5 Ways to Wind Down and Relax

Some weeks can be so hectic that you don’t really feel like you get any ‘me time’ to relax. As someone with hypertension, which is now controlled, I’ve seen and felt what a toll stressful situations can have on your body. Inside and out. But I’ve also learn that you have a choice on how you react to all of life’s scenarios, just as I’ve said before.

For us girls and maybe you guys too, it’s nice to come home, stick our joggers or pyjamas on and enter a complete chill out zone. Obviously, things can get in the way but when this happens it’s just bliss. Below are some ways to relax that could help you.

Take a bath or shower

Baths tend to be more relaxing than showers for some. However, other people need something more refreshing like a shower. Whichever one works for you, take an extra 5-10 minutes than you usually would. I definitely enjoy longer baths and showers when there’s the extra time to spend. Use your favourite soap, bubble bath, shower cream, bath bomb etc.

Listen to music

You’ll know what type of music helps you to relax. But if not there are some good playlists on Spotify such as Mellow Pop, several choices from the ‘Chill’ category, and Acoustic Covers. I don’t know why but there’s something much more soothing when listening to music through earphones/headphones. It’s as if the music is closer to your ears and it makes you stop and take everything in.

Put your feet up

I’m not really a put your feet up and drink a glass of wine kind of person. But I do enjoy putting my feet up and having a cup of tea (the inner granny in me). I steered away from tea for a few months due to monitoring my health but it made no difference so yay! Whether it’s in your living room by the tv or in bed, grab your favourite quilt/blanket and get as cosy as you can.

Go for a walk

I always think to myself when I’m on holiday, how amazing it would be to live near a beach. Listening to the sea waves and breeze does nothing but relax me (when it’s calm that is). It always makes me happy when I see people walking their dogs. I actually smile Walking helps you to escape and fresh air gives you a sense of forward thinking. There might be a particular place you like to go. Mine is visiting granny and grandad at the cemetery. It doesn’t make me sad. It does nothing but help me put things into perspective.

Be in the best company you need

If you have someone who knows you inside out, spend time with them. They know if you need to talk to release a feel of relaxation. They also know whether you need silence. Or if you simply need a hug. Sometimes you might just need them to be there while you fall asleep. Knowing you have them and feel them with you is enough to tell you that everything’s going to be okay.

All of these in their own way teach you what it’s important. Sometimes, looking after yourself needs to come first.

What helps you to relax? Share your thoughts in the comments box further down the page.

Stick to Being Happy Rather Than Wondering

Sitting here wondering what to write when deep down you’ve had an idea of something you’ve been thinking about writing – being happy. You hear the sentences through your head on your way home from work. But getting to grips with how to put it all together is another story. So here goes. This is going to be a post which literally comes out as I write down thoughts that pop into my head.

We spend so much time wishing for things. And sometimes they can be for things you want to happen that probably won’t. I don’t mean the game console you’ve been dying to by or the outfit you’ve had your eye on for ages. This is more about longing for something to happen. I’ve come to terms that it’s okay to dream of nice things. I’ve always told myself and others that it’s okay to dream big. Do what makes you happy.

But here’s something to think about… 

Do you ever find yourself wishing you could go back in time? Perhaps you wanted to change something? Or relive a moment all over again. Reality can get you down. But it can also be so worthwhile. You can think you’ve had the worst day/week/month, whatever. There’s always something who’s really struggling. Be grateful for those who love to be around you. Make it a whole lot easier on yourself and disregard the ones who couldn’t give a damn. You’ll be happy then.

walking on the sandy beach

Memories can come flooding back, good or bad. But where you are right now in this moment is what counts. Everything you’ve experienced in your life so far is shaped who you are today. So what, you could’ve done that differently and you certainly couldn’t handled that better. But you know what? Life goes on. We shouldn’t spend time going over and over on things. It’s so damaging.

