Monthly Archives

January 2020

Lifestyle

4 Strange Habits That Make Me Question My Sanity

habits

This post was inspired after watching of my favourite art youtubers, Emirichu! If you’ve never heard of her or not subscribed, check her out! She’s hilarious and comes out with some amazing stories! Last year she did a video talking about some of the strange habits she has.

We all know that I’m a quirky little spud so is it really a surprise that I have some odd habits?

Not really.

I’ve chatted about habits that I wanted to cut out of my life so I promise that this won’t be as deep as that. To be honest you’ll probably either relate to these or speed-dial my therapist. I can say that now I have one! Haha! If you enjoy this, let me know in the comments because it’ll make me feel less weird!

Double-checking my oven/front door

I swear that my memory has been getting worse as I’ve been getting old. Maybe I need to start doing brain games to keep it alive!

Anyway, I’ve always to double and triple check that I’ve done something. It isn’t that I always forget and more often I not everything is fine, but I get anxious. Both of these have happened at least twice and that has me freaking out that I’ll forever forget. I can remember last month that I seriously triggered my anxiety after convincing myself that I had left my cooker hob on. I gave myself a pretty nasty attack (breakdown and all) and had to postpone an appointment to check.

A tip that I learnt in Emirichu’s video is to make a silly noise after turning off/locking. That way you remember the noise and that means you don’t have to check. I tend to do ‘boing!’ and it does work!

Having to have the volume on an even number

I bet there is something psychological behind this but yeah…

I can’t even remember when I first started needing to have the volume on anything on an even number. I just know that I used to do it when I turned it up and down on my Mum’s car radio. There is something weird about landing on an odd number for me and I’ll admit to cringing when I turned 33 this year!

I’m not obsessed on making it every time because that would make me stressed out but I do it when I’m on my own. It makes me feel better and means that I won’t think about it. I bet that I heard a negative thing about it when I was younger and it must have subconsciously stuck with me!

Bringing the front of a top to my mouth

Okay, this definitely has to have a childhood thing to it! Psychology friends, let me know!

I can’t believe I’m actually admitting this on the internet. I never had a blanket when I was a kid and tended to seek comfort in either a soft toy or in my mum or dad’s side. Contrary to what people might see with me, I love hugs. Well, I love them from people I trust but really squirm when someone I don’t know well touches my arm or shoulder. Makes me shudder just thinking about it.

I did mention this to my psychologist yesterday and she said it’s just what I think it is: a comfort thing. She says that it’s normal for an adult to have one of these and do it without thinking. Usually when you’re watching TV or focusing on something else. I tend to do it more when I’m watching TV or a film. Since we’re all about honesty here, I think there are a couple of reasons I do it.

  • I usually have some of my Mum’s perfume on and the smell makes me feel safe.
  • I like the way a fabric feels against my mouth (a sensory thing)

Use cold water to wash my hands

Not sure if this is one of those strange habits to have but I’m wondering more and more.

The funny thing is that I hate being cold. I prefer to be wrapped up warm or have a hot shower or even wrap myself up in my duvet. Yes, even in the summer! However I only use cold water to wash my hands. Unless I’m out and only hot water is there.

I don’t know if it’s a good thing for my skin and is probably what makes it so cracked but there you go.

Please tell me one of you guys does this too!

What strange habits do you have?

 

Mental Health

Thoughts I’m Having Before My First Therapy Appointment

therapyPhoto by Timothy L Brock on Unsplash

Oof, have I had a bit of a history with therapy?

I’ve been in and out of it ever since I was a kid and haven’t had much luck with it. Some sessions had been to help me with my confidence, others for bereavement. I think what you can get with therapy is a little hit and miss depending on the therapist.

Why am I writing this post since I’ve already chatted so much about my mental health?

Well, as the title kind of suggests, tomorrow I have my very first therapy session. At least in the last few years anyway! I was supposed to have it today but my therapist double-booked. That kind of left me upset since I thought I’d have to wait for months again. Thankfully that wasn’t the case.

I’ve got so much inside my head in way of thoughts and some fears! I know that I shouldn’t be scared of therapy because it’s meant to help me, but this is me we’re talking about! Haha! I wouldn’t be having it if I didn’t have some dumb fears about the session.

