Self-Care: Journaling

This week’s self-care idea is another obvious one. I think it’s good to start with the obvious though, gives you a good foundation for building your self-care. But this one’s still very relevant because how many of us actually journal on the regular? We all know that journaling is supposed to be great for getting our thoughts and feelings on to a page and out of our head. Yet so many of us fantasise about putting pen to paper rather than actually doing it. I’m definitely guilty of this. Just look at my atrocious posting schedule. I always want to get the words out but I often pick a different pass-time instead. Okay, fine, we all know I’m watching Netflix. But recently I’ve been making a conscious effort to incorporate writing into my day. (Mainly this month for Nano, which is crushing me by the way! I won’t be defeated though; almost at the 15,000 word mark.) Whether that’s starting your day off right with Morning Pages or ending your day in bed with your journal. Or maybe it’s during those five minutes when you’re on the train to work. Journaling is about finding the time for you. Come on, don’t we understand what this series is about yet? So if you don’t want to carry a notebook with you on the train just type in the notes section of your phone. If you’re just starting out maybe try writing one thing each night that you were grateful for that day. Or try a one line a day journal. There’s plenty out there. I bought one in June 2014 and I’ve been filling it out ever since with something boss that’s happened each day. I mean, it sometimes gets to a point where I haven’t written in it for four months and I have to work backwards and all I write one day is ‘Sorry, mate, it’s four months later I have no idea what you did today. Probably watched Netflix’. But I love looking back through it and seeing what my mischievous self was getting up to. It’s something I see myself doing for years to come.

But if you are looking for something a bit more hardcore then maybe work the Morning Pages into your morning routine. The general idea of Morning Pages is that you write three pages every morning, first thing. Personally, I think you should adapt everything in life to fit you, so I sometimes write three pages and other times I literally write one word. But the point is that you wrote something. So even if you just write ‘carrot’ one day you’re still incorporating the activity into your day and in time you’ll start adding more words. Maybe you’ll create a vegetable medley or maybe you’ll stop being an idiot and actually address your thoughts and feelings. I think people get put off journalling because you’re constantly told to bare your soul. Or it’s ‘girly’ and I’m a big manly man. Or it’s for weirdos with no social life. But if you’re going to let the thoughts of others dictate your experience then you’re not going to get to far with this self-care! So just start small and work up. And literally nobody is reading this so allow yourself to be selfish. Write the things you wouldn’t say out loud. Maybe they sound hurtful or conceited. But if you’re feeling it you need to honour that so write it down. Another thing people do is write their thoughts then burn it. If you really think there’s something in there you’d hate people to see then just burn it. Personally, I’d never burn anything I don’t think, because I find it interesting to read back months or years later. Sometimes it’s hard to see where you were at a particular time in your life but it’s always helpful.

I’ve had a lifetime of half-filled journals and childhood diaries. It’s only been this year that I’ve really made an effort to write something every day. And it’s changed me. I think it keeps me balanced. Grounded. And I think it could help you too. It’s never too late to start anything. So maybe for now start with some voice memos on your phone, or write it on a sticky note and then bin it. Find what serves you.

New Soul – Yael Naim

Liverpool, The Indie Way

Liverpool is my hometown and I feel pretty stoked to come from here. The people are boss, we’ve got tons of history and culture and if it’s hedonism you’re after you need look no further. I’ve been back here for about a year since finishing uni and in that time I’ve spent most of my wages on drinking too many pints and cocktails and trying every veggie meal the restaurants have to offer. Liverpool has a great independent vibe that is only growing so I figured I’d share with you some of my favourite indie spots across the city. These are cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs. Anything boss, basically. So whether you’re from the city and looking for something new or new to the city and looking for something quintessentially Liverpool, I got you.

Ship and Mitre – I’m putting it out there, this is possibly my favourite pub in Liverpool. Simply, it does what a pub should, serves great booze. The energy is addictive, relaxed. Being on Dale Street it’s also walking distance from the financial district so if anyone’s looking for a Friday pick me up they’ve got cask ales, craft beers, scrumpy ciders. http://www.theshipandmitre.com

Down the Hatch – Standing on the ashes of the legendary club, Le Bateau, I had reservations about this new veggie/vegan restaurant. Located in a basement on Duke Street I was pleasantly surprised. The interior is atmospheric but cosy, the food is comfort – DTH boosts a veggie junk food menu. If that’s not enough the cocktails are amazing, definitely try the Scouse 75. Offers Independent Liverpool Card Discount. https://www.facebook.com/downthehatchLIV/

EBGBS – Heebie Jeebies little brother, completely renovated last summer, the venue is a dark, basement, biker style bar that homes Liverpool’s longest running indie club night, Liquidation, on Saturday nights. So let’s dance to Joy Division, Bowie and the Bunnymen. Offers Independent Liverpool Card Discount. https://www.ebgbs.co.uk

