Self love Sunday…

I wanted to take the opportunity to write a post about something that I’ve personally struggled with a lot in the past; loving myself and working on overcoming my anxiety.

I  spent a big proportion of my life in long term relationships, so when I found myself single three years ago, self-love wasn’t something that came naturally to me. This became more challenging with my anxiety and if I’m honest initially seemed like an impossible journey.

Through my blog readers and speaking with friends, from all walks of life (whether married with children, single, travelling, city living, young, old etc.) I have realised that this journey is something everyone struggles with at some stage in their life. Self love (and even just understanding yourself) is a constant journey and a tough one at times! As such, I wanted to share some of my learnings and hope that if someone else is struggling, some of my experience can help them too. Enjoy! X


Don’t be frustrated if you don’t know what sets you on fire. 

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I spent so much time trying to work out what I enjoyed doing and what I was truly passionate about. I went to different gyms, classes (horticulture, make up, immersive theatre – don’t ask), shopping, nights out, eating out etc. The list is endless. I eventually started to get frustrated when I wasn’t finding a real connection to anything that I was doing.

After about a year of trying to work out what I liked, I realised that the pressure of trying to work that out was actually deriving any joy that I would have perhaps got in the first place. As such, I took the pressure off myself and lone behold found out what I love (I’ll give you one guess as to what that is). I’ve also learned that what I enjoy changes and that’s okay, people grow all the time and once I accepted that, I was far more content. So try lots of new things, you’ll never regret a new experience (unless you try immersive theatre) and keep the pressure off yourself.

Give your life a “trim”

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Cutting out what makes you unhappy was and still is the most challenging change for me to make. A lot of things that made me happy 12 months ago, don’t necessarily make me happy today.

I think being able to say “no” to things and people is something that develops over time and with experience. I’m noticing that the older I’m getting, the less shit I’m taking. So whether it’s the night out and drinks you really can’t be bothered with, the job you sit in and don’t enjoy, the friends that aren’t particularly there for you or the Prince Charming that messages you with “wyd” at 1am; give them the cut. (In fact, go grim reaper on the WYD dude)

Social Media and Social Norms “Cleansing”

Whether you are fully self assured or the most insecure person on the earth, today’s world ensures that there is an element of pressure on every person to be the best. Be in the best shape, Look perfect every day, Wear the nicest clothes, Drink the skinny tea, Wear the chicken fillet push up bra (honestly how many of them are there out there?) Is it just me that sometimes feels that I’m the odd one out because I’m not promoting Misguided bikinis on a beach in Ibiza? No? Great.

On a serious note, I can’t deny, I am a huge fan of social media and the bloggers I follow are those that really push positivity and self love. However, no matter how hard I try, there are some days when social media and the pressure of social norms really get to me.

I have found there are two things that really help me when I feel like this.

1. Digital detox

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I know, the horror of it, but trust me, somedays it’s the best thing. If I am ever having a down day, I switch off all my social media. There is just no point in spending a day looking at other peoples lives as you will naturally compare and that isn’t healthy. I always feel better after a day of digital detox and surprisingly the world hasn’t changed.

2. Challenge Social norms 

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Another pressure that I feel quite regularly is the pressure to live my life in a certain way. I can’t count the amount of times that I have been at a family event only to be asked “So, any man on the scene?” or “Don’t you think about kids”. Usually I’m questioned on this by 50 year Susan. When I explain to Susan that I am quite happy just as I am, I receive an sympathetic glance with a “At least you have your career though” (As if that is a bad thing). Note. Susan’s husband Dave’s eyes have been glued to my breasts for the whole evening.

Eat Well, Sleep Well and Work-out well

As simple as this may sound, if you are in a bad place or feeling a bit lost; always try and hold on to a minimum of the above three things. I always find that if one of them slips my anxiety sets in motion and then I have trouble doing the basics (let alone loving myself).

1. Sleeping

My sleeping really takes a horrible toll when I have been through stress or I am feeling a bit lost. I also really struggle with motivation in the mornings when anxiety hits. I am sure most people would agree that without sleep, things seem worse than they are. A couple of things that have helped me

Valerian Root Tea

Okay, so it sounds slightly hippy but this has been my life saver. Valerian Root Tea is £2.50 from Holland and Barrett and I actually get a peaceful nights sleep. Try it if you don’t believe me.

Morning Meme Motivator

So this one is personal, I have amazing friends and when we are going through bad times we send meme’s and quotes to one another all the time. One particular friend of mine sends me quotes from Najwa Zebian (link in my Instagram) and she is by far one of my favourite’s in a morning.

