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Lockdown

Hey everybody, firstly, I’d like to apologise for the fact that I’ve not written on here for many months. My blog means a lot to me and I’m not sure why I’ve not written on it. I guess I’ve just overlooked it because of recent events – I’m very sorry. But I’m back and I’m going to try my best to keep my blog up-to-date while I have very little on my plate.

My lifestyle was very hectic and heavy before the Coronavirus pandemic made its way to the UK. I was working for 16 hours a week, I was at school for about 35 hours a week, I was learning to drive and I was training for a marathon all while I was revising for my A-Levels so I could go to university and live my dream.

Although it was expected, I remember the moment that truly changed my life. I was out on a driving lesson until 5:30PM and was expecting an announcement from the UK government at 5PM. When I returned home from my lesson, my life had truly changed. The government had decided to close all UK schools on the following Friday for the ‘foreseeable future’. They had also decided to cancel this years exams for GCSE and A-Level students. It was the cancellation of exams which truly hurt. I wasn’t going to be able to show off everything that I had learnt during to course and I wasn’t going to be able get the grades that I knew I was capable of. My whole future was up in the air and I had no idea what the next steps were. I understood the decisions made since the virus was getting out of control and we needed to keep people safe but I couldn’t help but feel completely lost and like I had wasted 2 years of my life studying for something that would no longer be.

The next 2 days at school were honestly the hardest days I had had at school in a long time. I had no idea if that was it or if I’d be returning to school before the end of the school year and I still don’t know. I want to go back because I want to be able to say goodbye to all the people who have had a huge impact on my life between 2013 and today. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do that.

Things got harder when I got a phone call from work Friday evening who told me that we would be closing for at least 2 weeks but possibly longer and I was not to go in the following day. In the space of 48 hours I had lost the two things that kept me busy and sane. I went from working 7 days a week to 0 and found myself twiddling my thumbs all day everyday.

With the first week of the lockdown over, I have been able to get into a little bit of a routine and keep my head above water. I’ve spoken to many of my friends and looked out for their sanity as well as my own. I’ve been reading a lot more and I’ve been trying to continue with my courses so I have something to do. It hasn’t been easy and I imagine that it’s not been any easier for the rest of the country too. We can get through this.

Things will get easier. We just have to follow the guidelines set by the people in charge to stay safe. My hearts go out to everyone suffering from the illness, those who have lost loved ones and those who are finding it difficult to cope. We can do this and we will do this.


Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response too deep to define.

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Don’t let mental health be your brick wall.

Have you ever felt like mental health is causing you some sort of block in life? Almost as if there is some sort of physical wall in your place which stops you from making any progress in life? It’s like there’s a barrier which you have to break down before you can do much more with your life. I call this my brick wall.

The mental health brick wall

To help raise awareness, The Mental Health Champions at school have helped to create a version of this brick wall with positive messages to suggest that the wall can be a positive message and to not let is bog you down. The wall is covered in positive vibes created by students helping to indicate that there is more to life than negativity. There is little need to feel alone or afraid because there are others who are feeling similar.

Secondary school is one of the worst places with regards to mental health. Students are expected to be hard workers and are placed under an awful lot of stress which many of them find very difficult to cope with. There are expectations to be a certain kind of person which can be difficult for students of a young age. There is a lot of stress regarding exams and being a person which you are simply not.

It is crucial to ones mental health that they express and love themselves because once you can get to the stage of loving yourself for who you are, you are capable of doing anything. If you spend your teenage years believing and acting like you are something that you’re not, you will spend your whole life thinking you’re stupid because you’re different. Students should be encouraged to express themselves and be the different that they are instead of being treated like every other person in the school.

The competition winner!

The Mental Health Champions at my school are dedicated to ensuring that students are aware of the support that is around them. It is their job to help students to understand that they aren’t alone and that their differences are recognised and encouraged. While we understand that there is more behind mental health that meets the eye, we do our best to help people understand our purpose and the reasons we do what we do.

Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response too deep to put into words.

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Opportunities

I will be leaving sixth form in roughly a year and when I do so, I will need to pray that I have enough opportunities open to me for me to make a decision with what I wish to do with my life. Luckily, at this moment in time, I have enough open to me to be able to make that decision now. However, I’m not in that boat right now. Even if I was, I’m not sure I would wish to make that decision. It’s not something that would be easy to think about nor would it be practical. However, in a year’s time, I might feel differently (well, I’m going to have to).

