SLIDER

HIDDEN AUSTRALIA: PLACES TO VISIT OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

Friday, 19 January 2018


The British weather getting you down? Here are a few places that legit exist in the world (in Australia, to be exact). Bucket list worthy? 100%.

ULURU, NOTHERN TERRITORY


Let’s start with Uluru, otherwise known as Ayers Rock. Sitting right in the heart of the country, this huge natural wonder is advertised all over Australian tour brochures and travel guides for good reason. It is the kind of attraction that needs to be seen to be believed, and you can take one of the various Uluru Ayers Rock tours to reach this part of the country. When the sun starts rising or setting, this is when the rock really comes to life, and it becomes bathed in red.

THE KIMBERLEY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA


Out in Western Australia, the Kimberley features a diverse array of landscapes including waterways, gorges, rock pools, and sandy beaches. There are so many highlights, it is extremely difficult to pack them all into a single trip. One day you could be cruising along Lake Argyle, and the next you could be watching the sunset from the back of a camel in Broome. And make sure that you don’t miss the spectacular Bungle Bungle range in Purnululu National Park.

FLINDERS RANGES, SOUTH AUSTRALIA 


This is the kind of landscape that you would most naturally associate with South Australia, but rather than being barren, there are plenty of colours, sounds and sights to experience. You can also enjoy a host of adventure activities including mountain biking, taking a dip in thermal springs, four-wheel driving or taking a flight over the incredible scenery to take everything in properly.

LONGREACH, QUEENSLAND


While it may be a trek to get out here, the isolation of Longreach is one of the main appeals of visiting this remote Queensland town. Many people who visit this part of Australia come to enjoy one of the scenic river tours. But you can also happily spend a couple of days simply wandering around the museums, enjoying the food, and appreciating the sense of being far away from the rest of the world.

KAKADU NATIONAL PARK, NORTHERN TERRITORY


Back where we started in the Northern Territory, this national park is almost 20,000 square kilometres big, and it offers both ecological and biological diversity. Take a trip out here and you will start to appreciate why it is a World Heritage site. Even though it may seem like a sparse landscape, there are plenty of natural waterfalls and swimming holes where you can refresh yourself.


Xo

COPING WITH DEPT DURING & AFTER UNIVERSITY

Wednesday, 17 January 2018


University is a wonderful new time for many of us. While it gives us the tools we need to truly develop ourselves in the wider world, it also gives us a wealth of new social experiences and strange new insights into how people are. It can also expose us to amazing new knowledge, and help us specialize down paths that we might otherwise not have. It can also help us learn about many social issues, and sometimes that could even lead to activism or protesting around issues you find important. I loved my time at Uni, I met some of the best people I know, and if I didn’t go I would never have become who I am now.

However, University is not always a positive. It’s no lie that despite the favourable loan conditions in the UK, and despite how preferable this is to the system in the United States, University can often saddle us with unwanted and unnecessary debt.

Coping with debt is something you need to keep in mind. Usually, a student will have a set allowance of funding and will have to keep that within a certain framework. The social cost of going out partying and spending money in the clubs is sometimes inevitable, and this can mean that often your student funding is dried up during a week in which you truly need groceries.

LEARN THE WORD “NO”


While going out partying is often an amazing time, especially with new friends you love, it can be difficult to say ‘no’ to even the most impromptu and irresponsible night out. Learn to say no, and learn to say it well. People you live with and people on your course will often beg you to come out with them, but if you haven’t the financial backing to do so, then it’s always best to refuse and spend the evening entertaining yourself in another way, such as through Netflix or reading. This might sound sad, but sometimes a little break here and there can help you when exam and revision season comes around.

