6 Helpful iPhone Apps For Managing Your Mental Health

Hey everyone and welcome back to my blog. Today, I’m going to be sharing 6 apps that are great for managing your mental health. I have personally tried out all of the following apps and I have seen the potential they have in making it easier to manage your illness. I hope these apps are useful and you find something new to help you along…

(All app titles link to the App Store).


Think Ups.

Price – Free.

This is a lovely little app I discovered by accident. It contains 6 mini activities – happy taps, habit maker, mindset, positivity, breather and illuminator. All of them are based around positive thinking, good habits and mindfulness. My favourite game is positivity, which is a word search game. You are given words revolved around positivity and you have to find them in the grid.


Three Good Things.

Price – Free.

What I love about this app is how simple it is. Everyday you receive a notification to input 3 good things that happened to you that day. It’s a great way to try and pick out the positives of the day, even if it’s been a particularly tough day.


Cove.

Price – Free.

This is one of most unique apps I’ve ever come across. Cove allows you to express how you’re feeling through music. You pick an emotion and it then allows you to add a base, melody and percussion to create a song. It’s great if you’re struggling to express how you’re feeling or you can’t find words to describe it. This app is also working with NHS (you can read more about this here).


Stigma.

Price – Free with a pro option.

Stigma is an app that allows you to track your mood and add journal entries. It also has a pen pal option – where you can connect with other people in similar situations to yourself. I haven’t tried out the pen pal aspect but I can imagine how helpful that could be to someone’s support system. One of my favourite aspects of the mood tracker is you can add a visual representation of how you’re feeling, which you can track over a certain period of time (daily, weekly, monthly).


Quit That.

Price – free.

I’ve added some examples to show you how it works

This is a very simple app that allows you to track habits you want to quit. It isn’t necessarily a mental health app, however, it’s great if there are bad habits, possibly related to your illness, you’d like to stop doing. It also allows you to input if the habit costs anything per day, and it will then show you how much you’ve saved since you’ve quit, which I think is a great motivator.


Clementine.

Price – free.

This is an app that uses hypnotherapy to help you deal with the struggles you may be facing. It includes several audios to listen to in the categories sleep, confidence and de-stress. It also allows you to add mantras (or choose the surprise me option) and the app will send you reminders throughout the day to remind you of them, which is think is a lovely touch.


What apps do you find helpful in managing your mental health?

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7 Valuable Lessons I Learnt In 2018

Hey guys and welcome back to my blog. 2018 was a tough year for me and I learnt many lessons. Sometimes it’s hard to remember the good things when you are going through a tough time, and I think it’s so important to try and take something away from stressful or tough times. In today’s post I’ll be sharing 7 of the most valuable lessons I learnt in 2018..


In amongst the bad – something amazing happened to me in 2018. If you’ve read my blog for a while you will have read me go on and on about my new accessible home (you can read about my first accessible Christmas in my new home here). I’ll never forget the day we got the phone call that we were being offered this property and the day we actually moved in. It reminded me that yes life isn’t fair at times and bad things do happen, but if you keep persevering, keep fighting, good things can and will happen.


Yes, it may take you longer to get to where other people are but that doesn’t mean you’ll never get there. Many people my age have jobs and spouses and kids and I’m just not there yet. It doesn’t mean it’ll never happen, I’ve just taken the longer route around. But you know what? That’s okay, and it just means it’ll make it all the more worth it when you get there.


You can’t just sit around and wait for something to happen. I am the master procrastinator and sometimes it can be easy to believe that’s things will just fall into your lap when you least expect it, but life doesn’t work like that. I want to write my book? I have to put the work in. I want to grow my blog? I have to put myself out there. Work hard and if you do the results will come.


It helps me get places, it means I don’t have to stay in bed, it means I can go out and do things I want to do. No matter how frustrated I get when places aren’t accessible, or when I crash into everything, or I hurt my shoulder transferring into it, it’s given me a life outside of my bed and that’s an amazing thing.


Don’t let anyone push you around. There are people that will take advantage of you if you let them, including those who are supposed to be providing a service that helps you live and improve your life. If someone is mistreating you, you have to stand up and say ‘hey I am a person, treat me like one’. No one has the right to belittle you and treat you like you mean nothing. I am lucky that I have an amazing best friend who stands up for me when I can’t stand up for myself. That’s a precious gift I’ll never take for granted.


