Thursday, 5 November 2020

7th Blog Birthday & Positivity Giveaway


"Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday my little blog, Happy birthday to you"  Wahoo, Crystal Sparkly Dreams is now 7 years old today!!

And to celebrate, as always, it's time for a giveaway :-)

I recently stumbled on this great new website Soul Analyse that has the most beautiful selection of jewellery that is all inscribed with positive affirmations!  Such as 'You are enough' and 'You've got this'.  I decided straight away that I wanted the gorgeous silver 'I am strong' ring and I've been wearing it since it arrived several weeks ago.
I was so happy with the look and quality of the ring, that I thought it would make the perfect gift for a birthday giveaway and of course the winner will get to choose what inscription they would like.



As you guys know, mental health is something very important to me and to have an item like this that you can keep with you at all times with a positive, personal message on that you can read to yourself whenever you need a boost; I think is an amazing idea especially at the moment when we all need a little 'pick me up'.  So I hope you'll enjoy entering the giveaway and maybe winning one of these lovely rings for yourself or of course for a family member or friend to help cheer them up.

To enter, use the Rafflecoper widget below.  Please read all the T&Cs underneath and I can't wait to read your answers to my question.  Good luck :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rules:

    ♥    To be in with a chance of winning my 'Blog Birthday Positivity Giveaway', enter via the Rafflecopter widget

    ♥    Please make sure you leave your first name and email address or twitter name in the comments, so that I can contact you if you win

    ♥    There will be only one winner, picked at random

    ♥    This giveaway is open internationally

    ♥    You must complete all 3 mandatory entries before you can access any of the extra entry options

    ♥    This giveaway will run for 14 days from Thursday the 5th of November 2020 until Thursday the 19th of November 2020, 12.00am gmt

    ♥    Once the giveaway is over, I will contact the winner directly via email or Twitter, once the winner has been contacted they will have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be selected.  I will then send the winner all the options and choices of rings available so they can choose which one they would like, then purchase a ring for the winner from soulanalyse.com

Until next time, stay happy, thank you for entering and good luck 


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Friday, 4 September 2020

Your MIND Matters

Hi everyone, I'm sorry it's been a while since my last post but I have been busy working on a really big project, (yes the same project that I've been hinting at occasionally for about the last two and half years!)  Well that's because it is FINALLY happening :-D And I can't wait to tell you all about it in my next post.  So look out for that.  It's been a very long process, a lot of work (understatement) and I am SO excited to finally share it with you all.

But for today, we're going back to something else that's very important to me, mental health awareness.  In my last blog post I spoke about my experience talking to a counsellor and about some of the charities and organisations that offer further support. One of them being the charity MIND.

I first met with a counsellor from MIND many years ago when I was referred to them by my GP and I saw someone for about 8 weekly sessions. For me personally, I didn't feel it help at the time, as the person I saw literally just listened but didn't give any advice, which is what I needed and why at first, I was reluctant to see a counsellor again this time around. But it just goes to prove, you can't go by one bad experience!

So, I just assumed that was all MIND had to offer.  Little did I know that 9 years later, the charity had been completely reorganised and now offered a whole host of new ways to help!

After hearing about MIND from my counsellor and then researching a little more, I was amazed at the amount and various types of support, and events that they can now help with and I really wanted to tell you guys all about it.

They can help with everything from housing issues and jobs, to training scheme, therapy, befriending schemes and even offer support groups like arts and crafts, or groups with like-minded people that can share their issues.  As well as various online events and groups to cater for the current situation!

You also have the opportunity to give something back and help them, because of course they are a charity and can only keep going by donations and public support!  Why not help with campaigning, become a member or spend some of your spare time volunteering and use your own experiences helping others!

Because every little helps and we all need that little extra help sometimes, especially at the moment in these crazy times.

