Monday, 26 October 2015

Things to do on Your Half Term Break

As I begin writing this, it's the first day of half term and I am avoiding all coursework and syllabus reading by dipping carrot sticks into houmous and watching one of my favourite films - Ratatouille.

Not everyone I know is still in education (Sigh, I still am and will be until I'm about 24) but I wanted to create a list of productive things you can do in your holiday breaks, or if you're not in education, perhaps on your weekend off work?

  1. It's Autumn, make the most of the absolutely stunning views. The colours of trees. The piles of leaves you walk through in your new winter boots. The crunchy sound of the leaves. The hot drinks. Ahh. I love it. Go for a long walk and just take in the crisp atmosphere, oh and take photos for that Instagram aesthetic!
  2. Bake - It's nearly Halloween, why don't you find some cute Halloween themed baking recipes? Here's a few: Pumpkin Halloween Cake Pops and Witch Hat Cookies
  3. Carve a pumpkin! I don't care how old you are, do it.
  4. Netflix!!! So typical, I know, but sometimes a break from school/college/uni/work means a Netflix binge is necessary. Maybe there's a TV show you've been meaning to binge watch? The Walking Dead? American Horror Story? Pretty Little Liars?
  5. Sleep. Over sleep. Don't sleep. Completely mess up your sleeping pattern because that's all students are good at, right... That and drinking caffeine at 1am to finish that goddamn essay. 
  6. Read a book. Avoid your syllabus reading for a while (Like I'm doing) and read a book you're actually going to thoroughly enjoy. I've just finished reading You by Caroline Kepnes - a thriller about obsession, it's definitely creepy. 
  7. Take a break. Education can be draining and exhausting. Take a well deserved break by sleeping in and watching all your favourite films and eating all the yummy snacks.
  8. Do as many Buzzfeed quizzes as you can, pretend they tell the truth, pretend that knowing who your Disney princess sidekick, is really matters. 
  9. Have a look at my favourite website. Imogimoon - Lots of articles about current events and issues. An informative site with some funnies, some lists and some raw stories. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Hancock P.I | | Book Review

Hancock P.I
Dan Taylor

"In all the pictures up until you're about three years old, not one of them has either of your parents in them."

Jake Hancock is a private investigator, somewhat not professional, perhaps an alcoholic and most definitely corrupt. Having sex with your clients? Not on.

He's now Josh - a medical student with a girlfriend called Megan. Except, he's not Josh, he's still Hancock, just under cover trying to investigate Megan's past. 

There's something fishy about Megan's parents and Jake is here to find out. With every meeting of the Books family Megan's parents Charles and Barbara give off an air of intrigue, leaving you wanting to know just who they really are. You'll want to turn the pages faster than you can read. Who are Charles and Barbara Books? 

'Josh' is living with his client Megan for the weekend at her home in Texas, herself and her father are both actors and now you know that Charles can act, it's definitely believable that there's something weird happening. Pretending to be Josh, a younger student, he has to dress quite preppy and pretend he's actually interested in medical education. With the help of his Scottish friend he reveals who Megan's parents are. Not only is it the most fantastic plot twist, it is also modern and relevant to society of 2015.

Hancock discovers Megan's parent's secret, whilst handling his disabled sister who apparently can't stop using explicit language, drinking copious amounts of alcohol and going to strip joints. After completing his investigation he returns home, to base with his manager to find that his manager is 'stalking' him through the airport on his arrival home. Why would his manager, the woman he works for, be following him?

All he knows is that he has to pack his bags and go to an underground bunker.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

How to Cope with Panic Attacks | | Tips and Self Help

Anxiety affects one in six people. A side effect of having anxiety can be panic attacks, not everyone with anxiety suffers with them but it's a common side effect. People have different symptoms, it's the same as depression in the respect that one person's symptoms are not the same as the next. Most of the time panic attacks are not pleasant. 

Symptoms of a panic attack include: 

  • Shortness of breath or hyperventaliation 
  • Chest pain
  • Sweating or chills 
  • Nausea
  • Feeling light-headed/faint
  • Numbness/tingling in fingers or toes
  • Over-whelming fear of dying
I'm going to compile a list of things to help you either cope with having panic attacks or get you through it. During a panic attack the sufferer often feels like they are either going to die or have a heart attack because the feelings of panic are so strong and powerful, however that's not the case. Easier said than done, it's not always easy to stop that panic.
 How many cases of anxiety have ended in death due to panic? 

