Switch it up!

Sometimes you will find your environment has a negative impact on your mood, lifestyle and the choices you make in life. Just think about how long some of us have been on lock-down/in isolation for; being in the same rooms and environment constantly could drive the best of us mad.

You may find, especially if you have spent a lot of time in your bedroom or living room during lock-down, that you are too familiar or bored with your surroundings. In previous blogs, I’ve mentioned making small chances, eg. Changing your room layout or lighting candles to refresh your mind but sometimes it really just takes an added a personal touch.

By this I mean: creating your own area for indoor plants, creating and showing your own art work, making something new (a sculpture or piece of furniture), decorate photo frames or lighting, making your own candles or soap. Do something to add your own unique spirit to your room; something you can look at and think ‘wow I did that!’. Whilst keeping your mind busy, you are creating the environment best for you and whenever you need to switch It up again, you’ve got that new project, that new hobby to keep you on your feet.

Stuck at home?

Don’t think of it as being stuck in the house. Like me, you may need to work from home or cancel events. I’ve even had to cancel my birthday! But think of this has an opportunity. We spend our lives busy studying, working, looking after family and friends but now we have time to take care of ourselves. I have seen a lot of people over recent days talk about how being at home has negatively impacted their mental health but there is some good from it. Travelling to and from work, focusing on other people, having distractions, distracts us from our mental health issues but being on lockdown with reduced distractions gives us from to focus on what is important. The lockdown itself doesn’t mean you can’t go on one walk a day or sit in your back garden and reflect. A lot of people are taking it to literally mean stay in your bedroom or living room. Staying in one place and doing nothing different is what will mess with your mental health.
There’s so much that can be done in the house. From cooking, knitting, art, even following makeup tutorials on YouTube. Don’t just think about social distancing but think about distancing yourself from social media. Since being at home I have found myself bored with social media. I usually go on social media when I am bored at work, during lunch breaks, travelling on public transport, but now being at home and having constant access it has become draining.
At a time when there’s ‘not much to do’ there is always something that could be done. Leaving your phone aside for an hour to relax and have peace of mind or to gain a new skill will only better your mental health and your outlook.
Some of you might have children at home but now you can either focus more on family time or set tasks to distract the children while you fit in little daily breaks for yourself.

List of things to try

Meditation
Gardening
Social time with family
Writing
Artwork
Puzzles
An hour of relaxation (peace and quiet)
1 walk a day
Job search
Cleaning
Cooking something new
Reorganising rooms

For anyone that is at home suffering from anxiety due to the lockdown, please make use of my service.

Finding you

It has taken nearly a whole year to find myself and I could honestly say, time well spent. After spending years doubting myself personally and professionally, I decided to give myself a break. In order to live without fear, I had to look fear in the face and say enough is enough. Fear of not being where I wanted to be in life, fear of failing, fear of not having enough time. I had to take a mental break and focus on what was holding me back. Now that 2019 is over, I can look forward and say I know understand what I should be doing with my life and accept what my mind didn’t want to accept before.

This break wasn’t just mentally. If you’ve seen my previous post you will know I left a full-time office environment back in December 2018 and haven’t fully been back since. Now I’m in a flexible working environment and spend a lot of my working days travelling. I needed this. I found the office environment to be somewhat toxic, negative and unproductive. Professionally I needed the break to acknowledge I had to spend 2019 releasing myself from that negativity and finding my happiness; resulting to me realising office work isn’t for me and I want more for myself. In years time or due to circumstances, you never know I may end up going back into office work but for now, being in 20 something I can’t do this to myself.

You might not need a year to find you, you might need two weeks, two, weeks, twelve years but finding your feet and taking a break before you have a breakdown is necessary.

Happy Place

I got asked a question a month ago and the question is in an abrupt ‘inform me please’ tone which I didn’t appreciate.

Why do you go to the gym?

This person then went on to say (before I could answer) “well look at you. You don’t need it”. Who are you to tell me what I need? This person had never met me before and had a very ‘self-entitled’ vibe. I don’t mind if people are curious or genuine but with her tone taken it was much of a personal dig. I responded by saying “I go for my mental health”. This person continued to say “well…why don’t you walk around the forest or ride a bike”. Again, this person doesn’t know me. If this person knew me, they would know I live in a very busy city. Where is the forest? And I can’t afford a bike on top of all the other expenses in life. Even if I could afford a bike I wouldn’t have much of a good environment to ride it in. But as she was questioning my life, I couldn’t help but think, why do I have to justify my actions to anyone.

Whether you go gym for mental health, Instagram, medical conditions etc that’s your wish and what you do in the gym is completely up to you. Whether you spend an hour only on the treadmill or spend the majority of your time lifting weights, as long as you are happy that is all that matters.

