Stress Awareness Month – Tips to handle stress

Since it’s stress awareness month, I wanted to share my tips that help me calm down, refresh and relax when I’m going through a stressful time in my life.  

Stress is always going to be there, throughout a variety of activities and stages in your life; you will feel stressed many times. However, it’s important to try and compact the stress to not let it overtake your day-to-day routine.  

I’ll be honest and admit that me handling my stress is no where near as good as I’d like it to be. Stress is something that I really struggle with and I VERY easily get stressed.  

However, I do try my best to help myself by using these tips: 

1 – Make a list
Something that works well for me is making a list of things I need to do. Often, I feel overwhelmed with tasks I need to do, whether that’s in work or personal life. Therefore, I make a list to make sure I remember things and to then feel relief once I have completed the task and can tick it off. You don’t necessarily have to write the list down; I have a list app on my phone so I have the list with me at all times.  

2 – Talk things through with someone
Sometimes, all you need to do is have a chat with someone to get off your chest what is stressing you out. Once you have spoken about things, you may feel a weight lifted because you was able to talk about it and have someone respond back to you giving you advice, or simply just listening and giving your support.  

3 – Do some exercise
I am a massive fan of exercise when I feel stressed or down. Exercise is something that really helps me unwind and feel better. You could go for a walk, a short run, or even do something at home. It doesn’t have to be hardcore or long but make it effective enough to make a difference on your mood and stress levels.  

4 – Have some me time
It’s important to give some time to yourself. When you’re feeling stressed, sometimes just sitting there and thinking your thoughts through without anyone else or any distractions can really help your mind calm down and figure out what it is exactly you need to do or what’s stressing you out. When you’re constantly busy and seeing people, you don’t get a chance to interact with your mind.  

5 – Take a day off
If you’re stressed through work or your personal life is manic, if you can, take a day off. The number of times I hear people say along the lines of ‘wow that day off has refreshed me so much’. The issue is with feeling stressed is that you may feel like you physically can’t take the day off because you’re so busy or there’s deadlines to meet. However, having that day off to spend it the way you want to or to just stay in bed all day and catch up on sleep can really make the world of difference. If you can, give yourself the rest.

Turning 22 – What have I learnt in my life so far

Last week it was my 22nd birthday *sings Taylor Swift 22*. Every year when it’s my birthday, I normally get quite emotional or sentimental about the past year and what has changed or where I am in my life at that specific age. I thought to celebrate my birthday in blog style, I’d share 22 things I have learnt so far in my life.

1: Not everyone will like you. Simple as. Instead of trying to please everyone and having hundreds of friends, focus on the people who really matter. There will be people throughout life that you won’t get on with or who won’t like you but that’s okay and that’s normal.

2: Have time to yourself. Having time to myself lets me feel like I can reset my thoughts, think about how I’m feeling or what I want to do in life and my goals. It’s important to have time to sit there and think with yourself about your life.

3: Chocolate is the best food. Ever.

4: Speak up about how you feel. Sometimes being open and honest is a huge challenge for me, however, I need to take that step out my comfort zone and say how I’m really feeling to get my views or message across. Don’t hold in your feelings.

5: Disney films are the best. They make me so happy and whenever I need a pick me up, Disney is the way to go.

6: Walks are truly life changing at times. In a bad mood? Go for a walk. I bet you feel even 1% better afterwards.

7: Every life is different. Stop comparing yourself to every human being you walk past or see online. You are you for a reason and therefore, be the best you, you can be.

8: My boyfriend and friends are my absolute world and I’m beyond grateful to have the people in my life. Right now is the most content I have ever felt in a friendship group.

9: If you feel like you deserve more money in your job, do something about it. This is something I am currently working on and I hope soon, I will be earning what I believe I deserve and should be on.

10: The little things in life really matter. Whether its chocolate, a tv series, a run, a coffee date, the things that feel so simplistic and easy, make such a difference on my mood. We don’t always need to have a huge party or expensive dinner to feel important or happy.

11: Save money. I never saved when I first started working and boyyyyyyy do I regret that now. Save money and your future self will be really appreciative that you did.

12: Change something about your appearance (only if you want to). For years I have debated changing my hair colour. In January I finally dyed it darker and I LOVE IT! Don’t be scared, the risk might be worth it.

