I’m having a hard time at the moment

I’m having a hard time at the moment. There, I said it. I’m feeling far from my best. 2018 so far has been littered with lovely moments like going to the cinema with Topher, having dinner with friends, seeing my parents and all the little things in between. But overall, I haven’t been happy.

As soon as I’m left alone during the day that voice in my head starts creeping in. The one that makes me doubt my work. The one that says what’s the point? The one that says just stay in bed. And the one that says go on, just have one more snack.

I try to ignore it but it keeps coming back. Because to tell you the truth, I’m far from bossing it. My work life is making me miserable and it makes me feel like I did last time I was self employed. And the last time I worked in an office too. Then I make myself feel sad because I can’t seem to find my thing. I know there’s so many people out there who haven’t found their thing either but it seems like anything that isn’t my thing makes me feel down.

Every job I had, there’s been something wrong. Retail – I hated it. Office job 1 – bad company, boring job (though thanks to that, I have this blog.) Self employed stint 1 – barely made a penny and put a strain on my creativity, Office job 2 – loved the job, hated the company and the commute, Office job 3 – nice company, boring job and now I’m on self employed stint 2. Year one was great, year two I just felt myself sliding. I’ve made enough money to survive but only just. Thanks Topher for keeping us afloat.

Every job and every situation we’ve been in, we’ve just survived financially. We don’t have much disposable income at all. I just want to be able to replace something when it breaks without thinking about it and be able to go on holiday without breaking the bank.

Since office job 3 I’ve had ongoing health problems with my hands and arms. It’s due to repetitive strain which started in my right hand and it’s spread to both hands and arms. It makes admin work hard and that’s what I do. It makes me feel down because I need to find a career that isn’t so admin based but I don’t know what it is.

I haven’t even wanted to blog, which is unlike me. I can tell when I’m happy because I blog – if you see me disappear for a while, something’s usually wrong. I’ve been just blogging about stuff I need to – collabs and such.

It’s not all doom and gloom of course – I have a husband and family and friends who love me. I have the two sweetest cats you could ask for. And I have a roof over my head that isn’t going anywhere. But there’s something in my life that I need to fix.

I’m not sure how to fix this but I think I know where to start. I need structure. I need to take the pressure off.

Wish me luck.

Colour Walk Manchester - i heart mcr

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4 Ways You Can Get Happier Today!

 

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How do we pursue happiness?

It’s an honest question. In today’s increasingly fast paced and impersonal society, I’d argue that we’ve lost sight of the things that matter. We’ve been conditioned to attribute happiness to the attainment of career goals, the acquisition of money and the accumulation of lots and lots and lots of stuff. These aspirational targets may help to grease the wheels of a consumer capitalist society, but how effective are they at delivering on actual, meaningful happiness. We’re trained to believe that happiness is just a promotion, a purchase or a pay rise away, and while the odd shopping binge can give us a fleeting high, the acquisition of possessions rarely brings us lasting happiness. Indeed, it can often feel like the things we own wind up owning us. There must be a reason why so many lottery winners and successful entrepreneurs wind up miserable. Indeed Jim Carrey famously once said “I think everyone should get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer”. While there’s no secret formula for happiness, there are a few little things that you can do to help yourself today, right now

 

Get out of your routine

What do you plan to do after work today? Drive home, make dinner, watch TV, sleep? Becoming embroiled in these routines can easily sap our enjoyment of our lives. Do something different. Go for a long walk. Sit in a cafe and read a book. Go to the cinema. Deviate from the old routine until it stops becoming a routine.

 

Meditate

Meditation may be outside of your comfort zone and you may even have some derisive opinions of it, or doubt its efficacy, but it is nonetheless scientifically proven to promote happiness. Meditation not only helps you to gain perspective on the minutia of our day to day lives, it also actually shrinks the amygdala; the part of the brain responsible for anxiety and fear. It also lowers the production of the stress hormone cortisol not only improving your happiness but helping you to lose weight too!  

 

Have a nap

Far too few of us get enough sleep, and this can be detrimental to our quality of life in numerous ways. Sleep allows us to repair our bodies, rest our minds, release waste matter from our brains and get the nutrients to our skin to keep mit looking young, clear plump and firm. Yet, too many of us see sleep as a waste of time to be gotten out of the way. If you spend too many nights watching films instead of sleeping you may need to get a new mattress. Check out this Eve mattress review. You’d be astonished at how much more rested and happy you can be after a great night’s sleep.

 

Purge your stuff

If something brings you joy, then keep it. If you find value in something, keep it. But if you find your home cluttered by stuff that has ceased to have any meaning for you, it’s time for a purge. Collect it all together and take it to the nearest charity shop. The lack of clutter and knowledge that you’re doing some good is bound to brighten your day.

*This is a collaborative post

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My Week – Getting Back On Track 8.1.18 – 19.1.18

*Me and Paul Jagger *My finished Asian garlic bread

*Pickles being clingy *Getting some colouring in

This week’s My Week is more like my fortnight. 

I decided not to do a my week post last week because let’s face it – nothing happened! I was still recovering from my flu. But I’m up and about now and feeling much better for it, despite the odd coughing fit or snuffly nose.

So what did I get up to? The coolest thing I did was go to a baking class with Bake With A Legend to learn how to bake bread with GBBO 2015’s Paul Jagger. I’ll be doing a full post on that tomorrow. Despite not being a good baker, I managed to come away with some delicious goodies that I made myself. So proud!

On the work front, I’ve thankfully been given a fair bit of work to do with clients so I’ve been busy during the day. I’ve also updated Begin.Create to include my Virtual Assisting services so if you know someone in need, get in touch!

When I haven’t been working, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts – one in particular. Gilmore Guys. It’s been finished for awhile but I only discovered it a couple of months ago so I’ve been catching up. It’s about two guys going through every episode of Gilmore Girls and it’s really funny. One of them is a big fan and the other is watching for the first time. I’m currently on season 5 and can’t wait to see what they think of the Netflix revival. It’s so weird to think that at the beginning of the show, there was no revival on the horizon. If you like Gilmore Girls then I definitely recommend it but give it a bit to get good as the first season or so is a bit clunky.

In other news our wedding was featured on Rock n Roll Bride! I had such a fangirl moment as I’ve been a fan of the site for years.

And finally, I put up the cacti fairy lights I got for Christmas in the bedroom and they make the room look super magical. I think Pickles is just confused by them!

my week - fairy lights

my week - pickles

How was your week?

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20 Things To Do When You’re Feeling Down

I’ve been feeling down a lot lately and being down is getting me down. Bleh.

I figured it would be a good idea to compile a list of things to cheer myself up so I have something to refer back to whenever I’m feeling down. So this is kind of a note to myself but I thought you might find it helpful too.

  1. Have a Shower or a bath – these always make me feel more human again
  2. Make a happy playlist and turn it up loud
  3. Go for a walk
  4. Call a friend or family member
  5. Listen to a funny podcast
  6. Make a gratitude list – I made one here
  7. Make a list of things that trigger your down moods
  8. Organise an imaginary holiday (I do these all the time!) – look up places to see, stay and eat in your dream destination
  9. Make your to do list short and sweet – being able to tick everything off gives me a feeling of achievement
  10. If you have a pet – give it a big cuddle
  11. Watch some stand up comedy – if you have Netflix then this is super easy
  12. Start a new creative project
  13. Clean something in your house – especially if the place is a tip. It doesn’t matter how small the area is or even if you’re just scrubbing down the worktops in your kitchen, every little bit helps and it makes me feel accomplished
  14. Make a fort in your living room and watch a film – because why the fuck not
  15. Bake something
  16. Have a social media detox
  17. Read a book
  18. Change your bedding and put on fresh pjs – Bliss!
  19. Do something nice for someone else – their smile is always a great mood lifter
  20. Try not to make yourself feel guilty for being down – sometimes you just are and you need to just be for a bit

Obviously not all a quick fix but still it’s something and that’s all that matters.

