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Art making is SO good for your mental health

Posted on Aug 09 by

My Fears and Flaws Are Magnified In My Mind's Eye And Sometimes They Get The Better Of Me

My name is Alana and I am a 22-year-old Brisbane artist. I deliberately make mental health a focus of my art practice because for me, art has been an outlet, a place to say what I need to say, and a way to clarify my own thoughts.

I struggled as a teenager- and sometimes still do- with depressive and anxious thoughts about myself and my future, debilitating self-doubt, and a rather shaky sense of who I am. Through those particularly difficult and crippling moments I used art as a way to cope and eventually, I got the opportunity to travel around Australia for two years and share my experiences in art and mental health with various audiences in every state as part of my job. I still love to speak about art and how it is GREAT to find some solace in creating something.
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Body Image. Not a one-size fits-all thing!

Posted on May 30 by

So I know I’ve already spoken about ignoring articles telling you to follow magic tips that will make you love yourself and your body. So think of this is as the direct opposite of those articles and those tips, generally all the things the fitspo stars and bloggers want you to do and think.

Here it is: you do not need to love your body every minute of every day.

What a revelation, what a crazy idea! No? Ok let me explain.

There is so much constant pressure telling you that you need to love your body. And how does that make you feel if you don’t exactly have the best body image? This massive burden telling you you’ve failed at life if you don’t love your body day in day out. I’m here to tell you that every now and then, don’t feel bad if you don’t love every single thing about yourself! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having an off day about your body or randomly don’t love some part of your body. So what!
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What needs altering our bodies our our mindset?

Posted on May 23 by

Hi Tarsh here, back with another installment of my blog series taking look at body image and self esteem.

Remember to credit your body for all the awesome stuff it can do

I recently read an article where Ronda Rousey (former UFC Champion) uploaded a photo-shopped picture of herself to her social media. The photo was sent to her to post in order to promote a TV appearance, and she didn’t notice the editing. She quickly took it down and put up the original, with an explanation for her fans.

You see, the photo-shopping had slimmed Ronda’s arms. Ordinarily, many women would appreciate this editing (normal reaction don’t worry), but the way Ronda sees her body, is that we should all appreciate our own. She has worked long and hard for her sport, and this is what her arms look like as a result. I’m sure she has put in countless hours training and getting her body physically ready for competing and it is not about what her body looks like. Rather, it is about what her body can do.
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Body Image and Instagram

Posted on May 11 by

Don't let what you see online negatively affect what you see in the mirror

While I was writing my last post (How to fix your body image), I was listening to a podcast of an interview with a prominent fitspo Instagram personality. They post work-outs and diet tips and of course images of their own “fit” body. I’m sure a few of these types of Instagram’s come to mind, and they often have thousands if not millions of followers. The person being interviewed explained that they had a negative body image in the past, and introducing exercise and improving their diet changed this all around and now they love their body.

However, they said they still have off days about their body and it’s not all sunshine and roses. So you’re not alone! It’s good to acknowledge that even Insta-famous people with huge followings and bodies that people aspire to have their own insecurities and down days about how they look. You’re not the only one that might feel this way, and it further supports my message from the last post, having the “perfect body” you always dreamed of doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be happy with it (think: Victoria’s Secret model).
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How to Fix Your Body Image

Posted on May 04 by

Hello! My name is Tarsh and I’m going to be doing blog posts pretty regularly from now on. I have an honours degree in psychology, and will be talking mostly about body image and related topics. The honours thesis I wrote last year was all about body image, exercise and eating so I have done quite a bit of research about all of this type of thing. I hope to cover a range of topics and issues so stay tuned and I hope you enjoy it and maybe even get something out of it.

How to Fix Your Body Image

Have you seen headlines like this before? “10 steps to overcome bad body image” or “One thing to overcome a negative body image.” Maybe you saw it in the form of “How to be body confident at the beach.” You see these articles in magazines, health websites, blogs; body image seems to be everywhere. These articles contain advice like: write down 5 things you love about your body, get a spray tan, start exercising to tone up. The thing is, there is no 10 steps, no one hot tip, no magic formula. These publications are trying to convince you that you can easily change and manipulate the way you see your body.

The truth is, everyone’s different. One rule or process isn’t going to apply to everyone and make you love your body overnight. It is nowhere near as easy as these articles make it seem. So if you’ve read these articles, done all the things it tells you, but you still aren’t brimming with body confidence? Then what? Well, it’s not actually your fault.
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Psychology

Posted on Jan 22 by

 ‘So, can you read my mind?’ is always the first thing that anyone says when they find out I’m doing a psychology degree, guaranteed. Nope, I will never be able to read your mind, but sometimes it can be a fun game to play along with the remark. My younger sister’s favourite is ‘you must be doing it because you are a psycho!’…not quite.

