I made something for you – with spring coming up soon and everyone in a panic over this COVID-19 virus spreading – here are a few things you can do for self care. I hope you enjoy!
I made something for you – with spring coming up soon and everyone in a panic over this COVID-19 virus spreading – here are a few things you can do for self care. I hope you enjoy!
January is often the month that we’re skint and money stress is at its high. Overspent on Christmas and no money left for the New Year… December pay checks are usually paid before Christmas, which although great for the Christmas budget, isn’t as good for the bills. To top it all, January is also a longer month so it means longer to wait till payday.
It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom though!
By following a few simple tips and adapting little changes in your life you change it all.
Preparation is the key to success
It’s true! Have you ever heard that saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’?
I know what you’re thinking, this sounds like hard work… It really isn’t and just stay with me.
Create your budget
You don’t have to be elaborate with this, all you need to do is write down all of your incomings and outgoings.
I normally start with my income at the top and outgoings below. I split my outgoings into fixed costs (bills etc that I have to pay) expected costs (food etc) and then unexpected costs (random spends).
When I filled this in for the first time I used my spends from the previous month to get an accurate idea of what I was spending.
Gas & Electric:-
Internet & TV:-
That’s a very basic example of a few things that I will include on my budget overview sheet. There will be more things on your overview and how you categorise them is up to you.
You may be wondering how this will help to reduce stress but it puts everything into perspective. By having everything written down in front of you, you can clearly see where your money is going.
Cutting your budget down
So, you can now see where you’re spending your money and some areas may have shocked you already. My food spend for example was A LOT more than I thought it would be. Because I just put everything on my card I hadn’t realised how much it was until it was staring me in the face!
Look at all your outgoings and think if you could reduce them.
Fixed costs like rent/mortgage will be harder to change but can you swap your utility bills to a better deal? Have you actually tried?! It’s actually loads easier than you think. And trust me, I do it every year! And you can cut your bills easily year on year.
Expected costs is an easy one to cut down, do you need that subscription that you’ve not actually used in the last few months? If not then cancel it! Set yourself a goal of cutting your food bill down by £10 a month, just do it little by little. There’s no point saying you want to half your food costs in the first month because it’s probably not going to happen. Hats off if you do though!!!
Unexpected costs are those random spends and do we really need them? Things like no spend months can be fab when trying to reduce these spends.
How to reduce your spending
Now that you’ve created your budgets for each category, you need to start actually spending less. It’s no good just saying you’re going to spend less, that will just increase your stress!
I’ve already mentioned a few things like switching your utility provider and taking part in no spend months. There are also fab challenges such as the 365 day penny challenge that encourage you to start saving more.
How can all of this reduce my money stress?
Creating a budget puts YOU in control of your money. And yes, you may think you are already in control, but are you? Do you know, without looking, how much you spend on food every month for example. Write down your estimated spends first and compare this to your actual spends. I thought I was in control but was surprised at myself!
One tip that I use is taking my budgeted money out of the bank and having it as cash instead. By spending cash instead of card it feels more real. You see the money leaving your purse and how much you’ve got left. This is known as the cash envelope system by Dave Ramsey.
Does it work?
YES. In the 6 months or so that I have been actively budgeting I have cut my expenses by about half. By ‘actively’ I mean looking at my spends at the end of each month and reducing them for next month.
I’d love to know how you find budgeting and if you’ve got any questions feel free to send them my way!!!
Author Bio: Hi, I’m Hannah, a 27 money and lifestyle blogger from Manchester. My site is focused on how I live my life in a frugal – some may say ‘tight’ – manner. It features some amazing freebies and bargains that I’ve found over time, including a page of live freebie
links so you can get your hands on them to! I also share my money saving tips and tricks that I have discovered through my own personal journey so far, I do work in accounting but have no financial training or expertise! Everything I write is my own personal opinion.
Social Media Links: blog twitter facebook instagram
The feeling of falling in love.
It’s having a special someone on your mind 24/7. It’s craving their attention, their voice, their touch. It’s wishing they were there with you every day, holding you, whispering sweet things in your ear, and telling you how much they love you.
Is this love? Or is this simply the feeling of falling in lust?
