How to Journal


Hello everyone,

As I write this, I’m currently sat with my morning coffee wrapped in my dressing gown – it’s one of those days. How about you?

So, today I’m going to chat about journaling and my experience with it. As many of you know, I journal religiously. I have journaled most days since I was about ten years old and have since filled so many journals. It’s something which I find comfort in, allowing me to unleash all my thoughts and feelings privately – it’s like relieving a weight off my chest by sharing the thoughts in my head and knowing it remains completely confidential.

Why is journaling so important?

There are copious amounts of evidence proving the beneficial effects of journaling, especially on our mental wellbeing. Journaling is a great stress-management tool and a great way to self-reflect. It has also been proven to successfully declutter the mind, organize thoughts and it also allows you to solve the muddled problems existing in your head. There are so many positive effects of journaling – it’s definitely something I would recommend to anybody.

How do I journal?

Everybody’s experience is obviously slightly different. However, I like to find a quiet space (eg/ on my bed). I often journal just before I sleep – I treat it as a meditation habit. I also keep my door closed to enjoy the mindfulness experience alone, and I love it even more when it’s raining outside! I often just write about whatever comes to my mind. What I’ve done that day, how I’m currently feeling or anything that’s bothering me. It’s a great way to declutter the mind and clear my thoughts.

What do I use?

I usually just use a journal and handwrite each entry. However, sometimes it can be difficult to know what to write, especially for beginners or those who find writing a little more difficult. It can even be challenging to convert thoughts into words, and so it sometimes helps me to follow guided journaling which encourages the mind to think and also provides many prompts for your writing. The app I’ve been using lately is called DiveThru, an incredible guided journaling app. From friendships to mental health, the app has a wide selection of different guided journaling topics. It focusses on different emotions you may be feeling, from anxiety, to confusion, to sadness. It’s great to have my journal next to me as well as a prompt from the app such as ‘How am I doing today?’ Also, due to Covid-19, the app has been made free until August so I would most definitely download it soon and try out all of the different journaling journeys! It’s so good for the wellbeing and it has both helped and encouraged me to write.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post! Have a lovely day and happy journaling!

Don’t forget to subscribe to be notified for more content.

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx

The Importance of a Social Media Detox


Hello everyone,

Happy Friday! I also can’t be the only one thinking HOW is it August already!? It’s a very grey and windy morning here today – a little reminder that Autumn will be greeting us soon.

Today, I want to highlight the importance of having a social media detox. A few weeks ago, a few of my friends and I went to Wales for a few days as my friend has a house there. Passing the green fields and along the sandy coasts, we finally arrived at a beautiful, white cottage-like holiday home. It was located in the quietest area, surrounded by scenic views and the atmosphere felt muffled because it was so tranquil. And, to top it off, there was no WIFI and I had ran out of any 3G/4G by this point – a genuine digital detox and it did me the world of good.

Don’t get me wrong – social media has many positive aspects to it. However, I feel like many of us are habitually consumed by the ‘perfect’ façade of social media. We are exposed to influxes of filtered images and the highlights of people’s lives which can cause us to compare ourselves to others thus having a negative impact on our mental wellbeing. It can also cause feelings of FOMO, as comparing your life to what you see online can be nearly impossible, leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation. So sometimes, time spent away from the online world is very much needed!

Experiencing five days away from social media felt like a mental and emotional cleanse. Temporary detached from the online world and truly feeling engaged in nature and the real world was so refreshing. It felt so enriching to spend time talking to my friends with undivided attention – without having the subconscious need to check my phone. It’s a different type of presence that doesn’t co-exist with social media usage.

I realised that spending time on social media can quickly change your mood, so spending time away from it made me feel happier. Spending less time on my phone allowed me to reflect more, both on myself and on life, and I overall felt a lot more content. I realised that social media can sometimes add extra stress and negativity to life when used too much. And, although I am back at home with WiFi now, I’ve decided to use social media a lot less and replace it with doing something more productive. For example, I don’t go on social media as soon as I wake up anymore which is something that I used to do.

Have you had a social media detox recently? If you haven’t, perhaps consider doing one, especially if you are feeling a little overwhelmed at the minute.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I hope it helps you. Don’t forget to subscribe to be notified whenever I post.

Have a lovely day xxx

Building Self-Confidence


Hello everyone,

Happy Wednesday, I hope you all had a lovely weekend. A few weeks ago, I put another poll up on Instagram, in which the majority of votes were in favour for writing a post about building confidence.

