Taking a Break


Hey guys,

Happy Halloween! The dark nights have approached us, the crisp, cold air greets us each morning and the hot chocolates are most definitely needed. Although I love this time of year, I also think it’s a time where people are prone to feeling down, due to a variety of reasons: Seasonal Affective Disorder, assignments and deadlines, exams approaching, missing the hot weather.

This week, I took a week off University as I was visiting Cornwall for a couple of days for a holiday. Initially, I was really stressed at the thought of missing uni, however, hindsight made me realise it was definitely the right decision. I had been very caught up in uni work – ongoing thoughts about my dissertation became very overwhelming, and the uncertainty of what I will be doing after my degree was disquieting me. I want to talk to you today about how beneficial it was for my wellbeing to take a break from what was stressing me out, and how it made me feel to live in the present.

Going on a mini-break meant I could disconnect from the busy world of work and enjoy a relaxing, peaceful time away. It was great – walking on the beach, going bodyboarding, walking in the woods, drinking hot chocolate, roaming around independent shops, eating pastries and cycling. And what I particularly loved about this holiday was that for the majority of it I felt so distant from technology. My use of social media was limited, I rarely checked my emails and the heavy stress I was carrying on my shoulders disappeared. One of the activities I particularly enjoyed was cycling, because not only was I exercising my body, but it felt so mentally rewarding and refreshing to absorb all the surroundings nature could offer and appreciate the scenic, aesthetic views. This may seem very cliché, but my point is that I felt so content and happy during that bike ride because I was living in the present. The worries of my dissertation vanished, the worries I had about the future dissolved and I felt so fulfilled at the fact that I didn’t need to focus on anything other than the what was happening in the now. Going on a bike ride is not something I would usually choose to do, so it was good to experience something that isn’t in my usual routine.

Going on a few days break really did me the world of good. My mind feels clearer because of the quality time I had, with minimal phone use and a high dosage of nature. It felt so good to just let go of the worries and enjoy what was happening in the present.

I just thought I would share my experience with you because it felt so rewarding and refreshing! If you’re feeling overwhelmed or sad, why not take a break? It can just be for one day – or even just a few hours. Go for a walk, go for a bike ride, go for a run and just embrace what is around you and live in the moment.

I hope you guys have a wonderful rest of your day!

Lots of love, Somewhat Perfect xxx


Staying Positive

A common problem I notice a lot of my family and friends struggling with is keeping a positive mindset. Most people can relate to the feeling of the world working against them. Today’s society can put a lot of pressure on our relationships, friendships, work or school life. When more than one of these factors present issues, it can become very overwhelming, quickly leading into a negative mindset. You might have thoughts such as ‘Why am I bothering anyway?’, ‘I give up’ or ‘I can’t do this’.

Often when I am trying to overcome personal challenges, I focus on maintaining a positive outlook. Of course you are probably thinking ‘it is easier said than done’; which is true. However, developing a positive mind is something we have to work on, here are my top tips for you to think about and help change your outlook…

  1. Keeping Perspective– Sometimes in the heat of the moment, when emotions are involved, an argument or a stress that is on your mind can feel really big. Of course this only works for smaller issues, however looking at the bigger picture of your life and considering how important this particular issue is, can help you to realise that things are more okay than they seem.
  2. Thankfulness– Focusing on the aspects of your life that you are grateful for. I like to write a list in my diary of things that I sometimes take for granted such as family, friends and uni. Often appreciating these things helps to give the perspective I was describing before.
  3. Positive people– This is something I have only understood the importance as I have got older. The people you surround yourself with can have a massive impact on the way you think and the person that you become. Always choose friends who build you up, support you and encourage you to reach your goals. Talking through things on your mind, however big or small with these people will make the world of difference.

I hope some of these are useful for you, let us know in the comments below what you do to stay positive when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Love,

Somewhat Perfect x

Calming the Mind Before Bed


Hello guys!

How is everyone doing?

In this post I want to focus on how to calm the mind before bed. Raise your hand in the air if you have tried to get to sleep, yet your mind is SO busy that you just physically can’t? Your mind is full of thoughts about what needs to be done, what may happen, a payment that’s due soon or an assignment you need to complete. So, you try closing your eyes, but the thoughts in your head are so active that you find yourself tossing and turning. You then check the clock and it’s 2am so you try counting sheep, yet you’re STILL wide awake?

*currently raising my hand*.

Yeah, sounds familiar.

I’ve been having these conversations with my friends and family lately about these anxious, repetitive thoughts that we often get before sleep. Over the years, I have tried and tested a variety of strategies which have helped declutter my mind before bed. So, I thought I would share them with you!

  1. TOMORROW’S TO-DO LIST

Write a to-do list for tomorrow. This is something I never used to do. However, after living with my flatmate (who, can I add, is extremely organised and writes lists all the time), I decided to have a go myself.  

It sounds crazy, but I almost felt that the jumbled thoughts in my mind reorganised themselves into a neater, less clustered order. I felt that ‘tomorrow’ had more structure, and that there was no need to worry about these things because they were written down already and can be simply ticked off tomorrow.

2. LAVENDER

A few years ago, when I was doing my GCSE’s, I found myself feeling very on edge and anxious about the upcoming exam period. The feeling often came before bed whilst I was trying to sleep, so my sleeping patterns became disrupted. And so, my Dad bought me lavender oil, and since then I have literally used it every night before I sleep. It’s just as simple as blotting a few drops on my pillow before I sleep, and I honestly find it makes all the difference. I read into lavender and its effects and found it has tremendous calming effects on anxiety and it has been shown to increase slow brain wave sleep. If an essential oil doesn’t take your preference, you could always buy a lavender spray which diffuses around the room, or even a lavender bath bomb and relax in a bath before bed.

3. MEDITATION

I know it sounds cliché, but meditation is a very good method to calm and help control the mind. I go through phases of meditating, but I tell myself I should really have a regular routine. When I’ve recommended meditation to my friends and colleagues at work, they say, “but how do you meditate?” and “I just don’t understand how you begin.” So, I’ll tell you a bit about my journey with meditation.
I literally began listening to YouTube clips on meditation for beginners. You basically begin closing your eyes, back straight, sat down with your hands on your knees, and you take slow, deep breathes. Now, the important thing to remember is when you are sat taking deep breathes, you must focus on your breathing and your breathing only. In…and out. In…and out. As a beginner, your mind will naturally wander to other places, but meditation is all about learning to control these thoughts, so you just have to acknowledge the busy thoughts and gradually move the focus back onto your breathing. And at first, it is quite challenging. But when your thoughts drift off, you just have to be patient, accept it, and slowly focus your attention back onto the breathing. It’s like anything really – it just gets easier with practice.

If just meditation isn’t for you, I found that Sleep Meditation is 1) easier to fit into a regular routine and 2) very effective. I basically listen to Sleep Meditation recordings most night’s before I sleep, and it has worked so well for me. When I listen to these sleep meditations, my whole mind calms and my busy thoughts are put to bed. I always listen to “The Honest Guys” meditations – you can find them on YouTube or Spotify. They are honestly incredible! They have a whole range of meditations, including recordings especially designed for sleep – I couldn’t recommend them enough. I particularly recommend the sleep meditations which involve delta waves – these have been found to encourage deep sleep and slow brain wave activity and they send me to sleep in minutes. 

So yeah, those are my recommendations for now! I really hope this helps. If you have any preferred topics or posts, you would like me to write about please just let me know, and don’t hesitate to contact!

Feel free to comment your idea’s and thoughts 🙂

Lots of love,

Somewhat Perfect xxx


Detaching Yourself From Social Media


Hi guys!

What have you been up to today? It’s getting colder and colder outside, and I don’t know about you but, I’m already wearing knitted jumpers and fluffy socks!

Today I want to talk about the façade of social media. “Façade” is just a fancy word to explain the deceptive impression we get from social media. Let me show it in a simple way. Today, I went for a walk and I collected some conkers along the way. Take a look at the picture I took of the conkers below.

Notice how the same picture looks slightly different? Notice how the images on the right look more enhanced, colourful and interesting than the image on the left? That’s social media for you. And that’s how easy it can be to portray something differently to reality.  

