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!
Hi Friends! Since I am starting class for the next 2 months, I won’t be posting as much here and wanted to let you know some plans I have in the long run.
To those of you who are awaiting guest blog publishing, yes I am still going to publish your post! At this moment until I get a handle on online classes, I do’nt have any more scheduled to go out and will figure this out soon and let you know individually when I have some free time. Please do not worry! Since we rushed into Spring where I am, if you gave me a winter themed post, rest assured that I will be posting them this coming winter starting in November and will keep them on file! If you have any questions or concerns, please email me email@example.com and I’ll be happy to answer any questions!
Yes, I am still collecting guest posts. You may been seeing my tweets calling for guests. I am looking for spring/summer submissions, as my class is over April 26, and will be resuming guest posts then for a few months before the next class starts. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with anything you may need or any info you may want.
A bit of background – I am starting school again and attending SNHU online for a Business Administration degree. My ultimate goal? To create an online marketing platform/business where I can work from anywhere in the world and not conform to any set schedule anymore. I want to travel and I want to be able to work from a laptop on the road wherever I may be. I feel like getting to understand the fundamentals of business along with more marketing, will help me in the long run. It’s been 10 years since I’ve been in college and man it feels like ages ago. Probably because it was, but still… I’m just trying to get back into the groove of things and bang it out however long it takes.
The husband and I want to be able to enjoy our spring and summer since we really didn’t get to last year with being broke, and everything that was going on. We’re both employed now, and we now have weekends off together to do activities without needing him to request weekends anymore (we have NEVER had weekends off together except in WA when he was not employed, so this is going to be a lot of fun I hope.) The first 8 months of our marriage was bumpy, and it’s getting much better because we were both depressed with all the issues we had going on. I’m hoping our anniversary in May (wow!) goes better and his 40th birthday is this month! I can’t WAIT to give him his present for his birthday… he’s going to love it.
A little update on me as well – I started a new medication for my mental health and well-being a couple weeks ago and I think this one is helping much more than the other. So far it’s been good, and I hope it stays that way. My plan is to lose a bit of weight for summer/fall and go back to the gym with the husband (I’m making him come with me even if he says no) because I’ve hit my peak weight and I’ve been absolutely disgusted with myself. I’ve never weighed this much, and I want it to come off. It’s mostly thanks to medication and birth control from 2016 that I had… and now I’m ready for that weight to come off already. This is why (if you follow me on social media) I haven’t been posting many photos of myself and the husband recently, or much of me. I’m at the point where I just don’t think everything fits together anymore with the shape of my body, and I’m working on loving it more. I ordered a bathing suit for the first time in a few years… we’ll see how it fits now.
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
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.
Happy Friday Everyone! Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day! In keeping with the Freebies – I decided to make all my blogger friends a Daily Planner that they can print and use whenever they want. I know alot of my readers like seeing these freebies and I love making them for you. 🙂
Let me know if you use these – tag me in them so I can see what you’re using them for!
When Valentine’s Day comes up, you sometimes worry about what to do for your significant other. You may want to do something nice, but if you’re strapped for cash, then it can be even more difficult to figure out what you will get your significant other. The important thing to remember is that Valentine’s Day is not about the gifts that you give to your significant other.
Here are some ideas as to what you can do for a Valentine’s Day date if you don’t have a lot of money.
There is no gift that won’t be appreciated by your significant other. Whatever you choose to do for them for Valentine’s Day, let it come directly from your heart. Just enjoy each other’s company. It shouldn’t be about the gifts. Being together is the best part about Valentine’s day.
Lexie Wohler is a repeat guest blogger on The Unsanity and you can find her numerous other posts through my website. ❤
Societal norms and cultural expectations can often be too much too process, and they can slowly erode your self-confidence and your beliefs, simply because you do not fit some sort of a mold. I’ve lived and grown my entire life in a very loving community, a metropolis as colorful as they come. But that can often be a disguise for numerous internal forms of prejudice, masked bias, and other issues I’ve experienced over the years. I am lucky enough to live in a time when talking about mental health has become less of a taboo, enabling me to find support in many different facets of my life, fashion included.
