Plastic Free July is upon us – how to get started

Very excited about plastic free July. Just like with a lot of things sometimes we just need to take things one step at a time instead of putting so much pressure on ourself to committing to changing your lifestyle forever! That is why veganuary is such a success. Side note if you want to give veganism a go, for whatever reason, it could be animal welfare or maybe you found out that it can reduce your carbon footprint by 73% or maybe your interested because of all the health benefits, whatever it is don’t wait until January, all the resources are available all year around and if you’re a bit baffled on where to get started send me a message and I’ll help out as much as I can.

Click here for a blog post about World environment day and what you could do to make a positive change.

If you are venturing on zero waste then I recommend a you head over here to find out the possible pit fall we might have and how you can trouble shoot them. Finally I also did a blog post about the low impact challenge and all the links you need.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and remember that the key to zero waste is preparation and being kind to yourself.

 

My first vigil – 27 June 2018

Hi everyone. Yesterday for the first time I bore witness to animals that were going to the slaughter house. I found out about animal vigils last year but I was worried about my mental health and I didn’t feel ready. Through out the months I have seen vigils through instagram stories and recently I felt like I was mentally prepared to attend one myself.

I took footage which I will soon edit and post on youtube.

In the meantime if you interested in vigils there are some links below:

https://www.livekindly.co/save-movement-slaughterhouse-vigil/

https://littlegreenseedling.com/2017/12/20/animal-save-vigil-pig/

http://thesavemovement.org

Its that time of the months! Vegan Market time!!

Location: by Reading train station, in front of the biscuit tin
Time: 10-4
It should be a lovely sunny day!

Hello everyone!

I hope you have had a good week. I myself have had quite a busy week so I haven’t been able to prep for the market until today. Thankfully this is my third market and for the previous market I did quite a lot of prep such as printing illustrations. That time round I made a vlog about which I will link below incase you were curious. 

There will be seitan hot dogs, yummy cakes by my friend Sarah and I am pretty sure Silver Moon food which do amazing vegan cheeses will be there. For updated on who will be there make sure to follow @ethiccollective. 

There will also be a big screen with the world cup on.

I look forward to seeing you there 🙂

And if you can’t make it my etsy shop is open 24/7 🙂 

Mental wellbeing tools – MOVEMENT

When I was coming out of my depression, the head of tutors in my department took over from my original tutor who was no help to put it mildly. The counselling had worked and the problem that had got me into my depression had been dealt with however I had expected my mood to improve and for me to go back to being a functioning human being. This is not how it works my tutor explained to me, it would take a while for my brain to go back to its fully functioning self. I was frustrated because I understandably just wanted to feel like myself again. I really wanted to facilitate my recovery so I followed these five steps that my tutor taught me, not at all at once or sometimes none at all but I knew that I had these tools that could help me get to where I wanted to. So I thought I would share them will you. I was actually able to find the list in the NHS website so I will be adding it below:

  • Connect – connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships. Learn more in Connect for mental wellbeing.
  • Be active – you don’t have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life. Learn more in Get active for mental wellbeing.
  • Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike? Find out more in Learn for mental wellbeing.
  • Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it’s a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks. Learn more in Give for mental wellbeing.
  • Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. Learn more in Mindfulness for mental wellbeing.

There are a several more strategies that I have learnt since my university days which I will do another blog post about!

I have started my mental health comics with Be Active which I have translated to Movement. When you’re deep in depression being told to exercise, you might want to respond with some %^*)*>: (depending how you are feeling, getting out of bed will be enough of a goal). However I found it useful to know the tools that I could start implementing when I still felt depressed but I could see that I was recovering. Exercise is well researched in its positive effects on mental health and it doesn’t have to be going to the gym. I have illustrated different ways in which I have found incorporating movement beneficial for me.

MOVEMENT 5mb.jpg

  • I occasionally put on my current favourite song (Soy Yo – Bomba Estero) and dance around my living room in a very embarrassing manner so that all my limbs are moving about. I also have a playlist full of danceable songs.
  • Before my bicycle got stolen going for a ride was a way that didn’t feel like exercise but instead felt like flying.
  • Going for a walk specially along a river I find incorporates a nice amount of easy exercise as well as being mindful.
  • I have found yoga/pilates a great way to keep active without too much hassle (I am a little bit lazy and don’t like getting overly sweaty if you hadn’t noticed!)

