twentytwentyone

I mean, how do you even begin this post? I love writing these yearly posts but this year is just hitting a little different isn’t it? I don’t want to spend much time speaking about the elephant in the room, cos at this point we all know what’s up. I’m finding that constant mention of the pandemic is making my heart race. I’m sure it’s the same for many of you. So instead I want to just keep this post short and hopeful. Short because I don’t have much hope in me right now. Hopeful because we can’t exist without it. Whatever the situation, no matter how deep into it you are, no matter how much your mental health is holding on by a fraying thread, no matter how much you want to give up, no matter how much you’re dying for a hug or a proper pint or a maskless breath of fresh air, I think there is always hope.

Every single thing that happens in your life is temporary.

Read that again.

Every single thing that happens in your life is temporary.

I’m obviously not talking about death (etc.) here, don’t try and get smart with me. But what I mean is that every feeling and mindset and set of circumstances you find yourself in will be fleeting. Your world twists and turns and evolves constantly. Often quicker than you can keep up with. (2020, am I right?) A lot of things in our lives will feel out of our control, and honestly, a fucking lot of it is. But a lot of it isn’t. And that’s all we’ve got. So that’s what we should focus on. That’s where we find our hope. Make it tangible not abstract. Regain autonomy of our lives amongst the madness and fear. So I think that’s what we should all work on this year.

Just take a deep breath. Right now, go ahead, I’ll wait.

Okay. Push out of your brain all the things in your life right now that are unchangeable. I won’t list any because we all know the things that relate to ourselves specifically. Now I want you to let the things you can control float to your mind’s forefront. What is there? Maybe make a mental list. For me, a couple of things popping up are what I read, what activities I give my spare time to, how I nourish my body (mental/physical).

These are the things that are going to give us hope this year. So spend a little time thinking about what you would like from them. Maybe you’re into resolutions so you quantify your thoughts and write a list of goals. Maybe you’re not and you just think abstractly for a moment. Whatever works for you. But what I want you to do, any time over the next few months that you feel overwhelmed or hopeless or that you’re spiralling. Just stop. Everything. Pause for a second. Close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. Then circle back to this little list and think of one small thing you can do that day to develop one of them. Could be a walk. Could be putting a frozen pizza in. Could be watching your favourite tv show. Could be a nap. Could be as simple as getting yourself a cup of water. The things we’re controlling this year are not big. They’re the inconsequential every day, that all link together to become the most important parts of our lives. You might not be flying to Bali this year but you might give yourself ten minutes each day to journal and that is equally magical.

So what am I focussing on this year? A couple of little things.

  • I want to move my body more, however that feels right each day. Could be a run, yoga, some pilates. Could just be a walk. I’d like to incorporate more walks into my week, something positive I’m taking out of 2020.
  • I want to drink more water. I used to drink a lot but I’ve noticed now I’m usually sipping a black coffee. Oops!
  • I want to start working on my novel again. I didn’t touch it at all last year. Yikes. But I’m starting super small with just reading what I have and fixing any typos. You can have bigger goals but just break them down and down until they’re achievable little actionable tasks.
  • I want to read widely but slowly and intentionally. I had a very intense reading year last year, and I’m glad I did it and I had a lot of fun. But it was a lot. This year I want to find some new favourite books but I also want to fit in some tv, haha.
  • I want to connect better with my friends. I’m a famously bad messager but I don’t want to be. And checking in with people is so important, even more so now. So I’m working on it.
  • Oh and I want to buy a house. That’s not small but damn it, it’s happening!

So this ended up being a medium sized post. Turns out I had more hope than I realised. I hope you do too.

If you need help, reach out. To somebody, anybody. Could be me, doesn’t have to be. But don’t suffer alone. We truly are all in this together. And we’re surely reaching the home stretch now.

I hope your twentytwentyone is sublime.

Peace x

Kyoto – Phoebe Bridgers

Having a bad day

Oh hi! Did I say I’d be back last Friday? Err. This Wednesday is the same thing, right? Forgive me. I have no excuses.

This past Monday, I turned 27. I know. I’ve joined the club. But let’s hope I don’t actually join the club.. I’d like to see 28 please and thank you.

And I had a lovely day. I received some kind messages, thoughtful gifts and I felt wrapped in love by the people I love. I find birthdays a weird one, I like other people’s but not really my own. But, regardless, I actually really enjoyed this one. It was simple but perfect.

So I wake up yesterday, Tuesday, and I just spiral. About everything. And about nothing. Why? Beats me. Dude, if I knew how my brain worked (or your brain for that matter) then we’d probably be much more stable humans. (Making assumptions there, you might be a stable human, pssh, stop showing off.) But anyway, it was a shit one, tbh. Just could not shake it. Couldn’t focus on anything all day. Was just in a funk. Which felt endless. Sometimes I feel like a machine that’s ran out of battery and is just sat there staring forwards waiting to be plugged back in. Numb. Is that too much? I think actually being off work this week just didn’t help either (haha said nobody ever), cos I had nothing but time to just sit and think and unravel.

But you know what? That’s totally okay.

See you have to feel your feelings as you have them. Biggest hypocrite saying that, because I often bury emotions and pretend they don’t exist. But like, I definitely wouldn’t advise it! And if I can help you by making my own mistakes and learning from them then I’d like to share my experience. I’d like to help you get through a bad day. Cos we all have them. So I’d say the first thing: stop for a sec and just acknowledge that you’re having a shocking day. Just breathe for a minute. Like close your eyes and take deep breathes. Tell yourself that you’re going to be okay. Because you are. It probably won’t feel like it in the moment and it’ll probably be the last thing on your mind. You’re frustrated. You’re sad. You’re empty. But try and say those words out loud: You. Will. Be. Okay.

