So You Haven’t Had The Best Start | New Year Pep Talk

We’re over a week into 2018 already and from what I’ve seen across my social media, it’s been a bit of strange one for people.

Some people out there are proper getting into their new years resolutions; they are making wonderfully positive changes to their lives and are totally smashing it. On the flip side some of us are struggling; we’re out of a routine or we’re not feeling our best and our new year hasn’t really got off to a great start.

I am definitely in the latter category of these groups and you know what – that’s totally fine! I’ve not been too well over the past week or so which is forcing me to take things slowly and I’m actually feeling really grateful for it.

As you know, this year was the first one where I did not make a single resolution and I’m finding it to be a wonderfully liberating experience. I have taken away the unnecessary pressure we normally put on ourselves to make this year the best yet and to change everything about myself. Instead, I’m taking 2018 at my own pace. And I think you should do the same.

Maybe this week has been a bit of a difficult one for you. Maybe you’ve had to go back to work or your studies and are just feeling a bit underwhelmed with it all. Regardless of what’s going on with you, try to focus on the positive side.

So you’re not getting stuck into your passion projects like you wanted to, or you haven’t been able to go the gym yet or make a decent meal. You have eleven more months to kick 2018’s arse – stop putting so much pressure on yourself!

I’m taking my illness and my slow start to 2018 as a blessing. It’s given me some time to really think about what I want from this year, as well as allowing me to put a focus on self – care. Although this slow pace was somewhat accidental, it’s reminding me how important patience can be and how much I need to implement it in all areas of my life.

I wish you all the best with the new year and I hope that it brings everything you want. Just remember to be kind to yourself and allow yourself all the time you need.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

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Why I’m Not Making Any Resolutions This Year | 2018

Every new year I get caught up in the excitement and hype of a fresh start. I vow to myself that this year will be different and I will become a totally new person. I set a list of new years resolutions that I hope will get me to that place and head on forwards with a bout of motivation.

… That is until about January 3rd when I realise that old habits die hard and fall back into my normal routine. And I know I’m not the only one who does this.

January has always been a bit of a strange month for me, and I’m sure many others. After all the excitement and celebration of Christmas, January just feels a bit underwhelming and I’ve got it into my head that it’s the worst month ever.

Now I am beginning to understand the power of your thoughts and mindset – how the things you think effect your physical being – I know how crappy this mentality is. Every year I start off on the wrong foot and end up making things worse for myself.

I’ve decided that 2018 isn’t going to be like that. I’m going to make sure I get off to a good start by entering it with zero expectations.

FREE YOURSELF FROM YOUR EXPECTATIONS

Now hear me out, cause I know this all sounds a bit grumpy. But I realised that every year I set myself up to be a failure.

I give myself these goals that, although I really do want to try, I know I will never fully accomplish. I enter each new year expecting myself to change completely and find myself disappointed to see that my habits haven’t dissolved immediately.

I understand the importance of setting goals and basically trying to better yourself, and I’m all for it – honest! However, I’ve made the decision that for 2018 I am going to free myself from my expectations.

Of course I will continue to face this new year with the excitement and motivation that I always do, but I’m just taking the pressure off. This past year has been a strange one for me. Although I have done some really cool things and I’m feeling pretty proud of myself and my progress, one of the biggest lessons I’ve taken away from it all is that I put too much pressure on myself.

I still have goals and aspirations; there’s still countless things I want to try in 2018; but I’m just not forcing myself to do any of it. My mental health has took a bit of a kicking over the past couple of years, so I recognise that I will not always be on top of my game. Having goals that are left unaccomplished makes me feel worse, so why would I do that to myself?

THE ALTERNATIVE

Although I don’t want to set solid resolutions for myself in 2018, I do still want to get on with things. So instead, to keep me steady, I have come up with a couple of words that I really want to focus on over the next year.

It’s been an idea I’ve seen floating around several blogs for a while now and I really like it. Take a couple of words, or phrases, that summarise the mindset, lifestyle or career that you want to achieve and focus on manifesting them as much as possible.

This is the first new year I’ll be entering where I am free from any education commitments. I do have my part time job, but for the first time in my life I have all this time to get on with what I want to do. And I’m for sure going to make the most of it by making sure I’m in the best head space possible.


Are you setting any new years resolutions? How do you get on with them?

I wish you all the best for the new year!

Speak soon,

Rachael.

Five Things EVERYBODY Can Enjoy This Christmas | Festive Thoughts #2

This time of year can definitely be a hit or miss for some people. Although it can be easy to imagine that everyone in the world celebrates and loves Christmas, it’s just not true.