I’ll be honest and I’ll tell you something – you aren’t alone when you are scrolling down Instagram and you find that you are comparing yourself to everyone else on your feed. Because what people forget when scrolling down their feed is that you only see the edited, best side of people on social media.

You’ll scroll down your feed and see a picture of somebody having a great time at a party. Someone else is kissing their partner under the Eiffel Tower, someone else has graduated, someone else is wearing the latest fashion trends and someone else has just been offered a job. Sound familiar? *currently nodding to myself* Yes, it does, because we only see the best of the best on social media. All these smiling, perfect-looking people are just like yourself. Everyone has good days, and everyone has bad days, which is totally okay and normal. It is so important to remember that what you see on social media isn’t always true. It is so easy to taint reality with a “smoothing” edit, or a one-second smile for a photograph. It’s so easy to become consumed in this unrealistic world of perfection and invested in other people’s lives, and it isn’t good for us. I’m not saying it isn’t okay to edit or post the best pictures of yourselves, because people can do whatever they want. However, what I’m saying is that you must remember that what you see isn’t always true, and you shouldn’t compare yourself to others and to what you see on social media.

A ‘Social Media Detox’ is something I believe everyone should do from time to time. Going through Instagram, viewing Snapchat stories and seeing all this perfection can be so overwhelming and emotionally exhausting. Quite a few times now I have decided to do a ‘Social Media Detox,’ where I either limit my time on social media daily, or I just don’t use it at all. Studies have actually found that people who decrease their social media use tend to find themselves feeling less depressed, less anxious and more confident. And to me, that speaks a lot of volume! From personal experience, I found that taking time away from social media made me feel a lot happier and more content with my life. It allowed me to invest time in just myself and my own life.

So, if all this seems very relatable and you can feel yourself reading this post and thinking ‘yeah, social media does get me down sometimes,’ then why don’t you take some time away from it all? Even if that means limiting your use to just 10/15 minutes a day, or deleting the apps for a week. Have a nice, social media detox for a week and see how you feel afterwards. I know from experience that it makes me feel a lot better.

So, if you try it, please let me know how you get on! Having a social media detox is honestly something I think should be encouraged more often. Switching off and detaching yourself from it all is so good for your wellbeing. It’s worked for me, and so I thought I’d share my experience with you and give you some advice.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog post, and I’ll speak soon.

Have a nice rest of your day!

Lots of love, Somewhat Perfect xxx


Starting the Academic Year


Hey guys!

Currently sat by my desk drinking a cup of tea with some fluffy socks on. Looking outside the sky is a grey shield, and it’s been raining all morning, but I kind of like it because it means Autumn is definitely creeping on us! It’s just such a cosy time of year: lighting the fire, hot chocolates, watching the green leaves turn pleasantly crisp and beautifully orange.

I thought I would write a blog post today because it’s also the time of year where people head back to school and back to University. Being a Uni student myself, I know that the thought of starting a new academic year can be daunting but also refreshing. It’s a time where you can set yourself goals – academic or not and grow as independent individuals. I’m going to focus this blog entry on going back to school, and I’ll write another entry in a couple of days’ about going back to University, as for me, both routines are quite different so it’s just easier to write about them separately!

The thought of going back to school after such a long break made me feel a little uneasy on the days approaching the new academic year. I’d find myself asking ‘What if the work is too difficult for me?’ or ‘What if I can’t handle the work load.’ Everyone has their own worries about school, but the trick of mastering these worries is to try and enjoy it. I know that really sounds crazy, but the more you try to accept things, the easier they become. An example I can talk about is the dreaded ongoing battle I had with Maths during my GCSE period. I’m sure you guys can relate – maybe you struggle with English? Or you struggle with History? Everyone has their own struggles, and that’s totally ok!