I will be leaving sixth form in roughly a year and when I do so, I will need to pray that I have enough opportunities open to me for me to make a decision with what I wish to do with my life. Luckily, at this moment in time, I have enough open to me to be able to make that decision now. However, I’m not in that boat right now. Even if I was, I’m not sure I would wish to make that decision. It’s not something that would be easy to think about nor would it be practical. However, in a year’s time, I might feel differently (well, I’m going to have to).

The next life stage

I have wanted to go to university for many years, it’s been a dream for me. I have considered myself to be a responsible and mature young person who very much looks forward to living on their own and having that little extra freedom in life. I have been looking forward to it for a while but now I’m not so sure.

I have done 2 university visits so far and I have been widely disappointed. I visited Brighton university (which if you know me well, you will be aware that I have wanted to live in Brighton since I was young) and I hated it. The university was appalling. I was actually recommended by a student to look at a different university for the course I wished to study. The building(s) were also very difficult to navigate and didn’t make much sense at all. I was very upset to the point where I left after just an hour.

Since the visits, I have been considering my options and I’m very lucky to have other options. I can go full time at work, go to university, take on a journalism apprenticeship, take a gap year or work full time on this blog. I mean, the point is that I have lots of ideas and I love the idea of doing any of them the same amount.

I guess, the point I’m trying to make is that I have all these opportunities and I would love to do any of them but there are none in particular which really stick out and scream at me. There is nothing that I want to do more than anything else and from time to time, that bogs me down. However, I shouldn’t be bogged down by it, I’m so lucky to have all these things open to me. Some people aren’t so lucky.

What would you do?

What is the next stage in your life? Maybe, you’re in the same boat as me where you don’t know what to do with yourself after school. Maybe, you’ve just had your last GCSE exam and you’re not sure what you’re doing after summer.

No matter what you’re doing, it’s really important to enjoy it. Even if there are some days where you hate it, make the most of it. If you can make it more fun and enjoyable, you will create more happiness for yourself in the role that you end up in.

Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response too deep to put into words.

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Life

Life is important. We will all live a very different life which varies in length, quality and excitement. We have no idea how long we will live for. This is a factor that I believe we cannot control indefinitely. However, we can ensure our quality of life. We can do small things like smiling on and keeping positive when times aren’t great.

Anyway, this got me thinking. How would we treat life if we were given a timer at birth? How differently would we act if we were told our death date to begin with? Would you live everyday to the fullest or would you remain in the lifestyle you’re in? I like to think that I live 90% of my days to the fullest. I mean, most of them I spend at school or work but around them, I am able to embrace life and do things that make me happy and improve my quality of life.

I want to know how you treat life? Do you think that if you were told your death date you would live any differently? do you think that you have the best quality of life that you can make? I wonder. I view life as very important and fun and I try to make as much fun out of it as I possibly can. Sometimes I have those dark days (which are okay) and other days I feel like relaxing (again, okay) but outside of those days, I live life to the fullest. I am healthy, I enjoy it and most importantly, I have fun.

Put it this way: if you had 60 seconds to live? what memories would pass you by? Could you fill those 60 seconds? Would you have to pick the most special ones? Or, do you not have enough to fill that time? No matter what your answer is, would you be proud to see what passes by? If your answer is no, how can you improve and change that? I believe that I have enough memories to fill that space. At the end of every year, I will review my highlights. Everything that I posted on social media in the last year or every memory that I have a photo of or can remember, I repost to show myself that I am proud of what I have achieved.

I guess that what I’m trying to say is that life is important and short. Thousands of people have said it before and I want to reinforce their message. Make the most of life and when those 60 seconds come along, make sure that there is plenty for you to watch, you’d rather not have enough time to think than be staring at a blank screen for a while.

Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response too deep for words.

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Anxiety – A short film.

