My 2017 Bucket List

I’m not really one for resolutions. I used to make them when I was younger, but they weren’t of any real significance. However, there are things I want to do within 2017 which I wouldn’t really call resolutions, but just things I’d like to see happen. So, we’re going to call it my 2017 bucket list and go from there.

Go travelling

I wouldn’t say like pack my bags and go across Europe or something, but I’d like to just go places more. Maybe a trip to London, hopefully one to Paris or Brighton. Just get out of my usual surroundings. It’d be really nice to just go somewhere and enjoy myself.

Get a new tattoo

I really love my first tattoo, but I want to get another one. I’m not planning to get as crazily inked as my dad was, but I’d like a few meaningful ones. I’m not going to tell you the design I want to get, because I want to be a surprise, but it’s a small one and I’ve wanted it for a good while now.

Continue reading “My 2017 Bucket List”

Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Welcome to The New Dynasty

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Warning: This post is long, so grab a cup of tea or a snack and settle down to read!

Saturday nights are usually what people look forward to all week and for me, it was no different. Except instead of putting my glad rags on and heading to the clubs or flopping out on the sofa to watch ‘The X Factor’ (the latter is usually the norm for me) I was heading into Cardiff with my friend, Alysha, to be reunited with my other friend, Camryn.

“Have you got questions prepared?” Alysha asked me as we greeted each other.
“Of course. We’re testing her knowledge on the UK.”
“Cool. So, shall we go get the food now or later?”

You see, instead of meeting up with Camryn to go shopping on Queen Street or grabbing a bite to eat, we’d be interviewing her. Wait, backtrack… who interviews their friends? That’s kind of weird, Jazz. Right? Except Camryn is a singer. Scratch that. She’s a teen pop-rock star living out the dream of millions of musicians even up to double her age.

Stop the tape and rewind to a few years ago, when I was some plucky teen fangirl with a passion for the Disney Channel stars of 2008 such as Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers, I used to regularly check a website called ‘Cambio’. I was flicking through the articles when I saw one about an 11-year-old musician and naturally since she wasn’t much younger than me, I decided to check her out. That’s when I came across Camryn. She was promoting one of her earlier singles, ‘Wait and See’. After giving it a listen and watching the video, I definitely found myself into her music. Click, click, click – I followed her social media. She’d pop up on my Twitter timeline regularly with various posts on things she was working on, including touring with teen pop sensations Cody Simpson and Greyson Chance. A few years later I was reading a magazine and a familiar face with blonde hair with a glistening smile – it was Camryn. It talked about how she was touring with One Direction in the states along with an interview with her. I hadn’t seen anything about her in the UK yet so I snapped a picture and tweeted it to her only for her to thank me and share it on her socials. I’d tweet her now and then and she’d normally reply which was always nice.

One day, she announced something pretty big and exciting – she was the opening act for One Direction’s UK & European leg of their world arena tour. And guess what? It included Cardiff. I was beyond excited. Of course, I loved One Direction but I’d been supporting Camryn for so long that I had to see her or just be able to say hi outside the arena. I checked Ticketmaster. SOLD OUT. Dammit. Oh well, if I can’t be there, I should at least message her to congratulate her and recommend places to check out if she had the time in between shows, right? I messaged her Facebook page where we ended up talking. I told her about how I wanted to be a pop culture journalist and it was on my bucket list to interview her for the youth website I was writing for. To my surprise, she was totally up for meeting in Cardiff for me to do just that and gave me the details of her publicist. After working with the editor of CLIConline (R.I.P) alongside her publicist, we sorted out a time and place for the interview, which I was extremely nervous for. This was my first proper interview in person. Sure, I’d done bits and pieces for the site before, but this was huge for me. Needless to say it went pretty well; I met Camryn – who was lovely as expected – and she and her manager even hooked me up with tickets to the show. It was incredible and was where I discovered my love for 5 Seconds of Summer. To Camryn, that was one of many interviews she’s done in her career, but for me it was something big. It helped me realise this was something I wanted to do as a career. It’s ultimately what helped me decide I wanted to take pop journalism seriously. And I did. If you know me, you’ll be well aware of some of the crazy experiences I’ve had and interviews I’ve done – from YouTube phenomenon Tyler Oakley and even Oscar award winners from Disney’s Big Hero 6. It’s insane and I’d like to think that little interview with Camryn in 2013 had a big impact on that.

When we first met in 2013
When we first met in 2013

A little over three years later and Camryn was back in town and this time supporting American girl band, Fifth Harmony. We had both grown over time; me being newly-turned 21 and her now 17 and back with a brand new EP and total maturity in her sound. Of course, we’ve kept in touch over the years and I even befriended some of her band and team. I asked United By Pop kindly if they could help me arrange an interview with Camryn for their site to which they happily agreed to. After some sorting out, we had arranged to meet at the venue. Alysha, who played my the role of my right hand woman and camera operator for the day (as well as great company) and I met up with Camryn and her manager, Lesley and greeted each other before heading to the tour bus which would act as our studio for the interview. We had a lot of bags with us and all for Camryn and her crew – which they loved. My lovely friend Lily had hooked us up with some amazing LUSH products for both Camryn and her crew and we bought a tin of chocolates to say thank you to them all (it was thanks to her drummer, Justin, that we had 3 free tickets on the guest list for that night’s show – so it would be crazy not to thank him and the band for meeting us as well as Camryn and her manager for setting up this opportunity) They were delighted with the gifts and we had a chat about the last time Camryn and I had met as well as the support account Alysha and I ran to help promote her. After a few minutes of nattering, we began to film. We decided to do two segments – one where I’d quiz Camryn on knowledge on the UK and another where she’d try some well known British snacks, both proving to be a lot of fun.

Reunited x
Reunited x

We must have spent almost two hours on the bus. In between working on content for United By Pop, we took some short videos and pictures for the fansite as well as some Instax photos for competitions. Camryn even threw in some signed flyers and one personalised one each for myself and Alysha as a token of gratitude for supporting her. We even got to take a picture for my scrapbook which I’m filling for my year as 21.

 

Alysha, Camryn and I on the tour bus
Alysha, Camryn and I on the tour bus

 

Something to remember the day by
Something to remember the day by

We soon said our “see you laters” as we agreed to bring Lily, who was the proud third guest we’d be bringing along to the show, to meet Camryn and the band to introduce her as the girl behind the amazing gifts we had previously given them. She would have come along to the interview, but unfortunately had to work.

After a few hours in Cardiff to grab a bite to eat and meet up with Lily, we returned to the venue to pick up our tickets from the guest list. There seemed to be a problem and we began to get nervous, so we messaged Justin who along with Lesley managed to sort things out and we were given the tickets for the show. We weren’t expecting seats as amazing as we were given – we would have been happy with seats at the back, since this show was Fifth Harmony’s headliner and we were just guests, but we managed to be seated in the fifth row from the front in the middle – a perfect view of the stage and to catch the eye of Camryn and the band when they performed their set.

In the crowd waiting for the show to begin
In the crowd waiting for the show to begin

Of course, my girl rocked the stage and it was overwhelming to see how many people wanted to meet her before the main act graced the arena with their performance. We hung around until the end to make sure all fans had their chance to meet Camryn so we stood with Lesley and talked for a little while. To see at least a hundred fans wanting to meet the girl I’d been supporting and friends with since day one was incredible, especially in Wales as she wasn’t as well known on her first visit. It melted my heart to hear parents talk to their daughters and asking if they wanted to dye their hair the same as Camryn’s bold blue and their skip step back to their seats with excitement in their eyes after meeting the teen rocker moments before. Cam then came over to join us and meet Lily before grabbing a picture with her and signing an autograph. Everyone thanked her for the presents and, let’s be honest, everyone LOVES Lush products. We talked for a little while before Camryn had to leave to do some college work and we arranged to meet with the band before leaving after the show.

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Rocking the stage! –  Image credit to Lily

 

It was emotional but exciting to see her perform again
It was emotional but exciting to see her perform again – Image credit to Lily

Now, I know Harmonizers will be kinda mad at me, but I’m not the biggest Fifth Harmony fan. I appreciate them and their music, but they’re just not my go-to artists to listen to. However, I will say that their performance on Saturday was pretty fricking awesome and myself, Alysha and Lily definitely enjoyed ourselves. Except the inflatable balls they kicked about where practically every single ball in the room decided to land on my head (which, by the way, I was slowly getting a headache following a long day). In my line of work, Fifth Harmony are known as a ‘priority act’ thanks to their huge popularity among fans across the world, so it was nice to finally see them live and be able to gain a new found respect for them and their music.

Fifth Harmony
Cardiff gave Fifth Harmony a warm welcome to Wales – Image credit to Lily

We left the show a little early as Alysha had to be ready to catch her train home and we wanted to say hey to the band whom we have known for a while but never got to meet in person. It was great to finally talk face to face and get some pictures as well as talk about the show and our general interest in music as a whole.

Finally meeting Justin (with Austin and Alysha photobombing :P)
Finally meeting Justin (with Austin and Alysha photobombing :P)

 

Austin (guitarist) and I
Austin (guitarist) and I

 

Ronnie (bassist) and I
Ronnie (bassist) and I

Before we knew it, it was time to go – Camryn was still doing college work and our lifts were on their way. We said our goodbyes and agreed to meet up again the next time they’re back in the UK, this time hopefully a lot sooner than three years. I have a lot of faith in Camryn, especially for gaining a European fanbase on this tour with Fifth Harmony.

It was an amazing day overall and I had so much fun seeing Camryn again as well as finding a love for Fifth Harmony’s music and of course spending time with my friends Alysha and Lily.

A massive thank you to Lesley for arranging everything and being so nice, the band for just being awesome (especially Justin for the tickets) and of course my girl, Camryn, who I am so beyond proud of. Seeing her go from a little girl from Denver, Colorado with some cute pop songs to touring with some of Pop’s biggest acts of our generation and evolving as an artist overall is just so overwhelming in the best way possible. I cannot wait to see what’s next for her. By the way, you can listen to her EP,New Dynasty,right here and follow our fan support account @CamrynWales.

Alos a huge thank you to Alysha for acting as assistant for me with the interview process and running the fan account and of course Lily for coming along and providing the lovely gifts. Lily also blogs, which you can check out here. 🙂

 

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

New vlog: Birthday in Brighton

I recently shared with you a post about my birthday weekend. I’ve since uploaded the vlog so you can see everything that went on.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Birthday in Brighton

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Well, it’s finally happened – I turned 21. Not sure how, though, since I still feel 12. But you know, that’s how science and stuff works.

To celebrate the milestone birthday, I went to the sunny seaside town of Brighton with my mother and gran before meeting with some friends who lived close by. One in particular, Emi, is an internet friend of mine who originally lives in Arizona, United States. She’s currently in Brighton for a few months on an international study course. We have known each other for almost four years and when she told me she was going to be there studying for a few months and recommended I came to visit, it made perfect sense to take the celebrations of my birth to the ever popular tourist town. I also have a few friends in England who write for the same website as me, so to meet up with Lizzy, Hannah and Verity and invite them along to party with us was a wise idea.

After the hell of a journey from South Wales to Brighton and a deadly walk to our hotel (we underestimated the distance. A lot.) we arrived at the Holiday Inn, our home for the next 48 hours. Earlier in the week, we called to try and get a twin room rather than a double as my mother has recently had an injury which involves the use of crutches for a short period of time and needs the space. She mentioned it was my big birthday and the upgraded us complimentary to an executive room, which was a present in itself. It meant that I was blessed with a king sized bed for the weekend and my mother and gran had a fairly decent sized place to slumber themselves.

View from the balcony
View from the balcony

Shortly after check in and dumping our stuff, Emi arrived outside the hotel and I headed downstairs to meet her. We squealed like two little school girls and ran to embrace one another, with other guests laughing and smiling as it was clear we hadn’t seen each other for a while if not at all. To finally meet someone I grew up speaking to online was such a blessing and I can confirm she’s just as an amazing person in person as she is online. Sorry Nev, no Catfish to reel in here!

Moments after we met!
Moments after we met!

Following the meet with Emi, we all headed in a taxi to Churchill Square where we met Lizzy and Hannah before venturing around some shops. Churchill Square shopping center is much more lavish in comparison to St David’s in Cardiff, though for size it’s nowhere near as big. Still, I always enjoy exploring new places when it comes to retail therapy. Shopping done and we hopped into another taxi and finally made it to the place I had been anticipating for months – Brighton Pier.

