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An Interview with Holly White: Managing Mental Health and Blogging.

08/11/2015

From the moment I discovered Holly White's blog 'Holly Love the Simple Things', I have been hooked on her sense of fashion and gorgeous photography. When she finally created her YouTube channel, the girl crush was officially established. Not only is Holly's blog absolutely wonderful, but the Holly herself is a total and utter babe. I'd like to be her best friend, pls.

What I admire about Holly is her honest approach to mental health. Many, myself included, would find it difficult to discuss such issues, yet Holly is frank in sharing her story. As such, she is a personal inspiration to me and I am sure, to many more. I sat down to interview Holly to discuss how she manages her mental health, whilst maintaining such an incredible blog.

Hi Holly! I really admire how open you have been about your mental health experiences. Often people can find it difficult to talk about personal issues, did you feel such a hesitation?
For a long time, I felt quite ashamed of what I'd been through. I often thought that people could never believe I'd suffered from Anorexia or might just think that I was attention seeking however, I knew that I wanted to share my experience. I wrote a blog post in June about it all which I never published. I'm glad that I didn't because I really wasn't that ready to discuss it and that's why I waited until 1 year after my diagnosis to really open up about it all. Opening up about something so personal is incredibly daunting and I think you have to wait for the right time to do it.

Being primarily a fashion blog, what was it that compelled you to be so open about your mental health struggles?
I've always found that writing stuff down and talking about things helps me to create some head space. I find that the thoughts in my head can almost become one big mush and I think that when I started blogging, I realised that writing stuff down made it all a little more clear. Although I obviously love to discuss fashion, talking about real life and well, my life, allows people to get to know you on a much more personal level and I guess I don't just want people to like my style but also like me for me. My mental health struggles are a part of me and are a big part of the past 2 or 3 years of my life and although yes, I want to move on, there is also a part of me that wants to use the experience to benefit others rather than just completely forget about it.

How has the reaction been from these personal posts and how has the response impacted you as a person?
People are always so kind and seem to love my personal posts - I don't think I've ever had one negative comment as of yet. I get people coming to me for advice, people telling me how brave I am and people calling me an 'inspiration', which I find almost kind of terrifying. At the end of the day, I'm a 17 year old girl, sat behind a laptop screen, typing away... Being called an 'inspiration' makes me feel very weird haha, but it's also incredibly kind. If I can inspire people and help others, that's great and I guess I'd rather have people look up to me in that sense, than in a way that wouldn't necessarily be helpful. I'm a real life person after all, with a hell of a lot of flaws and I think that writing about them has not only helped others, but really helped me to come to terms with who I am. I definitely haven't 'found myself' yet (that sounds incredibly deep) but writing about my life and my feelings, is definitely helping me on the way there. 

The fashion industry is notorious for its use of very thin models. As someone who's experienced eating disorders, do you feel a responsibility to ensure your fashion blog is body positive?
I try to make my blog as body positive as it can be however, I can't lie and say that I'm someone who's 100% comfortable in their own skin. I put my body through a lot over the past 3 years and it's kind of my left my body not being how it probably should be. I always want to encourage people to love themselves for who they are but I also think that there's nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself (to an extent of course, aspiring to be a size 0 and never eating, isn't what I mean by this). I, as well as being a blogger, have a huge passion to become involved in modelling. I think that nowadays the whole 'skinny' model thing isn't that necessary. People of all body types walk the runways and are on clothing websites and having looked at several agencies, I think there's a space for almost everyone in the modelling world now. On my blog, I want to encourage people to be the best that they can be, as well as loving themselves. At the end of the day, you only get one body - treat it well. I know that there are probably things I'd really want to change about myself, but it's going about that in a positive way instead of a dangerous negative way that will actually be beneficial to me.

Mental health issues can often make it very hard to focus or find motivation. How do you personally manage to run a successful blog whilst dealing with this?
I often find it really difficult to focus. I think things like making lists and planning what I'm going to do really helps keep me organised. Motivation is hard, especially when suffering from something like Depression but I think it's best to listen to your body. If you're exhausted, give yourself a day off. When it comes to blogging, I tend to do things in bulk when I have a huge surge of motivation. I will sometimes shoot up to 7 different outfits for my blog just in one day. Some days I'll just focus on getting smaller things done, like a few emails or a singular blog post for example. But, after all, If I need a day to just sit in bed and have a break (as hard as it pains me to do it), I'll do it. 

What advice would you give to new bloggers who struggle with their own mental health issues?"
I think just simply, remember to give yourself a break. There's no point in tiring yourself out or getting completely stressed over something that you could maybe do later or in a few days time. Just get under your duvet, grab a cuppa tea and watch some Netflix! Chill out! 


Check out Holly's amazing blog here and YouTube channel here!

3 comments

  1. This is amazing! I seen Holly on the app "Feels" , totally agree with her. You've got to get the balance between actual life and blogging! x


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    1. Fantastic isn't she? I find her so inspiration in her approach! Glad you enjoyed the interview xx

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  2. It also takes twice the energy to avoid acting and interacting with the people who cross your path because you are, in effect, saying, guarantor

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