On The Hunt- A Lachlan Vampire Story

Lachlan is a serial killer character from my story ‘Sacrificial Loyalty.’ He has a great love for another character, Melvin. This short, vampiric story is Halloween special that showcases what Lachlan’s love would be for Melvin if he was in the world of vampires.

Claws. Black claws scraping against a brown brick wall.

Hair. Short, black, greasy hair shining against sickly pale skin.

Teeth. Sharp yellow fangs, stained with dried blood.

Doc Martens, black and damaged, thumping against the soaked concrete ground, echoing into the pitch black sky.

He could not wait to sink his fangs into the flesh of his true love.

But everybody just kept getting in his way.

Churches, the temples of God, towered over the town’s civilization in gothic silhouettes, creepy to most but inviting to those who required refuge, whether it be Christians devoted to their Lord or vampires hiding away from humankind.

If the two encountered each other, they both met with a lucky fate. One finally had the chance to visit their heavenly sanctuary, the other finally had the chance to feast.

Warm-blooded beings went about their nightly business, rushing home from work, smiling at passerbys, sheltering their faces from the lashing October rain.

Hiding in the shadows of a wall, he waited, like an impatient lion.

On the rooftops opposite him stood another vampire, just as impatient if not more than Lachlan. Sharp claws pulsing like when a cat curls its paws. But he was no gentle creature.

Growling, he dived from his position onto a human vessel below. A woman’s yelp rang out and a few heads turned at the noise for a small moment before those same people carried on, uncaring and unknowing, ignorant.

The noise only made Lachlan hungrier and much more restless. A dangerous agitation that you would not want to be on the other end of.

But unfortunately a man was and had no way of knowing that Lachlan had his dark brown eyes set on him, and with a lunge, Lachlan striked the man. His claws dug deep into the soft flesh of the man’s back as fangs clenched over neck veins. The starving vampire began draining the man of his life, his dignity and his fear, and it tasted amazing. However as Lachlan tore his fangs away and threw the almost-lifeless body to the rough ground, he knew that despite his first meal being flavoursome, that was only a starter. His next meal was going to be much more delectable.

He knew exactly where to go next.

A warmly lit-bakery invited cold and wet mortals inside with the smell of promised delicacies of cakes and cookies and other comforting foods.

A young man with short blond hair and beautiful blue eyes nestled near the door, benefitting from the warmth coming from the small building. In his hands was a hot chocolate in a blue takeaway cup and his hands were grateful for the heat.

Eyes stared at him from afar and then from a short distance away as the deprived vampire creeped his way up to his main course.

The 21-year-old, unknowing of his stalker, breathed in the autumn air and the smell of the rain as he closed his eyes. Peace.

Temporary peace.

In a second, he was ripped from his position and shoved up against a wall behind the bakery at the speed of light. His eyes filled with fear as his head shot around in all directions, confused.

Then he saw him.

Black claws as long as an eagle’s talons, black greasy hair against sickly pale skin, blood-stained razor-sharp teeth, a cold, lifeless body adorned in a long black trenchcoat, black jeans and black, damaged Doc Martens, drenched in raindrops and blood.

In a blink, he was no longer just seeing him.

He was feeling him. It. The famished creature.

Feeling his neck flesh being chewed like a dog gnawing on a bone, aggressive but with an excitement to it.

He opened his mouth to let out a scream but could only muster a groan as his body became weak. His mind converted into numbness and his vision now hazy as the pain of a thousand needles stabbed into his veins, his blood clearing from his every organ, his every artery, his adrenaline turning the warm, red liquid into an exquisite supper for the euphoric vampire.

But just when he felt on the verge of death, his senses heightened once more as a black sludge-like fluid pulsed into his wound from the vampire’s mouth, taking over his every organ and contorting them, rotting them away like withering flowers.

It was over.

He was no longer on the verge of death. He was already dead.

With claws and fangs, a thirst for blood and an eternity with his greatest admirer, Lachlan.

BlogTober Questions!

Hello everyone and welcome to the last blog of BlogTober and October! This has been an awesome little journey and I hope you have enjoyed all of the blogs that I have published this month and so far this year!

This blog is going to a nice and simple blog with a few autumn tag questions and a few BlogTober tag questions and some questions from some people on Twitter and Instagram!

Let’s get into them!

