5 Things I Do To Stay Sane At Work

In case I haven’t harped on about it enough, its not been two solid months since I properly started my new job, and its safe to say that I am so much happier since then. But while I love being the person who doesn’t dread going to work every day, I’m still normal in the sense that there are places I’d rather be, and sometimes I do feel that little ‘is it 5pm/Friday yet?’ twinge every now and then.

I found it very strange transitioning from a retail environment to a call centre around 18 months ago, but having now transitioned away from a customer facing role into a standard office-y type job, again I’ve been thrown a little out of my comfort zone and having to adapt to a different working style, but I’ve come to learn that there are a few little tricks and tips that I do at work to keep me a little more sane, and many of these can translate to most work environments.

Don’t eat lunch at your desk

I used to spend at least half of my lunch break sitting at my desk, and even though I wasn’t working and my screen was locked, I still always found that there was a little niggle in the back of my head reminding me of whatever work needed doing, and so I’d spend my time thinking or stressing about getting back to work. Now, even if its just going down the corridor to our little vending machine area to sit with my lunch, I won’t spend my lunch time at my desk.

Stay active and step away from your screen

If you work in an office, you probably spend at least 90% of your working day sat down and staring at a screen – I don’t need to tell you that its not great for your posture or your eyes. As a Fitbit user, I have a little goal set on my Charge 2 to get in at least 250 steps every hour, so I always make sure that I’m moving around a bit, whether that’s going to the printer on the other side of the office instead of the closest one, going to fill up my mug with water, or taking a trip to a different floor to go to the toilet. I also like to get out of the office completely on my lunch break, even if its just to walk to the shops across the road or go and sit on the grass outside in the summer.

Spread some positivity

So many people find their work a little dull or maybe a little stressful, and its easy for negativity to spread in a working environment, especially when everyone’s feeling under pressure, so I try to be a little extra sunny on those days. I’m the newest person in my department, so I probably don’t understand some of the strains that other people are under with deadlines and targets etc, so I like to use that motivation to cheer others up. I wish everyone a cheery ‘good morning’ when I come in or see them for the first time that day, I make little jokes with people and have a chat at the photocopier; its the little things that can brighten someone else’s day and I feel so much better for it too.

Wear something cute

This probably sounds like the silliest thing but whenever I need a little push to feel more better about the day ahead, I always find myself reaching into my wardrobe for something special. Sometimes this means I’ll wear something quirkier like my Mickey Mouse blouse or galaxy print Black Milk shorties, and other times I’ll go for something a bit fancy like a nicer-than-everyday dress or the blazer that makes me feel all kinds of girl-boss-like, and it sets me up for the day, plus every time I catch my reflection in the mirror or a window, I get a little boost.

Work the right number of hours

Its so easy when there’s a lot of work to do to end up staying late, or cutting lunch short, but whenever I do find myself putting in more hours than I’m getting paid for, I always make sure I give myself the time back when I can, and this is a lot easier now I don’t clock in and out on shifts! On two occasions last week I ended up staying 15-20 mins late to finish up a few things, so on Friday I pushed myself to get things done a little quicker and left 20 mins early to have a good start to my weekend. I appreciate this isn’t something that everyone can do, but its the first time I’ve ever been able to do this in my working life and I’m taking advantage of it.

Do you do anything in particular to keep your head above at work?

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‘Stop Being So Anti-Social’

The world we live in today is very different from the one I remember as a child, and that is for a number of reasons. I am, although I hate the connotations that have been linked to the term, a millennial; 90s born, 90s-00s child, and well on my way to adulthood when the 2010s came around. In my lifetime I saw cassette tapes replaced with CDs, CDs replaced with mp3s and now we just stream everything. If you showed my younger cousins a VHS tape or a floppy disc they probably couldn’t tell you what either of them were, yet I still remember the pain of waiting for my Disney films to rewind to the start before I could watch them, and my dad’s office being full of these weird little plastic and metal squares.

I remember my parent’s mobile phones going from big to small to tiny – all Nokias because that was basically the only phone company in those days. I remember my mum getting her first colour screen mobile, and then the first camera phone which took the grainiest photos you could imagine but it was still just the coolest thing. I remember when mobile data became a thing, and my sister accidentally racked up a big bill because we had no idea that this super cool new internet function cost the earth to run, even though it took 4 hours to load a page. Fast forward to today, and I’ve seen every cool new development in technology, and I just know that even the tech we use today will be old news before the next few decades are out.

