4 Easy Ways to De-Stress

❄️ Meditate.

It’s easier than you think. I used to wonder whether it made a difference and then I tried listening to guided meditations, where you’re lulled into a relaxed state that helps to distract from the background chatter littering your mental landscape. If you have something of a ‘monkey mind’, the key is to observe your thoughts and let them pass you by. Remember: what you resist, persists. Meditation helps you change your brain wave frequency so you’re operating on a meditative Theta state, whereby you can integrate fully into the present moment – something that is often hard to do!

❄️ Epsom Salt Baths

Soak in the tub for at least 20 minutes in order to detoxify the body, relieve muscle pain and allow for the magnesium to be absorbed into your body so your adrenaline levels can decrease while your serotonin increases at the same time.

❄️ Get Physical.

What’s your go-to sport? Do it! We’ve all heard that running gives you an endorphin rush but it’s not the only option. Even dancing around your room will get your blood pumping and release you from the clutches of overthinking.

❄️ Grounding.

We’re raised to live our life in pre-occupation of what we ‘should’ have, who we ‘could’ be, what ‘might’ happen etc. It leads us into disappearing into our heads. In order to get back down to Earth, force yourself to be boring for 10 minutes. (Forcing yourself to be boring is a great life tip in general). Turn your attention to what you can see, feel, or hear. Read some fiction. Paint your nails (I don’t care what your gender is, it looks cool). Overall, distract yourself and remember that no matter the event, this too shall pass. The faulty desire to control external circumstances is the cause of stress and approaches like these can act as a remedy for your over-worked mind.

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How To Be A Better Writer: Edition One

Nobody’s perfect; I’m sure even the Dalai Lama himself has a few character flaws left to work on before 2k18 rolls around. Improvement is always possible, no matter how skilled you are in a particular field. If you feel your way with words needs a tweak or two, here are some morsels of wisdom I’ve picked up as the years have ticked by and my pen has evolved into a QWERTY keyboard.

Let it flow. Like a menstrual cycle or a riverbank, your words should ooze out as organically as possible. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to pen something for somebody else? Naturally this is because you’re not invested in the results. Even if you care second-hand, if the words aren’t a reflection of you than the pressure is no way near your shoulders. Relax into your writing. Remove your judgement. Ignore the outcome. I guess I’m advocating ‘mindfulness’ here, which is just a buzzword way of saying ‘be in the moment’. A lifelong battle for all adults but one that pays off, particularly in the realm of wordplay.

Kill your darlings. Egocentricity is a habit of humanity. It seems ludicrous to the self-proclaimed writer that any element of their literary alchemy should be omitted from a paragraph because it might be a mis-match in tone, intent (etc.) but sometimes this is the case. Accepting that is the first step on the road to getting over yourself and producing more coherent texts. You can always save a killer line if it’s truly too poetic to dispose of entirely. That’s the beauty of CTRL+C.

Do it. You can’t be good at it if you never do it. So do it, a lot.

Narcotic abuse ‘Worked for Bukowksi. While I think it’s crass to present an image of yourself as a drinker who writes, rather than a writer that drinks, I will acknowledge the inspiration that uninhibited thinking and serotonin-depleted pondering brings. I’ve had inebriated states that enable me to stop procrastinating and continue wording, along with morning-afters that turn me into Socrates for a few hours on account of my philosophical word-vomit. Choose your poison wisely and don’t over-indulge. I’m not going to let my flippancy take the burden of your poor willpower, reader.

 

 

 

Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is here! Time to get spooky. img_5786

This year I wanted to make an effort to be a pop culture party warrior after dark and dress up as something from a film or TV show. After lurking on eBay for aGes, I narrowed my choices down to: Princess Jasmine, Lara Croft (one day) and Catwoman. My indecision gave way when I realised it was a week until the big Monday so I purchased a PVC catsuit in ‘small’ along with a cute face mask.

The outfit arrived on Friday – just in time! But my 5 ft “1 (and a half) frame couldn’t fill out the leather costume properly… I was back to square 1.

img_5778So I reverted back to my previous choice; a broken doll! Easy make-up, a simple dress and cost-effective too.

In the end, it looked pretty neat

<—– Dress, £15, tights £5

I wore striped tights to match my dolly dress – but even an everyday-wear dress would work, tied my hair in bunches, painted some China ‘cracks’ onto my face using snazaroo face-paints (although eyeliner would work too!) and once my shoes were on I’d snagged myself a last minute outfit that looked thoroughly prepared.

OTHER IDEAS INCLUDE:

A geek/nerd. If you wear glasses this is an ideal last-minute outfit (and still manageable if not). Complete the classic white shirt & black skirt schoolgirl look by: wearing sensible long socks, doing your top button up, painting the three-dot freckles on your face, having messy hair and carrying a folder around with you for added ‘swot’. Voila.

ERROR 404: Costume Not Found. Grab a white t-shirt. Then grab a black pen. You know what do to next.

A cowboy or girl. Wear a cowboy hat, a checked shirt and jeans if you want to be a real life Woody/Jessie.

Sandy from Grease. Team a black top with black leggings & a leather jacket, curl your hair and ensure you’re wearing red high heels. If you’re blonde I’d recommend this look.

Go generic and be a ‘sexy’ cat or bunny. Most shops will sell bunny/mouse/cat ears for cheap and I’m sure you know how to do cat eyes/a bunny nose/whiskers. Wear with a classic LBD and you have a low key Halloween outfit where you look like you’ve kind of made an effort but won’t be the center of attention.

Even more generic would be the witch or devil costumes – again all you need are props to look all hallow’s eve ready. Even Tesco will provide you with these! Ace.

If you have fake blood you can dress for an ordinary night out that turns extraordinary when you paint some red splodges on your face to radiate the spookiness.

H A P P Y   H A L L O W E E N!

 

 

Handy Hangover Guide

“I feel great! I never get hangovers” your friend says, disgustingly.

“I’m never drinking again, lol” you reply, a pokey tongue emoji disguising your contempt

As you reach for another piece of day-old pizza, your arms become limp and you slump back into the fetal position, dropping the stale bread back onto the dominoes box it barely left. Instead of getting up, you just give up, much like your body seems to be doing on this day…

But there is another way! If you take precautions you can avoid this fate altogether, no matter how immune to suffering you believe your body to be.

Sometimes we know what’s best for us but let it slide to the subconscious mind where it stays dormant. If you’re not used to drinking the bar dry, haven’t had many hangovers before or can’t afford to write off the day after then brush up on your survival skills.

The best piece of advice I can give you to avoid hangovers is to drink singles all night. In our youth we learn to go hard and double up; we want to get wasted ASAP and proceed to lose our ability to function; we wake up with holes in our memory of the night and alcohol still swimming around our system. BUT THEN, a magical moment comes when we decide to take it easy and sip on single measures. Now the transition ambles along from merry to drunken without the pain of confusion or dulled senses. As long as you drink a glass of water before bed you will not suffer on a sofa all day.

Other morsels of wisdom include the idea of drinking water between drinks – it’s the 21st century so you shouldn’t feel your ego takes a bruise from self-care, – it’s actually the in thing now, which is pretty handy for your all-important liver. Win!

Walk it off. Nothing makes us happier or healthier than leaving the house and inhaling fresh air. Even forcing yourself to visit the shops for something inane like milk will put your hangover into perspective and help your head. Sure, you know this already, but you’re sat at a laptop right now aren’t you? There’s a difference between knowing and doing; now is the time to do the doing.

Treat yourself to a large meal to soak up leftover poison and imbibe fluids to ward off the dehydration lying at the root of your problems.

Mind over matter applies here too. Run on rest, water and adrenaline until the early night you deserve rolls around again. Since you’re reminding yourself of how to do some damage control on your vitality, you’ll feel less pain next time because your brain is powerful beyond all measure(s).