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.

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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.

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  • 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!

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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

THE WORKS

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

 

 

A Modern Take On Classics: Showcase

As I explained in a recent post I have fallen back in love with reading, books and all that good stuff. Which is wonderful, of course, but it has resulted in me wanting to buy more books now I’m back in the loop which isn’t so wonderful for my bank balance.

Nonetheless, one of my favourite ways to obtain new books is by getting them secondhand and that’s how I managed to come across these two wonderful pieces I’m about to show you today.

Although I normally try to avoid ‘novelty’ buys when it comes to books, I couldn’t resist when I saw these two.

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Although I totally understand how important classic books are and have enjoyed many that I have read, I do sometimes struggle with them. And because I know they’re going to be a lot of work, I tend to avoid a lot of these kind of books, which results in me missing lots of references.

Although I initially picked these books up as a joke and spent a few minutes by the market stall and in the shop chuckling over the retellings of the stories I had read, I realised that these books could also be quite useful in their own little way.

These two books are wonderful ways to get involved and discover what those of so popular classic books are about, but in a hilarious modern way!

THE SHOWCASE

The first one I picked up is Twitterature, by Alexander Aciman and Emmett Rensin. This, as you can tell from the title, is a retelling of various classic tales through the medium of a twitter feed. The bits I’ve read so far have been hilarious, but I’m not sure yet how I’ll feel about the stories I don’t know.

Twitterature

“The classics are so last century” Guardian

Twitterature 3

Currently my favourite feed, Great Expectations from @piMp

Texts From Jane Eyre, by Mallory Ortberg, is very similar but clearly an older publication. And this one has illustrations! It retells a lot of classic and modern classic tales through text messages between characters and I’ve found myself chuckling at a few already.

(My copy is sadly missing it’s dust jacket hence the similar photos but hey, that’s what happens when you shop secondhand sometimes)

Texts.jpg

do you know who I hate?” “everyone?” “EVERYONE

Texts 2

Texts From Jane Eyre And Other Conversations With Your Favourite Literary Characters

Have you heard of any of these books? Because I was unaware of them until this point. I’m expecting I’ll take my time with them and flick through whenever I need a bit of cheering up, or have failed to understand yet another literature reference!


Do you have any quirky books in your collection? 

I know this was a somewhat unusual post for me, as there’s more images than words, but I fancied showing off these books and wasn’t sure how. I feel like I may do some more showcase posts in the future!

Speak soon,

Rachael

*affiliate links used

Calling All Freshers: Dealing With Homesickness

It’s that time of year again! Summer is almost over for those of you who are students and it’s time to think about what’s coming up next. I know for a lot of people, university will be at the forefront of your every thought at the moment.

As someone who has literally been there, done that (didn’t get the t-shirt, but I have a couple of hoodies does that count?) I feel like I can actually offer some genuine advice in this area and it’s something I have done a few times.

I find that the best advice comes from someone who has been through the same thing, and can therefore give advice from the other side and the topic I’m going to get into in a minute is something that I’ve had my fair share of experience with.

Homesickness is definitely a major worry for university students, as this is probably the first time in your life you’ll experience living away from home (if that’s something you chose to do. Of course, not everyone chooses to move home for university, and that’s cool- you do you, but I’m talking to the general bunch today) and it can be pretty tough at times. But there are ways to make is easier, tried and tested by yours truly, and that’s what I wanted to share today:

FAMILIAR THINGS

What often makes moving away to university so scary is the fact that everything is so different. You are no longer surrounded by the things you have probably had around you for the majority of your life, but that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.

Normally before you move away, you’ll buy a ton of new stuff for your new student digs. But when you’re packing everything up, why not include some of your favourite bits from home? Pick out a couple of home ware bits*, like cushions or ornaments, that are in your bedroom at home to put into your new place.

Surrounding yourself with familiar things that you recognise and love will make you feel more at home wherever you are. It’ll make home feel closer so you’ll feel comfortable and able to get stuck in.

* You’ll be warned by your universities to not take anything too valuable to your new accommodation and I’d recommend you take notice of that. At least until you’ve gotten yourself settled in and figured out who you’re living with. Better to be safe than sorry!

