Self-care Alphabet

Screenshot_20180623-180726.jpg

          It is no secret that our everyday lives can be difficult, stressful and sometimes upsetting. With the challenge of mental health being on the rise and the effect social media has on our society, I believe it’s good to practice self-care as often as possible. Everyone takes care of themselves and their happiness differently. While some like to walk their dog or try a new recipe, others might like to take bubble baths and play in the rain and both of these rituals are valid. The following list is a list of ideas to maybe start you on this self-care path or maybe even to inspire you to add to your personal ritual of self-care.

          This is something that was sent to me via email by my college two years ago and I thought it would be good to post it here and maybe encourage some people to engage in self-care and self-love.  I hope these are helpful and feel free to share them with anyone who you think might need these tips.

 

Allow yourself to dream

Be honest about what you need

Create/craft something

Drink a mug of soothing tea

Eat foods which nourish you

Forgive yourself

Go on a walk in nature

Have a long soak in a bubbly bath

Invest in yourself

Join a support group

Kite, fly one

Learn to say no to the things you want to say ‘no’ to

Make a blanket fort

Nap

Own who you are, embrace your you’ness

Play, it’s not just for kids

Question your icky boundaries, work on them

Read books, not just self-help/improvement ones

Stop making New Year’s Resolutions, choose a feeling or a key word instead

Take time out for you

Upgrade a tatty item

Vocalise your needs

Write a journal or a letter to someone

Xenial – be as kind to yourself as you would be to others

You matter, you are important and worthy

Zzz, 7-9 hours per night

          I hope this self-care alphabet has given you some inspiration to engage in loving and taking care of yourself physically and mentally. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to check out my last post all about tips for getting a good night’s rest.

With love,

Sonny xx

Screenshot_20180623-180752

My Role Models

Screenshot_20180621-013103.jpg

          After finding out that I have passed all my finals and made it through to the second year of university, I began mulling over the first year. Usually, we cannot be critical of a situation until we put the situation behind us, therefore, I think some introspection is well due. I believe that mapping out the things I have done well and the things I lacked in will help me put the first year of university into perspective and will allow me to prepare myself better for the second year (which actually counts towards my degree).

          As someone who watches a lot of TV shows I frequently acquire new role models after every show I watch. Rory Gilmore, Cristina Yang and Debra Morgan being a few of those role models. I think that having a role model, either a life role model – someone who inspires your personality and your aspirations in life or a career/education role model is beneficial for morale and motivation. Whenever I feel unmotivated or I catch myself slipping into procrastination I remind myself of the following five characters and remember that if they can do it, as flawed and messed up as they are, then I can do it too.

 

          Cristina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy)

cristina yang

          Cristina is that character that makes me question whether I want to be like her or whether I want her to be my wife. That’s just how incredible this woman is and I could probably just talk for hours about this amazing character. She is impossibly smart and ambitious, she doesn’t take crap from anybody and she has an awesome attitude about everything. Her standards are very high and she is very focused on her speciality and that to me is so sexy inspirational. If I could emulate any of these characters I would choose to emulate Cristina Yang.

 

          Sam Winchester (Supernatural)
sam winchester.gif

I feel like Sam is a bit underrated both in the series and amongst the people in the fandom. But he is really smart and funny and just, you know, Sammy! He inspires me a lot because of his outlook on life and education. He didn’t like the life on the road so he ran away to college and was *this* close to getting a law degree. You can see how smart and passionate about learning he is throughout the series with all the research he does. I’m sure he read all the books in the Men of Letters bunker too. I think his love of education and the power of knowledge is truly inspirational, especially during the days when frankly, I can’t even get out of bed.

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)

hermione granger.gif

I like Hermione because she appreciates her education. As a muggle-born, she knew she had to catch up a lot with other wizards so she read and she read and she was thankful for being able to go to Hogwarts. I hated the way some teachers (Snape) treated her in class but I love that she never ever gave up. She still participated in class, handed in excellent assignments and made up for her lack of experience as a witch through her drive and ambition. I think her attitude is so badass too, she was never apologetic about her intelligence and her love for education and I love that about her.

