3 Books To Make 2019 The Best Yet | What I’m Reading Wednesday

Just let me say it once, and then I promise I’ll try not to again – I can’t believe 2018 is almost over!

Honestly, as I get older the years just seem to be going quicker and quicker. It’s a bit scary to be honest, but it can also be a positive thing.

The start of a new year is the ultimate fresh start! I am one of those people who get so excited about starting over and I vow every year that this one will be better.

One of my favourite ways to get inspired, motivated and generally excited about a new year is by seeing how other people do it. I’m a nosy person anyway, but looking at how other people do things or listening to their advice is a great way to get inspired.

Today I’ve got three amazing books (all by amazing women!) to help inspire, motivate and uplift you as we enter the new year.

1. The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A Fuck : Sarah Knight*

This was one of the first books I read in 2018 and it certainly gave me a lot to think about!

If you’ve been here before then you will know that I am a terrible over-thinker. I spend far too much time worrying about what other people think and how to best please them. Safe to say, Knight wasn’t having any of that.

This book is a hilarious and refreshing take on self-help. There’s so much advice and lessons involved, but there’s also activities and actionable steps to help change your mindset.

2. Witch : Lisa Lister

This actually was my very first read of 2018 and it was such a fun way to start off the new year.

I’ve spent some time exploring spirituality through 2018 as I am so fascinated by it, and it was this book that inspired the whole thing. I have to admit that I did prefer the first half of the book more as this is where I feel as though the real advice and information is, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless.

It’s certainly a good read if you’re looking to change your mindset in 2019 and will give you a lot to think about. Lisa has such an easy-to-read writing style so this book will be suitable for a lot of different people.

3. Body Positive Power : Megan Jayne Crabbe*

I’ve already talked about this book before (see here) but I couldn’t resist bringing it up again. I’d say if you’re going to read any one of these books on this list, then you must pick this one.

Megan is an absolutely wonderful person who you may have seen on Instagram. She is basically the Queen of body positivity and her words will help each and every one of you out there.

If you want to improve your relationship with yourself, food, excerise and others in 2019 then please read this book. You deserve a little more loving and Megan will help you get there.


What goals are you setting for 2019?

All the best for the new year, friends! I hope you stay safe, happy and healthy.

Speak soon,

Rachael

*affiliate links used

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Some Good Things To Remember This Christmas

The big day is almost here! I hope that you’re reading this all wrapped up and cosy, with a nice beverage and plenty of chocolate around you.

Just before Santa busies himself with delivering presents, I thought I’d share a moment with you and remind you of some important things. Christmas is a brilliant time of year, but I want anyone reading this to know that it’s alright if things aren’t all that brill.

I’m not going to put a downer on the festivities! As you’re reading this, it’s incredibly likely that I’m lounging around in a festive onesie, drinking my twentieth cup of tea and stuffing chocolates into my mouth.

I just want to give anyone who needs it some peace of mind.

Now it’s Christmas, be kind to yourself and remember:

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT

I’ve talked about this before, but Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as you are happy and safe, then you’re doing it right.

TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

Yes, Christmas is all about being with loved ones but there comes a time when you need to be alone. Make sure you get a little bit of downtime during the celebrations, it’ll do your brain wonders.

MONEY ISN’T WHAT MATTERS MOST

In this social media age, showing off and comparison are everyday occurrences. It can be so easy to feel as though you’ve missed out when comparing yourself to strangers online and money is a huge factor in this. Strip things back and remember that Christmas isn’t a game to show how much money you can spend, but is instead a beautiful time to be close to those you love.

MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THE DAY

For me, this means going all in with the food because that is my favourite aspect of this season. But for others it may mean finally taking a day off, being with family or friends, treating yourself or just allowing yourself to enjoy a cheeky drink or sweet treat. Whatever you’re up to this Christmas, try to make the most of it.

IT’S ONLY ONE DAY

No matter what happens this Christmas, remind yourself that it’s only one day.

The sun will rise, and we will try again

#joinin

If you are dealing with loneliness this Christmas, sign up to Twitter and check out the #joinin campaign. Created by my favourite comedian Sarah Millican, this campaign allows people from all over the world to connect and make new friends during this festive seasons.