Some of you might already know that I decided to take film studies as an A-Level back in September. I absolutely LOVE the subject. It links really well with my other two subjects and it’s really interesting. I love the films that we study and I find amazing how you can analyse the filmmaker’s intentions and spot what they are trying to do through the use of the core film elements. Anywho, I’m rambling on. Let’s get to the point:

Basically, for my coursework I have to write a screenplay for a short film (4-5) minutes and it needs to be 1600-1800 words. Easy. Now, we are told by the exam board to do 80 minutes worth of research for short films. Essentially, we need to watch short films totalling in 80 minutes. Great. We’ve watched a few and we’ve completed the research and analysed nearly all the films. We were advised to do our own research on top to help us understand the construction of short films. I decided to do a little bit of my own and I’ve come across a few that have really impacted me.

This film is called ‘Anxiety’ – it’s all about a girl who sufferes from bad anxiety (shock) and she has difficulty with doing little things (such as going out with friends.) Now the interesting thing about this film is that her anxiety is represented through another character. This character is also the girl who is suffering from anxiety but she is represented differently. The girl who is a symbol of anxiety is dressed darkly, wears dark lipstick and only ever wears one outfit. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is probably because she is meant to be some sort of ghost which only the protagonist can see.

I really like how clearly the two characters are represented. I love how it’s the same characters yet, two different personalities. It really helps to explain how difficult anxiety can be for someone and how we are able to deal with it. How, eventually we can just get up and tell our anxiety to do one. It has a positive ending and tells the audience that it’s okay to be anxious and we are able to get through it at some part. No matter how difficult it can get.

I believe that I relate really well with this character. Sometimes I really suffer with my anxiety and others I can put my fists up and fight. The point is that, no matter how you’re feeling, you can get through it and this film helps to show that.

If you wish to watch it and see what I’m talking about, I’ve embedded it below:

Please note that I don’t own this film. All credits go to the creator ‘Michael Smigel’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRqR4mOC4gc

Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response too deep to put into words.

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Happy Birthday!

As many of you might already know, It was my birthday on Friday and I turned 17. Most of the time, my birthday isn’t much of a big deal. I don’t like making it a big deal because I don’t really see why people should treat me differently on one day when they could be nice everyday but I understand why. Anyway, People made a bigger deal out of it than they usually do this year and it was kind of nice. I didn’t do much with my family but that was completely understandable. We don’t do much. However, lots of my friends, people I know from school and work we very kind about it. Lots of them wished me a happy birthday and I guess it made me feel somewhat appreciated. It was nice.

So, to you all, I’d like to say thank you. Any of you who were so kind to wish me a happy birthday, thank you. You’re all so kind and are very good at making me feel special.

Many people would suggest that a birthday is a day where people celebrate the date of someone’s birth and their ability to have made it this far in life (if you like). However, some people see it differently. I mean, I see it partly of the suggested definition but I also see it as a reason to celebrate a person themselves. I mean, there is one day out of 365 where you are allowed to be a little bit selfish and they day s a bout you. It is your own holiday if you like. I know that I said I don’t see why you should be nice to someone for just one day but there are arguments for and against. However you choose to celebrate is entirely up to you. Maybe you don’t celebrate. Either way, happy birthday and have a great day no matter what it is that you do!

Specifically, I’d like to say a huge thank you to (again) my girlfriend and best friend. You both got me some awesome prezzies and did something that is hard to do with me; make me feel special. I feel really loved and appreciated when a person is able to do that because it shows that they have put effort into knowing you as a person instead of being someone in the crowd. – La La Land reference for you there 😉

Anyway, If one of your friends or family members has a birthday coming up soon, be sure to make them feel special. It’s great for their mental health – trust me!

Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response too deep to put into words.

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I, Louie Salmon

Haha, if you’ve seen the film, you’ll understand what I did there. If not, don’t worry I’m going to explain.

So, I am an A-Level media studies student and I’ve been studying the media for the last 3 or so years but only recently at A-Level. Anyway, most recently we have been studying about the affects of advertising on the audience and we were comparing the way that the film “I, Daniel Blake” was advertised to other films. It was really interesting but also very sad. The posters for I, Daniel Blake were very depressing where all the others were quite uplifting. The colour scheme of the posters were clearly showing how depressing the working system is in the UK. Anyway, the film is all about a man who suffered from a heart attack which means he is now unfit for work. However, the department of workplace have deemed him fit and requested that he goes out and looks for work. In the end, it overwhelms him so much eventually causing him another heart attack. This one kills him.