Hold onto the good things that make or have made you happy

Hold the memories that made the smile. The ones that made you feel like you were the most careless, free-spirited version of you. There’s nothing stopping you from being that person again. I like to think that even when there’s silence between people, it doesn’t mean to say either of them doesn’t care about the other. Time teaches us so much. It can show you that you can genuinely drift away onto different paths.

There’s another side I like to look at. And that’s the people who would probably never get it. But it can make you feel so happy when there’s a little bit of conversation there. Or even more than you imagined. When they haven’t forgot things. And it’s as if nothing’s changed no matter how much time apart – that’s another good thing to hold onto. You might wish you had the chance to see someone again. Don’t lose perspective. We all have our lives to live and so on. There’s so much in your life to value. And there’s probably things you wouldn’t even realise that people value about you.

So yeah, it’s been a bit of all things tonight. But there’s got to be someone out there who can grasp what I’m trying to say. Drifting away from this a little bit here’s a little update with me…

Maybe I’m getting somewhere, maybe I’m not?

Since more tests and investigations, the mystery continues. I kinda had a feeling this was going to happen anyway. All of my tests are complete. The kidney and bladder scan came back normal (so the receptionist said) yay! Just one more appointment to go before holiday now. And that’s something I really can’t wait for. To just relax and not have to worry about a thing. I’ve been referred to the hospital in June once I’m back though. And I can guarantee they’ll think my body is a mystery too! But they have to keep searching I guess. Staying happy is the main thing. I better try to keep at it…

Feeling Good About Yourself Starts with You

Since my last post, I’ve realised so much more about body confidence. It’s time to realise that feeling good about yourself is so important. I told you all that I wanted to tone up and not lose any weight. That’s pretty much down to wanting to feel better about myself. I’m not overweight. However, it does feel good to see that I’ve lost 4lbs and that’s made me happier. Those pounds to me are what I noticed; but not necessarily what others see. Increasing the amount of exercise I do has definitely decreased bloating. And it has made me feel good about myself.

How I feel about myself on the inside is what needs to matter the most to be right now though. As you may already be aware, I’ve had high blood pressure for almost 7 months or so now. It’s just so strange as the doctor put it today. I’m 24-years-old. There was a point where I had this back in 2014 but in-between then everything seemed fine or so we thought. It’s in the doctor’s interest to pinpoint why this is. Especially as I was put on the highest dose of Ramipril and it hasn’t made a difference. Step 1 was always the lifestyle side. But nope, no difference.

But if I keep going, it’ll be okay. What’s inside really does count.

So it’s back to a BP monitor again later this week; ECG and another blood test on Wednesday; referral to chemical pathology; and wait for the appointment for a scan on my kidneys. I’m pretty sure everything’s going to come back fine. But meanwhile it’s just making me a little bit fed up. I actually hope it’s down to it being hereditary. Hopefully I’ll know soon.

I’ve learn that I need to be happy with who I am – inside and out. Accept that the people who care about you are the ones you need. You can’t force someone to care. Nor can you force someone to like you. It’s always nice when people who you’ve known over the days still see you in the same light today. I also think it’s nice when the little things make you smile in the day. You begin to realise where your happiness lies. Be happy about who you are and embrace it.

What are your thoughts on feeling good about yourself? Tell me in the comments box further below or via Twitter @tashalifestyle.

5 Small But Impactful Things I’ve Learnt in Life

Let’s talk about the impactful things in life… Okay I do this one a lot, especially at this point in my life. But does anyone else do the same thing? Someone/something stresses you out. But you don’t stop to think for a moment that if it’ll matter tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year? You also don’t think to wonder if anyone else is stressing over the same thing. The majority of the time it’s absolutely pointless. So here’s to the main point of this blog post – the things I’ve learned recently and will probably keep on learning.

Already kinda hit the nail on the head above but… don’t stress over the unnecessary.

