Self Defence

*The information which I’m sharing with you is to only be used in case of emergency. If you feel like you are in danger.*

Personally as a woman I find that knowing a bit of self defence is crucial to feeling safe within my surroundings. Even though respect for women seems to be on the increase, fortunately sex abuse/rape and mugging is still a problem. Unfortunately women seem to be the main targets for these acts, seemingly weaker than men and perhaps more vulnerable. Not that men never get targeted, so listen up too boys!

Of course you can take classes learning self defence, but as someone who struggles in a new surrounding with strangers I’ve picked up self defence tips from my parents, boyfriend and general day-to-day life. So I thought it would be helpful to give my readers a few pointers if you unfortunately ever find yourself in a threatening situation.

  1. The neck. Possibly the weakest part of the body, a blow to this area would be extremely uncomfortable and would disrupt normal breathing. A pressure point is located in between the collar bones, if possible apply pressure to that area by any means.
  2. The feet. Only could really be successful if the criminal is wearing flimsy footwear. Stomp down in the middle of the foot (above the bridge) hard, if you’re strong enough you might just break it, if not – it will slow the person down considerably. Now run!
  3. Use your keys.  I think I was taught this by a police woman that used to give talks in my school. If you feel like you have enough time and if you have your keys on you, use them as a knuckleduster, make a fist and slot your keys and keyrings in-between your fingers and make a blow for the side of the head.

I hope these three pointers will make you feel safer during your day-to-day activity and at night. Let me know if you have any tips for self defence too!


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My top 10 current obsessions!

I say current, but to be honest most of these obsessions are what I’ve been addicted to for a very long time. Some are more random than others, but who doesn’t love a bit of randomness in a blog post ey?

  1. Disney

My obsession with Disney has done nothing but grow with me. The Disney store is the most amazing shop on Earth and I wish I could purchase all of its goods! (I recently just bought a Little Mermaid mug). I love how you can watch one of their films and be entertained at whatever age… or so I think, I do have a child-mind after all. I also don’t have one favourite Disney film but I will list the ones I like: Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Oliver and Company, Lady and the Tramp, The Lion King, Aristocats, 101 Dalmatians (animation) and Mulan. Also just out of interest, did anybody else know that The Lion King is a take on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”? I only found that out today. Also Oliver and Company is a take on Dickens’ “Oliver Twist”.

#relationshipgoals

    2. Soft Toys

A rediscovered obsession. When I was little I had all my cuddly toys lined up along my bed against my wall, and before I went to sleep I used to play with them (I was so cute). But now I find that having something to cuddle in bed helps to reduce my anxiety, and I can’t argue with that!  Everyone had a favourite toy from their youth, what was yours? Mine is a TY black dog called “Blackie”, I was clearly so original with names when I was 2 years old.

3. Marvel 

In particular The Avengers. I especially love Captain America and Iron Man, not a fan of The Hulk I’ve got to say. Also if you know me, you know that I have a massive obsession with Clark Gregg/Phil Coulson which has come from watching Agent’s of Shield, follow his Instagram it’s funny! You’ll love it if you love marvel… Also check out Chloe Bennet. I’m also currently watching the new series Agent Carter (which I wish they aired in the UK), it’s very “girl power”, there should be more female roles in Marvel films/series I believe.

    4. Doctor Who

Typical British obsession. Must admit I think it is going a little downhill and becoming way too complicated. My favourite series is series 2 because it was just so laid back, David Tennent is also my favourite Doctor… and one of my all time favourite actors. I used to be way more enticed by it when I was around 12, my bedroom was coated with Doctor Who merch. Including: a themed Tardis clock, remote control Dalek, Doctor, Rose and K9 figurines.

    5. Murder Mysteries

This has been my grandparents’ doing. When I was younger I stayed at their house every Saturday and we watched murder myseries, their favourites being: Poirot (don’t know if I’ve spelt that right), Columbo and Midsummer Murders. My favourites are currently Death in Paradise (my favourite), Broadchurch series 1, DCI Banks and I also like Midsummer Murders. I love playing detective and trying to figure out who did it!

    6. Adaptation and Evolution (Ecology)

Going onto why I do my degree, I love watching ecology documentaries. It’s amazing how beings adapt to their surroundings, in amazing, unique ways. I recommend watching David Attenborough’s “Galapagos” documentary series, it’s very interesting. Encase you don’t know the Galapagos Islands are situated next to South America and they are different to one-an-other, and there are species that have adapted in different ways on the different islands.

Galapagos

    7. Cheese on Toast

All time food fave. It’s simply the best. Dairy will always be my main weight contributor. That is all.

