Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Dogs Are the Only Best Friend You Will Need


One word. Dogs.
I adore them.
When I left school due to bullying and converted to home education, my Cavalier Ruby was by my side all the time. Whether that was when I was doing my school work, she would be sat on my lap. If I was revising in my room at my desk she would lie on my bed and wouldn’t move until I did, it was like she knew what I was feeling in terms of loneliness and didn’t want to leave me. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without her always being there, also I’m not even ashamed to admit it but I used to talk to her and tell her everything because I really did see her as the best friend I always wanted plus she could never tell anyone and she was a really good listener ha! They say dogs also sense when a human is sad and I can definitely back that up. I truly believe she knows when I am having a bad mental day/week because she clings to my side and always makes sure to smother me in kisses when I come down the stairs in the morning. Just that makes me realise I am not alone, because I look at her and she is one of the reasons I keep going every day. And I love everything about her, from the uniqueness in her spotty cavalier coat to the way she knows when it is her bedtime, at 8pm.

 June 1st 2018, the day when we laid eyes on our Coton De Tulear Teddy and we instantly knew there was no chance we were walking out of them doors without him in our arms. He had the most mischievous face we have ever seen especially compared to our Ruby who is the complete opposite. June 5th we brought home and we just fell in love with him more and more as he started to show his personality and grow into the gorgeous (but very naughty!) dog he is now. He completed our family. It’s funny how much they differ from each other but get along so well and how he looks up to Ruby almost like a mother figure. Wherever she goes he follows, whatever she does he has to copy and it really is the most heart-warming thing ever – they have grown to be the best of friends. They both have been my little best friends and I just can’t express how much I love them and would protect them with my whole life.

So as the title says, why are dogs the only best friend you will ever need?
Well for starters they don’t judge and love you unconditionally. You have a best friend for life who wants to protect us from being hurt because they instinctively know when we are vulnerable.

As Doris Day said once “I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source”

The soothing sense of unconditional love they give to you and the comfort of knowing someone is always there just from the padding of their feet can make lives tainted by mental health seem just that bit more bearable and a reason to keep going, for the sake of them. I know with my two dogs they are always wanting someone to stroke them or play with, in particular Ruby who loves cuddles and really is like a hot water bottle – like my mum says. It is a sense of calm of that closeness that dogs only want and if you love them and snuggle them then they are always happy.
Statistics show that 74% of pet owners reported mental health improvements from pet ownership. The field of human-animal bond research is dedicated to studying the health benefits of pets and human-animal interaction. Positive interaction is related to the changes in physiological variables in both parties, including a reduction of subjective psychological stress (fear and anxiety) and an increase of Oxycontin levels in the brain. Science demonstrates that these biological responses have measurable clinical effects. Specifically, pets and therapy animals can help alleviate stress, anxiety, depression and feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Additionally helping people suffering manage their long-term mental health conditions. Another study conducted in 2016 explored the role of pets in the social networks of people managing a long-term mental health problem and found that pets provide a sense of security and routine that provided emotional and social support. Studies have always shown that pets are facilitators of getting to know people, friendship, formation and social support networks.
Caring for a pet also gives your day purpose and reward, a sense of achievement. It also helps you feel valuable and needed. It’s a morning motivator as you know there is someone that needs you to look after them and share your routine. So if you haven’t thought about getting a pet, go for it! You won’t ever regret it and it could an answer to improving your mental health and well-being. They really are the most precious things in the world.

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Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Benefits of Reading


I have always enjoyed reading since I was very little, my favourite author being Jacqueline Wilson throughout my childhood. I could sit for hours with a book in my hand, always being either Lily Alone or My Sister Jodie (also can we still talk about how devastating and unexpected that ending was, my 8 year old heart was broken) but since I have been diagnosed with my mental health disorders I have found myself taking it more seriously and not just "paper with words on" I have acknowledged the benefits from it on my mentality.

When reading the article published by In The Book which involves data illustrating how reading to your child has serious financial benefits. They talk about 8 advantages including how reading can rapidly development the child's communication and basic speech skills; cultural understands; higher academic performance and enhanced development of senses.
Did you know 85% of a child's brain evolves fastest up the age of 5 than any other period in their? These are statistics and facts provided by this wonderfully beneficial and informative publisher and taken from the World Almanac and Book of Facts (1998 , 95) for earning levels by education levels.