British cuisine at its finest
British cuisine at its finest

The pier is honestly so pretty and full of the fun fair lifestyle you see in the movies; from different kiosks to attractions, shops and of course, the rides. We headed to Palmers Court for the classic British delicacy of fish and chips. Being from America and only arriving here two weeks ago, Emi had yet to try this well-known meal and so I had to film her reaction for both my vlog and a video to put on Facebook. Needless to say, she very much enjoyed it, even if the fish was too big to finish. I just stuck with a tray of chips, being vegetarian and totally oblivious to the fact that there were onion rings. Had I been aware, I definitely could have demolished some since the long journey had definitely got me feeling hungry.

Being on the pier at night was such a thrilling experience
Being on the pier at night was such a thrilling experience

The sky’s gradient became darker as Emi and I wandered the pier and watched all the rides, making notes of the ones we wanted to check out the next day. There were a variety to choose from – ones that spun you around and around, turned you upside down, threw you from side to side and even did a loop-de-loop; we were fascinated by them all and were eager to get a wristband for unlimited access to them all. Before we knew it, day one was done and we said our goodbyes but not before pre-arranging plans for the next day.

The following morning I was awoken from my slumber by my mother who greeted me with a ‘Happy Birthday’ in a sing-song voice, before piling up my cards and presents on the king sized bed I had slept in for the past eight hours, which by the way was such a good night’s sleep. I opened my presents and was thrilled with everything I had; from makeup to jewellery, books and even American chocolate – I was definitely thankful for everything. My gran then woke up and greeted me on my special day before I proceeded to open the presents she had bought me. We then headed downstairs for breakfast to gain fuel for our day ahead of us.

I wasn't very photogenic at that time of day...
I wasn’t very photogenic at that time of day…

Filled up on breakfast, we flagged down another taxi and headed back to Churchill Square where we met Emi and trekked to The Lanes, where we visited the ice cream parlour, Boho Gelatos – a place where British YouTube couple, Zoe Sugg and Alfie Deyes had recommended to their viewers – and tried some homemade ice cream. Honestly, it was the best ice cream I had ever tasted. The flavours were so pungent and didn’t taste artificial in the slightest. I highly recommend visiting there if you’re ever in Brighton.

Boho Gellato - home to some of the best ice cream known to man (in my opinion)
Boho Gelato – home to some of the best ice cream known to man (in my opinion)

Ice cream devoured and we found ourselves at Choccywoccydoodah – the famous chocolate shop in Brighton who then ventured out to London. If you aren’t aware of this place, it’s so well known for its chocolate art that it has its own TV show. They cater for the stars, politicians – you name it, they’ve probably served them. It was here my mother had ordered my birthday cake as we are both fans of the show, so it was pretty exciting to be able to go there. Of course, we had to have a nosey around and though it’s an incredible place, it’s a very small store with many tourists waiting to visit, so it was a very tight squeeze. For someone who doesn’t like small places, it was slightly scary but the fantastic edible art distracted me from the small defined space.

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The highly popular chocolatiers
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One of the many amazing cakes
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Literal edible art

Souvenirs bought and cake picked up, it was time for yet another taxi journey, this time heading to Talk of Tea where we would be devouring sandwiches, drinking cups of tea and celebrating with cake. It was at this point that Hannah and Verity joined us for the afternoon tea and everyone became acquainted with one another, before the big (and embarrassing) moment where a candle was lit and ‘Happy Birthday’ was sung to me. It was an awkward 20 seconds for me before making a wish and blowing out the candle, but it was soon over.

This photo literally does not do the cake justice
This photo literally does not do the cake justice

After the tea, my friends and I decided to head back to the pier where we went on rides. I was intrigued to try the haunted house ride and though not great with jump scares, Emi was a trooper and accompanied on the ride. Our screams could be heard from inside of the ride – hers full of fear and mine full of amusement. It got to the point where I found it so funny that I was in silence laughing and almost incapable of breathing. The kind of laugh that makes your sides feel they’re about to split. We all decided to take a turn on the bumper cars and that’s where we found out why Emi has her license and I do not. I absolutely suck at driving dodgem cars, so I dread to think what I’d be like at the real thing!

 

 

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With Verity, Hannah and Emi

 

The scenery of Brighton was aesthetically pleasing
The scenery of Brighton was aesthetically pleasing

From time on the rides to time in the arcades, we did a bit of everything that tourists do before saying our goodbyes to Hannah and Verity who needed to get home. Emi and I walked back to the hotel to meet once again with my family before heading to the i360 – a brand new attraction known as a vertical cable car, taking you over 450 feet into the air and giving you an incredible 360 view of Brighton. After a short period of waiting, we headed into the viewing deck along with many other visitors and were hoisted up into the air and above all buildings. The views were magnificent and breathtakingly beautiful. There was a bar on board and Emi and I decided to treat ourselves to a (very expensive) glass of champagne, only to find out it was a taste to my disliking. Oh well, you’re only 21 once, right?

The i360 - it's taller than you'd think
The i360 – it’s taller than you’d think

 

Brighton from above
Brighton from above

 

Cheers!
Cheers!

Following our time on the i360, Emi and I quickly caught a bus back to her place for her to give me the present she had bought me (a fall scented candle from Bath and Body Works in America) which she had previously forgot to bring with her, then headed back to the hotel for a meal in the hotel’s restaurant – Stock Burger – which was delicious. By the time we had finished eating, the night was getting old and knowing we didn’t have much time left together, Emi and I headed back to my room where we sat out on the balcony and did what we do best – talked. Having known each other for four years, we’d definitely been through a lot together, even though our friendship being solely based on our online presence. We talked about the past, the present and things we plan to do in the future. It was so nice to be able to have some time with her and do what we normally do but face to face, rather than behind a keyboard and a million miles between us.

A heart to heart on the balcony
A heart to heart on the balcony

The day was done and we said our goodbyes, giving each other a big hug and promising to meet up again soon, with Emi agreeing to visit Wales before heading back to Arizona at the end of the year.

And just like that, my time in Brighton had come to an end. I tucked myself into the king sized bed and listened to music before falling asleep, trying my best to get as much shut-eye possible before the long and tiring journey that followed the next day.
This was without a doubt the best birthday ever and an amazing way to kick off my time as a 21-year-old. I’d like to thank everyone who spent the weekend with me and everyone who sent me well wishes – it was the best time and a weekend away I had needed for so long. Here’s to 21!

 

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

The Anxiety Files: my experiences with mental health

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I thought I’d start a new series on this blog in hopes that I can help other people or maybe spark a conversation amongst other people. There is a big stigma attached to mental health and for some reason, people think talking about your experiences publicly (or at all) means you’re “attention seeking”. I’ve experienced this with both strangers and friends alike and as much as it hurts and makes me feel like closing up, I’ve learnt that it’s important to push past that. It’s important to fight through the people who create the stigma and talk out because after all, 1 in 4 people are dealing with a mental health issue and there still isn’t enough being done about it.

I was first diagnosed with anxiety at 10 years old back in 2006, but have always been a person with a “nervous” personality and I suppose things first began getting worse around 2005. The past eleven years have been an absolute rollercoaster with experiences I’d never wish on even my enemies, but I feel like it’s important to take the good out of the bad and since more and more people are being diagnosed, that people talking about their experiences is so important because it’s a topic not nearly discussed enough. There’s also a lot of different ways people experience their mental health and while it’s simple to give out symptoms for a broken leg or asthma, it’s not so easy with something like anxiety or bi polar.

I wanted to create this first introductory post to give you an idea what my intentions are, but also ask if there’s anything you’d like to see me talk about. I know there are many people out there who don’t have people to talk to and I’m more than willing to share experiences if it means that someone somewhere is benefiting from it. Feel free to comment below or email me.

So, keep your eyes peeled on this blog as I’ll be doing what I can to be informative and helpful as possible, because at the end of the day, we are all in the same boat and it’s crucial we stick together.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

5SOS' Ashton Irwin becomes a hero for the night!

