When you can’t control the situation, control your reaction to it

I think everyone would agree that normality has been thrown out the window and a ‘self-isolating book for dummies’ would be greatly appreciated right now. But that’s not going to happen anytime soon so I have came to the conclusion that we have two options:

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  • We can let the situation take control of us
  • Or accept that we can’t control the situation but we can control our reaction to it.

 

The cliche is true: we really are all in this together. I am now 5 weeks into isolation and the version of me that you would have seen 4 weeks ago is extremely different to now.

The Meltdown

When isolation began I worked from home for a few weeks. Truth be told if not for work I would have lost my mind! It was the only thing filling these long and empty days (and I know a lot of people will relate). Next thing you know I am off work for 4  weeks and now what? This is the question I asked myself repeatedly. For the first time in so long I had no purpose and that was the most difficult thing. The next few days was a downward spiral of: anxiety, sleepless nights and mind draining bordem.

The Comeback

Looking back now I’m annoyed  that I wasted a week moping around feeling sorry for myself. Little by little, day by day I started doing things that I had been putting off because I was so busy. Then it occurred to me that I have been handed a huge opportunity! Think about it under normal circumstances if someone said to you: ‘take 4 weeks off work and do nothing or go try new things or spend time with your family’ YOU’D BE BUZZING! SO that’s exactly what I did!

A New Chapter

First steps: Write a list of things that you always said ‘I’d love to try that’. Now go and do it. It’s that simple. Read the book that you bought 6 months ago, try a 30 day online yoga class, bake a cake, start a blog.

(This actually is my list and I have now done all of the above!)

Doing all of these things was great and it distracted me for an hour everyday. But I knew that if I was to take back control I would have to be in control of my emotions and my mind.  After a lot of research and many podcasts later I learnt that journaling may be the answer to all of my problems. I have kept a journal on and off for many years but I’ve never committed to it, so after lots of research I realized that I definitely wasn’t doing it right before nor was I getting the many benefits out of it.

Journaling

“ What a comfort is this journal I tell myself to myself and throw the burden on my book and feel relieved.” Anne Lister.

After a few weeks I perfected the journaling technique that worked for me. This quotation is the best way that I can explain it. Usually we would open up to other people. But there is so much going on in the world right now that no one wants to hear my first world problems, so I open up to my journal.  I wanted something that would: add structure to my day, allow me to aim for goals, let me reflect on how I felt and visualise beyond this time in my life (creating a sense of hope). I can honestly say that the benefits that this process has had on my mental health has been mind blowing and for the first time in a long time I have control and I am happy. 

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Journaling pages pictured on my blog @mindtalkblog

I was always that person that bottled things up and kept myself to myself. I hid behind an insecure smile and I found it difficult to sleep because the conversation between me & my mind was so negative. I can not stress enough the positive impact this has had on my life and especially on the quality of my sleep. I now sleep like a BABY!

Tip: I have gotten into the habit of finishing my journal entry every night by writing down a few things that I am GRATEFUL for. Because no matter how tough the situation is, we all have at least one thing in our lives that we are grateful for.

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My Blog

The new me had so much energy and positivity that I wanted to share my thoughts about journaling with other people. I believed that everyone should have the chance to experience how I feel. So, on 15th April I set up my own blog on Instagram called mindtalkblog. It talks about all things journaling: what it is; how to do it; tips & techniques etc. and to my surprise the response has been amazing!

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https://www.instagram.com/mindtalkblog/ FOLLOW ME!!

I have wanted to create a blog for years but something in the back of my mind has always stopped me. Perhaps it was my confidence or perhaps I had to go through this experience first. But finally I ran out of excuses because all we have at the minute is time. Time to take chances, time to grow and time to flourish.

So I will say it one last time: When you can’t control the situation, control your reaction to it.

 

Kayleigh Tinney is a 3rd year BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University, currently doing a placement year at The Irish News. She can be found on: Instagram – @Kayleightinney and LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/kayleigh-tinney-76b240161/.

The Online Shopping Revolution

As many of you have seen, ASOS have launched a new trial tool on its site called ‘See My Fit’ and personally I think its genius…

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See My Fit

This tool lets shoppers see what an item of clothing would look like on 16 different body shapes ranging from sizes 4-18 and heights 5’1” to 5’9”. According to Tim Carey, senior content manager at ASOS Studios: “the tool uses AR technology to put the power in our customers’ hands, so they can choose to view a dress on the model that they most identify with in a way that wouldn’t be possible using traditional model-shooting techniques”.

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An example of the ‘See My Fit’ app

Can’t please em’ all

ASOS are always one step ahead and the product that it built will change our shopping experience for the better. However a lot of people have made comment on the fact that the model isn’t actually wearing the item. Step into the 21st century hun….imagine how long it would take if ASOS was to shoot every item of clothing on its website onto 16 different models (eye-roll)

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My view on ASOS

DISCLOSURE: In 2019 I paid a £9.99 one off payment to avail of ASOS’s free next day delivery for a year. Yes this investment was great value for money as next day delivery usually costs £4.99 per transaction. But, believe it or not there are pros and cons.