“If I tell the whole truth, I’ll be sectioned!”

If you ever had severe depression, then I’m sure you’ve had this particular fear regardless of who you talk to.

The thought of ever being sectioned is terrifying. The only thing that keeps me going (in a sense) is having control. It’s funny that I say that since I don’t think I’ve had true control over my life for years. At least not mentally anyway. I have to tell myself that she wouldn’t automatically section me unless I was at immediate danger to myself or someone else and I’m not.

If I’m going to stand any chance of recovering, I need to be completely honest. Therapy means confidential and she is there to help me make sense of why I think the way I do. It’s going to take a really long time but I know it’ll be worth it. Maybe I’ll feel more stable for when I go to visit family in June.

“What if I’m too far gone?”

This is such a stupid fear for me to have.

If I was really too far gone then I would either be sectioned or with my parents. The fact that I’m even doing therapy means that I must (deep down) feel like I can be helped. Part of me feels like I’ll never recover since I’ve had to wait for so long to get to this point. I’ve literally had something like 3 assessments to even be considered to see a psychologist.

“Maybe she won’t think I’m depressed and give me another diagnosis!”

A long shot of fear but, when you’ve heard so many people say different things, you don’t know what to think anymore. My autism support worker says that a lot of people she looks after are diagnosed with different mental health conditions. When the symptoms they’re showing are actually connected to their autism.

I know I’m quirky but even I don’t think I can be placed in different baskets.

What I’m getting to as well with my fear is that they won’t think my depression is serious. I wouldn’t be going to see this person if someone didn’t think I needed the extra support. Never been to see a clinical psychologist before so fear of the unknown I guess. Eventually I want to be able to come off my anti-depressants but that’s a long time in the future!

“I won’t recover by the end of these sessions.”

I’m certain that we’ve all had this fear when it comes to our mental health. You see so many people chatting about their recovery (which is incredible by the way!) and you worry that you won’t. I know that I’m in that boat right now. I don’t know if you can ever fully recover from mental health.

Part of me always thought that everyone was born with the possibility of suffering. We just need that life trigger to kick it off. I know mine was started by bullying and made worse by losing family. One lesson that I have taken to heart is that, once you’ve been bullied, you carry on the bullying. It was something that a therapist said to me in CBT and it’s just stayed in my brain.

I have a whole bunch of fears that come with therapy. Whether it’s not fully trusting whoever I’m chatting to because I don’t know them or showing how broken I am. Let’s just hope that this psychologist has some extra strong super glue to piece me back together again.

It would be nice to feel stable and normal!

If you’ve had therapy, what were your fears before your first session?

Lifestyle

The Importance of Connecting With Other Bloggers

connecting with bloggers

One of the first few things I’ve noticed when someone becomes a blogger is that they don’t realise the importance of connecting with other bloggers. Connecting with bloggers has to be at the top of my list of things new people should know. We spend most of our times by ourselves typing away posts and editing photos, but we also have a social element to it too!

Whether we chat online or at brand events, we meet people.

When I first met bloggers offline, I was terrified. It was my first event blogger event with Crabtree and Evelyn and I had zero clue what to expect. I think I was still expecting to be sent home for not looking ‘blogger enough’ which is just silly. No blogger has a specific image! How many niches can you name that people blog about these days? There are so many.

As hard as I found it connecting with bloggers that I had only spoken to on Twitter, I did it. I was so proud that I pushed myself to do something out of my comfort zone. That was over 4 years ago and I need to figure out if I can do that again. Now I just need to get invited to an event! Haha! Do I need to get myself a neon arrow saying that I’m free?!

Why do I think that it’s important to chat with others?

You meet like-minded people

Let’s start at the beginning of the blog journey.

You have a blog and you want people to read it. The best people to look to are bloggers since we not only love writing posts but reading them too. Some of us have no social lives and I love seeing what other people are up to or feeling.

Who else relates?

I never suspected to find and make blogger friends who loved Harry Potter as much as me and put up with my gif usage too. They even read my posts and comment which still makes me happy to this day. It might take a little time to gather around you that group of people but it’ll be worth it. Though, knowing us, you’ll find people like you within a day!

