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Monday, 26 March 2018

FOLLOWING ON FROM THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF CARE..


Self care, self love etc.
. everyone talks about it these days there are now negative connotations around it. People say it anytime, for anything and it starts to not actually mean anything at all. Personally, I think the importance of it all still stands. Self care leads to self love, but what actually passes as self care? To some people that would mean painting their nails or buying themselves a new lipstick. Referring back to my last post; taking time out to read a book, having a bubble bath or meditation is my version of self care. 

More recently, I've been thinking of other ways to treat myself (you deserve it, hun) in a more in depth way. A few months ago I went for my first spa day in Bath and oh my god, it was incredible. If I could, I would go on a spa day every month but.. I can't. What's the next best thing? Bringing that luxury to your own home. 

When there was the option of having a full body massage in the comfort of my own home, that seemed even more appealing to me than a spa day. I work in an office all day for 5 days a week, so annoyingly I do slouch and I don't get enough exercise which then results in me feeling achey. Additionally, I hold a lot of stress in my shoulders and in my head, so I do suffer with bad headaches and a lot of tension in my shoulders.  

My amazing friend Tash is a massage therapist who has her own massage therapy business (it's who you know, not what you know!)... She suggested the idea of me booking in a massage with her to help de-stress and treat myself. 

We decided to do it in my front room. She set everything up, including putting candles around the room which made the room smell gorgeous. She also put some relaxing 'spa' music on which added a very zen feeling. I popped myself onto the massage bed (she even put a huge hot water bottle type thing on the bed for me to lie on, it was so good), I closed my eyes and let myself be completely pampered. 

(Just before my massage, YAS)

She used amazing massage oils which smelt amazing and as soon as she started the massage I just felt all of the tension slowly start to melt away. The whole experience was a dream, I felt so good afterwards and literally had the best sleep of my life that night. After she finished, we had a chat about how I was feeling and spoke through where she felt tension which was really interesting to hear. 

Tash made this experience completely perfect for me, without her little touches it wouldn't have been the same at all - the music, the candles, the incredible scent from the oils and her knowledge of massaging and the science behind it. It's been a few days since now and my body still feels great. I've been making a conscious effort to stretch every morning and evening to help with any aches I get which has been helping as well. 



(Dairy-free cupcakes from the amazing Tash - how incredible is she?!) 

I cannot thank Tash and her incredible hands enough. I'm going to be making sure to be booking in massages with her at least once every 8 weeks now as it's an amazing way to look after yourself. Amazingly, Tash will travel to your home (she covers London and the outskirts of London), she does couples, pregnancy and babies as well - if you would like to treat yourself you can contact her on nacstherapies@gmail.com for more info - I hiiiiiighly recommend! 

Thursday, 22 February 2018

THE IMPORTANCE OF SPENDING TIME ON YOUR OWN



I think people often associate spending time on your own as a negative thing, or that you're a loner/have minimal friends. I mean, that may be the case but what's the problem there anyway? I find spending time on my own to be a great place to clear your head and look after yourself. Don't get me wrong, sometimes if I spend too much time in my own company, I crave human interaction and spending time with good people can keep you sane. But i'm not focussing on that on this post, I'm focussing on spending time by yourself.

I think that spending time alone, you learn more about yourself, how you think and what you want to do with your time. It's important to know yourself properly before anyone else does. Go for a coffee by yourself, go shopping by yourself, go for a walk by yourself. All of these things allow you to get to know yourself. Sometimes it can be difficult to actually pluck up the courage and confidence to go out by yourself. I often feel anxious before going out alone, anxious that people will judge you for being out alone or that you won't know what to do in your own company. 

I love going out for coffee by myself. Mostly because I just love going out for coffee, but also because I've learnt to enjoy sitting by myself, either people watching, reading or just staring into space and letting my mind wander. I find it so refreshing, and I usually feel so much better after doing it. I also love meeting friends for coffee and chatting for hours, so it's good to try and balance doing both. 



Also, I hate going shopping with other people (other than my mum). I like wandering around the shops, not feeling guilty for trying 16 items on in Zara, and then going back and trying on another 5. Stopping for a tea and a croissant, and then stopping again for a hot chocolate and sandwich 45 minutes later without someone saying "you're hungry again? Don't you want to wait a while?". Feeling rushed while shopping is the worst, shopping is therapy and having the wrong company while shopping is just stressful. 




I'm not saying that spending time on your own is more important than spending time with others, but you need to find that balance. Spending time with friends and family keep you grounded and happy, and seeing those people regularly is so important. However I also think making time for yourself and spending time on your own is just as important. 

Saturday, 3 February 2018

THE STRESS OF LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE



January lasted way too long for my liking and I'm over the moon that it's finally February. I like February; 1. because it's not January 2. because it's one step closer to sunnier mornings and warmer days. I really struggled throughout Jan... I was low on money, the view out of my window at work was grey, foggy and rainy every day and it felt like I never saw any sun light. 

I'm desperate to book a holiday. The thought of being somewhere hot with the freedom of doing what I want and not feeling guilty to lie horizontally for 8 hours whilst sipping on a pina colada, could almost make me sob with happiness. Sometimes it makes me feel a tad depressed when you work full time, working towards at least one holiday a year and even that seems a struggle. That's what I wanted to touch on, as a twenty something living (just outside) of London and working in London, you feel the pressure to be constantly living your best ever life. 



You feel like you should be going to THAT bar, or THAT restaurant on saturday night, going for avocado on toast and an almond milk rose latte which costs £30.00 for sunday brunch, booking several weekends away, going on a paradise holiday, constantly adding to your savings account, excelling in your career annnnnd managing your relationships. If you're not managing all of that, then you're doing something wrong. 

The FOMO you get once you go onto Instagram and someone has been to that brunch place that has been on your list for the last six months, or someone else has gone travelling the same route has you’ve been dreaming about. It's not even FOMO, it's anxiety.  Anxiety you're not successful enough, that you're not achieving enough. This generation is so obsessed with money and everything is judged depending on how expensive it is. It’s easy to forget that the £4.99 full English INCLUDING COFFEE from that greasy cafe down the road is actually so much more delicious than your £30 avo on toast from the instagrammable coffee shop in Notting Hill, or that you’d rather go to your local pub on Saturday night for a few glasses of standard Rose, which is more fun than that edgy sushi restaurant in Shoreditch. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always the case.. but a lot of the time it is.

There are so many things I want to do and achieve in my life, especially while I’m young with minimal responsibilites. However, I need to remind myself that there isn’t a rush, and I shouldn’t load so much pressure on myself to do everything before I’m 25. I do want to start saving money, to move out and (potentially) go travelling at some point, I do want to work through my list of restaurants and cafes, I want to go on Safari in Africa, I want to possibly one day buy myself a Chloe bag... there's a random mixture there but I will achieve them at some point. Whether that's is in 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years. These things will come in time, it's easy to forget to actually enjoy life and moment you're in. 





Most of the time, it's the smaller things in life that make you happy. 
I'm excited for the rest of the year and what it will bring, I'm trying my best to have a positive outlook on most aspects of my life now, it makes things a lot easier. 

Monday, 15 January 2018

SETTING REALISTIC GOALS FOR 2018




I love the whole concept of a new year and a fresh start. It's the chance to look back at the previous year and think about what you've done, what you've achieved, what you regret and what you're proud of. I love looking back through pictures, remembering the highlights and feeling a bit nostalgic. 

It's funny to think about this exact time last year, and the goals I set for myself for 2017. Did I do everything I wanted to? Did I achieve my goals? I think it's important not to pile on the pressure when it comes to New Years resolutions and setting expectations. There is a fine line, setting yourself goals to achieve but then beating yourself up if you don't do everything you want to. 

Every year I used to write a list of things I wanted to do, however now I'm taking the more chilled approach to resolutions. I still want to be determined and achieve things for myself, but who really needs that added pressure of trying to do everything you've set yourself to do, otherwise you feel like you've failed. At the end of the day, you're doing this for yourself, not for anybody else. 




So, what do I want to do in 2018? I think it's good to set some achievable goals, and then also some more difficult goals to strive towards. 

1) Get into a blogging routine 
If I had more spare time, I would love to create 3,4,5 blog posts a week. But I work full time, most evenings my brain is mashed and weekends always end up being so busy. However, if you really want to do something you make it happen. After thinking realistically, I would love to post at least once a week. In terms of my Instagram, I would love to work towards growing my following and posting good quality content. My content is 85% ootds, 15% lifestyle.. it's so easy to fall into the 'typical blogger' trap, where you post the typical caption, at the typical time and the typical pose. I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with that, but I do think if you follow that path you can get swallowed up in the whole blogging buzz and you lose any sort of originality. 
  
2) Get serious about saving 
It's hard to save money when you have so many outgoings, and not such a huge salary. There are so many things that I'm desperate to do, travelling included, and to get to that point I need a lot of money saved. I'm determined to open a savings account (is it really bad that I don't have a proper savings account?!) and move any money I've saved into that account, and also actively direct debit a certain amount in monthly. That way, I have to save money. 

3) Print more pictures 
I love having physical photos. It's so different than just looking at them on a screen. I love getting them printed and writing the dates on the back, and where they were taken. Or putting them all into a photo album and labelling each photo. I love looking back and remembering different occasions, and how different your life was then. 



4) Spending more quality time with my family 
I don't want to sound too soppy, but spending time with family is so important. They really do love and care about you, and it's so refreshing and warming to be surrounded by that sort of love. 

5) Continue with my dairy-free diet 
I suffer with problematic skin, I have done since I was about 15. When I was about 16/17 I used to look forward to being about 22/23 because I thought my skin would be clear by then, but sadly that's not the case. 99% of people would look at me and say, "But what's wrong with your skin, it looks great to me!", but of course I have make-up on.. that's why my skin looks great. It's seriously depressing, having bad skin. Most of the time I don't have the confidence to go out without make-up, and looking at myself completely bare faced is sometimes difficult. I've been dairy free for about 5 weeks now, and I'm doing this in hope for it to help my skin. It's still early days but, fingers crossed. 

I'm aiming to post some more of my long term goals at some point soon, if I manage to stick to my 'one post a week' goal then hopefully, it'll be this time next week! 


Jacket - Zara / Dress - H&M / Boots - Public Desire / Bag - M&S

L x

Thursday, 23 November 2017

THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF CARE


A lot of people talk about ‘self-care’ these days.. but what does it actually mean? Does it mean you have to spend £20 on a bath oil, £40 on yoga classes and £70 on a medium sized candle? I hope not..
A lot of brands have jumped onto the self-care wagon and try to force the idea of spending huge amounts of money on luxury items to be able to relax and de-stress. However, there are alternative ways to relax and look after yourself without going with the trend and spending all of your salary in the process.

Self-care definition: Self care is care provided “for you, by you.” It's about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you. Self care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others. What are the steps we need to take to actually achieve this? Below I’ve listed a few things that I do that make me happy, that may work for you as well..


1.       Reading
For me, reading a really good book is an amazing way to destress your mind and stop worrying about all the little things. Sometimes it can take ages to find a book you really love, but once you find one there is nothing better. Reading before bed instead is scrolling through social media completely eases my mind and I don’t go to bed feeling aggy.

2.       Podcasts
Podcasts are still a reasonably new discovery for me. Ever since I started working full time and sitting at a desk all day, Podcasts have been helping me through each day. I now listen to so many it’s difficult to keep up. I listen to Podcasts that make me laugh out loud, that make me cry (happy & sad tears), inspire me, and make me work harder. My favourites ever are: Jules and Sarah The Podcast, Glamour Hey it’s OK, My Dad Wrote a Porno, The Debrief Podcast, The High Low, When Life Gives You Melons, Serial, The Heart of It and How To Curate Your Life. They are amazing to listen to on your commute to work, so do check them out!

3.       Baths
If you know me well, you will know how obsessed I am with baths. In my eyes there is nothing better after a long shit day of staring at a computer screen, than running a warm bubbly bath, making a hot drink and just laying there with your eyes closed trying to ignore the fact it’s only Tuesday and you still have 3 days left of the week.

4.       Spooning
Is there anything much better than Spooning? No, there isn’t. It is wonderful. It instantly makes me feel better, sometimes maybe even a bit emosh if I’m feeling particularly low (lol). If you don’t have anyone to spoon then I’m v sorry, but surely you can find someone to spoon? Your dog?

5.       Playing loud music in the car
When I’m feeling particularly pissed off, which is more often than not, I play a great sing along song really loudly in the car and passionately sing along with it. It honestly lifts my mood and makes me slightly less of a moody bitch. Some particularly great songs to put on are: Daniel Bedingfield – If You’re Not The One, Bruno Mars – Chunky, Hoobastank – The Reason, Kate Nash – Foundations, and Wham! - Everything She Wants. 

6.       Walking
I’m not actually often in the mood to go for a walk, it always just seems a bit too much effort and I’d rather chill at home. However, I never regret going. I always feel refreshed and my mind feels a bit clearer. The only time I can really go for a walk is on the weekends, as during the week I don't get home till around 6:30pm. But sometimes on a Sunday afternoon, I'll join my family on a dog walk to the woods and it's always so pretty.

7.       Talking
When I say talking, I mean talking to people who really care about you, not just talking aloud (even though that’s pretty therapeutic as well..). Sometimes, you just need to talk to someone about what is running through your mind. If it’s as small as someone else used your coffee mug at work or that your battling with severe anxiety, talking to people you care about and vice versa is really important, I find anyway. They don’t need to offer any advice, they just need to listen and say ‘mmm’ occasionally.

 8. Meditating 
I don't want to be one of those typical people that tries to tell you that meditating will solve all your problems, because it won't, but it will definitely help you feel calmer. After downloading the app Headspace, I've been using it to meditate for about 3-5 minutes a night (when I remember and can be bothered, lets be realistic). All I do is lie down on my bed in the pitch black and pop on the app and listen to the calm voice telling me to focus on my breathing, and focus my thoughts on particular things. As soon as it's finished, I put my phone on my bedside table and I'm so sleepy I drift off almost instantly. Wonderful. 

There are so many other different methods of self care, and you need to find the ideal options that suit you. Ever since being in my twenties is when I realised the importance of looking after not only your physical health, but your mental health. Learning to put yourself first is hard, especially when it doesn't come naturally. 

If anyone else has any other forms of self care, then please do let me know.
x