13: Have a work, life balance. You need to enjoy your life and not just have a life all about working. Do things that make you happy and take you away from the mindset of business, professionalism, and working.

14: Change your room around. You most likely spend a lot of time in your bedroom, I know I do. Therefore, I’ve found it really beneficial to change my room around whether its a complete change of colour, moving furniture or small things like buying a plant, putting your TV on the wall. It makes me feel refreshed when there is something different about the place I spend a lot of my time. Jazz it up a bit!

15: Think about what you say before you speak. Very important!

16: Treat yourself every so often. Even though I just said to save money, that doesn’t mean to never treat yourself. You work hard, you achieve things, you’re doing well; treat yourself!

17: School years are actually some of the best years of your life. I HATED school when I was there, but now looking back…wow what it a stress free zone. I miss school, treasure it when you’re there.

18: Say yes to more things. I’m a complete anxious mess most of the time and I struggle to do spontaneous things. I’m very much someone who needs to know what I’m doing next weekend about 2 weekends beforehand. I like a plan and it makes me feel better knowing I have a structure to my life. However, what I’ve realised is that sometimes, spontaneous plans are actually really fucking good plans. Say yes to more, try to get out your comfort zone, do different things you wouldn’t normally do.

19: You don’t need to know your whole life plan by the age of 19. Or 22. Or 30. Take life as it comes.

20: Good things will come your way. At times, even right now, I feel like life is constant crap coming my way. There’s always something new to worry about or stress over. But, even if it takes a while to turn around, life will get easier and better. Good things will come to those who are kind, keep going, never give up, who deserve it.

21: Get over the argument or issue as quickly as you can. Don’t drag on something for days on end. Fix the problem, life is too short to be mad and upset.

22: Be kind.

Trying to work out my career route

As someone who throughout school and education, didn’t have a clue what to do in life as their career, I feel and relate to those who don’t know what is right for them. Do we ever know what is right for us? Whether we are 16 at college or 40 years old and worked in 7 different jobs. Finding the career route that suits you, is a really difficult thing to do.

I’m almost 22 and I started the route into my career 3 years ago. I started as an apprentice, which is a route I would recommend over and over again. An apprenticeship route taught me the ways of working life, made me grow up and be mature, gave me skills I will use forever in life; it was the right route for me. 3 years down the line, I sit back and I think ‘is this what you want to do’. I know some of you will read this and probably think about how young I am still and that I have my whole life ahead of me to figure out what career I want in life. However, I am an ambitious person and even though I may only be in my early 20’s, I still feel this pressure and uncertainty on what I want to do.

It’s okay to feel this way. If you feel overwhelmed with options or confusion of what job route you want to take, then that is okay and it’s totally normal and understandable. The world offers SO many different opportunities out there, that its sometimes too much to cope with.

I think something for me that stands out is the amount of effort I put for the amount I get paid. Money isn’t everything, I get that, I understand that you have to be in a job that makes you happy and you enjoy. However, for me personally, money is a big factor to consider because of the life I want to have and to offer to my kids in the future. Some people only do a job because of the money, but I want to find the balance. I want to work in a career that I wake up every morning excited to do, but also have the money in the bank to go Disney World whenever I wanted. This life is probably want most people want to have.

But, how does one even find this life. I feel so motivated and determined to get into a career that is perfect, but my type of perfect. I love the job I do now but I feel like I need more from it. I want to offer more and have more challenges and weirdly I want to feel more stressed and that I’m this really important business women that you watch on TV series absolutely smashing life. I suppose that’s something that has brainwashed me. This vision that TV series and films give off about careers. But, even though it’s unrealistic, I crave that. I crave the hard work, I crave seeing my work making a change, I want to be paid an amount of money which I think I deserve.

When I sit back and think what I want from life, I know that I’m not currently living that life. I know I need to step out my comfort zone and fight for this life I dream of. I need to put myself out there and show people what I can do. And, if you’re feeling the same as me, then you need to do it too. We need to be able to live our life being happy at work, enjoying what we do. I’m not saying everyday at work has to be the best day of my life, but I want to be appreciated more. I want the credit and I want to know I’m doing a good job.

I need to take the next step into finding what my career route is. Trying new things whether I’m 21 or 55. I want to keep learning and understanding new departments of sectors. I want people who feel the same to do this with me. Step out what you feel comfortable with and go for it. The past year has made me realise that life is too short to be debating changing your career or moving to another company, just go for it!

Do we ever know that we are in the right career, in the right stage of our life, working for the right company? Are most of us just winging it and hoping to get through life without being fired? Are some of us holding back our full potential because we are scared? Are we scared of being ourself in the workplace? Can we be earning more money? Can we be living such a happier working life? Maybe so. Finding the right career for me is something I want to make my mission throughout life. I don’t know how to do this, but I’m determined.

I don’t know what life is going to throw at me – none of us do. I don’t even know specifically what job sector I want to be in. My mind changes ideas constantly. All I know is that I want to be in a career that makes a difference. That helps people. Figuring out a career route isn’t easy. It’s one of the hardest things we all have to go through. But we can get there. We can become the career person we want to. With the right attitude, we can do it.

This blog post is more of a jumble of my thoughts right now. But I had to get them off my chest. This may not help anyone, but it’s helped me. Talking about things and realising things and writing them down, it’s helped. Please, if you’re reading this and you need a chat about your career or whatever, comment below. We can talk together, rant together, motivate each other.

Let those toxic people go

Throughout life we will come across people who won’t have a positive impact on our life. Even though I’m young and still have plenty of people to meet in life, I have had a fair share of experiences with people I considered friends, who then turned into toxic people I needed to get out of my life.

I think removing toxic people from your life is a massive challenge a lot of people struggle to cope with and do. For some of us, it doesn’t come naturally to easily remove someone and we will continue to give those people or that specific person chance after chance because we are too scared to be brutally honest with ourselves and the person, that they are bringing a negative vibe to our life. We keep ‘friendships’ going because of the fear of looking like the bad person or having to be the one to make the move to remove them. It isn’t easy but I think the sooner we understand that these things are okay to do and NEED to be done for the sake of our mental health, it will be less difficult to do.

There are many different kind of toxic people out there but today I’m going to focus on the ones who don’t bring joy to you life, who don’t support you, who bring you down or try to make you feel bad; the ones who aren’t good for your mental health.

Sometimes it may take a few instances for you to realise that the specific person or people isn’t good for you. You may want to give them another chance and that’s okay, just don’t give them endless amount of chances because trust me, if they don’t change the first time, they won’t ever change. If they care and respect you enough, the will change their actions towards you to continue to be apart of your life.

The main thing to focus on to know whether you may be around a toxic person is to understand how they make you feel. If you feel scared of them in terms of saying no to plans because of how they react, or if they always try to belittle you or make your accomplishments in life seem silly or if they pick on your looks; this person or these people are not needed. There are plenty more people out there in this world who would give you the respect and support you deserve, who will treat you with kindness and make you feel loved. If the person or people are impacting your mental health negatively, then you need to let those toxic people go.

If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that life is too short. We never know when our last day on earth is or the last day we will see our friends and family again. Therefore, don’t waste life hanging around with people who make you feel like shit. Be the bigger person and end the relationship/friendship. Make a change to feel better within yourself, to be happier, to feel a weight lifted off your shoulders because you aren’t constantly worried about their judgements.

Surround yourself with the correct people. You will continuously meet new people throughout life and some you will adore with every part of your heart, some will become a new group of friends to go out with, someone might become a partner. This world is full of people, the right people you need to keep you happy and fulfil your needs.

Letting go of toxic people will most likely never be a fun thing to do (unless they have done something really bad which makes it slightly easier to get rid of them). That person or people may have been apart of your life for 20 years and then the relationship turns toxic. But, something to ask yourself is ‘will I be happier without them?’. Will you feel more like yourself? Can you be more yourself without them? Will you be able to live your life the way you want to without them? Will you be happy? Consider these questions, think about the answers. If the answers are yes, then you know you need to make a change.

When I say to let those toxic people go, I don’t mean to take action in a horrible way. You could start off talking to them less and giving yourself that distance from them. It’s not about removing them and being a bitch about it, you want to be the better person in this situation and not swoop to their level.

Life is too short. Live it the way you want to, with the people you want to live it with, the people who bring you positivity, the ones who help your mental health not make it worse. Let those toxic people go.

The positives to take out of the pandemic.

As the UK are coming out of lockdown 3.0, I thought it may be relevant to do a blog post about the positives I will be taking out of the pandemic and the year of lockdown restrictions we’ve had.

