Saturday, 20 March 2021

The letter I would write to my younger self - International Day of Happiness 2021

 International Happiness Day 2021: 

A letter to my younger self


So in light of the documentary that is coming due to it 13 months since Caroline Flack took her own life, I thought I would write a letter to my younger self to maybe give her some confidence in how to deal with trolls, how to react to negativity and how to become a strong independent woman. 

So this is what I'd write/say to my younger self:

Little girl, you are just starting out in life, you have all these dreams and big ambitions in life to achieve and hunni you will get there, but remember that life is a marathon and not a sprint, you will get there in YOUR own time, don't rush it, enjoy the journey. 
With regards to bullies, you know what path you want to go down, don't let anyone get you down, you concentrate on your dream job as a childcare practitioner, which by the way, in 2019 (yes, ages away from where you are now) you will have qualified as a level 3 practitioner and kick start your dream career in local nurseries in just 6 months. I know school is very boring right now, but as an adult, you will love learning about different things and through voluntary jobs, you will also have more passions in life. With regards to work, you will find that there's a few obstacles in the way, but know that you'll never take no for an answer and continue working within paid and voluntary jobs more than you'll ever know, you'll end up giving up so much time for others, but please remember to take time for you, which you'll know is extremely hard. You're a people pleaser, and due to this, you will always put others first, whether that be in a job, or in your personal life. Falling in love will become difficult but again remember which personal path you want to go down and follow YOUR dreams. 
Qualifying in your dream career/industry in half the time is a massive achievement, so when you're feeling down, remember that you have a purpose, and as you get older, those purposes will multiply by the DAY!! 
Spreading kindness and raising awareness for mental health conditions are a massive priority as you grow up, especially when using your future personal experiences too. Use these experiences to YOUR advantage to help others with their recovery, and this is another job you will overwork yourself in, so please please remember to take time for you. 
Keep focused and get things done, but remember that it's a MARATHON not a SPRINT. 

YOU ARE THE BAD B*TCH, NEVER EVER EVER EVER FORGET THAT!! Go out there and chase those dreams. 

Right everyone, here's your chance to write your OWN letter to yourself, I'm also going to extend on this personally and write a letter to my future self too and this is something I MAY share or keep it to myself, I don't know yet, but let's create a conversation in the comments:
What one piece of advice would you give your past/younger self??

Stay safe and I'll speak to you all in my next blog post. 



MissCatherineWard
Where to find me;
Facebook; Miss Catherine Ward
Instagram; @misscatherineward
Email contact; catherinejw@hotmail.com
TikTok; misscatherineward

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

World Panic Day 2021

 WORLD PANIC DAY 2021


Today I raise awareness for World Panic Day 2021 and I wanna just say that anyone who panics daily, hourly, every minute, second of every day, just know you're not alone. I have suffered with panic attacks since I was 8/9. So i've had 16 years of it, you are never suffering alone, there is a whole community out there for you if you need to reach out to someone who has lived through your struggles too. 
Panic attacks can look and feel like a heart attack, I've even had fellow colleagues wanting to call an ambulance for me due to the similarities to a heart attack. And as a individual who suffers with them daily, I can honestly say that it feels like your whole world has either been put on pause, you're seeing people walk past you slowly and the world feels like it's ending, your heart is beating so fast that you feel exhausted after it. Think about missing a step on the stairs, or that time where you fell over, that sudden heart attack feeling is what I and so many people go through daily and it's exhausting. 

So what can we do to help reduce panic attacks?? I mean, prevention is better than cure especially with something that makes your heart work harder, panic attacks are common but not many people know how to help those close to them or a stranger in the street. So my mission is to teach everyday people to notice signs of mental health and be able to know what to do. 

My go-to in my role on support groups AND as a panic disorder sufferer myself is the Grounding Technique 

So the ideal outcome is that you will feel like you're back in the room, the present and in your conscious mind. 

Grab a piece of paper and write these questions down or save them on your phone notes..

Tell me 5 things you can see
Tell me 4 things you can touch
Tell me 3 things you can hear
Tell me 2 things you can smell
Tell me 1 thing you can taste 

This is also known as the 54321 technique and it works 99.9% of the time, I mean sometimes it doesn't, but it allows you to concentrate on your surroundings instead of feeling like you're dying. 

