My brand Keep Real! What’s happening?

Hey folks! Hope you are all well!

After my wonderful opportunity down in London on BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind, I’ve had plenty to be getting on with! This is specific to my ‘grounded goods movement‘ Keep Real, which is a brand dedicated to providing goods and garments promoting a mentally healthy lifestyle (Please go ahead and like the new Facebook page!). I’ve been having plentiful meetings and ideas going around, and I haven’t been promoting it as much because, well… it’s the most challenging and amazing thing I’ve ever done!

At the moment, it’s all about the research- and I’m potentially pitching my idea to a panel in the next week or so as a social enterprise. For folks who don’t know what social enterprises are, they ‘are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment. They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community.’ Keep Real will reinvest the profits back in to the business itself and mental health charities (Keep Real will actively raise awareness in mental health too!)

I’m so excited about what’s going on, although I can’t share much at this stage- I cannot wait to see where Keep Real will go next year. Keep your eyes peeled! But for now, it’s about connecting with lovely folk like you and spreading lots of good vibes to every follower I have!

You can check out Keep Real here on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

All the ❤ folks, thank you for believing in me!

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What is Mindfulness? Rad, I’m Telling Ya.

wpid-img_20150816_082646.jpgGood morning you. What a week, huh?! It’s been a very humbling and gratifying kinda August for me I have to say. I’ve been writing more than ever, my article about going through anxiety has been published for Rethink Mental Illness, and Keep Real is becoming a very large garments & goods project with so many rewards. It’s nice to be working hard for things I believe in.

A huge thank you for all who’ve messaged me about my article too, it’s quite a vulnerable and open hearted topic to talk about- especially when it is published so widely (you can find it here). But I wanted folk to know that it’s ok to struggle and that it is possible to come out of it the other side. The post I wrote for Rethink touched on the therapy I had, which was mindfulness and person centred. So I thought to elaborate on how mindfulness helped me through my anxiety and how I practice it still today.

There are so many forms of therapy and different ways of managing your mental health, and I found that mindfulness was the most helpful for me personally. If you’d like to know more about what mindfulness is, check out the Mental Health Foundation and Frantic World. There is also a wonderful website called Free Mindfulness, with plenty of resources and free downloads of mindfulness exercises. Mindfulness is actually a very ancient practice which in the modern day, is a real rad way of getting on down with the here and now. It’s a mind-body based approach to relaxation which focuses on the present, your thoughts/feelings/sensations happening in the now and being non-judgemental about it. Chest pains? Headache? Can’t switch off? It’s ok. You don’t have to be brill at it, it’s all about being that little bit kinder to yourself and noticing how you are feeling.

tumblr_n29b65dBhH1r1d9pio1_500Mindfulness helped me focus on what is going on in the present, my anxiety was all about worrying about the future. It’s such a wonderful practice! For example, here you are reading my blog (how lovely!), your eyes are gliding across the screen and your body is relaxed. Notice it. How does your body feel? Notice your surroundings too. What noises do you hear?

Connect with the now. It gives you a real focus on the present and linking it in with your body. The more time you take out to be mindful, the more relaxed you feel. I practice it without really thinking too much about it now. I’ll get up earlier than usual and do an exercise, if I’m feeling a bit anxious I’ll do it wherever I am, or even when I’m commuting to work. I’ll just be that little bit more mindful when I go about my day.

If there is anything else you would like to know more of/ask me- please feel free to drop a comment! I’ll be doing more posts on Mindfulness later on with some of my favourite basic exercises ❤

All the ❤

Why Talking about Mental Health is Mega Important

Mental health is still surrounded with that grey cloud of stigma and misunderstanding. I get it, but I cannot get my head around it either, it’s 2015! Just because you cannot see it, does not mean that it is not there. Plus, mental health effects everyone. So why doesn’t everyone talk about it?

