Sunday, 29 December 2019

My 2019 and goals for 2020: Lessons of self-acceptance, facing loneliness and the unknown

Hand holding a sparkler
Photo by Rathnahar Sriom on Pexels
The end of the year is the best time for self-reflection right? It's all about thinking about what you have achieved and setting new goals for the year ahead. I have actually done one of these posts last year, where I reflected on 2018 and ended up with a bunch of 'SMART' goals to work on. As always, I am critical of the whole 'new year - new me' mindset. 

For me, setting goals for 2020 acts as a structure or guidance for my actions. I think it's more important to dedicate our lives to self-acceptance rather than constantly working on change. 

If you take anything from this subjective account of my year and future objectives, let it be this - let go of this idea that you are not good enough as you are. We are all unique individuals, living our lives, depending on our personal circumstances.

I know that you will be bombarded with countless posts to inspire you. The media will be packed with motivational ideas, screaming into your face that you need to work on yourself. 

There is nothing wrong with self-improvement but this cycle of not being satisfied never ends, without self-compassion, you will always be chasing for so-called perfection. It's a difficult thing to get your head around, I get it. It starts with appreciating yourself as you are. This is one of the main things that I have learned in 2019. You should learn this lesson as well, to have a great 2020.

Monday, 23 December 2019

Hating Christmas does not make you a scrooge: 9 stress-free ways to make the festive period more bearable

Illustration of sad and happy gingerbread men

There's no time to waste, I am not going to drag this out...the festive period is not my favourite thing and you know what. it's okay to not be a fan of Christmas. There is this stereotype, partly due to The Christmas Carol and the good old Grinch, that people who detest Christmas are cold-hearted scrooges. I mean, how can it be possible to dread Christmas? Indeed, for people who live and breathe Christmas, this is a mystery. 

Everyone is an individual, they deserve to have a right to love or hate Christmas. If you don't like Christmas, there could be hundreds of reasons why. I personally believe that one of the worst things that people can do is drag each-other down for having clashing opinions about the festive holidays. I used to feel guilty for disliking Christmas. As I got older, I suppose I have learned to celebrate Christmas in my own little way.

In this post, I will emphasize that disliking Christmas does not make you a bad person. I will go through some personal reasons for not liking the festive holiday season (hopefully you will relate!). Most importantly, I will offer solutions to make your Christmas more bearable and hopeful. 

Saturday, 14 December 2019

List of books that I have read in 2019: The good, the bad and the ones that will expand your mind

Flatlay of books on gold tinsel

At the start of 2019, I promised myself that I will work on reading more books. I felt like I needed to lose myself in literature, to teach myself new things and grow as an individual. The value of books can be easily lost in this digital world.

I'm sure you are like me, books give me a sense of inspiration, I benefit from escaping to various fictional worlds as it lets me forget my worries. Reading is like a pause button - it stops my hectic thoughts. 

This year, I lived like some kind of caricature, sitting in libraries and coffee shops with a book in my hand. I've done my best to dedicate time to reading. I'm definitely not the quickest of readers, I've seen people who have read hundreds of books this year, madness! I just wanted to expose myself to more literature and less social media nonsense. The grand total of books that I have read this year was only 13, but I think I have managed to read a variety of genres. 

Anyway, this post is quite unusual for my blog, but there is no denial that books and self-improvement go hand in hand. I have also read a few books related to Psychology. Everyone loves a good list post! Without further ado, let's have a look at the books that I have read this year and what I thought about them. 

List of books that I have read in 2019: The good, the bad and the ones that will expand your mind 

Sunday, 8 December 2019

13 self-compassionate things that you can do when you feel stuck in life

Person in front of a window
Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

Life progress is like an addictive drug. We always crave it and do everything in order to get it. We keep pushing ourselves to the extreme to maintain steady life progress. You know, moving through life, achieving our goals and constantly improving.

It's almost as if moving in life is something you should always be doing. You are wired to work tirelessly to prove your worth. Unfortunately, the expectation for immediate progress can have a negative effect on your mental well-being.

I'm sure that you have already been at the point of realization that constant progress is impossible. At some point, you can get stuck, unable to move from where you are. It's like getting surrounded by unbreakable walls. You can keep hitting them, but they just won't break. The most difficult thing at these points is not knowing what lies behind those walls. We fear what we don't know, especially when it comes to our life journey.

Life is not easy, it does not morph to your wishes. I often feel like there is a ticking time bomb inside of me, I feel like that if I'm not progressing - I'm wasting away. When we experience a sense of limited progress, it may be difficult to perceive success. It can get frustrating, lack of progress can make you feel desperate. It can make you question your life decisions and worth. 

This post will discuss some ways to accept the times when you get are stuck in life. I will also describe how to deal with a lack of progress with self-compassion, instead of self-criticism.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

We need to talk about the dangers of sugar-coated self-care culture

Woman in a floral bath water
Image by Hanna Postova on Unsplash

Let's get real about self-care. I know what you're thinking, is there any point to talk about self-care at this post, when the topic of self-care has been discussed to death? Despite the popularity of self-care related posts, I think there is something that people tend to overlook when it comes to self-care.

The meaning of self-care is broad, it is pretty much all about taking action to improve or maintain your health and well-being. Unfortunately, self-care is now synonymous with bubble baths and cups of tea. In other words, the culture of self-care has turned into a sugar-coated mess.

This post will discuss the dangers related to the sugar-coated self-care culture. I will also explore the idea that genuine self-care relies on your determination to dwell into the darkest parts of your mind and personal responsibility.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Examining the internal conflict of self-beliefs: Self-discrepancy theory, humanism and body image

Do you know that the majority of your feelings and disturbances are rooted in the way that you perceive yourself? This does not just mean that self-worth is key influencer of your emotional state. It's a bit more complicated than that.  

According to psychological research, the way that you perceive your self as a construct and the relationships between your different "selves" are extremely important for your well-being. Self-concept ideas have been discussed for a long time in philosophy and psychology alike. Some of the questions that have been asked have been along the lines of:

How do we perceive ourselves? What is the impact of our imbalanced self-perceptions? How do we define a true self?  What is the link between our beliefs about the self and our emotions? 

It is difficult to provide clear answers to these questions. The self-concept is subjective. Nevertheless, one of my favourite theories in Psychology introduces the idea that your self-beliefs are rooted in three realms - actual, ideal and ought. In addition, this theory explicates the links between your self-beliefs and affect. This theory is called the Self-Discrepancy Theory (Higgins, 1987). 

In this post, I will describe the Self-Discrepancy Theory. I will explain how having an imbalanced cognitive representation of the self can result in mental distress. This post will promote self-reflection and help you acquire a clearer understanding of yourself and your beliefs.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Blind to our own blindness: 10 cognitive biases that cloud your judgments and decisions

Picture of a book called Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Photo by Monica Sauro on Unsplash

Have you ever thought about why you make certain decisions? Do you ever stop to think about how your judgment was made? If you have not paid attention to your judgments, you are not the only one.

Psychology researchers have gathered a vast amount of evidence on cognitive biases that play a great role in clouding people's judgments. We are wired to make judgmental mistakes. We are wired to be ignorant. One of the greatest figures in judgment research, Daniel Kahneman once said: "We can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness.". 

This means that our judgments and perceptions of reality are extremely flawed. For instance, we rely on limited information to make decisions, but that's not all, there are plenty of other biases! 

I'm guilty about being biased in my judgments myself, like most people I tend to be preoccupied with the belief that my judgments reflect complete accuracy. After all, although we are thinking creatures able to grasp that we are alive and that we have consciousness, we are wired to make quick decisions based on poor evidence. 

You cannot challenge your judgmental biases without being aware of your judgmental biases and the ways in which these biases limit your thinking.

In this post, I will describe 10 cognitive biases that can cloud your judgments. I will explore useful psychological research and theories to enhance your understanding of these cognitive biases and decision-making processes.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

10 psychology-based ways to find your writing motivation: cognitive evaluation, positive reinforcement and incubation effect

Person writing in a notebook

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I will gain a small commission if you click on the link + if you decide to make a purchase* 

November is the month of writing, the National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short. During this month, aspiring writers attempt to create a 50,000-word creative piece. That's one heck of a task! The most difficult aspect of writing relates to finding your motivation. 

