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Embracing the New Year Without the Pressure of Resolutions

As the calendar flips to a new year, many of us find ourselves caught in the age-old tradition of setting resolutions. The pressure to outline ambitious goals for the upcoming year can be overwhelming, often leading to unnecessary stress and disappointment if not achieved. We are all guilty of putting unrealistic pressure on yourself because it is what is expected. Right? It's time to flip the switch and take back our power it is ok to not set unrealistic goals that only add to the stress in our lives. It is always ok to put yourself first. I mean come on we all roll our eyes when we see a new year! new me! post right? 

Reflecting on the Past:

Before we all go head first with the urge to set new goals, let's take a moment to reflect on the past year. Acknowledge your accomplishments, big or small, and the challenges you overcame. Recognizing your growth and resilience can provide a positive foundation for the coming year, promoting a sense of gratitude and self-appreciation. It's okay to feel good about your achievements and celebrate them. 

Embracing a Flexible Mindset:

Instead of setting solid resolutions, adopt a more flexible mindset. Life is unpredictable, and circumstances can change rapidly. Rather than locking yourself into specific goals, consider creating broad intentions or themes for the year. This allows for change and reduces the risk of feeling defeated if plans deviate.

Setting Realistic Expectations:

One common pitfall in resolution-setting is the establishment of unrealistic expectations. When goals are overly ambitious or unattainable, the likelihood of failure increases, leading to feelings of inadequacy. Set realistic and achievable goals that align with your current circumstances, acknowledging that progress is more important than perfection.

Focusing on Habits:

Shift the emphasis from specific outcomes to building positive habits. Habits are the building blocks of long-term success, and by concentrating on daily or weekly routines, you create a sustainable path toward your aspirations. Whether it's dedicating time to self-care, learning a new skill, or cultivating healthy relationships, habits contribute to gradual, lasting change.

Celebrating Progress, Not Perfection:

Rather than fixating on the end goal, celebrate the progress you make along the way. Break down larger objectives into smaller milestones and acknowledge each achievement. This approach not only boosts motivation but also helps you stay connected to the journey, fostering a sense of accomplishment independent of the final destination.

Emphasizing Self-Compassion:

Be kind to yourself. Understand that setbacks are a natural part of any journey. Instead of succumbing to self-criticism, practice self-compassion. Treat yourself with the same empathy and understanding you would offer to a friend facing challenges. This mindset shift can alleviate the pressure associated with perfectionism and promote a healthier approach to personal development.

As the new year unfolds, consider reframing your approach to resolutions. By reflecting on the past, embracing flexibility, setting realistic expectations, focusing on habits, celebrating progress, and emphasizing self-compassion, you can foster personal growth without succumbing to the pressures of traditional goal-setting. Remember, the journey is just as significant as the destination, and a more compassionate and adaptable mindset can pave the way for a fulfilling and rewarding year ahead.

How to navigate Christmas Anxiety with a Smile

Ah, It's the most wonderful time of the year or so the song goes right. But what if the tinsel and twinkling lights only serve to ignite a sense of unease in your whole body? You're not alone. As the festive season approaches, Christmas anxiety can cast a shadow over the festivities. And guess what? It's perfectly okay not to feel the Christmas cheer. You are not alone! It is ok to have worries and even fears about the festive. 
person sat cuddling legs with anxiety

In a world that often promotes the idea of universal joy during the festive holidays, it's easy to feel like a lone reindeer with a red nose that just won't light up. The truth is, that Christmas anxiety is a real and a very valid experience for many of us including me. 

Whether it's the pressure to meet unrealistic expectations, the stress of family gatherings, or the weight of unmet goals for the year, the holiday season can trigger a range of emotions that don't exactly scream "Ho, ho, ho! sparkle and cheer. 

First and foremost, let's debunk the myth that everyone should be brimming with holiday spirit. The reality is that people have different relationships with Christmas, and that's perfectly fine. Some may have experienced loss or hardship during this time of year,  something traumatic might have taken place at Christmas, while others simply don't resonate with the commercialized version of the season. Whatever your reason, give yourself permission to feel the way you do. It is ok to feel your feelings they are valid. No matter what people say. 

Now, let's talk about how to manage Christmas anxiety. Embracing your feelings doesn't mean letting them dictate your entire holiday season. Instead, consider trying a few strategies to make the festive period more manageable and even enjoyable:

Set Realistic Expectations: Rather than aspiring to create the perfect holiday straight out of a Hallmark movie, set realistic expectations. Remember that imperfections and hiccups are part of being human, and they don't detract from the joy of the season.

Establish Boundaries: If the thought of crowded shops and endless social gatherings sends your stress levels through the roof, set boundaries. Politely decline invitations if you need time for yourself, and don't be afraid to communicate your needs to friends and family. You need to put your happiness first. 

Focus on What Brings You Joy: Identify the aspects of the festive season that genuinely bring you joy. Whether it's cosying up with a good book, enjoying winter walks, or indulging in festive treats, prioritize those activities. you are important and you can put yourself first instead of pleasing other people. 

Practice Self-Care: Amidst the madness, don't forget to prioritize self-care. Take time to relax, recharge, and do things that bring you comfort happiness and joy. This might include a bubble bath, workingout, or even a Netflix binge-watching session. Find what makes you happy. 

Reach Out for Support: You don't have to face Christmas anxiety alone. Reach out to friends, family, or a mental health professional who can provide support and understanding. Sometimes, sharing your feelings can lighten the load. call the Samaritans you are not alone, you are worth it. No matter what is troubling you get help. I promise you are a good person and you deserve happiness.

Remember, it's perfectly ok not to feel the Christmas cheer in the same way others do. Embrace your unique experience, and give yourself the gift of self-compassion this festive season. Whether you find solace in the simplicity of a quiet night or discover joy in unexpected moments, celebrate Christmas on your terms, and let the season be as unique as you are. After all, the most important gift you can give yourself is the freedom to be true to your authentic self. 

