Self Careis NOT Selfish!

The M Word……

Oh the M word….

The word people are apparently terrified of saying…
The word that so many people pretend doesn’t exist…
Mental Illness.

I can only talk on my experience with this as not everyone’s is the same. But, you may still resonate with the feelings and thoughts that I’m constantly plagued with.
Over the past 6 years I have developed both depression and anxiety,due to a really traumatic experience in my life.
I have gone weeks where I cried day after day, not wanting to be here, wondering what it would be like to end my life. I have taped my bedroom curtains to the wall so that they don’t blow up and allow anyone from outside to see me, I fear someone might be staring at me. 6 years later and my curtains are still taped to a wall. I have wondered my these things happen at all, not just to me, but to anyone. Why do I, or anyone at all have to feel like each day is a burden, draining the life out of me.

I have panic attacks where I sometimes end up throwing up because my body is reeling from whatever triggered it, and lots of things trigger it, dogs barking, having to mash brakes suddenly while driving, getting a phone call, hearing an unfamiliar sound while trying to fall asleep…and the list goes on and on. I’ve had panic attack last mere minutes, I’ve had panic attacks that lasted hours, but I can say that they all feel terrible. It always feels as though I am trapped, screaming to be let out, but still I’m stuck and I’ll never get out, that this is where I meet the end.

In all of this, I’ve taken the decision to not take any medication, I don’t want to feel like my life is dependent on it. For me, becoming self-aware was the biggest breakthrough I’ve had in identifying situations that made me behave in certain ways. For a long time I was angry all the time, I would lash out, I would scream and throw things, today I’m not angry, but I do feel often feel burdened by life itself.
I’ve tried desperately to implement self care, which for me is reading a book, talking to someone when I feel like giving up, going to the beach or anywhere outdoors where I can get fresh air, finding new hobbies (blogging is something I started when life had me at my worst), occasionally treating myself to a food I love, taking a nap when I really it, asking for help when I really need it and a few other things.

I know I didn’t share much, but for me its a start to being more open about my traumas and dealing with mental illness. And if you need to talk, if you need someone to listen, I’m always around because sometimes what we need most is each other. Maybe I’ll continue this post later, maybe I’ll stop here.. but I’m on the journey to getting better, to becoming myself again.

There is no shame in your story.
You are not alone.
You are loved.
You are strong.

 

(Featured Image is from equalityinstitute.org)

Wear Green!

Sustainable/ Eco Friendly/ Green, call it what you want, it has a HUGE impact! This type of fashion calls on an environmental consciousness that’s new to the industry, but allows brands to rethink how and what they produce, and us the customer to rethink what ¬†and how we consume (fashion).

Wastage and energy consumption is apparently a trend (one that I don’t approve of) and we as the consumer ultimately have the power to change that. The obsession with fast fashion has made us a wasteful bunch, but, the (re)discovery of low tech pursuits is making its way back into our lives and I Love It!

Knitting, Crocheting, Upcycling and other endeavors are allowing us to produce as little or less wastage as we can. Even the pursuit of green fabrics such as leather from pineapples and mushrooms are making headway in the industry! Some cosmetic producers are reducing wastage by implementing programmes to recycle the product containers and usage of every piece of raw material to help our planet breath some sigh of relief.

Though an emerging trend, brands both in the Caribbean (and internationally)are making it their business to bring you green products.

Aisling Camps¬† modernizes knitwear in a sultry and wearable style for the Caribbean woman and nothing like your grandma’s sweater. Each piece is knit to shape, allowing no excess¬†fabric usage. They are also made to order made to order so there’s not too many garments on hand at once that may go unsold or unused further reducing excess amounts. Machinery? Meh, sometimes, but¬†its more¬†a magical process involving lots of¬†skill and hand-eye-knit-fabric coordination¬†so there’s low energy consumption. And, not to worry about those scrap pieces,¬†they’re¬†re-purposed and finds home in a new garment

(Images from ‘Aisling Camps Knitwear’ Facebook page)

One Memoir does its take on ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ by giving jackets a new sense of purpose through upcycling. What exactly is upcycling you ask? Essentially it’s breathing new life into a piece that one may longer see as wearable . You can cut, embellish, rearrange, colour and so much ,for clothing that looks completely new. One Memoir has found its niche in jackets with the motto, “Where opportunity meets creativity” to bring to you sustainable fashion choices that reduces wastage and helps our planet smile a little brighter.

