make it relative to you.

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”wpid-img_20150809_193713a

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Fitness Update.

So if you’ve been following me for the last few months you’ll have seen my post on Working Out, if you want to go back and read that you’ll find it here, when I had been doing it for a couple of weeks. Well now it’s an entire month later and I thought I would update you all.

I just wanted to have an update to be able to look back on for the future. Also to be a source of motivation to keep going, in my post Wing Girl I spoke a little about how to hold yourself accountable when starting new goals. Have a read if you would like to know why I think I haven’t lost motivation for working out yet.

We did have a little dip in progress and motivation over the Easter holidays a few weeks ago but as soon as they were over we got straight back into it. Our exercise routine has changed a little since we started because we are progressing so we are starting to include more difficult and varied exercises.

We recently purchased some kettlebells to workout with which I never thought I would use and we watched some YouTube videos to give us an idea of how to use them. We also use Xhits YouTube channel to do some extra ab workouts after some cardio. Then we will try to fit in a walk or a hike, whatever you want to call it.

It seems like a lot but overall it takes up to an hour when we don’t go for an extra long walk, including both a warm up and a cool down. Which is about how much you’re recommended to do daily. On Lisa’s days off we will do this in the morning because that means we have the rest of the day to get stuff done but on days when she is working (5 days a week) we will do this in the afternoon. Still no running though!

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This weekend I will be in the Isle of Wight for a cycling thing for my dad and brother, since they’re both taking part in a 100Km ride. We’re going to attempt to make a video like the ORICA GreenEDGE videos  and there will no doubt be a blog post with some photographs from the trip, so keep an eye out for those.

In the comments below let me know what keeps you motivated and what do you use to keep yourself accountable when you are trying to achieve a new goal?

Thank you for reading as always!

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Wing Girl.

In one of the earlier issues of Darling Magazine, there is an article about enlisting in a Wing Girl when trying to accomplish new goals or trying to break bad habits.

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If you don’t know what Darling Magazine is then you can read about it here.

I am very lucky to have a huge, very close family which is mostly made up of girls.

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To show you but a few. Because I have grown up, surrounded by all these incredible girls I understand how important it is to be supportive of others.

In a previous post, I spoke about how much free time I have since leaving my job a few months ago and with all this free time, I haven’t just been sitting around being a slob not doing anything. One thing which I have been doing quite a lot is being health conscious and getting fitter. You can read about that here. But I am not doing it alone. I’ve been working out consistently (at least an hour every day 5/6 days a week) for over a month now with my brother’s girlfriend, Lisa. It started out as a bit of fun and I honestly didn’t think I would keep it up for as long as I have. I completely put it down to us doing it together. We work out even when we don’t feel up for it simply because we are counting on each other. Even on the days where neither of us want to we still spur each other on and encourage it. We have got this far, we can’t give up now.

That’s just one example of how being encouraging and supportive can be beneficial. When enlisting in your wing girl, here are some things to remember:

What kind of support do you need? Do you need to simply just tell someone about your goals to keep up with them or do you need someone to achieve your goals with you?

Will this person keep you on track? Or are you both likely to give up for the same reasons?

Share your goals with each other. Have short term and long term goals which you both feel you can achieve.

“Enlisting in a wing girl can empower us to live our best lives and become our better selves. She can act as our guide, our greatest confidant, strictest teacher or fearless cheerleader.”

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“CHANGE BEGINS WITH JUST ONE SMALL STEP.”

Leave your thoughts and opinions on the benefits of having someone who will support and encourage your goals and even achieve them with you, below.

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Working Out.

At the start of this year I had decided that I would up my health. On the inside and out. I made the decision to start working out more often, not that I was working out at all. But I decided to blog about it so that it makes it harder for me to give up because it’s written down on the internet!

I’ve been working out consistently now for about 6 weeks. To start off with I was doing the Charlotte Crosby 3 minute belly blitz DVD and then I started running. Unfortunately, on the 3rd or 4th outing of running I twisted my ankle, I didn’t think anything of it and continued to run on it for another day. Bad move Amber. Bad move. Since then, I haven’t been able to do any exercise which involved using my ankle so it was goodbye to the DVD and running for a little while. (about 2/3 weeks)

I didn’t want to just give up and I didn’t want to stop working out because it was making me feel so good, healthy and happy! But I also didn’t want to damage my ankle further and not be able to go running or do the DVD at all! So instead we decided to focus on our stomachs, using YouTube workout routines which didn’t have any exercises that involved my ankle being used heavily in any way.

Now after about 2 weeks of purely stomach focusing I’m actually beginning to notice a difference in my stomach! It’s surprisingly rewarding and I never thought I’d be someone who loves to workout!

I can’t wait to get back into running and do some cardio again but it’s not going to be easy and I’m a little be scared it will be really difficult.

I’ve always had an athletic body type so I don’t work out to lose weight but rather to be a healthier me. Here are some before and after shots.wpid-instasize_2015_3-_-111114.jpg.jpegLeft: August 2014         Right: March 2015

I didn’t actually take a before shot when I started working out but this picture is from last summer and I was pretty much the same!

Thanks for reading!

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