5 ways to pace yourself over Christmas

5 Ways To Pace Yourself Over Christmas

CHRISTMAS IS COMING!

I absolutely love Christmas, it’s one of my favourite times of the year BUT it’s also incredibly busy. Because of that, I need to pace myself and I know that’s the case for a lot of other Spoonies too! So here are 5 ways I plan to pace myself.

If you can get things done in advance, go for it! 

I started Christmas shopping as early as I possibly could. Not for the bragging rights (although yes it is a nice feeling) because it took a lot of pressure and stress out of the run-up to Christmas.

It also meant I could spread the cost out which was another thing off of my mind. For me, long periods of intense stress can cause a flare so I’ll try and help myself as much as possible.

Plan in rest time. 

I know that I need to get a good sleep and not be on the go every minute of every day. I need to plan in rest breaks to make sure that I’m healthy and can get the best out of the day.

To do this, I try and have at least one day of the weekend to myself or make it more chilled. I try and make sure that I get to bed at a reasonable time too! Health is important and being sick over Christmas completely sucks.

Know that it’s ok to say no! 

Everyone wants to meet up, go to this, go to that. As much as I’d love to go and do everything the simple fact is that I can’t. Over Christmas, I miss out on pay because I’m Freelance! I need to not only look after my health but also my bank balance!

Let people help you.  

I’m not great at this. I fight to be as independent as possible but with such a busy time of year taking help when possible can really help. Someone else wants to drive? Let them! Someone else wants to do the cooking. Go ahead! If people want to help you they’re doing it out of kindness and, usually, love.

Try and stay in some kind of routine where you can! 

Christmas day is obviously exempt from this if you are like me and wake up stupidly early because you are so excited. I get a week and a bit where I’m not working. As much as I want to nap as much as possible every single afternoon I know it’s going to impact me later so I try and stick to some kind of routine.

I might get up a little later, stay up more or go out with friends – but I still have some idea of getting a good 8-9 hours every night then get dressed and get on with what I want or need to do.

 

Is there anything you’d add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

Why I get so excited about Christmas

Why I Get So Excited About Christmas

I LOVE Christmas, love, love, love. Recently I have been met with more than a few people who don’t get why I get so excited for the season. Why I can’t stop listening to my Christmas playlist and why on earth I started my shopping in September. 

Now, aside from the fact that deep down I have an inner basic who needs to come out every now and again, there’s a much better reason as for why I love this holiday so much. I love it because I can. I can feel the excitement and love when previously I haven’t been able to. 

In the deepest parts of my depression, I couldn’t find joy in anything. These were times when I was very ill. One Christmas in my teens I just felt empty. I cried for no reason. The darkness swallowed me whole. In short, it was the worst. 

Because I have known that feeling I am so grateful to feel excited and happy. I am grateful that I have my health under control enough, that my medication works and I can feel happy rather than empty. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a miracle. I am not ‘cured’ from my mental illness. I still have to work on myself every day and it’s something I live with. BUT, for me, each Christmas shows me moving forward from that one year when I couldn’t summon any joy. 

This year, my focus well and truly is just to try and enjoy myself as much as possible. See my friends and family, while also making time for myself (which is super important over Christmas). As well as trying not to put huge amounts of pressure on myself for January, although that’s a whole other post all together! 

If you’re reading this and right now your mental health isn’t great, give yourself a break. No one chooses to live with the monsters in their head and, unfortunately they don’t seem to take time off for Christmas. Be kind to yourself and take it one step at a time, you’ve got this. 

Christmas Ads - The Real Feels

Christmas Ads – The Real Feels

The countdown to Christmas is on and one of the things I love about the festive season is the Christmas adverts. What used to be me waiting to watch them on TV at my parent’s house has evolved into me early waiting with Youtube at my side.

Now, I will say this year hasn’t been the most Christmassy for adverts (I’m looking at you John Lewis) BUT there have been some that I have adored. So, why not put my thoughts on the internet? I do anyway! For a heads up, basically the closer a Christmas ad gets me to tears, the better it is.

So, let’s get started:

Boots

An ad all about Mums and Daughters. It gave me the feels BIG time, I nearly cried. This is a beautiful and emotional ad. This is what I needed in a Christmas Ad.

4.5/5

John Lewis 

Ok, so I had mixed feelings about this Ad. I have absolutely loved the animal ones every year and was eagerly anticipating the one that made me sob like a baby. Instead, we got Elton John. I liked the idea and the premise of it but it just felt too celebrity and promotion for the Elton John film next year. Nevertheless, the final scene got me in the feels.

3.5/5

Apple 

I really liked this. It was a little different with the art style, the music was beautiful too. The message was wonderful too, it takes so much courage to share your own creations. I love, love, loved this.