You get help with any problems

Since there are so many of us, there will be at least a handful of people who will be able to help you out if you needed it. There have been so many times when I’ve gone on Twitter to rant a little about my blog and someone will ask if they can help. No problem is ever too big or too small. Maybe an image doesn’t work, you can’t get an idea typed up or numbers aren’t going up.

We aren’t perfect but we’ll see help.

Never be afraid to ask someone if you know they might have experience to help.

You learn things that might help you in the long run

In the last decade or so that blogging has been around, it’s been changing.

One minute you think you know something and the next minute it’s been updated. I’ve had a few occasions when I’ve had to be helped. More recently I had to ask for some advice from both Jenny and Vix about the right guidelines with advertising. I’d only done a couple of sponsored posts and wanted to make sure I didn’t make too many mistakes.

Not only do you have to be a blogger but you also have to have an idea about some legal things. You see people who forget to put an ad on their post/image even though it is obvious. You can get in trouble if you’re careful so bloggers can let you know some of the guidelines.

Learn about opportunties

Something that I think a few bloggers love to do is working with brands we have respect for.

Let’s face it: we all have brands that we would love to work with one day and would make us feel a great deal of achievement. We have our dream brands and we have the smaller ones who we think look and sound incredible. There are so many ways you can find out about these opportunities but a lot of them come through word of mouth. Connecting with other bloggers gives you access to possible collaborations you wouldn’t have considered.

Twitter is a great place to find these! Your friends might either retweet them for others to see or send them to you because you’re a good fit. A blogger might even work for a brand so connections are great to have!

Support each other through tough times

We might be nearing the end of January but I’ve already seen so many struggling friends.

Some have lost a relative, some have been in hospital and others have been fighting their mental health. I definitely fall into that bracket of people. There is something very special about knowing that you have people who have your back. When my mum died, so many people were there for me. They not only sent me their condolences but they sent care packages and made me feel as if I had an extended family.

I do consider my blogger friends as my family.

Never feel like you’re alone in a tough situation because we will always have your back in the best way we can.

We’re not perfect and there will be some people who only think of the worst of people. However we try and that’s all that we can do.

Do you think connecting with other bloggers is important? 

Books

How To Find Time To Read During The Week

time to readPhoto by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Reading is one of the few things in my life that I couldn’t live without. It lets me travel to far off places without even leaving my flat and make friends with different people. However there are some days where I just don’t have time to read anything and that makes me sad. We should always have time to read in our day, even if it’s just for an hour. We all seem to be rush, rush, rush these days.

I can remember a young girl telling her friend that she ‘didn’t have to read a book because reading Instagram stories is reading!’. While she does have a point to a degree, NO. That’s only my opinion by the way!

Don’t worry…we’re going to find time to help you read when life gets a little too hectic.

Set aside a time after you get up or before bed

You’d be surprised how setting a reading moment after you’ve woken up or before you head to sleep is great for you. You get the chance to relax yourself, feel accomplished and have fun. It all depends what kind of person you are. Are you a morning or night-time person?

Either way you’ll be chilling with a good book!

Keep something to read on you

You know how I had a little moan about the young girl?

That doesn’t mean that I don’t accept reading other ways. There are so many ways to read these days! You could read a physical book, on a Kindle or even listen to an audiobook. If you use not having time to read as an excuse, be firmer with yourself. You don’t have to read an entire book in a short amount of time! You could just do a page or two for a couple of minutes to tide you over.

Do the Goodreads Reading Challenge

Since we’re just over two weeks into 2020, it’s still perfect time to start the reading challenge on the Goodreads website. It allows you to set a certain amount of books that you can read through the year so you don’t have to rush your reading. If you can only read 12 books, then space it out by reading a book a month.

Life can make it super difficult to read sometimes so don’t feel frustrated when you can’t do it as often as other people.

Use your commuting/travel time

If you’re like me and you don’t drive, then you’ll probably have to use public transport. We might not having the most convenient transport out there but we tend to have no choice but to use them. I know my friend Lindsey uses her commute time to catch up on some reading.

It doesn’t matter if you have only 15 minutes or an hour on the bus/train, catch up on your reading and try to ignore the delays/stress!