When I met the man I would one day call my husband, I fell in lust almost immediately. He was handsome and kind and all the things that qualified him as perfect in my mind. I had to stop and tell myself that I was being silly, and I couldn’t have fallen in love with someone so quickly. I had to force myself to shut off my feelings about him, shut off the lust, for a moment, and look at who this guy was. Ask myself whether we could really be right for eachother, and not just feel right when he holds my hand.
In my case I was able (With the help and guidance of my parents) to determine that he could be right for me, he truly was everything I wanted in a man. I wasn’t just seeing the potential he had to become a great partner, be he already displayed the traits of BEING a good partner.
So I allowed myself to lust for a little longer. I allowed myself to enjoy those giddy feelings of new romance. The overwhelming need to be near him, to feel him. And eventually that lust changed, it changed into real love.
The feeling of waiting up to make sure he got home from work safely. The feeling of having him listen when I’m upset, of bringing him food when he’s sick in bed, or him telling me I’m beautiful even on days when I’m not pretty.
Of course with this love, the lust didn’t go away entirely. If anything it got stronger. But lust is natural, it’s instinctual, it’s not a bad thing. But it does need to be restrained. making decisions based on lust will only lead to regret. And we nearly let our lust ge the better of us more than once.
We decided that the best course for our relationship, was to save ourselves for marriage. We weren’t even going to kiss before our wedding day.
Even though we decided that our love would be stronger if we put restrictions on our lust, we still found ourselves in some places we didn’t intend to go. Lust is strong! And even the most determined people with the highest ideals can succumb to it.
The more we worked to keep our lust in check, the more real our love became. Because we knew we weren’t just here because of lust, we knew that even without being together physically, we still wanted to be together.
Loving him was like nothing I’d ever experienced. It was a feeling, but more than that, it was a decision. I saw this man, who I had undoubted feelings for, who I couldn’t imagine not being in my life, and I made the decision to love him.
The two of us decided to love each other for the rest of our lives. We got married, and we make the decision everyday to keep loving each other.
It’s the feeling of missing him all day when he goes to work, and finally getting to smother him in kisses when he gets home. It’s still making him a warm dinner, even when I’m upset with him. It’s knowing that no matter what happens, he will always be there when I wake up in the morning.
What started as simple Lust, has transformed into the truest, deepest love for my husband.
Author Bio: Megan is an avid reader, and writer, slowly working her way through the challenges of becoming an author. She writes fiction, dabbles in poetry, and tries to keep up with her two blogs. In the process, learning more about making her writing great, while making connections with other writers and bloggers. In the midst of the ever changing busyness of life as a newly married mother of one, Megan tries her best to make time for her passion of writing. With the added task of growing her online presence through blogging, and freelance writing.
Greetings to The Unsanity readers from Taryn The Dragon in South Africa. I work full time in the Data industry, study part time and blog on the side. I’m quite new to blogging and this is my first guest post. I’m super amped to have this opportunity. Thanks so much Koral Dawn.
I have depression and anxiety and a host of other chronic illnesses that have had a huge effect on my life. In 2019 I entered therapy to deal with all of the stress. I’m on a journey and I have had to take a deep look at myself and the world around me. There is an underlying theme that comes up often with mental health issues is that of mindfulness: Being conscious or aware and present in the moment.
Recently I have been watching videos that could help me become more in tune with myself. Observing people like Dr Gabor Mate, Alan Watt, Dandapani, in the hopes of understanding what mindfulness truly means. I know it sounds cliché but it has been quite a revelation. You can find my musings about this journey on http://www.dragonscodex.net.
Adulting does not come with an instruction manual. Even great parenting does not quite prepare you for living in this golden age of technology. Information at the click of a button. Friends on WhatsApp (1 billion users) or WeChat (697 million users) or Facebook (1.59 billion users). Strangers on Twitter (320 million users) or Instagram (400 million users). Family just a Skype (300 million users) call away.  How do we actually get anything done? What I’m saying is that we now live for the thrill of ‘Distraction’. And this is why we need to cultivate a mind-set geared towards mindfulness.
Have you ever looked at your device and just thought “FFS ~ now what!?”. That’s a very good indication that you need to start practicing mindfulness for your own sanity. Let’s explore a few mindfulness concepts to aid you in your daily success.
Do what you say you are going to do. If that means going to the gym at 5am, do that without fail. You are building trust with yourself and in so doing gaining confidence in your decision making.
