How Depression Crept Up on Me and Advice

This time two years ago I posted the photo below to Instagram and said I was having a girly-night to myself and made it sound so positive.

What I didn’t say was that I’d had to go on Just Eat to find somewhere local which sold food and beer/wine because it felt like an overwhelming physical AND mental impossibility to go to the local shops. I was so hungry and really needed something to cheer myself up too.

I’d gotten into the habit of not getting (dragging myself) out of bed until 4.00pm (sadly after it had gone dark) so I hadn’t seen daylight for five days. I’d stopped being bothered to get dressed or comb my wildly frizzy hair or to tidy up.

The bloke had to be elsewhere and he was so stressed and busy he really needed to get on with it and I was trying to be as supportive as poss. But I was on my own all week, until weekend and felt really lonely. But I also felt guilty and silly bothering him.

I realise looking back that the Depression had crept back but at the time I was kidding myself that I was having fun enjoying not having any responsibilities or structure.

Ironically that is exactly what helps me, as it stops the endless days and nights all blending together. Plus someone to bounce my thoughts off so they aren’t swimming around in my head and growing more negative and repetitive is vital for me.

I wish I’d put an honest caption on Insta about how I was feeling at the time or told my Dad or my bloke how I felt. BUT I’d been fighting for decades to have my disabilities and chronic illness recognised and to get on ESA benefit so I could rest at home all day. I felt guilty that I wasn’t now happy and thought I must be being ungrateful or overly-dramatic. But actually, when you can’t or aren’t doing much, whole days and nights alone can seem like an eternity.

After doing this on repeat for about a month (literally just living for the weekend when my bloke would be able to come back basically) I phoned him in floods of tears.

We talked for an hour and worked out a better way of doing things and it made a vast amount of difference to my mental health.

———-

There isn’t always a reason though. Sometimes clinical depression can hit you for no reason at all and that’s perfectly normal, not your fault and just as valid.

If you are feeling crappy or apathetic to stuff you normally love doing or are struggling to keep your head above water, please don’t fool yourself you are ‘fine’. Admit to yourself that you aren’t feeling okay and then tell someone else, even if it’s just one other person (i.e. a considerate family member, a friend, an empathetic friend of a friend or your GP for instance) IRL or online.

You don’t have to be fine all of the time and forcing yourself to try can do more damage than good. Being open and honest about your feelings can lift a huge weight.

It’s ok not to be ok 🙃

✨✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨✨

December in Photo’s

Christmas fleece – Cotton Traders

Joggers – Hunkermoller

Ugg/Emu style boots – Dorothy Perkins

Making the most of the dark afternoons by making the living room feel all cozy.

Lots of natural skincare and lifestyle goodies in this Freedm Street advent calendar (items available to buy individually from heir online shop).

Making ‘special coffees’ by adding Baileys or Sailor Jerries Spiced Rum and throwing in pieces of salted caramel or hazelnut caramel choccy.

Jumper – Shein

Joggers – Cotton Traders

Bizarrely, for someone who has disabling arachnophobia when I see one, this was one of my favourite books as a child. It’s magical and a little creepy!

Little reindeer I found at the back of a cupboard!

Sparkly chocolate vegan brownie from Zad’s takeaway.

Dad decorated the whole downstairs in under 15 minutes. Secret festive ninja!

I’ve been watching His Dark Materials on BBC iPlayer and I am so impressed with this adaptation. Especially my favourite bad-ass actress, Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter.

I’ve developed quite a obsession with cute cartoon penguins so I was really happy to get this card from my Dad ^_^

Tee – Next

Christmas fleece – Cotton Traders

Joggers – Cotton Traders

At the Blokes flat we have our 22inch Christmas tree. I swear, after Christmas this is being packed away exactly as it is now – it was so fiddly to decorate!

Like most people in he UK we don’t have candy canes but we do have gelatine-free sweets!

This wonderful wreath gives me serious Narnia vibes. Unfortunately where we live, neither of us can put wreathes on our front door as they would get nicked and given to someone’s Mam or Missus.

MOOEY CHRISTMAS YOU LOVELY LOT

🎄✨Chrissie✨🎄

A Wonderful 2021 Diary by Pepper and Cute

This Pepper and Cute 2021 diary (£19.95) is a diary, organiser, planner and journal. With extra pages for TV, book and music lists, motivational illustrations, a zip-lock keepsake pocket, pretty post-it notes and stickers it’s a fun combination!

