10 Steps To Refresh and Reboot Your Body

Do you know those days where you just feel a bit ‘meh’? For some reason you just don’t feel 100% and it’s getting in the way of everything you’re trying to do.

Well, here are 10 little steps you can take to feeling refreshed, rebooted and ready to tackle that to-do list once again:

  1. Take a shower
  2. Wash, condition and brush your hair
  3. Lather yourself in a fresh smelling soap, my personal favourite scents are citrus ones. They make me feel so clean and ready to take on anything.
  4. Exfoliate and/or shave what needs doing
  5. Moisturise your body, head to toe. This is especially important in the winter!
  6. Wear your favourite PJs or comfies
  7. Put on a face mask
  8. Give yourself a manicure and pedicure. I find it hard to do anything when I feel a mess.
  9. Make sure the space you are in is warm and clean
  10. Get yourself your favourite hot drink

20161205_110100.jpg

Then you’re ready to take on anything, my friends. At least this is what normally works for me. What helps you feel refreshed and rebooted?

Speak soon,

Rachael

Advertisements

The Scrooge Guide: Reasons To be Happy This Festive Season 

There’s no escaping Christmas now, no matter how hard you try. This is a wonderful time of the year but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. And I get that.

Christmas can be a magical and fun time, if you celebrate it. But for some it’s just another month in the year. This post is for you. It’s also for you if you love Christmas, of course, because I’m guessing any mention of it has you practically buzzing with excitement.

Whether you like Christmas or not, or even if you don’t celebrate it so can’t relate to all this festive cheer, here are some reasons to be happy this festive season:

  • It’s now totally acceptable to stay indoors and choose chocolate over socialising
  • People don’t question the amount of hot drinks you consume in a day.
  • Wearing a onesie at any time in the day because it’s too cold to wear anything else.
  • Seeing the sky change into magical colours as the sun rises too late and sets too early.  Yes we have less sun in this season, but look how pretty that sky is!
  • Fairy lights
  • Party food. Mini cheeseburger anyone?
  • Your usually boring town or city is transformed into a magical, winter kingdom
  • Chocolate and cheese are the only courses you need
  • Going for walks all wrapped up but still returning with a nose Rudolph would be proud of
  • It’s totally okay to eat chocolate first thing in the morning
  • Oversized jumpers and chunky boots are trendy and everywhere once again
  • Christmas markets.  Yes they’re super festive but the food!

As you can see, my favourite thing about this season is the food! What do you like most about this time if the year?

Speak soon,

Rachael

Cool Things I Did In November (Alternatively Titled: How To Escape)

I know I said this in my last monthly post (read here) but it’s just been another weird month. I think with the end of the year approaching, workload picking up and the general state of the world (*cough* Trump) it’s understandable that a lot of us are feeling a bit shit right now.

I’m, personally, really looking forward to the end of the semester and the end of the year. Although I hate New Years and January, I feel like we all need a chance to let off some steam over the Christmas and start afresh.

Although this month has been a bit poop and I’m still feeling weird about a lot of things (2016, man) I did some really cool things throughout November. These things, I noticed, helped me escape whatever was going on around me and although I want to share with you the events, because they really were cool, I also want to talk about escaping and looking after yourself too.

  • Bastille Concert

On Remeberence Sunday me and my brother went to see Bastille in Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena and they were phenomenal. Seriously. Bastille are a band that seem to always be there when I’m going through a weird or difficult time and I was so happy to find that my love for them hasn’t disappeared over the years.

The arena was bouncing and the guys were amazing. I’d totally recommend you guys give Bastille a listen, especially if you’re struggling to cope with what’s happening on the news right now. They sing about now and the struggles we’re all facing. Wild World is such a relatable album and sums up all our feelings on this year, basically.

Stand Out Tracks You Need To Hear: Fake It, The Currents, Warmth, Snakes .

  • Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a new love in my life. It’s something I’d seen in the past but didn’t really get. But now for some reason it’s become a great love of mine. In my university flat, there’s nothing we enjoy doing more than watching a version of this weird and wacky show together. And luckily we had a chance to see it this month!

It was hilarious, as expected, and brilliantly performed. It was basically a wonderful excuse to get dressed up and giggle like a schoolkid about sex. And there was something so wonderful going to see it so close to the shocking news in America as Rocky Horror is basically a celebration of all genders, sexualities and, well, species. Ha! It was the perfect escape and just a chance for us all to laugh about silly things.

If you haven’t seen Rocky Horror or have and just don’t get it, then I’d highly recommend you watch the BBC America’s 40th Anniversary Special (you can find it on YouTube). Seeing it live is a totally different experience and I’m sure you’ll love it.

  • Durham

This month I went home for a week which was so lovely. I’ve been feeling really homesick this semester, which is unusual for me, so it was so nice being back home and getting some TLC from my family.

While I was at home, me and my mam took a little day trip to Durham as, despite how close it is to where we live, we had never done that together. It was such a lovely day (as you can see in the pictures) and it was nice exploring somewhere new with my mam, who I don’t get to see much when I’m at university.

Going somewhere new and exploring was such a nice boost and made me feel like a completely different person. I know it did me and my mam the world of good being out of the house and having a little walk around. You don’t have to go far, but dedicate a day to explore and be outside. It’ll make you feel so much better, I promise.

So that was my November. This is kind of a different post for me and I’d love to hear your feedback on it! How was your month?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

Mind Your Damn Business: A Discussion On Privacy by a Nosy Journalism Student

I haven’t even started this post yet but I already know it’s going to have no structure and no clear point. Apologies. But this is a topic I really want to talk about and something that I’ve been thinking about recently for various different reasons.

I am currently in my last year of a Journalism degree, which means for the past two years I have been taught how to be more curious, how to be ask the right questions and how to find things out. Which is all well and good and these are certainly skills I will need should I go into this field.

On a personal level I have loved learning these things. I’m naturally a nosy person and I ask a million and one questions a day (something I’m sure my friends and family hate). Basically,  I feel like I didn’t grow out of that stage every toddler goes through where they want to know the answer to everything, right now. I’m 20, guys.

Anyway, I’m hoping you get the picture. I’m a nosy, curious person who loves nothing more than finding out information about other people.

Despite this, I do find myself thinking or saying the phrase “it’s none of your business” a lot of the time recently. Even though I’m studying journalism and I am such a nosy sod (seriously. I’m embarrassed for myself a lot of the time) I can’t help but think that it’s all kind of wrong.

In an age of social media, we’re encouraged to share everything with our followers and our friends. And some people share everything. I mean, everything. Which is totally cool, you do you. But because we’ve become so used to having access to people’s personal lives, whether they be celebrities or old school friends, we begin to expect it. So when someone chose to keep something private, we feel enraged.

How dare they not share that with us?

We begin to feel like we’re owed this information. And that’s kind of messed up.

But not only do we want access to this information, but because we’ve gotten so used to seeing it we feel like we can comment on how other people live their lives.

We all do it and I for one am guilty of this on almost a daily basis- which is really sad when you think about it.  We all have our own ideas of what is the right or wrong way to do something, from the way we study, the way we raise children, the way we work: the list is endless. And when we see someone do something differently to how we would like it to be done we freak out.

Celebrity magazines thrive of this stuff, man. How many articles have you read insulting the way a famous person does this or that? Tonnes, I’ll bet.

It’s such a normal and common thing that I think we’ve forgotten how wrong it is. Like what business is it of ours how someone chooses to live their own life? As long as they’re not hurting anyone or breaking the law or something like that, then what does it matter?

Of course, if you see something actually wrong (ie. legally) then don’t be afraid to report that shit and put a spotlight on it. But in terms of the everyday stuff, why do we care?

I don’t have a solution to this. I don’t even have any suggestions to offer on how to get better at minding your own business. I just wanted to express some opinions on this topic and hopefully get some kind of discussion going, because it’s an interesting topic.

If you are interested in this kind of stuff, I’d recommend you watch this video by the wonderful Sarah Rae Vargas which inspired this whole train of thought.