If not telepathy, then what is psychology? Essentially it is the study of human behaviour which, if you think about it, is a huuuuuggggeeee topic. I mean, how often is it that you can predict another human’s behaviour exactly, all of the time (the answer is never). Psychology isn’t all getting people to lie on couches and tell you how they feel (the whole couches thing doesn’t actually occur that often any more), but there are a number of fields in psychology; forensic (law/prisons), clinical (working with mental diagnosis and treatment), counselling, health, organisational, neuropsychology (brains!), sport, school psychology…..
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Buying a car

Posted on Dec 08 by

 Recently, after a long period of saving from every pay day, I bought a new car. In the process of buying a car, I realised that it’s not very common to walk into a car yard on the first day of deciding to buy a new car, and pick one that you want straight away.  For starters, there’s a lot of difference between a Porsche and a Commodore, including in the price tag. There’s also other things to sort out before, during and after the purchase. So I started putting together stuff that I needed to do and/or consider when buying a car:

First priority – what did I want in a car? How many km should it have? What’s my main purpose for it – do I need to take it off-road, or it is just highway and city driving? 3 door of 5? Diesel or petrol? Manual or auto? Trying to decide what you want in the first place can be the hardest bit! Test driving a couple of cars can really help – driving a friend’s car helped me decide on the model I wanted.
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The Ugly Side Of Love

Posted on Oct 13 by

They say it is better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved at all. but in some ways I disagree. One of the best things about being young is being able to fall in love fiercely and fall head over heels for a significant other. Those who have been in love before will know how that feels. You are totally consumed with emotions and you crave the presence of the person who makes you feel that way. You almost have a spring in your step as you as so full of happiness and are almost intoxicated on love. But there are a lot of us who have been in love and have experienced the ugly side: heartbreak.

Unfortunately for me I have experienced the ugly side, as I am sure many of you reading this have also. I got involved with the typical guy: handsome, funny, and charming but someone who unfortunately didn’t want a ‘’serious’’ relationship. Now forgive me if I am wrong, but if you are seeing someone multiple times a week, going out to the movies and on dinner dates all the time, that is kind of classified as dating, don’t you think?
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Stop – Hurry Time

Posted on Oct 12 by

Okay, so I’ve got time to schedule milkshakes with you in between going to the gym and that meeting on Thursday, but I’ll only be able to stay for 45 minutes in order to make it back in time. Na, that works best because I’m flat out the week after”.

I was reading somewhere recently that it has become part of our culture to wear ‘busy’ as a badge of honour, with the response to ‘how are you?’ becoming ‘busy’ as if that is a compliment to how we must be so productive in order to live a successful life.
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The ‘G’ word

Posted on Oct 12 by

I want to talk about something that absolutely drives me up the wall: GOSSIP. One would think that once you have survived the doggy-dog world that is high-school and transitioned into the adult world that gossip would cease to be a problem. How very wrong that statement is.

I do not, and will never, understand how some people think they have the right to intrude on other people’s lives and make judgements on a false basis. If that’s what people wanted then they just go to the closest media outlet and place their life story on a silver platter for the world to see. It seems in the current age that no matter what you do, what you say, or what the true story is, someone will manage to add in a twist the mix and share it round the table. And to be honest, I think it is nothing short of childish.

If you ask me, I think it is time that some of society realises that the personal lives of others is not their individual concern. Unless of course you are in a relationship or related to another, their business is their business. It’s as simple as that. Don’t brew up a storm of unnecessary drama, don’t make life more difficult than it has to be for others and just realise that gossip is an absolute and complete waste of breath. Period.

How about instead of bickering about what everyone else is supposedly doing in their life, you concentrate on your own life and your own aspirations. At the end of the day focusing on yourself is going to get you further than spending your time speaking badly of others. Sounds like common sense, I know, but I think sometimes people become easily caught up on false perceptions of people and gossip becomes an outlet for them: like word vomit. In reality if they were being spoken about similarly, they wouldn’t be feeling on top of the world, would they?

Gossip can diminish people’s confidence, charisma and can even push people to harm themselves, so why see it as a form of entertainment for yourself? It is simply ridiculous. When it comes down to it, I am pretty positive that people are aware of what they have and haven’t done in their lives, and they don’t need you to make accusations.

You want my advice? The next time you hear something about a friend, a co-worker or even an acquaintance- instead of spreading the world like wildfire, check the facts; or better yet ask the actual person about it rather than getting involved in a misconceived game of Chinese whispers. Chances are they will tell you the honest truth and it save a heck of a lot of miscommunication, making life easier and more pleasant for everyone. Now that sounds better, don’t you think?

J

Image Credit: https://flic.kr/p/e2K8Jp

Jess is a 20 year old freelance writer living in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. With a severe case of the travel bug, Jess loves to document and share her interactions with the World as she experiences them. She has a passion for the arts and always believes that something beautiful is on the horizon.


I’ll drink to that! Or will I?

Posted on Oct 12 by

Alcohol consumption has become quite a prominent part of Australian culture over many decades. I can remember being so close to 18 and being so excited to be able to have my first ‘’legal drink’’ and go out to pubs and clubs. Anyone else know that feeling? But now that I am older and over that feeling of finally being able to do something I wasn’t prior allowed to, I have really come to realise how much people let alcohol control their lives.

It seems that a lot of people look for any excuse to drink nowadays. I understand that drinking can be a big part of celebratory events, but lately it seems that every time I catch up with someone or go for dinner, or even just for a birthday everyone is trying to turn it into a big bender. And personally, it concerns me as it is quite an unhealthy behaviour. I mean, you may be sitting here reading this and thinking that I am a prude or don’t know what I am talking about- but I can tell you that I have definitely been through that party stage. I used to go out drinking every weekend and dance at nightclubs and spend money on drinks, but my body hated it. And most of the time I just ended up acting stupidly in front of my mates and being embarrassed the next day.
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