Writing a book is hard work, committing yourself to learning everything about the craft of writing is hard, committing to improving and growing as a writer is hard. But the thought of never publishing a book, of never achieving my goals and dreams I have for my writing is worse, terrifying even. And every time I don’t want to write or I don’t feel inspired or motivated I remember that prospect and it keeps me going.


And you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. It doesn’t make you weak or selfish, and it’s okay to not have the energy to deal with those toxic people. You shouldn’t have to continue associating yourself with those people if it’s affecting your mental health. This is your life – nobody else’s.


What lessons did you learn in 2018?

What’s In My Writer Toolkit? (And Tips On Creating Your Own!)

Hi guys and welcome back to my blog. In today’s post I’m going to be sharing what’s in my writer toolkit and how you can go about making your own. There are many definitions as to what a writer toolkit is but to me it’s anything I need nearby or anything I find helpful when I’m writing. I keep the majority of my items in the above Harry Potter bag one of my close friends got me for Christmas (you can check out her blog here!) Without further ado, here is my writer toolkit..


Novel bible.

This is probably the most important item in my toolkit. If you don’t know what a novel bible is it’s basically a collection of all aspects of your novel – character information, locations, scenes, research etc. It’s so when you’re writing you have all the information at hand. Although there are computer programs that are great for this, I find there’s nothing like good old pen and paper. It also saves having 10 tabs open and getting easily distracted from writing. At the moment I’m currently in the process of trying different things to discover which works best for me as a writer, but for now I am just using an A4 notebook.


Bullet journal.

At the present time I just have one bullet journal for all of my needs – including my personal planning as well as my writing life. I’m in the process of deciding on whether or not I want a separate one just for writing, but for now my one bullet journal always needs to be nearby so I know where I’m up to and what I need to do next.

If you’d like to see inside of my bullet journal you can see my 2019 Bullet Journal post here. 


Scene cards.

It took me a long time to discover the advantages of using index cards for my scenes, but it’s honestly the best way I’ve found to organise my outline. In my toolkit I keep my current novel’s scene cards as well as some spare ones in case I need to add anything in as I go.


Emotion thesaurus.

I’ve had my eye on this book for a while after seeing it recommended in a YouTube video. I struggle a lot with ‘show don’t tell’ especially when it comes to emotions. This book is helping me so much with finding different ways of describing emotions whilst also improving my writing. This should be a staple in all writer’s toolkits!


The Witch’s Journal and The Green Witch.

I am fascinated by anything to do with Witchcraft and the Pagan religion so it’s only natural it creeps into my novels. I was pleased to receive these books for Christmas from my best friend, and I put them straight into my toolkit. They are an amazing reference for writing my current and future novels.


1000 Words To Expand Your Vocabulary.

This was another book I received for Christmas from Channie! As a writer I am fascinated by words and this is a great book for learning new words!


iPad keyboard.

Lastly, I have my iPad keyboard. It’s nothing fancy, just a bog standard Bluetooth keyboard. I do the majority of my writing on my iPad because I find writing on a computer hurts my eyes and because it’s heavy I can’t use it for long periods of time. However, there’s nothing like typing on a keyboard so this was an essential purchase for me.


  • What are some essentials you can’t write without? Maybe it’s things you absolutely must have before you can even start writing. Notebooks, laptop/tablet, pens, novel bibles, scene cards are some ideas.
  • Are there any reference books that you find useful when your writing, or that relate to your current work in progress? For example – my witch’s journal. However, this could also mean dictionaries or thesaurus, or vocabulary books.
  • Are there any books on the craft of writing you like to dip in and out of while writing?
  • Do you like to keep a planner for your writing? Somewhere you write down your goals, deadlines, ideas? Whether that’s a bullet journal, Filofax, page a day diary etc.
  • Anything you use/get inspiration from – favourite books, pictures, music, quotes.


Do you have a writer toolkit? If so, what’s in yours?

My 2019 Bullet Journal Set Up

Hey guys and welcome to my very first blog post of 2019! Today I’m going to be sharing my 2019 bullet journal set up! I won’t be including my monthly pages as I’m planning a separate post on those. I’m also planning an ultimate guide to bullet journaling for writers, so look out for that one in the foreseeable future!

Without further ado, here is my 2019 set up..


First up is my front cover. I wanted to keep it simple so along with the year I drew some mountain as to represent the climb you go through in life. The quote is one of my favourite writing quotes – and brings together what writing means to me.