Its ok to Break Free - The Journey of Being a Self-Imposed Orphan

In today's digital age, the world often looks picture-perfect through the lens of social media. We all look at Instagram and want the perfect body, the perfect family the perfect life. But there's an untold story that many of us silently bear: the weight of toxic family relationships. Sometimes, the best decision for mental and emotional well-being is to cut ties and become what is known as being a self-imposed orphan. 

Here's an insight into this challenging but often necessary choice.

Understanding the Term "Self-Imposed Orphan"

To be a self-imposed orphan does not mean your parents are dead. Instead, it signifies a conscious choice that you have made to sever the ties with your family members, especially parents or immediate family, due to longstanding toxicity or harm. This can be the hardest thing in the world to do but it can also be the best decision you will ever make. Sometimes you have to look at the big picture to really make the choice. It is similar to toxic friendship but familiar ones are harder to break ties and do the right thing for you. 

women with head in her hands looking sad

Reasons for Choosing this
  • Mental Health: Constant exposure to negativity, criticisms, or emotional abuse can erode your mental health. Distancing yourself can be the first step towards healing.
  • Physical Safety: In extreme cases, family environments might be threatening or physically abusive.
  • Emotional Independence: For some, cutting ties is a path to finding your own voice, away from overwhelming familial expectations or manipulations. This about making your life better. 
The Challenges of This Journey
  • Societal Judgment: Society often stigmatizes those who break away from family, perceiving them as ungrateful or rebellious. Yes, this is the case. I have encountered this on many occasions. 
  • Emotional Guilt: Feelings of guilt can surface, driven by societal norms or personal beliefs about family.
  • Isolation: Holidays, celebrations, or milestones can feel lonely without the traditional family support system. 
Finding Support and Moving Forward
  • Seek Therapy: A professional can offer tools and strategies to cope, heal, and build a new life.
  • Find Your Chosen Family: Many find solace in friends or support groups who understand their journey and can offer unconditional love and acceptance.
  • Focus on Self-Care: Prioritizing your well-being can be empowering, whether it’s through meditation, pursuing hobbies, or simply taking time for oneself.

Choosing to become a self-imposed orphan is not an easy path. It’s a decision made after years of pain, introspection, and, often, as a last resort. However, for many, it’s a step towards a happier, healthier life. While the shadow of the past may always remain, the future can be shaped by choice, resilience, and newfound freedom.

If you or someone you know is struggling with this decision, seek professional counselling or support groups that can provide guidance and understanding.

10 Warning Signs of a Toxic Friendship: How to Recognize and Respond

Friendships, like all relationships, are really important its part of being human.  we are social creatures and crave friendship and companionship. They provide us with joy, support, and memorable experiences. However, not all friendships uplift and empower. Some can be draining, damaging, or even destructive and toxic to our well-being. Recognizing a toxic friendship is crucial for our emotional well-being. Here's a closer look at how to discern whether a friendship is toxic.

1. Constant Negativity

Every relationship has its ups and downs. Yet, if you find that your interactions with a friend are consistently negative, filled with criticism, or devoid of encouragement, it's a big red flag. Friendships should be a source of support, not a constant drain on your energy or self-esteem. 

2. One-sided Effort

Friendships are a two-way street. If you always find yourself making all the effort – initiating contact, planning hangouts, or being the sole pillar of support – it’s possible the balance is skewed. A healthy relationship requires mutual effort and care. It should be give and take not take and no give. If you are always the one to do the favours for example this is another red flag. 

3. Manipulative Behavior

Manipulation can be subtle, making it harder to recognize. If your friend often guilt-trips you, plays emotional games, or uses your secrets against you, it's a sign of a toxic dynamic. True friends won't leverage your vulnerabilities for their gain. They will support and encourage you. 

4. Frequent Jealousy

While occasional envy is part of being human right? we all get jealous now and again. Persistent jealousy is harmful. If your friend can't celebrate your achievements or feels threatened by your other relationships, it can create a breeding ground for bitterness and resentment. We have all had those friends who tend to be supportive when you are one-on-one but in front of others, they just cant do it. For example. They just cant bear to support your business with even an Instagram like when they like all your mutual friends post and yours is the only one left out. 

5. Gossip and Betrayal

Trust is the cornerstone of any solid friendship. If you discover your friend is speaking ill of you behind your back, sharing your secrets, or consistently breaking your trust, it's time to re-evaluate the relationship's health. This is another massive red flag. 

6. Disregard for Boundaries

Each person has boundaries – emotional, physical, and mental. A toxic friend often disregards or belittles these boundaries. Whether they push you into uncomfortable situations, disrespect your time, or dismiss your feelings, it’s a clear sign of a lack of respect. respect in a friendship is a must. If there is not recept how can you find trust? 

7. Competitiveness

A little friendly competition can be invigorating, but if every achievement becomes a contest, it can wear and destroy your relationship. If your friend continually tries to outdo you or diminishes your successes, it’s indicative of a deeper issue. You need to start to realise this person is not your friend. 

8. You Feel Drained After Interactions

Pay attention to how you feel after spending time with your friend. If you consistently feel exhausted, anxious,  down, or depressed, it's a big indicator that this is not healthy. Friendships should generally leave us feeling recharged and valued, not depleted. You should be able to be supported and have support when you need it. 

9. Dismissal of Your Feelings

A hallmark of a toxic friendship is the constant dismissal or belittling of your emotions. If expressing your concerns or feelings leads to mockery, defensiveness, or indifference, it shows a lack of emotional maturity and empathy.

10. Isolation from Other Relationships

If your friend frequently discourages you from spending time with others or badmouths other relationships in your life, be cautious. This could be an attempt to isolate you, which is a manipulative control tactic. We have all had that friend who is jealous of all our other friends. 

Taking the Next Steps

Recognizing a toxic friendship is the first step towards addressing it. Once identified, you can decide on the best course of action, whether it's setting boundaries, seeking counselling, or, in extreme cases, ending the relationship. You need to really think if this relationship is worth in for you. What are you getting out of it. 

