Blue Monday : Why not to be down

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Apparently, today was meant to be the gloomiest day of the year – not the happiest of headlines you want to see is it?

Bad weather, most people given up on their new years resolutions and stretching your cash from the menace of December Christmas shopping. Now, this suggests in a dip in our mental health, so instead of thinking about what today was meant to be, I decided to think about what it was not.

Today, I reflected on our inner strength. Everyone has different things going on with their life, whether its big or small and sometimes you don’t even notice. People sometimes don’t want to explicitly mention it – I know I definitely don’t sometimes. People have different pressures and it can all get too much. This can relate to everyone – no one can deny that they haven’t had a time in their life they have found difficult or mentally challenging.

Instagram : @a_little_insight

Usually, I’m an open book, frank with how I feel and wear my heart on my sleeve. If my feelings are jarred I will usually talk about them but from time to time, I keep it to myself and that’s okay. Everyone has their own way of dealing with things, but especially when you’re down, finding strength in yourself is so rewarding. To find stability in a time when everything is rattled is a wonderful thing, hence why we should focus on not being so blue.

Winter can be a dull month but let us not be engulfed in the dreary weather and hopeless feelings – it’s only temporary and soon the sun will be shining, half terms will be upon us and everything will be different.

We can do things we don’t think we can – I thought I would scrape a pass on my first portfolio but this week got my results back and ended getting 65 ( a 2.1). we can surprise ourselves when we least expect it and although this sounds very cringey (I know), we are more capable than we know, especially when we are pushed.

It doesn’t have to be so blue

Now this may sound a bit extreme for just one day, it’s important to reflect sometimes on the bright side of things.

I suppose if we approach the remainder of January with an open mind, and be true to yourself – what can go wrong? At the end of the day we have the people around us, but more importantly we have our own strength.

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Back to my home sweet home – travelling back to Uni after the holidays

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Conflicted

Yesterday morning I could think of nothing worse than getting out of bed. The best night sleep cut short. Heading out 8:13am to be exact.

It was a day at the office ahead and then I would be going back to uni! To be honest I felt strange, conflicted in fact.

I was in two minds about going back to Bristol – not because I didn’t want to go back but because I had got so used to being back home with my family, after all it had been nearly a month away. But obviously I would have to go back at some point – my course starts again on the 22nd.

However, despite this first feeling (and nearly falling asleep in the car as my Dad answered his morning calls) I had a great day. Work was amazing and I got sooo much done! It was one of those days where because you do so many things time just flies by!

Does anyone else have a little happy dance after a productive work day when you know you’ve just completed more than you thought, or is it just me?

For the bonus – on my lunch break I went to drop my bags off and Dan met me so I didn’t even have to lug the heaviest case up the stairs – remember I live on the highest floor…

So I got taken back to uni after we had finished and honestly, it felt amazing!

I thought that it would be weird coming back into my house though after I got dropped off but (and I know it sounds cliché) but I just stepped in and I was back. Back in my home with my flatmates and it was like I had never left! – Does anyone know the feeling?

So, I suppose when somewhere feels like home you just naturally adjust and that’s just how it is, home sweet home!

Concentration vs Procrastination

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Motivational Monday mayhem!

Yes, this week featured the first Monday of the new year. Now this was going to be a fresh new week to try and start to be more productive and write more(check out ‘New year, New outlook’ to read more!https://chlosuniversityblog.video.blog/2019/01/03/new-year-new-outlook/), but it’s Thursday and I was planning on posting this two days ago!

I had decided that it was time and carry on finalising my work for my uni portfolio. I had been doing this all week and had literally spent the whole day in my room just non-stop editing. Now, I don’t know about any of you but I tend to get a little distracted, hence the lack of blogs this week.

The Big Confession

Yes, I am a procrastinator – not by choice, I wish I wasn’t. But sometimes I really need to focus and because I work best at night, during the day my mind seems to wander.

It just so happened yesterday had more distractions than usual – deliveries, the dog, slime videos…

Anyway, cut the story short – it was a happy ending. I did finish my work but this was from staying up until 5:30. It’s so strange. I’m like a night owl. Once I’m in the zone I can easily bust out all of my work – but this usually kicks in about 10:30pm. Luckily, I’m going back to uni today after work so I should be more concentrated – hopefully…

Reflections

So I’ve decided that maybe I should in future try cut off myself from distractions – but I suppose even though its annoying, working at night is just when I write best and for me that’s just the way it is. My friend can only write in the morning and that suits him well enough. I think the more I try to cut myself off from the distractions, the more I get distracted so I should instead motivate myself to push on through the work – saying that anything to get my coursework in on time is a dream!

New year, new outlook

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Resolutions

It’s day 3 out of 365 and I can honestly say this year has gone great so far…

For all of you who celebrated, danced the night away or just stayed in, hopefully you had an amazing day and were not too hung-over the next morning!

We can all expect the whole “new year, new me” crap that everyone will most definitely spout on about, just after the comments “I haven’t seen you since last year oh my god!” and “yesterday was SO last year”.

One of the things that everyone obsesses over in new year is their list of resolutions. The most common – start the gym, will not be on my list, my student bank account says no thank you at all costs, literally. I can’t be bothered to buy the green smoothie recipes or spend money on a membership that I may just drop out of.

This year I have decided to come up with resolutions or goals that are small but personally will benefit me a lot. By having a list I will probably end up doing one of them I suppose…

  1. Read more
  2. Write more
  3. Meditate often
  4. Worry less and give myself more credit
  5. Be excited about small achievements
  6. Try (and try) to drink more water
  7. Have a tidier space
  8. Make time for myself
  9. Take more pictures for a scrapbook
  10. Reflect daily on the good things that have happened that day

All I know is that whatever this new year brings, I will hopefully be ready for it. There’s no doubt that there will be ups and downs because that’s just how it is – life isn’t predictable, but by looking at it from a positive approach with people around you that you care about, this next year shouldn’t be too bad.

Thoughts on writers block

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Winter blues and inspirational slumps


I think it’s fair to say Autumn came to say hello and then just ran away with us, a Halloween party and then it was gone and all of a sudden every where is star-studded with Christmas lights and festive markets.

University really does go by so quickly and now it’s so close to all our 1st year end of term deadlines before Christmas and the work load is piling high.

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I couldn’t get any inspiration for my free writing and had to go on a 2 hour walk through the park near where I live in halls, it was literally like my mind was white. It was pretty, there is a massive yellow house that used to be a mental asylum which is quite creepy but still didn’t help me figure of any good ideas to write about. It’s fair to say that I have had such a writer’s block month – which isn’t really helpful when I have 750-word assessment essay and copy-writing portfolio to work on. On the other hand, it was great to get some fresh air.


Realising not being able to grasp inspiration or creative ideas 24/7 isn’t the end of the world.


I could not think of anything, just pure blank. My personal tutor says that most of what we write is basically 90% crap and then there comes the magical 10% of good content. He also said that we have to not be afraid of writing out a mountain of work that is actually not that great to get the good stuff out… I feel like there is some good writing due very soon as all I can write at the moment is pure rubbish in my mind.


I suppose that at times of low inspiration and few ideas, we have to ignore our inner voices discouraging us and that’s just how it is. Our minds aren’t going to spark up ideas 24/7 and that’s okay, it will just take time to figure it out.

writers block
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Cross-training your brain

Exercise the mind

If there is anything I have learnt last semester is that there are countless methods to help you grasp creative ideas. Even though you may have your own unique way, by letting yourself try new thing and venture out from what you would usually do is so helpful if you hit a wall.

Creative cross training is basically exercises for the mind to increase your ability to notice and view things and if you think about it, it’s actually quite fascinating to think about.

The unstructured work allows new muscles to develop and ideas to grow. As long as it’s something other than writing, the activities will “unlock” , if you will, different sections of the brain and as the muscles get used more often they will work more and more often.

Drawing and photography teaches you to see

This is my favourite, purely because I love to draw anyway. By illustrating or capturing what you can see in front of you, it can make you focus more on the detailing of everyday objects. This will therefore aid you in descriptive exercises and can make a huge difference in your work.

Music teaches you to hear.

It sounds obvious but  it’s true. It’s also enjoyable so why not – I usually try to illustrate what is in front of me and then shade/colour-block it when I listen to music. Pitch, tone and even lyrics may inspire some idea that you can really run with.

Building things with your hands teaches you about function, form, and design

You will know how things come together and form. The design is key for a structure to succeed and it’s the same with writing.

For example, if you don’t know your characters brain inside out then you don’t really know what you are writing about at all. To make even the simplistic things credible, you need to know how they work – even if its characters, a location setting or story line – why does it happen, how has it got to this moment in that particular point in time, what were the factors etc.

I suppose if we do lots of one thing over and over, we can sometimes loose that focus and even though we don’t like to admit it, our brains need that wake up call to focus and dig deeper into the depths of our capability and really push ourselves.

Trying something new is sometimes confusing and this may not work for you but by training your brain. People work differently and that’s just how it is, but if you can really  push yourself you may find unexpected thoughts and ideas that can’t unlock your 10% gold.

(If you don’t know what Im talking about by 10% gold, read my blog “Thoughts on writers block”https://chlosuniversityblog.video.blog/2018/11/19/thoughts-on-writers-block/)

Footnote – Also , I know this post is late, my laptop died so my scheduled post didn’t upload, just how it is sometimes!

What a cracker of a Christmas!

Cozy and humble

This year it was just a chilled one, which was great after getting home from uni, lots of scrumptious food and for once the turkey wasn’t dry!!! What a Christmas miracle!

My family and I had a great day and in the evening I saw some friends whilst everyone at mine had a snooze on the sofa – I swear this happens every year?!

No Boxing-day Blues for us!

Fair to say Boxing-day was true bliss too! LOADS of left-overs from Christmas day to munch on and then we started a new tradition and went ice-skating with more family friends! It was nice to get out of the house and do something instead of a sluggish afternoon – sometimes it’s lush to lounge around but it was refreshing to actually go somewhere and do something different this year!

We all went into a gorgeous bar afterwards for hot-chocolates and mulled cider. It was decorated in fairy-lights and faux-fur blankets – it was honestly so pretty and a great way to end the day out – it reminded me of a chalet we visited on a skiing trip once.

I suppose however you spend your holidays – whether it’s at home or away, enjoying it with your favourite people is the most important part and that’s just how it is!

I hope everyone had an amazing time, wherever and however you celebrate Christmas! What did you get up to this December?

1 Day to Go – Christmas Eve traditions!

Our annual celebrations the day before the BIG day

Whether you go down to the pub with your dad for a pint, do a last minute dash to see family or just chill out, Christmas Eve traditions are great before the major festivities commence on the 25th!

In my house on Christmas Eve, we always have a brunch with our God-parents! A full english round mine with bucks fizz and catch up with everyone around the table! There is 9 of us in the morning just munching on scrumptious food to get our day started!

Brunch for Christmas Eve

Around midday everyone heads off and our other set of God-parents come over to spend the afternoon and evening with us (usually with mulled wine and nibbles!).

I look forward to this day so much because we just spend it with the people we love most and it’s just such a lovely atmosphere – as well as the fact that we have loads of food, drink and laughter! If it has been really busy, we might not have seen them for a couple of months so this get-together is really special to me and my family!

Everyone has their own special things they like to do in the holidays but personally, I love spending it with the people most special to me and that’s just how it is!

It would be great to hear what everyone else does for Christmas Eve or any other traditions they enjoy around Christmas time!

Christmas traditions

Thanks for reading!