What is Mental Health?

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The first step to accepting and understanding Mental Health is to know what it is. This is a journey and post we’ll learn together.

Simply put it’s the psychological and emotional well-being of a person.

This is what MIND say about MH:

In many ways, mental health is just like physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it.

Good mental health means being generally able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live your life. But if you go through a period of poor mental health you might find the ways you’re frequently thinking, feeling or reacting become difficult, or even impossible, to cope with. This can feel just as bad as a physical illness, or even worse.

Some of the statistics regarding MH as according to the Mental Health Organisation are as followed:

  • In England women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders as men.
  • In 2017, 5,821 suicides were recorded in Great Britain. Of these, 75% were male and 25% were female.
  • Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years in England and Wales.
  • 1 in 6.8 people are experience mental health problems in the workplace.
  • Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions.
  • 1 in 8 adults in the UK have experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body image.

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Learning these numbers was shocking. Especially the ones relating to Work Life. 1 in 6.8 people is the one that hit me. At work there is 7 of us in our team. Which means one of us is likely to experience something. But due to the stigma attached to MH, people do their best to hide it from the world. Which isn’t healthy at all. There is not shame in admitting you’ve lost a step or two.

I often think this about Work, but it could also be applied to Life I guess. “It’s such a easy thing, but it’s made complicated by people and their actions. If everyone was honest and easygoing there wouldn’t be a problem” If people weren’t afraid to open up, or if people were accepting of MH and didn’t look at it with disgust or horror the world would be a healthier, happier place.

The stats are horrific and as a society and race we need to make a change. We can’t have this level of suffering, this level of uncomfortableness. Change is needed. Remove the Stigma and live our best lives to our fullest potential.

 

 

 

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Getting Camera Ready [AD]

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[AD] This post is part of a paid opportunity.

With the summer rolling in, the BBQ’s being fired up and the late summer nights going on forever, what’s a better time to get yourself a new camera. A perfect way to capture those moments of fun; from road trips to music festivals to beach days and just moments you want to remember forever.

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Whatever the event, occasion or reason, Latest Deals have some amazing deals on a range of digital camera; from Action HD Cameras, to DSLR’s, to Pocket Digi Cam’s and even Security Cameras. Check out the following link to find the latest deal – Latest Deals Camera’s

Some of these offers and discounts are unbelievable, but they are constantly changing so if you miss one great offer rest assured another is right around the corner. As I write this there is a £100 saving on a Nikon DSLR which is a significant discount which could be the selling point for your purchase – and why wouldn’t it be.

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I think the camera is one of the best things you can spend money on. A way to capture moments and memories that will last a lifetime – yes I am aware of how cliched that sounds, but it’s so right, isn’t it? Birthdays, Weddings, Parties, Memories. All stored with the click of a button. And Latest Deals is a great place to supply you with the equipment, with handy guides and information about the different styles and types of camera’s, they give you all the know-how and insight you might need to make an informed decision about buying a new camera. What’s not to love. Even the cool flow diagram (above) is a key part of their marketing design to assess what style of a camera might be best suited to you. Are you thinking of pocket size, viewfinder, interchangeable lenses? Whatever style or piece of kit you are looking for and for what you are looking to do with it – Latest Deals will guide you to the right choice at a crazy discounted price. Can’t say fairer than that on service right.

So what is stopping you, break open that piggy bank, check out the guide and order a new camera today, all in time for the long hot summer of fun and memories that will last a lifetime.

I love my DSLR and wish I got it out more, there is some real beauty in the world and it would be a shame to not capture it forever.

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Sunshine Blogger Award

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Now it’s been some time since I’ve done one of these beautiful posts. I really like them as I think they are a great way of getting to know bloggers and I am always honoured and humbled that I’ve been nominated.

I was nominated by Ashli over on You Me and Benny – which if you don’t follow I highly urge you too. You can expect Movies, Marvel, Witty Banter and Dogs – what more can you ask for.

