5 Things I’m Excited to Welcome into the New Year of 2018

Here we are again, another brand new year to welcome us into the unknown. Will Alicia Keys tour in the UK, who knows?! Will I stop eating pasta and all those carbs? Probably not, don’t be silly! But as I mentioned in my blog post prior to this one, I do aim to get back to being active like I was for the most of 2017. And I aim to look after myself, wanting the best health and happiness. This includes, wanting those who mean the most to me, to be happy and healthy too.

Whether you welcomed the New Year hungover, sad, relieved, partying, dancing, whatever – this year can be your year. You might think, “Oh please, it’s just another ordinary year.” Well, what hope are you giving yourself if that’s your attitude to life? Christmas does tend to feel less Christmassy for some as we get older. But if you’re lucky to have another tomorrow, then you’ve always got another day to achieve new things and do you. I spent the Christmas break catching up with friends and family and that’s the perfect way to do it in my eyes.

What’s next?

Exploring together

Dublin in February, woo! It’s part of Danny’s Christmas present from me. I know it’ll be another lovely trip together. We love exploring and doing lots of photography. Danny has never been to Ireland. We both have family from Ireland, mine being from both sides, but I’ve only ever visited Northern Ireland. Ooo I really cannot wait to have a few days away to escape and have fun! I’m sure there will be more trips and fun-packed days ahead too.

Moving forward together

Whether it actually happens this year or we just become a lot closer to moving out, we’ll be thrilled. It’s obviously going to be the best thing ever for the both of us. We’re very excited about it and we think that if we get our heads down and save more (but still try to have life) we’ll be there before we know it.

Facing new challenges

As I’ve mentioned, a new challenge is on the cards for me. Only because I want to. And it’s part of who I am. I’ve seen a few hikes already that have inspired me but it’s about choosing the right one for us. We may even do one of our very own. We’ll figure it out but as always, we’ll be fundraising for the charities close to our hearts. Throughout it all, just like any other year, time challenges us all in different ways – emotionally, physically and so on. But we’ve got this because we have each other.

A road to more happiness

Continuing on a progressive journey. There are always new things to come. Another year to show the world what you’ve got and how strong you really can be. I’m going to take chances and try to maintain the more hopeful side of me than the worry. I love those moments where you can just be carefree and not bother what anyone else thinks, because you deserve to be happy.

Seeing what else life has to offer

Being ready for whatever else is ahead. There’s always a part of life that we can’t control; we can’t force things to happen. But we can live for now and be happy in as many moments as we can. Isn’t that all that we ever wish for, to be happy? Happiness reinforces many of our actions and I’d love to se more positive things happening around those who I love.

What’s next for you?

Health Comes Before Anything

For me, health comes before anything else. Just as I explained with how stress can impact your health, you should always consider the importance of your health first and foremost. No amount of money, broken friendships, or work issues are more important.

3 small but popular examples that can affect your health

The people who are meant to stay in your life will stay there. When it comes to money, if you’ve got yourself into an unstable financial position, think about how you got there. If it was something out of your control then fair enough but if you know you can fix it from your own wrongdoing then be the one to control how it affects your future. There’s no better time than now to make a change.

Likewise, if you’re in an unhappy place at work, you might feel as though you’re not in a position where you can just walk out and leave. But if you’ve tried your best and your health is overturning in all kinds of directions, it’s time to think about you for a change.

Self-care and taking some time to yourself

I often talk about self-care. It doesn’t always mean that you need to learn to love yourself. But think about the small things. Those times when you just want some me-time, find time to make the most of those moments. Sometimes, you’ll just need a pamper or chill day. Today as I’m writing this post I think, I’m on my 4/4 days off. And why haven’t I had a single chilled out today to do nothing but a Netflix binge?

Me, mum, and dad have been joined by more family from Scotland again over the weekend until mid this week. And it’s been lovely. Again, it’s the little things that have made us all smile. Spending time together, catching up, and reminiscing on old memories. So I’m not complaining because the time has all been worth it. Especially as I’ve been surrounded by nothing but smiles and laughs. But it’s finally good to get my head down and be writing a blog post as I’ve been wanting to recently.

The discussion of health with my doctor

I’m a reasonably healthy person. I’m lucky to have no major health problems. But the doctor has made me aware of how importance it is to keep it this way. When he asked me have you been stressed about anything? I was thinking, wow no I’m much happier than I was six months or so ago. But then again, he kinda knows if something is up (sometimes). Especially when it’s going to show when there’s no other likely cause of something.

My blood pressure has risen again on several readings, which meant having to go on some tablets to keep it at a healthy reading. And that’s worked well. I’d rather have a normal reading without them but maybe we’ll see what happens in a few months. I go back next month for a check-up and again in a couple month’s time for a thyroid test.

It’s all good

Other than that, I’m still on propranolol as usual. The migraines and headaches, visual disturbances in particular, still know how to get the better of me. These and my dad’s history (blood pressure, and mini strokes at an early age etc) has led some changes in my health and lifestyle. But if it means a healthy and happy future then it’s all good.

Here’s to another happy and healthy week!