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If you follow this blog and my social media, you’ll know that last weekend I was in Cardiff for a 5 Seconds of Summer concert weekend along with some friends. While we were there, something that only happens in fan fiction happened. 5 Seconds of Summer’s drummer, Ashton Irwin, booked my friend a hotel room! Crazy, right?

Ashton (left) was Laura's superhero for the night
                                                 Ashton (left) was Laura’s superhero for the night

While the media are hounding her for the 411, Laura agreed to speak to me about the craziness that took place early Saturday morning.

Hey Laura! So, what was the situation that led you to Ashton being your saviour of the night?

Hi Jazz!  Basically the hotel room that my friend’s boyfriend booked had accidentally been booked for 2 people rather than 3 so as I was supposed to meet them later I ended up not being able to stay in that room.

Where were you when he found you?

I was outside the back of the arena when Ashton’s taxi pulled up.

Did you ask him for help or was it his own decision to take matters into his hands?

Actually I didn’t even start the conversation! I didn’t want to trouble him so I just smiled and waved and he came over to ask how I was doing. I explained my situation and he asked why I couldn’t buy myself a room in the hotel across the road so I told him I had no money. He swiftly replied that he did and crossed the road to the hotel.

Was there any doubt that he’d not be able to get a room?

Well to be honest I thought he was trying to convince the hotel staff to let me crash on yours and Sarah’s hotel room floor.

That’s security being too tight! Did he end up pulling the “famous” card by any chance?

I did make a joke along the lines of ‘use your fame to make them let me stay’ and he laughed! 

What was your reaction when he offered to book you a room?

I was gobsmacked. I thought he was just going to tell me to ‘stay safe’ and walk away but no! I was so close to tears I was that grateful. (Being absolutely shattered didn’t help on the tear front haha)

If you could meet with him again, what would you like to say to him?

I would want him to know how incredibly grateful I am! I did thank him a lot that night but I wasn’t fully composed haha. I’d like to be a lot calmer and tell him how much it meant to me and probably give him another cheeky hug!

People often say celebrities and pop stars have a big ego – what would you say about that?

I mean some celebrities might but I don’t think 5sos do at all. Every time i’ve met them they’ve always been so lovely! It was almost 3 am I don’t think Ash was in the mood to meet people (which I don’t blame him for, he was off to bed!) He didn’t have to meet me that night let alone help me out! That just shows how caring he is!

So much happened at the 5SOS weekend which you can find out in my vlogs

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Vlog: Little Mix Get Weird Tour @ Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

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Hi guys!

Sunday saw me head to Cardiff to see Little Mix live in concert for the first night of their brand new tour, ‘Get Weird Tour’. This was my first concert of the year and I decided to take you along with me and vlog the day. The entire show was phenomenal and such an amazing production and performance which I definitely think was worth every penny.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

Panic Attacks and Anxiety: my tips & tricks on coping

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I may or may not have mentioned this before, but I suffer with anxiety, bi polar and have had battles with depression. I’ve suffered with anxiety since the age of 10 meaning it’s been about 11 years since my diagnosis and how long I’ve been coping with panic attacks and dealing with them.
For a long time I was totally oblivious to the fact that so many more people suffer with similar issues and the fact that 1 in 4 people suffer with a mental health issue. It was barely talked about and my peers during school made me out to be “the freak” and not normal. Times have changed and so many more people are admitting to the fact that they too have their own issues to deal with. There wasn’t much information for me to gain access to at a young age, unlike nowadays, but despite the fact that many people are speaking out about similar issues, I feel like instead of stepping back because there are many blogs like this one, that it’s important to still share my experiences and methods of coping because the more posts = the more chances of someone who needs help can get it, even if it’s just via a blog post.

I’ve had a lot of different methods suggested to me over the past decade but these are the ones that I tend to stick to most.

During a panic attack

During a panic attack it’s definitely not easy to think rational, but if you are familiar with your panic attacks (ie: how they feel, the triggers,etc.) then it’s easier to try and reach out to that tiny rational percentage of your brain to push yourself to do something to help yourself. I’m usually always with a member of my family or friend, so my first port of call would be to inform them of how I’m feeling. I then follow these steps to get myself to a somewhat calmer situation as quickly and hassle free as possible.

