Thanks to a poll on my Twitter back in November, my wonderful followers decided that I should publish a blog post and film a vlog every day for the entirety of December! 

So welcome to December 22nd…

I thought that I’d take this opportunity – with this being the last post before the Etsy competition launches tomorrow (December 23rd) – to remind you of all the prizes that can be won and give a little brief account of each Blogmas post, what they were about, what my favourite parts were, and the links for everything!

POST ONE saw the announcement of this year’s Christmassy collaboration with Etsy! After the success of last year’s partnership with Cats Protection, it seemed like a good idea to work with another company on a bit of a different project. In this post, I talked a bit about why I believe a person shouldn’t be labelled as shallow for appreciating material things and that it’s important to recognize products that can boost your mental health. I also included links to all TEN Etsy stores taking part in the collaboration/competition.

POST TWO was a change of plan! I’d originally planned on talking about the York Christmas Market I had been meaning to visit that day but for various reasons I decided not to go and instead, I used the post to talk about how it’s important to pace yourself at Christmas. It can be a pretty full-on time of the year with lots of events/parties, meetings with friends and family, and numerous other fun, festive activities so it’s crucial for your mental health that you prioritize things to avoid burning yourself out and losing enjoyment.

POST THREE was the first Etsy store collaboration post with the wonderful Happi Empire who kindly gifted me their very beautiful Mindfulness journal. I talked about learning Mindfulness in doing Dialectical Behaviour Therapy as a psychiatric inpatient and how I hadn’t got on too well with it at first, but I now find it so helpful! I loved the simplicity of the contents of the journal and the design and colours were right up my street!

POST FOUR was titled ‘Lessons Learnt From Firsts’ and was inspired by my trip to see – for the first time - Jack And The Beanstalk in pantomime at Whitley Bay Playhouse. I used four big experiences from my life e.g. my first suicide attempt and losing my four-year-old cat; Dolly, and talked about what I’ve learn from each of them. My favourite part of the pantomime? The scene where the dog did a ton of awesome tricks!

POST FIVE was another Etsy collaboration post; this time with Bear In Mind Psychology who were lovely enough to gift me their Schema Therapy cards. I used the post as the opportunity to introduce any readers who are unfamiliar with it, to Schema Therapy and talked about how my mental health has benefited from it. 

POST SIX was inspired by my Christmassy drinks with some new friends from the Creative Writing class I’d been taking for over two months. I talked about how I find writing/blogging therapeutic to my mental health and why I came to enroll on the course that I was really enjoying and that had given me the opportunity to meet lots of lovely, like-minded people.

POST SEVEN was my third post for the Etsy collaboration; and this one was with The Little Pin Co. who amazingly gifted me their cream and rose gold ‘Strong and Brave’ pin badge. I used the act of wearing a mental health related badge as inspiration for the post and talked about the stigma of mental health and how it causes a lot of people to hide their thoughts and feelings. I explained how I too had struggled with this and how I’d overcome it to be where I am today – blogging for over half a million readers! 

POST EIGHT was inspired by my second pantomime of the month; Beauty and the Beast at Newcastle Theatre Royal and was titled ‘Stigma And Misconceptions.’ I used the storyline of the pantomime as a base for writing about how a lot of people make assumptions in mental health and hold lots of stigmatized views about the subject. I talked about how this can be a catalyst for bullying and how I’ve learnt to respond to such comments/views.

POST NINE was another Etsy post with the store Nudge Cards who sent me their Nudge Cards which were small wallet-sized cards with little motivational, inspirational quotes on set to boost your mental health. I used the idea behind the product to influence my writing about how it’s possible to forget healthy and safe coping skills when you’re struggling.

POST TEN was about an awesome Christmassy event at the Cats Protection Tyneside Adoption Centre and after meeting a lovely, fluffy black cat named Sheba, I decided to write about impulsive acts/decisions as I wrestled with thoughts of adding her to my little family! I decided to explain how impulsivity can be a ‘symptom’ of my diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and that this has often been a very bad thing.

POST ELEVEN was in collaboration with the fantastic Positive Instinct who gifted me their lovely ‘I Can Do It’ mug from their Etsy store. I used the quote to inspire my post on the eight things that help me to maintain my positivity and good mental health e.g. spending time with my pets and talking to mental health professionals. 

POST TWELVE was a bit of a disaster! It was intended to be a lovely, Christmassy post full of photos from my trip to Edinburgh Christmas market for the first time ever! But when the market was closed due to high wind and rain? Well, I had to desperately try to find alternative inspiration for day twelve’s content! I decided to use the failure of the trip as inspiration and wrote about how I cope with let-downs and disappointment.

POST THIRTEEN was back to the Etsy collaboration and this time it was with the inspirational YANA UK who gifted me their very popular ‘You Are Not Alone’ t-shirt. Again, I used the quote as inspiration for my post and for this one, I talked about the people and pets(!) who make me feel less alone and remind me that I have a fantastic support network in my life which can help to keep me safe and positive.

POST FOURTEEN was my only guest post in the entirety of Blogmas and was by one of my best-friends and fellow mental health Blogger; Martin Baker who wrote down his Christmas wishlist… it included a lot of stationary!

POST FIFTEEN was another Etsy post with the lovely Colour Your Life Club who gifted me three of their mental health themed badges. They read ‘I have an invisible illness,’ ‘Fighting Anxiety,’ ‘It’s OK not to be OK’ and in the post, I talked about what each of these sentences mean to me, how I relate to them, and why I think they’re the perfect statements to make. 

POST SIXTEEN was all about Listening Ear And Positive Support (LEAPS) and my voluntary role with them – originally as Advertising Assistant and now as Chair of the support group for those who are unemployed. I decided to include LEAPS in Blogmas not just because they’re like a second family to me, but also because we had our Christmas dinner together at the Beacon Hotel.

POST SEVENTEEN was back to the Etsy collaboration! This time, I was reviewing A Band Of Hope’s badges and bracelets. I chose to use the post to write about the text on each of the three badges they’d gifted me; ‘Love Your Body,’ ‘Hello I Am Surviving,’ and ‘More Than My Illness.’ I talked about body confidence and self-esteem, the difference between surviving and thriving, and how I refuse to be defined by my diagnosis. 

POST EIGHTEEN was a ‘Quick Guide to Christmas Décor’ influenced by my day trip to the National Trust site; Wallington Hall. I wrote about the competitiveness that comes alive in decorating your home at Christmas (especially the outside of it!), how traditional touches can rival creative and unique twists, and talked about how essential it is to keep an aspect of immaturity involved in your décor.

POST NINETEEN was all about the five things that make me happy and was inspired by a bracelet I was gifted from Laleeland LDN. The bracelet was a purple thread with the chemical symbol for Serotonin in rose gold in the center. For the five things, I chose my Mum, my pets, my best-friends, blogging, and Christmas!

POST TWENTY was a struggle to write because I honestly felt as though I was running out of ideas and inspiration! I knew that I wanted the post to be based on my day trip to National Trust site; Cragside to see their Christmas decorations. With the help of Martin Baker, I decided to take inspiration from the fact that Cragside was the first home to be powered by hydroelectricity and talked about three things that bring light to my life; love, creativity, and medication!

POST TWENTY ONE was the final Etsy collaboration post and was in partnership with Handmade Dorset who are based in Dorchester, England. The store gifted me a print and some small cards with various inspirational, motivational, and validating quotes on them and I chose to use the post to write about each one. 

And that’s you up to date! 

I really hope you’ve all enjoyed Blogmas 2019 – even though it’s not quite over and that you all enter the competition which will be launched here tomorrow!
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