How public are you on social media? Are you a nosy person? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Or you can Tweet me and start a conversation there.

Thanks for sticking with me, if you did, through this long post. If you like my blog you can follow it on bloglovin too.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

 

Things I’ve Been Loving: October

October was a frigging long month wasn’t it? Unlike previous months, which seemed to fly by, I thought it would never end.

Now winter is basically here, Christmas  is coming and we can all breathe a sigh of relief that this weird year is coming to a close.

October was an odd month for me and not a particularly good one, but these little things made me happy throughout so I though I’d share them with you:

Dangerous Woman: Ariana Grande

Ipod.jpg

I have never really been a fan of Ariana Grande and I haven’t gotten the hype that’s surrounded her since she first hit the charts. But for some reason I was drawn to this album and I have basically listened to it non-stop all month. It’s so good and I feel like whatever mood I’m in I turn to it. There’s some belters that I love screeching along to and a couple of sassy tracks that make me feel like I’m way cooler than I am.

Chokers

Chokers.jpg

I’ve had a (none sexual) thing for chokers for a little while now but this month I just stepped it up a notch. I ordered a bunch off eBay (unfortunately not all were what I expected. Lesson learnt there) and have been wearing them more often. I feel like they add an edge to a basic outfit and can look so cool with so many different things.

Toasted Teacakes

Teacakes.jpg

A random mention but this month toasted teacakes have been my snack of choice. Especially now it’s getting colder and the days are becoming greyer, I really looks forward to cuddling up with a cup of tea and a teacake. I feel like such an old lady talking about this but it genuinely has been one of my favourite things to do this month. I know, I’m such an exciting human being!

The Manifesto on How to be Interesting: Holly Bourne

book

This was the first full book I had read in such a long time and I just devoured it. I started it when I went away to Manchester for the weekend with my boyfriend and one of my closest friends and just whizzed through it. I have to confess I love a bit of YA and this one was so clever and interesting.

It goes into mental health and self-harm but is ultimately the tale of a girl who discovers herself while going through an extreme personality change. It’s quite raw and honest which I absolutely loved. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I put it down.

Primark Embroidered Jeans

Jeans.jpg

I managed to find these jeans in the sale when I went back home for the day this month. I have been looking for some ripped jeans for a while now, as well as being slightly in love with this whole embroidered trend going on. So imagine my excitement when I found this beauty, which has both! I haven’t wore them everyday, but just knowing they’re now in my wardrobe has made me so happy.

Fortune Favours the Brave Palette: Makeup Revolution

20161005_093135.jpg

I treated myself to this palette on a student lock-in night at my local shopping centre and I don’t regret it one bit. I know I mentioned another Makeup Revolution palette in my last Loves post but that’s only because they’re so good! They’re pretty cheap (this once was £9.99 FYI) and they are fantastic. They’re so pigmented and offer a wide range of colours, so if you’re someone like me who likes to mess about with makeup I’d give them a go. This one also can in handy on Halloween when I was experimenting with various looks.

And finally:

American Horror Story: Season 6

I have been so obsessed with American Horror Story this month! Have you been watching it? It’s been amazing- I can’t get enough of it to be honest.

Me and one of my very good friends (who also happens to be my flatmate while I’m at uni) have gotten into the routine of watching it together and it’s been such a lovely part of my week for this past month. As I’ve already said, this month has been a bit crap so it’s so nice to have something to look forward to every week.  If you’re a bit squeamish like me then watching this show with someone else can be pretty useful!

I don’t want to get too much into it, as I feel like it’s best to not know anything if you fancy watching it but I will say it’s such a dark and disturbing show. It’s also very unique and clever too. I’m really enjoying it anyway and if you fancy something to watch in the darker nights then this is for you.

Star

So those were the things that have made this month a bit better. What have you been loving?

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

 

 

 

What Is Self Care Anyway?

Following Mental Health Day this week (Monday 10th October, FYI) I’ve been thinking a lot about this whole ‘self-care’ thing.

