Showing posts with label mental health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mental health. Show all posts

A fresh start

I'm writing this from my bed, with a knee brace on and it definitely wasn't how I planned to kick off 2018. In fact, I had my scheduled packed, and I was loving it. Laying in bed does give you a lot of time to reflect because let me tell you, after a day of not being able to do much, you become very bored and frustrated with how limited you are. You can either watch Netflix, read a book (in my case it's currently Get Your Shit Together, and I'll be soon moving on to You Do You, because Sarah Knight is a genius), or think. I've been focusing on the latter (we'll ignore the fact that I'm emotionally involved in TOWIE now). 

I know almost everyone moans about the whole 'new year, new me thing' and, in a way, I agree, we can't change who we are. We can, however, improve ourselves and work on being the best possible versions of ourselves, and that's something I'll be focusing on a lot more this year. I like the idea of a fresh start, a clean state. And although a lot of my plans are having to be put on 'pause' for the time being, there are a few I can start working on from the comfort of my own bed.

Work on my mental health - with what happened to me last year, my MH went down the drain. Since about October though, I have been getting better, and it's one of my main priorities this year. Anxiety sucks, depression sucks, EDs suck. Whether you're struggling with one of the things I mentioned, or with one of the many other MH difficulties - it's okay, and I believe this year we'll become stronger, healthier and happier people. I need to take my time to relax and slow down, and 'schedule in' some self-care time every week, because I've been really abandoning it. On a slightly related note, these Neal's Yard products are really helping me sleep. I use the Balancing Room Spray few minutes before I attempt to sleep, and I rub a little bit of the Bergamot Oil on my wrists.

Expand my knowledge of feminism - I think all of us should focus on this a little bit, as it's still such an issue in our day to day life. And for me, whether this will be through charity work (something I definitely want to do more of this year, too) or whether it's simply by reading books and educating myself, this will also be a very important thing for me this year. If you have anything that you can recommend, please let me know!

Be a better friend - I think that's one thing that can always be improved, either by keeping in touch with long distance friends, or actually going for that coffee I've been talking about since 2011. I do think I'm a good friend, I think everyone does? But at the same time, I know I could do things differently and show people that mean a lot to me that I care. On this note, I'm also VERY excited to read Lily Pebbles book once it comes out on International Women's Day! 

Get rid of toxic people - on a very opposite note, I also need to do a friend 'clear out'. The way someone is around us often impacts not only our mood, but our behaviour, too. This year is definitely the year I start focusing on that more.

Focus more on the blog - I love blogging, I really enjoy doing it. Having laid in bed for the past few days I've come up with a few good posts, but I'm currently being held back by my ability to take photos. I only stood up for 5 minutes today to try and take the photo above, and it's still shit. But I needed it for the post. So, once my knee is working properly again, I'll be scheduling some time every week to take loads of photos at once, and put aside some time for writing. I want to get involve with more Twitter chats and Facebook groups, so need to do research on that, too. I also need to up my Instagame, it's gone downhill - but then again, the algorithm isn't enticing me to, anyway. 

Organise my life and save money - if you know me, you know I'm a mess. I'm a busy mess, and that's the worst kind. Everything I own is scattered, and my head is always all-over the place. I bought myself a planner (see above) and I'm actually planning on writing everything I do in it. I run late a lot, and believe me, it's not for the lack of trying, and that's something that I need to stop doing this year, too. It would probably be a good idea to sort through all my letters and papers, too. I'm also awful with money, and I really want to go inter-railing this summer (I've even started planning for it, look at the new, organised me!) so I need to put away money every month so I can travel comfortably and not worry.

So, here's my little list of how I'm planning on working on bettering myself in 2018. I'm of course going to try and eat a little healthier (goodbye McDonald's lunches), exercise a little more (proof is in the pudding here, my knee probably wouldn't have given way if I was stretching more often than twice a year) and just generally be a little bit better. I'm also super intro astrology lately, so I'd love to expand my knowledge of that. Have you made any 2018 resolutions? If so, what are they?


#MeToo: Breaking Through Being Silenced

TW: Sexual assault

I thought long and hard about writing this post. I'm still debating whether it's even a good idea. A part of me feels like I need to do this, I need to tell my story and then finally I will be able to move on. At the same time however, I don't think I'll ever be able to.