Its is a very sad film which has a horrible ending but it shows how the system in this country is so corrupt that it is literally killing people. It’s so sad in the sense that a lovely, man like Daniel was killed as a result of working too hard. During the film, we go through life with Daniel. We learn how difficult it gets for him and how he is desperate to go to work but his heart condition is holding him back. We learn that the dept of workplace don’t accept this and request for him to commit 35 hours a week looking for work. They also freeze his payments.

As we follow the story of Daniel, the audience is forced to side with him. At least, this is usually what the director intends. However, the audience are given a choice here and most of the time they decide to side with Daniel due to the fact that they are aware of the injustice in this system. It really is heart warming to know how many people stand in solidarity with Daniels character.

When the film was being promoted and released, it started off very small. In fact the production company were very small and the budget for the film reflected this. The budget was just £3.5 million but the film made $12.45 million worldwide despite the film being made not-for-profit. The film was made purely to raise awareness to those who don’t understand what is going on behind the scenes.

Original, it was aimed at a niche audience because there are not many people in this country who are able to relate to his story. However, the film became very popular and helped to raise awareness to those who really didn’t understand what was going on. This was great for those who are suffering just like Daniel.

Anyway, I’m blabbering on a little. The point that I’m attempting to make is that there is too much injustice in this country and there need to be more people in this country that need to sort that out. There shouldn’t have to be more stories like Daniels but unfortunately statistically 90 pass away in the first week after being told that they are fit to work. This needs to decrease. Dramatically.

#iamdanelblake #wearealldanielblake

Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response too deep to put into words.

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1,000 Blog Views

Hello,

Roughly a week ago, the blog hit its first milestone. We hit 1,000 views. For me, this was insane. When I set out to create this blog, I had no intention to make money off of it or for it to be popular. All I wanted was to get my message out there about how important life is. Now, this may seem like this isn’t the point of the blog but trust me… I’m getting there. I’m just… testing the waters shall we say.

Anyway, I will be doing a proper post tonight, this was just a quick message to say thank you so much to all of you who have followed or even viewed the blog. It means a lot to me. Please continue to share around and view. The more popular the blog becomes, the more people my message about life will reach.

Thank in advance,

Louie

Yugen – An emotional response about the world too deep for words.

My Next Chapter

Hi Strangers! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Life has been a little bit hectic, emotional and busy these last few weeks. For those of you who have been living under a rock for the last 6 weeks, I’ve finally been able to move into my own house in Northampton where I will be starting university in late September. I moved in successfully at the start of July and I have spent my time here getting settled in, making some new friends and seeing lots of new places. So far, I’ve really enjoyed it and I’m glad that I decided to make the move earlier than most other first year students.

We’ve become interior designers and made some homely improvements

A lot has happened since we last spoke, I’ve met some wonderful people and I have been introduced to many more. I’m very glad that I have as I’m starting to feel a lot more like Northampton is my home. Although I’ve made some new friends, I’ve sadly lost a few of my OG’s. It upset me to begin with but I’ve come to understand that this is what happens when you move to a new chapter in your life. People move on and they decide who they do and don’t want in their life. That’s okay. Things didn’t end in the best of ways for any of us but again, that’s okay. We have to move forward and keep our heads held high.

More home improvements

In other news, I have been working incredibly hard on the book and I have had meetings with publishers who have been leading me down the correct patch of what to do next – more information to follow.

My new chapter has had a little bit of a shaky start and has taken its toll on my mental health a couple of times but I’m glad that I’ve been strong enough to lift myself up and be grateful for the little things in life. I cannot stress how important it is to be thankful for those things. Yes, you might have had an argument with your partner this morning but wasn’t it great to drive to work with no traffic today? Or you might have lost a friend like I did but aren’t you so pleased that someone else has walked into your life who wants to make awesome memories with you? Be thankful for those little things because there will always be one!

Be thankful for those little things because there will always be one!

I’m also incredibly thankful for all the time that I’ve been gifted as a result of the ongoing pandemic and my recent move. As a student who is currently on break, time is a massive gift and it is one that I have learnt to never take for granted especially when it comes to people.

So yes, things have been a little bit shaken over here but they’ve been overall positive and I’m so so glad that I’m here. I’ve been waiting for this chapter for what feels like an eternity and I am finally here. Let’s do this.

