Lifestyle // The importance of self care

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Aberdeen Beach Front, Scotland

We all take care of our bodies by exercising and eating well (for the most part) and we take care of our looks - buy make up or get a hair cut; but do we take care of our minds and mental wellbeing? I've been through some tough times of stress and anxiety, particularly last year when work was an ever consuming part of my life. Since then I have been making a conscious decision to take care of myself first. If I can't take care of myself, how can I put attention and diligence into my work?

We live busy lives and through the increasing use of social media, we are living our lives through others more and more. I think it's important to take time out for ourselves and spend time away from technology and reset your mind. Taking 'holiday' days from work just to spend at home or doing the things you can't do during the weekend is not a wasted day. In the past I used to only use my 'holiday' days if I was going away on holiday or planning something away from Aberdeen but enough is enough and I have taken a last minute day off for myself.

How to self care:
  • Have a lie in. Don't set an alarm in the morning and let yourself naturally wake up. If the time you naturally wake up is the same time you get up for work then just lie in bed and take your time getting up.
  • Make appointments that you haven't got round to doing yet. Need to visit the bank to upgrade your bank account? Do it when the shops are quiet and everyone is at work.
  • Go for a walk. Take a walk down your local park or watch the sunset. The photo above is when I decided last minute to go down to the beach and watch the sunset. I was by myself, I put on some relaxing music and I walked up and down the beachfront then sat on the shore and watched the sun go down.
  • Start a journal and write down all the creative ideas you have brewing or just write down some thoughts or issues troubling you that you have been meaning to get off your chest.
  • Clean atmosphere, clean mind. Tidy up your house/flat. Do a massive clearout and dispose/donate items you don't need any more. Sometimes the clutter you surround yourself in can also clutter up your mind.
I'm sure everyone's idea of self care is different and these are some ideas that you can fit into a day without stressing too much about not having enough time to do everything. Put yourself first and take care of your mind and it will do the rest for you.

Have you got any self care tips that you would like to share?



My return to blogging?

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Shoreline of Loch Ness

Okay, let's be completely honest here, I haven't been blogging for a very long time and it was intentional. My last post was at the end of October last year and I find myself constantly thinking about coming back to it. I stopped writing because I was looking at the blogging world and I didn't know where my small space on the interweb fit in (or even if it did!) I didn't have a flashy MacBook, I don't eat avocado on toast every weekend and I have a full time job which I put my all in to. I didn't fit the cookie cutter expression of a blogger. So I stopped. I focused on my job, spending time with the best people I know and generally not putting pressure on myself to schedule the perfect post or to go out and do things to blog about so I seemed more interesting. Rather I relaxed at the weekend and slobbed out in front of Netflix or baking.

I've come to the realisation since last year that I missed putting my words out there into the world. Even if no-one is reading them or even caring about what I was writing. I cared. And that's all that matters right? In a social media obsessed world where buying the latest Disney Primark item is hot topic; I hope I can bring a bit of fresh air and calm. I still don't have a flashy MacBook and I still don't eat avocado on toast but I might write about something interesting every now and then.

So I invite you round for a cup of tea and a slice of cake - sink down into the warm and inviting sofa and welcome back. How have you been?



38. The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Happy Halloween everyone! This is my favourite time of the year getting all cosy and carving pumpkins. Alas this year I haven't carved pumpkins or felt an ounce of autumnal love so far. I've been insanely busy and I find myself back on call again (it just comes round far too quickly!)

It's less than 10 days until I leave for Hong Kong and I'm already stressing about the lack of preparation already. Usually I would have started at least two weeks before I leave but this time round I feel like it's going to be a last minute dash to the shops to buy some humid weather appropriate clothing.

I managed to book the last of my annual leave off work and me the boy will be booking our flights to London in December! I'm excited to visit the Christmas Market and maybe get some last minute Christmas shopping done. Any recommendations on what we should do around that time of year?

The boy got promoted this week to warehouse supervisor and I have never been more proud. He also passed his forklift tests and can now legally drive a forklift! It's been a long time coming and after all his hard work and perseverance it's finally paid off.

November is literally round the corner and I'm excited for the final set of plans before 2017 :)



// My Second Home

Saturday, 29 October 2016

I consider myself really lucky to have parents that come from another country. I get to enjoy the culture from their homeland and also where I grew up. I have friends that also have the same upbringing as me and we always talk about the differences in food, culture and family life.

In less than 2 weeks, I'll be flying to the other side of the world and holidaying in what I consider my second home; Hong Kong.

I've been to Hong Kong a few times with my family and the last time I went two years ago, I went on a solo trip for some rest and relaxation with my grandparents eating delicious food. Oh the food!

This time I will be flying back to Hong Kong with my mum and we've already got so many things planned. My mum hasn't been home for many years now and I'm excited to spend this time with her and explore more of the city.

I've thought about moving to Hong Kong a few times to teach English but the city is so big and I feel like a small fish in a very big pond when I'm there. There's always something going on with places to see and visit but I'm very much content with the quiet life living in the suburbs and the peace.

So here I am, 10 days before I leave with no suitcase and no clothes suitable for the humidity of the Hong Kong. Wish me luck folks!



37. The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 23 October 2016

I don't want to panic any one but it's Halloween next week which means November is round the corner and then it'll be the end of the year and 2017 is literally on our doorstep. Panic aside, I apologise for the distinct lack of posts this week and generally the last few months. Work has literally taken over my life and I'm finding myself being creative and more trying to catch up on sleep. I'm still wanting to keep going with these Sunday Journal's as I like looking back on the week.