And then there’s no one-size-fits-all here. Maybe a little cry will help. Maybe a little journaling will help you physically work through what’s going on. Maybe you need to scrape that hair up, get those workout clothes on and go for a run. Maybe you need to go and take a nap. All of these are good options. But we’re trying to drag ourselves back to ourselves. Like we’re trying to find some balance, right? So I don’t mean ignore the feelings, but I mean do something that’s going to let you get to the other side, today that might be actually addressing some thoughts you’ve been having, it might just be that you want to cheer yourself up. Personally, yesterday I ate a delicious Oreo cupcake that my brother and his girlfriend had baked me and I watched Legally Blonde. Because, honestly, there’s not a problem in the world that can’t be eased with some Elle Woods. At least, I haven’t found one yet!

That made me feel a lot better. I also journaled a little. I also think, if you can, speaking to someone can just be the best medicine. I tapped my fingers together for hours yesterday waiting for my boyfriend to come home. But then just getting to talk things through felt like a huge relief. It put things in perspective. And I felt my mood picking up massively. And you know what? I woke up today feeling renewed and refreshed. (It won’t always happen that way. It might take days, weeks, fucking years. But stick with it. Because the world needs you here.) Any explanation why today is any different than yesterday? Absolutely none. But it is different. Because every single day of your life will be different.

And isn’t that kinda magic?

So we kinda snuck a bit of a Self-Care Friday into a Wednesday there. Cheeky. But like, we don’t rigidly follow schedules here. Or follow them at all.. Either way, I hope your Monday was good. I hope your Tuesday was great. I hope you’re having a boss Wednesday. And will have a fucking fantastic Thursday. And if you’re not, that’s okay too. You will be okay. You’re not alone. Ever. So reach out, to someone, anyone. My DMs are not often monitored (as my friends know, heyyyo sorry!) but they’re always open if you need them.

Take care of yourselves out there.

Peace x

Old Friends – Pinegrove

My Fitness Journey

This week’s self-care post is gonna get real. Be gentle with me. So I’ve had this shift in my mindset. An epiphany, if you will. I went the doctors a couple of days ago and she told me I was too overweight. Like this is not something I don’t already know. And like, she wasn’t being rude, just harsh. I guess to like shock me into change. And I got to work after and I was like do you know what? Fuck it. I’m literally the only son of a bitch standing in my own way. The power to change is 100% in my hands. So why have I been settling for so long? Why don’t I love myself? Why don’t I care about my body and show it the kindness and gentleness and ass-kicking it deserves? Cos seriously, when is this tomorrow? I’m not sure it exists. And that’s no way to live. I know I put on a lot of weight when my mum died but I need to stop seeing food as a comfort. I need to see it as the fuel it is. Even before then I wasn’t massively healthy though. So I need to stop making excuses. And I need to actually hold myself accountable instead of constantly letting myself off. There’s only so many times you can give yourself a break before you actually admit that you’re being a hinderance to your own health. So that’s going to change. I’ve said this to myself privately so many times that it’s not even funny. My hope in sharing this personal blog post is that I keep myself accountable. But also that my words can maybe give you the push or encouragement you’ve been needing to develop your own healthy lifestyle. Physical appearance is definitely not everything and it’s not what I want this journey to be for myself. But it is part of it. I also want to strengthen my mental health, my confidence, my relationship with food and just my general happiness. I want to nurture some good habits. And I wanna be able to do a legit goddamn push up, sue me. So who’s gonna use the next few beautiful, (hopefully) warm months to start or progress their fitness journey? I believe in you. You are so strong, so beautiful and so fucking cool. Whatever your goal or intention, work hard. It might not be easy but hopefully it’ll be worth it. I’ll check in soon. I’m gonna be working on some healthy meal planning, Yoga With Adriene on Youtube and the NHS’s Couch to 5k podcast. Until then, look after yourselves. Don’t look back.

Homecoming: The Live Album – Beyoncé (Because if this album doesn’t make you want to move your body then nothing will!)

Reasons To Get Out Of Bed

I’ve been needing a bit more coaxing recently to get out of bed and I figured some of you might be feeling the same way. So here’s ten reasons why you should get out of bed today.

1. Any day could be the best day of your life but you won’t know until you actually get up.

2. Just look at that beautiful blue sky. Feel that heat radiate through you. And if it’s raining? You’re not getting off that easy. Look how the drops are feeding our earth, let it rejuvenate you too.

3. That overly extravagant cocktail in your favourite beer garden with friends.

4. I know you have dreams. Even the tiniest of tasks will get you a step closer to it.

5. Pizza.

6. There is literally millions of books waiting for you to read their wisdom.

7. Your presence makes somebody smile every single day. Even if you’re feeling lonely your existence affects other people’s day. Maybe you called your sister, maybe you just held a door for someone or tripped over a curb. Whatever it was you made them smile and I think that’s pretty magic.

8. It’s your fucking life. Aside from like work and family obligations etc, you get to do whatever the hell you want. So go and do something that serves you.

9. The Hamilton soundtrack is waiting for you to listen to it, fall in love with it, learn every rap, and then go and tell every single person in the world about it as if it’s gospel.

10. Because you are important. And you are loved. And because you make the world infinitely better. So don’t fucking forget that again.

Waiting for Something – Nada Surf