Mental Health Diaries | 6 weeks on Anti-Depressants

30 March 2019

If you are new to the blog or my life on social media, you may not know that I have been suffering with depression. I was finally diagnosed in December, despite knowing I haven't felt my normal self for so many years. I'd been rejected from the doctors, told to smile by those around me and a counsellor even told me to try being positive in order to improve my depression. I've been through so many ups and downs throughout my childhood in terms of mental health and FINALLY found a solution that has benefited me in the most amazing ways possible. I wrote my first mental health diary post a couple of weeks ago if you want to read these in order (read that here) but if you just want to join now, I'm going to be discussing the effects of anti-depressants on my mental/emotion/physical health over the past six months of being on them.

The Taboo

Starting medication is always viewed as negative - family members and the media always seem to neglect anti-depressants, or only view them as the last resort. In some cases, including my own, it usually is the last resort because doctors and counsellors usually sway you to make other decisions first before beginning medication. However, after trying all these methods that did nothing more than make me more depressed, deflated and helpless, I knew that this had to be the next step for my own wellbeing. Don't get me wrong, I know SO many people that have managed to recuperate from methods such a CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) and yoga/meditating/exercise, so I'm so saying these are all useless. I just knew that they weren't helping me whatsoever - I've tried them all so many times over suffering with my illness over the past 5 years and nothing ever worked.

The Side Effects

Anyway, I began taking Sertraline daily since the beginning of February. My doctor told me that 6 weeks is usually the period where the medication hits its peak, essentially where it starts settling in to your bodily system and you usually notice a difference (if it's working for you). I'm currently on the smallest dosage they give, which I'm content with, as I knew it was appropriate due to the millions of side effects I'd researched. My lovely doctor had warned me to look up the side effects and check them out before I officially began; I searched the web thoroughly and was more than happy to go ahead. I also know a number of people in my life that I'm super close to and who were on the tablets too, which was another great way of researching how the medication had affected those around me.

To be honest, I regard myself super lucky with the side effects I've encountered. Nothing has been extremely inconvenient, painful or disruptive to my everyday life. The only three symptoms I received in the first two weeks of taking sertraline were: low sex drive, vivid dreams and light-headedness. Although I'm not a doctor, I feel like I also suffered a little with 'emotional bluntness', which I read about online and described how I felt perfectly (but I'm not going to self-diagnose!!). Anyway, the thing that seriously made me worry prior to the side effects were the dreams. I've suffered with lack of sleep for well over a year now and I didn't want anything else to negatively contribute to my dire sleeping pattern. However, the sertraline has calmed my anxiety HUGELY, alongside boosting my dopamine and serotonin levels; thus, I was able to sleep inexpressibly better than before. I have not felt more like myself since starting these tablets - my life has improved in a matter of one month and I'm absolutely thrilled.

The Result

Prior to starting my medication, my mental health was at its worst and I was diagnosed with depression. I honestly cannot remember the last time I felt genuinely happy - possibly when I was about 11/12 years old - but since then I have definitely struggled with a variety of mental health issues. Persistence has been my key to getting the results I needed to help support my mental wellbeing - I tried doctor after doctor, method after method, to try and get my happiness back. The only way that has worked for me has been antidepressants and I cannot be more grateful for them. Do not worry, I won't be relying on them for my entire life. Those close to me were worried about the addictive effect of antidepressants but I can assure you that the regular check ups with my doctor, and the thorough appointments I have with her, she will know exactly when it's fine for me to become independent again. This journey has been great so far and all I want to do is let others know that poor mental health is only temporary - you can change the way you feel and there are so many options to try to get your life back on track. I'm always a message, DM or phonecall away (no matter if you are a stranger, follower, friend or relative of mine).

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and you're all doing well.

Lots of love

The Money Saving App Every Student NEEDS!

26 March 2019

Being a student, most of us cannot help but worry about money 24/7. Myself and all of my friends probably talk about how little money we have in our bank accounts at least 3 times every SINGLE D A Y. Despite having a good budget in place, sometimes there are terms at university that make it very difficult to survive without popping into the overdraft. Even though we have endured many a struggle money-wise, I have managed to find an incredible app that can help you and many others save as much money as possible when spending money in your local city, at your favourite cafe or buying gifts for an upcoming occasion. 

