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

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

How to Stay Motivated When Working From Home


Hey everyone, how are you doing?

In the midst of this uncertain time, it can be difficult to stay motivated. Particularly when we are restricted to our own homes – it can be so tempting to slip on some cosy loungewear and immerse in Disney+ or Netflix. The sudden change in routine and having to work from home is causing most of us to struggle with our motivation at the minute, but don’t worry because that’s completely natural – it’s a bizarre time for us all!

Today, I want to share with you a few tips which have helped me stay motivated during this time. I finally completed and handed in my dissertation the other day – so some of these methods must have worked! Of course, I don’t feel motivated every single day, but the tips I’m going to share have most definitely helped me! So grab a cup of tea, curl under a soft blanket, switch off from the outside world and enjoy the post.

  1. Write a to-do list the night before
    Writing a list the night before helps create a structure for the next day, as it clearly sets out what needs to be done. Writing lists before bed really encourage me to feel more motivated the next morning, as I wake up and feel keen to tick each task off the list! It also means you don’t have to worry about what needs to be done for the next day, as it’s already written down ! (And it helps declutter the mind).
  2. Wake up early
    I find myself feeling much more motivated when I wake up early (same time every morning to maintain a consistent routine). Waking up early discourages any feeling of sluggishness, which can often occur from waking up late and/or having an inconsistent sleep routine. Each early morning is a gift of a fresh day ahead. Picture each new day as a blank canvas – untouched, brand new and ready to be painted.
  3. Get dressed
    I did an Instagram poll the other day, and like myself, the majority of people are spending their days in cosy loungewear/pyjamas. Trust me, I know how tempting it is because I often do it myself! But I’ve been trying to dress in outfits which I would wear during a day at the library (eg/ jeans, smarter attire), and it’s making me feel much more motivated to work.
  4. Reward Yourself
    After a day of work and being productive, I usually set myself a ‘rewarding’ task for the end of the day. For example, I’ll treat myself to a movie on Disney+, or I’ll have a bath that evening. Throughout the day, as I’m working, I then remind myself of that particular reward which I will indulge in once my tasks are complete. This really helps me stay focussed and motivated to complete what needs to be done, as having a reward is something to look forward to.
  5. Listen to yourself
    Remember, if you are having an off day, do not get frustrated with yourself for not being as productive as usual! We cannot be really productive and motivated every single day – it’s completely natural to have off days. We are going through a difficult time of change and uncertainty, so feeling up and down is completely normal. Listen to your body, and if you really are struggling, then that is okay and remember to take it easy.

So, those are a few suggestions which have helped me stay motivated when working from home, I hope they work for you too. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post, and I really hope you are all doing okay!

Don’t forget to subscribe to see more content. Take care and have a good day!

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx

My Daily Routine at Home


Hey guys, I hope you’re all staying well and keeping positive during this strange time!

I know that many of us have been through a lot of change recently – a change of work setting, having to work from home, even a change in living dynamics. I’ve also noticed on social media that a few people have been struggling to adapt to this change of routine. So today, I’m going to share with you my daily routine which I have recently adapted to since all this change, and I hope it can offer some inspiration/ideas for you!

My Daily Routine:

Wake up: I usually set my alarm for 8:30am on weekdays. Setting my alarm for the same time each day really improves my sleep cycle and is a great way to keep your daily routine consistent. I’ll then drink a few cups of water and have a piece of fruit (I eat lightly at this time because I go for runs every morning).

Exercise: Since being restricted to home, I’ve really tried to utilise this time to practice self-care and aim to be healthier. So, every morning, I’ve been going on runs alone which are doing me the world of good. Inhaling the fresh air each morning whilst being surrounded by empty greens feels so invigorating and is also a great way to leave the house. I would definitely recommend a morning exercise to anybody, and if running isn’t for you, you could try a hit workout, normal workout or even yoga! They have so many tutorials to follow on YouTube, so definitely try that out. It really puts my head in a good space, preparing it for the day, especially when our days are now spent indoors.

Getting ready for the day: I’ll then shower and get ready for the day! I’m making the most of working from home, so I usually slip on a pair of comfy joggers with a cosy top – being comfy is key for me! I’ll then make myself a cup of tea (mint green is so good in the morning) and crack on with University work! Remember to drink lots of water throughout the day to stay hydrated!

Lunch: I’ll have lunch usually between 12-1pm depending on the day and how I am feeling! Eating healthy can really boost your mood, which is especially important during times like this, so I’m trying to be keep a balanced diet.

Back to work: After lunch, I’ll then usually work some more until 4pm. I understand that if you have a full-time job that you will finish later than that! Everyone’s routines will differ slightly!

In the evening: By the evening, I will switch off my laptop so that I’m not tempted to look/finish anymore work! It’s important to be able to switch off after a day of hard work! I’ll then have dinner.

Self-care: I preach about self-care so often because it’s so important to me! I try to implement a dose of self-care every single day, and find it particularly therapeutic to do so before bedtime. Whether it’s reading a book with a peppermint tea, painting my nails, running a warm bath, having a pamper session, watching a favourite film or a 10-minute meditation, I make sure I do at least one of these every night-time before I sleep. It allows me to have a calmer head space and helps me wind down for bed.

Goodnight: I usually aim to fall asleep at the same time each night to again regulate my sleep cycle and keep a consistent routine. I also still regularly use lavender oil before I sleep, as it really relaxes my mind and helps me drift off. I also recommend doing night time meditations (The Honest Guys on Spotify and YouTube are really good!)

So, that’s the routine I’ve adjusted to since being at home! I hope it helps you and gives you some ideas! I find that having a structured routine really helps both my motivation and my productivity when working at home.

I hope you are all staying positive and safe, and remember that we are all in this together!

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx

Ways to Keep Yourself Entertained At Home


Hey guys, how are you today?

I guess we can’t ignore the circumstances around us – it’s inevitably there. A sudden change in routine has occurred for many of us – remaining indoors, working from home and maybe feeling a little apprehensive and worried. For many of us, having to stay within the walls of our home can be a struggle, especially during the weekends when there’s no work to do. However, during an unfamiliar time like this, it is important to focus on the positives rather than the negatives!

Today, being the home-bird I am, I’m going to share a few things which you can do to fill your days spent at home. Staying proactive not only keeps you entertained, but is really good for your mental wellbeing (which is so important during a time like this!)

  1. Wardrobe clear out
    I’ve started to this already! Since being at home, I’ve had the chance to finally clear out my room and sort my clothes out – it’s so satisfying, and it helps pass the time (as well as being productive!) I feel so cleansed and organised from it!
  2. Morning workout/yoga
    As for the foreseeable future, most of our time will be spent indoors, so I would most definitely recommend doing some exercise! Recently, I’ve been implementing home workouts into my routine and this morning I went for a run. You could even try yoga – any form of exercise is so invigorating and healthy for both the mind and body. There are so many tutorials on YouTube so definitely try them out. Also, establishing a new routine is a really good way of adjusting to change and improving our wellbeing.  
  3. Read a book
    A cup of tea and a good book, curled under a soft blanket. Diving into a world of imagination, the story unfolds as you turn each page. Escaping reality by immersing yourself into a book is a really great way to stay entertained, and it also helps the mind unwind if you read before bed.
  4. Be creative
    Have you ever thought about creating something? Ever wanted to write a book, poem or practice your artwork? Release and challenge your creative energy into a project you’ve always thought about doing! This is great if you are wanting to spend time away from your phone and social media.
  5. Stay connected
    A FaceTime or phone call is only a click away! Stay connected by keeping in touch with family and friends!

Remember to stay positive, guys! Remember that we are in control of our attitudes and mindsets, and remember that positivity breeds positivity! I hope these suggestions have helped and I hope you have enjoyed reading!

Thanks so much for your support, and please subscribe to join the family! Keep smiling.

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx

How to Boost Your Self-Esteem


Hello lovelies, how are you doing?

Sorry for the less frequent posts recently – I’ve been so preoccupied with University deadlines! However, as we precede to brighter mornings and friendlier weather, we can focus on the positive that Spring is soon to welcome us with a warm smile.

Today, I stumbled across an astounding figure which revealed that 85% of people have self-esteem issues. Although I knew self-esteem problems were common amongst society, I didn’t actually realise the extent of its prevalence. We live in a world surrounded by social media, where we are exposed to an influx of airbrushed and ‘perfect’ images. Careers become increasingly competitive and we often only hear about the successes of others. This can cause us to knock ourselves down, as we habitually begin to compare ourselves to others, which is detrimental to our self-esteem and our wellbeing. Having little confidence is a common feeling we have, but there are most definitely certain things which can be done in order to boost it. It involves a change of mental habit, and it definitely works for me! So today, I am going to share with you a few tips to help you improve your self-confidence, so I hope you enjoy!

  1. Treat yourself as your own best friend
    This is so effective. Whenever you begin to feel that you are putting yourself down, take a step back and ask yourself ‘would I say this to my best friend?’ The answer is, probably not. It’s very easy to become self-critical, and we end up telling ourselves things we would never dream of saying or thinking that about anybody else. Treat yourself as your own best friend, you are special, just like your best friend is!

  2. Remind yourself about the things you like about yourself
    This is something which can be easily implemented into your daily routine. After you read this blog post, list 3 things you love about yourself. This can be done every morning, evening or any time you are feeling unconfident. Injecting a syrup of self-love can make you feel so much better about yourself!

  3. Accept your flaws
    Nobody is perfect. There will always be something you don’t like about yourself, or perhaps you’re still fixated on that mistake you made the other day. These flaws and mistakes make you imperfectly perfect. You are perfect in your own way, so love yourself for who you are and embrace your flaws. It what makes you, you! What you don’t like about yourself, someone else will love about you. Everyone has flaws, we are just more susceptible to being aware and critical of our own.

Having self-confidence can be a tricky hurdle to tackle, but it’s important to focus on improving in as this will benefit your overall wellbeing! Love yourself for who you are! I hope these tips help you and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading!

Have a great day, don’t forget to subscribe to join the family!

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Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx

Ways to ‘Switch Off’ From Stress


Hey everybody! How are you doing?

Happy March! How is it March already?! January gloomily dragged, yet I’ve seemed to have blinked and we’ve skipped a month! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling pretty stressed lately – I think it’s this time of year. However, soon the light evenings and blue skies will emerge, and Spring will soon greet us with a burst of joy.

When we are stressed, it can be difficult to practice self-care habits as we get so wrapped up in the busy schedules of every day life. Today, I’ve decided to share with you a few simple, doable strategies which can be easily implemented into your daily routine in order to help you ‘switch off’ from stress and indulge in relaxation:

1) Listen to a podcast

I usually do this when I’m walking to or from uni. It’s a great way to switch off from the stresses of life and to listen to a topic of interest. I really recommend listening to ‘Deliciously Ella’s’ podcasts – they’re so uplifting, inspiring and also really relatable! You can find them on Spotify. She covers a whole range of topics, from accepting failure to healthy eating. Plus, it’s super easy to squeeze this into your routine, as you can simply listen to these podcasts on route to places, or even when you’re cooking or getting ready for bed. I couldn’t recommend them enough!

2) Colouring book

In a world where we are dominated by social media and stress, escaping the online world and engaging in an activity like colouring in can be so refreshing. I have a colouring book and it’s so calming to unleash the colour and glide the pencils across the paper, filling in each shape and design with care. It’s such a pleasurable way to ‘switch off’ and ease the mind, and it’s a great way to spend time away from social media. This is really relaxing to do before bedtime, especially if you don’t fancy reading!

3) Write in a journal

I’ve owned a journal since I was about 10 and I use it religiously. Being able to write your thoughts and feelings down after a stressful day is so cathartic and I’d recommend it to anybody. It’s also a really therapeutic way to write down all the things you are grateful for in life. Being able to take a minute to focus on what you are grateful for can help relieve stress, as it puts things into perspective. With regards to fitting this into my routine, I often take ten or fifteen minutes before I sleep to write. This is also a great way to wind down after a busy day because you can switch off your phone (which is one of the biggest sleep disrupters!)

Overall, being able to practice self-care to relieve feelings of stress is so important for our wellbeing. The stress of life can often take a toll on us, dragging us down and causing us to neglect ourselves. I love being able to share with you these things which can make all the difference, so I really hope they help and I hope they work for you.

Thanks so much for reading and for all of your support! Don’t forget to subscribe to join the family!

Have a lovely day.

Lots of love,
Somewhat Perfect xxx