Also due to great minds thinking alike – Sophie over on The Smurfy Gamers Blog tagged me in this post too – which I had to laugh about because originally this post was going to go out on Friday, but I bumped it for the Hellboy Review and guess who was tagged in my post as a nominee – Yep, that’s right – Sophie. So now I am sat here after mowing the lawn on this sunny Sunday lunch time editing and adding more questions. Whoop.


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So let’s get down to the T’s and C’s:

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging sites.
  • Answer the questions
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or your own post.

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The Questions – You, Me and Benny Version

  • If you had a genie and 3 questions what would your questions be?#
    • I’d ask for money to help fulfill my dreams.
    • I’d ask for the truth behind the JFK assassination.
    • I’d ask for the cure to common cold.
  • Are you an only child or do you have siblings?
    • I have one younger sister.
  • What’s your favorite book/book series?
    • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Series – so good.
  • Do you have pets? If so, explain!
    • We have a cat which is lovely, but my god she is a pain in the bum sometimes. I can’t wait to get a dog!
  • What’s your favorite place to go in the Summer?
    • The beer garden, nothing better than lounging about with an ice-cold beer, talking for hours and just living in the moment
  • If you would have dinner with any celebrity – dead or alive – who would it be?
    • My answer to this used to always be Hunter S Thompson, but now days maybe Johnny Depp.
  • What’s your favorite food?
    • Pizza – hands down, every meal,
  • If you would only wear one thing forever what would it be?
    • I have follow-up questions about this question, but let’s say a white shirt and jeans.
  • What’s your all time favorite animal?
    • Monkey
  • Are you a scary movie fan?
    • Scary Movie Fan as in the films? Or the Genre – The films I like the first two, they were genius, then the rest of the series fell apart. The genre – yes, but I don’t think there are many genuinely great Scary Movies anymore.
  • If you could travel anywhere where would it be?
    • The USA. The times I’ve been, I’ve loved it and would love to see more.

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The Questions – The Smurfy Gamers Blog Version

  • What game are you most looking forward to this year?
    • Well hands down this has to be The Last of Us 2.
  • If you could play a game for the first time again, what game would you choose?
    • Well now I just have The Last of Us in my head – I’d love to play that again. Or the Modern Warfare series, like if you put all 3 into one massive game, that story line is deep.
  • If you could be part of a game series, which series would you chose and what role do you see yourself in?
    • I’d love to be a Cowboy in the Red Dead Redemption series – I’d play a Gunslinger called “Preacher” where I exact revenge on the unjustified and rob from the unworthy.
  • If you could visit any in-game world where would you most like to visit?
    • Probably something like Fallout 3 – just to try out the Wasteland life for a bit
  • What is your favourite thing to do in spring?
    • Not to worry about remembering my scarf and gloves
  • Who is your favourite character from any game?
    • John ‘Soap’ MacTavish from the Call of Duty Modern Warfare series. 
  • If you could visit any place in the world where would you go?
    • I’d love to visit Casablanca
  • What was the last film you watched and would you recommend it?
    • Last night I watched Mission Impossible . . . Rouge Nation – well I think it was that one. I think the newer ones are great fun and would recommend them. Just easy-going films.
  • What blog post of your are you most proud of?
  • What is your favourite soundtrack (Game, Film, TV Show)?
    • I go through phases because I love so many. But this minute the best favourite I can think of is . . . Grease!
  • If you were to learn something new (skill, hobby, subject) what would you want to learn?
    • I’d love to be able to do Parkour. Or maybe just be able to play guitar.

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My Questions

  • If you had to pick an actor to play you in a film who would you pick?
  • If you could do anything as a career what would you do?
  • Is Pineapple allowed on Pizza?
  • When was the last time you cried?
  • Would you rather have all your bills wiped for life, or a Million Pounds right now?
  • In the garden do you prefer Decking or Patio?
  • In the nuclear wasteland do you think you’d survive and how long for?
  • It’s been a long day at work, you are chilling on the sofa with no energy and motivation. What is your go to meal?
  • Amazon Echo or Google Home?
  • If you could see ANY band or artist – dead or alive, perform who would it be?
  • If you could have ANY superpower what would it be and why?

