Chloe posts

Black Lives Matter

The recent events in America are heart-wrenching. It is horrifying that we still live in a world where slavery’s legacy lives on, and people of colour are still treated as second-class citizens. We shouldn’t live in a world where the colour of your skin determines your opportunities in life, and the way you are treated by others. Nobody should be subjected to abuse because of their race.

We live in a society that favours white skin, although most of the population are not white. White people are overrepresented in film, TV and media, whereas people of colour are marginalised and underrepresented in a wide array of professions. White people are treated more favourably by the education system, the workplace, the healthcare system, and the police. In 2020, we still live in an institutionally racist society, where institutional discrimination still exists, and people are judged favourably or unfavourably based on their skin colour.

People of colour are more likely to be stopped and searched by the police, less likely to succeed in the education system and they are three times more likely to be excluded at school. They are often negatively appraised in job application procedures and less likely to enter high status professions as a result. The UK mental health system also contributes to structural racism; a 2003 report found that people of African Caribbean origin are more likely to be sectioned under the mental health act, more likely to remain a long-term inpatient instead of being discharged, and they are given higher doses of anti-psychotic medication than their white counterparts with similar problems. Research has suggested that practitioners hold biases towards people of colour; they are wrongly perceived as being more aggressive and difficult to treat.

It can be difficult to feel able to attend protests and speak out about these issues, when struggling with your own mental health. Try to remember that it is OK to feel that way, and quietly standing up for black lives matter, such as by having conversations with people around you about race, is also important. You don’t always have to shout to make your voice heard. You can always write letters, use social media, and sign petitions to protest too. Protests are important and it’s great to attend them, but if this seems an insurmountable task, try to be kind to yourself. Remember that speaking out to others, such as with friends and family is a step in the right direction as well, and there is a place for that too.

For more information around black lives matter, check out:

Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race – Reni Eddo-Lodge

https://blacklivesmatter.com/

https://www.baatn.org.uk/

https://www.sariweb.org.uk/

Chloe posts

Passion Projects

Things are difficult right now – nothing seems easy and everything is uncertain, and it can be hard to stay motivated when we’re stuck indoors. One day seems to blend into the next, and this can make it easy to lose morale and lose track of what’s happening.

It can be helpful to have some things to work on, so if you’re feeling lonely, upset or tired, you’ve got something ready to distract yourself to take your mind off things. Passion projects can be anything; crafts you’re working on, something you enjoyed when you were younger, or something you’ve always wanted to do. They’re basically things that you’re passionate about, things you love doing, things that make life worth living.

It’s good to have lots of different activities you can do, depending on how you’re feeling.

Here are some ideas for fun things to do this summer:

things to do ideas

What are your passion projects? 🙂

Chloe posts

The Power of Music

it's kind of a funny story

A lot of us love music. I thought I’d share some positive, motivational songs to listen to in the shower or in the morning, or when you need to motivate yourself to do some work!

Music really helps me, especially if I can relate to the words in the song. And we LOVE listening to music at the café while crafting. Here are some of my favourites…

  1. Elastic Heart – Sia
  2. Part of me – Katy Perry
  3. Rise up – Andra Day
  4. Fight Song – Rachel Platten
  5. Unstoppable – Sia
  6. Hit The Lights – Selena Gomez
  7. Wild Things – Alessia Cara
  8. Romanticise – Chela
  9. Best Year Yet – In Paradise
  10. Thick Skin – Leona Lewis
  11. How Far I’ll Go – Moana
  12. Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
  13. Human – Christina Perri
  14. Thunderclouds – Sia
  15. Clearly – Grace VanderWaal
  16. Don’t Let It Break Your Heart – Louis Tomlinson
  17. Reach – S Club 7
  18. The Climb – Miley Cyrus
  19. Phoenix – Olivia Holt
  20. Believer – Imagine Dragons
  21. Keep Holding On – Avril Lavigne
  22. This Is Me – The Greatest Showman
  23. The Greatest – Sia
  24. Where You Are – Moana
  25. Masterpiece – Jessie J
  26. Clean – Taylor Swift
  27. Dog Days Are Over – Florence + The Machine
  28. Who You Are – Jessie J
  29. Brave – Sara Bareilles
  30. Ugly – Ugly Dolls
  31. Mean – Taylor Swift
  32. Who Says – Selena Gomez
  33. Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield
  34. Never Give Up – Sia
  35. Unbreakable – Ugly Dolls
  36. Clay – Grace VanderWaal
  37. In My Blood – Shawn Mendes
  38. Skyscraper – Demi Lovato
  39. Feel Alive – Katie Herzig
  40. The Promise – Emma Blackery

We all have different songs to remind us of happy times and memories, but here are a few of mine if you’re ever stuck for ideas! Let me know what your favourite positive songs are in the comments 😊

Chloe posts

Failure

One of my favourite teachers from school had a poster on his wall that read “fail – first attempt in learning.”

