Showing posts with label wellness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wellness. Show all posts

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


A new year gives you the opportunity to explore new places and try out new things. Unfortunately, last year I was unable to do most of the things I had planned when I was in London because I worked throughout most of the summer holidays. Since my exams finish in May and I graduate in July, I will officially be free from being a student which means I'll have more time on my hands before I start working *sarcastic yay*. What's on my list for things I want to do in 2020?

Visit a new place in London // 
Last year, Aoife and I went to Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park and it was so gorgeous and peaceful! After uploading a video on Snapchat, I received countless messages asking about the location, Many people were surprised to find that the garden was in London. There are loads of places I haven't discovered or yet seen. One of the places I really want to visit is Kew Garden which looks beautiful. When I planned to go last year, it was raining but I'm going to make sure I see it this year!

Solo Trip // 
Since I can't travel during summer at the moment -I have eczema and a skin disorder that makes my skin sensitive to the sun- I thought it would be great to go somewhere in Europe during my reading week this month. I know most of my friends are not available or don't really want to go...so, why not make it my first ever solo trip? After travelling to Venice last August, I have to go back to Italy! I would love to go to Milan or to Florence for a few days. The whole experience of travelling alone can definitely be daunting but this doesn't put me off at all! I know I would meet great people along the way. It would truly be an unforgettable experience.


Spa Day // 
Because I deserve it and you do too! I would love to treat myself to a self-pampering day where I can unwind, focus on my wellness and enjoy a relaxing massage that puts me to sleep. I've seen so many incredible places for a spa getaway trip- maybe I have plans for my 21st after all!

Go to another city // 
I have never been to another city outside London before. Except for Leicester since  I go to university there. Birmingham and Nottingham are only a train away so I don't really have any excuses! After being told how big Manchester is, I would love to spend a day experiencing city life elsewhere.

Attend a Meditation Class // 
Life can become stressful, overwhelming and chaotic. Sitting in silence and focusing on your breathing is a really good technique that allows you to refocus and bring yourself into the present. If you're on a spiritual journey, you know how important it is to stay in silence without being consumed by excessive thinking. A friend recommended a meditation class in Leicester that she really enjoyed. I would love to surround myself with people who are in touch with their spirituality whilst learning how to meditate more effectively without being distracted by excessive thought.

What new things would you like to try this year?



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Hey, it's me Aoife! I hope you enjoyed Rashidah's blog post. I also wrote a guest post over on her blog about books that have changed my life which you can read here.


Don't we all wish to be as calm as composed as a Buddhist monk in the hills of Tibet rather than be like Bianca when she's screaming "RICKAYY" across Albert square? I made a new years resolution to myself, well I make the same one every month, that I want to try and be more zen. 

I like to think of Zen as a kind of mindset. One where you have the ability to be aware of a situation and not let your emotions control your actions. It's being aware of the present moment. I've done some research on it and the closest definition of a 'zen attitude' that I relate with is by Wikihow. Reliable, I know. But here it is,

"Having a Zen attitude means finding mindful awareness of the present moment. This will help you release yourself from stress, anxiety, frustration and anger. Instead, focus on positive thoughts and actions that will help you relax and respond in a more balanced way to your everyday life."

I used to get really angry and annoyed when I was growing up, fixating on the tiniest of things. I'd give it more attention than necessary. Since then, I like to think I've found my inner zen. I'm in no way a master at it but I do find myself much calmer and aware of situations. So with that said, I thought I'd put together some tips that work for me when I'm looking for my inner zen in the hope it might help you. 



ONE // Be a little selfish (Finding inner peace) 

There’s a lot of negativity around being selfish and it can be quite a big-headed trait. However, I like to think there are two types of selfish; the kind where you can come across as a bitch and the other kind where it makes you more compassionate, well rounded and connected. Being selfish doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Sometimes it allows you to work out your own needs and get comfortable with yourself. All of which helps you when you’re in the company of others. Instead of taking care of others all the time and losing yourself within that, being a little selfish enables you to understand and be more empathetic to others.

TWO // Prioritise

There’s a lot that goes on in life. A lot of stress, drama, fun and love. A lot you find yourself focusing on. One of the things I have learnt is that it is important to prioritise, focusing on what’s important. Sit down and think about what you value in life and what is important to you. Once you understand that, you find yourself focusing less on the stuff that irritates you and more on what makes you happy. You’ll find yourself feeling calmer and more balanced.

THREE // Reward yourself. 

Like how you reward a dog but for yourself. When you're wrapped up in the rollercoaster of life, you can forget to reward yourself. This can be in a materialistic way, or by having a bath, or even by taking some time to spring clean your home. It’s just remembering to take some time out of life to look after yourself. Both mentally and physically. Allowing yourself to breathe and re-charge.



FOUR // Don’t be afraid of emotion. 

I feel like when you try and channel Zen, there’s this belief you have to be calm like ALL the time. You have to be in a constant state of one emotion. But I find it easier to be zen when I’m aware of the emotions I want to feel and letting myself feel them. They don’t need to take over but it’s important to feel them, be aware of them, and let them fade. 

FIVE // Be aware and grateful. 

Like Wikihow said, the key to being Zen is to be aware of your surroundings and understanding them. Be aware of what’s happening around you and be appreciative of what you have. Appreciate where you are in life, in your relationships and what you have the potential to do. It’ll make you see things in a different light and make you smile a little more.

Again, I'm in no way an expert in this but I hope my tips are able to help you in some way. 

Love, Aoife xo