I'm sure you are all aware of the #MeToo movement that's been happening for the past few weeks. I am so incredibly moved by all the women, and men, who have come out and told their story. Whether something happened years ago, or a few days ago, the bravery of those people is immense and has, in a way, pushed me to do this. I've also become a person I don't recognise, and although I fight this everyday, although I try to work through this everyday, I have pushed a few people away from me because of that. Two of whom I cared for and loved very much, but because of my actions and this change in me, I have now lost forever. And quite frankly, I am done letting this define me, because the past 10 months of my life have been hell enough.

Prior to this year, I remember hearing stories of assault and being very sure of what I would do if I was ever in that position. Never did I imagine that I actually would be, and that the image I had of myself of a strong, hard-headed woman would crumble down. At the beginning of this year, I was raped. And it was done by someone I knew. Someone I would then have to see five days a week for five, six months. I think this is partially why I didn't know how to deal with this, because I couldn't get out of the situation I was in. This has also played a big part in me moving out of Norwich and dropping out of UEA, as I couldn't stand to sleep in the same bedroom and walk through the same streets every day.I needed a change.

I'm about 90% sure this happened at the end of February, but my timeline from February and March has been very blurred and I can't pin point it exactly. I really wish I could. It was a night of a work do. A few friends came over to mine, we pre'ed, we got ready, we headed out to the bar. The guy in question was already there. He bought me a few drinks, but I didn't think much of it, as I was sure we were doing rounds and I bought drinks for him, too. He kept touching me but I kept brushing him off. As a group, after a few hours we decided we were bored and wanted to change venue. We were having a chat outside, I can't remember what about, and one of my other friends jokingly kissed me, we laughed. However, straight after that he grabbed me, and kissed me, too. I was in too much of a shock to say anything so I just stood there with a confused face and decided he's just drunk.

For some reason or another, we couldn't find a bar we liked, so we decided to all head back to mine to chill out, drink some more and watch a film. A few people started doing drugs. Once we got to mine, I was offered some, and thought 'hey, what's the worst that can happen? I'm at my own house'. One thing I learned that night is that my body doesn't like drugs, as I almost immediately threw them all up. I then decided I was too tired, and wanted to go to bed, leaving my guests downstairs so they could crash. Or so I thought. I got upstairs and realised he had followed me. Still though, I wasn't thinking anything of it, as there wasn't much space downstairs, so I thought he could just sleep on my floor. But he got in my bed. And yet still, I thought he was just drunk and wanted to sleep comfortably. I was wrong. I said 'no'. I said 'stop'. I said 'I don't want to'. I don't know how long it lasted, but I did eventually manage to push him off. And then he fell asleep, whilst I lay there unable to move.

The next morning, one of the guys made a joke about us sleeping together, once the other guy left. I said that it wasn't like that and that I wasn't happy with the situation. I didn't really expand on it. But I kept thinking about it.

Did I really say 'no'? Did I really ask him to stop? Did I imagine the whole thing? Did I lead him on? Was this all my fault? Maybe he just didn't hear me.

I left it at that, but the joke was brought up again a few days later within a small group of work friends. I wanted to talk about it, because I didn't want people thinking we had slept together. I again said that it wasn't what I wanted, and I told them that I kept rethinking the night. At that point, the only other girl in the conversation turned around and said to me "You shouldn't be talking about this. He's a good guy and you could ruin his reputation". And if there's one thing that one girl can say to another to shut her up, it's just that.

So I did stop talking about it, until a few weeks ago. I met someone at uni, and somehow one of our conversations had ended up on this topic. I started to open up a little bit, and she helped me realise that I should've never let anyone silence me. If she's reading this, and I'm sure quite sure she is, I would just like to thank her. Because the last month and a half has been a little easier.

Another friend whom I told said to me "I'm sorry this has happened to you" and I replied saying that it's okay. But it's clearly not okay? It's not something that should ever, ever be okay. I still haven't reported it. I still haven't spoken to him about it. I don't know if I ever will. I know I should, because I worry it might happen again. But there's still parts of me that blame myself. I can't believe that I'm victim blaming myself, but I am. And I sometimes justify his actions. Or try to excuse them. And I think about what happened every single day, without fail. There are days when I'm embarrassed that I let this happen to me. I feel wrong in my own body, like it doesn't belong to me.