Merry Christmas friends!

I hope you have a magical, safe and very happy Christmas.

Thank you so much for reading.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

3 Challenges I’m Setting Myself In 2019 | BECOMING BETTER

Christmas hasn’t even arrived, yet feels as though everyone is already preparing for the new year.

If you’re like me – nerdy, an organisation fanatic and (alright I’ll admit it) a bit of a perfectionist – then this time of year can be so much fun. There’s nothing better than a fresh start and the new year is the ultimate fresh start; the cleanest of slates.

I love reflecting and trying new things, so as you can imagine my brain is going mad right now. I’m constantly thinking about all of the events of 2018 – trying to decipher what when well for me this year and what certainly needs to change in 2019.

Like last year, I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself and try to make the new year perfect because that never works for me. But I have come up with some challenges that I want to work on and complete throughout 2019.

I thought I’d share them with you today to potentially inspire you for the new year.

1. READ 5 CLASSICS

If you’ve been here before, then you know I am a massive reader. I managed to get my mojo back in the latter months of 2018 and reading is once again my favourite pastime.

In order to diversify my reading and to finally get through the huge pile of unread books I have on myself, I want to challenge myself to reading 5 classics throughout 2019.

2. STICK TO MY PRE-ASSIGNED BUDGET

Money is the main thing I want to focus on in 2019. After being unemployed for a short period this year, money has been something I have been constantly thinking about.

Being without money in 2018 made me realise how many bad spending habits I have. For 2019 I am going to organise myself a budget, set up some automated direct debits and get saving. I am entering 2019 as a freelancer so working on my income, saving and spending really needs to be a priority.

3. TRY A MEAT-FREE PERIOD

Throughout 2018 I have been trying to become better. I have made a commitment to myself to only buy and use cruelty-free makeup (check out my posts about that here) and I really want to take some steps towards making my wardrobe more ethical too.

The next step now then surely is my diet. Now I am not in a position to become a full-time vegetarian, but I would like to challenge myself to maybe having meat-free Mondays or a full month of no-meat.

Not only is this good for the environment (and therefore my guilt!) but will also force me to eat more veggies and mix up my meals.


What do you want to try in 2019?

If you have any other challenges I could try, or any tips on how to make what I’ve set for myself easier (especially with the budgeting!) then please let me know.

All the best friends!

Speak soon,

Rachael

Top 5 Mysterious Reads Of 2018 | What I’m Reading Wednesday

I’ve read a lot of pretty great books this year! Now is the time for me to get all reflective and attempt to make a big decision; what was my favourite book of 2018?

But while I’m not at that stage yet, I do have five incredible reads to share with you today.

By documenting my reading and my ratings for each book for the first time this year, I have discovered a pattern within what I like. I’ve discovered that my favourite kinds of books are mysterious reads. Those kinds of books where you normally have to wait until the end before everything falls in place.

I don’t really know why this is the case, but I do know that I’ve read some pretty great mysterious books so maybe that’s where the bias comes from.

Anyway, here’s my top five mysterious reads of 2018*:

1. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine : Gail Honeyman

I read this book pretty early on in the year when it was making its rounds through the supermarket charts, and I simply adored it. Eleanor has quickly become one of my all time favourite characters and her story is just breathtakingly beautiful.

It’s ultimately a story about hope, recovery and making a fresh start – basically my favourite themes to a novel!

2. The Room By The Lake : Emma Dibdin

This was one of those books I picked up on a whim from a bargain book shop and had no idea that it would become one of my favourite reads of the year!

Without giving too much away, after all that’s the beauty of these stories, this book is the story of a girl who accidentally gets herself caught up in some kind of ‘retreat’ (read: cult).

It’s pretty dark and a very visceral story, at times I thought I could actually feel what the main character was going through.

3. Sharp Objects : Gillian Flynn

This is the most recent read from this list, despite the fact it’s been out for ages. I finally read Gone Girl in 2018 and immediately after wanted to try more of Flynn’s work.

