Mind Crafternoon

This seemed a good post to follow on from my last one about my experiences with PTSD. It’s things like this that make me want to help raise money for a charity as amazing as Mind, as they provide so much support and help to so many people.

A few Saturdays ago, I hosted a “Crafternoon” which is an official fundraiser created by Mind. It’s where you get together with friends and family, do some crafting, eat some cake and raise money for their charity. I invited about 15 people and 8 ended up coming. In hindsight, it’s probably a good thing not everyone could come as my house isn’t exactly the largest, and it might have been difficult to squeeze them all in!

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I had to think of some crafts to do and settled on pom poms and calligraphy. I had never made pom poms before so looked forward to learning a new skill. I’ve done calligraphy before but thought it was an easily organised craft, with minimal mess but which also creates some effective results. As a final touch I bought some empty keyrings which people filled with their calligraphy.

I decided to make some goody-bags, mainly for people to take their crafts home in. I bought some plain brown paper bags for a £1 and added names on myself. I also popped a few chocolates and bags of sweets in as an extra touch, again at minimal cost.

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My Mum made some scones and brought some jam and cream so we could have cream teams. She was amazing for the whole afternoon actually, getting refreshments and sorting out the kitchen so that I could focus on the crafting. Having a small group of people meant we could all enjoy what we were doing and not have to worry too much about tidying up and making space, which was great.

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Everyone had a go at all the crafts. Even my big brother who came along for support, surprised us all by actually sitting down and having a go at all the crafts. And he was actually very good! Alongside the crafting, I’d arranged a raffle which people put some extra money in for. I donated a bottle of wine, my mum donated chocolates and I managed to get some vouchers from local businesses who visited often, so there were four prizes in total. I think this really boosted the overall amount of money raised.

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In total, with all online and offline donations, we raised £106 which I was really pleased about, as it was double my initial target! To anyone thinking of hosting a similar event, organisation is key. I made sure I organised things quite far in advance which meant minimal stress, and having someone to help out setting up/clearing away after is a really useful thing as well.

I enjoyed it so much that I think I’d like to hold one at Christmas as well – just think of the glitter!

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If you would like to donate to Mind, my Just Giving page will be open for another week or so. Any donations are very much appreciated!

JustGiving Link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kate-hepplewhite5

Love, KH xxxx

Spotify Playlists.

It’s not secret that one of my favourite things to do is – and always has been – listening to music. It suits literally every mood I can think of, can help me change a mood or help me stay in it if that’s what I need at the time.

Growing up, music was always a huge part of my life. My Dad got both me and my brother into The Beatles from the minute we were born and we also heard a broad spectrum of music growing up. He was also a DJ from when I was about 6, and he’d make me up mix tapes of all the latest tunes, whilst mixing in with lots of older stuff – he liked to educate me!

As a result, my music taste now is an eclectic mix and I love creating lots of playlists on Spotify. (You can find me under Kate Hepplewhite if you’re interested!) In this post, I thought I’d share some of my favourite playlists and why I created them. Hopefully, they’ll help you too.

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I made this playlist for the ultimate chillout – I listen to it when I want to feel relaxed, whilst reading a book or even trying to sleep.

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Remember what I said about liking all genres of music – soul is another genre I really like and these songs are perfect for belting out!

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I LOVE the Spice Girls (I was there first time round as well!!) so I had to make a playlist dedicated just to them.

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This was a real game-changer for me. When I split from a long-term relationship and I was feeling really crappy about myself, I made this playlist to keep positive, give myself some confidence and convince myself that I could indeed make it alone. Even now I’m married, and clearly not single, I add to it regularly and it’s still one of my go-to’s!

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This is a playlist I created for one I feel sad, lonely or just a bit down. It may seem counter-productive to feed your sadness but sometimes you just need to stay in your mood for a bit in order to get fully out of it.

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I made this playlist just after I met my husband – his taste in music features bands I’d heard of but generally not explored much. Not long after we met, we took a road trip back up to his flat in Leeds and I wanted some music we could both listen to and enjoy and thus, this playlist was born!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of my playlists. I have many others so feel free to check me out and follow on Spotify if you like.

