Mermaid Hair

Mermaid Hair: 5 Of The Best Instagram Accounts To Follow

Once upon a time I had neon pink hair. And I loved it. A sharp contradiction to my now auburn locks, the neon pink literally glowed as I walked down the High Street and make me look both incredible and like a five foot ten giant highlighter. I kept the colour for around two months, eventually growing tired of the upkeep and resorting back to my kind-of-ginger-kind-of-brown look that has stayed with me for the last six years or so.

However, I always crave mermaid hair. I want green and blues hues. I want to go grey. I want to be lilac and turquoise and platinum all in one… And yet I know I’d get bored, complain about the cost or end up having an at-home disaster and going bald.

So to cure my cravings and give me some inspiration for a potential “yolo” moment in the future (I just said “yolo” in 2016- someone shoot me) I’ve taken to following loads of coloured hair Instagram accounts and living through them.

Below I’ve listed five of my favourites but I’ve been known to spend hours scrolling through the #DyedGirls hashtag on Instagram and liking literally everything. If you’ve got a favourite account that’ll give me ultimate hair goals, let me know in the comments below.

@BabeHairspo

 

@CharlotteJonsie

 

@TheHairChronicles_

 

@DyedGirls

@trishabickhart

A post shared by DyedGirls (@dyedgirls) on

 

@MultiColorHair

Yay or Nay??😍 @caitlinfordhair

A post shared by HAIR SQUAD (@hairsquad) on

 

Most of these accounts are accumulations of the best hair on the net, which is fine by me and provide me hours of scrolling pleasure. BRB, I feel a trip to Boots coming on!

PS/ Don’t forget to follow The Navigation on Instagram.

Asset image by InTheFrow.

Here’s What It Really Feels Like To Have A Panic Attack In Your Sleep

Until earlier this year, my experience with brutal panic attacks always took place in daylight. The chest pain, the rush, the sickness robbing me of joy and plummeting my world into darkness. The heart beating fast, the feeling it was all about to end and the hot tears burning through my fragile skin as I stood in a queue, prepared to do a presentation at University or simply sat on the sofa scrolling through Instagram.

The story I’m about to write is personal so please, don’t consider this as some sort of essay on how to cope with sleeping panic attacks or compare your experience to mine, mental health is probably the most individual illness in the world.

My experiences probably started around January- a promotion in late 2015 saw me ecstatic but the confidence crisis soon hit and I worried I was doing everything wrong. However, despite that passing and quite literal proof that I make a rather good Senior Editor, the anxiety hasn’t shifted. Despite 40mg of citalopram and every relaxation technique in the book, the nightmares and the evening panic attacks still haunt me and I have no idea why.

The first time I recall it happening I was confused… I still am as I clock up another one on practically a nightly basis. I woke up in a pool of sweat, my heart feeling like it was going to burst out of my body, the sound of my blood pumping in my veins echoing around the room. I’d woken up from a nightmare, one which I couldn’t quite recall but which I knew probably related to something close to home to cause a panic attack so strong and so eager to force through my body that the deepest of sleep couldn’t fight it.

I wasn’t surprised, of course. Like I mentioned above, I had a million things on my mind including new ideas for articles, the emails I had to answer, whether my boyfriend minded that I’d put on weight again recently (of course he bloody doesn’t) and how many years it would be until S Club Juniors reformed. After that one time, I carried on as normal until it happened again several nights later. And again. I realised it was the nightmares that were clearly seeping so hard into my soul that my body was so desperate to escape that it rattled inside me until it came out in the form of a panic attack.

I headed to see my doctor who upped my citalopram by a further 10mg. Four weeks passed and I started to dread sleep time. It’s a well known fact that I’m an absolute granny when it comes to sleep, ideally being in bed by 8:30pm with Candy Crush and/or Netflix for company; this aided my struggle to understand just why I was having such horrific nightmares and having full blown panic attacks at all hours of the morning. I tried every relaxation technique in the book- long baths with a copy of Grazia, cutting down on sugar, herbal tablets, sleep sprays… And the rest. But nothing.

