Finding Balance within the Busyness?

We’re a few weeks into 2020 now, so the ‘goals’ have been set and we’re putting them into practice? Thinking positive at the end of 2019, I set some self-care goals which you can read about here and as I’m tracking the days that I complete them, it’s so good so far. But once that first week of January is over and things start to feel a bit more normal after the break, the slow pace of life over Christmas is naturally going to get busier. So the goals to look after yourself may be set, but how can they be turned into habits to make sure there is some kind of balance in our everyday lives?

I’m already a few days into the second semester of final year and recognised that as most of my modules have set deadlines within days of each other (yay), the next few months definitely won’t be quiet (I mean I kinda knew this but still, I’ve had the full realisation now). But rather than just applying this to a student lifestyle, I’m more questioning about how we can find balance in every aspect of our lives.

Can I have another holiday yet?

I don’t have the answers for finding balance in your everyday life, mainly because it’s different for us all and to be honest, I’m treading water at the moment! I’ve written about time and productivity on this blog which contribute to feeling ‘balanced’ as such, and although I can offer tips for these aspects because it’s how I try to do them, to me balance is a whole different ballgame. But I do think it’s important to somehow work out what balance means for you. To be able to take a step back from everything and put aside the mental to-do list of ‘important’ things.

When I think about my own balance in life, I find that I spend time worrying about what I haven’t done and put pressure on myself so does a true balance of aspects within our lives exist? In first year of uni, we were told that the ‘sleep, study, social’ triangle existed but realistically we would be able to only do two of those aspects well. A simplistic model I guess, but in first year, I’d like to think that I did the social and sleep aspect pretty well. Second year was definitely more study and social. But ideally, I want to balance all three – study is taking priority, but I want fun and sleep combined with that!

So I guess in some way, it’s all about understanding that we are all human, we have emotions so it’s completely normal and okay to feel overwhelmed. Be compassionate with yourself, take a step back and surround yourself with the things you love.

In a way this blog post is an open letter to myself, but one to you too – give yourself some credit, I’m sure you’re doing better than you think!

New Beginnings & Setting Goals

I don’t know about you, but I love the feeling of starting ‘new’. I love the start of January, feeling ready for the new year to start, but after 21 years in education now, September will always have ‘back to school’ vibes! This tends to mean I normally buy myself all the stationary possible to be ready for the academic year, but this year it has a slightly different meaning.

A year ago, I had my first epileptic seizure. It was a huge shock, as I was just settling into a new job, it was completely out of the blue & all of a sudden my life turned upside down. I knew pretty much nothing about seizures & epilepsy beforehand & as one in 20 people will have an epileptic seizure at some point in their life, I would definitely recommend checking out the Epilepsy Society’s website to learn more, I wish I knew more before hand.

The loss of independence was one of the hardest things, not being able to drive where I live was complicated. It’s been a year of ‘carrying on’ & I’ve had some incredible support to do so, but I’m ready to close the chapter & open the next.

So, my final year at University will be the next chapter & I’m *kinda* ready for it. I’m very nervous about having to write a dissertation & after a year living at home in the countryside, living in the city excites me but scares me at the same time. It’s feeling a lil bit like a roller-coaster. But as the new chapter opens, it’s time to set some goals.

1. Exercise 3 times a week

Yes, I’ve brought a uni gym membership. There’s no excuses now & that’s good, I want to use it for my own well being, rather than focusing on the ‘weight loss’. Final year is going to be tough & getting endorphins from exercise will hopefully help relieve the stress.

2. Use a typical ‘working’ day for uni work

After spending a year in full-time work, this should be fine. Previous years at uni have had less of a routine, but I know doing so this year will keep me on track.

3. Stick to a blog post schedule

This blog isn’t going anywhere! It’s my creative outlet & I love that, I want to keep writing content that not only I enjoy, but hopefully you do too! Keeping with the routine for uni work, I’ll fit the blog in alongside, whether that’s making the most of a gap between lectures, evenings or weekends, I know that writing helps my well being too.

4. Strive to be the best version of myself

After everything that has happened this year, I’ve had a few ‘wobbles’ & doubts about myself. By focusing on myself & what I want to do, hopefully my mindset will be positive & that’ll reflect in my relationships with people.

What have your goals been this year? Let me know how you have got on with them!

Im x

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Beating the January Blues

Okay, I’m not sure how this has happened but we’re mid January now. It feels like the longest three weeks ever, but in some way I’m like sorry how?!

Feeling like I’m fully in the swing of things now and I definitely love this time of year for setting goals and plans for the upcoming year. But I know there can be a pressure of how to improve on the last year.