You know, consistently engaging in a task, getting in the zone instead of putting off writing to one side. Engaging in any creative pursuit requires great determination. Fear of failure, judgment and imposter feelings are only a few factors that may lead to a reduction in a writer's motivation. 

As a whole, writers also tend to be highly sensitive and affected by negative emotionality and the environments around them. If you are a writer, trying your best to find motivation daily, I am here to help you out. 

In this post, I will describe how to find your writer's motivation by reflecting on useful psychological theories and research, including cognitive evaluation theory, positive reinforcement and the incubation effect. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Trapped in the pursuit of happiness: Psychology of consumerism and black friday madness

Group of people inside a shopping centre
Photo by Krisztina Papp on Unsplash
Ah, Black Friday, that money fuelled time of the year awaited by millions of eager individuals. This year, Black Friday is set to happen on November 29th. On this day, thousands of businesses will offer incredible sales and deals that we just cannot miss out on. Black Friday is one of those seasonal events that make me question the influence of consumerism on human behaviour. 

Our society is sold the idea that buying products will make us happier in life. Unfortunately, the focus on materialism can make us forget the simpler things in life. When we focus on wanting more, we often forget what we already have.

In addition, material possessions are viewed as a status symbol and this means that we end up in the rat race of competition and trying to be better than other people. I have observed that during sales periods, including Black Friday, human sensibility is put aside.  

In this post, I will discuss my thoughts on the consumerist culture and Black Friday madness. I will explore the psychological reasons underlying our material focused behaviour. In addition, this post will also offer some suggestions for moving forward in order to escape the traps of the consumerist culture.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Tis the season to be gloomy: 17 effective ways to cope with the winter blues

Withered tree in the snow
Photo by Fabrice Villard on Unsplash

Happy November folks! Well, I suppose happy is not the right word to use. After all, November marks the return of winter and winter blues. If you ever wondered how to cope with winter blues, don't worry my friend, this post is here to help you out.

Winter strikes unexpectedly. One minute, you are soaking in the sunshine and the next, you are stuck indoors, shivering while the outside world is shrouded in eternal darkness. I'm not a winter person at all, some people enjoy the lower temperatures, but I just can't stand the darkness and cold. it makes me feel so miserable.

The sudden change in seasons can have a detrimental effect on our well-being, people generally refer to this as winter blues. The clinical term for depressive episodes that occur through fall and winter is Seasonal Affective Disorder.

While it is thought that winter blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder is one and the same, Seasonal Affective Disorder can cause extreme distress, debilitating your daily activities. The influence of Seasonal Affective Disorder can extend beyond simply experiencing sadness. I think that this is important to address - if you feel that you are unable to function during winter months, you should consider seeking help from medical professionals.

If you are like me, mildly affected by winter, you can employ simple strategies to bounce back and restore your positive well-being. In this post, I will share some useful methods for coping with the winter blues.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

10 self-growth lessons I have learned from my long-term relationship

Laura is looking at her partner Ben

I can easily say that my relationship has taught me lessons that I would not have otherwise learned by myself. Relationships provide us with wonderful learning experiences and contribute to personal development. They provide us with tools that we can employ to explore different ideas and new versions of ourselves. 

When I was a teenager, I did not think that happy relationships were real. In fact, I was surrounded by damaged couples, arguments and breakup. I suppose that when it came to love, I was like a grumpy skeptic. I thought that loving relationships are meant to be in picture books or stuck somewhere in your fantasies.

When you are young, no one tells you that love is something to work towards, it is an active reciprocal process between two individuals. This active process is one of the key relationship factors that contribute to your self-growth. Fulfilling relationships are also a matter of patience, exploration and finding the right person for you. You can't just run to the first person that you see, expecting eternal romance. 

All the waffle aside, I am currently in my second relationship, 2 years and 8 months, we are engaged, happy and going strong. In this post, I will reflect on 10 self-growth lessons that I have learned from my relationship. I will also touch upon the fundamentals of relationship satisfaction.

(All the lovely photography in this post was taken by Jodie Mitchell

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Fake it till you make it: 15 useful strategies to help you overcome your fear of public speaking

Closeup of a microphone

If you are scared of public speaking, you are definitely not the only one. There are millions struggling with the fear of public speaking. It's natural to be afraid when we are performing in a group environment, no matter how big or small the group is. No one is ever born with great confidence to perform without anxiety in front of other people

We found ourselves around people quite often, especially in our academic and professional lives. At the end of the day, we can try our best to avoid having to speak in front of others, it's impossible to avoid public speaking completely.

I'm not a stranger to this type of performance anxiety myself.  I've had to experience numerous class presentations during my time at University. I used to despise them. When I heard any mention of presenting in front of my peers, I felt awful. My heart kept racing, sweat dripped from my palms, I trembled like a leaf as a spoke.

Luckily, over the years went I became accustomed to speaking in public. It did not happen overnight, but I think that for the most part, I've managed to conquer my fear of public speaking. The skills that I have learned have definitely helped me in different situations, for instance, job interviews.

I thought I will share my experience and knowledge to help those who are struggling with public speaking anxiety.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

What does it mean to be a normal person? The role of subjectivity, environment and social norms on normality judgments

Half of the image is a man wearing a suit and another half is a woman wearing a colourful coat with bright hair
Images by The Lazy Artist and Cloudypixel on Pexels
There is a huge debate concerning human normality. Have you ever thought about what makes someone normal compared to others? The other day, my partner reflected on normality - what does it mean to be normal? His ideas made me reflect on the subjectivity of this concept. Where does normality even come from? 

Normality has returned on the radar of people's interest, following the critically-acclaimed release of Joker. Joaquin Phoenix's raw performance shifted the viewers' attention to the difficulties in understanding normality. It also demonstrated that reality is subjective. I think that discussing the meaning of human normality is extremely relevant at the moment.

This post will explore the thin line between normality and abnormality, discussing the factors that might influence the judgments of human normality. 

Monday, 7 October 2019

It's completely normal to feel lost in life: Learning to embrace the crisis of your 20s

Close up of green flora plant growing out of a tree trunk
Photo by David Alberto Carmona Coto from Pexels

When I was a little girl, I always looked up to 20-year-olds and viewed them as wise and put together. Fast-forward the time to now, I am nowhere near as wise as I imagined 20-year-olds to be. As a teenager, the shift from my teen years to 20s appeared like some sort of an incredible adventure. I was excited about transitioning from a feeble teenager to a fully functioning adult.

Unfortunately, no one warned me about the difficulties of this period in my life. The period of your 20s is a decade filled with numerous unwanted crises. Feeling lost, not knowing your purpose, questioning your self-worth - all these feelings at the time when the society expects you to be a contributing member of society. 

My head these days feels like a fly that has been squashed by a stampede of animals. Nevertheless, I am determined to assess the ways in which we (you know the struggling 20 or so year olds) can embrace the crisis of our 20s

This post will explore the process of learning to embrace the crisis of your 20s, and hopefully help you along in your journey and self-discovery.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Have you ever thought about your reason for being? The significance of reason for leading a happy life

picture of trees and bright blue sky

If you are used to living your life without reason, days can turn into endless monotonous torture. Having a clear raison d'être - reason for being benefits in providing clarity and contributes to the meaning of your existence in the greater scheme of things. 

The reason for being concept extends to other cultures as well, for instance in Japan the term Ikigai also refers to reason for being. It appears that the search for reason is shared across multiple cultures. After all, it is natural for humans to be consumed in existential thoughts.

This post will discuss the importance of having a clear reason for being and how it contributes to your mental well-being. 

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

You are good enough: 6 compassionate ways to manage setbacks in your personal life and career

Laura is staring at some swans

Sometimes you think that you are close to your goal but then it just slips through your fingers. When this happens, you get disappointed and you begin to ask yourself: "where did I go wrong, why are things not going my way?". Unfortunately, when the nature of life is rooted in its unpredictability, so the likelihood of being hit by an unexpected setback is great. We can't avoid these setbacks, no matter how painful they are. 

For instance, I have experienced plenty of job rejections despite my degree. I see these rejections as a setback, as I have been always wired to work hard. I feel guilty and strange when I'm not working. Experiencing these rejections fills me with negativity. It makes me question whether I am good enough. I think that my feelings are shared by many. As a psychology nerd, of course,  I always try to practice what I preach and instead of wasting my time on negative thoughts, I wanted to come up with ways to compassionately deal with these setbacks.

