A feeling of hope...
Until I was standing in the 2m spaced queue, surrounded by strangers, clutching my four bargain finds in one hand and attempting to record a rather shaky boomerang to post on my insta story in the other, I didn’t realise how much my mood had been lifted.
Taylor Swift was echoing out around the shop floor and while I watched the queue slowly filtering down as people cashed in on the 25% off deal (including sale might I add!!!), my gaze turned to outside where it was 6pm and light enough outside, with the sun beaming down, to not even think about putting your headlights on for the drive home.
Ahhhh life. Maybe not yet quite as we used to know it but moving closer to the days we were once accustomed to with every second that passes.
While the hustle and bustle of earlier in the day had probably died down significantly, there was still a buzz of people out and about enjoying what we used to take as a god given right, now dressed as a luxury. And what washed over me as I weaved in and out of the maze of people on my way back to the car, shopping bag filled to the brim with goodies and bank account only slightly lighter, was a feeling of calm contentment.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve really missed normality. And this is the first moment since last summer where it feels like we’ve made a real step towards normal life. High street shopping is back, pub gardens have opened their gates, and we can finally get our roots done again!!
The atmosphere of hope on the streets yesterday was a tonic that I absolutely lapped up (and then added some gin to when I got home). As I got in the car, I had no choice but to crank my music up in celebration and enjoy the drive home.
All I kept thinking of was summer. I live my best life in the summer and even the mere thought of sunshine gets my spidey senses tingling. So the idea that in a matter of weeks we might not only be enjoying some sunshine, but also doing all of the things we’ve waited so long to do again with all the people that we’ve missed the most……… I can’t even explain THAT feeling.
So, as we sit tight waiting for next round of adjustments back into normal life, let’s enjoy this moment that we’re in and the feeling of hope that we can all feel in the air, that better days really are coming this time.
I’ll drink to that!
Introducing... mind, body and soul!
As a self-proclaimed self-care queen, you wouldn’t be crazy for assuming that an indefinite period of time trapped in the comfort of my own home would be a circumstance that I’d long dreamt of. And of course, there’s some truth to that! Since finishing uni and for the first time, having to balance a 9-5 with family time, my relationship and the shadow of my former social life, not a single day has passed where I haven’t wished I’d found that extra 15 minutes to do something else.
But up until now, isolation and the emotions that it has thrust upon me has left me at times, feeling as though I’ve just dived off a platform to glance behind me and panic at the lack of bungee cord, to then look forwards again, anticipating sudden collision with the world when in fact I’m free-falling into an empty space of nothingness. I’m relieved that I’m safe for now but the anxiety that it could all change in the blink of an eye leaves me feeling on edge.
The abundance of time that many of us now find on our hands is tricky to figure out how to use wisely. The reminder that isolation ‘isn’t a productivity contest’ is plastered all over social media right now as a warming reminder that if getting out of bed is all you can muster the motivation to do today, then that’s okay. Some of us thrive with structure and need routine and to do lists to make it through the day in one piece, while others enjoy the lack of pressure allowing them to do exactly what they want, when they feel able to do it.
I’m someone who is a mixture of both. This is my sixth week in isolation and it’s only in the last 24 hours that my creative senses have began to tingle. At the beginning, I found it much harder than I’d expected, to know how to fill my days. But a couple of weeks in and I was slowly allowing myself to come to terms with the fact that if you wake up some days and just can’t be arsed, that’s okay - you haven’t failed isolation! I then came up with an achievable system to give myself an optimum balance of focus and escapism, which so far is working.
Every day, I set myself three tasks (yes - just three!). They can be as small as making my bed or washing my hair, or bigger tasks like reorganising my wardrobe or going shopping and making dinner. I mix in tasks that I want to do (like reading, blogging or watching a film) with tasks that I need to do (like changing my bedding or vacuuming), this way, my ‘wants’ can be a reward for doing my ‘needs’ and I can go to bed of an evening feeling accomplished.