2. Eating

Since embarking on training a couple of years ago my diet has changed (massively for the better), I initially started eating well to improve my physical appearance but after actually starting to see slight changes in my mood from my diet, I decided to look into things further.

I now eat clean as this supports my anxiety in a massive way. While I am an advocate of clean eating I am also not going to sit here and say you must eat avocado’s everyday, if you having a pizza over a weekend makes you happy; do it (I certainly do) but I would encourage clean eating; it really helps.

The two main books I live by are Medical Medium; this book is massively “out there” as it talks about the spirituality of food and it’s healing powers (super hippy I know). I personally had to take some parts with a pinch of salt, but picking out some elements of this book has made a huge difference to my anxiety and I would highly recommend. The second is Clean Eating Alice’s Body Bible; amazing recipe’s and I admire her attitude (plus she is little like me!)

3. Working out

It goes without saying that exserice actually makes us feel better. Every time you work out, your body releases endorphins (a morphine like chemical that is released after periods of intense exercise). Endorphins work as part of the brains “reward system” and will help lift your mood. Face it, you’ve never got to the end of a work out and though “I wish I hadn’t done that”

My only piece of advice would be find something you truly enjoy doing. Whether it be running, spinning, personal training, yoga, boot camps or a mix. Make sure you love it! Exercise has really helped me overcome my anxiety and others that I know. One person I would recommend a follow of is Rebecca Jayne Fitness (link in my Insta). She has an amazing journey and story around exercise and mental well being and would recommend a follow.

As I said, I am certainly no guru on self love, but I hope if you are going through a rough time or struggling with the above, some of my experience helps.

Dating post on Oscar to follow tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!

B x

 

 

 

 

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Passion and Purpose

In one of my earlier posts around self love, I touched briefly on understanding yourself and what you love. I am still a firm believer, that understanding your passion, provides purpose and having purpose is key to a happy and healthy mind.

As I’m nearing the big 3-0, I’ve noticed that the desire to understand who I am and what I am passionate about has become more significant than ever before and something I no longer can or want to ignore.

As that desire grew, I felt that I needed to talk to people around me to ensure I wasn’t going crazy. Turns out, I’m not the only person to feel this way and the more I continued to speak with people around me, the more apparent it has become that passion is a subject, that everyone, in some way, connects to. 

I speak to friends who feel deflated by their work; they are people that strived admirably to carve fantastic careers and have reached that goal, only then to feel a sense of dissatisfaction. 

I speak to friends who have only ever desired a partner or children and when they finally sit behind the perfect white picket fence they have built, feel trapped and as though they have lost their individuality. They crave their own passion, that they don’t have to share.

I speak with friends who feel when their feet aren’t moving, not in the literal sense, but if they aren’t flying from country to country, hopping from one adventure to the next, that they are confined and not achieving. 

And then there is how I feel (and I am sure many others); I enjoy my job, I have amazing people around me, I have hobbies that I enjoy but there is something… well… missing. 

The only way I can describe the sensation is similar to that of a small burning flame; you can feel something is there but it hasn’t quite set alight. I believe that flame is passion and no matter where you are in life that passion is what defines, differentiates and gives you purpose. 

I believe finding passion is an ongoing journey and I am certainly still on mine. Not understanding where you see your career, what you love, your future or even where you sit in the world can sometimes be overwhelming and the reality is, it’s a challenging puzzle to solve.

The pressure of solving this puzzle is ever hindered by social media and consumerism. They play a huge part in us being disconnected from our true selves and what we are passionate about. We are constantly pedalled to by the likes of Instagram and Facebook what should make us happy and how we should live our lives. You see beaches, products, happiness, perfection and the reality of this is, it’s not reality.

Because of this, I have found myself in a place where I feel slightly lost and I want to define what truly makes me happy. As I go along this journey, I want to share with you my experiences (as always a pretty honest and uncut version). So, I hope you enjoy the posts that follow, as always, over-sharing all the fads I pursue! 

In the short time I have been actively pursuing what my passion is, I have learned a few things and as this is my first post in this subject, I wanted to share my little survivors guide that is helping me through my journey and is a reminder to be authentic.

Failure is a finding 

There have been so many things I have tried and failed at. Being a bit of a perfectionist means that when this happens, I probably don’t take it too gracefully. 

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I always remind myself, that in searching for something I am passionate about means I will probably come across things I am not all that good at and that’s totally okay…. (I repeat to myself)

Taking the time out 

Remember the saying “slowly slowly catchy monkey”. No? Well I do, because my Grandma always reminds me of it (being impatient and all). Not all loves are an immediate spark, so, when you try something new make sure you also pursue! Not everything is fireworks initially, that doesn’t mean you can’t be passionate about it.