For some people it’s a religious thing, as I think we seem to forget that Christmas is a relgious holiday and not everyone is about that. For some people it’s a deeper, more personal issue. And for some it’s just not their cup of tea and that’s it.

But regardless of what you think about Christmas, there are some things about this whole season that I think we can all enjoy. Like…

THE FOOD

It may sound a bit daft, but I honestly think my favourite thing about this entire season is the food. As soon as winter hits, it seems like all everyone wants to do is huddle indoors and scoff chocolate. Which, if we’re being totally honest, is how I like to spend all of my time throughout the year anyway so it’s no surprise that winter is my favourite time!

Everything from the family packs of sweets to miniature party food (mini burger, anyone?) just makes my heart – and tummy- happy and I feel like all my fellow foodies can feel the same.

FAMILY TIME

Now this one is a little more specific, as I understand that not everyone has a great family life. But the fact that this whole season is about spending quality time with our loved ones, sharing, caring and all that good stuff, is amazing and something we should definitely do more throughout the year.

No matter how you feel about Christmas or who it is you have around you, taking some time out to just be together is a lovely thing to do. I am a huge family person so this one is definitely an important factor for me!

THE DECORATIONS

Again, regardless of what you actually think about Christmas or whether you even celebrate it there’s no escaping the festivities whenever you leave your house.

From the end of November fairy lights and decorations begin appearing everywhere – on the high street, in shops and even in our workplaces – and despite what you actually think about this season, I’m sure we can all admit that it makes everything look so damn pretty!

I personally love seeing the transformation in my city and my home. Somehow, adding fairly lights to things just makes them instantly look more attractive, don’t you think? And when the days are short and the nights are dark, having lots of pretty lights around to brighten things up is just so lovely.

BEING COSY (HYGGE)

On the note of things being cold and dark, winter is the perfect time to snuggle up and spend a lot of time indoors. And once again this is how I like to be all year round, so it’s wonderful that everyone joins in at Christmas!

Staying at home, wrapped in a blanket burrito is my ideal situation and in winter there often isn’t any other activity that will suffice. Even if you’re the biggest extrovert / party animal out there, you can definitely still appreciate a cosy night in.

CELEBRATING

And finally, regardless of whether you actually celebrate Christmas day specifically, now is the perfect time to get involved with celebrations anyway.

Celebrate the fact that you’ve made it through another year; celebrate all of your achievements; celebrate the people around you. Get jolly about the fact a fresh start is coming up and another chance for to you tackle all of your goals is on the horizon.


Whatever you choose to do, I hope you have a wonderful time. Stay safe and happy holidays!

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

 

Lessons Learnt From 2017 | Festive Thoughts #1

This past year has been a mad one, don’t you think? I know how cliche it is to say this but it has honestly gone so fast – I don’t think I can even process the fact that 2017 is soon to be over!

To be totally honest with you, this year has been full of extreme highs and lows. And although it’s been a strange thing to go through, 2017 has provided me with so many learning curves and lessons to take along to the new year.

So what better way to celebrate the fact we’ve made it through another year, then to share what this one has taught me?

SELF – CARE IS HARD SOMETIMES

Contrary to what Instagram will tell you, self – care isn’t always face masks and Lush products. Of course it can be this, but there is so much more to looking after yourself then the luxury stuff and I think that’s hit me hard this year.

Sometimes, self – care can mean letting go of old friends who are no longer serving you or make you feel good, or sometimes we can lose friends when we put ourselves first. Both are painful and difficult situations to go through but are so worth it in the long run.

2017 taught me that I need to get serious about my self – care and I need to put myself first, or else I can’t be there for anyone else.

YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IS IMPORTANT, GODDAMMIT!

On a similar note, this past year has taught me that I need to practice what I preach when it comes to mental health and looking after yourself.

I am often very public about caring for mental health and I am the first to encourage my loved ones to take care of themselves. But for the longest time I didn’t take my own mental state seriously – and how that’s come to bite me on the arse this year!

2017 taught me that, regardless of how you’ve been in the past, you do have a mental health and it is something that needs to be taken seriously. Take care of yourself, be honest and seek help if you need it. We all struggle sometimes.

HARD TIMES = GROWTH, BUT OH HOW IT SUCKS!

Can you tell that this has been a little bit of a difficult year for me? 🙂 But as I said in the beginning, I’m actually feeling quite grateful for it all, as it’s allowed me to grow and learn so much.

Because this year has been so full of extreme highs and lows, I’ve learnt that you only really grow during difficult times. It’s those times that allow you to really get deep with yourself. You’ll learn how you cope, what triggers you, what makes you feel good and so on. But even though I know how beneficial these hard times can be, it doesn’t stop them sucking and it doesn’t stop the negative impact is has on me in the current moment.