Yuen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response too complex for definition.

Gratitudes

Recently, I’ve been working on my gratitudes in life. I’ve spent more time than normal thinking about what I’m grateful for and reflecting on my day as a way of appreciating the little things in life and being thankful for what life has brought me. It’s never really something I’ve thought about doing. Occasionally, I would jot down my feelings and talk about how they’ve made me feel but I’ve never really thought about focusing on the things that I’m most grateful for. I can honestly say that it has made me feel a whole lot better about myself and I’m glad that I’ve encouraged myself to stick to it.

The idea was first recommended to me by one of my amazing team members. They suggested waking up every morning and writing 3 things that I was grateful for and more recently, I’ve been expanding on them and talking about how they have made me feel. The idea is that it allows me to perceive recent events differently, it creates longer-lasting memories and it’s a great way to reflect and be proud of myself!

Once I’ve written my gratitudes down and talked about how they made me feel, I stick them up in the corner of my mirror so I can read them and be reminded of them every time I walk past. It means that they aren’t being ignored and they’re constantly reminding me to feel good and congratulate myself on small successes. They really have allowed me to be easier on myself and they’ve discouraged me from overthinking.

This is something that I’ve been doing for about 3 weeks now and I can honestly say that it’s working. It’s become a habit in my daily routine to pick up a pen and a piece of paper and write down a few things that I’m grateful and thankful for. It takes a few minutes out of my day and adds in hours of feeling good. The gratitudes don’t only act as things that I’m thankful for but they’re also about making me realise that I’m proud of myself because I was successful the day before and I will be successful today.

It’s a really simple and really effective way to cheer yourself up and encourage yourself to go something good today. Try it, when you wake up tomorrow, write down 3 things that you did today that you are grateful for and that you are proud of yourself for doing. Or, let me know in the comments below. What have you done today to make you feel proud? : )

Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response too complex for definition.

Yugen Emotion X Spreadshirt

It’s finally here! After months of hard work, compromise and constant no’s, we have finally been able to successfully find and work with a merchandise supplier. Spreadshirt is now Yugen Emotion’s official merchandise supplier and we are looking forward to working with them.

This news is fantastic and it means that Yugen Emotion has finally been able to take a step further into the online world. The idea of the merchandise is not only to spread the word of our blog and the purpose for its function but it also allows us to raise money for future projects. The money earned from the merchandise will be stored separately and allow us to fund any future projects which we decide to host.

We have 134 items available in our spreadshirt store meaning that you will never run out of items to order! We have everything from T-Shirts to mugs and I am so incredibly excited to share it all with you. Items are avaliable here:

https://www.spreadshirt.co.uk/user/Yugen+Emotion

20% off your order will be available upon request to myself in the comments section and I will be happy to supply you with a code! Hurry, I only have a select amount of vouchers available.

Words cannot describe how grateful and excited I am about all this. We are finally being given the opportunity to share our brand with the world and allow more people to find out about our mental health message.

Anything you can purchase from our store would be gravely appreciated. All proceeds will be used for future projects which we have lined up and will allow us to be one step closer to ensuring that no one feels alone in this world. Especially in these uncertain times.

Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response too complex for definition.

How to deal with your brain asking 20 questions a second

So recently, i’ve come to realise that there are times where I simply think too much. These times can seriously scare me and prevent me from doing simple things and things that make me happy. I’ll often think about going for a run and I’ll just sit on the sofa and think about the 100s of things that could go wrong. It didn’t take me long to realise just how unhealthy this is but it has taken me way too much time to figure out how to shift it and stop.

I put myself through hell when this happens, I really beat myself about the situation and it often ends with me not going anywhere or doing anything and I’ve got myself stuck in a situation where I can’t help but feel okay with that.

I’ve been really struggling in isolation, I’m on my own for 90% of the time, I’m having little contact with any other human beings (when I see someone else, I’m 2 metres apart at all times; don’t panic). I’m having little interest in doing anything and I’m really struggling to motivate myself. It’s been hard and since it got so hard, I applied for more counselling and I’ve been able to get some despite the recent events. I’ve reluctantly accepted the offer and I’ve decided that my mental health is my priority at all times.