Make space for your own dream

We all have things that get in the way of pursuing our passions; jobs, partners, children, life. It is so easy to be drawn into that project, or your children’s hobbies, or your partners dreams. Remember to always make space for your own dream.

Comparison is a killer…

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It really is.

Don’t worry about the amount of likes and followers you have or what other people are doing around you. Your journey is your journey and watching someone else on their’s will only distract you from your own destination. 

Only follow what sets your soul on fire

Again, it is so easy to follow the crowd. When you are trying something new, seriously ask yourself if you are doing it because you love it or because everybody else is doing it? If that little fire isn’t burning, probably best you put it out. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with you. 

As always, thanks for reading. 

B x

Podcast Six: Mental Health and Relationships

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For anyone who is a regular reader of my blog, you will know how close mental health is to my heart.

I have lived (I dislike the word suffered) with Generalised Anxiety Disorder for a long time. In fact, I can’t actually remember a time where I haven’t had to manage and at times battle with my thought processes and emotions.

Although there is a never-ending debate as to whether mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, OCD, eating disorders, bipolar etc. are a result of nurture or nature (I am totally aligned with the notion that it is an amalgamation of the two) at some point in any one persons life, we have all felt the pinch of our sometimes (very unhelpful) brains. Whether that is looking in the mirror and not liking who looks back, feeling lonely, lost, lacking purpose, worried, not sleeping well, addictions … we have all probably suffered a symptom or bout of feeling mentally overwhelmed. And in a society that constantly drives the tools to compare ourselves with others, projects a false sense of perfectionism and drives us away from our true selves, it isn’t a wonder mental well being is at an all time low.

Over the last three years, I have truly managed to understand and accept myself as a person and rather than fight and become frustrated with what some would see as a flaw, I  have embraced my anxiety, who I am and become the best version of myself.

I could talk forever about mental health as it is truly something that lies close to me and a subject, that I believe, although we claime live and breathe acceptance, is a false projection of an accepting society and is still stigmatised.

As such, we decided to run a Podcast on mental health (and relationships). Due to our experiences we went completely off topic around the relationship element and I think this Podcast is a pretty raw, uncut and honest view of mental health (potentially what people who live with conditions wouldn’t want hear) but truly incapsulates why there is still a very real stigma and unconscious bias in this subject.

Please enjoy, it has been my favourite cast to date!

B x

 

Prince the Perfect Date

So, following Henry and I’s brief fling, it was back to the singles market. 

Now, I’m not sure about how other ladies feel, but about a year and a half into dating, I started to lose interest/hope. Conversations and small talk felt repetitive, the same dull bars, filled with the same dull people …. urgh, I was so over it, yet, I kind of didn’t want to give up hope that there were some normal people out there.

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For me personally, it wasn’t just the dullness, it was the sheer amount of weirdo’s I seemed across, from one lunatic to the next. I mean, I wasn’t looking for the man I was going to marry, but surely there was just one normal person out there that could give me some hope? Or even just a great date?

After Henry and I had got back on level terms, I had decided to get back on the dating apps.

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After the standard few conversations that didn’t lead anywhere, or even worse, conversations in which I realised that I would never be able to date a man that couldn’t spell. I started to chat to a guy called Prince.

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Yes, ladies, actual name. 

After chatting to Prince for a couple of days, he seemed so much fun, his jokes on message cracked me up to the point I would be crying at my work desk (always working hard), he lived in Chelsea (lucky thing), was a creative (big tick) and when he threw a Rupaul drag race line at me mid message, I was sold. Date it was. 

We agreed to meet at a pub South Ken way, which is usually waaaaay out of my willingness to travel to a date, but Prince seemed so fun, I made the exception. Even the date location sounded fun, we were meeting at a pub with old school board games which was also known for 90’s music, I mean, even if Prince turned out to be the dullest man on the planet, as long as there was a bit of “I’m a dreamer” rocking out in the background, I would enjoy it. 

As I walked into the pub, I noticed Prince straight away. I mean how couldn’t I, he was so hot…

But not just hot, Prince was immaculate hot. He looked like a catalogue model. 

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Jeez, I felt underdressed and undergroomed and that says a lot.

I made my way over to the table and as the male model stood up, the next thing that, well, I wasn’t quite expecting….

“Oh my god, B, babes you look totally amazing” he exclaimed. (Hands in the air)

He then followed this greeting by pulling up the corner of my coat up and announcing ..

“And Reiss, this season, wow, you got this gurl” 

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Oh good god, he knew this was a Reiss coat, he was immaculately hot and dressed better than me, surely this could only mean one thing. 

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But I’m not one to be jump to conclusions or anything. 

Anywhooo, after greeting one another (air kiss on both cheeks noted) Prince and I settled down to our date. He was amazing and we had so much in common. We chatted about everything, from blogging, to design, to travelling, to the Kardashians, to Rupaul drag race… (okay in retrospect I’m judging me too). 

After chatting for an hour and honestly not realising where the time had gone, we pulled out “Guess who”

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(See, I told you, best. date. ever)

Now a bottle of prosecco down (noted), we were being overly critical of the faces staring back at us from the cards. After starting with the standard Guess Who questions; “Are they wearing glasses?”, “Do they have hair”, “Are they male of female”, things were taking a sinister turn;

“Do they look like they would hang around a kids playground?” 

“Would you have sex with them?” 

A few of the great and drunken Guess who questions we threw out there. All of a sudden, Prince hit me with another unexpected line…

“Put down any bitch that is looking less than basic” 

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Okay, camp slap number five, noted.

I mean, truth be told, I actually loved this man, for all the wrong reasons, but none the less, loved him. 

As the prosecco continued to flow, the date just got better and better, we moved from judging our cards to judging pub goers and making ridiculous stories about them. 

As we judged people walking in and out of the bar. A pretty beautiful man strutted through the door. 

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I looked at Prince. He realised. I realised.

We were both checking out the same man. 

I had to hold in giggling, but Prince looked a little uncomfortable I had just caught his stare (bless him), so stopped myself.

The rest of the night was perfect and so much fun. It ended with us energetically dancing round the pub to 90’s classic “Finally”. 

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I honestly had the best date, not for the right reasons of course, but was so sad it was over. (Sadder than most of the men I have dated to be honest – LOL).

As the evening came to a close, Prince and I headed outside where I ordered an Uber, he insisted on paying (such a sweet guy) but I politely declined. 

We both stood there awkwardly. Usually a great date ended with a great kiss, but it was so obvious that neither of us wanted that. As we went in for the awkwardest hug in the world…

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It was so obvious that Prince had seen me, seeing him (makes sense) checking out the hot pub guy and I think it was a little mutual understanding. 

“Thanks for a great date B and for letting me be totally myself” he said. 

Honestly, my little heart has never quite melted like it did that night. He was the nicest guy ever and it was so nice that he had managed to feel himself for an evening.

It was safe to say, I didn’t hear from Prince again. It seemed it wasn’t just me looking for my Prince charming in our pairing and I genuinely hope that he is somewhere right being totally himself with some hot pub guy in tow.

Following the great date, that I was so in need of, as much as I enjoyed myself, I really was looking for a none gay date that I could enjoy.

Turns out the next date, definitely wasn’t gay….

Thanks for reading again. 

B x

Finding Friendships: The Grown Up Mean Girls

When I was in High School, it is safe to say, I didn’t have the best time with girl friends (friends being a loose term). The whole experience of girly gossip, burn books, who was who’s best friend etc. quite frankly was pretty awful and school seemed like the Mean Girls movie on repeat.

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Exceeeeeept no one had convertibles, no one danced round in santa’s outfits and no one wear cute tartan skirts… Dreams. Crushed. 

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When I left high school, I breathed a sigh of relief, no more “clicks”, no more bitchiness. Now I was a grown up, that would all stop right? Simple answer…

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Moving to the city and starting my life from scratch has meant a few things; I had to start a new job, find a new home, new hobbies and as well as all that start to make new friends, which when you get into your late twenties, isn’t easy.

Personally, I have found that making new friends, was actually a lot like dating (minus one small difference) and over the last three years have been on a bit of a journey understanding what friendship means to me and finding “my people”.

Feeling friendless or struggling to make friends can be a pretty challenging and upsetting experience, as can defining your worth when it comes to what value people add to your life, so, as always, I wanted to share my experiences on building my circle of people, how I define what a friendship should be and how to value your self as an individual when it comes to making and maintaining friends. 

As always, enjoy!

Remember, you already have a home team 

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When I first relocated, the the first couple of months were a bit of a struggle, I found myself either sat home alone or awkwardly tagging on to a works night out. It is easy to start to feel isolated and like you have NO FRIENDS (dramatic much). However, you always need to  remind yourself that you have a “home team”. Everyone does.