It can be hard to start a conversation about mental health, sometimes you don’t really know what to say. It’s wired in our brains when we talk to someone to say ‘Hey! How are you?’, in which we automatically respond with ‘I’m ok thanks, how are you?’ and not really think about it. There is the misunderstanding around mental health problems too. For example, when I was doing my degree in Counselling- it would frustrate me noticing how some folk didn’t really understand or have knowledge related to depression and anxiety. Some would blurt out ‘So does depression mean that the person wants to kill themselves?’ and ‘Isn’t anxiety just worrying too much?’.

You don’t have to be an expert to talk about mental health. Whether you like it or not, mental health effects you and everyone you know too. You are actually the expert of your own mental health. It’s part of us just as much as physical health. We tell each other when we have a headache, heartburn or a broken leg- so why not talk about what else is going on for you too? It is not a weakness to talk about what you’re feeling or how you truly are. I am so ssssooo proud of anyone who talks about their own mental health! Have that conversation with someone you love, if you’ve got something on your mind- do not be afraid to talk about it!

As always, sending my love to all of y’all ❤ if you’d like to drop me an email at any point, please do so- I am always here to talk (my email is on my Contact page) ❤

Kimmykeepreal’s Mental Wellness Tips

Good morning everyone (or afternoon/evening wherever you are in the world!). I hope you are well! It’s a lovely day here in the UK, and so far it’s been beautiful waking up so early ready for the day ahead!wpid-20150525_155232.jpg

Mental health is HUGE part of everyone’s lives. From feeling good to feeling real down, mental wellness is the emotional, psychological and social well-being of a person. Doesn’t that effect everything you do? Yes it does!! So here’s a few personal tips in feelin’ good. Positive mental health makes you realise your full potential, makes you work better and all around makes you feel like you can kick ass everyday (because you CAN do all of these things!)

  1. Take the time out to just RELAX. It may be hard, I know. If you’ve had a stressful day at work and have a billion other things to do- taking time out to relax is hard. But please, be kind to yourself ❤ I cannot push this little saying enough. Even if it’s for ten minutes. Sit down, focus on your breathing and relax your body. Relieve that tension in your muscles, today is going to be great- so let’s take the time to be kind to our mental health.
  2. Have time to yourself. Taking the time out to just be by yourself is quite important. A good relationship with yourself provides good relationships with other people. What do you like to do in your day that’s just for you? Read the newspaper, go for a drive, walk the dog, read your favourite book, look through old photographs. There are so many little things that can really provide mental wellness in your day. The only person stopping you from actively seeking it is yourself. Having breaks by yourself is so important.
  3. Friendships. Having that relationship with other folk is important. Each person on this Earth deserves the beautiful connection friendship brings. You can cry, laugh, rant and be yourself around them. Having people around you that are willing to listen and support you through life is vital to your well-being. Do not be afraid of telling your friends how you feel! Try make an evening a week or what suits you best, and arrange a get together. Go grab that coffee or go to that favourite restaurant with some of your favourite people ❤
  4. ‘A laugh a day, keeps the bad vibes away’ It probably sounds a lil’ silly; but laughter can be the best medicine. It’s quite cliché, but honestly it’s a cure. I can look back at all the times I laughed so much it hurt and think ‘man, I wish I laughed like that more!’. But don’t we all, right?! I’m not saying force the laughter, but notice how much something makes you giggle in the day. How wonderful is it that we laugh because we cannot contain the joy? That our bodies literally shake or cry because something is so good?

I may post more tips later in the week- but I hope these serve you good to making your day just as rad as mine!

As always, be kind to yourself and keep real ❤

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #6

It’s been a whirlwind of little events this week. Plusss this weather here in the UK has been crazy! I’ve been designing, reading, working, running and organising some cool thaangs. Everything seems to be in full swing, plus I turn 21 next week! Rad!