Pretty hypocritical for me to say because I stress so much about the little things. I work myself up about things that no one else would be bothered about. In fact, if it’s ever down the person, they wouldn’t think for a moment how its affected you. So, this is a big one for me. Will I ever stop? Probably not. But the main thing is that as I notice I’m doing it, I’ve to understand how important it is to relax. Other times, I just tell myself: “High blood pressure doesn’t go down itself you know, Tasha.”

How someone chooses to live their life doesn’t concern you. Likewise, how you live your life shouldn’t be portrayed how others want to see it.

Life doesn’t come with instructions on how to live the perfect life. But if we could spend less time worrying about how others do this and that and start to live our own lives, maybe we’ll be much happier. We need more of that in the world – positivity, building each other up.

Everyone has their opinions. The people you wouldn’t expect to, has them.

We’re all entitled to them after all. Use your opinions wisely though.

Got something on your mind? Share with the people you’re closest too. Don’t use opinions to intend to hurt others. Don’t be selfish. Think about what you say before you say. Be careful of how you react. Some people will never see what you see but that’s okay.

You can’t please everyone. Oh wow, you really can’t. Growing up and facing this fact can be one of the most frustrating things ever.

Why has it gotten to be so much? Who knows. But it never seems to go away. You seem to do something for one person and another gets offended because they didn’t get it. You can’t see everyone every day or week, or more. Take my best friend for instance. I can go a month or so without seeing her. We don’t text every week. Does that mean we don’t care? Nope. It’s true friendship. We’re there for the important parts.

Always follow your dreams. It’s such a common saying, I know. But think about it. I mean, really think about it. No matter how many people are against what you think/say/do, never stop fighting for what you want in life. Aim high, have fun, and do all the things you’ve always wanted to do.

What are the small but impactful things in life for you?

5 of My Happiest Places On Earth

Happy places, we have them all right? But if you had to narrow it down to just 5, where would you pick? For me, it can wherever there’s sunshine and a nice long beach. It can also be a relaxing soak in the bath with peace and quiet. But I’m going to list the places where I’ve always or ever felt my happiest.

Visiting granny and grandad at the cemetery

The cemetery – a place that used to make me cry between the age of 7-years-old to around 16-years-old. However, as I’ve got older I’ve learnt to make the most of visiting the loved ones that you’ve lost. You wouldn’t usually be sad when you visited them when they were alive. So, it makes sense to think of happy times and remember why you go to see him.

I like to see them on regular occasions whether it be a birthday or anniversary. But I also like to go spontaneously. I’ll think to myself, what should I do today? I’ll go to see granny and grandad. It’s also a place that makes me feel like they’re right there with me, especially when I’m worrying. Sometimes, there’s still a tear but that’s just to show how much I miss them.

Paris (and Disneyland included, obviously)

Paris was my first ever holiday surprise. It was my 21st birthday and Danny came round to mine. We were in the kitchen with my best friend, Faye and he started to video me on his phone as I was opening my birthday card. Hmm… not what people usually do. So I knew there had to be something but never did I expect to find a ticket to Disneyland Paris inside.

The whole trip was absolutely amazing and Disneyland itself was magical. Danny even spent an hour and a half with me in the boiling hot sun in the queue for a photo with Minnie Mouse. Disney fans, it’s got to done hasn’t it? I always look back at a small video on Love Lock Bridge and it makes me smile every time. I was the happiest 21-year-old for sure.

Dublin

Anyone that read about my most recent trip to Dublin will know just how much I loved it there. The city exploring was great for photography. In fact, we’ve used one of this photos for a wall canvas we purchased from Photowall. The perfect thing about the trip was that, neither of us felt stressed. We were so relaxed and really were at our happiest. Just content to have and be with each other.

I’d definitely love to explore more places in Ireland in the future. The views on trails are hikes are breathtaking. The slushy mud didn’t bother us in the slightest. We had the best laugh ever and chatted, sang, and enjoyed every moment.

