Looking After Your Mental Health Over The Holidays

Blogmas 2019: Looking After Your Mental Health Over The Holidays

Ah Christmas, jolliness, lights, and joy – right? But what if you’re not feeling like that during the holidays? It’s worth remembering that for a load of reasons this time of year can be tough for people. They may be living with depression, dealing with grief, not be able to celebrate or could be dealing with a mental health condition.

So here’s a few things to remember to look after your own mental health.

You’re allowed to take a break when you need one

The world might seem like it’s go, go, go over the break but that doesn’t mean you have to. Even if it’s a bath at night or having a cup of tea and 5 minutes to yourself – having a little me time is ok and should be encouraged!

Remember that your social media feeds aren’t always real life

Last New Years Eve I was really ill with a chest infection and while everyone else way partying I was in my PJs and asleep while Ali worked. Christmas is full of decorations, parties and Best 9’s most people aren’t sharing their hardest parts, the days where they cried, their break outs and break ups!

If you have toxic family members in your life you don’t have to spend it with them

I know a lot of people who have tense and sometimes unhealthy relationships with their family but still drag themselves to spend time with them because ‘Christmas is for family’. If it’s detrimental for your physical or mental health then you don’t need to go. If you can’t get out of it try to limit your time where possible – also bathrooms are great places to take a minute to yourself!

Know it’s ok to be sad or tired

This Christmas is going to be a tough one for me and I know there will be times when I’ll be sad. It’s my first Christmas in 12 years without my dog. I will have also worked 7 days straight before so I might not be as festive as I normally am but I’m working on not feeling guilty about it.

Only drink alcohol if you want to!

There’s a lot of pressure to drink around this time, you don’t want to? Then don’t! Also remember no one turns down a designated driver!

Know it’s okay if you need to just get through it

Take it one day at a time.

If anyone comments on your weight eat them

Yep, I know it’s an old joke but I hope it gave you a laugh.

Do you have anything you would add? Let me know below.

Blogmas 2019: Getting to 1,000 Subscribers!

This wasn’t a planned post from Blogmas but it’s one that I’m pretty chuffed to write! In the last few days I reached 1,000 subscribers to my little corner of the internet!! Yippie!!

Way back when I started University in 2013 I didn’t think of this blog as being something I’d still be doing 6 years later and with over 1,000 people getting my posts to their email. It’s been a really nice end to the year blogging wise, particularly as I haven’t been able to put as much into my blog in 2019 as I wanted to but you guys have still kept reading!

Thank you so much to each and every one of you 1,000 people because it really does mean so much to me to have your support. Whether you’ve been here since my daily posting at university to 2-3 posts a week now you’re awesome and I can’t wait to keep sharing with you the next part of my life and ideas!

This was a pretty great gift!

Blogmas 2019 - Retail At Christmas

Blogmas 2019: Retail At Christmas

I’m doing it – literally when this goes out I will have been doing it for about 3 weeks. I’ve taken the plunge and headed back to retail for 6 weeks. I’m still freelance but I’m currently between contacts. Where has tempted me to go back into the world of Christmas shoppers? Waterstones of course!

Waaaay back when I was 15 (10 years ago 😬) I did my school work experience in the local book shop, which is the one I’m going back to. I didn’t manage to get the temp job then but I am back!

This is my first Christmas in retail since I was about 17! Last time I was working at Debenhams, I was pretty miserable because I had no interest in what I was selling this time however, I am pumped. I’m selling books guys – BOOKS!

It’s going to be fun and tiring but it’s a new experience for me and I’m looking forward to helping people find books for the people they love. That said, I’m not dumb I know there will be busy and testing times this season but bring it on!

When you’re shopping in the run up to Christmas, don’t forget:

People in retail are people too!

Sighing will not get you any closer to the front of the line.

Everyone is trying to get things done

A smile costs nothing but can change everything

Are you working in retail this Christmas? Let me know below!

Blogmas 2019: Unpopular Opinions – Christmas Edition 🎄

So, as you all know I LOVE Christmas but there might be some opinions I have that aren’t popular. Seeing as you guys love my unpopular opinions posts I thought I might crack one out for Christmas.

As of November 1st, it is time for Christmas

Halloween is done and it’s time for Christmas – someone defrost Michael Buble and Mariah Carey!

Christmas shopping throughout the year is ok!

Most of my Christmas shopping was done by the 1st December and I’m not kidding. So many people thought I was a giant weirdo which, ok maybe I also am, but I LOVED it.

You don’t need alcohol to have a good Christmas

Personally, I don’t really drink over Christmas. I think I get it from my Mum because she was almost always the designated driver while I was growing up so I’ve happily taken that role on now.

Children singing in public places is not needed

Nope, nope, nope. I WAS one of those kids but bloody hell the last thing you need in a packed shopping center is a load of children singing, 20 odd parents standing still with phones

You can keep your Mince Pies and Christmas Puddings

Gross, gross, GROSS.

Vienetta is a perfect Christmas dessert

The best, much beautiful, many yums.

Eating out on Christmas Day is shitty

Here’s the thing people who can’t be bothered to book pay a lot of money for someone else to cook for them BUT what about everyone working? Most service industries do not let their staff have any time off over Christmas.

It sucks but I get it with hotels but Christmas Dinner? No one needs to go for an overpriced meal when they can cook at home most of those people want to be at home with their families not serving your parsnips.

Are there any you don’t agree with or would add?

The Boujee Book Tag

Blogmas 2019 – The Boujee Book Tag

‘Tis the season for more book tags tra la la la la la la la laaaaaaaa. I know I’ve done a lot of Christmassy Book Tags over Blogmas but I’ve seen so many good ones, so why not?

This tag was created by abookolive. Go and give her some love!

1. What is your average monthly budget for books?

Hahahahahaha. Oh, you’re serious? I don’t set myself a budget some times I’ll buy 1, sometimes 3 or if I got to a bookish event like YALC I might get 20 or so…

2. What’s the most you’ve ever spent in a bookstore?

Probably £50 or so? BUT I do get discount in a book shop this Christmas…so we’ll see. At YALC though which isn’t technically a book shop but a lot of stalls I saved and then spent about £150. Eeek!

3. Are you willing to pay full price for a brand new release, or will you wait until you have a coupon or there’s a sale?

I will completely pay full price for a new release! Although I am guilty of a buy one get one free…

4. Would you rather buy one new book or several less expensive used copies?

It depends on the condition of the books to be honest. If they’re in good condition yes but if they’re stained and battered probably not…

5. What do you think is a reasonable price for a new hardback book? A paperback? An eBook?

Hmmm it depends on the book really. I think £15 for a hardback is reasonable, £7.99 for a paperback and about £3 for an ebook.

6. Is a signed book worth more to you? How about a first edition?

Yes, 100%. I love having signed books that the author has touched themselves. And I absolutely LOVE going to signings!

7. What is your most valuable book (sentimental or actual value)?

Hmmm, probably my first edition delux of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Fun fact, we found it at a car boot sale for 50p because people didn’t know what they were selling…

8. Will you pay more for a cover or edition you like better?

Yep.

9. What physical characteristics does a good quality book have?

Nice cover, good quality pages, not mass market or a film poster cover *shudder*.

10. If you won the lottery, what bookish things would you do with the money?

Ok so I have this dream of renting a huge car or even a limo and taking it up to Waterstones Piccadilly and Foyles in Tottenham Court Road after hours to shop to my hearts content. Then have my own library in a new house. Also track down a first edition copy of The Bell Jar.

BONUS: Give us an image (actual or mental) of your dream home library!

Ok so first of all huge, thick carpets and electric heating (open fires are great but fire near books?!) wall to wall shelves, comfy sofas and a small tea tray stacked with snacks and tea at all time.

Want to have a go? Then I tag you – make sure you post your link below!

Blogmas 2019: Ranking The Celebrations Chocolates

Blogmas 2019: Ranking The Celebrations Chocolates

Well, this might be a controversial post but I’m ready to take it on. Are you? I’ve decided that over December I’ll be ranking the tubs of Christmas chocolates and first up we have Celebrations.

Here’s my rankings – keep it civil in the comments guys, we can do this… let’s open the box.

