Death to diet culture (!)

Diet culture is ubiquitous and unrelenting across social media.

At this time of year, however, diet culture reeks more than ever  — flawlessly positioned models, captions spewing out tips on how to lose body fat for the beach or drop two sizes before Christmas or what(thefuck)ever. It’s a race to see who is having the most fun, who is the happiest, the healthiest, the hottest. Can we take a moment to agree that it’s absolute bullshit? Continue reading

Life advice for fellow humans

How many times have you seen a quote about seizing the opportunity, or living life without regrets? It’s come to the point where these sayings have little to no effect on us; the internet is littered with them, and they usually take the form of a syrupy sentence with the backdrop of a sunset. I tend to dismiss these hackneyed quotes of inspiration.

But today I cannot.

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To explore at daybreak


If we surrendered

to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.

Rainer Maria Rilke

All images taken at Makana Botanical Gardens [credit: Guinevere Shapiro]

Band of Skulls was on to something

I need love ’cause only love is true 
I need every waking hour with you 
And my friends ’cause they’re so beautiful 
Yeah, my friends they are so beautiful 
They’re my friends

Excuse the corny intro, but the lyrics to Band of Skulls’ Friends ring so true that I wanted you to see them. So today, in honour of World Mental Health Day 2017, let’s talk about the value — nay, the necessity — of having a supportive group of friends at university.

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A shift towards mindfulness

Mindfulness*, as Dan Harris puts it, is the ability to know what’s happening in your head at any given moment without getting carried away by it.

My mind is in a bad space, for a number of reasons:

  • the ever-looming shadow of exams
  • the rising temperatures
  • the clothes, ridden, dishevelled distaster that is my room
  • the fucking underestimated strength of my depression

If there ever was a perfect time to return to the practice of mindfulness, it is now. Continue reading

Community spotlight: racing hearts for Heart Matters

This weekend, the Rhodes University Indoor Cycling team hosted their annual Cyclathon at the RU Health Suite. The event took place on Saturday, with 12 spinning classes, to raise funds for Heart Matters Pregnancy Care Centre.

13177357_1104974959565802_887976637345029361_n“No matter who you are, every heart matters,” said Marion Penney, centre director of Heart Matters at their talk last Thursday. This non-profit organisation, founded in Grahamstown in 2016, is open to all community members, be they university students, high school learners, or families in crisis. The organisation provides options for people dealing with unplanned or crisis pregnancies, stressing that they help not only pregnant women, but their partners and families too, guiding them through all the possible choices that they can make.  Continue reading

Five blogs (and vlogs) that I love

This post had to include blogs and vlogs – they’re equally relevant platforms, prone to both wonderful and horrendous content. Here are some of my personal faves:

  1. Depression Darling

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A few months ago, while researching the side-effects of antidepressants, I came across this gem. I was hooked. Sina invites you into her mind through her candour, her hilarious comics, and her unique way of sharing the ups and downs of mental illness. Her writing holds a charming balance between personal suffering and self-deprecation. She seems to be on hiatus at the moment, and I anxiously await more posts in the future from her (hope you’re okay and please come back one day if you can, Sina).

2. Bodyposipanda

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There’s an endless amount of “fitspo” accounts aross social media, but alongside them, there are now people sharing something far more relevant to our times: body positivity. Through her powerful voice, Megan Jayne Crabbe shares her thoughts on the diet industry, self-confidence, intuitive eating, and intersectional feminism, to name a few. Continue reading

Strands of social awkwardness

Social awkwardness is a general experience that many students feel, whether they have actual social anxiety or not. Social awkwardness is prevalent on campus, but there is no one way in which students experience it. This is the first of a series on Anxious in which I will be speaking to students at UCKAR about how they navigate this space with their social awkwardness.

Nikita-lynn Ruiters (2nd-year, English and Psychology)

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This year has been a challenge for Nikita. Her social anxiety has heightened since last year’s student protests, as she was caught in a stun grenade attack, leading her to experience PTSD. Music and writing have helped make her world a little calmer. (Photo: Guinevere Shapiro)

“Social anxiety makes me more aware of certain things. If someone is having a panic attack, I will be able to help them through it. I see the world differently to someone who doesn’t have it. I’m weary of people, so I don’t get attached too easily. Continue reading