The Truth about Living With Anxiety

The Truth about Living With Anxiety

Hi all!

Firstly, how are your Summers going? School is coming back around SO quickly. It feels like I’ve blinked and the Summer is just GONE! 😞 But we still have all the memories of the Great British Sun.. right? (By this, I mean the non-existent or completely not ‘sunny’ British Sun we experience!).

Anyway, back to todays blog topic. This is a very difficult one to write for me, and I’m still not 100% I’ll go ahead with posting it, but here goes… I’m writing this because if one other person with anxiety reads this, and knows that what they’re experiencing is the same and they’re not the only one, or if one person recognises anxiety as more than just some throwaway comment, it’s worth it.

So… I suffer from anxiety. I have since I can remember. When I was a teenager, I found it difficult to make friends because I was so shy and nervous. Don’t get me wrong, I did make some amazing friends during my teenage years, and can recall some amazing times. But it wasn’t easy to get there. I would cancel going out because I was too nervous I’d say (or do) the wrong thing. And I would avoid going outside if I could on bad days, because I just couldn’t deal with other people – imagining what they might think if they saw me. Too fat? Wears too much dark clothing? Hair isn’t pretty enough? Face isn’t pretty enough? The list is endless…

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17-year old me. This was taken just after my fitness had been at its peak, and my anxiety was just starting to return again after a cycling accident. You can’t see it, but I was recieving chiropractic treatment for a twisted pelvis, disaligned shoulders and an out-of-place vertabrae around this time.

This was made a lot worse when I was 15. My ‘dad’ had left the country when I was 6/7, but when I was 15, he cut off all contact. I was very close to my ‘dad’, and when this happened, the panic attacks began. I completely withdrew. When I was around people I would be able to keep it just under check, but whenever I was alone, it was as though as the emotions just came to the surface. And one thought kept reverberating in my head “If a parent can’t love me, how could anyone else?” and “Am I broken?”. Sometimes, I still get those thoughts. But then Jamie is there to reassure me that I am lovable, and what happened is not my fault. I think that’s the main thing to remember, if you suffer from anxiety, that the things that happen, are not your fault. You can’t change anything that happens, and you can’t always prevent things.

This actually got better after an assault incident (I won’t get into this now) made me re-evaluate a lot, and I began my fitness journey when I was 16. Until, at 17, a cycling accident occured and I was unable to continue with my fitness whilst receiving treatment, and have struggled since after obtaining another injury through a hiking accident.

Now, with university work, an ankle condition and difficult placements requiring me to work between 6-7 days a week alongside unrealistic targets (never enter the world of marketing. I am just so happy to be out of it!), my anxiety has gotten to the stage where it actually presents itself in physical symptoms, if left unchecked.

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I found this out when I was at my last internship. I was looking at a computer screen and my vision just went blurry. I couldn’t read anything on the screen and it didn’t go away. My head felt confused, I couldn’t remember things or even recall basic facts about myself. I felt dizzy, and disorientated and it was like nothing I’ve ever felt before. So, I went outside, made a doctors appointment and Jamie came to pick me up from work. (Side note, the doctors asked me my address. Cue a couple of minutes and I still couldn’t make the thoughts form!).

Now, this is the scariest thing to experience. Where you actually believe your body is failing you somehow and it turns out to be all related to your anxiety – which you had thought was getting better! Now, I refuse to take medication for this. I rarely have good experiences with medication. But I am looking to start counselling, to fully treat my anxiety, and hopefully just start to feel better about myself. And to do some things that my anxiety will not allow me to do.

Things my anxiety will not let me do:

  1. Post a full-body photo of myself online. I have posted one, in a changing room where it’s all about angles in a tight space and you can’t see my face. I don’t really count this as letting someone take a full-body photo of myself in my favourite outfits to share it. Which I really want to do!
  2. Go outside. Right now, I’m sat here writing this, instead of going to campus to print something for Jamie. I will do this, I’m just trying to get over the initial ‘I can’t do this’ feeling.
  3. ‘Go with the flow’. I plan things, to a T. The worst case scenario can’t happen if you plan everything that could go wrong. Sometimes I will pretend to ‘go with the flow’, and then pre-plan everything in my head…
  4. Post this… maybe. I’m still not 100% I will actually post this. On the one hand, it would be amazing if it helped someone to understand anxiety just that little bit more, or to help someone who has it to know they’re not alone in it. But, at the same time, this is extremely personal and talking about this is difficult for me to do.
  5. Make videos. I’ve actually filmed about 2 videos for you all, and planned a third. But I cannot bring myself to post them. Either the lighting is bad, or I look too ‘fat’ (yes, anxiety makes these fears worse too!), or I just feel as though I won’t be ‘likeable’ enough within these videos. I mean, when I write, or post pictures on my Instagram, I am literally just being myself. But it’s easier to be yourself in writing and photos without getting too anxious, than it is a video. (I’m working on this.)
  6. Trust. It is so difficult. Almost everyday I get those feelings that my friends don’t really like me, or Jamie will wake up one day and realise that I’m not the right person, or that even my family might not really like me. These are all unfounded fears, which I remind myself of, or speak to Jamie about and he reminds me of. But it doesn’t stop me thinking them.

Now, this list is endless. So I’m not going to continue, but those are just a few of the things that happen to me because of my anxiety, a few of the things that my anxiety will not let me do. Now, best case scenario with this blog is that I find some other people suffering from anxiety, and we can help each other with the journey. And the worst case, is that everyone unsubscribes from my blog (trying not to think of this!). So, in a brutally honest post, on an already brutal Tuesday morning, I just want to give a shoutout to every person suffering from anxiety, or any other mental illness.

You are not alone. You are not broken, and you are amazing. The fact that you live with this, means that you are such a strong and beautiful person already.

Now, I need to try and get dressed to leave this flat. Wish me luck!

– Megan Grace, xo

 

*Note. I decided to post this, after listening to some of Keshas new songs. True strength inspiration.

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Reasons why I want to be a paramedic #1

Reasons why I want to be a paramedic #1

Hola everyone! I am back from holiday with Jamie and feeling completely refreshed! 😄

Now, I will be posting lots of holiday bits soon, but first, I really wanted to share something. Well, a series of things really. Being away, gave me a lot of time to relax, de-stress and get back to my core. Without all my normal distractions, I’ve had so much time to think – about my life, dreams and ambitions.

This includes a full career change, which is terrifying – and one which I’ll be preparing for whilst I finish my current degree (a girl needs to have options, amirite!?), and a lot of emphasis on my health.

Why am I telling you all this?

Mainly for two reasons.

  1. My blog and my Instagram will probably be changing a bit over the next few months. I hope you will all continue to support me as you already do, and feel that I have to share with you the reasons why!
  2. You’re my digital fam – who else am I going to tell? 😉

So, I have decided I will start the journey into becoming a paramedic.

“If you can dream it, you can achieve it” – Zig Ziglar

I’ve been interested in Science since I was very young. Biology has always been my best – and favourite subject. When I first went into college after GCSE’s I was actually studying with the intent to become a doctor. But love, and life got in the way.

In order to now become a paramedic, I need to improve my physical health, overcome my anxiety and finish my current degree. Don’t worry, I’ll still be posting my daily life, beauty and reviews. But this will likely now be interspersed with fitness foals, progress and dreams. I’ll also be sharing some of the things that helped me to make this decision, and things that hindered me along the way.

Much love to each and every one of you, and let the journey begin!

– Megan Grace, xo

Sunday Antics and Book Recommendations

Sunday Antics and Book Recommendations

Do you ever get that feeling, when you have SO much to do, and you have guests coming round in just a couple of hours, and you still have to start cooking, and preparing, and cleaning. But instead, you run a bath, with half a bottle of Radox bubbles, your last Lush bath bomb and take time for yourself. You pick up that book, the one you’re just getting into, and sink down into the bubbles, adrift with stories of other lives…. And then you’re three chapters in, look up from your bubbles and think “Oh shit!”. No? Just me? Well that’s awkward then… 😉

Anyway, today, I wanted to speak to you all about a couple of my most recent reads, that I have really enjoyed (or am currently enjoying!). There’s only two in this blog, as I am terrible at remembering titles! And am really struggling to find books I enjoy at the moment. But here goes…

 

Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver

“They say to live every day as though it’s your last – but you never actually think it’s going to be. You always think you’ll have more time.

