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Photo by Andrew Le on Unsplash

As a kid, you always loved the holidays, and you loved waking up knowing school was at least 3 weeks away. As an adult, that idea seems to flip on its head. Who knew that an unstructured and indefinite period of time could tear you down so much?

Adulthood seems to have a new definition these days. With such a shift in technology and the cultural conscience, over a very short period of about 20 years, those just emerging into adulthood these days have no idea who or what they are. We remember those days when we’d run around outside…


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Photo by Danylo Suprun on Unsplash

I can’t speak for everyone, of course, but I know that burnout tends to creep up on me. I try to throw myself into something new — maybe a big project for work, maybe a new hobby, maybe just a bit of writing I’m excited about — and soon enough, I feel completely done with the entire pursuit!

I wonder where the stress, and the boredom, comes from. I wonder why I didn’t see it coming. I wonder why I keep making this same mistake. You’d think I’d learn after all these years of reaching that breaking point.

But it…


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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I decided not to go to university. When I was 10 years old, I thought it was something that was expected of me. I was a bright kid, who had good grades and plenty of teacher praise, and a lot of people in my life were gearing me up to see the academic path all the way through.

My older sister went to university, and as the younger sister, I was often naturally expected to follow in her footsteps. …


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Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

During my high school years, I had a breakdown. At the time, it seemed to come out of nowhere, and just suddenly crept up on me. But looking back at the situation, I started to hate school. I hated waking up for it, I hated making my way there, I hated having to go through it, and I hated having to come home again afterwards. School made my stomach hurt and my gut churn, and the thought made my heart pound like crazy, and I wanted to throw up most of the time when I was getting ready for it.


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Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

Your brain is all over the place when your anxiety is flaring, and trying to deal with it is often a hit or miss. It doesn’t even have to be something you consciously think about, or focus on, but you definitely feel it. Settling heavy and muggy into your chest, like a thick smog creeping over your back, and a sick feeling in your belly. …


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Photo by Max Felner on Unsplash

What is it about 1 o’clock in the morning that I find so motivating? When I’m lying awake, trying to sleep for the day ahead, and somehow can’t think of anything else than how much I want to paint my bedroom walls a different colour? Or all the different directions I want to take my career, even if I have absolutely no relevant skills for any of the job positions I think I’d be great at? …


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Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

What do you think of as self-care? Do you imagine a bathtub filled to the brim with bubbles and warm water, with rosy petals littering the surface and plenty of scented candles decorating the edges? Do you imagine taking your socks and shoes off, and setting foot into some early morning grass, and feeling the dew between your toes? Maybe you imagine cooking up a storm in the kitchen, chopping up colourful vegetables and sauteing them with plenty of tasty spices?

Don’t worry, I’m not trying to catch you out — these are all great acts of self-care! Practising healthy…


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Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Focus is something that seems to be in short supply these days. The internet makes sure we don’t have to wait for our entertainment, in written, audio, and video forms. Our phones are portals to the rest of the world, and we can even get notifications of our new content sent straight to our home screens. After some time, we start to expect instant gratification, and we get frustrated and bored when we aren’t served within an invisible time limit.

It’s why there’s a lot of focus on short attention spans themselves. There’s a popular idea that we used to…


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(If she’s anything like me, those headphones aren’t even playing anything) Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

As a kid, I never thought I could have ADHD. My brother has it, and he’s loud and boisterous, and was always the ‘class clown’ at school. I, on the other hand, was quiet and shy, and would never make the entire class laugh along with me.

But when I got to the age of about 13, school suddenly became a very different place. I couldn’t focus on the work the teacher set in front of me. It was too hard, too complicated, and I had no idea how to ask for help. …


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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash (Of course, this isn’t me, but I’ve been in this position multiple times.)

I want to start by saying I don’t hate makeup, and anyone who wants to wear it should have the freedom to do so — it’s a tool just like any other! I like putting it on from time to time, and feeling all cute and pretty when I take Snapchats and Instagram photos. Makeup can make me feel good, just like it does for everyone else! …

Charlie Swarbrooke

Freelance writer. Here I write about mental health, and societal expectations, seeing as they bother a lot of us. By the way, the pretension is totally free.

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