    8. Animals…but not Insects

Leading on from my Ecology interest. I’ve been obsessed with animals since I was very small, I’m never going to be a “cat person” or a “dog person” because I love them both to bits! Wanna take me on a day out? Take me to the Zoo! When I was 11 my parents gave me a Christmas present to feed the penguins at the Zoo, this has probably been my most memorable and favourite present. My life goal is to visit Antarctica and see the masses of penguins there, but everyone else wants to do the same thing too. Tourism is unfortunately having a massive effect on Antarctica’s beautiful landscape.

    9. Warm Milk 

Another thing from when I was younger. Warm milk makes everything better, it is actually the cure for the common cold! I’ve also never understood people who dislike milk. I’ve drank so much of it I have insanely dense bones, which makes me heavier and also less prone to braking bones!

    10. Spy Films/Series

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I want to be a super spy! However this is very unrealistic as I’m quite unfit, crap at telling lies and life as a spy probably isn’t the same as it is in the movies. My favourites? Jonny English, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Skyfall, Spy Kids, Mission Impossible and Austin Powers! I also can’t wait to see the Kingsman, I’m going to see it next week 🙂

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We don’t have to grin and bare it.

We all have those times in our lives that we fail to acknowledge. Hidden from social media like a dirty little secret. Repressed in that chest within our heads covered in locks and chains with a “Keep Out” sign scrawled across the lid in red paint… probably next to the filing cabinet entitled “General Knowledge” that everyone’s lost they key for; apart from those who are bloody brilliant at pub quizzes.

Yes my darlings I am talking about those gloomy, heartbreaking, want-to-hide-under-the-duvet-cover-in-bed-and-never-come-out sort of days.

I’m currently going through one of those periods, unlike many people associated with being able to express thoughts and ideas over the internet, I’ve decided to say something about it. Because you know what? It really pisses me off, tell someone your problems if you want to get it off your chest! You may think that they don’t give a rat’s arse about what you’re going through, but I can assure you that they will! Or if you don’t want to tell anybody that is also ok. It’s perfectly normal to not be tickety-boo 24/7!

We all have perks and losses in our lives, intertwined with those odd little anomalies of increased motivation and duvet days. It wouldn’t be life without them, but somehow that dreaded human-created monster named “society” has brainwashed the population (for women as an example) into thinking that it’s “normal” to have a thigh gap, hip length thick hair, a toned body, big boobs that can somehow fit into Topshop clothes that do not seem to be designed to accommodate boobs, a big bum that can fit into size 4 jeans, all the while you do your job that earns you £100000000000 p/m because of that first honours degree you got from a red-brick university. STOP. It’s ridiculous isn’t it?

Don’t dwell on that you have no boobs or you have fine hair, it’s genetics. We all feel like we could be improved in one way or another – I know I do, I want 20/20 vision and thick hair – and it’s ok to feel down about it. Just don’t let something that unimportant like that take over your life. Because when something worse happens, you’ll be wondering why on earth you paid such attention to such a small aspect of your life.

I hope you all are having a nice week, because I sure as hell am not.

Confidence through Pictures

We all have those days when we look in the mirror and don’t like what we see. It’s perfectly normal, don’t listen to people with all these “how to get confident” blogs and YouTube channels, saying they love themselves and never doubt themselves. Because they’re lying… Either that or they aren’t human.

I’ve been thinking a lot on this topic for a while, mainly because I think gaining weight, even though I’ve been eating quite healthy recently. Also because I don’t know whether to keep my fringe or not, do I look better with it? Without it? Constant doubt.

You really want to know to make yourself feel better? Delete all the pictures where you think you don’t look your best, remove them from your Facebook timeline, or throw them away. My dad has this awful, dopey picture of me in Junior School that he has framed, and it reminds me of being bullied at school (mainly for how I looked, children are mean). If he took it down then I’d feel much better about myself.

A few months ago I was interviewed by The Guardian about voting and stuff, and the photographer Felicity McCabe and her assistant came to my house to take a picture of me. Of course I was hesitant, I had no idea what it was going to turn out like. Being a political article I had to look sort of serious, and all the people who she photographed had an item that they loved/ represented them. Being the crazy cat lady I am I chose my cat Lizzy. Even though Lizzy isn’t the best with strangers she managed to stay on my lap and have her picture taken.

After I was blinded my constant flashing of the camera it was a wrap. I had no idea what photo she was going to use, this was making me feel nervous. What if it was bad? The whole country was going to see it! (well all the people who read The Guardian Magazine anyway).

As it turned out I loved the picture! And I’m on the website which really make me feel proud of myself, out of all the people she took pictures of, she chose me!

So if you really want to feel good about yourself, all you need is a photo of yourself that makes you feel happy in your own skin.

It’s ok to complain!

Hey guys, I’m so happy right now and I shall tell you why.

