2 surprising reasons why Toastmasters can be a safe space for someone with social anxiety

This week, I graduated from a Speechcraft course. Speechcraft courses are a short, intensive version of a Toastmasters course aimed at helping participants develop their verbal communication skills in a supportive environment. I never thought I would be able to do anything like Toastmasters. For as long as I can remember I’ve had a huge

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5 strategies I use to manage social anxiety at work

Having to cope with social anxiety in the workplace can feel awful, and my natural reaction has always been to try and avoid them. Obviously, this isn’t always possible when you’re in the workforce, and if you’ve ever done any therapy work for your anxiety, you’ll know avoidance is a big no-no. The reality is that all jobs are likely to include some activities that make you feel uncomfortable, so it’s important to find and practice strategies that will help you manage your anxieties so you can get through the day. These are 5 strategies that have helped me.

6 surprising lessons I learned from Lena Dunham’s Not that kind of girl

Whether or not you agree with her politics, how often she talks about vaginas or whether she is the ‘voice of her generation’, Lena Dunham’s memoir, Not that kind of girl, does more than reveal humorous insight into this celebrity’s upbringing. Through the use of an unpolished writing style and evident vulnerability that makes the book so relatable and funny, Not that kind of girl reveals 6 important lessons that will empower girls and women to share their own voices.

Controversial children’s book topics: guns and… love?

In theory, I believe that everyone has the freedom to read and write about any topic they choose. And yet, I admit, I was horrified to learn there is a children’s picture book called My parents open carry. Published in 2011, this book explains to children that ‘self-defence is a basic natural right and that firearms provide

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Are our interests really determined by our gender?

The way people think about books and make purchasing decisions is based on ‘subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) value judgments on what kind of narratives matter’ (Johnson 2013). Just as our society values men over women, we tend to value male interests over topics considered to be of interest to female readers, such as

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Books as entertainment: encouraging reading in children

After reading a wonderful article by Maureen Langloss titled ‘In praise of naughty books’, I was inspired to write about my own experience of children, literature, and inspiring the love of books. I spend (some of) my weekends working in my local library. This job allows me to immerse myself in books, one of the long-wished-for dreams I

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