July Overview: Focusing on the Positives

July Overview | Everything I read, watched, and did in July 2017, crammed into one blog post.

So… July was something, huh?

It was another mixed month for me. Can I make that my slogan? With the amount of times I’ve mentioned it in a monthly overview post, it seems only fitting.

I’ve spent a lot of this month anxious about everything and nothing. Breaking up from college made me realise that I only have another year before I need to start really thinking about my future career. That’s kind of scary. However, without assignments taking up every waking hour, I did have more time to focus on myself. This gave me a well-overdue opportunity to practice self care and get a little relaxation in here and there, too.

With that said, let’s get right into the nitty-gritty parts of this month’s overview.

Books I Read

Reading is one of the hobbies I’ve been severely neglecting lately. In the last few months, the book part of my monthly overviews has been super short, so I apologise for that. I think I need to go back and read my ‘tips to read more‘ blog post from a few months ago. I’m making a conscious effort to change my lack of enthusiasm, so I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading in the comments below.

With that said, I think the appreciation I have for the book I did get around to reading this month made it totally worth it.

"Mad World" by Bryony Gordon

“Mad World” by Bryony Gordon is a must-read for anyone with a mental illness, especially those who need the reassurance that they are not alone. The author speaks candidly about her achievements as well as the not-so-good moments of her life. It provides a true understanding of mental illnesses and how they can quickly escalate, bringing unhealthy addictions and habits into play, too.

There were parts of this book I could relate to that I’ve never spoken about with anyone before. I don’t think I will because I’m ashamed of them, but her honesty helped me feel less alone. I felt like there was someone out there who understood my deepest darkest secrets, through reflection of her own life. And I am so thankful she felt brave enough to reveal her story.

Without a doubt, this is one of my favourite books of the year so far. This definitely receives a 5 Star Rating from me.

What I Watched

I mentioned last month that I had started watching Modern Family. That’s something I’ve continued working my way through this month, and I’m now on Season 4. I’m not necessarily getting through this series fast, but in a way, that’s the beauty of it. With twenty-minute episodes, you don’t necessarily need to be able to dedicate hours to it to get your fix. I find they last the perfect amount of time to watch while I’m eating my lunch, or putting on makeup.

I also got super into Degrassi this month. I’ve been watching the Next Class generation since it first came out on Netflix, so I watched Season 4 as soon as it came out. After that, I decided to look up the next generation series on YouTube, and watched from Series 11 onwards. I ship Olivia and Fiona so hard. I also love their friendship with Eli. Let’s move on before this becomes an info-dump.

Other than that, I was finding it difficult to concentrate on series this month. I tried to get into Reign and continue Sherlock, but neither engaged me for more than a few episodes at a time. Sherlock is something I’ve been wanting to get through for a while, so maybe I’ll give that another go at some point.

I also watched a few documentaries that came up in the recommend section of my YouTube. I used to spend hours, even days, watching documentaries just to expand my knowledge. Although I haven’t gone that extreme in July, I really enjoyed taking an hour from my day to learn something new.

Monthly Playlist

What I Listened To in July

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you might be aware of my new gadget, the Amazon Echo. I bought this on Prime Day, and it’s changed the way I listen to music. It’s so convenient that I’m listening to it all the time now, so be prepared for longer playlists in months to come.

This month, my most-played song has to be ‘Lost in Your Light’ by Dua Lipa & Miguel. I’ve also been loving ‘Praying’ by Kesha; it has such a powerful message! I can’t imagine the strength it would have taken her to be so conservative in her response after everything her producer did.

If you want to check out my full playlist, and past monthly playlists, you can do so by clicking here.

Monthly Achievements

The first achievement I want to mention is a guest post I wrote for Redbank House about my experiences with autism. I spoke about a few things I haven’t mentioned on this blog before, so if you want to know even more about my disability, you can check that out here.

