Rose Quartz: The Power of Love in Healing Crystals

rose quartz

Those who know me, know I love healing crystals… Don’t ask me why, I just do!

Aside from being pretty to look at and unique in their patterns, they’re incredibly intuitive, calming and soothing when used correctly.

In keeping with my ‘love’ theme, I bring you a post about: rose quartz.

This crystal promotes all kinds of love, be it self-love, romantic love, friendship love or even family love.

rose quartz

What are the properties of rose quartz

Rose quartz is the stone of unconditional love. It’s said to radiate strong vibrations of love, which support emotional & relationship healing, and building compassion.

What does rose quartz symbolise?

Its meaning varies from culture to culture, but generally its pale pink aesthetic represents gentleness, love, and fertility.

rose quartz

What chakra does the rose quartz work with?

Rose quartz is a stone associated with the heart chakra. So, wearing it as a necklace is most beneficial if you want to feel it working.

How to use a rose quartz?

Meditate by placing a piece on your heart, close your eyes and breathe deeply…

You can even speak soft and loving affirmations to yourself as you’re meditating… Alternatively, just imagine that you’re surrounded by a pink light of love.

If you do this every night, studies have found that it can clear any built up of negativity or frustrations from the day, leaving you refreshed for a new one in the morning.

Top tip: cleanse it after every use by running it under cold water or leaving it on the windowsill (with your blinds/curtains open) particularly on the day or night of a full moon.

Another top tip: you have to believe in it. Nothing works without belief.

rose quartz

How does rose quartz help?

In reiki and energy work, rose quartz is used to reset the heart chakra. From a health perspective, resetting the heart chakra basically means removing any blockages – releasing stress, improving blood circulation and overall skin health.

Choosing the right crystals for you

There are two ways, either by buying a mystery box, or by going in store with an open and clear mind, ready to be drawn to one.

The mystery boxes are really intuitive. I’ve been shocked by how right they’ve been each time. If you’re new to it, xThePeaceProject might be more your thing.

There’s also a quiz you can do to find out which one’s best for you.

Are you into crystals? If so, which ones? Comment below!

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Dealing with Writer’s Block

writers block

I started this blog (Explore with ‘Mii) back in February 2020… It was originally supposed to be a travel blog where I’d blog about my holidays, bucket-list or places I visited for leisure here in the UK.

Obviously, my plans changed because of Covid… My blog then became broader – focussing on lifestyle. This, I think was when my writer’s block began…

I put all my focus into my dayjob – and rightly so as that’s what pays the bills. The more I worked, the less time I had to dedicate to my blog – which wasn’t such a bad thing when going through writer’s block.

Then, when I eventually had the time, I found myself either not being able to think of ideas for posts – or on the off-chance that I did, it just wasn’t good enough. (Or at least I didn’t think so)

writers block

How did I get over the writer’s block?

For me, I think it just phased itself out… Having the break over Christmas & New Year really spurred me on… I was in so much agony from a sport injury, and pretty much bed-bound that the only way I could get through it was by writing.

And, if I’m honest, the break away from work showed me how much I’d missed it… Yes, I am slightly worried that I might lose my mojo again, but I’m hoping I won’t. Besides, this blog gives me something to do in my spare time.

writers block

How did I cope when I had writer’s block?

I read more… During the times when I just couldn’t write, I read.

I read as a way of maintaining my writing style. I honestly believe I’d have lost my writing style if I didn’t re-read the books by writers who I aspire to.

Reading itself if I’m honest, I hardly ever did… When I used to, it was at times when I’ve not got anything better to do – or because I was going through writer’s block.

2020 was I think the first time in years that I actually read books from cover-to-cover! But, don’t worry, I plan to continue reading because I was reminded of how fun it can be.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, if you don’t like reading, it’s because you’re not reading the right books (or in my case, you’re busy writing).

Tips for overcoming writer’s block

1) Don’t fear it – even the best writers experience it. It’s part of the creative process.

2) Write anyway – even if you don’t want to, pick up that pen/those fingertips and get writing. What’s the worst that could happen?!

4) Don’t give up – take a break, or edit the piece you’re writing to an inch of its life if you have to, just don’t give up.

5) Readreading helps, it worked for me… It might work for you.

Do you have any tips? Or, just want to share your experience of writer’s block? Comment below. ✨

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21 Goals to Stick To In 2021

2021

Happy New Year! 🥂🍾 🎉🎊

New Year’s resolutions? Who actually sticks to them for longer than the first two weeks? If you’ve managed to, you’re a hero who deserves to be celebrated.

Before I go any further, here is a true story… In 2018, I had the bright idea of doing Veganuary, so I went cold-Turkey on meats (include the pun) and just lived on quinoa and plant-based foods.

Fast forward to a fortnight, I’m struggling to get out of bed, dizzy as anything and suffering from vertigo. At the doctors, I was told I “should’ve phased it in as opposed to just quit it entirely overnight”.

Therefore, due to the evident fact that I simply cannot stick to New Year’s resolutions, I’ve decided a different tactic: goal setting.

Here are a list of 21 goals that I will be “phasing into” my life this year, and you’re welcome to, too…

goals

Make learning a new skill one of your goals

Whether it’s cooking, crochet or anything else that starts with a ‘c’ (other letters in the alphabet are available), get started…

If you have a passion for it, watch how it’s done and put it into practice (within reason, and excluding crazy things that you shouldn’t be trying at home!)

goals

Creating a monthly budget is actual goals

It’s true that we’ve been saving a lot in lockdown, since working from home… But the reality is, I’ve actually been spending money on ridiculous things because I’m “bored” or depressed. This is NOT a good thing to be doing.

So, rather than continuing to do that – I’m going to set a budget and stick to it. For example, I will only be spending money on my outgoings (and things I need such as food) in a bid to save more “wonga”.

goals

Read 12 books

12 books? That’s one book a month! It’s doable where ‘goals’ are concerned – especially when choosing shorter books (if you’re not into reading much).