‘What is your favourite scent?’– I honestly love the smell of lavender! I am actually hoping for a lavender box for Christmas!

‘Do you prefer pumpkin pie or apple pie?’– I have never actually eaten pumpkin pie so I will have to choose apple pie for now.

‘What is one autumn tradition that you have?’– I don’t think I have any autumn traditions, but I do love going to a park near me each year and taking photos of the beautiful trees and falling leaves. I have unfortunately not been able to do that yet due to heavy rain and flooding.

‘What are you most excited for in autumn?’– The pretty leaves and days where I can wear knitted jumpers!

‘What is your favourite pumpkin-space flavoured thing?’– Never had anything pumpkin-spiced before! Maybe I should…

‘What is your favourite autumn must have?’– Knitted jumpers!

‘Falling rain or a crackling fireplace?’– I have to pick both! Too much of a hard choice!

‘What is the best way to spend a rainy day?’– My favourite thing to do is to grab a hot water bottle, make a hot chocolate or a nice hot cup of tea, wrap myself in blankets and play Animal Crossing New Horizons 😊

‘What is your favourite scary movie?’– I really have to say any Chucky movie. I love him and his girl Tiffany!

‘What is your favourite Halloween candy?’– I do love anything chocolate!

‘Have you ever hosted or been to a Halloween party?’– I used to absolutely love going to Halloween parties when I was younger, whether they were school parties or parties in the neighbourhood. I have never hosted one though.

‘Do you dress up for Halloween?’– Honestly I could, but I think I’m just a bit lazy to be honest. I will be my usual, hot self instead 😉

What is your favourite monster or villain?’-Would you class vampires as monsters? I do love them, and I also love Chucky.

‘Do you get scared easily?’– Oh yes!

‘What outfits have you worn for Halloween?’– When I was younger, definitely witch outfits and black cat outfits. I don’t wear anything now.

Now onto questions from friends!

ReadingAlNight asks: ‘What are your favourite Halloween traditions?’– Eating Halloween goodies and watching horror movies or watching youtubers play horror games.

VickyBall3 asks: ‘What is the scariest scene you’ve ever written?’– The scariest scene I have ever written is a scene from my story ‘Demons Like Us.’ Essentially, a demon drops a blue-beaded bracelet onto Blake’s bed and it turns out that when the paint suddenly melts off, the beads are actually bone!’

LovinSunshine97 asks: ‘Do you have a list of your favourite Halloween movies?’– I do! Like I say, I love anything Chucky-related and the classics, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger. I also love vampire films such as 30 Days Of Night.

CosmicTaryn asks: ‘Do you have a favourite Halloween song?’– This probably isn’t classed as a Halloween song, but I do love the song ‘Chop chop slide’ by Insane Clown Posse!

arlenrenwrites asks: ‘Have you ever carved any pumpkins?’– No! Never! I really want to and I probably should have done that this year, but honestly I’ve been too busy to really even celebrate Halloween which I’m pretty sad about. Perhaps next year I will carve one!

vicstmichael asks: ‘What did you want to be when you were little?’ – Oh EVERYTHING! I had a lot of admiration for soldiers since my great grandad was in the army, so I wanted to be a soldier. I also wanted to be a pilot and an animal vet! A lot of ambition there haha.

Opossum_with_a_pencil asks:

‘Your favourite thing to carve into a jack-o-lantern?’– Never carved one. Sorry!

‘What is the spookiest thing you’ve ever heard?’– I’m honestly not sure. Lots of things really, but I guess the next question might answer this one!

‘What is the spookiest thing to ever happen to you?’– I was having a sleepover at my friend’s house when I was younger, and she told me that at nighttime, you hear twigs snapping super loudly, as if someone was snapping one in the very room you were in. I didn’t believe her at first, but when she left the room for something that night and I heard a twig snapping, I have to say, I nearly shit myself!

H asks:

‘Hannibal or Chilton?’– Definitely Hannibal.

‘Your favourite book?’– Hunting Evil by Chris carter.

‘Your favourite colour?’– Black and blue!

‘Your favourite bird?’– I love most birds, but I have to say it’s a tight line between lovebirds and pigeons.

‘Your favourite sport?’– I don’t like sport haha.

‘Do you like bees?’– Yes!