3 Lifestyle Changes I’ve Made for the Better

There will be times over the weekend where I feel like I have no life. What is a good lifestyle anyway? The odd weekend here and there I might see some friends, catch-up, go for a few drinks, etc. Other weekends I’ll spend time with my boyfriend, go to the cinema, or plan other little trips to add to our list. And for the most (recent) part, I feel like I’m doing nothing. That’s why I’m sharing three lifestyle changes I’ve made – all of which are completely different things.

1. Early morning gym time

Sometimes, you’ll wake up and not want to do a single thing all day. This is where I need to tell myself that it’s okay. Yesterday I woke up at 5:50 on a Saturday morning. As much of an early riser as my mum is, she was still in bed at this point. She said, “What are you doing?” so I replied, “Getting ready for the gym.” And the conversation as you can imagine was something pretty much like: “What? Now?”

I always wondered how people managed to go to the gym so early in the morning and do the rest of their day. Then, I realised that I didn’t enjoy going after work especially with how busy it gets. I was going less and less because I didn’t seem to enjoy it anymore. Before, during, and afterwards, I was just making myself feel like rubbish.

Small lifestyle changes = big impact on happiness

Until recently, as you can tell from mum’s impression above, that’s all changed. I’ve started to go first thing in the morning. And it doesn’t half give me a good feeling. I feel so energised and refreshed. Some may wonder, “Refreshed?” But it really is. I have a great kick-start to the day. And getting over the gym fear feels even better. It’s not about having to go everyday but doing what’s right for you.

Knowing I’m doing something to keep fit, keep my mentality at an okay level, and working on getting rid of that bloating feeling works well for me. Or at least, most of the time. Take last night for instance. That fed up feeling where you feel like you should be doing something and just feel like rubbish, hit me. I don’t know why it happens but it does. There I go again sitting there and wondering why I don’t feel as uplifted as I did in the morning.

2. No sugar on my Weetabix and less in my tea

I honestly couldn’t tell if I was bored, couldn’t make the most of doing nothing, or just being meh. So anyway, I decided to eat a bar of galaxy and worry less about my spotty, messed up skin, and how silly I was feeling. It must be silly because I don’t understand what it is… or as this ever happened to you?

Part of that bloating I mentioned early and well, just relating to health in general. I’ve always had two sugars in my tea. Always. Whoever gave me that cup of tea when I was little, you gave me the addiction. Whether or not there was sugar, I don’t know. But having two started from somewhere! So I decided to make a small change and go for one instead. Yesterday morning I even had none and that’s good going for me.

And then there’s Weetabix. Mum must have got me into the habit of adding a sprinkle of sugar. Ever since I was little, I remember having Weetabix washed up with a little bit of sugar. And I still mash it up like a kid now. I don’t have it warm, I’ve always had it cold. I no longer have that sprinkle of sugar. I just wanted to make a few small changes for me and that was another was of them.

3. Being more self-focused

Looking after yourself requires a lot of attention. Or does it? There’s a side of me that thinks okay, it’s time to stop focusing my attention of others. That being about what others think. If you think about it, the amount of time you spend (if you’re like me) doing this, is ridiculous. I’m a believer that life’s purpose is to enjoy who you are and what surrounds you. So surrounding yourself with better people who make a positive impact in your life is better. And most importantly, doing what’s best for you to be happy has to come first.

Luckily, my happiness comes with another person. My happiness also means they’re happy and vice versa. As well as anyone else who may be around, we can lift each other up. I’ve learnt that I should never feel lonely because there’s always someone there. Being self-focused doesn’t mean being self-absorbed. There’s other things going on around you that you should care about. But just don’t forget to look after yourself too. Neglecting that can make you become a whole different person. A person you wouldn’t like to be.

Reveal a much happier you

Focusing on what makes you happy and who comes along with it reveals a much happier you. Trying to put those annoyances aside can be the part that ‘requires a lot of attention’ if you struggle more than others. Some days I say “Oh whatever. I don’t care.” Other days, I’m much more about expressing my feelings.

Okay so, sugar, gym, and self-focusing – strange combination right? It’s not really when you think about it. The message here is, don’t be afraid to try new things. Things don’t always have to be the way they’ve been. Working on the smaller things and taking small steps can help. Even if they don’t, you won’t know until you’ve tried. Choices are yours to make no matter how big or small.

How Our Body and Mind Reflects the Confidence We Have

This post couldn’t come at a more perfect time. With all of the thoughts going through my mind over the recent couple of months, it’s time to reflect once again. And this time it’s on confidence.

I am happy to say that I am finally happy with how my blog is. I was having all kinds of thoughts about how I wanted it to look different. But as it stands, I’m going to stick with it as it now. The much more important part is the content. I thought I was losing my love for writing but it turns out I was being side-tracked. Focusing on something which wasn’t as important – making everything look perfect.

Perfection doesn’t lead to confidence

There’s never a day where I think I look perfect, never mind the appearance of my blog. There are some days where I’ll feel good about myself but I’ll always find a flaw. People will compliment and I’ll still find that flaw. Over the past couple of special occasions I’ve felt quite fed up. Feeling like my blog wasn’t going anywhere anymore was part of this. Though, it hasn’t been the biggest factor. Now that I’ve seen giving it all up would be stupid it’s time to look at myself.

