Happy Saturday my lovelies! I hope you’ve had a great week and a lovely pride month so far. June has been a really busy month for me, for a range of reasons, one being that I finally got myself a new car, work has been crazy busy, I’ve been going out more and because I had to do a complete overhaul on my tiny bedroom.
Which brings me onto what today’s post is, why I had to declutter my room, how I did it and what my room looks like now!
So, why did I end up decluttering my bedroom?
Well, let me take you back to about 3 weeks ago.. I woke up to find a teeny tiny bug on my phone, and at the time I thought nothing of it because it’s summer and I’d had my window open a fair bit and I also have a lot of indoor plants so I know every now and again you can get a bug or two.
Fast forward to about two days later and I’m finding the little buggers everywhere. So, I looked up what they were and it turns out they were carpet bugs!! Sadly they can come in through the window, through indoor plant soil and a few other ways. I’m not 100% sure how they got into my room but I’m guessing it’s probably through my window.
After finding the bugs I took the day off work and decided to do a deep clean because there wasn’t a chance I was going to be able to stay in my room without feeling like I’m being crawled over and eaten alive haha. I cannot stand bugs. So, I decided to begin the deep clean and declutter of my room by throwing away all of my bedding (I needed to get some new pillows, a duvet and bedding set anyway) because the bugs can live in them, I then got one of those shake n’ vac carpet and fabric cleaners and cleaned my mattress so I could then move that into another room and begin clearing everything else out!
Skipping to after clearing the majority of my furniture out of my room after being scrubbed down and cleaned, I then started my decluttering process. My strategy for the decluttering process was kind of like Marie Kondo on steroids, I kind of went by the below sorting tree and was pretty ruthless:
In the end I threw away and donated about 70% of what I owned, and that was mostly because I didn’t even realise I owned that amount of stuff. You see, a big part of my OCD is hoarding, so without always realising it I had collected a huge amount of stuff that I didn’t need. I can’t stop myself from buying everything related a new passion or hobby; and then I’ll move onto a new one and then completely forget I bought a load of stuff. I also struggle with object permanence when I need certain things and end up rebuying stuff all the time, a perfect example of this is that I own around 7 of the exact same black t-shirts because I keep forgetting I own them.
Anyway, back to what happened after moving all my furniture out and getting rid of a load of stuff. I started to deep clean my carpets and areas where carpet bugs can live, and whilst doing this I found the nest of them, which wasn’t actually any of the places where I had deep cleaned.. they had had about 100 babies in the corner of the ceiling in my room!! So the horrible thing was that they had been slowly making their way across my ceiling and falling down on everything. It still gives me the heeby-jeebies. Well, after finding that and getting rid of those the drama still wasn’t over.. because a bird decided to fly into my room and go absolutely nuts. Now, it was then that I realised that I have a fear of birds and proceeded to run as fast as I could out of my room at which point my incredible mum spent the next hour trying to get this little bird out of my room because it kept missing the window out and getting stuck around some of the furniture I had moved back in. Luckily she managed to get it out and it was completely unharmed in the end.
So, with the bird gone, bugs gone and any form or dust and dirt gone I finished moving everything back into my room. I picked up some new pillows, a new duvet, bedding set and got rid of my curtains for a cute bamboo blind (I love waking up to natural light so this is perfect for me). And I have to say, now that I’ve gotten rid of a huge amount of possessions (I kept mostly art supplies because I can’t bare to part with them) I feel absolutely amazing and refreshed; not to mention that my room looks so much bigger and lighter. Along with my room looking better, I also think it’s helped get rid of some stress that I hadn’t realised had built up from my surroundings.
Now that you’ve heard about how my room used to be (fortunately and unfortunately I haven’t got any before pictures because I forgot to take any), here’s what it looks like now!
It’s still kind of funny to me that in the span on 2-3 photos you can see my entire bedroom, the only thing I’ve not got a photo of is my desk, but that’s just a standard desk, nothing too pretty or exciting about that. My top three favourite things about my bedroom now are how airy it feels (I think having nothing above my wardrobe helps with that a lot), my new blinds that also open up the room a lot more than my curtains did and finally my new bedding because not only is it cute and light, but it’s also super soft and comfy. Now that I’ve deep cleaned and decluttered I feel like it’s a refresh and restart and I fully intend to keep my room this way in the future.
When was the last time you decluttered? How did it make you feel afterwards? Let me know in the comments!
And with that, I will leave all you lovely people with a photo of a very cute purchase I made last week, a plant pal called Mabel from Ocean Hughes which now lives with Barry – my bonsai tree!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend and pride month my lovelies!
Hello my lovelies! We’re one month away from Summer being over, and there’s only 134 days left of the year, and I’ve been doing some reflecting. You see, a lot has happened for me over this last year; and that’s not including the shit show that 2020 has been for the world. Other than 2020 throwing everything at us, this year has been a big year for me in terms of personal growth and transformation.
To list a few of the big things that’ve happened this year for me:
I finally found out what has been causing my chronic back pain for the last 4 years.
Basically, I’ve had a lot going on these past months. And I think I’m finally beginning to realise what I want for myself, and I’ve certainly finally started seeing my own self worth.
This hasn’t been like a light bulb thing for me, it’s been something that I’ve been working on for a long time and has been something I’ve also wanted to write about for a long time too. And the reasoning behind me only just writing this now is because I’m in a place of self acceptance and self love; it always seemed like a weird idea to me to want to write a post about self love and self worth, because there’s still certain things I wouldn’t mind changing about myself, so how on earth could I preach to others about loving yourself if I still had some things that I’d like to change?
But then I remembered that the fact that I’m aware of that and on this journey of self love and knowing my worth is just proof that I’m human and we all have days where we’d change something if we could.
Bottom line though: I’m in a place of acceptance and neutrality with who I am, most days I love myself, and there’s days when I’m just not feeling it, and both are ok and valid.
Loving yourself and who you’re becoming is not big headed or selfish, but being happy with who you are, knowing your worth and not feeling like you need to change to meet someone elses view on what you should or shouldn’t look/speak/act like. Just being comfortable being yourself.
I haven’t spoken a lot about my break up from my long term relationship at the start of the year, but part of the reason why that ended was because I started to realise that I had changed who I was to fit someone else’s ideals and I felt guilty for being myself! I also didn’t really know what I wanted in my future anymore, so it was time to go out and find myself again. And, after 6 months, I now have a very strong idea of what I want for my future, who I am and my worth.
One of the other big things that has helped me change my view of myself was shaving my head. I’ve always wanted to shave my head, and it’s honestly the most liberating thing I’ve ever done; it forced me to start looking at how I see my own beauty, because my hair has always been a security blanket, so without it, I had to start seeing myself in a new light. In this new, badass, give no fucks what others think about my appearance sort of way. And since then, that’s kind of been my motto when it comes to how I look!
Another thing that I now live by is just being completely unapologetically myself. Loving yourself and knowing your worth isn’t being vain or thinking that you’re above everyone else; it’s simply knowing that you’re pretty amazing, and worthy of happiness and great things.
So what are some tips for building up your self love and self worth?
Tell yourself one nice thing about yourself every day. (cheesy I know, but after doing this for a while things’ll start to sink in)
If you struggle with body positivity, I highly recommend the 30 day nude challenge. Now, I know how that sounds, but it’s simply taking a photo of yourself every single day (you don’t have to send them to anyone – they’re for your eyes only), without filters or trying to suck in or change your shape can really help you realise that your body is beautiful as it is, and you don’t need to change it to be some instagram model lookalike. I did this challenge myself and it’s made me appreciate how my body looks and now I see it in a completely new positive light, rather than something to be ashamed or embarrassed of. Also, you’ll see how your pictures change over the course of the 30 days, they usually seem better and better and that’s because you start feeling more confident which in return radiates from your photos!
Wear clothes that make you happy.
Do something out of your comfort zone. It hasn’t got to be anything big, just something that makes you nervous or anxious, so you can prove to yourself how strong you actually are.
Acknowledge that you aren’t going to love everything about yourself every single day, and that’s ok.
Date yourself. You know that warm fuzzy feeling you get when someone treats you? Well did you know that you can give yourself that same feeling by treating yourself that way others do? Something I’m doing is dating myself, so every week or so I’ll take myself out on a date (or have a home date – you know, coronavirus and all that) and I’ll show myself a little love!
Have boundaries. Learn to say no every now and again. I’m super guilty of saying yes and agreeing to do things when I may not have the time or just might not want to, so something I’m working on is actually saying no when I need to. You don’t have to be rude or anything, just simply saying “sorry, I’ve got too much on at the moment” or “No, sorry” will do the job, and having those boundaries in place will help you not only have more time to get what you need to get done, but also you’ll learn that saying no does not make you a bad person.
Do something that makes you feel good. Whether that’s singing, dancing, drawing, reading, watching a movie, working out, do what makes you happy.
And those are my self love and self worth tips! How are you doing with your self love journey? I think self love is an ongoing journey for most of us, and it’s important to celebrate ourselves and the little victories we have! What’s your most recent achievement? Let me know in the comments!
Oh, as you may have guessed, over the last few weeks a lot has been happening in my life, so for the new few months posts might be fortnightly, but once everything has settled down my posting schedule will be back to normal again!
Happy Saturday my lovelies! I hope you’ve been well and have been keeping cool in the heatwave we’ve been having!
So, as you may have noticed, over the last few weeks I’ve not been writing as consistently as I usually do; and that’s because I’ve had a lot going on in my personal life (family in and out of hospital, my own health challenges and just generally quite a lot of stressful stuff going on). And that’s on top of working full time whilst studying, running my own business, writing my blog, trying to keep up with my many hobbies and starting dating.
I noticed that I was struggling to sleep, feeling tired all the time and just couldn’t focus on anything for more than 5 minutes; and I realised that I was very quickly going towards burnout if I didn’t take some time out to relax and have a break. I was taking on way too much, with not enough hours in the day and wasn’t addressing how I was feeling; and if I wasn’t careful, I was going to crash very soon.
So, what did I do about it?
Well, obviously I can’t change what’s out of my control that’s causing me stress, but what I can do is adjust the things that are in my control. And with that in mind, I decided to take one of two weeks off from writing my blog to just sit like a potato and do nothing, listen to some audiobooks, practice a little selfcare and then I luckily had some time booked off for what was going to be a trip to Corfu before the lovely pandemic hit. Instead of going to Corfu I took a trip to the small little village of Holmrook with my family and then we climbed Scafell Pike!
Taking that trip to the middle of nowhere was exactly what I needed. I couldn’t get any signal in the area, was surrounded by nature and just completely unplugged from my day to day and spent time with myself.
Plus, on the climb I got to see some incredible views!
Climbing the mountain was so relaxing, don’t get me wrong, it was bloody hard work and I my legs killed me for the next three days, but it was the perfect 5 hours in nature surrounded by streams and greenery that I needed to fully escape my day to day life.
Since coming back from my trip I have taken some more days to relax and reorganise some of my time so I’m not overwhelmed, and I definitely feel better for it!
So, what are my top 5 tips for avoiding burnout?
Know your own limits, and don’t feel bad saying no when you need to.
Find time to unplug. Turn off social media, ignore your inbox, put your phone on do not disturb and take a moment to just be with yourself.
Sleep! Getting a good night sleep affects us is so many ways, it’s our body’s way of healing, so don’t feel guilty for getting more sleep than usual! If you’re tired, that’s your body’s way of telling you to take a beat and rest.
Make time for the things you enjoy, and remind yourself that you’re allowed to take some time to do hobbies instead of feeling like you should be spending all your extra spare time working on some other ‘hustle’.
Accept and acknowledge how you’re feeling, and don’t be afraid to reach out for support and take a break from the day to day.
Make time for yourself, know that it’s very common nowadays to experience burnout, but I hope that these tips help you avoid it if you can!
What do you like to do to manage your stress levels? Have you taken some time out recently to go somewhere nice to relax and unplug? I’d love to know if you’ve got any spots you’d recommend!
That’s all from me for today my lovelies! Have a good weekend and stay safe!
Hello my lovelies! I hope you’re having a great weekend so far and that it’s not pouring down too much! (That being said, I kind of love thunderstorms..) So, this week shops have begun opening again and lockdown measures are beginning to lessen, which is great news; and if you’re off out to them, please be safe and wear a mask! It’s amazing hearing that lockdown is sort of at its end now, and with shops opening it certainly feels a lot more like how it used to be; but at the same time it feels so strange because I’d gotten so used to everything being shut and no one going out!
Being in lockdown has allowed me to do a range of things I’d either forgotten about, didn’t feel like I had time for and has given me some time with myself and my thoughts. And with everything that’s happened (and still happening), if I didn’t take care of my mental wellbeing, my mind would end up a bit like this:
Naturally, having my mind acting like that is not ideal, so I’ve been taking care of myself by doing all sorts to manage my wellbeing; and I’ve learnt quite a few things about what makes me feel good and sets me up to have a good day.
So, what have I learnt? Well…
Something as small as a good cup of tea can work wonders when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
I’ve been trying all sorts of teas during lockdown and have finally landed on one that I absolutely adore, redbush tea. It’s naturally sweet and smells great. Plus it’s naturally caffeine free, and as someone who has anxiety, decaf is all I drink. I also used to have a heavy sugar and then sweetener addiction, and during lockdown I’ve managed to curb that to the point of only needing one sweetner in my tea since redbush is so naturally sweet. Anytime I feel like I need five minutes completely to myself, I go and get myself a lovely cup of tea and chill out for a few minutes.
Audiobooks are a great escape from the news.
The news has gotten so overwhelming and is the same thing repeated over and over again, so I’ve been limiting how much time I spend listening and watching it and have been listening to audiobooks instead. I found they’re a great way to escape the never ending covid news and just tune out and chill out for a bit.
Plants are an incredible way to brighten up any space and simply put, bring me joy and peace.
I have fallen madly in love with house plants over lockdown. Maybe it’s not being able to go outside much or something else, but I’ve gone from having three fake plants to over 10 alive ones during my time at home. I’ve found they’re a great distraction from everything going on, and they’re something you can focus your energy on even when you don’t feel like looking after yourself. And on top of that you’ll breathe easier with more plants in your space!
Redecorating is a great way to feel refreshed and give you that new start feeling.
I had been in the same space for several years, and it was a pretty dark room due to there being slanted ceilings and only one window. My brother had had the smallest room in the house for years and long story short he kept asking me when I was moving out (gotta love saving for your own place..) so he could have my room. So, I thought about it and decided it’s about time he got a big room. And so, over the course of a weekend we painted, moved furniture and reorganised each others room; now I’m in the smallest room in the house. You might think having a tiny room with only enough space for a clothes rail, bed, desk and bedside table would feel cluttered and give you anxiety; but it’s actually been incredibly refreshing and has encouraged me to completely declutter all of my belongings to what I actually need. My room feels fresh and bright and is the new beginning that I needed.
No one is looking at my scars when I’m out without makeup on. My skin looks fine with and without makeup.
Since we’ve all been inside for a long time, a lot of us who would normally wear makeup regularly have reduced our days wearing makeup to virtually zero. And as nice as I feel when I’m wearing a full face, not being able to touch my face for fear of my makeup coming off everywhere just isn’t worth it anymore for me. So now I only wear a full face when I’m doing a photoshoot. And even then it’s a much paired down makeup routine to my previous one. When I do go outside I wear a tiny bit of clear brow gel, clear mascara and lipgloss; and even then that’s a rare occurrence. At first I was concerned that my acne, rosacea and psoriasis scars would make people stare at me, but to be honest, no one really cares at all. And now I don’t even wear foundation in most of my photoshoots!
