Not A Typical Teenager: September 2016

Thursday, 29 September 2016

20 Ways To Be Happier

Positivity quotes are all around us. People constantly telling us to "smile" and that "you can't be sad, you don't have any real issues". So I'm going to give you some tips as to how you can cheer yourself up in both the short term and the long term, because happy is both a state of mind and a series of lifestyle choices :

1) Get the right amount of sleep

2)Be healthy - Diets are short term, a change in lifestyle is easier to maintain

3) Have some 'me' time

4) Spend time with the people who make you happy

5) Rid yourself of toxic people and friendships

6) Keep your living area clean and tidy. Dedicate 10 minutes a day to tidying

7) Exercise

8) Stop procrastinating! You will feel so much better in the evening if you have done something productive with your day.

9) Try something new

10) Spend some time outside

11) Set yourself small goals. You'll feel great when you achieve them.

12) Start a project.

13) Spend less time on social media - if you find it easier to come off social media completely for a while, then you can do that too.

14) Live in the present

15) Allow yourself to feel your negative emotions - just don't let them consume you.

16) Buy yourself something you have wanted for a while. It doesn't have to be a big thing, it can be something like a CD.

17) Do something selfless e.g. buy some food for the food bank

18) Remember that you are the most important person in your life

19) Listen to more music that gives you shivers down your spine. This changes for each individual, and my list went up on Thursday. To read that, click here

20) Be yourself. Don't change for other people.

I hope this list helps a little, and if you have any further tips to add, feel free to leave them in the comments.

I made sure not to say "don't do things that make you unhappy", because sometimes that can be unavoidable, but just remember that the sooner you do them, the better.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Songs That Give Me Frissons

Frissons has the dictionary definition of "a sudden strong feeling of excitement or fear; a thrill." However, I have recently heard that this song can be applied to listening to music.

I don't know whether this is something everyone experiences, but I'm going to try my best to explain it. Musical frissons is when you listen to a song or piece of music and it gives you goose bumps or makes you hair stand on end. It can be because the beat is really good or the lyrics mean something to you, it doesn't matter how. I had experienced this lots but I didn't quite know how to describe it until I read about frissons.

The thing that fascinates me is that every person who experiences frissons experiences them to different songs, and that is amazing to me for some reason. So I thought today, I would share what songs I find give me frissons:

1) 17 Crimes - AFI

2) Blank Space - Taylor Swift

3) Every Time We Touch - Cascada

4) Cool For The Summer - Demi Lovato

5) Love Me Like You Do - Ellie Goulding

6) Freckles and Constellations - Dodie Clark (her YouTube is here)

7) Hands To Myself - Selena Gomez

8) Heart by Heart - Demi Lovato

9) When You Love Someone - James TW

10) Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall

11) Let Her Go - Passenger

12) Lie to Make Me Like You - Maisie Peters (look her up on YouTube here)

13) Misery Business - Paramore

14) Riptide - cover by Vitamin String Quartet

15) Stitches - Shawn Mendes

16) Sick of Losing Soulmates - Dodie Clark

17) Some You Win - Nina Nesbitt

18) Closer - The Chainsmokers

19) Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran

20) Toothpaste Kisses - The Maccabees

21) City of Blinding Lights - U2

22) Waiting - Jamie Campbell Bower

23) The Hardest Part - Nina Nesbitt

Let me know in the comments if you listen to any of these songs and experience the same thing, and tell me what songs give you frissons.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Am I The Right Kind Of Feminist?

Feminism is something that is all over the internet nowadays. Everyone wants to be standing for the right things and I think feminism gets a bad wrap. I think too many people think it's a group of women who want women to be better than men. This is not true. If you google the definition of feminism, google will give you the following definition:

"the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes."

Do not be mistaken. Feminism is not about believing men have it all and only women's rights need to be changed. I believe that there are issues which men face that need to be addressed and fixed. Feminism is about everyone being equal regardless of gender, and if we want to do that, we need to make sure that we don't exclude men from the conversation.
However, because feminism is a rife topic on practically every social media platform, I see lots of conflicting opinions that make me wonder if I am the right kind of feminist. I'm not sure if feminism is as for men as it is for women. I hear many women say "I believe in equality, but I don't believe in feminism," and that makes me wonder if I am a feminist, because I believe in the equality of the sexes too, but if there are people who believe in equality who don't identify as feminists, then what is feminism?

And then, I hear that even if I am a feminist, I have to pick which type of feminist I am. There's radical feminism, social feminism, liberal feminism, cultural feminism, intersectional feminism and probably more that I haven't yet come across. I thought that identifying as a feminist was enough, but there are so many people shouting over each other about what feminism really is that we aren't really making much progress.

So what is the solution? I don't really know. I think we need all feminists to be on the same page and work with each other. Maybe we should be focusing on equality of people regardless of everything rather than have all of these individual movements for different minorities? I don't know, let me know your opinion in the comments.

Thanks for reading

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Ctrl Alt Delete By Emma Gannon - A Review

I recently watched a video where Hannah Witton interviewed Emma Gannon about her new book (view video here). After watching this video, my heart was set on reading this book, and I was super excited to go out and buy it.

The next day I was in Cardiff and I visited the two biggest book shops (Waterstones and WHSmiths) which had both sold out of this particular book. I got back on the train and went home to visit the library to see if it was there, and surprisingly it was there. I snatched the copy up and took it straight home to read.

This book is fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I was pretty upset when it ended because it had finished. Emma talks about growing up online and the way it changes how we communicate. She talks about how older generations view the online world and the evolution of social media.

It was a good read for someone my age because things like MSN were still going strong by the time I was 9/10. The social media networks Emma has grown up on aren't too different from my own. She also talks about relationships online and how the way we meet new people both for romantic reasons or just for friendship is changing. She talks about the validity of online friendships, and how even if you never meet them, that doesn't make them any less real.

There were a few points in this book where I was reading and thinking that the short anecdotes Emma was sharing were fiction because they were so embarrassing and were making me cringe; but I think that's what makes this book so great. Emma shares her experience so openly that you have to laugh at the embarrassment.

Another chapter that I really enjoyed was the chapter about feminism. I'm not going to ruin the all of the chapter, but she highlights how difficult it is to be the "right kind of feminist" and how nobody really knows which way is the right way to approach solving inequality.

I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of 13. I think it's a good read for both boys and girls, because the experiences Emma has aren't exclusive to girls. Boys experience similar sorts of things and it shows the reality of growing up in an age where everyone is always connected.

To end my post I would like to say thank you to Emma. Thank you for acknowledging that it's not easy growing up in a world where everything you say or do is evaluated by everyone online. Thank you for sharing your experiences, because it lets us know that we aren't alone (and for me, that any online humiliation I have experienced, you have experienced worse). Finally, thank you for reminding me that I have a voice, and that my voice is just as strong as anyone else's.

If you would like to buy the book, you can click here.

What do you think of my review? Does it sound like a book that would interest you? Will you be reading it? Do you think it's good for us to share our online experiences? Let me know in the comments.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx