close up of pink petal flowers

Things to Do During the Coronavirus Lockdown

As surreal as the lockdown in the UK might feel right now, there are plenty of things you can do to stay occupied. Unfortunately, for the most social groups of people this is probably quite difficult. Also, it can pose challenges for those who are out of/can’t work. I’m lucky enough to be working from home so I still have some kind of routine. It does feel strange not having to travel to and from the office and I miss seeing my colleagues face-to-face.

For the past 10 days I’ve had Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms so I’ve stayed indoors (self-isolating). The only places I’ve been includes the bins at the front of the house and going into the back garden. Those who are on the COVID-19 high risk list have been urged to stay at home (shielding), whilst others are staying 2 metres apart (social distancing) and under restrictions to only go outside for:

  • Shopping for necessities
  • Exercise
  • Medical reasons
  • Traveling to and from work if ‘absolutely necessary’

Take advantage of the time you have to relax

If you’re anything like me and you struggle to just relax and chill, now is the time to understand why you should do it more often. ‘Me time’ is really important. I’ve talked about ways you can relax before. Pamper yourself or take the time do something you usually put aside because you don’t always have the time e.g. reading a new book, starting a blog etc.

Clean up and tidy up

I always find something to rearrange whether it’s clothes in the wardrobe, the cupboard under the sink, the medicine cabinet, you name it, there’s always something. Why did I have 6 boxes of plasters in the medicine cabinet, who knows? I love to organise and keep the house clean and tidy so this an everyday hobby for me.

Binge watch TV series or films

Okay, I’ll admit, I do this anyway. But there’s no harm is watching more right? Make the most of those Netflix subscriptions. I’m making the most of some girly series at the moment, including a bundle of Gilmore Girls episodes (my 3rd time watching the whole series from start to finish). And as Disney+ is out in the UK, you might as well sign up and be ready for all of your Disney favourites. I’m so looking forward to reliving my childhood!

Do some gardening

If you have the tools available, why not take the opportunity to venture into garden. It’s never really been on my to-do list before. However, since we moved into the new house last year, the back garden has been an area I like to spend my time in, when the weather is nice enough. I’ve had fun tidying the garden, cleaning the patio, and painting the fence.

Keep in touch with family and friends

The most important one on the list. Check in on your family and friends. And don’t forget about your neighbours, especially those who are vulnerable. There are many options such as: a call, text, social media, instant messaging like WhatsApp, video calls e.g. FaceTime etc. Some groups of people are also using quiz/gaming apps to keep them in high spirits.

As miserable as everything seems at the moment, do something that you can look back on and know it was time well spent. Think about the positives and have a forward-thinking perspective to keep you motivated.

field of spring flowers

There’s Always a Reason to Smile

In the midst of all the Coronavirus (COVID-19) worry across the world right now, there ought to be something out there to create some happiness. It all seems quite surreal doesn’t it? I’d like to play my part and share this post which stems from the idea that there are plenty of reasons to smile, 4 of which hold a lot of relevancy to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Kindness

As the Coronavirus outbreak increases, I’ve seen panic buyers at the shops, some selfish acts – overbuying and not giving others (mostly those which are more vulnerable, havie children, elderly etc.) the chance to purchase essentials items. However, I’ve seen many acts of kindness amongst all of the madness. Stores across the UK such as Iceland, M&S and Sainsbury’s are offering an hour in the morning for the elderly and vulnerable people to shop. There are also people in their local communities working hard to create packages for the people most in need. And it goes without saying that, the NHS are doing an incredible job looking after those who are hospitalised and emergency services are increasing their efforts to help.

Spring

20th March 2020 marks the first day of spring here in the UK. It’s a time of year that always makes me smile. As we slowly move away from the wintry weather (or at least we hope) it’s exciting to look forward to the sunshine and brighter days. There’s something about the appearance of colourful flowers and daffodils that makes me smile. It also means we’re closer to summer. Even if we don’t know how summer will play out at the moment we can still hope for good things. One thing that comes to mind is the old buttercup challenge from my childhood, you know the one where you would put a buttercup under your chin to see if there’s a yellow reflection to show if you ‘like butter’?! My grandad used to do this every spring when I was a little girl. It’s the littlest thing but it makes me so happy when I think about that.

Relaxation

I know this is harder for some than it is for others. If the stress is hitting you hard at the moment with work situations, money, concerns about your health or of a friend/family member, find some relaxation techniques that work for you. For me, a long soak in the bath and a cuddle from my favourite person in the world helps. The biggest kick in reality is that, sometimes there isn’t much you can do to stop situation. But together, we can help it e.g. self-isolate when necessary, social distancing, listening to the expert advice etc. Throughout it all, try your best to stay calm, surround yourself with positive thoughts and keep in touch with friends and family members to check in on them.