Sorry to those who are regular readers of my blog, I may be repeating myself here… The thing I love about reading is you can get lost in the book, and feel as though you are on the journey with the character.

Of course, it’s not for everyone, but then again – I’d definitely say that if you’re feeling this way, it’s because you’re not reading the right books…

goals

Start a side business

At this point, my blog should probably be called “Side Business” as it seems to come up in my posts a LOT! 😂

That hobby of yours, start charging and offering it as a service! The extra money you make from it can either be used to boost your savings, or spent on a holiday/experience post-pandemic.

goals

Create a morning routine …and Stick to it

If your morning routine includes reaching for your phone first thing, you have a problem – one that I have too!

Get up, wash you face, brush your teeth, have a shower THEN go on your phone. I feel like this will speak to me more than anyone else! 🙈

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Get rid of a bad habit

Bite your nails? Just do what I did (or not), and bribe your mum into buying you an iPad if you stop… Then, stop – only to later feel guilty about it, and buy it yourself! (In my defence, I was a teen at the time, and my mum was sick of me biting them)

In all seriousness though, that bad habit you have? Kick it to the curb! You’ll feel so great afterwards.

There is no denying that some habits are harder to quit than others, but – my point is: reward yourself after quitting with something you’ve always wanted.

goals

Keep a gratitude journal

Make a list, check it twice to find out if you’ve been grateful or not, because ‘Blessings’ are coming to town! 🎶

goals

Spend less time online

Here is another one written specifically for me… I have an addiction to my phone, and social media specifically.

There is a cool hack I’ve discovered which is also rather embarrassing, called Screen Time.

& OmG is it the wake up call that literally no-one wants… Finding out that you’ve spent a ludicrous amount of time on your smartphone, who TF wants that!? 😭

Taking it right back to the point at hand, Screen Time enables you to lock your phone after you’ve reached the limited number of hours you’ve allocated a day.

goals

Eat healthier

Those five-a-days? Eat 10 of them. Get healthy and achieve those curb-cravings goals!

goals

Create a fitness routine

No-one expects you to run a marathon or represent your country in the Olympics after starting your fitness journey…

Honestly, just go for a jog, whack on a fitness DVD or stream it on your TV in lockdown. It is sure to give you a spring in your step.

goals

Travel to a new place

Lockdown called 📞 , it said “stay at home”. In that case, I assume this means just go to a different room (or a different park)…

After lockdown, travel to a new place in your country for a staycation (if you can’t travel abroad – as it’s probably wiser not to).

goals

Declutter your home

Think of it as the ‘spring cleaning’ before Spring itself aka: ‘middle of winter cleaning’.

Research shows that a cluttered home makes for a cluttered mind. Start afresh.

goals

Meditate every day

When people think of meditation, they expect it to be for 30 mins or an hour… Who made that a thing?!

Every time I mention it to someone who doesn’t do it, they’re always like “I don’t have time!” 🤯

Newsflash: if you’re doing it right, you could feel the same benefits of meditation in just five minutes.

goals

Keep a diary

I bought a five year diary in 2020. & what a year to invest in one! 😂

Last year was filled with “Lockdown Thoughts”. Let’s see what the other four have in store…

goals

Drink more water

Stay hydrated. If you’re struggling to, you can download an app that can tell you when to drink water – or even buy a smart-water bottle.

Alternatively, just follow Twitter accounts dedicated to drinking water and turning your notifications on.

goals

Make time for self-care

Do something for yourself each week/fortnight or month. Whether that’s running a bath, putting on a face mask , whatever it is: give yourself that well deserved “me time”.

friends

Reconnect with friends

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life’s too short. Surround yourself with loved ones.

goals

Set a bedtime and stick to it

A good sleeping habit is so important. A set time for your body to rest is healthy for your skin, your hair, your organs – everything. The body repairs itself while we sleep, so a regular sleeping pattern is vital for wellness…

If you’re like me and suffer from insomnia, practice sleep hygiene.

goals

Push through with your career goals

There’s no time like the present when it comes to revisiting old career plans, goals or dreams. Rise and grind!

Whether it’s a career change or a promotion, work towards it. Take action!

goals

Create An Emergency Fund

Covid has certainly messed up our economy, no-one knows what the future holds.

Be grateful for the now and put some money aside for emergencies. Your savings will come in handy one day (hopefully not in an emergency setting).

goals

Give to charity

Last Christmas, I felt guilty – big time. The fact that I had everything I needed, and there are people that didn’t really didn’t sit right with me. So, I was thankfully in a position where I could donate a little more than I usually do each month.

You don’t have to just donate, you can fundraise or volunteer too!

Charities I’d recommend in the UK are:

1) Crisis – for those in a crisis who need support

2) Samaritans – a comforting and listening ear for those who need to talk

3) Age UK – supporting the elderly

4) RSPCA – rehoming and saving animals from cruelty and neglect

5) GOSH – there for children who are ill and need treatment

6) Shelter – tackling homelessness

7) Trussell Trust – for underprivileged people and families living on the breadline

8) NSPCC – protecting children from abuse and neglect

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Supporting Small Business Ideas

Small Business Ideas

Now’s the time for all the ‘supporting small business’ ideas in the world! Especially as we’re heading into another national lockdown, which – if it helps the NHS cope and means life can get back to normal post-vaccine, then it’s worth it!

This year has been one heck of a ride… Worst rollercoaster ever, one you’d never find at Thorpe Park!

A major thing that suffered is our economy, and on a global scale. Therefore, this year, it’s been more important than ever to support small and/or local businesses.

In the first national lockdown, plenty of businesses were forced to close… With another one on the way, I dread to think what that means for the ones that luckily & thankfully survived.

This post aims to give tips on what you can do to support small or local businesses wherever you are in the world.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #1: Shop online

This Christmas, I relied heavily on Etsy. In fact, all year round – my friends and family have been receiving gifts from small businesses which I’ve found via Etsy.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas- #2: Buy & send gift cards

Gift cards are a way of giving a business extra £££ during the pandemic – even when they’re closed – which you or a loved one can claim back at a later date, in exchange for purchases or treatments.

Non-essential shops rely on this sort of thing to keep their businesses open, it also shows your loyalty.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #3: Order a Home Delivery or Pickup a Takeaway

Although local restaurants and cafes have closed for dining, they are open for takeaways and home deliveries. So, pop in or order one via Deliveroo, Uber Eats or Just Eat to “eat in, help out”.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #4: Tip More Than Usual

Here’s another tip for you: get tipping. Go above and beyond your usual (when and if possible). That way, the business knows that they are valued by you.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #5: Leave Good Reviews

You must have come across the ‘support local businesses’ telly adverts by Google, where the likes of Anthony Joshua showcase their favourite local business, encouraging viewers to leave a good review on theirs’.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #6: Continue with Subscriptions and Memberships

Keep paying your memberships and subscriptions, even if they’ve been temporarily suspended.

For those of you who have a steady income, offer to continue paying your cleaners, hair stylists, nannies, etc. They need us and we need them.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #7: Don’t Always Accept Refunds

If you’ve paid for something, don’t ask for a refund where possible and if it won’t put you out of pocket. Think of it as a donation.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #8: Start a Local Business Network

Pretty self explanatory, set up a local businesses group (via Facebook or wherever) where all the local businesses can place ads. Then promote it, getting the local residents involved. It may just be that the locals in your area didn’t know of this particular service.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #9: Crowdfunding

If you love a business and know it’s worth saving (which all do), create a campaign on platforms like GoFundMe to boost its finances. Promote it to friends, and encourage them to share it with theirs and so on…

Another way to do this is to get in touch with your local newspaper and see if they can do something to help.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #10: Offer Your Services For Free

Calling all cool web-designers, web-developers, awesome content creators, ace copywriters, social media whizzes & excellent marketer & advertisers…

Offer your services to those in need. 9/10 times the companies would be so taken aback by the gesture that they’ll spread the word of how amazing you are, which might lead to extra business later down the line. But, don’t expect this.

Never do anything with expectations of reward – the feeling you get after helping someone is enough of a reward in itself.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #11: Share A Local Business’ Promotions & Ideas

If you learn of a unique promotion or idea from a local business, share it online. It may well be something your social-media following or network would like to know about.

Small Business Ideas

Supporting small business ideas – #12: Search for Online Services Offered by a Local Business

Not everything must close entirely. Keep an eye out for those businesses who may be able to alter their services, offering online engagement.

Therapists, tutoring, yoga, personal trainers, coaches, financial planners, lawyers, music classes for kids – all of these can be continued through videos or online conferencing.

Whatever and wherever you can, do help out.

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29 Items To Tick Off Your Bucket List Before You Turn 30

bucket list

I’m turning 30 in the coming year, so I thought a list of 29 bucket list must-ticks before turning 30 would be apt.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #1: Start Saving

If you’ve yet to set up a savings account, do so. It doesn’t even need to be a large amount, a simple £50 each month away for a rainy day – it all adds up.

Think about it, *amount you’re willing to save* x *amount of months* x *the years away you are from retirement* = a somewhat large number.

You never know what the future holds, so start now.

Also, for those of you planning to get onto the mortgage ladder, the sooner you start saving, the quicker it’ll be to have enough money for a deposit…

bucket list

Bucket list tick #2: Learn to Cook More & Better

As much as we love pasta and ready-meals, it’s not sustainable for a lifetime. Especially if you plan on having a family of your own one day. Learn to cook, either buy a cook book or scour the internet / check out YouTube for some awesome new recipes.

‘Health is wealth’, and so is giving our body the nutrients it needs by cooking our own meals. What’s more, it might even work out cheaper to buy the ingredients – because more often than not, there will be a surplus of ingredients to make a second batch with.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #3: Fundraise For a Cause and Volunteer for Change

I absolutely love fundraising &/or volunteering. I’ve been doing it since I was a teen and I can categorically say it’s shaped me as a person.

I’ve matured beyond my years and experienced things that others my age might not have.

Also, that feeling after you’ve given back is unmatched. It’s a rewarding, liberating feeling that comes with volunteering which not much else really offers.

Fancy it? Choose a cause that you care about, or one close to your heart and find out how to get involved in your local community.

Now more than ever is the time to do it… Even if means getting an elderly couple at the end of your street some shopping and leaving it at the door. That’s helping.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #4: Strengthen Your Political Awareness

For the sake of your children and your children’s children (or even just our generation), research politics and delve deeper into it.

I’m not saying that you need to go as far as becoming a minister, or that politics isn’t filled with lies and a whole heap of crazy – but being able to choose a party to support – and having your reasons based on your core values is important.

If possible, choose a party that offers you or the people of tomorrow a better life. Alternatively, just choose the one you deem a lesser of two evils.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #5: Be At Peace With Yourself

By now, you’d have made your fair share of mistakes and wrong decisions… But, rather than looking back in shame, accept them and more importantly: yourself.

Be at peace with who you are because you’ve made it this far, and life’s too short to be anything but content with that.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #6: Social Media Isn’t Real

Nothing on social-media is real. For the most part, social-media is oversaturated with people pretending to be living ‘the life’, but there’s more to that. There’s a lot that goes on behind closed doors…

Also, celebrities typically filter/photoshop themselves in pictures, so it’s a far cry from what they look like in real-life. The effects of filtering/photoshopping can lead to a really awful case of body/image dysmorphia. I’ve definitely learned my lesson and don’t use filters anymore.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #7: Make a List of Stuff You Want to do Before You’re 40

Apparently, our 20s are supposed to be a ‘dress rehearsal’ of our 30s, so make your 30s count by writing down a list of stuff (which are achievable) that you’d like to complete before you turn 40.

Look back on them every so often in the lead-up, so you don’t lose sight of them.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #8: Plan An Awesome 30th Birthday Celebration

If you turned 30 during Covid lockdowns, I am so sorry! Plan to turn 30 again post-Covid, everyone else in the same boat will be… 😆(It might be the case for me next year too, tbh – so I won’t say too much.)

However, in the ideal world – make it memorable. It’s a huge milestone!

bucket list

Bucket list tick #9: Stop Living in the Past

Stop with the regrets, ‘shoulda coulda woulda’ BS. At the end of the day, life doesn’t always go our way. We could plan our whole lives out and God will pull out a “checkmate” on our lives, and change it.

Not everything is in our control. But one thing’s for sure: it will all make sense afterwards, and the outcome is better than we’d ever have planned.

The present day, minute or hour is on more powerful than our past – because that’s what determines our future.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #10: Keep Your Close Friends With You No Matter What

You will meet loads of people on this journey of life, but sadly not all of them will stick around. Only the ones most meaningful will. And, more often than not, you’ll only be able to count those type of people on one hand. True friends are few and far between, when you find them – keep them no matter what.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #11: Attend A Concert, Festival or Sport Game

Do this, attend an event maybe not during Covid times as it’s definitely not safe (or even happening unless it’s outdoors) but I truly recommend it.

I’ve never been to a festival but was planning to this year and then… Yeah, exactly! So, when things go back to normal, I definitely will be.

First concert I’ve been to: Capital FM’s Summertime Ball

First football game I’ve been to: Man United

First basketball game I’ve been to: LA Lakers

First theatre performance I’ve been to: The Lion King

bucket list

Bucket list tick #12: Learn How To Be More Organised

Organisation skills aren’t a light switch. They don’t turn on when you turn 30…

Do the work before you get there, because trying to learn new tricks at 30 is going to come with its own challenges that’ll leave you with little time for manual self-development.

Any self-development you’ll be doing in your 30s will most likely happen due to life experience – because the older we get, the harder it is to create new habits that we stick to.

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Bucket list tick #13: Read More

The more you read, the more you’ll grow. Honestly, reading is so freeing.

Make a list, and work your way through it. It’s really that simple. Oh, and – if you come across a book that you lose interest in once you’ve started, put it down and start reading the next one.

If you’re reading the right books, you’ll learn what all the fuss is about and why most people love it so much.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #14: Try To Learn a New Language

Sort of like tip 12, if you don’t do this during your 20s, you’ll have less time and patience for it in your 30s. It’s not easy though, so choose a simpler one – and if you master it, you’re my personal hero.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #15: Get Fit

Our bodies start to change as we go into our 30s apparently, so try to stay fit and active to avoid sluggishness.

Find a fitness regime that works for you and stick to it. Similarly to tip 14, if you manage to do this – you too are my hero!

bucket list

Bucket list tick #16: Try Living in A Different City

I haven’t done this personally, but I did work in different cities before.

In a previous job, I ran events in the states so would be out there every couple of months.

But, I’d recommend living in a different city post-Covid for sure. There’s a sense of independence tied with adventure. It’s great.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #17: Travel Alone

Again, I was due to do this for the first time this year but it didn’t end up happening.

I’ve travelled alone before, but never done the whole trip alone.

I’ve heard from people who have done it that it’s a mix of lonesome but also fun. It’s ‘fun’ in the sense that you get to do what you want to do all the time, without others there.

I’d do it for the experience but I doubt I’d prefer it to being on a trip with others. I love social interaction aspect that comes with exploring. It also helps that I’m flexible when it comes to excursions.

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Bucket list tick #18: Try To Delve Deeper Into Your Family

If you haven’t done one of those ancestry tests, I’d highly recommend it. It’s so interesting! You’ll find out so much. Alternatively, if that isn’t your style, do more with your actual (immediate or extended) family, i.e. get to know them more.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #19: Try New Things

“Variety is the spice of life”, or so they say… Try new things. If there’s been something you’ve always wanted to do, cease the day (again after Covid, if it’s not social-distance dependent)! Get it done.

Whether it’s skydiving or swimming with sharks – whatever it is, YOLO (You Only Live Once) but also keep safe & be well!

bucket list

Bucket list tick #20: Get Rid of Bad Habits

Like I said earlier, the older we get – the harder it is to quit bad habits. If there’s something that annoys you about yourself, quit or change it. ‘Trying’ is the first step to overcoming.

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Bucket list tick #21: Buy Something You’ve Always Wanted

I love this one, it really offers a sense of accomplishment. Set yourself a goal and promise yourself that you will purchase whatever it is as a reward for your achievements.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #22: Don’t Hold Grudges

Life is way too short to carry negativity with us and drag it out over long periods of time. Forgive and forget, it’s more peaceful that way.

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Bucket list tick #23: Get A Tattoo

I have two and wouldn’t change them for the world. I have 0 plans on getting more, though.

There’s only a couple of pieces of advice I’d offer regarding this… Only get a tattoo if you want to, and if you’re 100% sure that you’ll still like the look of it when you’re old, wrinkly and grey.

You don’t want to regret it and have to pay for it to be laser removed – it’s more painful than getting the tattoo itself too, apparently.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #24: Binge Watch The Most Popular Films & Series

When you’ve got kids and a livelihood, you’ll have less time for binge watching movies and TV shows that your friends keep going on about…

My advice would be get as many as you can before your 30s as that’s when (on average) an advanced sense of responsibility kicks in.

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Bucket list tick #25: Go On A Road Trip

I had always planned of doing a road trip around America. It’ll definitely happen in my 30’s as it hasn’t so far!

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Bucket list tick #26: Start Keeping A ‘Good Memories’ Diary

There is nothing better than looking back on all the good times, and not having to be reminded of them solely by pictures on your social-media archive…

I wish I’d kept a diary of the good stuff I’ve experienced in my 20’s… Might start when I’m 30. You heard it here first… 30 is the new 20. 😂

bucket list

Bucket list tick #27: There Are Some Things They Don’t Teach You In School

School is home to some of the best memories I’ve ever had. Honestly, we always miss it when we leave.

However, the reality is – it doesn’t teach us everything we need to know in our adult lives… For example: applying for a job, applying for and sorting out a mortgage, tax, childbirth, raising children, managing trauma, managing life, overcoming battles with mental health.

bucket list

Bucket list tick #28: Be Ready For Change

Life is fluid. So, be prepared to be shaped and moulded differently (without losing your key values).

When I mentioned being ‘shaped and moulded’, I don’t mean who you are as a person and your ideals or moral compass, what I mean is: being accepting of change and conforming to a different outcome, even if very different to the one you planned.

Stubbornness has never in its history stopped things from happening. So, we can be as stubborn as we like, but it won’t change the outcome.

Life begins at the end of our comfort zone.

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Bucket list tick #29: Meet More People

Don’t be afraid to meet new people, whether that’s friends or dating. I love my friends since childhood, and nobody will ever replace them but life brings new people into our lives all the time, that doesn’t mean we love each other any less. Having more than one friendship circle is healthy.

Now, we’ve come to the end of the post… 🎵 

Have you go any tips of your own you’d like to share? Comment below.

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Tips for Finding a Job You’ll Love

job

Another day, another blog… Thought I’d spice things up a bit with a ‘finding a job you love’ past !

Seeing as we’re currently in the weird part of the year between Christmas and New Year (when no-one knows what day it is), I thought it’d be an ideal time to post about & tap into some motivation ‘new year, new you’ topics.

We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and things are very tough. There are many people losing their jobs, and feel like they’re between a rock and a hard place. If you have been made redundant, I am truly sorry. Another opportunity will come your way, I truly believe that.

There might be many people who are considering a career change since Covid lockdown, and I’m hoping that this post will help.

Before I continue, I want to ask you to think about something (below)…

Just think…

‘If you had unlimited opportunity in the world to do a certain type of career, what would you choose?’

For me… I’m grateful to have a full-time job in marketing – but also work freelance as a journalist/blogger, as that’s what mine was.

I majored in journalism and gained opportunities to write for both national and regional publications while studying, and loved every second of it. But being the type who loves a challenge, I switched as I didn’t feel like that career challenged me enough, I’ll explain…

One thing I’m not in doubt about is that I’m talented a writer. I feel like this means that I don’t necessarily need to limit myself to what I write, and who for.

That’s why I took the brave step of going freelance. However, I made sure I could take up a more challenging and fulfilling full-time role in something I wanted to learn more about and get better at – providing me with a stable income. I chose marketing & events.

Right, so let’s get cracking! The purpose of this post is that I want to help you by offering some tips that I’ve picked up along the way…

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life

Confucius
job

Tip 1) Don’t listen to others’ opinions on your career choice

First thing’s first, think back to when you were in school. What subjects were you good at/enjoyed? What was your dream career? With the right help, you can make it happen (as long as it wasn’t something unrealistic like “be a unicorn”).

Also, be mindful that everyone has an opinion about everything, and theirs isn’t warranted when it’s regarding a career you should take up & how you choose to pay your bills (within reason of it being legal and above the law, of course!).

If you want to be a footballer, and believe you can do it – train. If you want to be an astronaut, study and get your foot in the door (or should I say: on the moon).

There is literally nothing we cannot do if we have the passion, willingness and determination.

I’m pretty sure that people who appose our choices of career are only doing it to protect us.

They think it’s just a “pie in the sky thing”, because they don’t realise how hard we’re willing to work, or how determined we are to make it happen. It’s up to us to show them and prove it.

An example of this, below…

Love what you do, do what you love

Confucius

Whilst working for Archant (a UK regional newspaper brand), we hired a student on work experience. He was young, and impressionable with a zest for journalism.

He dreamed of being a journalist, but wasn’t comfortable in telling his parents he wanted to choose that career as his parents saw it as one without “shelf-life”. They wanted him to become a doctor instead.

I felt the need to encourage him to stand up about them in a dignified way. As I said, people give their opinions without realising our talents, our passion or our determination.

They think it’s the “easy way out” (from a career with a short-self life), which in hindsight, the world of journalism would’ve definitely been more of an easy way out than doctoring! A career in anything can be as long as we’re willing to work at it.

I gave him this very piece of advice, and received some news a couple of years later that he ended up going to study journalism at University a few years later and landed his first role! 🎉

job

Tip 2) Don’t just sit and take rejection

Disclaimer: I’m not talking about being in denial here.. I’m talking about trying elsewhere & never giving up on the dream as a whole.

Yeah, a certain firm/employer might not see your potential, but there are plenty of other firms/employers out there who will. You are the sauce. Believe it, prove it and at the right time, in the right way, you will achieve it.

Take yourself “back to the drawing board” by all means but take all the lessons back with you and learn more, practice your craft more, you’ll get there. Even go as far as asking for feedback from said company/firm who rejected you. This shows tenacity…

job

Tip 3) Stay consistent

This probably should be the first one to be honest… Consistency has very rarely led to failure.

People have experienced failure along the way, sure – but it’s their ability to stay consistent that led to the win. That’s the secret to success and is probably the most important too.

Tip 3 made for a smooth transition into tip 4…

job

Tip 4) Don’t be afraid of failing

You shouldn’t fear failure. Newsflash: failing doesn’t make or break us… What makes or breaks us is our decisions of whether we give up or persevere.

Fail seven times, stand up eight!

Japanese proverb

Did you know that the likes of Coca Cola and Apple failed a lot before they stumbled across their goldmine products that has now made their companies worth billions?

Even famous entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson have failed before succeeding.

Your education report card doesn’t map out your life… Your ideas, and decision to innovate and bring them to life without giving up does.

Simon Cowell (the music mogul) and Alan Sugar (entrepreneur & host of the The Apprentice UK) are examples of public figures didn’t do well school but still succeeded.

Look, I’m not saying you shouldn’t study and learn, I’m just saying that if you’re not cut out for it, it’s not the end of the world. Do what you love, and you’ll love what you do.

Besides, there are plenty of vocational courses out there & apprenticeships for a wide range of careers.

job

Tip 5) Don’t do a career simply for the money or ease of the journey

Aside from the fact that we’re facing a pandemic and our economies are dwindling, choosing a career based on the salary isn’t the wisest move because if you’re a talented footballer but decide against pursuing the career before choosing something more “realistic”, you might live to regret it.

As a former journalist, I did a lot of internships and writing for free before I started earning. I’m not ashamed of it. It taught me a lot, I got to experience things I never would’ve without it.

My first job in writing was for Archant (covering the London boroughs), I stayed on for seven years… In that time, I did a bunch of writing for underground student online magazines too before landing roles at HuffPost, Closer & T3.

If my pursue of journalism was for the money, it wouldn’t have got me far. It takes a lot of patience and pursuing unpaid/intern experience before you land your big break. Be prepared.

job

Tip 6) Consider the option of someday turning your hobby into a full-time job

… but do it wisely and gradually.

I’m not saying quit your day job and commit by becoming self-employed. What I’m saying is, start it up as a side business.

That way, have a stable job and income whilst earning that little extra from your hobby.

Say for example you’re an artist: paint and sell it on. The better you get, the higher you can charge when selling them on – paving the way for setting up your own gallery/business.

Your motto should be: keep grinding, and you’ll get there.

Another way to do it is by saving a chunk of your paycheck each month (or when feasible) from day-job, and put it towards your side-business.

Eventually, you will have enough to stay afloat if you decide take the plunge – but: only take the plunge when you have a good clientele or are financially stable. Because taking a risk like that too soon has its downfalls.

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Free Apps Providing Mental Health Services

Mental Health Services

Useful numbers for mental health support:

United kingdom 🇬🇧 116 123

United states 🇺🇸 1-800-273-8255

Canada 🇨🇦 1 800 456 4566

Ireland 🇮🇪 116 123

Philippines 🇵🇭 2919

Australia 🇦🇺 131 114

In light of the “Tier 4” – aka second full lockdown in the UK – I am back with a list of FREE apps providing mental health services to help manage mood, and suss out triggers before they spiral out of control into a full depressive/anxious episode.

I think mental health is just as important – if not more so – than physical health. Unfortunately, counselling is expensive, unlike physical health support, provided by the NHS.

(Yes, mental health support is offered by the NHS, but I can imagine that there are long waiting lists for this)

In a global pandemic, which is crushing the economy, less people are likely to afford seeking it privately.

So, I’ve scoured the App Store to bring you FREE apps that aim to support you through this pandemic, keeping you headstrong.

Mental Health Services

DISCLAIMER: Apps alone are not and should not be used as a replacement for actual therapy. Please arrange a doctors appointment, as only a mixture of medication, therapy and use of these apps below can successfully treat the problem.

Let’s dive in…

Apps that provide free mental health services

Mental Health Services

CBT Tools for Healthy Living, Self-Help Mood Diary

(FREE TO USE ON ANDROID)

This app offers users the opportunity to keep track of their moods by logging their information into a diary. As I explained above, this app is completely FREE and available on the Android Play store.

Downloaders of this app can monitor their moods and activities which could help to determine triggers for mental health blocks &/or emotional instability.

I think this app is vital for those who are looking to gain a better handle on their mental health, and to take back control. Yes, mental health is uncontrollable at the worst of times, but this app assists by allowing you to keep a record, which you can look back on in a bid to pinpoint triggers.

There are some great self-help tips to take advantage of on there also.

Mental Health Services

Side By Side by the Mind Charity

(FREE TO USE ON ANDROID & APPLE)

Okay, so lockdown is very isolating and depressing. For those who have tragically lost family members, friends and even jobs due to Covid, Christmas is going to be a very lonely time…

‘Side by Side’ is like that little light at the end of the tunnel. Although it’s not the same as face-to-face human interaction, this free app is a supportive virtual community brought to you by Mind Charity (one of the largest mental health charities in the UK).

Users can share their stories with the promise of being heard, whilst also listening to others’ stories. Users can bond over similar experiences, make friends and feel like they’re part of a community.

Best of all: it’s free to use.

Mental Health Services

MindShift

(FREE TO USE ON APPLE & ANDROID)

This is an anxiety-busting CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) app designed with young people in mind. Whether you’re a youth or young adult, this app has everything you need to get through the anxious phases we endure on a daily basis.

Anxiety wears many hats and has many faces, it comes in many different forms – sometimes we’re even unable to recognise it. Well, you can rest assured it can be treated with the right help. Starting with this app.

MindShift is a great stress-reliever, and a teacher of relaxation. It’s also packed with insightful tips to help us develop more helpful ways of thinking.

Sometimes, all we need is a list of strategies that we can re-visit at a later date, which will help us overcome our anxieties. A list of these are as follows:

  1. exam anxiety
  2. perfectionism
  3. social anxiety
  4. performance/work-related anxiety
  5. worry
  6. panic
  7. conflict

Rest in the assurance that if you’re suffering from any of the above, MindShift is the one for you.

Again: this is FREE to download onto your smartphone.

Mental Health Services

Mood Tools

(FREE TO USE ON ANDROID)

This app is great for monitoring our mood like all others before and after it, but one thing I also love about it is that users can test themselves by taking the PHQ-9 Depression questionnaire. This is the same or similar to the ones given out in counselling sessions. Although we hate taking them at the time, there’s no denying that they help in showing our progress.

I also love this app because it has a video section, pre-loaded with plenty of content of anything from mood-lifting to guided meditations and enlightening TED talks.

As with many other apps out there (many of which are listed in this blog), this app has a thought diary, manual activity tracking (help with identifying triggers), information on self-help – but also a Safety Plan – support with suicide prevention.

Mental Health Services

SAM Self-help for Anxiety Management

(FREE TO USE ON APPLE & ANDROID)

SAM helps to understand and manage anxiety better.

You’ll learn how to better pinpoint causes of your anxiety, whilst also discovering new self-help exercises that you can practice offline.

Social Cloud is a private and confidential social-media forum where you can anonymously discuss your mental health journey with others, in a safe space.

SAM is an app that was developed as a result of a project run by the research team of Bristol’s UWE.

Mental Health Services

Silvercloud

(FREE TO USE ON APPLE & ANDROID)

Silvercloud is brilliant too in its own right. This app offers an array of supportive and interactive programmes, whilst giving out free tools and practices we can implement to solve our behavioural health issues.

I know we shouldn’t do it, but I always have a favourite, and this app is mine.

There is a programme for everything on this app… Anything from:

  1. well-being
  2. life balance
  3. time management
  4. communication skills
  5. goal setting, relationship & communication management
  6. anger management
  7. stress management
  8. relaxing and sleep management
Mental Health Services

Happier

(FREE TO USE ON APPLE)

Introducing the app which is best at helping us live in the present. If you’re like me, and are stuck in the future (or like others can get stuck in the past), this app is the one for you.

This app has its fair share of motivational quotes that keep us going. Also, I absolutely love the Gratitude Journal feature on there. Record all the happy moments, and look back on them whenever you want.

This app is packed with mini-courses you can take to find the joy in today. An added bonus of this app is that you can sync it with your smartwatch to keep track of your fitness, as a healthy body helps lead to a healthy mind.

There’s also quizzes we can take to help calm ourselves, along with guided mediations. It’s an amazing app. If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod, I recommend downloading it.

Mental Health Services

Daylio

(FREE TO USE ON APPLE & ANDROID)

Another one of my favourite apps, this is a private diary app that enables you to keep a record of your moods without having to write anything. Emojis and adjectives help to say it better than words.

This app is great because you can also add note etc and keep an old school diary.

The calendar feature lets you look back on a specific day to when you wasn’t feeling too good (or the ones you were). The format of this app is said to help understand our habits better. Keep up-to-date on your activities and create patterns that will help us to become more productive.

Mental Health Services

Catch It

(FREE TO USE ON APPLE & ANDROID)

This app is brought to you by the universities of Manchester and Liverpool. Like many other apps featured in this blog post, this app works as an ongoing diary. It’s helpful to note things down if you want to better understand our moods.

I like this app because it illustrates some key principles of psychology approaches to mental health and wellbeing, specifically CBT.

Free apps that provide mental health services for eating disorders

Mental Health Services


Stay Alive

(FREE TO USE ON APPLE & ANDROID)

Suicidal prevention app that is packed with a wide range of useful information to help keep us safe, preventing suicide.

Suicidal thoughts are not easy to deal with, and this app helps you combat them. This app is also beneficial for those who sadly know someone who may be at risk of suicidal thoughts.

You may not know this, but there are study finding that link a low mental health with eating disorders.

If you’re suffering from an eating disorder, that’s probably down to underlying issues that are going on in your mental health system.

Below are a couple of free apps you can download to support you on your journey to curing your eating disorder.

Recovery Record

(FREE TO USE ON APPLE & ANDROID)

Recovery from eating disorders isn’t easy, but you sure as heck don’t need to do it alone. This app covers o& supports rehabilitation from all types of eating disorders, whether it’s anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, obsessive eating, or compulsive eating disorders.

Keep track of your meals by keeping a record, and note down your thoughts and feelings. Set up notifications to be alerted of encouragement &/or affirmation messages and meditation images.

There’s a feature which lets you set up a meal plan, and an option to set up an alarm that alerts you.

Choose a treatment team, and share your recovery record with them, so they can support you, better understanding your behavioural trends and triggers.

This app is more like a community, you will be able to connect with hundreds / thousands of people who are also on a journey of recovery from eating disorders.

Mental health services

Rise Up +

(FREE TO USE ON APPLE & ANDROID)

Rise Up + Recover is a great app for those who struggle with body image. I’ve tried pretty much all the diets and can’t seem to stick to them, so this has helped me over the years.

Similar to Recovery Record, you can log your meals, set up notifications for motivational quotes and set custom reminders. This app also offers users of the app professional treatment and support available nearby.

Coronavirus and Mental Health: The Importance of Gratitude

Coronavirus

Another post about Coronavirus and the last that I will write…

So, right now, it’s tough. I’m not the first, nor the last person that will remind you of this. I mean, it’s the hardest thing to escape. The whole world is gripped by this pandemic. The whole world is at its feet, life as we know it has ground to a halt.

The purpose of this post is to take the shine away from the three biggest problems and highlight the millions of little blessings. It’s human nature to focus on our problems as opposed to the solutions… But, now it’s more important than ever to stop.

Research shows that a weak mental health has detrimental effects to our immune system. Of course, we need a high immune system to function and beat/prevent this virus.

Let’s start being grateful for the little blessings that [in the grand scheme of things] outweigh the three of our biggest problems… The world is being forced to acclimatise to a new way of living, so we might as well change our way of thinking!

Three problems we face because of Coronavirus

  1. Coronavirus fear of catching & spreading it.
  2. Being restricted from the outside world – bad mental health and/or being in a domestically toxic household.
  3. Not seeing our loved ones in person.

And now for a list of all the things we have to be thankful and grateful for, everyday blessings we forget to focus on or even take for granted…

Three things to be grateful for since Coronavirus

  1. Good health. We ourselves are not suffering from the complications of Coronavirus.
  2. Healthcare. First world countries have the best healthcare. The NHS in England is doing an amazing job all things considered… Also, it’s still possible for us to contact our GP and pharmacy via phone, or have things delivered to our home address.
  3. Waking up every morning. Think of all those not making it through the night, not just because of Coronavirus, but every other disease and/or natural causes.
  4. Breathing!? The people who are sadly and tragically suffering from the worst strain of Coronavirus and/or pneumonia can’t even do this unaided…
  5. A roof over our heads. Homelessness isn’t eradicated because of this virus… There are still people out there with no home.
  6. Food on the table. People in third world countries are suffering from hunger as well as Coronavirus. Our supermarkets might be limited, but there is still stock. It’s still possible for us to get the basics of what we need.
  7. Our jobs – even if furloughed. We can work from home or if not (in case of furlough) there is still money coming in. There are people out there that are sadly jobless.
  8. Technology. We live in a time when we can FaceTime our loved ones, and this helps us feel less alone.
  9. Home gardens/balconies. There are people out there that don’t have a garden at home and can’t enjoy the summer weather that the UK has been getting.
  10. Avoidance of natural disasters. Speaking of the weather, do you know how lucky we are not to be in a country that is being torn to shreds by bushfires, earthquakes, typhoons or hurricanes?
  11. Avoidance of war. Do you know how lucky we are to not be in a war-torn country while all this is going on?
  12. Having self-isolation buddies/housemates. There are people out there that are self-isolating alone, have nobody to speak to and watch TV or eat at the dining table with.
  13. Saving finances. We are all saving so much by not having to travel and get lunch at work. Also, any holidays, festivals or gigs we booked are being refunded or converted to credits to re-book at a later date.
  14. The ability to soul search. Now is the best time to do some soul-searching and self-discovery. There are no distractions.
  15. The ability to go out for walks to clear our heads. Most countries that experienced lockdown were locked in their houses, weren’t even allowed out for an hour or exercise. They had to carry an official note to say “leaving to pick up prescription / doctor appointment / buy items required from shopping list” or risk imprisonment or a serious fine.
  16. The free time. We have so much time on our hands to watch that boxset, read that book, study that course (more on this later), learn to cook, learn to clean, make more memories with those we live with but don’t see because of other commitments.
  17. Studying. The Open University is offering FREE courses to study anything from Maths, Science and English to Psychology, Languages and Finance in the comfort of your own home – online – at your own pace. Go find your calling!
  18. Free to do what we want, when we want (indoors). The saddest part of lockdown is that there are people out there who used to use the outdoors as an escape from indoor domestic violence. Do you know how lucky we are to be in a safe home where we are not made to feel victim?
  19. This is just temporary. This isn’t permanent. We will be reunited with our loved ones.

19 whole reasons to be grateful that I can think of… Three problems. Now do you see? Shift that thinking to change your life.

Final words on Coronavirus

Of course, there are some really awful drawbacks to lockdown that should never be ignored. Mental health and.. If you are victim of domestic violence, please visit:

UK: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/

Scotland: https://sdafmh.org.uk/

Wales: https://www.welshwomensaid.org.uk/

You are not alone.

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COVID-19: Prevention Vitamins To Boost Your Immune System

Covid-19

In a change to my usual blog posts, I wanted to write one relevant to the current situaton.

It’s a very challenging time to say the least, but I’m here to hopefully offer some advice.

What we know about COVID-19

It’s a respiratory-system attacking virus that thrives on low immune systems. The older and/or weaker your immune and respiratory systems are, the higher risk you are of contracting the more severe symptoms.

Although there is no cure or tablet to take for preventing COVID-19, there are some supplements that we can take to support our immune system.

Boosting our immune & respiratory systems against Covid-19

We’re all asking the same questions… How do we boost our immune and respiratory systems?

Vitamins. Exercise. Sleep. Essential Oils. Limiting exposure to the outside world, taking protective measure when needed.

Vitamins to take protect against Covid-19

Vitamin C – found in fruits and vegetables. In the US, some doctors treated COVID-19 patients with 1500mg Vitamin C dissolving tablets. Why? Well, Vitamin C is vital for boosting the immune system.

Here’s a news story that backs this claim

Vitamin D – can found in sunlight and supplements/spray form. Vitamin D is very important for the immune system. Flu and colds are at their weakest in summer… Why? Well, the sun is out. And, the sun is the best and main source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements are vital during the winter and autumn months, as they keep flues and colds at bay.

Here’s an article that supports this point

Omega 3, 6, 9 – you can get Omega 3, 6, 9 from fish and Cod Liver Oil. Beware: Cod Liver Oil capsules tend to lead to a reflux, which brings the fish oil back up… Gross!

For more information on taking fish oil supplements during this Coronavirus pandemic, click here

Zinc – found in fish, some vegetables, beans/pulses, seeds and some nuts. It supports the growth and development of healthy immune cells. The healthier the immune cells, the better the likelihood of beating or preventing this virus.

Find out more about the benefits of zinc by clicking here

Vitamin B Complex – Vitamin B helps the body make new red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. It also helps keep the immune system strong. Biotin is essential for healthy hair, nails, and nerve function.

More information on Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection. Foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds and spinach.

Read all about vitamin E

Vitamin A – new research suggests that vitamin A helps the immune system ‘forget’ past infections, supports to build immunity, and leads to a more tolerant immune system lessening likelihood of infection.

Vitamin A – the benefits

All these supplements, although not proven to cure or prevent coronavirus itself have been proven to increase and strengthen the immune system. According to what we know, a strong immune system is what we need to fight this virus. It’s a no-brainer really…

Other ways to protect against Covid-19

Covid-19

Exercise

Do a home video, or go out for a walk/run… Move more where and when possible.

Covid-19

Sleep

Sleep for eight hours, and sleep deeply. Having problems doing this? Spraying lavender oil on pillows before sleeping helps. Also, practice sleep hygiene.

covid-19

Essential Oils

Essential Oils? Oregano oil and doTERRA Onguard.

Having regular steam baths help. Infusing essential oils into a steam bath (bowl of boiling water), stand with head over it, placing a towel over your head as you inhale helps to support, clear the respiratory system, cleansing it of any blockages.

Covid-19

Limit going outside

Don’t go out for picnics or to celebrate 420. Go out for walks or to get food. But, wear gloves and masks while out, to protect yourself.

Please stay safe, stay well and stay blessed. Special thanks to those at the front-line from retail employees who stack our supermarket shelves, to the medics that treat us and delivery people that deliver our parcels. Without them, it’d be much, much worse.

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