GET A JOB


Holding a weekend job at University has a whole host of benefits. From meeting new people to giving you more of a weekend schedule (that isn’t just getting through a hangover,) you can find that sometimes the effort of doing this is more than worth it. It will also give you some fresh new funding to experience weekly or monthly, and this can be more than perfect during a cash-strapped student lifestyle. Alternatively, time at Uni gives you the chance to find some work experience in the field you want – I was able to volunteer as a social media manager at Manchester Metropolitan University, which gave me the experience required to bag my first Copywriting job.


STAY AWAY FROM PAYDAY LOANS


You’ve probably seen that heading in a million blogs dedicated to financial sense. A more insidious variety has sprung up lately, however, and that’s the student payday loan. These firms often offer a lump sum of cash for a larger payment when your student finance rolls around. This can be truly useful if you’re desperate, but often this can lead down a path of bad credit and default payments, then desiring the helpful use of the best debt consolidation loans. If you have sense, then try to only pay for things you afford, and earn the money you spend.

Xo

HOW I GET HAIRDRESSER CURLS AT HOME

Tuesday, 16 January 2018


My hair has pretty much stayed the same over the years. It’s always been dark (let’s not mention the ginger months), and although I’ve tried different hairstyles, it has always been long. Having long and dark hair gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to styles. Updos, ponytails, waves, straight, you name it I can do it. Apart from plaits. I’m terrible when it comes to plaits.

Recently, I’ve had a lot of people compliment my hair and the way I curl it, so I thought I’d write up a post about how I get hairdresser curls at home!

If you love a curly blow, like me, you’ll know that it’s nearly impossible to recreate the look at home. However, recently I have stumbled upon Pro Blo. This is legitimately a life saver. I use the Pro Blo Curl Me Deluxe and I can’t recommend it enough. If you have longer hair, you can also get add-on kits.

GETTING STARTED



I start by towel drying my hair and adding in some Aussie Dual Personality Serum. If I want some extra shine in my hair, I’ll use the John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum. I then let my hair air dry for around 30 minutes. My hair is quite thick, so if you have thinner hair, I’d give it 15 or 20 minutes. Once your hair is slightly dry, you can start! I spray Tresemme Heat Defense onto my hair before putting any heat on it. This is just to prevent my hair becoming frazzled by the hairdryer. I have this irrational fear of losing my hair, and I’m not too sure where it actually comes from. I used to hate how thick it was when I was younger, and I think it’s why I spend money on protective serums etc. Not only have I looked at hair transplant cost, but I even take supplements to help with hair growth (something I might talk about in another post).

CURLING MY HAIR



Once I’ve doused my hair in protective spray, I then set up my Pro Blo and begin by sectioning my hair into quarters. Pro Blo works by attaching curler heads to a brush handle. Once you have curled your hair, you release the handle and secure the barrel in place with a clip. You then continue to curl and grip the barrels into your hair until you resemble a crazy cat lady. Once all the barrels have cooled down, I remove them one by one (in the order I dried them in). I then brush out the curls with a barrel brush and add some Frizz Ease Glossing Mist along with hairspray. I have no preference in hairspray, at the moment I’m using Aldi’s own range of hairspray in extra strong! Below is the end result!


OTHER METHODS


If I can’t spare the hour it takes to curl my hair in this way, I curl my hair another way. This produces thicker and tighter curls, but they can be brushed out to achieve your desired look. The way I do this is by washing my hair, spraying heat defence all over and then drying my hair with a hairdryer until it’s virtually dry (if my hair is still damp in places, this is ideal). I then secure foam rollers into place all over my head. If I curl my hair in this way, I tend to have the style messy and draped over my shoulder, so I start on the left side of my head, angle the curls inward and then move around until all of my hair is in place. I use jumbo hair curlers from Home Bargains, but you can get them on eBay too.

Once my hair is in place, I’ll sleep in the curlers (they’re spongy so I never notice them) and then take them out in the morning. I brush my hair into my desired style, then spritz with hairspray. Although I have thick hair, these curls can drop after a long day, so watch out if you’re wanting to try this method!

How do you get curly hair at home?

