Showing posts with label Lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lifestyle. Show all posts
mental health 2021 goals
Mental health 2021 goals

Hey Stranger,

Long time, no see. It’s been a while since I sat in front of my laptop and just typed. I feel a little rusty if I’m honest so bare with me. To say this year has been a roller coaster would be an understatement. Amid all the painful moments there were a handful worth celebrating. I think we can all agree it's for the best to put last year behind us.

I struggled a lot with my mental health last year and ended up cutting back on a lot of the things I loved doing. I took a long break from social media and blogging when things got too much and then felt a little out of my depth when I wanted to come back. One thing I missed the most was being creative and producing content. One of my goals for 2021 is to be consistent with my content. 

A lot has happened since I last wrote a blog post. One of those things is I’m now working as a journalist. Me! This is something I have been dreaming about since I was in year 11. It’s a completely new field for me and I’m really enjoying it. Writing about more formal topics at work has made me miss what I was writing about when I was blogging. This space has been a place for me to write about beauty, fashion, books and my favourite places in London. A lot of the things that “fed my soul”, if you will, ended up closing during the lockdowns and in the new tiered system. I wasn't very good at finding alternatives, that I could to, to all those things.

The pandemic threw more than I realised and one thing I'm focusing on this year is my mental health. Last year taught me how important a good mental health is in being able to function. After all, we’re only human and we can only take so on much.

Here’s a couple of things I’ll be doing to look after my mental health this year:
  • Be kinder to myself. Funnily enough, I wrote a blog post on this and never followed any of it. I can count on one hand how many times I have been kind to myself this year. It’s quite shocking really. As the pandemic continues, I’m going to have to rethink what things I can do to bring me happiness since what I used to do has been put on pause. Taking it easier and not putting so much pressure on myself are my two priorities. 
  • Have more ME time. For the whole year, I have felt that my time belonged to someone else. I think that’s been a big cause of my anxiety. This year, I’m focusing on taking ‘protected’ time out for just me. I started doing it last Autumn and it really helped. Essentially, Sunday will belong to me. For that day, I will do whatever I want to do whether it’s catching up on my latest read, creating content or going for a nice stroll. The most important thing is feeling as though that time belongs to me and no one else.
  • Be creative. I thrive on creativity. It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to make writing my career. I used to bake, cook, write, read, and film. I loved it all! I mentioned earlier that I stopped  doing those things when everything got a little too much. Really, I should have kept those things going. 

Love, Aoife xo


Eye mask and body spray flatlay


Everything about summer makes me happy. The long nights, the constant light and the warm weather. The list could go on. While the constant heat is nice during the day, it can be unwanted in the evening. And on most nights, I’m tossing and turning trying to find the “cool place” on my mattress. Or waiting for a cool breeze to flow through my open window. Either way, it can start to feel like a mission to have a good nights sleep during the summer.


Here are four must haves to add to your summer night survival kit:


Silk/ satin pjs: I practically LIVE in these come June. H&M do really cute satin sets with a lace detail or frilly shorts. I currently have them in black floral, pink and blue. If you’re really struggling with the heat, Hollister have some really cute cotton two-pieces which will help keep you a little cooler.


Rituals, The Ritual of Karma Body Spray: I love adding a little bit of luxury to my routines and on summer nights, it comes in the form of this gorgeous Rituals Karma body spray. Smelling of holy lotus and white tea, it's a beautiful calming scent. I spray three or four pumps and let the fragarance wash over me.


H&M Satin PJ's


Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic: There’s nothing better than those summer evening showers, washing away the suncream and dirt from the day. I recently decided to simplify my skincare routine while on acne medication to help improve my skin. You can read my latest acne post here. All Liz Earle products are vegan friendly and made from natural ingredients. This toner is soothing on the skin and the natural fragrance adds to the floral of summer. Tip- If you leave your toner in the fridge, it’s really nice and cool on your skin when you get around to applying it.


