Winging Life Since 1995

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Social Anxiety vs FOMO

As you may or may not have noticed I've missed a couple of posts in the last week... I've recently got a new full-time job and I'm trying to find the balance between work, blog, play. I'm still searching for it so you will have to bear with me while I sort my life out. Thank you, love you.

In the last month, I've gone from sleeping all day every day to working all day and having something on nearly every night. I would have never thought my life would ever be something like this. A social life... me?! You're kidding, right? Some of you may know my tempestuous relationship with mental heath and since leaving school anxiety has played a large in my daily life. This translates into many aspects of my general being, but throwing myself more out of my comfort zone has let my anxiety think it has a right to join in on the fun too. If you don't know what FOMO means, it's the Fear Of Missing Out. So those nights you've gone on a night out even though you have work the next morning at 6.00 am and are broke af, is because you had the fleeting feeling of FOMO.

If you have anxiety or panic attacks then you'll be familiar with the feeling of not wanting to miss out but also not wanting to leave the house under any circumstances... If you don't know this feeling, imagine walking into a room naked and having the world see you and laugh so you run home and never want to talk to anyone again. It's that, but without the naked part actually happening.

BUT THAT'S NO MORE. I've pushed myself to do a lot more recently to get used to different situations, which has helped me a lot. The more comfortable I get in social engagements the less scary it is and the less I dread leaving the house. My confidence has grown a lot too through a million things changing to me within the last two months. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger hey... *cue Kelly Clarkson replaying in your head for the rest of the week*. So don't be afraid to try new things. It's actually gotten to the point where I get bored at home and I want to go out and do something. And now I've accidentally booked myself something every day and evening for the next two weeks. That's pretty impressive for someone who likes to sleep.

I think a lot of the times I've underestimated myself. I am capable of so much and for me often a case of mind over matter. There are times that no matter how much I ask myself "what is there to be afraid of" during a social activity, the feeling doesn't go away, and I know that's ok. I'm not perfect and not everything will always go to plan. But as long as I gave it a go in the first place and pushed through, that's all that matters. The other day I did something that just a few months ago would have given me a panic attack and it didn't. I wrapped myself tightly in a blanket post event, however, it's a stepping stone and I'm proud of myself for doing that thing.

It is also good to have someone you can talk to when you're out and feeling a little wobbly. I find that telling someone I feel anxious actually, makes me feel better because I'm letting it out rather than suppressing it. Even if it's just a text to a friend or family member means you've addressed your problem. If you don't have anyone to talk to, talk to me. Seriously. Drop me a message, a tweet, whatever you'd like and I'll do my best. Nothing you're feeling is weird to me. Trust me - I get anxious over the weight of cutlery...

I have this thing I do called "grounding". When I've been around people for a while I sometimes feel light and floaty and I need to be grounded. So I get into bed with five or six layers on, wrap a blanket or duvet over me and put on my anxiety hat (my favourite woolly hat.) The weight of the layers ground me and I feel secure. Weight and warmth help a lot. If you are someone who shakes when you're panicking... putting on more clothes or getting someone to hug you tightly from behind is good too. Understandably you don't always want to be touched so curl up instead. You will know what feels right. I have to admit, singing along to the Wicked soundtrack always helps too because I sing along to every single word which is a good distraction. Also Wicked is magic too...

Just take a step back and understand the situation. Put less pressure on yourself to "perform" well. You're only a human being you can only do the best you can and it's ok. If you embarrass yourself, so what?! It's not like it's never happened to someone else before. Be nice to yourself and at the end of the day, a little pat on your back and a well done is all you need. Small or big milestones - they're all important

I mean I'm no guru and these are suggestions and ways I've found that help myself. Listen to your body and understand your anxiety. If you can relate and have any tips on how to deal with social anxiety, share them below and help each other out.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Dear Teenage Self

A while ago I found myself reading a letter written in Vogue by Victoria Beckham to her eighteen-year-old self. If you haven’t read it I would really recommend it because it got me thinking about a lot of things. What I wish I knew then and how I could help myself with what I know now. We’re eternally learning and it’s fascinating to realise that for every moment there’s a lesson, there always an opportunity to broaden your skills and knowledge. I gave my own letter a go...

Dear Emily-Marie,

You’re not having fun, that's for sure. With friends, with your health, with who you like and don’t like. It won’t be easy but it’s better that way because you’ll be stronger from it. You’re not like the other girls and you won’t ever want to be.

You’ll miss around two years of school because of your health, but while you’re sat in the hospital waiting for yet more blood to be taken, remind yourself never to underestimate your ability to do what you do best. A lot of misconceptions will be thrown around about why you’re not at school. You’ll get called lazy more times than you can remember and you’re going to cry over it because of how frustrated you are. How can they understand if you don't really understand it yourself? But that’s ok. Crying is good. You’ll not worry when you get better grades than most come results day.

Don’t worry about what people think when you’re eating lunch by yourself or when you're not invited out. Those girls will peak too early and end up getting expelled for drugs and theft. Don’t let anyone tell you that you won’t do well - because you will. And when you get locked in that locker and left there, hang in there babe, you’ll be out soon. You’ll start to understand that being weird is a good thing and when people label you as it, take that as a compliment. You’ll meet other weirdos and they’ll be your most favourite people in the world. You do belong. You’re going to get your period later than everyone else and you will cry every day because you hate it. Please don’t cry, you’ll get used to it. Periods are pretty cool and it’s good to not be afraid to talk about it. Be stronger because, without it, you wouldn’t be able to have the most beautiful children you’ve ever laid eyes on. Hopefully.

The last two years of school will be complex and new. Discovering and accepting that you’re different, finding where you fit in and people disbelieving in you. Don't worry what people think of you, you're not perfect so don't try to be - be relatable, be honest and be yourself. You’ll love your teachers, they’ll be there for you because you give a damn about your subjects. They’ll want to help you and they will. Listen to them, trust them, do them proud and you’ll make yourself proud.

Your heart will get broken for the first time and it will really f*cking hurt but you've got to look after yourself because people aren't going to understand. Love will be questioned far too much and you’ll fall a few times. You’ll start to develop crushes on girls too but you won’t tell anyone for a while. It will be scary and you won't like it and for three years you'll hate yourself for it. Come out to yourself first. You’ll like boys again too, just not for a while so don’t worry about that now. Either way, labels are unnecessary, just be who you are. If others find it confusing, it’s a good job it has nothing to do with them. Love is love - it’s the person that matters not their anatomy. Those relationships are important and you'll have some of the happiest times of your life.

Age 19 you’ll start to get panic attacks, you’ll not want to eat much and when the colour of the sky or the pattern on your duvet make you want to throw up, just take your pill. Don’t worry if you have to stay awake all night, it can be fun sometimes. Just put down the blade, it won’t get you anywhere. Stand up for yourself. You’ve always been pretty good at that but don’t let it slip. Some people will try and take advantage of you and you won’t always realise that the situation you're in isn’t good. Yourself always comes first. You’ll be treated like a doormat and your opinion won’t matter. When you realise and tell your friends... they’ll already know. You just wish they would have told you sooner. You deserve more than that.

Learn quickly that Instagram is just a highlights reel and no one else knows what the heck is going on, nor will they have their life together. Even celebrities get spots and forget to shave their pits from time to time. They’re just human babe. Don’t ever think you’re worthless or unlucky. If you want something, work hard and get it. Your future self will thank you later.

And, if any of this is worth remembering, don’t cut that fringe, and for god sake, if you do, don’t do it yourself three minutes after having the idea. You’ll hate it. Like really, really hate it.

Always be grateful and never ever ashamed.

Much love x

*Photo credit @jasminedowling

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Miami Daze | Swamp Breed x Andy Foster

If you've been on The Messy Edit recently you would have seen my recent post about an incredible new T-shirt brand called Swamp Breed. From my hometown of Bristol, Joe is smashing it and I'm over the moon to be working with him again on his new stuff. You can read Joe's interview with me, Joe in Wonderland, here.

Joe and Andy met on the uni course they're currently studying and the collaboration Miami Daze was born. When two impressive creatives come together and create something so brilliant it's like fireworks are being set off. "If you have ever met Andy Foster he is a very quirky interesting character, with his own unique style that makes him stand out from a crowd. His positivity resonates with me and he's just an overall great person." The new collection includes a hand painted skateboard and mug with an original piece created for Swamp by Andy Foster on them. If that's not insanely innovative, I don't know what is...

I'm honestly just in awe of them both as they're killing it while at uni still and not many people can say the same. "I wanted to work with someone closely on two items that weren't garment related because I feel like this would separate me from just being another T-shirt brand. We came to the conclusion that doing a limited edition skateboard hand painted by him and a mug is perfect for our collaboration and I am extremely excited with the final outcome of it all and to release to the public."

Literally how cool is this?! It's hand painted. I am in love. I'm not a skater. Or should I say, I'm not a natural born skater, however, I have always imagined being a professional - as you do. Imagine eight year old me for example, (I feel like I've talked about little Emily a lot recently), who has a big sister that owns a skateboard. That was the optimum of cool and so naturally I was jealous as heck. Rainy day, Saturday, shifty corner shop - they had a tiny section of toys and on the bottom shelf in the left-hand corner was a skateboard, but not just any skateboard, a badass miniature one that was perfect for below average sized Emily. I cried, I begged and good ol' Mumma McGuire pulled through. Hallelujah, DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE.


And it was just downhill from there. Fast forward 13 years and I still can't bloody skate. Yet I refuse to take no for answer and my love for the art of skateboarding is still very much alive.

Both items will be available on the website, from 9 pm tonight (15th March '17).

Follow Swamp Breed on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date.

*Photos are courtesy of Swamp Breed.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Nailed It | Elegant Touch Glue on Nails Review

I feel like I have my life together when I have my nails on. I could literally conquer the world.

So after wandering the aisles of Boots, I spotted Elegant Touch. Getting my nails done is something I've always wanted to try but not something that's really in my budget... And then I decided that these are the perfect compromise. I'm not much of a DIY girl and so I was slightly apprehensive when it came to having to apply glue, but it was so bloody easy and not messy at all THANK GOD. The application process should take around 10-15 minutes in total, however, I did take a little longer just to triple check everything I was doing was right to avoid glueing my fingers together instead (I was close).

First impressions were very good. I first chose the shade 'Next Stop New York' which is a matte oxblood/plum colour. It's definitely more of a winter shade, or if you're me it's an all year around shade because I basically only dress in dark colours (will this ever change?!) They come in so many different shades and shapes I don't have to worry about the paint chipping which is the bane of my life.

I was also very interested to try out their new super-flex technology, as I can remember being little with my little Barbie fake nails that never fit and hurt like a bitch because they were hard and over curved. I have to say their flexibility made my life so much easier and they're so comfy. I expected to feel them on the ends of my fingers or for them to get in the way, but neither was true, which is a huge benefit for me as I write and type a lot. Who knew fake nails had come so far since I was seven...

They lasted around six days for me and considering they claim they last up to 10 days I don't think that's bad. It's really beneficial for me when I have a weekend of events or a busy week at work and I can do my nails so quickly without having to worry about them. I've since bought like eight more different styles and colours and I'm just loving it. The ends of the nails are thicker so they're much stronger but still flexible. At a price of around £6 - £8 a packet, it's a pretty lovely price and most drugstores often have 3 for 2 offers on them as well. Free? Yes, please! I've got Garnet, Power Trip and Valentina yet to try, I'm currently wearing Emerald.

The only negative thing I have to say about the product is that I have pretty small hands and small nails and there were a lot more big nails then smaller nails in the packet. This meant I couldn't use the same size on some of my nails even though these would be a better fit, resulting in a wide nail base on a few nails It still looks good though and I'm going to keep using them, however, it would be great if they did more duplicate smaller sizes!

I'm keen to try the Elegant Touch Super Adhesive Tabs soon too to find out if I prefer these or glue. These are best if you want to change your nails more often. NEXT UP... their House of Holland collaboration!


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Take Yourself Out

Bralet Flatlay

So it's March already!! I'm so glad February is out of the way, it always seems to drag on despite being the shortest month of the year...

If you're a keen reader of mine you would have noticed I didn't post on Sunday AND I'M SORRY! I've been working my butt off and I just haven't had time. Yeah I know, "plan ahead Emily". A bit late for that. I'm starting my new job next week so I'll start to get into more of a routine soon I promise. I post Wednesday's and Sunday's at 8 pm and you can follow me on Bloglovin' to get my posts or subscribe to get them straight in your inbox (it's up on your right!)

February was a very complex month, to say the least, and I'm totally ready to leave that behind and start fresh. I recently saw a couple of people on Twitter saying that they wanted to go to the cinema by themselves but they thought it was weird. If you're wondering the same - it's not.

Having people to go out with and have fun is amazing but doing things by yourself is also super nice. When I worked odd shifts I took myself out to the cinema, for meals, to the museum all by myself because I wanted to and I wasn't going to sit around and wait for someone to come with. (Plus no one was around.)

I think it's really important to invest time in yourself. Self-love and all that. 'Me' time doesn't have to be staying in and resting (although a hot bubble bath is an essential) it can mean taking yourself on an adventure, doing things by yourself, having fun, going to the beach. THIS DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE A LONER OK! It's actually quite a liberating experience, to be honest. Going to the cinema by myself is a favourite of mine - it's basically an upgraded version of watching Netflix in bed. What's not to love?!

If you read my previous post Cheap Date Weekend, all these ideas can easily be done by yourself too. It's a good way of getting to know yourself. I know that probably sounds weird because we hang out with ourselves 24/7, but you might not necessary know what you really like a dislike within some aspects of life. So give it a go? Wine and dine yourself...
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