As I have gotten older I have leaned towards more books suitable for teens and a particular favourite of mine I have read, so many times I have lost count, is All The Bright Places. It is a heartbreaking and contemporary book but most important it incorporates serious themes such as mental health and suicide. Something I think is really considerate and wonderful of the author Jennifer Niven, is she put links to websites for those affected by these topics, the support shown from her is heartwarming. The book itself is so beautifully written, telling the story with alternating perspectives through Finch and Violet. Without spoiling too much all I am going to say is it is not your classic cliche girl meets boy story, it explores their journey of visiting strange places and the bond that you witness growing and eventually become romantically involved, it is simply a blooming and endearing book and I highly recommend it.

Another huge love of mine is the trilogy A Night In With, featuring three of my idols - Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly. The talented author Lucy Holliday writes in a light humoured way and quintessential for a romantic comedy, complimenting the premise of the book. It's bursting with charm and the glitz and glamour of Hollywood that is featured gives these stories a different vibe from any other books I have read. They really are amazing books and ones to add to your reading list - I will also be attaching a document of my must reads to help you calm and take some relaxation time. Lastly, Megan Hess illustration books have become some of my favourites since last year when I got the Coco Chanel book. If my obsession with Chanel wasn't enough I get a book filled with beautiful artwork telling the story of Gabrielle herself.

Reading for me personally is the most calming thing and most important hobby of mine. Being captivated in a book has been shown to reduce your levels of stress. Research by Dr David Lewis showed that reading as little as 6 minutes a day can reduce stress levels by 60% by reducing your heart rate, easing muscle tension and altering your state of mind. That same study showed that reading was better at reducing stress than music, drinking a cup of tea, going for a walk and playing video games. Additionally, people who read fiction have been shown to improve your level of empathy, the ability for you to understand someone else's beliefs, feelings and thoughts. Participating in cognitive actives, such as reading was also shown to slow down memory loss when compared to those who didn't participate in mentally stimulating activities. There are my studies to support reading helping your mentality, including one showing that reading and then talking about what you have read could be beneficial to your mental health and well-being. Bibliotherapy has a profound effect on people suffering with depression, Liverpool Health Inequalities Research Institute examined a two weekly reading group program for people diagnosed with depression over a 12 month period and reported a significant improvement to mental health. Participants reported improved concentration, better emotional understanding, increased self-awareness, and the ability to discuss meaningful issues related to self and being.

Reading has always been known as a source of knowledge of happiness, of pleasure and even moral courage. It has increased in importance of being a need for a conscious effect to conquer the divisive forces. So if you haven't already try reading even for just 10 minutes today and do it for a prolonged amount of time and write down the difference from the start to end. If you dislike reading you can always try again and give it another chance, starting with finding the right book for you because there will be at least one book suitable for your needs. Because it really is one of the most enjoyable activities you can start today.

Reading Recommendations 
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven 
  • A Night in With - Audrey Hepburn/Marilyn Monroe/Grace Kelly by Lucy Holliday 
  • Me Before You by JoJo Moyes 
  • Illustration books by Megan Hess 
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon 
  • Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins  
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins  
  • Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel 
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman 
  • Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Remembering Doris Day


This weeks blog post is dedicated to the late Doris Day, who sadly passed away early hours of Monday morning at the age of 97. A Hollywood legend and one of the worlds iconic American singer, actress and animal welfare activist. I was deeply saddened and my heart hurts to have heard this news as she was one of my idols, someone who I looked up to for the kindness she holds in her heart and the pureness she gave to others. She gave so much to this world and her gentleness will forever be missed, her fearlessness in portraying women's strength will be one to remain memorable for the years to come. .

Doris May Ann Von Kappelhoff was born on April 3rd 1922 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her work involved music, films and animal advocacy comprises an enduring legacy, her professional singing career beginning at age 15. She was honoured with many awards such as ‘The Presidential Medal of Freedom’ in 2004 and a ‘Grammy for Lifetime Achievement’ in 2008.

Since the 1970’s, Doris Day focused her energies and time on the Doris Day Animal Foundation. Her lifelong compassion for animals compelled her to fight animal testing and to advocate for spay/neuter education and outreach programmes in the U.S. As Doris once said “Dogs are just as important to me as people”   The foundation continues to provide support to smaller rescue organisations nationwide, with a special focus on those assisting senior pets. Doris’ passionate work on animals in need of rescue, veterinary care and adoption will not end. The foundation is committed to continuing this work as a grant giving organisation. Doris’ wishes were that she have no funeral or memorial service and no grave marker.

Thank you for bringing much needed kindness into the world with your beautiful heart, making the most wonderful memories Doris. You will always be that wholesome blonde beauty with a smile that could light up a room. She was anything and everything, sweet and innocent, a loving wife and mother. Doris, I will miss you ever so much and may you rest in love and sunshine.

Que será, será!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Featured Post


I am so happy to be collaborating with Rae and raising awareness for mental health. Her blog is definitely one to read and it deserves every recognition it gets. She talks about her experience with bipolar disorder, speaking about symptoms to medication.