This pandemic has affected people in many ways, but at the end of the day, we have all been involved and hit by the impact of COVID. A lot of the days in the past year, I have felt such sadness thinking about how life has been and how much I’ve missed out on and just how weird it has been to be inside my house doing nothing…my brain still can’t quite comprehend that this has happened!

Although, one way to try and help myself get through this and not dwell on the year is to think about the positives it’s going to give me in the future, and I’d like to think these positives will also help others.

I think most of us can agree that a positive this pandemic has bought us is appreciating our family and friends more. I know for sure, when I next see my friends whether that’s inside or outdoors, its going to feel so refreshing to see and speak to them properly again. I’m going to be so grateful to still have all the people I had before the pandemic in my life and to be able to create new memories together. It really does make you realise the important things in life. Sometimes when our lives are going at 100mph, we forget what means the most to us and in a weird way, this slowing down of life because of lockdowns has made me sit back and realise what great people I have in my life and how lucky I am. It’s going to be SO positive when I get to reunite with people, and I hope you are all excited for that day to happen too!

Following on from this, another positive is to appreciate the little things more often. Before, I’d just go shopping because I was bored. Whereas now, I CAN’T WAIT TO GO SHOPPING AGAIN. It’s made me so excited to be able to go see clothes in real life instead of my mobile screen. Instead of just going because of the sake of it, I’m going to now go feeling excited to see what’s new in and just be around people. It’s those little things, as simple as going to a shop, that this pandemic has made me realise how much I enjoy doing that. Other little things I’ll appreciate more is the nice weather (being in the UK we are normally quite appreciative of the sun coming out anyway, but now it feels even more special), going for dog walks with my boyfriend, being able to eat in a restaurant, or even grab a Starbucks. The things that were so natural for us to do beforehand, now feel so exciting to be able to do again.

For me personally, I still live at home with my family and even though at times it has been tough being around each other 24/7, it’s given me this time with them that I wouldn’t have had if the pandemic didn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t me saying I’m glad the pandemic happened, but in ‘normal’ life, I was at work for 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, and then at the weekend I’d be out with my friends. It hit me how little time I was spending at home and it’s actually been nice to have a whole year basically stuck with them haha! Treasure the moments you have with your family.

Another positive, is how much money I’ve been able to save. Obviously, besides online shopping (which I have done my fair share of over the last year), there hasn’t been anything else for my money to be spent on. Not travelling into London for work has especially helped my bank account! Therefore, it’s helped me financially be able to save more for moving out or a holiday in the future.

A positive throughout the pandemic has been online calls. Being able to Zoom or facetime people has probably massively helped some people. We are so lucky to have the technology to be able to virtually see our loved ones, or even to be able to continue working and have meetings. Thank god for the technology we have. It’s kept friendships, relationships and family connections alive and pulled people through the loneliness.

Overall, even though the pandemic has been absolutely devastating and this blog post isn’t here to try and make COVID seem like a good thing. It’s here to try and help you see the positive outcomes. It’s been an awful year, but better times will come. We aren’t exactly sure what 2021 will bring us, but hold onto the little things, keep talking to people, say yes to plans more often, appreciate eating a meal out, support local businesses by going out, and most importantly, just be grateful that you are still here, still breathing, still able to live your life.

How to become body positive

Becoming body positive isn’t something that happens over night. It’s something that takes time and effort to find it within yourself to be positive towards your body. Everyone responds differently to their body and how it makes them feel but I wanted to touch on a few tips that have helped me in my journey of loving my body for what it is. But trust me, it wasn’t easy for me to be body positive and I still have days where I dislike how I look, but that’s okay. It’s a journey and it’s about growing from the down days and loving your body even if the day before you cried over it.

Firstly, I want to say that your body isn’t just about what it looks like. Remember the real importance of your body and how incredible it is. Your body is there to get you through every single day, it experiences everything in your life with you and its there to allow you to live. Whether you’re a size 4 or a size 20, our bodies all have the same reason and meaning behind it. It carries and creates babies, it changes every single year, it grows as you grow. So, remember that your body, everyone’s body has such a bigger meaning in life than just how it looks.

Let’s go through some tips that have helped me on my body positive journey:

Tip 1: Understanding that every body is different

I think the first thing you want to understand is that our bodies aren’t meant to be the same. I know so many people have probably told you this before or you’ve heard similar things but how boring would it be if we all looked the same? Understand that your body is the way it is because that’s how you was created. You was brought into this world to be the shape you are. That doesn’t mean I’m saying to never exercise to make your body the way you want (girl if you want that but to be bigger, then do those squats). But what more of us need to understand is that all bodies are different and that’s okay. It’s okay to have a different body from your bestie or the person you once saw in a nightclub (do we even remember what a nightclub is…this pandemic has been long…). We are different and that’s what makes this world so beautiful and interesting.

Tip 2: Don’t look in the mirror

You may be sitting there reading this thinking ‘how can I be body positive if I don’t look in the mirror???’ Hear me out. A time in my life, I was looking at my body in every mirror and reflection possible.. Did this make me feel body positive? No. In fact, it was probably the lowest I felt about my body. It was constantly on my mind to ‘check’ what my body was looking like, asif it would change within an hour. I’d go to have a bath but spend 20 minutes staring at myself, picking my body apart. It wasn’t healthy. Therefore, if you’re finding that you are always looking at your body to try and find something wrong with it then please, I know it’s easier said than done, but try and take a break from doing this. Whether you decide to remove a mirror from your room, or you get dressed in the corner of your room so you don’t see your reflection; make a change to look at yourself less. You may be surprised the impact it has on yourself and your mind by taking some time away from a mirror.

Tip 3: Don’t buy clothes just because they’re on sale

I’m very guilty of buying clothes just because it’s a bargain. I’d buy a top for £3 because it was reduced. But did I actually like this top? No, not really. I know we all love to grab a bargain when we can and sometimes these bargains pay off SO well for us, but changing your shopping attitudes can really help you become more positive about your body. Take time in deciding what you buy. Try the clothes on. If you order them, try them on twice before deciding whether to keep it. Find clothes that fit you the way you feel most confident. If it’s the case that you love an item but it’s a bit pricey, instead of spending money on other ‘basic’ clothing just for the sake of it, save up and buy that 1 item that could become such an essential in feeling positive in how you look.

Tip 4: Write down what you love about yourself

Granted, I think most of you will read this tip and think ‘there’s no way I’m writing a list complimenting myself’. I get it. A while ago I would be thinking the same. However, don’t write a list of what you love about yourself when you’re in a down mood because it will most likely only make it worse and your mind will make you believe that there isn’t anything you can write down. Maybe instead, wake up one day and before you do anything else, you note down 3 things like you love. It could be that you love how long your eyelashes are, or the size of your thighs. Writing down positives about ourself will be a huge step into your body positive journey. Feel proud about the body you have and hunny, if you have 17 things you love about yourself or even 90 things, then write them down!! Express your love for your body.

Tip 5: If you think exercise will help, then do it

Exercise is an activity that massively helps with mental health and the way you feel about yourself. This isn’t me saying you have to exercise to be body positive because you don’t have to change your body at all to do so. However, some people may find that working up a sweat and buying new gym clothes or going for a 3K run, does wonders for their confidence. When you know you’ve done something that impacts your mental health but also your physical health, it gives you that boost, those few minutes or whole week of happiness because you put in the effort to motivate yourself to sweat it out. Exercise is something that grows my confidence more than I thought it would. But again, exercise isn’t for everyone but if you are debating doing it, even if it’s once a week, try it!

Tip 6: Unfollow them

I’ll leave this as my last tip, and probably for some of you this will be the most important and affective tip. If you are following people who don’t bring you happiness on social media, then get rid. Whether you unfollow them or mute them, if you’re constantly comparing yourself or feeling down when that person uploads a selfie, then do something about it. Stop yourself from feeling down because ‘you don’t look like them’ and unfollow!!! The impact this has is insane. Trust me, if you asked anyone who has gone through their following list and unfollowed the people who don’t bring positivity to their life, they will most likely say it was one of the best things they have done to help their mindset and views on themselves. Follow people who’s posts bring you joy, who make you feel good and inspire you. Stop scrolling through a feed that makes you unhappy. You’re better than that.

I hope these tips make sense and that you find at least one of them useful. I know these tips may be quite ‘common’ but they’re still just as important as the last person who may of mentioned them. These tips are here to help you find your way through your journey of becoming body positive. When you put the time, effort and trust in yourself, you will see a difference.

If anyone else has any other tips or ways that helped you become body positive, please comment them – I would love to hear!