He viewed failures as nothing more than a bump in the road, a stepping stone towards later success.

But even if failures are only first attempts in learning, it doesn’t make them any easier to deal with. It is incredibly difficult to face failures, especially if we fail at something we really care about, or something we think we’re good at.

But unfortunately, no life is free of failure. We all are only human, and it’s completely natural and inevitable to fail at things from time to time. Being afraid of failing and viewing mistakes in a negative light will only do more harm than good. Luckily, it is what you do to pick up the pieces and put things back together again that counts.

It is our failures and mistakes that help us to learn and grow, then adapt and change our tack so that we can do better next time. Everybody has to start somewhere, and failing is nothing to be ashamed of.

It is helpful to avoid viewing failure in “black and white” or “all-or-nothing” terms. Although we may feel that we have failed, and that things have played out horrendously, it is likely that not everything has gone badly, and there may be a lesson to be learned amidst it all.

When things aren’t going so smoothly for me, I find it’s helpful to remember that everybody who has succeeded has also failed. Even the most successful people have failed at things, and several famous people were first high school drop outs. Life is full of second chances and new opportunities, and none of us can succeed at everything, all of the time.

Although it’s difficult, it’s important for us to try and change the way we think about failure. Instead of seeing it as a setback, we should try and use failure and criticism constructively to push us further.

I have heard about a stress management strategy called compensation, which involves building up other areas of your life, to compensate for the areas you feel you’re failing in. So if you feel that you’re failing at work, for example, working on other areas of your life such as your hobbies and your social life could be a good step to take. This then allows you to think “so work might be going badly, but at least I have my guitar playing, which is going well, and my social life is good. I’m really enjoying spending time with my family at the moment, and I have a good circle of friends around me.” This can be a useful tool, to help lighten the shadow that failure casts, and to help you to feel as though you’re succeeding in other areas of your life that you care about.

Generally, it’s good to make sure that you also consider the things you’re good at, alongside the things you feel you could improve on. Reflecting on failures and using them to improve is so much better than constantly going over them in your head and berating yourself for them.

Chloe posts

Success

Success is something we all strive for. Most of us want to get the highest grades we can, pass with flying colours, and land the job we dream about. Wanting to succeed in life isn’t a bad thing.

However, if striving for success begins to take over, or it becomes the only thing that matters, this can be really problematic.

It is important to have a balance, and no set of exams should ever be more important than living your life. You shouldn’t put your life on hold for anything. You only have this one life, and your health and happiness needs to be your first priority.

The price to pay for success can sometimes be too high, and though it may feel great to achieve things, there are times when it is more crucial to slow down, and put your health first. Sometimes it is more important to take a break for a while, instead of pushing yourself to breaking point. If something is making you feel poorly, draining your energy, or it is taking you away from everything you once loved, it is not worth it and it never will be.

Society has a very narrow definition of success and achievement. It makes us feel that we should constantly be striving to do better and be better. It transmits the message that we must get better grades, a better job, a better house, a better car, and then we will finally be happy. But success isn’t only found in A*’s. Success can be brilliant relationships, overcoming something that once scared us, or enjoying a day out with family and friends. Being happy is a success, as is feeling comfortable in your own skin, getting through a bad day, or finding something new that you love doing.

You won’t get this time back again, so if anything is preventing you from being happy and enjoying yourself, be brave, take a deep breath, and let it go. If it is truly the right choice for you and it is something you really want to do, it will still be there waiting for you when the time is right/when you are feeling more like yourself again. Don’t feel bad for giving yourself time to do a bit less work, and a bit more life! Here is a poem by Beatrice Robertson that really illustrates the point I’m trying to make. I love it so much!

A girl who didn’t stop:

Let me tell the tale
Of a girl who didn’t stop;
Who climbed on every mountain

Without a pause when on the top.

She’d dance in every blade of grass

Until each one was covered in dew;
The sun knew her by name

But the silver moon did, too.

For a fear had settled in her bones,

A fear of sitting still;
That if you’re not moving forward

It must mean you never will.

So in time, her dance got slower

And she looked at all she’d seen;
But found gaps inside the places

That she’d never fully been.

For she was a human doing,

Human moving, human seeing;
But she had really never taken the time
To be a human being
Happy February!