Find the obstacles that maybe hinder you from doing more exercise and then work on finding activities that work for you. Maybe you like to get sweaty or maybe having people around motivates so joining a running group or finding an exercise partner would be good for you.
Let me know if you have any tips or maybe just sharing what works for you.

 

I will leave with a message to you:

May you be happy, may you be at peace and may you prosper.

…now replace the “you” with “I” : )

Masturbation!

Masturbation!

Male masturbation is quite regularly referred to in movies and just general pop culture, however female masturbation isn’t as much. Religion has made its homework to shame women into not doing something that is completely normal and healthy (1) by making them feel that they are sinful if they engage in this oh so terrible thing. 

It is about time that we start talking about it more openly just like we have done with sex! And like one of the women in the video says, it can be a great form of self love. 

girls-wank-too-protest2.jpg

Thank you to The Pink Protest for commissioning me to do this illustration!

They are holding an inclusive party today on taking down the stigma around female masturbation! Link below!

https://www.pinkprotest.org/girlswanktoo/

 

 

 

World Environment Day

So you have probably come here because of my post on instagram! It is great that you are looking at your actions and looking for ways in which you can reduce your ecological footprint.

This is a follow on with links to get you started on your green path:

  • EAT MORE PLANTS – “researches at the University of Oxford found that cutting meat and dairy products from our diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint by up to 73 percent.” The Independent 
  • SAY NO TO SINGLE USE – specially plastic! I made a little video on why the zero waste movement is important and another on how to get started.
  • CYCLING – Extract from my dissertation:
    Cycling is the answer to many things. According to the literature it is good for ones’ health, for the health of the community and it could have a significant impact on the health of our environment (Lovelace et al.,2011; Heinen, 2011; Pucher et al., 2010; Pucher & Buehler, 2008).

    Transport is responsible for 26% of global CO2emissions, with road transport accounting for 65% and it is amongst a small number of industrial sectors that are still growing (Chapman, 2007). Chapman (2007, p357) stresses the urgency in focusing in the present and creating short-term behavioural change and describes cycling as “real alternative” due to being “zero carbon”.

    Additionally, Tighter et al. (2011) state that in the UK 66% of trips are less than 5 miles which can be cycled in 30 minutes and 19% are less than a mile long which can take about 6 minutes to cycle, which is more reason for making cycling a viable transport option.

  • SHOP MORE CONSCIOUSLY – I wrote a whole blog post about why and how which you can find here.

Changing how we live our lives doesn’t normally change over night so focus on the things that you feel you can acchieve and use that good feeling from achieving those things to see what you can tackle next. Also it might seem difficult to always remember to carry bags and a water bottle with you but what I have found is that over time they become a habit like always taking my phone with me and its no longer work.

 

Hairy Diary Entry #4 – Hairless Birthday

Hairy Diary Entry #4

Friday 1 June

So it has been a while since I wrote in my hairy diary. Since my last entry of burning myself and then self tanning, I haven’t engaged in any other hair manipulation endeavours until today. My leg hair had grown to a considerable length but hadn’t quite reach it full capacity shall we say. At this length I have felt that I’m not too bothered by it  and forget that it’s there. This has made me realise to not be so hard on myself of previous times when I have tried to go out with a full moon hairy legs. It’s more about steps and slowly pushing my comfort zones further. I still for example don’t feel comfortable to go dancing and wave my arms in the air and consequently my armpit hair like I don’t care. And that’s ok, it doesn’t make me a person that loves their body any less, I simply still live in a society that doesn’t love my body for how it is and sometimes I don’t have the energy to be a salmon. Tomorrow is my birthday and I find birthdays and special occasions hard enough on their own ( a story for another day) so I decided to take the safety razor for spin! 

After having armpit hair and leg hair for quite a while I feel like my brain has been slowly reconditioned away from the glossy images of smooth ladies that are non stop advertised and are advertised in such a way that sends us the message: to have smooth legs = sexy and desirable and leg hair is such an awful thing that it can’t even be show so lets just show women shaving bits of body that are already hair free! ( I accidentally wrote awesome instead of awful to begin with! my brain really is learning to love leg hair!) Any way all these ramblings are to say that once I had removed the armpit hair, I felt and looked a bit off, not terrible or anything but my armpits just looked a little naked! I guess how it might look if I came home Adam my boyfriend had decided to shave his armpits. 