These are likely your family, uni/school friends or sisters and even though they may not be physically close, they will always be there. So if you’re feeling super lonely, pick up the phone to your nearest and dearest – they’ve always got your back and remind you what true friendship is. 

Don’t be afraid to ask!

Now this personally has never really been a struggle for me, although I am aware perhaps would be for more introverted characters. I’m also not sure whether it’s a British thing, but since when did it become weird to want to hang out with new people and ask to do so? 

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Whether it’s work colleagues, a friend of a friend, a gym buddy – get to know the people around you and ask to hang out. What is the worst they can say? No. If that’s the case you probably wouldn’t hang out with them anyway. 

I appreciate not everyone has the confidence to be so forward usually, but if you have relocated, remember you’ve already been brave and done the hard bit, you might as well keep going. 

Understand Party People

When I first moved to London, I made a lot of friends who were there for a good time, not a long time. These people are usually the life and soul of the party and love nothing more than to hit a club or bar, which on a Friday and Saturday night is grand. What isn’t so grand is when you have a killer hangover the next day and Party Person isn’t really the type to chill with a face mask and a pizza or hit the gym. They are probably already off to hit up another club and you have the hangover blues, which never ends well …

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See… told ya…

The Good Times and the Bad Times

Once you have differentiated the party people from the real people, you quickly start to understand and notice friends who have your genuine interests at heart. These people are the one’s who are truly present, support you through not just the good times but the bad and above tell you the truth (even if it isn’t what you want to hear sometimes ….. trust them no -he isn’t any good for you!) 

If you are in a friendship where the person is super present for your highs and not so present in the times when you need to cry like a baby for a day (or a few weeks…who’s counting?), that to me, isn’t the definition of a true friendship.

In addition to that, if you find yourself in a friendship where you find you can’t be honest and transparent, it probably isn’t a great friendship to pursue. 

Some Women will always be about their Men

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Don’t take it personally, some girls can’t function without a boy. Me personally? I don’t understand it, never have, never will. Some of you ladies out there (and hats off to you) can maintain friendships with people who prioritise men (sometimes blindly) above friendships, while I appreciate that a relationship with your significant other is special (mine certainly is), I don’t value that relationship over the ones with my girls. Bottom line he is never going to know some of the things they do and vice versa the things he and I share. 

Friend zone! (Sometimes boys don’t make the best of friends) 

And while we are on the topic of boys (and this isn’t a generalisation by any means); sometimes the whole boy/girl friendship thing hasn’t really worked out for me. Turns out the lines of a friendship can be blurred and no matter how much a guy insists they are happy being “friend zoned”, they aren’t and it comes back to bite you. 

Turns out not kissing, not having sex or ever eluding to the fact you would be interested in a man is, in fact, leading them on….

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Remind me to not breathe in front of my guy friends moving forward.

Male ego!

High School Girls – no excuses!

One thing that I really wanted to share off the back of my own experiences is how other people can behave towards you. I have to admit I found this part particularly tough but, it’s true, some girls still believe it is okay to act like they are in high school.

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I have had friends gossip, make bitchy comments, isolate others and honestly it’s just totally not cool. Is it just me? But I personally think women have enough to contend with in the world without dragging one another down.

As much as I am now lucky to have a close knit circle of friends around me, I have certainly been guilty of having people in my life who didn’t really deserve to be there. 

Anywhoo, don’t give yourself too much of a hard time if you have previously or are currently tolerating people who you shouldn’t but do try and distance yourself. Remember you don’t owe anyone your happiness and if something or someone isn’t bringing you joy or the energy that reflects yours, remove it from your life. (If you struggle to learn how to remove negative influences in your life, check out my Self love post). 

One of my “Home Teamers” once told me a quote that I will never forget…

“People are in your life for a reason, a season or forever” 

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Once I learned to understand that people won’t always treat you as you will treat them, that only the right people stay and learned to let go of the negative influences, life became easier, more positive and the “long termers” kind of gravitated and well, they stayed 🙂

I hope for anyone experiencing friendship turbulence or is having to build a new circle, my experience and advice helps… Trust me, it works. 

Again, thanks for reading 

x

The Work Wife

So ladies and gents, I was a bit unsure of where to start with the little saga of the work wife and I, so I decided to go right from the start. There are many a learning I took from my “friendship” with my work my wife, the overarching being that work involvements nine out of ten times are a bad idea and why some boys, well, l they’ll never grow up … 

I felt grateful getting off the central line at 8am, I had realised that the hour commute in was the equivalent of what I imagine running a marathon would feel like; hot, sweaty, uncomfortable and uncalled for. I looked up at the sky and it was as grey as the apartment blocks and offices along the walk to the office. Life had been pretty boring recently, training was samey, I wasn’t dating and as it was winter nights came in quicker, London definitely wasn’t as fun.