I also reached out for help with my mental health completely willingly for the first time. Although I have previous experience with children’s mental health services through my teen years, I was still super anxious. In the end, though, I was so glad I went. The psychiatric nurse who conducted my assessment had a basic understanding of autism, so we saved time not having to go through the ordeal of explaining that. I feel kind of vulnerable talking about this on my blog, but I’m super hopeful this is the start of things to come.

In all honesty, I think a lot of people have struggled with their mental health this month. Contrary to popular belief, more people suffer with their mental health in summer months, so this isn’t much of a surprise. Still, if you are struggling, I hope you’re looking out for yourself. If you haven’t yet, try and reach out to someone. You might think nobody cares or wants to hear about your problems, but that probably isn’t the case. It’s something I’m working on becoming more comfortable with.

With that said, I don’t want this blog post to end completely negatively, because July wasn’t all negative. Despite the bad things that happened, I also had days where nothing could wipe the smile off my face. Did you do something that left you feeling the same way–or even better? Perhaps you watched a TV show you want to tell the world about? Let me know about it in the comments below!

Thanks for reading, and until next time,

Goodbye X

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26 thoughts on “July Overview: Focusing on the Positives

  1. Yes! I’ve been struggling with my anxiety and paranoia recently so I get where you’re coming from! I’m always worse in the summer and it’s worse now I have free time, which is just extra time for me to overthink and panic!
    Robyn // http://www.midnightandlace.co.uk

    1. I think that’s a massive problem for me, too. While I’m tied up with college work it’s harder to focus on anxiety, even though it’s always there. Whereas now, when I have nothing to distract myself, it isn’t as easy to find distractions. I hope yours eases up soon.

  2. I absolutely love the sound of the book Mad World I’ve seen so many good things about it – thanks for sharing your favourites x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌿www.kayleighzaraa.com

    1. Yeah, I really enjoyed it. I’d definitely recommend it if you can get your hands on it. I was so fortunate when I saw it for £1 at a boot sale!

  3. Your choice of songs on your playlist are amazing! Plus, I am so glad that you reached out for help with your anxiety and that you are happy that you did – it’s hard to do that but you always benefit from talking about the things that are running around in your head x
    Claire | clairesyear.com

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you liked them. Yeah, it was definitely difficult, but I’ve been dealing with things for years and I’m glad to finally (hopefully) start sorting things.

    1. Thank you! I get most of my recommendations for books/media from other bloggers’ monthly round ups, so I thought I’d do the same. I hope you find something that you can enjoy this month. 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing! I love that more and more people are being open about their mental health – it’s an important topic.

    I love Sherlock – but I still haven’t seen the last two episodes of Season 4, so I need to do that. I love Degrassi: The Next Generation – I haven’t watched any of them on Netflix yet, but I am curious about these new seasons! I’m glad it’s still an ongoing series.

    Love Dua Lipa. I really need to get her whole album.


    1. Thank you! I was tempted to leave that aspect out, but like you said, it’s an important topic. I think my blog is quite personal, so it wouldn’t feel right to write a monthly round up and leave such a crucial part of my life out.

      Ah, I definitely need to catch up with it. I REALLY enjoy it. It’s one of those things I sit down and binge and then don’t think about again for ages. Who knows? Maybe next month I’ll have reported finishing it… we’ll see! 😉 The Netflix version is definitely different from the previous series, the main difference being only 10 episodes a series, but it’s been great nonetheless!

      YES! I’ve had a lot of her songs on repeat this month. It’s so good!

  5. I have been struggling with stress over finding how to behave when someone is being dismissive and condescending to me at work. Still trying to figure it out and it is stressing me out. But I guess it it just a little thing compared to people with much bigger anxiety. I have heard of mad girl and that’s something I want to read.

