Everyone's Christmas is Different (In Defence of the Boxing Day Sales)

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Today i'm talking about something that's close to my heart. 

Boxing day sales.

I love a sale me, just picked up an electric toothbrush £40 down from £80. Absolute bargain. My 10 year old toothbrush had been on the fritz for weeks so this was a lifesaver. 

But i get home and see a TONNE of tweets like 'god, can't think of anything worse than going out shopping on boxing day', and instagrams of the same tone.

Okay, yeah, whatever. you don't like it. you wanna stay inside snuggled up eating quality streets and watching telly.

But i don't!

Me and my mum go out every boxing day, do a bit of sale shopping, grab a bit of lunch. Had a dead lush chicken and vegetable soup today (look how happy i am about to eat it).

And yano what, that's our christmas.

Everyone's Christmas is different. And I completely understand that. but you still see tweets getting 20,000 retweets slagging off someone's roast dinner because the gravy's not thick enough or they don't have yorkshires.

Hold on to your hats everyone - we don't even have turkey. 

None of us like it, so why would we? for the sake of it? cause everyone else is?

No huns, we prefer beef so we have beef. 

And did anyone die? Nope.

But you'd think someone did for the sake of the agg going around online these past few days!! 

Not only that, I've seen arguments over people posting pictures of their Christmas dinners because it is making those without food jealous. And yeah, it probably is. But are we really going to be walking on eggshells forever? I've seen similar posts in regards to 'what i got for Christmas' blog posts and videos, because it's 'showing off' and 'not what Christmas is about'. But hey, most of us get presents, and if someone wants to post it online, you don't HAVE to look yano. 

I just don't know when Christmas got so judgemental, you can't do anything these days. You're a criminal for liking the strawberry cremes from the quality street tins the most! 

I would like to put forward that i prefer strawberry cremes. and beef over turkey. and i like yorkshire puddings and mash. and i like seeing what everyone got for Christmas. and i check social media on Christmas day. 

And it's okay if you DON'T do anything I do on Christmas. That's cool. You do you, B.

lizzie x 

A Look Back on 2018

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hi everyone!
as we sit here, in that lull between christmas and new year, we often start mulling over what we've achieved (or not achieved) in the last 12 months. 

and i thought i had given up to be honest. but taking a quick peak back i do feel i've improved. 
i said i wanted to take better care of my body, stop eating chocolate for breakfast, brush my hair more often, not wear the same dirty outfit 5 days a week. 

and honestly, i have done well with that. okay, i still eat choco hoops from aldi for breakfast. but they're a CEREAL helloooooo, i'm no longer eating a bar of dairy milk at 8am. 

i used to be RUBBISH at brushing my hair at the start of this year. cause my hair was so long it even covered my boobs, and the ends were so dry, and the entire thing was so blummin KNOTTY you physically couldn't get a comb through it. so you might have noticed by the pictures i now sport this FRESH 'DO that is so much easier. 

okay, i wanted to finish second year with a first. i didn't. i finished it with a 68. (70 is a first if you're out of the university loop). but hey ho. i've achieved so much more!

this year i started taking my blog seriously. i started writing regularly, made my own blog twitter account, became part of blogger networks, became affiliated with brands. i attended my first blogger events, where i met some of the MOST inspiring bloggers around. plus a personal favourite i met blogger Claire (steelcitymiss) at an event and now i've even met her dog so uhh, i think that means we're really friends now. the whole experience has really grown my confidence tenfold.

continuing on the friends side of things, i made some of my closest friends this year. i won't embarass them by naming them on here incase they don't like it, but i think they know who they are, and they know i'm grateful to have them in my life. 

this year got a bit tough at times. i got gastroenteritis (basically food poisoning) at the start of the year, which extended for about 8 weeks in total. i eventually went on to being diagnosed with anxiety-related IBS, which really knocked me. 

my anxiety was getting really bad thanks to being ill all of the time. which in the end pushed me to quit my summer job. 

HOWEVER. this ended up being a real blessing in disguise. i loathed the job i had, but the money was good and it's difficult to find somewhere that would give me so many hours in such a small town. by some kind of luck, the first place i emailed asking for summer work offered me a job, which i ended up loving.

throughout the summer, i underwent an online CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) course to help me overcome the anxieties i was feeling (i talk about this in depth in my IBS post but i started to struggle leaving the house). i returned to university with my mind ready to go.

and first semester has been tough, the jump in difficulty between second and third year is MASSIVE. especially because, at the same time i was applying for my PGCE course to train to become a primary school teacher. this is something i stressed about for a really long time, and dithered about going to the interviews because i was convinced i wasn't good enough. but i'm extremely happy to be able to say that Sheffield Hallam have offered me a place for next September!!

on top of that, I topped the year off by getting over one of my major fears - London. I went with my boyfriend and managed to stay calm on a BUNCH of escalators!! (I post about this here)

and after that, I managed to go down to london on my friggin OWN!!! even managed to use the escalators in st pancras completely unaided. and, what i did in london is quite possibly one of the most exciting things i've done in my life BUT i'm not allowed to breathe a word yet - so watch this space. 

honestly. if you'd have asked me about 2018. i'd have said FLIPPIN RUBBISH. DID NOTHING. CRIED A LOT. which okay, might be true for some of it. but helloooo i'm here in december, with a smile on my face, thanking god i got through everything i got through this year, ready to take on the next.

dear future lizzie, you got this.


Making Calm My 2019 Focus

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2019 is the year of anxiety reduction and keeping calm

Hi everyone! Blog readers, nosey parkers.

2018 was a blumming anxious year for me. I had a really tough summer, I went through some health issues and that really weighed down on my brain. My brain always feels like it's going a million miles per hour especially with being in third year, having a job, and running my blog. 

So here are some things i'm gonna do to up my calm-game in 2019:

Use Headspace Daily

I downloaded headspace a couple of weeks ago when I was going through a rough patch. I was going through a time in my life where I felt disconnected from my body, like I was this mind forced to look after this big human creature when I didn't want to anymore, which was a really depressing and scary experience.

I'd always been the kind of person to dismiss these kinds of apps, because I thought there was no way that some app could help my levels of anxiety. but I downloaded this when I just didn't know what to do anymore to help me, and my god it's so helpful.

Since I'm a Spotify premium member (only 4.99 a month if you're a student), the premium headspace features are included, which I'd definitely recommend. However, the free version is still really good.

They have a daily programme which only takes 3-8 minutes a day dependent on how much time you have, but I've only been using this every couple of days. In the new year I'd like to start using it every day. And I've got to remind myself it's literally just 3 minutes a day! 3 minutes for a healthier calmer mind? Why not!!

Step off Social Media

Yeah, I love social media. I think most people my age do. But sometimes when my brain already feels like it's running at 100mph, the constant stream of content is overwhelming.

Plus, instagram isn't the best anxiety helper when everyone seems to be leading such blumming perfect lives on it now is it ?!

Use Yoga

I love yoga, but I'm so skint i hate paying for the classes. But I know I can do it alone but never do! This needs to be something I practice more in the new year.

It's so true that exercise helps with your mental state, I pretty much always feel amazing after a session.

BUT yoga isn't all roses, sometimes when I'm particularly stressed, the wrong kind of yoga can mess with me. If I'm at a class that's all breathing and laying on your back, my mind starts to wander to everything I'm overthinking, and I end up laying there trying not to cry. Not ideal. But I found a fun flow yoga class to be the right mix, giving us a small amount of time to focus on breathing and spending most of the time switching between movements.

What are you aiming to do in 2019?
lizzie x


Overcoming My Fear of Escalators


Here's something most people laugh at, I'm scared of escalators

Or atleast, I was. Okay maybe I still am a little bit, but I'm over it I swear. There's still that litttttle teeny tiny part of my mind that is like WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING YOU ARE SCARED OF THIS EXPERIENCE but I push her down and remind her it's just some moving blummin stairs.

I've been scared my entire life, possibly in part due to the fact there is one single escalator in my home town in Lincolnshire, which is an 'up' one - and no down. I must've been 8 or 9 before I finally experienced a 'down', with a family member who was not cool with my hesitation and thought the fear was funny, I remember being scared out of my skin the entire time and cried when I got home. 

I never decided to denounce them from my life or anything, I didn't state: FROM TODAY FORTH I SHALL NOT USE AN ESCALATOR. I always wanted to get over it, but living where I grew up, how was I meant to?

I saw the odd escalator on my infrequent trips out, I knew there were escalators in the shopping centre in Lincoln, which I went to a couple of times a year, but every time I opted to use the lift or stairs instead. any time someone forced me to go on one, I was overcome with fear, started crying, panicking, sometimes screaming. It was extremely embarrassing for myself and for anyone who was with me, I always felt ashamed that I was scared of something that some people think is an every day occurrence. People who use public transport for example might use 4 escalators a day and not bat an eyelid.

I didn't experience my first London underground tube until I was about 15, of which I thought was the most distressing experience of my life, I had no idea they were so large, so busy, there were rules about which side to stand on. It was too much. I remember feeling trapped in a tube station with the escalator being the only way back out and having to ask a security guard for help. They ended up stopping the escalator completely, cordoning it off, and letting me walk up it like stairs (which by the way, was still friggin scary). 

My boyfriend has always been super supportive in helping me overcome it, he knows I want more than anything just to be able to travel and use shopping centres without having a melt down, we've practiced so many, starting from small ones in shops, to slightly bigger ones in shopping centres, to some in airports, I only recently conquered the ones in the Birmingham Bull Ring after living here for almost three years. I learnt a lot about exposure therapy on a CBT course I undertook after being referred by my GP, as my anxiety about leaving the house increased following my diagnosis with IBS.  

And last weekend came the biggie. My boyfriend booked us a lovely trip to London. and I cried and cried the week before we went, I knew I needed to get over it, and I knew I wanted to enjoy the trip he'd booked us, but I was shaking with fear at the thought of it. 

But I did it. yeah, I was scared, but the biggest thing I\ve learned about anxiety recently is to FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY.

My heart was racing, my head was buzzing, my palms were sweating. and here's what I did:

I used one of my favourite breathing exercises, you breath in through your nose for 4 counts, then hold the breath for 4 counts, then breathe out through your mouth for 6 counts. 
(I'd always dismissed breathing exercises as a load of rubbish but listen, try it)

I remembered that I control my own thoughts, so I tried to replace all the horrible thoughts with other stuff, like about the pizza I was on my way to get. 

I noticed what was going on in my body. I took note of what was going on, I noted my sweaty palms and short breath. And I thought 'yeah, that's okay'. 

And instead of giving in to the physical symptoms, I concentrated on my mind, and my breathing, and before you knew it, I was at the bottom of the escalator. Completely harm and panic free.

And I can't even count how many I did this weekend, because eventually I stopped getting the physical symptoms, and just started going with the experience. And by Monday, I'd forgotten why I was ever scared.

lizzie x