‘What’s your favourite thing about Carver?’ Oh god you’ll set me off here! Weird, but I love how sleazy he comes off. Maybe that’s one of my types? I also adore the way he says ‘baby’ and ‘babydoll’ and how a lot of what he says is so motivating and powerful. He’s also a handsome vampire so there’s that!

‘Your thoughts on otters and flowers?’– Adorable and pretty!

‘Will your pets have costumes?’ – I did buy a pumpkin hat for my cat Tabitha but her head is way too fat for it. As for my other cat Garfield, he would probably kill me. Plus he’s bit a little poorly the past few days, I don’t want to piss him off even more! My dogs, ferrets and birds are out of the question haha.

There we go! All questions have been answered. Thank you to everyone for submitting your questions and thank you to everyone who reads my blogs! It is so appreciated and motivating and I hope you stick around for more 🙂 ❤

BlogTober- The History Of Halloween.

Halloween has been celebrated in many different ways throughout history and many superstitions have risen from it too. For example, black cats are seen as bad luck because during the Middle Ages, it was believed that black cats were actually undetected witches or assistants of witches.

I hope this blog is a good explanation as to where Halloween originated from and how traditions have changed over time from 2,000+ years ago to the current 2021!

All Hallow’s eve, or Halloween, is a few thousand year old ancient celtic festival known as ‘Samhain.’ An end to the summer days and the beginning of the darkening winter months ahead. It was believed that Samhain was the time of year where the worlds between the living and dead were at its thinnest, where spirits of vengeance, lost and wandering spirits and spirits of loved ones came into the world of the living, whether to cause mischief and ruin crops or to see their family once more. This was a frightening time for people and so they created various customs and traditions to avoid terrifying spirits and to respect and honour the deaths of those who were either stuck in a wandering state or those who they had personally known before they passed away. For loved ones, their favourite foods would be set out at the dinner table or the doorstep, prepared for their arrival. Great bonfires would also be built and druids, a member of the high-ranking class among the celts, danced and celebrated around the fire. As for protecting themselves against spirits, the first thing they did was build bonfires and throw animal bones into the flames as a form of protection. The skins of animals were worn as costumes, hence today’s modern tradition of wearing various spooky costumes. Celts would also adorn their faces with ashes from the bonfires as a way to look like a spirit so they would be left alone and remain safe from these darker forces. To prepare for the winter months, they would stock up on supplies for the winter such as grains, fruits and vegetables and hoped that their customs would prevent spirits from causing mischief with their supplies such as stealing.

Talking about mischief and bad behaviour, trick-or-treating originated in 1927 when children and teenagers began destroying properties on the night of Halloween. It soon turned into going door-to-door demanding sweets and chocolate as a bit of fun that didn’t involve destruction.

Before I finish up on this short but sweet blog, I would like to explain the tradition of jack-o-lanterns!

The jack-o-lantern, which can either be a pumpkin or a turnip, originated from an irish folk tale about a man named Jack, or ‘Stingy Jack’, a man who tricked the devil into banning him from hell through various deeds that forced the devil to leave him alone rather than taking his soul to hell. As Jack was so close-fisted and sneaky, god could not allow him to enter heaven either, and so Stingy Jack’s fate involved staying on Earth to roam forever with a lantern carved from a turnip to help him through the cold, dark nights.

Today’s Halloween traditions involve trick-or-treating, pumpkin or turnip carving, watching horror movies, telling scary stories, arts and crafts, dressing up and so much more. Some even set off fireworks and others still celebrate the traditional celtic way, by lighting bonfires and honouring the dead.

BlogTober- Having Fun This Halloween!

Hello everyone and welcome to another BlogTober blog!

Today’s blog is a short but sweet blog regarding a few Halloween activities that are suitable for all ages, ranging from children and teens to adults and older people 🙂

Let’s begin!

-Arts and crafts/Creating decorations and decorating. This is easily enough one of the most fun activities for all age groups to do. You can create anything from paper spiderwebs, paper ghosts and black and orange paper chains to lollystick spiders or paint your own mini Halloween-themed plantpots! You could also create a Halloween terrarium! Get a decent-sized glass jar with a round lid and buy any materials for any various decorations that you will make for the terrarium such as clay and orange paint for pumpkins, cotton pads to turn into spider webs, black pompoms and black pipecleaners for little spiders and whatever else you feel inspired to create!

