When I was in Sixth Form I made friends with a girl called Sanna. While it turned out she wasn’t a particularly nice person she did teach me one wonderful thing that has helped a lot with my mental health and I have to be grateful to her for that.

#6.1

Now Sanna is from a Muslim family who she told me are all huge fans of henna (otherwise known as mehndi) and when she first offered to draw on my arm with henna I jumped at the thought of having these temporary, beautiful patterns stained on my skin. After she’d finished her beautiful art work I asked her where she got her henna cones and that’s where my obsession began…

Ever since I discovered how easy the simpler designs are to do I’ve been in love with it and it’s honestly worked wonders for my tendencies to not be very kind to myself. For me it was the perfect alternative to self-harm on many occasions and it still is now.

(Just a few examples of my henna designs on myself and others!)

I think the main reasons I find henna so relaxing are:

  • It’s easy to do if you keep the designs basic
  • It keeps your hands busy
  • It helps you focus
  • It gives you time to think
  • It’s cool on your skin
  • When it dries you can scratch it off (I’m not sure why that helps me but it does)
  • It looks so beautiful and people will compliment you on it all the time
  • It’s super cheap (like 99p a cone) and the cones last ages

Remember you need to do an allergy test first because henna can be very dangerous and sometimes can scar your skin. If you are allergic a good alternative is body paints which can be bought specifically for people with sensitive skin.

So I’ll let you all make up your own minds on whether you think this is a hobby you’d love to take up or not but for me it’s just perfect!

~ Jem x

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