A major CON being the fact that I get an ASOS parcel delivered to my work every other day if not every day. Due to the fact that it’s free delivery, I hold the mindset that “Oh well, I may as well order it, sure I’ll probably send it back” (truth be told I usually don’t)

(9 times out of 10 I return things that I don’t like- I do however return things a lot more for a different size or if it doesn’t fit properly, even if I LOVE the item)

Have you noticed that I’ve began with the cons…

I usually do so as by the time that I’ve listed the positives I have forgotten the cons, selected my size, moved the items from my wish list to my bag, pay now…you get where this is going.

There are major pros to ASOS, the main one being that if I have last minute plans and it’s raining outside I can order an outfit or 2 or 3 (for selection purposes…obvs) from the comfort of my bed and it will be there the very next day. ASOS are miles ahead of the game when it comes to time management and selection. It really is like walking into a huge shopping centre with a shop just for you filled with your favourite brands in your size.

BACK TO THE POINT…

Like many people I am not ‘textbook size’. I take a different size in tops than in bottoms and I am usually tripping over the mile trail left on the floor when I put on my jeans. I am what many websites brand petite and as a result I have in many situations been the perfect example of #ExpectationVSReality.

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Expectation vs Reality

ASOS do have a pretty good petite range, but it is what I would describe as ‘the best of a bad bunch’.
They still fall guilty of one size fits all shapes in many of their products.

The Revolution

The new tool ‘See My Fit’ could possibly revolutionise the future of online shopping. This tool allows shoppers to see what the item of clothing would look like on various different shapes. In my case I could select a small petite girl with my build.
This would have many benefits for ASOS and of course its shoppers. I may be pleasantly surprised with how an item of clothing looks on someone my height and purchase, where as before I would have never considered buying it. This could lead to a lot more sales for ASOS eliminating the self doubt aspect or it could do the opposite and prove that they need to up their game and provide more size variations in their products.

Returns

Simple online returns are a major part of any consumers shopping experience as it gives them a choice, however it costs the industry BILLIONS! This year on Black Friday returns alone predicted to cost UK fashion retailers 1.6 billion pounds , according to returns management platform ReBound Returns. With returns predicted to rise by 27.3% in the next 5 years, this could have a catastrophic impact on our favourite brands.

Could ASOS’s new app be the solution?

Well if customers can see what the product would look like on someone like them, they are more likely to be confident with their purchase. The fact that ASOS are being upfront with its customer again may affect sales but it should definitely have an impact in reducing the quantity of returns.

ASOS have set the standards as far as online shopping goes and it wont be long before the other large retail competitors are forced to keep up. Even though this tool is seen as a unique selling point for ASOS in a few years time we will see this level of customer service as an essential, something we expect.

So for that …THANK YOU ASOS!

 

Kayleigh Tinney is a 3rd year BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University, currently doing a placement year at The Irish News. She can be found on: Instagram – @Kayleightinney and LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/kayleigh-tinney-76b240161/.

Did I give up on my dream of becoming an artist…or am I right where I need to be?

So here’s a little bit about me: My name is Kayleigh, I am 22 years old and I am only half way through my university degree. However before I can get to the good stuff I have to take you right back.

From a young age I always dreamt of being an artist. When I was in secondary school I lived and breathed art. Although I was very academic I only worked hard in other subjects (history & business) so that I could get the grades I needed to get into art school.

Long story short… my hard work paid off and my childhood dream came true. I was going to be an artist!

The calm before the storm 

In September 2016 I packed my bags and moved to the big city (Belfast). I was full of hopes and dreams; nothing was going to get in my way. Throughout my first semester my attitude changed. This course was not living up to my expectations, my dreams. I changed as a person. My parents noticed how unhappy and unenthusiastic I had become. This course was draining my passion for art from me day by day.

I have been told it takes real courage to change direction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Insight into Art School

One thing that you should know about studying art is that the meaning is more important than the execution. For example you could be amazing at art. You could draw the most perfect portrait, or paint the most beautiful painting the world has ever seen. But the question is… WHY did you draw that, what does it mean? 

It’s pretty…yes… but it doesn’t have a purpose or a story! (This is what they will tell you)

On the other hand someone could grab a ruler and draw a straight line. Perhaps they are feeling adventurous today and draw a square. But this is no ordinary square. Their square is the lines that define society.

My point is: It doesn’t matter how good the execution/final piece is, if there is no story or purpose to the art you will not get a good grade.

So is the creative idea more important than the execution if you want to become a successful artist?

*Come January 2017 I dropped out of my degree. I felt as though my world had ended but I couldn’t continue being this unhappy.

New Strategy

In September 2017 I started a new course: Communication, Advertising & Marketing at UU. To be honest I applied for this degree blindly. My dreams had been shattered. The future, unknown.

I was taught in school that marketing was a type of business degree that involved boring people in suits sitting in an office all day long reading reports etc. You would lead an extremely boring life…but hey you would be loaded!

How wrong was I? I was led down this path for a reason.