Mission statement, blog vision + word of the year.

I’m not 100% happy with my mission statement and blog vision, but it’s something I’m going to continue to work on and edit until I’m happy with it. The reason I’ve written it down in my bullet journal already is because I wanted to see it evolve. I also then have a baseline as to where I started and how I’ve changed over time.

2019 goals.

I’ve spilt my goals into sections – books/reading, blogging and writing. I don’t have any particular personal goals this year – I find those are the ones I tend to fail at and I want this year to be about growth and change. If you’d like to see a more in depth post on my 2019 goals, a link to that post is here.


2018 stats overview + most popular posts.

I chose to include this because I wanted to see how my blog improves from last year, and I also wanted to keep track of the posts people enjoyed in 2018 so I know what content to keep creating.


2019 blog stats.

I know numbers aren’t everything, however I like to keep track of them so I can see how well my blog is performing, and if there’s anything I can do to improve what I’m already doing. It also helps me as it gives me motivation if I’m in a blogging slump. It shows me how well my blog can do and that in turn gives me the oomph to create new content.


Books I’ve read.

I’ve also kept this page simple with title, author and rating. In the past I’ve had a complicated what I’ve read page with date started, date finished, genre etc, and it gets to look so messy on the page. This is why I’ve gone for something more simple this year and left all all the complicated stats to Goodreads.

Savings tracker.

So this year I’m saving for a very exciting (but terrifying) prospect. I’m not going to go into to it yet as it’s very personal but it is something I may share in the future. I’m not sure I’m happy with the layout of the savings tracker but it does what I need it to so it’ll do for now.


2019 reading challenge.

One of my 2019 goals is to complete a reading challenge. I decided on the Popsugar challenge and I’ve written down all the prompts so I can highlight them when I’ve completed each one. I prefer highlighting to checking boxes as I love adding colour to my journal and I feel like this is a super easy way to do so.


Future log.

Lastly, we have my future log. I’m useless at remembering things especially when they are months down the line. I’ve also added a section for book releases. With so many amazing books coming out this year there are bound to be some that I forget about, and now I don’t have to!


Planner supplies used.

TinkerPad Bullet Journal

Docrafts Brush Pens

Highlighters

Washi tape

Do you bullet journal, or do you prefer another form of planning?

December Wrap Up + Goodreads Challenge Final Update

Welcome to my last Blogmas post and final blog post of 2018. Today I’m going to be sharing what I read in December and also wrap up my 2018 Goodreads challenge. 2018 hasn’t been the best reading year for me – in between a massive move and starting 2 modules at university I’ve been busy, too tired or lacking concentration to read as much as I normally do. However, looking back at all the books I’ve read this year I’ve been really lucky to read many amazing books. I’m surprised because I’m not always one to rate 5 stars and as you’ll see I had a lot of 5 star reviews. You’ll notice I don’t have any 1 or 2 stars reads this year and that’s because 9 times out of 10 if I’m not enjoying a book I’ll abandon it. Without further ado, here is my wrap up!


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

I also read the Assassins Blade this year and loved it. I have had this series on my shelf for the longest time and I finally got to read it. I’ve only read the first one and part of the second one so far, before I got distracted with my Christmas books. However, I’m enjoying the series so far and I’m excited to see what happens next.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling.

So I started my reread this month and once again I have fallen more in love with Harry Potter (who even knew that was possible!). It’s exciting to read and remember all the little things I’ve forgotten.

You can read my review for this book here.

Another post that may interest you is Harry Potter Scenes I Wish Were In The Movies Part 1.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab.

This month I decided to try a free trial of Scribd. I love it – and unlike Audible you can listen to as many books as you want in a month for the same price. This was my first book by Victoria Schwab and it’s safe to say that I fell in love with her writing. I’m excited to read all her other books in the new year.

Mr Greedy, Mr Mischief and Mr Happy by Roger Hargreaves.

The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle by Beatrix Potter.

The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter.

Castle of Doom by Sarina Hossain.

The last few books I read in December were very short. With only 6 hours to go until midnight I was determined I was getting to my goal of 50 books. I have never failed a challenge yet and I wasn’t having it beat me. I crammed in the last 6 books and I did it!


Goal – 50 books.

Final count – 50 books.