You can find more information and phone numbers for your local MIND charity on their website HERE

I hope this helps xx
Until next time, Stay Happy and Stay Safe

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Sunday, 26 July 2020

Mental Healing - Counselling


Hi everyone, firstly I just wanted to say a particular hello and thank you, to all my new subscribers, as there's been quite a few of you since my last post.  I'm very grateful and thank you for joining my little space on the internet :-)

Ok, on with the post (sorry it's a long one).
Just over two years ago, I went to see my GP to ask if I could see a counsellor.  I'd been going through a pretty rough time and was struggling to cope with everything that was going on in my life - little did I realise what was to come over the following year would be so much worse - but even so, I was in need of help.  So she put my name down on the waiting list.  I was told it could be a while (understatement), and while I was waiting I would be sent to see a mental health practitioner to start off the process.

About a year later, yes a year, I finally had an appointment come through to see the MH practitioner.  She was really nice, very easy to talk to and helped in many ways.  She explained that the few sessions I had with her would be a temporary measure until I was able to see the main counsellor but at least it was someone to confide in to begin with.  After discussing with her how I was struggling to cope with my health condition and the constant pain I'm always in, she put me on another waiting list to go to a Pain Management course, which I wrote all about here after going on the course last November/December.

Then finally in April this year, I had a letter arrive telling me to call to make an appointment with a counsellor.  When I called, the receptionist explained that due to the lockdown, all appointments would be over the phone for the foreseeable, which I was quite happy with, as it meant I could sit in comfort in my own home and not have the effort of going out (which I struggle with, with my health condition).  And so finally a few weeks later in May, after waiting for just over 2 years, I had the first of my appointments, that were to carry on for the following 8 weeks!  I was able to choose the day and time that suited me best too, which was sooo helpful and found that early evening was the best time to be able to talk.
I wanted to make sure that I made the most out of all the sessions, so during the time I'd been waiting to talk to her, I wrote lists and notes for everything that I wanted to discuss.  I planned to talk about one or two issues each session (as there were so many), so that I knew I'd covered everything.  And thankfully that plan turned out well.

Each week, I would go up to my room just before 6pm, get my notes out, my notebook and a packet of much-needed tissues and of course a bottle of water, and sit there ready with my mobile.  We talked through each problem and about how to either resolve them or cope with them better and by the end of each hour-long session, we'd spend 5 minutes at the end just calming down and she would check with me that I was ok and tell me to try and relax for the rest of the evening.


I also found it incredibly helpful to jot down notes as she was giving me advice and tips.  Because my memory is terrible and I knew over time I'd forget something important.  So to have those little notes there to always be able to refer to, is priceless.  I was also able to write down all the websites she gave me to look at and contact details for various helplines etc, for future reference, (some of which I'll leave below).

But after all that, I expect what you actually want to know is, did it help!?  And the simple answer is, yes 1000%.  I have been struggling with so many past issues and traumas that have been happening to me throughout my life as well as recently and still every day, and to be able to finally talk fully, completely openly and confidentially about everything with someone, was just what I needed.

As my counsellor told me, it doesn't always work for everyone, but there are so many different ways to help with depression, anxiety, PTSD etc.  Going to my GP, even though it was a long while ago, was the best decision I made.  It was the start of my healing process, the start of helping me feel like 'me' again!

After each session, I felt like a weight had been lifted.  Like I'd finally dealt with the issue and could put it safely in a drawer in my mind and move on.  Sure there will always be triggers for my issues, but I have coping methods now, I don't feel as mixed up anymore.
Before I started talking to my counsellor, I saw myself as a damaged, traumatised, depressed mess.  Confused, stressed, anxious and I just couldn't cope with life, I didn't want to and at times, even felt like I couldn't go on, life's struggles were just too much and too hard.

I still struggle, I'm not 'cured' but now I can finally see myself as a capable woman, who's stronger than I was before.  Who can deal with life better, calmer and I feel so much more focused and clearer in my mind.  I can see a way forward now instead of just feeling dragged down by my past and current problems.  Those that tried to help me, I used to ignore and push away because nothing made sense, I felt such a mess, I couldn't process anything.  But now I've been able to openly talk to the important people in my life and explain what was going on in my head, explain and apologies for letting them down or not being there when they needed me and to properly thank them for trying to help.  My mum for one, has always been there for me, no matter what.  A tower of love of strength, trying her best to help me.  At last now I feel I can be there better for her too.  And hopefully, it can only get better from here on out.


I've been told that if I do feel I need to talk to a counsellor again in the future, just to go back to my GP, but hopefully I won't need too, and there are loads of organisations that can help and be there for support along the way.
One of them is MIND, an amazing charity.  But I'm going to talk all about them in my next blog post, to coincide with a little giveaway I'm doing.

Another website my counsellor advised me to look at was - getselfhelp.com This website is AMAZING, absolutely full of problem solving tips, self help advice and mental exercises to help during panic attacks etc.  A very long list of various mental health issues and ways to help deal with them, as well as loads of general professional advice and so much more.  It would take a week or more to get through all the information that's on there but it's most definitely well worth looking at.  One of my favourite self help exercises is called 'Flipping the Thought Coin'.  Especially great for when you're feeling anxious about something particular.  Flip your thoughts, and try and think of the opposite feelings.  Instead of something terrible could happen, flip it to, what if it all goes well for instance.
There are loads of great tips like this, that I will be doing posts on in the coming months, so I really hope they help.

To finish off (at last), here's a list of contact details for various help centres and agencies.  If anyone would like to contact me for further help, please DM me on Twitter @DaniJ72 or message me on Instagram @crystalsparklydreams and I will get back to you.
C.A.L.L.Helpline - a free 24 hour helpline for Wales - 0800 123737.  Or text HELP to 81066 (I've spoken to someone a few times and they've been really helpful).
Parabl (North Wales only) 18 and over - 0300 7772257 - parabl.org
Staying Safe - Help for anyone who is considering suicide - stayingsafe.net and an app called Stay Alive available on Google Play.
Samaritans - 08457 909090 - samaritans.org
So until next time, Stay Safe and Stay Happy

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Monday, 11 May 2020

What to Binge Watch on Netflix


Hi everyone, Netflix has been a total saviour for me; on days when I'm feeling really ill, when I'm going through a rough patch of feeling really down or just when I manage to find 30 minutes to sit and need to relax!  There's a show for every need and every various mood I'm in.

So to start with just so that I don't repeat myself too much throughout this post.  I just want to put it out there that I am totally obsessed with all the shows I'm going to talk about, I absolutely love them!!
I have to start with my all time favourite, Stranger Things - If you haven't heard the hype about this show over the last few years, where have you been!  And more importantly, why are you not watched this already!?!  I'll admit the first episode verges on childish and seems more suited to the younger generation.  BUT, do not be fooled, this show is far from childlike and gets very intense - Season 2 episode 8!!  That's all I'm saying.  Definitely 100% give it a go if you haven't already.  You will thank me.


Another absolute favourite is The Umbrella Academy - Oh My Gosh what an amazing series, I cannot praise this enough!  So cool, So quirky and just awesome.  Season 1 has THE best final to any series I have ever watched, and that's saying something!  Also Claus, coolest character by far!


Chilling Adventures of Sabrina - Now this is kind of a 'marmite' show, you either like it, or you hate the idea of '90's kids show' Sabrina being turned into a dark Satan worshiper!  Personally, I think it's awesome and I absolutely love the revamp.  I enjoy the 'dark-side' references and the quirky characters.  If you're into anything remotely fantasy based with a fun twist, you'll probably going to like it.


YOU - Two words spring to mind straight away with this show; Sexy and Dangerous!!  I was fully enthralled right from the get go.  Joe's smouldering good looks, intellect and hopeful romantic intentions are enough to make you want to say 'I do' BUT, then there's the unfortunate sinister side of him, that he just can't help escaping.  It is very captivating, very steamy and VERY high on the shocks factor!!  I absolutely LOVE it.


