What exactly is self-care and why do we need it?

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Self-care is something that I try to think about and achieve as much as I humanly can. I am often seeing so many people talking about the importance of self-care that it truly shocks me that some people still do not know what it is or why it is so beneficial to them.

Self-care

What is self-care?

self-care are the actions we do that our for ourselves. When we maintain a good self-care routine, we are achieving it for ourselves. Improving our health, development and well being.

Is there anything that you do that makes you feel good today? Actually forget good. That is such a boring word. If you can sit there and say today my day was, what imaginative word would you use? Mine, my day was unique. My day was unique because only I had this day today for everyone else it was different.

I know how easy it is to become blind to the positives in life, especially when it comes to our mental health. Even when their good things staring at us right in the face, sometimes, for no reason at all. For no fault of our own, we let our anxiety or depression win.  In my previous post, I explained that its ok to be in a down spell which covered a lot more of this, here.

I have recently become addicted to those books, that I suppose fall into the Self-help category at Waterstones! (Not that I actually go to the actual book shop, it is definitely about Amazon Prime buying!) 
I love the quotes and inspiration that you can adopt from these books, sometimes I could be reading a few paragraphs of something, and think crap! this is me! Anxiety overtaking comes naturally to me. It is not just about the words, it will be ok, is not always good enough, and our actions influence everything, especially how we feel. 

Looking after your own mental health isn’t just about how you feel on what day, and it is definitely not about just talking it through, our actions and mindset put together to have a massive impact on our lives on a day to day basis.
These things I class as self-care for me, everyone is different, so although they may not work for you, I hope some of my ideas help someone! 

self-care

Types of self-care

There 8 self-care types and many different things you can do for each particular type.

Physical

Your physical self-care includes your sleeping, your physical health, what your eating and drinking, ways to rest and relax.

emotional

your emotional self-care covers your stresses, your emotional attachments, compassion, kindness etc.

Social

Your social self-care is your communication skills, your connections with overs, positive social media reflection, and your boundaries.

Spiritual

Your spiritual self-care includes the time that you spend alone, meditation & yoga, connections with nature, journaling and sacred spaces.

Personal

Personal self-care is your hobbies, getting to know yourself, your personal identities, and the ability to empower yourself to be yourself.

Space

Spacial self-care is the care you take into looking after your own space. The space you live in. The earth itself, by being sustainable and keeping your personal spaces organise.

Financial

Financial self-care is being able to manage your money correctly so that you’re not getting yourself into financial worries, such as splurging money too much you are surrounded by debt. As well as being able to commit to responsibilities of paying their own bills etc.

Work

Finally, your work self-care is the things that you need in your workplace, the things that help and improve your time management, workspace, learning and to take suitable breaks.

What can I do to achieve it?

There are a variety of different activities you can do to reach your own personal self-care goals. Here are some general ideas…

BUBBLE BATH, BATH BOMBS, CANDLES AND MAYBE A LITTLE WINE!

When it has been a long day, or when your feeling a bit down, or just for no reason at all. It’s more about the giving yourself time to relax, chill, and let any stress, threats or anxiety fade. 

BE CREATIVE

It doesn’t matter what your creativity is, always take the time to actually do it! It could be spending hours with your drawing books, or colouring pad, or something a bit more technical. I literally surround my self by different hobbies and crafty things, I love the feeling of accomplishment for whatever you’ve achieved, is enough. Plus somethings are a great distraction, like colouring! 

How about checking out how to make 3D paper flowers, here.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH COLOUR, BEAUTY, AND YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS

I always say that my favourite colour is glitter, Its shiny and so pretty. It makes me feel content! If it is not glitter, it’s pink, it’s colourful. When you surround yourself with the things you love, you will always find something that will be able to make you happy. 

MAKE YOUR FAVOURITE HOT DRINK, IN YOUR FAVOURITE MUG

I have an obsession with mugs (and believe me this is no exaggeration) but I definitely have my fav, I love using. 

