Why I Still Go to Therapy… and why it’s OK

This is probably one of those posts where I had a thousand of ideas, and yet I never really knew how to form those ideas in a decent post. That, and I found it really difficult writing this post. Because the stigma surrounding mental health is still there. I was told by my family not to write about this, but I refuse to be silenced.

I am recovering from depression and anxiety. I’m happier than I ever was, and am in a good place, both physically and mentally.

Yet I still go to psychiatric therapy. And I still take my medication.

And it’s okay.

Continue reading “Why I Still Go to Therapy… and why it’s OK”

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The Leibster Award!

I was sick since Wednesday, which is why I was MIA on all my social media – that would be my Facebook page/group/personal profile, Instagram and such. But I’m feeling better because, guess what? I got nominated for my SECOND blogging award, the Leibster!

I got nominated by the lovely Tracy (hint: if you’re into book/series/video game reviews, give her a follow!).

Rules are simple: answer 11 questions, come up with 11 questions of your own, nominate 11 people. But I’m ignoring the last part.

So without further ado, here are my answers to Tracy’s questions!

Continue reading “The Leibster Award!”

#ClaireNotes – May

Juggling Things

No, I’m not joining a circus as a juggler. This month, life really took a toll with the amount of things that have been happening in my life: courses, personal matters, work stuff, family stuff, assignments, training for a new job and so much more.

But I got through it like a champ, I reckon.

Exams

6 exams. And two assignments. I haven’t had an exam since last year for my VET Secretarial Course, which was just one exam, but having SIX in a matter of three weeks is too overwhelming for me.

As at the time the post is published, I’ve only done 3 out of 6, and received an assignment result… a C! Which for me is… WOW.

One Year of Blogging!

12th May was my blog’s first birthday. I celebrated it with a few special posts – three to be exact.

My 1st Year of Blogging in Numbers

What I’ve Learnt during my First Year of Blogging

How I get Traffic on my Blog

I was also nominated for my first blogging award!

“It started like any normal conversation would.” – An Account of an Abuse of Title

Someone I know approached me to write this story about an experience she had. * Names have been either omitted or changed to protect the people’s identities. I only ask for respect in the comments. There may be sexual content, so viewer discretion is advised.

Post is really long, sorry!

Continue reading ““It started like any normal conversation would.” – An Account of an Abuse of Title”

Sunshine Blogger Award!

Around a week ago, I was nominated for my first award by the lovely Caroline. The rules are pretty simple . . .

Thank the blogger who nominated them and link back to their blog

Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them

Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 new questions to answer

Notify your nominees and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post

Here are the questions I have been asked:

Why do you blog?

I blog not only because I’ve always wanted to or because I’ve been writing since I learned how to, but most especially to spread awareness on the stigma on mental health. To enjoy life and spread peace and love, one must be in love with his inner self, and that is what I advocate for.

What is your first memory?

Wow, um… I honestly have no idea. I never really thought about it, but I think it would be when I was still in Year 6 (9-10 years of age) and it suddenly hit me that in Year 7 I’d be separated from most of my friends, especially the male ones since I was going to an all-girls school. What can I say? I was a bit of a boy magnet!

If you were a painter, what would you paint?

I would paint something that makes people feel relaxed and at peace and loved, and they get the urge to spread those positive feelings everywhere they go. If I had to choose a painting that, in my opinion, represents that to me, it would be Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh.

If you could live in any book, which would it be and why?

Many would say Harry Potter, but would you really want to live in a world where Umbridge was alive?! I think not! I’d probably live in the world of Coraline by Neil Gaiman, because it is so beautifully written. It’s a perfect example of a horror book appropriate for children.

What was your dream job when you were 5?

My earliest memory of talking about a career was when I was at a bank with my mother when I wasn’t even eight years old, and the nice lady banker asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I immediately replied, “A mummy.” She smiled and explained that anyone can be a mum. This was also a time where I thought babies were made when a man and a woman kissed.

After that, I think I’ve always been into jobs which required travelling: a tour leader, air hostess, museum curator, journalist, writer.

What is one thing you will never do?

Start a war. Literally, figuratively, hypothetically or metaphorically. War is never the solution to anything, but unfortunately not everyone agrees.

In an alternate reality, which country are you born/raised in?

Merseyside, Liverpool since the 1940s. I used to live in an area known as Speke, where my good friends George and Paul also lived. You might know them, they went on to became half of the very legendary band The Beatles.

If you could create a new food, what would it be and why?

A cake made entirely out of chips (fries for the Americans) and chicken and pizza. My mouth is currently watering at the thought!

What is your favorite smell/scent?

Tea and gasoline, the latter which I aware is really bad for my health, but I still love it.

What would be your superpower if you had one?

The ability to heal anyone and anything.

At some point in your life, would you like to know the future? (never, only under certain circumstances, absolutely, etc.)

Absolutely never! What if I turn out the opposite of who I am? I’d be devastated for sure! So no, I’ll live my life with lots of questions about my future, thank you very much.


My nominees are! . . .

  1. Alexandra
  2. Fiona
  3. Lyndsey
  4. Kezia
  5. Kelly
  6. Svetlana
  7. Caroline
  8. Yvonne
  9. Pavli
  10. Deborah
  11. Lara

My questions are! . . .

