Thursday, 27 July 2017

10 Important Things I've Learnt Halfway Through 2017


We're currently sitting at the 207th day of 2017 and boy, has time flown by this year - cliche as it is, time really does seem to travel faster the older you are. 

You get overwhelmed by responsibilities and life changing moments each year, month, week even - and sometimes, you just can't keep up. I'm feeling somewhat at one with the world since I've gotten back from my mini travels, and have realised just how much I've learnt as we've stepped over the halfway line of 2017 thus far. I'm only 22 years old and have so much more learning to do along my journey but these are a few things I've learnt so far during this mad year.


1. It's so important to take some quality 'me' time.

You can be alone every day after work or school, in your room, watching Netflix, whilst scrolling through Twitter and clearing your snapchat feed but you're not really spending some quality time with yourself and this is something that I've really come to terms with this year. I've always been a massive advocate for 'me' time. I've struggled with anxiety for many years and have been in and out of depression throughout different times of my life, so a 'breather' is always really important for my mental health. However, my version of 'me' time, would be sitting in bed, surrounded by a messy smelly room, scrolling through Instagram, browsing Missguided and patiently waiting for the dominos that let's face it, I can't afford. This is self destruction in it's darkest light, it's hidden and we don't seem to realise it as a generation

A lot of my anxiety stems from worries of not being liked, not being good enough and generally fucking up when interacting with others - I've always felt like an outsider and it's just something that flows through my veins. Scrolling through Instagram, looking at women with 'body goals' (something I'm going to touch upon in a whole other blog post soon), browsing online shops at beautiful clothes that I can't afford and that I wish I could, so I could also be one of those fashionable people, then the pizza comes because I'm too lazy to make any food and the first bite tastes incredible, a pure 'mouthgasm' and then, 10 minutes later, I feel sick from all of the oil and the fact that I now feel guilty for not only eating something super bad for you, but having spent roughly 20 quid on a pizza and I'm closer and closer to going into my overdraft. Do you see where I'm going with this?

All of these little things that we do, to 'treat' ourselves momentarily, yet we aren't treating ourselves permanently. I will still have the odd takeaway night from time to time sure, that's not my point here but I'm just going to think about what actually benefits me, myself and I. 

Switch off. Even if it's just for 10 minutes, turn your phone off and put it out of sight. Take off your bra and get into your comfies, do a spot of yoga - I like this one here. Gulp some ice cold water, take some multivitamins, stick on a face mask and read a book. Clean up your surroundings, take the rubbish out, do the dishes and make your bed. Take the dog for a walk or if you don't have a dog, take yourself for a walk - take in your environment and think about what makes it beautiful.

It's so important to take some 'quality me time' - is what you're doing on your 'me' time actually benefiting you right now or, will it actually make you more sad/anxious or stressed in the long run?

2. Teach yourself to think before you speak.

This is something I've never been good at, ever. It's actually cost me nearly losing a handful of friendships or sparking unnecessary tension to a situation and is something I'm constantly working on. There's a difference between being outspoken to just not thinking and upsetting someone - of course you or I would never mean anything in a harsh way, it just sometimes happens. It can also go the other way, you can say something out of a trusting conversation, and it turns out you cannot trust that person you had the conversation with - think before you speak, just take a millisecond, trust me it makes such a difference.

3. Stop putting things off.

I am the queen of lists. I am also the queen of writing 20358293424 lists and ticking three things off and calling it a day, just because I feel lazy. I'll then transfer whatever I didn't do that day over to the following day and become overwhelmed about how much I have to do. Stop. Putting. Things. Off.

If you want to go for a run, go for a run today - not on Monday, get into your leggings and trainers and run! If you want to go on an exciting adventure, save the money up - stop spending money on new makeup releases and clothes, when the £80 you just spent on an outfit for one night out and some eyeshadow could be put towards a short flight, or paying off a massive trip. If you want to start a blog or a Youtube channel, set your station up, record the content and upload. If you don't start right now, you will probably never start and this time next year, you'll be wishing you started today.