As I sat down at the desk in the near empty office, I realised I was pretty bored by most things at the moment. After being in London for a year and half, the night life had become pretty boring and I found myself asking myself if London and my job was what I wanted to do long term. I am pretty sure that most of us hit that point approaching 30 (but a post to come on that soon) where we feel a little unsatisfied and unsettled, but I brushed it off at the time.

As I sat down at my desk and the office started to fill up, my manager reminded me we had a new starter in the office that day, meh. Like life recently, that one had been a little bit of an anti-climax. A colleague had teased the girls (me included) in the office that a new guy, a bearded tattooed beaut (to be specific) was joining our team. Well, you can imagine…

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So you can imagine the girls (and my) disappointment when I tweed blazer laden, curly haired, quiet guy came in for interview.

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The guy starting in the office was called Henry when I had interviewed him, I had found myself being more interested in what was happening in the Starbucks than what was being said. I mean, don’t get me wrong, he was kind of cute, not really my type (FYI, not a requirement in an interview) but just seemed a little quiet and well… a bit boring.

Any whoo, Henry starting in the office wasn’t interesting or distracting. I gazed round the desk and my eye was caught by my friend Hannah who was chatting to a cute guy from finance at the end of the table. Hmmm, I suppose that was slightly more interesting. I was a little worried about my friend Hannah, she had had a particularly rubbish time dating and Sam (the finance bod) sat at her desk every day, I could see, probably wasn’t going to help with that. I generally got bad vibes about him as he seemed to be accompanying one girl after another around the office, like a chinoed pimp. I mean, give the guy credit, he was pretty dreamy, if you like that whole preppy Clapham look (I don’t). I would chat to her about that another time.

As the afternoon came round, I had managed to get through all my emails and was a little bored. Luckily, it seemed the rest of the team had got a similar vibe. I had a really great team at my old work and when things quietened down, the banter was always fab. That afternoon was no different. Jokes flew around the table (usually me being wound up by the boys – you know who you are) and I noticed quiet Henry in the corner not saying a word, jeez, I knew it was his first day and all but crack a smile hey? At the  time, I can’t even remember what I said, but I definitely picked on Henry a bit and I’ve never quite seen anything like it, but…

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I felt pretty bad, I didn’t mean to make him perspire at the rate of Niagra Falls. I backed off and let the poor guy get on with his work…

Anyway, the days and weeks passed work continued to be boring, as did my new colleague Henry. I had gone past the point of feeling bad about teasing him after a couple of days and carried. He eventually had come out of his shell more and actually cracked the odd joke. As I was saying, it was a pretty average morning again, when my Skype for business popped up….

Henry: Fancy Breakfast?

Meh, sure, why not? I headed down for breakfast with Henry and we chatted about the weekend. I was surprised when he told me he had a really heavy one, he didn’t strike me as the type whatsoever… 

He asked me what I had been up to and I told him I had spent most of the weekend blogging and training, he asked for the link and I sent it to him over email. From then on Henry and I started having breakfasts most mornings, he was actually a pretty sweet guy and over the next couple of months, I actually started to class him as a friend. We talked about work, family, the weekends (his and I’s were rather different) and I still couldn’t quite grasp the reserved super cool guy I chatted to every day being this wild party animal. 

Anyway, I told Henry about my disaster dates, he told me about his heavy weekends and I always thought it was sweet when he would sent me links to blogs I would like.

And we definitely flirted .. A lot.

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I mean, come on, when the office is boring, a bit of harmless flirting doesn’t go a miss.

It was weird, as Henry definitely wasn’t my type, in fact, with the partying, far from it, but what’s that thing… where you start to fall for your captor? Stockholm syndrome? (lol, I joke) but you get me.

Anyway, after a few months off dating, I had begrudgingly re-downloaded the apps and been on a couple of non-dates, you know the one’s I mean…

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You wish you’d stayed home instead.

One morning the night after I decided to stay in and write, instead of wasting my time with non-dates, I got a message through on Facebook at 8am.

HENRY: “HR Specialist”

What was he talking about?

Eeekk, it then twigged, he had seen me on a dating app. Always a little awkward with colleagues, then again, it was Henry, oh well.

“Hey!” I replied “Bumble? And why are you awake so early? Pondering life again?” (something Henry did on the reg).

