Goodbye September

September has been the most overwhelming and stressful month of the year. I usually adore September, I always see it as a fresh start, a new chapter, especially as Autumn starts to creep in.

However, this month wasn’t easy. Settling into my new internship was intense and at times I felt like I wasn’t cut out for being a full time writer, but thankfully I’ve eased into my editorial intern role.

During the second week of the month my Mam was taken to hospital. It was the most horrifying experience ever. My mam is the strongest and bravest women I know, she managed to pull through and is finally home after spending eleven lengthy days in hospital. My Mam never fails to surprise me. She was in intensive care two weeks ago and now she’s sitting on the sofa giving out about the state of the jumper Ryan Gosling wore on Graham Norton, “He must have bought that jumper in Guineys.”

I always try my best to look on the positive side of things and even though September was full of horrible days, it was sprinkled with a few joyful moments.

On the first day of my internship there were dogs in our office, it was quite possibly the best welcome I could have ever dreamed of.

There’s a little café near my office that sells Badger and Dodo coffee, which is my all time favourite.

My middle sister’s sense of humour was the one thing that brought light to hospital visits. Her witty jokes made everyone feel that little bit better and brought a smile to my face.

I only read one book this month, but that book made this stressful month bearable. I spent lunch breaks and Luas journeys reading How To Stop Time by Matt Haig. I have so much respect for Matt Haig and his work is one of a kind. How To Stop Time was an exciting and emotional and thought provoking read. I spent three weeks getting to know main character Tom Hazard and his story. It also features appearances from Shakespeare and F.Scott Fitzgerald so it was always going to be a winner in my eyes.

Sweater weather is here! I’ve already started expanding my knitwear collection. I love Autumn fashion, I cannot wait until it get’s cooler so I no longer feel bad about spending half my pay cheque on jumpers and cardigans.

And finally, Taylor Swift released two new songs and even though they are extremely different to her Fearless days, I love them. I cannot wait for her album release in October.

Always look on the bright side of life.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

Advertisements

Anxiety and the City

“When I die, Dublin will be written on my heart” -James Joyce.

I was born in Dublin 23 years ago. I’ve lived here my entire life. It’s a city with great character and bundles of  history. There are so many places around the county that hold a special place in my heart, from Dún Laoghaire to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and from my Nanny’s house to Smock Alley Theatre.

Unfortunately, the city itself has turned into one of my least favourite places. My anxiety disorder makes trips to the Big Smoke a complete and utter nightmare. I hop on the bus full of hope for the adventure ahead, but by the time it pulls up on Dame Street I am flooded with waves of panic and overcome with a feeling of dread. Anxiety is defined as ‘a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome’. Symptoms range from difficulty concentrating to headaches, and from nausea to constantly feeling on edge.

I’ve learned to live with my disorder, but I still struggle in the city. However, I don’t want my anxiety to get in the way of me living my life, so I’ve found a few little tricks that help me when I’m feeling extremely anxious in the city centre, and hopefully they can help someone else who is struggling too.

Music

It’s simple but so effective. I know sticking on Spotify isn’t going to cure your anxiety disorder, but it can help a lot, so give it a chance. I find that listening to quiet, soothing sounds can help calm your heart rate and breathing. I listen to Ben Howard, Birdy and Tom Odell when I’m walking around Dublin. Focusing on the music also distracts you from worrying. Slow music can help reduce stress levels which will ease both your body and mind when your anxiety rears it’s ugly head.

Company

My friends have been an incredible help to me. They’ve supported me when I’ve had panic attacks, reassured me when I felt stressed and understood that sometimes the city can be too much for me. If you speak to your friends in an open and honest way about your anxiety disorder you will feel a lot better. They will take t into account when you’re making plans. Your friends will make sure that you’re okay and will always keep an eye on you. Talking about mental health is difficult, because a lot of people can be dismissive, but your friends will understand and do their very best to help in whatever way they can. Knowing you have your friends support will help make outings to the city easier, and ten times more enjoyable.

Organisation

This has been the most helpful trick for me so far. Planning your trip into the city will ease your mind and will help you stay focused. Pick out the cafe beforehand if you’re meeting a friend for coffee. Decide what shops you need to visit on your journey into town. Sticking to a schedule will keep your anxiety at bay because you will feel in control of the situation. Chanel your inner Monica Geller, but maybe leave your label maker at home if you’re heading out for cocktails with the girls.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat