Follow Friday - #IAmMalala

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I recently read the biography of a young woman called Malala Yousafzai. She is 16, and is the most inspirational human rights campaigner I have ever seen.
 
Growing up in Pakistan, she frequently campaigned for and encouraged girls to stay in education - she did not see why someone's gender should dictate whether they went to school or not. And as a result of her campaigning, she was shot in the face by the Taliban on her way to school.
 
She was transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, and luckily survived the ordeal. Her campaign grew, and she went on to speak at the United Nations to call for worldwide access to education on her 16th birthday.
 
Her book is incredible and inspirational, and I would recommend it to anyone - you can get a copy on Amazon. You can also learn more about her charity, The Malala Fund, on their website, facebook and twitter. 

Follow Friday - #NoMorePage3

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This is a campaign founded by Lucy-Anne Holmes in 2012. This campaign asks the editor of The Sun newspaper, David Dinsmore, to "take bare boobs out of The Sun," because, let's be honest - BOOBS AREN'T NEWS. The campaign argues that there is a time and a place for nudity, and in a family newspaper is not appropriate.

I 100% support this campaign - however I do agree with criticism that objectifying women is never OK, and if it's not in a newspaper then it will be on the internet, and may be considerably worse. Having said that, I think the No More Page 3 campaign is a brilliant first step in reducing objectification of women, and have signed it and promoted it on my personal social media accounts.

So far, the petition has received nearly 189,000 signitures; you can add yours here.

You can also find out more about the campaign on their website, facebook and twitter.

Follow Friday - #EverydaySexism

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The Everyday Sexism Project is a blog started by a woman and feminist writer named Laura Bates in 2012. Growing tired of hearing how feminism is not needed in everyday life, she started the project to show just how much sexism still exists nowadays.

Women and men can anonymously submit their entries on the website, on twitter or via email, and tell their stories of sexism encountered in everyday life. Their stories are, unfortunately, easy to relate for a young woman in today's society, and show just how common and normalised sexism has become. Some of the stories are so heartbreaking, and really make me angry and passionate about changing the way we see women in society.


Check it out on their website and twitter. Laura has also just released a book about the project, which you can find on Amazon, and has also done a TED talk about her project, which you can watch below.




Follow Friday - #FundMyHeart

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#FollowFriday
"Here’s the harsh truth: my fiancee could die.

Here’s the silver lining: he does not have to.

Here’s the simple solution: you reading this post."

I saw this post a few weeks ago and donated to the cause. I shared it on my personal social media accounts, but now I have this blog I feel I should share it on here too.

This is a campaign run by a woman named Karis to try and fund her fiance's heart surgery before it is too late. I found their story heartbreaking, mostly because it forced me to think about what I would do in her situation, if that was my boyfriend. And I know that I would have no choice but to do exactly the same thing as her - but at the end of the day you are relying on the kindness of strangers to save the one you love.



She explains their situation better than I ever could, so here is the link to her blog:


And also their fundraising page:


Please share their cause with everyone you know.

Follow Friday - #MyFriendsAreMarried

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#FollowFriday
Time for me to recommend another website or blog with similar themes to mine that you might find interesting.

This week is pretty light hearted - I'm choosing a tumblr account called #MyFriendsAreMarried. It's written by a 25-year-old girl whose friends all seem to be getting pregnant and married, and quite frankly she is interested in doing neither of those things.

Even though I'm only 21, I can most definitely relate - maybe that's why I find it so hilarious. I cringe when I see half the stuff mums put on facebook, and then cringe again when I remember they're the same age or younger than me!  I think the author of this blog has absolutely nailed how any girl feels when surrounded with expectations like that, and then only gone and illustrated these feelings with hilarious gifs.
Here's some examples:

When my friend says she's skipping dinner so she can fit into her wedding gown, and I'm just like...


When I go to lunch with my friends and they all bring their kids...


When someone tells me I should marry my boyfriend...

When I'm at my friends house and her baby starts crawling towards me...

When I ask my married friends for relationship advice...


