Dear whoever may need it,

Dear whoever may need it,

Here is a Thursday pick me up!

Dear whoever may need it,

Sometimes things don’t go to plan and they are the opposite of EASY. You’re not the only one having a bad day… or month… or year! You are not alone, it’s the truest thing I can say to you.screen-shot-2018-04-12-at-13-37-40.png

We have all been undone. Then we get put back together, piece by piece and when we find someone else who is suffering we understand deeper and wider. Because we get it.

We all must fight some battles and jump through hoops in this crazy adventure we call life. Some fights, nobody knows about… things change in our lives, sometimes for better or worse.

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Some days can be foggy, and you must realise that it’s OK not to be OK all of the time.

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You will laugh again. So hard that your stomach aches and tears spill out.

You will look back and thank God that you’re on this side of the storm, and then you will thank yourself because it turns out you’re stronger than you realised.

You are loved. You are worthy. You are enough. You are strong. You are good.

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Life will get sunnier.

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DISCLAIMER: The pictures I used are Emily Coxhead’s the creator of the Happy News. She’s awesome and I love her little notes to boost my spirits!

I Am An Emotional Sponge

I Am An Emotional Sponge

In a world that is so stressful and highly emotionally charged, it’s easy to take on other people’s problems. Research has even shown that emotions can be contagious, you can potentially ‘catch’ fear, anger and joy from people without even realising it. This is something I know I do. I am very susceptible to ‘catching’ people’s emotions. It’s something I really struggle with.

Are you an emotional sponge?

Being an “emotional sponge” isn’t always a bad thing. Being sensitive towards other peoples emotions, I like to think, can make you a better person.

The question ‘are you OK?’ is majorly underrated. Those three words can make someone go from feeling alone in a situation, to having an outlet. Being sensitive means you observe emotions far more than others. Being an emotional sponge means you probably worry about how someone is feeling perhaps more often than others, and can read situations differently.

Though, sometimes it’s easy to take on too much. I find this incredibly easy to do.

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So, in being aware of my sponginess, I hope to be able to deal with it better and use it to my advantage.  Here are a few ways I have learnt to deal with my tendency to be an emotional sponge.

  • Answer this: is this feeling mine, or someone elses?Sometimes I feel such strong empathy for other people, that it can genuinely dictate my entire day. From the moment I wake up I can find myself concerned for somebody else’s emotions. I often have to put it into harsh terms, with the question: ‘is this any of your business?’Because half the time- it’s not.
  • Recognise the difference between empathy and sympathy.Empathy is where you feel other people’s emotions, whereas sympathy is simply the compassion. If you empathise you’re putting yourself in their position. It’s better for you, and for you to guide other people, when you’re sympathetic, rather than emotional invested.
  • Express yourself.This is something I find so difficult: saying when enough is enough. It’s important to be honest, to say I’m sorry I can’t help you’. When you sit for hours and hours, listening, it is unbelievably easy to be a sponge. This is the one I find the most challenging, because often I feel that to back off can feel like you’re abandoning people.
  • Distance yourself from the suspected source.If you know specific situations or individuals can bring your mood down, and perhaps you’re particularly vulnerable to it at this time, remove yourself from the situation. I find this equally hard, especially as I like to help people and despise seeing people feeling isolated.
  • Talk to other people. If you’re concerned for somebody it’s easy to take on the role of ‘the rock’by yourself. But speaking to other people about it really can help. This keeps your own mental health in check. I always remind myself that I am far more helpful if I, myself, am happy.

I refuse to think of being sensitive as a weakness. To me, it is a strength. But sometimes you have to put number one first and that means taking a step back. I’ve learnt to accept that I am not responsible for others.

This is a personal struggle I am attempting to overcome- I want to be more sympathetic in life and a little less empathetic.

Let’s Not Compare Ourselves To Strangers On Instagram

Let’s Not Compare Ourselves To Strangers On Instagram

This is the picture I uploaded to Instagram following my crappy email from my Dissertation email- the Instagram post that prompted this blog post!

16 million people in the UK experience a mental illness. 3 in 4 mental illnesses start in childhood. 75% of young people with mental health problems are not being treated.  Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK. A study recently showed that more than A THIRD of teenage girls in England suffer from depression and anxiety.

These are some scary figures. Though social media is not the only reason for this, I think it has a huge impact. Our lives are not perfect, but nobody’s is. We’re humans, we all have sadness, worries, family issues, friendship struggles and all the crap that goes in-between. But we don’t publicise it online very often because it’s private, we don’t want people knowing.