I feel like a lot of my other-thinking stems from the sheer amount of pressure I put on myself on a day-to-day basis. I’m only 18 years old and before the lockdown this was what I was doing with my time:

  1. School for 35 hours per week with additional responsibilities including being the head boy and letting students into the school when they’re early.
  2. Revising for exams once I got home.
  3. Working part-time at H&M for 16 hours per week. This meant that I was doing something 7 days a week and got very little time to myself.
  4. Training to run the London Marathon in memory of my aunty
  5. Learning to drive
  6. Preparing for university
  7. Part-Time blogger

While all these things fulfilled my life with meaning, they added a lot of strain and meant that I barely got any time to myself despite enjoying everything I was doing. I could hardly relax and when I was given the opportunity to do so, I felt bad for not doing anything in the above list. It drove me crazy. If I wasn’t revising, I felt like I was failing even when I was suffering from tonsillitis. When this occurred, I was signed off of work for 5 days and I felt terrible for leaving my team without help. I also felt terrible for not revising for exams when I was ill. This was all so unhealthy and this is when my over-thinking hit what I thought would be a final peak. I was dramatically wrong. I believe that over-thinking when I was ill was the reason my recovery was so prolonged. I was unwell for weeks.

When I said that I was dramatically wrong, I meant it. Since being in lockdown, I’ve been sick to the pit of my stomach about everything I’ve done. While being in lockdown I’ve already over-stressed about the following:

  1. Will I be able to go back to work?
  2. Can I still go to university?
  3. Is my student finance application going to be processed?
  4. Can I move into my house when I want to?
  5. Where’s my money coming from?
  6. What’s going to happen to my future clients?
  7. How am I going to be able to keep my mental health in order?
  8. Where am I going to go if I need help?
  9. Am I going to get the grades that I deserve?

I mean, these are just a few examples of the things I’ve been struggling to come to terms with. While there are easily many more, I shan’t bore you. Despite all my worries, concerns and thoughts, I thought it would be a clever idea to start up 2 online businesses (more information to follow). This has just added to my stresses and while I’ve been distracted, I still feel like such a failure.

I hate feeling this way which is why I’ve decided to ask for help. Even though this is probably the most difficult and embarrassing thing for me to write about, I want you to know that it’s okay to talk about these things and it is definitely okay to ask someone for help. Whether you ask a friend or a professional, getting help is okay.

Take care, things will improve and get better.

Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response too complex for definition.

Here’s to Two Years!

Can you believe that 2 years ago to the month, I set up this blog. I remember starting it to simply get the message out of there about mental health and help people understand that they are not on their own. However, over the last 12 months, it has become much more than that.

Here’s just a few things we have achieved while the blog has been alive:

  1. Working closely with Mind and the Stress Less campaign.
    • I first met some representatives from Mind in early 2019 when they visited my school for a mental health event. Since then, They have been so kind to give social media attention to the blog.
    • I was also honoured to be able to attend their Stress Less conference in June 2019 where we learned more about what mental health charities in Peterborough are doing to support young people.
  2. We reached 6.8 thousand readers
    • It is with great honour and appreciation to announce that we have been able to reach almost 7,000 during the Yugen Emotion journey. Each and every single one of you have had a profound impact on the future of the blog and I really hope to share a long and happy future with you all!
  3. We set up Videography services and are planning something huge!
    • Videography is something that I have always been passionate about and I am pleased to announce that we are now running Yugen Videography services for Wedding, conferences and events. We also have something huge coming up which I’m sure you’ll all love. More to come on that soon.
  4. We had a massive re-brand
    • Thanks to one the amazing people I work with, we were able to team up and create an amazing new logo, new image and new website and doesn’t it look modern?!

While these might only be small victories, they are victories nonetheless. We have achieved some incredible things over the last few years and so far, the mission to get the message about mental health is slowly becoming a reality.

We have written over 100 blog posts which you have all loved and enjoyed and we hope to release 100s more in the coming months.

One of the things I have learnt in this journey is to not forget the purpose. It’s so easy (too easy) to forget about mental health and it’s even easier to forget to talk. Don’t forget about those who mean a lot in your life. Chances are, they’re struggling and all they need is a text message to know that there is someone there that they can talk to.

Right now, it is more important than ever before to talk to one another and support each other in ensuring that we aren’t lonely, bored or anxious. While we can’t see each other in person, we are lucky enough to live in a world which has amazing technology allowing us to be closer than ever to those who are far away. So, pick up the phone and get in touch with that person who’s recently slipped through the cracks. They might need to talk.

