“It’s been the forth year in a row now- where I have been on the brink of dialling “Childline” as no one has got me an Easter Egg”

Ok, so apart from everything else that is going on right now, we are actually approaching a weekend right now. And not only any weekend- but it is the Bank holiday Easter weekend. Already I am sure that many of us are however ignorant of this. As each day currently feels the same. Unless of course you are a key worker, or looking after children full time- THEN YOU ARE AMAZING!!!
But for the rest of us, we only have to peek outside one of our windows, or easier still listen to the weather forecast- in order to persist with the logic of fact: that Easter may be approaching is barely imaginable. For a start there isn’t any water falling from the sky, someone with a regular temperature regulation can set outside without requiring one of these heavy coats, and there’s none of these…um, the chubby British tourists who gather in clumps supplying sea-gulls with endless supplies of chips, and believing they can get a tan by laying down in the cold for 10 minutes.

Yet occasionally I have no choice but to set foot into Tesco. And as always, their shelves are piled with Easter eggs. From the cheap cadburys ones where you can literally get 2 for less than £2, those golden bunnies with that pretty ribbon with the bell around their necks which I would almost treasure when I was much younger, to those rather expensive thortons ones costing as much as £15 pound each due to their authentic brand, or more importantly still, because some genius thought to imprint a unicorn on some off them…

Unicorn Easter Egg | Chocolate Eggs | Thorntons
Rather adorable looking unicorn, featuring on one of this year’s editions of the Thortons Easter eggs (source, Thorntons website)

Only today actually I was by myself in Tesco and quew reached beyond the alcohol aisle to where all of the Easter goodies were, so I had all of the chocolate to be tempted by as well as the obvious! And like all years, I was rather impressed with the numbers of options available to us, which even led my to buying something! (off my Dad’s care of course!). But knowing that he wouldn’t object, I also found myself thinking once again, why don’t people actually buy me Easter eggs now. Ok, there is an blatently obvious reason at the moment. But we saw the same thing occur last year, and the year before. And as sad as it sounds, I felt a little neglected. How come all my friends were being brought Easter eggs (well I would just assume so wouldn’t I, doesn’t mean it’s really the case), plus when they’re on sale, surly it would be a little friendly gesture just to buy me one.

Ok, so when did I last have one? Last year I think. So lets be honest, I am exaggerating when I say no one will buy me one. I received one from parents, and I know that if I ask I basically get. Aha I’m actually so spoilt eek… Nevertheless, it came in a giant cardboard box. then when I opened it, a third of that box was dedicated to one of those tiny chocolate bars (for god’s sake, I don’t bloody remember what it was, but you should know what I’m on about), then the rest of the box was home to a rather small chocolate egg wrapped in foil. Then after working your way through all this packaging, to finally get to the beautiful product, you would notice how considerably thin the chocolate was. Only then I realised that there was a very good reason, for the considerably generous prices of these eggs. then of course it would say that it contains something like 4 portions, but a quarter of an egg would be almost the equilivant to one square, yes one square of chocolate! While when I was younger I would question why on earth some kids got something like 8 eggs, and I would label them as spoiled. but with these cheap things that is simply not the case.

But until a couple of years ago, the thought of the amount of packaging they would come in, wouldn’t even occur to me as being a problem. But now, being enlightened of “woke” culture aimed at all the internet cool kidz like me, I actually realise the horrendous amount of packaging used is seriously problematic. And I know it isn’t ONLY Easter eggs, try ordering a cheap necklace off amazon! Nonetheless, I think it is pretty safe to say that Easter eggs are one of the worst things with regards to packaging. So lets be fair, I know that usually they aren’t coated in the evil plastic, but lets face it. The manufacturing of cardboard and paper use up humongous amounts of energy, heat, water therefore the act of making them isn’t exactly environmental stewardship!

Cadbury Mini Eggs Chocolate Easter Egg Bag Pouch Box Ideal Gifts
The height of the egg is about half the height of the box! (source, premium website)

And like I was told long ago! “It is far better to buy a £1 big bar of chocolate than a £1 Easter egg box”. And it’s true though. When you buy an Easter egg, you are not only paying for the chocolate, you are paying for the packaging and the larky which comes with it. It’s a very pesky exercise. Children inevitably get hyped up over buying an Egg, as it’s in order to celebrate a once in a year event, then they just get even more attracted by the vivid packaging in which it comes in. Then if it is a little chick or bunny, then it is a bonus! It’s kind of parallel to when you used to get more excited about that fridget little toy which came out of those “happy meals” from “maccys”, than the actual food…

So here are two very legitimate reasons for people’s objections to these Easter eggs, firstly due to environmental concerns, then due to the costs in comparison to what you would pay for perr gram of solid chocolate. in-fact three reasons, if you include objection to the way capitalism is so brilliant at selling you rubbish that you don’t want.

But here is the real tea that you have been waiting for! Religion…

So to begin with, my family and myself are not Christian. And obviously anyone with an ounce of background information regarding this rainy and chocolaty holiday should be able to tell that the origins to all this actually belongs to Christianity. It is infact probably the most important event on the Christian calander. Yes, even more important than christmas! So really should all of us Brits, who don’t necessarily go to church or believe in God really be indulging ourselves in all of this chocolate?

Ok, so a bit like Christmas, Easter has become more than just an event valuable to Christians. Instead it has become almost of value to our culture, and it is not just like that here in the UK. Therefore what is wrong with all of us eating a tonne of chocolate, and disposing on our nearest public beach? (in normal circumstances). However there is rather more than a subtle difference between celebrating a holiday whilst acknowlding its traditions and letting the current way we celebrate undermine the value it has to some people! Now I really will start sounding like an old fashion, misery here, but I do wonder is the reason behind changing the name from “Easter eggs” to “Eggs” on a considerable amount of packaging really necessary in order not to offend people of a different religion? Or rather, is it simply an insult?

Nestlé Medium Easter Eggs Collection (122g-140g): Amazon.co.uk ...
I’m sorry, but spot the word Easter. You’ll be looking for a while (source, Amazon)

Now quite honestly I wouldn’t have even noticed if it hasn’t been pointed out to me, which in a way, that in itself just shows how little some of us actually associate Easter, being as a religious significance. But coming to think of it, it seems crazy that something which comes out once a year (though to be fair they’re aperient in shops for more like a third of a year), in order to celebrate a religious event, shouldn’t be labelled including this despite having initially always been labelled as Easter. So in a way, the rise of Easter eggs has really been down to the rise of a “global culture”, partly aspiring to become more “Americanised” emphasising on the big. Hence the obsessive packaging in which these chocolate eggs come in. To which it has reached the point that people from all walks of life have become heavily attracted to this product, leading to them having to be target at appealing to all consumers. Not only Christians. But I still do not see why people cannot enjoy something celebrating a tradition they may not be entirely a part of. Rather than this having to be adapted for their liking.

Though I suppose that all cultures have mixed and will continue to mix, meaning most people are open to a huge mixture of traditions. In which i do not have a problem with. Nevertheless I just personally feel that it would be best if everyone was able to enjoy all these variations of culture, whilst having some knowledge of it’s roots. In-fact i am sure that British people are one of the worst offenders when it comes to this, without necessarily realising.

The global reach of US Popular Culture - Taieb Oussayfi - Medium
An image implying the extent of which American culture is dominant in our World. Or is it just consumerism at its finest? (source, Medium.com)

So now I do understand why my parents have always been rather hostile to purchasing vast amounts of Easter eggs. Furthermore, if I’m brutally honest- I’m kind of the same. for a start the packaging is a complete waste of money, and an insult to desirable environmental sustainability. Whilst fuelled by consumerism, there isn’t really the need for consideration for these reasons neither consideration for the need to ensure that traditions behind these aren’t undervalued. So I need not explain why I had no real reason to go to childline. When these these “eggs” or whatever are genuinly overestimated. Although I suppose that they do hold a pleasent symbolic value. It is only natural to be excited as a child to be recieving a novelty item like an Easter egg, even if it is worth so little. Whilst after all Easter, like other holidays in our calander, are usually positive celebrations, which aren’t yet completly surrounding symbolism.

Like you may say that the concept of an “Easter bunny” is nothing except ridiculous. Yet none of us object to the idea of a Santa Clause existing do we?

I suppose really it is about finding a balance. I personally feel that twisting traditions in over a long period of time, isn’t necessarily harmful. As long as we are reminded to consider the tradition and origins of the events. This way a little bit of consumerism is ok here and there, but not to the extent where we are all stressing and obsessinng over this factor, rather than the traditional andd cultural relevance.

Therefore I do get rather cheesed off with the enormous amounts of packaging that goes into the final product of an “Egg”, and I do really think that they should be referred to still as “Easter eggs”, as that is what they celebrate. However many miles chocolate eggs may be from the traditional intention behind easter…

I also think the concept of associating springtime with Easter ok, letting kids go on Easter egg hunts is ok, and having children or yourself paint eggs is pretty adorable. And if I and when I were to have children, I would probably insist on there being an Easter bunny, who lay down chocolate eggs the night before Easter morning. Partly so that I can get involved, but also so that it may help them to see the world in a better light. Likewise with the concept of a Santa. Nevertheless I will of course educate them to make them realise the importance of it to Chrisitians, and I would probably want them briefed on the Easter story. As that is what it is all about.

Easter in the United States - Partnership International
Some rather pretty painted eggs (source, Partnership international)

And in the event that anyone is interested to whether I brought anything from Tesco (aside from necessaties, duh), I actually did… Now it was not an egg, or even a traditional easter bunny. But it was some strangly shaped thing (probably a rabbit), that was just wrapped in foil, therefore didn’t come in one of these stupid cardboard boxes.

And whilst usually I would just think “yey chocolate”, having written this rather waffly and wishy washy post about, well Easter eggs, I shall consider the current and traditional implications and meaning behind this event. In-spite of everything else going on!

I Want Boris Back! (but could never vote for him)

Love him or hate him, a huge proportion of people from our nation and further a-field are praying for Boris Johnson, our Prime Minister.

So having been admitted into St Thomas hospital Sunday night, by the following night he found himself in need of oxygen, and in need to be moved into intensive care in order to be closely monitored and incase he requires a ventilator, which so far fortunately hasn’t been the case. Still today, he remains in intensive care. However Chanchellor, Rishi Sunak, updated the nation that he is making “steady progress, but remains in intensive care” at the daily coronavirus update . He also reassured us by saying he is recieveing excellent health care.

St Thomas' Hospital - Wikipedia
An image of St Thomas hospital with the view of the River Thames (source Wikipedia)

Prior to this he was diagnosed and tested positive for Coronavirus while experiencing “mild symptoms” including a “temperature” and a “persistent cough”.

We have seen Domanic Raab, the foreign secretary, take over his roles for the time being. However we saw that Johnson was very reluctant to step down from his duties, and it was only when he got moved to intensive care, where he hadn’t much choice. And although it was known that he was following health advise, many people would percieve him as verry dedicated, to not step down until he “had to”.

This had led to National support for him rising. As there’s been increased amounts of public support for him, with many people sharing posts on social media, wishing him and his family well and wishing him a speedy recovery. Meanwhile, left, right and centre, politicians have wished him well. From his own current MP’s, David Cameron, the new labour leader and even Jeremy Corbyn have been wishing him the best.

Image result for boris johnson support post
Post wishing Boris Johnson the best, from “Christiantoday.com”

Nevertheless the increased amount support for him, have left some of the Nation split. Some, inspite of wanting him to recover, are unable to help feeling angry at him, and his party.

This is partly down to the years of austerity our country has experienced, after the financial crash in 2008. Leading to the underfunding of many vital services, including obviously the NHS- leaving it now with insufficient equipment available and a shortage of staff. Which is already a problem during the best of times!

But not only that! Many members of the public are hostile towards decisions more directly influenced by our Prime Minister, such as the delay with increasing supplies of personal protective equipment, and still now we are no where near close enough to having adequate supplies, leading to over 10,000 NHS staff signing a pen letter to the PM “demanding proper protective equipment”. Furthermore many members of the public feel Boris has done too little too late, seeing that his initial plan was to manage the virus by “herd immunity”- which now has even been criticised by Trump! And although thankfully Boris took a turn on these plans, in many European countries like France and germany evoking lockdown measures much sooner, as we see the rise of deaths being more gradual. Therefore it is legitimate to not be too sympathetic towards the Prime Minister, where he initially told our Nation to “wash your hands” in the “time it takes to sing happy birthday twice”, instead of taking a more serious stance on the issue at hand, and dealing with it faster to prevent the spread (and possibly stopping him from gettting it too…).

Image result for boris johnson washing hands coronavirus
A picture Boris Johnson shared to his Instagram page, stressing the importance of “washing your hands” during the Coronavirus pandemic

Yet lets face it. That’s what many of us love about Boris. Whether we are Tories or not, at least we can apprecriate his chummmy character and laugh at his “not very funny” jokes. And regardless of his politics, you have got to admire his charisma, even if you think it is gross at the best of times.

Now you may be a little confused reading this at the moment, thinking who is this person admiring yet criticising our prime Minister. Well personally I strongly disagree with most of his policies. And I am most certainly not a tory. Though saying this, out of all the men in suits who have probably attended one of these public schools, like Eton: at least Boris stands out from them. A man who offers “tea rather than answers” (according to the Telegraph, subsequent to the inappropriate comments he made concerning the Burkha) is much better than most who wouldn’t give answers, but wouldn’t substitute them for tea either. Plus one may be impressed with him now, but what’s more impresssive than managing to get stuck on a zip-wire. Can you really picture any of our other recent leaders doing the same?

See the source image
Now what’s that hanging from above. One of the many snapshots we have of Boris Johnson when he got stuck on a zipwire back in 2012 after celebrating the first gold medal team GB won during the olympics

Now part of this may well be a publicity stunt, but surly his charismatic character must be partially to thank.

This leaves me wishing Boris Johnson the speediest of recoveries, and I can’t wait to see him back in downing street as soon as possible, fully recovered of course.

See the source image
Boris Johnson waving, outside 10 downing street

Nevertheless this does not mean that he will be getting my vote in the next general election! As as much as we may like the guy, I want the UK to move in a direction in where there is leadership not only increasing equality within the UK, but world-wide. And because of past and current austerity policies inflicted by the Conservatives, I don’t believe a guy with a good sense of humour will be able to amend all of this. And would he want to?

Although I have great sympathy for him and his, and respect him; it does not mean that I would, or even could support his and his party’s policies…

How to take care of your Mental health during “quarantine”

Hii, So I was questioning whether to bother doing a blog post concerning mental health during quarantine or not, if I’m honest. As I feel there is only so much to say and suggest concerning mental health, as it will inevitably be affected during quarantine, and there isn’t exactly a solution. I like to avoid regurgitating common content, which already features on hundreds of blogs, you-tube videos etc around the world. However I believe that mental health is so important, especially during these terrifying times. And considering how patronising some content related to mental health can appear, especially that which has probably been shown to us in year 8 at secondary school telling us that if we do yoga and eat broccoli then everything will be ok, I don’t think I can do a much worse job!

I decided to do what I personally find helpful and I will try to broaden it out…

So lets get started :/

1. Keep in touch with friends and relitives

So being at home all day either alone or with the same people obviously being unable to see other friends and relatives, can feel extremely lonely and isolation, especially when there’s fewer distractions. Especially for those, like myself, in education who are currently experiencing the Easter holidays, so don’t have as much work to focus on and would usually be out socialising (unless you’re an introvert- High five!). But regardless, I think even a quick conversation online, or quick phone call can boost our own and each others mental health so much. Because apart from anything else, I feel it is a reminder to ourselves and our friends, that we are still surrounded by support and by people, even if physical contact isn’t possible. And at times, I think sharing concerns is so important, as we remember that we are not alone going through this. However it is also beneficial to talk about other topics, as leading on from this, hearing about this all day everyday can be so overwhelming, and obviously depressing. Therefore I think it is definitely good to remind each other about what else is in the world, and what we can continue to appreciate and look forward to,

2. After a while- Switch the news off

So I agree that it is important to know what is going on in the world, especially at this moment in time as we need to know what to do in order to stay safe and protect others and to have a rough idea what may happen within the next few weeks. Nonetheless, when bombarded with it all day long, where access is unlimited due to updates online, being close to the radio and whatever else, it can be and is overwhelming. And I feel that spending too much time listening to it can just make us too focused on it, and can make us even start to forget the amount of positive the world also has on hand. Meanwhile inspite of the increasing numbers of people this is having catastrophic effects on, I also think that we shouldn’t feel too upset about it or worry about it excessively. That’s as there’s nothing we can DIRECTLY do. And with regards to missing important snippets of the news, I actually think that is very unlikely. A you can access highlights say once a day, whether on TV, or internet.

3. Try not to get too bogged down about when the lockdown will end

I feel this can be quite difficult, especially as we are hearing so much about this. However there are so many different rumours about it, some being absolutely ridiculous. I feel that if we try to make predictions too often then it can lead to us either becoming increasingly fearful about time spent in lockdown, or even defeated if the reality differs to the initial prediction.

As although I feel it can be good to be hopeful about it, and hopeful that things might soon slowly start getting better, making actual predictions is not as good. Whilst having a pessimistic attitude isn’t going to help anyone, especially not yourself!

4. Try to limit time spent on social media

So I know this can be very tricky, especially at the moment where most of us are at home with Wifi all day long. But I know for myself, too much time spent scrolling through Instagram or snapchat isn’t good at the best of times! Whilst now these effects are only to be exaggerated. As if seeing someone who you think is much better looking than yourself posting a selfie captioning it “quaritine” isn’t bad enough (trust me I’ve been there), seeing people out and about can make one more angry whilst a seemingly happy family having a picnic in a huge garden can feel almost emotionally draining, if you are alone or in a less happy family, or if you don’t happen to live in a mansion. Meanwhile once I am finished scrolling through (though to be honest I have been purposely cutting back hugely on time spent on there; long before lockdown), it is time to begin on Facebook. And yawn, yawn, yawn. It is all bloody rants about Coronavirus, sharing of news stories and memes; related to the coronavirus. And I don’t have a problem with this in the least way. I perfectly understand why people choose to do it, I do it and obviously it is so apparient in everyone’s lives, it is bound to leak over in that way on social media. But although it is not that harmful to take a quick look, don’t spend too much time on there.

4. find more positive things online

So like I said, it is very hard to drastically cut back on screen time, during a time like now. Therefore I feel that if we take efforts to spend more time looking at more positive content online, the state of being online can almost have the opposite effect to what it has on a lot of us. And although we are almost consistently being bombarded with unhealthy content, if we seek for it, a lot more positive content can be found too!

There are numerous YouTube channels, Instagram accounts and websites (like mine;) ) which aim to bring positivity to people. I won’t list any, as there are so so many with various targets lets say. Though I would say look out for ones relating to mental health for tips, or for a space to vent, and to photography accounts, craft accounts, fashion, food or anything you are interested in for an effective distraction.

5. Have some form of productive routine- but include some down time!

So it sounds rather difficult. And it depends on what your interests or targets are anyway. Though I think that there is some productive things anyone can do at home. For me having this blog, plus A-level mocks to revise for (which chances are I will have them at some point, whether this be at the usual time, or in September no one knows) helps. As I don’t stick to a strict routine at all. However I aim to spend about 8 hours or so a day doing something productive. As this way I feel better about myself, and I am obviously carrying on along the path to achieving something. Furthermore, I know for a fact that if I was home watching films all day, I would feel absolutely terrible for doing so. And I’m not saying there is anything wrong with doing so, it is completely natural to be wanting to use this time to rest etc. But if you know you are the sort of person who gets quite easily upset with themselves for doing little, or not leaving the house then I genuinely think that focusing on a routine, and putting a bit of work in is probably far better than not doing so. Even if it isn’t 100% ideal, I know many of us tend to feel this way, therefore it is better than triggering more anxiety.

However saying this- like it is the Easter holidays at the moment- and it is a time to be taking time out anyway. Therefore allow yourself some time to engage in self care as well. Whether that’s just watching you-tube, listening to music or talking to friends (obviously online). And there are many activities too which are productive, and are relaxing. Like so far I have only spend about 50 minutes revising to be specific, whilst I have been doing more blogging and other hobbies which are productive but are certainly a break from school work.

6. Consider starting up a new hobby

Now I know this can be expensive and time consuming, but it does not have to be. And I feel there is definitely something out there for everyone. Maybe it is literally getting into a new TV series, or maybe its baking more or even bloody yoga. But it can be so rewarding not only now but in the future, and will obviously take your mind off other things during this period of quaritine.

Another thing, especially is you are in education… especially 6th form aha is to try an online course. Some of these may cost a little (support small business aha) and others I know are free. These can range from improving at a musical instrument, improving at a sport (a little limited) and cooking. However completion of a course looks so good on the CV, or if considering Uni then on a UCAS application. I know there’sa broad range of “MOOCS” which are generally aimed at people considering various courses at university.. And although I haven’t started one, I am considering it- especially now due to lockdown. And I think what ever you are interested in studying, you will find a good range of choices of moocs relevant.

7. Don’t be too harsh on yourself

So I know this is almost contradicting with what I said about keeping busy, but at the same time, it is obviously not super easy to be doing “productive” stuff all the time. It is completely natural to feel more worn out than usual due to the worries we are facing, and to feel more “on edge”. Obviously making it more difficult to focus. Therefore although it is good to keep distracted, its even more vital to be forgiving and understanding towards yourself, and to not punish yourself for “not being productive” or whatever. I think this can be particularly difficult for people who get more anxious about things, who are also anxious about achieving the best. But I guess the best thing to do is try to recognise the fact that this is an extremely difficult situation for everyone, and that there’s millions of people who are doing less than usual. Many probably feel just as guilty. However I would say just keep telling yourself that it is completely normal to not be so busy during these times. And while you may feel bombarded with people thinking that they’re bloody Mary Poppins, saying to learn this and do that, there is a huge gap between having healthy distractions and feeling bad about not “getting enough done”.
God. I’ve explained this so badly, I’m sorry…

8. Create something, and watch it grow

My word. I really am starting to sound cheesy now… But if you like drawing, or making things or if you are wanting to try something new, then give it a go. It can honestly be so rewarding, engaging in creative activity. And I feel especially during times like these, where often there’s a sense of release through art, crafts or music.

Yet it does not have to be art related. Something else, which I like doing, is growing plants. And repotting them. Although I have been known to kill one or two, but I think I’m not quite as bad as I was.

9. Eat healthy(ISH!), drink water and excersise

Yawn, Yawn, Yawn!!!

Who can be asked to drink water, eat healthy and exercise during a time like this? What is even the point, no one is even going to see you…

But for me that is not the point of staying healthy. It is about doing it for yourself. Although I am not exactly a role model. However I feel just a small amount of exercise, can boost your mood by so much in the long and short run, and relieve some nervous energy and anxiety. Athough this obviously varies depending on the person. Furthermore by combining this with healthy eating, and drinking enough you are taking better care of yourself, and are likely to feel less bedraggled. Although there is no harm in staying in bed for one day, and eating only chocolate, I think it is important to be healthy(ish) most days. Especially considering that lock-down may be for quite a bit longer. This way, I think basic self care is a good way of not letting yourself down further. And iIm sure than for many of us, self care does genuinely boost mental health. Obviously not removing illness.

Nonetheless with rregards to eating healthy, the “ish” is in capitals for very good reasons. Yes, consume the good nutrients from vegetables and that, which your body requires. Andtry to have a balanced diet.

HOWEVER- don’t obsess too much. For a start it is Easter so allow yourself to eat more chocolate than what you would usually. Meanwhile don’t get so anxious about gaining weight due to being at home where the snacks are all day. Chances are, if you’re eating a balanced diet as it is, you aren’t going to crave tonnes and tonnes, and if you are eating a little more thenso be it. Might as well get some enjoyment out of lockdown.

It is just sad really how many people, especially teenage girls, are so worried about gaining weight anyway, especially during this period. Surly it is more important to be safe and happy!

10. Don’t be ashamed to open up about how you are feeling

So as effective as these distractions can be, there is nothing worse than keeping everything bottled up. Especially people suffering with mental illness can have the tendency to do so, then all of a sudden it will have detrimental effects on them. But who can you talk to? I think the best thing to do is to talk to family members or friends who you trust, even about the slightest concern- simply to get it out of your system. Worrying about the effect it may have on them is unnecessary I think, because everyone knows that it will cause worries for everyone, and someone who you are close to would much rather listen to what you are feeling, than seeing your health deteriorate. And somethimes they may be more worried if you aren’t saying anything anyway! And only 2 minutes of venting a day really can make the difference of getting some of it out of your system to “stay sane”.

However I know that not everyone is fortunate enough to have people close to them that they trust, or feel comfortable enough to open up to them about any concerns. And this is unfortunate, but if this is the case with you- then you don’t have to “suffer in silence”. For a start I know there are many support networks online; where you can ring up and someone is there for support, however there are also many Mental health help accounts on networks like Instagram. You may feel that people who run these accounts may be suffering with illness already, and won’t want an increased weight on their shoulders, however I am sure that many people would feel more than happy to listen etc. And I think this often provides benefits to these people too!

11. Make use of your “permitted outdoor exercise” or use your garden

Ok, I personally think that getting outdoors can be so beneficial. I know that for some people, spending all day indoors at home can trigger depression.

So first of all, if you have a garden,, now is the time to get outside and use it! Especially if you are living in the UK, as we have happened to have such nice weather so far, which is very unusual for Easter! So now is the time to appreciate the garden and the outdoors.

Whereas if you don’t have a garden, or if the space in it is very limited, then this is a little controversial…but I personally think it is ok to go for a walk. At least it is legal. Now some of you may legitimately argue that if there’s more people milling about on the streets, then there’s more people who are going to be at rick from catching this virus. But I feel, although this is true, if we stick to more quiet areas, preferably during times where there would be fewer people out, then it is perfectly ok. Also preferably close to home.

It is very possible to distance responsibly in most public open spaces. And although often it can feel like you are being bombarded with opinions hostile to people who 2dont stay at home”, I think it is looking at health in general. And if not going outside can trigger worse mental health, you have every right to go outside. Or even if it is to have a breather and take care of yourself. Plus the majority of people who advoke “stay at home” are referring to large gatherings rather than someone alone, with a dog, or family members having a walk in the forest where barely anyone goes. Or round the streets.

12. Allow yourself to have a laugh

Although we are all too aware on how serious this situation is, I genuinely think it is ok to still have a laugh. Whether related to the virus (hopefully indirectly though), or otherwise. It will just help to keep more positive spirits up, and I mean there’s nothing wrong with finding the fact that there are goats wandering around the streets in Wales, funny.

Coronavirus | A village in Wales (United Kingdom) has been invaded ...
Goats pictured, taking over a town in Wales

Sir Kier Starmer to win landslide victory as new Labour leader

Admist everything else which is going on, last Saturday, Sir Kier Starmer was elected as new Labour leader, with a landslide majority. He won a landslide majority of 56.2% of the votes after the first round, whilst Angela Rayner won deputy leadership. This included party members, “registered supporters” and members of trade unions and socialist societies affiliated to Labour. This means members of these trade unions could vote for a leader without being personally associated to the party in any way. Starmer also received the backing of a number of unions including the UK’s biggest; Unison, as well as the “Usdar Shop Woman’s union” and “Sera”- a union campaigning for environmental protection to name a few. He was also the first candidate to receive the support of two major trade unions, making him the first candidate to be part of the final race.

Keir Starmer won the party handsomely. Now he must start ...
Photo from the Guardian showing Kier Starmer’s leadership victory

So it is clear that many Labour stakeholders support him, and see him as being the right person for the job, however what are the reasons for this? What will he bring to his party, his supporters and the country? And what are his core beliefs?

So prior to the leadership campaign we had seen Jeremy Corbyn resign after two general election defeats, the latter seeing Labour lose 59 seats leaving them with just 203 seats in Parliament , making it their worst defeat since the 1930s. This left the labour party and support feeling resentful towards the leader, Jeremy Corbyn, leaving him with no choice but to resign…

This was partly as a result of a very ambitious and far left manifesto to what a large amount of the electorate would have deemed too “unrealistic” and “extreme”. As well Corbyn’s view on Brexit was less certain compared with the Prime Minister Boris Johnson thus the polls suggested most voters wanted a clear pathway. Furthermore there were some concerns about apparent anti-Semitism within the party, as well as past links Corbyn may have had with “extreme groups”. This led to the electorate seeing the Conservative party as the more palatable option.

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Jeremy Corbyn pictured at the launch of Labour’s 2019 manifesto

As well as all this leaving many voters confuzzled, Corbyn’s leadership hadn’t healed the split within the party. History tells us that prior to Corbyn’s rather surprising leadership victory in 2015, his role within the party was considerably different, as a rather distinctive backbench rebel. Since 1997, according to an article from the Mail written in 2015, Corbyn had rebelled more than 500 times against his own party, being more times than which Cameron has voted against Labour. Therefore his leadership would have been controversial within the party, causing Labour to be an ever more divided party thus a weaker institution to hold the government to account.

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Jeremy Corbyn pictured in the 1980’s as a backbench rebel MP

So how does Kier differ? Well it is certainly clear that he is ambitious to re-unite his party. Being seen as much more of a “moderate” : he stated that he wanted the Labour MP’s who were as outsiders under Corbyn’s leadership to be re-united within the party, but without alienating the far left within the party. Meanwhile, after his victory, during the Andrew Marr show that his front bench will be “balanced”, representing various views held within the party and the electorate. Meanwhile when asked if he would include some “Blairites” within the shadow cabinet, he stated he wants to remove any labelling within the party. Now he has already begun to reshuffle the shadow cabinet, with the only Jon Ashwood remaining so far as shadow health secretary. Meanwhile Emily Thornberry who also contended for the leadership before dropping out is also expected to stay within there, with a different role. So where next?

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John McDonnell, Labour MP speaking at the 2017 Labour conference,, now having lost his front place in the shadow cabinet

Starmer also said he will not be leading his party to “look back” or “badger people by the past”, but instead said that “We’re going forward to the future, focusing on how we win the 2024 general election”. So with the clear aim of uniting the party, as well as possibly edging the party away from the far left, it leaves his supporters and many Labour supporters hopeful that this movement will give the Labour party a greater chance of winning the next general election. But how likely will this be? Starma may well need to aspire to how Tony Blair, Harold Wilson, Clement Atlee and Ramsey McDonald managed to win one or more general elections for the party- being the only four Labour leaders who have done so! Whilst the most recent, Tony Blair, was known for his more centerist views, undermining some of the core traditions, views and values within the party. Thus able to appeal to a more diverse and inclusive electorate, tired of the prolonged period of Conservative dominance, under Thatcher, then Later John Major. Whilst many traditional supporters we hostile to him and his policies, seeing him as more of a Tory than a true Labour man! So what does Stama have up his sleeve that will swing so many of the electorate?

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Tony Blair,, off spitting image- 1980/90s political cartoon and comedy TV show

So his hope for party unity is a start. At least voters should have a clear image of who they are voting for, while hopefully, while united, Labour will act as a louder voice of appeal. However where does he stand on this “political spectrum” and how might this strengthen his appeal? The official UK parliament website shows that he is dedicated to voting with his party in the majority of cases. Whilst “we work for you”, another website showcasing voting history, shows that he has supported greater public ownership of transport, supports greater protection of the environment and has voted for stricter controls on tax avoidance. Meanwhile despite coming from London working as a barrister prior to becoming an MP, he was brought up in a working class home, attending grammar school and being the first member of his household to go to university.

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Kier Starmer as a barrister, before he became an MP

However his ambition to bring all factions of the party together is a concern with some, especially some of the more “hard-line” associates with the party. The fact that he has already removed a number of the hard-liners from the front bench and that he previously accused the leadership of “turning on whistle-blowers within the party” and that the “formal officials should receive an apology and financial settlement”. Therefore although Starma holds traditionally left wing views, some Labour supporters can’t help being concerned about how well the far left side of Labour will be represented in this new “era” for the party”

But other supporters, and voters are relieved at his leadership, believing that in time he will mend some of the ruptures within the party and reunite it as a forceful opposition once again. He had already pledged to toughen party rules on antisemitism, also firmly stating in a speech pre recorded before his confirmation as party leader that he will “tear out the poison (antisemitism) by the roots”. Furthermore saying he has “seen the grief it has brought to many Jewish communities”. This way, hopefully in time we may see the Jewish communities upset by the eledged anti-Semitism, restoring their faith once again within the party”.

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Photograph of members of the “Jewish labour movement”, a group who recently dropped out of supporting Labour

So what are his visions for the future? He has already announced on Andrew Marr how in opposition he will be willing to support the government when necessary, such as in times like this, whilst also “asking those difficult questions” including “a grilling on key (current) issues like testing and protective equipment for NHS staff”. Whilst writing in the Sunday times, Sir Kier said that “there will be many times when I will fundamentally disagree with the Prime Minister however there will also be times when Labour can- and must- engage constructively with the government.” Also adding that now is one of the times when they must engage while expressing that Johnson had made “serious mistakes” with regards to testing patients and fundamental NHS equipment. Meanwhile Starmer stated he is against “political point scoring.” This possibly leaves many of hopeful that he will provide a strong and effective opposition, able to increase the effectiveness of the government.

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Boris Johnson, last seen Thursday night applauding NHS workers, before unfortunately being admitted to hospital last night due to experiencing continued Coronavirus symptoms

In addition he holds the view that after this pandemic, it is “inevitable that richer people and corporations” will be needing to be taxed more to begin the gradual process of economic recovery. He also stated it would be “unthinkable” to use rigid austerity in hope to settle the economy, like Cameron’s government did after the financial crisis seeing the state having to bail out the banks. He also revealed that the rich and powerful need to be charged more, and we will have to rethink the way our economy is run. This evokes hope that we might see a world one day where things are genuinely run in a better more fair way, if we and more importantly “the rich” are able to rethink the way our country and economy can work.

We also do not know how many more events we will experience as an electorate which will alter perspectives of parties as well as our own on fundamental issues regarding welfare, the economy and of course who should be taxed by how much. And it is also very uncertain how the public will have responded to Boris Johonson’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. Whether generally we will perceive his handling of it as being very weak and irresponsible, or whether we will generally be more sympathetic towards him and brush off his faults. Whilst it is likely to take a long time for the Labour party to become fixed, and to exhale in a general election. Nevertheless with a new leader of the opposition, with strong desires to unite the party; it can at least be hoped that the opposition will become a stronger force in holding the government to account, therefore hopefully reducing the extent off some of the defects within our current government, in the near future.

And a round of applause for all of our top workers (before time)

So last Thursday, amidst the corona virus pandemic, we saw individuals, communities and the Nation come together to honour and congratulate the sheer dedication, immense hard work and the continuous gratitude of all of our NHS workers. All of course from their own homes…

It would have been impossible not to hear anything as households from London to Glasgow and from Bournemouth to Blackpool gathered outside their front doors, on top of their balconies or behind their flat window to clap, cheer or even drum: showing appreciation to all our wonderful NHS workers.

Blackpool tower features a heart, to give thanks

In addition it was not just “the people” showing their support. Blue lights shone upon key monuments across our country, from Wembley Stadium, Belfast’s City hall and even the Kelpies- a metal horse in Falkirk. And if that isn’t enough, even Boris Johnson and the Chancellor of the exchequer stood outside Downing street, of course a good two metres apart, giving their round of applause. However how did this all come apart, and since when did the young and the old and the rich and poor gain so much respect for our wonderful workers?

So it began as “#lightupblue”: a campaign to pay tribute to the NHS staff via exactly what it says on the tin, lighting up initially landmarks of entertainment, while organised by members of the entertainment and events industry. However this campaign spread pretty fast, as organisers used the internet as the platform to promote this cause, thus attracting many people at home to share and spread the message. Therefore it got around the country pretty fast. Meanwhile by Thursday, even the Royal Family Re-tweeted their support for the campaign, now known as #clapforcarers: saying that they were “enormously thankful” for the NHS workers. Prior to this event, we had also seen countries also on lockdown including Spain and Italy, paying similar tributes to their own healthcare staff. This way, we are not the first, nevertheless the huge success of this campaign shows the extent of the Nation’s support for the critical workers: especially during a time of crisis where we face no choice but to spend the time at home, with our households and sided with our neighbours.

However beforehand, when we were glued within the chaos of our increasingly busy day to day lives, we were in the habit of forgetting about how valuable our workers really are. The middle class in general are in the habit of often rolling their eyes at nurses, midwifes and carers. Meanwhile the pay doesn’t equal a 5th of what some of our so called top workers get, like top rate bankers and solicitors. Yet during a time like this, who is it who is needed at first hand to help save lives! And to keep everyone else afloat. …

It has only been a few days where we have been hearing the news referring to these people as our “key workers”, and although at all times these people are crucial to us all, it is only when we are trapped in our homes admits this frightening pandemic, that we as a society realise how critical these workers are. As it feels that finally we are beginning to see these people as commendable, deserving and essential members of society, who are the force to keeping the boat afloat.

Nevertheless it will be leaving one to question whether we will continue to recognise their just deserts and thus whether the state will begin to reward them accordingly. Once we have dispersed back into our busy lives, it may mean we may be likely to forget about all of our true key workers. Furthermore, will our government really be willing to increase expenditure at a genuine thanks.

It has been proven that many of our NHS workers are willing to work on their own merit, rather than in seeking any rewards. This can be seen as over half a million people have signed up, putting themselves out as front line staff to help with the staffing shortages. These range from students, who weren’t even yet fully qualified, to retired workers. Proving to us, the genuine dedication and community spirit of all: past, present and future front line staff. However due to their willing nature to work regardless of pay, it means that there is less pressure on the government to increase their wages. Though an alternative viewpoint could be that their pay does need to be increased, to attract more people to train as workers, to help resolve the staffing shortage. Though as desirable as a huge pay rise would be, at least as a gesture, no amount of money can match their values to society.

Regardless of your views on how larger pay rise NHS staff and other key workers should receive, following this pandemic, where high austerity is likely; this has so far shown to be a wakeup call to all of us. Making us realise that it is not those hunched up in a bank or office, those owners of huge corporations or even those researching into the next space craft, who are the most valuable to society. And it would be foolish to only thank the highly paid doctors and experts on this, when in-fact a huge amount of the force is on nurses, carers and any other key workers working flat out, day to day, to help us!

Corona virus- and self-employment

Edit- Hi,, so it looks like another corona virus thing has been added onto here. Haha. This is actually part of a post for Doorstep-News, however I am publishing it as I don’t actually know how to send a link otherwise. Looking good :/

So it is pretty awkward at the moment. It goes without saying that no one knows what is going to happen, or how it will effect them. But I guess at least workers on an employment contract who currently are not working, will receive 80% of their usual salaries by the government, whilst the country is on sort of lockdown… Whilst the wonderful key workers, including nurses, social workerss and those working in supermarkets, or anyone contributing to the food production line are still carrying on. Whilst many doing immense amounts of overtime.

But if you are self employed it is a bit of a grey area. My Dad, being a self employed accountant, is still going to work at the moment. And not working at home partly due to the isolated environment in his office. However I don’t see why it is not impossible for him to “work from home”, although it would involve carrying things to and from his office. Meaning really less self isolation. So maybe that would just be counterintuitive. And his businesses, like many, is very small…

Since lockdown, the only people who Boris has explicitly said are able to travel to and from work, are key workers; mentioned above, and people who work in banks :/ But there’s been no mention of people who are self employed yet, though it has been strongly advised previously anyone who is able to work from home should do so!

Meanwhile, just yesterday night, Sunak outlined the help that self employed people will receive, in due course. However the matchmade help to these people compared to those employees, may not be so simple as it sounds. To start with, in order to claim this 80%, rough annual income allowance, you cannot be a recently established business. Instead you have to have submitted at least a years worth of figures showing expenses and revenue, in order to claim for this. Also those who are self employed, but are part of a limited company: are uncertain to whether they will be able to get any help at all. There’s the possibility of grants from local authorities for small businesses, for instance, however no one really if or when this money will come. Meanwhile it is all still a bit of a grey area within the gig economy, as demand for takeaways fall drastically. Moreover anyone who is self employed, who is entitled to the standard allowance, will not be receiving any financial support for three months: likely to leave many small business owners out of pocket…

For the many who are self employed, remembering that this includes those in the gig economy, these current stingy allowances, are going to have a catastrophic effect on many self employed workers, and on the country. According to the ONS, self employed people make up 15% of our workforce. Therefore only time will tell whether lots of these small companies will survive, and whether the government will need to step in further, to help those whos jobs may be lost forever, and those in the dodgy old “gig economy”.

So for the time being, it looks like although work is slowed, there is still work for my Dad to be able to do (payment is another subject entirely), but we don’t know for much longer..

How to not be a dickhead during the Corona virus?


Okay, so if a virus that is potentially going to cause so much damage before enough is found out about it, and before a vaccine is formed is not bad enough- the way that people are reacting to it just makes things that bit worse, doesn’t it?

So first I want to say the easiest ways in which to act in a good manner, in order to mitigate this situation worsening for some people. Everyone really.

1. DONT buy more toilet paper, food or cleaning products that what you need.

So it’s now a well known fact that there have been certain people, buying enough toilet paper to fill up the loos in pizza express for a week. Yet they’re only buying it for themselves, and their average sized family. And it is so not necessary!

But more importantly, it is such a selfish act. When there is huge demand for a product, it often means the price is likely to rise, meaning only more well off people can afford it. Whilst there’s no actual tension on the supply of it currently, meaning that if no one was actually buying more of it than usual, there would be sufficient supplies of it for everyone- as usual. Whoo, A level economics. Or just common snse.

Meanwhile if you do find yourself in the situation where you have run out, and you are unable to get any then there are plenty of alternatives available. Take an old, or ccurrent newspaper such as the Sun or the Mail. Or failing that, an old football shirt with Chelsea on it or something.

2. Stop constantly complaining.

So the whole world is going through it. Everyone is facing huge inconveniences one way or another. And especially if you are on lockdown, one thing that is worse than dealing with your own troubles, is listening to some grump complaining CONSTANTLY. Of course, its fine to complain from time to time. It is of course extremely worrying, and inconvenient. However whilst many of us are trying to be more positive, we don’t want that ruined.

And put things into perspective. What’s worse, you not being able to go to some party, or go to the park for say a month or even a few moths, or having thousands of people die? Yeah exactly. And think on the bright side. This is hellish. However there have also been record low levels of pollution in china, Dolphins have been spotted in the canals in Venice whilst some penguin has been filmed wandering around some sea-life place gazing in at the fish, since it was shut to the public

3. Try to help people the best you can.

So youmight well be thinking, how on earth am I able to help people, when I am stuck indoors myself. well here n few ways.You can simply check on people: close family, older relatives or friends to ask how they are getting on. And if somebody is by themselves, then its especially a good idea to ring up and ask after them. A shortish conversation can genuinely really brighten up someone’ day.

Whilst with anybody; friends or relatives, it is so important to let them know that someone is there for them. As they may be having fears that you may not guess. Meanwhile check up on those who are introverted as well, as although you think they may require less social interaction to stay sane, which is true we still need to be able to know there is someone out there who cares.

As people can be having a hell of a time with family during “lockdown” and in a time like this we all need each others support to remain positive.

Also lots of areas in the UK have ways in which you can help your wider community. These range from filling required jobs like in a care home, to just ringing up more vulnerable people. The amount of commitment to this therefore hugely varies, however one tiny little thing can go a very long way.

4. Remember it’s not just “old people” who can become very ill

For God’s sake. People have invisible disibilities. They are a thing. People from any age can struggle with something like astma, heart conditions or anything making them more vulnerable. Therefore It’s important not to be like “oh well, we will be fine because we are young” or whatever, because for all you know, who you are interacting with (hopefully online) may have some condition making them more vulnerable. Also many people sstruggle with mental health conditions, making this pandemic even more terrifying and overwhelming. So just be apprecriative.

Meanwhile people may well be living with people who are assholes, or just bloody awkward. It can be extremely unpleasant for people in these situations, so just be coinsiderate. As although these people won’t be affected in exactly the same way, it can still be tough!

5. Actually listen to advice

So it is not that hard! Like to stay 2 metres apart from someone else, and not sit in huge groups or meet friends. At the end of the day, health professionals are giving us this advise in our own interest. And even if you think that you are not at risk from becoming very ill, remember you can still be a carrier. And the more people carrying this disease, the more people then who are at greater risk.

Ok… So this is no where near as concise as what I had written before to be honest, but things are moving so quickly. I just want to post this and move on. So yeah.. Just try and be positive, and be considerate.

Stay safe

Lil Update

Hiya, so here I am. Having not written anything for what seems like donkeys years whilst I was planning on writing about something a bit more light hearted compared to what I have written before . However considering how all of us are in a terrifying period of uncertainty – and without saying the word- you don’t even know whether they’ll be any stocks of loo roll, or beer apart from one……..

Bad joke! But anyways, I will very soon post something to do with that. As like everyone is taking about it and it is inevitably so so significant to everybody.

However I have got some other ideas for what content to upload on here. And it won’t all be on dead serious political issues, or moans about school or endless pages of waffle. (Well I will try my best with the latter).

However I just believe it is so important to keep a light on, if you like, during these unstable, and dark times for many of us. Therefore I want to make a conscious effort to post much more frequently, about totally different and varying issues. Because not only do I have much more time on my hands so that I am actually able to upload more often, I also believe it is so important for all of us to remember what else this life has in for us, and what good this planet does offer us….

So I have some ideas anyways. To anyone reading this- stay safe and well. And try to stay calm, think of the positive and help others through this time the best you can.


You know, I am so so bored of posting super serious content. From my view on the general election to that self care thing which was basically a car crash. Jokes. I love posting that sort of stuff.

But I still cannot wait for it to get a little warmer, so I can begin actually going to places again and seeing and doing stuff. Okay, probably not festivals as no one likes me and I don’t have the money anyway. But like some scenic hike, or some beach or some place that I haven’t visited before. Yeah that would be nice. A nice account of my travels.

But for the time being, you lot are stuck with more boring stuff. Like politics, my boring life and how to untie your shoes. Ok, maybe not that. But you get the general guist?

So with only one day left in January, what have I actually achieved. Not much to be honest. Ok, so I have kept up with school work more or less, learned a new piece on guitar which I play pretty badly and set up an instergram account to aid this blog. And how many followers do I have? 57. Wow, what an incredible achievement. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to post more often at more sensible times, and engage a bit more with people. Then more people would see the link to this. But oh well.

I suppose you can only do so much, and really what you achieve doesn’t matter., Its about how happy you are, and how happy you make other people. But looking at it from a self care perspective I haven’t really done that great. I can’t even say that I have had a good sleep or anything, as I have either been taking an hour to sleep (or maybe less, but it feels like an hour: ought to time it really), or I have been waking up at 5 o clock in the bloody morning. UGH. However in some ways so far it hasn’t been too bad. I have managed to stress less. Or at least try. I have come to accept that I am worth just as much as anyone else, regardless of what grades I am getting, or how many friends I have. And you all should believe the same. I am calming my ass down when it comes to grades. Ok, so I still want to get certain grades to enable to do my course of choice at uni. Nevertheless some universities have very high requirements, whilst others aren’t as high. So i no longer aim too go to one with the top standards. I don’t ned to be putting that amount of stress on myself (inserts calm face).

But what I am hating about myself is that I am so bloody introverted. It iss a problem at times. I wont go into it, but its like part of me enjoys being alone naaturally. But I also like being around people from time to time, and i dont know if its my nature of being an introvert preventing me from doing so, or whether it is more of an anxiety. Fat fucking thumbs up…

One more exciting news, that probably won’t come to anything,I am running as a candidate as a member of youth parliament and I’ve chosen to campaign on mental health, protecting the environment and more funding for youth services. Now whether I get in or not, I feel that it will be an engaging and cool experience. I will do a post soon setting out my goals on whether I were to get elected.

Argh, so much to do and so little time and even less time actually doing what I should be rather than procrastinating. Not great.

Anyway this was a pretty spontaneous self reflection post, aswhen I began writing I was aiming to do this about a different topic. I will still aim to do that. But I realised I had more to say than I’d initially thought, so there you go!

Victoria x

Experimenting with different types of self care for a week

So up until recently, I had a bit of a negative attitude surrounding self care; not so much surrounding the whole concept of it but surrounding the thought of myself actually attempting to take part. And as the time progressed, I would just associate it more and more with gals taking long hot baths, with about £25 worth of products just inside the water, surrounded by scented candles. And I would think to myself, who on earth has time for all of this? And what does it really achieve. Okay, so it is fun to have a bath and that, but what is it going to achieve long term, or even any other time spent outside of the bath. Nevertheless, as I gradually became more educated on self care, mainly thanks to uplifting mental health posts on Instagram, popping up on my recommended, I began to realise that self care is a lot more than just taking some prolonged soak. In fact the little things which you may not subconsciously do, or not do, make up just as large chunk of self care, than the rest of it. Really little acts, which can make a huge difference, such as saying no to something if it is likely to drain you, allowing yourself time to relax, or even removing negative people from your lives and trying to replace negative thoughts with more positive ones. And I personally think that self care, is a lot about knowing your limits, and not abusing them and therefore yourself. Knowing and acting upon when you know that you need a break, preventing drainage, and giving yourself a break when you need it.
Although I do think that it stimulates different people in different ways, and some may find one thing effective, and another totally useless and vice

And before I carry on; IT IS NOT SELFISH. In fact, as well as meaning that you will in theory feel less tired, more positive and more in touch with your own emotions, it should enable you to be in the correct mindset to have a more positive effect on other people.

Although I do think it effects different people in different ways,, and one method of self care for one person may be very effective, and another for the same person may be completely useless and vice versa. Being no expert, reading up a little about self care myself made me surprised to see not only the infinite options of it out there, but also that it had been split into different types. Some suiting one type of person more than another, however I’m sure that a lot of people hugely benefit from a combination of these. I discovered that most people break it into six different categories, in which I am going to try out one mechanism for each day. However on the Suday (tomorrow eek), I am going attempt to do one that may effect possibly 5 out of six of these, being tidying my room…

Sunday: So today was mmy first day of “self care”, and I stuck to what I said I would, which was tidying/sorting my room out. Although a couple of unsurprising things about this experience surprised me. The first being the amount of time it seems to take. So I expected to be cleaning/tidying for an hour maximum, to make my room adequately tidy again. But once I began sorting through things, I realised that there was much more to “sort through” than I had initially thought. So I started out with the floor, and it was absolutely atrocious. Not like I got round to hoovering or anything, but the amount of stuff that had accumulated on the floor was just terrible.

After the pain of thinking I’d get stuck underneath my bed, finding out of date chocolate (very sad), not to mention my back hurting, it seemed like the right time to sort through a box, which I had first packed when I first moved in, nearly two years ago. I discovered all sorts of shit I’d either forgotten about, or thought that I’d lost forever. So I ended up chucking a load away of what I now consider to be rubbish, to make room for stuff that was previously scattered around. Then afterwards I only came to find a load of stuff that I hadn’t placed anywhere, lying on my bed and in-fact my room didn’t seem to look much better at all. Or maybe it did, as it was looking pretty aweful beforehand. But hey, least I got rid of some rubbish. Admitidally I will still have to finish it up tonight, like only spending 10 mminutes or so.

What I’m curious about though, is whether having a slightly not so messy space will make me feel more at ease when I am getting ready to sleep, and when I’m in my room generally.

They do say that a tidy room equals a tidy mind (or something like that). But I wonder how true it is.. It makes good sense to me that if you are in a tidy place, you won’t feel as stress. less clutter in the room, maybe relates to less clutter in your mind too?

So let’s see how the rest of this week goes. With less of a messy room, and the first week every where I incorporate self care into my routine at all. Let alone every day!

Monday: So today I decided to do a creative form of self care, whereI made a little quote on a poser to go up on my bedroom wall. It involved a lot of painting, resulting in me never actually finishing what I was making, but oh well. I am still determined to dfinish it, because it has bveen ages since I have put anything new up on my bedroom, let alone anything created bymyself. Now this didn’t feel the most accomplishing, maybe because of the fact that painting isn’t exactly my forte, so what I have done of it so far doesn’t exactly look amazing . But nevertheless I did find it very relaxing, and in a way I felt like I had achieved something. It was a nice way to spend part of this evening, rather than rushing up and about doing one thing after another, or practising a hobby which just seems like work sometimes. So it was nice to take a break from what I usually do and focus on something else, and I now genuinely feel more relaxed because of it (or maybe the rum and coke also helped, but we won’t mention that one aha).

Tuesday: So I was intending to do something different for each day of the week. However when it came to it, I was so eager to finish off the painting, that that is all that I had time for. When it was finally finished, I did feel like I had accomplished something, that was of my own. And even though it looked absolutely rubbish, because I had come up with the idea, I was still pleased with it. Also I was proud of the fact I had something to show for it, unlike on a day to day basis. Where we do work, and it is just another dry piece of paper consisting of a messy ensemble of words. But more so, I found doing it was relaxing, which I suppose is one of the main purposes of self care.

For me, when it comes to creating something, I am much less likely to become distracted as I am so eager to not just finish it, but continue with it and watch the project evolve (sorry, this sounds soo clique). As well, as I don’t do it as often as I would like to, I find it a good break from something that I usually do. And I think that for everyone, it is good to be able to step outside your comfort zone from time to time.

Wednesday: Reading before bed

So for a prolonged period of time, I had done next to no reading. Probably thinking that I didn’t have the time. As I was far too busy trying to revise what a mole is, even though it is highly highly unlikely that I am never going to need this knowledge in any potential career path that I may be considering perusing. And then come summer, for some reason I didn’t have much chance then obviously as soon as I begun my A levels there would be no way that I could even dream of having the time. Yet I still found myself sitting on my bed like a lemon, after say 10ish, aimlessly scrolling through my instergram and looking at my snapchat just to admire people who I thought were 100 times prettier than myself and lived much better lives. Anyway, back on track.

So I decided that it would be cool if I could try spending 20-30 minutes reading instead. And it wasn’t bad. I found the book engaging, and still now I am reading it and hope to continue reading more books this year. Furthermore I found that it took my mind off other things, so that when I went to bed, it didn’t take me quite so long to get to sleep. Probably because my head was still stuck in a different world (well not literally) so I wasn’t so focused on my own worries. Another thing, I felt so much more tired than looking at my phone did. Probably because there isn’t this dazzling light which shines out of a book.

I don’t even know if I am making any sense now, so I am going to move on.

Thursday: Yoga; I tried it for like 5 seconds :/ Ok, well more like 5 minutes but still. Now to be brutally honest, I don’t think it did anything for me. however obviously it would be worth trying as I know it can have a very calming effect on some people. Especially if you take yourself seriously when you do it, and actually believe that it might do something.

Though at the same time, if your sad and you then try yoga, it aint gonna solve all your problems!

Friday: Writing/journaling. Ok so not this, but something different. For my birthday a friend goot me a letter writing kit, where you basically write letters to yourself, to be opened at future dates. And I had had it for about a month, but I hadn’t written a single letter. So I thought it would be a good time to actually do one. I quite enjoyed it, though it didn’t really destress me as I wasn’t venting. But its a cool, creative and very reflective thing to do. I think journaling and writing can be a great method of self care, to give yourself time to reflect on the bigger picture rather than just what is happening at the moment. Also venting on paper, for me is great.

Saturday: Going for walk

So this sounds pretty basic. But if you go to a place that you like, then I think it can genuinely feel very refreshing. I went to the beach (as usual to be honest when I go for walks) and regardless of the number of times I go there, I find visiting it nice and refreshing. I’m not sure whether it’s engaging with mature or what, but it is nice to go just to give yourself a break and look at the real world I guess. Also it can be beneficial going by yourself to clear your own thoughts, or going with somebody else like a close friend or a member of family where you end up talking about things that you wouldn’t usually talk about if you were just at home, or school or wherever.

The flattering sunset must have helped as well, considering that I was there mid afternoon time (where in the winter, yup its already getting dark). So yeah, I guess that was pretty good.

So I am going to conclude this in the most honest way that I can. So I ffound that the self care techniques definitely were effective to some extent, but admitidally I didn’t practise a technique every single day. So where I said about this lasting for a week; well it didn’t. The reason being is that after day 3, I unfortunately found myself too busy to be incorporating self care into my daily routine. Ok, so I could have still done it, but it would have made it very late going to bed, plus I was just too tired for it. I feel that’s because I was trying to forge it, rather than 100% doing it for myself and doing something that I genuinely wanted.

This way, I’ve found that for me, it is best not to try to superficially forge self care as a structured part of my day to day routine. Instead it is better for me to be able to do it when it suits me best. But not forgetting to do it. This way, I am still looking after myself however I am not trying to make something that should be relaxing, stressful because of how busy I am. But yet again, you might think that surly it is more important to put yourself before a immense list ofdaily tasks.

Therefore I believe it depends on the person yo are and your needs. For some people, structuring self care into your routine is vital, say if you are in the strong habit of never finding time for yourself, and especially if this is causing you to struggle with mental health. Also for anyone who has had a rough time, and may find it difficult to care and look after themselves. This way, having this as part of your daily routing, should hopefully remind yourself hopw important it is to look after yourself. However if you find that generally you manage to take a break from time to time, and you’re managing then that may not be necessarily. But keep taking breaks, it is so so important. And finally, self care is most certainly not just about taking long baths and doing yoga. Sometimes its just being able to say no, be close with genuine people who appreciate you and not those who have a more toxic effect, and to not be too hard on yourself.

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