5 star book review

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.
  • The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter.
  • The Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix Potter.
  • I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.
  • Mr Bump by Roger Hargreaves.
  • The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore.
  • The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore.
  • Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
  • The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore.
  • I Know A Secret by Tess Gerritsen.
  • My Real Name Is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih.
  • We Are Okay by Nina LaCour.
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber.
  • Legendary by Stephanie Garber.
  • The Assassin and the Healer by Sarah J. Maas.
  • The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
  • The Doll by J.C Martin.
  • Mr Greedy by Roger Hargreaves.
  • Mr Mischief by Roger Hargreaves.
  • Mr Happy by Roger Hargreaves.
  • The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.

4 star book review

  • Night of the Living Dummy by R.L Stine.
  • The Blob That Ate Everyone by R.L Stine.
  • Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.
  • The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore.
  • The Last Days of Lorien by Pittacus Lore.
  • The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore.
  • Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis.
  • The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Maas.
  • The Assassin and the Underworld by Sarah J. Maas.
  • The Assassin and the Empire by Sarah J. Maas.
  • The Rain by Virginia Bergin.
  • The Storm by Virginia Bergin.
  • Mirage by Somaiya Daud.
  • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab.
  • The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter.

3 star book review

  • The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter.
  • A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke.
  • Island by David Almond.
  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini.
  • Black Cairn Point by Claire McFall.
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
  • The Assassin and the Desert by Sarah J. Maas.
  • Seed by Lisa Heathfield.
  • There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins.
  • Immortal Girls by Griffin Stark.
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.
  • Signal Failure by David Wailing.
  • Castle of Doom by Sarina Hossain.

What have been your favourite books this year? I hope you all have a wonderful and safe New Years Eve. I’ll see you all in the new year!

My First Christmas In A Wheelchair Accessible Home

If you’ve followed my blog for a while you might have seen me mention that this year I moved into a fully wheelchair accessible home. I have been dependent on my wheelchair for around 3 years now and this bungalow has been a long time coming. I spent the best part of 2 and a half years in houses that weren’t suitable for my needs, and it was a struggle. In Mid February we finally got the call we’d been waiting for and we moved in April 2018. Just having an adapted, suitable house (just like every disabled person should have) has made the whole Christmas period so much more enjoyable and magical. I’ll be forever grateful for being given this bungalow and the opportunity to live my life more independently and as comfortable as is possible. In this post I’m going to share with you how this bungalow has made my Christmas easier and more enjoyable..


Putting up the Christmas tree..

This year was the first year I was able to properly help putting up the Christmas decorations. In the past the poor accessibility of my home meant I was unable to help much, except for putting baubles on one side of the tree. I can’t explain how freeing it felt to finally be able to do my bit, to be able to immerse myself in the excitement and festivity of the build up to Christmas. Just being able to do something as normal as passing the sellotape to my best friend whilst she put up the Christmas cards on the wall. Or helping wrap the fairy lights around the tree – simple things like that meant the world and they haven’t been possible in the past.


Getting outside..

One thing that was extremely difficult (and at times impossible) in my old home was getting out into the world. I lived in a house with a stairlift – and as I’m completely dependent on a wheelchair and unable to weight bear, my best friend/carer had to lift me on and off the stairlift. As you can imagine it was difficult for her, was no good for her back and also dangerous to do especially at the top of the stairs, (there was a few times we both nearly toppled down the stairs!) I also wasn’t able to get out of the door without being pushed because of the high threshold. There was also a ridiculously tight space which meant the only way to get out was for my carer to tip me onto the two front wheels and lift me (on the chair), around the corner, and out of the door. In this new bungalow there are no stairs, lots of room, and a level threshold which means I am able to get myself out of the door and there isn’t any danger like in my old house. Although I can’t push myself for long outdoors and going out still takes up all my energy, it’s still incredibly empowering that I’ve been able to go out without it being so difficult. This has allowed me to do any Christmas shopping I couldn’t do online, and go to Christmas events like the light switch on and carol singing.


Christmas Day – present opening..

Last year I spent Christmas Day in my bedroom, in bed, like everyday. I still had a good Christmas but being cramped up in one room didn’t make for the most comfortable Christmas. This year I had the entire living room to open my presents, I could look at my new things without feeling like I was suffocating, and I wasn’t in my bed.


Cooking Christmas dinner..