-Dressing up is another fun activity for all age groups. Elderly people may struggle to dress up in full gear, but they could wear pumpkin earrings, a black cat necklace, even a witches hat if they feel happy enough to celebrate Halloween!

-Visiting spooky locations. Obviously the older the person gets, the scarier the location can be. For children and elderly people, they could go to museums or castles and learn some very interesting parts of history. Teens and adults could also visit these areas and learn the more gruesome parts of history. If you are older, you could even look at different hotels and book a haunted room there if they have one and challenge yourself to stay in it for a night or two! Ghost hunting or escape rooms can also be a fun Halloween activity for teens and adults!

-Halloween bingo with Halloween-themed call outs such as ‘Two big pumpkins, 88’. ‘Vampire teeth, number 50’. ‘Mummy in a coffin, number 40.’ is a great game, especially for children and elderly people! Make sure to add in some treats for the bingo rewards!

 -I think it’s obvious that reading scary stories and watching horror films is one of the best activities for Halloween. Similar to visiting spooky locations, the older the person, the scarier these stories and movies could be, but let’s admit that The Night Before Christmas HAS to be watched every year at least five times.

-Visit a pumpkin patch and carve your own pumpkin. This speaks for itself and is great for all ages!

-Paper activities such as wordsearches, word scrambles, Halloween trivia and Halloween colouring/creating Halloween-themed bookmarks!

-Trick-or-treating. This is hard to do with covid still hovering around but there’s no rules to say you can’t eat sweets at home and pretend you worked hard through the night for them! For children and some elderly people, you could create a Halloween hunt and allow them to hunt in the home for their goodies!

-Have a party with music, various treats and games such as the old-fashioned game, apple bobbing!

-Go out and look at your town’s Halloween decorations! I am ignorant as I live in a lovely town and have no idea what Halloween looks like in a city, but I know that many homes in my town are usually adorned with eye-catching and creative decorations.

-Bake some cupcakes and cookies and decorate them in fun colours and sprinkles!

-Covid has impacted the act of meeting up with friends, family and neighbours which has disrupted events such as trick-or-treating, so if you’re one who enjoys giving treats out, consider making trick-or-treat boxes or gift bags for your friends and family! They could include various sweets, chocolates, cakes and biscuits and depending on the person, a fake spider!

These are just a few of the many activities you could do during this holiday and I hope you are inspired by this list, but if not, you could always look online or head onto Pinterest for other ideas! 🙂

Raking Up Leaves- Decluttering Your Home

It’s true that having a clean and tidy home can do wonders for us mentally and physically. It helps us to be organised, it allows us to feel comfortable with having guests over and we can feel cosy on the sofa or bed without the stress of looking around and discovering we have mess everywhere! Plus, it makes us and our home feel lighter!

The question is, where do we start when it comes to cleaning up our sanctuary?

Here are 10 tips to help you clean up your home!