I hope you are all keeping well and safe during these difficult times. Things will get easier, one way or another. Please stay at home.

Take care and thank you!

Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotion response too complex for definition.


Are you okay?

“Are you okay?”

“Not really.”

*No reply*


“Are you okay”

“Not really.”

“Well i’m here if you wanna talk.”

“I would love to actually”

*No reply*


“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

“Great, now let’s talk about that really stressful thing that you hate talking about.”

Brilliant.


These are real conversations (If you’re can call them that) that I’ve had with people in the last year and believe me when I say that they’re not the nicest positions to be in. It’s horrible if I’m perfectly honest with you. It can sometimes feel like you aren’t worth someones time which can feel dreadful. But you have to remain strong and push on. Sometimes you can’t and that’s okay. Sometimes you have to reach out for support but you discover that there’s a 3 hour waiting period to speak to the only person who’s volunteering that night. It’s reasons like these that people begin to feel like shit about themselves.

I was reading something on FaceBook recently and it asked why when someone has broken their leg, we all go to sign the cast but when someone becomes depressed, we all turn away and pretend not to see? I understand that sometimes it’s not that simple but nine times out of ten, that’s how it feels. It’s amazing how people react when you mention mental health. It’s not the 20th century anymore, we’re not crazy, just need a little help.

I can’t stress how important it is to check up on those who have meaning in your life. The words: ‘Are you okay?’ are so meaningful yet so overlooked (as above). If you’re not sure about someone’s response then prompt them to say more. Expand on their comment. make conversation and make them feel valued. If they don’t wish to speak straight away, talk about something else and then maybe they’ll open up.

Now, that’s advice for the concerned friend. Now, for the concerning friend, you’ve gotta meet them halfway. You can’t expect someone to read your feelings like they’ve been written out in front of them. If you’re going to play hard to get then don’t expect someone to be easy with you. It’s okay to not be okay but talk to someone, it really can help.

Don’t be one of those conversations above. If it’s not a good time to talk then don’t iniciate a conversation or tell the person that’s spoken you that you’ll speak later. Just make you that you do.don’t make fake promises.

Yugen – An emotional thought about the universe which is too complex to put into words.

My weekend away

Hello reader, I hope you had a fantastic September. As you might have realised, I took September off and didn’t make any posts. I have decided that this will be a recurring event. This is because I’m a student and, for students, September is a very stressful time of year. I hope you can respect this.

So, I just spent the weekend away from home in Northampton with my friends who live in Northampton. I had an amazing time because I haven’t seen them for what feels like forever but also because I was able to experience student life to a degree.

For those of you who don’t know, after seeing the university in June, I have had my heart set and I am so excited to get going. Not only do I love the subject I am set to study (Media Studies) but I also love the city and the people.

For the sake of my mental health, I took a three-day weekend and it was the best thing I did. Although we didn’t have mental nights out or do the most exciting things in the city, we had fun doing the little things like playing overcooked 2 until 2 am (oops) and having a fantastic time in the city by going shopping and having a cute cup of coffee.

Sometimes, doing the simple things like these in life is really important. While it’s great fun to go to a theme park or go to the cinema, it’s more beneficial to go somewhere, have fun and talk. Like I’ve said before, talking is crucial to breaking the stigma surrounding mental health and once you can get it out, it feels so good.

If either of you are reading this, thanks again for the fantastic weekend. I had so so much fun and it was very good for my mental health. I’m looking forward to spending more time with you when I move in summer.

I felt like I had walked confidently away from my problems and I was able to relax without worrying about them. It was great. However, when I returned to Peterborough, those problems returned. I immediately felt stressed and lonely.

What I learnt from this experience is that I am more ready for the next stage of my life than I originally thought. I need to get away from Peterborough and move away for good. I need to start my new chapter in life and enjoy it as much as I can.

Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response too complex for definition

My (not so positive) experience with driving

For those of you who don’t know, I have always wanted to learn how to drive from a very young age because I was obsessed with the idea of freedom and being further away from home than ‘in town’ where I was in control. My seventeenth birthday hit back in March and I was ready to get straight on the road. I booked 30 hours of lessons with a company which let me down drastically. They were unable to pair me with an instructor so I found a different company who let me down worse.

