Friday, 27 October 2017

Mental heath: How to improve your mood

Just like we all have out physical health to look out for, we should also take care of our mental well being. In fact our mental- and physical health are dependent on one another. When we focus on improving aspects of one in small ways this helps improve many other areas, enabling us to thrive in life.

Every week I aim to share ways to make the most of your health based on lived experience and the evidence base. As it is Mental Health Awareness week, here are 10 practical ways to look after your mental health. 

Small simple changes don’t need to be time-consuming, expensive or effortful. I uphold that small simple changes work are the most productive. Anyone can follow this advice. Why not start today?

1. Don't keep things bottled up: Tell some one that you can trust such as a healthcare professional, family member, friend, teacher or colleague. There are specific organisations that would be happy to listen to you without judgement. If talking seems to hard, write it down or blog about it.

2. Take a break: A change of scene can work wonders. This could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your house, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’.

3. Cleanse your life : Reduce or get rid of things that are draining you. Unfollow or block triggering accounts. Spend less time with people that do not appreciate you. Get rid of clothes that you don't enjoy wearing, cosmetics that you don't use and general clutter in your life.

4. Back to basics: Focus on the fundamentals; personal hygiene, a routine, nourishing food, sensible sleep patterns, meeting up with people and feeling more present.

5.Do what do you love: Pick activities can you can lose yourself in. If you cannot think of anything, what did you love doing in the past? Or seek out some thing new, you may surprise yourself and find a new hobby.Enjoying yourself combats stress as activities we enjoy or are good at it, and achieving something boosts your self-esteem

6. Nourish and hydrate: Your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to function well, just like the other organs in your body. A varied diet that is good for your physical health is also good for your mental health. Some of us drink alcohol to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. It can make us actually feel worse off because of how the body responds.

7: Cope adaptively: Like many things it life, what works for you might not suits others. I have a whole post of positive coping techniques but my favourites at the moment include going for walks, texting a friend, singing (badly rapping especially in the shower), doodling and going to coffee shops. 

8: Help others: Any gesture to support others can help lift our mood. We all have good, thoughtful intentions that we can put into action. This can include complimenting some one, helping a friend with some thing they don't enjoy or find difficult, texting them to ask how there are and standing up for those in need. 

10: Accept who you are right now
Despite messages everyday telling us to change or improve ourselves, I am encouraging you to embrace who you are, as you are in this moment. Yes, we’re all different but accepting our unique-ness enables us to be happy, to learn new skills, visit new places and make new friends. Good self-esteem is what could help you cope when life takes a difficult turn.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Being more Productive. Perfectionism and Procrastination

We have all been there-perhaps at home, school, college, university or work, it is you versus that mountain of stuff to do. It seems as though you have spent all your time chipping away but have frustrating barely made a dent in what you wanted to get done.

Aaaa where did time go? Many times we end up feeling overwhelmed, stressed and perhaps demotivated. There are 4 Ps that come to my mind: Perfectionism,  Procrastination, Priorities and Perseverance:

Can you relate to these? Do perfectionism and Procrastination get in your way?
Perhaps you set such unnecessarily high standards, that are freaking impossible to achieve in the time you have. This is then linked in to why we might procrastinate. Some people find it off putting to start some thing if they fear it going 'wrong' or in some instances scared of it going right! Paradoxical right?

This is where Priorities and Perseverance come in.
Prioritising definitely pays off. There is a difference between what we want and need to achieve.

Planning out the areas that need more time and attention can pay off- just don't end up procrastinating by spending more time planning than doing!! A balance needs to be found.

Perseverance will help see you through those challenging times. It is this hope that wills you to carry on. I am working on separate posts on how to reduce perfectionism and procrastination and how to increase prioritising and perseverance. Stay tuned kiddie-winks.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

My Goals for 2017

Hey kiddiwinks...

Yes I know that January had long gone but I want to share my 2017 goals for some accountability!...

1. Blog. I have wanted to blog properly for years but my perfectionist streak really put me off. I am now realising that being able to interest one other person to read my posts is good enough for me. I used to have Tumblr before starting university and documenting my life is some thing I genuinely enjoy.

1. Sleep earlier! Zzzz... I kick my not so great habit of going to sleep after 12pm! It is down to thinking that I am still productive when I stay up, eating dinner late, feeling anxious and too much Instgram/Youtube/TV catchup.

2. Read more. Younger Manv always had her head in a book, but I have recently been neglecting my inner Book-worm. I desperately love getting lost in the different worlds that books take us to.

3. Embrace a plant based/vegan diet. I am secretly obsessed interested in healthy eating. Don't get me wrong I love chocolatey desserts but learning more about the benefits of plant-based veganism is on my agenda this year. I want to be less embarrassed about this too as my main obstacle is what others will think of me. I plan to keep you updated with my thoughts, food favourites, product reviews, restaurant recommendations and festivals that I encounter.

4. Make Friends. I have been distancing myself from people since going through some personal life challenges, It would be lovely to make some decent friends and have genuine relationships again.

5. Fitness Fun. I am one of those weirdos who enjoys de-stressing by going to gym classes, Again this hobby of mine took a backseat due to depression and anxiety. However as it is important for us to engage in self-care, fun exercise is one of my favourites that I want to get back into.

Thankful Thursday

Despite this week's difficult challenges, the following have helped me appreciate what I have around me.

1- Sunshiiiiine . Awww the brighter mornings and evenings are so energizing. I love how the sunshine has encouraged the UK to venture outside, be more active and spend time with each other.

2- My workplace's 1 year anniversary. I work for Beacon and the team had a little office party this Wednesday to celebrate. My seniors bought me a little bar of Coco Libre vegan chocolate to enjoy while the others had cake:) a thoughtful gesture!

3- Reading again. As a kid I LOVED reading. If you have any book recommendations then do share them with me below. At the moment I'm reading Looking for Alaska by John Green.

4- Pretty Flowers- Although I live in the city I have been appreciating the different plants that catch my eye when walking to or from the station or work. I have been showcasing my favourites on my Instagram stories if you fancy a peek.

5- TEA!- A decent cuppa makes everything better. Tulsi organic green tea has been filling my favourite mug this week.

HI, Welcome my little stars!

I’m 24, a feminist, foodie, aspiring psychologist, nurturer and (most importantly) an embracer of all things SPARKLEY.
I grew up in Birmingham, UK and then lived away in Brighton to study Psychology at university. Since completing my studies and returning back home, I have landed myself an Assistant Psychologist job. I absolutely love working within the mental health sector. I am a triage clinician that spends all day behind a desk working through often distressing, complex cases. 
Kisses From England is a place for me to document and share my love of food, travel and life. I like to be transparent and honest about the challenges and uncertainties in life as this can help others going through similar experiences.
My signature posts are my Gratelis, where I share ten Good Things that happened to me this week. This helps me (and my readers) that no matter how utterly awful everything might seem, there are ALWAYS some good, if we just pay attention. They might be things as tiny as a really great peanut butter sandwich or a calming cup of tea, but they’re there.
You’ll also find a strong selection of Mental Health and Well being suggestions, some posts about travel, food reviews, and even a snippets on my personal style.
Most of all, it’s about having fun, enjoying life, and making the absolute best of what we have!


    I enjoy photography, sparkles, nature, cake, stationary, tea, peanut butter, the seaside, fairy lights, and spending time with loved ones. Shopping is my favourite past time.
    I am allergic to and petrified of onions- yes you read correctly. I also often still panic when I lose people in the supermarket!
    I get told that I am shy at first but then eventually become very chatty and comfortable.


    OK well if you’re looking to get in touch to work with me, or just fancy a chat over a (virtual)(or not) cup of coffee my email address is and my Instagram is @kissesfromengland.
    PS. I’m ALWAYS on Instagram, so that’s probably the best way to contact me for a quick reply!