“It has been a journey to get to a place where I feel I can live life day to day and not fear my emotions. I have learned to embrace the highs and lows, the good and the bad. When I first got my diagnosis, I felt overwhelmed with disgust with myself. But, through therapy, DBT group, medication, and self reflection. I have turned my weakest moments into my strength. I have wrapped myself in an armour of self realisation, self love, self respect. Yes, I can be weak....But those moments of weaknesses are just that, moments. Moments of weakness that turn into my strength. Bipolar is a part of me, but I refused to be defined by it”

Rae was diagnosed with PTSD and Bipolar 2 and is currently taking combined medication of Seroquel and Lithium, helping her to notice a change in herself and feel much more evened out.

“According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Bipolar 2 is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes. I never experienced any full blown mania until my mid-twenties but I did start to experience depressive episodes around age 17. Looking back I did have some manic tendencies from ages 17-22 but nothing compared to what I experience now.....
When I experience mania, I feel a rush. It’s like having a whole body and mind and soul fuzzy feeling. You feel so elated, like you can’t ever feel sad or bad or anything other than happiness. I often feel the urge to spend and often pay little regard to the consequences. The depressive episodes come far more often than the manic episodes. I will get low - so low that the mere thought of getting out of bed or going to work or eating something feels burdensome. I have had moments where I have been so low that I have taken razor blades to my skin and had moments of suicidal ideation” 

Rae, your strength will inspire so many people going through what you are right now. You have such a good heart using your story to help others and that alone is strength in its self. You should be so proud of yourself.

Please can everyone give her blog, specifically this post and give it a read leaving some love on it to show some kindness towards her as she deserves it.

- Aimée Blogging For Profit

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Guest Post by The Mental Health Coach


The Mental Health Coach is one of the freshest mental health and well-being accounts on instagram and having spoken to it’s founder and creator I am super excited to be featuring this account and being part of their journey to raise awareness for some of the biggest issues in the mental health arena. 

As we know mental health affects us all, in a whole manner of different ways. The different topics and areas is wide ranging, fascinating and so topical as we approach Mental Health Awareness Week. What caught my eye on The Mental Health Coach Instagram account was the wide variety of coverage on some hard hitting mental health issues in society. The alignment of creative visuals, quotes and mental health tips creates an engaging and interesting platform that is well worth checking out. 

We spend time training our body in the gym so take the time to visit The Mental Health Coach’s page to train and relax your mind. 

Having met The Mental Health Coach, founder and creator, it’s great to hear about the journey they are on...’We all have mental health, and we should take the time on a daily basis to look after our mental health much like you would with your physical health’.  The page gives a daily dose of inspiration and advice to get your mental health moving in the right direction and I am super excited about what is in store for the future of The Mental Health Coach as a brand. 

Find some examples and links to the posts below. 

Thanks for your time The Mental Health Coach it was great to understand more about your vision and inspiration. Do like, share and comment as I have no doubt this account is one to watch in the mental health game! 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Setting Goals For Self Development


When setting goals for ourselves I understand that it can be dispiriting and can be overwhelming, especially for someone who suffers with mental health as the feeling of inadequacy and the constant self discrimination if we don’t achieve those goals can subside us from even introducing this importance. But we have to remember that we don’t have to put a barrage of pressure on ourselves, even if it’s just one small goal the achievement at the end is so rewarding and makes you feel good about yourself. Setting goals is so important as it’s a motivation to keep going as it’s the determination in succeeding that pushes you to work harder. Please don’t put yourself down because you didn’t meet someone’s inadequacy version of success, you do whatever you please and if it makes you feel better at the end then it’s all worth it. I myself have written a list over the past two years about things I want to strive towards and improve my self love.

“I want to have more confidence in myself and lead a happier life” 

This particular goal of mine is the most significant one for me because it’s something that I long to have. For years my confidence has deteriorated and I am constantly comparing myself to other people, about how I wanted their “perfect” life. I wish everyday I was happier in myself and I would love to know how it feels not being woken up by the sound of my heart beating so fast the minute I open my eyes, what it’s like to not have an overload of negative thoughts nagging at me the moment I  step foot out of my bed, what it’s like to be wake up and feel happy.

“My dream is to be a journalist, particularly in fashion, but as long as I’m in a writing career I will already feel like I’ve won” 

For years I have dreamed of being a fashion journalist, to be invited to fashion shows and interview celebrities but I’m slowly leaning towards the option of being a journalist for all areas and using my writing platform to help people, as I’m trying to do with this blog. But as long as I’m either head down writing or giving a hand to someone in need I will be eternally happy.