Henry replied explaining he had been on an “absolute bender” (lad) and had blown £200.

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The dots still weren’t quite connecting here for me. He just didn’t seem like the type. We continued to chat and he moaned about having to go out and party all day again.

“You don’t have to go out again if you don’t want to” I stated quite matter of factly.

“Yeah, I do, I’m that guy” he responded.

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I sent the emoji violin, no sympathy, you are made of your own choices. 

“I prefer sober Henry if I’m honest” I replied.

“You know it!” he responded.

I went offline. Still. didn’t. get it.

The next weekend, Henry interrupted my morning with a new dilemma. Drunk Henry had been a bit of a fool and tried it on with his housemate. Okay, so I had to laugh, drunk Henry was turning out to be a bit of a wide boy. Luckily, the next week, a works night out was on the cards and I was pretty sure drunk Henry would make an appearance.

Sure enough, the Thursday came round and the team were out for drinks. As always, work drinks on a Thursday got out of hand and before 9pm coffee patrons and tequila’s were out. I chatted with the girls and after a couple of drinks, went to try and find the boys.

Through the evening, I had chatted with the boys briefly but hadn’t managed to catch drunk Henry (although had caught him looking over my way a few times). Finally, I managed to wave down the boys and went over (to know doubt be teased buttt it was fun – like having grown up annoying brothers) and catch up. Henry was there and given how much we spoke out of work, I chatted excitedly to him. It was then, Henry behaved in the strangest way…

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He totally blanked me. 

Surely that was a mistake? We had all had a few drinks, we chatted all the time. He had no reason to ignore me. Anyway, as the night went on, I realised, it wasn’t a mistake at all.

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Every time I tried to chat with Henry, I would be met with a blank. For anyone that truly knows me, being ignored is the worst for me! I am too open and honest to understand stubborn people.

By the end of what should have been a fun night, I wanted pizza and had a face like this…

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I had no idea why my friend was being so rude and finally, after being ignored for the 10000 (not dramatic) time that evening, I went over to confront Henry.

And the moment I confronted Henry, ladies and gents, is where the work wife and I started on our bit of a saga.

Looking back, that night, I was being played like the violin emoji I had joked around with earlier and turns out, it wasn’t just drunk Henry that was a bit of a fool, sober Henry actually came in a close second… 

Thanks for reading and enjoy the next post! 

x

Self care – Taking a break!

Hey guys! Thanks for coming back to read one of my #selfloveclub posts. So, as you are all welllll aware, I’m a pretty open book when it comes to talking about my life, my experiences and learnings (I sometimes wonder if that is a good or bad trait, but have chosen to embrace it none the less).

As well as being honest about my dating life and my move to the city, I’m a huge fan of being open around my previous struggles with anxiety and just generally finding my grounding and sense of self over the years. 

As I have personally experienced anxiety, I struggle with the concept that even in our day and age, there is still such a stigma and lack of understanding around mental health and a lack of openness when it comes to people talking about finding their grounding in themselves or their lives.

A few years back when I was probably at my worst with anxiety, I would worry relentlessly about anything and everything; my family, my job, my future, my health- basically anything that my super brain could find to worry about – it would. Even if my life felt harmonious in every aspect, brain would still be there like …

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“I got something else for you”

Feels. 

Anywhooo, as time has passed and I’ve learned to understand me and accept who I am, managing my anxiety and just general self value has increased massively and there has been no looking back.

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Nope.

Over the last few years, One of the main things I have learned about myself and wanted to write about is THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING A BREAK. When I suffered with anxiety my crutch was to busy myself so much that my brain would stop thinking (logic much), I would work, I would train, I would write, I would run and I would party without coming up for air. 

Eventually and always I would hit a major wall. 

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And trust me, it was never pretty. 

As such, I learned and continue to learn when to stop, unwind and take time out for me, in a real way. While I appreciate for me, I struggle to know when to stop, I know many anxiety sufferers struggle to start (don’t worry, we’ve all had those horrible mornings) and so, I wanted to write a post and share my experiences around how to give yourself a break, no matter how you struggle and hopefully my tips can help you, like they helped me. Plus, it would be rude to not talk about a break while I’m out here in LA, hey? 

Enjoy …

Getting your life in order. 

Now I don’t know about you, but there is no way I can truly relax knowing I have things left to do before a break…

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Whether that’s a work email, laundry, bills to pay – if I don’t do it, my brain will only remind me about it while I’m trying to relax. My advice: get your general life admin done before taking time out to relax. Prepping yourself to chill seems a little backwards, but in reality, it isn’t. You wouldn’t work out without warming up the muscles first right?