What do you do when you’re feeling down?

feeling down

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2018 Bullet Journal Setup

bullet journal setup - 2018

I finally got round to doing my bullet journal setup for 2018.

After falling out of love with bullet journals at the end of last year I’m determined to have a fresh start this year. Once again I’m planning on easing myself in gently and going with a more minimalist approach. This meant saying goodbye to habits like the daily tracker and mood tracker etc. It was just too much pressure. I want to have fun again so here’s what my bullet journal looks like so far for 2018.

I decided to keep the same bullet journal* that I got last September – the Leuchtturm 1917 dotted A5 bullet journal as I loved it. I may not have used it as much as I would have liked but when I did it was a dream. The dotted pages make such a difference when setting up.

bullet journal setup - outside

So I simply turned the page on 2017 and started fresh with a hello 2018 motif and my goals that I talked about last week. I had a load of washi tapes that were on the end of their roll that I didn’t know what to do with them so I decided to use them here. I like the effect – messy and imperfect. It’s what I’m going for this year.

bullet journal setup - main spread

As I always find them useful I did a year at a glance as well as a tracker for Japan savings. I’d seen someone do something similar to this for a Disney trip on Pinterest somewhere. Plus I thought it might be fun to colour in the blocks every time I raise £100. Fingers crossed I can raise the money now!

bullet journal setup - calendar & japan savings

I’ve always loved using bill trackers as you can see and this year is no different. It’s nice to be able to see what has been paid and what still needs to go out of my account so I don’t accidentally spend the money meant for it. Ignore the right side a bit as I messed that up and haven’t found a rubber yet. I haven’t filled the tracker out completely yet as I’m a bit picky and like it to be in date order. I don’t know the date for when our internet goes out yet as it’s not going live until next week (missed having wifi so much!) so I’m waiting until then so I can be sure.

bullet journal setup - bill tracker

As I’m planning on diversifying my income this year, I thought it would be good to have one place to round up how much I’ve made each month. I kinda messed it up so ended up with an extra column I didn’t need (biggest earner) so just came up with something random to fill it.

When it comes to my weight loss, since I’ve been using bullet journals I’ve been going with a graph spread. But overall I’ve found it demotivating so I’m trying this approach of colouring in a block when I lose half a pound. Let’s see if it works. That’s the fun thing about bullet journals, it’s all trial and error and you end up with something that’s perfect for you.

bullet journal setup - earnings & weight

Since I love a good list, I figured it would be a good idea to dedicate pages to my different businesses to have a running to do list for each.

bullet journal setup - blog & shop to do lists

bullet journal setup - running to do lists

So now it’s time to set up January. I started with goals of course but instead of the usual 10 I used to do, I’ve narrowed it down to 5 so it’s more realistic to achieve.

bullet journal setup - january goals

And then of course the month at a glance. I’ve only just started filling it out but I always find these handy so I avoid double booking myself.

bullet journal setup - january at a glance

Then I started with my usual weekly goals and daily to do lists.

Below are some other useful pages I have in my book but there was no need to migrate them forwards. 

My 101 in 1001 progress:

bullet journal setup - 101 in 1001

This is at the front of my bullet journal and still applies!

bullet journal setup - good things are coming

House Projects

bullet journal setup - house projects

Birthday Tracker:

bullet journal setup - birthdays

House Cleaning Schedule

I didn’t end up using this though I liked the idea. Again I just found it to be too much pressure to tick off all the time.

bullet journal setup - cleaning list

Master Meal List (and snack list)

bullet journal setup - master meal list

Do you have a bullet journal and how did you set it up for 2018?

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