Concentrating on surroundings is also important for PTSD sufferers, as trauma flashbacks can seem so real and seem like you're back in that traumatic experience. So if you also suffer with PTSD, use this technique too. 
Guided meditation is awesome too, I always use guided meditation for calming down from PTSD attacks (same as panic attacks, just with the added extras like flashbacks and emotions)

I've also done a Insta post, story and TikTok video on this too, so feel free to share them with any friends you feel would benefit from this advice. And I've done a pure awareness video of me having a "quiet" panic attack, I was just consumed by voices, thoughts, everything mixed up in one and it's tiring, it really is. Some days I wish I could take my head off like I do my bra, sometimes we need a break. 

If you've not yet spoken up about anxiety, or panic attacks, please please do. Mental illness is a big part of many people's lives and it needs to be talked about so we can get rid of the stigma against us sufferers. 

And remember, you are strong, you are incredible, you are beautiful and I'm so proud of you regardless of who you are, who you identify yourself as, because you've survived 100% of your bad days so far, so congratulate yourself for that, you've done it before, you can do it again. Yes fighting your own mind is exhausting, so let go a little, let it consume you then build back up to being the strong badass I know you are. 



Stay safe and I'll speak to you in my next blog post. 






MissCatherineWard
Where to find me;
Facebook; Miss Catherine Ward
Instagram; @misscatherineward
Email contact; catherinejw@hotmail.com
TikTok; misscatherineward

Monday, 1 March 2021

Self-Injury/Harm Day 2021

 Self-Injury/Harm Day 2021



There's still a taboo when talking about mental health in general but also self harm. I, myself, did used to self-harm, but not the "typical" way, there's so many ways of harming ourselves which I'm obviously not going to go into, but sometimes we are harming ourselves without even knowing it's a problem. 

As a self harmer myself, I didn't take on anyone's advice and carried on doing it until I got help for my BPD which is why I SH.. because I have impulses to do things and yeah it results in SH.

I am also a co owner for a mental health group on Facebook and for the past nearly 9 years, I have been speaking to and helping others who SH. I will make them realise that doing something like that is not healthy nor will it help any situation they are in. 
So adopting healthier methods is a better option and there's so many alternatives out there, which I'll share on my Instagram (which you can find below in my signature on every blog post I do). And I will also share a feed post on my profile too with alternatives in the caption so you can either share it to your stories or feed so we can support others. 

What alternatives help you?? If any?? What's your experience with SH?? Have you gone a long time without doing anything harmful?? Share your thoughts in the comments, let's keep a conversation going. 

I will of course share a feed post on my Insta at 8pm today so definitely check out my Insta below. 

Stay safe and I'll speak to you in my next blog post. 






MissCatherineWard
Where to find me;
Facebook; Miss Catherine Ward
Instagram; @misscatherineward
Email contact; catherinejw@hotmail.com

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2021: Why Wait??

 Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2021: Why Wait??



Suffering with an eating disorder whether it's anorexia or bulimia, is still quite dangerous and hard to live with and manage. 
I unfortunately wasn't the right weight to be diagnosed with any of my eating disorders and actually the medication I've been put on in the past has made my binge eating disorder much worse, but as an eating disorder is still a MENTAL disorder, I don't know how people can see through others skulls and judge whether they have an eating disorder or not. 

So the theme for this years EDAW2021 is Why Wait?? 

And it's such a great question because getting help quickly means recovering quickly too, but if you "wait" then the problem with your eating habits will either become worse or it will kill you. 

So getting help now is better than waiting until you're "bad enough", start talking about it now and then you will be able to get help quicker and the sooner you'll recover. 

Helplines and websites of charities and organisations who will be able to help are below:

Beating Eating Disorders <- Instagram link
BEAT <- Website 

Helpline: 0808 801 0677
Youthline: 0808 801 0711 
Studentline: 0808 801 0811


Helpline: 0845 838 2040 


Weight Concern <- Website 

Stay safe and I'll speak to you in my next blog post. 






MissCatherineWard
Where to find me;
Facebook; Miss Catherine Ward
Instagram; @misscatherineward
Email contact; catherinejw@hotmail.com

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Time To Talk Day 2021

 Time to Talk Day 2021



I'm so excited for this years Time to Talk Day because it's all about starting the conversation. 
This year, it's all about #powerofsmall which means that starting small conversations to ask about others mental health and how they are really doing. Start the conversation and really listen to them and advise, or if you can't advise, a simple "I'm here for you" is okay and comforting to say. 

Being there for others is so important, but reaching out for the sake of our own mental health is important too. So please talk to someone, if not today, make it a priority for the next week. 

I shared my story in the Children's Mental Health Week 2021 post I put up on the 1st of this month so definitely check it out. 

Time to Talk is a campaign that started in 2014 and I've taken part of it every single year since then as it's such an important campaign and reminder that talking is a good thing when it comes to our mental health. 

If I hadn't have spoken up when I did at 18, I honestly don't think I would be here. Talking and speaking out about our struggles is the biggest and hardest step but it's so worth it. 
It took me 8 years to get to where I am, but again, like I keep saying it's a marathon, not a sprint, not everyone will recover in the same time and the same way, everyone is different. 

I will of course put up a post for Time to Talk Day 2021, so keep your eyes peeled for that. It'll go up at 10am so the same time as this post :). 
So speak out and get that help you desperately need. 

Helpful websites and helplines for you:

Shout - Text 85258 - Shout website

Mind - Mind website 

Samaritans - Call 116123 for free from mobiles and landlines - Samaritans website

Stay safe and I'll speak to you in my next blog post. 





MissCatherineWard
Where to find me;
Facebook; Miss Catherine Ward
Instagram; @misscatherineward
Email contact; catherinejw@hotmail.com

World Cancer Day 2021

 World Cancer Day 2021



A lot of you will have been affected by cancer either with your own battle or someone you know. I have unfortunately lost family members and friends to cancer and it's heart breaking. 
I thought I'd do a blog post to share some advice and some charities which will hopefully be helpful to anyone reading this. 

I used to be a volunteer for Cancer Research UK in Corby, and I loved it, but due to anxiety, it got too much and too busy for me, so I've used this past year to focus on my mental health recovery. It's such a great charity and I've raised money three times for them.
I shaved my hair for the first time in 2016 to raise money for Cancer Research UK and then did it again in 2018 and because my step-dad is battling leukemia, I got him to shave my hair the second time in store, I haven't done it again since but I really do want to.. 

I also took part in the money raising activities in the store, such as the bean bath, which by the way isn't as bad as people think, yes it stinks, but you do get used to it lol.. 

I love raising money for any charity but since cancer has affected some of my own family including my Dad who is a throat cancer survivor, it's something I want to blog about and try and raise more awareness. 

There are actually over 100 types of cancer, which is crazy to think.

Charities that help patients and survivors:

Cancer Research UK - @cr_uk, use the website - Cancer Research UK to find your local retail store too if you have anything to donate or you want to donate your time to help volunteer. 

Macmillan Cancer Support - @macmillancancer - Macmillan Cancer Support 



As always, I will be putting up a Instagram post about this too, so keep your eyes peeled for that. 


Stay safe and I'll speak to you in my next blog post.





MissCatherineWard
Where to find me;
Facebook; Miss Catherine Ward
Instagram; @misscatherineward
Email contact; catherinejw@hotmail.com

Monday, 1 February 2021

Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2021

 Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2021 



This will be triggering to some, so please read with caution and at your own risk. 

As a two-time survivor myself of sexual assault, I would like to take this opportunity to say to anyone going through this, that you are not alone, you are not battling this alone. There is help out there which you will find below.
It doesn't just happen to women, it happens to men too. And if you have experienced this, you are not at fault. Whether you're a lady and you wore a short skirt out to a club, or you invited the other person back to your own place/to a hotel, this is NOT your fault!! 
Please report anything to the Police, whether it happened yesterday or ten yeas ago. You are still worthy of justice for what happened to you.

Helplines are below:

For women: 

Rape Crisis - @rapecrisisew on Instagram - rapecrisis.org.uk
Victim Support - @victimsupport_uk on Instagram - 0808 1689 111

For men:
Survivors UK - survivorsuk.org 


I've also put this information on an Instagram post so follow me below. 



MissCatherineWard
Where to find me;
Facebook; Miss Catherine Ward
Instagram; @misscatherineward
Email contact; catherinejw@hotmail.com