Wherever the whole family is around

It’s not that often that the whole family are together. But when we do get together it’s so nice. Just the other day, my two brothers, my dad, and Danny were all in the house at the same time. And I smiled because it was lovely to see everyone together. No special occasion, just sitting there. It’s the small moments that really count. Mum is cooking tea this weekend and is so excited to have all of us there for her and dad’s wedding anniversary.

New York

Ah, the Big Apple. What an amazing city. My first and only time visiting New York was when I was 14-years-old. And I’ve wanted to go back ever since. Maybe one day I will. It really is the city that ‘never sleeps’. Can you even imagine the wonderful photography shots we would be able to get there?! Ah I dream of going back. Returning as an adult but give me a different perspective too. So many more sightseeing activities that we didn’t get to fit in from the school trip 9 years ago.

You can read about all the reasons why I love New York. I’m sure those who have been will agree and will have many more of their own reasons why they love New York.

And who do I love doing all this with? The one place I’ll always be at my happiest is with Danny. Wherever we go together, it’s always an adventure together. I can’t wait for more exploring together and exciting things for our future.

girl on swing

How Your Happiness Changes Over the Years

When I was a little girl I used to wonder what was beyond the happiness I had then. I remember the time my face lit up when I got a purple bike for Christmas or the time before that when I had this huge Crayola board. Let’s take a look through my life.

Chapter 1: Primary school

Happiness was playing with water and sand in primary school. Thinking you were so artistic with paint when you used to do that thing where you splatter it everywhere with different colours. Learning how to read, write, and listen. Learning a bit of Italian. Understanding what polite mannerisms are.

Being the kid that enjoyed maths and English. Running around carelessly in the playground. And then running to your parents at the school gate. Getting new stationery and cute little outfits when mum or the grandparents would take me shopping. Oh and how can I forget the endless amount of sweets at the pick ‘n’ pix?!

The school holidays were so exciting as you got spend lots of time with your friends and family. This continues into high school.

And I was still the aiming high kind of person. I wanted to work as hard as I could to get the best grades I could. Happiness at this point had more downfalls than it did in primary school.

Chapter 2: High school

The worst thing to happen to me during primary school was losing my granny. So I thought the hardest thing about high school but be difficult GCSE exams. Nope. I like to think I handled them pretty well. Grandad passed away in the second year of high school. You lose one and you think the other will stay forever. If that was a dream then what are you supposed to do when someone tells you to chase your dreams? Little did I know things were about to get harder.

High school brought bullies into my life. Not just to see it happening to others but to myself. I thought seeing others go through torture was horrible. It changes you as a person. You feel weak. Everything they do and say stays with you forever. You even start to wonder if the words they use describe you correctly. Or if you deserve things being thrown at you. It turns out I was the strong one and they were weak. They couldn’t do anything on their own but I got through the rest of high school with them being around. I stuck to working hard, enjoying time with friends and accepting that not everyone can accept you.

To be honest, I knew that from the get-go.

When the girls from the popular groups are superior to you. I remember my first week in year 7 (the first year of high school). One girl from my brother’s year was telling me what length to have my skirt. And another girl was telling her to leave me alone. I don’t think I wore a skirt from then on. Sticking to a pair of black pants and a white blouse was good for me.

I think about this one time my I was heading over to the toilets in the annex building alone. A boy in my year walked past and looked at me.  He turned around and said, are you in my year? I said yeah followed by answering with my name. From the large group of everyone who was ‘known’, someone stopped and took the time to see who I was. They weren’t nasty or judgemental – simply friendly.

Those kind of people would always say hi passing, cheer on the relay run at sports day, and had a laugh with you in class, they were the good moments. By year 10, I was happy again. I ignored everything that had ever got me down, started to put my hand up in class again, and walked with my head held high.

Chapter 3: College

I used to wonder who was going to hold my hand as I was getting older? Knowing that my parents will be there for me inevitably was sure. But what happens now?

