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Toxic Productivity and Why You’re Probably Experiencing It

Productivity seems to be society’s obsession. Whilst a strong work ethic is a desirable quality, a fixation with it can lead to a mindset that is dangerous and harmful to our wellbeing. Perhaps we are left with a feeling of guilt no matter how much work we get done, or perhaps we become so overwhelmed with these thoughts that we are unable to work at all. Productivity is a spectrum, and ‘toxic productivity’ actually lies at both ends; mental health nurse Emma Selby defines the term as ‘an obsession with radical self-improvement over all else’, a goal which is ultimately unachievable. Continue reading Toxic Productivity and Why You’re Probably Experiencing It

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If You’re Feeling the Pressure this Christmas, It’s Okay

Growing up, I used to spend every month of the year counting down to December. My most beloved month, full of Father Christmas, family and food. However, the older I get, the more I realise that in many ways Christmas isn’t always the happiest time of year, and dismantling the pressure to be happy is crucial, this year more than most. Continue reading If You’re Feeling the Pressure this Christmas, It’s Okay

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Bleed Greener: Eco-Anxiety or Eco-Empathy? The Climate Crisis and Mental Health

It is undeniable that the pandemic has had a severe impact upon many people’s mental health. Invariably, people are spending less time interacting with other human beings in social situations and work environments, and more time in isolation with only their thoughts for company. This has caused the worsening of pre-existing mental health issues such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, along with the rise of anxiety and loneliness amidst the general population. Furthermore, the ways in which Covid-19 has shifted the nation’s focus away from crucial, time-sensitive efforts to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis have also had a particularly negative impact upon those individuals suffering from a chronic fear of the consequences of environmental damage. In the past few years, this state of heightened concern for the future of the planet has been termed ‘eco-anxiety’. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Eco-Anxiety or Eco-Empathy? The Climate Crisis and Mental Health

Living Presently in a Pandemic

You’re confined to your house, have one contact hour a week (where your lecturer spends thirty minutes trying to work out how breakout rooms work), and you can’t help but ask yourself “when is this all going to blow over?” as you devour another batch of your housemate’s cookies. We’ve all been there, but how can we try to simmer down our anxiety riddled brains? As a third year student endeavouring to finish a degree, work a part time job, and not have a mental breakdown during a global pandemic, I have found that practicing mindfulness and taking time to meditate helps to ground me in the present moment and keep me from getting too overwhelmed. We’re all so busy, especially as term starts to pick up, and sometimes we feel guilty for what appears to be sitting down and doing nothing. But maintaining your own mental state is as productive as exercising your body or making a meal and is necessary in preventing burn out and generally supporting your mental health. Continue reading Living Presently in a Pandemic

i just woke up from the worst night of my life. i am twenty years old. i live in a city called Riverside, another city in the west. i am not from here. i come from Africa, the eastern part of Ethiopia, if you must know. i am here for school, attending college. and last night, last night was the darkest of nights for me. i am most certain the devil visited me. it hugged, kissed and did not let me sleep until my whole self gave up to its unsolicited caress. somethings are true. fear, anxiety, devil, evil, these things are true. they are for everyone in some ways, but until they happen to you, it is easy to believe they are not true. some crazed minds made them up to scare others. because until they happen to you for real, the idea of thinking about them is fun, enjoyable, giggly. but not last night. not when my lonely room shrunk to six inches, and in the midst of gasping for breath, in the midst of my extreme exhaustion, i was still keeping a tab on my eyes not to close themselves – because i did not trust them anymore. that i would not wake up if i let them shut. that the devil, in its grotesque gaze, was waiting for me to make this mistake for a split second, so it manifests itself all over my naked body in winter – sweating in winter, in a cold room.
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Acknowledging Uncertainty: How Coronavirus has Changed the Way We Plan For the Future

Our lives are mapped around referential points. We all have calendars littered with birthdays, exams, parties, graduation ceremonies, interviews, visits to friends, events, plays, holidays, gigs. None of us live purely spontaneously. For decades modern life has functioned on the presumption that imposing order onto our immediate futures will make us more productive, prompt and predictable. Life is prearranged invisibly around us, marked by the constant promises of the near future, what’s coming next, what will I be doing tomorrow? Continue reading Acknowledging Uncertainty: How Coronavirus has Changed the Way We Plan For the Future

Review: Dare Me

Once more I was lured in by the banner at the top of my Netflix flaunting a new series. This time it was Dare Me. On the surface it seemed to be a Riverdale-esque teen drama, centred around cheerleaders. Given that Riverdale is my guilty pleasure and being a member of the University’s Cheerleading and Gymnastics squads, I was inevitably drawn to the show. However, within the first episode it was clear that this series was both badly written and should certainly contain a trigger warning, given its appalling treatment of body image and eating disorders. The acting was generally poor, and the so-called cheerleading was even worse, and borderline laughable. The reckless treatment of mental health issues, as well as the bizarre plot, made me quickly realise I would not be recommending Dare Me to my lockdown-bound friends. Continue reading Review: Dare Me