This is a collaborative post.

Xo

MY FEMINIST VIEW ON THE AZIZ ANSARI FIASCO

Monday, 15 January 2018

I feel as though I’ve been swept away in recent years. I don’t know how, but I feel lost when it comes to my own beliefs and personal views on Feminism. I realized I was a Feminist back in Uni. I read up on the history of the movement, made efforts to reverse some internalized sexism and changed some of the language I used in order to cultivate and express my beliefs without being offensive. This included obvious changes to the ways I thought about sex, body image and more. In effect, Feminism changed how I see my body, how I view sex and so much more. I owe a lot of who I am to Feminism, and I’ll always identify myself as a Feminist, through and through.

Personally, I believe in Intersectional Feminism. This is the belief that all women, no matter their race, whether they’re trans or disabled, are equal in this world. We all deserve equal rights, no matter our background. With this ongoing argument about PC culture, it has been so easy to get swept up in the Twitter discourse behind everything. From the Grab Her by The Pussy moment to the Me Too movement, I’ve been on the side of women. I will always be on the side of women.

However, the recent Aziz Ansari incident has me thinking about my beliefs. Personally, I like Aziz, I think he’s a great comedian and actor. I was mortified to hear about the news of his sexual violence with a young woman. But then I actually read the article.

Something isn’t right. I find it morally wrong, it’s taken me the morning to realise this, but here’s why. I don’t agree with the author's actions to publish this when she didn’t explicitly tell Aziz to stop or inform the police of his actions. Basically, the article talks about her date with Aziz, how he kept forcing himself on her even when she gave obvious social clues to insist she didn’t want to partake. To be honest, I’ve felt this way before. I’ve been in a situation where a man has tried to force himself on me, and it isn’t nice. Luckily I made my excuses and bailed. I know that so many women feel uncomfortable with this, and with good reason. Women are murdered for saying no all over the world. But still, I feel uneasy.

The author supposedly text Aziz the following day and told him she was uncomfortable. To this, Aziz was shocked, something both parties agree on. He apologized, and both moved on. I feel that if this interaction hadn’t taken place, I would have been more inclined to support the author. But the fact is that she spoke with Aziz, put the situation to rest, explained his mistakes and yet still decided to blast him in an article. I don’t agree with that. If Aziz hadn’t taken her comments on board, called her a liar etc I would be fully behind her article, but with him being so remorseful and apologetic, I can’t. He understood that what he did was wrong, which he followed up with his statement this morning.

This whole thing has actually made me understand my feminism a little more. I’m actually really glad that I don’t follow Twitter discussions on this topic in the way I usually would. I’m defining myself more and more as time goes by and I like that about myself. It’s sad that it takes these situations for us to understand ourselves a little more, but there you have it.

If there’s a lesson I’ve taken from this situation, it’s that I like being objective. I like viewing things without weighted emotion, and it’s something I’m going to do more of. I’m not afraid to upset people either, something me two years ago would cringe at.

Xo

VALENTINES DATE NIGHT LOOKS FEATURING TOBI ACCESSORIES



With Valentines day a month away, I thought I’d put together a ~ lewk~ for the occasion. When you’re a plus size gal, it can be hard to find the right clothing, no matter how you’re trying to look. This year, me and Kyle are taking each other to Krakow, Poland. I highly doubt I’ll be able to wear anything form fitting whilst I’m there (chunky jumpers are a must), so I thought I’d play dress up before we leave!

My staple pants at the moment are leggings. They’re comfortable, show off the shape of my legs (and butt) and I can pair them with pretty much anything. I get mine from New Look, however Next leggings are also great. For a Valentines look, I decided to go for an ASOS Blouse and strappy black heels.


The Velvet clutch is a perfect combo with this look, and I matched my new Tobi Pom Pom Earrings with the black heels! My ring is from Pandora, and is something my boyfriend bought for me last year. I still love wearing it, so it’s a must with many of my outfits! 

My make-up for this post included Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lovecraft and shadow shades from the Violet Voss Holy Grail Palette.

What are your plans for Valentines day this year?

This is a collaborative post.

Xo

WHERE I ORDER MY TOILETRIES ONLINE

Sunday, 14 January 2018


Since gaining weight, I hate shopping in general. I hate how I feel when I go into clothes shops, and I generally just want to avoid shopping altogether. Unfortunately, this also means I avoid shopping for toiletries and make-up etc. This doesn't stop me from buying them though (I 100% don't smell I promise). There are a number of places online where I buy my toiletries, so I thought I'd write up a little post about my favourites places to shop online for make-up, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, perfume and more!

SUPERDRUG


Superdrug is great is you're looking for something you know you need. For example, if I run out of shampoo, Superdrug is my go to. You'll usually find that it's cheap, cheerful and (if you wanted) you can collect your order from a local store. 

CHEMIST 4 U 



Chemist 4 U is also a great option if you're after some toiletries. It's also a great place to find a bargain if you're looking to try new things! I ordered a new perfume (Vera Wang Lovestruck Floral Rush) and moisturiser (Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream) from here recently, and I'm so impressed. The items I bought were up to half price off, so I snapped them as soon as possible. The cream was recommended to me by a friend who also has eczema, and the perfume is something I've seen before but never actually purchased! Chemist 4 U is also great if you're busy and need to order your prescription online


BOOTS 


Boots is handy for me, because I work so close by, I can order items online and pick them up on my lunch break if I need to. This saves so much time, and I can avoid unwanted purchases/shopping when I want to. Boots is great for cheaper make-up, so I definiely recommend the online site for stocking up on your favourite make-up items.


BEAUTY BAY


If you want to find some new and interesting products, I 100% recommend Beauty Bay. They have the newest additions from Korean Beauty (I love the cute little hand moisturisers) and they also have the latest eye shadow palettes for you to take a look at! 

Xo

This is a colloborative post

WORKING ABROAD: WHAT YOU NEED BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

Wednesday, 10 January 2018



In case you are lucky enough to travel abroad for work, you will want to make sure nothing goes wrong. Back in university, I was given the chance to work in China as a teacher. I didn’t take the opportunity, as it wasn’t what I wanted at the time. However, I’ve seen so many people asking about work abroad over on Twitter. So I thought I’d write a little post about what I know!



LANGUAGE COURSES



If your company offered you a relocation package because you have essential language skills, you don’t want to let your boss down. Make sure your language skills are up to date. Thanks to the internet, you can now refresh your skills in almost any language online for free. Check out some of the apps and online language learning platforms and get ready to communicate in a new language for a while. Talk to people in the country in their own language and start reading newspapers.


TRAVEL INSURANCE



Your company might offer you an insurance package, but you have to make sure it is suitable for your needs. You might want to shop around and find the right cover that will last for the duration of your trip around. You can deal with health and legal emergencies if you have a good worldwide travel insurance in place. Tell your insurer that you will be travelling for work, as this information will be taken into consideration when providing a quote.


HEALTH INSURANCE



The last thing you want is paying for your yearly checkups in another country. You need to check which corporate health plans your employer offers, and ensure they are suitable for you. If you have a pre existing medical condition, you might not be covered for some interventions and treatments. Without an effective health insurance that covers you abroad, your time abroad can be ruined, and you can get into a huge debt over your work trip.


CHECK YOUR PASSPORT AND VISA ARE CORRECT



Even if your company or University is arranging your travel, you need to remain vigilant. Talk to the Embassy of the country you are going to visit, and make sure you have all the documentation needed. In some cases, you will need a letter from your employer about your work, and they might have to sponsor you to get in the country. Don’t leave planning to the last minute, and check the facts before you pack your bags.


VACCINATIONS



It’s important to find out which vaccinations you need for travelling for work. Talk to a healthcare professional about the risk of infections and diseases. Depending on which part of the world you are going to, and what your job will involve, your nurse can tailor the vaccination plan to your needs.

Whenever you travel to work, you need to make sure you are ready and have taken care of all aspects of travel. Be prepared for emergencies, look after your health, prevent legal problems, and brush up your language skills to make the most out of working abroad.

Xo

YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET LIST: HOW TO SMASH YOUR GOALS

Tuesday, 9 January 2018


Anyone with a love of going away will likely have a travel bucket list. It’s the ideal way to get yourself excited for your travels to come and keep your plans going in the right direction. But, many of us make lists, and add to them, without ever crossing countries off. Sure, these are the places we would love to visit in an ideal world. But our bucket lists often have holes and become nothing more than another plan we never see through. Before you know it, that list which was meant to get you excited does nothing but bring you down. So, you slip it in a drawer and forget about it. You certainly stop adding countries which catch your eye. What’s the point, anyway?

When it comes to travel, the things which hold us back aren’t half as bad as we think. Here are some tips on how to smash through your Travel Bucket List Goals.

“I DON’T HAVE THE FINANCES”


Let’s be honest; finances are the thing which set us back the most when it comes to travel. To get to those bucket list destinations, the chances are that you need a fair chunk of cash behind you. On top of that, you’ll need to stay a while to make the trip worth it. Before you know, you’re looking at a significant amount of your yearly earnings going on this holiday. But, where there is a will, there is always a way. In truth, financial holes are pretty easy to cover.

For one, you should sit down and find out just how much that trip looks set to cost you. We have a habit of rounding up amounts when considering cost, so the total may be less than you’re expecting. Bear in mind, too, that it’s possible to save by booking well in advance. As for your accommodation, you could always settle for hostels or other cheap options. Anything which makes this possible is worth doing.

Once you have a number to play with, you can set about saving. Bear in mind that this can take as long as it needs to, as long as you keep your eye on the goal. It may be that you have to take two years to save up. So be it. Remain strict with the amount you put by each month, and the time will pass before you know it.


“I’M SCARED OF TAKING THE LEAP”


Fear is another thing which often holds us back. Dreams are strange. We write them down and make them a focus for our lives, while not taking steps towards achieving them. And, your travel bucket list may be no different. It’s possible you’re making a note of those destinations for the sake of it. Actually visiting them would mean putting yourself out there. It could also mean solo travel or risking friendships to go together. It might even mean longer flights than you’ve ever had to deal with and a culture which is worlds away from what you’re used to. One thing’s sure; bucket list destinations are rarely a home away from home. We feel the desire to visit countries because of the differences which keep us afraid of them. Destinations like India and Japan often feature, because we can’t get our heads around the way such countries differ from our own. We want to see it for ourselves, but we’re petrified of coping when we do.

It may sound strange, but fears rarely materialise. As such, you’re better off focusing on the technicalities of how you can make the trip happen. Once you do, there’s a distinct chance that you’ll find your fears disappear when you face them. Merely have courage, and know that the experiences you’ll open yourself up to will well outweigh any of the worries you have.

“I DON’T HAVE TIME”


For those big, once in a lifetime trips, time is a valid concern. We all lead busy lives, work high-stress jobs, and find it difficult to book a week off here or there. So, how can you expect to make time for a weighty trip like this? Your boss surely wouldn’t be happy with you swanning off in the sun for a month or more, right?

Time is another one of those things with no easy fix. You can’t make more of it, no matter how hard you try. But, that shouldn’t be a reason not to follow your wanderlust. As mentioned above - there’s always a way if you have the will to do it. Much like with money matters, planning here is crucial if you want things to work out. And yes, we are talking a year or more again. By broaching the issue with your boss at least a year before your trip, you can ensure they have PLENTY of warning. This way, they can plan temporary cover, or ensure they distribute the workload evenly. If you feel bad about this, don’t. You’re entitled to your time off, and it’s up to you whether you want to take it all at once or not. The chances are, anyway, that your boss will more than support what you’re doing given enough notice. We all have a bucket list like this, after all, and they’ll be glad you’re taking steps to clear yours.

Of course, for some trips, the time you need may exceed your holiday allowance. This does make things more difficult, but it’s still possible to make this work. Many employers boast flexible working and may be able to offer you the time unpaid. While not ideal, budgeting for this will ensure you can still make your trip work. To sell the idea to your boss, you could offer to do some work while you’re away. Remote working is easier than ever in the modern age. All you’d need is a laptop and an internet connection.

“I CAN’T GET ORGANISED”


Of course, it isn’t always the technicalities which hold us back. Sometimes, we just can’t turn our attention to a task. In all honesty; planning a big trip like this is hard work. It involves more organisation than you could ever imagine. Far from the simple flight and hotel booking of a traditional holiday, you’ll need to consider a fair amount. For one, a long trip usually involves moving around a fair bit. You’ll need to ensure you have somewhere to stay at every stage of your journey. Plus, you’ll need to plan your travel itinerary. As this is the trip of a lifetime, it’s essential you see everything you want to see. As if all that isn’t enough, you’ll also need to work out how much spending money you’ll need to get by, and so on. It’s enough to give you a headache just thinking about it.

Again, though, you can make this task easier by approaching it well in advance. Set up a file on your computer, or create a scrapbook of plans. Then, break the job into one or two things at a time. This makes things much easier to cope with and ensures you tackle everything you need to. And, the extra time allows you to take it slowly. There’s no need to rush when you know you’ve still got a long time before your trip becomes a reality.

If you can’t bear to tackle the planning, there are ways around the issue. You could turn to a tour company who can do all the hard stuff for you. Instead of worrying about making time during your China trip to see The Great Wall, The Three Gorges, and anything else, book up on one of the China Tours offered by companies like Travelsphere. Don’t worry about getting around Australia during your time there. Book yourself onto a trip which allows you to see everything from the Sydney Opera House, to the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a hassle-free and fantastic way to get to those prominent destinations.

LACK OF MOTIVATION


Your reluctance to tackle the bucket list could always be down to plain lack of motivation. It’s all well and good saying you want to see these places, but doing something about it is never easy. In case you hadn’t realised, it’s not always easy embarking on something like this. But, if it means enough to you, it’s essential to find your motivation from somewhere. Keep researching your destinations, and jotting down locations you have a real desire to see. You could even print off pictures, and pin them on a motivation board to ensure you get to it someday soon!

Xo

HOW TO BECOME A "SMART" TRAVELLER

Wednesday, 3 January 2018


Travelling around the world is an excellent, enthralling, enchanting and elucidating experience. However, of all the ‘e’ words you can use to describe it, ‘easy’ is not one of them. Travelling to countries far and wide is a very demanding experience, both physically and mentally.

Remember, flying in an airplane around the world is quite an artificial new development compared to what our bodies are used to. Once you do get used to it, the overwhelming novelty of a new culture, while absolutely fascinating, can sometimes leave you a little vulnerable.

Those with little travelling experience can feel this the most profoundly. Becoming a smart traveller does require an intellectual investment, but do you have to be the most experienced to make use of it? This post is to offer any traveller fresh to the global scene more authority over their experience…


BUDGETING



Moving across countries can be expensive to say the least. You have to know exactly what every penny is being spent on, or you’re likely to have a bad experience. Not only that, but watching out for scams or rip-offs is something you must always be vigilant of. Check online for scam alerts and insights to become aware of any police statements in the area you’re visiting. Tourists are often too tempting a population for scammers and thieves to ignore, and they’ll happily use your ignorance against you.