I managed to grab a copy of this at a bargain book shop and simply devoured it. I know Flynn is kind of a divisive author, but I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read from her. This book in particular was so upsetting and dark, which is everything I love!

4. Everything I Never Told You : Celeste Ng

This book combines two of my favourite things in one; a mysterious read and unsolved mystery.

It is an incredibly moving and somewhat suffocating story of a Chinese-American family who’s daughter is found dead in a local lake. The story not only works to discover what happened to this character, but also goes so in depth with the family and every single detail is revealed.

It’s one of those slow-burn reads, but I couldn’t put it down. I simply had to know what happened to Lydia, even though it broke my heart.

5. After Me Comes The Flood : Sarah Perry

2018 really has been the year of bargain books for me! This was another amazing find in the sale section of a bookstore.

I don’t really know what attracted me to it at first, but when I read the blurb and found that it was about a man who simply walks away from his life, I knew I had to have it.

This one is certainly a slow-burn and the way the characters are it can sometimes feel frustrating to get through. Everyone is so eccentric and you know there’s more to the situation than they’re letting on, but it is so worth the wait.

If you’re a fan of cults and those kinds of organisations, this one has some of those dark overtones to it.


Those were some of my favourite reads of this year, from my new-found favourite genre.

If you have any recommendations of books you think I would like, please share!

Speak soon,

Rachael.

*affiliate links used

 

 

What To Do When Bad Things Happen At Christmas

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year – at least it seems that way, if you listen to the carols and pay attention to every bit of festive pop culture.

However, as we all know by now, that isn’t always true.

But why?! My inner child cries.

Because life doesn’t stop just because it’s Christmas. That includes the bad stuff too, unfortunately.

“IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!”

Now I adore Christmas. Truly I do, no matter how much I find myself identifying with the Grinch! Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year and I love nothing more than seeing my home and my city decorated with colourful lights, glitter and music. I love the festivities and the focus on family that this season brings.

But the older I get, the more I begin to see how stressful this time of year can be.

A huge factor of stress at this time of year is the pressure to make it perfect.

Perhaps it’s because it only comes once a year, or maybe it’s down to all the advertisements telling us we need this or that for the best Christmas ever, but this season can be so stressful purely because we think we have to make it perfect.

This pressures comes from everywhere (books, movies, television, billboards, shopping malls) and hits everyone. If you’re a parent, you need this toy to make your child’s Christmas. If you’re a newly-formed adult, you need to make sure you have this food or this decor to make your Christmas party perfect.

“LIFE DOESN’T STOP JUST BECAUSE IT’S CHRISTMAS”

No matter who you are, unless you’re a very small child perhaps, there’s no doubt that you’ll feel some sort of pressure this Christmas.

So when something goes wrong in our private lives, say it be a breakup, a family illness or a job loss, Christmas is perhaps the worst time for it to happen. Not only do these kind of issues have no place at Christmas time –  as the only issue you should face in this season is not being able to get the latest toy for your child, Jingle All the Way-style – but we also have less time to deal with them rationally.

At Christmas everyone is rushing around, trying to make sure they’ve got everyone’s presents, cards, the right food and are making this most out of the season. There’s far too much stuff going on for us to be able to process something bad happening.

At any other time of the year, although big issues like family illness or a job loss are certain to cause a lot of stress, we are able to process things a little better because we’re not bogged down with all the festive extras.

I don’t want to put a downer on Christmas, because it truly can be such a magical time of year for those who celebrate it, but I do want to shed some light on the fact that it won’t be perfect and sometimes, as much as we want to avoid it, bad things do happen.

If you are currently struggling with some issues right now, don’t let Christmas make you feel even worse. Sure it’s a shame that you’re missing out on fun stuff because you’re tied up in appointments, meetings or family things but just know that you’ll have your chance again.

“GET YOUR KINDNESS ON”

Christmas is here every year so it’s totally fine if you have a couple of not-so-great ones.

Ultimately, the main thing to accept is that Christmas can’t – and likely won’t – be perfect. Life doesn’t stop because it’s Christmas – so don’t worry, you’re not the only one dealing with shit right now.