SPEND MORE TIME ON YOURSELF

Spending time on you could be absolutely anything, It could be spending an evening pampering yourself, with Hair treatments and painting your nails, to spending a few hours with your favourite book Giving yourself ‘me time’ is such a vital thing that makes us all feel good. As long as your going something that is making you feel happy, then whatever it is it’s a good thing! 

VISIT YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES

We like to have the Marwell Zoo pass, it is given us the excuse to get out and more active. Plus the excuse to take weekends away to visit other zoo locations included in the price. If it is not a zoo were visiting, its Bournemouth beach. We’ve created so many amazing memories on days just out and relaxing. Make a list of your favourite places and make sure you take every possible opportunity to go!

GET YOURSELF ORGANISED

My anxiety always seems to go out of control when I don’t feel organised enough, whether it is arranging something or just something general. Making lists, adjust your routine, using reminders, sticky notes, and updating my calendar always seems to make me feel better. I would always make this a suggestion when things seem to be manic.

What activities do you do for your general self-care? I would love to hear new suggestions.

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Organised Hell? How to Keep yourself organised and carrying on.

I recently wrote a post about what’s on my desk, and as I plan big things for the future. My life has been pretty hectic. I thought that now would be the perfect opportunity to talk about the greatest art of them all. Keeping organised.

Are you like me with a thousand things going on in your mind right this second. Then you have about a hundred different things that you really need to do? No matter how hard you try sometimes it feels like you are never going to catch up! like all that life stuff just seems to get in the way of just everything that you need to do! Maybe you have too many plans and there is just not enough hours in the day. It can literally feel like a rollercoaster that you are stuck on. No brakes, and no way of getting off. Scary hey? but you are not alone. Literally there are thousands of people exactly the same right this minute! Even the most organised can have moments where life is mental as hell and cannot get all their shit together.

Let us be honest. Life really can be a bitch at times. Life is so busy at times that it is hard to get a break from it. Catching up can seem like mission impossible. So what can we do to get ourselves to keep going? and feel like we are heading in the right direction again?

Stop and breathe!

Honestly, this is probably one of the most important steps to getting yourself in a calm and organised. I know that if you are reading this, you are wanting to get organised and productive. You probably feel like you must do it all and do it all now. So we need to learn that it is so important to stop. Take a breath. Don’t panic. Being unorganised and having a lot to do is stressful but if you can just take a minute. Gathering your thoughts will be a massive game-changer for you.
what I mean is, by taking it slow fewer mistakes will happen. Being in control of what it is you have planned. You are going to feel less of a want to give up before you have even begun.

Making Lists!

So now that you are calm and you have taken a break, let’s think it all out! It may sound pretty cliche honestly, but I do believe in to-do lists. Even if they never seem to end. Sit down and recap everything. This helps you work out the most productive way to do things. Anything to be able to save a bit of time. As well as making it possible to remember everything you need to do!.
A brilliant idea would be to keep an active notebook with an ongoing list. You can add to whenever you need, at whatever time. The feeling of crossing an item off the list when it has been completed is quite satisfying.

Also by making a list, you can priorities what actually needs to be down first and what can wait. Meaning you will not need to stress. You will be able to confidently work to deadlines, knowing you have completed your ‘To-Dos’ efficiently. Pretty awesome hey?

Use your phone

Honestly, how many times in life can you say that you do not carry your devices around with us 24/7? We literally have this amazing device that we do so much with. So why not use your smartphone as your personal PA? It is the ideal way of constant reminders and keeping yourself on the ball.

You can sort yourself so that all of your important dates and appointments in your calendar on your phone. Then set your phone to remind you with an alert. I find it really useful as well that you can even share an open calendar with loved ones. So not only are you reminding yourself, you are making sure everyone else is on point too.

I literally have 100 reminders set to go off to remind me at times to do things. That is how I roll! and it works! When something comes up it really does push me to get up and get it sorted. It really is the things that I have not added, I forget.

Organise with Planners

organised with planners
My happy planner (one of them)

A Planner is my favourite purchase of the year. At the moment I am a proud owner of a Mambi Happy Planner, I absolutely love it.
My planner is another creative space for me with all my upcoming adventures and chores written in. I have been using one for 2 years now. As well as a standard planner. I would suggest to anybody, especially anyone who has a love for stationary. I’m thinking of even trying a different style next year and getting the Erin colder life planner.

But don’t get me wrong. You don’t need a fancy planner. A basic one will do just fine as long as you stick to writing everything you basically need too.

Find your Zone

And by Zone, I mean your own space! like a little corner of your room or house, that is completely yours for getting stuff done!
It’s such a good idea since I have my own desk the way that I work has changed so much. I almost never have my laptop on the bed anymore! Being able to happy to sit in my ‘zone’ which I have personalised to be a bit of me. I am able to craft and create for hours at a time without any distractions or excuses. Even if you can’t have an office like set up or anything like that. I would still suggest you have an appropriate space where you can get shit done. It is such an amazing tool!

Sticky notes are your organising friend!

So speaking of sticky things… I have always had a massive love for sticky notes. I can quite easily have them everywhere. Full of reminders, info or just a few doodles and inspirational phrases. Plus leaving messages for yourself on pretty and coloured paper can really brighten up a room.

Those colours <3

Time management!

Another really important factor for the skills of being organised. Time management. Ensuring that you are able to give yourself enough time to complete tasks. Being able to take your time on whatever it is you are doing. is so so important.
Don’t set yourself a task that is going to take you 3 hours, when you only have 1 hour free. That is just setting yourself for failure.
You will be less likely to complete what it is you are doing, and that would just suck wouldn’t it? no one likes too many open projects at one time hey?

So what keeps you organised?

These most important factors that I can think of. Methods that I actually use to keep myself organised and on the right path!
I would always encourage all of my friends to try these ways of getting back on track! and never giving up, you can do whatever you put your mind to.

So guys. What are the methods that you guys would suggest? I would love to hear your comments and suggestions below! so I look forward to hearing from you all.

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How I beat writer block as a blogger

Starting a blog feels crazy. It is the minute you became a writer. I bet you any money your mind had been filled with a countless ideas and expectations for your blog. Your enthusiasm at this point was at its very peak. I’m describing myself here that is exactly what I was like. I had a thousand and one ideas for what my space on the web was going to look like! I knew exactly what I was gonna be posting. Well, Kind of. I did make the mistake of not keeping notes in the beginning, but I have learnt from that! believe me!

When it comes to running a blog it definitely brings you new challenges and obstacles to overcome. Honestly Becoming a blogger can be a pretty tough world to Step in to at times. Let’s face it, it is all about being a writer. But no matter what those challenges are it’s an amazing passion that many of us share. However so many things in life it can be pretty difficult to be 100% motivated and engaged at all times, right? For a blogger, we call this writer’s block. I call it a lack of Mojo. It’s not really the most ideal feeling to encounter for yourself or your writing.

So it is really not always easy to have a constant flow of words, and this makes creating decent content extremely hard. I have not met a single blogger or writer yet that has said they have never encountered writer’s block! It seems to be a demon for everyone! and worst yet, you never quite know when that demon is gonna creep up on you.

So what can you do to beat the beast? I have listed my ways of overcoming writer’s block and keeping my content coming!

Writer

Take breaks

It’s so important to know when to take a moment away from the screen, even better get out of the house if you can. The more time you spend living the more you will find things to write about. Seriously! with every experience, you encounter your ideas will blossom naturally.

Jot ideas down

That’s right! Grab a pen, find a notebook and sit and jot down all the ideas for blog posts you can possibly think of. No idea is too small!

It’s adamant that you will come up with ideas when you least expect it. So where possible write it down as soon as possible and if you are out? I find useful is having an electronic notebook on my phone. I use OneNote and then copy it into an actual notebook later.

Read more blogs and do some research.

Connecting with writers, engaging with the blogging community and reading the content that is already out there is honestly such an amazing way of finding inspiration for yourself when you are feeling a bit stuck for blog posts. Do as much research as you can about a subject and be inspired just by visiting you friends pages. It’s such a simple method of finding inspiration.

Oh! And definitely check out Pinterest for ideas. There are so many people out there sharing their blog post ideas that can really help guide you when you completely stuck.