So, it is natural to feel unsettled. When life circumstances push you away from your wishes, whether it's a job or a goal that you worked towards but were unable to attain, your sense of self-worth is likely to crumble. While it's impossible to avoid setbacks, it is healthy to reconsider your attitude towards these setbacks

This post will discuss the idea that despite experiencing setbacks you are still good enough. You will be offered ways to view these challenges in a compassionate and functional way.
Wednesday, 11 September 2019

How to stop feeling like a fraud: 7 easy steps to overcome imposter syndrome

Black and white image of people walking across a pedestrian crossing
Image by Michael Daniels (unsplash) 
To say that imposter syndrome can induce self-doubt would be an understatement. It is clear from the increasing number of posts related to imposter syndrome that many people feel like they're are a 'fraud' and that their achievements are a mere 'fluke'.

These feelings can take away your pride in personal achievements, control, and commitment. The first step that needs to be taken in order to minimize imposter syndrome effects is rooted in understanding the nature of this experience. So, why do we experience these "I am a fraud" feelings and how should you overcome imposter syndrome? 

This post will discuss the nature of imposter syndrome and suggest 7 steps to cope with your feelings and overcome imposter syndrome .

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

8 healthy ways to cope with feeling unsettled

Hand drowning in a water
Photo by Nikko Macaspac on Unsplash
Our minds are strange. One minute, you may be catching up on your favourite shows, sipping on a hot beverage without a care in the world, and then all of a sudden, dread appears out of nowhere, ruining your day and plans. Feeling unsettled is a common occurrence, I experience it quite often.
For a lot of people, unsettlement belongs in the same family of feelings as anxiety. After all, unsettlement can produce unnecessary worries. Experiencing unsettlement can also lead to unwanted physical sensations, for instance, chest pains or sweaty palms.

For me, unsettlement can be benign, it can lurk around in my brain for weeks without my awareness of its existence. I'm not sure whether unsettlement should be classified as anxiety or a symptom of anxiety. You know yourself best, so it's up to you to define your experience of unsettlement.

Instead of being controlled by unsettlement, you can approach this restlessness using a rational rather than a destructive approach. If you are confused or unsure of how to deal with this sudden dread, I got your back! In this post, I will share the best ways of coping with unsettlement.

Saturday, 31 August 2019

August Favourites and Thoughts

Flatlay image with Laura's monthly favourites

Another month is almost over, which means it's time for monthly favourites! Summer in England so far has been like being outside an oven. In this post, I will discuss my favourite products : beauty, lifestyle and all the random bits. I will also reflect on my thoughts and feelings. Let's jam!

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Reflecting on my MSc education experience: Are postgraduate degrees worth it?

Open statistics book with some glasses on top

Choosing whether education beyond an undergraduate degree is for you, could be a choice that you will have to face. Maybe you have already thought about postgraduate studies but were hesitant, maybe you have made a decision or perhaps the thought of studying an MSc course has not even crossed your mind yet. This is where I come in to play (*evil laugh*). I'm here to tell you all about my postgraduate education experience. The ups, the downs, whether it was worth it. 

DISCLAIMER: Some of my points might not apply to all courses or universities. No course is ever run in the same way. A lot of it is down to the organisation of the staff who are in charge. Sometimes organisation can be lame, which can cause a lot of issues. That's why you need to remember to do your research before you commit to anything.
Sunday, 18 August 2019

The impact of others' expectations on identity: Idealism, insecure striving and self-compassion

Women's feet standing in front of a puddle
Photo by Krissana Porto on Unsplash

Sitting down to write a post has been a challenge for me. It's silly because all it takes is typing some words on the screen. I've posted a few posts based on psychological advise and hopefully they have helped or inspired some of you. As a person, I rarely open up about my own problems, as I don't really see much point to it. However, I don't want to feel distanced from what I write or feel like a fraud or some kind of an impostor. In this post, I am embracing my open thoughts about something that has been on my mind for a long time:
Thursday, 8 August 2019

There is a silver lining of sadness: 7 surprising benefits of low mood

Beautiful blue flowers

Sadness is commonly represented with a negative emphasis on its consequences to our well-being. The function of our affective responses is complex, emotions are not good versus bad. There is a silver lining in sadness.  