In fact, fashion, among other things, was one of those factors that I took for granted and underestimated its potential to heal. As it turns out, life has the funniest of little epiphanies saved just for you, and mine helped me realize that my sense of style and my wardrobe can be my way out of my own black hole. Here’s a little glimpse into my journey, and I hope it will bring you comfort and some ideas as to how you can cope with your feelings and struggles, too.
For a moment, let’s go back to expectations. As a gay man, I’ve had my fair share of prejudice and criticism to face from our fellow straight people, but strangely enough, in our own community, it seems that there’s another set of expectations that many of us “fail to meet”. I often felt as if I was never “gay enough”. Do I really have to wear a rainbow every day for every occasion to prove my sexual orientation to others, to anyone? It’s that kind of an attitude that pushed me to choose overly-tight jeans, tees with quotes I didn’t like, and wear too many rings for my own liking.
We’ve all been there. Wanting to be liked and approved of is often the driving force of some of the silliest, most meaningless decisions we make, and I was no exception. So, when I completely forewent my own preferences, my self-esteem plummeted. When I finally learned to say no and started replacing my skinny jeans for comfortable chinos, I felt I could breathe again. Putting my self first may have started with chinos, but it sure as hell didn’t end there.
Steampunk is many things, but gay isn’t one of them. Or at least that’s what those limiting expectations would have you believe. Today, I can happily live this simple truth: you’re no less gay for the clothing choices you make or the accessories you love. Much like a straight man will never suddenly turn gay upon admitting that he loves pink unicorn socks. So, yes, as a way to heal my own self-perception, I started infusing my look with details that speak volumes of my personality and my diverse interests.
Suddenly, I’d gladly wear a stylish skeleton watch with a simple button-down, and I’d absolutely revel in my own reflection. Instead of piles of colorful rings, this single accessory is a timeless piece of sophistication that perfectly embodies my style preferences. It’s details like these that helped me understand that I had lost my sense of self, and that it was high time to begin rebuilding it one self-affirming choice at a time.
As a minimalist at heart (with the occasional trip to crazy land of floral swimming trunks), I’ve always been a huge advocate of wearing black. Although I’m still very much in love with that look, my efforts to build a more positive personal image have led me to a slew of research studies that pointed the impact of colors on our mood and emotions. I did some homework and began adding different hues that would hopefully affect my mindset in a positive way. Lo and behold, results ensued, and I still wear my sage green shirt and my orange hoodie.
Some of the more recent fashion trends also use different colors of different saturation, which has inspired me even further to take a few steps outside of my fashion comfort zone and allow myself to play with my own style. This creative take on my look alone has given me a safe space in which I can explore my emotions, directly impact my mood, and still ensure self-affirmation.
Depression is a sneaky creature. It tends to affect your every action and your every thought, and it’s extremely difficult to root out once it takes hold of your mind. In my deepest states of self-denial, I would even reject compliments from people who genuinely care about me – and I would never, ever let them sink in. I was fortunate enough to have one of my friends point out this habit of mine, and it actually took me weeks of practice to start making any progress.
But, the sheer act of accepting compliments got the ball rolling. When I’d get myself to say “thank you” or “that’s very kind of you”, I’d open up a little window in my mind, allowing for the possibility that the compliment might be true. That I might actually look amazing, that my smile might be radiant, that my new boots look great on me. This little mental exercise through accepting compliments on my looks and my fashion choices helped me slowly embrace the possibility of a world in which I love myself.
Although the idea of “happy clothes” or “happy colors” definitely varies from one person to another, I’m beyond grateful for the fashion choices we have today and the people who diligently create them. They’ve meant the world to me and continue helping me through all of my ups and downs. I’ve used this creative process to find myself again, and to rebuild my appreciation for myself, and I hope that others will use it to find beauty in themselves once more.