Music

I really do believe that there’s a song for every kind of mood. There’s music to help you concentrate, relax, sing your heart out in the shower… you know what works for you. Listening to music is something I do on a daily basis. I’m not quite sure what I’d do without it. It has the power to boost my mood and helps me put my thoughts into perspective. On days like today it’s important to find the the things that help to better your mood and keep you in high spirits. Let music be a part of it!

Look after yourselves everyone and remember to be kind, especially in all of the craziness that’s happening in world right now. And remember, the impact a smile, or doing something to make someone smile has. Especially, for those who need it the most right now, it’s something small, but very meaningful.

tablet glasses and phone on a table outdoors

Travel to Wherever Life Takes You

You come into the world as a tiny baby. Months go by and you’re learning how to roll over, crawl, make your own kind of noises to communicate in your own language etc. More time goes by and you’re walking, and eventually you’re talking in actual words. Your parents don’t want you to grow up. You start off with nursery or primary school. By the time you know it you’re in high school. After then, everything really is down to you.

It’s up to you to make decisions for your future. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be the right or wrong ones. They’re your decisions and you’re going to make them. Mine was to attend college and university to study the subjects I was truly passionate about and wanted to do well in.

Did I love the whole college/uni experience? Nope. But I didn’t entirely hate them at the same time (okay maybe with college I did). A good thing though, was that I had quite a few friends at college. Completing college and uni was what I always wanted to do. I told myself to get to the end, for me and no-one else. I’m not on earth to prove myself to anyone, as hard as that can be at times to remember.

Wondering what’s going to happen next? Travel to wherever life takes you.

I remember finding out I was going to uni two weeks before the first term began. Those weeks of waiting really made me so anxious. The dread. The constant questions like, “So, what are you going to do with your life if you’re not getting into uni?” I was clueless – I didn’t have an idea in the slightest what was going to happen. Back then I wish I would’ve replied, “I’m going to do me.”

I guess by being me is what got be that place. There was some potential. The three years were… okay. I’m glad I met a friend who I still keep in touch with today. But I don’t think I got the entire ‘uni life’ experience. I walked in alone. And there was a lot around me that I didn’t enjoy. But I graduated so that’s something that can’t be taken away.

After this point, more challenges came my way. One, two, three, twenty-something interviews later to be where I am today. From a sales assistant from the age of 16 to a learning support administrator, marketing assistant, and now happily in the position of marketing coordinator and content writer.

So, I’m kind of stubborn…

Some say I’m stubborn and to be honest I can be. But I’m also just true to myself. When you’re told how/when/why/where you should do something, you stop to think, hang on a minute this is my life. So I’m going to live it my way. And I’m so glad I stuck to that. I didn’t get amazing college or uni results like what you see on the news. They always show the ones at the top of the class getting into the most famous and high up institutions. What about the rest of us eh?

There’s so much pressure in the world, we’re expected to achieve certain things to be valued as ‘intelligent’. I know there are certain areas that are my strongest. But I’ve also got my weakest just like everyone else.

Following the crowd has never been my style. I was bad at it and that’s because being like someone else isn’t what’s going to make you happy. Until you see you for who you are and focus on the things that make you happy, you’ll realise you’ll felt nothing like it. You look back and wish you would’ve had the courage to take certain steps sooner. But the important thing is that you got there in the end.

Talking steps independently…

I’m the type of person who likes to do a lot of things on my own without anyone holding my hand. If I went alone to get the coil fitted I can do anything, right? It’s funny, whenever Danny makes a comment I always say “It’s cos I’m an independent woman like Beyoncé!”

I walked into my first day of high school on my own being aware that only a couple of people from primary school would be there. I’d spent some dinners alone but that didn’t make me a ‘loner’. Some people knew who I was. And some didn’t. Some days my friends just had things going on. I faced bullies alone. I didn’t tell a soul. It took my brother to figure it out.

In primary school, on several occasions I would wait until I was alone in a room to cry my eyes out when granny passed away. I used to get the bus on my own up to visit grandad at the hospital. And to this day I’ll go to see them at the cemetery alone. But my dad or Danny do like to come along when they can. Dad knows to wait in the car for a while though. And Danny always gives me some time for just the 3 of us.

A lot of the time, I go shopping on my own. I take it upon myself to take myself for a walk! Sometimes I go to the gym alone and sometimes I don’t. It’s nice to have a mixture of both. Obviously when I need help or support, the people who love me most recognise when to step in.

Let the people who care for you be there for you.