Now for the hard part . . .

The Nominations


Thank you for everyone that took the time to have a wee little read about me and keeps coming back for more. You guys are my mews.

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What To Do Next?

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As you might be aware of recent I’ve been a bit quiet on the social media, blog front. Just because I’ve been left feeling very deflated and . . . . well like this.


Stuck in a lifestyle that I am not a great fan of anymore. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to bad mouth these aspects of my life because they have served me well and I’ve learnt and grown from them. But it is now time to move on and take a bigger step forward. Though how realistic is that?

Not to moan about money but sadly this is what makes life tick over. I know I should live in the moment. Enjoy what I have. Can’t take it with you bullshit. But sadly Karen that isn’t the world we live in. The fact of the matter is if I don’t earn X amount a month I won’t be able to pay my bills, buy food or get by. So if I bring home less than that or I have a sick day and don’t get paid. I feel the pinch.

It’s horrible.

But what can I do? How can I make my life better? I’d love to go freelance. In photography or media or blogging. But taking that plunge is an unrealistic step for me. I’d love to get into charity work. Especially Male Mental Health based work. To help give a voice to people. To do something meaningful and to make a difference but sadly in the most none selfish way that won’t pay my mortgage. Not to begin with anyway.

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A very supportive and lovely friend said the following to me earlier – “You really could do it full-time I believe in you buddy! You’re written word is fantastic, I love your content and you are always one of the first people to boost people up in this community! I honestly couldn’t think of anyone who deserves it more than you.”

Which is crazy cute and mega supportive of her and it made me think – who else thinks this of me, maybe I could be this figurehead that people look up to, maybe I could help everyone.

I’m thinking about setting up a movement / brand / organisation that focuses on those goals of raising awareness and money for Male Mental Health charities. Which is where I will need your help.

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I just hope something like this can and will give me purpose and until I find my feet I will have to keep going with my current affairs but in time, maybe one day, I will be able to stand up tall and look back at what I have done with pride.


 

Welcome to StrongMen

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StrongMen – What is it and what it is doing.


Just so you know this if not an AD, the Charity didn’t come to me. I asked them if I could write about them to help spread the word of who they are.

As many of you might know recently I discovered Channel 4’s S.A.S Who Dares Wins. Which pits a team of average joe recruits through a version of the selection progress for the Special Forces, lead by a tough team of Directing Staff which is made up of Ex Special Forces Operatives; Ant Middleton, Jason Fox, Matthew Ollerton and Mark Billingham.

Each season highlights the recruits back stories and reasons for taking on such a challenge, and each season for me has a couple of people who really stand out with some truly emotionally touching stories. Earlier seasons showed me Ehrem’s story and the season just gone showed me Mark and Milo’s stories. All dealing with grief, loss and a drive to prove themselves in honour of their lost family members.

Obviously as the world is very social media driven I jumped on the bandwagon to follow both Mark and Milo on Instagram. Only to find out their relationship has continued after the show and they are embarking on a Charity Climb of Mont Blanc in July with Ollie Ollerton. All in the name of “StrongMen”. Which got me thinking, who are they?


StrongMen

StrongMen is a non-profit organisation set up by several Ex-Recruits and a D.S. from the show. Their mission, to tackle Mental Health issues caused by bereavement and suffering in men. Offering weekend retreats for Men aged 18-55 who have suffered a bereavement of a family member.

With grief and loss being one of the main causes to depression, stress and other such mental health issues the team at StrongMen have set up retreats to focus on several aspects of life; from diet, to exercise, to leisure activities – all with the goal of helping men open up and talk about their emotions and problems. Even if you are not effected by such things I strongly urge you to check out, look into this group and support the team at StrongMen.


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Mental Health is an ever-growing concern in this modern world, as it becomes more widely recognised and accepted. There is still a stigma behind Men and their diagnoses but with the help of organisations like StrongMen we can move away from that stigma and make it socially acceptable to be worry free and open to discuss what is really going on in our mind.

Men can still be the strong characters they always have been, but there is also no shame or harm in being open about what is going on inside your head. Especially if it results in help.

 

 


With all of this new and fresh in my mind it’s really made me take a step back to evaluate my own personal mental health. The up’s, the downs and the vague patches in the middle. Evaluating my own thoughts and well-being has been on the forefront of a lot of discussions recently. Growing as a blogger I have had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with several Mental Health bloggers for both Men and Women and this has helped me dramatically change my opinion on the topic for the better.

IMG_20180121_224107_636I suffered a bereavement nearly four years ago now, where I lost my Mother. I was 24. It was the start of the summer and I was sat in a beer garden in Northampton with some friends. Just a standard evening of drinks after work to unwind. When I got a phone call. My sisters number, but it was my Dad on the phone. He broke the news to me that she had passed away. Regardless of my relationship with her it was still a shock and worse of all I couldn’t do anything to fix it. I couldn’t even drive the 70 mile trip home there and then because I was in a beer garden. Though I have always be a strong-minded character I think that deep down I have never properly grieved. I just took a deep breath and got on with making sure my sister was ok and putting my Mothers affairs in order as I organised a funeral. (My Parents were Divorced as this point, so power of the estate was in my hands).

I’d never thought about this as a contributing factor to my Mental Health before, but with life getting busier, Adulthood creeping in and responsibilities racking up that tower of Life begins to wobble and lean a bit from time to time. Maybe throwing “Money worries” “Frustration at work” and a dash of “Road Rage” into a pot on top of a ungrevied significant moment in my life isn’t a great move – but then on the flip side maybe I am at ease with it all and how I dealt with it was perfectly rational and understandable during that time in my life.


It is a serious discussion we should be having and with the help of organisations like StrongMen I truly believe that discussion will be taking place more frequently.

As much as I am no professional, I like to think I am a supportive guy who will help anyone, with that in mind – if you want to talk, open up or even just have the knowledge and thought that someone is there. Here I am. Don’t be shy.

I will always be there for you all.

Finding your Mojo.

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Like many other bloggers that I know, the New year, New me piece is good – everyone likes a fresh start but Christmas seems to have wiped the Mojo from us. We are lost in a world of writer’s block and no rhythm.

It’s only day 10 of the brand new year and I have put a few posts out but I feel they are lacking in hype, in true content, engagement and fun. I am not sure why – they were posts that I enjoyed writing and covered topics that I love. But still I feel they lacked something.

Even this post might fizzle out and be some lackluster ball on waffle, I mean who knows anymore. It’s not as if I can offer some groundbreaking words of wisdom to help people get out of the similar rut I am in. This is more of just a cry for help. What can I do to shake this feeling? To engage more? And continue this journey to become the very best . . that no one ever was . . . wait that’s the Pokémon theme song. Sorry.

I’m sure I will find my feet again and get back into the swing of things, I am going to focus on a lot of film stuff, reviews and such this year. With a couple of Life posts coming up, updates on the house and what I am up too. Maybe they will churn me back into the Blogging blender and help me out. Help me find that Mojo that have vanished. If anyone can offer some solid advice to help me get my mojo back I would be forever appreciative of you and your words.

 


Puberty Challenge

 

Also for your entertainment I took part in the Puberty Challenge. You might have seen this on my Instagram. Let’s be honest I’ve glowed up haven’t I.

Though I do miss a time when I had hair. Look at that mullet mop top thing. Just wow.

 

 

Take it easy you beautiful people, if anyone can help me with my rut please leave a comment below. Mwah.

Golden Globes – The Review.

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Award season has truly got under way and last night Beverly Hills hosted the Golden Globes, an award set to praise and recognise talent in both Film & Television. With this in mind it means the Oscars are about 6 weeks away. The only difference really is who decides the winners. The Globes are chosen by the Press office and the Oscars picked by the Academy of Motion Picture, Art and Science.

The Golden Globes don’t have as many categories compared to the Oscars but it hosts the major ones such as; Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Actor & Actress in both Drama and Musical / Comedy, Best Screenplay, Original Song, Director and many more.


