April Sun

For the first time in over a year, I am currently on a week’s leave from work.

Why? Well, I thought it best to do it now when things are pretty quiet after Easter, as to not put my co-workers in jeopardy while they fill in for me.

What am I planning on doing this week, I hear you ask? At this stage…nothing. I plan on reading, writing, catching up on my favourite TV shows and spending time just breathing…doesn’t that sound spectacular?

After I began my job last year after  month off due to my redundancy, I was refreshed and had no desire for the rest of 2016 to take time off. Of course, there were a few moments where I had wished I could – when things got to be a bit stressful or when my personal wellbeing wasn’t at it’s best – but I carried on.

At the start of this year for about 2.5 months, my life revolved around work. My role as a receptionist in a community college during peak enrolment period really tested my patience and my ability to solve problems quickly and without fuss. It was a demanding time period, yet as I said to a fellow co-worker, I didn’t notice just how busy we were until things started to die down and the pace returned to normal.

I was exhausted. Absolutely spent. Drained from so much customer contact, from answering 100+ phone calls every day for months. Really…over it. Thankfully, my boss noticed my deflation and recommended I plan some time off. Now, I know how lucky I am regarding this – not all bosses will suggest their staff take a week off just to recharge. I saw my opportunity, weighed it against the fact that I hadn’t taken more than a weekend off (and even in some cases, I had worked multiple weekends during that busy period) in over a year and agreed.

Now, here I am. Day 2 of my official days off. Not counting the Easter long weekend, which has already left me refreshed.

I adore this time of the year. April in Australia brings on a cool change, while keeping the sunny days we love. Mornings are brighter, evenings darker earlier and sunsets much more photographic. It’s all so relaxing and cosy.

For Good Friday this year, my family and I packed up our cars and headed to our local lake for some fish and chips by the water. It was such a beautiful, cloudless day looking out onto the water.

I cherish time with my family the older I get as it’s not s regular as it once was. My childhood memories are full of family drives to the lake; piling into the car with our walkmans and Barbie dolls and setting off on an adventure across town. The drive always seemed so long – now we’re there in the blink of an eye. It’s like that with so many things these days in comparison to days gone by. I miss those days immensely.


Easter was relatively quiet. I ventured out of the house Sunday afternoon to see Beauty and the Beast at the cinema with my Mum, sister and Zia (that’s Aunty in Italian if you weren’t aware). As the original Beauty and the Beast cartoon was and is one of my all-time favourite films, I was a bit wary as to how I would enjoy the film, but I was left pleasantly surprised! Highly recommended to those who love Disney, magic, music and romance!

Autumn is all about nature stripping itself of the past as it makes way for new and exciting things. Beautiful things. It can get dark and cold, but it’s all how you look at it. Much the same can be said about our lives and the way we choose to live them.

We can run ourselves down and not do anything to pick back up again, or we can take a break to stop and take the reigns again and prepare whatever is coming next. It’s a time for change, growth and rebirth.

I, for one, can’t wait to see what the rest of Autumn has to offer.

Hoping you all had a spectacular long weekend, regardless of what you celebrated – I would love to hear all about your adventures!

May Favourites

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For the past few months I have been sharing my music favourites with you all and I thought I would continue with that tradition as well as adding a few extra faves for this month.

Keeping that in mind, here are a few (and by a few, I mean the bare minimum) things I have been enjoying during May.

 

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Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolors

Matte lip creams are all the range right now and I had tried to keep my distance due to their drying finish on the lips. However, I recently saw Zoella talk about the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolors and she raved about their staying power as well as their moisturising finish on the lips.

After much deliberation and waiting for a sale at my local Priceline store, I bought 4 shades and I really love these! They apply to the lips very much like other lupcreams do, and while there is a degree of mattifying, there is a tiny amount of sheen left on the lips to keep the product feeling fresh and coach-free all day.

There are a range of shades including the perfect pink/mauve colour, a’la Kylie Jenner as well as deeper, berry-tones which are perfect for the warmer weather (in Australia).

 

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FitBit Charge HD

With impending weddings of 2 close friends later this year, I have really been making an effort to get fit and healthy this year. Partially to look good in wedding photos and partially because I want to live an active lifestyle and take care of myself.

Along with healthy meal choices, I have been upping my exercise and really challenging myself to meet goals and have fun with my workouts (if you’d like to know what kind of workouts I have been doing lately, let me know and I will do a post about my favourite things!).