A light projector is a great way to rid you of night worries.
I picked up a light projector from amazon after switching rooms with my brother because I had individually stuck 800 glow in the dark stars to my old ceiling and my new room felt weird without them, so this was a great replacement. The light can change colours, project water and stars around the entire room. Plus this projector light is also a speaker and has a timer setting so you can leave it on when you go to bed without fear of it staying on all night and overheating. I like to put on a mix of red and blue light with the stars whilst I listen to meditations or read before bed. It’s super relaxing, and I’d recommend it to anyone who struggles to get rid of worries before bed.
Yoga is a form of meditation for me.
Before lockdown I would practice yoga on and off every now and again, but about halfway through lockdown I started practicing yoga for 30 minutes each day to chill out and reset. I’ve been watching Yoga with Adriene on YouTube and am about 3/4’s of the way through her 30 day yoga practice/challenge. These have helped me unwind after a day at my desk and spend some time acknowledging my thoughts and feelings and let them be what they are. Yoga is something I don’t go a day without now because it allows me to release and explore anything I need to without pushing my feelings down until they inevitably explode out of nowhere.
Just because I’m not going anywhere doesn’t mean I can’t look cute.
Something I used to do before lockdown was wear simple outfits during the work week with a hint of my unique style, and then go all out at the weekend. But since we’ve been inside an awful lot, I have taken pleasure in dressing completely unapologetically in my unique style, going all out with my outfits every day. Gone are the days where I would save outfits for an occasion; because after all, you don’t buy clothes to have them stay on the hanger only to be worn once in a blue moon.
Shaving my hair off is the most freeing and liberating thing I could have ever done.
As you probably know, at the beginning of lockdown I shaved my head. It was something I’d always wanted to do, and lockdown gave me the perfect opportunity to do it. Shaving my head was scary yes, but oh so worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat because I’ve never felt more like myself. It’s helped me reassess what about my appearance I relied on as a comfort blanket and how I feel about how I look. I feel beautiful with and without hair and let me tell you, not having to do your hair in the morning is an incredible feeling.
Time really does heal.
So, at the end of February my ex and I broke up. We’d been together for over 8 years, since we were 15 years old. He was my first love and to be honest I think we weren’t sure what we wanted anymore. To tell you the truth one of the good things about going into quarantine is that its allowed me to process my feelings and work through what I needed to work through, and now, four months on I feel amazing. Time really is a healer and quarantine is the enforced time I needed for myself.
Days doing nothing are necessary.
Looking online I saw so many people talking about how they were working on their next project or finding a side hustle during their time at home, and it made me feel like having a day to do nothing was a waste of all of this new found spare time. But, as someone who hasn’t actually been furloughed and worked the entire way through lockdown whilst simultaneously running her own business, my spare time actually felt shorter than ever before and I began feeling guilty for wanting to spend the day in front of the telly. However, if you don’t take time to look after yourself and recharge, you’re going to burn out. So, I ended up taking a few days holiday during lockdown to literally do nothing. And they were just what I needed to recharge and refresh myself ready to get going again. You haven’t always got to be doing something!
Photoshoots are a great way to boost your mood.
Something I’ve been doing is having photoshoots with no real goal or purpose in mind other than to turn up some music and vibe; and let me tell you, it is such a great way to give you a mood boost. Plus, you get some super cute photos out of it too! I like using this as a tool for testing out new outfit ideas I’ve had as well, and the second I’m vibing in the outfit, it instantly brings a smile to my face making everything even cuter.
Family quiz nights are perfect for catching up with family without the awkward ‘how’s your love life?’ questions.
Most of us have been talking to family and friends even more than before over the last few months, and for my lot, we’ve been having two different game/quiz nights, one board game night on a friday with one side of my family and a quiz on the saturday night with the other side of my family. I love a quiz so these have been so much fun, and since we’re all focused on the game/quiz, all awkward questions you don’t want to answer hardly ever get asked.
Skincare routines are a small way to show yourself some selfcare.
I’ve taken this time at home to fully delve into my skincare routine and find things that truly work for my skin. In the morning I use my Carbon Theory soap bar, followed by a serum or complete care cream (I alternate these daily) and then in the evening I use an aloe vera cleansing foam followed by an aloe vera moisturising gel and then my adapalene retinol cream. I’ve stuck to this routine for about 3 months and my skin has never felt better. Yes, I still have my adult acne, but the texture of my skin has changed and I think my skin tone has evened out a bit. 5 minutes in the morning and evening to look after yourself can really work wonders.
Tarot card readings help me feel centered.
This one isn’t for everyone, but I personally love doing tarot readings. I like to burn some incense sticks, put on some relaxing music and then give myself a tarot reading, focusing on whatever question or worry I’ve had going through my mind. The cards don’t give you direct answers of course, but they can give you a gentle nudge into a direction you could take. And I personally find a little bit of calm in allowing other forces (believe what you want to believe.. if you don’t believe in that sort of thing that’s your choice and you do you) to give me a bit of guidance on what I can do.
Routines are necessary to keep me productive on weekdays.