Multi-tasking is great but it splits your focus and actually makes it harder to allot sufficient time to a specific endeavour. If you’re working on a proposal put the phone away and close your emails. The world will not fall apart if you give yourself 20 minutes to do something. Focus on this one thing. If your attention drifts bring it back to what you are doing.
No I don’t mean go assume the cross-legged sitting asana and chant endlessly, unless that’s your jam. I mean have some quiet time to get away from the noise. Be still, sit with your thoughts, have a nice cup of coffee. Be comfortable doing absolutely nothing and being alone.
Know what you want to achieve. Know how you are going to achieve it. The easiest way to do this is to make a list or keep a journal. And always note your achievements as they keep you on the path you want to travel.
Ain’t nobody got time for this! To quote Dandapani: “Treat energy the same way you treat money. It’s a finite resource that needs to be wisely managed and invested.”
When stuck in your own mind or even your own world where things are not quite going according to plan, do something for someone else without expecting any benefit in return. By uplifting others you uplift yourself. You’re present in a beautiful moment that will keep you going through difficult times.
All of these concepts require some effort on your part. It means you need come to terms with changing your life. As for me, it has helped me find this lovely Zen spot where there is less stress, more energy and more love. I’m really enjoying it this balance.
When holidays such as Valentines Day come about, do you find yourself getting down in the dumps? Does the thought of being around a large crowd for Valentine’s Day or any holiday frighten you, or make you anxious? Does decorating for the holidays stress you out? How about preparing for a family reunion with a dinner? There are some things you can do to make yourself feel better.
You don’t have to always host the holidays at your house. Try to limit having people over for any holiday get together, if having a party makes you anxious.
You don’t have to decorate extravagantly for each holiday either. Only put out the decorations that you have the energy and time to put out. Be sure to pick out some of your favorites so you get to enjoy them.
You can limit the number of people that you invite if you decide to host a holiday dinner party. The less people you invite, the less stress you put on yourself.
Make the dinner menu simple instead of extravagant. If you keep it simple, and make something that you enjoy cooking, it makes it more enjoyable to prepare. If people don’t like what you’re cooking, they will just have to live with it for one day, or they can leave if they don’t like what you’ve prepared. Leave the choice up to them.
If you’re down in the dumps about any holiday, specifically Valentine’s Day, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a meal that you really enjoy. Or make your favorite meal. Eat the meal in front of the TV or watch your favorite movie. Have a cup of your favorite wine or whatever drink that you enjoy, whether it’s non-alcoholic or alcoholic. Enjoy yourself instead of dreading the holidays. The holidays don’t have to bring you down. Remember that you are in control of the way you feel.
If you find yourself down in the dumps about not having anyone to spend Valentines Day with, don’t give yourself too hard of a time. Rather enjoy the time that you get to spend by yourself. Think of time alone as precious time with yourself. Enjoy the quiet moments that you get to have. If you learn to enjoy being alone and appreciate the time that you have, then you will learn to cherish the time that you could eventually have in a relationship. Finding love takes time, so don’t rush into anything that you’re not sure of. If it doesn’t feel right, then don’t rush it. Whenever the right person comes along, you’ll know.
Take each day as it comes. Try to enjoy the holidays. Not everything about the holidays are bad. Just adjust your thinking. Instead of thinking negatively, try thinking positively. It will help you relax more. Take time away from the stress of the holidays to find yourself. Focus on yourself instead of focusing on how stressed you are. Make sure to find things that you enjoy doing that coincide with the holidays, so they can be more enjoyable for you. Don’t put pressure on yourself, just let things happen as they happen.
Remember, it is ok to feel down in the dumps during the holidays, just don’t stay in that place for too long. Don’t let it ruin your day, or your outlook on the holidays. It is ok to feel stressed, but don’t let it take over your thinking. Try your best to enjoy your life, no matter what holiday might be coming up.
Lexie Wohler is a repeat guest blogger with The Unsanity and you can find a few of her pieces scattered throughout my website. ❤
Hello readers! It’s been awhile since I had decided to make some simple freebies for you all. With the holidays being busy and alot of my time being taken up with work and drama and everything else; I just haven’t been able to do what I wanted for those of you that look forward to these. I promise to have more coming in the next few months!