I’ve started to read Patti Smith’s Just Kids, which is her autobiography (purchase it here).download (1) Now, this book has been on my wish list for a good year and I have only just got around to purchasing it. So far, I cannot recommend this book enough! In case you don’t know who Patti Smith is, she is an Artist, Writer and Performer (she’s an all-round creative) who gained recognition in the 1970’s in the Punk Rock movement. I find myself reading it whenever I can (mostly on trains and buses!), it leaves me feeling extremely passionate and driven to do what I want to do creatively through Keep Real, as well as work hard and get to where I want to be. If you’re feeling a bit of a creative block, read Patti Smith’s memoir. I cannot praise it enough.

wpid-img_20150701_175503.jpgAlso this week, I’ve been working on some designs for the new collection as well as some pieces for other people. It’s been slow going, as cultivating a theme of mandala inspired works has left me with the laborious task of dotworking large pieces bigger than my head! It’s quite therapeutic creating what I’m creating though. I’ve been trying out varied techniques such as cross-hatching, which so far seems to be working a treat!  wpid-img_20150704_121440.jpg

Last night I had the privilege of seeing Alkaline Trio and NOFX at the 02 Academy in Leeds. The last time I saw Alkaline Trio, it was 2008 and I was the ripe ol’ age of fourteen. I remember them playing at a festival in Sheffield and hearing ‘Time To Waste’ which blew my tiny little mind. So to see them now at nearly 21- brought back a lot of memories of being that awkward teenager who still wore fake converse and studded belts. NOFX however, were incredible. I did get a little battered in the pit- but I LOVED it. Probably the most fun I’ve had at a gig in a long time.

I’m also organising which events I will be running in to raise money for Rethink Mental Illness. I have to calculate how long it will take me to have the justified amount of physical health, in order to for me to feel comfortable in running. I’m thinking of doing a 5k run, then a 10k run later in the year. Plus I want to do the Three Peaks Challenge next year! It has been fairly hot temperatures lately, but doing a tiny mile run round the woods near my home should be sufficient in the meantime every day.

Hope you are well and as always- Keep Real! x

kimmykeepfit!

Gooood wpid-img_20150625_131011.jpgMorrnnning you beautiful souls, I hope you’re enjoying your day so far! As for me today, I am moving out of my house in Huddersfield and returning home with my parents for a while. I’m actually quite sad to be leaving the University life and losing some of my independence. But alas! The time has come to move forward and start some exciting adventures with my brand Keep Real and promoting better mental health and well-being along the way.

So with the wonderful catchy title ‘kimmykeepfit’ (thanks to my housemate/not housemates anymore Danny- you the man!) I will begin some training for some upcoming fundraising projects! I am raising money for Rethink Mental Illness and Mind here in the UK.

 

Mental Health charities are to date the least given to organisations in the UK. To say that about a quarter of the entire UK population will experience a mental health problem in the course of a year- the results are poor.

First, I will be running a half marathon later in the year and have set myself the wpid-img_20150624_141234.jpgalmighty task of doing the incredible Three Peaks Challenge here in Yorkshire, Flippin’ crrraaazzzyyyy challenges to set myself, but I am more than prepared to raise money for some wonderful charities and increase awareness for mental health.

The training begins NOW (or when I’ve got rid of this dreadful cold!) and I will be posting ‘kimmykeepfit’ updates on how well it’s going and when I’ll be setting up a JustGiving page etc.

Let’s do this!!!

Don’t ever let your sky turn into a ceiling ❤

Graduation Results & My Journey For Mental Health!

Hi lovelies! It’s such beautiful weather outside and I must admit, I am feeling a little worse for wear. But all is well- as last night’s antics were in celebration of finishing my final year of University!!! Me and my friends officially collected our results, I am so so proud of all them achieving such wonderful things over the three years. I will be graduating with a very high 2:1, so a second class bachelor of science honours degree bdf-graduationin Counselling Therapy. Mega proud and last night was definitely deserved (but maybe not with the hangover!).

What with July being extremely busy (21st birthday, graduation etc), I’ve also decided to make it even busier by starting my journey as an activist for Mental Health. I will be fundraising for Rethink Mental Illness and Mind by doing the Three Peaks Challenge here in Yorkshire! All I need to do is fill out all the forms and get my physical health back in check.

There’s so much to look forward to with my design work, graduating from University and doing some charity work too. Let’s do this!