Exchange books with a friend

One way that pushes me to read a book is if I’m on a time-frame with it. That describes my library experience over all! I always end up being a bit late with the book because I didn’t take the time to read it when I could. I’m annoying that way to be honest.

A whole different matter when the book comes from a friend. You’re more likely to both want to make sure the book stays looking nice and return it in a good amount of time. Unless they’ve told you beforehand to take your time to enjoy. Though, if someone loans you a book from their bookshelf, don’t take that as a sign that the book is now yours and never return it.

RIP to the books I’ve lost over the years!

Read books you actually like

Have you ever picked up a handful of books that everyone seems to be loving and you don’t? That happens to me fairly often. I end up grabbing books that are on trend because I think that’s what I should be reading instead of going for ones that I know I’ll enjoy.

That’s why I don’t conform to my age group and allow myself to read YA books.

This way I will be excited about reading it and I’ll more likely put aside some time in my day to read. This system doesn’t always work but that’s just one of the things of being a reader!

How do you make sure that you have time to read?

Lifestyle Mental Health

5 Ways On How To Support An Introvert Friend

introvertPhoto by Prasanna Kumar on Unsplash

I can remember a moment in school when I was taught the words ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’. They didn’t mean much to be at the time but now I know that it can be a handy word. If you don’t know what an introvert is, it’s basically someone who prefers time to themselves and find busy social situations difficult. If you looked it up in the dictionary, I’m pretty sure you’d see my face!

I’m pretty socially awkward and have been for years. It isn’t that I haven’t tried being social but they’re just not my scene. Unless it’s a Harry Potter quiz or I’m surrounded by friends, then I can handle. A lot of the time people automatically think that introverts are mousy and boring. That’s so far from the truth!

We can be just as fun as extroverts! You just have to take the time to learn how to love being friends with an introvert!

Spend 1-to-1 with your friend

If you know that your friend happens to be an introvert, try spending specific time with them.

There’s something nice and safe about not having to cope with a group of people and trying to make conversation with them all. That’s more likely going to put your friend off coming. You could go for lunch somewhere, look around some book-shops or even go to the cinema.

You’ll have their attention and they will have yours.

Try to understand what it’s like to be an introvert

One of the best ways to know how to be with an introvert friend is to picture what it’s like to be in their shoes.

Take time to see how overwhelming social situations can be for them, know what their boundaries are and find others to be social with them. Not every person will be a shy little butterfly and can probably handle being social, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a limit.

You’re not being over-the-top by understanding. To be honest, I’d be somewhat flattered that you’ve tried to find ways to help our time be fun for both of us.

Let them have alone time

Ugh.

I’ve had a few friends in the past who have pushed and pushed and pushed for me to come out. One of those friends turned up to my house without ringing first and starting banging on my front door. It was 8am on a Saturday so I didn’t answer. They then started knocking on my downstairs windows. Mum was not happy with her at all and I ended up cutting ties with that person.

I can’t deal with pushy friends.

If a friend prefers not to go out often, don’t push or try to ‘persuade’ them to go. There’s a difference between being geniunely understanding and allowing your friend time and not listening.

LET US BE BLANKET BURRITOS!

Don’t make them feel as if they need to be fixed

This is something that really frustrates me. It’s not just the odd friend who does this but family as well. I do know that most of the time they are only trying to help but it makes you feel like you’re a problem.

You don’t need to be fixed.

You aren’t being awkward.

Being an introvert isn’t some kind of character flaw. We do need pushes to get out there and not disappear into our little comfort zones. Believe me, I would totally love if I could stay home under my blanket reading. If your friend/loved one ever feels like this, try and help by reassuring them that it’s okay. If they don’t want to go out, that’s fine.

It might take us time to open up to you

I like to think that if a person is a real friend then they’ll have patience with someone.

Some people might mistake being introverted for being cold, distant or seemingly uncaring. That is so far from the truth! We just take our time to get used to a person and, if we feel safe, then we’ll open up. As soon as we do, you have us! Our loyalty, our true personality underneath the quietness and more!

Be honoured if you ever see what I’m really like.

I’d love to know if you’re either an introvert, an extrovert or even bits of both. I guess I do have extrovert tendencies whenever I feel really safe with someone. That’s normally when I do non-stop chatting, let you into my thoughts and…you’ll know.