8 – The Snickers One

Ok, so I’m just not a fan of Snickers, not my cup of tea and they always seem to be left at the bottom of the box so I feel like I might not be the only one with this opinion… *ducks*

7 – The Milky Way One

I don’t mind a Milky Way but in mini form it just seems kinda pointless? You can’t get the most of the floaty flavour and I think you just need that from a Milky Way.

6 – The Mars Bar One

Again, similar to the Milky Way one it’s just too small to get the benefit of the bar and I really do like a Mars Bar every now and again!

5 – The Bounty One

Bounty gets such a bad rep and is normally left at the bottom which in my opinion is not deserved. Yes putting it above Mars is controversial BUT I think it works in the tiny size and the more people who leave it for me the better.

4 – The Galaxy One

This is a classic and give me pure joy. There’s no fuss, no frills it’s just a good piece of chocolate you know you can rely on…yes I did just write that about a piece of chocolate.

3 – The Twix One

I’m a big fan of a Twix and while I’m not sure it’s worth swapping out the Galaxy truffle I do love this mini Twix. Crunchy, chocolatey and I can’t eat just one.

2 – The Galaxy Caramel One

Mmm, mmm, mmm gorgeous Galaxy with some smooth caramel? Yes, I am aware that I sound like an advert, this is not spon (but I wouldn’t say no 😉 ) These are so tasty and very nearly got the top spot but were just pipped to the post by the almighty…

1 – The Malteser One

The winner, the almighty, was there any other answer really? There’s a reason there’s a gift box of just Malteser ones because they are the best and I won’t budge on this one. Yes I will also fight my sister for them when Mum and Dad get the chocolates out.

Special shout out to the Galaxy truffle which was a wonderful addition until they ruthlessly cut it.

How would you rank them? Let me know in the comments below and keep an eye out for the next installment 👀.

10 Thoughts Spoonies Have Over The Holidays

Blogmas 2019: 10 Thoughts Spoonies Have Over The Holidays

Ah Spoonie life, aren’t you lovely? Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year buuuut my Fibro doesn’t always play nicely. If you’re a regular reader though you know I’ll poke fun at myself when I can because you have to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

So, I thought I’d have a little bit of fun with this one because I know a lot of my Spoonie friends are feeling the same

1. I’m going to pace myself this year

Personally, I alway start with the greatest of intentions, I’m going to chill out, have rest breaks etc. That said though, I’m not the best at pacing myself at a normal time of the year – let alone the time I’m allowed to be super extra.

2. If one more person asks me if I’m ‘better yet’ I may start throwing the Sprouts

WHAT PART OF CHRONIC ILLNESS DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND.

3. I wonder if I could make an advent calendar for my meds to make them more festive…

Always looking for ways to be more festive!

4. Can I put a new body on my Christmas list?

Don’t say you haven’t thought about it…I know I have. New central nervous system? Come to mumma!

5. How do I know/ am I related to so many people?

Seriously though, everyone wants to meet up at Christmas for a catch up or a coffee…because it’s Christmas/the holidays.

Of course you’re (mostly) grateful that there are people that love and care for you but trying to fit them all into the 24 days before Christmas on limited spoons is tough.

6. Yes I have a mobility aid. Yes I’m XX years old. Yes you are in my way.

I don’t know about you but when I’m out in the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and I take my walking stick it feels like everyone is either giving a quizzical glance or simply ignores it and me, particularly on the tube, where I need to sit down.

7. How many times can I say no to invitation before I seem like a Grinch?

This happens a lot when your non-spoonie friends want to hang out/ go drinking/ go for dinner etc. I’m usually weighing up my energy levels so I can work, socialise, clean my flat etc. I end up feeling like a TOTAL Grinch minus the cool outfit…

8. Naps, all of the naps, PLEASE

Need I say more?

9. My New Years Eve includes pjs, blankets and falling asleep way before midnight

I haven’t been ‘out out’ on New Years…ever. At most I’ve gone to a house party where there’s no pressure, no queueing for drinks and you can move around. That said, my perfect New Years is definitely on my sofa in cosy PJs with a pile of chocolate and my laptop.

10. It’ll be more relaxing next year…maybe

But I’m yet to have a relaxing next year!

Are there any other things my fellow Spoonies would add? Let me know below.