PHONE HOME… REGULARLY 

Freshers’ week is such a busy time in the academic calendar, with all of the different events going on, and if you have moved to university the days just seem to fly by regardless of what time of year it is. So it is not uncommon for you to have gone a very long time without actually speaking to anyone from home.

This is okay, of course, but if you’re feeling a little homesick it can make things feel worse. When you’re out of contact with your family/friends/loved ones it can sometimes make you feel more isolated and alone than you really are.

To avoid this make sure you block out some time to call home. Block out a decent amount of time where you can go to your room, or a quiet place, and have a genuine conversation with those on the other end. If you can, try to make this a routine where at the same time every night, or every week, you call home and have a catch up.

It can be hard going from seeing and speaking to the same people every day to not seeing them at all, so try to keep in contact whenever you can. It’ll remind you that those you miss are never too far away and should make things a little easier to handle.

USE SOCIETIES AND ACTIVITIES

There are countless of opportunities to try new things and meet new people at university and one of the easiest ways to do this is to join a society. Every university has a bunch of various societies and clubs that are open for students to join (you’ve probably heard about them on open days) and are normally one of the most common ways friendships are formed.

I can’t really give too much advice on this one, as I was not actually connected to any society while at university. Most of the clubs and societies at my university were linked to a sport and I am so not a sporty person, so that was out of the question for me!

This isn’t the case for all unis however and there are normally clubs and societies to suit any interest. Take a good look during your Freshers’ Fayre and see if there’s anything you fancy. Most societies offer a week or so ‘free trial’ that’ll allow you to try a new sport or hobby without paying anything.

Or if societies aren’t your thing, most student unions host events throughout the year. These are normally always free and are a great way to connect with people you mightn’t have encountered otherwise.

Throwing yourself into clubs or activities is a great way to combat homesickness. It’ll encourage you to get out there, meet new people and be busy so you won’t have chance to think about home! Plus, if you’re having a good time and are making new friends you mightn’t feel as homesick as you’re making a new home for yourself.

KEEP OLD ROUTINES

Homesickness usually comes about because everything is so different to what you’re used to when you move away. And although this can be nerve-wracking at first, it is a wonderful opportunity for you to make your own routines and create a lifestyle that works for you.

In the meantime, however, you can stick to some of your old routines that you made at home. The easiest way I can think of doing this is by watching the same TV shows as you did at home. I know it seems a little trivial, but it can be so helpful. Again it’s about making things familiar.

If there’s a certain show you watch on a certain day, take some time out of your routine to sit down and watch it like you would at home. This tip isn’t massively practical during Freshers’ Week, as things are normally so busy around this time and I’d encourage you to socialise and get to know your flatmates first and foremost, but further on down the line it might become more helpful.

BE HONEST AND OPEN UP

Finally, if things are really feel to difficult and you find yourself struggling during university please speak to someone about it.

A good thing to remember at this point is that literally every other person who has moved out is going through the same thing as you, even if they don’t show it. Start a conversation with your friends about it and see if you can help each other. There are also counselling services that are free for students available on campus and I’d urge you to use these if you feel like you need to.

There will be student representatives and plenty of other members of staff around who are trained and understand exactly what you’re going through, so try to find someone to talk about it with.

If none of these seem too appealing for whatever reason, you can also seek support from your GP if needed.

Jack Kornfield


Living away from home while studying at university can be such a wonderful experience, and one I’m definitely grateful for having, but it can also be difficult at times and that’s okay.

I experienced homesickness on and off throughout my three years at university and luckily only experienced it negatively towards the end of my degree.

University is a weird and wonderful time and I know you’re going to have a brilliant time once you get there. I am so proud of you for all of your hard work and I wish you every future success.

If you have any tips for homesickness, or any university experience stories you’d like to share please let me know.

Speak soon,

Rachael.


Materials:

(Past posts on university: newest-oldest)

Here’s What No One Tells You About Finishing University

Freshers’ Week Essentials

Second Year Experience

A Guide to Taking Notes at University

Freshers’ Week: Expectations vs. Reality

Money Saving Tips That Actually Work

This is What They Don’t Tell You On Open Day!

Bloody hell I’ve done a lot!