What do you consider yourself as?

 

Books

AD | Tweet Cute by Emma Lord (Blog Tour)

tweet cute

AD | This book was gifted in exchange for a review.

An author whose work I’ve fallen for is Emma Lord’s! Tweet Cute might be her debut novel but I feel I’m going to be fangirling her for a long time. I might also like her because I follow her on Twitter and discovered she’s a Hufflepuff! What? I’m not going to let my badger love take over this review. All of the opinions in this review will be all my own and completely honest.

I was graciously allowed to take part in the Blog Tour for Emma’s upcoming book Tweet Cute (it’s coming out on January 21st!!) Look at that cover! You can tell that the book is going to be ‘cute’. I was also gifted the book to read! This definitely made the start of 2020 very exciting for my little blog!

Synopsis

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming — mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese — that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life — on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate — people on the internet are shipping them — their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

tweet cute

Paperback (21st January) | Hardback (1st February)

Review

My first thoughts on Tweet Cute?

Is it bad that I was already laughing on the first page? Pepper was just so relatable and the banter between her and her sister Paige was hilarious!

“Um, is the apartment on fire?”
“Nope, just my life.”

If that isn’t relatable, I don’t know what is. We’ve all had moments like that and Pepper showcases all of them. She is a teen who had been plucked out of home in Nashville and dropped into a private school in Manhattan! She’s completely focused on the school work (just to keep her away from the popular sharks and keep her head above water), but she had a secret.

She has a friend.

The only problem is that she doesn’t know who that friend is. All she knows is that they are a student at her school and that their username is called Wolf. I automatically got slight ‘Gossip Girl’ vibes mixed in with ‘Pretty Little Liars’. I love how quick Pepper is with her humour and how you tell that something is starting to develop between her and Wolf.

I won’t tell you who Wolf is because you’ll find out yourselves.

The other character I loved is Jack who seems to be battling with his image. He has a twin brother called Ethan who is super popular and smart and he is basically the class clown. I felt for him when I read that people initially smiled at him but then realised he wasn’t his brother.

I wish that I had had a grandma like Jack’s! Grandma Belly is so sweet and stern and sassy! Now I see where Jack gets it throughout the book.

There is so much that Emma Lord crams into this book and I love it! She’s actually teaching me bits about the US Education System that I didn’t know, though I did have to go and google a few words that I had no clue about. As a lover of Twitter and who chats using many random gifs, I love there is an intense battle over it! It’s just like every day life of anyone who uses a form of social media.

We become obsessed.

We retweet and comment to the latest trends/memes.

We respond to any viral tweets and go a little crazy when Twitter blows up at crazy real life things. It’s safe to say that it can be a scary, scary place and Emma has captured that perfectly. Tweets happen, things happen and you are made to see the people you’re reading about in a whole different light.

I think all of my blogger friends and social media people will find Tweet Cute hilarious because it is a little bit of a parody at times and you totally get what Pepper goes through. I know I’m being vague but I’m just subtly pushing you to buy the book when it comes out with each word I type!

Have you ever had a bit of a Twitter war like Tweet Cute?

 

Lifestyle

Who Would I Have Nominated For This Year’s Oscars?

oscars

So…the nominations for this year’s Oscars were released today. A lot of people, including myself, are wondering what is going on with the voting these last few years. It’s like someone takes a look at the short-list and purposely hides all of the POC/female participants. Why else would the Oscars completely ignore some incredibly talented people? Other than being either racist, chauvinistic or picking while blind-folded.

Haven’t they learned over the last decade that white-washing and male-dominating categories doesn’t work?

It’s a new decade, Academy! You need to learn to look everyone.

With all of this happening, I decided to take it upon myself to teach the Academy what the nominations would be if I’d been in charge of deciding. All of the people I’m going to pick are my own opinions and sorry if I didn’t include your favourite person!

