We All Have Bad Days – Here’s How I Pick Myself Up | #ThisGirlEats

No matter how great things are, we all find ourselves in a bit of a slump every now and then. I’ve been having a bit of a rubbish week myself, for literally no reason whatsoever – which, in a way, makes it harder to shake off because you don’t really know what brought it on in the first place!

I’ve got a few techniques in my back pocket that I pull out at times like this, and they’ve got me out of more than one sticky situation in the past…

1. Spruce myself up

I’m not talking about some expensive luxe spa day, but it’s always nice to pamper myself when I’m feeling down in the dumps. It’s only ever something small and simple, like finally refreshing my chipped nail varnish, or getting rid of those nasty roots with a fun new hair colour. Just a little self-maintenance makes me feel like I’m presenting the best version of myself to the world, even if I don’t feel like it on the inside.

2. Get some fresh air

I’m not exactly the outdoorsy type, but there really is nothing like getting some air in your lungs when you’re in a bad mood. Moping around the flat by myself only makes me more miserable, but getting outside for a walk or run (if I’m feeling particularly energetic!) always helps me feel as though I’m one step closer to getting out of whatever funk I’m in.

3. Quality cat time

I’m a cat person – I think we’ve all established that through the constant Instagram stories of my rescue Chinchilla Persian floof, Flora. It might sound silly to those who aren’t “animal people”, but anyone with a pet – be it a cat, dog, whatever – knows how important those precious playmates are to the household. I adore my little munchkin (yes, I call her disgustingly soppy nicknames like that) and she never fails to cheer me up when I’m feeling down with plenty of fluffy cuddles.


4. Get productive

One of the most common causes of my bad moods is when I’m unsatisfied with how I’ve spent my day. If I’ve wasted an entire weekend doing nothing, or I planned to get loads of things done and just didn’t get round to it, I always end the day feeling seriously frustrated – which sucks, obviously. A quick fix for this is simply to do something. Anything! Write that blog post, send that email, upload that video, edit that photo; the more I tick off my to-do list, the better I feel when bedtime rolls around.

5. Do some spring cleaning

This might surprise you if you’ve ever dropped in on me unexpectedly and seen the chaos littered throughout my flat, but nothing puts me in a negative head-space more than mess. When the washing piles up and the layer of dust on the telly gets thicker and mounds of crap stands between me and my bed, I can instantly feel a migraine coming on… Going on a de-cluttering spree or a cleaning frenzy helps organise my home as well as my mind.

6. Throwback

I know puberty was a traumatic time and most people wish they could just forget their teenage years but, for me, I’m one of the lucky ones; I got off pretty easy. Despite the usual teenage girl drama, those years hold some of my fondest memories and remind me of a time when life was, for the most part, fun and carefree. So when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by the real world, I take myself back to that time, whether it’s by playing tunes I loved listening to on the walk to school or flicking though embarrassing Facebook photos taken on my Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot.


7. Cook up a storm

It’s not for everyone, but cooking really relaxes me. Sure, it’s a bit hectic when you’ve got a million pans on the go, no-one in the house eats the same meal and the stuff on the top shelf of the oven is burning while the stuff on the bottom still looks anaemic – but hey, it’s all part of the fun! Giving myself a challenge in the kitchen distracts me, allows quality time by myself doing something I love, and I always feel proud as punch when it all comes together and tastes delicious in the end.

8. Grab a big mug and fill to the brim with herbal tea

This trick is especially handy when I’m feeling physically sluggish; if I’ve eaten a lot of junk food over the weekend or I’ve found my eyes to be bigger than my belly once again. I never get a good night’s sleep if I’m going to bed feeling uncomfortable, but a lovely cup of green tea is a great pallet cleanser and refreshes my digestive system. I also find camomile helps when I’m feeling restless and irritable, and lemon and ginger is great for banishing the sniffles.

9. Make plans

Sometimes, when you feel stuck in a rut, it’s really hard to find your way out of it. It can almost cloud your perspective and feel impossible to see through the fog of your current state of mind. Something that pushes me to get out of wallowing in the present when things aren’t so great is to make plans for the future; not always easy when you’re feeling down, I know. But if you can muster up the energy to look ahead, having something to look forward to – a holiday, a date, a day out – can give you back some of the focus that you might’ve lost.


10. Take a deep breath

Simple, but always effective.


Embrace Yourself: Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared of Being Alone | #ThisGirlEats

I don’t know if it’s having an independent personality that makes it easy for me to say this, or if it’s just because I’ve always been a natural introvert, but I’ve always felt it’s so important to embrace being alone instead of being afraid of it.

I’d like to point out right away that being alone is very different to being lonely; you can be alone and still feel support from a strong, loving network of family, friends and co-workers around you. Being lonely sucks and can wreck havoc on your mental health, and I don’t think there’s a soul out there who likes to feel lonely.

But feeling comfortable and confident enough to be happy left alone with just yourself for company is, for me, one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever given myself.

Standing alone on Santa Monica Pier 
Standing on Santa Monica Pier

I think growing up an only child really planted the seed. I didn’t have siblings to play – or fight! – with. I didn’t have an older brother to sneak me out and take me to cool places when I was too young to go on my own, or a little sister to fuss over and take care of. I spent hours as a kid making up my own imaginary games or reading quietly to myself and it taught me to be totally cool with my own company.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being a social butterfly either; I often wish I was more extroverted and there have definitely been situations where this “only child syndrome” has held me back.

But throughout my life I’ve met so many people who, for whatever reason – insecurity, anxiety, uncertainty, instability, dependency – think that being alone is the worst thing that could happen. I’ve known people who have put themselves in dangerous situations just because they’d rather be with someone who isn’t good for them than no-one at all.

It’s hard to admit. It’s even harder to overcome. Sometimes it’s damn near impossible to actually realise you’re in that predicament in the first place, because being in a bubble with someone, even if it’s an unhappy bubble, is easier than bursting out and facing the world alone.

And, hey, that’s a legitimate fear. The world is a scary place, especially when you’re braving it on your own. The last person you’d want to be left out here alone with is someone you don’t trust, understand or love – and what do you do if that person is yourself?

But the first step towards embracing who you are is getting to know yourself when it’s just you. Alone. No facade, no showing off, no pretending. When you can just sit quietly by yourself and feel at home, that’s when you really get to know who you are.

Standing alone at the entrance to Disneyland Paris
Standing at the entrance to Disneyland Paris

There are loads of reasons people don’t like being alone, and that’s fine. But if you’re scared of being alone, I’m here to tell you that you really don’t need to be. No-one knows you better than you, no-one can guide and support you better than you, no-one knows how to care for you better than you.

Stepping out into the big, wide world alone is super daunting but, trust me, YOU GOT THIS. Have faith in you.

5 Things I Do Every Day to Help Me Love Myself | #ThisGirlEats

It might not look like much, but I try my best to do these five things every day because they genuinely push me to bring out my positive side.

We all know that learning to love yourself is a tough journey, but doing just a lil’ something every day towards achieving that is a step in the right direction.

1. Reflect – literally!

It’s not always fun, but I make sure I look in the mirror every damn day. I stand there, even if it’s just for a few seconds before bed or a quick check before I rush out of the house before work, and look at myself.

I do it because it’s a practise. It takes discipline, after years of abusively picking apart my reflection, to stand in front of the mirror and appreciate what is staring back at me. I might not be head over heels in love with it every day – let’s be real, who is?! – but I always take a moment to look at every lump and bump, every freckle, every stretch mark, think positive thoughts and shove that inner saboteur (thanks RuPaul 😉) out of my mind.

2. Tidy space, tidy mind.

If you’ve ever surprised me with an unexpected visit to my flat, you might not believe this next one. But I genuinely do feel that – when I’ve got the time! – having a neat, clean, tidy environment helps me thrive creatively and keep a clear head.

It’s hard to keep on top of chores and no-one wants to waste their free time doing housework, myself included. But I do make a conscious effort to do some kind of tidying up every day. Even something simple like finally getting to the bottom of the washing up, clearing away long-lost clutter, putting laundry away instead of just letting it pile up.. the list is, unfortunately, endless. But just doing a little something to organise my home really feels like I’ve got my shit together.

3. Make a list, check it twice.

I find lists incredibly therapeutic. Whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I always write down whatever’s on my mind in a list that I can tackle bit by bit. It makes things feel more manageable and gives me a chance to stop suffocating and start breathing again.

The one list I check every single day is my ‘2019 GOALS’ list. It’s got several broad, open-ended goals – “Improve blog content and engagement”, “Learn to love yourself and your body” and “Save money and get out of your overdraft“, for example – to achieve this year. Every night, before bed, I ask myself what I’ve done that day to help towards any one of those bullet points. As long as I’ve helped myself get one step – even a teeny tiny baby step – closer to any one of those goals, I feel like I’ve done a good job for the day.

My '2019 GOALS' list
My ‘2019 GOALS’ list

4. Smile for the camera.

It sounds very stereotypical of the social media selfie generation but I do try, as much as possible, to take photos of myself. I know that makes me sound very “millennial” but it’s really not ’bout that – it ain’t all full face paint and insta model, let me tell ya!

The reason for this is to make sure I step up and be seen every day. It’s easy to let yourself fade into the background and shy away, especially if you’re introverted like me. But if you force yourself to point the camera in front of your face every day it means you have no choice but to really look at yourself. I don’t often do anything with these photos, they’re not necessarily for anyone else to see, but I can flick back through them anytime as a reminder of each day. I try to take photos of me, for me, as much as I can.


5. Make friends with food.

Girl, if I could count the hours I wasted stressing over what I ate… Well, I can’t find a funny way to finish that sentence but, trust me, it’s A LOT.

It’s been a long, long, loooong process, but these days I try to make food my friend instead of my enemy. It’s not always easy, and I definitely hear that lil’ devil creeping up on my shoulder trying to dupe me into feeling guilty, worried or anxious when I’m eating – that bitch just won’t back off! But I can honestly say that forcing my negative thoughts to change track when it comes to food has brought me closer than I’ve ever been to loving and accepting myself. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.



15 Ways to Help Live a Healthy Lifestyle That Don’t Involve Food or Exercise | #ThisGirlEats

Of course eating well and exercising is important, but being healthy isn’t always about what you eat and how often you get off your butt and do some squats. There are many, many ways to look after yourself and all the aspects of your life. What about healthy relationships? What about a healthy mind? What about keeping your body healthy, in more ways than one?

It’s really difficult to keep life “well-rounded” – as soon as you think you’ve got one thing under control, something else goes off the rails! But these are just a few ways that I think could help me to keep every part of my life ticking over, and I hope they help you do the same!

1. Call your parents.

2. FaceTime your best friend.

3. Plan a date night.

lady tramp spag

4. Make an effort to talk to your work colleagues about their lives outside of the workplace.

5. Message a friend you haven’t spoken to in a little while, not because you want or need something – just to catch up.

6. Spend some quality cuddle time with your pets. Unconditional pet love is a wonderful thing.

cat hug

7. Spend a day watching movies that make you feel good, no matter how cheesy they may be.

8. Try to switch off social media. For a day, an hour, whatever you can.

9. Write a list of all the positive things that happened to you today. Or a list of the things you love about yourself. Or get your partner or friend to write down all the things they love about you.

10. Switch off for a day. Don’t do housework, chores, homework, odd jobs.

bruno mars

11. Spend some time outside. Go for a walk, hang in the garden, sit on the grass.

12. Have a day completely make up free.

13. Take a long bath with bath bombs, music, a book – and don’t let ANYONE interrupt!

chandler bath

14. Cook one of your favourite meals from scratch and savour the feeling of satisfaction. Or ask your partner or housemate to cook dinner for you.

15. Keep a journal or a diary and find ten minutes every day to just sit and write. Get all your emotions out on the page.

Taking the Time to Look After Yourself Isn’t Selfish, It’s Essential | #ThisGirlEats

Life is full of responsibilities. As we grow up, we convince ourselves it’s just part of “adult life” but, when you think about it, it’s not really at all.

Think about the crippling insecurities you experienced as a teenager and how “fitting in” felt like an exhausting daily chore. Think of the immense pressure of exams, especially when getting into uni or college depended on them. Responsibilities are always there, no matter how “grown up” you are, or aren’t – even if they seem trivial later on (for example, I honestly don’t think anyone has ever asked me about my GCSE results. Or my degree, for that matter).

It’s easy to get wrapped up in responsibilities – and not just the big, scary ones. I can’t count the hours I’ve spent washing up, replying to emails, waiting for a bus.. all the little things that seem so banal, but need doing. Our lives wouldn’t function without them. They seem like little things but, believe me, they take their toll. Just because you’re not a high-flying CEO, parent to quadruplets and Mother freakin’ Teresa doesn’t mean you don’t get worn down. It’s all relative, right?

go to bed gif

Taking time for yourself gives you a chance to stop, breathe and let go of that non-stop mental To Do list. It’s not selfish to look after yourself, it’s bloody vital! And it’s different for everyone, too. There is no “right” way to self-care and you shouldn’t let anyone else’s perceptions of what you do to unwind make you feel bad. You’re not selfish, you’re not reckless, you’re not lazy. You’re human, and you deserve a break.

So go online shopping and splurge until you’ve spent more than your weekly food shop. Run a bath and hog the bathroom until someone bangs on the door busting for a wee. Dye your hair, even if everyone says turquoise will never suit you. Wander off for hours in the sunshine, stay cuddled up in your duvet, book that spontaneous holiday, organise your kitchen utensils (just me? okay). Whatever you want, just grab a few hours to yourself and do it.

Me? I’m going to buy a load of cosmetics that I definitely can’t afford, cook up some new recipes and play The Sims for a solid three hours. Peace out ✌🏻


Little Bursts of Self-Care That I Deserve in 2018 | #ThisGirlEats

Self-care is different for everyone. Some people use their ambitious nature as self-care to quench their insatiable thirst to climb the ladder while, for others, self-care is all about soaking in bubblebath and relaxing to the max. It’s a personal thing, and only you know what form of self-care works for you.

As I’ve already said, I spent last year driving towards practical, “adult-y” things – and achieved a hell of a lot! But, because of that, I’m taking more than just a personal day – I’m taking a personal year! 2018 is going to be the year when I focus on myself and, on that note, I’m starting off with my own little ‘To-Do’ list of self-care.

I’m not saying I’ll be keeping these up religiously for the next twelve months, but I am going to try to remind myself that these things, while they may seem small and a bit random, could be exactly what I need to really make this year all about me, me, me.

1. Do a cleansing face mask once a week.

2. Spend more time on dental hygiene – interdental brushes, mouthwash, anything to fix this stereotypically dodgy British smile!

big book british smiles

3. Moisturise my face, hands and feet properly every night before bed.

4. Use nourishing product on my hair after every wash.

monica humidity.gif

5. Keep nails painted and filed as much as possible. And stop biting the damn things!

6. Get hair cut more regularly, and keep up the colour on it.

7. Use medicinal lip balm every night before bedtime to stop them cracking, especially when it’s cold.

8. Spend at least an hour a week reading.

hermione gif

9. Go on a couple of walks each week – and no, the walk to and from work doesn’t count!

10. Get into bed one hour than usual one day every week – get a real early night!

sleep gif

11. Give to a charity that I don’t already donate to once in a while. Even if it’s just remembering to put some change in the charity pot by the supermarket till, or actually stopping in the street for a charity worker and making a quick donation. I won’t miss a few pennies here and there.

12. Find more excuses to wear a dress – get out of those skinny jeans and actually wear something different from your fit-to-burst wardrobe!

13. Light a scented candle in the bedroom when unwinding before going to sleep (but for God’s sake blow it out before you nod off!).

boo gif