 

    Spencer Hastings (Pretty Little Liars)

03cdd6594564bbadc8463e041bd62b13

Spencer liked studying despite the constant pressure that came with being a Hastings. She took her education seriously and strived to be the best even though she was plagued by a murderous stalker with a posey. Spencer is ambitious and motivated and that’s a really admirable trait in someone who has the weight of a family legacy on their shoulders. The fact that she still maintains and excels at her education while also dealing with A is really inspirational – if she can deal with a murderous stalker than I can put up with a headache and do my work.

    Blair Waldorf (Gossip Girl)

blair waldorf

Blair Waldorf. Although her character comes across as super annoying, I seriously love her. Not necessarily for her studious nature, although it is there and she’s really smart. I love her for her blind ambition and confidence. Nobody can be Blair and Blair gets what she wants, no matter what. I personally lack that sort of attitude and it only comes out when I’m really angry but I wished I was like that all the time.

          So here are a few of my role models pertaining to education and university. Thank you for reading and make sure to check out my last post which was all about actively living in the present.

With love,

Sonny xx

Be Present

Screenshot_20180614-181541

          A lot of times we tend to live our lives in the past or the future and very rarely in the present. My question is, are we truly living if we spend our lives thinking, wondering and being anxious about the past and the future? How can one really live their life if they’re reliving memories or just simply planning ahead? That’s not living, that’s remaining stagnant. We can’t change the past and we won’t have an amazing future if we don’t get our shit together in the present.

          I think that it is human nature to focus more on the past and the future. We try to relive the past because we miss it, because it is easier to lose ourselves in fond memories when something is difficult to deal with in our present lives or simply because we are wondering ‘what if’? What if I chose to take a gap year? What if I would have said yes to that opportunity? What if, what if, what if. As for obsessing about the future… I think that is normal too! We live in an age when everything is fast paced and our productivity levels are constantly through the roof – simply put, we never pause to think. Be it because we are working hard to create future for ourselves or because of social media which not only it can be addictive but it can also be a damaging safe-habit.

          What is a safe-habit? A safe-habit is a habit we cling on to make ourselves feel safe and comfortable. Such as over-eating, sleeping in and staying in toxic relationships/friendships. Just like over-eating and sleeping in, obsessing over the past and the future can be a safe-habit. It is easier to live in the past because it has already happened and we know we got through whatever we went through and it is easier to obsess and plan for the future because at least we know that we have a plan and that we are prepared for it.

          The truth is, we are never prepared for the future and we can never relive the past. The past is gone and the future is not here yet so we are left with the present. This is something I am working on in my personal life, thinking (more like over-thinking) about the past is something I am guilty of and worrying about the future is like a second nature to me but as I was trying to improve myself and to become a better, happier person I came up with a few things to make sure I actively live my future. Some of them are:

          Switch up your routines

          We are so stuck in our routines that everything we do becomes automated – making coffee in the morning is like a well rehearsed dance and scrolling through our social media is like watching a movie without engaging with it. Things like your morning routine, your study routine or even little stuff like where you get your groceries from can become an easy habit – a dance that we don’t have to think about, we just do it. Because we don’t have to think about the sequence of how we do things in the morning or the food we eat on a daily basis, that leaves a lot of room to think about the past/future and in turn it does not allow us to live in the present. By switching up your routines you keep things fresh, you keep yourself on your toes and through that excitement you begin to enjoy your present. So maybe instead of making the same five dishes all the time you could learn to make something else, something more challenging or even something completely out of your comfort zone. If we start to enjoy the present then it is easier to let go of the past and stop worrying about the future.

          Active reminders

          It is easy to slip back into old mindsets and habits if we don’t actively remind ourselves of our goals or the reason why we want to start living in the present. A few ways in which I actively remind myself to be present are post it notes, phone wallpapers or simply putting a stop to my thoughts when my mind wanders in that direction. By actively thinking and reminding ourselves that we must live in the present, not only do we find it easier to achieve that goal but it also spares us the disappointment when we realize that we haven’t been working hard to achieve a better state of mind.

          Spend time doing something you love

          Initially, this point was going to be called ‘spend time with family and friends’ but I thought, why not spend time doing something you love? It doesn’t have to be spending time with family and we all know that getting a group of friends together is harder now that we are getting older. Anything that keeps you grounded and focused should work and that includes friends, family, pets, hobbies such as writing, painting or a sport. By doing something you love you get into the habit of living in the present and enjoying every happy moment.

          So here is the product of my highly caffeinated mind. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and that it might have helped you in one way or another. While you’re at it, check my last post which is a Get to Know Me Tag. Thank you for reading!

With love,

Sonny xx

Screenshot_20180614-181517

Get to Know Me Tag

Screenshot_20180609-004345.jpg

          As a new blogger, I still feel a bit awkward and weird trying to find my blogging voice (or whatever) and figuring this website out so I thought, what better way to get more comfortable with the platform and potential readers other than a ‘Get to Know me Tag’. Here are twenty questions I found here.

          What is your name?

My name is Sonia but everybody and their mother calls me Sonny. I also go by Peachy online.

          What is your height?

I haven’t measured myself in ages but last time I checked I was about 163cm tall or 5’3”.

          What is your zodiac sign?

I am a proud Capricorn (sun sign) and my moon sign is Sagittarius. My ascendant sign is Aries and my descendant sign is Libra.

          Cats or dogs?

I love all animals (except bugs, I CANNOT stand bugs) including cats and dogs but I have to be honest and say that cats will always be my favourites when it comes to pets. They are just so majestic and self-assured and they are very, very loving and sweet when they care about you. My cat does this thing every single night where he comes for kisses (he smushes his face against mine over and over again) and we have to hug and cuddle until he’s satisfied and it is honestly the sweetest thing ever.  

          Favourite school subject?

I found it a bit hard to pick one since I have many interests and I sincerely enjoyed school but I would have to say English Literature (duh). Some other school subjects that I love are Creative Writing and History.

          Favourite food?

I’m vegetarian (and I’m super picky) so most of the time I have to be really creative with my food but I would have to say either pasta or pizza.

          Favourite TV show?

Ohhh, I could go on and on about this for ages. In fact, I might just make a separate blog post about this because I am such a TV show addict. But to answer the question, I have two favourite TV shows which are Dexter and Grey’s Anatomy.

          Favourite actor & actress?

Oh man, I love Sandra Oh and Ellen Pompeo so much. Their onscreen chemistry is amazing and as actresses they are absolutely phenomenal and they deserve the world.

          What is your biggest fear?

Besides spiders and heights? Failure.

          Tea or coffee?

Coffee all the way! In truth, I drink way too much caffeine and tea makes me nauseous.

          Your bad habit?

Procrastination, I think, is my worst habit. I think a lot of people have this bad habit and this can come from a number of different reasons including social media, anxiety and lack of motivation. For me, procrastination is something I have been trying really hard to get rid of but alas, I haven’t yet.

          What is your favourite holiday?

Halloween! Autumn is my favourite season ever – I like the colours of the leaves, I like the crisp, cold weather, the rain, the fashion and the overall cosiness of this season and so it should come as no surprise that my favourite holiday ever is Halloween. I usually stay in, watch horror movies, drink hot chocolate and eat popcorn.

          If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

New York or Tokyo! I grew up as a city girl with the hustle and bustle of the city all around me so that is how I thrive and therefore I think New York and Tokyo would be perfect for me and how I envision my future.

          What is your lucky number?

The number 8 is my lucky number and I think I got that idea when I was eleven or twelve and I was flipping through a teen magazine. I remember going to the horoscope page and in the Capricorn section is said that a Capricorn’s lucky number is 8 and 2 but I was more drawn to 8.  

          Are you allergic to anything?

To be fair, I am not actually sure if I am allergic to sunflower seeds but I do think I am developing an allergy to them.

          Last person to call you & last person you texted?

The last person to call me was my mother and the last person to text me was one of my closest friends.

          Last thing you bought?

A stylus for my chromebook (big investment and really poor results, 10/10 would NOT recommend)

          Last TV show you watched?

I’ve been re-watching Grey’s Anatomy (my poor Omelia heart *sobs*).

            Can you cook?

Somewhat? I am no chef and there are certain things in the kitchen that I probably shouldn’t touch but I can feed myself and make it fun.

          If you could play any musical instrument, which one would it be?

The drums but since I have absolutely no rhythm and the dexterity of a two year old that doesn’t seem like a good idea.