You need to remember that everyone deserves relationships that uplift, support, and respect them. If a friendship feels consistently harmful, it's okay to prioritize your well-being. Sometimes, the most empowering decision is to walk away and invest in relationships that genuinely nurture and value you.

Turning Work Rejections into Growth Opportunities: 8 Proven Strategies

Rejection is a bitter pill to swallow, whether it is in our personal lives or at work. The sting of being overlooked for a promotion, or opportunity, the disappointment of not landing a dream project, or the discouragement of having an idea shot down, can leave us feeling rejected and questioning our capabilities. However, facing rejection at work is an inevitable part of being a professional. We all face it it happens and it hurts and we could all use some coping mechanisms. So here's how to deal with it gracefully and use it as a stepping stone to success. But before we dive in it is ok to not be ok. You are allowed to feel your emotions at this time. 

1. Accept Your Emotions

Before you can address the rejection, it’s crucial to accept your feelings about it. It's natural to feel hurt, angry, rejected or embarrassed. Accepting these feelings doesn't mean wallowing in them, but acknowledging them helps in processing the experience more objectively.

2. Avoid Taking It Personally

In a professional setting, decisions are often made based on multiple variables, many of which are beyond your control. While it's essential to reflect on any feedback provided, remember that rejection is not always a direct reflection of your worth or capability. It could be influenced by organizational changes, budgetary constraints, or other external factors. 

3. Seek Constructive Feedback

If you're unsure why you faced rejection, seek feedback. Constructive criticism can provide insights into areas of improvement. Approach your supervisor or colleagues with an open mindset and ask for feedback about your performance or proposal. Remember, it’s not about defending your position but understanding their perspective. It is ok to ask for feedback you don't need to feel bad about looking for a reason as to why you have been rejected. 

4. Reframe the Rejection

Changing your perspective on rejection can make all the difference. Instead of seeing it as a dead-end, view it as valuable feedback that provides insight into how you can grow and improve. The most successful people often have a history of numerous rejections behind them, which they used as fuel to propel themselves forward and you can to. This might just be the reason you need to move on to pastures new and take the leap you have been wanting to take for a long time. 

5. Focus on Other Opportunities

Rejection can feel all-encompassing, but don't let it define your entire professional experience. Focus on your accomplishments and other ongoing projects. Dive into a new task, brainstorm fresh ideas, or take on a new challenge. By shifting your focus, you redirect your energy towards productivity and remind yourself of your value and potential. You are worth more than this one little setback. 

6. Develop Resilience

Building resilience doesn't mean ignoring or suppressing your feelings, but rather developing the ability to bounce back. Resilience is nurtured over time, through both failures and successes. Remember past challenges you’ve overcome and recognize that this is just another momentary setback. Over time, these experiences will build your mental strength and prepare you for future hurdles. You got this. 

7. Stay Connected

Lean on your support system. Discussing your feelings with a trusted colleague, mentor, or friend can offer a fresh perspective and provide emotional support. They might share their own experiences of rejection, offering strategies that worked for them or simply giving you the comfort of knowing you’re not alone. Everyone has been rejected. 

8. Keep Moving Forward

Lastly, remember the age-old adage – when one door closes, another opens. Yes I know corny but true. Just because you faced rejection in one instance doesn't mean you won't find success in the next. Keep refining your skills, be open to feedback, and stay persistent in your pursuits.

while rejection at work is painful, it’s also an opportunity. It’s a chance to reflect, grow, and pivot in a direction that might ultimately lead you to even greater success. By approaching rejection with a balanced and open mindset, you can transform these setbacks into powerful stepping stones on your professional journey.

Massive back to school Competition 2023

What on earth happened to the summer did I blink and miss it? How on earth are we all planning back to school already? I just can't belive the summer is coming to an end and what happened to the weather is anyone's guess. But there is one thing for sure the new school year is upon us all and it's time to get out act together and think about getting back to the grind. It is a bit bittersweet this time of year but it marks a new beginning for some and not so much for others but one thing is for sure with back to school comes the expense of it. This year is expensive enough already, isn't it. 

I have teamed up with the best UK bloggers to offer you the chance to win your child back-to-school essentials. This hopefully lightens the load a little bit for one of you. So good luck

Back to School Giveaway

With only a couple of weeks left until the start of the new school year, some of the top UK bloggers have come together to offer one lucky winner an amazing bundle of prizes to send their kids back to school in style. This is not only a giveaway but also a great Back to School Guide to help you get ideas and inspiration for your kid's new school year.

The Prizes

Microsoft Surface Go 2 Intel Pentium Gold from tier1

Tier1, refurbishers of laptops, desktops and tablets and more are the perfect solution for parents looking to equip their kids with great but affordable technology as they head back to school. Tier1 take pre-owned devices and puts them through a rigorous process of testing, cleaning, and repairing to ensure they are in excellent working condition. Not only do these devices offer significant savings compared to buying brand new, but they also provide a reliable and efficient way for students to engage in online learning, complete assignments, and explore educational resources.

With tier1, parents can find high-quality laptops and tablets that meet their children's needs without breaking the bank, allowing them to invest in their education without compromising on affordability. We have the Microsoft Surface Go 2 Intel Pentium Gold from tier1 for our lucky winner. Right now, tier1 have their summer sale on, making those back to school savings even greater!

Win a Futliit LED Backpack

Introducing the Futliit LED Backpack, the perfect accessory for those walking or cycling home after school. Safety is paramount, especially when it comes to being visible in the dark. Are you worried about your kids walking home in the dark? Don't worry! The Futliit LED backpack is here to keep them visible to passing traffic, ensuring their safety.

Equipped with two strands of LED lights and reflective panels, the backpack guarantees maximum visibility on your journey. But that's not all – the backpacks come loaded with features. With a spacious main compartment, a padded device sleeve, and ample storage space, your kids can keep all their school essentials secure.

Don't miss out on this chance! Enter our giveaway for an opportunity to win the Futliit LED Backpack. Ensure your kid's safety and embrace the #BeFutliit movement!

WIN a pair of premium Start-Rite school shoes !

'Motivate' and 'Encourage' deliver the very best protection Start-Rite has to offer, and here's your chance to win either style of your choice! These robust shoes are packed with the best Start-Rite intelligence, from Air Rite technology to biomechanical soles, reflective tabs, toe and heel bumpers, padded ankles, dyed through leather and adjustable rip-tape fastenings. 

The durable designs of these two new styles launched by Start-Rite, in collaboration with 'The Daily Mile', strengthen the joint ambition to support healthy development and physical activity for all school children.

'Motivate' - available size S10 - L4 (Standard and Wide width fitting)

'Encourage' - available size S9 - L2 (Standard and Wide width fitting)

To browse the full Start-Rite school shoe range -

Create-A-Space™ See-Thru Storage Caddy

Keep your kid's art and crafts supplies organised when they go back to school with the Create-A-Space™ See-Thru Storage Caddy from Learning Resources. The set comes with 4 very handy see-through storage bins on a portable base with a carry handle. It's the perfect caddy for creative kids, and we have one to give to our lucky winner! 

SMASH Lunchbags and Water Bottles

Going back to school with SMASH means you're going back in style! Our lucky winner can grab their kids the following lunchtime accessories:

The water bottles have an easy carry handle and a fast-flow straw sipper. The lunch bags are not only super cool and super stylish but they are also fully insulated with an anti-bacterial lining. Oh, and super easy to clean too! If you can't wait to see if you're a winner, these affordable lunch bags and water bottles are all available from Dunelm. 

Brainstorm Toys E2001 Light Up 2 in 1 Globe Earth & Constellations, Multicolor

Help your kids learn when they go back to school with Brainstorm Toys Light Up 2 in 1 Globe of the Earth and constellations. The Earth and Constellation Globe is two globes in one with a day-time and night-time view. In the daylight, the 22.8cm diameter globe shows political boundaries, oceans, equator, longitude and latitude lines, country names, capital cities and other major cities for each country in the world. By night the illuminated star map shows constellations with their common names. The globe is at a scale of 1:55,900,00, and it sits on a sturdy, stylish silver stand with a matching graduated meridian.

The Earth and Constellation Globe has an automatic light sensor, so when the globe is turned on and the surrounding area is dark, the globe will transform into a beautiful glowing globe showing the star constellations. It is a great learning tool for geographers and astronomers but also a great feature for your child's bedroom. And we have one for our lucky winner!

The Bloggers

In order to be able to bring you this incredible giveaway, some of the UK’s top bloggers got together and contributed. A massive thank you to our bloggers! The bloggers taking part are:

My Balancing Act | The Mum Diaries | Life with Jupiter and Dann | Mummy Fever | Jenny in Neverland | Suburban Mum | Stay Positive | Wotawoman Diary | Catch Up With Claire | Synderella Slims | Make Money Without A Job | The Festive Feelings | Thrifty Husband | A Thrifty Gamer | Mrs Pinch |  We Made This Life | My Life Your Way | We Made This Vegan | Effervescent Kelly | Diary of the Evans-Crittens |  Best things to do in Cambridge | Two Plus Dogs | The Financial Wilderness | Cats Kids and Chaos | Ideas For A Good Life | My Money Cottage | Clean Plates All Round |  Boxnip |  Everything Enchanting | Pounds and Sense | Life Loving | Spillinglifetea | Missljbeauty |  A Suffolk Mum | Sustainable Business Magazine | BLUEBEARWOOD | THE TOY SCOOP | mummy and me x2 | Crazy Little Thing Called Love | Hannah and the Twiglets | The Geordie Grandma | In The Playroom | Catbaba | Birds and Lilies | The Happy Budget | Testing Time | PrettyCore | Remote Working Guru | Mummy Saver Money Maker | Moms Money Makeover | Real Girls Wobble | Lifestyle Original | Anything and Everything Else | Cyprus Property Blog

How to Enter

You can enter the Giveaway by completing as many Rafflecopter widget entry options below as you like. All entries will be collected and one winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

UK entries only
The giveaway will run from 7pm 20th August 2023 to 11.59am 30th August 2023.
The winners will be notified by email from
The winner will have 7 days to respond after which time we reserve the right to select an alternative winner.
This prize draw is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, BlogLovin or Pinterest or any other social media platform.
Prize open to over 18s only. Age verification may be required to receive some prizes.
If any prizes are out of stock then we will do our best to find a suitable replacement but can not guarantee it.
Anyone who unfollows before the giveaway ends or doesn’t complete the required entry action will be disqualified.
The prize is non-transferable, non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for monetary value.
We may be using a parcel service or RoyalMail for some of the prizes and their standard compensation will apply in the event of loss or damage.
Some items may be sent directly by the supplier and we do not have responsibility if these go missing and we cannot replace these.
In the unlikely event, one of the companies withdraws a prize, we cannot offer an alternative.
The winner’s name will be stated on some or all of our blogger’s websites and announced on Twitter and other social media channels. It will also be displayed on the Rafflecopter Entry. By entering this prize draw, you give your permission for this.
Please note the winner may have the same name as you so if you see your name displayed, be aware that you are not the winner unless you have been notified by us.
There may be some delays in receiving prizes.

Finding Yourself When You're Feeling Lost

At one point or another, most of us have felt a bit lost in life, like we're floating in a river with nowhere to go or a clear direction. This can happen for so many reasons it could be due to a major life change, daily life becoming monotonous, or simply growing older and questioning our place in the world, it’s a totally natural feeling and we all feel it. 

So, if you're feeling a bit adrift lately, don't worry! You’re not alone. Let's embark on this journey together and explore some ways to find yourself again.

This isn’t about staring at yourself in the mirror. Take a few moments daily or weekly to write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Answering questions like, "What truly makes me happy?" or "What do I want to achieve in life?" can open doors to understanding yourself better. Yes, this might should a bit cringy bit it is worth giving it a try. Some people swear by it. 

Travel Solo:
If you can, pack a bag and venture to a new place on your own. This doesn't have to be overseas even a day trip to a nearby town can offer new perspectives. Being in unfamiliar surroundings often forces us to look inward and understand ourselves in a new light. I find even a long bus journey can help me to really think.

Seek New Experiences: Join a class, pick up a hobby, volunteer for a cause, or simply attend local events. New experiences can jolt us out of complacency and reignite passions we never knew we had. They are always worth a try. 

Speak to Someone: Whether it's a therapist, a close friend, or a family member, sometimes speaking about our feelings and fears provides some clarity. They might offer a different perspective that you hadn't considered. It is always worth letting someone in on how we are feeling. 

Meditation and Mindfulness: 
Tuning into the present moment, focusing on your breath, and letting go of clouded thoughts can be truly helpful. If you've never meditated before, there are a sp many apps and YouTube channels to guide you. I like guided meditation I find it the easiest to do. 

Books offer glimpses into different worlds, philosophies, and lives. Sometimes, all it takes to understand oneself is to understand others. I know I need to do this one more. 

Set Small Goals: 
Large life goals can be overwhelming. Start with smaller ones like reading a book, exercising, or mastering a new skill. Achieving these can boost your confidence and pave the way for bigger goals. It is ok to start small and build up. 

Nature Time: 
Nature has a soothing, grounding effect. There is nothing more important than getting out in nature. 
Walks in the park, hikes, or simply sitting by a body of water can provide clarity and a sense of belonging. Nature has a strange way of bringing you back to the present. 

Limit Social Media: 
It’s easy to feel lost and compare ourselves when we see everyone’s ‘highlight reel’ on social media. Taking a break can help recalibrate your sense of self. Remember people tend to only show the polished version of themself online. That influencer you think has her shit together actually doesn't and has the same insecurities we all have. It's their job to make you think they don't. 

Revisit Old Passions: 
Think back to what made you happy as a child or teenager. Rekindling those old hobbies or interests might reignite a part of you that you've forgotten. There is nothing more fun than having fun so find your fun again. 

Remember, feeling lost doesn’t mean you're off track. Sometimes, it's life’s way of nudging you to discover a path you wouldn’t have taken otherwise. Every experience, even the confusing ones, adds depth and richness to your life. 

How to cope with unexpected anxiety

We've all been there. It's a normal day, everything's going fine, and then suddenly boom anxiety hits out of nowhere.  completely out of the blue. It's like a surprise party you didn't really ask for but you're forced to attend and you have no idea what is actually troubling you. But don't worry, I've got your back. Let's talk about how to cope when anxiety decides to make a surprise appearance and you are in the grips of an anxiety spiral and don't know what to do. 

1. Recognize that it is anxiety and not a real problem

First things first, let's recognize anxiety for what it is an unwelcome guest that has arrived just as you are about to have dinner and you don't have enough food to go around. When it hits out of nowhere, it can feel like lightning has hit you and you are paralysed with fear.  You might experience rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, or feel a sense of impending doom. you might be wraking your brain to what is the problem where is this fear coming from? What am I missing? It has to be for a reason right? Wrong anxiety can be for no reason at all. Remember, That these symptoms are temporary and they will pass. Acknowledging this can help take the edge off. You can say out loud this will pass. This is temporary. I do. 

2. Grounding Techniques

Grounding techniques are a lifesaver when anxiety hits you. One popular method is the "5-4-3-2-1" technique. Identify five things you can see, four you can touch, three you can hear, two you can smell, and one you can taste. This exercise helps bring your focus back to your surroundings and away from anxiety.

I like to do the finger-touching technique. Where I tap my fingers off my thumb and count. This puts me back in the moment. 

3. Breathing Exercises

When anxiety hits, our breath often becomes quick and shallow. this can make it even worse.  By deliberately changing your breathing pattern, you can help your body calm down and relax. Try the 4-7-8 technique: inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat this cycle until you feel calmer. Concentrating on breathing can really bring you back to the moment. 

4. Reach Out

Sometimes, talking to someone you trust can help to be the best coping mechanism.  This doesn't necessarily mean you have to talk about your anxiety. Just the act of chatting about everyday things can be enough to distract you and help you feel more grounded. Remember, it's okay to ask for support when you need it. It is not a weakness to say you are struggling it is a strength. 

5. Self-Care

In moments of sudden anxiety, self-care becomes more important than ever.  You are important. Do something that brings you joy or comfort. From making a cup of tea to listening to your favourite music, going for a gentle walk or watching TikTok. Taking care of your needs can help your body to settle and your mind to refocus. Do something for you. 

6. Write It Out

Try writing down your thoughts and feelings in a notebook or blog. It doesn't have to be coherent or structured.  just get all though thoughts out. The act of writing itself can help to organize your thoughts and provide a healthy outlet for your feelings.

I write down what is worrying me in the moment then I think and what would I tell my friend if they said this to me. This really helps. 

7. Seek Professional Help
If surprise anxiety attacks become frequent or particularly distressing, please speak to a mental health professional. Therapists and counsellors are trained to help you develop coping strategies tailored to your unique situation and will help you. No matter what you're going through, from medical conditions like ED (which you can find help for from an ED Clinic Huntsville or a similar clinic in your local area) to mental issues like low self-esteem or depression, you'll be able to find a professional specialising in this area that can work with you to overcome your trigger

8. Animal therapy

I am a great believer in animals as a way to help with anxiety. My own dog is wonderful at sensing when my anxiety is peaking and will come and sit on my knee. Just her doing this comforts me. If I am really struggling one day I will turn the day around but making it about her. She needs walking feeding playing. She looks after me by letting me look after her. 

Remember, it's okay to feel anxious. It's a natural, even if it's an uninvited one. The next time anxiety decides to crash your party, remember these strategies. You're stronger than your anxiety, and each time you face it head-on, you're building resilience.

And always remember, it's okay to ask for help. You're not alone in this. There are people who care about you and professionals who can support you. 

Don't Break the Bank! Fun & Wallet-Friendly Ideas for Rainy Summer Days in the UK

We all know how our beloved British weather loves to throw us a curveball, especially in summer. This summer has been one of the worst on record so far.  But rain shouldn’t be a downer, it's just another reason to try something different. Here's a bunch of cost-friendly, super fun ways to keep everyone entertained when the summer sky decides to open up.

wellies splashing in puddle wet british day

Wellie up:
Get your outdoor gear out and go outside anyways. There is something so fun about splashing in puddles. Dont pretend you are too old to have some good old-fashioned fun. Grab that big jacket and go out and embrace the weather. 

Museum Adventures: Pop into your local museum! They're cosy, dry, and chock full of fascinating stuff. And guess what? Entry is often free (though they do love a small donation if you can). I love nothing more than a museum trip and there are so many to choose from in the UK. 

Cosy Kitchen Creations: Why not whip up some yummy British classics like scones or a Victoria sponge? It's a fun way to spend the day and the best part? You get to munch on your creations afterwards! Win-win

Library Escapades: Libraries are magical places full of stories waiting to be discovered. Whether you fancy losing yourself in a good book or joining a cool workshop, your local library has you covered. And it's usually free! These can also be located in some of the most beautiful buildings in the UK. 

Crafty Afternoons: Get those creative juices flowing with a bit of DIY arts and crafts. Whether it's painting, making homemade jewellery, or reusing household items, it's fun, creative, and even eco-friendly!

Indoor Picnics: Who needs the park when you can have a picnic indoors? Throw a blanket on your living room floor, make some sandwiches and voilĂ ! A fun twist on mealtime that'll have the kids grinning ear to ear.

Home Workouts: Lots of fitness gurus offer online classes these days, often free or for a small fee. So, roll out that yoga mat or gear up for some at-home cardio. A rainy day is a great excuse to get moving!

Movie Bonanza: Sometimes, there's nothing better than snuggling up on the sofa with a bucket of popcorn for a movie marathon. So, dig out those old DVDs or fire up your favourite streaming service and enjoy!

Rain or shine, let's make the most of our unpredictable British summer. Remember, fun doesn't always have to come with a hefty price tag or require clear skies. Happy rainy day adventures!

Discover the Health Benefits of CBD: What You Need to Know

Discover the Health Benefits of CBD: What You Need to Know

In a world that often feels like it's spinning faster than we can keep up, there's a natural compound slowly but surely changing the health and wellness landscape. Enter CBD—Cannabidiol—a non-psychoactive concoction straight from nature’s lap that is nothing short of a daily booster shot for well-being. Think of CBD as a wizard distilling peace in a bottle, while also shouldering the potential to alleviate an array of physical and mental ailments. 

This blog post will take you through the maze of CBD benefits, debunking myths and highlighting facts along the way. When Alice fell into Wonderland, she discovered a world of wonders hitherto unknown; let's explore this botanical wonderland together and uncover what CBD has in store for your health.

According to a spokeperson at Burning Daily, while research is still ongoing, several potential health benefits of CBD have been identified, including pain relief, reduction in symptoms related to some mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, alleviation of certain cancer-related symptoms, neuroprotective properties, potential benefits for heart health and anti-inflammatory properties. 

It's important to note that effects can vary by individual and further research is needed to fully understand the extent of these potential benefits. As always, it's recommended to speak with a healthcare professional before trying any new treatments or supplements.

The Benefits of CBD's Psychoactive Compound' and 'h2 - Potential Benefits of CBD', which could confuse the reader.

CBD and psychoactive compound both belong to the broad spectrum of cannabis extracts. However, CBD tends to be non-psychoactive compared to its other counterpart, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gets you high. Hence, the use of THC is prohibited in most places around the world because it has an addictive property that primarily affects your cognition.

On the other hand, CBD provides a variety of health benefits without inducing any mind-altering effects. Some people, however, might still feel hesitant about using CBD solely due to its association with cannabis as a recreational drug. Nonetheless, always keep in mind when buying CBD products that they should contain very little or no THC. It should also be taken under recommended doses to avoid any unwanted side effects.

Think of the rainbow where each color represents different chemical compounds and how they represent distinct effects on our body and mind. In this case, psychoactive compounds represent one color, while CBD follows another. Therefore, choosing to utilize only one ingredient does not affect or determine the presence of another.

Now that we've cleared up some potential confusion let's take a deep dive into what CBD is and why it is gaining momentum in the health industry.

Understanding Cannabidiol (CBD)

Understanding how CBD impacts our overall wellness cannot be described accurately without analyzing what goes on inside our bodies. Cannabinoids such as CBD interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) receptors that are present throughout our body which play a major role in regulating several physiological processes such as sleep patterns, appetite regulation, immune response and pain management.

CBD helps maintain a healthy balance and supports optimal functioning of various ECS receptors; hence it provides relief from pains and assist on autoimmune conditions. Research even shows that CBD can help manage several ailments like anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and even symptoms related to cancer.

For Instance, a recent study showed CBD can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and craving in people addicted to opiates. Another result from a 2019 study indicates CBD could be an effective option for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as it helps regulate and mitigate symptoms.

Suzie spent years suffering emotionally from her diagnosed severe PTSD, hypervigilance, hyperarousal, and depression which prevented her from spending time with family or maintain employment. After trying CBD oil routinely for three months, her symptoms were eased considerably—allowing her to start participating in social events and become more productive in life.

Having a basic understanding of how CBD functions in our body lays down a foundation of knowledge on how to use it properly and make informed decisions. Now let's take a closer look at how we can consume CBD.

CBD's Role in Health

CBD oil has quickly gained a reputation for being a natural remedy that can help with pain relief, anxiety, and inflammation. What many people do not know is that our bodies have their own endocannabinoid system which produces cannabinoids that interact with the receptors in our body. This system plays a vital role in managing functions like mood, appetite, and sleep.

CBD works by interacting with these receptors in the brain and the immune system, helping to boost the levels of naturally produced cannabinoids while reducing inflammation and pain signals. By doing so, it helps regulate bodily processes, making it a potent natural remedy for health problems.

For example, studies have shown that CBD can reduce seizures in people with epilepsy by up to 40%. The FDA has even approved a drug called Epidiolex that contains CBD for treating two types of severe childhood epilepsy. Additionally, research has also suggested that CBD may be useful in treating conditions like PTSD, schizophrenia, and addiction.

Moreover, CBD has anti-inflammatory properties which make it useful for alleviating symptoms of chronic pain conditions like arthritis. It has also been found to be effective in reducing social anxiety disorder symptoms.

However, there are still concerns about the effectiveness of CBD oil since most evidence on its benefits comes from animal studies. Furthermore, despite its increasing popularity and wide usage for therapeutic purposes, there is still much to learn about how CBD works with the human body and how safe it is.

Having known what CBD is and its role in health promotion let's dive into how we can administer it.

Modes of Using CBD

There are two common modes of using CBD: oral consumption and topical application. Each mode delivers its unique results; hence it is essential to determine which form would suit your situation best. For those looking to explore a range of high-quality medical cbd products, check out 'Alternaleaf', a trusted source that caters to diverse needs.

Orally consuming CBD usually comes in the form of tinctures or capsules. It gets processed through your liver before entering the bloodstream yielding effects that last longer compared to topical applications. However, depending on specific ailments requirements that need immediate relief acting topically into specific areas where the ailment presents is the way to go.

Transdermal application can provide fast-acting relief for acute localized pain such as arthritis or eczema limited only to where applied topically while not having any adverse side effects.

For example, Peter had been dealing with chronic back pain since his car accident last year he was advised by a medic to apply CBD oil topically to the affected area once every hour. He started noticing immediate relief from pain and inflammation after an hour of application, enabling him to do his daily activities without restrictions.

Knowing how to administer CBD can help gain maximum benefits, and with that in mind, in the next section, we'll go over the most common mode of using CBD-oral consumption.To gain maximum benefits from CBD, it is crucial to determine which mode of consumption suits your situation best. Oral consumption and topical application are the two common forms of CBD administration, each with its unique results. Orally consumed CBD lasts longer in the body compared to topically applied CBD, making it ideal for specific conditions that require long-lasting effects. Topical application, on the other hand, provides fast-acting relief for acute localized pain without any adverse side effects. Understanding how to administer CBD can help you achieve maximum benefits.

Topical CBD Applications

If you’re new to using medicinal cannabis products or if you’re wondering how best to make use of CBD oil’s restorative properties? You might mistakenly believe that using CBD involves smoking dried leaves or taking pills full of strange chemicals. Thankfully, there are several easy and convenient ways to consume CBD that does not involve any complex process.

Think of it just like you use essential oils or ointments for different skin ailments; CBD oil too can be used in many ways. You can either apply it topically or ingest it orally.

Topical CBD Applications

CBD-infused topical creams, lotions, and balms are an effective way to tackle a range of skin issues, including dryness, redness, irritation, acne, and inflammation. These applications containing ointments are also straightforward to use: gently massage the cream on your skin whenever you need quick relief from localized pain or soreness.

Some individuals who suffer from conditions like psoriasis or eczema can benefit from these creams. There is also evidence that suggests that topical CBD oil when applied directly to the skin can relieve symptoms of joint pains related to arthritis.

Let's proceed to see how oral consumption works.

Oral CBD Consumption

CBD oil capsules and tinctures remain the most popular ways of ingesting cannabidiol. Capsules provide an easy and discreet method of using CBD oil but, they might take longer to show effects compared to other methods such as topicals or vaping. Tinctures offer a more rapid effect - place a few drops under the tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing them with water.

Additionally, studies have shown that taking oral doses of CBD oil may alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms. It has also been shown to help individuals dealing with drug addiction and cigarette smoking cessation by reducing nicotine cravings.

However, taking higher doses of CBD oil could lead to some side effects such as drowsiness, diarrhea, changes in appetite among others. It's crucial to follow the recommended dosage instructions indicated on the product packaging to avoid overconsuming.

Now that we have explored different modes of CBD administration and potential benefits let’s dive deeper into specific health benefits that come with using CBD oil.

Oral CBD Consumption

Topical CBD applications refer to the use of lotions, balms, and creams infused with cannabidiol that are applied directly to the skin. Many people prefer this method of consumption because it targets specific areas of pain or inflammation effectively. The topical application is easy to use with no need for ingestion.

For instance, individuals who experience joint pain or muscle aches can apply a CBD-based salve to the affected area and experience relief without any adverse effects. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD help reduce pain and discomfort in the muscles or joints, which can alleviate symptoms of arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other chronic illnesses.

Additionally, topical CBD has been found to help combat several skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis. Research suggests that the cannabinoid receptors present in our skin play a significant role in regulating various functions such as cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, inflammation, and sebum production. Topical application of CBD may influence these receptors adversely to treat different issues related to our skin.

Now that you have familiarized yourself with the benefits of topical application let us explore oral consumption mode.

Insights on CBD's Health Impact

Oral consumption is one practical way to take CBD supplements in your daily routine. There are oils/tinctures under the tongue, capsules/soft gels swallowed like any other pill/ medication or even gummies infused with CBD extract.

Since oral intake needs to pass through our digestive system before being absorbed into the bloodstream, it takes some time before we feel the effects. As such, effects may take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or two depending on individual circumstances such as metabolism rate and dosage amount consumed.

Unlike topicals where it’s effect hovers around localized regions like sore areas/joints/muscles, oral ingestion is more suited for long-term therapy or cravings. For instance, chronic conditions such as seizures, anxiety attacks, or epileptic disorders may benefit significantly from CBD oil consumption because the bioavailability can support it.

In a study investigating the use of CBD oil in children with drug-resistant epilepsy, those who received the cannabidiol supplement experienced a reduction of seizures by 37%. According to research, oral CBD has also demonstrated to help aid in reducing nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatment among cancer patients. This is due to its ability to interact with neurotransmitters relating to pain control and suppress our gag reflex.

Topicals and oral consumption are both viable ways to enjoy the health benefits of CBD. Now let's delve further into how CBD potentially addresses stress management and anxiety related issues.

Stress and Anxiety Management

CBD has been studied extensively, and while more research is required, there are many insights into its health impacts. For example, studies have shown that CBD may be effective in treating certain medical conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. These neurological disorders can cause discomfort and pain in patients, which CBD can help alleviate.

Additionally, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that CBD can improve sleep quality by reducing insomnia and other sleep disorders. CBD's anti-inflammatory properties may also benefit people with chronic pain conditions such as arthritis as well as those recovering from injuries or surgeries.

While these benefits are promising, it's important to note that CBD isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. Some people may experience side effects from taking CBD, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, and fatigue. It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before using CBD for any medical concerns.

To illustrate this point, consider the use of prescription medication. Different medications work differently for each individual depending on their condition and physiology. While some medications may be effective for some people but not others, all medications come with potential side effects that should be carefully considered.

With that being said, numerous studies have reported that CBD does not exhibit abuse or dependence potential, according to the World Health Organization report cited earlier. This means it is unlikely that taking CBD will result in addiction or withdrawal symptoms.

Furthermore, unlike THC - the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis - CBD does not produce a high by itself.

Now let's move onto one of the most significant areas where CBD has shown promise: stress and anxiety management.According to a 2020 survey by Consumer Reports, approximately one third of the U.S adults had used CBD, and more than 90% of those people said it helped them ease pain, improve sleep quality, and reduce anxiety.

A study published in Frontiers in Neurology in 2018 revealed that short-term use of CBD could improve spasticity symptoms in individuals suffering from multiple sclerosis.
In 2017, Clinical Trials revealed that nearly 40% of pediatric epilepsy patients experienced a significant reduction in seizures after three months of CBD use.

CBD for Pain and Inflammation Relief

Stress and anxiety are increasingly prevalent issues in today's world. Research shows that prolonged stress can lead to adverse health outcomes such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression. CBD's anxiolytic effects have been studied in both animal studies and human research, showing promise as a potential natural solution for the management of stress and anxiety.

One study conducted on a group of people with social anxiety disorder found that participants who received a dose of CBD before public speaking showed less anxiety and improved performance compared to those who received a placebo. Another study concluded that CBD may improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia in people struggling with anxiety.

To further illustrate this point, imagine you have a big presentation coming up at work that is making you feel anxious. You take a small dose of CBD beforehand, and suddenly your nerves calm down, allowing you to communicate your message clearly. This is just one example of how CBD's potential benefits can help individuals manage everyday stressors.

While some studies have yielded promising results regarding the use of CBD for anxiety management, it's important to note that more research is still needed to fully understand its effectiveness. Additionally, while CBD may benefit some people with anxiety disorders, it may not be effective or appropriate for others.

It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating CBD into your wellness regimen to ensure it is appropriate for you and your needs.

Now that we've explored how CBD can aid in stress and anxiety management let's move onto another area where it has shown promise - pain relief.

Decorate Your Bedroom Like An Interior Designer

 Decorating your bedroom can be a fun and exciting experience but it can also be stressful, particularly with so many ideas and options to choose from. You might find it challenging to transfer your dream bedroom idea into reality. So what can you do?

We’re going to show you how to decorate your bedroom like an interior designer with our five tips including:

  • Finding inspiration

  • Choosing a colour palette

  • Planning the flow

  • Getting the lighting right

  • Introducing textures


Your bedroom should be an oasis of calm to help you get the most from a good night’s sleep. Look for inspiration in anything that brings you joy such as the beach, the mountains, or even your favourite cafe. 

You can take inspiration from anything but using interior design magazines or websites can help if you’re struggling to find a direction. Create a mood board with colours and textures to allow you to test your ideas before committing yourself. 


Choosing a colour palette will be a personal choice but most interior designers suggest using subtle, calming colours. A base neutral paint lets you add pops of colour with bedding, furniture or artwork on the walls. 

This will also help to keep the cost to paint a room within your budget as neutral colours tend to be more affordable. Even with subtle colours, you can introduce an accent wall either with paint or a striking patterned wallpaper. 


Getting the flow right is conducive to a relaxing space so make sure you can move around the room without having to negotiate pieces of furniture. Create built-in storage where you can to reduce the amount of floor space taken up by wardrobes and chests of drawers. 

Most interior designers recommend as clutter-free a space in your bedroom as you can manage. This adds to the feeling of serenity and encourages a relaxing atmosphere in this restful space. 


The right lighting in a bedroom is vital as you want it to be soothing and cosy as well as functional. Overhead lights should have dimmers so you can adjust them as you need. 

Bedside lamps should create enough light for reading but choose warm, yellow lighting rather than harsh white light. This helps boost levels of melatonin which induces sleep. Lighting layers in a bedroom will let you alter the atmosphere to create the mood you want. 


Decorating like an interior designer means you will understand the importance of introducing different textures to your bedroom. Small touches such as adding rugs to a hardwood floor or throws and cushions to your bed will increase the feeling of cosiness in your bedroom. 

You can create an air of opulence and indulgence by bringing different textures to the room. A velvet tub chair or large cable knit throw can make a huge difference. 

Armed with these tips there’s nothing holding you back from decorating your bedroom like an interior designer and creating the bedroom of your dreams.