  1. Identify your trigger - Not everyone has a trigger but if you think you do, once you've identified it you may find it easier to cope and more importantly avoid them. In my case, I've realised that public transport and classrooms that are full of people are making me panic thus ending in a panic attack, I'm attempting to solve these attacks by sitting closer to the door (eg, not the back of the bus where I feel trapped) 
  2. To- do lists - Having a to-do list might make you feel less stressed and more organised about your days. Having a list telling you what you need to do that day will prevent any unnecessary panicking about deadlines (or whatever you may be stressing about) It'll also make you feel in control and that's what panic attacks make you feel like, like you're losing control of absolutely everything. 
  3. Breathe - You're probably sighing at me now and it's easier said than done when you're in the midst of an attack, but count to ten. 
  4. Clear your space - If you can, get away from large crowds of people/enclosed spaces just to take a break, allowing you to relax and breathe more regularly. 
  5. Close your eyes - Don't do this if you're walking somewhere... Sit down and close your eyes. I find this helps me, might be different for you but closing my eyes takes me away from the situation and helps me relax.
  6. Talk - Talk to somebody, ring your best friend, text your mum, meet up with some friends. Just talk to someone. It'll distract you from feelings of panic. 
  7. Don't bottle it - This refers to any feeling of emotion, don't bottle it up. We all know it's bad for you. Relating to my previous point of talking to somebody, feeling alone/lonely could make you feel more anxious and full of panic.
  8. Breathe. - (Again!) Remember to breathe. This attack will not last, it'll be over before you know it. It may feel like you're dying but I promise that you won't!
I hope this post helps you if you suffer from anxiety! If you have any of your own tips it'd be great to hear them!

Monday, 5 October 2015

The Girl with Nine Wigs | | Book Review

The Girl with Nine Wigs
Sophie Van Der Stap

“I'm twenty-one. I'm supposed to be an adult, a grown-up who can take care of herself, but I'm scared shitless”

Imagine having life ahead of you full of hopes and dreams and then suddenly within the space of one day and a hospital diagnosis it's taken away. That's just what happens to Sophie in this thought provoking memoir. At the age of 21, being a young adult who enjoys dressing up, going to parties and dating to be told you have to undergo a year's worth of medication to shrink the size of your tumour.

Sophie writes her experiences in a diary allowing readers to see the ups and downs of her cancer diagnosis. Personal, truthful and absolutely hilarious at times, the way in which Sophie records her recovery process is astonishing. Normal teenage life has been taken away from her, well so she thinks, but her diary records her relationships with her best friends, her continuous support from her family and funny dating adventures and unfortunate teenage heartbreak. Sophie captures the awful experiences that come with cancer treatment but also lets other sufferers know that just because you've been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease you can still go out and have fun!

Turning her devastating illness into a fun loving adventure, she begins buying wigs. Wigs that develop their own persona, giving Sophie a different name and different personality with every wig change. There's Stella, Daisy, Sue, Blondie, Platina, Pam, Uma, Lydia and Bebe. Becoming a different person with each different wig appears to be a way for Sophie to cope with her illness and recovery, she creates a humorous atmosphere and makes it a very imaginative read. She directs her readers away from the real issue of cancer and describes the fun she has along the way.

Being young, all girls wants to do is wear make-up, wear pretty dresses, go out dancing with best friends and date boys, you'd think being diagnosed with a life threatening illness this would slow Sophie down. Wrong! Sophie travels, goes out for coffee dates with her friends, dances all night and has relationships! She puts on a wig and becomes a cancer free patient. Under the wig, she's under-going chemotherapy and radiation treatment but as soon as the wig sits on her head, she's free, she's a new person, she has a new look and a new life.

A journey of grief, pain and love. This book will make you laugh when you follow her trips to the health supermarkets to get supplements and vitamins “How does one pronounce quinoa?” and this book will make you cry.

A year in her life after diagnosis. Is the treatment successful?