Sunday, 3 January 2021

Christmas in London & ways I cope with SAD


Happy New Year everyone! Before I post my second ballerina themed post I thought I'd make the most of our London content and show you the glitziest displays we were lucky enough to catch in early December! Isn't this house the dreamiest Christmas sight? I can't get over the rainbow coloured baubles! I wanted to combine the sparkly pictures with a more serious discussion about my struggles with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and 5 ways I cope with the festive season and seasonal depression during the winter months. 
I don't pressure myself 
Putting your mental health first is always essential but especially vital when it comes to the festive season if you struggle. For so many years I tried to make everyone else happy and forced myself to go to gatherings that I just couldn't face. Pressure is rife during Christmas to do this, do that, go here, go there. No more of that these days, if I don't want to do something I won't, end of. There's nothing worse than having to fake a smile and pretend you're okay when it comes to socialising, or more likely right now, something like Skype. I start feeling low once October arrives and only start feeling an improvement to my wellbeing and general health when April is in sight. It's important to make sure you're creating a safe space emotionally and mentally for yourself, to get through the season best for you. 
I cope with the season on my terms
Going away for Christmas for a couple of days always uplifts my spirits so much and gives me such a boost mentally. I broke down when it was announced our area was essentially on lockdown for Christmas meaning our plans were ruined. For months our mini getaway had been the only thing keeping me going and it felt like the final straw. There was nothing to be done, so we tried to make Christmas as bearable as possible, and did manage to enjoy it more than anticipated. I've managed to get into the spirit of Christmas a little more these past few years, and creating seasonal content has made the festive season easier to embrace. 2020 has felt claustrophobic for me and my mental health, winter even more of a challenge with the added pressures of lockdowns combined with SAD. Sometimes I've wondered how much more I can take, but if last year taught us anything it's that we have to try and make things as bright as possible for ourselves, on our own terms. 
Remember the season will pass 
Winter can seem to drag on for an eternity which can be tough when you suffer with SAD. I try and focus on getting past Christmas and New Year, then powering through January and February before looking forward to the arrival of March which at least means Spring is beginning to bloom. Lighter evenings and fresh flowers, candy floss skies and the clock surging forward. Being able to sit out in the garden with a cup of tea and read, the promise of Easter, summer clothes or booking that much-needed getaway; future hopes in the form of something happy to look forward to can change mindset and mood so much. I remind myself that even though the season is a struggle to get through, the next will arrive before long. 
Focus on what I CAN control 
2020 was the biggest challenge for me mentally; I hate not being able to plan things for definite and get incredibly suffocated and panicky when things are out of my control. I had to learn to readjust my focus from everything spiralling out of control to the lack of things I had within my power to change. 2020 has taken its toll, every single time things seemed to take a step forward into normality, things would spiral downwards. It's been incredibly stop-start mentally and has been a challenge. For the most part I've thrown myself into coming up with future ideas and themes for my blog, setting in motion my ballerina theme (one that we had to keep putting back but luckily managed to shoot before Tier 4!) and keeping my dreams and goals close, working harder than ever to not only push myself forward in life but use ambition as a tool to take my mind off all the chaos unfolding. Instead of "I can't do what I want, I'm trapped", I shifted to: "I'm going to use this to my advantage and work on everything within my power." Likewise with my Seasonal Affective Disorder I've no control over how it makes me feel but within me I can improve my reactions by finding coping mechanisms. 
You're not alone 
Lastly, and most importantly, please remember you're not alone. Winter can feel so isolating. The "most wonderful time of year" for many can also be the loneliest for others. Online connections and friendships have taught me so many of us can relate in more ways than I could have previously imagined. Please reach out to someone you trust if you're suffering. Last year has been incredibly tough on us all and it's important to keep reminding yourself how loved and valued you are by so many, even if it doesn't always feel that way on darker days. 

Wishing everyone a really magical 2021 & sending you all lots of love! 

🎉

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Peggy Porschen's Nutcracker Christmas + my Sugar Plum Fairy

Introducing my new Christmas theme which will run throughout the winter months on my blog and social media; ballet! I'll be waltzing through ballerina babetown as I bring you my spin of ballet-inspired looks which I'm so excited for and have been planning for months! The Sugar Plum Fairy is my first foray into Christmas content and what better way to celebrate my first ballet post than by a visit to Peggy Porschen's Nutcracker Christmas display, my favourite of their dream-like displays yet! ♥︎




Peggy's pretty parlour lit up the London streets as we braved the cold to shoot my Sugar Plum Fairy outfit and warmed ourselves up afterwards with candycane engraved hot chocolate and christmas tree cookies. Peggy's The Nutcracker Christmas Collection is straight from cloud nine, or the Land of Sweets to be more precise. Gingerbread, Sugar plum Fairies, Nutcrackers and more, the magic was non-stop! 

It seemed fitting, of course, to opt for a Sugar Plum Fairy cupcake complete with mini ballet shoes and the most delicious winter wonderland icing! The Jolly Gingerbread cupcake was a real treat too, alongside a merry marching Nutcracker cookie. ♥︎

I really felt like I ruled The Land of Sweets as I twirled around in ruffles with my gingerbread house held close to my heart and my mint green hair the perfect candycane accessory. My new blue coat also got an outing, and I love the contrast of the pink and blue, it felt really Christmassy. I had a blast in London shooting this look and it felt like the bravest I've done - yet the most rewarding. Throwing myself into this new theme has really given me a boost and I hope you love what's to come ballerina wise on the blog just as much as I've enjoyed making it happen!  ♥︎

At 11 years old I actually went to see The Nutcracker ballet but ended up experiencing one of my first major panic attacks and having to leave early and miss the whole thing. I'll have to talk about it more someday as the power of kindness the theatre staff showed me still plays heavily on my heart today. I'm so glad ballet brings people joy and this theme has been fun and interesting to put into place! 
 
I'll be posting the second part of my Christmas in London adventures next week so stay tuned! ♥︎


Are you a fan of The Nutcracker?
Have you ever seen any ballet performances? 

🎄

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Halloween costume: Barbie in a box!

For my Halloween costume this year I decided to transform into a real life Barbie in a box! Complete with pink glittering ballgown, satin gloves and the legendary logo box, I thought it would be fun to break out of the toy candy store and make it as a real life Barbie girl living in her own world! After debating different costume ideas I fell in love with this concept! It was MEGA cold but a hell of a lot of fun to shoot. ♥︎
Last Halloween I donned seashell boobs and aqua-blue hair for my blue mermaid look, and the previous October Penelope Pitstop became my muse for spook-season. Once again the lure of shocking pink called me back in the form of masquerading as a real life Barbie girl. After all, life in plastic, it's fantastic. 
Blog wise I've been away for months but find I need to be 100% committed before pouring all my energy into something that takes a lot of dedication and hard work. If my heart's not in it, neither am I. I've missed blogging but wanted to come back only when I felt ready and had something I loved too much not to share. I hope to make a more regular appearance on here, but in the meantime you can catch me over on Instagram where I'm often posting stories from cute pink cafes or sparkly, fairytale outfits! For more Barbie girl fun be sure to catch my latest post on Instagram and keep an eye out on stories and highlights for behind the scenes! ♥︎


"I want to be Barbie - that bitch has everything."

🙍

Are you dressing up for Halloween this year? ♥︎