The best thing to take away from this season, especially if you’re dealing with some nasty things, is kindness. If there’s anything a lifetime of Christmas movies and songs has taught me, it’s that this is the perfect time of year to get your kindness on.

Be a little gentler with your peers, your family and above all yourself this festive season. That’s the only way to go.

If you are struggling with stuff this season, my heart goes out to you. Please check the bottom of this post for some helpful links.

All my love and speak soon,

Rachael.


Helpful Links:

Call: 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI)

Call: 0300 123 3393
Text: 86463

  • For loneliness or social issues on Christmas day, tweet #joinin for a large online gathering (not suitable for series issues, more of just a chat)

Planning The Perfect Day | Personal Self – Care

I’ve talked about self-care a lot on this blog because it genuinely is a topic that means so much to me. Only a few years ago we didn’t even have a sufficient term for being kind to ourselves, which made talking about this topic pretty tricky.

Thanks to other wonderful bloggers, influencers and social media trends everyone knows what self-care is and how important it is for our mental (and therefore physical!) health.

However in case you’re not too sure, here’s what self-care officially means:

self-care

noun

the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.

  1. 1.1 The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

Now self care can be a pretty serious topic sometimes and rightly so! But that’s not the way I’m going to be talking about it right now.

This post is going to be based mainly on the more ‘frivolous’ things I like to do to take care of myself and ensure that I am in a good mental state. To be honest, I could argue for hours how nothing is frivolous if it helps you out in someway but fear not, I won’t today.

Without further ado here is what I like to do on a self-care day:

Please note this is not including work, deadlines or any other commitments. Instead I’m going to be focusing on the things I like to do in my free time because it’s just easier.

EARLY TO BED, EARLY TO RISE

Sleep is such a huge part of self-care and something that I haven’t been the best at recently. However I know how bad I feel, and therefore how badly my day goes, if I didn’t get a good enough sleep the night before.

Although I love a lie in and a lazy morning, I have to admit that I feel at my best when I get up early. I like to be able to tackle the day as soon as possible and I like to make the most out of my time.

Plus the earlier I get up, the longer I can make my morning. I don’t like to feel rushed, especially if I am already stressed or anxious, so getting up early gives me a few extra hours to chill with a cuppa, my current read and some daytime telly.

In order for me to be able to get up early and feel good about it, I know I need to go to bed early the night before. To be fair, these days I am barely seeing past nine o’clock! But I do really like to make an effort to get the best sleep possible when I’m feeling overwhelmed because I know how beneficial it is.

LET’S GET DRESSED

As I said in a recent post, now I work from home I find myself spending the majority of my time in pyjamas. And while I love my pyjamas more than anything, I can start to feel a bit grim if I spend too much time in them.

If I’m trying to be extra nice to myself and really make an effort I will get dressed. Sometimes, depending on what mood I’m in, I’ll take time to do my makeup and might even brush my hair.

Although I certainly don’t think you need to do a full on fashion show every morning and sometimes days off just call for being in your pj’s, I’ve noticed that by getting ready I feel so much better and am more productive.

GOING OUTSIDE

Again, I spend so much time at home that I frequently get concerned that I may be a hermit. I adore being at home and either being with my family or simply by myself, but even I have to admit that it can be bad for my brain sometimes.

I live in an amazing city that I don’t appreciate enough because, y’know, I’ve lived here all my life. Sure going out can cost money sometimes, but it doesn’t have to! When I get some free time or a day off I like to encourage myself to do some exploring around my hometown.

Sometimes that can mean visiting tourist spots, finally trying that indie cafe or even just being in the city centre and experiencing the hustle and bustle.

Of course, nothing feels better than getting a break from the city. If I can, I will go to the beach which is my favourite place to be. I find that walking, fresh air and generally being away from the four walls of my house has an instant effect on my mental health and makes me feel so much better no matter what’s being going on.

MY FAVOURITE ENTERTAINMENT

There are some days where I feel like I can’t escape screens. I am constantly bombarding myself with words, videos and other people’s opinions and that can all add up to a messy brain.

When I feel overwhelmed I really have to force myself to take a step away from my phone and focus on something else. This is where going outside can really help!