Protecting your finances is important. Use hidden money pouches, travellers funds, and never carry too much money on your person at one time. Use a safe well hidden in your hotel to store your cash reserves. Use the best travel rewards credit cards to give you emergency funding when you might need it the most.


SAFETY



To further explore the previous point about targeted tourists, it’s important to know where to turn if this does happen to you. You can be targeted no matter if this is your first vacation, or if you’ve travelled every hidden corner of the globe. You are only as safe as you are in the present moment, and in your present environment. A good rule of thumb is to understand where your local embassy is. If you’re able to find this you know where to arrive if you lose your passport, wallet and accommodation access. Ideally, you need to travel with someone, particularly in the early days/years of your travel. This allows you to rely on someone, and generally look less available to be victimized.

You needn’t be worried all the time, but you must understand that despite your positive experiences in a new country, there are bad people everywhere, just like back in your home country. Never take people at face value. If you were to compare this to a traffic light, you should always be at a social and societal amber level of awareness when in public. Always critically think about information you’re being told, seek to socialize with other (maybe more experienced) tourists, and try to get a feel for the culture and social landscape. This will help you dictate your behaviour.

Hope this post has helped!

Xo

HOW TO TACKLE JANUARY BLUES

Tuesday, 2 January 2018


Before we know it, the festive period ends and we’re brought crashing down to earth. No more nights in front of the telly, no more board games with the family, no more stuffing your grid.

There’s a reason why people can’t wait to see the back of January: it’s cold, it’s dark, and features “the most depressing day of the year” (that’s the third Monday of the month if you were wondering). However, what if instead of accepting a month of winter blues, we took back control and made it a happy month? Here are some of the ways that I’m going to tackle the January Blues, I hope they work for you too!


WAVE GOODBYE TO CHRISTMAS



The heights of Christmas are pretty high, but it’s such a memorable time of year because it’s so short! If it really were Christmas every day, then we’d all get sick of it pretty quickly. As such, it’s important that you recognise that the festive period - the one that runs through from Christmas until early in January - is over. If we're generous, we can let you have until January 3rd. After that, it’s time to embrace the ordinary. It’s important to put the festive period behind you, as this will bring you back to normalcy and get you back on track.


RAISE YOUR STANDARDS



It’s easy to get into a negative mindset when it comes to January. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy; if you’re expecting to hate the month, then guess what? You’re probably going to hate the month! You’ll come to believe anything if you repeat it to yourself enough times. Instead of just planning to endure the season, make a vow to enjoy the season. You have more scope than you realise to make it a month to remember, but that’ll only happen if adopt an attitude that allows you enjoy it. In essence, it’s about raising your standard for the month. Just because everyone else might be doom and gloom about the first month of the year, that doesn’t mean you have to be. I’ve decided to make January the month I launch myself back into Slimming World and my training. Why not, eh?


GET OUTDOORS



When the weather outside is cold, you want nothing more than to spend long days curled up inside, ideally with a bunch of snacks and copious amounts of hot chocolate, with a new Netflix show all ready to watch. While you might think that this is what you want, in reality, you’ll be making the month less enjoyable for yourself. Humans need to spend time in the outdoors to be happy and content, and this need doesn’t dissipate just because it’s January. Make sure you’re getting outdoors as often as possible, even if it’s just on your lunch break during the week. At the weekend, take your dog for a walk, or take some time out of your day to take a stroll.


OWN YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION



One of the reasons January is considered “depressing” is because, due to the Christmas period, people rarely have any money to do the things that they find enjoyable. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. For starters, January is a good month to review your finances and come up with a solid plan for the forthcoming year. Second, you can get a payday loan to see you through until the end of the month. If you’re concerned about getting such a loan, don’t be; one of the effects of regulation was a price cap on the interest lenders can charge, making it more affordable for everyday people. Be careful though! Always make sure you compare the market, and that you can repay the loan in due time.