Check it out:

Travel diary - Thailand

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I've been lucky enough to have my parents living in Phuket in the south of Thailand from September 2010 until August 2013. And maybe even luckier that the company my dad worked for would pay for a certain number of family flights per year, so I would get to spend every holiday from university out there.
Long tail boat off the beach in Phuket
 
It really is a beautiful country, and I wish I had gotten to see more of it. I mostly spent time in Phuket, as that's where we lived, but I also visited Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
 

Phuket

Phuket is a very touristy part of Thailand. Some people say it isn't like "real" Thailand, because everything is artificial and set up for the tourists. I think this is a shame, as it discourages people from visiting for the culture. If you want to go to a beach resort and lie by a pool for a week then you can go to Spain for much, much cheaper - the Thais don't seem to understand that that's not why a lot of people visit Thailand. We're often more interested in seeing the beautiful natural scenery, such as the deserted beach at the end of our driveway, or the waterfall surrounded by jungle just a short walk from our house.
Buying chillis at the market
 
While I was there, I enjoyed doing "non-touristy" things, such as meeting the people, such as the teachers at the Good Shephard school, who were trying to educate children to a good enough standard that they could be accepted into Thai schools, or the volunteers at the Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation, which helps children - particularly orphans from the 2004 tsunami - to learn and improve their English.
 
I also frequently went shopping at the local markets for ingredients and then learnt to cook delicious Thai dishes such as red curry, massaman curry, penang curry, pineapple fried rice, tom yum soup, pad thai and mango sticky rice.
 
Possibly one of my favourite memories from Phuket is that of Songkran festival - or Thai New Year. It is celebrated by everyone having huge water fights in the streets. We went on the back of a pick up truck with water guns, and the locals found it hilarious to try and throw water on the truck full of tourists. Maybe wouldn't be such fun in England, but when it's 30 degrees and full sunshine, it's brilliant!
 
Yes it is cheap to buy things there, and yes it is usually sunny and has lovely beaches - but those are not the only things that to like about Phuket.
A gypsy village at one of the islands off Phuket

Bangkok

I only stayed in Bangkok for a few days, so I didn't have much time to really get to know the city. It is a classic example of an Asian city, being quiet(ish) in the day time when the sun is at its strongest, and then coming alive in the evening as everyone finishes work and congregates at restaurants and street food stalls for an evening socialising.
 
At Cabbages & Condoms, Bangkok
There are many street markets and food stalls, similar to Phuket, but my favourite place that we ate was a restaurant called Cabbages & Condoms. This was set up to promote awareness of sexual health, and to make contraception more available. As Thailand has a generally high HIV rate, I thought this is a fantastic way to go about promoting something that is desparately needed in the country. All the restaurant's proceeds go towards promoting contraception and safe sex, and to fit in with this theme they decorate the restaurant appropriately - condom lampshades, condom flowers as a centrepiece for tables, and even a condom with your bill instead a mint at the end of your meal. An ingenious idea that has been a huge success - they have now opened up a restaurant in Oxford!
 

Condom flowers!

Chiang Rai
 
From the hill near the Royal Villa
Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai are real Thailand - and I loved them. Very quiet and undisturbed compared to Bangkok and Phuket, and barely any other tourists are - I think I probably saw less than 10 other white people the whole week I was there.
 
In Chiang Rai, we visited the Doi Tung Royal Villa and botanical gardens, which were beautiful, and our taxi driver also took us on a tour through the local hills to a temple called Wat Phra That Doi Tung, which can be seen from the Royal Villa.
 
Also while driving around Chiang Rai with our taxi driver, he stopped off to show us the tea plantation, where we also had a lunch of green tea salad and green iced tea! There are literally hundreds of rows of tea, with workers - mostly women - out in the sun all day picking the leaves. Some even had their babies strapped to them whilst they worked. It's astonishing, and makes you feel as if you're in colonial India or somewhere.
 
In Chiang Rai, there is also a beautiful Buddhist temple called Wat Rong Khun. It's all white with sculpted hands coming out of the lake surrounding it, apparently to represent people in hell, with a bridge over the top representing your journey into the temple, and into heaven.
 
Wat Rong Khun
 
Wat Rong Khun

 
Wat Rong Khun

 Chiang Mai

Lin Ping at Chiang Mai zoo
One of the main things I was excited to see was the pandas at Chiang Mai zoo! We don't have any pandas in English zoos, and there are two in Edinburgh zoo, which is at the opposite end of the country from where I live. When I visited Chiang Mai zoo, they had 3 pandas - a mating pair, and a baby called Lin Ping, who has since been moved back to China. The zoo was definitely worth going to, as they have a fairly large selection of animals and seems to be a very well run business that cares for its animals well.
 
While in Chiang Mai, we also visited a Buddhist temple called Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. This is a huge golden temple that sits on top of a mountain, providing beautiful views of the surrounding Chiang Mai province.
 

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
 

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
 
 
 

 

Sweet chilli & red pepper chutney

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I've been meaning to try out this recipe for about 2 years, and just kept forgetting, or not having the right ingredients when I wanted to make it. This afternoon, I finally got round to it - and I'm glad it did. Absolutely delicious.

I followed Jamie Oliver's recipe exactly, so I've copied it below for you (but you can find the original copy of it here).

Ingredients

  • 8-10 fresh red chillies
  • 8 ripe red peppers
  • olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 x 5 cm stick cinnamon
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 150 ml balsamic vinegar

Method

If you want your chutney to last for a while, make sure you have some small sterilised jars ready to go. Place your chillies and peppers over a hot barbecue, in a griddle pan or on a tray under a hot grill, turning them now and then until blackened and blistered all over. Carefully lift the hot peppers and chillies into a bowl (the smaller chillies won't take as long as the peppers so remove them first) and cover tightly with cling film. As they cool down, they'll cook gently in their own steam. By the time they're cool enough to handle, you'll be able to peel the skin off easily.

When you've got rid of most of the skin, trimmed off the stalks and scooped out the seeds, you'll be left with a pile of nice tasty peppers and chillies. Finely chop by hand or put in a food processor and whizz up. Then put to one side.

Heat a saucepan and pour in a splash of olive oil. Add the onions, rosemary, bay leaves and cinnamon and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook very slowly for about 20 minutes or so, until the onions become rich, golden and sticky.

Add the chopped peppers and chillies, the sugar and the vinegar to the onions and keep cooking. When the liquid reduces and you're left with a lovely thick sticky chutney, season well to taste. Remove the cinnamon stick and the bay leaves. Either spoon into the sterilised jars and put them in a cool dark place, or keep in the fridge and use right away. In sterilised jars, the chutney should keep for a couple of months.



This was the first time I've ever made any type or chutney or jam, and now I'm excited to try it again! Not sure what to make next - maybe pineapple? Maybe tomato? Maybe caramelised onion? Maybe all of them! Feel free to suggest some good recipes for me!

Things to do while waiting for your training dates...

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So I had my cabin crew assessment day just over 2 months ago, and am hoping to hear back regarding training dates sometime in the next couple of weeks. However, they can keep you in the holding pool for up to a YEAR before dates become available, so in the meantime here's some things you can do to keep you entertained while you wait for that all important  phonecall...


1. Bake. Spend all day making some delicious cakes, brownies, cookies, scones, gingerbread men... Anything you like really. Then you get to eat them :)







2. And decorate whatever whatever you've baked! Honestly if you go all out and get creative, this can take hours.

3. Start a blog. About anything that interests you. That's what I did!

4. Read a book. One that you haven't read for ageeessss, or a new one completely. Sites like Good Reads let you put in the books you've already read and say how much you've enjoyed them, then gives you reccommendations based on that, so you're bound to find one you like.

 5. Plan your next holiday. You could make a list of all the places you're going to visit once you start getting staff travel. #flightattendantperks.

6. Practise your cabin crew hairstyles. This ones just for the girls really, as I think male cabin crew hairstyles are fairly standard! But girls can check out youtube videos like this one to learn styles like pleats, doughtnut buns, ponytails and french plaits. Always useful for when you start work.







7. Gardening. Now it's coming up to summer, why not get outdoors in the garden. If like me, you're a student who will shortly be moving to a 1-bedroom apartment with no garden, you could always grow a windowsill herb garden. My tomato plant will be as tall as the window before long :) (oregano next to it isn't doing so well though...)





8. Spring cleaning. It's actually pretty satisfying. Maybe just start with one room at first, and give it a thorough clean, declutter and tidy.

9. Go for a bike ride. Either on your own or with a friend or two. Always nice to get outside when the weather's nice :) and while you're there...

10. Have a picnic. Great cheap way to catch up with friends and spend the day outside doing nothing. Take sandwiches, fruit, cartons of juice, scotch eggs, cocktail sausages, crisps, olives, and maybe even a bottle of cider or two.

11. Catch up on Game of Thrones. New series just started on Monday guys. Get on that.

12. Catch up on any TV series really. Sometimes watching back to back episodes of your favourite show is what you need. If we're going to stay on the aviation topic, I'd reccommend Airline - so funny watching passengers turn up 20 mins after check-in closes and then blame the airline for not letting them on.






13. Cook dinner. If you spend all day planning and shopping for an amazing meal in the evening, you'll definitely feel satisfied when you've pulled it off and everyone loves it! BBC Good Food have loads of recipes, or you can use Supercook to give you ideas for recipes by the ingredients you have in the cupboard.


14. Go to the gym. Or just do a workout at home. Go running. Do yoga. Go for a swim. See how many press ups you can do in a row. Might not take all day, but it will definitely make you feel good.


15. Write. A novel, a poem, a short story, a blog. Anything you like. Just write something and you never know it might actually turn out to be pretty interesting.

16. Draw. Get your GCSE Art sketchpad out and draw something. It doesn't have to be anything amazing, and you don't have to show it to anyone. It can be very stress relieving, and you may spend way more time than you intended on your masterpiece.

17. Watch cat videos. You know you're bored when you find yourself watching a 9 minute long compilation of cats saying "omnomnom." Sigh.

18. Write in your diary. It'll be nice to read again when you're older. I always imagine myself at age 80 looking back over my diaries and reading what crazy thoughts were filling my 21-year-old brain at the time.

19. Plan your wedding. If you're not on Pinterest already then you definitely need to be. You can pin pictures and ideas to your "wedding" board, and start dreaming up what your big day will look like. And it's not exclusively weddings - you can make boards about anything! Recipes, crafts, holidays, cute puppies... Anything you want.



20. Get a degree. Ok maybe it's just me doing this one, but you could definitely do some educational reading and learn about a topic that interests you.

21. Listen to music. Listen to music from years ago on your iTunes, or check out new music for free on Spotify.

22. Go through your wardrobe. Decide on an outfit for the next time you go on a night out. Sort out some clothes to go to charity. Mix and match pieces you've not put together before and create new outfits. You might dig something up in the back of your wardrobe that you'd completely forgotten about!

23. Paint your nails. You could do your hands and feet, and even try out some cute nail art. Again, you will definitely be able to find tutorials for this on Youtube and Pinterest.

24. Stumble. Check out Stumble Upon - you basically put in your interests, and it will give you pages from around that internet that you might find interesting. From photos to articles to games, you will definitely find something entertaining.

25. Sporcle. This website allows you to test your knowledge about various trivia. From countries of europe to Harry Potter characters, you can quiz yourself on literally just about anything, and it's actually pretty fun!

26. Go for a swim. You're going to have to  swim as part of your training, so you may as well practise before you start!

27. Sunbathe. If the weather's nice enough, get started on your tan and you'll look lovely and brown when the time comes to take pics in your new uniform.

28. Do some crafts. You can find loads of craft and DIY ideas on Pinterest.

29. Rearrange furniture. Your bedroom can look completely different if you just switch your furniture around every now and then. Freshens up your bedroom decor without having to buy new furniture or paint any walls!

30. Sewing. Mend that hole you've had in your jumper for the last three weeks, or sew on a button that's been missing for ages. These things often get overlooked in everyday life, but when you're bored you've got a perfect opportunity to catch up on some chores like this.

31. Build a blanket fort. Doing this with friends is probably more fun than on your own! Just get some chairs or use furniture already in the room, and drape blankets over them and pin them together with safety pins if necessary. Then take pillows, duvets, speakers, food, lamps and fairy lights inside and enjoy!


32. Volunteer. There are hundreds of charities out there that need volunteers, and often they'll be thankful for even just a few hours of your time. There's loads of different things you could do, from collecting money on the high street to dog walking to helping run activity groups for children. What a brilliant way to increase your karma!

33. Listen to an audiobook. If you're not a fan of reading, you can get a free audiobook when you sign up for a free trial on Audible.

34. Learn a new word. Grab a dictionary and learn a new word - then try and use it in conversation within the next 24 hours. If you do this everyday, just imagine how eloquent you'll be in a year!

35. Play a game. There are literally thousands of games you can play on iPhone, Facebook and just on the internet. You could even go old school and play a board game. Just whatever you do, don't get addicted to Candy Crush.

36. Check out cabincrew.com - there's loads of artcles, advice and forums written by new and old cabin crew, so if you have any questions or worries about your new career, here is the place to go.


37. Go to a museum. In Britain there are loads of museums and, even better, loads of them are free! A particular favourite of mine is the Natural History Museum in London.

38. Pamper yourself. You can get face masks for about 99p from the supermarket - pop one of them on, put a conditioning mask in your hair and put some cucumbers over your eyes for half an hour.

39. Give blood. If you're over 17 and are in good general health then you are probably able to give blood. I've done it a few times and while it's not fun voluntarily having a needle stuck in you, you do get free tea and biscuits afterwards, so it all works out okay. Find out more on their website here.

40. Go camping. Grab a group of friends, a tent, a gas stove and some food and head out into the countryside for a few days camping.

41. Redecorate. As long as you're not living in rented accommodation, why not redecorate a room in your house. Just grab some paint or wallpaper from B&Q and let your interior design skills blossom - check out this DIY ombree wall for inspiration!



42. Stargaze. See if you can recognise constellations like Ursa Major and Orion. This website will give you information about exciting things happening on certain dates in the sky.

43. Have a barbecue. Invite a loads of friends over and tell them to bring burgers, burger buns and drinks. You can get a cheap disposable barbecue from most supermarkets in the summer, so this actually works out as a pretty cheap but fun way to spend the day.

44. Get a job. Get some money while you're waiting for training dates and then you can spend it all on staff travel once you start!

45. Go rock climbing. You can find an indoor climbing wall here - they normally don't cost too much for you to have a go, although you will probably need an instructor to help you if you've not done much climbing before.

46. Bingo. Yes it's normally full of old people, but if you go with your mates then it can be fun and you might even win something!

47. Go to the beach. If it's warm enough, take your swim things and a towel and go get some ice creams. If it's not that warm, a walk along the beach followed by fish and chips is still just as good.

48. Go to a roller disco. Have a look on the internet for local events - they look soooo fun.

49. Go to a theme park. You can always get 2-for-1 deals for Alton Towers and Thorpe Park on things like crisp packets and cereal boxes, or alternatively you can use Nectar points and other loyalty scheme rewards to get tickets.

50. Actally start learning cabin crew stuff. Even though you don't know exactly what you need to know yet, you could definitely start learning some basic things, like what routes you'll fly, types of planes, basic first aid, airport codes and the phonetic alphabet. You can get most of this info on google or youtube - it's not hard guys, there's no excuse.

Sexism explained.

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Although sexism has been around for a long time, the official psychological term “ambivalent sexism” was not coined until 1996 by Dr. Peter Glick and Dr. Susan Fiske. They proposed that sexism can be split into two distinct categories: hostile and benevolent sexism.

Hostile sexism

This is the type of sexism that everyone stereotypically thinks of as sexist attitudes, such as that women are weak, incompetent and sexually manipulative. It views them as inferior to men and objectifies them as sexual objects to be used merely for male pleasure. This includes things like telling offensive jokes, domestic violence against women and catcalling at women in the street.

image source: instagram @generationsfinestt

Examples of hostile sexism from Glick and Fiske’s sexism scale (The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory) include:

“Once a woman gets a man to commit to her, she usually tries to put him on a tight leash.”

“When women lose to men in a fair competition, they typically complain about being discriminated again.”

“Many women are actually seeking special favors, such as hiring policies that favour them over men, under the guise of asking for "equality."”

Benevolent sexism

This is a much more subtle type of sexism that is sometimes rephrased as "chivalry." It is often brushed off by people as being “not really sexist.” This involves praising women’s traditionally feminine qualities and encouraging traditional gender roles. This includes things like opening doors for women, carrying things for them and buying gifts for girlfriends/wives out of the blue. Although all of these things seem like nice things to do, in the context of men consistently doing these things for women, they imply that women need men to take care of them and look after them. This stereotypes women as the weaker sex, and encourages them to stay in inferior societal positions to men.

Examples of benevolent sexism from Glick and Fiske’s scale include:

“Women should be cherished and protected by men.”

“A good woman should be set on a pedestal by her man.”

“Men should be willing to sacrifice their own well being in order to provide financially for the women in their lives.”

The topic of sexism - particularly benevolent sexism - frequently comes up in discussion between me and my boyfriend. He argues that things like holding doors for someone, buying presents, wanting to provide for financially for them and wanting to protect them aren't sexist, they're just the sort of things you do for someone you love, male or female. And I can see his point - and I know he is does not truly endorse benevolent sexism or we would've broken up a long time ago! And despite it being the opposite of traditional gender roles, I also like to buy him gifts, pay for our meals out together, hold doors for him.

image source: instagram @generationsfinestt

I think the problem arises with people's expectations of these things; females expect these things from their male partners more so than the males would expect from their female partners. In fact, an article published last year by Hammond and Overall (2013) showed just how bad benevolent sexism can be for relationships. When women hold benevolently sexist views, they are more likely to experience more sensitivity about problems in the relationship, a faster decline in relationship satisfaction when experiencing these problems and more hurtful partner behaviour. The authors concluded that women who endorse benevolent sexism are quite frankly "vulnerable within their relationships."

