10 ways to deal with the bad days

Some days it seems like nothing can go right. We all have those days where it just seems like there is too much drama. Too much pressure. Too many expectations. Too many things to do, not enough time. Then there’s all the unnecessary nastiness. Some days it’s just all too much!

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It’s days like these that self-care is super important. Sometimes I struggle with this. It’s something I have been trying to focus on lately. So here are a few of the things that make me feel better on those days.

1: Be kind to yourself

This is probably the most important thing. Some days you just need to cut yourself some slack. Would you have the same expectations on someone else that you have on yourself? Why shouldn’t you be as kind to yourself as you would a stranger? There’s only so much you can do and sometimes you just need to be okay with letting things go. It’s alright not to be perfect (see why here).

2: A good old pamper session

By far my favourite thing is to run myself a nice, hot bath, with bath salts, a beautiful candle and a good read. Sadly my unit doesn’t have a bath though. Instead I’ll do a face and hair mask, give myself a mani-pedi or some other make-me-feel-pretty thing. This usually involves some gorgeous scented candles burning in the background.

3: Play some feel good music

What I consider feel good music seems to vary with my mood. Sometimes I want something up beat and pop-y, other times calm and relaxing. Listen to your mood and pick some tunes that suit you. I have a few Spotify playlists that are my go-tos for times like these – let me know if you want me to share.

4: Treat yourself

Come on, who doesn’t love a little (lot?) retail therapy? I usually use it as an excuse to buy myself something little. This is usually something that smells amazing – a scented candle, some new body wash or body butter. I always find this is an instant pick me up.

5: Do some yoga

Yoga is such a good release for me. There’s something about focusing on body positioning, movement, breathing and stillness of the mind that just makes everything else melt away. On days like these, I tend to opt for the chilled out, slow and relaxed Hatha yoga as opposed to Power or Vinyasa sequences. On the really bad ones, this could literally just be an extended period in child’s pose. Really it doesn’t matter all that much what you do, as long as it works for you.

6: Life admin

I always feel better when things are sorted. All those little things you have been putting off, like calling to make appointments, seem like such a big deal on bad days. Sometimes making little steps to move ahead can make it so much less overwhelming. Attending to one or two of those little things can make all the difference. It can make you feel on top of things and is definitely worth the effort.

7: Stick to your routine (as much as possible)

It’s important to maintain some form of normality. If you normally go to the gym every Monday, don’t stop on account of a bad day. Those kind of things can actually help to get you out of that funk. Keeping busy can take your mind off things and give you something positive to focus on instead. Also, you will probably regret it the next day if you don’t.

8: Affirmations

Create a journal or notebook with all the good things. The things you like about yourself. The things you have achieved. The things you are proud of. The things that inspire you. The things you aspire to be. Do this over time when you think of it. Then you can bring it out on a bad day and be reminded of all those positive things. An instant pick me up.

9: Reach out

Make social connections. Invite friends over. Arrange to go out and do something. Even if you can’t organise something right away, knowing you have plans in the future gives you something to look forward to. Otherwise, just have a good chat with old friends can brighten any mood.

10: Chill out

Some tea and a good book. Or maybe Netflix and chocolate is more your speed? Either way, just taking some time out and escaping reality for another world makes a world of difference. You can check out some of my top picks here. Opting for a comedy is a great way to lighten the mood and bring some smiles to that face.

What are your go-tos for a bad day pick me up?

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Why you can have your smashed avo and eat it too

Breakfast catch ups are probably my favourite. Catching up with friends over a good morning coffee are the best way to spend lazy Sunday mornings. Then there’s all the amazing menu choices. For someone who is plagued with indecisiveness, it makes sense to stick to what you know and just roll with it. My go to is smashed avocado on toast because ummm…such deliciousness.

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Source: All About That Food

Now, I’m not much of a budget-maker (I talked about it here). I kind of just roll with it and try not to put too much pressure on myself – as long as it all works out in the end. Well some people have other ideas!

I read this article in the Australian over the weekend (which has caused a bit of controversy, in case you haven’t heard) and was gobsmacked. The reason millennials are suffering in the housing-affordability crisis? Smashed avo(cado)s of course.

I have seen young people order smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five-grain toasted bread at $22 a pop and more. I can afford to eat this for lunch because I am middle-aged and have raised my family. But how can young people afford to eat like this? Shouldn’t they be economising by eating at home? How often are they eating out? Twenty-two dollars several times a week could go towards a deposit on a house.

There. I’ve said it. I have said what every secret middle-aged moraliser has thought but has never had the courage to verbalise.

Woah. Hold up. What?

Firstly, I’m not sure where you’re going to eat breakfast but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone charge $22 for avocado on toast #justsaying.

The maths doesn’t add up

Even if I was spending $22 on smashed avo 3 times every week (which I definitely don’t), it would add up to $3,432 per year. Generally, most banks require a 20% deposit. So after 1 year of saving on all those smashed avos, that deposit would be 20% of $17,160. After 5 years and an accumulated deposit of $17,160 from all those smashed avos you went without, that deposit would qualify you for a potential loan amount of $85,000. 10 years? A potential loan amount of $171,600 – still a far cry from buying your own home.

Median house prices for June 2016? Brisbane – $ 521,915. Melbourne – $ 740,995. Sydney – $ 1,021,968. Check this out for more info.

Hmmm. Yeah I’m not convinced my smashed avo habit is to blame for house prices being out of reach.

Why shouldn’t you have fun? It’s your life

It is not everyone’s goal to own their own home. There seems to be such a societal force that equates success with home ownership. Some people want to explore all of the exciting places around the world. Some people would rather spend their keep on their lifestyle. How is criticising young people going out to eat helping anyone?

I’m sure that Bernard Salt wasn’t just referring to smashed avo on toast. Rather the perception of millennials’ over-indulgent lifestyle. The concept of people living above their means is nothing new. In fact, isn’t that just a byproduct of the consumerism condition?

I think it is a bit ridiculous to expect anyone to cut out leisure spending when they have the funds. Live a little. There’s no point to remove all the little fun things from your life just in the pursuit of a financial goal. Life is more important than that. Expecting all millennials to do so is unrealistic. After all, why place this expectation on millennials and not other areas of the community. Of course people would be better off if they didn’t spend their money.

What else would you rather be doing?

I don’t know about you, but I get terrible hangovers. Pretty much the entire day is spent in bed watching Netflix, drinking Gatorade, eating all the greasy foods and feeling sorry for myself. I’m just not in the right place to leave the house, let alone socialise over a breakfast date!

Drinking is expensive. Even if you stay in. You buy the alcohol. The inevitable Uber into town when everyone is sufficiently drunk to be down for that. Paying entry fees. More buying of alcohol and shouting rounds. Then the late night drinking food (who can go past a kebab at 2 am?). The Uber home (sometimes coupled with a quick stop at your local fast food joint if you managed to resist the greasy kebab from earlier). Then you think it’s all over. Until that hangover-induced spending spree I mentioned above.

Now let’s just take a minute. All those hipster millennials sitting around at the cafe for breakfast dates have just avoided all of that (unless they have livers of steel). That $22 avo on toast isn’t looking so expensive now is it?

It’s all about perspective. What you see when you look at someone isn’t their full story. It’s about your story and what’s important to you. If avocados on toast on Sunday mornings do it for you, go right on ahead. It’s not gong to make that much difference anyway. I’m all for avoiding the pounding headaches after a late night drinking session.

Why perfectionism should be done away with

Perfectionism. It’s often toted around jokingly: “I’m such a perfectionist”. I have heard it so often (and I’m a culprit I admit) that it has kind of lost it’s meaning altogether. I hadn’t really thought to much about throwing it around. Since I saw Reshma Saujami’s talk, “Teach Girls Bravery, not perfectionism” (see where I talked about it here) I have been questioning this.

I started thinking about who I usually hear tossing that phrase around. I could not recall an example where a guy said that. It’s almost exclusively women. Why?Why is there some hidden expectation that it is acceptable for women to be perfect? Hmm, not acceptable, expected.

No one bats an eyelid when they hear “I’m such a perfectionist” from a woman.

I think it comes from socialisation.The way the world is constructed. It’s something that is taught, albeit implicitly, from when you are a child and then constantly reinforced throughout life.

Take clothing options for example. If you haven’t already, check out this girl’s explanation:

 

There’s definitely different expectations placed on young boys versus young girls. For girls to be pretty, happy, cheerful and agreeable. Boys on the other hand, are encouraged to make their own adventures, to give things a go, to take risks. It doesn’t matter if boys take those risks and make a mess of things. After all, boys will be boys. The same can’t be said for girls. They should be clean, tidy and organised – all things that can be related to perfectionism.

Now surely these same gendered standards don’t continue into adulthood. Or do they?

It appears that the fashion world is improving in the portrayal of men and women. Increasingly men are photographed in “low power” positions such as clutching their own legs and arms. Women are more and more being photographed in powerful poses. While this is great, it seems that the same can not be said about a lot of the culture.

The importance of female perfectionism is still inherent within society, though understated. There’s that suitableness of men often being rewarded for taking risks. When things go wrong? When the wrong things are said? When there is a lack of empathy, compassion and emotional intelligence? There comes that saying: Don’t you know that boys will be boys. So that makes it okay to lower our expectations of the human condition? That phrase, gives an exemption to perfectionism. Why is it okay to grant this concession based on gender?

This concession, is it internal? Or is this something that is being imposed by other people Previously I had considered it to be purely a societal thing – now I am not so sure. Does self-talk play a part?

While I believe that people should not be treated differently, I find myself trying to be perfect at everything I do. I find myself avoiding risks because I am not confident I will be able to make it work. Am I part of the problem? Am I unknowingly perpetuating this concession? I don’t have that expectation on others, why then should I have it on myself?

I do not believe that this concession can truly be done away with until we change our self-talk. Change the expectation on yourself to be perfect. You are human. Why then should you have to be perfect? Why should that be something to aspire to?

I believe when I focus more on taking risks and less on achieving perfectionism, that I will be able to say with confidence that I am not perpetuating this gendered concession. Imagine what would happen if everyone would do the same.

Inspiration: My top 5 inspo talks

It’s been one of those weeks! I am only just (FINALLY!!!) getting over this sickness that has dragged on for over a week. Feeling drained and behind, sometimes I just need a bit of a pick me up. We all do sometimes. So I thought I would share with you my favourite TED talks to watch when I’m feeling down or needing a little motivation.

1: Isaac Lidsky – What reality are you creating for yourself?

An amazingly eye-opening talk on the power of perception and vision. Isaac challenges you to think critically. Things that once seemed to be objective truths, are cast in the light of your perceptions. He challenges you to think differently, harness inner strength and look at the world through another lens. I find this talk incredibly powerful and makes me feel in control of my own life.

2: Lidia Yuknavitch – The beauty of being a misfit

OMG! For those days where you feel like you just don’t fit in (please tell me I’m not the only one!). I for one often fall into the familiar grasp of self-criticism. This talks helps me to re-evaluate: Find the beauty in the situation and the endless possibilities of life. It challenges me to look for the chances and opportunities available – instead of feeling like I need to fit in. Such a great pick me up (you deserve it).

3: Emilie Wapnick – Why some of us don’t have one true calling

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I DREADED this question – I still do. When I was in primary school I was torn. My answer was either an astronaut or a waitress. As I grew older this changed, but was more fragmented. All of the options. All of the interesting things, from engineering to painting, law to marketing, sculpture to community, were pulling me towards them. I felt so ostracised because I didn’t want to just choose one thing! This talk embraces this multi-inspired approach and inspires me to how this is good instead of weird.

4: Nonny de la Peña – The future of news? Virtual reality

This absolutely baffles my mind. I find it truly inspiring the amazing ideas people come up with. This is a fabulous and amazing innovation on the way news and events are delivered. Journalistic innovation to drive emotional reactions to stories. While it is a little way off delivering main stream news, it makes me feel like anything is possible.

5: Reshma Saujami – Teach girls bravery, not perfection

I confess I am a bit of a perfectionist. I always just took this for granted. So many of my girl friends also display these traits. I thought nothing of it. This talk really made things click for me. I find socialisation theory pretty fascinating. Reshma raises the idea that this perfectionism isn’t necessarily natural, but rather a result of socialisation. The perspective-shifting talk inspires me to throw away my fear of failure – well try to anyway.

Where do you get inspiration from?

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My run in with crochet

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I feel like such a nanna some times! I have a secret obsession with crochet. There’s something about the repetitiveness that creates something wonderful that really does it for me.

My Mum taught me to knit when I was about 7 years old. I never had the patience for it though! I would start a “project” with these grand ambitions and quickly lose interest. The number of times I would start, get about 20 rows in and then suddenly become fascinated by ALL THE OTHER EXCITING THINGS. It was something that I would pick up and now then. Always in winter. Usually when I was getting my procrastination on – because who really wants to adult all the time.

A couple of months ago, I was deep into one of those intense Youtube sessions where you completely lose track of time and stumble across amazing, unexpected (ok and sometimes weird) things that are the internet. It was then that I first watched a crochet tutorial. And another…quite a few in all honesty. I was hooked. This was something I had to try.

And I did.

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After (a lot) of trial and error, redoing, unwinding, screwing things up, I FINALLY got the hang of it. And kind of fell in love.

There’s something about twirling, twisting, inserting, removing that just clears my head. Ending up with a gorgeous creation is just a bonus. This is my first attempt at a blanket – probably a little ambitious for a first project but that’s how I roll.

While this is a super basic design, I really love the colour palette. It reminds me of the peaceful ocean, the sand, the waves gentling crashing. All those good things to think about while cuddling up with a good book, or maybe just to snuggle while cringe-watching the Bachelorette.

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