Scrolling through your Instagram feed and seeing everyone else’s seemingly magical life can leave you feeling alone in life hurdles. It’s hard not to think everyone else’s life is perfect when you only ever see the best bits, the fun, the laughter, the happiness and the celebration of life. But this isn’t ReALiTy.

We all do it, we show the best bits of our lives. We need to talk more, and by talk I mean honest talkSocial media is never an honest representation of how that person really feels. Ask people how they are doing, even if their lives seem rosey through Instagram. A simple ‘hey, how are you?’ can open an honest conversation about LiFe.

Putting on a ‘brave face’ is so easy when you’re sat behind a phone, or a laptop, uploading to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. But let’s be ReAl, we all know its a bunch of fibs. Life is beautifully imperfect. You have to have the bad days, for the good days to shine so bright.

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Yesterday, I posted on my Instagram about an email I got from my Dissertation Tutor, that quite frankly was a pile of poop (if you want to check it out, click here). Again, something I haven’t really discussed on Instagram, Twitter or my Blog is the University Strikes. Something that has affected me in a HUGE way. But I haven’t spoken about it much as it’s one of the naffest parts of my life right now. But yesterday, as I sat at my desk, opened up my emails and was told that my Dissertation (that I have practically written over the last 4 weeks) included themes my Tutor deemed ‘irrelevant’- I decided I would talk about it (following a melt down and a pep talk from my boyfriend). Due to the strikes, I have had little to no contact with her, so cracked on with my work, thinking all was good. I thought my dissertation plan had been approved- as I hadn’t received feedback- and I would make the most of the 4 weeks of strikes. Anyway, I decided to email back saying that I had already written these sections and I believed they were relevant. I even told her why, in depth. So I’m awaiting a response and hopefully I will have convinced her.

This totally HoNeSt Instagram post, written with puffy eyes and butterflies, gave me some of the best feedback I have had to date. People were so sweet, giving me encouragement and saying they had experienced similar things. It made me realise, people identify a whole lot more to the ReALiTiEs. These realities of life include the down days.

So if you’re feeling low and you feel comfortable sharing it on social media, you could touch someone else who is struggling. We all fight battles, some of which nobody knows about. Some days are a little bit foggy and we have to realise its OK not to be OK all of the time.

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YoU aRe NoT aLoNe.

Bee xoxo

The Realities of Working Out

The Realities of Working Out

I am what I like to call: Fit(ish).

Fit(ish): semi-fit and a little bit podgy. Someone that likes the idea of being fit, but likes food too much.

I strive to be healthy. To me, this means two things. To be physically fitand active, and eat a healthy balanced diet. And mentally fit, whereby (to avoid mental breakdowns, and maintain sanity) I eat cake when and if I want it. I think it’s a pretty healthy diet. I would never want to resent being ‘healthy’ if it meant I couldn’t eat birthday cake, or have a takeaway every now and then. I’m a firm believer in treatin’ yo self. 

But that’s enough natter, here are some of the realities I have found with working out!

CARDIO:

Getting bored after 5 minutes of any form of cardio. I have always hated running. I simply don’t enjoy it. But I do try. (I’m far better at running out of money, if I’m honest)will.gif

Running next to someone and it feeling like a race. They up the speed, so do I. Bring it. run.gif

My running style: drunk woman slowly being chased by absolutely nothing.drunk.gif

When you take your headphones out and realise you were making panting/grunting noiseswhile you did cardio.sponge.gif

When people look at you while you do cardio.melissa

When you up the speed too much and your heart skips a beat, because you can’t keep up.gym.gif

Me doing cardio: ’20 minutes left. That’s two lots of 10.  It’s only 4 lots of 5 minutes’(then I congratulate myself on the 30 seconds wasted on that mental maths session)wil.gif

I like to think, when people see me jogging outside, they think ‘wow an athlete’, but in reality it’s ‘aw, good for her’.

Quite frankly, the best bit about running is the end.

I’ve honestly come to the conclusion that running is wrong. I agree with Miranda Hart,unless it’s running professionally, or as a child- it’s not OK.

SWIMMING: 

Is this just me? As a kid, at swimming lessons, I would convince myself there was a shark in the pool– so I would swim faster. Maybe I should imagine clowns on the treadmill behind me.shark.gif

MOTTO’S I THINK IN THE GYM/LIFE:

‘Sweat is just my fat crying’.

‘I may look like a potato now, but one day I’ll turn into fries and you’ll all want me then.’

‘I work out because I know I would have been the first to die in the Hunger Games.’

‘I wear all black in the gym, like a funeral for my fat.’

REGRETS: 

When your ‘cheat meal’ turns into a cheat week.shame.gif

Stepping on the scales and seeing no change after weeks of exercise: ‘off to Krispy Kreme I go’.donunt.gif

Leaving the gym feeling great, waking up the next morning feeling like your legs are hungover.
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FIBS:

Aim:to be the weight I told the app I was.

