My 6 ‘go to’ acts of self-care

My 6 'go to acts of self-care (1).png

When it comes to care, we tend to put ourselves on the back burner as our families, friends and commitments come first. But taking the time to care for ourselves is vital for our health and well-being and maintaining a positive mindset.

Here are 6 of my favourite acts of self care that I like to indulge in when I’m in need of a little self-loving:

  1. Scrapbooking: I picked up my first Smash Book a few years ago now and I absolutely ❤ it. I take clippings from magazines, photographs from trips, my favourite quotes and pick up bits and pieces in craft stores and arrange them all in my scrapbook. You don’t have to be the most creative person in the world to enjoy scrapbooking, it is simply a great way to let out some creative energy – they make great keepsakes too.
  2. Reading: so simple yet so effective. Reading gives you a chance to escape from the mundane activities of every day life. Whether you’re into self-help books or fiction-novels, reading is a great way to disconnect from any stress you have going on. My favourite place to read is in my garden where it is lovely and peaceful. At the minute I’m reading The Anxiety Solution – great for anyone who fancies learning a bit more about anxiety and how you can learn to control it.
  3. Pamper time: when was the last time you truly pampered yourself? I’m talking about a bubble bath, candles, nail-painting, the works! If you can’t remember then its probably about time that you had a little ‘me time’ and just focused on YOU. If you don’t enjoy/can’t have a bubble bath, you can always just listen to some relaxing music whilst burning a lovely scented candle.
  4. Baking: as a full-time student who also works part-time, the closest I get to baking these days is watching the Great British Bake-off. But for me, when I actually do get around to it, I find that baking is actually really therapeutic. From picking a new, yummy recipe, to getting your hands all dirty and popping your masterpiece (lol) in the oven – baking can be a great way to unwind. Of course, the best part is being able to bake whatever you have created afterwards! Why not set aside some time in the week to bake something that you’ve always wanted to try?
  5. Going for a walk (whatever the weather): It may sound so obvious, but walking is SO good for you. Regardless of the positive affect it has on your physical health, walking has an amazing affect on your mind too. Being around nature helps us open our eyes to what’s around us, and by going on a mindful walk we can disconnect from all of the shit we have going on and focus on the here and now. It’s also a great way to gather inspiration and focus. Whether it’s a short 5 minute walk around the block or you’re out for an hour, try fitting a mindful walk into your day.
  6. Meditation: I am still fairly new to the whole mediation thing, but since I’ve started, it really has changed the way I act, think and feel. It allows me to switch off from the world around me and focus on relaxation. If like me, you struggle to switch off, meditation can really help with just taking some time to centre yourself and help achieve a more balanced, calm mindset. I like to practice guided meditation and found that YouTube was a great place to start. Try this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkVvpfld7DQ

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Lots of love ❤

Advertisements

Dealing with ‘everyday’ depression

HealthBenefits ofOranges.png

When people talk about depression, they tend to talk about it in the past tense. It’s almost as if depression is something that once a person has had it, they can recover and never get it again – let’s think of depression as kinda like chicken pox, once you’ve had it and cured it you’ll never have it again.

But that is just not true. Depression is something that can creep in at any time of your life and can happen to anybody.

I have suffered with depression in the past, and it still creeps back no matter how ‘well’ I think I’m doing. It’s not something I’m ashamed of, but dealing with it can be tough.
Here are a few of the ways I deal with everyday depression (DISCLAIMER – this is simply my own personal journey with depression, these things may not work for you, I am not a medical expert)

1. Medication. For years I refused to take medication for my depression and anxiety, as I didn’t like the label that came with being on meds for a mental illness. I have now been on medication for a year and although it isn’t a ‘magic’ or ‘quick fix’, I found it really helped me get on a positive track.

2. Self care. Some days when you’re feeling extremely low, the last thing you want to do is invest your time in an extravagant self care routine with face masks and nail painting. When im feeing particularly low, I find it helpful to take a shower, get dressed and make my bed. Three simple steps to help me change my mindset slightly.

3. Talk. Probably the most important advice i can give you is to talk to somebody. Whether that’s your doctor, your friend, your parents or a stranger online (me for example). Depression can make you feel SO alone. So being able to let out how you feel can really just give you a little sense of relief, rather than bottling it up.

NOW I would absolutely love to hear any tips you have to share with us, be sure to post these in the comments ❤ xxxoxoxox

Checking in

Checking in.png

Hey lovely people! I haven’t had a chance to pop on here in a while as I’ve been super busy pushing through my last couple of months of university work before I graduate. For anyone who is in my position/has been there, I salute you! This shit is tough – they weren’t kidding when they said uni was going to be hard *lol*.

So, I wanted to check in and find out what you guys have been up to. I’ve had a bit of a rocky road so far this year, with two people who are very close to me going through some of the hardest of times, it’s been difficult to balance a positive, healthy mind and lifestyle when some days you just wanna say ‘screw it’, sit on the sofa & eat a whole tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream (true story). BUT it’s okay, because as the good old cliche has taught us, happiness is not a destination and the road to a happy and healthy life is certainly not linear. We’re all going to have shitty times and setbacks at some point or another, the important thing is that we don’t let them hold us back from continuing on down the little positive path we were once very fixed on.

