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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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

For the love of hiking

It’s a weekend morning, probably a Sunday. I’m with my mother and my sister. I’m about seven years old, and we’re going for a walk up Lion’s Head. I complain incessantly, my exhaustion turning into grumpiness very quickly. I want my mother to carry me but I’m obviously too old for that. My sister and I whine. I plop down onto a rock, arms folded across my chest, glaring at the flora and fauna. Somehow my mother refrains from throwing us off the mountain. As I remember, we don’t make it to the top.

***

We’re in Nature’s Valley, the place I love the most. It could be any year, from 2002 to 2013. We’ve camped there every December holiday since I was tiny. We leave the campsite and drive to the trail that leads to Salt River. The trail begins not far from the beach. We enter a dark forest, which quickly muffles the sound of the tourist-filled stress that we’ve left behind. The trees are gnarled; they curl and twist along the path, and the thick green leaves overhead protect us from the sun.

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[Image: sourced]

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On pills and privilege

When I came to terms with my mental illness, it was not simply through the help of family and friends. I was lucky enough to have the guidance of a psychologist.

Living with mental illness is unfair and exhausting, but there are degrees to which we, as individuals, suffer. If I didn’t have the familial and financial support to access psychotherapy and medication, I’d be in a far worse place right now. 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

Does being depressed give you a free pass to be an arsehole?

The short answer: no.

The long answer:

Heading into my third month of taking meds, my mood has been wonderfully stable of late. My most recent holiday was the best I’ve had since I started varsity, and I didn’t even do much. Note the word, “stable”: I am not dancing in the rain or running through meadows pretending to fly. I just feel “normal”. And normal has never felt sweeter.

What constitutes being an arsehole? Maybe you were already one before you were depressed, or maybe your idea of rudeness involves dirty looks or forgetting to say, “thank you”. Whatever the case, your mood drops (and fluctuates) when you are depressed, so you’re bound to act differently – whether you’re aware of it or not. Continue reading

The anxiety of truth-telling

When I try to think of a way to describe depression, the first word that comes to mind is gravity. Gravity becomes stronger; it moves beyond the point of keeping me grounded. Now it’s trying to push me into the ground, a great big hand reaching down from the sky and forcing me down. Suddenly, I am lying down, an unresponsive lump on the bed, a few dribbled sentences sitting before me, waiting in vain to be refurbished.

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