Sometimes, I’m wrong to think I must have it all together on my own. If you’re lucky to have someone who wants to be there for you, don’t stop them, let them in. My person for that is someone who’s going to be in my life forever. Not just someone who’s in your life temporarily. I’ve learnt that keeping your friends group small is good for me. No drama. I see certain people as the ones I shared memories with. But it doesn’t matter that we’re not friends kind of friends, you know? It’s never going to be like that again and I’m fine with that.

Things happen. Life happens. Travel to wherever it takes you and follow the things that make you happy.

Do Things for You in Your Own Time and in Your Own Way

I’ve realised that a lot of my thoughts today are coming out pretty randomly. You know when you think things in your head and you’re like I’m going to share that with the world? Or is that just me? Well let’s take example…

I mean, am I right?! Then the thoughts got more serious which brings to this post about why you should do things for you and find your own way.

Always remember where you come from.

Anyway more to the point, another thought came into my mind today, a more serious one. Why do we feel so pressured by society, by others around us to do things in a particular order, by a certain age, and feel the need to ‘have it all’?

I’m 24 years old. I’m a young woman who has grew up on council estate ever since the day I brought home from the hospital as a baby. I don’t live in my dream city in the world but that doesn’t mean to say I’m ashamed of where I’ve come from. I’ll never try to be bigger or better than the person I am deep down.

One of my brothers always likes to joke around saying I’m ‘posh’ if I say words in a different accent to him. But he knows I’m truly the girl from her home city. One day I’m going to move out (next year). And I’ll be calling what’s home now mum and dad’s. But just as they say to my older brothers, this will always be our home.

Finding a real love for writing.

I got my degree at the age of 21. I could’ve got it at 40 or not at all, I like to think I’d still be proud at wherever I was in life. In fact, I know I would be. It’s important to find your passion and work hard towards something. But not everyone knows what that is for them. It wasn’t until 3 years ago when I shared my first blog post about happiness and aspirations that I realised what my ‘thing’ was. And it was and still is a love for writing.

Writing stories in primary school and high school was nothing compared to those essays in college and university. Wow they were a different kind. But I realised that my love for writing wasn’t all about the evaluations on the subject I studied or dissertation topics. I didn’t even get the grade I wanted at university. But I accomplished something new which was very hard-working and quite difficult not to get down at.

You’ll have people tell you all sorts but keep doing what you believe is right for you.

It was during and after university where one of the biggest challenges approached me. I felt like I always getting things wrong. Making the wrong decisions. Feeling terribly anxious. And reading into every little detail about not only studies but life in general. It hasn’t been until this past year that I’ve really found myself.

After feeling worthless, not because of the people around me but the lack of opportunities in the employment world. Turns out that I wasn’t getting things wrong. Even with people telling me that I need to get a move on or the looking like a waste of space to others. I was finding myself and finding the right way to go for me, not for anybody else.

background shot of girl with blond pony tail

Living for the moment…

I’ve always believed in travelling on my own path. And part of that is living. We’re not just on this earth to exist, work, and pay things. We’re alive so we should be living. Some will say but I can’t afford it or I’d love to do that. Well why can’t you?

For some people, it can be possible. If you do things the right way you can do so many things. Take me for instance – saving for a house doesn’t stop me having fun. My priorities are in order but I still see my friends. Sometimes we stay in. Sometimes we go out. I still love to travel, it gives me something to look forward to. Some people have children and other commitments. And one day I’d hope to have those. But right now I’m living to take opportunities while I can.

The future can be scary but it can also be amazing.

You can’t predict the future. And you can’t go back in time. But you can always make tomorrow a better day. That’s the motivation I try to wake up with each morning. I’m happy to see that I’ve killed a lot of my fears away. Some big and some small. But they’ve all counted in making me who I am today.

The biggest fears and challenges, the negative what ifs, can test you so much. What if you  put your all into something, do something great, and become closer to reaching new moments you never thought you’d have? That sounds much better, right?

As for the future, I plan to continue to remember what it means to have each day. Take the people who we always say we ‘lost too soon’. What are the things they would’ve loved to have seen you do, or that they never had the chance to do? Make a difference. Smile. And carry on being you.

close up of yellow flower

The 3 Things I Believe in Most in This World

We all have our own life mottos. The things we feel strong about are always there inside us. It’s good to have things to believe in. But sometimes, we become so distracted that we put them aside. We moan about the little things. And we wish for bigger and better days. That’s why I’m sharing this post – to shed some light on the perspective that we just need a little reminder of.

Every second counts.