See you soon!

Love KH xxxxx

Mood Lifters

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Mental health is SUCH an important aspect of everyone’s life. The charity Mind says that “every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem.” I believe that’s probably just known cases as well. Plus. at what point do we brand something a “problem”? Some people may have mental health issues and not be aware of them, just carrying on through it and not speaking out. It is something very close to my heart and something I may do a completely separate blog post on another time.

For today’s post though, I am going to talk about things I do when I need a mood boost. Sometimes, nothing seems to work but even knowing I’m being proactive can make me feel a little better!

1. Keeping snug

Being cosy is something which helps me immensely when I’m feeling down. Sometimes, the only thing that will do is either staying in bed, or getting into bed. I love being enveloped in something and if my husband isn’t around to give me a cuddle, a snuggly blanket will do. Keeping warm helps, cups of tea, comfy clothes and, for me, a cuddle with the puppy!

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2. Music

Music has always been an incredible form of therapy for me. It can put you in so many different headspaces and change your mood considerably. Sometimes when I’m feeling low, I find listening to sad songs helps me to get it out of my system, but similarly listening to happy songs can too. A few of my go-to “sad songs” are: Somebody Else – The 1975, Ocean Eyes – Billie Eilish and I’m Still Breathing – Katy Perry. My favourite songs for an instant uplift are: Friday, I’m in Love – The Cure, End of the Line – The Travelling Wilburys and Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks. Spotify is great for organising and creating your own playlists to have an instant go-to.

3. Podcasts

On the subject of Spotify, something else I love to listen to on the app are podcasts (it’s worth nothing podcasts are available in other places, if you don’t want Spotify). I love listening to podcasts when I’m at the gym, doing housework or out on a long dog walk. While it can be good at times to tune into your natural surroundings, I find listening to something uplifting can help alter my mood. At the minute, I’m loving Fearne Cotton’s “Happy Place” as it discusses a whole host of mental health issues with people in the spotlight. I find Fearne’s voice so calming as well! The other one I’m dipping into is Alice Liveing’s “Give me Strength”. It features a whole host of incredible women and provides much needed inspiration and motivation, especially in the gym!

4. Food

I mean, it would be criminal for me to write a blog post without food mentioned! Food can have different effects at different times. If I’ve been feeling low but I’ve had a burst of motivation, eating healthily helps me as it makes me feel like I’m actively doing something to help myself. I favour fruit salads covered in yoghurt, or I’ll bake some healthy oat muffins, as seen in the picture below. (I’ll be doing a blog post about these in future on my blog, so look out for that!) On the other hand, sometimes only a big, fat bar of chocolate or tub of Ben and Jerry’s will suffice, and that’s OK too!

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5. Lists

LISTS ARE YOUR FRIEND. There’s nothing better than ticking off a list to feel like you’re winning at life. Keep each part of the list small and manageable. So, for example, instead of having one bullet point as “clean house”, break it down. Have: clean bathroom, tidy clothes away, wipe kitchen surfaces, hoover bedroom. You’re still making progress and you’re ticking off lots in the progress. I always feel better in a clean and tidy house too. Tidy house, tidy mind as they say.

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6. Making Plans

I find that keeping busy and being productive helps me lift my mood. It can be very hard to feel productive in any way when you’re feeling particularly low, which is why I just start small. It can be meeting a friend for a half hour walk, or going shopping/for coffee with a family member. If you’re able to, plan a night away somewhere with a partner/friend or a meal out. It’s important to remember that plans don’t always have to be social though – sometimes it’s nice to make plans for just you. Plan in an indulgent bath on a midweek evening, or time to sit and do some colouring/another hobby you enjoy. Having things to look forward to always help me keep a little light at the end of the tunnel.

These are just a few things I try to incorporate into my life to keep myself ticking along. These by no means work 100% of the time but mixing it up a bit definitely helps level out my mood and give me little chinks of light!

Do you have any things you do to help keep your mood lifted? Please share them in the comments as I love to try different things! Thank you again for reading my blog, I really do appreciate it!

Love, KH xxxxxx