It’s become somewhat of a trend on social media and we’re often surrounded by images of Lush products and bubble baths. Which of course is a part of it, but it isn’t always pretty and so Instagramable.

We all have a metal health just as we have a physical health. It just looks different for everyone.

THE BASICS

self-care 

noun: care of the self without medical or other professional consultation.

It’s pretty self explanatory but it does what it says on the tin. Although seeking help and support from other people is brilliant (in fact the Mental Health Foundation claim that talking to other people is one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. You can read that here) you can also take control and look after yourself too.

You can do this in various different ways, which I will discuss in a minute. But the main thing to remember is you have control. When you’re struggling with mental health issues, whether that be a diagnosed problem or not, it can sometimes feel like you have no control over yourself.

But this idea of self-care puts the control back in your hands and reminds you that no matter how bad it gets, there is always something you can do for yourself that can help you along your journey.

(If you are struggling I will put some useful links at the end of this post to help)

HOW TO HELP YOURSELF

Self-care isn’t always pretty. Sometimes it takes more than pampering yourself or working out. A lot of the time self-care covers things like getting yourself out of bed, ensuring you’ve washed your face and brushed your teeth. It’s the effort a lot of people have to put into doing the daily things that most of us don’t even have to think about.

Self-care can also be the bigger things in our lives that may be harder to deal with but have a great impact on our mental wellness.

If things haven’t been feeling to great for a while, Mind, the mental health charity, recommends:

  • Assess your current situation
  • Look at the relationships you currently have
  • Ask for help
  • Take note of what make you happy or sad
  • Spot the warning signs

(You can read more about these here)

These are normally the ‘bigger’ things that have an impact on our mental health. With these it may take a little longer to notice a positive effect. But trust me (and Mind) they’re so effective.

You first need to evaluate what you already have going on in your life and see how these could be effecting your mental well being. Once you recognise the issues, you should talk action to either remove them or change them. Hence why this can take a little time.

THE ‘SMALLER’ THINGS

I don’t really like to downplay mental health or any kind of health issues really. It’s such a personal thing that no one can really judge (or at least try not to anyway.)

However, alongside those bigger, slower steps outlined above there are some simpler actions you can take to improve your mental well being on a day-to-day basis.

The following are things to do when you’re having an ‘off’ day:

  • Pamper night
  • Go for a walk
  • Read a book
  • Play or listen to music (a personal favourite)
  • Chat with friends/family
  • Eat well or cook
  • Do something good for someone else (ie. make them a meal)
  • Watch a movie or TV show

You can check out some of these in more detail in a post I did a few weeks ago.

Also see Mind‘s and the Mental Health Foundation‘s tips.

The key is to try to distract yourself. Take your mind of what is currently happening, even just for a little while.

If you are struggling please seek help either from friends or family or one of the professional services linked below.

Remember that you are not alone and everyone is going through struggles of their own. You can do this.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

USEFUL LINKS

Mind Contact: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/helplines/ 

The Samaritans: 116 123 (it’s free)

BEAT (Eating Disorders): Helpline: 0345 634 1414 Youthline: 0345 634 7650

Childline: 0800 1111

Other useful details: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/getting-help

 

 

 

 

Becoming Unstuck: How To Get Out of A Rut

It’s so easy to get stuck into a rut and feel like there is no way out. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, being ‘stuck in a rut’ describes those times when you feel like you’re trapped. When things aren’t going quite as you’d like but you can’t find any way to resolve that.

This is kind of how I’m feeling right now and I know I’m not alone. Although it seems like everyone and their mother is excited about Autumn (I too am one of those people) it is a difficult time of year and I think we forget that. The days are shorter, the nights are darker and things generally get a little low for a while.

It’s natural for us to feel a little crap during this change of season but it, of course, isn’t the best. We’ve all got things to be getting on with and that’s really hard to do when you’re feeling a bit under the weather.

So for both you and me, here’s a little reminder of some basic things we can do to make ourselves feel better and drag ourselves out of this rut.

  • Go Outside

Walk.jpg

This is something that is going to get harder as the season goes on because it’s cold and it’s probably raining so going outside is the last thing you’d like to do. I know that we’d probably all rather be sat inside, cuddled up in something warm watching the weather from a safe place but getting outside is so important for your mental health.

It’s not hard to feel like you’re stuck in a rut when you haven’t moved from the sofa for a while. When you feel yourself getting low or agitated or generally just a bit ‘meh’ try to organise some time to go outside. Even if it’s a quick walk to your corner shop, those few minutes where you’re breathing in some (questionably) fresh air and moving about will make you feel so much better and productive.

  • Make Plans

Planner.jpg

We become stuck in a rut because it feels like there isn’t anything new happening. Everything feels the same, day in day out. I think it’s quite easy to forget that we can change that and we can in fact control our daily routines to some extent.

Although I’m about to advise you to make plans with your friends, your family, your flatmates or whoever you have around you at this moment I am really bad at this myself. I really do think that this is a super important step in getting out of a rut and I know that when I have something to look forward to, even if it’s just a simple movie day or going out for tea, I feel better but I’m really bad at it. I’m one of those people who will change their mind a million times about attending an event and then I’ll probably end up cancelling anyway (sorry!). This is something I want to change (and maybe something I will discuss in a later post) because I know how beneficial it is for me, and you, to go out and do things.

Having something to look forward to will help push you through this strange time and show you that it doesn’t always have to be the same story everyday.

  • Be Creative

creative

In her fabulous book, Big Magic, that I have talked about a million times, Elizabeth Gilbert said:

If I am not actively creating something, chances are I am about to start actively destroying something.

(You can find this quote on her post here too)

And damn can I relate to that. It’s something I’ve realised pretty recently but if I am not working on something, whether that be this blog or university work or even free writing,  I feel crap. I get irritated and stressed because I feel totally useless. And when I don’t work on anything for days or weeks on an end, those feelings get worse and worse.

Whatever your creative thing is, your hobby, past time or passion, try to work on that even if you don’t feel like it. When you’re stuck in a rut and you feel low, the last thing you want to do is be creative (I would like to quickly point out now that creative is a subjective term and can relate to anything from art to sports. You know what your thing is) but it can help you so much.

Force yourself to read, write, run, dance, draw. Whatever it is you enjoy, take even an hour out to do that thing and I guarantee you’ll feel so much better after.

As always I hoped this helped. What do you do when you’re stuck in a rut? I’d love to know.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

It’s Difficult: Going 24 Hours Without The Internet

Being set the challenge of going 24 hours without the internet doesn’t sound like a big deal, if you say it quickly. The idea of going one day without checking your Facebook or scrolling through Instagram sounds pretty easy. It even sounds kind of liberating, don’t you think?

I certainly did anyway. In fact prior to the day of the challenge I was feeling pretty excited. With claims of “it’s only a day, really” (more to convince myself than anyone else, I’ve later realised) I turned all my devices onto aeroplane mode and began to plan how I would spent my full free day.

Maybe I’d finally start reading that book that’s been lying on my shelf for God knows how long or maybe I’d take a walk to the beach and check it out. That’s something I’ve been dying to do for ages.

But I didn’t get chance to do either of those things.

Within two hours on the day of the challenge I had crumbled. Despite trying to not be connected I couldn’t escape the notifications, emails and app updates that were blowing up my phone and I had to check them out.

It seemed that on the one day I didn’t want to use my phone, I suddenly became popular. But I don’t really have anyone to blame here.

I had failed my challenge within only two hours. That’s like the time it would take to watch one movie, or two episodes of the latest hit on Netflix. That’s nothing and I was so annoyed.

I was also ashamed and embarrassed that I couldn’t even go a couple of hours without being drawn to the online world. I honestly thought it didn’t mean that much to me and that this challenge would have been something I could have flown through.

Wait, I am addicted to the internet?

(Read the second part here)

Star

This post is a part of a university assignment I was set. It will be a three part post regarding the internet, social media and other people’s views. Normal service will continue on this blog throughout these posts. Cheers for you patience and stick around for regular posts.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

 

 

Four Simple Ways To Get Your Shit Together

There’s nothing worse than feeling lost and stressed. The summer is basically over now and we’re all getting back into our normal routines; our workload’s are increasing and things are generally starting to pick up. In this time it is so easy to feel like things are getting on top of you and you’re starting to lose grasp.

I’m a worrier by nature so I feel like this quite often. Because of this, I’ve have come up with four simple things to do to make you feel like you’ve got your shit together and are once again ready to take on the world.

  • Clean Your Makeup Brushes

If you’re a makeup wearer then you’ll know the pain of washing your makeup brushes. I mean, maybe it’s just me being lazy but it’s a task I hate doing and will try to avoid it for as long as I can. But, dedicating even half an hour one evening to go through everything and clean is guaranteed to make you feel like you do indeed have your shit together and are winning at, well, life basically.

  • Self-Maintenance

Everyone can stop what they’re doing for a least a couple of hours on an evening and you should do. Take this time to run a hot bath or shower and pamper yourself. Shave your legs (if you fancy), wash and condition your hair, exfoliate, moisturise: do whatever it is in this time that makes you feel good because I promise you’ll feel amazing afterwards and all the more ready to keep going.

  • Do Some Exercise

Now I’m not encouraging you to take out an expensive gym membership and work out everyday. I mean, if you want to do that don’t let me stop you. But exercise doesn’t have to cost anything. Simply getting outside and going for a walk does wonders for both your physical and mental health. Put in some headphones and go for a wander and you’ll return feeling lighter and brighter.

  • Tidy Room, Tidy Mind

I can’t work if the area I’m in is messy and quite frankly I don’t understand how anyone can. Even if you’re not a neat freak, just do a quick whizz round of your room- put things back in drawers, make the bed. Having a clearer space with seriously help clear your mind and allow you to focus on what actually needs done.

Star

Keep calm and carry on my chums. I believe in you.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

 

 

 

Calling All Freshers: Freshers’ Week Essentials

Many of you will no doubt be heading off to university very soon (or you may even be there now, you lucky thing!) and as you’re probably aware Freshers’ Week is one of the most important dates on your academic calendar. Especially in your first year. It’s your chance to settle into your new home, make new friends and overall just have a good time.

However, it can be a tricky time for you so I’m here today to list the absolute essentials I think you need to make your Freshers’ Week a wonderful yet safe and comfortable time for you.

Please note, I will be appealing more to the ‘typical’ Fresher in this post. The kind who is looking forward to the clubs, events and drinking. But I want you to know that if this is not your cup of tea you can still have a brilliant time. You do what works best for you and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for that.

THE ESSENTIALS

  • A Medical/First-Aid Kit

You can make one of these yourself before you go away. Freshers’ Week is a fun but messy time so I’d recommend you take plenty of painkillers (paracetamol, ibuprofen), plasters and cold relief medicine (because Freshers’ Flu is totally real. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise). Better to be safe than sorry.

  • Warm, Comfortable Clothes

Like jogging bottoms, hoodies and sweatshirts. You’re probably going to be hungover a lot of the time this week so these are essential for when you have to get ready, but really want to stay in your PJs.

  • A Door-Stop

While you’re getting ready for the latest event or you’re just chilling in your room trying to recover, leaving your door open will show your new flatmates that you’re in and welcome to be interrupted. It’s a great way to try to bond with these new people who you’re going to see everyday for the next year.

 

  • A Pack of Cards

There’s going to be an awful amount of pre-drinking this week (if you want to) and although it is best to be sensible and drink in moderation, playing drinking games is a hilarious way to bond with your new flatmates. Playing cards can be used for various different games and having these will make sure you’re not just sat there in silence.

  • Junk/Easy Food

Again, thinking about your hungover days you’re going to want something that doesn’t require a lot of movement but will fill you up. Lots of carbohydrates is my personal recommendation. It’s better to have something in just in case you’re not up for visiting the local takeaway.

Star

I hope you all have a brilliant, and safe, Freshers’ Week and a wonderful year at university!

Speak soon,

Rachael.