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.

Balanced Diet

It is so hard to live a healthy lifestyle sometimes.

We are surrounded by fast-food restaurants, adverts, people around us with unhealthy lifestyles; making it hard to stay on track.

I’ve tried every diet you can imagine, from fasting to no/low carbs to using supplements for metabolism. With pure determination and a set goal, I have managed pretty well whilst trying these different dieting methods and I’ve lost weight with all but it is hard to keep going and to stay motivated. Temptation is around us constantly. To not come completely off the diet and to not feel as if dieting is a restriction, it is ok to simply have a balanced diet. The no carbs diet was the hardest for me, and I discovered after two weeks it was best to move to low carbs. There were times when I wanted fries with my meal or wanted to add noodles to a stir-fry purely to make a meal more enjoyable. I went from just eating to survive and losing weight to actually, losing weight and enjoying what I was cooking. Because I had added carbs back into my life and went a step further by allowing myself to eat however I wanted whenever I was out for dinner with friends but still remaining healthy during weekdays and at work. That’s my balanced diet and that works for me, my body and my state of mind but I can’t say that will work for everyone. I know I can eat healthy all week long but if I get invited out for cocktails or dinner with friends once or twice a week I don’t want to feel guilty for eating unhealthily, which is why I have given myself wiggle-room.

Keeping active and understanding your lifestyle and what foods work for you is a good start at creating a healthy lifestyle. When I had just started a new job and was going through a busy period I knew my limits and knew activity-wise, I could manage to go to the gym twice a week or on weekends as long as it was morning time. Now that I have settled into my role a few months later, I know can remain going on weekends but once or twice more during the week after work. In addition, due to being used to my work routine I know I can prepare meals for the week on Sunday Afternoons if I am not busy and can afford to wake up slightly earlier to make a cup of tea and have a smoother morning. As I said before all this works for me and I can’t speak for anyone else.

With body image being such a thing in today’s world, a lot of us forget about body positivity. By having a healthy relationship with your lifestyle and finding the balance you should be able to lose weight, gain weight, feel healthier, eat guilt-free, basically do whatever you want!

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.

Maintaining friendships while stressing

Keeping it blunt- unfortunately, when stress becomes part of your life, your friends are not a priority. You need to think about your well-belling and focus on what is causing you stress and how to resolve it.

Maintaining friendships while going through stress, purely depends on you. Are you the type of person to take the stress out on others? Do you trust your friends? Once you’ve answered these questions, understand that your friends (if real friends) should either help you through your situation or allow you time to breathe and work it out for yourself. Your friends might have a big impact on how you handle your situation and might help you to understand it more.

Everyone reacts differently and your friends should understand how to approach you. When my friends are going for a tough time, depending on the personality I am dealing with, I could either say ‘let us talk about it’ or just give them space and check on them now and then. Your friends should respect your personality and work out the best way to approach you without coming across nosey or intrusive.

Sometimes it might be best for you to ‘ghost’ and make your friends aware you need time to work on you. If this is the case, your friendship should be strong enough to last. You don’t need to see or speak to your friends everyday/week to be labelled friends. If you need a week to yourself, your friends will be there once you’ve had time to do you.

As I said before, your friends might be able to help you through; whether they help to de-clutter your life or take the stress away from you. I have my go-to people and friends also come to me when they’re stressed or have an issue, and no matter how long it takes we will work it out together. Personally, over the recent weeks, I’ve been stressed over work and if I didn’t run on the treadmill and let my close friends know how I’m feeling I would have probably ended up having a breakdown.

To maintain friendships, think about how much you value each other and what friendship means to you.

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?

Warning signs at work

At work, it is so easy to stay in your own bubble or to stay close in a tight ‘work squad’ and forget about other people. Do you ever take time to think about the people around you?

That person you think is being a ‘bitch’ or that person who’s always negative or quiet might be going through something whether in their personal or professional life. It doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t cost you anything to ask that person if they’re ok or if they might want to join you for lunch sometime. People always think what if and think they could have done more when it is too late. If you see signs that someone isn’t doing well, don’t stand back and wonder, step in and ask. A common sign would be a change in behaviour or someone becoming standoffish. Another common sign could be someone who is usually loud or constantly talking as that could be a coping mechanism; a way of taking their mind of what is happening in their life. People who suffer from mental health or have difficulties may keep things hidden especially at work. If you are someone who is not comfortable approaching someone that you don’t know, you can send them information via email of any mental health awareness news, posts or events that are coming up at work.

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.

Whats on your bucklist?

Most people make new year resolutions but I’ve never seen the point in them unless you’re someone who genuinely sticks to resolutions and follows them through to the end. Personally I like to make a bucket list at the beginning of summer. It gives me enough time to think about what I want to do and usually summer brings on ‘good vibes’ which means I’m more liking to do what I want to do rather than during the Winter.

Recently I’ve been busy focusing on blogging and working so my list this year is very short but I don’t put a deadline on when activities and tasks need to be completed.

I love the feeling of accomplishing what I have set out to do and it’s nice to write down my plans and tick them off once they have been completed, instead of sitting at work, feeling as if I’m wasting time.  

For now, I want to travel around the UK more, maybe head towards Scotland, revisit the Lake District and continue my quest to find the best mac and cheese in London.

I want to make the most of all my qualifications and find the dream job, get on the housing ladder within the next 2-3 years and focus more on me.

So I ask you, what’s on your bucket list?