People find what works for their mental health in different places. A lot of people take up hobbies or go travelling, whereas I spend my time in the gym weight training. I like the feeling. I like going on the treadmill to think and clear my head and I like going to a gym where no one knows me and I can zone out. I know many people who go to the gym and tell me how relieved and amazing they feel once they have left. Yes, this has a lot to do with endorphins being released and cheering us up but the gym isn’t always that happy place for everyone. For example, I love shopping online and I love the feeling of something I want being delivered to me, trying it on, seeing how it looks and fits and suddenly I have a new outfit I can’t wait to wear out but that happiness is not the same happiness and me pushing my mind and body in the gym. That is the one place I can go and switch off and I can’t say that about a lot of places.

Moral of the post is, don’t let anyone question your actions. I took that question very personal because I felt the need to defend my mental health and when people ask questions like that, they don’t realise how you might interrupt it. Find your happy place and let it take care of you.

Cheap & Cheerful Things To Do This Winter

Museums (free entry)

Winter Wonderland

Pub quizzes

Cinema without the cinema food because prices nowadays are mad

Wine & food nights in

Games nights at home with friends and family

Winter markets

Gym (if you get membership at the right price and from the company best for you)

Book clubs

Boxpark If you are in or around London (ideally Shoreditch & Croydon)

Keep a look out on the Timeout website for things to do on weekends

I was going to say Christmas at Kew Gardens which ends 5th January & adults from £18 and I was excited to go too but its sold out. So make a note in your calendar and meet me there next year.

Eltham palace lights festival begins 5th December & ends 22nd December

London short film festival in January

London fashion week catwalk & talks in February

Winter at Southbank ends 26th Janaury

Pantomime at your local threatre

New Years day parade in London

Put money together with friends for an air bnb weekend

Cosy pub for a Sunday roast

Relationships: Why you shouldn’t settle

This post can be broken down into so many elements/ sub-posts. From this I could talk about love vs lush, feeling stable and comfortable, not knowing your worth, being scared of being alone. However, to keep it as a blog post and not a book I’ll try to keep it limited. In the work edition, I spoke about being trapped in a job, the same can happen in a relationship. In the friendship edition, I talk about outgrowing friends, the same can happen in a relationship. 

Sometimes dreams can be blinding. In a world where people nowadays only meet in clubs or on tinder, it has become even harder to find that special someone no matter how easy dating apps are trying to make it. Due to this, you may dream of being married, having kids, having that house and when you meet someone who wants the same thing you could end up holding onto them without a second thought. Just because someone wants the same as you doesn’t mean they want it with you…and vice versa. Age plays a part in this; the need to meet goals in life by a certain age or hearing the biological clock ticking. From the men, I know they don’t feel the biological clock as much as the women I know and assume they’ll have everything when they’re 30-32. I’ve had many friends say “I’m going to get married when I’m 30” yet they have no interest in finding someone and setting a foundation before the age of 30. So when you hit 30 are you just going to find any woman and get married just because?

I have never been afraid of commitment, but I have always asked myself what if. That’s the fear of settling down with the wrong person and not knowing for sure if they’re the one. Even with the butterflies and the nervousness, at first sight, I’m still unsure of that person because it’s entering the unknown. Suppose in this sense you could say I have a fear of settling but this is because I know what I want, and I know my worth. I know what I expect from a partner, I know what I expect in the relationship and I know what I expect from life. It won’t always turn out exactly how I want it however if you have truly experienced love and life you will know your worth and understand why settling isn’t an option. You may feel so defeated by your previous or current relationship that you would want to settle and say enough is enough however if you are thinking like this, a relationship shouldn’t be in your mind right now. If you do feel defeated it’s time for you to go on a journey of selfishness. 

They say it takes 3-4 months for couples to finally feel comfortable with each other in a relationship. Being comfortable with someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the right relationship. Having someone that makes you feel warm and safe are things we all desire from a relationship, however, over time (years) things can change and it is possible to fall out of love and out of desire for that person. As crushing to the soul as heartbreak is, don’t stay with someone just because you think it’s the right thing to do and you don’t want to hurt feelings. Again, age plays a part in this element, with a hint of maturity. On the other end of the scale, there is a thing of being too comfortable. When someone gets too comfortable they feel like they can do or say anything, and you’ll accept it and move on. Soon enough you could end up become a pushover. It’s a wonderful feeling to be comfortable with another person and to be able to be yourself with that person but there needs a line in relationships and sometimes being too comfortable can be considered as crossing the line. This is why we hear stories of couples of have been together for more than 10 years and ‘out the blue’ break up. Things can get too comfortable and feel too routine and before you know it a relationship can feel like a partnership. By saying all this, I don’t mean leave your loved one asap and find someone else. There are many ways you can both try to make it work and bring passion back into a relationship, however, if you have done all you can and are only staying because you don’t know if you’ll find someone else then that is a reason I cannot accept. In relation to this, if you have tried with someone or you have fallen out of love with someone but stay with them because of the kids or because you don’t want to break up the family, don’t use this as an accuse. Think about your happiness. Kids are important however your partner can remain in your children’s life but you need to find your own. It’s not you breaking up your family, it’s you finding closure and your peace. Make plans and the necessary arrangements between your partner and your kids and find your love. People tend to stay with someone they are out of love with because of the kids however they’re smart enough to pick up on behaviours and they can pick on up attitudes and signs that could make things for them even worse.

Never settle when it comes to your heart. 

OCD: Mental discomfort?

Be Impulsive

Being impulsive has got me far in life and so far so good. My personality is pretty spontaneous and if anyone has been on my Instagram, you’ll see my posts are very random. My spontaneousness shows in all aspects of my life. It had led me to travel alone, handing in my notice from a vile job (with no job to go into), arranging cute dramatic dates with my friends, making new memories. Not only would life be dull without this personality trait but I would have never had some of the opportunities I’ve had without out it.

Check this…
I’ve always wanted to blog but never had the time to. After leaving my job last year I had nothing to go into. I had back up money, faith in my decision and didn’t want to be treated a certain way so I left without warning. I deserved a break anyways but I didn’t take a break. I got into volunteer work, found part-time work, started coaching and mentoring and made a website for my blog at last. It was a long time coming but I needed a moment to think and take a leap of faith. Yes, I am now in full-time work but beforehand I would have never believed I could have done this. It took an act of impulse to sit down on a day off whilst part-time and put together what I have now. That’s one out of many experiences I could share but the point is being impulsive has paid off. Sometimes impulsive behaviour rubs off on others for the better and provides a lift of confidence.

Being impulsive can be risky but it is riskier on health to do nothing at all but think ‘what if’. Never let your mind hold you back otherwise you’ll never move forward.

Did you get into a relationship & put on weight?

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who hadn’t started dating or got into a relationship without putting on weight. If you feel you have put on weight its not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe you was under weight beforehand or maybe not you look and feel much healthier; however, this post is for people who are unhappy about the weight they have put on since getting into a relationship.

Now this could be due to over indulging. During the early dating stages drinking at bars, eating out, ordering takeaways becomes the new norm. Once the relationship begins and you both get comfortable with each other the takeaways continue, going out stops and netflix & chill begins. Leaving the house and staying active no longer becomes a priority. At this point it gets hard losing weight by yourself. Motivation begins to fade, the time you could use to keep fit you’d rather spend with your partner and it’s hard to break habits. So I recommend if you’re serious about wanting to lose weight you have to have that conversation with your partner, be encouraging and do it together. Learn to cook together (this will also save money as we all end up with less money when we start dating), find activities you like doing together. It is easy to go eating and drinking but think outside the box; go hiking, walk around your local area, crazy golf, bowling, get creative making smoothies together. If you are both interested and willing to sign up for a gym that’s something you can do together on weekend mornings and still have the rest of the day to spend together.

Just something to think about.

To summaries, if you’ve noticed you’ve put on weight since being with your partner and you are unhappy about it, talk to each other and make a plan. You never known, keeping fit may add additional excitement to your relationship (added bonus).

Why you shouldn’t stay in that dead-end job

Statistics show we spend 13 years over a lifetime working and 11 years, 4 months staring at a screen (Huffpost Australia, 2017). That’s a huge amount of time we spend waking up and going to work repeatedly, day in, day out. Even worse if you are doing this whilst in a dead end job or in a job you can’t stand. So why allow yourself to continue living that way? Understandable in the world we life in today most of us can’t afford to just quit our jobs, make businesses, travel the world, do whatever we like (I applaud people who do). We have bills to pay, family liabilities etc; to summaries, we need money. Due to this leaving a job isn’t as easy as it sounds however life is to be enjoyed.

Spending this much time at work has a big impact on our health and lifestyle. The majority of us snack and put on weight, may have problems with management or colleges, even problems with the organisation overall. These have affects on us whether it enhances stress, triggers the lose of motivation or ambition, it happens.

Think about what you once wanted to do with your life; your deepest ambitions. Don’t settle for anything less. You may not be able to quit your job but you can move on, better your self professional and more importantly work on your happiness. If you can afford to quit your job, take time out to create a plan and draw up options in order to find something you really enjoy.

Being in a dead end job affects your mood and mental health so ask yourself if its worth your sanity. Older generations will say they have been in the same job for 20+ years but 90’s babies and below well probably go through 3-5 within the first 10 years of leaving college or university and I think its brilliant as we get a feel for what is out there, what we like and how we expect to be treated.

Don’t spend 13 years thinking what if.