25 November 2016

Festive de-stress | The Christmas Edit

It's coming to that point in the year when we're all beginning to feel a little stressed and uptight: coursework deadlines coming up, work is getting more stressful the closer we get to Christmas and maybe the idea of having to start Christmas shopping is just adding to the mound of other things you need to do. I often find that this time of year adds to my decreasing mood and lack of calm as you wake up in the dark, go to work and come home in the dark. This seems to be all that happens for three months straight. 

Don't get me wrong- I LOVE Christmas. It is my favourite time of year. The month or so beforehand, however, I find very stressful. 
In light of this, I thought I would do a little post about how I like to de-stress during this time of year. 

I think my number one favourite thing to de-stress is having a lovely, warm bubble bath. Especially an hour or so before I go to bed. There's something so comforting about laying there and just letting all your aching muscles relax. I think my favourite thing to put into my baths is Lush's bubble bar in 'The Comforter'. This is unlikely to be a surprise to many of you as I have mentioned this left right and centre. And let me tell you, there is a reason it is called "the comforter"! It creates the most perfect bubbles and the scent is just something else.
Sadly, since being at university, I haven't been able to have baths as often as I would like, but thankfully Lush has come to my rescue and has bottled the infamous bubble bar up into a wonderful shower gel. The smell alone is enough to relax me! 

I guess I find giving myself a little pamper in general is a great way to destress, especially when it comes to my skin. When I get stressed, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this, my skin shows it by breaking out. So I like to treat myself to an at-home facial. You can make it extra special by applying it and going for a long hot bath with candles!

Although I read for a degree, I find there's something extremely relaxing about being curled up on the sofa, with a cup of tea and a blanket, reading a good book. It allows you to zone out of everyday life and be taken somewhere else, even if it is just for a little while. Sometimes I find that there are some books I could read three, maybe four times and never get bored. If you find a book you truly love, you'll end up just wanting to read it to enjoy the writing, not just the story. And I think there's something very lovely and comforting about that. 

One of my ALL TIME favourite activities, let alone destressers, is baking. I've created a little bit of a reputation in my flat and back home for being a bit baking crazy. You can normally find me on a Sunday afternoon in the kitchen making some form of cake or sweet treat. I love baking at any time of the year, but Christmas is the perfect time. You have all your family and friends round (which give you an even better reason to get your pinny on) but it means you can bring out all the festive recipes and treats! 
I seem to find this relaxing as it makes me concentrate on something that isn't work, meaning that I can have an hour or so away from my books to focus on something else. Not only will I go back to my work with a fresh mind, but will also go back with a piece of yumminess (often used as bribery- I am a firm believer in that!). 

When I'm stressed, and I'm sure a lot of you are the same, I find I get so tired but can't seem to fall asleep easily- which adds to the stress! A little tip I have picked up, and one I have always been fond of is listening to rain or waves while I'm trying to sleep. It's a proven tactic, as the sounds prove to be very soothing and somewhat comforting when you're all snuggled up, warm, in bed. Maybe next time you're struggling to sleep- try downloading a playlist (or I use the app Rain Rain) and set a timer for half an hour to 45 minutes. I am sure by the time the timer runs out you will be well and truly on your way to a good nights sleep.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed reading this and have gained some new ideas of how to de-stress, particularly for the coming month. As always, please feel free to contact me and let me know how you like to de-stress, I always love hearing from you!x


21 November 2016

How I stay Organised

Many of you may not know that I am dyspraxic and dyslexic, meaning that I have to try really hard to stay organised. Although we only found out that I was dyslexic a couple of years ago I've been able to form tactics to help when it comes to staying on top of things, and these are some of them!

First and most importantly is my diary. I guess this is something that I've got off my mum, as she too likes to use a diary to write everything in. My diary contains my life, quite literally, and I'm not sure what I would do without it. I always make sure to write down any appointments, meetings or deadlines in there so I can keep track of what every day brings. It's also the perfect size to fit into my handbag so I can always jot something in if it were to pop up while I'm out (as I am more than likely to forget about it by the time I get home). To me, this is a MUST HAVE to help me stay organised. 

Continuing with this idea is my wall calendar. There's something about being able to see my whole year that I find really helpful. Although I love using my diary for everyday and weekly use, I often find it harder to visualise how far away things like deadlines are. By having it on the wall, and by ticking off each day, I find it helps to keep me focused and on track so I don't miss a thing!
I also have a 'weekly schedule' on my pin board so I know what lectures I have and when. This helps me to make sure I'm packing everything I need for the day in my bag. I know we all got these timetables in our school diaries and I know we all disliked them a little at the time, but since leaving school- I can't be without one! Go figure!

One of THE most useful tips I have ever been told was: make a to-do list. My dad has always told me that he makes a list every single day and has always told me when I'm feeling a little overwhelmed to "make a list and attack it". These are words I now live by, and I'm not entirely sure how well organised or put together I would be without this brilliant piece of advice. Although some people find it overwhelming to see everything you have to do on one big list, I find it helps to focus my mind on the task at hand. 

I guess, sort of following along a similar thought, is making sure you're prepared. By this, I mean having things like paper clips, a stapler (and staples...) and folders and dividers and all of that. Over the past couple of years I have grown a love for (pretty) stationary and, as a consequence, I find I don't mind doing tasks like filing (as boring as it is) as I love being able to use my cute little bits! Places like paperchase are great for this sort of thing, so go have a look in the January sales!

These are just a few of the strategies I find help me most to stay organised, and I hope that this has helped you all in some shape or form! Let me know what you like to do to stay organised, I'm always open to new ideas. x

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