After a lot of thinking and many discussions with my boyfriend about it, my conclusion is that it's perfectly acceptable to hold the door open for your girlfriend - as long as she holds it for you sometimes too.

References:

Hammond M.D.; Overall, N. C. (2013) When relationships do not live up to benevolent ideals: Women's benevolent sexism and sensitivity to relationship problems. European Journal of Social Psychology, 43(3), 212-223. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.1939

Glick, P.; Fiske, S. T. (1996) The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70(3), 491-512. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.70.3.491

10 ways to be happier

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Here are a few things that I try and to do pick myself up when I'm having a bad day (or week... or month...)


1. Go outside. Often, when I'm saying goodbye to my boyfriend after he comes to stay for the weekend, I'll be in my room crying and won't be able to stop. As soon as we go outside to start walking him to the train station I always feel immediately a little more positive about the situation. The same goes for if I'm feeling down and I'm just in my house on my own - if I force myself to get out and go to uni or into town or even just to the shop to get some milk, I always feel better having been outside in the fresh air.

2. Smile. Okay it's an obvious one, but Psychology studies have shown us time and time again that if you smile while you're doing something, you enjoy it more (for an example, check out one of the original papers on this topic by Strack, Martin and Stepper, 1988). So even if you're stuck at work all day and you're bored and it's raining, give the next customer that walks in a huge welcoming smile, and you will certainly improve your mood, and probably theirs too.



3. Notice the little things. I only truly notice and appreciate the little things when I'm on my own, but it does often help me feel more grounded and secure in my life. If you take time each day to notice something positive, you'll find you probably have a more positive outlook for the whole day. It could be something as little as noticing a pretty flower or a nice pattern in the clouds or a cute puppy on the train, but it will certainly give you a better chance at having a happier day.



4. Appreciate the good. When things seem to be all going wrong, the best thing to do is look for the silver lining. And there always, always is one. You live too far from your family to see them? At least you have a family that want to see you! You don't like your job? At least you have one! And, like me - you hate saying goodbye to your boyfriend every weekend?! At least you have a boyfriend that loves you and comes to visit! Although it seems hard, try and be grateful for the things you do have rather than resenting the things you don't.

5. Be kind to people. Nothing beats that feeling after you've done something nice for someone without expecting anything in return, so use this as a way to improve your mood when you're having a bad day. Even something small like complimenting your friend or buying your housemate her favourite chocolate bar on your way home can give you a real buzz of happiness knowing that you've done something nice when you didn't have to.

6. Exercise. I know it seems like the last thing you want to do when you're feeling down, but honestly even just going out for a 5 minutes walk will make you feel better. If you're feeling a little more adventurous, go for something a bit more challenging, e.g. running, cycling, yoga, swimming, pilates, dancing... The possibilities are endless, and if you've never tried something like yoga before, just look it up on youtube for a beginners video tutorial.





7. Baking. Ok it might just be me on this one, but I find baking and cooking really stress relieving. During exam period I do so much baking I think my housemates and I put on about a stone each. Maybe it's just because I'm focusing on something else other than what's making me stressed, but I really do find it helpful. If you're not that confident in the kitchen, just get a packet cookie or cupcake mix, or look up an easy recipe online.

8. Spring cleaning. Maybe this one is again just allowing me to focus on something other than what's stressing me out, but I find that once I really get into tidying and cleaning my house, I'm not really thinking about anything else. I feel like I have a task to do, and once it's done I feel proud that I've accomplished something for the day, and don't feel as bad any more!

9. Nap. Ok maybe this is because I'm a student, but naps do really help you feel better. When you've got 2 essays and 4 exams all due in this week and you're so stressed about them all you don't know what to do first, have a nap. Even just lay down with your eyes closed and rest. Just for half an hour. 45 minutes at the absolute most (otherwise it's not a nap, it's a full on sleep). Then when you wake up you'll feel refreshed and hopefully in a different mood from earlier.







10. Hug one of your mates. Or mum. Or dad. Or boyfriend. Or girlfriend. Anyone really. Maybe even a pet. Contact with others causes happier brain chemistry, so just say to someone that you're feeling down and need a hug. Any true friend will be happy to help :)

I need feminism because...

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Just a few of my fave images from the "I need feminism because" / "who needs feminism?" projects. Some of them shocking, some funny and some heartbreaking...





Basically...




All pics are sourced from: http://www.whoneedsfeminism.com/about.html or google images if you want to find more :)