That’s what I thought. But I was wrong.

The thing is, you don’t get to know when it happens.

You don’t remember to tell your family that you love them or – in my case – remember to say goodbye to them at all.

What if, like me, you could live your last day over again? Could you make it perfect? If your whole life flashed before your eyes, would you have any regrets? Are there things you’d want to change?”

This book initially appealed to me because of the concept – reliving your life, second chances at your mistakes, and the instant inability to predict the ending. It was a mystery, without so much of the darkness that so many current books possess. Plus, I love Lauren Olivers Delirium series! Whilst reading this, I could barely put it down, and although it was difficult to get into at the beginning (move past it. It’s worth it, I promise), it became something in which I both loved and hated the characters, and took away some important life lessons.

Life Lessons:

  1. Treat people with kindness, always. Even if they don’t reciprocate.
  2. Just because you’re different, doesn’t mean you’re worthless.
  3. Everyone is fighting a battle, even if they don’t show it.
  4. Be thankful.

I feel as though these are really basic life lessons, but ones I constantly forget and need reminding of. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep being kind, to stick to the path you know you should be on and to seek motivation in world that seems like it’s against you. But you have to stick to it.

 

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Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver. An absolutely amazing and inspirational read.

After You – Jojo Moyes

“Lou Clark has lots of questions.

Like how it is she’s ended up working in an airport bar, watching other people jet off to new places.

Or why the flat she’s owned for a year still doesn’t feel like home.

Whether her family can ever forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.

And will she ever get over the love of her life.

What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change/

Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for – or just more questions?

Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, sale.

Open it and she risks everything. But Lou once made a promise to life. And if she’s going to keep it, she has to invite them in.”

Now, this book has a very sales-y cover I think. But, I first heard about the prequel to this, through a trailer in the cinema for ‘Me Before You’. And having watched the movie, I felt I really needed to read the books. However, I accidentally forgot I hadn’t read the first book when I picked this one up, and now I’m too hooked to put it down! If you haven’t heard anything about Me Before You, I’ll try not to give too much away. But essentially, Louisa Clark meets Will – a man bound to a wheelchair from an accident, and he changes her perspective on life, love and everything in-between. But not in a superficial cheesy way – in a way that even the reader can take lessons and note from.

I think you’re starting to see a pattern in the kinds of books I like now? If you like this style of book too, I would LOVE to know some recommendations you might have? And what you thought of these two? I really want to sit here and rave about them some more, but it would be cruel to deprive you of some amazing page-turning surprises if you ever pick them up yourself! So, if you would like to know more, leave a comment asking anything and I’ll try my best to answer.

– Megan Grace, xo

The Importance of Leave-In Conditioner

The Importance of Leave-In Conditioner

Good morning! Today, I am off to Ashford to do some holiday shopping and so, so excited for this as it houses the only Abercrombie and Fitch outlet in my country! And before I left, I wanted to share with you, as promised, my weekly tips blog! But first, a little Monday motivation may be required… 😉

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Now, when Hannah (previously mentioned work-wife) gave me the idea to create this series, it’s because we were talking about colouring hair and leave-in conditioner. And her exact words, I kid you not, were “What’s leave-in conditioner?”. 😱 And I was in shock. As a person who’s used leave-in conditioners religiously for around 10 years, I just didn’t realise people didn’t actually know about it!

What is Leave-In Conditioner?

Leave-in conditioner is a product that you can spray into damp hair, in order to reduce frizz, enhance sun-protection, prevent fading, maintain softness/colour/shine and loads more. The list of benefits are honestly endless. I still remember the first one I ever used when I had over-dyed my hair and the ends felt like straw. Every day after I washed my hair, I had to apply liberal amounts of the Herbal Essences Damaged Ends Conditoner, otherwise my hair would look just as bad as it felt. However, as I grew older, I started to look for a product which would not only make my hair look a bit better, but provide lasting, nourishing effects. Enter…

Revlon Professional Equave Leave-In Conditioner

I started using this a few years ago, upon a recommendation from my hairdresser and found that if I used it continuously (and liberally), my hair could withstand heat and colour-chemicals better than before. Used in combination with more hair-care techniques and products and I could colour and style my hair with almost no fallout, tecture change and more (of course, this is within limit! And only in comparison to my previous hair colouring and styling experiences).