On an ideal self-care day, I’d spend most of my time reading. But I have to admit that this doesn’t happen that often and I do normally get distracted by Netflix, YouTube and even good ol’ daytime television.

Nonetheless, a great way to make yourself feel better is to treat yourself to some uninterrupted time doing what makes you happiest. For me that is reading, but also listening to true crime podcasts, watching daily vlogs and editing photos for Instagram.


No matter what you choose to do with your day, the most important thing to remember is to focus solely on yourself. With everything you chose to do, focus on how it makes you feel. As long as it makes you feel good, secure, safe and happy then keep doing it. No matter how ‘frivolous’ it may seem.

At the end of the day friend, you should be your number one priority. I hope you manage to make time for yourself very soon – it’s so important!

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

 

Five Obvious (But Awesome) True Crime Podcasts

I bloody love podcasts. They’ve truly revolutionised my life and now I work from home, I’m getting through so many more.

True crime is one of my absolute favourite topics to explore and luckily I’m not alone in this. There’s so many podcasts out there that talk about true crime cases, some more in depth than others. Chances are, if you too are a morbid little human like me, then you’ve already listened to at least one of these but you might just find something new too.

1. MY FAVOURITE MURDER

I have my best friend to thank for this podcast! I am utterly obsessed with My Favourite Murder and it’s genuinely changed my life. I’ve listened to it so much now that I’m actually going through old episodes each time I sit down to work!

It’s hilarious and yet still has those morbid details us true crime lovers enjoy. Georgia and Karen genuinely start to feel like  good mates as you go through the series. If you’ve not already given this podcast a listen, then I’d highly recommend you get on it now!

2. REDHANDED

This podcast is pretty similar to MFM, but ran by two British girls. They’re equally as funny and like to swear a bit too!

However, RedHanded talks about one specific case per episode and goes so in depth. It’s super interesting and although I have actually heard a lot of the cases they cover before, the details they provide always shock me.

3. ZEALOT

Funnily enough, I heard about this podcast from MFM too (I told you I was obsessed!). This is hosted by a wonderfully funny Australian woman and is focused entirely on cults. She normally has a guest with her and together they discuss a particular cult. She has her own funny theme tune for different aspects and it’s both so interesting and hilarious.

4. SERIAL

This was the first true crime podcast I ever got into, so I have a lot to thank it for. I haven’t actually listened to it since because I just loved the first season so much – I didn’t really need anymore.

At the time the first season, which is focused on an old murder case, was currently in court once again so I found it so exciting to listen along to real time news. Another one that is so detailed, with so many twists and turns. It’ll keep your gripped for hours!

5. TEACHER’S PET

I am currently working my way through Teacher’s Pet and it’s taking a bit longer than I’d like, through no fault of the podcast. It’s another Australian one so the accents are amazing, and is following the cold case of Lyn Dawson.

Like Serial it is so detailed and more information gets revealed with each episode, which is why it’s taking me a while to get through. I want to give it my full attention! So no spoilers please, I really want to know what happens.


What’s your favourite podcast?

I hope you enjoyed this little post, I thought I’d go back to basics for a change. If you have any recommendations of anything true crime or podcast related please let me know!

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

Is Instagram A Creative Outlet?

I’ve mentioned it before, but I love Instagram.

I’ve been posting so much on it lately and, although I do think I need to take a break from it every now and again, I really enjoy it! In fact I use it so much, I kind of consider it a hobby for me now.

I’ve always loved taking photographs and capturing memories, but now thanks to this app I now have a platform for my work. Yes, I’m calling the pictures I take on a daily bases ‘work’ as they’re something I’ve made.

I’ll admit, photography and Instagram doesn’t really seem creative in the typical sense – picture oil paints, blank canvases or open notebooks – but when you actually think about it, it really is.

Wherever I go, whatever I’m up to I want to document it. Now we all have access to cameras thanks to our smart phones, taking pictures is the easiest and most effective way to document a place, person or event. Instagram is merely the platform I share it on. Like a very basic gallery for my best bits.

I will take photos of anything and everything! Even the smallest thing will be photographed and shared as it makes me happy. Scroll through my feed and you’ll see so many photos of hot drinks, books and pretty trees. Although it’s basic and small, these are the things that make me happy in the moment, so why shouldn’t I document it and share?

No matter what kind of day I’ve had, if I’ve managed to capture a small happy moment, then you can expect to see it on Instagram.

I know that posting too often is problematic and sometimes I have had to force a break from Instagram on myself, as I find that I become too preoccupied with what angle I need to capture, what filters I’ll use and how best to caption the scene instead of just being in the moment and enjoying it. This is certainly some I need to work on, but for the most part I don’t think Instagram is a bad thing or something to be ashamed of having as a hobby.

I don’t think my posting on Instagram will stop anytime soon! Call me a typical millennial who’s obsessed with her phone, but I love documenting and sharing my days. Truly everything I post online, from Instagram to this blog, is for myself primarily and because it makes me happy, I don’t want to stop.

Of course getting feedback and likes is great and something I enjoy, but I’m trying to not focus on that bit and instead just enjoy the creative process.

After going through some tough times with my mental health in the past few years, looking for the good in everyday – no matter how small! – is so important. As basic as it may sound, Instagram is helping me to look for these good moments and for that reason I don’t want to stop using it.

What social media do you love the most?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

How Do You Rate Books? | What I’m Reading Wednesday

I read an awful lot. As I mentioned in a post a long time (this one here) 2017 was the first time I actually recorded every book I read. I’ve stepped it up a little bit this year and finally started rating my books too.

I watch a lot of booktubers (that’s people who talk about books online basically) and they all seem to use a particular website to record and review their books. I don’t. I just simply use a note-taking app on my phone to record everything I feel about the book as soon as I’ve finished it.

Rating books is a personal thing and there are so many different ways to do it. I thought I’d talk a little bit today about the system I’ve got going on at the minute. It’s not perfect, but it’s also not really for anyone else’s eyes but my own.

I’d also love to know how you rate your reading, if at all, and how you keep track of it all!

HOW DO I RECORD MY READING?

I started recording everything I read last year so I’m still pretty new to it all. I certainly haven’t developed a flawless system for myself but I have made something simple and that is easy to keep up with.

Here’s how I do it: I have a specific note on Evernote (a great and simplistic note-taking app. The basic options is free on most networks) where I write down the title of the book and the author. At least, that’s all I did throughout 2017. To mix things up a bit this year I’ve been adding ratings to the books as well.

This system – if you can even call it that – certainly is the most simple way to approach recording your reading. I may adapt it in the future to be more organised, as at the moment its just one long list. But hey it works for me and that’s all that matters!

NUMBERS

The easiest way I’ve found to rate my books is using numbers. I basically just copied off everyone else on the internet and I now rate my books out of five after each read. This includes half numbers too, ie. 3.5/5.

I don’t really know why I took this route but it’s simple enough to get going and, as I said in the introduction, my ratings are just for me. I’m still pretty new to recording what I’m reading and I think its so interesting to be able to look back and remember everything I’ve read throughout the year. It’s even more so now I am able to remember exactly what I thought about the book!

My system works as you’d imagine; 1/5 means I didn’t enjoy the book at all and 5/5 means I absolutely loved it. As for the books that are rated somewhere in the middle, well it kind of changes every time. It’s not a perfect or accurate rating system but I kind of understand myself enough to figure it out. Most of the books I complete stand between a 3/5 or 4/5 rating, although I have been lucky this year and managed to find some awesome 5/5 books.

I rate my books immediately if possible, so that means over time the rating might go up or down depending on my reflections. I think the moment you finish a book is normally the clearest so that’s why I try to do all of my reviews and ratings then.

COMMENTS

Something that I have carried over from last year is comments. Next to the books I’ve read I normally make a couple of comments about how it made me feel, what I liked or disliked etc.

Because my number ratings aren’t the most accurate at times I find these comments really helpful when I’m looking back. I read that much that I normally forget what I read a few months ago, so keeping track of not only the author and title but what I thought about it normally helps jog my memory.

These comments, which will sometimes only be one or two words, will help me should I decide to do reviews in the future too!


CURRENTLY READING

On The Beach: Nevil Shute

Currently Ready 7.11.18.jpg

This book has been on my list of ones to look out for for a few months now. I was planning on getting it second-hand when my mam informed me we already had a copy! I haven’t managed to get as far along as I’d like because I’ve been so busy recently but I am enjoying it a lot.

What are you reading right now?

I’m really enjoying making this series as and when I feel like it. The scheduele hasn’t gone to plan so well, but we’re still here. I hope you stick around to see what else I come up with.

If you like my bookish content, check out my Instagram. I normally update this with what I’m reading pretty often.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

*affiliate link used

 

 

 

What I’ve Learnt Since Going Freelance | New Beginnings

If you’ve been to this blog before, then you may know that I didn’t have a job for a small period of time. I am so happy to report that this is no longer the case!

I’ve managed to get so lucky and land a job that is perfect for me right now. It does mean that this blog may go on the back-burner a little bit, but I’ll do my best.

Anyway, without going into too many details, this job basically gives the same freedoms  I’d imagine anyone else who is in a freelance/self-employed position has. Although I’m having great fun getting back into actual work again (and getting paid again!) I have found myself being faced with a few new challenges.

I’ve only been doing this job for a couple of weeks now but I’ve already learnt some valuable things to know when working for/by yourself:

YOU REALLY SHOULD GET READY

I’ve seen this advice given time and time again, and to be honest I never really gave it much attention. But I have noticed such a difference in my mood and productivity if I actually take some time in the morning to get ready. Even if that simply means brushing my teeth and switching out my pyjamas for tracksuit bottoms!

I don’t really like to waste any time if I have a lot of work to get done, but just taking even ten minutes out of my morning to take care of myself I notice a huge difference. There’s nothing wrong with working in your pyjamas, and sometimes it just has to be done, but when it comes to midday I feel so gross and groggy and that really impacts my ability to stay motivated and get stuff done.

BACKGROUND NOISE IS HELPFUL

This is certainly something that differs from person to person, but I really like having a bit of background noise going on as I work. In most cases I just have the radio on (Absolute Radio is my favourite at the moment!) but over the last week I’ve started listening to podcasts.

Now I love podcasts and I do normally like to give them my full attention. However there is something so soothing and relaxing about other people’s voices, at the right volume of course, that I’ve found myself wanting podcasts on while I work. My absolute favourite one at the moment is My Favourite Murder. I love it so much that I’m repeating episodes as I work, so I don’t get too caught up in the cases!

Finding some kind of material that your familiar with, like podcasts or a particular radio station, can be really comforting and help make your work days a bit more fun.

I’M SUPER SELF-MOTIVATED – THANKFULLY!

In this position, I have to rely on myself so much. Luckily I am really self-motivated and have always got on really well on my own.

I still struggle with procrastination and motivation sometimes (check out my last post about that here) but for the most part I’m pretty good at pushing myself and its so helpful with a job like this!

2018 certainly has been a year of revelations and maturing for me, and it’s great to find out that I still have so much more to learn about myself. Being unemployed taught me a lot and it seems like having a job again is doing just the same. I spend a lot more time by myself now, working from home, and I’m learning more and more about who I am, how I work and who I want to be everyday.

FINDING THE BALANCE IS SO DIFFICULT

I am so grateful to finally have a job that I enjoy and one that gives me the freedom to work how I want. But because I am doing work I like and on my own terms, in my own house most of the time, I’m struggling to find the balance between my work life and the rest of my life.

I know that other people who are either self-employed or are freelance experience this too so if you have any advice I’d really appreciate it! I really need to work on deliberately creating barriers between my time working and my free time; creating a working day routine and a winding down routine to help me determine between the two.

I think this’ll be an ongoing process and one that I’m sure it’ll get easier as time goes on!


What keeps you motivated?

I’m so happy to finally be writing this post. Life has a funny way of working out and although I’m not sure how long any of it will last, I’m in a much better place now than I was a few months ago.

Good things will come to us all, I just know it! Take care friends.

Speak soon,

Rachael.