*If you want the version without the blog name, please comment and I will be happy to send it to you. 🙂
Convenience is wonderful. Having everything at our disposal, all the time. Never having to worry about opening hours when we have online shopping, or missing a TV show when we have catch up and streaming. But when everything is available 24/7, it means we have to be too.
People apologise for taking social media breaks, we’re overloaded with information, and if you don’t keep up with current events you’re left behind. We’re under pressure to be plugged in all the time and it’s taking a toll on our mental health.
We’re exhausted all the time because we’re not allowed to switch off. Every waking moment has to be filled with something productive so we can make more money, work more hours, learn more skills. And then we experience burnout, and we’re even farther behind, there’s no way we can catch up. It’s hard not to feel like we were doomed from the start.
Mindfulness takes the autonomy away from our day to day lives, and helps us slow down and truly be present in the moment. Practising mindfulness sounds like an easy task, but nowadays with constant stimulation and entertainment around us, it’s a real challenge to be bored. How many times have you picked up your phone today?
We weren’t meant to live at such a fast pace. When we slow down and take in our surroundings, we appreciate so many people and things that we might have previously took for granted. It’s better for our health, and it’s better for our relationships. Practising mindfulness helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so we’re better able to manage them instead of getting overwhelmed. We’re more tuned in to our senses and surroundings and we’re less likely to do something on autopilot because our brain isn’t distracted – or it’s not desperate for a distraction anymore.
Mindfulness is easy to practice daily and doesn’t require hours of your time. You can practice mindfulness wherever you are or whatever you’re doing. If you find yourself being pulled in every direction and your thoughts are scattered all over the place, start with some mindful breathing. If you can, go somewhere quiet. Take one big, deep breath. Aim for around 5 seconds. Hold it for a second, and then exhale, releasing the tension from your brow, jaw, and shoulders. Imagine the hundreds of scattered thoughts and noise leaving with the tension, and allow yourself to start from the beginning with a clear mind.
There are loads of other great mindfulness techniques you can practice every day or just whenever you feel stressed.
Focusing on one thing, and not having your mind in six places at once, will reduce stress. The stress that used to pile up and eat away at you doesn’t have any power over you now; because you have control. You might eventually find that you don’t get as overwhelmed with the fast paced world as you used to, and you start doing things with intention, instead of just doing things for the sake of it. You might learn something about yourself, about what you need and what you don’t need. You’ll learn that it’s okay to disconnect, and go down your own path. The easiest way to win the game is to stop playing. Instant and autonomous works for robots; not people.
Author bio: Zoe Thomson is a freelance writer living in Scotland with her boyfriend and one spoiled pug. She runs her own mental health blog, No Light Without Darkness, and has published work on The Mighty and I am 1 in 4. You can find me here: Blog, Twitter
Hello everyone and welcome to one of the last Unsanity #Blogmas posts for the 2019 season! I didn’t have the patience or time to write one blog per day, so I opted for 10-12 over the course of the month to give myself time to get them uploaded and scheduled.
I hope you’ve been enjoying them like I have been while writing them for you. There’s alot of good stuff in here, and it’s going to be hard not to want to duplicate some next year (yes, I plan to do it again! We’ll see how the year goes leading up to December haha.)
This post is all about Stocking Stuffers for you last minute shoppers who need small gifts for your co-workers or family/friends. All of these are under $10 USD too no less! (This is in no way an ad and I do not get any compensation for featuring these item’s on my blog whatsoever. These are items I have selected from personal interest.)
Welcome! My name is Erin! I like to think of myself as agony aunt, funny mum and wordsmith of all things parenting from icky tums and dirty bums to baby blues and the terrible two’s.
How Mindfulness Can Make Parenting Easier
For a lot of people, becoming a parent is one of the best things in life. It’s enriching, rewarding and above all challenging! However, if you are a parent you will also know how stressful it can actually be.
Children have copious amounts of energy and need to be on the go all day. Their little minds work much faster than ours and so with everything else us adults have going on it can be pretty hard keeping up with the kids.
By the end of the day we can be worn out with very little energy to do anything else that needs done. Some parents turn to comfort food, others turn to wine but at the end of the day nothing has really changed and tomorrow will be the same. This is where mindfulness can help.
What Is Mindfulness?
The formal definition of mindfulness is:
“A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
In my words, mindfulness is living in the moment. You must clear your head of every other thought about the past or the future. You also have to focus solely on what is around you.