LoyalFree is an app that has recently made its way into my life and I honestly wish that I'd discovered it sooner. The app intelligently connects to your location and brings all of the offers available in your area into one place. You can access deals/codes for local restaurants, cafes and other services (i.e. discounted gym memberships) from your city, making it super easy to save some of your pennies. Student life can be a struggle so now that I have this app, I can always check to see if there are better alternatives to opt for, in order to help me save that extra cash!

One of my favourite features about the app is that you can earn rewards by collecting stamps - just take a photo of the LoyalFree bar code in your favourite stores and receive a stamp! They also have a section on the app that is dedicated to local/surrounding events - this has made me aware of all the amazing things that are going on in my city within the next couple of months that I had NO idea about! There is a Lincoln Street Food Festival this weekend and I'm super excited to go - if I didn't have the app, I would honestly have no idea because it hasn't been advertised anywhere in my city centre. LoyalFree also have a 'trails' section which I think is a wonderful idea; for instance, it has collated all the amazing places in Lincoln that are dog friendly! This means you can plan your day in advance, knowing which places allow dogs to join you if you haven't got a dog sitter or want to take your pooch out for the day.

Finally, I look at the LoyalFree app as a tour guide. If you've never been to a city or town before, you can hop on the app and find a map of where you are. You can be guided to places that offer amazing deals and discounts, you have access to opening times and contact numbers for restaurants if you fancy booking at table. It even has a section to find nearby parking, which is extremely useful for drivers like myself when travelling to a new place.

Here are some images of LoyalFree happiness in Lincoln: 

Overall, I am absolutely thrilled that I have this app in my life and I am now able to save so much money when I'm out socialising with my house mates, going out for a drink or shopping for my weekly essentials. This app is super convenient - holding all your deals and stamps in one places. Let me know what you guys think of the app and don't hesitate to download it's FREE:


Have you heard of LoyalFree before? Will you be downloading the app?

Lots of love


This is a paid collaboration with LoyalFree; however, all opinions are honest and my own.

Surviving Uni by Building Your Independence...

23 March 2019

Making the move to uni is challenging, often in ways that you might never have expected. As excited as you might have been to leave your family home; when you find yourself out there, loneliness and a fear can set in. If you’ve never relied on yourself so much before, it can quickly feel overwhelming. Today, I'm going to have a chat and give you guys a few tips on how to build the independence that can help you survive university.

Put a budget in place

Learning a little financial dependence should be the first step, simply because it’s so important. A lot
of first-time students away from home get into debt simply because they don’t know how to manage
their finances, so they take out credit cards and dip into their overdraft, putting themselves at some
risk. Look at these tips for managing your student income and put together a weekly budget so you
always know how much you have and how much you’re spending. Think about food shopping,
washing your clothes, socialising and some extra cash for a treat!

Get organized with your time

You have a lot more responsibilities when you move from home. Not only do you have to study, you have to take care of your living space, make time for socialising, do all your own shopping, and so on. Top Universities offers some practical advice on getting more organised and learning how to better use your time that’s worth looking at.

Consider moving out of halls

The university halls can be a great place to live and a great way to make friends, but if you want to
become more independent, it might be worth taking a look at other accommodation. With sites like
Mighty Student Living, it’s easy to find shared accommodation. Simply put, having your own home or
apartment that you have to manage yourself can teach you what it’s like to live on your own or with
housemates, while halls can still feel like a managed experience with less responsibility.

Find your own interests and hobbies

While in high school, it’s easy for most of your time to be dominated by schoolwork, hanging with your
friends, doing chores, and being a part of the school club. As you grow up, you have to find how to
make good use of your own spare time. Avoid boredom and frustration with sites like Meetup that can
help you find all kinds of local hobbyist groups and find yourself a passion to make good use of what
extra time you have.