  1. What inspired you to blog?
  2. If you had to stick to one make-up brand for the rest of life, which would it be and why?
  3. Which is your favourite blog post?
  4. If you had to be one person – dead or alive – who would it be and what would be the first thing you did as this person?
  5. What’s your favourite place in the whole world?
  6. If you had to travel to the past in a particular decade, which would it be and why?
  7. What advice would you give to your younger self?
  8. Name three people you look up to.
  9. What is the one thing you never leave home without?
  10. What is your all-time favourite song?
  11. What advice would you give to beginner bloggers?

How I get Traffic on my Blog

As a follow-up to my recent first blogiversary, I will be talking about how I get as much traffic as possible. I know there are a LOT of ways to do so, but like the title says, I’m still a beginner AND a cheapskate (not really… but I don’t like spending a LOT of money… so am I???) and as much as SEO (Search Engine Optimizer) works, it is a Premium feature and I cannot afford that at the moment.

Facebook

The first thing I did was create a Facebook page for my blog. It took me a while to get it up and running properly, but in the end, it was all worth it. Not many people like and comment on the page since I have the sharing setting on my posts so that they automatically show up on the page, so I went a step further . . .

. . . and created a Facebook group! I was inspired by the several bloggers and fashionistas who created a group to promote their blog, and that has so far worked really well, and it gives other people an opportunity to promote their work and sell things freely. So I suggest you join now ;D

Related to my group is joining blogging groups on Facebook. I’m in probably around 20 of them – two of which are local – and it’s when I joined such groups that I started seeing some results.

Tags

Tags also play an important and crucial part in getting traffic on your blog. Say someone is looking for a post about the meaning of life. What tags would you use? I’d probably go for the obvious ‘meaning of life’ ‘search for happiness’ and ‘philosophy’ to name a few. I’m still awful at tags, but slowly learning.

Links

Did you notice something I’ve been doing throughout my posts, where I link to related posts/websites? That’s another thing that helps not only other websites to get recognition, but also you. Why? Because they’d be so thankful that they would consider promoting YOU in return! Just think about it 😉

Other websites that help

I’ve started using Linkedin a couple of months ago when I wanted a page that’s more business-y. I use it to promote my blog, my collaborations and things related to my work, and made some really cool friends from there (if you’re Kelly, I mean you!).

Two other sites you can use to promote your latest posts are Blogarama and, the best one yet, Livinvia, so I will be talking about the latter into detail. I found out about Livinvia from one of the many FB groups that I joined, and decided to give it a go. It is divided into categories, such as Health, Tips, Technology, Fashion and much more . . . and it is completely FREE!

Content

I couldn’t elaborate more than this, so here are the best content tips for traffic:

 

  • Leave thoughtful comments on other people’s blogs with hope of getting recognition on your blog AND connect with other bloggers
  • Write shorter posts, something which I am quite good at since my posts usually do not exceed the 600-word mark
  • Blog consistently
  • Organize your posts with lists and subheads
  • Write stuff people will want to link to
  • Ask questions
  • Be funny, clever, remarkable . . so, not me!
  • Do some public speaking (Remember the one I did
  • Write attractive headlines, so maybe quotes could be good
  • Deliver killer content
  • Guest post on someone else’s blog
  • Tell stories

Have you used any of these? How did they work out for you? Any tips you use for traffic which I have not mentioned above? Let me know in the comments below! Let’s connect!

What I’ve Learnt during my First Year of Blogging

As you might have probably read in my previous post (if not . . . check it out!) my blog turned one this week! And I’ve decided to write more about my experience as a newbie blogger. The first post is all about the stats and achievements. This post is a little similar, with lessons I’ve learned…

  1. PATIENCE: It takes a lot of work to see some real results when you open a new blog, unless you’re lucky, which is not me. Everybody says that, so what’s new? Nothing really, if everyone says it there must be a reason right? Some have it easy, like myself, who’s probably the most patient person ever
  2. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT (OR SOMETHING ALONG THOSE LINES): The saying goes that the more you nurture your creature, the fatter it gets. Meaning: If you don’t write content, you don’t get traffic. One advice, stop looking at your Google Analytic. NOW. Trust me I’ve tried and no, the graph doesn’t grow by just staring at it! You need to work hard for that, but more on that on a later post . . .
  3. GIVE GIVE GIVE: During this past year I (slowly) realised that people are interested in what you write, only if there is something in there for them too, so let’s forget about “me , me , me”. I also noticed one curious thing: The more I get intimate and talk about things that are personal, the better. People like informational/useful posts, true, but they also appreciate when you put your face out there. Having an opinion, being yourself, open and honest makes a big difference. Your reader is looking forward to connect with you, and with your experiences. It’s not always easy (not for me at least)but is very rewarding.
  4. SUCCESS IS A RELATIVE CONCEPT: These months of blogging made me think about the word “success”. What is it really? Having many visitors and views on your blog? Popularity on social media? Getting paid to blog (Oh, I wish!)? As soon as I think that I’m “getting there”, there is always something to remind me that everything is relative. People who think I’m a pain or I’m wasting my time “playing on the internet”, when I actually have a job to do during the day. In the end, I think I finally figured out what success means to me: Being happy with my choices, doing something I love and I believe in. If I see an improvement, I see “success”.
  5. I’D LOVE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT . . . EVERYTHING!: This is the most amazing aspect. I may have been blogging for a year, but ask me what SEO is and I’d probably stare blankly at your face. But slowly and gradually, I’m learning all the terminologies and jargon that come along with blogging. It’s not just the jargon that I’d love to more about. It’s new blogging methods, new bloggers, new types of blogging and also experimenting with my own blog.

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