Take myself out of the situation – If I’m in public or a place I’m unfamiliar with, I try and take myself out of the situation. Whether it’s going to a public restroom or find a more spacious area. I find that having a panic attack in public / a crowded place makes the entire thing much more stressful and the addition of paranoia of people being able to see you. Back in school, I was given a pass by my head of year which excused me from lessons when I felt the verge of a panic attack so I could go to the toilets or just go outside and breathe and be myself. Some teachers were even kind enough to let me take a friend. If you’re in school then I would definitely recommend a parent/guardian-teacher meeting being arranged and discussing options such as this one. It helped me so much.

Water – I feel like water helps me a lot. My mouth dries and my hands clam up and even if I only have a sip of water, the cool sensation of the water against my hands somehow makes me feel that little bit calmer. I wouldn’t recommend any other form of drink because, for me personally, my senses are heightened during a panic attack and so I would be able to taste a flavour very strongly and with my stomach being in knots from the panic, it would make me feel sick. I try and make sure I have a bottle of water wherever I go not only for hydration reasons, but in case a panic attack is on the horizon,

Deep breathing – This can be difficult as I tend to hyperventilate and shake a lot but I will build up to a deep breath during hyperventilation by taking a slightly bigger breath each time until I feel I can take one big deep breath and then exhale. Once at that state, I try to mimic the breathing of CPR but instead of filling a casualty’s lungs, I fill my own to the brim and then slowly let it all out. This not only calms my breathing but lets my brain try and get back to more rational thoughts.

Letting myself panic – That may sound weird, but if I know I feel anxious and a panic attack is building up, I let it happen. To let all those intense emotions and feelings stay bottled up tends to make the situation worse. Of course, I try and avoid getting into the state altogether, but if I feel like I’m already at panic stage, I just let it happen. Panic attacks are not going to kill you so just let it happen and run its course as you try to handle it as best as you possibly can.

Post panic attack 

The whole feeling after a panic attack feels like you are a walking wounded after a great war between yourself and your mind. It can be exhausting and overwhelming and it’s 100% normal to not feel okay straight away. When I reach back to a somewhat rational state of mind, I try and make sure that the aftercare is something I can make priority to prevent myself feeling so anxious again.

Hydration – I keep drinking the water because normally my mouth gets so dry that it takes a while to wet my whistle again. I keep drinking the water as part of relaxation and not to feel like I’m going to pass out. If I feel a little better I may opt for a weak cup of tea.

Sleep – I personally get exhausted after a panic attack and try to keep myself in a relaxed situation and try and get sleep as soon as possible. If I’m at home or able to get home quickly, one of the first things I do is go to sleep or if I don’t need to go back out, I put my PJs on and then go for an hour’s nap. If I have to stay out/have work to do I try and make compromises so if there’s anything that needs my input that it’s minimum and made easy or postpone whatever it is I need to do. Sometimes I need to just sit down and just think or listen to music or just close my eyes for a few minutes to regain normality around me. Putting myself in a busy situation straight after the incident tends to make my anxiety thrive again so I try and do as minimum as possible.

Talking – I normally need to talk out my reasons for feeling anxious and usually with a person I trust which is normally my mother. If not, I’ll find someone who I’m with (ie: a friend, someone at a course I could be on, a receptionist when I was at school) and just talk through my feelings and try to rationalise with myself with someone’s opinions and inputs.

 

Preventing anxiety

There are various things that trigger my anxiety. Whether it’s public transportation, an appointment, going somewhere new, venturing out in a big location,etc. And I know that, especially on days where I don’t feel 100%, I need to have different things to keep myself in a calm situation.

Charged phone – Not because I’m crazily obsessed with technology (that’s another story) but if I need to get in contact with someone (ie: my mother or stepdad) to talk to me while I’m anxious or to get me out of the situation, then I need to have a charged phone. Sometimes I take my actual charger with me if I know there’s going to be a powerpoint at my destination. If not, I take a power bank which keeps my phone charged on the go.

Music –Especially on public transport, I feel like music is a must. Music I really like always makes me feel comfortable and at home and in a safe place. I don’t know why, but music is like a magical thing for many reasons. So I like to have a pair of earphones and my favourite artists lined up on my phone.

