A Moment for No Makeup

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At the moment the world feels chaotic, the future feels uncertain and I have only really left the house for walks over the last three months. The ‘need’ to wear makeup is non existent really.

So, thinking about it, as I haven’t worn makeup for most days during the last 3 months of lockdown, that is probably the longest period of time without makeup since I was 13/14.

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6 Ways to Cope with the ‘Lockdown Limbo’

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I’m not sure which month has felt weirder this year – April or May? Let me know what you think.

It’s the beginning of June now and I’d like to define this time as the ‘Lockdown Limbo’. The rules are easing and some days, I think that there might be light at the end of this tunnel. But it’s tough, especially from a mental health/well being perspective – we all cope differently with this HUGE element of change. I hate uncertainty at the best of times so this ‘lockdown limbo’ is exacerbating that x100. Here are a few ways (somewhat trivial) that I’m utilising to help ease how I feel.

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How to Make a Scrapbook Look Pretty with Minimal Effort

I’m that person who keeps every ticket, every photo and leaflet I possibly could have been given during the holiday. I love memories, but it’s been two years since I went interailing and the photos I printed, the tickets I kept have been stored in a blue plastic wallet – oops? It was time to finally have a place to show them off. However, with my lack of art skills, I sought the effortless ways to do so.

Scrap-booking is a really nice form of self-care. It can bring out your creative side, a bit of time to ‘switch-off’ and it’s quite easy to get lost in the memories, or find things that you had forgotten about. But it can need a bit of dedicated time – before you know it, you’ll be surrounded by photos/stickers/glue/pens etc.

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Do We Need To Distance Ourselves From Social Media?

In the recent times, I’ve found myself grab for my phone more and more. Messages, phone calls, face-time have become part of our daily lives more than ever and thankfully, technology is working wonders to keep us in touch with all of our loved ones during this time. Of course my screen-time tracker shows the minutes that are spent on Face Time, but the social media time keeps creeping up. I’ll be honest, I do love Instagram but sometimes we all need that reminder to just disconnect, even if it’s only for an hour. A bit of social media self-care I guess.

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A Self-Care List for Everyday

The first thing that comes to mind when I think ‘self-care’ is a face mask to be honest. A good step to making yourself feel pampered and I’m sure we’ll agree that a face mask does make us feel fabulous but it’s not the fundamental element of daily self-care. We live in a society where we are reminded about self-care – like drink enough water, get a good nights sleep etc. But let’s cut to the real elements of self-care, it is simply the role in protecting your own well-being, increasing your energy and an attempt to reduce your stress.

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The 5 Podcasts for Escapism

I’ll be honest, with COVID-19 news, it does feel a little weird to be writing and publishing a blog post. With self-isolation being advised, it does bring another element of uncertainty and anxiety to the mix. But that’s the last I’m going to talk about it today. Instead, I’m offering a list of my favourite podcasts which (hopefully) will add an element of escapism to our lives at the moment.

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The Self-Care Journaling Method

Time to get your pen out…

As 2020 rolled around, I vowed to ‘journal’ more. Take a bit of time and space away from the screens. But as my life is currently a constant to do list of reading, essay writing and lectures, I haven’t gone the whole hog with this resolution – mainly because I often can’t fit my bullet journal in my bag for a day at uni. But when I have made the time to journal, it has set everything into a wider perspective and that’s where Fearne Cotton’s books, Happy and Calm come in.

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Setting Self-Care Goals for 2020

Creating goals for the new year might seem a little cliche, but I’m here for it. Has anyone mentioned that we are starting a new decade?

Time feels like it is going a million miles an hour at the moment and being in my final year at university, the obvious goals for 2020 will be completing my degree and hopefully securing a job for after graduation. Quite a lot of pressure seems to be riding on this year, right?

I do really like the idea of ‘starting afresh’, opening up the chapter to the new year and setting goals is one of the ways to get my thoughts in order. Thinking about the year ahead has made me realise that I need to make time for myself, so the goals for me this year will be more simplistic but hopefully easier to keep on top of.

Yoga once a week. I started 2019 going to weekly yoga classes but had about 2/3 months where I didn’t do any. That time made me realise how much I’d missed it, so getting back into yoga classes at university has been so good (and kept me sane!). The plan is to set aside time every week to do yoga, whether that’s a class, a YouTube video or a combination of my favourite moves.

Reflect and Journal as much as possible. I’m not setting a ‘measurable’ on this one but hopefully it’ll become a habit. This year I started using a bullet journal (you can read about my September bullet journal here) and it was set out in a way to manage blog posts/university/mental health. I want to do more of this in 2020 as I find the process of setting out my journal creative and by reflecting over time, this should help get my thoughts in order. I’ve also started working my way through Fearne Cotton’s Happy and Calm books which I’m finding really good so far!