Before you know it, you’re an adult. You see your brothers getting older and you think oh no, it means this is happening to me too. You might think you can’t wait to be 18 but your mind just has no idea what the future holds. Being a 16-year-old was difficult enough. Going through that stage where you think a boy might like you which can be exciting but doesn’t last very long. Perhaps college will bring new friendships?

I was so happy that it reunited me with people from primary school. I always thought that some people were shocked to see that I knew certain people. But I did. College was so hard. You gain more independence. But oh my, there’s a whole lot of hard work. Sometimes I would get the grades I wanted and other times I didn’t.

Your first 3 months of college can be spent as someone who’s challenging who you are.

Getting into a relationship with someone you barely knew but it was one of those things that happens because it happens. Trying to keep a hold on where friendships are going. Coming to terms with the fact that some people can just be strange or choose not to be associated with you. The “Oh I think a boy likes me” comes back into play just when you think you can’t be liked again. But then you realise you’re not like the girls you see photos of on Facebook or around in general. Being pretty or fun enough was hard. You’ve done a few things you probably wouldn’t have expected yourself to. But then you’re tired of trying to make things happen so you decide to live.

You realise that you were stuck in-between trying to be yourself and also trying to follow the crowd. That doesn’t work for you.

Chapter 4: From then onwards

All in all, university didn’t really live up to my expectations. Although the day of graduation feels surreal when you’re up on the stage and realise that 3 years of your life have gone by so fast. In July, another 3 years will have passed since that day. You don’t even have to worry who’s watching you in the audience or in the photos. You know they’ll be in your life forever. Perhaps you won’t stay close to all of your uni friends. But you’ll keep in touch with one or two for sure. Your group of friends was small for a reason.

Again, like college, university challenged you. You don’t like to look back on certain things. Everyone has opinions. You hate drama but seem to have caught up in it at times. People won’t always see why you did what you did but you stand for everything because you know. That’s what matters. This chapter stays small even though it’s the biggest part because you look back.

The pieces of the puzzle fit together

Earlier in your life, you wondered what was going to happen next. Well, here’s where everything comes together and you see it happening. Someone who has been on your path several times is heading in the same direction with you. There were three key stages in your lives prior to this. Primary school, the summer holidays before you began college, and the first year of college itself (their second). You think that after they’re not there not year or so, that’s it. Just like everything else that passes.

A simple funny little message from you and your contact is back. Of all the people in his life, he hasn’t forgotten about you. You remember the first time he ever complimented you. It turns out that the time apart was a very small part of your lives. As we got closer, I was frightened that it would all be taken away. I didn’t think he was beginning to feel what I did. But let’s look back on some key signs I may have overlooked at the time.

  • Your brother would choose to ask him “Where’s Tash?” on nights out.
  • The look in his eyes when he thought you were near somebody else hits you.
  • After all, he’s kept you safe for a while now.
  • He’s even lifted you over puddles in the rain.
  • He’s always there when you need someone to talk to.
  • He meant every single word you never wanted to believe for a very long time ago.

It’s him – he’s your happiness

You open your heart up to him. All of the mistakes you think you’ve ever made. From all the things he doesn’t already know, you tell him everything. That’s when everything falls together. It’s the second time round (that I was aware of) that he leant in to kiss me. Last time, I bit his lip and I was so nervous! In a room full of people, we just looked at each other and he held me. This time, I just knew it was meant to be.

The walks home at 2am in the morning. Holding my hand for the first time walking down the road. No care in the world other than the happiness in our faces and our hearts.

Ever since, he’s held my head up whenever I’ve been down. Wiped my tears away and turned them into smiles. Held my hand and travelled on so many adventures together. My biggest and most exciting adventure. This is where my happiness lies now and forever. The best decision I ever made because it’s lead to the greatest happiness.

To the people who think “It’ll change when you live together” you’re wrong.

When you’ve waited so long for that moment and took the time to make your relationship what it is, nothing changes who you are together. We waited for each other for so long, we know that nothing in the world can faze us.