I can’t wait until all of this work is over so that I can get back on track with blogging and share some wonderful content with you guys again.

❤ Lots of love x

Your biggest critic is, well, you guessed it… YOU!

if-you-are-not-enough-for-yourselfyou-will-never-be-enoughfor-someone-else1.png

As most of us are aware, when it comes to criticism, we are our own worst enemy. When you have anxiety – self-doubt; overthinking situations, relationships and actions; and focusing on what ‘could’ have been different, are always at the forefront of your thoughts. As well as this, if your anxiety is anything like mine, you are constantly criticising yourself. This can include criticising the way you look (which is my biggest anxiety trigger), criticising your own actions, or feeling as though you have let yourself or people around you down. And of course, we all have these thoughts from time to time, but having them constantly running through our minds is detrimental to our mental health and our self-esteem.

I was given a really good piece of advice which may help any of you who suffer from issues surrounding yourself self-esteem, confidence or body confidence. So here goes… Think of all the awful things you tell yourself constantly for example: ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘Why the hell would anyone like ME?!’, ‘I’ve let everybody down’, ‘I’m not worthy of love or being loved’. Write these down so that you have them in front of you.

Now, read your list back and think about this scenario. Imagine you meet a lovely, confident, attractive and fun-loving girl. Imagine you are walking behind her, telling her everything you tell yourself on a daily basis – ‘Oh look at you, you’re not worthy of love!’ ‘Why would anyone want to be with you?’ ‘Who do you think you are? You’re not good enough for anyone!’… Now imagine how SHITTY she would feel if you were telling her these things, and how bad you’d feel for saying them to her. 

Well, that’s exactly what you’re doing to yourself constantly. These negative thoughts are interrupting your life, putting you down and stopping you from believing that who you are is enough. By writing a few examples down you are able to see the damage you are doing to yourself without even realising it, because it has become such a regular habit in your life. The great news is, habits can be broken. By thinking of this scenario every time you find your mind wondering into negative, self-loathing territory, you can switch your thoughts to positive ones. Start by saying… “Actually, you know what? I don’t deserve to be spoken to this way. I am a kind, loving and honest individual who has every right to feel as good about her/himself.”

The fact is, you don’t deserve it as I’m pretty sure you’re lovely inside & out. Try thinking of this story every time you’re hard on yourself 💫💜

The rise of the woman

Do you feel that fire within you_ That, my darling, is woman.

Scrolling through Instagram over these last couple of days and seeing so many inspiring posts from women who are just so proud to be WOMEN has set off a little fire inside me. Whether that’s by supporting other women, celebrating their own bodies, minds and souls – it all just fills me with SO much joy.

Those who ‘don’t believe in international women’s day or those who ask ‘why isn’t there an International Men’s Day?’… either simply don’t underSTAND it or can’t STAND it. The idea of women rising up is unbelievable to these people because they have never seen such strength and power and both men and women (some, not all) feel threatened and intimidated by this incredible force. The reason there is no ‘International Men’s Day’… or not one that is celebrated or recognised with the same magnitude, is because men have not had to fight oppression in the same ways as women. For centuries, women have fought for equality and still, to this day, are not treated as equals. Of course, men do face discrimination in relation to race, age, class, ability and religion, but being a woman makes these things 10 times harder to fight.

I just wanted to take this time to say how PROUD I am to be a woman in 2018.

Lots of love xoxox

Mindfulness, what are you and how can you help me?

mindful

To put it very simply, because really it is pretty simple, mindfulness is the practice of being ‘in the moment’. Being mindful allows you to let go of all of your worries and stress and be present, rather than thinking about what has happened in the past or what may happen in the future.

Dr. Patrizia Collard suggests that the benefits of mindfulness include:

  • ‘Increased experience of calm and relaxation’
  • ‘Higher levels of energy and enthusiasm for living’
  • ‘Increased self-confidence and self-acceptance’
  • ‘Less danger of experiencing stress, depression and anxiety (yes PLEASE!)’

The Little Book of Mindfulness was one of the first anxiety-related books I wasn’t too shy/embarrassed to purchase in an actual, physical store. This was all the way back in 2014, and to be completely honest, the book got lost among the other books in my book shelf and I had forgotten all about it until a few months ago. Since then I have put the book to very good use. I’ve found that taking just 10 minutes out of my day (not every single day but ya’ know), to try one of the many mindfulness activities listed in this book, my anxiety and stress have actually decreased. I’m not going to say that mindfulness is a cure for all things anxiety, but it’s definitely a helpful tool.

Meditation is my absolute favourite mindfulness practice. I haven’t been doing it for very long but since I’ve started, I’ve been a lot more positive, calm and clear headed. I’d recommend it to anybody who finds it difficult to concentrate as it really teaches you how to focus on one thing. I tend to opt for guided meditation, where I’ll hop onto YouTube and listen to some Australian dude talking to me about crashing waves and telling me to ‘observe my breathing’. Sure, it won’t be for everybody, but for me, being able to switch off is something I’ve always had difficulty doing, so it’s the perfect solution for that.

I hope to be able to let you guys in on more useful tips in the future and i hope you enjoyed reading this post ❤