4/5

 

Barbour 

Someone give the marketing people at Barbour a raise! Is it Christmas if we’re not singing about walking in the air? I loved this so, so much! The Snowman is a key part of Christmas. It’s nice to see him back.

 

McDonalds

I’m definitely going to leaving out some carrots! This is the only advert I’ve seen with Father Christmas and his Reindeer. It’s magical, I love it.

5/5

KFC 

Just because this one made me laugh so much. Well played KFC, well played.

Heathrow

This is it, this is the one that got me…possibly because one of my best friends lives in Australia. Family, Christmas and adorable teddies. This is the one for me this year.

5/5

 

Did your favourite make the list? Let me know below!

Why I Haven't Planned Any Blogmas Posts

Why I Haven’t Planned ANY Blogmas Posts

It’s the 1st December and bloody hell hasn’t that gone quick! Throughout the internet, I’ve seen people starting Blogmas and Vlogmas where the very dedicated post every single day either in the run-up to Christmas or throughout the month of December. So, what about me?

I love seeing everyone’s post and last year had a great time with my own Blogmas posts, however, when I came to this year I had to think about it. Things are different to last year, mainly, because I started working freelance and running my own business all of my spare time and energy are going into that to make it a success. I’ve been doing this since August. And, honestly, I really want some time to relax in December. I need to take a break before the madness of 2019 when I’m hoping to get a few projects going.

Really, this is a form of self-care for me. When I blog I want to put things out that I’m passionate about and care about. Trying to write and schedule 25 posts just felt a little overwhelming this year and so I decided to take care of myself. That said, I’ll still have all of my regular blogs up and ready to go! There’ll even be some bonus blogs with my favourites of the year posts that I LOVE to do (they’re my absolute favourites).

Why am I writing this? Mostly because I wanted to remind other bloggers too that if you simply don’t have the time, the energy or don’t want to do Blogmas don’t feel like you have to! We all know how long blogging takes getting the ideas together, writing, editing, taking any images, making images etc. With Christmas being such a hectic time of year I don’t think we should put more pressure on ourselves.

While I will 100% be supporting and cheering on my favourite bloggers as they take part in the mammoth task and maybe next year I will get involved again, who knows? Right now, my focus is going to be recharging my batteries a little and making big plans for next year!

Are you taking part in Blogmas or Vlogmas? I’d love to know why/why not in the comments. If you are please leave your links too – I’d love to support you!

Blogmas Day 24: A Christmas Message

I may not be the Queen, but I’m still going to give a Christmas message. Fun fact my Dad always watches the Christmas Speech, every year 3pm usually while we’re eating. Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Tomorrow is Christmas day. At the time I’ve posted this I’ll be in my PJs, watching a Santa tracker online and feeling very weird about the fact that it is the first year Ali and I are in our own home for Christmas Eve. It’s so weird.

Christmas, we are told, is a time for joy and happiness and family. For many of us, it is all these things. But what if it’s not? Some people have to go to work on Christmas, some are alone, some are dealing with some pretty heavy stuff. This is the thing, just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean life stops, I wish it did.

So, I’m just putting it out there Christmas doesn’t need to be perfect. If, for you, this Christmas has to be just another day then so be it. We put so much pressure on ourselves all the time and it sucks! I’ve been really poorly at Christmas before and the pressure made it worse.

Really, what I’m trying to say is make Christmas what you want or can make it. We don’t all need to have the same day, the same time.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or, simply, I hope you have a good day.

 

Blogmas Day 22: What I’ve Read In 2017 so far…

Of course, this was coming! My annual Goodreads challenge is still going and there’s still 9 days to go. So far I’m at 98 books, yep 98. Last year I managed 120 and the year before I managed 80-something? I read, I read a lot. So I wanted to share with you all the books I’ve read in 2017… here we go! Also, links to any I’ve reviewed too!

January 

The Art of the Film: Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them

Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Illuminae – Jay Kristoff and Aimee Kaufman

February

Heartless – Marissa Meyer 

Falling Awake – Alice Oswald

Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines – Bob Gale

How to Murder Your Life – Cat Marnell How to Murder Your Life – Cat Marnell 

Bad Feminist – Roxanne Gay

March: Book One – John Lewis

Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir – Stan Lee

Behind Her Eyes – Sarah Pinborough 

Here We Are: Feminism For The Real World – Kelly Jensen

Bullet in the Brain – Tobias Wolff

Happy Mum, Happy Baby: My Adventures in Motherhood – Giovanna Fletcher 

March

Without a Doubt – Marcia Clarke 

One of The Boys – Daniel Magariel 

Something in Between – Melissa De La Cruz

I Feel Bad. All Day. Every Day. About Everything. – Orli Auslanda

Nasty Woman – 404 Ink

April

The Princess Saves Herself In This One – Amanda Lovelace

Zenn Diagram – Wendy Brant 

Off Colour – Jackie Kay

Anne Boleyn: The Last 24 Hours – Marcell Mayfair

The Dead Inside – Cyndy Etler

In Contempt – Christopher Darden

We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Supergirl Rebirth – Steve Orlando

