illustrated moment

making sense with words and pictures


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My skills may be cheesy but my message is important!

Hello wonderful people!

I thought I’d share my new video with you all – yes, it’s still as cheesy as the first few.

Unfortunately, my extremely limited animation skills only help me get so far, but I do really enjoy making them!

This video is on the topic of baby bluespostnatal depression and psychosis, which are all difficult challenges new mothers and their families can face following pregnancy. It may not be the most attractive or optimistic thing to consider as parents-to-be or parents-in-training, but it is crucial to be aware of all the realities of pregnancy and the tremendous changes it can cause, both physically and mentally.

I hope you all enjoy it and share it with anyone who you feel may benefit from a little pep talk!

 

 

Have a fantastic day!

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The colour of winter is blue

im winter blues

Here in London, Winter and Autumn are two seasons so in love with each other that they fuse into one rainy-cold-dark seven month period. Technically, we’re in autumn now – you know if you measured the trajectory of Earth’s orbit around the Sun – but subjectively it feels far too cold to stick to restrictive terminology.

Winter Blues is most certainly real. If you ask a doctor they will explain that the correct term for it is Seasonal Affective Disordersounds serious right? It essentially means that your overall mood is affected by the seasons, in a negative way, and winter is the usual culprit.

How could one not feel saddened by winter? Sure, there’s Christmas and New Year’s to get excited about, and our American friends have their Thanksgiving celebrations, oh and let’s not forget how the holiday of Love sits towards the end of the season on the 14th of February. However, a few colourful party days can not alleviate the weight of winter – and so, it is the season of complaining.

I complain wholeheartedly about the brutal awakening each morning to the alarm clock, which is ahead of sunrise by two hours. Forcing myself out of bed when the world is dark and absolutely freezing is not only unnatural, but incredibly painful. I sleep in socks so I don’t have to place my feet on cold ground during the dash to the bathroom. With the dramatic shortening of daylight hours, I have to leave the house in the darkest hour and only manage to return long after the sun has disappeared!

I complain sincerely about the lack of greenery. Autumn strips all trees of their green colours and after a brief red-golden show, all that’s left behind are bare branches. Walking under the all grey sky, I can’t help but feel like everything around me is entering survival mode – and that’s depressing to think about.

I complain avidly about being ill. Recently I was struck down by the horrendous flu – coughing, sneezing, losing the inability to smell or taste food, developing a fever, aching all over and general grumpiness – the flu is a gift that keeps on giving!

And now winter is pretty much here in London. I’ve been layering woolly clothes in doors, drinking plenty of hot tea, and find that I’m still freezing when I venture outside despite being under a massive coat and a matching set of gloves and scarf.

I hope you all stay in good spirits this season!


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Change your perspective with a big smile!

im happy world

Others will tell you – most annoyingly, when you feel miserable and wretched, and you just want to hold onto those horrid emotions for five minutes – they will pick that specific time to coerce you into turning that frown upside down.

Stupid people.

Yet here I am, about to be one of those stupid people. I’m here to tell you to cheer up!

If you are already of the cheery disposition, away with you, I bid you a good day sir!

However, if today is a day when you feel a bit melancholic, a little weak, a bit broken, I’m here to annoy you into happiness!

It really is all about perspective.

Whatever you have going on today, just take 60 seconds to be still. Try not to give into the thoughts sprinting round and round in your head, and just let your body sink into a peaceful void – free from deadlines, free from stress, free from your own criticism. It’s only 60 seconds, trust me, the rushing world won’t notice, but you will feel lighter for it.

Once you have emptied your busy mind it’s time to smile! I’ve found that if you start smiling – a big, cheesy grin upon your lovely face – it is closely followed by an awkward laugh, mainly at yourself and how silly you must look. But you can’t deny such scientific proof – it doesn’t matter how you got there, but you are now happier than you were one and a half minutes ago.

I hope you continue to have an amazing day!


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A moment of mental instability

My brain betrayed me.

From the moment I woke up at an unnatural hour yesterday, I knew that it would be a rough day.

Most days I find myself feeling optimistic, happy and excited about taking on the day – because I visualise the world to be standing on pillars of rainbows. The reasons are complex, hazy and sometimes not very real – but that’s a topic to cover in another post.

However, there comes a day when my efforts to stay elated fall through. A heavy cloud forms over my head whilst I sleep and I wake up to a gloomy emotional state. It begins with a reflective mind set. Calculations of the smallest aspects of life begin, with heavy judgement and solemn silence. As the pressure inside my head builds up, the sadness weighs on my heart and leaves me feeling on the brink of tears. At this point anything can tip me over the edge, that’s how vulnerable I feel. The day doesn’t stop just because I’m having a moment of instability, and as it continues I find myself becoming exhausted and even more grouchy.

On that day I’m not myself – at all. I am quick to judge, I’m prone to crying, I’m drowning in self-pity – no matter how hard I try, I’m not pleasant to be around.

Fatigued by heavy emotions, I cocoon myself in the duvet and eventually fall asleep.

The sun rises and with it the dark clouds dissipate!

I wake up back to myself. Again, the Universe is on my side and world is inhabited by unicorns. I may feel ashamed by the way I reacted to the feelings of the day before, so explosive, so irrational. I may feel a bit embarrassed about how seriously I took the heavy clouds of emotion the day before. But now, I can’t help but laugh.

Although I never intentionally take my loved ones and loved things for granted, sometimes when I’m at my worst I can forget to show them just how much I truly appreciate their  involvement in my life. But once I climb out of the ditch of doom, I look around and feel so grateful that they still want to be a part of my life. I’m glad that they could show me real kindness by being patient and trusting, even when I can’t do all that for myself. Even in a moment of mental instability, it’s important to realise that it will pass. And once again, you will be given the reigns to your mind, and you will be able to appreciate the wonders of life.

So take my advice, and don’t give up on yourself if you’re feeling miserable, and don’t give up on those who you love if they are having a lapse in good cheer. Just as the world is supported by pillars of rainbows, I am supported by the resilient, nurturing and love-filled hearts of my friends and family. And that in itself is something to be super thankful for!

 


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Are you having a dumpling day?

There are days when nothing feels right.

You woke up groggy, got dressed grudgingly and didn’t really feel like having breakfast. Your journey to work or school sucked, everyone is lame and you just want the day to be over. You’re miserable and you don’t know why. You’re melancholic and feel great annoyance towards chirpy people – what’s there to be chirpy about, huh?

If you’re slowly nodding to yourself in agreement when reading this, I’m here to tell you that you are having a dumpling day. You may be feeling miserable or less caring than usual, and you may not know why you are feel down in the dumps but you really can’t say you’re happy at the moment. Just like a Chinese dumpling, you feel confined in a steamy prison, squashed in with other irritating dumplings when all you crave is some serious personal space and fresh air. You may be contemplating that you need a change of pace, a new hobby or that the only solution is to run away and live on the streets of a foreign city. I’m here to tell you that it will be just fine. You will wake up and be yourself once again. The joy of Life will run through your veins and dreams will fill your head, just like before.

We all suffer from transient episodes of dumpling syndrome, and then we just snap out of it. However, if you’re finding that your dumpling day is turning into dumpling weeks or months, you should ask for some advice from your doctor who could give you a hand on the journey back to your fabulous-rainbow-unicorn self.

You’re not alone. We are 7.138 billion strong on this wonderful planet.

Even if you’re having a crappy day, I’m here to tell you that you are lovely parcel of potential!