So, I invested in a FitBit and let me tell you – this thing is amazing. Not only is it a pedometer, which helps me keep track of my daily step counts, but it synchs to an app on smartphones in which you can record your calorie intake, your water intake, your weightless goals and it even synchs and records the workouts you do to let you know the calories you burn. You can use the app as a food log, you can use it to see how many flights of stairs you have taken each day and you can even record your sleeping patterns with it!!!

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Pretty cool, huh? I’ve found that the app makes me more accountable. Especially when I participate in group step challenges with friends who also have FitBits – nobody wants to see their name last on the leader board!

 

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Music

How awesome was May when it came to new music? There have been so many new songs released this past month and I have been so happy to listen to them all on my Spotify playlist.

The Billboard Music Awards was on last week and there were some amazing performances by some incredible artists. My fave was definitely Troye Sivan’s performance of ‘YOUTH’.

It just makes me so happy to see him living his dreams and enjoying every single moment of it!

I’d love to know what some of your favourite things were for May! Let me know in the comments section below, or link me to your own post so that I can check out your blog!

Let’s make June our best month yet!

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Life Advice – 5 ways I harness my anxiety

After a less-than-positive day, I wanted to use my personal struggle with anxiety issues as a basis for this post.

Today was planned to be a very productive day, and from the moment my eyes opened this morning, I knew it would not be going according to schedule.

Anxiety of any form makes life incredibly difficult. Most days it is undetectable by others that I am struggling. And then there are days where it is out there, at it’s worst and available for the whole world to see.

This isn’t going to be the story about my past issues with anxiety, or a deep description of how it feels on my worst days to battle such a illness. The truth is: if you suffer from some form of anxiety disorder, you already know what it feels like.

I wanted to take what I have learned about harnessing my anxiety issues. I use the word ‘harness’ as that is exactly what we need to do – take the reins of the thing trying to control our emotions and our body and steer our anxiety to a safe place.

 

1.. Breathe

This is one I am sure you’ve heard before during moments where someone else can recognise you’re feeling overwhelmed. However, if you learn how to breathe for relaxation purposes, it can be incredibly calming.

There are YouTube videos which can help you with learning how to focus on your breathing during anxious times as well as an amazing app which I have been using for the past year. Taking a few minutes at the beginning of your day to (try) and centre yourself, your thoughts and your mind can really effect your overall wellbeing positively.

 

2.. Time Out

Not everyone has the ability to drop everything and take a sick day. However, taking time out during your day to be alone can be extremely helpful in clearing your mind and recharging your body. Whether it’s taking an hour in the morning to read, or spending some time in the evening watching an episode of your favourite TV show; doing ‘nothing’ and isolating yourself for a small time can really help defuse an anxious period.

 

3.. Write It Down

Having a place to write down how you feel on a daily basis can be really cathartic and also very helpful in the event of seeking help from a professional as you have your thoughts/feelings written down for reference. Don’t be afraid to be honest with how you feel on a daily basis, even trying to write down what setting/event you may have been exposed to during moments where your anxiety is heightened. Just as important, write about times when you’re feeling better, and how you might have been able to get your anxiety under control.

 

4.. Work Out

Now, I’m not one to tell you to get on the treadmill for 30 minutes, followed by a pilates session every morning…but, sometimes moving and working out does help with releasing tension, focusing on yourself and gaining some endorphins from whatever makes you work up a sweat. Try and find 20 minutes a day to go for a walk outside (fresh air does wonders for the soul), or put on a work out DVD or find a video on YouTube to follow which might be entertaining to try.

 

5.. Talk To Someone

As much as the thought of talking to a complete stranger about our anxiety and personal issues seems frightening (and, well, it is for the first session), getting help is sometimes exactly what we need to find a better path for us to continue learning about ourselves.

Speaking as someone who has seen a counsellor before, sometimes all you may need is someone you don’t know to tell you that how you are feeling is okay. Knowing that you are not the only one feeling the way you are can be comforting and also can be incredibly beneficial when you are seeking help.

If you are after someone to talk to over the phone, whether it’s due to an urgent matter, or you don’t wish to be seen face-to-face, there are also phone helplines which are designed to speak with people any time of the day or night (and they are usually a free call, too).

 

Your mental health is important. How you feel on a daily basis is important. My hope is that the next generation are able to speak out about their anxiety issues with more support and understanding that the generations before us.

You are never alone in your struggle and please remember that it is never too late to reach out if you think you need a helping hand in harnessing your anxiety issues, no matter how big or small they may seem.

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