Medication – I have been prescribed medication by a psychiatrist and doctor, so I ensure to take this everyday. I know not everyone has anxiety to that level where it needs to be medicated by a professional, but there are over the counter medications such as Kalms which can help you feel more relaxed and not as anxious.  Sometimes anxiety can be so mild for some people that all they need is some herbals such as herbal tea,etc. so I definitely recommend that first before trying medication. If you are prescribed medication, I know some people tend not to take it as they feel like it dehumanises you. I highly recommend you take any prescribed medication. You are a human. Anxiety is a chemical imbalance. You are merely restoring the correct amount of the right chemicals to make yourself feel better again. A diabetic takes insulin or medication. A person in pain takes a pain killer. You take these medications to make yourself feel better, whether it’s physically or mentally. If your medication makes you feel ill, please notify your GP and they may be able to help find a different medication which doesn’t make you feel so poorly.

Talking – Sometimes, on down days, I need to talk about how I feel. Whether you have a member of your family, a friend, a co-worker or even a charity. @Hope4MentalHelp on Twitter has a list of various helplines and charities around the world and if you’re based in the UK I highly recommend Mind charity for any advice and leaflets for information.

I really hope I have been able to help some people with this blog. Do you have any methods you swear by? Leave a comment blow.

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.

I met (YouTube) royalty! – Tyler Oakley's book tour

i met youtube royalty

Tyler Oakley is a pop culture phenomenon, YouTube celebrity and social rights activist with over 7.69 million YouTube subscribers, and 458 million views as of August 2015. Oakley recently released his debut book, ‘Binge’, before indulging on a 21 city book tour across America and the UK. Surprisingly, one of those cities included Cardiff, the capital city of my little country of residence, Wales. And guess who had a ticket to meet the man himself?

Tyler Oakley binge

The ticket was a birthday present from my beloved older cousin and something I had been highly anticipating for the past two months. Finally, Monday 2nd November had graced us with its presence and I could hardly wait.

Tyler and his book publishers are working with Maximum Pop! at the moment and so this was a perfect opportunity for me to tweet out via the Twitter about the signing. On the way to the venue with my friend, Ellen, and her mother, Tyler tweeted about his arrival in Cardiff, which I took as an excellent opportunity to tweet from the MP account announcing that we were on our way. Moments later, my friend, Alysha, texted me frantically “DID TYLER JUST TWEET YOU?”  

I don’t have the notifications from the MP account’s mentions on my phone because quite frankly there are way too many and I’m not usually one of the people to run the account. I checked the account to see our interactions exploding with more mentions than usual. That’s when I saw the followng:

Um, excuse me? Did he just call me Queen? Me?! I may have fangirled. Just a little bit. Or a lotta bit. But I tried to keep it internal.

After a quick two hours of queuing and what seemed like a conga line around a maze, we were minutes away from meeting Tyler.  We were in the first barrier and around about number 70 in the queue, so our wait time was pretty minimal. I had previously picked up a Welsh chocoloate lollipop which had the word “cwtch” (meaning hug in Welsh) iced on the front and a Welsh celtic bracelet with a dragon on it, with one for myself to match, to give to Tyler. The security put the presents in the box which would be given to Tyler at the end of the signing and I stood behind Ellen and her mother, who were next in line.

Tyler

Ellen was bewildered with excitement and asked Tyler for a “cwtch” before explaining what it meant.  He gladly obliged before taking a selfie with her. After meeting her mother, it was finally my turn. My heart was pounding.

“Hey!”
“Hey cutie!”
“Thanks for calling me queen, I’m from maximum pop!”
“Oh hey queen!”
“Can I get a cwtch?”
“Sure!”
“Thanks!”
“No problem! Thank you for coming, I’ll talk to you online in like a minute!”

Tyler Oakley and I

Tyler took multiple photos on my phone but the one above is the best. After quick encounter, I left the store with Ellen, full of excitement after our meeting with the YouTube personality who despite becoming a household name is still rather humble. What a day.

I really enjoyed meeting Tyler and I’m about halfway through reading his book, which I have every intention of reviewing on my blog very soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

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Jazz is a Disney, tea and pop culture enthusiast with a passion for blogging. Also a proud introvert.