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My Spring-Summer haircare routine, including my year-round Leave-In Conditioner

Now, I’ve upgraded this a little bit with my experience working within a Hair and Beauty retail company, and found my ideal product – the Revlon Professional Sun-Protection version! This is due to the good quality care, with a smaller price tag than most professional hair products. If price was not an issue, my favourite is the Beauty Protector Protect and De-Tangle. However, I find that this product is used up very quickly, and not a good solution for those with a budget!

I honesty, cannot recommend applying leave-in conditioners enough. This is a product I use every time I wash my hair, without fail. Our hair goes through so much, why wouldn’t we want to help protect it a little – and the shine and silkiness is definitely worth it!

What leave-in conditioners do you swear by? If you haven’t heard of these products before, or have a better one to recommend, I’d love to know! Leave a comment below or send me an e-mail.

Have an amazing week everyone, and I look forward to sharing another tip next Monday!

– Megan Grace, xo

Introducing my Weekly Tips Blogs!

Introducing my Weekly Tips Blogs!

Hey! I hope you’re all having an amazing Summer and am SO happy to share that mine has officially began! 😄☀️

Now, whilst I am missing my work wife a fair bit, I’m am so happy to have more time to myself, to focus upon both me and spending more time with Jamie and our little kitten family. Plus, as you may have noticed, I’m currently in the process of re-vamping my entire website. (Celebratory note: pixiifox.wordpress.com has now turned into http://www.pixiifox.com!! 🌟). But, before I did leave work, Hannah (previously mentioned work-wife) gave me a great idea for a new blog series to come back with.

New-Tips
@pixiifoxblog on Instagram: Summer essentials ☀️ I bought this amazing @benefitcosmetics moisturizing spray a couple of summers ago from @Sephora when I was visiting Athens and got REALLY sunburnt, and now it’s my go-to whenever the slightest burn or redness hits 😁 its perfect for summer as its soothing and quick-healing! Plus, you just can’t beat a powder to set your face and a dash of colour for your lips 💖💄 what’s your summer go-to? Xo

So, during my internship, I’ve been talking to Hannah and talking about a lot of things, which I’ve always assumed everyone knew as second knowledge. I’m talking hair products, what they’re for and what they actually do, hair care, make-up brushes, creating a smoky-eye, where you can save and where you should splash, brands and lots more topics. And it really surprised me that she didn’t know a lot about these things, but I did and it was really fun trying to share some of that knowledge! And teaching her how to do a smoky-eye was an amazing feeling!

The point of this? I thought it would be amazing to share some of these tips with you all! So, once a week, on a Monday morning, I’ll be posting up a new tips blog. This will range from anything to everything beauty related and i’d love to hear some suggestions of what you all would like to see. Alongside this, I’ll still be posting some of the blogs I’ve been busy preparing and mentioned before – but at least this way, there’ll be one blog that’s guaranteed every week!

Let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below, or send me an e-mail!

– Megan Grace, xo

The WORST excuse for a diet!

The WORST excuse for a diet!

Hi! It is finally SATURDAY, and it is swelteringly hot. And all I’m dreaming of is trips to the beach and cocktails in the sun… but alas, it’s one of those days that everyone is either working or away. HOWEVER, that does mean I have time to write a blog (and I may have done a sliiight happy dance at the thought 😉). And today’s blog is going to be food/health related, just because of what’s been going on this week.

If you read my last blog, you’ll know I’ve had a few bad health problems recently. I keep getting super dizzy, getting lots of migraines and always feel really bloated and nauseous. Which isn’t the best feeling in normal times, let alone when you’re really busy! Now, I’ve been to the doctors SO many times about this, and this week – they may have actually hit the nail on the head as I’m feeling a lot better now.