Trust me when I say that confidence issues are not rare. Whether you feel unconfident about yourself, your career or other aspects of life, it can be very unmotivating and can prevent you from stepping out of your comfort zone. Everybody struggles with confidence at some point in their lives, and so it’s important to tackle these issues for improved wellbeing and to love yourself!

Do you tell yourself that you aren’t good enough? Do you compare yourself to other people? Do you put yourself down and criticise yourself? We are all guilty of it, but these harmful thinking patterns are very damaging for your confidence, mental health and self-esteem. They also often occur from habit but can be dealt with through a change of mindset.

  1. Practice self-love
    Make a list and write down what you love about yourself. What are your strengths? What are you proud of? What have you achieved? Do this whenever you’re feeling down or are lacking in confidence. Feeding your mind self-love is a great way to feel better about yourself. Remember that everybody is different – you are special and great in your own way.
  2. Affirmations
    Waking up and telling yourself positive affirmations is a great way to practice your mind into a healthy, positive place. Tell yourself you accept yourself. Tell yourself you are confident in your abilities. Remind yourself that you can do what you’re wanting to achieve.
  3. Step out of your comfort zone
    This can be very challenging, particularly during times when your confidence is low. However, stepping out of your comfort zone can really help with this. It’s all about getting comfortable with discomfort. As you practice is more and break boundaries, you will see yourself grow and you will learn to enjoy new challenges. Nobody is completely fearless of change – it can be scary! But being able to take baby steps and put yourself in unusual environments can do the world of good.

Obviously, a growth in self-confidence doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a gradual process which takes time. But being able to recognise that your self-confidence needs a boost, and willingly putting the effort in to help yourself is the first big step in achieving it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog post today and I hope it helps you.

Lots of love,

Somewhat Perfect xxx

Holding a Positive Attitude to Life


Happy Sunday everybody, how has your week been?

As the birds chirp outside, the sun’s rays delicately shine onto the wooden table my laptop sits on. Each sip of my iced coffee is an injection of energy and my fluffy bedtime socks feel cosy and warm. I feel at peace and I am living in the present, and I am grateful for that. What are you grateful for today?

I want to jump straight into today’s blog topic which is all about how to maintain a positive attitude. Throughout lockdown, many of us have struggled with keeping so positive during a time of uncertainty. All this alone time has allowed me to see the importance and power of positivity and how to alter thinking habits.

Of course, it is impossible to always stay positive. Sometimes, the stress of life meets us at cross junctions, causing us to feel like we are stuck behind a traffic of to-do chores and problems. It’s natural to feel like this from time to time. But it’s also important to realise that our mindset plays a particularly important role in how we cope with some of the issues we face.

So, how can you keep a positive attitude? It does involve time and practice. It’s all about converting the way you think, like a habit. Often, when we are negative, we are habitually thinking negatively, and it often becomes unnoticed because it happens so often! But with practice and time, it is most definitely possible to adapt your way of thinking from a negative mindset to a more positive one.

Practice Gratitude.
It really helps me to practice gratitude every day. Ask yourself what you are grateful for and remind yourself of even the little things in life that you are grateful for. Throughout lockdown, I have actually realised that humans are quite basic, simple animals. The next holiday booked or a fancy meal out are just luxuries – it’s the smaller things in life which matter, like family and friendships. Practicing your gratitude’s every day routinely encourages your mind to focus on the positives in life, which can often go neglected and forgotten about when life overwhelms us. Focussing on the good and reinforcing it can really help gain a more positive attitude.

Take Responsibility
Remember: being responsible of a problem does not mean that is it your fault. However, being able to take responsibility for the way you handle the problems and stresses in life is also useful in order to feel more positive. Take the example of being rejected by a career. Yes, it’s disappointing and yes, it’s unpleasant, but it is not your fault that they rejected you. Take the responsibility for the way you handle the rejection – you are responsible for you. This can be applied to many problems which occur in life – a stolen bank card? Had an argument with your partner? Failed an exam? Although these situations are unideal, being able to take responsibility for the way they make you feel can help largely with your overall attitude to life and the problems which come with it.  

Engage with positive resources
I’ve just finished reading ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.’ It’s a great book, offering advice with regards to holding an accepting and mindful approach to life. I also love listening to the ‘Deliciously Ella Podcasts’, which cover an array of topics, from building a happy brain to dealing with stress. Engaging in positive resources and learning about positivity most definitely cheers me up and helps me practice a positive attitude!

I hope these tips will help some of you. Don’t forget to join the family to be notified whenever I upload a blog post!

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx

Uncertainty about the Future


Hello everyone, how are you doing?

I was overwhelmed with the influx of responses on my Instagram poll in favour for writing about the topic ‘feeling uncertain about the future.’ Recently, I have spent a copious amount of time reflecting which led to me think about life and the coming years.

Take this analogy; our lives are like journals, and each day of our lives represents a new page in the journal. We enter the world as fresh, new canvases, yet to experience a memory or complex emotion. As we grow older and time progresses, our insights are broadened from opportunities and experiences, as each memory is etched onto the white pages of the journal. One by one, another day passes, and another page is filled to mould the story which is your life. But when you first buy the journal, you can’t possibly predict what the pages will read, and that’s okay.

Many of us feel the pressure of life from time to time. We are frequently exposed to the successes of others through social media’s feeds, which are crammed with celebratory graduations, new jobs, promotions and high grades. Everybody appears to have a plan; everyone seems to have a future job secured and their whole life organised. Although it’s great to celebrate the success of others, we fail to recognise that social media often only presents the highs of people’s lives, causing us to forget that we are not alone in feeling uncertain and worried about the future. When I ask people ‘have you always known this was the career you wanted to do?’ the answer most of the time is ‘no.’ Even when I asked those who have just graduated from University ‘what career do you want to end up in’ or ‘what’s your next plan?’ most people respond with ‘I don’t know.’

Whether you feel worried about the next stage in life, or what you want to be, it is completely natural to feel this way. When I experienced a phase of uncertainty during my final year of University, I began to worry myself as I wasn’t sure what the next chapter in my life was going to be. However, I learnt to change this feeling of uncertainty into a positive experience and began to implement habits to solve the problem. I changed this negative feeling into a positive experience by dedicating time to search for work experience and opportunities which appealed to me. I also considered practical questions such as ‘what type of career do I envision myself to be in?’ Through involving myself in different opportunities and experiences, I discovered things about myself which have helped me find direction for the coming year. It didn’t happen overnight, but I hope this reassures you that things do fall into place. Through independent research, reaching out to people, organisations and companies, I learnt more about myself and my interests, which led to opportunities that suited to me. However, remember that It is okay to not know what the next stage in your life will be – life has a weird way of unfolding sometimes.

I hope this reassures you and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to be notified when I post!

Have a lovely week!


Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx

Tackling Long-Distant Relationships


Hello lovely people,

What have you been up to lately? The Spring months are drawing to a close as Summer soon greets us. We are wakened to light blue skies and the golden rays of sunlight which beam through the windows and brighten our rooms. Windows slightly ajar, the soft chirping of birds are heard, each delicately balancing on the leafy branches of trees. Bursts of coloured flowers populate the green grass from the rebirth of Spring, and a sense of tranquillity comforts us with a warming welcome. This is a time of reflection, and for many of us, a time of distance from our loved ones. Writing a blog post regarding long distance relationships has been pending on the ‘to-do’ list for a while, and given the current situation, I decided now was the perfect time.

As I have learnt to grow and build upon my long-distant relationship, I caught onto the many stigma’s which surround long distance relationships, such as ‘they won’t last’ and ‘they’re too much effort than they’re worth.’ However, myself and many of my friends have experienced successful long-distance relationships, which shows these stigmas are just stigma’s, and don’t reflect all long distant relationships. From a personal perspective, my boyfriend and I have tackled a long distant relationship for three years now, due to attending different Universities in separate cities. I firmly believe that long-distance relationships can work with the right mindset and balance. So, today, I would like to share with you a few tips which helped my relationship during times of distance.

The first tip is effective commination. This focusses on the quality of the communication rather than quantity. Communication is one of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy relationship, so is particularly vital during long distance. Not seeing your partner for a while can create sadness and strain, and of course you will miss them – this is all natural. Therefore, effective communication is key. Arrange a time each day to call or FaceTime and ensure that you express your feelings so that your partner understands them and is aware. During long distance, facial cues can often be lacked and it’s more difficult to pick up on how the other person is feeling, so effectively talking about problems and your feelings is very crucial!

It is also vital to have your own space. In other words, although you are apart, this does not mean that you have to text/communicate every minute of every day. It’s important to have time to yourself, and if you have a phone call or FaceTime arranged, this is something to look forward to! For example, if you’re going somewhere or are spending time with a friend during the day, it’s always nice to spend time off your phone, and update your partner about your day later in the evening.

It’s also lovely to surprise your partner during long distance. Whether it be a card in the post or ordering a surprise takeaway for them. It’s a great way to lift the mood, particularly because you will be missing each other. My boyfriend used to surprise me with my favourite milkshakes from a dessert restaurant when I was at University, which I was so grateful for! Little acts of kindness go a long way.

It can be tough at times, but with the effort and pushing through the tougher periods, long distance can be done and is most definitely worth it. I hope this has helped and hope you’ve enjoyed reading.

Have a lovely rest of your day. Feel free to join the family:

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx

Adjusting to New Home Environments


Hey guys,

I hope you’re all doing well. What have you been up to? The sun has been blazing here recently – it’s been so pleasant to wake up to a clear blue blanket in the sky and spend some time outside. I’ve also been eating a copious amount of cookies and cakes due to all the baking I’ve been doing!

Since this whole situation, many of us have had to adjust to the change of new living environments. From finding routines which fit around your family to adjusting to new living dynamics, having such a change in living can be tough. Everything seems a little more intense given the situation we are going through, and it’s so natural to feel overwhelmed by this. A few weeks ago, I put a poll on my Instagram asking which blog topic should be posted next. The majority of votes were in favour of writing about adjusting to new home and living environments – so here we are! Grab a cup of tea and I hope this helps some of you.

Moved back home from University? Different living dynamics? Experiencing family arguments? Tension? Stressed? We’re all feeling these from time to time. Having to adjust to new living environments can be difficult, particularly if you have moved from an environment which had a secured routine, and your independence was thriving. I have had to move from living independently at University to back home with my family. So, I thought I would share with you some tips, which I have used during this period of adjustment and change, in order to create a less stressful environment at home.

  1. Find your own routine
    Having your own routine can help with feeling independent as well as keeping busy throughout the day. I find that having a daily routine provides a nice distraction from the current situation and allows me to spend time alone when dynamics can feel overwhelming.
  2. Help around the house
    With full households, it’s natural for families to feel ‘on top’ of each other. The environment in the house can feel stressful from time to time, so helping out with chores and cleaning would 1) pass the time and 2) create a happier environment. I always find that sharing daily household tasks with my family/housemates really improves the atmosphere at home and increases the harmony.
  3. Give yourself some space
    Yes – it’s natural to feel overwhelmed living with the same people constantly, especially during a time where there are limited places to go. Give yourself some alone time and space in order to breathe. Whether it being a walk or watching a film alone, engaging in different tasks alone helps with overload burnout, creating a much calmer inner-feeling and encouraging happiness and relaxation.  
  4. Make your room a ‘safe haven’
    Having a clean and cosy room would be a great space to escape to when in need of privacy and alone time at home. Spend a day or two rearranging the furniture, cleaning and freshening the walls. Create a place of comfort which you can resort to if ever needed. I have made my bedroom really cosy: placed with candles, cushions and photographs which creates a really pleasant environment to chill in – I never want to leave it!

So, I hope these suggestions have helped provide some ideas about coping with the change of living environments at home. Don’t worry if you are finding this difficult – it’s an unknown time for us all. Let me know how you get on with the tips, I look forward to hearing about it!

Feel free to subscribe to join the family, your support is always appreciated!

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx

Triple Chocolate Cookies


Hey everyone, how was your weekend?

Anybody else find something so relaxing about baking? Folding the ingredients into one and watching the bakes rise into soft, warm puddings. I have been baking pretty frequently since lockdown – most of you will have already seen my bakes if you follow me on Instagram. Over the weekend, I decided to make some triple chocolate cookies which I first found years and years ago when I used to watch Tanya Burr when she shared the recipe! When I baked these at the weekend, I received a lot of messages about how to make them and so I decided to post the recipe on here!

(oh and believe me when I say these cookies are the chocolatiest, softest and gooiest cookies you will ever make – they’re so good to eat, especially when they’re warm! The chocolate chunks delicately melt in the mouth as the chocolate cookie crumbles – they’re just delicious!)

You will need:

200g butter, 300g caster sugar, 1 egg, 275g self-raising flour, 75g cocoa powder, a bar of Cadburys milk chocolate, a bar of white chocolate and a baking tray

Method:

Put the oven on 200ᵒC. Soften the butter and mix it with the sugar. Add the egg and mix again. Then sift the flour and the cocoa powder. The mixture will not be runny – it should be relatively ‘firm’ and easy to mould! (Shown in the images below.) Then, break the chocolate bars into smaller pieces (I usually just half the segments so the chocolate pieces are quite big.) Mix and voila! Roll the mixture into balls, flatten them slightly once they’re on the baking tray and pop them in the oven for literally 7-9 minutes! They don’t look ready as soon as they’re out the oven but don’t be fooled!