I think what I'm currently feeling the most though, is anger. I'm angry at what has happened to me, I'm angry about how it changed me and I'm angry about how it has made me behave. I have lost all trust for people, especially men. Because I have kept it in, my anger has been projected on the men closest to me, and that isn't fair, but it is the only way I've been able to cope with it for the past few months. Although I never want this to be an excuse for anything, I never want it to define me, either.  I sometimes feel like I need to defend myself, and explain myself, because who I've been for the last 10 months isn't who I am as a person, and somebody else's violation of my body and trust shouldn't be the person that others see me as now.

Although I've said that I have awful days still, I'm also learning how to get better and how to move on. Maybe it'll take a few more months, or a few more years, or maybe this will be with me for the rest of my life. I don't know the answer to that. What I do know though, is that no one, man or woman, should ever have to go through anything like this, and I will do whatever I can to help others get through this, because no one should be silenced.

Anxiety, University & Why I Left

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Hellooooooo beautiful humans who are reading this blog! Hope you're having a great day. I've been coming and going from this blog from the moment I started it, but I finally feel ready and like I'm in a good enough place to make it exactly what I want. I've scheduled blog posts all the way up to Christmas Eve (yeah I know, who is am I?!) and I've got a lot of exciting things I want to discuss and share with you lovely people. I thought it was only right to finally discuss what's been going on in my life, why I'm no longer in Norwich and what I'm up to now.

I've discussed my anxiety issues on this blog before, but I've never made it clear just how severe they were/are, so this essentially is what this post it about. I've suffered from anxiety since I was 7, maybe 8 years old. However, growing up in Poland, anxiety wasn't a thing. No one really knew what was going on, and we just assumed I'm a walking ball of stress (which I am) and that there's nothing that can be done. Fast forward 10 years later, my anxiety started to creep back in, in a form of panic attacks. At the time, I was working full time at TOPSHOP and had a tyrant of a floor manager. No one listened to us when we complained about him, and told us it was all in our heads. Sadly, it wasn't, and that's when the panic attacks began. They happened before I left the house, on the tube, back of the house in store. Only reason I put up with it was because I was moving away to uni and I needed a job, and staying on meant I'd be transferred to the Norwich store. I also just didn't understand what was happening to me, as in the past the only thing that would happen to me when I was anxious was a tight chest and I'd usually be sick so when I had my first panic attack, I didn't even realise what it was.

As I've mentioned already, I thought moving away to university would fix the problem. Oh how wrong was I. November 2014 is when my problems started to get more severe. I wouldn't say it's down to being away from home, because things aren't different when I am here. I started feeling really low, I didn't want to attend my classes, locked myself in my room and only came out to hang out with my friends. I either didn't eat for a week, or ate a whole week's worth of food in one day (but we'll discuss my relationship with food another time). This is partially due to a 'relationship' with a guy. It was the first time I fell for someone, and the dickhead (there's no other word for him, sorry) decided to mess with me for a good six, seven months. We were also in the same sports club, and sadly I lost friends over this - but if someone can see another person continually hurting you and still chooses them, were they ever really a friend? I don't think so.

Another reason for my unhappiness was my course. Before going to uni I took a gap year, but I had a deferred entry for American Literature. I thought it was the perfect course for me, as back then I lived with this idea of being a Young Adult publisher. The course wasn't what I expected, I was constantly bored, I didn't feel I was learning anything and I basically stopped attending my classes. I started seeing a doctor and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Depression scared me. My dad's mum suffered from it severely, and I know what it can do to a person. I tried counselling for a bit, but there were two problems with it. Waiting for a counsellor at UEA is probably one of the longest and most dragged out processes I've ever seen, and you only get about four sessions (although this was in 2014/2015, so this perhaps may have changed now). Secondly, if you don't click with your councillor, you have to get back in line. My one just didn't make me feel comfortable, and I felt constantly interrogated.

