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Sunday, 24 March 2019

The importance of space

The importance of space
Sunday, 24 March 2019
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I am an introvert. Where some people use conversation and interaction with others as opportunity to recharge, I need silence and to be alone. It's for this reason that having a welcoming space that is mine, is so important. 

After a full day of interacting with others at work, I am often left exhausted (luckily I work with people that I very much enjoy interacting with). I want nothing more than to go home and close the door for an hour or so and just be with myself. That's why it has been so significant to take the time to create a space that is my own, where I can come in and shut out everything else. I have lived in 7 different places in the past 5 years so it's been pretty hard to 'nest' as it were, but at the start of this year I decided that I would make the most of the space I have right now and make it feel like mine.

It's not perfect (yet) but it is me. I know where things are and I enjoy things having their space. I have spent many weekends reading in bed and more recent evenings spent cosied up watching Fleabag or catching up on Broad City. Living with a parent can be pretty fucking tough, especially when you're a 20-something-year-old trying to find your place in the world post university. I've had a taste of independence and I've had to go back to living in someone else's house with someone else's rules. Not to mention there is ALWAYS someone knocking about.
It makes me relaxed and happy to know that I have somewhere to go that is filled with my stuff and reflects me and my interests. I've posted a fair few pictures of my room on Instagram because it's a reflection of me and it makes me smile.

If you, like me, find it important to have your own space but struggle to find or create it - here are some tips:

1) Give it a welcoming scent
Buy your favourite candle/diffuser/air freshener. I find that smells are so important for relaxation because of the memories that we attach to them. I have a diffuser in my bedroom that smells like a mixture of a spa and the beach, and it fills me with so much joy whenever I catch a whiff.

2) Invest in a good mattress
Mattresses are fucking expensive - it's actually a bit of a joke. BUT having a good night sleep is so important AND if your bedroom is the only space you have that's yours, you may find yourself spending a lot of time sitting on your bed. You can buy mattresses from places like Wayfair and pay monthly or even investing in a thick mattress topper might do the trick.

3) Display things that make you happy
Obviously a tidy space is a calming space, but having things on display that make you happy will help to make the space more you. I have my books on display on my windowsill and on top of some drawers, I also have a poster of one of my favourite bands and a couple of cards from my sister and close friends.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Setting realistic 2019 goals

Setting realistic 2019 goals
Wednesday, 2 January 2019
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2018 was a rollercoaster. It had HUGE ups and HUGE downs. But it has been a year of growth, a year of learning and a year of strength. I got over some hurdles that I didn't know I could face and it made me grateful for all if the wonderful people that I have in my life. If I could describe it in a phrase, it would be: Progress not perfection. I know that I have come so far personally/mentally but I'm still determined to build on the foundation and continue my growth in 2019. 
With that said, the WORST thing to do would be to get bogged down with unrealistic expectations and resolutions for the new year. New Year is my favourite time of year because it brings with it the feeling of a fresh start but sometimes it can be a little bit overwhelming. Inspired by Callie Thorpe, I'm going to take part in 'Wellness My Way' and am going to make realistic promises to myself. 

I promise not to pressure myself to be social when I really don't want to.
This is one I'm getting better at to be fair. I find socialising absolutely exhausting. Sometimes I just want to sit in on my own and watch a film or have a nap or whatever, and that's perfectly fine. 

I promise to spend less time on my phone and more time reading.
I'm 100% a phone addict. I'm on it 24/7 and when it's not in my hand I start panicking. It's hard to distance yourself from technology when your job is to literally create content and interact on social media but I need to remember that as soon as I leave work, I don't have to do it anymore. I definitely need a digital detox. In partnership with this, I've started a little book club with a pal and my aim is to read at least one book a month - doesn't seem like much but it's better than nothing!