(Images from Instagram @onememoir)

MakeupDoll Cosmetics¬†a cruelty free, vegan cosmetics brand contributes to this movement by fighting the urge to hand you that printed receipt after your purchase, reducing your carbon footprint and as cliche as it sounds, saving the trees. ¬†They’ve also implemented a program for¬†us makeup junkies to¬†return eyeshadow containers for refills at a cheaper cost as well as being advocates for package recycling. With every purchase you don’t only look like a Goddess, you’re also helping earth to GLOW too.

(Images from Instagram @makeupdollcosmetics)

Fashion can take a lot from the planet we live on, thankfully these brands have found a way to give back! These are only 3 brands Going Green in the Caribbean but there’s lots more that we already know and love or will come to know and love in the (near) future!

Share some of your fave sustainable fashion and beauty¬†brands, or practices in the comments!ūüėė

Be Practical!

Every woman dreams of having the perfect wardrobe. The ability to open that closet door and the perfect outfit would be right there, just waiting for you accessories and all. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way and so we have the task of putting together complementary pieces day in, day out. BUT! it doesn’t have to be a task.

First things first, all wardrobes require practicality, if you’re living in Trinidad I’m pretty sure you don’t need a floor length fur coat.

But yes, on to practicality, if you spend more than 60% of your week in a formal work/office setting then your wardrobe may/ should reflect that. Therefore the other 40% should be a well put together weekend/ casual wardrobe that doesn’t make you feel like your’re still at the office. Of course the #1 must have here is a power suit! but before you go for black consider something in another neutral like navy blue or even white (like the set below). Outside of that be sure to have a great pair of jeans that fit you body type ( and yes you can also tailor jeans because the legs can be too long or the waist too big). When it comes to shoes if you’re stationary most of the time then heels are just fine, however if you move around quite a bit or there’s stairs that go on forever go for some ballet flats or kitten heels instead.

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If most of your days are spent in a more casual setting your wardrobe should be practical for this. Try to stay away from pieces that are too heavy if you move around a lot. It also helps to get pieces that can easily transition from day to night or from one event to the next effortlessly. The top in the sets below is a good example of a versatile piece. A button down and a well-fitting dark wash jeans are also versatile as is cardigans and ballet flats. Accessories also become your best friend as they either make an outfit more casual or more formal based on how you style it. Have a few statement pieces such as a necklace and bracelet for casual occasions and perhaps a small layered necklace or one with a small pendant and a watch or simple bracelet for more formal affairs.

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University students also know the fine line that sometimes exists between school clothes and clothing for other occasions. But know it is definitely important to make the distinction between the two being a university student myself. Cardigans are a great choice as a lot of us have cold classrooms to deal with. Avoid things that are too low cut or too fitted or even too short ( its school you’re going to not a club). V neck t-shirts are also a great investment as they can last through the school year and to avoid it looking too homely you can accessorize with a cute necklace, great jean, some strappy sandals and a cardigan. A blazer is also a great investment for when we have those in class presentations or even internship positions, there’s always use for a blazer. Sundresses are also a cool, easy wearable piece for those warmer days and can be paired with sandals, ballet flats or for the daring a very low wedge. Because college life usually involves a lot of walking, running or stairs a pair of sneakers that you’re comfortable in and are also quite stylish is a great buy! Most importantly though, be comfortable because its the worst thing to be sitting in a lecture for 3 hours and your clothing is uncomfortable!

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