This week, out work took us out for a nice meal as a reward for all our hard work. We went to Chaopraya on Union Street which just newly opened and classes itself as fine Thai dining. I opted for the yellow fish curry and it was presented so beautifully. I would definitely go back there again to try a different dish but more for a special occasion than a quick bite to eat. Highly recommended.

I've got just over 2 weeks until I fly to Hong Kong and it's suddenly dawned on me that I have nothing prepared and that the only time I have to pack is next week. Is it too soon to start now? I also found out today that I'll be getting to go to Disneyland in Hong Kong. I've been there before when it first opened but I don't think I appreciated it very much so I'm getting the opportunity to go again and I am very excited to wear my Mickey Ears!

I hope you all have a great Sunday and a lovely fresh new week ahead of you :)



36. The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 16 October 2016

I have just attempted an epic burger challenge as I write this. You can probably tell, but I failed miserably and now my belly is close to exploding. The diet starts tomorrow.

I came off call this week so the weekend has just been catching up on sleep and trying to make the most of my free time. Most of it has been spent organising a wee sleepover for my little sisters at the flat. We had a great night playing Dreamphone, watching movies and X Factor. Was a rather nice relaxing evening and I still managed to get into my bed by 10pm. Bonus.

I caught up with some of my favourite boys this weekend over some mid-week dining. I don't have a large group of friends and much prefer having a small close knit group of friends that I see regularly. We ate lots of good food and drank delicious mocktails (it was a school night after all).

I put up a bit of a personal post this week about the contraceptive pill. If you haven't read it, you can read it here. I've had some positive feedback on it and would like to know about what you thought about those kinds of posts? Would topics like this appeal to you or would like to read more about on this blog?

I hope you've all had a fabulous weekend and well rested for a brand new week. I'm off to nurse this food baby now.



The Contraceptive Pill // The Real Life Experience

Friday, 14 October 2016

I've been meaning to write this post for a while now but I've been anxious to write down my thoughts and feelings on this topic but I am a strong empowered female speaking out to my empowered readers!

I was on the contraceptive pill for around a year and a half by which time I had changed the type of pill I took twice and ultimately I have stopped taking it. It wasn't a decision I took lightly but I hope this post will help you to decide whether this is something you want to start or if you're thinking about not taking it any more.

Deciding whether the contraceptive pill is for you
There really isn't a wrong or right answer for this question. Some people go on the pill for various reasons; painful periods or birth control. I decided on the contraceptive pill for birth control and I sought advice from my doctor before I embarked on this adventure. As a healthy female, they put me on the most common tablet whereby I take 3 weeks of pills once every day then I didn't take any for a week where I would have a 'period'. Bear in mind, this isn't a real period. Then on the 8th day you start your new pack whether or not you're still bleeding. Pretty simple concept eh?

I found taking the pill every morning took it's toll on me. It became a bit of a ritual every day and I was tired of it. I found myself taking a big sigh beforehand and it became more of an effort each and every day. You might think it's really weird for me to feel this way but it was honestly a burden.

The effects of the contraceptive pill
The first pill I was put on changed my mood entirely. I actually became depressed. Every day was like a heavy dull cloud over my head and I couldn't find any joy left in the world. It was effecting my work and I was crying over every little thing. Printer ran out of paper? Cry. Used a black pen instead of a blue pen? Cry.

I went to see my doctor again and asked if the pill contributed to this and they changed it to another pill which had a different strength of hormone. You could say my mood improved and the cloud lifted slightly but the boy could see it was still affecting me greatly.

This isn't a general overall effect of the pill as there are some women who have taken it for years and years and it hasn't affected them at all but I persevered and continued swallowing that tiny pill every morning.

The decision to come off the pill
Enough was enough and I decided to give my body a break from it. Once my period I ended, I just didn't take any more pills. The boy noticed a difference in my mood and the cloud that was once above my head lifted. I wasn't overly emotional and I don't cry when the printer runs out of paper any more. I spoke with lots of my girl friends and asked them about their experiences with the pill and if they would come off it. I got some positive advice but ultimately it was my decision.

Of course experiences differ from person to person and everyone has different reasons to go on it. Would I go back on it? Probably but then again probably not. The effects of the pill is still lasting as I recently experienced a very bad gall bladder attack which is a build up of cholesterol in the gall bladder linked to taking the pill due to the hormones amongst other things.

I hope this has helped at least one of you lovely readers with your decision whether coming off or going on the pill. Again, this is my personal experience and none of the above could even apply to you :)



35. The Sunday Journal

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Every time I sit down to write my Sunday Journal, it gets later and later. You have probably guessed it but alas I am on call again this week and I've not had a moment to myself. We have changed the way we do on call now and it runs from Friday to Thursday rather than a Monday to Sunday. I have been quite fortunate this weekend in that I've not had many call outs but your brain is constantly focused on the Blackberry nevertheless.

On Saturday, one of my colleagues treated me and the boy to dinner at Malmaison Aberdeen. It was quite possibly the most extravagant meal I have ever had. I had scallops to start, lobster risotto as a main and creme brulee for dessert. Rather than taking photos of my meal, I decided to just enjoy the food and company rather than seeing the meal as a chance to review it. I will hopefully make another trip there one day. Despite being on call, the company was amazing as was the food.

I have made the decision to join another gym this week to help me meet my fitness goals. Although my current gym is literally a 2 minute driver from my flat, the additional gym membership will fit around my work and lifestyle slightly better.

I hope to have more of a sombre week to fully concentrate on getting some content on the blog. Autumn is my favourite season ever and it would be a shame not to be able to share some of my favourite things with you all.