To have a family and get married in the most glamorous way you could ever imagine”

Anyone who knows me will know how much I dream of having a big white wedding wearing the most elegant gown, covered in Swarovski crystals! I’ve always wanted the most dramatic, memorable entrance and feel like a princess. That’s just a bonus but the more important thing is I want to be happy with my own family because the thought of having my own adoring circle around me everyday when I’m older warms my heart and is a few more people to give all your love to and protect them with every ounce of you. I’ve had a list for years, writing down names I love which usually is very unique and not heard of by many! But that’s the thing I like about it, it may sound cheesy but having an unheard name of is a reason for you to be different and stand out because why would you all want to be the same when every name fits different personalities and having uniqueness to your name is already a starter to being your own version that you want to be.

These are just few of the many goals I aspire to be and you should start thinking, if you haven’t already by writing down one or two small things that you could complete in a short amount of time and the rewarding feel you have in your heart overrides any negativity you feel towards it. It’s also a reminder that if we stopped focusing on the pessimistic in our lives and start to work hard to improve our mentality processes then it makes such a difference as we’re converting the importance to what truly matters to us. Prioritise a few goals and take into consideration that you want to set targets that really mean something to you and not just doing it for the sake of it looking good, it has to have a notable desire you want to attain.

If you have some already I would love to know, so please leave a comment or email me with your thoughts about this post and any goals you want to achieve!

Instagram: @_aimeedarling_
Twitter: @aimeedarlingx
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(Remember my dm’s are always open if you need a chat, or if you want to email instead)  

Be kind to yourself, always.

- Aimée Darling

Monday, May 6, 2019

Monday Motivation

♡ Darlings 

it’s a fresh week and a chance to leave anything negative that happened behind. this week remember your mental health is far more important than homework you’re stressing about or what your boss is telling you to do. Go outside, breathe, meditate, do whatever your heart desires in order to keep yourself calm for these next 7 days. take some time for yourself and remember you’re only human, you’re allowed to have bad days and it’s okay not to be okay. 

Perhaps make a list today consisting of the things you want to achieve by the end of this week, so when it comes Sunday you can look back and reflect on it. or even write down positive things you done this week, there’s no such thing as right or wrong or too little. The world is meant to be explored so go out and find something new, discover a different path and always keep following your dreams. Love what you have today and be grateful for it. Remember that you are special, blessed and have a purpose. You are going to do amazing things this week and keep thinking to yourself about all that you are instead of all that you are not. When someone says you can’t do something, do it twice and take pictures to prove them wrong. Don’t let anyone tell you different from what you are capable of. You’re far too smart and amazing to be the only one standing in your way so go out and do something that you will look back on in 10 years and be proud of. 

So take this post as your Monday reminder that you are powerful beyond measures, you are more than capable of pretty much anything you are willing to work for and that you could change your life today. Put yourself in a place where you can only be found somewhere in between inspiring others, working on yourself, dodging negativity and slaying your goals. Magic happens when you do not give up, even though you want to as the universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart. 

Because a beautiful day begins with a beautiful mindset. So when you wake up, take a second to think about what a privilege it is to be simply alive and healthy. The moment we start acting like life is a blessing I assure you it will start to feel like one. 

Be kind to yourself this week. 

- Aimée Darling

Friday, May 3, 2019

Self Care

♡ Darlings,

2 words. self care.
We are all less able to handle the stresses that come our way when we're already depleted by physical and emotional exhaustion. That is why self care is possibly the most important thing you can do to gain your power back. Please set aside time to take care of yourself, whether that’s reading, a pamper or even going to get your nails done. It can be anything you love so remember to make sure you do it with the weekend creeping up. 
We are so overwhelming stressed that we often forget to take an hour or two out of our day focused on our own needs rather than everyone else’s. It plays an important role on loving and feeling good about yourself. It’s a break from stress, gives you ‘me time’ and gives you the soothing feelings you secretly crave. In addition to pampering yourself, more substantial forms of self-care involving healthy lifestyle choices are important, too. The main one being a good sleeping pattern. 

Self care isn’t a reward, it’s a process that we have to keep in routine but we forget about it from the amount of stress we endure on a daily basis, due to mental health. Self care only works when you listen to your body, and do what you want without resistance. Your mind and body are screaming at you in desperation for those much needed alone hours to reflect on yourself and to take your focus off things that are stressing. 

It’s easier said than done so take this as a stepping stone, a learning curve. Start by giving yourself a minute break, 4 times a day and I guarantee you will feel a difference. Even if it’s just a slight one. And most important remember you are not to feel selfish or guilty for taking time to yourself. YOU need it. 


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