  • The first thing to do is to create a plan for which room and area you are going to tidy and clean first. Starting with the most important areas first such as your bedside table or desk is a good tip! You should also gather some materials for cleaning, such as baby wipes or antibacterial wipes to rid surfaces of dirt and dust and you should also buy some bin bags so you can throw away or donate anything you don’t want or need. After tidying each room, give it a clean to complete the fresh feeling.
  • It can be a little bit challenging when it comes to getting rid of things, so with every item ask yourself, ‘Do I like this? Do I need this? Is it broken or old? Will someone benefit from this more than me?’
  • Alongside cleaning each room, open the window and get some air in! It will make you and your room feel fresh and if you are okay with air fresheners then get one for each room.
  • Take breaks and have a drink and a snack! I know that once you’re on a roll it can be hard to stop, but breaks are important especially if you are someone who gets exhausted or dizzy easily!
  • Donate to charity! Whether it’s games and jigsaws, clothes and shoes or even food that is in date and you’re not going to eat it, donating to charity, particularly around this time of year is not only thoughtful, but helpful and can also make you feel good about yourself! Food should be donated to food banks or even to your neighbours or someone who you know is struggling to get food.
  • For someone with OCD, it can be really hard to throw things out as they may tend to hoard things. It can be a very distressing experience for them as they hold an emotional connection to their belongings. It isn’t just a case of ‘Do I still like this?’ ‘Do I still need this?’ as the answer is most likely yes, so instead, set yourself some goals such as throwing away one item a day or cleaning one area of a room per day. Put on some music while you are doing it too and remember to take breaks in order to avoid being overwhelmed. When you are throwing things into bin bags, immediately place the bags outside once you do go on a break as you may feel temptation to put everything bad where it was. Make sure you are also gentle with yourself and allow yourself to feel whatever you may feel while decluttering. It’s a hard thing to do but the act of decluttering should make you feel very proud of yourself!
  • Clean up damp and mold! Not every home gets damp and moldy, but homes definitely face the risk of it especially in the colder and damper conditions of autumn/winter. If your home tends to suffer from mold and damp, buy products to treat this and do it as soon as you can to prevent it from spreading! Make sure you also protect yourself while using these products as they can be dangerous if inhaled. Reducing mold and damp also reduces the risk of woodlice!
  • Add decorations! Just because you’re decluttering and tidying up doesn’t mean you have to keep things boring. Get some fairy lights, plants or other decorations and make your home look beautiful!
  • Decluttering and tidying can be a pain and you may feel like procrastinating, but by getting a start on it when you have the time, you can get yourself into the roll of things! With this, you should feel really good about it which can be good motivation! Make sure you also celebrate every little success such as finishing tidying one area and finishing tidying a whole room!
  • Get some boxes to store things in! If you have enough space for these boxes such as in the wardrobe or in the drawer under your bed if you have one, this can help keep things organised and tidy.

I hope that these ten tips are useful to you and if you follow me on any of my social medias or even on here, let met me know how your decluttering is going! Next week’s blogs include ways on how to have fun this Halloween and the history of Halloween!

Autumnal Care- Maintaining Your Mental Health During Autumn

As the days grow colder and the darker nights creep upon us, our mental health can become exacerbated and those with mental health problems may face challenging months ahead.

In this blog I am going to showcase a few ways in which you can protect your mental health during the last few months of this year, including how to create an autumn self-care box.

Let’s begin!

-Top up your kitchen with comfort foods such as soups, ingredients for cheese toasties, ingredients for home-made pizza, curries, stews, hotpots, pies, mac and cheese etc and comforting drinks such as teas and hot chocolates can both warm you up and make you feel good!

-Do your best to get some vitamin D! There are vitamin D supplements that you can take so if you like taking supplements and are safe to, give them a go! (Take note that it may be best to speak to a doctor before you take them.) Also, whenever there’s a bit of sun shining, wrap yourself up in some warm clothing and get outside for a little bit! There are also sun lamps which can brighten your mood and your home!

-Talking about being outside, going out for a walk or doing some exercises whether inside or outside can also improve your mood which may help you to push through the challenging days!

-Cosy indoor days are really great ways to make you feel cosy, warm and happy, whether this is building a blanket fort or just throwing a whole bunch of blankets and pillows on the floor and laying among them with a nice hot drink, snacks and your favourite series!

-Do some decluttering and decorating. Decluttering can make you and your home feel lighter and can also make way for your Christmas presents! As for decorating, it makes your home look very pretty and if you are a visual person, the lights can make you feel happy and comforted!

-Do some autumn activities or keep up with your usual hobbies. This can be hard to do when you’re not feeling the best, but it can also help with low moods and will make you feel productive!

-Treat yourself! Just because it’s nearly Christmas doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to buy yourself a few goodies 🙂

-Write in a journal. This keeps your thoughts organised as well as giving you something to look back on and allow you to think things through as well as evaluating your thought patterns. This can reduce any stress you may have.

-Maintain a routine, including remembering to take any medications you need to and getting the right amount of rest as well as any other reminders you may need such as upcoming appointments and other bits of work you need to do. The darkening mornings and nights can push us off our routine and make us forget where we’re at, so keep a diary or a calendar for reminders!

-Last but not least, ensure that you are protecting your health through taking vitamins, eating plenty of good fruit and vegetables, stocking up on medicines such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, lemsips, anti-cough medicines etc, making sure that you are getting a good night’s sleep, minimising your stress and anxiety, keeping up with vaccines and wearing masks where possible, especially due to the current pandemic.

Now, onto creating an autumn self-care box! For the box, I recommend using a medium-sized plastic box and if you feel creative, get some stickers to decorate it with!