4. Don't beat yourself up if you've missed a few tasks off of your to-do list.

Following on from my 3rd lesson, it's perfectly acceptable if you genuinely run out of time or energy in a day and miss a few tasks off your to do list, this is a different story. Try and train your brain to understand the difference between pure procrastination and genuine preventions of finishing the task in question.

5. Be as kind as you can possibly be, you may never know what someone is going through.

This is something I've learnt across the last 7 years, as well as this year. You truly never know what someone could be going through, always be as kind as you possibly can - it may just make their day. Go out of your way to add some light into anyone's day, whether that's a quick text to check in with friends or family, a compliment on Instagram, or a kind gesture whilst you're out and about. We will create a much happier world this way. Remember - if you light a lamp for someone else, you will also brighten your own path.

6. It's okay to be sensitive, it's okay to cry and it's okay not to be okay.

I've always been sensitive and an emotional person, in the last month or so, I've really learnt that this is a good thing that I'm in touch with my emotions - it's who I am and I should be unapologetically me. Situations that I've experienced, the good, the bad and the ugly throughout my life have shaped me to be the way I am and I'm proud of how far I've come. Never tell anyone to 'man up', 'get a grip', as your molehill, could be their mountain and it could also be a further underlying issue. If you're sensitive like me, it's okay to cry - it's okay to be emotional and if anyone tells you 'it's like stepping around egg shells with you', tell them do you know what, my egg shells have been broken and no one is helping me mend them back together. Think about it, humans are built on emotion so own it - you're fab.

7. If you want to do something, you can make it happen. 

This is in relation to lesson 3. Have some faith in yourself, two massive things in my life that I'm proud of are; when I was going through a horrible life at home and was battling depression in school, I'd stare vacantly out the window in each lesson. My maths teacher told me that I'd get a D, fail and never get anywhere in life. Fantastic, just what I need - see rule 5. I just thought 'fuck you', bunked her lessons (not something I encourage), went home and revised on BBC bitesize, got myself a B didn't I. I had a 'friend' who said to me, when I told her that I wanted to learn how to drive and pass my test in four months so I was driving by the end of summer, said to me; 'You know it takes time don't you? It's actually really hard?'. Well I bloody well did it, 4 months surely later, I passed my driving test first time with 6 minors and I was driving myself around the exact same day. These little things are all a sign of, if you want something badly enough, you can make it happen - read up on the law of attraction, it's really eye opening.

8. Experiences and adventures bring more joy than a materialistic item ever can.

I've always loved pretty things, and still do - I'm a girly girl, I love glitter and new shoes. I also love adventure and the journey of travelling the world, I can safely say that the £3000 in total that my Eastern Canada & America Road Trip cost me, was a lot higher in value to me than the £5000 estimated value of makeup that I've purchased over the years. I've experienced things I'd never have thought I'd ever experience and it was all down to doing it, rather than receiving or buying a physical item.

9. Spend as much time with the ones you love as you can - even if it's only 10 minutes.

Old people. I'm a terrible granddaughter and I don't make the effort to see my elders as much as I should, especially in the age that she is. A few months ago, before I went away, I arranged a cute dinner with my Granny and I felt so happy that she was happy afterward. It's a morbid thought, but it's true and it goes for anyone regardless of age or relation, life is short and you never know when it will end so spend as much time as you can with your loved ones as possible, as you just don't know when the last time you'll see them will be.

10. 'Fear is just a feeling reminding you that you're alive.'

In June of this year, I jumped off a big, high up rock into a lake in Knoxville, Tennesee and it was the biggest thing I've ever done and the scariest. Sounds silly to some, to me with a massive fear of falling - the motion alone freaks me out and it was such an accomplishment. We took a short stopover by a lake in Knoxville on our way to Nashville and we were all swimming in the lake, some of the tour guys started jumping off this high rock and it looked like so much fun and I so wanted to do it. I thought 'I'm going to do it' So I started climbing up the rock, then needed help getting up the rock, I was up at the top for a good 5 minutes, looking over the edge in fear and saying 'I can't do it, I can't do it!'. My wise tour leader, who I was in complete awe of told me that 'fear is just a feeling reminding you that you're alive' and I did it, just like that and it was amazing!


10B. I CAN DO IT. (See lesson 10)


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Shivs x

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