What Is Mental Health? | Mental Health Awareness Week w/Not Another Beauty Blog

What Is Mental Health? | Mental Health Awareness Week w/Not Another Beauty Blog


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Hello darlings!

I’m just gonna get straight into the writing without an update for two main reasons: 1) Absolutely nothing important has happened in my life & 2) We have A LOT of work to get through!

So as we all know, I work around mental health all year long. However, due to the fact that it is MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK 2016, I have a special week planned for all of you wonderful readers that keep me afloat during my tough times. You are all fabulous and I appreciate every single reply, response and kind message or thought you send in. It really does mean so much to me and to show you just how much, there will be a HUGE competition on my Facebook page at the end of the week- the cherry on top of a week full of wonderful reading!

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Self Love | Not Another Beauty Blog

Self Love | Not Another Beauty Blog

First off, let me start by saying that I am so sorry for my absence over the last few months. The thing is, I’ve been working really hard on myself. I’ve been working super hard and just putting a lot of effort in to every day. I know, that’s no excuse to miss blogs but I hope you all enjoy the catch up!
The best and most important thing that I want to write about and share with you all is the life lesson I have learnt over the last few months. In one of my last blogs, I shared with you that of the somewhat breakdown I had. And yes, that was the worst of it, however, the recovery (on-going) is hard work too.  I am still seeing a counsellor which helps me deal with everyday anxieties, concerns and negative thoughts. I’m also still taking Lexapro- which are anti-depressants and anxiety tablets. I’m on a fairly low dose which is good. Basically, the medication just helps level my serotonin levels in my brain. Which basically means they level my mood and stop me having extreme thoughts. There was a stage that I couldn’t control my thinking at all. Like, one minute I’d be super hyper and totally glad to be here and enthusiastic and happy.. and the next I’d be contemplating suicide and just endlessly crying and not knowing why. And even though I’ve been taking the medication for about four months now, I’ve only really started to feel okay the last month or so. As well as learning a lot about self-love, I also learned the very hard lesson of patience.

I wanted to get better now. I wanted it to go away now. I didn’t want to wait until the counselling worked, or the medication worked, or the circumstances changed. I literally just wanted it to happen over night. And the key to even starting to get better is just being aware that it doesn’t happen over night. And that you’re going to have both good and bad days. That thoughts can consume you but that they will go eventually. It’s just about having the trust in yourself and your path- and realising that it’s all in the day. What you do today will affect how you feel tomorrow. All you can control is you. So just do something for yourself today, have a good day, go somewhere you like, do something you love. And eventually, it’ll become habit. You can be happy. It just takes time and a lot of hard work.

My counsellor was adamant that all of my problems were stemming from my hatred towards myself. He was convinced that every bad thought I had was because of how insecure I was. He was right. He kept telling me to start loving myself and when you’re in the wrong mind-set, what does that even mean!?

I started having long baths and getting my hair done. I changed jobs. I painted my nails and done my tan more. I started getting up early and having longer, more enjoyable days. And for a while, I thought all of this was pointless because my mind was somewhere else. But eventually, I just started enjoying myself. I started to like myself a little more. Then it became so much less important what other people had to say. It starts with you.

When I accept myself, I am free from the burden of needing you to accept me.

I don’t want you all to think that I’m preaching and I’m better and I know everything. I still have bad days. I still have panic attacks and I still cry for no reason. But sharing how I started my journey might help someone start theirs.

I’m A Volunteer! | Not Another Beauty Blog

I’m A Volunteer! | Not Another Beauty Blog

If you read my blog regularly, you will be aware that I have deferred college for a year. This basically means that I have decided to take a year out, and start second year in September. That’s all well and good, however, I am now left with all of this spare time and nothing to spend it on! I only work part-time in a bar so I’m left with weekdays (when my boyfriend Tom is down in Shannon studying). So, I looked in to some things that I could do to help pass the time, that would also look great on my CV for when I graduate!

One thing that I started was ballet class of a Thursday evening. This probably won’t be going on my CV but it is something that I’ve always wanted to do and now that I’ve got the time, I don’t see why not! It is so fun and I love the little outfits! I’m currently doing a beginners class, however, when I start to improve, I plan to move to a proper dance school and take it from there. I do really want to become good at it!

Now, I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned this before but I am so close to my parents. I’ve always looked up to my Dad, especially to his involvement with local youth projects (youth centers, boxing clubs). My dad even went back to college at the age of forty-four just to qualify in Youth Work! So, with all this time on my hands, it crossed my mind to volunteer in the same youth center that he once volunteered at for his work experience whilst he was studying. I went up to the Little Bray Youth Project Bray, Co. Wicklow on Monday and filled out the forms and started working there on Tuesday! The area that I’m in at the moment is the after-school activities. It’s basically letting the kids in after school, making sure they’ve gotten something to eat if they’re hungry, they play for a bit in the sports hall, then they come upstairs for some arts & crafts activity and then they complete their homework. It runs from three until half-five every afternoon. I absolutely love it. It’s so hard to explain, but there definitely is some sort of amazing sensation that you can get out of helping kids with their homework, or even just playing a game with them. As well as the fact that it takes my mind off a lot of my current problems, it also puts a lot of things into perspective. Although Fassaroe can be perceived as quite a rough area, I’ve spent a lot of time there growing up and am quite familiar with it. It does become apparent that a lot of things that I complain about and worry about, aren’t big things at all. Having conversations with children that have lost parents or siblings or don’t have a proper house to go home to… I mean, who am I to moan about anything, really!?

My favorite part so far has been helping the kids with their homework. It’s so strange because I remember being that age, I remember hating my homework, I remember thinking that it was so hard! I remember thinking I’d never get it done or I’d never finish primary school! And here I am, graduated from secondary school, writing online, struggling through college! I guess it’s rewarding because I can understand how hard it can be as a kid, not wanting to go to school, and then somebody just sitting down for even a half an hour and just reminding you that it’s going to be okay because well, they made it. I like the idea that perhaps I’m giving someone hope, especially people that might need it.

I know that sometimes I shite on in these blogs but I really did feel like it was important to share that because I’d like to think that by the end of reading my blog, I’ve changed somebody’s perception on something. Kind of like an influence… And if at least one reader even considers going and volunteering, then I’ve done something right. I’d like to think that I could inspire other people into stepping forward and just sharing their spare time! It doesn’t cost anything and it sure as hell will benefit you!

The course I’m doing is English, Media and Cultural Studies. It’s a four year course (five years including the year I took out) and then after that I’m encouraged to specialize in something (teaching, journalism) and complete a post-grad. The reason I chose to volunteer in a youth center is because if I do decide to go into secondary school teaching, it will look great on my CV that I spent my year out with the youth of a close-by community. So, as well as it getting my mind off things, as well as it helping the kids out, as well as the center having an extra pair of hands around the place, it also looks absolutely fabulous on paper for future employers! I’m so excited about this, I just had to share it with you guys!

So, that’s all I’ve got for you for today. If you’re thinking about doing something new and nice, definitely give volunteering a shot!

Also, my page reached over 800 likes which really does mean a lot to me! I don’t think anybody realizes how much I actually enjoy putting words together and sharing my life. I’m so glad that it’s started to take off! If you haven’t already liked my page and are interested in having a little nosey peek, click here! Also, could you please let me know who you’d like to read about on my Local Goss blogs! Tips can be sent via private mail on my page or even posted as comments! I’d love to know who you’ve all been keeping an eye on and what I can do to help.

And if you’re local and are interested in dropping in or supporting the project, click here for the Little Bray Youth Project’s Facebook page.

Thanks for reading,

Until next time,

J x

The Power of The Past | Not Another Beauty Blog 

The Power of The Past | Not Another Beauty Blog 

I had a bit of a nostalgic feeling about ten minutes ago. I found an old family hard-drive in my parent’s room and decided to plug it in to a blank laptop, just to have a little goo at what was on it (as you do!) but what I found didn’t give me the exact feeling I had expected. I guess I expected to gaze over the photos in admiration for the great times I’ve had, with the family I’m lucky to have and the friends that made my experiences all the better. Instead, I found myself disappointed at how much my life has changed over the last few years. And I’m so upset. I mean, I didn’t sign up for this growing up crap? Nobody did but I mean, it’s not really that fair if you think about it logically. I’m getting off point here but you get me. 

So the main photographs on the hard-drive were pictures of my parents in India. They went there last year to get their marriage blessed (leaving me alone in my creepy bungalow for nearly a month!) but I did come across very few photographs from my eighteenth birthday party. It was a disaster, as most people’s are, but I guess I just didn’t realize how lucky I was. I hugely took it for granted and now I’m seriously regretting it. 

My eighteenth started off with pre-drinks and food in mine (the chicken nuggets ended up wedged between each tier of my cake which took my brother three days to make but on the plus side, it was kind of, sort of, really hilarious). Then we got a mini-bus into Bray to a club I was working in at the time, where we all got refused from an area that I had actually booked, which makes no sense, but that’s how it went. I spent the rest of the night getting really drunk and crying about it and well, yeah, that was pretty much it. 

As I’m looking at the pictures, I’m thinking about the diversity of the people there. I mean, people I went to school with (who are talented musicians, very intelligent people- most of which come from places like Roundwood and Wicklow), then there were people I drank with (people that I was asked not to invite), then there were my cousins and family (that I don’t really have a lot to do with anymore- which is a sore subject), and a few of mine and my brother’s closest friends (that I don’t keep in touch with as much as I should) and it makes me really think hard about how much contact I have had and don’t have now with these people that, at one stage, were my very and only best friends. It bothers me that I’m growing up, getting busier, learning lessons and losing people that I love. And for what purpose? I mean if it could be explained I’m sure I’d feel a little better about it. 

I guess you could argue that humans are nearly bio-degradable and that they can easily disappear and be replaced with new humans. I’ve met new humans this year that I love more than I’ve ever loved anybody but that doesn’t change the fact that I miss my old humans, right? This time last year, I knew who my boyfriend was but I didn’t know I’d be with him now. But this time last year, I knew I loved my friends but I didn’t know they’d be a ‘was’ now. I guess it’s just about appreciating what you have every day. That doesn’t make it any easier. We think that, just because we’re young we won’t die, or we won’t lose anyone, or that our family will be there forever. Well, I’m only nineteen and nobody knows even half of what I’ve been through (I hate when people say that! Pet-peeve, I just committed a crime!) but you know what I mean? Anybody could die at any minute- no matter how old they are. Your best friend of five years might move on to people she has more in common with- and that hurts like hell (more than a boy ever could) but it happens, it’s happened to me twice! And your family aren’t always going to put up with your shit, I’ve lived this. Been from house to house until eventually, I had to cop on. Capturing every moment and cherishing it is difficult. It’s hard because life gives you reasons not to appreciate what you have. It’s about strength and appreciation. I guess eighteen is a young age to think about all that kind of stuff, and a lot has changed in a year, but I just miss every single person in those photographs. And that’s allowed. The power of the past is stronger than me at this moment and time.

I definitely shouldn’t have plugged the hard-drive in. Curiosity definitely killed the cat tonight.

Review: Headerz Hair Salon, Bray, Co. Wicklow | Not Another Beauty Blog

Review: Headerz Hair Salon, Bray, Co. Wicklow | Not Another Beauty Blog

I was feeling quite sick of myself and fed up with college and work and I really felt that I needed a change. So, I decided to splash the cash on a new hair do! I was given an amazing transformation from a washed-out dull black to an amazing, conditioned copper orange at Headerz, Bray. Delighted with my results isn’t the word! I was smiling from ear to ear leaving the salon! I am a regular customer at the salon, however, this visit meant a little bit more to me than the rest as I really needed a friendly service with a nice cup of a coffee and a pinch of confidence to go with! I was so ready for my Friday night by the time I had to leave. 

Headerz is situated at 32, Novara Avenue, Bray, Co. Wicklow. If your hoping for a lovely chat, cup of tea and amazing quality service and prices, I strongly advise you head down to the ladies at Headerz. It’s just off the main street of Bray so it’s easy to get to. There’s a huge pay & display car park just a block down and there’s also a bus stop literally just across the street. You have no excuse not to go! 

May is a very kind, funny and beautiful lady that works at Headerz, Bray and is also a very close family friend of mine. I’ve been getting my hair cut by May since I was old enough to have my hair cut. May has taken me from peroxide blonde, to Rihanna red, to jet black and back to blonde all over again! I have gotten every single style under the sun done by her and I have never once been disappointed by her work. She truly is a tremendous woman and has every shred of passion for what she does. I have asked May to do some stupidly crazy and out-of-the-box things with my hair over the years and she has always been accommodating and helpful, giving me the best style and color along with some helpful advice and guidance on the upkeep. May works alongside Leon (the beautiful and talented salon owner) everyday, giving customers great confidence, advice and service. I have always gone to May and followed her from salon to salon but she has been at Headerz, Bray for as long as I can remember now. The ladies ensure that they deliver exactly what you want. If not, it gets done until it’s right. Perfection and quality are key elements at Headerz. I even got my hair for my debs done by May! And boys, if your feeling like this a very girly blog- don’t sweat it. The girls do gent’s hair as well! A few friends of mine from school still go to Leon for great trims & styles! The prices are great too!

What I love most about Headerz is that it’s cozy. It almost feels like home. I find at other salons, bigger salons, that I feel very much like another number, another chair. In Headerz, every customer is treated like a friend- not “just another customer” and that will make your experience all the more special. It’s nice when you pay for a service and get exactly what you expect and deserve. There is always a scalding cup of tea or coffee on offer and the ladies really do know how to keep an interesting conversation going! But don’t worry, if you like to be left alone in peace while your new hair color works it’s magic, the ladies will always respect your space. I believe this salon was created to accommodate every customer. 

Leon has the salon decorated gorgeously. She recently uploaded a picture on to the Facebook page (link below) of the new salon decor for everybody to see! The salon is always clean and comfortable. Leon is a very hard working business woman and this is made crystal clear by both the upkeep of the customers, staff and salon. Between May and Leon doing the phenomenal hair-dressing and customer care that they do, the salon has become a place of inspiration for me. I have never opened the salon door to a bad day. There’s always an amazing atmosphere. Customers of all ages never fail to make each other welcome with compliments and great humor. Regular customers of all ages and all styles return to Headerz for the service that they have been availing of for years! I have never spoken to a customer that has been unhappy or disappointed with any aspect of the service or results at Headerz, Bray

I am always welcomed with a smile. As soon as anybody enters, they are spoken to. There is never any standing around hoping for someone to notice you. The salon does walk-ins- which is handy if your in a rush or need to be somewhere last minute but I would advise you to book in advance to ensure a place for your glamorous transformation! Leon upholds the best prices in Bray with tremendous rates for children, OAPs and students! I have honestly never felt like I’ve paid too much and not received enough at Headerz. If anything I feel like I should be paying more- so I try to leave a little tip each time! 

Headerz is a unisex salon so it accommodates everyone. If your looking for your baby to get their first hair cut or you want to treat your Nan to something special, you can always pop and find the girls waiting at your service. It’s almost traditional for my mum and I to pop into Headerz every Christmas Eve for a refreshing wash and blow dry. A hot cup of coffee in the cold weather and a nice little fresh hair style for the holidays is a must-do on my Christmas check list! The fact that I know the staff there will give me the attention a customer deserves along with a good giggle makes me all the more delighted that I’m already booked in! I’m excited for this year’s visit already! 

I really can’t boost this place up enough. I highly recommend you to go and have a little look, maybe even book in! If your looking to speak to any of the ladies at Headerz, the number can be found on the Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/headerz.bray?fref=ts

And if you’d like to have a look at all the crazy things I’ve asked May to do with my hair over the years you can find some hardcore photographic evidence on my Instagram page: http://www.instagram.com/jaydamccann

Dont forget to tell the ladies that I sent you!

Jadey x