I recently took a trip to one of my banks that I’m with…lets call it Damtanbear. The reason I went was because my student overdraft decreased from £1500 to £50, obviously I was confused because nobody had contacted me about this change (it’s in the Ts and Cs that they don’t have to…sneaky sods). So I emailed them, a woman replied to me saying that nothing should have changed, and I was to go into branch with some photo ID and proof of being a student to sort it out.

So I did. Now if you have been reading my blog for a bit you’ll know that I have social anxiety, I hate talking to strangers (especially about bank stuff that I have no clue about) but I managed to pluck up the courage and speak to someone in branch. Only to get knocked back. This woman in branch did absolutely nothing to help me, she was rude and patronising; she looked at me like anything I said was stupid.

It’s horrible to have your confidence hurt like that, especially by a stranger who’s job is to help you. Not to be rude. So when I got home – after having a small panic attack on the bus ride from town – I wrote another email to Damtanbear about this new experience, and how upset I was. I also made sure to give them the name of the woman and what branch it was. I didn’t want this to happen to anyone else.

This happened two days ago, and literally half an hour ago I got a call from Damtanbear customer services. After all the security questions he apologised frequently, actually explained to me without the bank jargon why my overdraft had changed But the best part was he gave me £60 in compensation for my bad experience! This had cleared my overdraft, yay! Also they have contacted my branch to sort out the matter, and hopefully that woman will get a good telling off so it doesn’t happen again.

I urge everyone, if you have had a bad experience at a company tell them! You, the customer are what keeps companies running after all. Even if someone is having a bad day, it gives them no right to take it out on a customer and ruin their day.

I want to know if anyone else has been glad they’ve complained or have has a similar experience to me. Let me know in the comments!

Anxiety and Depression (helpstopme)

This is a topic that I think needs to be brought up more. Most people keep beating themselves up and feeling low, and often don’t realise they’re suffering from depression. Helpstopme kindly gave me access to a 1 month course of there online depression treatment, this post will be telling you a bit about my background and how this treatment has helped me. This post is a little bit deeper and serious than my others, but hey ho.

Background Information.

Anxiety and/or depression is something I would never wish on anyone. Especially because it’s often difficult to treat. I’m not sure when I first started feeling depressed, but I know I had my first panic attack at 16, now being 19 I sort of know how my panic attacks work, therefore I’m aware of how to put myself at ease.

I’m not sure if it can be hereditary, but I know that a lot of people suffer from depression and anxiety in my family, therefore I was aware of some symptoms. I visited my GP when I was 16 and they were completely unhelpful, thinking that it was my contraceptive pill giving me anxiety and making me feel depressed, personally I think they judged me because of my age. If you have (social) anxiety you will understand how knocked back I was, I’ve never been back to my doctor about mental health. Not only because of diagnosis, but because I don’t want to be on pills. I want to alter my cognition/thought processes ( plus If your GP is anything like mine, getting referred somewhere else is like trying to get blood out of a rock). Hence why I’m happy with HelpStopMe, as they treat the cognition.

About HelpStopMe

This is their mission:

To help people with conditions that can be treated with Psychology, wherever they are. We will achieve this by providing them instant access to the very best treatment , online, at prices they can afford.

I do find that this company is extremely helpful who can’t afford therapy, or even for people who don’t feel very comfortable going out to see someone, e.g someone who has social anxiety.

HelpStopMe also aim to give back, to people around the world who need help, and don’t have any medication to help them with illnesses they may suffer from. They believe is it very important to give back.

The Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy I believe is better than taking pills, because it changes the way you think, and targets the cause, rather than masking your symptoms with with medication.

At the beginning you get a little test to do that tells you how depressed you are, or if you even are depressed. I thought this was useful because if you don’t know, it clears your head a bit.

It wasn’t until the first module of this therapy until I realised that I actually was depressed, it was helpful for someone to go over the symptoms. YES I was oversleeping, YES I was spending way too much time indoors and avoiding seeing my friends, YES, I was lacking in any motivation, YES I was thinking that I wasn’t good at anything (including blogging), YES I was feeling irritable, jealous and angry etc.

After the symptoms were described, the course goes on to describe where your depression may come from; like a situation that happened when you were little that made you feel vulnerable or a situation that’s happened in your life more recently.

I’ve gotten used to monitoring my moods and looking into what makes me feel happy or sad. For example, I feel happier in the evening than in the morning because I’m a “night owl”, where as if you’re an “early bird” you might feel happier in the morning. Knowing more about what makes me happy means I can do more of that and reduce how sad I am.

Conclusion

Overall I’d say this online therapy is great treatment for people who can’t necessarily afford to see an therapist face to face. You also know that you’re in safe hands on the website as all the people on the videos you watch are professionals in cognitive therapy. From this treatment I’ve learnt more about how my brain works, and how to start thinking in order to overcome habits, such as staying in bed too long or watching too much tv. I would really recommend it.

-BethanNicole

*images shown do not belong to me