The re-invention of myself to date

I am now 4 months into my placement year at The Irish News. Every day I am faced with a new challenge or a new campaign. We create and pitch ideas. My ideas are actually listened to and taken on board. Once we establish that magic idea, we create a brief and send it to designers. We brief them on exactly what we would like the campaign to look like. From imagery, to colours to the overall design.

So am I the artist or is the designer who knows how to use photoshop?

I may not have created the final product…. BUT I was taught in art school that the final product is worthless if it doesn’t have a purpose/a story/a message.

It was drilled into me that I had a stupid dream because being an artist was like being a pop star, “you are never going to make it” “what will you do as a job”. There was a very slim chance that the world would see my art.

 

“Don’t give up on your dream because it is not going in the direction you want. There are different routes to the same destination. Stay focused and determined.”-  Janice Harris      

 

I took a different direction to achieving my dream. The dream I am now living.

I am no Picasso or Van Gogh but I guarantee that the majority of you reading this will have seen our artwork in the newspaper, online or perhaps on the side of a bus, you just don’t know it.

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Being a marketer means that my art is seen by the world, it has a purpose, it has a message and it has made a difference.

 

So… has my dream changed or developed? -That’s up for debate.

 

Kayleigh Tinney is a 3rd year BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University, current doing a placement year at The Irish News. She can be found on: Instagram – @Kayleightinney and LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/kayleigh-tinney-76b240161/.

Is sustainability merely a PR stunt? Or are business running against the clock?

I don’t know how many times per day that I look on twitter and ask myself the same question: Is the world really going to end? And yes I am dramatic but it scares the beejeezus out of me. By experiencing all four seasons in one day; hearing that 150 species are becoming extinct daily and seeing the gruesome images of plastic taking over the world, who can blame me.

I think by now everyone recognises the name Greta Thunberg (if not: she is a 16 year old Swedish girl that has became the face of the climate change movement). Now I’m no Greta, but the current movement has made me make a few small changes: buying a recyclable water bottle; reusing plastic bags etc…. the kind of things we should be doing anyways.

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My small changes may not make a difference but there are a lot of global companies out there that have the power to do so.

A few companies have began to take the movement seriously. However we have to ask ourselves: are these companies smart getting out in front early? OR do they know that it will someday become law to reduce carbon emissions?

Well if you have to do it, you may as well do it first and create a positive PR campaign – right?

 

1.Louis Vuitton

My favourite example is the owner of luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton. He has come out and called Greta Thunberg “demoralising” whilst at the same time announcing company plans to become more green – “I prefer positive solutions that allow us to get towards a more optimistic position” he stated.

In other words: people’s eyes have now been opened by Greta Thunberg, but let’s just call the little girl names and act like we (the grown-ups) are doing this on our own initiative. (eyes rolling)

*If like me you are not a super fan, we cannot deny the fact that the (mostly negative) publicity around Greta has drew our attention to these issues.

New sustainable Louis Vuittons anyone? (Well…what they look like in my head)

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2. McDonald’s & Burger King

Another classic example is Burger King & McDonald’s plan to ban plastic toys in their kid’s meals (say what?)

In this case Thunberg has spoken for every child in the world when she states:

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Chill kids… you may not have a plastic toy but you will have a beautiful planet and we will all live another day.

The End

Jokes I’m not done yet. The fast food giants could save 1,325 tonnes per year between them thanks to new green initiatives in the UK. And false alarm: kids can still get recyclable toys, books and board games in their Happy Meals.

This is a huge step for the fast food giants and one that didn’t come overnight. This change was a result of two (8 & 10 year old) girls learning about the environment in school and starting a petition. As you can see below over half a million people have signed the petition already – You gotta give the people what they want!

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In this case once Burger King committed to becoming more sustainable McDonald’s followed to avoid negative PR… again emphasising my question: is sustainability merely a PR stunt?

 

3. Carlsberg 

I think it’s fair to say that this one has blown our minds. Drinking beer out of a paper bottle!

I for one see this as a dream come true and if you own a car and park it in Belfast’s Holylands you will too… no more flat tyres or broken windows… (Carlsberg – thank you).

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The bottle forms part of Carlsberg’s Together Towards Zero initiative, which includes a commitment to reach zero carbon emissions and a 30% reduction in its “full-value-chain carbon footprint” by 2030. Although Carlberg are using their new bottle as a PR stunt, they, unlike Mr. Vuitton can admit that they are running against the 2030 clock 

(tick…tock… tick… tock)

 

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So there you have it – the sustainability craze has hit the corporate market and according to (Burger King’s) Mr. Murdoch the craze is set to have a domino effect.

“If it makes other competitors move their practices forward, that can only be a good thing,”  

Who knows what extraordinary, sustainable inventions will form as a result.

But please listen to me when I say that if its anything like the paper straw…. go back to the drawing board!

 

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Kayleigh Tinney is a 3rd year BSc in Communication, Advertising & Marketing student at Ulster University, current doing a placement year at The Irish News. She can be found on: Instagram – @Kayleightinney and LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/kayleigh-tinney-76b240161/.