Here’s a story for you. Unfortunately, I wasn’t blessed with natural mathematical ability. I really, really struggled with it. I once got a practice exam mark back and was so disheartened to see ‘29%’ written on the front page. It’s a very discouraging feeling, getting knocked back after working so hard. So that night, my Dad sat me down and said “This sounds bizarre, but you just need to make friends (metaphorically) with Maths. Enjoy it for what it is.” I contemplated on this saying for a while, but I realised that the route of my struggle with maths was because I kept fighting against it. Instead of accepting and focusing on what needed to be done, I was very quick to turn to negative feelings towards it because I knew I wasn’t naturally the most talented at it. After thinking about what my Dad told me, I made a promise to myself. I set myself a reasonable goal, which was to attend extra Maths sessions once a week, and to work on past papers for 30 minutes every night after school. I wasn’t harsh on myself and I rewarded myself every time I went to the extra sessions and whenever I completed a past paper. My mindset towards Maths changed, because I began focussing on the present and what I was achieving presently, rather than thinking ‘I could be so much better than this.’ I gradually saw my marks increased, and I’m not saying they increased to 100% because of course they didn’t – and I didn’t mind that, because I was content and proud with the hard work I put in and just the fact my marks were improving was making me pleased. I ended up achieving a B which I was unbelievably proud of, and it made everything worthwhile.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is, if you feel like you are struggling, don’t give up! Fight the battle with whatever seems to not be going in your favour. Whether it’s having difficulty with a subject, or not getting along with a teacher. The power of your mind will win the battle, and holding a more positive, believable attitude will make things a lot easier.

I hope this little bit of advice helps, if you have any questions please contact! Don’t hesitate to comment below to share your stories or give any feedback!

Lots of love, Somewhat Perfect xxx


Spending Alone Time


Hey guys!

Anyone else feel the need to bake after watching Bake-off?? I’m a sucker for it – last night, I was in bed watching the Bake-off and I just felt this warming urge to bake something! This links with the topic I’m going to talk about today – which is having alone time.

I’ve come to learn that having alone time is actually so important. Every day we are all so consumed with day-to-day chaotic life that we actually forget to indulge ourselves in self-care. So, this morning, I woke up and decided that I’m going to forget about my “to-do” list for an hour – and utilise this time to spend it doing something which will make me feel relaxed and calm. And so I chose to bake, as I’ve always enjoyed it and I definitely don’t do it as much as I’d like to. I printed off a recipe from online, switched my phone off and enjoyed the time alone. It was so calming – throwing in the ingredients, inhaling the sweet aroma of freshly made cupcakes in the oven and topping them with chocolate buttercream swirls.

And of course – you don’t have to bake if it’s not for you! There are so many other ways to spend quality time alone. I’ll list them for you: writing in a diary, watching a film, taking a bath, going for a walk, drawing, colouring in, reading a book, going for a run or listening to an audio book. The list is endless, and it doesn’t have to be an hour either. Even half an hour, or 15 minutes of meditation before bed is still spending some alone time which will benefit your emotional and mental wellbeing. I understand it is sometimes difficult to squeeze into our hectic routines, but it is most definitely worthwhile.

So, after reading this, treat yourself and set a time slot today or tomorrow where you will spend some quality alone time. It will do wonders for your wellbeing!

Let me know what you plan to do!

Somewhat Perfect xxx


Welcome

Hey friends,

Firstly, here’s a warm welcome to Somewhat Perfect. Come and join this loving community, where I will be discussing tips about lifestyle and sharing advice with you! Creating this platform is something I have wanted to do for a while, so I finally gathered the courage to do it! Hopefully this blog will help you guys, as I’ll cover a range of topics from university and school to better wellbeing and self care. Taking care of yourself and striving for better wellbeing is such an important aspect of life, and so I’m looking forward to sharing my tips and advice with you.

As a uni student myself, I have been through stressful times and I feel it’s so beneficial to share these experiences as they are so common and it’s good to talk about them. Nobody’s lives are ever a continuously smooth-running process, and so I am here, as your friend to share advice, help and chit-chat about life.

This is a new experience for me, but I am hoping you guys join in on this journey to create a positive and welcoming place for everyone. Nothing is better than snuggling up in bed with a nice drink, switching off any distractions and reading a good blog post. It’s so relaxing – it allows thoughts to be shared and problems to be halved. Sharing my stories, advice and ideas is something I cannot wait to do with you guys!

So please, grab your favourite drink and snack and use this platform as a happy haven – zone out and enjoy the content!

For now, I wish you all a lovely day/evening. You are all amazing – each and every one of you.

Speak soon

Somewhat Perfect xxx