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kindness, one step at a time

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Armchair Warrior

My New Year’s Resolution: Absolutely Strawless

I’m afraid I disagree with Beyonce in that no one can be ‘flawless’. However, this year I do aim to be strawless! It’s one easy way to be more environmentally friendly, not only by contributing less to the demand of wasteful single-use plastic, but also by  reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans that kill marine wildlife. Poor turtles. 😦

sea-turtle
Olive Ridley sea turtle having a straw pulled from its nose

And let’s face it, it’s not like they’re exactly essential. So if you’re looking for something small yet achievable to set yourself, please follow suit and let me know! 🙂

drinking

One more present

Imagine you haven’t quite finished your Christmas shopping – you have one more present to buy. It’s for a complete stranger, but it may well mean more to them than any of the other presents you give this Christmas:

 

Help us reach more people and save more lives – donate now.
WWW.REDCROSS.ORG.UK

Share a post with Christmas anxiety combating tips

Anxiety and depression are common mental health problems, with around 3 million people in the UK suffering from an anxiety disorder and another 3 million with depression as their primary problem. 4-10% of people in the UK suffering from depression at some point in their life and 40% of worldwide disability is due to depression and anxiety.*

Chances are that you have friends, whether you know it or not, who suffer from anxiety or depression. Sharing a post with some tips to combat Christmas anxiety can not only help those people, but also shows your support and understanding for those suffering what can often be a very isolating or stigmatized disorder.

Anxiety UK offers the following top 10 tips – go on and spread the word 🙂

Anxiety UK 10 Tips for coping with Christmas

1 – Don’t Over Indulge

As tempted as we all get to “treat ourselves” over the festive period, it is important to remember the impact that food can have on our mood. Too much sugar and caffeine can cause us to peak and crash and often impacts on our emotions.

2- Drink Responsibly

Many people say that alcohol helps to relax their anxiety however, drinking too much and the following hangover can often lead us to feel worse. Know your limits and stay safe. Keep hydrated by drinking water and other non-alcoholic beverages.

3 – Keep Active

We can still go for a walk or maintain our exercise regimen during the festivities. Many gyms offer 24 hours access which means that we don’t need to miss out. ParkRun also have a lot of 5k runs organised for Christmas day, you can find details here:

4 – Distraction

If things do feel like they are getting too much, remember your distraction techniques.Calm Keys are available from the Anxiety UK website with accessible useful tips and advice on breathing, relaxation and distraction techniques on a handy keyring.

5 – Move at your own pace

Don’t feel pressured to get caught up in the whirlwind and rush of Christmas. Our reality of Christmas isn’t what we see on TV and social media and that is ok!

6 – Make time for yourself

Watch your favourite film, read a book, listen to music. Be sure to practice some self-preservation and be kind to yourself. Spend at least one day in your pyjamas and relax!

7 – Have a plan for the party season

If you are heading out to a party or night out, be sure to have a plan in place for if your anxiety does peak. Speak to a friend ahead of your festive plans and discuss the best methods to help you if you enter a panic. This means that you have a trusted person who is equipped to help you cope and make you feel safe.

8 – Mindfulness

10 minutes of Mindfulness practice each day could help to keep you grounded, calm and relaxed. Headspace offers sessions on stress, anxiety, depression and SOS sessions perfect for panic. You can get a one year’s free subscription to Headspace through Anxiety UK membership packages.

9 – Know where you can turn to for support

Anxiety UK is open for the majority of the Christmas season at our usual hours.

10 – Rest.

Be sure to get plenty of sleep and rest during Christmas. Feeling tired can lead to us feeling less able to cope. Grab yourself and early night or nice lie in.

 

*https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/our-services/anxiety-information/frequently-asked-questions/

Write for Rights

Join me in taking up Amnesty International’s Write for Rights 2016 campaign! This is a great opportunity to stand up for those whose most basic rights are under attack.

Please consider taking the time to write either a letter of appeal or a message of solidarity for those victims of human rights abuses, even if you only have time for one.

Amnesty International’s ‘Write for Rights’ campaign highlights 12 cases that they would like you to write on behalf of. These vary from writing to Malawian Government asking them to protect Albinos from being killed and dismembered for their ‘magical’ body parts, to Fomusoh Ivo Feh being sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for forwarding a joke by text in Cameroon. https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/write-for-rights/

You can also turn it into a social gathering, either uniting fellow activists or possibly with tasty bribes for the not-so-eager!

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