With all that in mind, here are a few autumn self-care box ideas!

-Tea and hot chocolate packets.

-A Warm blanket.

-Stress balls and fidget toys.

-Hand creams.

-Snacks.

-Hot water bottles and hand warmers.

-Small teddy bears.

-Scented oils such as lavender and mint.

-Self-help books if that’s your style.

-Colouring books and colouring pens/pencils.

-Scented candles.

-Face masks and beauty products.

-A journal and some pens.

-Bed socks.

-Bath items such as bath bombs and oils.

I hope you find this blog useful and I hope that you take care of yourself and your mental and physical health during autumn. Friday’s blog will be a short blog regarding more information on decluttering your home! I hope you tune in for that and if so, I will see you Friday!

BlogTober- Autumn Fun

There’s no doubt that a lot of people love autumn, including myself! With its pretty golden leaves, its collectable acorns and its cinnamon and pumpkin-spice desserts and drinks, there’s no surprise that autumn is a beloved time, despite it unfortunately not lasting for very long.

In the event of autumn, here are some ways you can celebrate this beautiful, golden month!

-Autumn collecting. Go to your nearest park and collect whatever you can, just for fun! Leaves, acorns and pinecones are prominent at this time of year and if you’re anything like me, you love collecting just for well, the sake of collecting!

If you want to actually do something with your items, you could create an autumn wreath or even an autumn terrarium by buying a glass jar and carefully organising your items inside!

-Do some photography! This time of year is so beautiful where all the leaves turn golden, acorns litter the parks and spiderwebs glisten with raindrops, so wrap yourself out warm, grab your phone and take some photos!

-Bake something! Autumn is all about baking something comforting, so get creative and spice things up in the kitchen with some cinnamon and pumpkin-flavoured creations!

-Make decorations! These could be autumn or Halloween decorations, and Pinterest has loooads of good ideas on there, so take a look and see what you can come up with!

-Have an autumn picnic! Sure, the weather at this time of year isn’t the best with its bitter days and its heavy rain, but who said picnics had to be outside? Grab yourself a warm blanket, a hot water bottle and a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate and create a picnic! It would be even more fun if you invited someone over to join you!

-Take an autumn walk! Again, the bitter and rainy days can cause an affect on this, but if it’s only cold, just wrap yourself up in a nice, warm coat, adorn your hands with a warm pair of gloves and wrap a warm scarf around your neck! You can even wear a beanie or another hat if you really want to.

-Do some puzzles or read! This is always a calming way to pass time and if you grab yourself a cup or tea or hot chocolate, a hot water bottle and wrap yourself up in a blanket, you can feel the autumn vibes too!

-Make a blanket fort! I think that most of us at some point have made a blanket fort. They’re cosy, they’re fun and they’re your own little space where you can chill! Grab yourself some blankets, pillows, snacks, a hot drink and something fun to bring with you. In my case, teddy bears and my Nintendo switch where I can play Animal Crossing!

-If you’re like me and love growing your own vegetables, you’ll probably know that at this time of year, the risk of your vegetables being wasted is high, so bag some up and give them to other people!

-Create an autumn music playlist! My top songs in my playlist are ‘Autumn Leaves’ by Ed Sheeran, ‘Shivers’ By Ed Sheeran and Ophelia by The Lumineers!

These are just some of the things that I love to do, but there are so many other things that you can think of doing if you’re creative enough! Painting rocks, pinecones and acorns, making big or small scarecrows, creating various autumn decorations etc. Pinterest is the best site for autumn activity ideas, so have a little look on there if you fancy it!

I hope these ideas inspire you and I will see you next week for the next two blogs, ‘Autumnal Care- Maintaining your mental health during autumn’ which will include creating your own autumn self-care box and ‘Raking up leaves- Decluttering and cleaning your home in autumn.’ Bye for now!

BlogTober- Autumn Love

Warmed hands in warmly-lit homes hold mugs of hot chocolate, tired eyes stare out into the darkening night.

Wind dusts against the window, whistling gently as it carries itself through the bitter sky.

Kids yell out excitedly into the night as they go from door to door, trick-or treating with glee with their pumpkin bags and buckets filled with Halloween sweets, their bodies clad in spooky outfits from white ghosts to red devils, to black cats to purple witches.