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Healthy breakfasts for wonderful days 💖

The Diagnosis

Apparantly, it’s the constant dieting. Always trying to limit meals, or skip meals, or focus on ‘healthy’ foods. I already try to limit as much processed food as I can, which would usually be great! But it means, my go-to’s are easy to grab things, and I eat a lot more dairy than I used to.

Now, I’ve always had a slight dairy intolerance, but it’s only ever affected my skin. Dairy has always caused me to have massive break-outs, mainly affecting my chin and around my shoulders. But, as I found out this week, it can actually make me feel really ill too! Which means less milk, iced chai lattes and mexican food. BUT my doctor told me that different types of dairy can affect you differently, and I found out I can still eat yoghurt so that’s good at least ☺️.

The strangest part I found about this appointment, was when I was told I had to eat more. Which is really bad – I usually try not to snack and stick to eating three times a day. And snacking for me terrifies me as I don’t want to just pick up a bag of crisps, or random junk food on a regular basis.

Eating Healthy

After being told all of this, I went on a bit of a mad one, and stocked up on SO MUCH fruit, veg, nuts and seeds and started to focus on more ‘lean’ meat. But somehow, I have still gained 1.5kg in a week! So, I’ve started looking at the diet clubs. Mainly Slimming World, as they say you can eat as much as you want. But, have any of you actually tried it? I mean, I’m pretty sure everyone knows about Slimming World, but it’s just so difficult to know if these things actually work!

I won’t bore you too much with all the foodie details – but you might see some more health-inspired blogs coming your way soon. Please, if you’ve ever tried any of these food clubs, let me know either by e-mail or in the comments below as I’d love to hear some reviews of things that work! And, if by any chance whatsoever, you’ve been feeling how I was before, make sure to check your diet as it’s the last place I would have thought to look!

– Megan Grace, xo

Four weeks to go!

Four weeks to go!

So, I am currently lying in bed, with a headache and still completely exhausted. BUT, it’s just been so long since I’ve been able to write anything and I’ve really missed you all so much, so I thought I’d do a quick blog to let you all know what’s been happening! 🌟

This week,

I handed in both of my last assignments for my third year of university. This is my placement year, in which I bit off far more than I could chew and really struggled to complete everything! On top of my degree work alongside my placement, I undertook a Level Four Diploma, Microsoft Office Exams, two online courses and my personal hobbies – blogging, instagram and make-up! I do not regret a single part of this year, my placement taught me a lot about the business world, and mainly – what I didn’t want my life to turn into!

In June, I was working full-time at my summer internship. Plus, I had my placement portfolio due and my level-4 diploma coursework due. This combined to over 100 hours work, outside of my normal job, in a month

! 😴 On top of this, I re-sprained my ankle quite badly, and have been in and out of the doctors because I keep getting dizzy spells. All in all – it’s quite a hectic summer.

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My favourite selfie, favourite lipstick and on the best weekend ever 💖

But it’s only four weeks,

Until I’m completely free to focus on the things that really make me happy, on experimenting with my make-up looks, my beauty boxes, learning the piano and speaking to you all about my experiences 💖 As lovely as my internship is, and as much as I do love the company, I genuinely cannot wait to get back to this.

Plus, as much as I’ve not been able to post, please know I’ve actually been saving up SO many blog ideas for you all once I’m back! These include:

  • Potentially the absolute best weekend of my life
  • Tips for maintaining productivity when all you want is to give up and sleep
  • My first ever MAC purchase and review
  • My last ever Birchbox
  • My last ever Roccabox
  • What I’ve learnt about all new beauty boxes – and which look the best!
  • The start of a new diet
  • The best cold-recipes for Summer weather
  • The stationary edit
  • Rose-Gold Make-up

Plus, my absolute favourite, and one I am so, so excited to write – my Mystery Blogger Nomination from Smarts and Sparkles. I actually received this notification when I was up late working on my portfolio, and it actually made me cry – it was that amazing to see! I’ve just looked at it all properly, and I am so, so excited to get to work on this for you all 💖.

So, please, keep bearing with me – I’ll be back as soon as I can and in four weeks max! Although, without the university work I do hope it’ll be before 😉 I hope you’re all having an amazing summer, and I’ll keep trying to catch up with all the amazing and inspirational blogs you’re posting!

– Megan Grace, xo