Shadow Hunters - An ass-kicking fantasy with a brilliant, very good looking cast, very cool outfits and storylines that will keep you entertained for hours.  If you ever saw the amazing film Mortal Instruments (one of my favourites) or if you've read the books, you'll have a good idea what the series is based on.  I promise you, you will Not be disappointed!!


Sex Education - Yes it's rude and a little X rated, But it's also really funny and actually has a great storyline.  I've just finished season 2 and I already hope the next season will arrive soon.  Maybe not a show for the more reserved among us but it's a good laugh and relaxing to watch (if you're not easily embarrassed!)  And it has Gillian Anderson in (Scully from The X Files) I'm a fan :-D


The Colony - Set in the future, a wall divides the colonies while an alien race guides the government/army to keep their people in their place with strict rules and curfews.  It's very addictive, it stars Walking Dead's Sarah Wayne Callies, and is just very entertaining.  The only downside being, there are only two seasons and the follow up has not be released to the uk, boooo!!  But still worth watching I feel.


Insatiable - Ridiculously funny, outright shocking (I do love a good shock-factor) and at times, just plain crazy.  I love it!!  (Just to add, as a trigger warning, it does contain body image/food related issue) but it's dealt with a quite an amusing way, the main girl certainly has an interesting way of working out her issues!


Baby - If you're like me and you love to watch something with a bit of oomph and grit, this is for you.  I've been working my way through season 1 for the past week (now on season 2) and I can't get enough of it, totally obsessed!  Plus it has an awesome soundtrack!  I'm really excited to see where it goes.


Friends - An age-old classic that will fill you with every emotion, mostly happiness and laughter.  Need I say more!

I would love to tell you about more great shows but since I have 35, yes 35 on my list still to watch, I will definitely be updating this and doing a part two sometime in the future.
I hope you enjoyed this post.  Let me know in the comments if you already watch any of the shows I've mentioned, or if you start any after reading this, come back and tell me what you thought of it.

Until next time, Stay Happy

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Thursday, 9 April 2020

Music Therapy


Hi everyone, For a long while after going through a particularly bad 18 months of my life, I felt I just couldn't listen to music anymore.  I stopped listening to all my favourite songs and I stopped singing, both of which have always been a big passion and influence in my life.  but lately I tried again, I started with really old favourites that I knew would make me feel good and it worked!
That was about a month ago, and since then I've been able to really get back to listening to a lot of my absolute best songs and even singing again, which has actually felt so amazing!  I'm still working up to certain other songs that I know may trigger bad memories but I'll get there because I feel I'm on the right road.  But the best part is, I feel I have part of 'me' back, a part of my soul that was missing for a long time, and it's helped my mental health SO much!!

Yesterday my best friend Shelley tagged me in a facebook challenge, the 30 Day Song Challenge and me being me, completely obsessed with music and very passionate about SO many songs, I just had to turn it into a blog post, especially now that I have music back in my life again!

Also I haven't done a tag post in forever and to help beat the boredom at the moment, I thought it would be fun for you guys to join in and post your answers too, either in the comments or on your own social media pages, and get others to join in too.
I've also added a few more questions, because why the hell not and because there's just so many songs I love that needed to be mentioned.  Plus I couldn't help but add more than one song for some of the answers, I just couldn't decided because more than one song fitted the bill :-)