Supporting Actress

Nazanin Boniadi – Hotel Mumbai
X Mayo – The Farewell
Janelle Monae – Harriet
Brie Larson – Just Mercy
Florence Pugh – Little Women

Leading Actress

Awkwafina – The Farewell
Lupita Nyong’o – Us
Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers
Cynthia Erivo – Harriet
Saoirse Ronan – Little Women

Best Director

Lulu Wang – The Farewell
Jordan Peele – Us
Marielle Heller – A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood
Greta Gerwig – Little Women
Lorene Scafaria – Hustlers

Supporting Actor

Leslie Odom Jr. – Harriet
Jamie Foxx – Just Mercy
John Lithgow – Bombshell
Timothée Chalamet – Little Women

Best Actor

Winston Duke – Us
Taron Egerton – Rocketman
Robert Downey Jr. – Avengers: Endgame
Michael B. Jordan – Just Mercy
Daniel Kaluuya – Queen & Slim

It would literally take me so long to explain my reasons for the people I’ve picked. To keep it short, all of the people I mentioned really stood out to me for different reasons. They all either pulled at my heartstrings, got me thinking or all of the above. That’s one thing that the Oscars are pretty decent at and that’s showcasing the odd film that shows a big transformation such as Renee Zellweger in Judy!

It’s sad that some of the films I loved last year and even this year haven’t even been nominated! I’ve heard so many incredible things about Just Mercy that I can’t wait for it to come out this week! I’m planning to do my annual ‘Oscar Winner Predictions‘ post later on in the week so look out for that!

Sorry that the post is really short but I have had a challenging weekend. That said, I still wanted to post something because I still think it’s unfair how the nominations worked out this year! It’s all about balance and opportunity, not just money. If you’re wanting to read some amazing film reviews from a passionate company, you need to check out Cinematic Faves! Billie really loves films and you can tell that in the way she talks about the films she’s watched. She’s recently started a book giving initiative for Just Mercy to highlight the importance of the story.

Who do you think should have been nominated at the Oscars this year?

Lifestyle

How To Wake Up Refreshed & Ready For The Day

wake upPhoto by David Mao on Unsplash

Following my post on ‘What Keeps Me Up At Night?‘ and after reading a post by TheModeEdit, I wanted to touch upon on what I’ve recently been doing to help me wake up feeling more refreshed and less like I want to curl up and sleep more. I’m not always successful (Netflix controls my night!), but it has been working over these last few weeks. If even I can wake up well, anyone can! Remember: everyone is different so what works for me might not work for you.

Contrary to what social media likes to tell us, no-one has the answer to what makes the best morning.

Humans are unique and that means that it takes trying and testing different things to see what fits and whether those things would be beneficial to your morning.

Write down your thoughts before you sleep

This has been brilliant for me to have in my night-time routine!

I’ve been writing diaries on and off for 10 years and properly got back into writing in September. Writing every day has helped me remember any great days that I had. It also helps me recognise when I’ve had a serious struggle and left me with a lot to think about. I know what it’s like to think too much so, if I write down absolutely everything, I know I’ll sleep better. That in turn means I’ll have more energy in the morning when I get up!

At least that’s how it’s meant to work! Haha!

Stay off your phone when you wake up

I see you with your phone! Step away!

We’ve become a generation where we immediately grab our phones to check what’s been happening on social media while we’ve slept. A lot probably has happened and you probably have tweets and messages to read. However try waiting an hour before you grab it.

You don’t necessarily need to meditate in that hour. You can do whatever else you want. Make breakfast, exercise, listen to some music or sit and just listen to nature. I love listening to the birds and the wind. I find it resets my mind for the day and I’m more likely to get stuff done!

Drink water before bed and drink water first thing

You’ve all heard that we have to drink 7/8 glasses of water a day, right?

Well I can help you drink at least 2 glasses with this tip! If you don’t mind getting up during the night (unless you have a bladder of steel!), then a glass of water will end your day perfectly. The reason for having one first thing is because we all tend to dehydrate over night. I mean…we don’t drink anything for 8 hours!! A cold glass of water will not only wake us up but your body will thank you!

Keep your room dark and quiet

One thing that may leave you grouchy is waking up way too early.

There are a lot of people who love getting up early and, on occasion, so do I. What I’m not a fan of is having the sunshine blazing into my room at like 5am. It’s not fun! I can’t do super quiet but I can’t sleep if it’s super noisy. If I can have a dark room that is relatively quiet, I’ll get sleep!

How do you like your room to help you sleep?