Some say that it is impossible to comprehend joy without sadness. Others argue that sadness leads to greater appreciation during positive moments. When you learn about the benefits of sadness, it will help you to move through the sadness experience more constructively. 

If you are not in control of your low mood, it is easy to fall back into an apathetic state. In contrast, knowing the benefits that can be cultivated from sadness will help you to feel more empowered. This post will discuss 7 surprising benefits of low mood and teach you that there is a silver lining in sadness. 

Saturday, 27 July 2019

7 useful makeup tips and tricks from Urban Decay makeup artist

Urban Decay makeup counter

Sometimes it takes a professional to teach you something that you don’t know. This is especially true when it comes to makeup techniques. I am by no means an expert with makeup, but I have a passion to learn more when it comes to makeup tips and tricks. 

Recently I have visited Urban Decay counter in my local Fenwick store to have a makeover and improve on my knowledge. It was a fantastic experience!

In this post, I will share 7 useful makeup tips and tricks that I have learned from an incredible makeup artist and alternative model, Sophie. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

10 ways to challenge shame and become more self-accepting

Woman covering face with both palms
Photo by: Jacqueline Day on Unsplash
Have you ever felt like the worst person in the world for no apparent reason? Have your self-evaluations let you down to the point of breakdown? Don’t worry if this sounds familiar, experiencing shame is common. Shame could be defined as a negative judgment of self – “I am bad” in contrast to guilt which is more oriented towards actions – “I did something bad”. 

Over-active shame feelings can have detrimental effects on acceptance and your overall well-being. Self-judgments could also influence how you express yourself and act in social situations. This means that shame needs to be challenged and dealt with. 

This post will discuss 10 ways to challenge shame and become more self-accepting.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

June Favourites and Thoughts

Flatlay with Laura's june favourites

Greetings, I hope you have been enjoying the summer sunshine. The seventh month of the year has come. I know it’s a common saying, but I can’t believe that it’s July already. A new month means that it’s time for reflection and favourites.
Tuesday, 25 June 2019

It's time to break down your walls: 8 ways to connect with people and feel comfortable in social situations

Laura is standing next to a bush wearing a black top and a black and white pencil skirt
Photo by Fordtography

Let’s be real, no one is ever comfortable in social situations (they might be fantastic pretenders), even the greatest extroverts must face their fears. Staying cool, keeping real in social situations requires consistent practice and patience. At times, awkward moments and conversations might push you away from making meaningful connections with other people. Self-consciousness may haunt you in these uncomfortable moments. Nevertheless, how can we be happy in ourselves if we are unable to connect with other people.

This post will discuss ways of connecting with people and “keeping your cool” in social situations. Get ready to face your fears and anxieties. You can do this.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

The role of Instagram on well-being: Perfection, identity and belonging

Closeup of a phone with instagram on the screen
Photo by Omkar Patyane on Pexels
When we find ourselves scrolling endlessly through feeds filled with gorgeous individuals and their picture perfect lives, our headspace gets filled with either inspiration or self-deprecation. Instagram has been taken the world by storm. For some, it’s a hobby or a place to express themselves and their identity and for others Instagram is full time job.

There are plenty of posts discussing the impact of Instagram on mental health. Nevertheless, most of these posts focus on the negatives. Nothing in life is black or white. The role of social media is far more complex than simply stating that something is bad for well-being.

In this post I will be discussing the good and the bad of Instagram. Is there a positive effect of Instagram on well-being? Or is it all doom and gloom? Read on the psychology of Instagram effects ... let's jam! 

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Defensive pessimism: Using your anxiety as motivation

Woman standing in front a sunset with her arms wide open

Have you ever thought of your anxiety as a source of success and achievement? It’s not surprising if you have not.

After all, mainstream belief suggests that anxious thoughts should be challenged because they are not beneficial to overall mental health. This simplistic belief ignores that anxiety can have some benefits for the individual, especially when it comes to motivation.