One thing that I did know, was that I liked the Norwich environment, I liked UEA and my friends there. I decided to change my course to Culture, Literature & Politics. I was enjoying it, but at the same time, my medication changed. There was a period of time where I didn't leave my room for two weeks, I didn't want to see anyone or do anything and I fell really behind on my work. Around that time I also had a very unpleasant incident whilst walking home from my shift at the uni bar. I wasn't physically hurt, but I was left emotionally scarred, and even walking home late now makes me feel extremely unsafe and uncomfortable. All of this put together didn't have a great effect on me, and I struggled to get out of it for a very long time. After talking to one of my roommates at the time, I got myself to the doctor and she immediately changed my medication. I was very lucky that I had an understanding doctor who wanted the best for me, and who always genuinely listened to my concerns and took them on board. Even if I was coming in for a different reason, she always made sure to ask about my mental health and it was very reassuring to know she cared.

Although my medication started to eventually work, I was still left in a horrible place. Because I missed so much of uni, I had a lot of catching up to do. I didn't feel comfortable attending classes, because no one really knew me, and it made my anxiety even worse. I was forcing myself to do all the work, and it wasn't great. Fast forward a few months to around April/May, I finally got a mentor,whom I've been waiting for since November. She told me that she found my papers by accident, in a pile of things in the main office. Great organisation, UEA. She was great though. Helped me get back on top of my work (kind of) and helped me with my exam preparation for June, and thanks to her I also managed to bag myself a PR internship for the summer. However, when it came to the day of the exam, I had a panic attack on my way there. I haven't taken exams in years, and the idea of it terrified me. I got myself to the doctor, we filed a report, and I was told I could sit the exam again in two months. I loved my internship, but it because of what happened with my exam, my anxiety was at an all time high, every single day. And sadly, it didn't get better.

On the day when I was supposed to sit my exam, I was put in the wrong room. About forty-five minutes into it, a lady came up to me and told me I had to move. I questioned it, since I was writing the correct paper, but she insisted. I was put in a room with two other people. One girl kept cracking her knuckles and talking to herself quite loudly (we all deal with stress differently, I know) and one guy who wasn't actually supposed to be there. A discussion broke out, and it caused yet another panic attack. I was taken from the room, and dropped off outside of the Medical Centre to fend for myself. Which, in case you were wondering, isn't the correct procedure. The rest is all a bit of a roller coaster. A few days  before the term was supposed to start, I got a letter telling me I need to intercalate as I didn't take my exam (they were supposed to give me a provisional pass, considering their mistake). Long story short, turns out they lost the documents my doctor and I have sent off. We argued and appealed, but they refused to admit their fault, so I was left with taking a year off. As you can imagine, that also did wonders for my mental health, especially since I couldn't get out of my contract. Living in a house with four other girls, all attending university and having fun in their final year. To put it bluntly, it fucking sucked.

 I managed to find myself a Christmas temp job, but until then, I wasn't really doing  much. After that, I started another job, at a place I used to work at,but the hours weren't great, so my relationship with my housemates became non-existent and we drifted apart. When it came to the exam period again, I had to do all my work all over, including the exam - which also turned out to now be a piece of coursework, something I was supposed to know from the start. If you have severe anxiety and can't take exams, your tutors can give you a piece of coursework to hand in instead. This is something I found out way after this whole debacle even began, which made the situation that much worse. I was trying to complete all my work, all whilst working full time, trying to socialise and keep a long distance friendship 'thing' going on. I wasn't the best person to be around, and I'll be the first to admit that. Anxiety, and depression, severely took over who I was and looking back it breaks my heart that who I became pushed so many people away. As I was doing all that, I realised I didn't want to be attending a university that treated me that way, paying money for a course that I'm not that invested in and be forced to stay in a place that's making so miserable, so I decided to drop out. It wasn't an easy decision, but I decided to for once put my mental well-being first.

 I moved back home in July, and decided that I want to try getting to a London university, and I knew I wanted to study Public Relations. So I guess something good did come out of my time in Norwich, as it helped me realise that PR is what I want to go into. I got an unconditional offer from UAL, and I'm currently studying for my BA here. It's extremely stressful, involves a lot of group work (amazing...) but I absolutely love it. It may have taken me a long time to find my path, way longer than a lot of people, but I'm finally on the right track. All of this could still go up in smoke if SFE doesn't come through, as they have to decide if they'll be funding me still. It's a complicated and long process, but I have faith that all will be fine soon.

I guess what I wanted this post to do, is to help me close the UEA/Norwich chapter, but also help anyone who's unhappy at university for any reason.