“I was shaking and feeling sick for most of the day.”

I was finally given my first lesson on the 1st April. I met my instructor and I already had a bad feeling about it. She barely spoke and got angry at me very easily. I was with her for 2 hours on this day and I hated every minute of it. I enjoyed learning but I disliked the environment. My instructor was very basic with her instructions and was quick to complain when I got it wrong. She made me feel very anxious and uncomfortable. This was just in the first 2 hours.

After this lesson, I was already anxious for the next one. Luckily, I was on easter break so I could distract myself easily but I was shaking and feeling sick for most of the day. I met my instructor (who never once took her sunglasses off in the 6 hours of lessons I had with her)and the lesson was horrible again. I stalled a couple of times and this made her quite angry. She would tell me that I would ‘never understand at this rate’ and even went as far to discuss my lessons with other students. I discovered this through a mutual friend who told her that I ‘wasn’t the best student she ever had’. I thought this was extremely unprofessional of her.

The third lesson was by far the worst. I woke up at 6am feeling extremely anxious despite not having a lesson until 2pm. She shouted at me for stalling the car and I held back the tears the rest of the way home. I think she noticed that she had upset with me as she told me that she needed to be ‘tough’ otherwise I wouldn’t learn. While I understand that this is true, I believe the way that she did so was very unfair.

I was very anxious for my next lesson so I decided to stop learning with her. I sent her a long message apologising and thanking her for her time to which she simply replied “ok”.

I have never met someone that has made me feel so incapable and dreadful about myself in such a short amount of time. It was the worst thing I ever did in terms of my anxiety and the thought of starting to learn again is very scary for me.

I have only just been able to re-build the courage to talk about this today. However, I’ve been wanting to write about it for a significantly long time. I believe it would be unfair of me to name the company or instructor and I have the entire truth to the best of my knowledge

I’m glad to say that I have now re-gained the confidence I need and I will be back on the road early September. I have informed my new instructor of my history with my anxiety and she is willing to work with me. I’m nervous but excited.

If you’re learning to drive and you feel uncomfertable with your instructor, it’s okay to stop or switch. You need to do what’s right for you otherwise you won’t learn anything. Driving is stressful enough without worrying about who’s teaching you.

Yugen – A thought about the universe which triggers an emotional response too complex for definition.

Meet Miller

Some of you might know that I enjoy running. I enjoy it so much that I wrote about it and explained how it helped me with my mental health. Running is extremely important to me since it gives me the opportunity to be and feel free. I have even gone to the extent of signing up for the 2020 London Marathon. While I haven’t heard back yet, I’m keeping hopeful. Anyway, this post isn’t about me, it’s about my friend Kamile.

Kamile is a part of my inspiration. She is one of the kindest and purest people I have met in a while and her reasoning behind being an inspiration is because of her ability to run. Kamile suffers from Rod cone dystrophy, left hyperopia, nystagmus, hypoplastic optic nerve and gross foveal abnormality. Which means that she is partially blind. Unfortunately, it won’t get any better. In fact, it will get worse which means that over time, Kamile’s sight will deteriorate. However, this doesn’t stop her from being amazing. Kamile has a confirmed space in the 2020 London Marathon. She will be running for the Royal National Institution for the Blind (The RNIB).

What I find so amazing about Kamile’s story is he fact that she is using her illness to do good things in this world. She is raising money to help those who suffer similarly to her. She isn’t doing this for herself. She is doing it to benefit other people despite suffering herself. I think that’s extremely amazing. Take a look at what Kamile has to say:

“Ever since I was 3 years old I have struggled with my eyesight, constant doctors appointments, full days of tests and still don’t really know what’s going on. It’s been something that is difficult to deal with and have to live with. Recently I have found out that I will go blind in the near future. So, I took it upon myself to do something which I can be proud of and that is to run the London marathon by myself and raise money for the RNIB which is an amazing charity helping people like me. So if you can please donate even if it is a pound or two. Thank you”

If you can spare a pound or two, please consider donating it to Kamile’s amazing journey. She really deserves to run but won’t be able to if she can’t raise the £2,000. Please donate here:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=KamileRackauskaite&pageUrl=1