There are four different covers so I chose this one as it seems rather apt for someone living with disabilities and chronic illness like myself. I’m just that much of a diamond!

The lettering is rose gold, violet, sparkly rose gold or rainbow sparkly depending on how you tilt it. How clever is that!

Some of the Serious Bits

Some of the Fun Bits

CUTE LITTLE DETACHABLE BOOKMARK

My only complaint is that, even though this diary comes with several sheets per theme, you can’t buy extra refills so you have to be selective/frugal with how you use some parts of it.

This would make such a lovely, thoughtful present for someone. I’ve not been as excited to start a diary since my Smash Hits Magazine one which I got for ‘Crimbo’ as a teen in the 90’s, hehee!

🌟✨🖤Chrissie🖤✨🌟

My Lifestyle Tips for Healthier Skin

A few months back I set myself a challenge to get healthier skin in just one month and I achieved it! Here are some general lifestyle tips, which have helped me to keep my skin healthy (along with that skincare regimen) since.

🖤 Cutting right down on foods which don’t agree with my digestive system for better gut health, like dairy and gluten (making sure I found suitable replacements).

🖤 Imagining I’m a big pebble in a river and letting the water (life’s stresses and problems) pass around and over me, while I remain stable and steadfast, rather than shaken up and disturbed. There’s a certain amount of ‘ What will be, will be’ attitude to this in order to not worry about or wring yourself out trying to get the ‘perfect’ outcome. The deep furrow in the middle of my forehead has actually relaxed and I don’t get indigestion from stress or feeling anxious anymore.

🖤 Keeping up my water intake and my salt intake so my body absorbs and uses the water properly, rather than it going straight through me.

🖤 Using a gentle cleanser (at least once a day) which includes T-tree oil to balance my skin and keep any blemishes at bay.

🖤 Realising when my skin is de-hydrated and needs moisturiser or dry and needs oil.

🖤 Still getting takeaway but from places that use a large range of freshly cooked ingredients like Eastern/Asian takeaways or including healthy mezze/tapas/a big salad with any junk food type meals.

🖤 Keeping my hair fastened back off my face when the front pieces are dirty or oily. Not touching my face and fringe as much. Washing my hands more often.

Simple but affective! What do you think?

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

How I’ve Brought More Colour Into My Wardrobe – Part 2, Styling Tips, Tops & Jewellery

As I mentioned in part one of this post, since the start of the year, I’ve been on a mish to slowly replace darker coloured items with more upbeat and vibrant one’s. I’m mixing and matching so not chucking owt out, unless it’s seen (much) better days.

What if you tend to stick to basics though?

Well, from the start I decided that all of my colourful clothes would be basics! I build the outfit around them by adding neutral colours. A camisole/vest top can dress up anything (like jeans and trainers) and a tee can dress things down (like maxi skirts or fitted pants). Then you have that band tee, maxi skirt and trainers combo, which I love on others but haven’t tried yet.

The Accessories Rules

I was finding that including bright accessories too was a bit confusing so decided on these rules.

  1. Pick a bright accessory, either the same colour as your outfit or a flattering, contrasting colour that subtly ties in somewhere else (like blue dress and yellow bag with gold jewellery).
  2. Wear several bright accessories but only with a neutral coloured outfit (greys and neons look awesome together)
  3. Have bags, belts and shoes in metallic silver, gold and rose gold, which are fancy neutrals.

Here’s the original top that inspired the idea. I’d love to know what this pattern stitch is called?

Ideally Summer is like….

But honestly, it’s more like this…

But when this Covid craziness is mostly over, I’ll be going out more, as well as wanting to look more cheerful indoors.

(From top – bottom)

1st Column

Stay Wild Moon Child tee – Bellelily (an Insta add which reeled me in!)

Nirvana tee – EMP

Sakura unicorn tee – Tokidoki

Tiger racer back vest – Brave Soul London

2nd Column

Butterfly tunic (cropped into vest) – Joe Browns

Orange camisole – Boohoo

Grungy tie dye tee – Veronica Fever (Ebay)

Tie dye racer-back camisole – Persephone Apparel (Etsy)

3rd Column

Lime green vest – Not a clue!? Either I was drunk or half asleep when I ordered this, ha! (Edit) Really versatile day-night item as it turns out, yay!

Neon tie dye tee – Brave Girl Official (Ebay)

Teal green tee (cut into tank) – EMP

Most of these earrings are from Claire’s Accessories apart from the owls which were a gift, the blue and silver raindrop ones were from EMP, the pink drop earrings I made from guitar plectrums and the peace sign earrings I got from Moss-side Caribbean Carnival.

Being able to pick a colourful item of clothing and accessory each morning is making such a difference to my moods, especially on dull days. I look forward to getting up and getting dressed now, rather than it being a chore.

As always, I hope this has given you some ideas and inspiration or you’ve simply enjoyed having a nosey at my stuff. ✌🏽🤘🏽

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

How I’ve Brought More Colour into My Wardrobe – Part 1, Reasons and Replacements

I’ll always be a mixture of hippy chick and urban Emo at heart but at the start of the year I noticed that somehow, the Emo part of my wardrobe had totally taken over. Black, grey, black, and more black. Lots of awesome items but hardly a cheerful boost to my mental health on overcast days (meaning the weather and/or my mood).

I’ve tried to match new items for old items in a general sort of way. I’ve kept most things but given some items to charity that weren’t working for me anymore, mostly due to my changing sensory issues: Too hot, too tight, too sloppy, too short etc.

On the left is the brighter item and on the right is the original.

Velour top from Cotton Traders (very Stifflers Mum or the Mum with the dog in Mean Girls I know, ha!).

I bought this from an Insta add I was bombarded with from Coralinlin.com and it’s the perfect length and has adjustable straps.

I bought this boxy (but still long enough) jumper in a light green as well, from Peacocks.

I found this pre-loved jumper on Ebay. I call it my Fraggle jumper.

This gorgeous cream shirt is from Missguided and has bat wing sleeves that magically disappear when you lower your arms, thanks to clever pleats.

In summer I live in soft Palazzo pants and wide PJ bottoms, which are almost the same item anyway, right? These are from Matalan and are a great length but not crazily high-waisted (like a lot of pants these days).

Another basic item from Matalan, I’ll be wearing this with all of my black band tees.

Colourful tops and jewellery, along with some useful tips are here in part 2

I know this is a very light and basic post but I wanted to share my cheerful lifestyle idea (you could replace/add colourful homeware or stationary, rather than clothes etc.) for anyone who’s feeling down at the moment. *hugs* 🤗

I’ve just heard about a page on Insta @mymonthincolour where you tag any photos of your home or colourful items you’ve bought and they feature their favourites.

🌈Chrissie🌈

Featuring – Callybo Creations

Abi at Callybo Creations creates cute key rings and bracelets, with uplifting and loving messages. Just the thing that someone might really appreciate right now. All profits are donated to Mind UK the charity which supports mental health.

Here are two I got sent for review and then later purchased/donated because most of us need a helping hand with our mental health at some point in our lives so it’s a vital charity to support. I gave the key ring to my Dad and the bracelet to my Bloke, both of whom thought it was a lovely surprise.

Hop on over to Facebook to request and buy your perfect Callybo Creations.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Simple Selfcare List for Brain, Body and Soul

Everyone needs a bit of motivation and simple reminders sometimes, especially when you’re in the house most of the time and loose track of time easily. That’s just me normally btw!

    Get the feck up (Maybe use needing the loo as an excuse to stay up)
    Brush teeth
    Wash (preferably with something that smells uplifting)
    Apply deodorant
    Skincare/bodycare routine (or at least some of it)
    Get dressed (oversized cardigans/hoodies totally count)
    Comb hair
    Coffee or protein smoothie
    Catch up with friends on social media or message them
    Do something a little creative
    Have something to eat
    Order or buy some fresh fruit or veg
    Wash clothes/Vac up?
    Read a book/Watch telly/Gaming/Exercise
    Make a nice meal, maybe enough to freeze a portion as a ready-meal
    Bath/Shower?
    Hug or FaceTime your family/pet/loved one
    Cleanse face
    Brush teeth
    Take a cup of water to bed
  • 🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Positive Quarantine Effects

    6 bonus things that have happened during quarantine:

    1. I’ve not washed my hair for two weeks (there’s only a bath where I am) and it feels and looks so naturally healthy, in shiny defined waves.
    2. I’ve not impulse bought food with wheat or dairy in so my nose, chin and tummy aren’t puffy/bloated. I have more energy and feel more upbeat and I love my features now!
    3. My skin is so healthy because I’ve been sticking to my skincare regimen.
    4. Me and the bloke have not killed each other.
    5. Meal planning doesn’t suck. It takes the stress of decision making away (a supermarket full of food yet you still come home with random shit that doesn’t make any recognisable dishes, sound familiar?) and isn’t boring or restrictive. As long as you plan enough meals to give you a choice and don’t have specific days where you have to eat them, it’s just like choosing from a menu.
    6. If you make a curry too hot and don’t have any yoghurt or cream (or dairy free versions) to swirl in it, you can add mayonnaise, so creamy!

    What have been your positive quarantine effects?

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Monthly Life Update – January

    My memory is so crap for these type of posts, I need to start writing this stuff down everyday.

    Lifestyle 💁🏽‍♀️

    Check out these eyebrows! I’ve fully grown them out so I can tweeze them back into a coherent shape easily. Ive given this top to charity as I constantly had to lint roller fluff off it. Ain’t no one got time for that!

    Carrying on with trying to minimise my impact on the planet, I bought these Sustainable Essentials from Ecologue.

    Me pissing around and doing The Dolly Parton Challenge.

    After 1 wrong order (and a correction) and 2 stunning deliveries with flower delivery company Bloom and Wild, I ordered Lillies and white roses. The roses died long before the lillies even opened. I’ve learned my lesson and shall be buying from Tesco…or the garage from now on!

    Skincare 🧖🏽‍♀️

    The most effective deodorant I’ve ever used is Ohii, Charcoal Natural Deodorant (which I like to think is pronounced ‘Oh, eye?’). It’s vegan, yay! But not refillable, boo!

    Glycolic Acid is my friend once again in – the incredibly effective – Pixi, Glow Tonic. Cleanses, brightens and smooths without being too drying.

    Stressing Less 💆🏻‍♀️

    I’ve noticed that if I don’t pressure myself to go to bed and wake up at a reasonable time, I sleep much better. I go to bed around 1.00am when I’m actually tired enough to sleep and anytime I’ve had enough sleep is when I get up. That’s reasonable for me.

    I’m also stressing less about what is supposed to be happening when and tend to just be content with what is happening now. Not caring about being in control of everything and just letting stuff play out is a lot less stressful!

    Wearing 👚

    I tried to get some style basics in the sales and had mixed success but I like these posts because they give you an idea of various brands sizing and quality etc.

    Eating 🥗

    Having three meals a day and eating a small breakfast before my body desperately needs fuel, so I have a clear head and the energy to put together something nicer later on.

    I’ve gotten back into salad/deli type foods like humus, pickles, roasted peppers and tomatoes, crackers, seeds, nuts, stuffed vine leaves, chilled tofu (fried in toasted sesame oil and then chilled makes it taste like chicken breast for some reason) and so many condiments. There’s half a shelf full of them in the fridge lol BUT I’ve discovered my fave noodle place has stopped doing sushi! 😱

    Greggs have launched their Vegan Stakebake and Vegan Sausageroll, so although I’m cheating with the gluten in the pastry, I still HAD to try them. Sadly I ran out of change and could only afford the stakebake, which was Delicious!

    Reading 📖

    I couldn’t get my head into reading books over Jan so I’ve been reading blogs including Roses Have Thoughts , Square One Notes , Mae Polzine and Cosmopolitan, Red, and Vogue, which was in a two-for-one deal surprisingly. I’ve read some great interviews, features, tips and reviews.

    Watching 👀

    Better than Human (with English subs) – this was similar to, but better than the Humans. Not as preachy and waster pacing and more relatable characters I thought.

    Black Mirror series 2 – I really enjoyed this because it wasn’t as heavy as the first but still very poignant.

    Black Lightning – Pop corn for the mind, with extra cheese. The quality of the fight scenes, the character arcs, the editing and the pacing of the story were all wildly uneven. The characters were likeable and the soundtrack consistently good though.

    Santa Clarita Diet – featuring Drew Barrymore as a zombie and a wife and Mum. Once you get passed the clunky acting and awkwardly timed jokes in the first series and it just gets better and better. Brilliantly bizarre!

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