So finally, here is the tag -

1. Song you like with a colour in the title? Black & Gold by Sam Sparrow and Behind Blue Eyes by Limp Bizkit
2. Song you like with a number in the title? A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
 (so beautiful)
3. Song that reminds you of summertime? Replay by Iyaz (full on summer :-D)
4. Song that reminds you of someone you'd rather forget? Unfortunately there's several, mainly Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis
5. Song that needs to be played loud? Lost in the Echo by Linkin Park (Amazing track!!)
6. Song that makes you want to dance? On The Floor by Jennifer Lopez, 4 My People (the Basement Jaxx radio remix) by Missy Elliot, Blow by Ke$ha AND Please Don't Stop the Music by Rihanna (Love, love, love them) :-D
7. Song to drive to? (I don't drive but) Liberate by Eric Prydz (still sounds so cool when you're going down the motorway with the top down and the wind in your hair lol)
8. Song about drugs or alcohol? Happy Little Pill by Troye Sivan or Morphine by Michael Jackson
9. Song that makes you happy? Shut Up & Dance by Walk the Moon
:-D
10. Song that makes you sad? Sooo many but My Immortal by Evanescence
11. Song you never get tired of? Moondust by Jaymes Young (gorgeous!)
12. Song from your preteen years? This Ole House by Shakin Stevens
13. Song you like from the 70s? You've Got a Friend by Carole King
14. Song you'd love to be played at your wedding? Never Gonna Leave Your Side by Daniel Bedingfield or A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
15. Song you like sang by another artist? Cold Water sang by Hobbie Stuart (it's AMAZING!!)
16. Song that's a classic favourite? Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
:-D
17. Song you'd sing a duet with someone on karaoke? Time of my Life from Dirty Dancing
18. Song from the year you were born? Nope, not answering that one!
19. A song that makes you think about life? Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen by Baz Luhrmann (Brilliant track!)
20. Song that has many meanings? My December (live) by Linkin Park
♥♥
21. Song you like with a person's name in the title? Valery by Amy Winehouse
22. Song that moves you forward? Beautiful by Christina Aguilera
23. Song you think everybody should listen to? Take It All by Ruelle (amazing!) PLUS all the other songs I've mentioned that you don't already know!
24. Song by a band you wish were still together? Numb by Linkin Park
;-(
25. Song you like by an artist no longer living? Underground by David Bowie
26. Song that makes you want to fall in love? Insatiable by Darren Hayes AND All of Me by John Legend (Beautiful song)

27. Song that breaks your heart? Goodbye My Lover by James Blunt
28. Song by an artist who's voice you love? Lost by Michael Bublé (voice like melted chocolate
)
29. Song you remember from your childhood? Daddy's Home by Cliff Richard
30. Song that reminds you of yourself? Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve

15 Extra bonus questions, because, why not!
1. Song to relax to? Teardrop by Massive Attack or Children by Robert Miles
2. Song that makes you cry but you love? Goodbye to You by Michelle Branch (this version)
3. Song that reminds you of great times? Any 90s dance!!  I.e. You Sure Do by Strike or When I'm Good & Ready by Sybil, so so many!! :-D
4. Favourite song to sing to? Bring Me To Life or Imaginary both by Evanescence
5. Song that makes you smile? (Apart from 90s dance!) If I Lose Myself by One Republic

6. Song you listen to when you're angry? Wth>You, Figure 09, Qwerty or Victimized all by Linkin Park
7. Your least favourite song from a band you love? The Little Things that Give You Away by Linkin Park
8. Song you love that someone else introduced you to? Shatter Me By Lindsey Stirling & Lzzy Hale (thank you Shelley)
9. Song with the best beginning?  No More Sorrow by Linkin Park (Best beginning ever)
10. Favourite rap duet? Love the Way You Lie by Rihanna & Eminem, Airplanes by B.o.B and Hayley Williams and Champion by Chipmunk & Chris Brown
11. Song you can fall asleep to? MCXMC album by Enigma
12. Song that you think is just really cool?  Starboy by The Weekend (love it)
13. Your karaoke song? Warwick Avenue by Duffy
14. Old song you love that's your parents favourite? Heartbreaker by Free (it's awesome, in fact the whole album!)
15. Over-all song you love? Mr. Vain by Culture Beat :-D 


I have absolutely LOVED doing this tag because I've re-discovered so many songs that I love that I'd completely forgotten about and haven't listen to in so long.  I hope you give it a go, it will definitely make you smile and I think we could all do with that at the moment.  Plus I highly recommend having a listen to all the tracks I've mentioned, because they're ace :-D

So until next time, Stay Happy and Stay Safe

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