On average we need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night for it to be considered as a good night’s sleep. In addition, going to sleep between 8 pm and midnight is seen as the best time to fall asleep. Personally, I NEED 8 hours of sleep and struggle to stay awake past 11 pm, even on a weekend; however, some people work best at night and some genuinely have no choice but to work during the night. I’ve done a few night shifts during the past and can very much confirm it isn’t for me. Regardless of when you go to sleep, do you understand the importance of sleep?
For mental health reasons sleep is a good way to detox/unwind the brain. Your brain goes through so much during the day (remembering, learning, adapting) and still works at night but it’s the sleep that gives your body a break and allows your brain to restore. Sleep is a good stress reliever; with less sleep, your energy levels, mood, sharpness, and movement reduces.
With less sleep, you could wake up and drag yourself out of bed to start the day but with the average amount of sleep you will have more ‘up and go’. Basically, you’ll have more of a productive day.
During lockdown I can say my sleeping pattern slightly shifted; I was still working but working from home so didn’t care so much about staying up late and waking up early however, I struggled to keep my eyes open during the day. It took a few weeks to get my body back into the correct sleeping pattern for me and by the end, I was more alert, able to concentrate, and work to my full ability.
In terms of health, sleep is important to help your immune system and reduce other illnesses (eg. The common coat, flu, etc) but overall I think you have gathered how essential sleep is. If you struggle to sleep or need 7-9 hours work on slowly adapting your routine. Put your phone on silent, put it aside 40 mins before you go to bed, have a bath, do things that help you unwind.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whether you tidy your bedroom or keep a diary, staying organised will help you stay at peace and arrange your thoughts.
When you enter a clean, tidy, Ikea looking room there’s an automatic sense of relaxation. That’s a feeling we should all aim to maintain. Having a messy room may be due to personal trait but it can also show that you have had enough or no longer take care of yourself.
Once in a few months, I grab a black bag and have a clear out. Sometimes I even change the layout of my bedroom, leaving a sense of tranquil. If you are depressed or like to spend a lot of time in your bedroom (like myself), having a clear out is the first stage to feeling refreshed and motivated. By having a spring clean we’re protecting our health by cleaning, leading to fresh air and a better night’s sleep; it gets us active and boosts motivation and best of all, we find things that were once lose and gain a sense of accomplishment and happiness.
Once your room is clean and tidy, you can work on finding your peace further. You may have more space to put out a yoga mat, purchase candles and flowers, add a whiteboard with sticky notes, organise items in boxes, whatever you like.
Having a diary or calendar is mentally great for staying organised. If you have low moods or anxiety the best thing you can do to declutter your brain is to write down your daily tasks or a list of what you need to complete throughout the month. The more you do this, the more it will reduce your stress. CBT believe its best to keep busy every day but personally, that’s not necessary. Sometimes we have so many going on that we just need a day or evening alone to just do nothing.
For the past few years, I’ve had a diary and it does all the remembering for me, resulting in me having time and space to think and not stress about what I should or should not be doing on certain days. Think about how you can declutter your life.
I don’t remember when exactly I invented ‘Single Summers’ but I love it. I really do get excited over it.
It came about during a time when I realised all my friends and I were single at the same time. One friend was really down and out about being single and me using my charm and banter as always to be supportive thought, you know what, let’s go out and do what we want to do this summer. Whether its trying different beer gardens, going for brunch every weekend or travelling to somewhere new. I love spending time with my friends especially when the sun is out and this made summer worth looking forward to. Single summers isn’t as bad as it sounds. It’s not about being a hoe, chasing guys or trying to get attention; its the complete opposite. It’s about making the most out of being single before we are older and have families or other responsibilities. It’s about taking care of number 1 and not being the singles who sit around feeling sorry for themselves.
I’d be happy if one of my friends said they were seeing someone or had a girlfriend/boyfriend but for now this is something for all to look forward to and use to make memories together.
We must make the most of the time we have on this earth before it’s too late. Furthermore, we must make the most out of English summertime before it’s too late!
I’ll be sure to share what I get up to this summer on Instagram (Solobutterflyy). If any of you feel sad or pressured about being single, don’t let this hold you back. Go out there and live life!
It is important for us to understand our own beauty within and our own health needs and wants in order to booth body confidence. Body confidence comes from more than what we look like; it’s how we feel and how we carry ourselves.
Weight loss/gain, relationships/friendships, work, virtually anything will lead to us losing our body confidence. It doesn’t help to live in a world with Twitter, Instagram and everyone’s opinion on the internet telling us what we should look like and how we should be living. Black girls are told to hide their natural hair, men are made to hide their feelings; these opinions and elements chip away at our confidence. We don’t want to be seen as vulnerable or make people feel awkward but there’s nothing wrong with rocking an Afro or a man crying. The moment you stop caring about what other people think and begin doing you, you gain part of yourself back. When you suffer from anxiety, depression or any type of mental illness it takes your confidence, whether it takes 9% or 90%. Some people (like I did) stop being social, stop going to the gym; some start comparing themselves to Instagram models, celebrities and what their friends are doing. Others begin to change their attitude, the way they dress or the stop wearing make-up. This is okay because these are tangible elements of us we can always get back.
When I lost my body confidence, I also lost all motivation. In order to gain it back, I had to think more in-depth about the point in which I stopped exercising and became anti-social. Once I touched on the problem, I was able to work out a solution. As a solution I would write down all the things I wanted to do. Whether it’s to try a new look or to get out of the house more and set myself a deadline to do this. If you do this note down how you’re going to do it, who with and what could be considered a barrier and why. Most importantly, try and stick to the plan. Tell a friend or family member so they can support you and give you a little push that is sometimes need.
Other ways to boost confidence is knowing your worth and loving yourself. To do this, you need to take care of your well-being. As mentioned in my first post ‘Anxiety’ fitness & travel have health benefits in terms of changing moods, behaviours and strengthening the mind. Fitness is a big influence. A few months after working out you may feel like a new person. Changing to a healthier lifestyle, again will change your mindset and make you feel like a new person.
Say it into existence. I will go out today. I will dress nicely. I will attend that birthday dinner on Saturday I was going to flake out of. Take a chance in life.