Try it now. Take a deep breath and look at what is around you. Focus on something specific, maybe a candle… What does it feel like? How does it smell? What does it sound like? That… is Mindfulness.
Mindfulness In Parenting
So, how can mindfulness be used in parenting to make it less stressful?
Most people get mindfulness confused with meditation. Obviously, they both require your full attention however, mindfulness does not have to be quiet and it doesn’t have to be alone. You could even practice mindfulness at a festival. And so, practicing mindfulness while parenting is easier than you think.
The first thing you need to do in order for this to work is turn off your phone (or at least out it on silent in another room). We live in an age where having your phone in your hand 80% of the day is normal, sadly. But, you have no idea how much more you will relax just by putting that phone down for an hour.
Secondly, turn off any other electronics that are likely to cause a distraction. You want your kids to practice Mindfulness too rather than sitting watching a mind numbing program that they’ve probably seen 3 times before.
Then pick an activity that is going to use all your senses. For babies you could get a “touchy feely” book, for toddlers you could do some arts and crafts, for children you could bake and for something for the whole family: go for a walk. You might be surprised by how much there is to focus on outside. By choosing an activity with a lot of texture or dynamics you can spend more time on it.
Finally, break convention! You have to think like a child, smell the puddles, taste a twig, listen to a leaf. I know I might sound like a raving loony but take it from somebody who practices mindfulness with her kids: spending an hour, taking the time to become aware of your surroundings is going ton help you unwind and tire the kids out.
How Do Children Benefit From Mindfulness?
As I said before, practicing mindfulness takes a lot of brain power which can tire your children out and keep them from getting bored. By taking time in the activity you do, you’ll find your child learns much more than what they would at a standard pace. These are great benefits for your child but teaching our children about mindfulness will also help future generations. Hopefully our children will make a habit of practicing mindfulness and teach their children to take time away from distractions. It may not seem like a big deal but I almost guarantee that if everybody practiced mindfulness daily, the world would be a little more positive.
Well, a few weeks have passed since I’ve written. Sorry about that. Things have been going on, life gets in the way, you know the deal. I’ve been in a decent mood recently. I just found out that Chris Hemsworth from Thor and The Avengers is going to be in Philly June 1st for Comic Con and well, guess who’s going to go meet him and get a picture with him.. This girl right here because she can. You have no idea how much this news makes me feel. I am so ecstatic, I think I’m going to die. Yes, I am TOTALLY fangirling right now, but I can’t help it. I would love love to meet him.. and so would a bunch of other girls, I know that much. I’m only going to go for one day, however. I can’t afford to go all weekend and stuff, and plus I don;t know too many people in Philly.
I finally got DirectTV so I can watch the hockey games and catch up on all the shows. That’s another good thing that’s happened recently. Jim and myself haven’t gotten in any fights recently, knock on wood. I hope we don’t. I like what’s going on right now. I like how it is for now. Things are just going smoothly for once. And that’s how it should be.
I finally got to hang out with a really good friend of mine who I haven’t seen since I went to Kutztown basically. It was so so nice to see her for a change. And I know she was happy to see me. She did my hair for me :] It’s now red and black. But a bright red, that you can actually see o.O and it looks amazing! She’s one out of two people who know how me and Jim were in the beginning and seeing her this past weekend just brought back memories that I’m not sure I really wanted to remember. It just made me sad kind of.But I’ll just have to deal with it I guess. I’ve come to deal with alot these days.
But anyway. Things have been going alright. Besides the fact that I really need to stop spending money on stuff… I know right? I have a problem with money, but that’s alright. I’ll make money somehow. As long as I have this job, I’ll be alright. I might start looking for a new job though. Something that pays better. Who knows. Maybe I’ll take up stripping… loljk. I’m not pretty enough for that crap, nor will I stoop that low to make money. (I hate people that do that)
This weekend should be fun, I guess. Hopefully. I may get to relax alot since Jeremy and Jim will be diggin holes in Minecraft all weekend.. -_- boys. Haha. So I have to go do laundry and house stuff like that. Cleaning and buying a new vacuum for the house since mine always smells like it’s going to burn or blow up everytime I try and vacuum up the cat hair.
Off to do more work things… I really need a vacation. I say that alot, don’t I?