Eye mask: Did you know during the summer months of Iceland, they can get up to 21 hours of sunlight? If you’re someone who wakes up with the light and struggles to get back to sleep, it’s well worth investing in an eye mask. I bought mine from H&M last year as part of their Love Stories x H&M collection and I adore it. I really like the tie detail at the back which allows you to tie it as tightly as you like and you don’t have to worry about stretching it out.


There you have it. Four must haves I think are important for those hot summer nights. I thought about adding more but when it comes down to it, less is more. And when, it’s 30 degrees in my room, the last thing I’m reaching for is something to add more layers.


What is in your summer nights survival kit?


Love, Aoife xo



Girl reading The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

The last few months have not been easy. Being in lockdown has been a challenge for us all but for some of us, it has been an even bigger battle. One thing that came out of my recent therapy sessions is that I need to be kinder to myself. I need to learn how to be confident in myself and not see my weaknesses as completely detrimental. 

    Since then, I've been on a little journey of self-confidence in learning how to identify unhealthy behaviours and make them healthier. I think we all need to not just be kinder to ourselves, but learn how to  instead. We can be kinder to ourselves by treating ourselves to a bar of chocolate or a new Dior bag. However, that's only short term. By 'learning', we can create long term healthy habits. Here are four tips that can help boost self-confidence:


Be proud of what you’ve achieved- How often do you stop and reflect on what you’ve achieved? I can’t remember the last time I did that and that’s an issue. We continue to achieve every single day and that should be recognised. I don’t think about what I have overcome or really acknowledge all the amazing things I’ve done in the past three months. And they’re a pretty big deal. I just graduated with first class honours, woah! As humans, we tend to have the habit of chasing one thing after another, never really feeling fulfilled at what we’ve already done. When you have a moment, think about everything you have done in the past week, month or even year. The most important thing is that you can smile about it and think, I did that.


Don’t put too much pressure on yourself- Do you know what’s human? Making mistakes. No one is that perfect and if they are, they’re lying. In order to be kind to ourselves, we have to allow room for errors. We’re going to get things wrong from time to time and that’s how we learn and overcome it. By putting so much pressure on ourselves, we’re missing the opportunity to learn and grow from experiences. And Rome wasn’t built in a day. Things take time and they’ll take as long as they need to.


Rupi Kaur The Sun and Her Flowers


Accepting you don’t have complete control over everything that happens- Anxiety often stems from a lack of control. In situations where we’re not in control, we often feel anxious. I get waves of anxiety that tend to last a few weeks to a few months. I guess it never really goes away but I’ve learnt how best to manage it, if you will. One thing I always get told is to focus on what I can and am able to control. This can be quite difficult in some situations especially where we feel helpless. Take the coronavirus, we can’t control that or being in lockdown but we can control how we choose to act and use our time now that we’re at home more often than not. We can control some things and we can’t with others. Finding a balance is really helpful and focusing on what we can control.


Treat yourself- I’ll admit that use those two words a lot normally. I only realised the impact of not treating yourself when I starved myself of that. Pre-lockdown,  I’d treat myself by going shopping or buying artisan doughnuts (so so good). But since we went into lockdown and I was struggling with everything including really bad acne, I stopped. I stopped feeling worthy of myself and stopped being kind to myself. One way you can treat yourself Covid friendly is to buy flowers. Flowers can make all the difference by brightening up the space and making the room feel happier. My Nan said to buy flowers for someone when they’re sad and that’s a good lesson to remember. So, whether it’s your favourite doughnut, flowers or something pink (my happy colour), remember to treat yourself and do things that make you smile. 


Love, Aoife xo


The only thing blaring through my headphones until about a month ago was music. Now, it’s podcasts. While they have been around for some time, podcasts have become quite a phenomenon in recent years. The momentum continues to grow with more listeners tuning in and more podcasts saturating the market. The good podcasts are a little harder to find with every podcast catering to what it seems like every type of person in the world. Whether you’re on the way to somewhere or waiting between lectures, podcasts are the perfect company. And if they’re done well, you feel right there with the presenters. Here are five of my favourite lifestyle and fashion podcasts.