 

          Here it is, twenty questions and answers about who I am and my interests that I hope would make integrating myself into this community a bit of an easier process or even just making my blog feel more homely. Also, check out my last blog post which is all about my desk setup. Thank you for reading!

 

With love,

Sonny xx

Screenshot_20180609-004425

The Questions:

1. What is your name?

2. What is your height?

3. What is your zodiac sign?

4. Cats or dogs?

5. Favourite school subject?

6. Favourite food?

7. Favourite TV show?

8. Favourite actor & actress?

9. What is your biggest fear?

10. Tea or coffee?

11. Your bad habit?

12. What is your favourite holiday?

13. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

14. What is your lucky number?

15. Are you allergic to anything?

16. Last person to call you & last person you texted?

17. Last thing you bought?

18. Last TV show you watched?

19. Can you cook?

20. If you could play any musical instrument, which one would it be?

 

Desk Setup: Digital Student Edition

2018-06-06 09.25.03 1.jpg

          As someone who is very introverted, physical surroundings and the overall vibe of my space is very important to me because a lot of the time the atmosphere around me impacts my mood and my sense of stability. Because of that I enjoy moving furniture around, decorating and DIYs and some would say I am actually quite obsessed with changing my surroundings to fit my mood. Sometimes I adjust my bedroom to fit a specific aesthetic I’m into (I am also very finicky about that), to reflect my mood and sometimes simply because my favourite colour has changed.

          A space that gets rearranged a lot is my desk because as a student, I spend most of my time sitting at my desk pouring over books, making notes, writing assessments and drowning in coffee. Therefore, if I’m not feeling the look of my desk then I won’t be using it and that’s not good for my grades. To be fair, I don’t think I can even specify how many times I gave my desk a makeover but it has to be a really high number given how obsessed I am with it. Three of my favourite looks are my current aesthetic of pink and white, a yellow and blue theme and a cluttered autumn look that I go for every fall. Now that I made sure everyone knows that my priorities are not only weird but totally out of place, I will get to the main point of this blog post.

          Given my obsession with redecorating and changing my surroundings (especially my study setup), I have poured over countless websites including Pinterest and Instagram to get inspiration for my very time-consuming mode of procrastination but I don’t think I ever found something that would fit me and the way I use my study area. Personally, to be successful in uni I only need my Chromebook, a notebook, a pen and my kindle and I am good to go. Given that I don’t need all that much stationery (I can’t believe I just typed that), my setup is mainly minimalistic and everything that I do need such as my electronics and my notebooks are easy to access. So here are a few tips I have learnt to help those who are trying to perfect their own study space and make it a productive work environment.

          Only keep the things you need

          Decluttering your space is the first step to becoming more productive and enjoying your study area more. Even though clutter can be an extension or a showcase of our personality and our interests clutter can also be distracting and suffocating. It can change the way you look at your study area and it can go from a productive space to an entertainment area. I always yo-yo between minimalism and maximalism because my personality is so colourful and I have so many interests – I always want to display them! Even if clutter can look fun, it doesn’t allow your space to be a study space so it has to go. Getting rid of clutter will give your study area a new vibe, it will allow you to see your goals in a clear light and in turn, you will be more productive.

          Figure out your studying style

          As I mentioned above, I am not the pen and paper kind of student. I don’t like writing on my texts (defacing books saddens me immensely for some reason) and I don’t need a thousand notebooks for all my modules because I have everything I need on my Chromebook including my lecture and seminar notes, important PDFs, sticky notes and reminders. This means that I don’t need the physical equivalent of folders, highlighters and post-it notes so they don’t have to be on my desk. This gives me more space to work on what really matters and to really focus on my studies. Therefore, when you try to figure out your personal studying style, think of your note-taking methods, your class requirements, etc. and go from there.

          Planners, bullet journals and to do lists!

          This point will definitely make me come across as controlling when in fact I am just overly anxious about everything. Something that makes my study area more productive and nice to stare at (let’s be honest, we all like pretty things) is my bullet journal which is always open on my desk. My bullet journal is practically an extension of who I am; a second brain if you will. That’s where I have all my appointments, classes, reminders, to-do lists, delivery notices, ideas and so on. Having it open on my desk all the time keeps me focused on my daily tasks and makes it easier for me to keep my life organized and stable. I also have a second notebook sitting right on top of my bullet journal (this is where I start to sound crazy)  which is solely dedicated to expanding on my daily to-do list. This second notebook allows me to break down the tasks I have to accomplish and in turn it makes me a less anxious person because not only can I cross off multiple tasks which makes my brain understand that the task is not all that overwhelming, but it also makes me feel like I got all my marbles together. So I think the gist of this point is to be well organized and actively keep track of your goals and tasks for the day.

          So here it is, my second, way-too-long post. Thank you for reading and feel free to add your own wisdom on this topic.

Much love,

Sonny xx

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Check out my last blog post about preconceived notions regarding university *here*.

Preconceived Notions: University Edition

           Introductions always seem to be easy for most people but as I am sitting in front of my laptop with my hands hovering over the keyboard – well, it’s kind of difficult. Trying to find similar interests to people in order to spark a conversation and fit into such a large community has been a daunting yet exciting dream of mine for the past couple of years and now that I am finally here all I can do is ask myself: “What am I even supposed to say?” I guess the answer is to talk about myself and well, introduce myself.

          My name is Sonny, I am nineteen years old and I am an English Literature undergraduate. My passions include reading (of course), writing – I write fiction, non-fiction, poetry and a whole lot of fanfiction – which I have been doing for the past 9 years or so and photography which I am new to. I have two furry babies, a tabby cat named Sherlock and a small Yorkie called Tommy and I live in the United Kingdom.

          I am your typical introvert and most often you will find me tucked away in a corner somewhere reading the day away or binge-watching TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy or Dexter and if I am completely honest, it’s usually the latter. Hm… I could probably drink my body weight in coffee, I own over 170 books and my manga collection is steadily growing as we speak – or type.

          Now onto the main topic of this blog post:

          Given that I am very new at this blogging situation, I wanted to start a conversation about something that I think a lot of people, young adults, in particular, can relate to which is the topic of the first year of university (or college for all my American pals). I think we can all agree that we step into this new chapter of our lives with a lot of anxiety, excitement, (debt) and preconceived notions of what being a university student is going to be like. I had the whole year planned out in my head – I would step out of my comfort zone by going out to parties, get drunk and turn up to lectures with a throbbing headache and I would join three afterschool clubs, probably all related to anime and kpop. Of course, that was not the case. Instead, I found out that the nightlife at my university is pretty nonexistent, that I can hold my liquor pretty well and that none of the clubs at my university interested me.

          My first day during Freshers’ Week was weird, as it should be. My newfound friends and I got lost a couple of times, we were paired up with a way-too-happy second year and we had to take horrible ID photos which will last us for the next three years of our lives. It wasn’t all weird, though. On the first day, I made three really good friends, we established a tradition of getting fast food every Monday after our Literature lecture and I got to browse through one of the massive libraries at my university (I am talking three floors full of books and research papers!)

          The point of this blog post is not to complain about university, which I do a lot by the way, but to talk about how as humans we tend to go into things with a lot or preconceived notions and prejudice and how that has the potential to be detrimental to the way we experience life. Before starting my first year of university I was dreading the nightlife aspect because I am such an introvert which in turn put a damper on how I felt and behaved during Freshers’ Week. Because of my preconceived notions I did not allow myself to, well, be myself around my new friends and to fully enjoy the experience of being in a completely new environment doing new and exciting things.

          Preconceived notions tend to set us on the path we take in life as we are not guided by personal experience or research, but by ideas and beliefs we might not be knowledgeable of. Therefore it is easy to live a rigid, close minded life that lacks enjoyment and adventure. Even so, having preconceived notions and going into situations with our minds already filled with stereotypes is only human – we all do it despite how much we wished we wouldn’t. I think my first year of university would have been different if I was more open minded and reminded myself that not everything is as it seems.

          As for the future, I think we’ll always make assumptions based on other people’s opinions, the media and stereotypes but personally I would like to be more flexible in my beliefs and hopefully that will allow me to enjoy life a little more. So, I think the moral of my first ever blog post is to be open minded and always be yourself, no matter what you think a situation is going to be like.

With love,

Sonny

PicsArt_06-03-09.53.30