NEW HOBBIES



It’s dark and cold outside, so what are you going to do - sit in and watch Friends on Netflix? No! This is an opportunity to sit in and use your time constructively. Pick up a new indoor hobby, and you won’t be spending your evenings wishing for February and then Spring to arrive: you’ll be knee deep in a new passion that may become a valuable part of your life. For me, this is gaming! I love gaming and it actually takes my mind away from the stresses of life for a little while. Right now I’m back on the Sims 4 hype…


DETOX



For many people, Christmas begins towards the end of November. From then onwards, it’s a series of after-work drinks, Christmas parties, and then of course New Years and all the rest. As such, we can often find that we’ve spent a large chunk of time eating and drinking, and not that much time in the gym! If you’re watching the pennies in January, why not use it as an opportunity to go through a detox period? You’ll be amazed at just how much of a difference a month without drinking alcohol can make. While you’re spending your evenings indoors, it’s also a good opportunity to learn some healthy meals. Also, have you heard of veganuary? It’s a month of an only eating vegan food. Give it a try!


EMBRACE THE DARK



Have you heard of the Danish concept of hygge? It’s basically the idea of embracing winter. If you try to fight the cold and dark weather, well, you won’t win! And as they say, if you can’t beat them, join them. Use January as a time to restore your energy by sinking into all the homey comforts of the winter season. Load up on candles, throw a few more blankets into your living room, and stack the shelves with a few good books. You might just find that you’re a bigger fan of the winter season than you thought you were.


MAKE PLANS



Yes, people might be more inclined to stay indoors during January, but given the opportunity, you’ll find that they’re more willing to get up and out of the house than you realise - so long as they’re not the ones doing the organising. Think of a few get-together ideas, and invite all your friends. When it comes to beating the January blues, there is power in numbers!


WEEKENDS AWAY



If you live in the city, then fair enough, things can look a little bit damp and grey during January, especially after the Christmas lights have been taken down. But there is still a beautiful side of the world out there; it just exists in nature! On a weekend in January, plan to take a trip into the countryside. There’s nothing better than exploring the natural beauty of the Lake District on a chilly but sunny January day, for instance. I’ve just planned my first trip of the year (Krakow!) and I’m more than excited to jet off. It gives you a focus and an aim to look forward to.


WRITE DOWN A REVIEW OF THE PREVIOUS YEAR



It’s easy to get wrapped up in day to day life, and before we know it, a whole year has passed! In the early days of a new year, make a plan to write a review of the previous year. It doesn’t have to be anything overly sentimental; just a list of things you’ve done, friends you made, places you visited, and so on. You’ll see that last January wasn’t so bad overall, so this one isn’t much to fear after all! It’s a nice way to begin the year, and in fifty years, you’ll have your life story written down.


GIVE BACK



Just like it’s easy to get wrapped up in day to day life, it’s also easy to get wrapped up in our lives and concerns. We can forget that there are people out there who need help more than we do. Why not use the beginning of the year to give back to others? It’ll give the month a sense of direction, and you’ll be helping others as well as yourself.


SUMMER STATE OF MIND



We never think of dates and times as manmade constructs, but that’s just what they are. As such, with a bit of thinking, you can overcome the idea of “January”. Instead, see it as the height of a beautiful season. Take notice of the birds, the trees, and chill in the air; the world will seem a more beautiful place. There’s beauty everywhere if you look hard enough!


PUT DOWN THE TECH



Technology has done a lot of good things, but there is such a thing as too much technology. This January, don’t replace your boredom with more screen time; it’ll only make your unhappiness more unbearable. Pick up a book, or call or friend, or meditate; you’ll feel much better for it.


RECOGNISE THAT IT WILL PASS



In January; we get sad, and can’t see a way out. But here’s the thing: it’s going to be pass, sooner than you realise! Before you know it, spring will be here, and we’ll be basking in the warm weather again.

Do you have any ways to tackle January blues?


Xo

© Gina Kay Daniel • Theme by Maira G.