Nourishing Habits Journal

Journal Entry

Nourishing habits – I have replaced watching netflix with reading a fiction book and I have found this a healthy escapism that I feel recharges me. When my mental health is 100% gold I can watch telly during the day and not feel drained by it and also turn it off easily. However when I’m not quite 100% then it ties in with my negative inner beliefs which makes it difficult for me to do activities that I deem not productive and if I do I feel lazy and self indulgent and that leads to shame and oh the spiral continues. Hence stabilising healthier habits! Which I feel that lately I have been quite good at 🙂

Following on making healthy habits, I have realised that making lunch is a bit of a stressful thing to do for me and consequently I often when stress will make a not so great lunch, eat out or I feel like all Im doing in my day is thinking about making food, making food, eating it and then cleaning up. oh and shopping for lunch! Adam also has a better lunch when we have made pack lunches so we have made the conscious decision to make enough dinner so that there is left overs for next days lunch. 

It is now the next day & I find it a relief that I don’t have to think/worry about food. 

I was gifted One Year Wiser – An Illustrated Guide To Mindfulness by Mike Medaglia and I like to flick through it and I landed on a page that talked about simplifying:

Do not fear that if you simplify, you are not making the most of your life.

Not achieving enough.

That you are lazy or squandering your potential.

That if you are not broken and tired and wound up in mental knots at the end of your day, you are not doing it right.

There is no achievement that surpasses a single moment of mindfulness.

There is no success like being present with a clear mind and heart.

Really needed to read this.

Hope you have a great rest of the week!

Mental health awareness week

There used to be a time when we didn’t know what was inside our bodies or how they worked. Now SCIENCE has made it so that we can live to a ripe old age because we know how our bodies work and we know that if we do general maintenance for them and seek out professional help when we need then we are not letting wounds get infected and we know to wash our hands after going to the loo. More and more we are learning about how our mind works, what general maintenance we need to do and that prevention, just like with our bodies is better than letting things linger and hope that they go away by themselves. We know first aid for when we cut ourself or we get sunburn but when we experience rejection or loneliness our emotional first aid kit is a little lacking, at least I know mine was and it has taken time to develop it and I’m still developing it. The concept of emotional first aid I first came across towards the end of my second year of uni when I suffering with depression, I watched a TED talk by a person called Guy Winch and I loved his talk, I then read his book and also found it very valuable. 

The biggest step I took when I was depressed was reaching out, it took me 9 months of being depressed to do it but I did it, from then onwards I was on the road to recovery. At times I wish that I had reached out earlier but in my state of mind and having not reached for professional help before it was something that was too alien and difficult. I am now getting better at recognising when I see signs that I am not feeling so well emotionally and through therapy and lots of reading my emotional first aid kit is more like a tool box that I rifle through until I find the right tool for the job, sometimes it takes more than one or two tools and sometimes it takes going to the mechanic. 

Mental health is something that I am very passionate about so not only this week I will be writing blog post but you can expect for me to write about it or draw about it in my instagram. If you want to reach out to ask me any questions then please do so on my instagram and I will do my best. Also I want to encourage each other to speak up about mental health to your friends and colleagues because we never know who is going through a rough patch and when we are feeling low our minds trick us into thinking that it is just us who aren’t coping or failing at life which further alienate us and then reaffirm those negative believes that pop up when we are feeling low, so by hearing other people’s experiences we realise that we are not alone in what we experience and there will be some people who understand what we are going through and that we don’t need to go through it alone. 

Reach out over the phone:

  • Samaritans – for everyone – Call 116 123
    Email jo@samaritans.org
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day

  • Papyrus – for people under 35 – Call 0800 068 41 41 – Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 5pm Text 07786 209697
  • Childline – for children and young people under 19 – Call 0800 1111

  • The Silver Line – for older people – Call 0800 4 70 80 90

  • SANEline – 0300 304 7000
    4.30pm – 10.30pm daily

Reach out online:

https://turn2me.org/onlinecounselling/details?gclid=Cj0KCQjw5-TXBRCHARIsANLixNxiVN04PNuc7vVyASC6KEbSQV6w9Pte3FgXcXMVCHGAPSPdQXIGww0aAi0UEALw_wcB

Reach out in person:

(from the NHS website)

Talk to someone you trust

Let family or friends know what’s going on for you. They may be able to offer support and help keep you safe.

There’s no right or wrong way to talk about suicidal feelings – starting the conversation is what’s important.

If you find it difficult to talk to someone you know, you could:

call your GP – ask for an emergency appointment

call 111 out of hours – they will help you find the support and help you need