Some days I complete all three tasks, some days I manage to do a couple of extras and other days, I barely manage to even get out of my jim-jams. But so what... life is all about balance!
This is all just an incredibly long-winded way of announcing my new project with you! ‘MIND, BODY AND SOUL’ will be my new monthly blog where I will share all of my favourite methods of self-care which I have tried and tested during the last month, to help those struggling with ideas of how to fill all this time. And yes, you guessed it… I will be sharing ideas of how you can care for your mind, your body and your soul.
Keep your eyes peeled for April’s edition coming next week - "Baby pink hair and lavender tea..."
It's been a minute...
When a study break turns into a full-blown, three month hiatus
I always knew this year was going to be a crazy one. The crippling anxiety that plagued me at the start of the year was fuelled by my inner monologue, constantly reminding me that milestones were coming. I have hands down never been so apprehensive for days to pass and change to happen, but they did and it did and I have lived to tell the tale.
Fast forward 5 months and here we are:
Blog award = WON
Dissertation = WRITTEN
University = FINISHED
Graduate job = STARTED
How has this happened? And all so seamlessly? That's not to say it was easy - there was so many late nights, sad nights, stressful days, days so full of self-doubt that I didn't for one second think I'd be sat here writing this right now. But I am. And I feel so privileged to be doing my thing.
I count my blessings everyday that I'm happy and healthy and have the greatest support network there is around me, encouraging me to always do my best and be my best.
A quote from my favourite book, The Five People You Will Meet In Heaven, perfectly sums up my feelings towards this transition:
"All endings are also beginnings, we just don't know it at the time."
So, as I say farewell to the last 3 years of my life, I say hello to the next chapter and all the unknown possibilities it holds. Here's to seizing opportunities and being my best self!
A year of transformation...
As the nights begin to draw in, the days get shorter and shorter, and the outside transforms into a flurry of bitterly cold air that somehow you never quite get used to… the world tells me that’s my cue to begin my reflections of the last year.
Every winter leaves me feeling the same. As fresh hopes and dreams for the unknowns of a brand new year start to fester in the peripherals of my life, my soul begins to yearn for the year that is coming to an end, for all the wonderful and gut-wrenching things that have happened, and for all the people we will leave behind.
December is always a month coloured with contrasting emotions for me. The turn of the New Year signals a time to evaluate the chapter that is ending and ponder over your goals for the next twelve months.
On New Year’s Eve 2018, I vividly remember waking up accompanied by the most overwhelming feelings of fear, for what I had already labelled before it had begun, as the biggest year of my life. The year where everything would change and true, adult life would commence.
I believe the older you become, the higher significance you place on the idea of a New Year… or at least this has been the case for me. It’s not just a ‘new’ year, it’s a new opportunity. It’s a second chance. It’s the prospect of change and transformation. It’s the idea that something better is waiting and that this time, it’s going to be different. It’s the hope connected to a year yet to be written, that you are in control of and haven’t yet tarnished.
2019 has been one of the most truly transformative years of my life. I completed my degree, stepped onto the career ladder, started learning to drive, and gained financial independence… If you had told me three years ago that I’d get to this point, having achieved the things I have, feeling how I do right now, I would have never dared to believe it.
The physical achievements are one thing and whist I am incredibly thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given, they absolutely pale in comparison to the transformation that both my mind set and outlook have undergone in the last twelve months…
Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to tell people that I did well in my degree and that I’m in a job that I really enjoy and the polite congratulations that come along with it… but what I love more is how I’ve managed to end this chapter of my life feeling.
Proud. Self-assure. In control. Content. Confident. Truly happy.
The biggest year of my life began with fear and ended with the realest, most pure sense of self-love, I believe I have ever allowed myself to feel. So forget my achievements for a moment. Congratulate me on the smile on my face and the stability of my life.
I now realise that my goals of finishing university, learning to drive and starting my career weren’t my most important goals for the year after all.
Instead it was the last on my list that I can proudly say is well and truly my greatest success of the last year…
“To have more happy days than sad days.” I did it.