  6. I love this! I’ve also loved Kesha’s song Praying, the message is so powerful! Mad World sounds like such a good book, and definitely worth a read. Great post xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

    1. Thank you! Yeah, it’s amazing, isn’t it? I was blown away when I first heard it. I knew her comeback would probably have something to do with putting that behind her, but I didn’t know it would be that powerful. She’s going to be such a threat to other musicians in the charts this year, and I am LIVING for it. MAd World is a really good book; I’d definitely recommend it!

  7. Hey Rebekah! I love how honest your writing is :)) I spent the past week binge watching Riverdale because my boyfriend has been out of town. Usually when we are together we watch shows that we are both into, but when the other one is gone we kinda binge watch our guilty pleasures lol. Also, Sherlock was one of the ones we both liked to watch together! I didn’t think I was going to like it as much as I did. Hope you have a great August :))

    1. Thank you!
      Riverdale is such a good series, isn’t it? I wrote about that in one of my monthly round-ups from a couple of months ago. It’s a refreshing show when you can’t guess the ending. I was surprised at how developed the characters were, too. Definitely one of my favourite Netflix shows of the year. In regards to Sherlock, I was exactly the same. Originally I watched it to see what the hype was, but I really got into it. I think you just have to be able to concentrate on it properly to be able to really get the storylines.
      Thanks! I hope you have a great August, too. 🙂

  8. Oohh I’ve always wanted an Amazon Echo! And congrats on the guest post – that’s great that you’re writing for such important groups like Redbank House.

    1. They’re great! I probably wouldn’t have bought one at the original price (£149.99), but for £60 you can’t really go wrong (I have a gift card). It does everything I need it to through voice activation–from watching music to listening to podcasts to setting alarms for the next day. I love it.
      Thank you! One of my aims when I found out my diagnosis was to raise awareness through my blog, so being given other platforms to share my message on has definitely meant a lot to me. 🙂

  9. Hi Rebekah. Just found your blog today. Congrats on your achievements this month. Do you think the book you read helped you to reach out for help? It really seemed to resonate with you, so I wondered if that was part of why you reached out.

    1. I picked up completely on impulse initially. I thought it was a fictional story, which is what I usually read, so I was super surprised when it wasn’t. I was already in the process of waiting for help at the point of reading the book, but I think it definitely reinforced the fact that I was doing the right thing. I can’t put everything on the book cause it took a lot of willpower, but it definitely offered reassurance, yes.

    1. Thank you! It definitely didn’t seem that way before I started writing it all down. It’s amazing what you can do and then forget about, isn’t it?

  10. I appreciate your bravery and strength in being able to admit that you struggle with mental illness. I do, too, and it has been a long and difficult road, but slowly I am getting better, definitely MUCH better within the past three years or so! “Mad World” seems like a good book. I may check it out sometime.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you’re finally getting better; it’s a hard road, but recovery is so worth it. I’d definitely recommend it!

  11. I’m so glad that you were able to practice some self-care last month, it’s so very important! My advice about your ending college worries would be that it is totally ok not to have your whole life planned out just yet! Sometimes you never know when opportunities will come along, and it’s ok just to let life happen sometimes! You WILL be ok and end up doing something you love, so don’t fret!
    Now onto the favourites! Mad Girl sounds so touching and really important for anyone who struggles with their mental health, I definitely need to add it to my TBR list! I absolutely adore Sherlock and have watched it so many times, but seasons 1 and 2 are by far the best!
    Well done you on working with Redbank House as well!

    Abbey 👑 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

    1. Thank you!
      That’s really good advice. I think there’s definitely a lot of pressure on people to have it all figured out younger and younger these days, but fingers crossed I’ll be able to find something to tide me over when college ends next summer!
      Oh, I definitely recommend it. I’m not usually one for books like that, but I’m glad I gave it a chance, because I really enjoyed it. I really need to get into Sherlock again, but I haven’t been able to sit and concentrate on series like that for while. I’m glad you enjoy it, though; a lot of people have said the same, so I can’t wait to try and get on with it again!

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