Cheer Up, Love – Susan Calman

The One – John Marrs 

The Best Awful – Carrie Fisher

Seriously…I’m Kidding – Ellen Degeneres

May

A Book For Her – Bridget Christie

Wildflower- Drew Barrymore 

Raising My Rainbow – Lori Duron

Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness – Susannah Cahalan

Doing It – Hannah Witton 

What Would Beyoncé Do? – Luisa Omielan

June

Mad Girl – Bryony Gordon

Nutshell – Ian McEwan

What the F*** is Normal?! – Francesca Martinez

The Girl Who Beat ISIS – Farida Khalaf 

Imperial Phase 1 – Kieron Gillen

The New Girl – Rhyannon Styles 

Alice in Brexitland – Lucien Young

All Things Kardashian – Kris Jenner

July 

You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain – Phoebe Robinson

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms – George R. R. Martin

Dreadnought – April Daniels

One of Us Is Lying – Karen M. McManus

Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit

Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty

My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past – Jennifer Teege

August 

Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twentysomething’s (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood – Alida Nugent

Our Super American Adventure – Sarah Graley

My Shitty Twenties – Emily Morris

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Woman – Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo

Diana Her True Story, In Her Own Words – Andrew Morton

September 

The Wrong Knickers: A Decade of Chaos – Bryony Gordon

Fully Functioning Human (Almost) Living In An Online/Offline World – Melanie Murphy

Depression & Other Magic Tricks – Sabrina Benaim

My Lovely Wife: A Memoir of Madness and Hope – Mark Lukach

See You in the Cosmos, Carl Sagan – Jack Cheng

Making Faces – Amy Harmon

How Not To Be a Boy – Robert Webb

Riot Days – Maria Alyokhina

Feel Good 101 – Emma Blackery

October 

The Sun and Her Flowers – Rupi Kaur

Raising Ryland – Hillary Whittington

How To Be Champion – Sarah Millican

Turtles All The Way Down – John Green

Female – Sujata Balaram

Final Girls – Riley Sager

The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Heather Morris

Lumberjanes Vol. 1. – Noelle Stevenson

November 

Wild Embers – Nikita Gill

A Trump Christmas Carol – Lucien Young

I Wrote This For You – Iain S. Thomas

Helium – Rudy Francisco

Rabbit: A Memoir – Patricia Williams

It Only Happens in the Movies – Holly Bourne

Still Can’t Do My Daughters Hair – William Evans

Nina Is Not Okay – Shappi Khorsandi

Selling Manhattan – Carol Ann Duffy

Unqualified – Anna Farris

A Pearl For My Mistress – Annabel Fielding 

It’s All in Your Head A Guide To Getting Your Shit Together – Rae Earl

Christmas Poems – Wendy Cope 

Making Cocoa For Kingsley Amin – Wendy Cope

December

The Diary of Anne Frank

Serious Concerns – Wendy Cope

Leave This Song Behind – Various

Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions – Russell Brand

Family Values – Wendy Cope

What I Know For Sure – Oprah Winfrey

How to be a Bawse – Lily Singh

Love, Grief and being Mum & Dad – Rio Ferdinand

The Ladybird Book of Mindfulness

Sex Object – Jessica Valenti

 

More to come…

Blogmas Day 21: Christmas Throwback Pics

Today I wanted to share some great throwback pics that I’ve managed to find (although none of me as a teeny tiny person, these have all been snatched from Facebook). It’s so much fun to look back on Christmas, even if my sister will kill me.

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Christmas 2016, I think. Sums and I after we opened all of our presents in matching Cookie Monster pjs. I think it’s rare that we look similar in pictures but this is actually one where I think we look alike.

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This picture is way back in 2012! Mum and I had just gotten back from Kingston on a visit to see if the uni was for me (and the rest is history) and managed to get these Minnie Mouse ears.

IMG_6993

I have no idea what year this was, perhaps 2012? Not quite matching but all cuddled up in our fleecy pjs on Christmas Eve. All of the girls in the family have Christmas Eve pjs, Dad usually gets some of the non-fluffy variety.

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Fun fact, this selfie was taken at 5am. Yep, my sister and I are those kind of people we turn into excited children. One will wake the other up, it used to be me waking her up but now she’s the first one up…I love sleep too much.

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In town messing around on Christmas Eve, that’s just how my sister and I roll.