This year I was able to help cook Christmas dinner and it felt amazing. Although I still struggled and there were certain things I couldn’t do, it felt so good to be able to help, and so my best friend didn’t have to do everything by herself. In my new kitchen there is plenty of turning room, I was able to use the lowered counter tops to help prepare the food, I could switch the oven on and help dish up the food. To most people using their kitchen and helping cook dinner is a normal thing. I know that before I became unwell I took my legs for granted and all the things that were normal for me to do. Safe to say this was the best Christmas dinner we’ve ever cooked and I’m happy and proud to say that I helped make it!


Unfortunately, many other disabled people are living in atrocious living conditions, in houses that aren’t suitable for their needs. They’re having to live in situations dangerous for not only themselves but also their carers. Everyone should have a house that’s suitable for them and their needs, it shouldn’t be a luxury, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. I’ve been lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to move into a property that meets my needs and more, but there are still way too many people who live in situations I used to be in. All we can do is continue to raise awareness about the state of disability housing, and keep talking about it in the hopes that one day everyone will be equal and won’t have to struggle.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with housing and finding somewhere that meets your/their needs, below are some useful websites –

  • Habinteg – a housing association that offers a range of properties all over the country, including wheelchair accessible homes. They also strive to create communities that include everyone – regardless if they have a disability or not.

The Dreaded Reading Slump (And How To Pull Yourself Out!)

We all know the situation – you pick up a book and YOU JUST CAN’T READ! It’s the bane of a readers existence and personally I feel like, in the reader world, there’s nothing worse than a reading slump. I went through so many slumps this year and at times I thought my brain might explode from lack of reading! I’m here today to pick out some of the reasons why slumps happen and also offer some tips to get out of one…


Possible causes..

Too much Netflix!

I can lose hours and hours of time binge watching a new tv show I just discovered. 77 episodes later and I’ll emerge from the shame and realise I haven’t picked up a book in days. This is also happens with YouTube – I watch one video and then fall down the black hole of clicking every video that pops up..

You’ve just finished the best book ever.

The times when nothing will ever compare to the book you’ve just finished and everything else beside it is going to be rubbish. This happened to me with Caraval and Legendary this year, and was responsible for my big slump around July. I sulked because all I wanted to read was the 3rd book in the series and it wasn’t out yet!

You can’t get into the current book you’re reading.

This happens to me a lot. It’s when you don’t connect with the book but you’re too stubborn to move onto another one. It then causes you to lose the oomph to pick up the book and actually read it.

You’ve read too much.

I wish this wasn’t even a thing. This is when your brain basically tells you to stop reading before it explodes. It’s the times when you want to read but your brain doesn’t.


My top tips for getting our a reading slump.

Re-read an old favourite.

For me, it’s Harry Potter. If I’m struggling with a slump I’ll pick up this series. It always reminds me of how exciting I find reading and inspires me to explore other worlds. Plus, I know the story back to front so it doesn’t involve much concentration.

Try an audiobook.

I love audiobooks! They help me get out of a slump if I’m struggling with concentration. The beauty of them is that you don’t have to do anything but listen. I recommend Scribd – they provide audiobooks and ebooks. Unlike Audible which only allows you 1 audiobook per month, you have unlimited use for the entire month for £7.99 (which is the same as audible)

Try short stories.

This is a brilliant trick for reading slumps. Something short and quick to read usually helps me find the joy in reading again.

Don’t try to read.

Sometimes your brain just needs a break so listen to it. Do anything other than reading for a few hours or days and then try again!

Don’t be stubborn and DNF a book you’re not enjoying.

There are too many books in the world to read – that you’ll probably enjoy – to stay hung up on a book you’re not into. It took me a long time to realise this so I’d always force myself to finish every single book I picked up. Don’t do it to yourself – it’s not worth it and you’ll probably miss out on great books with all the time you’ve wasted on trying to finish a book you’re not connecting with.

Try a different genre.

Maybe you’re having what I’d like to call a ‘genre burnout’. If all you ever read is fantasy, then maybe try contemporary. Or if you read sci-fi, then try fantasy and so on.

Head on to Goodreads or Instagram etc.

I do this all the time when I’m in a reading slump because when I see others flying through books, it reminds my brain of how much joy I get from reading. However, air on the side of caution as this could backfire and make your slump worse if you find yourself getting frustrated that you can’t read.


These are just some of the tips I find help me when I’m in a reading slump. What are some top tips that help you get out of a reading slump?