On the flip side, if you struggle to get through your life admin, I would suggest writing a to do list and break it down to maybe two key tasks a day. Makes it seem a little less scary! 

Environment Change is Key.

I hear a lot of people make excuses around changing up their environment; it’s too expensive, travelling aggravates my anxiety further, it doesn’t make any difference to how I feel etc. and truth is – I hear ya! There are millions of reasons that we could stay in a familiar environment to try and relax but in reality the only way you will truly be able to disconnect and relax is to be out of your usual environment. Trust me, new places are good for you and exciting…

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Of course, if you can afford quick beach break away – get on that plane, yesterday. If not, there are so many great cheap breaks away in the UK and if you really can’t afford it – visit a friend or family for a couple of days. Trust me, seeing a different environment is key when you need to truly unwind. 

Digital Detox 

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I know horrifying. 

Erm… so this is definitely an ongoing working progress for me and not something I can really preach on (but I am trying!) but getting away from you phone, social media and emails is so key to switching off. It’s no real secret I’m a social media fan but when I truly need to take a break, I do (try) and put my phone away. If I’m honest, after about an hour…

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But I’m not dramatic, promise. 

If you are like me and struggle to disconnect from the world of social media and work emails. Try baby steps, I have minimum 1 hour a morning and 1 hour an evening where I don’t touch my phone and I’m aiming towards a no screen Sunday (I would rather run a marathon) but you’ve got to challenge yourself right? I will be writing a post on my experience of digital detox soon – look out for it! (If you would like to laugh) and try it yourself! 

Get back in touch with what matters

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Now, I’m not going to go all hippy on you guys here (with my commitment to my local beauty salon it would be smidgen hypocritical of me) but I can’t stress how much getting back in touch with nature helps relax the mind (well for me personally). 

Whenever I am away (or at home), I get outdoors. So whether that is running in the park, surfing in the sea, outdoor yoga, skiing in the slopes – getting back in touch with mother nature is always strangely calming and sometimes I don’t even realise how relaxed it actually makes me until afterwards. Couple being outdoors with some exercise, you’re onto an endorphin high – go nuts on it. 

Give you brain a break! 

So, following your “to do” list being ticked off, getting on the beach and giving yourself an endorphin overload; your brain will likely be buzzing around and if you are anything like me, I struggle to switch it off.

Something that has helped me incredibly is meditating (jeez, I can’t kick that hippy out of me). For anyone that hasn’t tried meditation (or is a little skeptical), I can’t recommend it highly enough. I have been meditating for a year now (on and off) and have found it calms my thoughts so much. 

I know what you’re thinking right? Meditating, that must be the key, it’s here to save us! (and it kind of is to some extent) however achieving inner calm (even for a minute) is pretty damn tough. To switch off our brains completely and get in touch with our breathing isn’t something that comes naturally, especially when your brain looks like this;

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My advice, try Head Space. This app is baby steps to achieving a meditative state and introduces you to developing this skill in small daily doses. It has really helped me and now I can actually attend a 30 minute meditation class without a struggle. Trust me, try it if nothing else from this post.

Give your body a break!

This piece of advice is pretty broad as each individual and how you fuel and keep your body fit varies. But by a general rule of thumb, my advice, when taking a break – do the opposite of what you usually do. Of course, this is to a lesser extent and by no means to be taken too literally,  trust me, if all you do is train and eat avocados switching up and lying on a beach for a week and eating nothing but cake, ain’t gonna make ya feel great. 

What I mean by opposite, are things like; if you are a hardcore gym goer, maybe try a day where you don’t go as hard and treat yourself to that slice of (not whole) cake. On the flip side, if you are someone that struggles to exercise or maybe you just love a glass of wine, why not try a run down the beach or try a night on the orange juice (as boring as that may sound). 

As I said, this is a pretty broad subject and can be so different for each individual that it is tough. Understanding your body and how to better your well being is also an on-going journey and one I’ll be sharing (keep an eye out for an upcoming post on my Vegan experience) and remember, giving your body a break doesn’t nesaccarly mean being super healthy and fit, sometimes it can be the complete opposite and actually toning it down a little. 

Anyway’s guys, I hope the above tips help when taking a break and what has helped me switch off, helps you to too. It took a while for me to learn how to totally relax, so even if you do still struggle to switch off  initially or stress when you take a break, don’t worry – even if you worry for a minute or an hour less than you would have originally – it’s progress – keep going! 

Thanks for reading and remember – relax!

B x