 It's always important to put your well-being first, and although it took me a long time to figure that out, I'll never forget that now. 
If you have any questions regarding dropping out, mental health or just need someone to talk to, I want you to know that it's okay - and that I am here for you. Until next time,

#MartyTravels (& Reflects): York, England

Finally! My York travel post. As you may have seen either from my Twitter or what I've been suggesting in my hotel reviews from my trip to York, it wasn't exactly the experience I had planned. So, let's get straight to it. 

Over the Easter break, I had the pleasure of working with ILOVETOUR (if you haven't heard of them and you're at university/play sport at university - please look them up, you won't be disappointed). I spent a week in Croatia as a Hotel Rep, and it was brilliant. Whilst there, I made a lot of friends (some I'll definitely be seeing next Easter, Croatia 2k18 come at me) and majority of them were from places far, far away. Or if you're me, that just means North of England. I've been chatting to one of the guys I met there for a few weeks, after which he invited me to go visit him and go to an End of Year Ball with him - as friends only. 

About two weeks before I was supposed to be going, he started acting weird - and this ain't your gal's first fuckboy rodeo. 

So I straight up asked him what was going on. He told me he met someone and didn't know quite how to tell me. Considering I'm a walking definition of anxiety, I'm surprisingly easy going and approachable, so all he had to do was tell me. I wasn't bothered by the girlfriend, I was bothered because he lied and started acting shady. At this point, my tickets were booked (and I think everyone knows train travel in England isn't cheap) and I was honestly quite pissed off. But at the end of the day, it's just money. He told me he still really wants me to come, and the she's completely okay with it (since they met after I was asked) and because we'd be going as friends only. After a while of convincing, I agreed. Purely because before this, furthest North I've been was King's Lynn. So yeah. The week of, I double checked if it's okay for me to come, suggested maybe I should get a hotel because I started to feel bad, but was repeatedly told not to be silly. I even checked on Thursday night, the night before I was supposed to be heading there. Everything was still fine at 11:45pm. Off I went to the train station on Friday afternoon, excited for my York adventure, my rose-printed Primark midi dress that everyone and their dog owns flowing in the wind.

I was sat next to the loveliest couple, who were heading to the York races - it was their first weekend away from the kids for a while, so they were boozing it up and I lived for it. They were awesome. About 30/40 minutes into my journey, I received the text. The girlfriend was no longer okay with me coming. I was told I might as well turn back and go home. I was fuming - I asked repeatedly, offered ways out. Then, I had a panic attack. And then another one. And then another one. In that time, I received multiple texts: some telling me to turn back, some telling me to still come. A few missed phone calls. I didn't want to speak to him. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't. But I did, and I was convinced to come regardless of what the situation was. He told me he'd pay for my train journey back if that's something I'd still want after talking things out with him (I still don't know what he wanted to bloody talk about, to be honest with you, my dear reader). I was already on the train, and the aforementioned couple had starting pouring vodka into my Diet Coke, so I said to myself "Fuck it, girl just go". Which you could've guessed from the photos of York, but I have the flare for the dramatic.

When I arrived, I was exhausted. As I've said, I had three panic attacks and I've had a little bit to drink (nothing crazy, don't get any ideas, reader). We sat and we talked, he apologised over and over again. We decided to go for dinner before making any decisions (I had a £20 Turtle Bay voucher - shoutout to my favourites for being there in my time of need). We went to his house, I left my bags, off we went to enjoy some Caribbean inspired food and decide what to do. I was obviously still mad at him. I still am. It'll be a long while before this feeling goes away. In this time, the Girlfriend kept texting him and calling him - she was hanging out with her friends, and was obviously heavily influenced by them.
I strongly believe in male/female friendships, most of my close friends are male. Sadly, not many people do. 
He kept leaving the table to go outside and speak to her, and I was completely fine with it - at the end of the day, this was his girlfriend and I wasn't there to interfere with anyone's relationship, I was there to hear some sexy Yorkshire accent and visit the fucking Jorvik centre. However, I've never felt more uncomfortable, to the point where the waitress, Hannah (another shout out, 10/10 service) came up to me and asked if everything was okay, because the situation at our table made even her worried and uncomfortable. Every time he came back he kept saying he wants me to stay and go to the ball with him regardless. I was very confused about what to do. Originally, I was going to stay from Friday until Monday. However, after the dinner we got back to his, and I made the decision to go back home on Sunday instead (I found a ticket for £8, wtf). He insisted on paying for my hotel for those two nights to make up for it, and I just let him do it. I was exhausted. I also spoke to his girlfriend. Her mood also changed very quickly, she said she wanted me to stay and that being in a hotel was just silly. I didn't feel comfortable anymore, so regardless of what she would have said, I was leaving. She wanted to meet me after her bar-tending shift, around 3AM, and I agreed - but, after getting to the hotel and checking in, I kept falling asleep. As I've said, it was an exhausting day. I texted him and asked if we could do lunch or dinner on the Saturday instead, as I was simply too tired to do it. Everything seemed fine. I woke up to a message telling me that the Girlfriend has been through a lot and he doesn't know whether she'll feel like meeting me - I could not have cared less. Later on that day he texted me asking me to tell him how I get on with exploring York, I replied. Not heard from him since. Arrivederci, stronzo.