Then came the strongest one. The one that I genuinely, more than ever, thought I was going to die from. The one that ripped me of my breath and had the power to make me doubt my own sanity. After weeks of ups and downs, weird dreams and nightmares about killings, rape, heartbreak and terrorism, this one broke me. What happened next stole me for an entire weekend, left me trapped in my bed for the entire period in the lowest low and made me lose who I was.

I was alone that coming weekend, my boyfriend renovating the home we’re putting up for sale. Weekends alone usually mean chatting to my housemates, coffee in bed, mooching around East London alone and catching up on YouTube videos. I wasn’t nervous or sad. I was happy to spend the weekend with myself.

The week at work had been unremarkable- neither painfully busy nor exhilaratingly carefree, it had just simply passed in a series of meetings, emails, content writing and laughter. That Friday night had been much the same- home, hair up, bra off, something in the oven for tea and Whatever Was On telly. Sleep was looming. I called my boyfriend and laughed and smiled and said “I bloody love you” and that was that.

Then it took hold. I woke at 3:13am. My mind screaming “stop, stop, stop” over and over like a train chugging along the tracks with no idea where it was going. My arms stung. My legs felt like bricks. I couldn’t breath. My heart spun and leaped and ached and fizzed as my mind marched through every single thought on the entire planet whilst also begging itself to slow. My tears, my skin, my blood… Everything felt hotter, more vivid, more capable of making me lose control over everything ever and it was all my fault.

And then it slowed. And calmed. And I reached for my phone to check the time. I saw my boyfriend’s face in the dark, the image of him on my phone reminding me that he was there and I was here and we existed together and nothing in the world had changed in the past few hours as I slept. A terrorist attack hadn’t happened killing my loved ones. I hadn’t fallen down a never-ending well. My boyfriend hadn’t left me nor died. The scenarios which haunt me in the night hadn’t happened. And as my breath slowed, I realised I was starting to believe myself. Within seconds, my eyelids stung from sheer exhaustion and I was asleep again ready to wake up at 6am and scroll through the Daily Mail Side Bar Of Shame as I did most weekend mornings.

But that weekend, the sheer weight of the panic attack and the hurt and the exhaustion left me mentally scarred. It was a beautiful warm spring day but my mind wouldn’t allow me to put on a dress and head out for a cappuccino. I was too fat. I was too ugly. Bad things would happen if I left my house. The bags under my eyes would be seen and horrify old women, young children and scare the tube driver so much he would crash and it would be my fault. The thoughts didn’t stop, not even as I pulled myself out of bed at 5pm on a Saturday for a hot bath. The thoughts didn’t stop as I sobbed to my mum nor as I tried to lose myself in YouTube beauty tutorials. The thoughts didn’t stop as I flicked through old photographs of the boyfriend and I on holiday nor did they stop when I told myself this was bullshit.

The following Monday I went to work. And life moved on. I’m at a point now where the citalopram is no doubt working and I’m experiencing a panic attack in my sleep around once every seven nights, although the weird dreams and nightmares still wake me several times. My next step is to see a specialist, one which my doctor has refered me to in order to try and return to my regular pattern of sleep and own my Granny title once more.

I wanted to write this because, in all honesty, the sleep anxiety situation has felt very lonely. I’ve had trouble explaining the fact that I can be perfectly fine during the day and even as I drift off but I’m haunted by anxiety which shows itself at the cruellest time of day. I’ll be continuing to write about anxiety on The Navigation- my top tips on soothing it, my experiences, the lessons I’ve learned and the surprising benefits (trust me, there are some) – so please stay tuned.

If you’re reading this and struggling, please seek help. If you or someone else you know needs immediate help, please dial 999.

 

Just A List Of 57 Fucking Amazing Women

Following on from my piece about my favourite female journalists, I’ve begun to realise just how much of my adulthood has been dictated by women I’ve never even met, women who have shaped my views and even made a life-changing impact on my life without them ever really realising.

Twitter is an absolute hive for this- that goes without saying. The fact that 140 characters by someone like Grace Dent or Caroline Hirons or Mariah bloody Carey can make me feel empowered, comforted, confident or just plain silly is actually pretty special.

So what else could be better than making a list of these women and linking you up to their Twitter accounts? From pure comedy to mental health chat, these women are out-of-this-world fucking brilliant and your Twitter feed will be a better place for it.

Thanks.

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Who are your favourite women on Twitter and why? Let me know. Oh and if you want to follow me, I’m @HollieAnneB

27 Things I Can’t Do Despite 27 Years On This Actual Planet

When I was 24 and in the weeks just before, I panicked hard. Looking back, I was having a rather self-indulgent quarter life crisis. By the time my mother was 24, she was married and about to give birth to her first and only child. I was just finishing up University at 24, living with my boyfriend and covering my eyes when watching One Born Every Minute. Despite my life being pretty decent at 24, I still panicked I wasn’t doing good enough for my age.

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Over time, I’ve grown out of the comparison thing (not entirely, of course) and I recently celebrated turning 27 by being proud of everything I’ve accomplished including managing to keep a relationship on the go for nine years and knowing every single word to Gangnam Style. I’ve done a lot in my life so far but I recently begun thinking about all the stuff I presumed I’d be able to do but haven’t quite mastered.

If this post helps you feel like you’ve got your shit together more than I have then my work here is done.

  1. I can’t balance a cheque. And you know what? I have no fucking idea what it means.
  2. I can’t keep a plant alive. I’ve currently got a magical crystal in my pot plant on my desk in the hope the astronomy Gods will resurrect it or something.
  3. Speaking of Gods, I can’t make my mind up about my religion and go between not caring to wanting to find a great church to wondering if there’s a reason the Hare Krishna’s are so happy and what their secret is.
  4. I can’t blow my nose. OK, I can but I hate it more than anything else on the planet. It feels horrible.
  5. Don’t get me started on fake tanning without getting orange hands and dry patches.
  6. Speaking of grooming, I don’t do that regular hair cut thing because I’d rather buy bagels and mascaras than spend £60 every six weeks.
  7. Open tins properly. I just stab until the beans/peaches/Smart Price vegetable curry kind of leaks out.
  8. Understand people who love Family Guy. I know this is like admitting some sort of heinous crime but I don’t get that show at all.
  9. Sit still. I’ve already sent three texts, downloaded Lemonade and applied a hair mask whilst writing this sentence.
  10. Throw stuff away. I’m getting there but then I remember I’ve put my denim shirt in the bag for charity and get it back out and weep with both sadness for said shirt that it had to endure being in a bin liner in the cupboard for three weeks and for the fact I am a horrible person who basically takes away from charity.
  11. Cross a dog without thinking it’s my best friend and wants to be spoken to like a baby.
  12. Go a day without crying at something posted in Cool Dog Group on Facebook.
  13. Speaking of Facebook, I can’t stop using it. I know it’s cool not to but I like uploading a picture of my peri-peri chips in Nandos every week.
  14. I can’t fully, 100% make my mind up about whether I really do want children or not. The boyfriend doesn’t want any more, I am happy to go with this. But is anyone ever 100% sure?
  15. Put the loo roll back on the dispenser. I mean, I’m sure I could but I’m one of those annoying people who doesn’t and for this I apologise to everyone who has ever lived with me.
  16. Watch horror movies. Or anything beyond a Disney movie or Mean Girls, to be honest.
  17. Walk in heels. I don’t care if flatforms and Birkenstocks are ugly, I have flat ass feet and you’re going to have to deal with it.
  18. I can’t even…
  19. I can’t leave Boots/Superdrug/Space NK without an arm full of swatches. But that’s probably no surprise.
  20. I can’t ride a bike. I think. I haven’t tried in years and the thought of riding a bike in London terrifies me.
  21. Speaking of London, I can’t really work out the Northern Line. Luckily, I hardly ever have to use it.
  22. Sing. I know I can’t and yet it doesn’t stop me.
  23. Dance. See above.
  24. Twerk. Are you getting the picture?
  25. I can’t tell the difference between Mary Kate and Ashley. I just know one is married to a much older man thus we are basically soul mates.
  26. Go a day without calling my mum. Several times. Most of the time just to sing to her or tell her about how the new lipstick I’m wearing is basically a life changer.
  27. Finally, I can’t drive. Never taken a lesson. Got too excited when I sat behind the wheel of my boyfriend’s car and pressed the horn so much we nearly got kicked out the car park.

So there you have it. This isn’t a negative list or to point out all my flaws, just a list of all that silly stuff that makes up the nuances of adulthood but that absolutely doesn’t matter.

PS/ Seriously, the blowing my nose thing freaks me the fuck out.

My Favourite Female Journalists

When I was a young teen, I wanted to be Jo Elvin. It was more than the desire to be the editor of a women’s magazine, it was about her fun tone in her editor’s letter ever month and that sharp short haircut that I could never pull off thanks to having seriously chubby cheeks.

As my career progressed, I found myself working in digital which isn’t especially surprising considering the dial-up tone still brings me out in a hot flush. I still have a desire to see my work in print and have all my old cuttings, but nothing beats the thrill of instant feedback online.

Another advantage to digital journalism and social media is the ability to discover new writers and being able to spend hours reading their entire back catalogue. Below I’ve listed seven of my favourite female journalists, most of whom I discovered via social media and went on to practically stalk their work.

female journalists

The women I’m featuring are all funny feminists and have written work which still makes an impact on my day-to-day life, whether in book form or a silly feature which still makes me laugh despite it being published several months ago (a lifetime in Internet world)

Robyn Wilder: I reckon I discovered Robyn back in 2011 when she wrote for the incredible Domestic Sluttery (RIP). Since then, Robyn has gone on to write for every publication I’ve ever admired including Buzzfeed and Elle. Most recently, Robyn was announced as the parenting columnist for The Pool and I’ve already laughed until I cried despite not having nor wanting children.

Daisy Buchanan: Oh this one! What is there to say? I discovered this energetic, charming, slightly manic woman when we were both working on a project for Beamly. By the time we first met for cake and tea before a photoshoot, I’d become so enamoured with her prose that I felt bloody nervous. Several parties and many cocktails have ensued since and I still do a very loud woop when I see her scribblings on modern day feminism, mental health and relationships. Naturally, Daisy is the agony aunt for Grazia so be sure to check it out. 

sali hughes

Sali Hughes: I’d always take in Sali’s beauty expertise with respect- she’s always felt like someone advising and not preaching, someone who values the healing properties of a make-up bag but who wouldn’t scold you (too much) for using face wipes. Then I read her story, her struggles and her triumphs and it read like the most exciting, exhilarating, terrifying plot for a film. Sali simply gets beauty– not just the aesthetic but the soul reviving nourishment it gives.

Polly Vernon: An old friend and I used to obsess over our love of Polly together, pouring over her Grazia columns and practically reciting parts of Hot Feminist. As much as the friendship itself has changed, my love for Polly Vernon remains the same. If you’re the type of woman who loves the idea of being lusted over but also believes women should be equal in every sense (basically, feminism without any sort of judgement) then Polly is the woman for you.

Stevie Martin: I remember reading Stevie’s pieces on Go Think Big and thinking how cool it must be to have a name like Stevie. After laughing my way through her articles on internships and crap jobs, I was chuffed when Stevie made the move over to The Debrief; it was there that Stevie’s laugh-out-loud take on beauty (complete with fails and all) really won her a place in my heart. Now freelance, expect to see this talent young lady’s work everywhere!

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Rosie Green: I’ll be writing an ode to Red magazine very soon but one of the main reasons I love the mag is Rosie’s column. Do we have anything in common? Not quite- she’s a married mum with a better wardrobe and figure than I’ll ever have but something about her monthly anecdotes with AM never fails to make me smile and nod in agreement… Which is surely the sign of a great writer?

Bryony Gordon: AKA The Life Changer. Sure, I’d always really looked forward to reading another piece of Bryony’s work but it wasn’t until I read her book, The Wrong Knickers, that I realised that we were rather similar. Like Bryony, I’ve struggled with mental health in various forms and was incredibly reckless and unstable in my younger years. I managed to maintain a relationship and work/university but my life was always blighted by episodes of mania. After I read The Wrong Knickers I knew I had to make a decision to really help myself, to acknowledge the shopping addiction and the binge eating and the manipulative behaviour. With hard work, I’m now stable in every single sense of the word and I thank Bryony’s book and articles for changing the way I view myself and my mental health.