Don’t force it!

This may sound a bit daft but I honestly believe you shouldn’t be forcing your content. Do not get too worried about how long it has been since you last hit publish. It is so much more important to make sure that you are writing about things that make you passionate in life. When you have something you will just know because of how you feel, confident in your work.

Keep positive and never give up.

Struggling for ideas, not feeling motivated, having a little plan can be so disheartening and if you let it can take control, so think about the reason you first started writing, the first-ever blog post that you sent available to the world to see. Why did you do that? It is so useful and inspiring to remember the reason you started doing what you do! You can inspire yourself, even more, to be as amazing as you are.

So…

No matter where you are in the writer slump doesn’t ever give up. Take care of yourself before you continue to work on your blog space.

I would love to hear your ideas about how you keep yourself motivated and inspired as well as how you beat writer’s block. Leave your comments below.

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Why I blog?

I’ve seen lately a lot of bloggers talking about why they blog. I thought it would be a good opportunity for a post about what has inspired me. including why I’m part of the blogging community.

My first time writing a blog…

My passion for keeping a blog started back when I was in college and studying A level photography. During my studies, I came across a photographer/Blogger on the blogger website called Katie running the blog Color me Katie.

I’d been really inspired by Katie at the time and based some of my photography finals on inspiration from her work. within a few weeks, I began a blog for my photography studies and ran this as a hobby. I stopped that back ages ago.

the blogger recognition award

after a while, I remembered a few years ago how much I enjoyed the blogging side of photography. It got me researching other bloggers before I eventually took the leap and opened my AlexCsparkles blog. Which I later turned to AlexaJade domain. But we’re in the same place.
My first blog post is here.

One of the things that got me back into blogging is having the space to be creative. A space to share all my thoughts and leave my own footprint on the massive world of the web. Which I think I am achieving slowly, anyway

How I blog…

Although I had experimented with other blogging platforms in the past I had chosen WordPress for my blogging adventure. I knew straight away that I was gonna self-host, no question about it. The reason I prefer self-hosting my blog is I feel there is so much more freedom in the way I run and use my blog. It does mean I am paying for hosting, as well as my domain and varies securities and extras. But it has been worth every penny so far.

I wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t for my MacBook and iPad. I’m constantly on them doing something towards the blog.

To keep a blog is a real hobby…

I think when you have a natural passion for something you automatically give your all to this without question. There is no postponement, no fear. Just leaps of faith all round. If your hobbies are painting then you would need to buy paints and art supplies. So what’s the difference when your hobby is blogging there is no difference. Minnie, I’m saying that and have a million other hobbies in the background as well, so a lot of my money goes on hobbies.

blog

The community is so amazing …

The blogging community is amazing, and I’ve never seen such a big community anywhere else. I have joined various Facebook groups that have provided support and chat for the past few months. However, when I think of blogging community I automatically go straight to twitter where I have made so many friends, been inspired by so many, and spend a lot of my time lately.

When I’m chatting to other people about blogging it’s really easy to build connections with them. The community is probably one of my favourite things because I have just learnt so much through other bloggers, it’s unreal.

With such a supportive and respectful community my confidence has grown so much.

Blogging has given me so many goals to reach…

A bit like when I was talking about blogging being a hobby. When you are doing something it kinda becomes human nature to improve on what you are doing. So I’m the same when it comes to my blog.

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Love triangle – The truth & my real story.

We now live in a day and age of woman empowerment and how we should be striving to be a better person. In the past few years, I can finally say that I am so happy. I have a perfect life, with the perfect woman. I feel grateful to say that I have found my fairy tale ending. To be honest, if none of this had happened, we would never have found each other. So Im grateful for this.
But life has not always been so perfect.

love triangle

My Story…

I remember the day it all started as if it was yesterday. My phone went off. It was early and way before my shift at work was due to start. We arranged to meet at the back of my work. This would be my first encounter with her. That morning I went into my sleeping parent’s room and said I needed to leave for work early. I was going to buy some paracetamol for a headache before work. This was my first lie told to my parents, and it wasn’t the last.

A year must of arguments and confusion had gone by before I found out the truth. I wasn’t the only girl in her life. Feeling humiliated, I felt hurt. I was still so young, and very nieve, at the age of 19. It is not something you wanna hear at that point, but really a teen, still a child, whether you can legally drink or not. I felt like I was mature enough to hold my own decisions and I was so wrong. Why didn’t I walk away that day?
Instead, I let myself become more and more involved in a web of lies, debt and complications.

When you are in a relationship you are covered by a cloud of mist, your world is perfect and they love you no matter what, and it does not matter. But the truth of it is. It was all lies. Not just from her. The family and friends. They were all speaking constant lies for her. But why? other than the fact I was being used and hurt in a triangle of love and lies.

Being brave and carrying on in a love triangle.

It took me years and years to understand where I was. Falling deeper and deeper into a web of lies, lying to myself saying that everything was ok, and I was fine, I wasn’t. I wish I had listened to the words from my own family and friends telling me to get out. I can tell you now when you are stuck in a hole, you will not listen, because of the fear. There is so much fear behind everything. I would have saved myself some friendships and been a lot happier from walking away, but it just was not happening. But who knows. Like I said I wouldn’t be where I am today if I did. Instead, I was to busy listening to instructions from her, following whatever she said, being twisted to keep as a dirty little secret, and not understanding or valuing myself or my own worth.

Ripping off the plaster scared me.

I even went away to work. 2 years in a different part of the country. I admit at first this was my way of getting away, escaping. I was gonna stand on my own 2 feet finally. That didn’t work either. Little did I know, my phone would be my worst enemy for being kept, and still controlled. Instead, we ended up living together, a few years later and it only lasted 9 months. it got worse and worse. Until one day the plaster finally got ripped off, and I was finally away.

love triangle

Now that time has passed, I am more than honest with myself, I made so many mistakes and told so many lies but it wasn’t my fault. I know that now. I was being controlled. A narcissist. Wow, that’s a strong word but when I looked up the definition it was all there. All the controlling behaviours, the manipulating, the lies told, and the money-grabbing.
There were so many things happening that shouldn’t have been. I tried dropping her in it so many times because I thought it would set us free. It wasn’t us that I wanted free though. It was just me.

I hope by me telling my story that it really does inspire someone else. Be different, and do not put up with the shit that another person has no right to inflict on you. You don’t deserve the abuse, to be lied to, cheated on and used for nothing more than money. Not like me.

Mental health is so important, How about reading my post on body image here.

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Blogging: What I’ve learnt about blogging… So FAR.

I remember, I first started creating blog content years ago, and it was kinda this thing that I would start, stop, start and stop, and really this never went anywhere. I then started looking at other blogs and then I got so inspired, that was it, I wanted to start my own fully functioning working blog and it would work! … that was the plan and I am still working on it to this day! When I started this blog, it was a step up from the times before, I don’t actually think I realized how big of a world I was really stepping foot into. (and no I do not mean that negatively!) The addiction to blogging, The social community of bloggers, the world I was entering into, and how amazing having a blog could be. How Having a blog, has changed me, because it has. Since I started blogging, I have come across new opportunities, met new people and really opened up a massive door to enjoying a new aspect of me.

Blogging is not easy, and its not an all bliss world. So I wanted to share with you guys how much I have learnt, and what so far!

The blogging community is massive

There are so many people out there in the world and so many others that you can meet and become friends with. Each friend I have made from blogging has been amazing and so supportive.

Blogging is hard work

Ok so if you are thinking about starting off a blog, please do not get under the impression that its gonna be a hit success on day 1, that doesn’t really happen. Your blog is only as successful as you make it, and to make your blog really work, you need to put as much time and effort into your work as possible! I wouldn’t give up on the down days though I’ve found that at times it’s so tempting to give up! but if you give up on your dreams, they don’t happen.

blogging

Planning is important

If you are like me keeping a blog plan is important. Planning means you are able to keep up to date, remember important dates and tasks. Planning is a great way of keeping your blog going. especially when it comes to sharing your blog and gaining engagement.

You can end up thinking about your blog 24/7

Literally, Once you start writing a blog you can end up thinking of your work constantly! It is like a full addiction, a massive passion and becomes a massive part of your life.
Now I am not just talking about the next time your gonna get to tap your fingers on the keyboard and make the next post for your readers, the more you get into your blog, the more you begin to put in, money, sweat, and tears. It is not just about the content at all, its the sharing and promoting, preparation and care.

Research is so important

I am a passionate learner! Literally. I love to learn new things, I love to be inspired by others, so that being said it probably goes in my favour when it comes to my blogging life. I’m constantly reading others blogs, pinteresting and reading about blogging, and learning off other bloggers. There is a serious legal side to some things, and I have read about how some have got themselves in trouble by doing certain things. By doing my research into what I am doing and taking interest in other bloggers around the world, I am teaching myself more and more every day.

Images are a pretty big deal

Although words are a massive part of blogging of course! Images are just important, and you wanna have decent images at that. There are hundreds of stock images sites, that allow you to use their images for free.
But taking your own images is fun, gives your blog a unique creative twist, and definitely gives it that personal touch of your personality.

Security and Backups

If you’ve read my previous posts, you may have been reading when I nearly lost my blog. Oh my GOD. My biggest blogging Fail (you can read that here) That day was awful. I had been having a downtime and not been checking my dashboard, my site had been attacked and taken over with a virus, I don’t know what it was but I never even knew a website could be attacked with such things till that day, and so straight away I learnt the importance of backing up your work! Every single month!

Scheduling posts is a blogging GOD

When I am feeling particularly creative and inspired one day I am able to write a couple of blog posts in a few hours and schedule them to come out online at different times. which is such a good thing as I can organize my blog better then I can organize myself sometimes?

It’s a competitive world

Have you ever heard the phrase its a dog eat dog world? hmm? I suppose a bloggers world is the same, in some ways! Each blogger has very similar goals to yours! you need to try and remember that! because you should never let a negative hit put you down on your own work!

Is there anything you have learnt since you started a blog? Like I mentioned earlier! I love to learn off others! so leave me a comment below with something you have learnt 🙂

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35 things that make me happy!

So the best thing about the blogging community has to be being inspired by other amazing bloggers. Like Mxrshmarshmellows blog. Who just created a very similar post. It really made me question what makes me happy and got me thinking.

So I thought it would be great to share what makes me happy with you guys. I have done a similar post before, here.

So what does make me happy?

  1. My Emmy.
  2. Bright colours and lots of pinks.
  3. Coffee (I literally just got some llama love vanilla). I live off coffee.
  4. Makeup. Even when staying in.
  5. Papercraft. Whatever I can get my hands on.
  6. Seeing my friends and family.
  7. Music.
  8. Camembert days. Yes, these are actually a thing with our friends!
  9. Happy planners. (Actually any planners!)
  10. Disney anything. Have I mentioned that I love Disney??? I really do love A bit of Disney
  11. Matching socks. Actually cute socks. I mean any socks.
  12. Glitter. A lot of glitter. And it has to be everywhere.
  13. Friends. The tv show. (I have quite a bit of friends merch now)
  14. Going to the zoo. Marwell, as well as around the country.
  15. Flowers around me.
  16. Taking lots of photos.
  17. Unicorns
  18. Primark hauls. Probably shopping in general.
  19. Watching musicals.
  20. Receiving happy mail.
  21. Spending days just watching films.
  22. Writing my blog.
  23. Reading books.
  24. My love for all animals.
  25. Pinterest.
  26. Wearing oversized hoodies.
  27. Adult colouring books.
  28. Giving gifts to my favourite people.
  29. Pretty mugs. I’m addicted to mugs.
  30. Daddy daughter days. These do not happen often enough.
  31. Summer and being in the sun.
  32. Adventures to new places. and planning the adventures to come.
  33. Overspending on stationary and notebooks.
  34. Blossom trees. Seriously they are beautiful!
  35. Making new friends. even when it’s scary!
happy

I’d love to know what makes you happy? it is important to have these things. So what makes you happy? Leave a comment below telling me.

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