Don’t have anything heavy to eat before bed

My mum unfortunately had this problem and she had a good reason. She was a nurse and, if you know anything about nurses or anyone else in the medical profession, they rarely get a chance to sit down on time for something to eat. They might sit down to have something but then an emergency comes through and they have to go and sort out that.

I can remember making my mum something to eat to take with her so she was able to munch when she could and she would come home without eating it. She would then end up either eating that or eating what I’d made for dinner at around 9pm.

No wonder she was kept awake!

It doesn’t necessarily matter what time you eat at, but more what you eat. If you’re hungry, grab some fruit like kiwis or bananas. You can also try walnuts (if you’re not allergic), yoghurt, trail mix and edamame.

Try not to nap during the day

This can prove to be a difficult tip if you have a mental health or chronic illness. If I’m seriously struggling, all I want to do is sleep. It’s a major challenge to get out of bed and get myself motivated.

What I have heard is that napping isn’t a great thing to do if you want to get a good night’s sleep. It feels great at the time but you won’t be tired before bed and so end up having to wait until early in the morning. As hard as it might be if you’re super tired but try to keep yourself awake as late as you can.

What tips do you have to wake up feeling refreshed?

 

Mental Health

Did I Succeed With My 2019 Mental Health Resolutions?

mental health resolutionsPhoto by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

This time last year I did a post setting some resolutions specifically for my mental health. I wanted to aim to try and improve it over that year and I figured this would kick my butt into gear. The question of the hour is did I succeed in completing any of my mental health resolutions.

I’m going to go through each and let you know how they went. I’ll warn you guys that this won’t be the longest post I’ve done, but this is handy for me to see! Any progress is better than none at all!

Take my medication on time

Yes!!

I’ve managed to take my anti-depressants every night with no issue. Have I seen an improvement in my mental health because of this? Not really. I still have quite a few rough days such as last Saturday. However, I’m still proud of myself for keeping on track with this particular med.

Now I just need to remember the meds for my migraines! That would be brilliant!

To not beat myself up if I don’t do something

Okay, this one was a no.

Realistically this probably wasn’t the best resolution to set myself before I start therapy. I’ve got a lot of negative thoughts about myself which lead to me beating myself up. They can be the tiniest thing such as forgetting to brush my teeth or not posting a blog post.

I’ve battled with this for so many years!

I did get a little better at trying to accept if things didn’t go exactly like I planned. Unfortunately there were more days that went sour such as not doing enough steps in my day. It’s such a stupid thing to worry myself over, but it happens. I’ve had to delete any pedometers that I had on my phone so that I wouldn’t trigger myself too much.

I will not listen to my inner voice

HAHAHA no.

If any of you suffer with a mental health issue, then you will know that the inner voice must come with an internal megaphone because it doesn’t shut the heck up! It must be like that annoying bully who keeps telling you all the nasty things it thinks about you and anything you do.

I definitely wish I could turn off that voice or swap it for a better one.

If we’re going to look at any sign of progress, it would have to be that I did have one day where I ignored it. It was when I was trying to walk a bit further and it was trying to say that I was super unfit. HA! I proved it wrong that day!

Learn to accept compliments

Another nope from me!

I try so hard to accept when someone compliments me on my look or my attitude, but it’s very difficult when I don’t feel it about myself. They say it and I just immediately shake my head. I do appreciate it deep down since even I like to hear nice things especially since I only hear negative thoughts coming from me.

If you happen to tell me something nice, thank you!

Stop myself feeling guilty from spending

This is something I did better at.

To be honest I didn’t really buy too much. When I did buy something it was usually an item that I’ve wanted to buy for a while. I’ve taken on the mentality that if I really want something, then I should wait a few months. If I still want it after that then I can buy it. This has worked with books, notebooks and other teeny things. I don’t like to spend money since I don’t have that much of it after bills.

That said I know that I do deserve to treat myself on occasion.

Instead of doing a new post chatting about my mental health resolutions, I’m just going to do a little list here of what I want to aim for during 2020!

  1. Be more positive about my achievements
  2. Reduce my medication dosage
  3. Successfully start therapy
  4. Try to counteract a negative with a positive

If you had any mental health resolutions, how did you do?