I am going to breakdown a handful of categories and give some feedback on what I think about the selection and the outcome. Please note as much as I am a film buff / geek. There are films mentioned that I have not seen. Which I will try not to let affect my feedback.


Best Motion Picture – Drama. 

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Great start to this, having only seen 3 of the 5 nominated films. I have not seen BlacKKKlansman or If Beale Street Could Talk. Which is a shame. I really wanted to catch BlacKKKlansman and felt it might have been a hidden gem. Which I guess it was. Beale Street I have never heard of so best go find a copy of that. Now the ones I know, As much as I am a BIG MCU fan (What me? Who knew?), I didn’t rate Black Panther as highly as the critics or other fans. It’s a good film but in the running with these I feel like it’s out of its depth.

Now to the big two; A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody. I loved them both. Even reviewing BoRap which can be found HERE – shamefully I never reviewed A Star is Born which I regret now. Both of these were amazing films and I am happy to see either or win. Though I think deep down A Star is Born deserved the win a tiny bit more, I am not mad at the choice.

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Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama. 

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Across the board I rate all of these Actresses bar Melissa McCarthy. Her brand of comedy and style really annoys me. But that aside the film she is Nominated for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” looks good. Being a true story drama piece it might change my mind of her.

In honesty I have only seen Lady Gaga’s performance, which was breathtaking, so I am slightly disheartened that she did not win. But knowing how talented the competition was I can imagine Close’s performance must have been off the chain and I bet this award is well deserved.

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Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. 

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I wanted to controversially mention this category as an excuse to air some feelings I have. Which I KNOW will be met with some heat, anger and disapproval. But here we go.

Lin-Manuel Miranda. I don’t know what it is but I don’t like how hyped he is, how you are expected to like and appreciate this man out of nowhere. Don’t get me wrong the Moana music was good and I really want to watch Hamilton, but I just feel like he is overrated and I am almost forced to like him for some unknown reason. It might be me subconsciously wanting to not like him because he is the next big thing all of a sudden. Who knows I can’t put my finger one it – Sorry. Rant over.

The category – I am very excited to see both Stan & Ollie and Vice. But all four of the remaining men are brilliant performers in their own right. So I can imagine this one was a tough call. Also I thought Redford was retiring? Maybe I missed something.


  Other Awards.

Rami Malek took the Best Actor (Drama) from Bradley Cooper with his Freddie Mercury portrayal. Which well done – but Cooper was phenomenal. Though the Oscars are on their way Bradders. The same goes for Best Director – as a debut film Cooper nailed it in my eyes but lost it to Alfonso Cuaron who I had to google to see what else he had done . . . not sure I can agree after looking at this IMDB page but what do I know compared to the LA Press.

Olivia Colman took Best Actresses in Musical or Comedy (not sure about this title) for The Favourite which must be well deserved, I have always rated for as an actress.

Richard Madden won for the Bodyguard in Best TV Drama Actor and Sandra Oh won the Actress version for Killing Eve (which I keep meaning to start). Rachel Brosnahan grabbed Best Comedy Actress for The Marvelous Mrs Maisel – which if you have not seen I beg you to go home tonight and start. I love it.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swung into the top spot for Best Animated Motion Picture (seeing it tomorrow night). Everyone I know that has seen it has urged me to go – saying it’s the best thing ever. The Americans picked up Best TV Drama and The Kominsky Method took Best TV Comedy.

Lastly I want to mention Best Original Song – Shallow from A Star is Born, which won this hands down. And too bloody right. It was the 22nd most downloaded single of 2018 – which to say it only came out in October shows how much it took the world by storm. I can’t not listen to it when it’s on. It’s beautiful.

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Next stop BAFTA’s and then the big boys, the Oscars! The nominations are released at the end of the month where I will do a post placing my bets . . . while maybe placing a bet or two.

What do you think to the Golden Globe results? Do you think someone missed out or was robbed? Like I said I am in mixed emotions, feeling bad for A Star is Born but happy for Bohemian Rhapsody. But let’s see what happens next.