Our phones have gone from being our life-lines to just being our lives. Its not just keeping important numbers saved, its how we do pretty much everything these days shopping to banking, but ultimately it does tend to always come back to communication, which is strange because its considered so ‘anti-social’ to be on your phone nowadays.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely not for people being glued to their phones 24/7, or kids preferring to play on their parents phones instead of going outside and playing, but there’s a real element of hypocrisy when people make those comments like ‘why don’t you get off your phone and have an actual conversation?’

Here’s the thing, the majority of the time that I am on my phone, I am probably talking to someone, or a group of people, or my Twitter followers, or someone on Instagram. The fact is, socialising is so much more than just having a conversation with someone these days. I mean, if someone was in the middle of a phone call, would you tell them to get off the phone and ‘be more sociable’? No, you wouldn’t, because talking to someone on the phone is being sociable and having a conversation, yet if I’m 20 mins into an hour long Twitter chat and haven’t put my phone down the entire time, its eye rolls and tutting.

What bothers me especially, and this is probably gonna sound super tragic, is that I don’t actually have any friends in my hometown. To be honest, this doesn’t bother me as much as it probably should because I have so many friends that I talk to all the time either through Whatsapp or Twitter or Instagram, and I’m totally blessed to have incredible online friends. I am closer to some of the people that I’ve only ever met once or twice than the people I grew up with and don’t talk to anymore, and my three closest friends are scattered across the country and I’m lucky if I see them every few months.

And all these amazing friends that I do have that are a mere text or tweet away? I met them online. I met them through blogging or through Disney trips or through following each other on Instagram. I would not have met these wonderful people without being online, and the only way I can keep up with them when they are not only all over the country but all over the world, is by, you guessed it, being on my phone a lot.

So the next time you see someone glued to their phone screen, maybe instead of jumping to judgement you should think about what they might actually be doing, who they might actually be speaking to. Just because there are words coming out of their mouths, doesn’t mean conversation isn’t flowing through their fingertips.

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On Why Finally Putting Myself First

One of my main New Year’s resolutions for this year was to put myself first more often, and while I did put that into practice a little bit in January, now I’m really ready to commit to this, and myself.

I’ve always been the person that picked up the extra shifts that needed covering because someone else was sick, or that stayed late dealing with a customer while others ran for the door. You see, I have this awful affliction where I find it almost impossible to say the word ‘no’, and the thought of letting someone down just seemed impossible to me. Now there’s nothing wrong with being a good, reliable person, but the problem for me is that after years and years of doing it, its starting to take its toll.

Despite having started my new job, which I absolutely love, over 2 months ago now, I’ve still been doing overtime in my old position to try and earn a few extra pennies to put towards various things this year. It always seems like a good idea at the time, but in reality I end up getting super stressed out and over the last few months this stress has actually led to me being fairly unwell – in fact, I’ve been off work twice already this year due to illness which is just so unlike me. So on Saturday, I finally finished the last of the overtime I’ve pledged, and while I’ll no doubt miss the extra cash landing in my bank account each month, I think this is going to be so much better for me. I went from working 12 hour days in my old job, to going back to normal 9-5 hours in my new job but still doing overtime in between, and now I’m ready to just work normal hours, in a job that I actually like getting up for.

Ultimately, I know that I need to work on my health and my happiness. The migraines that I suffer with have been becoming more frequent over the last month or so, I keep getting coldsores, and I’ve also been battling somewhat silently with some body image issues that have been really getting to me as well. Now I have more time on my hands, I can not only get myself feeling better physically but also mentally and I think this is going to be so good for me.

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Getting Monday Ready

Call me crazy, but I’ve always kinda liked Mondays. I see them like a fresh start, a mini New Years every week, and this liking of Mondays has only increased since starting my new job because I don’t also dread them a little bit anymore.

I also like to think that by starting off the week right, it will mean that the whole seven days will go off without a hitch, and with that in mind there are a few things that I like to get sorted every Sunday in the hopes of a smooth coming week.

Cleaning my makeup brushes

I find cleaning my brushes really therapeutic for some reason. I don’t quite do this every week as there are some weeks I just don’t wear my makeup as much as others, but its always a Sunday evening task regardless! All my brushes are Spectrum, and I use the Freedom Cosmetics brush bath to clean them, and then let them air dry on a shelf above my radiator overnight so that they’re nice and fluffy in the morning and ready for action!

A good skincare session

Over the winter months especially, I have been making much more of an effort to be more on top of my skincare regime as the weather can drive my skin crazy, so I do have a daily routine, but Sunday’s are for a bit of extra love. Sometimes that’s a face mask, sometimes a long hot bath, and sometimes its just a longer session with my Magnitone and a few extra or more special products thrown in.

The food shop and meal planning

Sundays are normally the day that Matthew and I do our Sainsbury’s shop and decide what dinners we’re going to have in the week. We keep our weekly shop below Ā£50 as we each get vouchers through a salary scheme at work, and we like quick and easy meals that we can throw together after we both finish work, so typically we have things like chilli, soup, curry etc, but also like to mix things up with whatever else takes our fancy. There’s also a little bit of meal prepping done on a Sunday night, but now I’m back working 9-5 I don’t have to stress about it too much.

Packing up orders

Any Etsy or Happiest Fitness Co orders that I’ve sorted out over the weekend end up in a little pile of boxes and packages by the door by Sunday night ready for me to take to the post office during my lunch break on Monday – no rest for the small business-er!

Tweet scheduling

Every Sunday night I try to get my whole week’s worth of scheduled tweets sorted so that I don’t have to think about them for the rest of the week. Its a slightly boring task but I know that if I get it out of the way, at least its done!

Ironing and outfit planning

I don’t completely plan out my outfits for work, but I try to think ahead so that I have the key items ready, washed and ironed so that I don’t have to worry about getting the ironing board out in the week.

Do you do anything specific to get ready for your week?

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About My Younger Self

This was me, aged 15. This photo was taken about two or three days after I had been dumped by my first long-term boyfriend – we’d been together around 8 or 9 months – by text, at around 2 o’clock in the morning. Yeah.. My two best girlfriends had slept round mine, and we had gone to a local summer festival where we tried to get as many free things as we could, ate food that came from trucks or stalls and just had some fun.

In those days I always carried a camera. More often than not it was my dad’s because he had much better ones than me, and phone cameras still took grainy, low quality photos. My phone at the time was a slid-up LG thing with buttons. Yep. I would take so many photos, most totally silly but every one a memory that I would painstakingly upload to Facebook in groups of 5, caption individually and tag, so that everyone could see. I still have every single one saved on my computer.

My two best friends were everything. Our lives revolved around sleepovers at each others houses and trips to Primark. We sat together in every class but still text each other under our desks, and we were there for each other through every breakup, fall out or family problem. We all had our own style and our own likes and dislikes, but we all respected each other. I never thought there would be a time that we wouldn’t be friends anymore. Well, we drifted apart in the end.

In those days I knew very little when it came to makeup, and I certainly didn’t wear it every day. When I did it was probably just blue eyeliner and mascara – I think by 15 I had given up on my Dream Matte Mousse in 3 shades more orange than my face actually was. My eyebrows were never filled in, nor did I ever pluck them (but that was partly because I’m quite lucky with my natural shape), but my nails were always painted. My nail varnish collection was my pride and joy and every week at school was a challenge to see how long I could make it before a teacher eventually noticed my navy blue tipped fingers and made me go to the office to take it off. Most gave up bothering.

Even back then my style was different. I wore skirts and shorts with knee high socks and high-tops – Converses were basically the only shoes I owned, and still are. I wore dungarees and band t-shirts, and actually knew who the bands were. I knew what I was wearing wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I almost thrived from it. I guess the fact that I didn’t try and blend in back then is what makes my style what it is today. To be honest, when I look back I still love every outfit.

Younger me went through a lot. I look back at some of it and wish some things had been different. I wish I could have told myself so many things about how life would be in 5-10 years time but I also applaud that version of myself for getting through it all. I almost feel like I don’t know that person anymore, but she was great, despite not believing it herself.

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Why Has ‘Fit Shaming’ Become A Thing?

No, that’s not a typo in the title.

I, for one, cannot understand the shaming culture that we have created. We’ve had ‘fat shaming’ and ‘skinny shaming’ and unfortunately we still see this unnecessary viciousness every day, but what has really shocked me in recent months is what I personally like to call ‘fit shaming’.

This is something that I have personally experienced for a little while now, but whenever a new year comes round, I see this increasing across the likes of Twitter, and this is the bizarre concept that people seem to think its okay to try and make people feed bad about trying to be healthy. Not trying to be skinny, not fad-dieting or specifically trying to lose weight, this is just the act of trying to live a vaguely healthy lifestyle by going to the gym every so often, making a healthier food choice every once in a while or just trying to be more active.

Are you as confused by this as I am?

We all know that one of the most common New Years resolutions is people aiming to be a bit healthier or get fitter. Whether you manage the whole year, or just the first day, I think its a great resolution to have, and I don’t think anyone should be made to feel bad about setting this goal, New Years or not. Despite this, though, the keyboard warriors of the world love to try and make people feel crap about it.

Me? I’ve been teased by people I work with. Yep.. Snide comments about the fact that I went to the gym that morning, laughing about the fact that I packed a salad or teasing me and other colleagues when we compared Fitbits.

WHY IS THIS A THING?

I don’t really care about people making stupid little comments, but I just cannot comprehend why anyone thinks there is anything shame-worthy about fitness. I mean, I don’t think anyone should be voicing judgement on other people’s personal choices and decisions, but of all the things I just do not understand this behaviour.

I’m just gonna say it louder for the people in the back: LET PEOPLE LIVE HOW THEY WANT TO LIVE.

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My 2018 New Years Resolutions and Goals

And just like that, another year is upon us, and I think there’s something extra satisfying about January 1st being a Monday, anyone else? New week, new year, new set of resolutions and new goals to try and smash.

Resolutions

When it comes to resolutions, I’ve learnt that the key to success is being realistic, and being positive. This year, I’m focusing more on the things that make me happy, and continuing to become the person I really want to be. So here goes:

  • Put myself first more – I’ve always been the sort of person to put others needs first, and of course there’s nothing wrong with that, but it can mean that I end up run a little bit ragged. Well, I’m learning, and this year will be more about making sure that I don’t put too much pressure on myself.
  • Start asking for what I want – I’m often too shy or nervous to put myself out there and tell other people what I want – I won’t even ask my boyfriend to take my blog photos sometimes cos I feel like its too much to ask. Long story short, it means that sometimes I miss out on things that I want to do for no reason other than my own lack of confidence, and I’m tired of that.
  • Learn to sew more stuff – when it comes to my sewing creations, I’ve got a little comfortable with making the same kinda thing. This year, I want to branch out from skirts and teach myself some more advanced patterns like tops, dresses and shorts so I can start creating more wonderful things!
  • Wake up earlier – 2017 was the year I learnt how to have a lie-in, following years of being an early riser. Well, I could really do with that extra time in the morning again, so I’m gonna get myself back into a routine of getting up and getting stuff done.
  • Learn to love photography again – as soon as autumn/winter kicks in and the days get shorter and darker, taking photos starts to seem like such a chore, especially when it comes to blog photos and Instagram. No more! I’m saving for a new lens for my camera, and I’m gonna be bringing bright and beautiful back to your screens very soon!
  • Keep being braver with makeup – I’ve been having the most fun recently playing around eyeshadow, as well as generally improving my makeup skills, and I’ve been loving it. Here’s to a more colourful 2018!
  • Hang out with more amazing people – they say you should always surround yourself with positive people and people who support you, so I’m gonna do just that.

Blogging Goals

2017 was another incredible year for this little blog of mine. Despite a few ups and downs from my end, my blog has held fast as it hit its 4th birthday. I hit all but one of my targets for last year (stupid Instagram), so I’m hoping this year will be just as successful!

  • Targets
    • 1500 Bloglovin followers
    • 3500 Twitter followers
    • 2500 Instagram followers
    • 100,000 page views
  • To achieve
    • Improve flat-lays and product photos
    • Include more photos of myself
    • Help other bloggers by retweeting posts and commenting more
    • Try my hand at proper makeup posts
    • Remember to take more little breaks
    • Just generally chat with more lovely bloggers!

Who else is feeling like 2018 is gonna be a great year?

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