Are you a fan of winter? I personally love the chance to break out my fluffy jumpers and to enjoy a hot chocolate, but what I’m not a fan of are the darker nights, the increased amount of illnesses in the air and generally feeling a bit under the weather. So when it comes to winter wellbeing, how can we make sure we’re feeling as good as we were during those summer months? How can you keep your physical health in check while taking good care of your mental health too? Well, I’ve done a little research and put together six of the best wellbeing tips to keep you feeling great all through the winter!
1: Maintain a healthy diet
While in the colder months, it can be tempting to reach for the comfort foods and sugary snacks, but this isn’t necessarily the best thing to do for your body. One of the easiest ways towards winter wellbeing is to make sure you enjoy a healthy diet. Plenty of fruits and veggies are an absolute must, as it will keep your immune system in check and ensure that you’re taking in those essential vitamins. Even though it’s colder, it’s still important to keep hydrated too, so ensure that you drink plenty of water and don’t have too much caffeine.
2: Wash your hands
When it comes to winter wellbeing tips, hygiene is a must. Winter is a time of year when we become more susceptible to viruses, and in some cases, it can be difficult to avoid them, especially when everyone in the office is sick. You can stock up on supplements and vitamins, but ultimately, the most effective way to avoid catching these pesky illnesses is to wash your hands. Hand sanitiser is great in the short term, but you’ll find a number of them don’t actually destroy viruses, which is what the common cold is. You’re better off washing your hands with soap and water before eating, touching your face, or preparing food. Ensure that if anyone in your house is unwell that they follow the same rules too! Keep towels separate, regularly clean surfaces, and ensure that cups, plates and eating utensils are properly cleaned too.
3: Keep moving
It can be tempting to stay curled up on the couch watching Netflix during the colder, darker nights, but it’s still important to keep moving during the winter. Regular exercise will mean that your joints are kept mobile, and it’ll help you stay warm too. Of course, you don’t have to go hard with high intensity workouts if you don’t want to – gentle exercise such as yoga is still just as effective!
4: Sleep well
Getting the right amount of sleep is crucial for winter wellbeing. We can often feel more tired in the winter, but actually, there’s no biological need for extra sleep at this time of year! It’s a no brainer that sleeping in or having naps during the day will make it difficult for you to fall asleep at bedtime, so resist the urge to stay in bed on those chilly mornings! Even though you don’t need extra sleep, making sure you still get a good nights’ rest should be high on your list of priorities. A good night’s sleep will ensure your immune system is in top condition and is also beneficial for mental wellbeing too. We all differ in terms of how much sleep we need, but the general amount is between 7 and 9 hours for adults.
5: Keep your skin healthy
The colder weather can often mean that our skin is in need of a little extra TLC, so make sure you give it some! Dry skin can occur as a result of the colder temperatures and if you’re spending more time with your heating on at home, so ensure you invest in a good moisturiser to keep it feeling hydrated and soft. The same can also be said for your hands too – especially if you’re washing them more frequently. Pick up a good quality hand cream at the same time and regularly apply it throughout the day, including after you’ve washed your hands. It’ll prevent your skin from drying out, and will keep them feeling soft all through the winter!
6: Stay social
A lot of us think of holiday parties once we enter the winter months, but for some, it can actually be a pretty lonely time. No doubt the colder weather will make you want to wrap yourself up in a blanket and hibernate for a couple of months, however, staying social and keeping in touch with your friends will work wonders for your mental wellbeing. So don’t cancel those plans just because there’s a bit of a nip in the air – wrap up warm, get out there and enjoy yourself!
About the Author: Amy Jackson is a mental health and lifestyle blogger. Her blog Sassy Cat Lady focuses on her recovery from OCD, along with general lifestyle tips and advice. She’s a lover of cats, a good gin and tonic, and Taylor Swift.
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