As nice at it was to work in my pyjamas every single day, it stops the day from being broken up and you can lose a sense of what day it is. So, I’ve created a routine which I stick to every weekday to help my days stop blending into one. I wake up at 6.30am, go get breakfast by 7am, have a cup of tea and then wash my face and brush my teeth; then I watch some youtube or tv and then start work at 8am. I then work until 4pm with a lunch break in the middle and then at 4.30pm I start cooking my tea. By 6pm I workout and shower, then play some animal crossing, watch some tv and then get ready to go to bed and then go to sleep by 10pm. Having structure has helped keep me productive and make sure I’ve scheduled in some time for selfcare.
And those are what I’ve learnt from being in lockdown!
I feel like I’ve grown a lot during lockdown, at the start of lockdown it had been about 3 weeks since my ex and I had split, I was in a completely different space mentally and physically, I was surrounded physical clutter too and I was stressed about all sorts. But now, I’m single and happy, I’ve moved into a new space, I’ve thrown away and donated the majority of my belongings by going minimalist, I’m finally on top of my savings and can manage my finances with (some level of) confidence and I’m now adult enough to keep plants alive and I give even less of a care about how others view my appearance!
Looking back at who I was at the beginning of lockdown is truly like looking at a different person. My family and friends have said I seem more like myself and happier than ever and I can’t help but agree with them. Truth be told I think lockdown was the time out from the outside world that I didn’t know I really needed.
What have you learnt from being in lockdown? Let me know in the comments!
Hello my lovelies!! Happy Saturday and I hope you have a happy bank holiday weekend! So, as you may be aware, this week is mental health awareness week, and each year we have a different theme, and this years theme is kindness. Pretty fitting for the year we’re having isn’t it?!
If you’ve been with me and my blog for a long time, you’ll know that I’ve had my fair share of mental health challenges in my time and I’m very open about them. I’ve got a diagnosis of anxiety, depression, ocd and I’m in recovery from anorexia. That being said, I’m very happy to let you know that I am in a very good place with my mental wellbeing.
Part of the reason why I’m in a good place with my mental health is because I’ve had cbt (cognitive behavioural therapy) in the past, I’ve also had support from eating disorder services, I use mental health apps and selfcare to manage my mental health and of course I have my family and friends who support me!
One of the apps I have been using is called Pocketcoach, and this week I’ve done a little review of it for you!
I love that the app works a bit like a text message conversation, once you’ve had your first text chat, you can go on to choose different courses that you can do in your own time that can help with your mental wellbeing. I found it super easy to use and I like how it uses emojis and gifs in the conversation, it makes it feel like you’re chatting to a friend!
What do I like about it? What does it offer?
I like how you can create an account to save your information, so you can log on to use the app on different devices and follow on from where you left off.
Once you’ve had a conversation with Pocketcoach you can then go on to choose a course that you’d like to go through, since it’s #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek I decided to go with Self-Kindness since this years theme for mental health awareness week is kindness. And I think we could all be a lot kinder to ourselves, especially in times of stress.
On the course for Self-Kindness I found that I liked how easy it was to follow along since it’s all in a chat format, so you can scroll back to the start of the conversation to re-read anything if you need to. Another thing I like is how you get given options to have some parts of the course through videos or text, the choice is yours; which is great if you’re using the app on the go and can’t use sound for the video, because you can still get the help through text.
If the courses aren’t your kind of thing you can check out all of the different exercises they have. They’ve got exercises for a range of challenges, for mindfulness, meditation, sleep and lots more. I’ve personally found their ‘guide to falling asleep’ very helpful on those nights where I’ve struggled to get to sleep because of worries and stress.
Did I like it, and will I continue using it?
Yes! I’m going to continue to use Pocketcoach when I’m stressed in the future, and even when I’m not because I found the guided exercises very helpful for taking a few minutes to slow down and focus on myself. Having something you can click onto to have a chat with is great for those times when you want to check in with how you’re feeling.
Here’s some more screenshots of the exercises you can find in the app!
So, what else have I been doing for selfcare over the last week or two?
Well.. I’ve been spending plenty of time drawing and painting and going on lots of walks to manage my mental health. I’m incredibly lucky that I have a beautiful walkway near the back of my house which is full of trees and flowers and lovely greenery which never fails to lift my spirits if I’m feeling low and always helps me relax and get a clear headspace.
Something I’ve been doing over the last week is writing letters with positive messages and hiding them in the walkway I love to go down for people to find signed with the alias #TheWorryNotWalker! After all, who doesn’t love a treasure hunt or finding a letter with a wax seal?! It’s like recieving your Hogwarts letter with kind messages inside!
Here’s a few photos from the walkway!
And that’s what I’ve been up to over the last week and a bit! Have you tried any mental health apps before? Are there any you’d like me to review?
I love being able to bring a smile to people’s faces through small acts of kindness and I can only do this because I’m being kind to myself through making time for selfcare and selflove.
So, with all that said and done, remember to be kind to yourself, and know that reaching out for support is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength!
I’ll leave you with these wise words from an utterly fabulous queen:
“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”
Have a great weekend my lovelies! Stay safe and make some time for yourself today!
Happy Saturday and happy Easter my lovelies! Can you believe that we’re actually in April right now? Where is this year going?! But I won’t lie, if the next few months could be skipped, I wouldn’t be complaining! For a lot of you it’s probably going into week three of lockdown, but for me I’m well into week four, it could even be week five. I don’t even know anymore.
Because we’re all stuck inside, everyone has been coming up with new ways of doing things and passing the time. As for me, I’ve been busy doing all sorts.
I’m incredibly lucky that I am able to work from home, so monday to thursday every week I spend 8am to 4pm working at my desk for a non-profit called the SUN Network; where I do all things social media, marketing and website related. At the SUN Network we talk to people who have accessed, are accessing or are trying to access mental health and/or drug and alcohol services within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and listen to their stories and what they would like to see improved to make the services better.
Then, after my work at the SUN Network I take a few hours each night and fridays to work on my freelance business Sociaglow. At Sociaglow I help small businesses and non-profit organisations get their website up and running and social media channels set-up and ready to go.
So the good thing for me is that I have been able to continue working and keep to some form of a routine throughout all of this madness.
And then comes my time when I’ve finished work. So, lucky for me, I have a million hobbies that I usually wouldn’t have much time for due to other commitments. Some of those hobbies include:
Painting and Drawing
Playing Video Games
Creating and Completing Puzzles
Reading and Listening to Audiobooks
Week one: This week I decided to start painting as I had bought a huge canvas a few weeks prior (when we could still go outside and shop) which I had been hung on my wall completely blank because I was struggling to come up with an idea for what I should paint. Plus, I wasn’t sure how well my painting would look if I were to just go freehand when I wasn’t completely in the right mood for painting. After some time thinking it over, and in a creative spell, I decided to just slap some paint on the canvas and see what ideas that would spark. Lucky for me, inspiration hit and I was able to paint a pretty cool piece over the next few weekends! And lucky for you, I filmed my process!
Week number two: This week I struggled with having to stay home, for many reasons really, but mostly because I had made quite a few plans to meet up with friends who would’ve been at a high risk and we believe people in my house had the virus; so there was no chance of me leaving the house. With all my new found spare time I finished the painting above, shaved my head (I’d always wanted to, see my previous posts) and decided to make myself some dungarees out of an old duvet set! If you like these I’ll do my best to make a diy tutorial on how you can make them yourself! From start to finish these dungarees took about 4 hours to make, from the cutting to actually putting them on. Not bad for an old duvet cover!
Next up comes week three: This weekend I watched Knives Out and played an escape room game we ordered online. I also managed to create a website for my sister and her husbands clothing brand, took some super cute photos in my favourite outfits and I finished an entire book on the Sunday. The book I read was called ‘Make or Break’ by Catherine Bennetto, and it’s the story of a woman who gets surprised with a holiday to Cape Town by her boyfriend of 6+ years but ends up coming back single, with lots of twists and turns in between. It was a very cathartic read for me, because I too recently came out of a long term relationship, (a story for another day maybe?) and I usually struggle to find books I can’t put down but this one was great and I loved every page. 10/10 would recommend!
That brings us to this weekend: Being inspired by the escape room game we ordered and the Knives Out film, I decided to create my own escape room game for my family. And so, after lots of looking online and thinking about how I could really make this an exciting game, I had a game plan. I wrote several letters, had boxes with hidden compartments, invisible inks and inks that would disappear with heat. It took my family about 45-50 minutes to complete it and I am happy to report that they absolutely loved it. In fact they loved it so much that we’ve decided it will become a tradition of ours for different occasions throughout the year, one for Easter, Halloween and Christmas! I can write up how I pulled all of this together so you can create your own if you’d like, let me know in the comments!
And that brings us to right now! I’m having great fun this weekend chilling out, having a bbq, watching disney + and playing animal crossing! Oh and I can’t forget, I’m also stuffing my face with chocolate right now. I love playing animal crossing right now because it’s such a nice way to escape from this house for a few hours! If I can work out how to let you all visit my island, I’ll post it up here or on my Insta and Twitter so you can come and visit me! Once I’m finished with animal crossing for the day, I’ll be finishing up another pair of dungarees that are 70% finished, because let’s be real, dungarees are one of the comfiest forms of clothes ever!
Every other day I’m also taking time to practice yoga and workout with the be.come project, as well as making sure I take a little bit of extra me-time through trying out skincare products that could help with my acne. Other than hobbies and work, I haven’t spent a huge amount of time just doing nothing, partly because when I’m doing nothing, that’s when all of those negative thoughts and reminders about what is going on in the world start to creep back in. So, something that I’m going to be spending some time doing each day is nothing. And you know what, that’s okay, and having some of those negative thoughts in a time like this is okay too.
How are you spending your time during lockdown? And how are you spending this Easter weekend? Let me know in the comments; as always you know I love to have a chat with you!
Happy Saturday my lovelies!! Sorry I have been missing the last week or two, I’ve been dealing with some personal challenges; but I’m back now and better than ever! Over the last few weeks, I’ve been taking some time for selfcare, and one thing I’ve been getting really into is listening to audiobooks.
So, why are audiobooks great? Well, they are perfect for long car journeys by yourself, great for when you’re home alone, and I love them for when you’re too tired to move and watch tv but not too tired to actually go to sleep.
I currently listen to audiobooks through Audible (not sponsored, but it could be – Amazon.. you listening?), and the only reason I even began listening to audiobooks was after listening to podcasts on youtube (mostly the TryPod by the Try Guys and Kelsey Darragh’s podcast, which are both great!) whilst doing other things like cleaning my room or painting.
So.. I thought I’d let you know what I’ve been listening to!
Let’s get right into it:
1 . The Harry Potter Series – Read by Stephen Fry. Look, you know I love Harry Potter, so this was a given recommendation. But also, if you’re after something that’s incredibly easy listening and calming, Stephen Fry reading you a bedtime story is just a perfect way to end the day and wind down.
2 . The Hidden Power of Fucking Up – Read by The Try Guys. I love the Try Guys, for many reasons, which I may or may not get into in future posts.. we’ll see. It’s basically the story of 4 guys who funnily enough, try things out of their comfort zone and also run a youtube channel; oh and they’re hilarious so be prepared for a laugh! They get into personal stories and tries, share the good and the bad and are genuinely lovely human beings without a hint of toxic masculinity in them.
3 . Over The Top, By Jonathan Van Nessand read by him! It’s Jonathan’s story, from what his childhood was like, to how he became the absolute icon he is today! If you love Queer Eye, then you’ll love this; Jonathan shares everything and is so incredibly open it’ll make you love him even more!
4 . How to Break Up with Fast Fashion, By Lauren Bravo. I bought this with my monthly Audible credit on a whim, and I was not disappointed! I listened to this entire book from start to finish in the space of two days, and in those two days I overhauled my wardrobe and am grateful to now have a new view on my clothes and a realisation on how many clothes I actually have. Too many, incase you were wondering.
5 . And finally: Body Positive Power, By Megan Jayne Crabbe,or as you may know her on instagram – @bodyposipanda. I found this book perfect for those days where you just aren’t feeling happy with yourself and your body image. It’s helped me see my body in a new light and appreciate everything it has and continues to do for me and allow me to do. Need a body image pick me up? Then this book is for you!
And those are my recent listens in my Audible library. I loved every single one of these listens, and nearly every time I was listening to these I found that I was either super relaxed and chilling out, or I was being more productive in my spare time than ever before. I also found that it’s a great substitution to having the tv on for the sake of having the tv on because you want background noise. My favourite time to listen to audiobooks is when I’m cleaning/organising and painting.
Do you listen to audiobooks? If so, what’re you listening to now? Let me know in the comments!! I’d love some new recommendations!
And that’s all from me for today! I’m now off to go and find a new book to listen to and paint a huge canvas; which I may or may not record a timelapse of, we’ll see how it turns out haha!
Hello my lovelies! Can you believe we’re already at the end of November?! It’s madness, festive and great but madness that the year is nearly through. It feels like only yesterday the year began.
With the festive season well on its way, we’re all getting busier and busier getting things ready for Christmas and trying to put in those extra hours to make the most of this time of year and it’s festivities. And because we’re so busy, we often forget to take care of ourselves, which can lead to burnout.
Burnout is when you feel exhausted emotionally, physically and mentally and is caused by prolonged stress that has built up over time. Burnout, if not tackled can lead to mental health challenges and health problems.
So how do you know if you’re heading towards burnout?
Well, here are five things you can look out for:
Feeling tired and exhausted no matter how much sleep you get and what you do.
Feeling little to no pleasure or motivation to do any of your hobbies and/or work.
Your space is becoming untidy when it’s normally clean and organised. This one is a big que for me, when I’m feeling overwhelmed it can often come out in how messy my room will get!
Neglecting yourself physically or taking part in unhealthy behaviour patterns.
You’re thinking about work, when you’re not at work.
Now that you know what burnout can look like, what are some of the things you can do to stop burnout?
As someone who has experienced burnout myself, I’ve come up with 5 tips for dealing with burnout. Also, you should never be ashamed for struggling with burnout, it’s actually pretty common nowadays with the always working on yourself culture that we have.
Here’s my tips!
1 . Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. – If you’re struggling to get to sleep and find yourself laying awake with thoughts going through your head like me then I highly recommend an app called PocketCoach. It had guided meditations, courses on how to change negative thoughts and has great breathing exercises. I use their sleep guide often aa it helps me fall asleep straight away.
2 . Make time to relax and do nothing. I can’t stress this enough. Sometimes, with our busy lives we forget that we need time to recharge, as an introvert myself, I need lots of time away from busy crowds to build my energy back up. It can be hard to make time to do nothing as we often feel guilty when we do, but it’s so important that we take that time to recharge and build our energy back up.
3 . Have a social media break. I try to post regularly on my social media, particularly Instagram, but if you’ve been checking my insta over the past week or two, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted as much as I do usually. This is because I started to feel a lot of pressure to keep uploading more during the week, so I took a little break. And guess what?! Nothing drastic happened whilst I was away!
4 . Spend some time organising, decluttering and tidying. This helps me put any stress I may have been having subconsciously about my surroundings being untidy to bed which in return makes me feel a lot more relaxed and like I’ve got my shit together.
5 . Do something active that you enjoy. For me, working out with the be.come project has helped me more than any other form of exercise ever has. It’s transformed how I feel about my body and I always have a clear head and feel great after.