I promise to carry out my ideas.
I know that I've basically said that New Years resolutions are shite, but if I was to have one, it would be this. I'm SUCH an ideas person - I have all of this creative energy buzzing about in my brain but I very rarely actually follow through with the ideas. This year I'm actually going to do some of them, promise!

I promise to practice mindfulness every day.
There is literally no excuse for this one. Headspace is an amazing app that gives you the option to meditate for 3, 5 or 10 minutes every day and let's be honest, we can always find 10 minutes for a little bit of positive mental reinforcement. 

I promise to become more environmentally aware.
Also something that I have gotten better at during the second half of 2018 but definitely something that I'm going to keep up. I'll cut down on my use of plastic, make sure I keep recycling and cut down on the amount of meat I eat. I also want to watch more documentaries about the effects that we are having on the planet to become more clued up on the whole situation.

Do you have any new year promises or goals? Comment them below!
Sunday, 18 November 2018

A glimmer of hope for women in politics

A glimmer of hope for women in politics
Sunday, 18 November 2018
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The recent midterm elections in the USA saw more women winning seats in the House of Representatives than ever before. 98 women making HERstory. Of those 98, many were women of colour including Sharice Davids who thwarted four-term incumbent Kevin Yoder and became the first native american and the first openly LGBT person to represent Kansas. Also elected was Ilhan Omar who travelled to the US as a Somalian refugee when she was 12 years old. These very women are the women who represent everything that the Trump Administration seeks to oppress and extinguish, but guess what? They’re here and they’re stronger than ever. 

I watched BBC News as these women took to the stage and spread messages of hope and I cried because results like this do give me hope. Too often (understandably so) we get bogged down with bad news stories - and let’s be honest, the past few years (try the last few thousand) have been decidedly shit for anyone that isn’t a cis, white, straight man but knowing that there are people out there that truly give a fuck is enough to reignite that tiny spark of hope that’s left. 

Newly elected 29 year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cotez, who made HERstory as the youngest woman ever elected to the US House of Representatives said, “This is what is possible when every day people come together in the collective realisation that all our actions — no matter how small or how large — are powerful, worthwhile and capable of lasting change.” Even if it’s just telling a friend about a candidate that you think addresses important social issues, or attending marches, or even retweeting an important article. We all need to get involved and it seems like more and more of us are.

For the first time in a long time, I feel like women are coming together and saying ‘WE’VE HAD ENOUGH!’ Trump being elected, following his disgusting, misogynistic comments around sexual harassment and the MULTIPLE sexual abuse claims made against him, seems to have stirred something deep within us. It’s like we’re saying, ‘we’ve got nothing left to lose so let’s take on the whole fucking system.’ More and more women are getting interested in politics, Alexandria Ocasio-Cotez was working in a bar this time last year and now she’s just been elected to congress. 
I guess it’s a message to all of the white/cis/straight men that are scared of equality - never  underestimate the power of a disobedient, formidable woman. Look what we can do. We deserve equal representation and we WILL get it. 

Women have been socialised for years to underestimate what they can achieve, to look good and stay quiet… but not anymore. We’re done with having men make decisions around our bodies, we’re done with having men decide that women’s shelters aren't important and we’re done with having men decide what constitutes as sexual harassment. 

Of course, the work isn’t done. The results provide a glimmer of hope but the fight is far from over. As it stands in the UK only 32% of Members of Parliament are women and this is a “record high”. According to the movement 50:50 Parliament which seeks to inspire political engagement from women in order to achieve an inclusive gender-balanced parliament, at the rate things are going it will take more than 50 years to achieve gender equality. 50 years. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t got the time or the energy to be doing this for another 50 years (although if that’s what it takes, you better believe I’ll be on the streets with my walking stick with one of those signs you see older women holding that reads: are we still fucking doing this?!). 
We need to keep marching/voting/tweeting and when they tell us to quieten down, we need to get louder.

We ARE breaking records and we WILL achieve equality.

For more information about 50:50 parliament visit:
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