Five Signs To Dump A Friend | Toxic Friendship Masterclass

If you’ve stumbled across this little blog before, you might have noticed that I am majorly into self-care, self-development and all of that wonderful stuff. I mean we spend more time with ourselves then anyone else so we might as well make sure we’re in a good place, right?

However, as much as we can rely on ourselves for a lot of things, there are also some people we like to hold close. Friendships can be such a life-altering thing, for both the better and the worse. Of course the intention is to connect with people who enhance our lives, but sometimes along the way we end up picking up people who may do the complete opposite.

We’ve probably all been in a situation like this and it can be so draining! If you’re anything like me, then your friendships have probably taken a long time to create so you may feel hesitant to dump someone.

As well as this, there’s also a ridiculous idea that because we’ve spent a lot of years with someone, or have shared some good memories or whatever, that we need to stick with these people forever. But I think it’s just as important to consider the fact that things might be not working anymore and that it’s time to move on.

If you’re not sure whether it’s that time for you, here are five signs a friendship is toxic and is therefore unnecessary:

IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THEM

Now we all love to talk about ourselves. It’s just a simple fact of human nature. But a sure-fire way of discovering if a friendship is toxic is if it’s always about the other person. They never ask how you’re doing, or what you’ve been up to. They basically don’t ask anything at all, unless it’s to benefit themselves. They will unashamedly turn every conversation onto them and make sure that their’s is the only voice to be heard.

THERE’S A LOT OF TAKING, BUT NO GIVING

Friendships, like every relationship you’ll ever have, should be a two-way thing. You both should share the attention, the conversation and the responsibilities. But in a toxic relationship, it seems to always be you doing the giving. You can put your heart and soul into ensuring that this person is okay, comfortable and has everything they need without ever receiving the smallest of things back – not even gratitude. Of course, you don’t do things for your friends because you want good things back, but it should be a give/take situation and not one-sided.

THEY’RE JEALOUS / DO NOT SUPPORT

I’m sure we’ve all been in this situation. You’ve finally got that job/grade/partner that you’ve been wanting for so long; your first instinct is to share the good news with your nearest and dearest. But how they react is key to discovering their true intentions. If you’re in a friendship where the other person is never happy for you, or acts bitter about the fact you have something that they don’t, then please leave immediately.

Of course, being jealous is a totally normal reaction at times and it’s not a feeling that makes you a bad person. Friends will be jealous of each other sometimes! But it’s how that emotion impacts your connection that’s key. A toxic friend will allow the bitterness to get in the way of your relationship and may try to hinder your chances. They will not support you on your journey, like you do them, and that’s not fair.

THEY’RE ACTUALLY A BULLY

Now bullying may seem like an obvious sign that a friendship needs to end, but that’s only if you recognise that it’s going on in the first place. And take my word for it, bullying can sometimes be hard to spot! Especially now with this trend of brutal banter and name calling within groups, it can be difficult to spot where the jokes end and the meanness kicks in.

But like I’ve already mentioned, it’s about the giving and the taking. If you’re both having a laugh and taking the micky out of each other then that’s brill. However, if it feels a bit one-sided and maybe a bit too cruel then you need to consider if this is the kind of friend you want around. For example, if you’re always the butt of the joke or they attack things that are actually quite sensitive to you.

A real friend should understand where the line is, and if they decide to cross it constantly without an apology then maybe you shouldn’t be spending your time with them.

THEY’RE SUPER PESSIMISTIC

We can all get down sometimes. And with the way the world is currently, a lot of conversations we might be having with our friends aren’t going to be the happiest. But a clear sign that a friend is toxic is if they’re always pessimistic.

For them, there is never a silver lining – there is never another side to the story. They are constantly trying to bring you down and remind you of all of the bad things that have or will happen. Being a pessimist in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but constantly dragging other people down with bad views is. A true friend should try to lift you up and support you, not bring you down and make you feel bad.


I really wanted to tackle this subject for a little while now, so I’ve decided to do a mini series about it. Toxic friendships are kind of a popular topic at the moment and I’m so glad, because without this trend I wouldn’t have noticed them in my own life.

I hope this helps you in some way. And as hard as it may be to take the initial steps to dump a friend, it’s going to be so worth it in the long run. Your time is too precious and your mental health is too important to waste on people who make you feel bad.

Do you have any experience of toxic friendships? What other signs are there?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

Advertisements

Current Skincare Routine: Glossier UK Review

Despite my love for all things beauty, I have never had a proper skincare routine. My skincare for the past six years or so has just included the cheapest items I could find, because my God can skincare be expensive!

However, I recently decided to properly treat myself and bought a selection of things from Glossier. Glossier is a pretty new brand, I believe, from the US that have just recently started shipping to the UK – hence why every beauty blogger you might have encountered has gone crazy for the stuff. I normally get excited by hypes, but can never join in as the brands are usually so expensive. But now I’m in a point in my life where I am receiving a regular wage and just wanted to do something nice for myself, because why not?

I was genuinely surprised by the prices of Glossier. They are by no means as cheap as I am used to, but after having a look around their beautifully designed site, I was excited. I could actually try some of these things!

What I really liked about Glossier is the fact that their whole brand is based around simplicity. If you’re also a beauty fan you might understand what I mean when I say that cosmetics can be so confusing sometimes! There’s so many lotions and potions for different things, that somehow sound the same but aren’t. I for one get very overwhelmed, which is another factor into why I’ve never branched away from my discounted products.

So imagine my joy upon discovering Glossier, who’s philosophy is to bring beauty back to simplicity. All of their products are designed to simply enhance what you already have.

Glossier

Skin first. Makeup second

THE PRODUCTS

I decided to purchase the Phase 1 set , which is a collection of their three main skincare items.

Glossier.2.jpg

  • milky jelly cleanser
  • priming moisturiser
  • balm dot com (birthday)

Apparently you save £8 when buying them all as a set, which totals at £35. Now this sounds like a lot of money, I know, for three items, but considering each one is around £18 I thought I’d give the bundle a go.

You can see the details here

Note: I need to say I was super impressed with the shipping! It was free as I’d spent more than £25 and came exactly five days after ordering (the shipping rate is 3-5 days). Brill!

THE REVIEW

For the record I have normal/combination skin. I occasionally suffer with dry patches on my cheeks, especially during this time of year, and have a slightly oily t-zone. My skin, like everyone’s I feel, is also breakout prone although I no longer suffer with acne.

These products have not broken me out, which is amazing. I am always worried when trying something new that my skin will throw a fit. But after weeks of using them regularly I have not suffered once.

The cleanser does have a slightly floral scent to it, which worried me at first, but it is incredibly gentle and leaves my skin feel hydrated and fresh. I have not tried using it solely as a makeup remover, but it can be used for this apparently. I’m not sure how it would tackle waterproof mascara and the like, but I feel like it would do a decent job at getting rid of your face makeup at least.

My favourite product by far, however, is the priming moisturiser. Now I have never really gotten on well with any moisturisers, as I find that they often leave my skin greasy and shiny. I would definitely never use one prior to applying makeup. However, the priming moisturiser in this set is designed to be a base for ‘makeup and/or life’ (which is cute as, don’t you think?) and let me tell you, I am in love with it!

Primer.jpg

It is honestly such a wonderful base and helps keep my makeup looking fresh for around three hours. For me, that is a miracle. My makeup only lasts around an hour even with a primer and setting spray. But when I used this moisturiser, I was overjoyed to see that even my highlighter and blusher still remained hours later!

THE CONCLUSION

Overall I am chuffed with my purchase from Glossier. I think they are an incredibly modern and attractive brand (I mean, take a look at that packaging!) that lives up to the hype. I think it’s because they are so simple. My skin doesn’t have to deal with too many conflicting products, which can be a problem sometimes. Basically I was genuinely so surprised with everything, from the shipping to the quality. And amazingly they are cruelty-free too!

I’d say if you fancy trying Glossier, you won’t be disappointed. Of course I’m not saying it’ll work for everyone but I am currently a very happy customer!


Will you be trying out these products?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

*Please note this post was not sponsored (duh). I paid for everything with my own, hard-earned money and all opinion are my own.

How To Look After Yourself During Autumn/Winter

This is my absolute favourite time of the year. The dark nights and colder weather makes everyone just want to huddle up, drink hot drinks and spend a lot of time indoors and considering this is how I like to spend all of my time, there is no surprise that autumn /winter is when I’m in my element.

Having said that, this time of year is also often the worse for my mental state. It’s taken me quite a while to recognise the patterns, but it turns out that the things I love the most about this season are also the things that cause the most issues within myself.

The dark nights, although perfect for huddling indoors and getting an early night, make the days feel shorter meaning I feel like I have less time to just be. Not to mention a lack of Vitamin D and fresh air – who wants to go outside when it’s cold, dark and damp? – there’s no wonder that my mental health takes a kicking.

I love autumn/winter because it allows and encourages me to fall into the habits that make me comfortable – like staying at home, drinking too much caffeine and basically staying still for days on end – but I’m beginning to accept that it can also be problematic and I need to start taking better care of myself.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like this. Online it seems like everyone and their mothers has a love affair with this season, so we’re constantly only ever seeing the good things. And although this is fun and a nice pick-me-up, there are times when we need to get real and make self-care a priority.

So as much as I am willing to throw myself into the festivities that are happening all around us right now, I am also going to start taking some time out to look after myself. Here’s what I’ll be trying:

GETTING OUTSIDE MORE + EXERCISE

It can be so hard to get outside during this season, especially if you live in a cold environment. The damp weather and dark skies are such a deterrent to trying to enjoy the outside world. Like most people our age, I have an obsession with social media and everything online which often leads to me spending the majority of my time indoors attached to a screen. And as much fun as I have doing this, I know how beneficial taking a break and being outdoors can be.

For me, the beach is my happy place. I love nothing more than going for a walk along the coast and just being by the waves. And funnily enough, the colder climates are often my favourite time to be by the sea as it creates some dramatic scenery.

Yet I still put myself off going because it’s too cold, or I’m too tired and so on, which then results in me falling into a rut. I think we could all do with making some serious effort to get outside more in our free time. Take a walk in your local park or if you’re close enough go to the beach. Just make sure you get a few hours outside, with nature and fresh air. You’ll be so surprised with how much of a difference it actually makes.

EAT SOME VEGGIES

One of the main reasons behind my love for autumn/winter is the food. Honestly, I am such a foodie and this season, with it’s various holidays and festivities, is the best time for all that. It suddenly becomes totally acceptable to each chocolate 24/7 and now that summer’s over it seems like all that horrible shaming diet talk disappears a little.

Now believe me when I say I go to town with all that. And as much fun as that is, after days or weeks without eating some decent food or drinking enough water, both my mental and physical health takes a kicking.

The way you eat and what you choose to eat is none of my business, but I’m just putting it out there as a little reminder for us all to try to include some decent (as in vegetables) food into our meals as often as we can. It can make such a difference to how we feel and I often forget that.

Unknown.3

SOCIALISING (WITHOUT ALCOHOL)

With Christmas coming up, this season is often full of social gatherings and opportunities to meet up with loved ones. Unfortunately a lot of these gatherings, if you’re in circles like I am, often revolve around alcohol.

Now I’ve never discussed alcohol on this blog before, but I know that it can be a massive detriment to my mental health and I know I’m not alone in that. It can be hard this season to spend time with friends or family, without a cheeky bottle of bubbly popping up. Of course people are in the celebrating mood but if you feel overwhelmed, make an effort to meet up with friends in ways that don’t involved a drink.

Go to the cinema, see a panto or even have a really nice meal. Of course drink may be involved in some way here, but make sure that it isn’t the main attraction. Take the time to actually have conversations and catch up; ask them how they think this year’s gone for them and get all reflective. Drinking can be fun, but if you’re wanting take extra care of yourself try to avoid it.

BEING HONEST

Alongside meeting up with friends to have genuine conversations, take time this season to be honest. If you’re like me, then you hate to admit when you’re struggling or just having a bad day. I like to think I can take care of myself and I don’t need help from anyone. Which may be the case, sometimes. But I also need support sometimes too.

As we often spend more time with our friends and families this season, like I said at social gatherings or even just as we all huddle indoors for warmth, we might as well make the effort to be honest with them. Let them know how you’re feeling, ask them how they’re doing. Create a safe and open environment where you can discuss serious topics. If we’re all spending a lot of time together then we might as well be honest, right?

EMBRACING THE SEASON

And finally, although it has it’s issues, this still is a wonderful time of the year. Sometimes, no matter what’s going on, you just need to throw yourself into the festivities and embrace what’s going on in the moment. Use the joy and happiness of the upcoming holidays to distract yourself. Or simply use it as an excuse to take some time out to wrap yourself up in a blanket burrito and watch Netflix.

Of course, everything in moderation so ensure that you do get outside and talk to people but sometimes you just need an evening to yourself and now is the perfect time for it.


Do you have any self-care tips? Also, what’s your favourite season?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

The Perfect Night In: Five Creepy Films For People Who Hate Gore

Halloween isn’t really a holiday that I celebrate (hence the lack of posts around it) but as I mentioned in my last film guide, there is just something about this time of year that makes me want to huddle up and watch films all day long.

Now Halloween can be a difficult time for people, like me, who are a bit squeamish and feel nervous around gory things. As interested as I am in the latest horror flick to hit the screens, I often have to miss out as they make me uncomfortable.

If you’re feeling like you can relate, here are five creepy films that will definitely thrill without making you feel ill!

Please note I have a preference for cheesy, classic thrillers so you’ll definitely have heard of these before.

THE OTHERS

Set in a big country manor in the middle of nowhere, this paranormal thriller is exactly my cup of tea. If you’ve not seen it before, prepare yourself for a wonderfully cheesy but quite clever twist. It’s creepy but there is no gore to be seen.

THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT

I know this low-budget film is kind of seen as a joke now, but I still genuinely really like it. I have this thing about hand-held camera films though. Maybe it’s because I feel safe with them, as no matter how creepy they get I know how it’s all going to end. It’s predictable and a bit detail-heavy at points, but still a good one to get you in the Halloween spirit.

SIXTH SENSE

Yet another classic/ridiculed film! Are you getting what my film taste is now? I’ll admit if you’re really bad with gore then maybe give this one a miss, as there are some minor elements to it. For the most part though it just relies on tension and the odd jump scare to get you in the creepy mood.

INSIDIOUS (3)

I’ve seen all of the three of these movies and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with them all! With newer horror films I am always concerned that they will be filled with gruesome scenes, meaning I can’t watch them. But these are paranormal based with nothing too traumatising at all.  I’ve highlighted the final one in the trilogy as it’s my favourite, and genuinely one of the best thrillers I’ve ever seen.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

Finally, this is another ridiculous film series but I still enjoy them. Again, it’s that hand-held camera thing – it just gets to me. Despite initial rumours, there is no gore in this one. It simply relies on tension and a little bit of boredom to get you feeling all spooked.


So that’s how I’ll be spending my night. What are you up to this Halloween?

Happy Haunting!

Speak soon,

Rachael.

Six Movies For A Family – Friendly Halloween

Alright, so I know that most people have been out this weekend celebrating all things spooky, meaning this post may seem a little late and irrelevant now but Halloween still hasn’t arrived. And maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about this whole season with it’s dark nights and cold weather, that makes me want to wrap myself up in a blanket and watch movies with loved ones.

So if you’re on the same general wavelength or you fancy getting a little festive this week, tuck yourself up, grab a cuppa and watch one of these family-friendly flicks:

Corpse Bride

This Tim Burton classic is an obvious favourite for Halloween. It’s a film I used to watch constantly as a kid. With a mixture of music, comedy and a little bit of the feels it’s a wonderful one to watch no matter your age.

Casper

This film is basically nostalgia central for me and one of my absolute childhood favourites. I mean, who can resist Casper the friendly ghost?!

I’ll admit the scene where the dad is looking in the mirror after being messed around with by the three uncles freaked me out completely when I was little, but thankfully that doesn’t have the same effect, like, a decade later.

Frankinweenie

This is such an underated Disney film I feel! It’s a quirky but heartwarming story about the friendship between a young boy and his dog. Of course, with Tim Burton involved, things get a little spooky when the young boy tries to bring his dog back to life.

Monster House

Renowned for it’s double entendre gags, this film was a complete surprise hit for me. It’s a little bit creepy with it’s twists and turns, but overall it’s very funny and definitely something to get stuck into.

Casper Meets Wendy

I’ve never really heard many people mention this movie online and I just can’t understand why. Starring an incredibly young Hilary Duff, this is an adorable story of a lonely witch who makes friends with Casper, our favourite friendly ghost, despite the ongoing rivalry among all things supernatural. Definitely a hit for younger viewers (and old!)

Coraline

And finally, I feel like no Halloween list would be complete without Coraline! This film still genuinely scares me, even though I’m now technically an adult. It’s an interesting story and wonderfully produced, but there’s something about those buttons that freaks me right out. Definitely keep your pillows near by for this one!


What will you be watching this Halloween?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

Dealing With A Bad Mental Health Day At Work

For the past few months my mental health hasn’t been in the best of places. With dealing with my graduation and impending ‘adult life’; starting a new job and some illnesses and issues within my family, things have gotten on top of me a bit and it’s been evident to everyone around me. Including my new colleagues.

I’m usually the kind of person who tries to keep everything under control and under wraps, but lately I just haven’t been able to hide whatever’s going on. So imagine my shock and embarrassment as I went into work yesterday (which was a better day) and was greeted with sarky comments on my improved attitude.

“Oh, so you’ve decided to talk to us today have you?” 

Now I know my colleagues weren’t commenting from a place of hatred or being deliberately mean. They were simply making a comment. And I guess I’m glad that I’m now in the kind of work environment where people notice what’s going on and will take time to ask how you’re feeling.

But that didn’t stop me feeling a bit embarrassed about my obvious bad attitude over the past few weeks and got me thinking about how I should handle it in the future.

Now I’ve spoken about self-care a few times on this blog, and I love that it is a popular topic elsewhere online. But even though it’s a topic I talk about a lot, I still struggle with it – especially when I’m going to work a lot and have to deal with my issues while still being present for my employer.

Following this conversation yesterday, and in an attempt to pick myself back up again, I’ve come up with a couple of ways to deal with a bad mental health day when you’re at work and can’t just huddle in bed like you’d want to.

FORGIVE YOURSELF 

Whatever happens today, when you’re at work, you need to forgive yourself for it. Treat yourself like you’d treat your best friend or a loved one. If they came to you and said that they were having a bad mental health day and subsequently had a bad day at work, what would you do?

You certainly wouldn’t shame them or make them feel any worse. You’d (hopefully!) be kind and compassionate. So why shouldn’t you treat yourself the same way?

Unknown.2.jpg

USE YOUR BREAKS

Although there isn’t much you can do at work to try to make yourself feel better, as you’re too busy doing your actual job, most workplaces are entitled to a break of sorts.

It is absolutely vital on a bad mental health day that you make the most of your break. In fact I’d say it’s vital everyday, but I know how things can be. However when you’re feeling low, make sure you use your lunch break to maybe get out of your work environment – even if it’s just for a walk around the block. Use this time to have a calming cup of tea and eat something nutritious and yummy.

If you don’t get official breaks at work, ask a manager if you can take 10 or so minutes uninterrupted away from the shop floor. Bloody hell, even just take yourself to the loos and sit in there for five minutes! Just allow yourself some quiet time.

BE HONEST 

If you’re really struggling to handle work today, pull aside a trusted colleague or, better yet, speak to someone higher up and be honest with them about how you’re feeling and express what’s going on.

I understand how hard this may be, but if you’re really having a bad day letting those around you know is incredibly useful. This will help them understand why you may not be performing at your best which in turn may give you some peace of mind. Mental health is still something of a ‘new’ topic for workplaces, especially those I have experienced, but by being honest and expressing what you need together we can change attitudes and the way things are handled.

HOME TIME = TIME FOR SELF CARE

Regardless of how many breaks you manage to get throughout the day, it’s likely that you’ve not really had any time for some serious self care. Once you’re home, make sure you take looking after yourself as a priority.

If you have plans for after work and don’t feel up to them, cancel. Although there still maybe things you need to get done in the evening just take it slow. Start your self-care routine the minute you get home. Things to include could be:

  • A long hot bath
  • Several cups of tea (decaff if you’re feeling anxious!)
  • Watching your favourite TV show/Youtuber for a few hours
  • Cooking yourself a decent meal. This can be whatever you feel like you need, but if you’ve been low for a while try include some greens (note to self). If you need comfort, carbs are you’re best friend!
  • Have an early night

Check out my Emergency Self Care Checklist for more ideas

START AFRESH  

And finally, despite everything that may have happened today, tomorrow is a new one. Take this evening to look after yourself, seek some motivation and inspiration so you’re ready to tackle tomorrow.

I’m aware mental health issues don’t just go away, but I know how much of an impact your overall attitude can have on your day regardless. By taking some time out this evening to support yourself, you will hopefully feel in a better mindset to deal with tomorrow.


How do you cope with a bad day at work? I’d really like to hear your advice!

Speak soon,

Rachael.

The ‘Quarter-Life Crisis’ Book Haul: A Showcase

As I’ve already discussed I have recently graduated from university and I am currently still trying to get into the swing of a new life. I’m living with my parents again, in my childhood home, and I have recently started a new job. There’s a lot of things I’m trying to wrap my head around.

What’s a bookworm to do when there’s all this going on?

You already know how much I love books and how much I have relied on them in the past to allow me to escape, figure things out and so on. So it seems kind of obvious that I’ve been buying a lot of them! However, this time around I’m returning to some of my old childhood favourites- because is it really a life crisis if you aren’t stuck in the past?

Here’s a handful of the books I picked up on a recent second-hand shop and, as you’ll be able to tell, the majority of them are children’s. But for 10p each, how could I resist?

Main.jpg

Pictured
Cookie: Jacqueline Wilson

Opal Plumstead: Jacqueline Wilson

The Longest Whale Song: Jacqueline Wilson

Animals: Emma Jane Unsworth

Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging: Louise Rennison

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: J.K Rowling

Now the odd one out in this list is, of course, Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth which I picked up purely for the quote by Caitlin Moran on the front. I love Caitlin’s work and thought I might as well trust her opinion. Plus it was only 10p!

I might have mentioned it before but Jacqueline Wilson was my favourite author growing up and whenever I find one her books that I don’t own, going cheap I have to buy them. Yes I’m twenty one, but I’m sure I’ll still give them a go.

And finally, I picked up was it probably at least, my third copy of Harry Potter. I have owned this book a couple of times in my life but (prepare yourself kids) I have never read any of them!

As a kid I missed out on the whole hype as my brother and I weren’t really interested. But recently I have started watching the films with my boyfriend and I wanted to give the books a try to see what I’ve been missing.

Childrens.jpg

Yes, the crisis is definitely in full swing! But I’m going to really enjoy reliving my younger days with these books and getting lost in all the nostalgia.


What was your favourite childhood book? Do you ever revisit it?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

Emergency Self-Care: A Checklist

Self- care is a big topic online nowadays and although it is one of my favourite trends to have ever hit our screens (an open conversation about looking after yourself? Yes please!) it can be trivialised or even glamorised at times.

There are some times when having a Lush bath and pampering yourself just won’t do. Or maybe it will do but you need so much more too! In desperate times of need there are certain things that I’ve found can help me centre myself, relax and attempt to move forward and I thought I’d share them with you today.

Please note: if you are desperately struggling and things feel too much, please speak to a professional. There are useful links at the end. 

  • Make a cup of tea
  • Brush your teeth
  • Get up from where you are and go to a different room
  • Drink a pint of water
  • Wash your face
  • Have a body shower
  • Write it down
  • Eat something
  • Play music
  • Have a nap
  • Watch TV
  • Tell someone how you’re feeling
  • Go for a quick walk around the block
  • Have a hug with a trusted person

Whenever you feel like you need it, return to this list and see what you can do to help yourself right now.

I’m aware that some of these acts may seem a little trivial, but these are the immediate things I turn to when I’m in need and they have instant results. I know they will not cure you but they may make things a little easier, a little more bearable in the moment.

Unknown


What do you to turn to when you need self-care?

I hope this helped. If you do need further support, please check out the links below.

Speak soon,

Rachael


Materials:

(Inspiration) Emergency Self Care: Lucy Moon

What is Self-Care Anyway? (useful links in here too)

Questions to Ask Yourself When You Feel Bad:  Muchelle B

(Useful Links)

7 Cups: Free online therapy/listening service

The Samaritans: 116 123 (UK)

Mind: The Mental Health Charity

 

A Bargain Book Haul: Showcase

Like I mentioned in this post I’ve been buying a few books here and there to celebrate the fact I have more time to read now I’m a graduate. Today I thought I’d showcase my latest purchases, because who doesn’t love a good book haul?

I find that book hauls are a great way to see what other people’s tastes are, get recommendations as well as just seeing what’s out there right now. So without further ado, here are the books I’ve bought recently.

Featured

I’m going to divide this post up through the places I bought the books. 

THE WORKS

The Works.jpg

I love the Works. It’s a chain bargain stationary/bookstore here in the UK and one has recently opened up in my city centre. They always have an offer on for three books for a fiver and after an admittedly long browse, I came away with these.

I’ve already read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell and have just recently abandoned Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard, which I think is a good indication of how that went!

Admittedly, I bought the third book, Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, just to make up the five pound deal which is probably why I haven’t got round to trying it yet. But this is one of her most current books, I believe, and I have heard good things about the author so I’m hoping it’ll be canny. If you’ve read it, please let me know your thoughts.

AMAZON

Amazon.jpg

Just one purchase from Amazon this time. This is the first book in the series by Victoria Aveyard. As you can tell, I picked up the second book in The Works and didn’t realise until I got home. I picked up this one for cheap on Amazon so I could get into it, and I’ve already read it.

If I’m totally honest, I’m not sure how I feel about this series and as I’ve already explained I’ve just given up getting through Glass Sword.

SECOND HAND

SecondHand.jpg

I explained in this post how much I love purchasing second hand books from markets and charity shops. I managed to get a couple of interesting reads from a local market and charity shops, including this signed copy of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell!

Signed.jpg

I recently read Red Hill by Jamie Mcguire, which is a book I heard of from booktube. I had read her popular new adult book, Beautiful Disaster last year and wasn’t too impressed but this one sounded interesting and I wanted to try it. It basically follows a zombie apocalypse and how those surviving manage. Sadly, I wasn’t too impressed with this one either but it was a fun read.

God, there’s not many good reviews going on here is there?

I picked up a couple of the Peguin Little Black Classics from a market stall for sixty pence. There were loads to chose from, but I finally decided on A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin, a collection of short stories which I have read, and Leonardo Da Vinci by Giorgio Vasari, which seems to be a bit of history about three celebrated Renaissance Artists.

I picked up the Kate Chopin one based on one of my favourite Youtubers justkissmyfrog. The Awakening by Kate Chopin is one of her favourite books and I wanted to try something by this author. I picked up Leonardo Da Vinci as I went to a press preview during my second year of university for an exhibition of his drawings at a local gallery and have been curious about him ever since.

TESCO

Tesco.jpg

Supermarkets are a surprisingly brilliant place to pick up new releases, and for really cheap to! I picked up these two when I was visiting my boyfriend.

One Of Us Is Lying, by Karen M. McManus is always being advertised to me on Instagram and I’ll admit that I am very intrigued by the title so I had to pick it up the minute I saw it there.

Amazingly, books at Tesco are often in a two for seven pounds deal so it would have been rude not to pick up The Power by Naomi Alderman as well! I’ve heard a bit of hype around this books and the quote from Margaret Atwood on the front sold it to me. I recently read The Handmaid’s Tale and loved it, so of course I wanted to see what she was interested in!

There we have it, those are my recent bargain book purchases. I love buying books and I love getting a bargain while I’m at it.


Have you picked up any good books lately? Get in touch and let me know, I’d love to hear your recommendations.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

 

Self- Talk: Beware Of The Stories You Tell Yourself

I talk to myself an awful lot. And I’m not kidding, I mean a lot. In fact, maybe I should be embarrassed for how many conversations I have with myself on a daily basis? I know I certainly feel that way when I talk to myself in public without realising, and meet the eyes of some unnerved stranger who totally saw the whole thing.

But then again, how am I supposed to know myself and eventually grow to love myself if I don’t have a chat with me? Talking to yourself can be an amazing release sometimes and can be a great way to psych yourself up when necessary. Unfortunately, more times than not the self-talk I give out is negative and I know I’m not alone in this.

The idea of telling yourself stories is something I first heard in this Shope Delano video (fabulous creator, must see) and was later explained in more detail in this Curly and Wordy post (yet another marvellous creator, definite must see). And even though it was laid out for me by these amazing women, and on the odd occasion elsewhere, it still took far too long for me to actually figure out what it actually meant.

Like I said, I talk to myself an awful lot. But I hadn’t realised that often it is the things I leave unsaid that cause the most issues. It’s those little beliefs of myself that I’ve created, and then clung to ever since, that cause trouble. I want to outline the stories I tell myself and how they interrupt my life, as well as seeing what ways I can change the self-talk I give myself to lead to an ultimately happier,  more content me.  Because self-care is important!

THE STORIES I TELL

“I’m an introvert, and therefore should avoid all social activities”

Learning that I am an introvert was very important for me and definitely helped me throughout my time at university. However there is a point when something stops being helpful and instead just becomes a hindrance, and my introvertism has become just that.

Although I can now accept that I actually need time alone to recharge, I find myself saying no way too often. In fact I say no so often, that there actually isn’t any need for me to take time out to recharge, as I haven’t done anything that could impact me anyway!

“I can’t trust people and, therefore, cannot have truly deep connections”

Although I do often struggle to trust people initially and like to take my time building connections before getting too comfortable, this isn’t even an issue. But for some reason I turn it into something I struggle with in my head.

I don’t have trust issues, I have just grown to be more selective about who I share my life with because I am at that stage in life where this is a possibility. By constantly telling myself that I struggle to trust others, I’m getting in my own way of making real connections with those already in my life. I become to fixated on what could be instead of living in the now.

“My mental health is not as important as I do not have it as bad as this person”

This is something I hate hearing other people say, yet say it to myself on a regular basis.  I believe that everyone’s mental health should be something they consider a great importance, as it literally effects everything. It’s your health for God’s sake!

I understand that no one can truly understand what another person is going through, and the issues you have to deal with on your own (whether you have a condition of sorts or are simply having a bad day) are the most important ones to you, I somehow still can’t give myself a break.

I am definitely too hard on myself and don’t really give myself a break, which almost sounds like I’m bragging but trust me I’m not. I am slowly getting to grips with the fact I need to take care of my mental health too, regardless of what else is happening.

COMPARISON

Theodore Roosevelt

Comparison is another unhealthy habit I have too and it’s something I really want to work on. I compare myself to basically every person I meet or encounter and with the rise in social media and my total obsession with it, I am comparing myself countless times a day.

When I say comparing, by the way, let me be clear that I am comparing myself in a negative way. Whenever I compare myself to someone, whether that be our looks, our successes or even our personalities, I always come out on bottom. And I think that’s how it goes for most of us, which is tragic and ultimately pointless.

I know that there is only one of me and that everything I am is so unique. Through this I understand that there is no point in comparing myself to others, as I will never match up. Yet I still do it.

But, the first step in solving a problem is admitting that it’s there in the first place so here I am admitting it.

Now what?

MOVING FORWARD

In order to improve the way I talk to myself, and ultimately live my life, I first needed to be aware of the issues. Now I’ve clearly done that, I need to constantly keep checking in on myself in order to kick these bad habits.

Whenever I find myself giving negative self-talk I need to stop, check myself and remind myself of the impacts this has. I may have to implement some positive mantras that I can repeat when I catch myself talking bad and will definitely be looking for solutions (although not comparison!).

It’s going to be a long journey, and something I feel like I will always be working on, but I know that in order to feel better and live to my fullest potential, I need to commit.

After all, the only way I can make a difference to the world is if I start with myself. And I need to be kinder to myself and show myself that I am worth it, hence making this commitment to start treating myself a bit better.

What commitment are you going to make to yourself? And do you have any positive mantras you would like to share?

Thank you so much for reading this. I love self-reflection, self-discovery pieces and hope to produce more. Feel free to share any materials you have on this!

Speak soon,

Rachael.


Materials:

(Previously linked)

How I’m Going to Make Myself Proud in 2017: Curly And Wordy

Insights Into 2016 (part one): Shope Delano

(Further)

I Don’t Think That Affirmations Are Bullshit Anymore: Curly and Wordy

Stories of Triumph and Calling BS on Yourself: Shope Delano

How to Train Yourself To Be More Positive: Muchelle B

Self Love: Munashe