Homes adorned with fun decorations appeal to the many. Spiderwebs hang from the roof, fake spiders run along the walls, black bats hang from the door and carved jack-o-lanterns litter the doorstep, their ignited eyes staring at any intruder who dares step foot towards the haunted house.

Scents of cinnamon and pumpkin-spice drift through the streets, inviting any stranger into the cosiness of the bakery as they rub their hands together for warmth.

People outside wrap their coats around themselves, their scarves and gloves protecting them from the biting air as they shiver from the cold.

Acorns and pinecones drop from swaying trees, hitting the ground below and rolling into the way of dancing, dizzy leaves.

October is here and it is beautiful.

Coping With Work When You Have A Mental Health Condition.

There’s no doubt that having a job can have positive effects such as giving us something productive to do and being paid for it, allowing us to socialise with others and allowing us to feel good about ourselves and our lives, however there’s also no doubt that work can be challenging, regardless of whether we have a mental health condition or not. In fact, a bad workplace can actually decrease mental wellness and can cause mental health conditions to develop, especially if stigmas such as believing the employee is lazy and not very productive or reliable.

Here are a few things that you can do when you are anxious about applying for work!

-If you have a mental health problem that is so severe that it is preventing you from being able to apply for work, make sure you let the jobcentre know this so that you can be eligible for benefits and you may not have to apply for work. If you are in America, you could find other ways of earning money such as starting your own business or selling things! I would like to note that I am in the UK so I only know about the UK’s unemployment situation and not America’s!

– Do some volunteering! From personal experience, volunteering and work experience has actually helped me when it has come to my anxiety. They have given me ideas of what to expect and how to handle different situations which has definitely eased my work anxiety.

– Apply to a place that is familiar to you. If you regularly visit a particular place and know the people there, this may be a lot better for you if you get a job there!

– Consider working from home. There are benefits and disadvantages to working from home, but if you have mental health problems that cause you to fear physically going to work, working from home could be an option. Self-employment is also involved in this!

– Find a job with flexible hours. This way, if something isn’t working for you, you can change a few things around to make it work a bit better for you!

If you have a job, it is important to protect your mental health and take measures that will help you.

-Relating to the last point, finding a job with flexible hours can be beneficial because it gives you the ability to change your hours if you need to.

-Socialise! Talking with your colleagues can help you to relax into the role and see that things aren’t as bad as they seemed to be!

-Write to-do lists and create goals. This can help you to organise your thoughts and relieve some of the stress that you may be feeling, as all of your work is now on paper instead of floating about in your head!

– Take breaks the best way you can. Depending on what type of job you have, there could be ways for you to take a quick break so you can take a deep breath and gather your thoughts.

-Try your best to leave work at work. Some jobs can be very hard to shake off at the end of the day and you end up carrying the day all the way home with you, which is why it’s important to leave work stress at work and deal with it the next time you go back. This also includes stress management techniques to do at home. Cheer yourself up and treat yourself a bit!

-Get plenty of rest. Getting a good night’s sleep can be hard for some people for various reasons, especially when mental health problems can be relentless at times, but if you can get a good sleep, go for it! It’s important.

-If you are able to, tell your manager and/or your colleagues about your mental health condition/s and see if you are able to receive any help, advice or support! I am very lucky in this as I have had some amazingly caring and understanding managers who have done their best to help and encourage me, but it should also be noted that this isn’t the case with everyone and unfortunately there are some uncaring and horrible managers out there who prefer you to just do as you’re told.

I believe that it is so important for workplaces to be educated and even trained on mental health problems and how to help those who have them, whether this is learning how to listen or learning how to help them when they are facing a challenge, for example if the employee is anxious over Zoom/Teams calls or is fearful of speaking in a physical group meeting. Improving the attitude of the workplace and making sure that all of the employers are happy can also help not just the employee with a mental health problem, but all of the workers and their mental health!

Like I say, I am very fortunate that I have worked in places that have been very supportive of me and have encouraged me rather than forcing me to do things that would have given me panic attacks, so these tips may not be helpful to everyone and are only tips that I have picked up myself over the years of applying for work and things that I have been able to do when I’ve had a job, such as talking with my manager and my colleagues. Regardless, I do hope you find this blog helpful and I will see you for the next blogs which are October-themed!