Don’t be afraid to call home

Feeling homesick is not a sign that you’re not cut out to be an independent young adult. It simply
means you miss your family, your hometown, and the comforts of life that aren’t as near anymore.
Don’t try to ignore that feeling, fight homesickness by getting in touch once and awhile. A familiar
voice over the phone can offer the support and relief you need, helping you face your new life.

If you’re truly struggling to cope, it’s worth looking into what mental health assistance your university
can offer. The vast majority of people deal with depression and stress at one time or another, even if
they don’t show it. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help, it’s an effective way to find the strength
to cope.

How have you built your independence?

Lots of love

5 Reasons I'm Putting My Phone Down in 2019

15 March 2019

Over the past few months, I've realised how addicted I am to my phone. It's actually quite scary how much I've relied on it over the years to the point where I feel like I cannot live without it. To be honest, it's my little comfort blanket and I always feel safe when it's with me. Being a female, I get worried walking home from university when it's late so it's always nice to have a point of contact at all times. However, I don't like the idea that I'm addicted to something so 'out-of-touch' with reality. I want to experience life more without my phone so I've decided to make a conscious effort to put my phone down more in 2019. Here are the 5 main reasons why.


The toxicity of being on your phone for over 4+ hours a day is mind-blowing. The new screen time feature on iPhones have made me realise how awfully long I spend on my phone in just a single day. This is super toxic and not a habit that I want to continue with. Although I adore apps like Instagram and Twitter, they can be extremely toxic for the mind and body. People are constantly comparing themselves to the highlights of strangers lives and highly edited photos; this is enhancing body confidence issues and resulting in bad mental health. Luckily, I've overcome that hurdle and now appreciate my body for the amazing things it can do but there are some days where I accidentally compare myself to another body type or someone with drastically different features to my own. It's okay to be unique and not look like everyone else on the platform! I'm making the effort to put my phone down, in this case, to work on improving myself and loving me for me...even more than I already do!

Losing Touch of Reality

Something I learnt years ago was how 'out-of-touch' from the real world I can be when I'm engrossed in my phone. It angers me that I used to sit glued to my screen at family parties, in restaurants and even when I'm out with my friends. I'm embarrassed to say that this sometimes still happens but I'm definitely so much more aware of it so that I can hinder it from continuing. I want to engage with my loved ones, spend quality time with my family and remember what it used to be like before everyone was addicted to screens. If I'm with my family now, I always suggest that we play a board game or something that doesn't require technology because it's always such a great bonding activity that always leaves us in fits of laughter. I'm sure you'll agree that you don't want to regret not spending time with your loved ones making amazing memories rather than ignoring their presence by scrolling through Instagram. Putting our phones down with definitely improve and help keep relationships with our partner/family/friends healthier. 

Sleeping Pattern

Additionally, a huge issue in my life at the beginning of the year was my sleep pattern. I lacked a good night's sleep for months and months. Putting down my phone more often and an hour before I go to sleep has significantly helped to improve my sleeping pattern. I read a huge article about why phones can disrupt your ability to fall asleep at a reasonable time, especially if you lie in bed scrolling for hours. If I find the article, I'll definitely link it ASAP but I remember it mentioned about the type of light that phones emit can alert your brain, keeping your brain awake. From first hand experience, poor sleep = poor health (both mentally and physically). If I recommend anything, I would suggest to keep your phone away from you at least an hour before you head to bed. It's worked wonders for me.


My phone is one of my biggest distractions from life. As soon as I pick up my phone, I forget what I'm doing and what I'm meant to be achieving in the day. This is one of the many reasons why I prefer writing lists in a notebook, rather than using the notes tab on my phone. I'll always end up procrastinating after writing the note and therefore, losing the productivity I had prior to picking up the phone. Thus, I think it's best to get your room mate, parent or brother to hide your phone when you need to be concentrating. Whether you have an assignment to hand in, you're applying for a new job or completing a qualification, hiding your phone will be at your best interest. I can stay focused for hours when my phone isn't in my sight. Trust me, it will change your life!