2017 taught me how to cope better with hard times, how to lift myself back up and the signs to look for when things start going downhill again.

SOMETIMES YOU NEED THE DULL MOMENTS IN LIFE

Like I keep saying, there’s been some extreme highs and lows this year. One of which was my graduation in July, which was definitely a high! I had worked so hard for so long to get to that moment and although it was wonderful, and I still can’t believe I have a degree in a subject I love, life suddenly got in the way again.

I felt so underwhelmed for such a long time. After all that hard work, effort and fun I was now back at home, working in retail and, along with a bunch of other obstacles, I’ve found myself feeling like a failure for the past six months or so.

But being out of education and being away from creative/productive work has allowed me to relax and get a grip on my life again. University was a wonderful experience for me, but it also came with it’s difficulties and I now understand that I’ve needed some time away just to live. To get back in touch with myself, so to speak.

2017 taught me that there is value to every season of life. Comparison certainly is the thief of joy and just because your journey differs from those around you (or online!) doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. Take things at your own pace and stop being so hard on yourself.


So there we have it! This has been a bit of a personal post and basically a summary of my 2017. How was yours?

Happy holidays!

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

My New Year’s Resolutions

Can you believe it’s 2017, man? It’s absolutely crazy but let’s try not to get too upset about how fast everything is going. Although I’m not a fan of New Years or the month of January as a whole, I’m trying to be positive and focus on the fact it’s a fresh start.

Here are some of the things I want to achieve this year. Let’s say they’re more ‘goals’ then resolutions:

  • Travel More

I travelled more in 2016 than I think I have in my entire life. And not all of it was 2 week holidays or even far away from my hometown, but I loved every experience. It made me realise how good getting away from where you live can be, even if it’s just for a day. In 2017 I want to travel more especially to places in the UK (I don’t think I could afford many abraod trips anyway!). It’s going to require some saving, but I think I’d rather spend money on some experiences rather than more and more makeup palettes. I think, ha!

  • Be More Spontaneous

This kind of goes hand-in-hand with travel more, but I think it’s going to be harder. I’m a born worrier and doing things without less than a weeks’ notice makes me very stressed. But there were a handful of stand-out moments in 2016 where I just went for it and it was the best decision I could have made. I don’t think I’ll ever be the kind of person who doens’t plan and could just jump on a plane, or whatever. But I think I need to learn that not everything needs to be planned to the minute detail.

  • Blogging Focus

I am so passionate about and generally in love with this blog. It’s my little space where I get to do what I love whenever I want and it’s been such a healthy and helpful thing for me to do. I want to keep going with this blog in 2017 and work on it even more. I finish university this year (*screams*) and things are generally going to be changing a lot for me and I’d love to share it all on this platform. I know it’s basically nothing in the grand scheme of the internet but it’s mine and I’m so happy to be creating.

  • Buy Less, Use More

I spend an awful lot of money on clothes and makeup. Those are my two main areas when spending and since going to university I’ve gotten into the terrible habit of emotional shopping. In 2017 I want to try to spend less on crap, basically. I have more than enough bits to keep me going. Besides, towards the end of 2016 I was trying to use up the makeup I had before I purchased anymore and I really enjoyed doing that. I want to try to stop buying things in bulk and maybe save up for better quality pieces when and if I need them.

  • Calm Down

As I mentioned, I’m a stresser. I get really nervous and worried and often make myself ill through stressing about nothing. Although 2017 is a terrifying and busy year for me I really want to try to work on calming myself down. I can’t seem to enjoy anything because I’m so worried about what might happen or what’s going to happen. It’s really annoying and I want to work on it. I’ll always be a worrier, it’s just who I am, but there’s no need for it to get in the way of everything I try to do.

  • See More Live Shows

I love going to concerts and the theatre so much, but unfortunately due to the cost and time I can’t go that often. However in 2017 I do want to make an active effort to go see more live concerts and live shows because the experience is always phenomenal. Regardless of what I see, whether that’s a show or a gig, I always walk away with amazing memories. It can seriously change your outlook and I think it’s healthy to experience things like this live now and again.

  • Self-Loving

This is something I promise myself every year but I really want to work on my self-love and confidence. I’m going to be 21 this year and it seems silly that I’m still insecure and not 100% my own best friend yet. I’m so passionate about self-love and I want everyone to love who they are, so why not include myself in that too?

I wish you all the absolute happiest of new years and I know 2017 is going to bring good things to us all. I am so grateful for those of you who are still reading this blog. You mean the world.

Speak soon,

Rachael