Read 20 Books. 20 books for 2020 right? I’m a pretty quick reader when I want to be and give me a good fiction book, I’ll plough through it as quickly as possible when I’m hooked. I read 10 books over July and August but as soon as I settled back into University, my reading definitely took a back seat. Setting a yearly target (as inspired by TheAnnaEdit) will work through the ebbs and flows of my motivation for reading. I’ll keep track of this on my instagram if that is something you’re interested in!

Healthy Eating. A few years ago, I decided that I need to scrap the ‘new years diet’. Typically, I became frustrated that I couldn’t stay on track. Over the years, I’ve learnt more about intuitive eating (Tally Rye has really good info on this!) and being a vegetarian has made me feel better. I’ve got used to the recipes I make regularly now so 2020 will be the year of exploring more recipes that will be healthy and delicious!

That’s all from me for 2019! Hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas break and are feeling ready for the New Year. What are your goals/resolutions for 2020? Let me know how you get on!

Im x

Lets Talk: How to Maintain a Positive Mindset

Maintaining positive mindset isn’t always easy. In the height of the social media world, although it’s great, sometimes everything looks perfect.

However, a positive mindset does not mean that everything is perfect. To me, it’s more recognising how I’m feeling, but knowing that I can & will be able to achieve my goals, aspirations etc.

Typically, I do tend to assume the worst, especially when I am aiming for something. My A-Levels are a prime example here, I knew what I wanted & I’d put so much hard work in & although they are not the be-all & end-all, I knew what I wanted but I still convinced myself that I wouldn’t have got it.

To put it straight, I’m hard on myself & often that increases my anxiety & clouds my ability to have a positive mindset.

For those of you who may be in a similar boat for many different reasons, so here’s a few ways that hopefully will be able to help & support a positive mindset.

Take time for yourself

Simple eh? But it’s one that I tend to ignore the most. I prefer to distract myself, especially from the thoughts in my head that are tearing me down. But it’s important to take a step back, note down what you’re feeling & write down what you have achieved whilst feeling like this, no matter how small or big that is. Write down what you’d like to do & that means that one day you can strive towards it.

Remember you’re not alone

I always remember the saying ‘a problem solved is a problem halved’ & practising this it may make your negative thoughts seem less daunting, less scary. Talk to someone you feel comfortable with, let them listen & lift you up, it may be surprising what a relief it is to talk about everything that is going on. There are also plenty of charities that may be able to support; Mind offer a range of different helplines.

Find your Self-Care ‘routine’

This completely depends on what works for you. It may be doing a skincare routine, getting out for a walk, run, football etc, or it may be finding your creative outlet. It’s important to look after yourself & to take time to breathe. Sometimes I don’t realise how anxious I am until I take some space, for example, going for a walk & noticing the difference in my mood.

So, I’ve written this post with the hope that it’ll support anyone to find the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ – it’s a tricky journey but cherish the days when you feel ‘okay’.

Let me know the ways that help you stay positive?

I’m always up for a chat so you can drop me an email at theimlifeblog@gmail.com or send a dm on Instagram or Twitter.

Im x

Let’s talk: wellbeing

Hey – so today wellness & wellbeing are two topics very much at the forefront of my mind. Behind every smile there’s a story & my story is definitely taking it’s ups & downs at the moment. This week, I was reminded of how far I’ve come, and maybe one day I’ll be ready to talk about that.

But for now, I’ve got the ‘A Star is Born’ soundtrack blaring, and I want to talk about the main ways I’ve tried to manage my wellbeing, build resilience & still ‘be a force of nature’ especially when I may not always feel so ‘well’.

Most of us don’t choose the bad things that happen to us so I guess the first way to mention is to find your outlet to ‘escape’ the bad things. For me, it’s writing, putting it all down on paper; thoughts, feelings, fears. Some days it might be easier not to do this, but I’ve started scheduling a time each day to just note how I’m feeling, to look back on & recognise where the good outweighs the bad or vice versa. An outlet should reduce the emotions you hold in, especially as emotions have their own way of escalating and erupting at times. Use the outlet you have, whether that be writing, drawing, singing, dancing, to reflect and process what is in your world at the moment, good & bad.

Putting yourself first in situations may not come so naturally, I definitely always wanted to say ‘yes’ to invites and put myself outside of the ‘comfort zone’. But now, understanding when I need time to myself has become much more apparent, and this is building resilience in itself, with the world telling us to take every opportunity with both hands – yes definitely, but take care of yourself too, you don’t have to be busy every evening or every weekend, it’s okay to stop for a bit.

But in balance, lets not forget your support circle. Sometimes when you’re not feeling so great, those core people will show themselves & you’ll know who is best to talk to and to rely on, and in turn you’ll do the same for them.

This quote resonates with me so much, knowing that your support circle are there to uplift you, as much as you are there to uplift them, then you can get through pretty much anything!

Here’s to taking care of our wellbeing & fighting all battles in 2019 ❤