Lifestyle Mental Health

What Things Keep You Up At Night?

night

I would sit up at night reading books or magazines to try and get myself sleepy. Sometimes it worked and other times I ended up with nightmares.

My brain can be so weird sometimes. There are a number of things that keep me up so maybe we can be insomnia buddies.

If you do struggle a lot with sleepless nights, don’t be afraid to go and see your GP about it. There could be other reasons for it such as pain, mental health and more. You can get help! Now that’s out of the way, I’m going to look at certain things that might keep you up and try and come up with ways to overcome them. I’m definitely not a medical professional! Just a person whose body hates sleep!

Negative thoughts

Everyone suffers a form of these. You don’t have to suffer from mental health to have negative thoughts about something. It’s unfortunately what makes us human.

My mind never shuts up with all the negative things it believes I’ve done that day. Maybe I forgot to let an elderly lady onto the bus first, maybe I lied about feeling good, maybe I didn’t go out. It could be the littlest thing ever and you get made to go over that thought over and over and over.

You can tell why I don’t get a lot of sleep.

What I’ve recently done to try and combat this is to start both writing in my diary and jotting down anything positive that happens in my day. I have to accept that I will think negatively about things, but that doesn’t mean I have to let it control me.

Being on my phone before bed

Yeah…I’m one of those that brings their phone to bed and plays on it before they sleep. I know I shouldn’t have any electronics in bed and there is a whole scientific research saying that the blue light keeps you awake. I do have a method to my madness, I swear!

Some of the ways I fall asleep is by listening to music.

I can’t do with solid silence. My brain automatically tries to add different sounds into the silence and they are nightmare fuel! During my childhood I used to be terrified of a guy I would call ‘The Tamberine Man’. I would never see him but I would hear the sound of his tamberine and awful things would happen soon after. My adult brain now tries to undo all that conditioning by saying that the sound had actually been people outside my bedroom window making noise. I think my half-asleep brain just made it into something it wasn’t!

Still hate the sound though!

My iPhone has a setting where I can time it to turn the light from blue to red. The red helps make you tired so, between that and the music/Calm app, I would feel very sleepy. You’d think I would sleep after that but nope.

Pain

Enter the life of a chronic illness sufferer!

My fibromyalgia is such a party pooper when it comes to me trying to sleep. I’ve had so many nights when my legs have either be super painful or so restless. One of the reasons why I can’t go on coaches is the fact that their leg-space isn’t much. You used to have pitstops to service stations where you could stretch your legs but there isn’t anymore. At least on the coaches I go on. Sitting in your seat for 4 and a bit hours is not fun!

Back to sleepless nights!

My legs do the exact same thing they do on coaches. They become painful and very jumpy. You could be lying in bed and your leg suddenly jumps. I can usually feel it growing in my foot and then it travels up my leg. It has had me in tears on a few occassions.

Currently on medication (gabapentin and baclofen) to help combat the muscle spasms and the pain. Not perfect but better than agony!

Can’t get comfortable

There are other reasons other than pain that keep you up at night.

Apparently the top reason for not being able to sleep is because you can’t get comfortable in bed. The main cause for that? An out-of-date mattress. This isn’t a sponsored post (though I wouldn’t mind the opportunity! Haha!)…just passing on what I discovered from my local mattress man. He said that you have to change your mattress every 8 years since it can get out of shape after so many years.

It gets bumpy because of springs and it sags, doesn’t support you as well as it used to and might even make your allergies worse.

Noisy neighbours

Oh, do I have experience with this one!

If you follow me on Twitter, you will probably have heard that I’ve had quite a few problems with noisy neighbours. They would blare their loud music for hours! The longest was just over 6 hours! It’s bad enough when you have to deal with this music during the day, but when you have it at night? Ew. It doesn’t help that I’m sensitive to loud noises.

I’ve had to go down to talk to them at 11pm to tell them to turn it down! You can imagine how difficult it would be to sleep with something like a party happening down below you.

How do you cope with this?

You can either buy some ear-plugs to block out some of the noise or wear some noise-cancelling headphones. These are kind of more temporary options. You could report them for nuisance noise or let them know personally how the noise is affecting you!

What tends to keep you up at night and how do you deal with it?