So, those are some of the signs of burning out to look out for and my tips on what can help in the event of burnout and to prevent it. How do you keep on top of your wellbeing and stress levels? If you’re worried that you may be suffering with more than burnout then please do talk to your GP and your loved ones as they can offer great support!
And with all of those tips said, I’m not off to do a bit of decluttering and then veg out on the sofa watching all of the star wars films! Have a great weekend everyone! Be sure to make time to relax!
Hello my lovelies! I hope you had a good week! This week has been super busy as usual, but I did manage to have a little time to see my sister, niece and nephew! And with seeing them, my sister brought me some funky new earrings that I absolutely adore. Which leads me to today’s post, having confidence to be yourself, no matter what others think.
So, this week I decided to talk to you about confidence. Specifically in having confidence in being yourself regardless of other people’s opinions.
For me, I can remember being tiny and having absolutely zero self-esteem issues and having complete confidence in myself and giving no fucks. And I can also remember when I began giving all of the fucks to what people thought about me and my appearance.
Sadly that day came in primary school when all of the year 6 girls (myself included) got to wear their Brownie uniforms to school. I had no care in the world about how I looked, I was just happy I got to wear something other than my usual uniform; and then came a comment from one of the kids in my class, it was something along the lines of: “why are you wearing those pants? You look stupid”.
And poof. Insecurities as far as the eyes could see.
Several years of bullying throughout school later, all I wanted was to fit in. And then a few years working in two different jobs types, and spending some time working on myself away from negative people.
As time went on, my confidence has grown quite a lot, and I think that is partly due to ‘The Weight Of My Worlds’! I say partly but I think that’s actually a huge factor for me.
Something just clicked in me one day and I decided that from then on I was going to be completely apologetically myself. Regardless of what other people think, because someone who’s worth spending your time with will only lift you up and not put you down.
My tips for building confidence in yourself are:
Looking at yourself in the mirror, as you are, without makeup, without fancy clothes, just as you are. Get used to you and your appearance.
Don’t be afraid to be weird when you’re by yourself, be as weird as you want to be by yourself so much so that when you’re with your loved ones you start being yourself more because you’re more comfortable with yourself.
Fake it til you make it! I love this phrase because it’s something that I’ve done for a long time and it definitely helped me in my early days trying to build my confidence. It’s also a good one for anxiety!
Wear whatever you want to. Wanna wear a skirt? Wear a skirt. Wanna wear a suit? Wear a suit. Wanna wear crazy patterns. Wear em. Wear what makes you happy!
Do a complete detox. Anything that doesn’t make you feel good, get rid! Social media was a big one for me, so I unfollowed all of the accounts that made me feel bad about myself and followed loads of positive ones that made me feel good.
So, what’re some things that I do now that I wouldn’t before?
Well, for a start, I now don’t care about what people think of my appearance or personality anymore; because I am me and guess what? I’m pretty great as I am.
How else do I know I’m more confident than before? Well, I would never pose or do photoshoots where other people could see me, and now I am not afraid to strike a pose in public!
Another thing that’s changed is that I’m not afraid to wear whatever wacky, weird and quirky things I want. At the moment I’m really into crazy shoes and jewellery! My sister gave me these awesome gumball machine earrings that I can’t get enough of!
So, that’s a bit about how my confidence has gone through ups and downs and ups again and how I have improved my confidence! Have you got any tips and tricks that make you feel more confident? Let me know in the comments!
And remember, you are perfect just as you are. Be apologetically yourself because you’re incredible! Be bright, be bold, be you!
Happy Saturday everyone! This week I’ve been busy journaling, catching up with friends and family and I’ve been practicing some selfcare. And speaking of journaling and selfcare; this week I’m going to share with you my top 5 favourite storytime posts I’ve written.
This post will always hold a special place in my heart. For as long as I can remember I’ve hated my stomach, and that all changed when I wrote this post. I think it’s the furthest I’ve ever pushed myself out of my comfort zone as an experiment and I have stopped hating on my stomach every since. I mean, I still have other parts of my body I like more, but I’m a long way away from hate.
I got a lot of responses from this post. And I think it’s because I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any posts like this about new years resolutions. And I’m happy to say that this one will always be a favourite of mine because I think it raised an important point for lots of people who weren’t a fan of themselves, and why they should learn to love themselves and spent their time on better things than self-hatred.
I am still so so happy that I wrote this post, and it partly came with my new years resolutions and it’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to play the piano. And guess what?! I’ve kept up my learning since this post and I’m not about to stop now! I can’t believe how far my learning has come and I can now play a few beautiful songs from memory and read sheet music!
This post was one I had wanted to write for a really long time, and it’s a post all about my job, why I decided to become an apprentice in my 20s and why it’s important to celebrate your successes, no matter how big or small they are!
So those are my top 5 favourite storytime posts from this year! It’s amazing to me that we’re already 3/4’s of the year through and that I’ve had my blog for over a year and a half!
Have you got a favourite post of mine? I like writing these posts every few weeks as it’s a great way to reflect over what’s been happening and what my favourite topics are to write about!
And that’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed today’s post, it’s always great fun writing about my life, interests, hobbies and being creative in general; coming up with new ideas and posts for you is something I always try to do, and if you’ve got any ideas for posts you want to see from me, let me know in the comments below!