It’s Disability Pride Month Which, I have to admit, I’ve only just discovered! I’m not ‘proud’ to be disabled but I’m certainly not ashamed or awkward about it either. I am proud of how I’ve learned to deal with being Dyspraxic and and having Hypermobilty Syndrome over the past 40 years (with an astounding amount of ignorance and attitudes bordering on ableism from Dr’s).
Here is the awesome super lightweight, fold-up chair (even the back folds down) which I bought for car travel. It’s sparkly electric blue ✨💙✨
To be independent I need to be given an electric wheelchair. Because of my disabilities I have muscle weakness and chronic fatigue, so the GP gave me a self propelled chair which I’m unable to use BECAUSE OF MY DISABILITIES. How’s that for sick irony? Apparently this is ‘a very common mistake if it’s a GP who’s made the referral’ the man told me as he was delivering it and taking it away again.
I’m having another phone consultation with a GP on Tuesday and (after arranging this myself) I’m being properly assessed by a Physio from Social Services Neuro Team soon. I must mention that Manchester and Thameside Social Services have been more understanding, knowledgable, kind and professional over my disabilities in just four months, than most Dr’s have been in four decades!
I’m chuffed to bits that these are all still alive and thriving, several weeks after planting. I’m doing my best to water but not over-water them. Difficult when I’m only awake for around twelve hours a day so I don’t know how sunny or shaded it’s been earlier on.
I’ve decided to try Wild refillable natural deodorant. I didn’t sign up for a renewable, letterbox subscription but instead, bought a one-off package with the metal case (I chose the Aqua shade) and 5 refills.
I chose 2 limited edition Lemon Meringue (you will smell like desert for hours) refills and 3 Coconut ones.
The case is recyclable and the refills are compostable!
I’ve been using natural stick deodorant for around three years now so I’ve not needed time to adjust and it’s working really well!
One thing I struggled with (possibly because of Dyspraxia and Hypermobilty) was pressing in the little buttons at the side to change the refill. Easier to get my carer to that as you do need some strength and it’s a bit fiddly.
Would you make the swap to a refillable natural deodorant?
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.
Hello lovely people! Between the wind, rain, cold and central heating it’s no wonder our skin can become sensitive, dehydrated and dry, or like mine, freak out and become oily and dry in different places.
A really light, easily absorbed daily moisturiser which can be layered with serums and balms. This moisturiser contains (plant based) Squalane to improve moisture balance and elasticity, Peptides to protect skin, B3 to brighten and even the complexion and Hyaluronic Acid to help the other ingredients sink deep into the skin.
This serum uses repurposed coffee extract, which is rich in antioxidants and rosehip and jojoba oils to brighten and care for dry, dehydrated skin. I apply this serum and before it sinks in completely I apply moisturiser, which helps the moisturiser to sink in easily. It does have a tiny tingly sensation at first but doesn’t make my skin flush or react.
This has the most delicious chocolate scent! It also has the most amount of oil (cacao seed butter and Shea butter) and scrubby bits (cacao seed powder) in anything I’ve ever used before. It’s really easy to hold in your palm and one melt covered my whole body. I don’t think I’ll have dry skin again for the next year! Okay, a slight exaggeration there.
I normally have very cold hands so I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to use this but it melted into my palms straight away! Containing Cocoa Butter and Apricot Kernel Oil, this cream is both hydrating and moisturising, without clogging pours or creating an oil slick on your pillow.
Quite the dream team and all plant based!
Feel free to Like, comment (ask questions), follow and share.
These are the products I’ve been using and purchasing repeatedly over the past year. They have been perfect for balancing my combination-type skin and hair.
I hope you’ve found this helpful and, as always lovely people, leave any questions or comments.
Over the next couple of months I’ll be reviewing more skincare and beauty (including tinted lip balms and super moisturising lipsticks), as well as self-care and pampering products. Keep an eye on my Insta for a heads up!
I’ve struggled terribly for years with keeping track of time, planning my time and executive functioning (getting around to doing tasks). For me, this is due to my Autism and Dyspraxia but I know it’s a general problem for so many people. Do you often get so (hyper) focussed on doing a single task that you loose all sense of time or often get too distracted by irrelevant tasks?
Here are the coping strategies for being on time, that I’ve learned over 30+ years:
Get everything ready the night before by putting all of the essentials in your bag or together in a pile (which you have to walk past on the way out).
Plan your outfit and/or make sure your shoes/bag/coat are clean and presentable beforehand.
To figure how long it will take to get ready break down your daily routine into tasks, then assume each task is going to take a few minutes longer than you would think.
At the start, factor in ten extra minutes for zoning out or hyper-focussing on something or for one of those ‘Oh crap, I’ve properly arsed this up’ sort of moments.
If you are able, get into the habit of agreeing on a time to meet up a bit later – even though (in your head) you are still aiming for the original time – to give yourself a margin.
Set an alarm or a timer to go off half way through the time you have left to get ready, to give you some perspective on how you are doing.
Don’t rely on public transport/a lift/taxis to be on time either and allow for rush hour traffic.
Now you should fall into the middle of the time slot you’ve mentally and socially allocated yourself.
If you are still late sometimes? Try not to stress. Shit happens.
As you can see it has an undefined frizzy shape and then it’s gone crazy at the bottom where it’s been twisted up overnight. As it’s thick and long, it tends to sit around my shoulders like a very warm cape.
Cutting My Own Hair
I used a technique for cutting your own hair by Brad Mondo, which is simple and effective. Basically, you divide your hair into quarters, two at the front, two at the back and put little hair bands at the length you want to cut. Do not lift or pull the hair at the back around to the front when cutting, instead keep it straight and behind your shoulder. Cut below the hair band. Please do watch the vid, don’t take it from me!
The sensible style
I look so much like my Mum here, it’s uncanny!
The 2000’s Bone Straight Style
I used to wear this style to look a bit edgy for clubbing (so much product) but then that flat, straight look became the norm!?
Big chunky waves and curls!
The easiest way to bring out natural curls & waves
When you come out of the shower, tip your hair upside down and gently scrunch with a flat pile towel or thick T-shirt to remove excess water.
This also lift the roots of your hair allowing for more movement.
While hair is still very wet (but not dripping) and your hair is still clumped into curls/waves apply a lot of curl cream. Don’trake it through but squish it into the individual curls/waves.
Warning: If you let it get too dry before applying products, it will split and go stringy and/or frizzy. Then you have to soak it all over again.
Apply any hair oil afterward. Oil acts as a barrier and will seal in the moisture you just added.
Would you/have you cut your own hair? Do you think you could bring out any natural movement in your own hair? Let me know in the comments!
I hate the idea of going to the (considerable) effort of washing my hair…until I’m actually sat in the shower feeling all relaxed, wondering what the hell I was making a fuss about. Being on lock down with The Bloke who only has a bath (and Juses shower gel instead of shampoo and conditioner as he has a shaved head) was the perfect excuse. “I can’t wash my natural hair with shower gel, it will turn to frizzy straw, I’ll just have to wait.” The fact, he could have bought some from the local shop, along with the bread and milk, thankfully wasn’t mentioned.
So the challenge began!
Me with freshly washed hair before lockdown
I oiled my hair when it was wet but didn’t bother to ‘twist-out’ my curls into shape so it dried into very thin wavy curls like ramen noodles. It was quite frizzy in places as I didn’t add any curl cream. That’s my natural hair after washing.
Curls loosing any definition but turning into thick waves. Looking rather frizzyand dry but surprisingly shiny.
Getting more natural oils back and looking nice and smooth with defined waves, apart from slight fluffy bits at the front.
Looks and feels really healthy. Not dry or greasy in any way.
I’ve been really pleased with how smooth, defined and healthy looking my waves have been the last month but alas, it’s getting greasy at the roots now. Could be fixed with dry shampoo but it feels heavy and it’s itchy. I need clarifying shampoo (stuff with SLS in) and a deep conditioner ASAP!
When I wear my hair down in winter, I love my natural kinky curls, which are only reactivated by soaking it in the shower. So I’ll co-wash often and then only use shampoo every three weeks.
When I finally washed and conditioned my hair it felt smoother and silkier than I’d ever felt it! Maybe giving it a chance to reset every so often is a great idea!