It’s funny really. People hear that I blog. They don’t know what it is. And sometimes I have to tell them to explore my blog in order to see what it’s all about. That’s because I’m happy to say that I don’t have a niche. It covers bits of everything – many different aspects of lifestyle experiences. And includes the odd sponsored post with brands here and there.

It’s time to change my outlook

Within these past couple of weeks I’ve noticed that one thing has changed my outlook on things. And that all begins with comparison. The worst thing you can ever do to yourself, comparing yourself to others.

I don’t always have the clearest skin; my belly is often bloated and feels horrible even when others don’t see it; I don’t like to show my ‘prettiest’ look every day. That’s okay. I actually cried last week. I know, I’m silly. But it can put you down once one thing gets to you and you let others follow.

Just because one dress doesn’t zip up doesn’t mean another won’t. Yes – I had a meltdown over clothes not fitting, looking like I’d put on weight (because I probably have put on a few pounds). Well, I’ve not done too bad in over the last couple of years or so considering how much I love food!

Things won’t always go to plan, or meet expectations. But you can try a different way and exceed those expectations.

I might put off exercise here and there. But I’ve been looking at myself in the mirror so many times and not liking what I see. I know that if you want something you should work for it. But sometimes, you feel so unmotivated that sense of I can do this disappears.

An eye opener in confidence

I’ve opened my eyes and know that I’m not always going to like something but it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t love myself. It hasn’t helped when you’ve seen someone look at the part of you that you dislike. But eventually you will be able to hold your head up and ignore it. That’s the only way you can carry on being you. And most of all, being a happy you.

I’ve spent more days going out of the house with less or no make-up on at all. At first you can worry about the looks because you feel like you don’t have that fresh-faced look going for you. Especially when it makes you look just as young. Then you think, to hell with that. It’s me. That’s who I am.

Even though I feel like I’m seen by more people on those kind of occasions, I just need to think, there are plenty of people who find the confidence, and so can I. Past experiences have made me switch to a less confident me at times. It’s all about passing those obstacles. They’ll be back and I just have to be strong and fight harder.

It’s good to have my confidence back

When you get that boost in your mood back, you’ll feel motivated by many things. Take today for instance, I put some music on and got my head down to get this piece together. It worked. Finally! I’ve got my confidence back.

I can breathe again without having those bundle of thoughts in the back of my mind. Or at least less of them. That’s much better than an overload of worry which often leads to headache and shakiness. I get enough of those two as it is. My migraine medication might reduce the frequency but I have to work with them too.

Isn’t it about time that you found that confidence in yourself again? If I can do it, you definitely can.

Why Exercise Is Good For You

Exercise can be fun! I’m not a fitness fanatic or someone who works out a lot. I’m just a young woman who likes to think that a little bit of exercise here and there can make you feel better.

I’ve found exercise to have many advantages on my body both physically and mentally. Whether you prefer to workout at home, go for a run in the park, or go to the gym, it’s what works for you.

There are some key benefits in particular which I’ve recognised exercise has done for me. Here’s 3 benefits that you could experience.

Exercise improves your strength

I used to joke a little with Danny by saying, you’re stronger than me because you go to the gym. Now he says, wow you can tell when you’ve been to the gym. I can finally open them lids on the protein shakers he has! But in all seriousness, I feel a lot stronger.

And I definitely try to make up for the times when I’ve missed the gym, even if it’s using the little weights I have at home. Improving your strength doesn’t have to take hours out of day. I feel that it’s better to do smaller workouts every other day. You find what’s best for you.

You feel a boost in your mentality

Oh we know those thoughts: I feel like a slob. Or, there’s the debate whether to ‘gym’ today. Sometimes I’ve tried to put the gym off but the majority of the time it’s not the best decision to make. There’s nothing wrong with missing it every now and again. But if you keep at it, you’re bound to feel a bigger and brighter spring in your step.

You don’t have to exercise to lose weight. I choose to exercise to maintain fitness and to feel better about myself all round. There were times where I had to conquer my gym fear in order to get the most of the workouts. It hits me a little but nowhere as much as it used to. I feel a lot more comfortable being seen with no make-up, sweating, and looking like a lobster! Who cares?! You’re exercising, not within the company of people at a fancy event.

Reduces hypertension

I went through a stage where my blood pressure went sky-high (stress related the doctors thought). Who knows?! But since exercising, it has helped me to take away stress. It’s such a good method of escapism. Blood pressure is important for everyone. Considering I’m young, I should have a normal level, and be fit and healthy.

Sometimes I want to do cardio and other times I want to use the weights. Either way, I always like to make sure I get my blood pumping around my body.

You won’t always make up raring to go each morning/afternoon/evening, as you may already be aware. But you’ll feel so much better when you’ve finished that great workout. I used to feel rubbish about how I looked compared to others in the gym but now I just go with it and think positive.

You might love swimming, running, or a sport such as basketball. Whatever it is, enjoy it! Try it out for yourself. Remember, you don’t have to overdo it but it’s always good to push yourself a little further than you usually would.