Ye Cracke – One of Liverpool’s oldest pubs on Rice Street, off Hope Street, The War Room section is actually a listed building. The place is steeped in history; the pub was Lennon’s old watering hole when he was at art school. Also offers a large beer garden where you can waste the hot days away. Just so you know, it’s pronounced ‘The Cracke’ if you don’t want to sound like a prick. http://www.yecracke.co.uk

The Brink – The first dry bar in the UK, The Brink focuses on being inclusive. It’s a recovery social enterprise and often houses local artists, poets, musicians. They have a great range of mocktails and other juices for just £2.95. Extensive menu, offers an afternoon tea and is great for vegetarians. Offers Independent Liverpool Card Discount. http://thebrinkliverpool.com

Part Two is coming.

Paperback Writer – The Beatles

Self-care

So I’m starting a new segment, you could say. I mean, come on, you’re getting two posts in three days here so anything is possible. Anyway, it’s about self-care. Cos I think we could all do with slowing down now and again, give ourselves some love. We get to the end of the week and we’re pulling our hair out and holding our eyes open with pencils and seventeen cups of coffee. We want to dropkick our annoying colleague in the face but we also need to pay the bills so we better not. We want to drink into oblivion but we did that last week and we still can’t remember the particulars. Now, I’m not saying you can’t go drinking, I fully support that. But I think we’d all feel a bit better if we gave ourselves just a second alone at the weekend as well to recharge. To get colour back in our cheeks and that sparkle back in our eyes. I know you’ve got aspirations and dreams and big plans. And I really want them to work out for you. So you’ve got to listen to me. The point is to take time to do something that will serve you. Only you. It needs to relax you, or bring you joy. It needs to make you sigh with relief or it could challenge you. But it has to serve you, that’s key. But, Sarah, what could I do? Well, friend, I’ve got your back. Each Friday I’m going to set you up with a nice little idea for the weekend. Do it, don’t do it. Do something similar or something wildly different. Just do something.

This week we’re starting off with one of the biggest basics when it comes to self-care. Candles. Or incense. Or a new bloody air freshener if you’re that way inclined. Find a scent that soothes you and will seep through your living space ’til you’re feeling fucking zen. I recently got a candle from HomeSense and it’s amazing. It’s called Tobacco Oud by Ninety Six. It smells nothing like smoke. It’s creamy and intoxicating and wraps me with warmth as much as my blanket does. I’ve also just purchased the M&S Christmas candles cos they smell bloody brilliant, all spices and apples and myrrh. Hmm. I’m not lighting those yet though so I’ll get back to you. I’ve also been loving incense recently. I’ve found my favourites right now are Raindrops, Frankincense and Cherry Blossom. All are perfect for the autumn, even the Cherry Blossom. I get mine from Shared Earth in Liverpool but I suppose you can get them from any cool shop. Simple as, really. So off you go, kids, treat yo self!

Luv, Hold Me Down – Drowners

Nanowrimo

So yeah, it’s been a horrendous amount of time since I last posted anything. And I’m not even going to make any excuses. They wouldn’t be true anyway. What was I doing in those three months? We’ll never know. Writing brings me joy but I just haven’t been able to convince myself to do it for a while. But rather than diving into that problem I’m just going to jump with my whole being into something else. In the immortal words of Jake Peralta ‘eyes closed, head first, can’t lose’.

What am I jumping into, you may be wondering. Can’t you read titles? Nanowrimo, mate! I’ve known about nano for years now and I’ve even pretended to participate a few times, I think my most amount of words was like 800 last year. Told you I was pretending. And we all know how fucking good at procrastinating and falling off the radar I am. But I figure, like, people with eight kids, two jobs and nine other hobbies somehow manage to crank out 50,000 words every November so really, what fucking excuse have I got? I told you at the start of this post already, I have no excuses. Come on, keep up.

So I’m giving it the old college try and I’m really hoping it works. I need to prove to myself that I can actually fucking do something I say I can do. Not even that I can do but that I want to do. It’s just stupid to float through life never really committing to anything but having these grand ideas about what you want your life to look like. Just actually do it now or shut up. I mean it’s currently 1:02am and I have zero words. But it’s November 1st til I go to bed and the night is young! I’m feeling good about this which I guess that and a laptop and a load of coffee and good vibes from the universe is all I need.

What am I writing about you may ask? You may not cos you might not care. In which case, why are you here, really. Well I love creative non-fiction and what do I ever write about? I’m going to write about myself, about my family, about our history and our future. This year our lives were changed forever. This is a grief memoir.

Wish me luck. Don’t. Luck isn’t real.

Peace.

Golden October – All The Luck In The World (cos I’m so excited that they’ve finalllllllly got a new song)