Thursday, 31 March 2016

Sorry!, Self Care, and Stratford.

All things considered, compared to the last few million blogs I've given up on, a two month break before returning to try again isn't close to the worst. Saying that, it's been a while hasn't it? It's been a funny couple of months, and once I was forced to miss one post (just one, at the beginning of February no less!) I quickly found excuses not to update. So here it is, a big public 'I'm sorry' to the two people I know read here, even though only one of them appears to have noticed I've been gone...

My absence began with being forced to miss one of my usual posting days as I was on a road trip around England sans computer, and the apps for this site are absolutely useless. I have this weird thing in my head where if I try and follow a schedule for anything, the second I am forced to alter it renders the whole thing useless - kind of like those people who start a diet on the 1st, break it by the 5th and have to wait till the start of the next month to try again. Honestly, even the fact that this is going up on a Thursday and not a Monday is kind of bothering me, but not as much as the idea of not posting from February to April...

The England trip last month was lovely, but also extremely odd. I'll definitely be updating with the highlights of where we visited, but I can't deny that the whole thing felt a little off. For most of the week it was just my husband and me, but we met up with a few family members too which was lovely. It was just strange to go visiting the area where my grandparents lived. It's always going to be odd going back to the places you remember so strongly from your childhood, but the people you loved are no longer there. In short, there were a few conflicted feelings for many of us, which is actually part of what made it hard for me to want to write about that trip. A little time has given me some clarity though, and reminded me that worrying about what I can't control doesn't help anyone. Plus we went to Warwick Castle, so I mean how bad could it really have been?!

Not that I want to be perceived as making excuses, but I've also just felt pretty low-spirited in general. Not really unhappy as such, not in terms of crying and wailing or anything, but I've just not felt like myself. After a good three months of sleeping soundly, my sleep paralysis appears to have come back which is leaving me exhausted and nervy. I find myself having a terrible time falling asleep as I'm trying to avoid the nightmares. I've felt pretty let down and left out by a group of people who don't actually owe me anything, but for some reason I just cannot get them out of my head and every single day I am wasting time going over a situation that stopped being relevant three months ago. My anxiety is very much on a high. As I said, it's been a funny couple of months.

A lot of my time has been spent coming up with things that make me feel a little more normal for a while. I thought I'd share my ten trusted self care suggestions below:

1. Having a bath. 
Anyone who knows me knows I am addicted to Lush, and have a pretty impressive stash of bath bombs and bubble bars on hand for any time I'm feeling a bit stressed or anxious. It sounds silly, but the different scents and essential oils really do brighten my mood or help me sleep, and the skin- and haircare is crucial in helping me feel like a proper human. Face mask, bubble bath, candles... perfect.

2. Reading good books.
I know a lot of people like to chill out with Netflix, but for me the process of getting stuck into a good piece of fiction is much more likely to help alleviate an anxious mind.

3. Getting outdoors - especially to the sea!
As I've mentioned about a billion times, the sea is my happy place. Any body of water will help calm me down though. It really helps chill me out, and getting outdoors almost always helps stop me from stewing on a problem.

4. Getting off the internet.
Everyone presents their best self on the internet, and it's so easy to compare yourself to other people and come off feeling even worse. Even seeing people being nice to each other on Facebook can make my social anxiety peak - "why isn't anyone sending me comments like that?! Does everyone hate me?! I have no friends." It's sometimes healthier to just step away for a while.

5. Eating well.
I'm not going to lie and say I eat healthily anywhere close to most of the time. I eat a lot of crap and actually sometimes if I've had a particularly shit day a microwave meal is all I feel up to (and that's okay!) But on the days where I can, creating a home-cooked and nutritious meal can really boost my energy and is a way of reminding myself that despite its flaws, my body deserves to be treated well.

6. Planning trips.
Even just the thought of a weekend away can distract me, regardless of whether it's actually going to happen or not. Having things to look forward to reminds me that "this too shall pass" and not every day will be a hard one.

7. Spending time with fluffy beings.
I live with three cats, one of whom literally follows me around the house. She even curls up on a blanket in the bathroom while I have those long Lush-scented baths so that she can stay with me. I also get to walk the cutest dog once a week. Animals are so pure - they don't lie or mess with your head. Yes okay so you may get bitten or scratched more than with humans, but you also get to squish their cute furry little faces!* (* please don't actually squish them).

8. Reminding myself of achievements.
I often feel like my life is going nowhere and that everyone around me has done so much more, but that kind of selective thinking is just stupid. Making lists of good things that have happened to me, or things I have managed to achieve (for instance, getting my degree while dealing with mental health issues) reminds me not to take things for granted.

9. Get an early night.
REST. I struggle a lot in anxious periods with sleep paralysis which is really annoying, but getting myself into a proper sleep routine, making sure I don't sit in bed on my phone and just trying to let my mind and body relax is so important.

10. Remember that you CAN get rid of toxic people and situations.
I think we are all guilty of having "frenemies" or of staying in situations that make us unhappy for far too long. Remembering that I don't actually have to put nasty peoples' feelings before my own can be such a wake up call. You don't have to spend your life doing things that make you unhappy.

Do you have any of your own self care tips that you'd recommend?

Over the next few posts I'll be catching you up on our road trip around England. Our first stop was to visit my husband's family in Liverpool, before a very brief wander around Stratford-upon-Avon. Stratford is famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and is just generally a really pretty little town. We weren't there long at all, just passing through really, but here a few pictures of some of what we saw (it was raining and the quality of these photos is pretty bad, sorry!)

Shakespeare's birthplace.
How are these buildings still standing?!
The cutest Costa in the country?

What have you been up to while I've been away? Let me know! :)


  1. I discovered your blog thanks to an instagram tag and I fell in love with it! You're lucky you have Lush where you live, where I live is so difficult to get lol. So glad you're back, your pictures are to die for :)

    1. Somehow my comment got deleted - how annoying! Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog, my first ever :D glad you like it x

  2. reading _good_ books is really important! I once read a book that planted too many suicidal thoughts in my head (yikes!) and another one was irritating the hell out of me! now I only read books I like and if they give me bad feelings I just drop them.
    and these fluffy lovely creatures of yours are just yummy and cute!!! love cats!

    1. Not sure how, but my comment got deleted. You're right about the 'good' books thing, I definitely have to read some easy-going books if I feel bad! Nothing too serious. And thank you, if only my cats were as well behaved as they look in pictures! :) x

  3. These self-care tips are super important! I love having a bath as well, it's very relaxing and the ultimate me-time. Your fur babies are adorable as well! I have three dogs and they're such bundles of energy, I love taking them for a walk as they never fail to cheer me up!

    Abbey 💜

    1. Yesss baths are the best! I love being able to just chill out and relax for an hour or so! And animals are just the best, especially dogs actually - they are always so loyal and faithful, we are lucky to have them around! x

  4. #8 and #10 are so right on point! �� Beautiful photos.


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