Who are your favourite writers? Leave your recommendations below.

On Saving Money…

About eight weeks ago my boyfriend sat me down in bed and explained that he was about to change my life, to open my eyes up to a whole new world and to give me something I’ve never had before… A savings account.

My relationship with money has been progressively getting better since my University days where my student loan would be gone in the first two weeks and I’d be begging my parents for printer credits and glue sticks for the rest of the term. Even when I left University and bagged my first job in digital marketing, Friday night cocktails and daily Pret porridge were still my priority over saving for the future.

A colleague once worked out I was spending roughly £60 a month just on breakfast and even then I did a shrug and felt a strange sense of accomplishment.

Like a lot of women my age, I didn’t have a grasp on the importance of money and preferred to see it hanging in my wardrobe than racking up in an ISA. And to some extent, that’s still very true. But I’m slowly learning that eating jelly cubes and stale bread for dinner for the last four days of the month isn’t worth the LBD hanging up in my wardrobe (you know, the one that looks identical to the rest)

So when my boyfriend worked out every penny I’d spent over a two month period, I came to a startling realisation- I don’t spend as much on clothes as I thought I did but I do get loose and wild with my card in the pub on a Friday night. And all those weekday Wagas and Nandos with friends? They add up to the cost of a Smeg fridge very quickly.

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My Starbucks “treat” certainly wasn’t a treat when it was an almost three figure sum over eight weeks and the “odd”Chinese take-out was costing me more than three new Mac lipsticks- and I know what gives me more satisfaction!

Of course, all wasn’t lost and it didn’t mean I’d have to stop eating out, stop that much-needed glass of wine or hand in my membership card for the Official Space NK Addicts Club… It just meant I had to reconsider my priorities, which seems perfectly normal for some people but for someone who spent 20-odd years of her life believing money actually did grow on trees somewhere, it wasn’t a hard thing to hear.

So why now? As well as living in the most expensive city in the world, the boyfriend and I are intending to buy a flat in London in the next twelve months which is both terrifying and exciting. On one hand, I’ll get a balcony to blog from but on the other we’ll be paying a silly sum for a tiny one bed flat in zone two.

I don’t want to make the wild claim that I am a fully changed woman because my savings account has 8p in it right now. But I do have a bigger sense of awareness and I’ve realised what’s important to me and what isn’t. For example, I refuse to give up on my £3 avocado and poached egg on toast every morning from the work canteen but I can live without Netflix, yet another pair of cheap flats from Primark and mid-week £2.50 cupcakes. I have absolutely seen a noticeable change in my bank balance, although I’ll still be eating cereal for dinner towards the end of the month.

Here are my top three tips for saving money without skimping on the important stuff:

  • Coffee: Daily Starbucks? Or a habit for an afternoon caffeine hit? See if you can get it cheaper elsewhere- a cappuncino from my work canteen costs me half as much as a Costa one and tastes just as good. Or better still, swap caffeine for water. I know it sounds dull but a pint of cold water often gives me the same energy hit as an espresso.
  • Shop Your Stash: It’s not a blogger chliche for no reason, shopping your current wardrobe/beauty collection more often than not unearths some absolutely gems you’d totally forgotten about. That floral dress you bought two summers ago? Give it an iron (shock horror) and update it with new accessories. And if you’re a palette addict like me, dust them off and embrace your old love for the original Naked shadows… Without spending a penny!
  • Grocery Shopping: I’m really bad for getting off the tube and dashing into Sainsbury’s for a quick dinner but it had its advantages- not only do I often land bargain bin beauties but I take advantage of when my favourite meal staples are on offer (trust me, I went wild when the jars of red pesto were on offer for 75p). I also look out for offers on cereal bars and the like, they make sure I’m not tempted by the office bake sale in the afternoon!

Now I’ve reached that stage of awareness and I’m considering most all of my purchases, the next plan is to try and put away £100 per month. And who knows, I might save enough for that Mulberry purse I’ve got my eye on!

saving money

 

How do you save money? Or, like me, does a new Essie polish always jump into your Boots basket? Let me know in the comments below.