‘Drink more water’ they said, ‘it will be good for you’ they said. I’m weeing ALL THE TIME.

(Last time I did that 2 litre a day thing, my Mum sent me to the Doctors thinking I had diabetes.)

My summer body expectations vs reality. summer.png

Embracing your summer body like at least my flipflops still fit!fat b 2.gif

So there it is, a page full of GIF’s, personal experiences and life contemplations, from a Fit(ish) individual with some serious love for cake. 

Time Management and Positive Mindset Tips

Time Management and Positive Mindset Tips

‘I am not an early bird or a night owl. I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon’

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Being one step ahead is undeniably a wonderful feeling, but at what cost? I have learnt that at University, it is just as important to be OK, happy and on track. I used to put a lot of effort into being prepared for the week before it had even started, but sometimes you have to admit, being ahead of the game is hard work, and actually not necessary. So here are a few ways that I manage my time and maintain a healthy mindset when going into each new week.

How do you manage your time?

‘time is non-refundable. use it with intention.’

Time management is so central to any degree and maintaining a healthy mindset. I love the phrase ‘work smarter, not harder’ and it’s something I really try to live by. Here are a few ways I manage my time to work smarter.

  • Complete my most important tasks first– if it has to be done, it’s top of the list.
  • Don’t over-commit– I take on enough. Why give yourself an unrealistic target? It’s not worth having mountains of things to do, but never finishing them to a standard you are proud of.
  • Have a good night sleep- boring but true. 7 to 8 hours is best to be productive the next day.
  • Work at your optimum time– I find I work best in the afternoon and when I get the motivation, I grasp it with both hands! Some people work best in the morning. Find out what works for you and plan your time accordingly.
  • Don’t procrastinate– as the Queen of Procrastination I can say this is a tough one. So I usually put my phone far away from my bed. Or even on a high up shelf, which sounds ridiculous, but my lazy butt won’t be able to justify reaching up to get it off of the shelf when I know I should be doing something else.
  • Give your tasks a time limit– it’s tough but more time efficient. For example, I can have hundreds of pages to read for pre-reading, but if I have a lot of other tasks needing to be completed, then I will allocate myself 2 hours
  • Leave a buffer time between tasks– I usually add 30% of the time I expected the task to take. This way if you run over, it’s OK and you have factored it in.
  • Think of each task as an individual one- looking at a long list of ‘to-do’s’ is enough to stress anyone out. So plan what you need to do to complete your tasks and focus on only one at a time. I even get rid of all my other tabs, so I can fully focus on the task at hand.
  • Exercise and eat healthily- I am a lover of chocolate and an advocate of treating yourself when the going gets tough. But, eating a healthy, balanced diet is key. Plus the gym is a great outlet.
  • Make weekends actual breaks– granted we all have work that runs into the weekend, but take some time off for yourself.
  • Create an organised system that works for you– I like to print of a calendar at the beginning of term and fill in all my deadlines and social events I would like to attend. Seeing it in this format makes everything look a lot less daunting.

‘the key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities’

How do you maintain your mental health?

Maintaining a healthy can be hard, especially when you have deadlines coming out your ears- so here are a few way’s that I rationalise my ‘to-do’s’ and maintain a healthy mindset.

  • Keep perspective- everyone has those days where things just go wrong. But tomorrow is a new day. A new start.
  • I write a list or a mindmap of everything on my mind, right before bed. It’s quite therapeutic, I pour out all my worries, concerns and to-do’s and go to bed with the knowledge I’ll pick up where I left off in the morning. You can even have a chuckle with yourself when you think ‘future me can deal with that’.
  • Value yourself- a friend said to me that you should be your own best friend. Like the phrase ‘treat others the way you would like to be treated’ but in reverse. Treat yourself the way you treat others. Value yourself and avoid self-criticism. Make time for hobbies and the things you enjoy the most.
  • Do not compare yourself to others– you’re doing your best and that’s all that matters.
  • Take care of your body- eat a healthy diet, treat yourself occasionally, drink lots of water and avoid the consumption of things that aren’t going to benefit your body, such as cigarettes.
  • Find something that makes you happy. For me it’s chocolate. Some may say comfort eating is bad, but when you’ve got deadlines and need a boost, or even have had a bad day… treat yo self.
  • Surround yourself with good people- positive vibes are so important to maintaining a healthy mindset. People generally feel better with a bigger support network.
  • Control the controllables. Change what you can and don’t worry about the rest.

    ‘surround yourself with people who see your value and remind you of it’