Initially, I wasn't thrilled about spending a day alone in a strange city. It was scary. I've never really been alone whilst away, and the last time that I was my anxiety was nowhere near as bad as it is nowadays (more on that another time). I spent the day just strolling, and whilst sat outside of the Minster, I started chatting to a lovely girl and her mum. They were bird watching, and the Perigrone Falcon was sat on the church, so they asked me whether I wanted to see. They explained that it's the fastest bird/animal, and they're not very easy to spot. So of course I did, once in a lifetime opportunity. We talked for about an hour, and when we were saying our goodbyes, Sarah and I decided to add each other on Facebook, so we can follow each other's travels (hope you're still planning on visiting Poland, Sarah!) - turns out I was on a society committee with her best friend, Phoebe. What are the chances! Small, small world indeed. She recommended that I go and have breakfast at Brew & Brownie, but my train was at 8 in the morning the following day, so it was something I filed in my mind under 'next time you're in York'. I went back to my hotel, ordered some room service and checked out Tinder, as you do when you're bored. I was watching TV, texting my friends and realised there was still so much more of York that I haven't seen and that I wanted to see. On a whim, I booked myself onto another hotel for Sunday night - you can read about that here - and was very happy with my decision.

Once I checked into StayCity, the lovely receptionists told me all the places to check out, and recommended the bus tour. I took them up on it - it was £10, valid for 24 hours and I got to see the major sights. I half went up the Clifford's Tower - once outside of it's gate I decided I didn't actually want to go inside, lol. I also didn't go on a tour of the Minster, but that's something for another time for sure.  I did, however, go to the Jorvik Viking Centre - 100% recommend, great fun. I also decided to go on a Ghost Tour, and at £3, you can't really go wrong. The reason I liked it is because my tour guide wasn't overly theatrical and wasn't trying very hard to scare you. The stories he told were real, and whether you believe the haunting part of it was up to you. I headed back to my hotel for dinner, and that was also a mini disaster, as you'll know from my oven fiasco. In that time, I started talking to a guy on Tinder, and he offered to show me around York after I told him my situation. I had to cancel on him because of the bloody oven, but asked if he wanted to reschedule for brunch the next day - I really wanted to go to Brew & Brownie, can you tell? We met up, had a great brunch (14/10 I recommend, neither of us finished our pancakes because there was just so much food) and cocktails, and I made a friend out of it. A win, really.

What I can tell you is that this was a heartbreaking experience. I learned a lot about myself, mainly that I can spend time alone in a strange city and for it to not be complete tragedy. I also learned that people are dicks, and you can't help that. You need to move on, and you can't let other people dictate your life. Negative people aren't necessary in anyone's life. Cut them out. Get rid of them. Delete them on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter. Block their number.

Do whatever is necessary for you to be happy, because you're worth so much more than constant apologies and always being asked for forgiveness. You deserve someone who will go above and beyond to care for you and who takes your feelings into consideration.

I really want to go back to York, sadly I don't think I'll have a chance anytime soon - although Em Sheldon is planning an event there soon, so I might be tempted. I'm definitely planning another one-gal trip at some point this year. Remember to love yourself.

Love, Marty xx


Sundays are perfect for a little self love. We all need some time for ourselves sometimes, and as someone who suffers from anxiety I know about that all too well. Often, if I’ve spent too much time with a lot of people around me (a night out, for example) I need the next day to be all about myself, mainly alone. That’s just how I like it, how I recharge. A lot of people don’t understand that, which often causes some disagreements – it shouldn’t, your friends should understand this sort of thing. And if they don’t, then well, I’m sure you know what I’m going to say about that. So today, to kick off my Self Care Sunday series, I’ve decided to share a few ways which I find help me function properly again.

  1. Pamper yourself – pouring myself a bubbly bath has always been one of my favourite ways to relax, so of course I’d do it on a day I want to recharge. I make sure it’s warm (usually hot) (but not too hot because that’s not good for you), I pop on face and hair masks, put some music on and read a book. Yes, I spend an hour or so in the bath. Yes, I look like a dried fruit when I get out. No, I will not stop.
  2. Read – I love reading. I study literature, so I should. But to be honest, studying it has actually put me off reading for recreational purposes and now when I do, I prefer to read something easy, usually YA. I’m currently finishing off the Mortal Instruments series (yes I know I am very late – to my defence I read City of Bones as soon as it came out, and then I just kind of forgot about it) but I’m also reading Amy Poehler’s ‘Yes Please’, which is just absolutely hilarious, so glad I’ve picked it up. Reading has this magical power of helping me disconnect with everything else around me, and it’s also a great way to let time pass!
  3. Watch some crappy TV – right. Let me tell you something. I love shitty TV shows. I mean, I love good TV shows too, but there’s not many things as good as bad acting. So, on the topic of Mortal Instruments – the Shadowshunters series that is currently on Netflix, is absolutely atrocious. My housemate and I have made it ‘our thing’ on Wednesdays, and we honestly just watch it for a laugh now. It’s so disappointing, as you’d expect the series to be better than a movie, considering they’ve got more time, but alas this isn’t the case. No one will ever compare to Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell-Bower, can’t fake that chemistry (well you can, but yano). I also enjoy The Big Bang Theory & Brooklyn99 for a chilled out watch. Or a decorating show, Fixer Upper is MY LIFE.
  4. Meditate – this is something that I’ve only recently began doing, but find it’s slowly but surely helping. Anxiety makes it difficult to switch off almost 99% of the time, so getting my mind clear was a real struggle at first. It’s still difficult, but I’m getting there. I like using the apps Calm and Meditation (they’re also good with sleep specific ones, especially Calm). My goal is to eventually do meditation twice a day, after I wake up and right before I go to sleep. One day.
  5.   Exercise – now, I am lazy AF. There, I’ve said it. But #bodygoals are currently encouraging my ass to get myself to the gym and be a little happier with myself. Sport in general is obviously good, so do whatever you prefer – I find that running or using the rowing machine helps me destress the most. I’m also lucky enough to go to a uni on very pretty grounds, and even though I’m a second year and live off campus, I still find walking around the lake very calming.
  6. Baking or cooking – probably shouldn’t have written this straight after ‘exercise’, but I find there is something very soothing about watching cupcakes grow. You created those calories. You eat them gurl.
  7. Colouring – I’m sure by now you’re sick and tired of hearing this, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! I myself have three, one of which is the Vogue edition and the other one is the Harry Potter one. Both are brilliant and I usually like doing these before bed.
  8. Journal – this one I have yet to master, I’m not very consistent in keeping a journal, but I know that once I write my thoughts and feeling down I feel much better. So I really should do it more often, but hey. Planning my week out also helps, I have a great planner from and cannot wait for 2016/2017 ones to come out, they’re gorgeous. Although I’ve also had my eyes on The Happiness Planner for a while now, and think I might cave once the new ones come out.
  9. Unplug – I’m planning on having an electronics free 48hrs in the next few weeks, so I’ll write more about that then, but turning off my phone at night (or putting it on Night Mode) has helped me so much. I just forget to check it after a certain point, and since my phone isn’t buzzing, I can focus on whatever else I’m doing. Which usually involves napping.
  10. Get away – if possible, go away for a while. I’ve recently been to Spain with my Mum (travel diaries are up here), and although it was only for a few days I already feel more relaxed. Even a day trip helps, just not being in your usual environment is what’s needed sometimes.
What are your favourite ways to relax?
Marty x