In attempt not to offend anyone, I'm not stereotyping Brits but whenever I'm walking around the streets or studying in a coffee shop, I always acknowledge how many people are just sat/walking in silence with their friend because they're just looking at their phones. It's so heartbreaking that we've lost connecting and socialising with random people; I always find that the elderly are extremely friendly in public places because they are the majority of individuals who are not involved in the tech world. Some days I wish I grew up in their time or just simply had no interest in the online industry because they seem to lead such happy lives. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that not having technology will make you happier but I definitely feel there is some correlation. The online world has opened a source of self-hatred and has built up this 'perfect image' that in turn has affected many - I rarely find people my age that are happy within themselves. I just feel that I'd be so much better socially if I hadn't have been so attached to my phone throughout my teen years. Human interaction is something I definitely want to work on in 2019.

It's been great to reflect on the reasons why I want to spend less time on my phone this year. This is a PSA to any of you who know me - tell me to GET OFF MY PHONE if you see me on it in public! I thoroughly enjoy being on the internet and think it's such a positive place for me but I can alternatively see the damaging effects it's having on others/society firsthand. I will still use all of my favourite apps because I find pleasure in creating online content; however, I am going to be more conscious of the time I spend using technology and instead, put more energy into cherishing my relationships and working on my own self happiness.

Will you be putting your phone down more in 2019? Do you think overusing your phone can be damaging to your health?

Lots of love

Staying on Trend on a Student Budget!!

6 March 2019

Fashion and purchasing on-trend clothing pieces has become an ever-growing passion of mine since I started my blog in early 2014. I've had some awful stages over the year but I think I've finally found the pieces that work for me and that I love to wear. One of my favourite things about the fashion industry are the amazing range of brands out there that sell affordable, good quality clothing. Being a student, we cannot always afford to spend £40 on a knit jumper or £80 on a dress; therefore, I always love discovering new brands that offer beautiful pieces for friendly prices. 

Femme Luxe are a brand that got in touch with me and I jumped at the opportunity! I scoured their website to see if their style fit mine and I adored many pieces on their site. Thus, I thought I would share with you my favourite items that I've been wearing from Femme Luxe over the past month. Starting with jumpers (my winter obsession)...


I've had some whacky, dramatic jumpers in my time but nothing compares to a simple, block colour knit. I'm obsessed with this gorgeous camel colour paired with the cosy turtle neck and flared sleeves. Not only is this jumper super comfortable and winter appropriate, it is a capsule wardrobe pieces. You can pair it with any jean in your wardrobe and it's great for casual or smart-casual wear. My favourite look is definitely with a leopard print statement belt and my deep brown gold chain bag. It's also such a vibe with my new balayage hair too...haha! Best of all, it's currently on sale for £17.99.


Off shoulder jumpers are always a winner for me. I love the look of collarbones peeking out and always feel like it gives an extra edge to any outfit. I opted for this stunning cream number with beautiful embroidery. Personally, I feel the embroidery is an old-fashioned look whereas the off-shoulder trend is very modern; this is what drew me to this piece! I love how they've mashed together two eras, or am I just being a nerd haha?! Anyway, this jumper is very high quality, it looks stunning yet effortless paired with a pair of light wash blue mum jeans and a mini bag. I'd highly recommend checking out the Femme Luxe jumper range as they have so many stunning and affordable pieces for us gals looking for a fab bargain! This knit is not currently on the website but I've linked a similar one for £14.99!

Buy the Jumper here


Red dresses are a bit of me. Being a brunette, I've always opted for reds when it comes to a night out look or an evening event. Something else I've really adored over the past year or so is the square neckline. I find it extremely flattering on the chest area - collarbones and neck on display. The bodycon fit is always fab at enhancing your curves and sucking you in at the right places. I love how thick the material is too - no worrying about see-through areas or being cold throughout the night. An overall stunning piece that is currently on sale for £13.99.

Shop some of my other favourite Femme Luxe items:

What are your favourite affordable clothing brands? Have you ever tried any products from Femme Luxe Finery before??

Lots of love

These items mentioned in the post were gifted; however, all opinions are honest and my own. 

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