This post will discuss the concept of defensive pessimism and harnessing anxiety as a motivating force in your life (Norem & Cantor, 1986)

Monday, 3 June 2019

Disappointing makeup products: The makeup that makes me go ‘meh’

Makeup flatlay with Laura's dissapointing products

When there are thousands of makeup products to choose from, it is easy to make a mistake. Let’s be honest, there it is thrilling to get a new lipstick or a new foundation. Unfortunately, not all makeup products are incredible – some are disappointing, and some are quite frankly a waste of your money. 

Some makeup products are disappointing for some and not for others, this is an individual opinion. So take this post with a pinch of salt – what I mention here, may not apply to you. Plus, I would like to stress that I am not slating the makeup brands, it’s just for me personally these makeup products were kind of meh.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Thoughts on care values: Abuse and neglect in Whorlton Hall

Sad teddy bear

Recently, I have watched the programme about Whorlton Hall (Durham) on BBC Panorama and it made me feel all kinds of emotions. I could not believe the abuse and manipulation that was shown on screen. 

Having worked as a support worker for individuals with Autism and learning difficulties for over two years, I have learned about the importance of care values and abuse prevention. 

Unfortunately, not all care providers follow the principles of safeguarding. In this post, I will discuss my thoughts on care values and reflect on the consequences of abuse and neglect.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick Review: Is it Worth the Hype?

Jeffree Star velour liquid lipstick

Everyone is talking about Jeffree Star and his makeup these days. I don't personally care about the drama and chaos, just makeup. 

While the rest of the world is discussing his new powders and concealers, like usual I am late to the party to testing even his most known makeup, namely the liquid lipsticks.

To be honest, I never was inclined to buy a liquid lipstick myself from the brand as I thought that I could get something similar at the drugstore. Nevertheless, my dear friend gifted a lovely velour lipstick for my birthday. I had to take this opportunity and review the lipstick for you guys.

For this review, I will be talking about Jeffree Star liquid lipstick from the Alien collection in the shade “Hi, How are Ya?” 

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

How to survive Mother's Day if you had a dysfunctional childhood

Mother’s Day has been long gone in England, however, its blissfully artificial fantasy will soon take place in America. I missed out writing about Mother’s Day when it happened in UK, however, I think it is still important to address the issues associated with this event. Mother’s Day can cause past trauma, negative memories and suffering from childhood to resurface.

Being bombarded with images of happy families in their picture-perfect homes is nothing but torture for the mind. If you have had a dysfunctional childhood in which your parent did not love you or care - you may ask yourself – how do I survive this celebration?  How do I cope with being motherless / parent-less?

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Life Update: palm trees, birthday reflections and education

Paphos palm trees

All right, I should probably start this post by saying – it’s been a while. It feels like I have totally abandoned this blog. It has not been my intention, life just got a little bit crazy! I don’t know about you but when I was a little girl, time used to pass slowly like a snail. Every single occasion, it felt like I had to wait an eternity for. Nowadays, it’s so fast that I often lose track of it. In addition, fatigue results in me wasting time on pointless activities or not doing anything at all.

I’m a working machine in real life but when I reflect more about my work ethic and habits, perhaps I am addicted to work itself – that’s not healthy. Who knows, maybe I’m not the only one, using my work as a place to get away from negative thoughts inside my head.

Anyway, today I have decided to use my free time wisely and write this post for you guys. The purpose of this post is to give you some updates on my life before I return to my usual posts.
Saturday, 16 March 2019

How to embrace change and find peace in an unpredictable life

Stacked rocks on top of water

The belief that pulls me out from the darkest places is that life is what you make of it. You can
perceive life with fear and become enveloped in avoiding opportunities of change.

On the other hand, you could train your mind into viewing life as your personal obstacle course for inner growth. Obstacles can appear unexpectedly so it’s natural to become afraid of the unknown.

Nevertheless, your fear of the unknown should not guide your behaviour. In this post, I will reflect on how to embrace change and find peace in an unpredictable life.
Sunday, 10 March 2019

Current Favourites and Thoughts

Laura's current favourites flatlay surrounded by flowers

Hello again, I’m back! Can you believe it’s March already? I haven’t done a favourites post on my blog in a while, so I thought that it’s time to make a current favourites one. 

My head has also been a whole huge mess of thoughts, so I thought I would use my blog as a space of ‘venting’, maybe sharing my thoughts will help you to attune with your own thoughts and feelings. After all, the worst thing to do when you feel a bit ‘off’ is to pretend that everything is okay, am I right?
Sunday, 17 February 2019

You are in control of your life: 7 ways to have strength in the face of adversity

Pegs making up a word happy

Difficult times come in many different forms, some are experienced on a personal level while other 
difficulties are related to the suffering of those around you. What is difficult to someone may not be difficult for another, so for the sake of this post, I am leaving the subjectivity of the word: “difficulty” up to you. 

When something difficult occurs in life, the automatic response to it is denial and blame – “Why did this happen to me? The world must be cursed”. This is a natural way to response to hardships, however life is not pleasant – so after being blown off your course by several difficulties in a row, it is likely that you will lose all your purpose for living itself.

I think that this is partially one of the main causes of depression (along with the more biological ones). Knowing what to do in the face of constant adversity is a skill that is extremely valuable. It will carry you far into success. 

So, if you are asking now, what do I do? Don’t fear my friend, I’ve got you. Here are some nuggets of wisdom learned experience from my life, and advice from my ingenious fiance Ben.
Saturday, 9 February 2019

Valentine's Inspired Makeup Look Tutorial

Flatlay of products that Laura used for her valentines inspired makeup look

It’s almost Valentine's, and for the occasion, I wanted to share this makeup look with you. It’s a little purple and pink fantasy. Just a little disclaimer – I am by no means a makeup artist. I just find it quite 
fun to do makeup occasionally and not look like a potato. Anyways, I will go through the makeup steps with you guys x

In terms of Valentine's Day, remember that you don’t have to have a lover to have fun on the day. Take care of yourself, and don’t succumb to loneliness. If you start feeling horrible, stop checking social media and take yourself out as a treat – you deserve it. Everything on social media is exaggerated, the same as Valentine's Day. Do whatever you want to do. Celebrate it or have an ordinary day.

Just make sure you get yourself to the supermarket the next day for discounted chocolate (just saying 💗)

Thursday, 31 January 2019

How to Stop Worrying

Person is sitting on the bed

Worrying is one of the most common issues that people suffer from, it causes nuisance and distress. Anxiety and worrying go hand in hand. Sometimes, worrying can turn into a loop that is difficult to escape. This means that practicing methods that help to stop worrying is crucial. These methods I’m about to share with you come from years of studying Psychology and a group CBT that I have attended for 10 weeks. While everyone is different, these methods are aimed at everyone who suffers from worrying/anxiety.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Pixi Glow Tonic Review: Transform Your Skin

Pixi glow tonic

Pixi Glow Tonic has taken the world by storm. Everyone is raving about it. I waited for a while until I bought a bottle of this (after all it's £18). 

I have used the tonic regularly on my face for about 3 weeks, and I'm ready to give you a honest review! 

Is Pixi Glow Tonic as good as everyone makes it seem? Does it transform your skin? And most importantly - does it make your skin glow like a radiant beam of sunshine?

Sunday, 13 January 2019

How to plan your grocery shop and save money in 10 easy steps

Woman holding a basket filled with food groceries

Let's face it, weekly grocery shops can seem like a daunting chore (especially when you are on a tight budget).

Learning how to plan your weekly shop will save you money and help to avoid food wastage. UK wastes £13bn worth of food, every year.

In order to change this, you need to think about your buying habits - why are you buying, what are you buying and how much you are buying. Planning your grocery shops is a great way to do this!

In this blog post, I will discuss the ins and outs of weekly grocery shop planning, in 10 easy steps!

Remember, New Year is all about self-improvement and following useful habits.
If going to a supermarket is stressful for you - make weekly shop planning your habit!

Saturday, 5 January 2019

How to Trust Yourself and Others

Laura is looking away from the camera. She is wearing a colourful striped top and pleather trousers

Trust relates to placing a level of confidence in someone and this can be feeling inward trust or trusting other people.

According to Erik Erikson, trust is the first stage of psycho-social development occurring in a baby. In early life, trust is the antidote to anxiety – trusting parents and caregivers in terms of their ability to provide support, ensures a healthy future in a child.

In this post, I will dwell deeper into the nature of trust, the benefits of having a healthy level of trust and the consequences of mistrust. I will also share some of my experiences and struggles relating to trust and the lessons I have learned.
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