So, there’s the recipe! It’s super simple and it makes the most delicious cookies – I swear by them! It’s pretty flexible too, you can add whatever chocolate bars you like, however, I do just stick to the standard Cadburys and white milky bar.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and let me know how you get on with the cookies, I’d love to see how they turn out!

Don’t forget to subscribe if you would like to join the family 😊

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx

Accepting The Highs and Lows


Hey guys, how have you been doing?

I think it’s safe to say that Spring is most definitely approaching – the air feels crisp and the evenings are lighter. Colourful dots have begun to blossom amongst the green canvas of grass, whilst white wispy clouds swirl through the light blue sky, delicate and fluffy. Each morning, I have been going on runs. It allows me to absorb the surroundings and appreciate the smaller things in life we sometimes take for granted. It also helps declutter my mind and sets the tone for the day, in which I return home with clearer thoughts and a calmer vision for the day ahead. It’s really helped me stay calm, particularly during this weird time. Today, I want to provide some reassurance about the current situation, and hopefully encourage you to accept how you are feeling, because I’m sure we are all experiencing up and down phases at the moment – which is totally okay.

Take this scenario. You wake up one morning, your mood is flat, you feel lazy, Netflix sounds too tempting to resist so you stay in bed and wear pyjamas all day.

Sound familiar? *Currently raising my hand*

This post is a little reminder that ‘off’ days are okay, and you are not alone if you are finding this time difficult. It can be challenging to stay positive all the time, particularly when we are repeatedly reminded of everything that is occurring around us. This is a time of change and uncertainty where we are restricted to the four walls of home, with many of us having to adjust to different living dynamics and new routines. Things at the moment are different, so of course not every day will be easy – it’s only natural to feel that way. It is okay if you wake up feeling down. It is okay to have a day off. It is okay to feel worried or uncertain. These are normal feelings most of us will experience given the current situation. Good days will come, and not-so-good days will go. Remember that this time will pass, we just have to take each day as it comes.

What can help lift your mood?

Obviously, different strategies work for different people, but I’ve been trying to implement a few different activities into my daily routine to keep myself entertained, and to help distract myself from the situation. Simple things such as phoning a friend or spending some quality time with family members are a great distraction. I’ve also been drawing, reading, baking, painting, running, meditating and doing home work-outs for some technology-free escapism. I’ve heard great things about Yoga too – I plan on starting that at some point too!

Although this has been different from my previous posts, I just thought a daily reminder would hopefully help and reassure you that the emotions you’re experiencing during this time are all completely natural and okay. We are in this together and this time will pass.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I hope it’s helped. Have a lovely rest of your day/evening!

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to be notified whenever I post on here! I’d love some support.

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx

Homemade Banana Bread


Hi guys, how are you doing? I hope you are all safe and well.

From spending all this time at home, I have begun to appreciate the comforting scent of a freshly baked cake straight out the oven. Baking has always been a hobby of mine – there’s something so satisfying about turning a buttery, sugary mixture into a fluffy sponge of goodness. Last week, I was passing time and decided to bake a banana bread. I followed an old recipe from ‘River Cottage,’ but I altered it a little bit. It turned out super delicious and so I thought I’d share it with you!

You need:
100g unsalted butter (I used salted and it was fine!)
125g light brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 ripe bananas
100/125g raisins/apricots/chocolate (anything you fancy, really!) – measurements are quite general for this because, in my opinion, it’s up to you how much filling you want to put in. I used raisins as we didn’t have any apricots in
200g self-raising flour
Lemon/orange (for the zest – not essential!)

Method:
Method is super simple!
Begin by mixing the butter (softened) and sugar in a bowl to form a creamy mixture. Then, crack the eggs into the bowl and mix again. Then, mash the banana’s into a paste and also add them into the mixture. Follow this by adding the raisins/apricots/chocolate (whichever filling you prefer) and mix well. Then, grate the lemon or orange zest into the bowl and mix! Then, it’s time to sift the flour and mix again. Pour the batter into a prepared tin and place in the oven for about 50 minutes (keep an eye on it though) on 160ᵒC.

Its really easy and it’s absolutely delicious – I’ve used the same recipe since I was young, and it’s never failed me!

Let me know how you get on, and don’t forget to subscribe for more content!

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx