Tag Archives: Mindset

Getting Back Out On The Road Again.

Copy of I Never Want To Run A Marathon... And That’s Okay (4)

Happy Sunday all! It’s been a little while since I’ve been blogging, it’s definitely been a busy few months for all the right reasons and while we’re currently (at the time of writing) in a crisis of the Coronavirus, I wanted to talk about something I’ve been working on recently to distract myself and that’s getting back into running (again!) and if you haven’t read my “2020: The Year of Running?” I’d recommend reading that first.

Towards the very very end of the year last year, I was on a roll with the running and on New Year’s Day, Scott and I went out for a lovely run to one of our local parks and it was great. I didn’t care about the time at this point, we were just glad to be out for a run. However… that’s where it stopped for a while. That’s the thing about the dark mornings and the dark evenings; you might be the type of person who can get motivated during these times but for me, it’s a time that can get me quite down especially after a day of work and I couldn’t think of anything less appealing than going to the gym or out for a run. (However, I love going to the gym, but getting myself out for a run was much harder)

So initially, I was training for the Craic 10K race that takes place on St. Patrick’s Day every year in Belfast. However, due to the Coronavirus, many races like these have been cancelled or postponed until a later date. It wasn’t something that shocked me because of course, it’s the right thing to do but I was aware that there was a high possibility of this happening. 

The next postponed date in June gives me quite a lot of time to improve my timings which I think will give me an aim for the next few months. I’m 100% confident that I can run the distance because I’ve done it before (and if I wasn’t confident, I know that would be about the mindset rather than the physical challenge).

For the meantime, we have no other races booked because we don’t know what position the country will be in over the next few weeks or next few months.

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I’ve started running on the treadmill more recently than I ever have before. I tend to get bored on the treadmill but I find that I get intimidated by outside sometimes; I would make excuses to run with Scott but in all honesty, I was worried about not being able to run the length of myself. While I was trying to get out of my own head, I found the treadmill in the gym really helpful because even though I wasn’t going a full 5K distance, I was still pushing myself and working out my perfect pace, so I was still doing the work. 

Our most recent run went really well in fact; we ran 8K (or five mile) altogether and only stopped twice. Scott and I normally walk for about ten minutes or so before we start our run, to give our bodies time to warm up, we’ve found it’s a perfect warm up tactic for us. 

It started off at a slower pace but we had talked about not worrying about the time, the distance was more important. You have to choose one or the other when you’re getting back into running, so, because we were originally preparing for the 10K race, that’s why we choose distance. I was really surprised how clear my head was; if you’ve read previous blog posts of mine, you’ll know that mindset is a huge barrier for me and if I’m not in the mood to workout, I CAN NOT push it.

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We ran down one of our favourite routes that goes towards the water and we were absolutely fine until we got to the park where the beach is partially exposed. That’s when we discovered that some families have no consideration for anyone but themselves. As a runner, walker and cyclist, I’m very aware that we all need to be aware of our surroundings. I let others runners run past me, if a cyclist is behind me and I don’t realise until late, I instantly move out of the way. If there is a large family, I try my best to give them room but I get frustrated when a family take up an entire path and I believe that’s where my limit ends. It ended up putting me off my run a little and it was frustrating. I know now that we need to take another part of the route next time to make sure that doesn’t happen again but if we’re all more aware of our surroundings, then it will make everyone’s journey a much happier place. (Rant over right?)

Apart from that one issue, I was happy with the run. We did over the 5K distance that I wanted to do, my breathing was fine throughout the majority of it and I was so pleased that my head let me go further than I originally thought. Our time was 1 hour and 5 minutes and while I wasn’t concentrating on time, it’s hard not to reflect back on what you used to do. 

IMG-20180902-WA0010-01.jpeg(Our old race numbers from a few years ago!)

I was talking to someone about this on Instagram this week about my mindset when it comes to running. It’s hard not to reflect on what you used to do; my fastest 10K was 1 hour and 4 minutes so for a 8K to have a slower time, it can have an effect on me but I’ve found it really important to be present in my runs and I know the more I run, the faster I will be. That’s how I originally became faster; my first ever 5K was 40 minutes and it got down to 30 minutes and 2 seconds and all that was because of hard work and consistency. I also have to think about where I was in my life at that point, I wasn’t particular happy in my job at that point and I used it as a distraction, whereas now I’m very happy with so many elements in my life that part of me doesn’t mind that I’m slower, because I’m now a lot happier.

I’m currently working on what my running goals are going to be, now that I’m getting back out there more often. Whether I will post them on the blog publicly, I haven’t decided yet. Thank you so much as always for reading today’s post and if you have any tips or advice surrounding this, you can let me know over on my usual Twitter and Instagram social channels. Have a great week! 🌻

Here’s The Thing About Depression…

Here’s The Thing About Depression...

Here’s the thing about depression… it can strike at any time, for any amount of time, and sometimes there’s not even a legitimate reason, it just happens. In today’s post, I discuss how I have been dealing with it lately.

Lately, my life has been pretty great. I started a wonderful new job at the beginning of the year which I love; I’m getting on top of my diet and my fitness routine, I’m happy with my social life (it’s busy but not too busy) and my relationship with Scott is as strong as ever. That’s the thing that I’m struggling with… my life is lovely at the minute and I can’t really complain. I’m not stressed on the daily anymore and I’m able to switch off a lot faster than I ever was able to before. Unfortunately that depression switch can turn itself on at ANY point, and I’ll admit that I still struggle with that..

I tend to hide away from my depression because in my head, if I hide away from it, it’s not there. I find it hard to give myself some compassion that this is something that I will likely deal with for most of my life. I can’t hide from it, I can certainly control it with the correct treatment but sometimes you can’t control everything. It slips in when you least expect it and it’s difficult to understand why, especially when we live in a world that we’re always told that “someone has it worse than you” so automatically you feel bad that those feelings slip through the cracks and sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t complain. I have a roof over my head, I have a warm bed at night, I have food on the table and I have a body capable of movement; that’s what everyone desires right?

wp-1580680048986.jpg(Capturing the beautiful pink sky a few weeks ago in Belfast City Centre)

That’s the thing with depression… it comes in many forms and it’s not just feeling sad. Most of the depression I have lived with has been multi-functioning so I’m fortunate that I can get up in the morning, go to work every day and carry on with my life, but that didn’t mean I didn’t struggle. When I was unemployed, getting out of bed was sometimes the hardest thing to do that day but that particular feeling hasn’t been very strong in quite some time. Wanting to sleep more, emotional eating with the sweet treats, not being interested in activities I used to enjoy (Ie. the gym or writing blog posts are two of many), not wanting to meet up with friends and simply staying at home are what I am dealing with at the moment and these are especially tough during the weekend. I’m very lucky that I love my job so I have a distraction during the week, but once it hits home time, I have started those feelings come back again and as I mentioned, the weekends are a little harder to deal with, and I think it’s because I don’t have that “going to work” mindset.

Scott is pretty quick to notice my change in behaviour and when I beat myself up for letting it get to me, he’s also very quick to say “you have something that sometimes you can’t control, and that’s okay” and it truly is a control mindset. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t touch alcohol; I like to be in one hundred percent control of my mind and body, so having an imbalance that I can’t control all the time, that’s very tough for me. I know that having bad days or bad weeks comes with the territory and I know that if it was a friend in this situation, I would be talking so differently, but we tend to be so much tougher on ourselves, rather we would be to a friend.

wp-1580680221534.jpg(Down by Jordanstown beach during the Summer)

I still have quite a hard time coming to terms with the fact that everything can be fine yet my head tells me a different story, Scott has described it as life being great but it’s almost like my head is looking for something to go wrong, which sounds like me. I’m normally looking for the negative in things so that theory sounds correct. It’s tough when you have all these things planned out for after work or during the weekend but within a snap of your fingers, you just want to go home and sit in silence or go to bed early. Not only do I feel sorry for myself, I feel bad that I’m changing plans for Scott too. He always says not to worry about it because he is very understanding but when we don’t get to do what I had originally planned, it’s really frustrating for me.

I know this didn’t really have a start, middle or an end like most of my posts do, and while this conclusion wasn’t planned, I guess it’s ironic that this whole process hasn’t been linear either so why should me talking about it be also? Anyway, as always, thank you for taking the time to read today’s post, I really do appreciate it ❤️

Four Mindset Changes To Help You Get Back On Track.

Copy of Testing Out Six Tidying and Decluttering Methods

Writing your first post after almost six weeks definitely feels strange but I’m glad to be back at it. If you have been following me on Instagram or even reading my previous posts, you’ll know that I had an incredible trip away to New York and Toronto but during this time, I chose not to blog and even when I came back, I took a scheduled break. Today’s post is Part One (of two) about how I’m changing my mindset to get back on track and while I took a break from the blog, this topic isn’t specific to that; this is more on a day-to-day life aspect. 

“Recognizing that you shouldn’t feel guilty.” 

Yes, you read that right; from the guilt queen herself, recognize that you shouldn’t feel guilty. For me, only up until recently, it was hard for me not to feel guilty about anything but it gets pretty exhausting carrying that around all the time. For the majority of the time, I try my best and sometimes it’s the right thing and sometimes it’s the wrong thing. I’ll give you an example; when we were away, I’d say our food was a really good balance of healthy and indulgent but not once on our trip did I think “I shouldn’t be eating this” which is a huge step for me, because it was important for me to enjoy every moment when I was there. I didn’t want to carry food guilt when I was trying to enjoy myself, and I think that’s understandable for a lot of people. There’s also so many activities that we didn’t get to do but I know that I have to understand that there was no way I was going to fit in everything I wanted to do, without feeling exhausted. I’m constantly reminding myself that I had an incredible trip that I never thought I would go on and I’m so grateful for that opportunity that I refuse to let myself feel annoyed about places or activities we didn’t get to see, because we did get to experience so much. 

“Choose what your priorities are after your break.” 

We all know that in order to progress in life or move forward day-to-day, we have priorities and everyone is different. Some have career focused goals that need more specific priorities than someone who is training for a gym competition. For me, I wanted to focus on two; getting my food back on track and exercising on a more consistent basis. The holiday was absolutely perfect for exercising because we were walking around 25,000 steps a day so we were constantly moving but it showed me that I hadn’t been on top of my game with exercise back home. It was the same with food; we treated ourselves when we were away but I wasn’t preparing food as well as I should have for my work lunches before that and I was using too many single use plastic options for those “lazy” days in work and I wanted to stop that. 

“Easing yourself back in step-by-step.” 

One of the biggest mistakes we all make is rushing into new things especially new habits and when we rush, we fail to give ourselves enough time to fit our new habit into our lives. We want it to be perfect right from the get-go no matter what habit we want to implement but unfortunately when we have that attitude and something goes wrong a day or even a week in, we’re discouraged instantly. That’s why we have to start slow and making sure consistency is key, rather than putting pressure on ourselves to live this perfect life change from the get-go. For example, as much as I would have loved back into a super focused gym routine six days a week and have every meal planned out; that wouldn’t have worked for a number of reasons. 1) That’s too much too fast and it’s much easier to commit to the gym or an exercise two or three times a week and build from there. 2) Planning out every meal sounds like an absolute dream but you have to remember that life happens, so planning out your breakfast and lunch still gives you that stability and having dinner be more spontaneous, still lets you let go of that control just enough. 3) Does taking on too much after a break not add extra pressure to your plate? Is it better to feel extra pressure or is it better to take your time and be able to navigate your lifestyle change easier? 

“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” 

I’m more aware than anyone when it comes to setting goals because I used to be a chronic goal-setter but that sometimes held me back but while I would set all these goals, I wouldn’t have a plan in place to go through with them. Failure is essentially my fear and I always felt I had failed if I didn’t do something I had planned out as a goal. With years of knowledge, I know that the goal isn’t the be-all-end-all, it’s more to do with the step-by-step plan that you put in place to get to the end. For meal prep, I know I need to have a specific shopping list of ingredients, I also know that I need to plan out at least two hours of cooking time (including chopping) and I know I need a container to put the bulk meal into. It’s little easy steps like that that can help or hind your progress.  

victoria-wilson-34(Photography by Jess Lowe Photography)

In order to explain more in-depth about what I’ve been doing since I got back, I’ll write more about that in my next post to give you an example or two because this is part of my two-month goals essentially. At the start of the year, I explained that I was changing from three month goals to two months, but I missed March completely because I didn’t want the pressure of having a “goal” while we were away and I knew that April was my “getting back on track” month and that’s why I thought this two-parter would be a fantastic way to reflect that.  

Do you have any tips for getting back on track that you think I should know about? Let me know! I’m over on Twitter and Instagram but if you love blog comments, you can find them down below too. Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post, I really do appreciate it! 

What is a “Wild Friday Night”?

Quite commonly over social media, I’ll see the phrase “wild Friday night” spread across various platforms when they are sharing what they have planned for their Friday evening. More often than not, many people aren’t heading out for the evening and opting to stay at home to catch up on something they’ve missed on TV or taking advantage of their time off from work. So in today’s post I’m asking, why are we hiding behind this phrase no matter how we choose to spend our evening? 

adult-bar-blur-696218(Photograph by Helen Lopes)

Being almost twenty-seven, I have never been someone who was out every weekend. In fact, my nights out are far and few between but admittedly, when I do go out, I enjoy myself. I will happily admit to friends and even did so a few weeks ago, I regret saying yes at first and dread going out, but once I’m in the flow of the evening, I’m glad I went. To some, that may sound rude but the friend I was telling at the time knew what I meant and we’re pretty open with how we feel, so I felt comfortable being upfront with him.

When I was younger, I didn’t go out very much either. I have never been a drinker so that certainly played a part in invitations but that’s something I only struggled with in my late teens and it didn’t bother me too much. What I know now as anxiety, is what riddled me when I did get invited out on nights out. I worried about every little thing from what I was going to wear, what if I got mugged and couldn’t get home, what if I lost my friends and what if something happened to me. My brain would go into overdrive and I believe that’s where my feelings of dread still come from to this day.

background-blur-bokeh-220067.jpg(Photograph from Pixabay)

We’re so used to a traditional Friday night being a night where you get dressed up, head out into town and let go of the work week but I believe we’re slowly starting to change the perception of the weekend. It’s not that nights out aren’t becoming less common but we’re becoming more open about what brings us happiness when it comes to our days off.

So why are we making a joke about what makes us happy? Is it because it may not fit into that traditional idea we grew up believing or that has possibly come from the influence of television and film? I know I have probably said this quite a few times I the past in real life and on social media, and I’m not sure why. I’ve never been one to want to fit in and as much as we say that being normal is boring, I truly believe that there is no such thing as normal. Are we heading the other direction to try and not be normal, when in reality, there is no such thing as normality? This could be the battle that we’re facing and we might not even know it.

beverage-books-caffeine-904616.jpg(Photograph from Pixabay by Thought Catalog)

A “Wild Friday Night” is very much like “Monday Syndrome” in my eyes. It’s a mindset that we become stuck on and it can be very hard to change our attitude on it so we hide behind it instead because we’ve never challenged it before. So; whether your perfect Friday night is heading out with friends in your local bar, sitting in with some popcorn and a film or going to bed early to catch up on sleep you missed, it’s still your Friday night regardless with no need to label it.

How do you like to spend your Friday night? How much do you value your evenings at home and how important do you believe nights out with your friends and family are? Let me know over on my Twitter or my Instagram, I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

SS: Sunday Saves (#85) Affirmations.

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Good morning all and welcome back to my first Sunday Saves of February! This week I’ll be discussing affirmations and recently, this has become quite a powerful tool that I’m incorporating into my mindset and because of this, I wanted to explore it more and open it up to anyone who has ever been interested in finding out more about this technique.

1) Tiffany Nicole Forever (Affirmation Mindset – How To Create A Mindset Equipped For Affirmation Manifestation)

A post to get us started on this subject is this one from Tiffany Nicole. I know when I first read it, I remember thinking back to when I first heard about affirmations a few years ago, and this is what I came across. I heard positive and negative things from other people online and I wasn’t too sure how to implement this into own life. Coming back a few years later and researching further into this practice, it is very uplifting and quite freeing and using Tiffany’s post, she gives you a brief overview on how exactly affirmations can work if you put the work in.

2) Axtschmiede (The Power of Repeated Affirmations)

“You can expect something to change over night.” We’ve all heard that phrase, right? That’s exactly how affirmations work. You can’t just say something positive and have it happen straight away. This post from Axtschmiede explains just that; affirmations are a tool to looking at life from a different perspective and if you’ve spent half of your life thinking negativity, you won’t just change that in a day or even in a week. Your choice of words and phrases as well as your subconscious mind are all talked about in this post, which I think is essential if you want to look deeply into this practice in order to understand how and why you want something to change.

3) Tampa Bay Mom’s Blog (How I Used Positive Affirmations To Overcome My Negative Thoughts)

Diana’s story is very relatable because all of us can remember when negative thoughts either get in our way or tell us that we can’t do something. I loved reading her story because not only did her negative thoughts affect her, they also affected her son and I believe that’s something that we don’t think about enough. Our attitudes, our mindset, our perspective on life, it can start to rub off on those around us but it’s never too late to make a change, especially if you want it to.

4) Ellie K (12 Positive Affirmations for 2018)

I wanted to add Ellie’s post into this post because she can give you a few ideas on what affirmations look like and how you can cater them to part of your life you want to improve on. “I start a new chapter every day”. Let’s take this for example; this could be for a fitness goal, starting work on a new project, wanting to have a better morning routine or simply trying to be more forgiving towards yourself so you give yourself a fresh slate every day. Affirmations really can be anything you want them to be depending on how you want them to positively change your life.

5) I Take Success (Power of The Sticky Note)

Last but not least, I want to finish on this post by Stacey. I personally like to say my affirmations out loud during a meditation to weave them into my thought process but everyone will work differently. Some people might not want to do that so she gives quite a simple piece of advice, write it on a sticky note and have that near you to remind you of your mindset. Whether that be on your fridge, on your favourite coffee cup, on your computer desk or you could even do it as a background on your phone (even though it’s not really a sticky note at that point); it’s all about that constant reminder and keeping it in your head.

I hope you enjoyed reading today’s blog post, I really love my new style and format to this series because I’m coming for all different angles on the same subject, but if you have any feedback for me, please don’t hesitate to find me on the socials to let me know. 

SS: Sunday Saves (#48)

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Good morning and I hope you’re having a great Sunday so far! I can barely believe it’s almost the end of April already! I feel like I was just blogging about Christmas not too long ago. Anyway, we’re two Sunday Saves away from the big 50 which I can’t quite believe either, but it’s such a lovely series to do, and if you haven’t caught up with it yet, you can click here and you’ll be taken to every single post in the series so far.

Today I’m talking about the emotional connection we all seem to have to Monday’s, how to overcome digital distractions and the six stages of procrastination

1) What Gemma Did (Monday Motivation: Mondays Don’t Suck)

If you think Monday’s suck and it is your most hated day of the week; one, you need to change your mindset completely and two, you need to read Gemma’s post on why Monday’s aren’t the worst after all. She makes some really good points about putting the actual day into perspective and how it can be seen as a fresh start for you and your goals. I can be quite guilty of treating Monday as “Ugh, not again” but even I’m working on trying to flip my perspective on that.

2) Thirteen Thoughts (How To Overcome Digital Distractions)

Digital distractions are the worst especially when you need to work online to get your work done. Paula gives us a few recommendations on what to do when you’re getting distracted by fifty browser tabs (Okay, maybe not 50, but a lot of browser tabs!) or maybe you can’t stop looking at your phone because it keeps going off every two seconds. I especially love her app recommendation so I think I might have to give that a go, it sounds quite adorable (and productive, obviously!).

3) Artsy Teen Blog (The 6 Stages of Procrastination)

Maya’s post is so on point! She talks about the six stages of procrastination and I couldn’t agree more. You’ll have to read her post for yourself to see what they are, but even the little illustrations are so cute!

Well that’s all for this week’s post. Thank you for reading and if you have any thoughts on the posts, make sure to leave some comments on their blogs and spend the love! ❤

Spreading positivity with Itty Bitty Book Co!

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When I first started my blog, I never imagined I would be talking about my mental health, I thought my blog would just be a place to talk about nail polish, lifestyle and my beauty empties. Here I am though, in a community that talks loud and often about issues that affect them, mental health being one and because it’s such a true reflection of me, it makes me proud to write my blog and share some of the experiences that I have had in my life so far.

Positivity is a word that I see every day on Twitter and Instagram and hear in almost every podcast I listen to. I think positivity and negativity both have their place in life, but today I’m focusing on positivity. I am very happy to be teaming up with the Itty Bitty Book Company for, what will hopefully be, a long partnership of spreading happiness throughout the web, Northern Ireland and the world!

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Who are Itty Bitty Book Co? As you may or may not know, I live in Northern Ireland and Itty Bitty are based here too. They make all their products here and they were established in 2013. I’ll not give you their whole back story when they do a much better job to telling it over on their website, but I want to tell you about one of my favourite quotes from their website (which is available in print form here! )and what it means to me.

“Believe in yourself and all that you are, know that something inside of you is greater than any obstacle”

I think a lot of us are held back by ourselves; our worries, our fears and our self-doubt. Now yes, some of us might even be held back by other people but ultimately when it all boils down to delving into our deepest fears and what we worry about, it comes within ourselves. This quote to me tells me that we all have our negative moments and negative thoughts but if you work on yourself continuously, you can come out on top of that negativity and win. Whether that be on your own, with a friend, with a family member, with a therapist, with a group; if you work through your emotions and go in deeper as to why you feel the way you do, you build up a relationship with yourself that will be harder to break as time goes on.

This won’t happen over night, this won’t happen by saying one quote every day for a year, that’s not what I’m getting at at all. You can defeat anything, you just have to believe in yourself. Belief is much more stronger sense than people give it credit for.

I’m really looking forward to taking part in the #PositivityTakeover (and I’ve just ordrered their little cards which you can find right here!) and all the other campaigns with Itty Bitty too! I have included affiliate links throughout this post as I am a Itty Bitty Ambassador.

(Photography credit goes to Sera from The Style Guide Blog)