After the last couple of months of 2018, I will definitely hope that 2019 is filled with much more positivity. But going back why I’m not doing a ‘new year diet’ this year (previous blog post if you fancy a read!), I’m hoping for a happy and healthy 2019, all year round. 

January CAN be stressful, the build up to Christmas may have shifted your priorities, leaving a huge to-do list to be completed with a new year motivation. The new year is great for finding that bit of motivation you need, but the overwhelming side isn’t always mentioned. 2019 is the year I’ve decided to be a lot more mindful towards how I’m feeling, whether I’m too tired or stressed and in a sense, self-care is the way to manage that, so let’s talk about how we can do that…

Mind Organisation … for me, I think this could be one of the biggest changes to realise. Often, my mind is going at 100 miles and in a way I’ve become accustomed to that, instead of realising that I can actually change it. There are many ways that you can try to organise your mind, whether that’s through meditation, writing things down, compiling a list of goals, assessing your financial situation etc. Sorting through what your mind is worrying about will hopefully improve sleep, giving you more time to switch off, of which can help you be more productive when you need to be.

Taking time out .. To be honest, I feel this is quite an important one, as we all take breaks in different ways. But thinking back to high school days, when the arguments always tended to occur towards the end of term, in a way I think that still rings true today. Sometimes taking some time out to reflect on what’s on around you and the relationships you are engaging in, can put things into a much greater perspective, whether that’s a positive or a negative. Taking time out doesn’t have to be a chilled evening in once in a while, but doing things you love (in my case, going for brunch), in turn helping reflection as you remind yourself how much you love it and how you want to make more time for it etc.

Have a pamper .. Typical one here I know, but hey, if it’s a tried and tested method, it’s got to work right? This might not be hours and hours of baths, face masks, the lot, but more taking the extra five minutes in a morning to do a proper skin-care routine, taking five mins to meditate at the end of a busy day, small things that might make a huge difference to your daily routine.

It might not be the most life-changing list of how to improve your self-care, but I think it can be easy to get caught up in the aspect of ‘I must make more time to do this to switch off etc etc’. Adding these into your day-to-day routine makes it so much easier to manage, especially with v busy lives! Here’s to be kinder to ourselves for 2019 ❤

Why I’m avoiding the New Year diet..

And just like that, Christmas has flown by! For me it was the best chilled day I could have asked for, plenty of food, afternoon naps and board games.

Previous New Years that I’ve approached in my 20 years of life, have been promising myself to get on the new year diet as soon as Jan 1st rolls around. Normally, I’ve got a new cookbook or some kind of exercise equipment for Christmas and I’m ready to try it out. But it never seems to last long, I slip up with the new year of dieting and exercise one way or another and don’t see the point of going back to it, typically before Jan 31st!

Last year, I chose not to put too much pressure on myself to follow a New Year diet and I think 2018 has taught me a lot, especially with how to balance fitness and health in a more regular way.

This summer, I decided to go vegetarian and feel as though this has shaped my eating habits into a more healthy balanced way. Simply because I just bloody love veg but actually it’s been a really good change for me to feel passionate about the food I’m creating and putting into my body (shown by my veggie Christmas dinner creation!). That’s definitely not saying I’m perfect with food, a few too many chocolates have been consumed this Christmas period, but I feel as though my habits are slowly starting to change.

Balancing fitness wise has always been something I’ve struggled with, hence why I’ve always pushed it as a focus in previous January’s. This year, I’ve learnt to enjoy the time I can go to the gym this and to feel better for it, instead of always feeling I’m pushing myself to lose weight. Programmes such as Tally Rye’s ‘#bestmemotivationmonth’, have really helped me alter my mindset towards going to the gym and I’ve stayed fairly active over the festive period with dog walks and exploring new places!

Although January can be full of motivation for some of us, it can really feel like a struggle to be prioritising going to the gym 3-4 times a week so for the New Year, I’m going to try and use the time when I’m at the gym to push myself further, whether its 30 mins, 40 mins or an hour.

But finally, the main reason why I’m going to avoid the New Year diet this year, is acceptance. I want to feel good about myself and what I’m doing fitness/health wise, rather than pressurising myself to go to the gym three times a week. It can be easy to get caught up into it all, especially the ‘New Year, New Me’ aspect. Although January can kick-start motivation for healthy eating and exercise, it’s worth remembering that your size/weight does not define you, feeling good about yourself can and will take time and it’s a roller-coaster journey so heres to 2019!

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas of indulgence and enjoy the New Year! ❤