ONE // The BoF podcast (a.k.a. Business of Fashion)
The Business of Fashion, or the BoF for short, is like The Economist equivalent for fashion. They publish business-related news about fashion, providing insight into issues among the industry as well as movement within top brands.

In their podcast, they interview industry professionals from former models, Liya Kebede, to famous designers, including Katherine Hamnett and Alexandre Mattiussi of AMI. Their podcasts provide listeners with insight into their guests’ lives – how they grew up, what attracted them to fashion and where do they see the industry going, to name a few. Their guests relate to the current affairs in the fashion industry, keeping you in the know of what’s going on and who the key players are.

Fave episode: Derek Blasberg's plans for YouTube / Marco Bizzarri on China's Role in Gucci's $10 Billion Plan.

TWO // Table Manners with Jessie Ware
This has to be one of the funniest podcasts I have ever listened to. Between singer Jessie Ware, her Mum and a celebrity guest who sit around Jessie’s kitchen table; they have me in stitches. They have a good natter about everything under the sun from work and what's going on in their lives to their favourite dishes. Which has me dreaming about delicious food for the rest of the day. You can also catch the dirt on your favourite celebrities.

This podcast is very raw from the chair scraping on the floor to cupboards opening and closing and the rattle of crockery, all of which makes it feel like your right at the table with them. 

Fave episode: Stefflon Don.

THREE // Feminists Don’t Wear Pink
…and other lies. Scarlett Curtis, author of Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies, a collection of essays from empowering activists, actresses and influencers featuring Adoah Aboah and Saoirse Ronan. Scarlett brings the book to life in her podcast interviewing inspiring women about what feminism means to them and why it matters. As well as what feminist lies they’ve heard/ been told. Despite feminism being perceived as a heavy topic, this podcast is incredibly light, insightful and throws out all the pre-conceived notions you know about feminism.

I’ve just started reading the book and I love it already. It’s all about what feminism means to these women and the relationship they have with it. I’ll probably do a review on it when I have finished reading it.

Fave episode: Saoirse Ronan.


FOUR // The Sunday Social
Is blogging dying? What’s life like after Love Island? Why is the media transfixed with trans women? Lifestyle blogger and YouTuber Lucy Moon encourages the conversation around pop culture trends in music, film and entertainment. Lucy brings guests – from fellow bloggers, YouTubers, authors and love island contestants- to feature in her episodes.

This podcast is a little more intellectual than Table Manners and more serious than Feminists Don't Wear Pink but it's great nonetheless. Lucy speaks very fluently and smartly on the subjects. I think the Sunday Social is aptly named as it's the kind of conversations you can imagine having over a relaxed Sunday breakfast. The kind with a cup of coffee and a newspaper in front of you.

Fave episode: Is blogging dying?

FIVE // Fashion No Filter
Camille Charriere and Monica Ainley, both fashion journalists, give a behind the scenes glance at how the industry operates. Useful if you want to know more about one of the world’s exclusive industries. In a recent episode, the duo interviewed Eva Chen, head of fashion partnerships at Instagram. She has been popping up on a lot of the vlogs and articles I tend to read. She, in short, is the go-to girl at Instagram keeping up you up to date and aware of algorithms. On top of that, she has one of the most impressive CVs, climbing her way to the top national magazines before moving over to Instagram. 

Fashion No Filter keeps fashion at the focus of the podcast, discussing topics that very much at the centre of the fashion world.

Fave episode: Behind the Instagram Algorithm with Eva Chen.

~~~

This article was first published on Pugwash Magazine. <- That's my university's magazine, whoop whoop! I've edited it a little to make it more blog-worthy but you can read the original here