Focus, Forgiveness, and Caring a Lot Less

I know it’s a little late to be talking about New Year’s Resolutions.  The majority probably went straight in the bin by January 3rd.  I also know it’s rather early to be reflecting on resolutions that have held so far. Some people also just don’t like to set goals at the beginning of the year as self improvement is an ongoing process, which I totally get and actually agree with.  However, I feel like I wanted to share my main aim of the year, because if I share it then I am far more likely to stick to it.

Goodbye 2018: Hello Cliched Blog Post 

I would like to think of this less as a ‘New Year’s’ thing and more of a general life and happiness goal.   The fact of the matter is that I have a real issue with taking things to heart and mulling things over for weeks, months even.  I tend to end up making myself completely miserable over stuff that won’t matter in six months’ time.  This is no good for anybody involved.   This is something I realised I can learn to completely avoid as I bring it very much on myself.  So, I’ve decided to put a stop to this self destructive behaviour.  I can’t carry on stressing about things that happened years ago or feeling angry when certain names pop up on my Twitter feed.  It sounds ridiculous I guess, but I’ve gone cold turkey on caring.   Obviously not about important things like the environment and politics, but about the things that leave you angry with no real lasting meaning.

The first step to this was a social media cleanse.  I went through my Twitter and personal Instagram and unfollowed anyone who made me feel bad about my mind or body, posted negativity, and caused drama.  No one’s got time for that.  I was inspired to do this by Lucy Moon and her YouTube video ‘Organising my Life: Ten Mindful Habits for the New Year’.  She only follows people who inspire her, or who she considers a friend.  If you don’t make the cut, you’re out.  Taking this advice onboard has actually changed my general outlook and happiness.  I don’t see any negativity (the mute button is a blessing), and because I follow fewer people there is less to see, thus I spend far less time on social media.  That’s just generally good for your brain anyway.  There’s far less mindless late-night scrolling meaning far more energy and positive feelings in the morning!  This initial step has made me feel so much freer? It’s weird to think that social media can tie you down so much and bring such a negative energy into your life.

2019 is the year of forgiveness and water under the bridge for me.  Everyone in my life had their slates wiped clean this year.  I’m all for second chances and new beginnings.  It’s tiring holding a grudge and to be quite honest, it makes you completely miserable.  Life is way too short to care about the petty things.  There’s no easy way of just forgiving people, you just have to constantly remind yourself that it doesn’t matter to you anymore and eventually you won’t even think about it.  I think it’s less about the ‘forgivee’ and more about being the bigger person yourself.  I’d say I feel so much happier, and way more confident, having wiped a couple of slates clean.  It’s so good for your head and general well-being.  I understand that there are some things that can never be forgiven for some people.  They were traumatic, manipulative, or now is just way too soon.  And that is perfectly okay.  It won’t be long until it stops ruling your life and you feel a huge weight lifted.

This month I’ve completely channelled my focus into myself.  Not in a self-absorbed way, but in terms of understanding things that I can do better and ways to make my life easier.  For example, having a schedule for this blog keeps me driven and motivated.  It gives me a reason to reflect and understand how I feel and think, in order to put it into words.  In addition, I’ve widened the genres of my intake of all forms of media.  Discovering new writers and documentaries is far more fulfilling than scrolling through Twitter beef.   I think focussing more on myself and the values I hold has stopped me for caring about what other people are up to and becoming absorbed in their drama and gossip.   Concentrating on bettering yourself makes all the small town chatter seem so meaningless and futile.   I have found that it’s important for me to give myself a moment to be mindful.  I’ve found that the time I take for yoga really helps this.  It requires calm and concentration and I don’t think about anything else.  It helps me put everything into perspective and focus my energy into positive things.  I also feel like I’m walking on sunshine afterwards, so I guess that helps.

When I’m having a rough patch, negativity clings to me like cobwebs, and I’m kind of proud to be able to say that I’m working out how to unpick them.  Obviously there are days that are worse than others.  There are days when everything gets to people and there isn’t much that you can do about it.  But by doing these three things this month everything is seeming a little bit brighter, and I am feeling a whole lot lighter.   Here’s to caring less in 2019.

Leave a comment below or on my Instagram and let me know how you resolutions are going if you have any, or if not what is one thing you’ve started doing recently that makes you happier?

R x

Thank you for reading!
I’m Rosie and I post every Wednesday and on the last Sunday of every month.
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Saying Yes to More

I wouldn’t say that I’m a particularly outgoing individual.  Normally, the idea of going to an event alone, without anyone I know being there, would completely freak me out.  I like the comfort of having a friend there who I can follow about and get introduced to people by.  So, God knows why I signed up for a 10 day volunteering scheme 200 miles away, on my tod.

While procrastinating from my final essays of university, I was scouring my emails for job opportunities and came across a message from my course leader concerning Cheltenham Literary Festival.  I signed up to volunteer, almost as just something else to do for thirty minutes instead of writing my essays.  About two months later I was having a telephone interview in my lunch break, out the back of the pub I work in.  To be honest, I didn’t really expect much to come from applying on a whim.  I was shocked I was actually chosen for an interview.  Several months later I found myself on a train to Cheltenham, just me and my little bag.  I was a bit terrified to say the least.   I realised I was surrounded by people I didn’t know, who all seemed to know each other, and I was completely stuck.

My actual worst nightmare come to life.

I find it amazing that from this, I went on to have one of the best, most fulfilling experiences.  Forcing myself to speak to people and put myself in situations I’d otherwise avoid, made me realise how outgoing I can actually be.   I made amazing friends, some of who I’m still in contact with.  I met incredible people; Richard Curtis, Ruth Jones, and Simon Mayo to name a few.  I was overwhelmed by how rich and motivating the entire festival was for me.  I realised I was good at the things I wanted to do and although you can’t make everyone like you, you meet the loveliest of people in the weirdest scenarios.   I went to parties and helped at book signings and saw Michael Morpurgo in real life.

This year I hope I find more opportunities to say ‘yes’ to.  I want to do more things that are out of my comfort zone.  I don’t want to always feel safe.  It’s good to sometimes feel vulnerable and create a stronger you out of it.  I know this was only a tiny little thing in the grand scheme of things, but I’m quite proud of myself.  I applied for a thing, I was chosen for the thing, and I made the absolute most out of the experience.

Here’s to 2019 being full of fulfilling opportunities and chances to say yes to more.

Self-Love through Skincare

As I have mentioned before, I do struggle a bit with my mental health.  I’ve never really spoken about it before this blog but, like many other modest achievements, simply talking about low times in my life helps clear out a little bit of the fog.  It’s like just by voicing my thoughts I can chase them away.  I know this may seem so trivial, especially to people who suffer more than I do, but the littlest things really do help me keep a clear head and insure my goals stay in focus.  Talking is one.  Organising my time effectively and creatively is another.   I find writing to be a necessary outlet.  And, for me, taking time out for myself and my body is almost the most important thing I could do.

There is a lot of debate over skincare and whether it’s just a complete fad.  For me though, skincare is Step One of pulling myself out of a grey patch, despite whether it has any actual skin-deep benefits.  That morning when I actually drag myself out of my cave and take ten minutes to make myself feel and look more presentable is the open door back into the progression of my life.  It is amazing to me that such a surface-level accomplishment in fact works below the surface in nourishing and clearing my mind.  This simple act literally helps to cleanse my mind of that horrible grey swirling fog.  The heavy negativity and dark cloudy thoughts slowly begin to disappear downthe plughole.

I am very aware that this might not help everybody.  But, for me, this act of selfcare kickstarts my journey back to my good place.  I think this is because this can be the first time in weeks where I’ve thought about doing something positive for myself.  Now of course, it doesn’t happen instantly.  It can take weeks of slowly building myself back up.

And it is a constant battle.

I imagine the whole thing like a video game.  I’m walking along in the sunshine and there’s holes in the ground that I can’t see.  I either happen to jump at the right time and avoid them or, most commonly I fall deeper and deeper down into the under ground caves.  There are huge rickety ladders that lead the long way back up the holes, with little glimmers of sunshine falling through the further up I get.

The ladders don’t lead the whole way up to the surface, they just lead into more caves.  But gradually it does get lighter and brighter and the journey up gets a bit easier.  And eventually I am back on the surface, ready to move onwards again.  For me, one of these ladders would be skincare.  I don’t just moisturise and instantly feel like a different person.  But it is a process that really begins to pull me out of my worst dark times, and that is why I thought it might be worth sharing.

Featured Skincare Products (I have dry skin):

Cleanser: Simple Water Boost Micellar Facial Gel Wash
Chemical Exfoliator no.1: Glossier Solution
Chemical Exfoliator no.2: The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% HA 2%
Skin Brightening Treatment: The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F
Moisturiser: Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturiser 
Eye Cream: Simple Soothing Eye Balm