 

 

 

 

Creating Just For The Hell Of It: Shame, Fear and Self-Care

It may be pretty obvious, as I have this little blog and did I creative degree, but writing is something that I really love. When I was a child, I would spent hours scribbling in notebooks and typing up stories, journal entries and poems. I was never afraid to share my work and on several occasions would hand out copies of my ‘books’ (ie. ten or so pages bound together in a folder) to friends, family and teachers.

And now I’m in a funny period of my life where I’m free from any major commitments, like school, and have a lot time on my hands. I keep thinking about all of these creative projects and things that I’ve wanted to get stuck into for the longest time and sometimes I’m successful (see any recent posts). But at other times I feel like I’m holding myself back.

THE PASSION AND THE PRESSURE 

As I explained in a recent post I have finally gotten myself back into reading and I am now reading a lot of fiction once again. This is something that makes me so happy as I finally feel like I’m pulling bits of myself together again. A bit of a dramatic way to describe reigniting a hobby, I know, but that’s how I feel.

And with reading a lot comes this burning desire to write a lot too. Like I said, this is something I used to do all of the time when I was a kid without any structure or plan. I would just pick up a pen (or open a word document) and get writing.

I didn’t think much then about whether what I was making was good or something people would want to read. I simply just made stuff because I wanted to and I had the time.

I feel like so many people have similar stories from when they were a kid, but then it always seems to fizzle out by the time we hit our teens. It’s so sad.

We suddenly become so aware of everyone else and become fixated on their opinions that it gets in the way and we stop being as creative as we once were. Of course there are other factors, like having less free time and so on, but I think this is the main reason.

THE INSPIRATION AND THE GOAL 

I’ve been re listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast, Magic Lessons, that I’ve mentioned a couple of times on here and I think it’s been a combination of all these aforementioned life things  (the free time, the reading and the podcast) that have got me thinking a lot about this subject.

You already know, if you’ve read any of my past posts, that comparison is a major issue for me and it is a major barrier when I try creating things. And when I think about it now, I get so mad at myself.

For me, writing has always been a passion. It’s been the one thing that I have loved and actually felt like I am quite good at. Yet I still find myself restricting what I do because I’m not good enough or I’m not qualified enough or other people are just way better at it than me.

How frigging daft is that?

I know that we all get like this. I don’t know what your passion is, but I bet you could do it more.

Anyway, I’ve now had a realisation, or I guess I’ve just reconfirmed for myself, that I can just make stuff if and when I feel like it.

Writing non-fiction is something that I have been doing for so long now, what with my journalism degree and this somewhat lifestyle based outlet. It’s something I love and will continue to do, of course, but I now want to give myself permission to start writing other stuff too.

I stopped writing stories and poems when I was back in school, because I knew there were others around me who were better at it and who cared about it more than I did. But now at twenty one, with my degree still fresh from the printers, I want to start getting back into writing whatever I fancy- even if it doesn’t go anywhere.

THE SELF-CARE EFFECTS

Making stuff just for the hell of it is a wonderful and freeing experience. I know I talk about self care a lot on this blog, but this really is relevant to that conversation as well.

Allowing yourself to get involved with hobbies or activities that excite you is definitely an act of self-care in my book.

You’re being kind to yourself, you’re taking time out for yourself and you’re no doubt learning a little bit as well, whether that’s about who you are or about the craft.

So if you’re considering doing something creative, even if it’s something that you feel like you have no knowledge on or you think it won’t work out or whatever, I urge you to try it. Allow yourself to have a bit of fun and don’t put so much pressure on yourself!

It’s only art after all.

Please come and join me in this journey of making stuff just because we can and because we love it. I can’t wait to see what I get up to now I’m allowing myself and I’m so excited for you too!

Elizabeth Gilbert


I’d love it if you’d like to share some of your creative bits or even those that inspire you!

Best of luck and happy making.

Speak soon,

Rachael.


Materials:

Big Magic: Elizabeth Gilbert*

Brene Brown on ‘Big Strong Magic’

Your elusive creative genius: Elizabeth Gilbert (TED)

Am I Qualified To Be Creative? itswaypastmybedtime

Am I A People Pleaser? Ninkcompoop

 

Finally giving a fuck: justkissmyfrog

*(affiliate link used)