The time remaining in our future is unknown. I’ve always said I want to live until I’m 100 – to experience the biggest life lessons early and come out stronger. To have many years to smile. To travel and explore my dream destinations. And most of all to be happy around the ones I love the most.So why is it that have a tendency to complain about things that aren’t really the worst things in the world? Next time you feel a huge rant coming on, where it isn’t needed, take a deep breath and just accept what is. Stressing over something that won’t matter tomorrow is unnecessary.

We all make mistakes.

There’s no need to be defined by our past. We should learn from our biggest mistakes. But that doesn’t mean to say that we’ll be perfect in the future. There’s one thing that is possible, being the best person you can be.  One thing that isn’t healthy is dwelling so much on the past.Like I said before, the amount of time our future holds in unknown. So surely we should be doing out utmost to enjoy this time? In the workplace, we get things wrong. We don’t always make the right decisions. We wish we would’ve avoided certain situations. But it’s life. Throw away all the negativity and live for today. Be clear on what and who is important to you – then you’ll get that perspective back and begin to love yourself again.

You should always keep your loved ones close.

When I move out it’ll be one of the most exciting things I’ll ever do. But it’ll also be strange not seeing at least one of parents every day. That’s why I’m going to make sure we stay in touch. It’d be impossible not to. I like to think that me and my brothers are close and they can still tell me anything.And the one thing I used to fear but could never imagining it happening anymore, is losing Danny. Sometimes I think I’ve lost perspective. It upsets me when we don’t see each other much or we aren’t able to talk to each other a lot throughout the day. But then it hits me – we still have each other. We have so much to look forward to. And if we are open with one another and share our dreams together, there’s nothing stopping us.What do you believe in the most?

pink umbrella

Why I’m Much Better at Letting Things Go Than I Used to Be

Letting things go – it sounds easier said than done, right? Well that’s what I always thought too. Until the last few months this changed. I always used to tell myself not to stress about the unnecessary. But wow, I didn’t listen to my own thoughts on those occasions. If I couldn’t do something – stress. Something unexpectedly happens and the fear of the unknown scares you – stress. Worrying about other people – stress. 

We all know stress isn’t good for us. But we seem to anyway. Take today for example. It’s Tuesday. Eugh, I just seem to really dislike Tuesdays. It’s not as if it’s a day where people annoy me. But it’s the little things. I learnt that sometimes, I just need to relax and just think, “Ah whatever!”

I woke up and got straight in the shower. Afterwards I spent half an hour trying to find something to wear in this hot weather and suitable for work. What a nightmare. I ended up wearing black trousers. But I couldn’t spend all morning stressing over that.

That’s nothing, right? So then something else decided to get to me.

The First bus app wasn’t working. Something to do with cellular connection I think, who knows? So I walked back on myself past my house and to the cash machine. Well, the cash machine wasn’t giving me my money. I stayed patient as I noticed that I missed a bus into town. Eventually it withdrawn the cash and I had to pay for a weekly on the bus. I’m pretty gutted because it’s going to cost me more money now over the month period.

Now obviously I wasn’t the happiest bunny this morning. But I could’ve handled it a lot worse. I just ranted to in a few text messages. I didn’t take my frustration out on anybody in person… not even the people who shoved in front of me on the bus just because they felt like they could. I might have shook my head though. That’s my way of letting things go!

And it’s still ‘nothing’ because it could always be worse.

That’s just a small example. But even after the ‘worst days ever’ I tell myself it isn’t actually the worst. I’ve chose to let go of the never-ending thoughts that can remain in my mind.

Telling myself that whatever happens, happens has worked for once. Perhaps I used to crave attention from the wrong people. Or was trying to be some sort of perfection. Or even someone who never wanted anything to go wrong. Well, there will always be people who come in and out of your life. Nothing’s ever perfect. And things won’t always go as you expect them to. The sooner you realise that, you’ll breeze through your journey of letting things go. 

I feel as though I’m in much more control.

Knowing what/who you want to be in your life really helps. In fact, it plays a huge part. You start to realise what matters, who matters, and those who brought nothing but constant annoyance. Or even, the way you felt like you couldn’t be the best version of yourself because you felt like you had to be something else. It’s funny isn’t it? Simple and small changes can have such a positive impact on your happiness. 

The amount of days, weeks, months or years we have in our future is unknown. That’s why it’s so important to learn to let go of things. You can’t always force things to happen in your life. But remember, you can control how to react to them. And you can make a difference in your own life as well as others’. You’ll feel so much positive energy when you just live, accept things, and be whoever the hell you want to be.

Why don’t you try?

I feel much more confident and believe in myself much more. There were days when I was quite minimal with makeups and effort with my hair. But now there are days where I go makeup free. And I’m not wondering what people think. It makes me feel even better when I do it e.g. on a night out when you dress up and feel nice and girly. Here’s to the rest of the girls out there who have this vision.