Posted in Blog Post

Blog Post #42: Hiatus

Hey readers!

So I spent last night crying over something that I’d forgotten to print off double sided so used twice as much paper as necessary. I’m fine, honestly, I’m just a bit stressed at the moment. For this reason, I’m taking a bit of time off. A “hiatus”, if you will, although I googled the definition of that to make sure I was using it right as it technically means “a pause or break in continuity in a sequence or activity”, and our posting schedule wasn’t exactly continuous to start with, so I don’t know if we can really class this as a hiatus.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say, it that I’m taking a month to two months off from posting, just because I’m very busy and quite stressed at the moment and don’t want to have to worry about getting posts out or spend time writing posts when I have lots of other things to do.

I might still be on Instagram every so often, but basically this is me saying goodbye until mid June-ish. So, until then,

Bye!

~ April

Advertisements
Posted in Blog Post

Blog Post #41: May 2018 Bullet Journal Setup

Hey readers!

So this week’s blog post is going to be a little different. If you’ve read my post about Bullet Journalling you’ll know 3 things:

a) I have a bullet journal
b) I love my bullet journal
c) I have a bit of an obsession with bullet journal plan with me’s on YouTube

So as it’s coming up to the start of next month, all the Bullet Journal Youtubers are beginning to upload their videos where they set up their journals for the month of May. And I guess I’ve kind of been inspired to do something similar? So today I’m going to share how I’ve set up my journal for May. To be honest, I know probably no-one cares, but I enjoy watching and reading things like this, so here we are.

(Originally I was planning on doing this at the start of April when I set up my new Bullet Journal but then I got excited and starting filling in lots of personal details and so couldn’t share it any more. I decided to share this month in particular because I tried being a little more artistic with it and switching up some new things so thought it might be more interesting than my older setups which were quite boring and basic)


Many people start off their months with a cover page, but I’m not artistic enough for that and don’t really need it, so we’re going to jump straight into the month at a glance.
IMG_20180428_185848.jpg

So as I said, this month I was trying to be more experimental and artistic, which has resulted in this title, I guess? I know it’s not the best, but compared to last month (which was just the word April written in a 1×5 box) it’s very different. After that, I just did the typical layout, with the days of the month written down the left hand side and space to write events on the right. I was going to write the days of the week beside the numbers (I normally do this) but decided against it as I liked the way it looked without.

 

 

 

IMG_20180428_185922
So now onto my  habit tracker. Again, I tried to be slightly more artistic with my title. As well as this, I switched things up with the actual trackers itself this month as well. Firstly, I did it vertically rather than horizontally so that I don’t need to turn the book 90° to fill it in. This was made possible by another change I’d made, which was to draw little symbols at the top to represent the habits. After taking this photo I also went in and put little boxes around certain habIMG_20180429_112815.jpgits on certain days – I don’t track this many on a daily basis, a large chunk of them are only on certain days of the week (for example, make a blog post on a Sunday, so in the blog post column I’d draw a box around each of the Sunday’s this month) I fill the tracker in by colouring in the boxes when I do them (as shown in this picture from last months tracker ————————————————————————->)

That’s all I do for my monthly setup. It used to take me 4 pages to fit all that in, but other the past few months I’ve condensed it into just 2. I prefer this layout because it not only uses up less room (meaning I can keep my journal for longer) but it also looks cleaner and it easier to use. As for weeklies and dailies, I do a kind of hybrid between the two? It looks like this:

IMG_20180429_111501IMG_20180429_111453

It’s a double page spread with 8 boxes, one for each day of the week and an extra one. I tend to name this extra box either “general” “to-do” “other” or “work”. At the start of each week I write a list of things I need to get done over the 7 days. Then I’ll sit down once a day and schedule things from the work box “(or “trabajo” this week – I’ve been naming everything in Spanish for the last month) into the box for that day. I’ve found this easier than scheduling everything on certain days when I set it up then having to migrate and reschedule stuff because things happen unexpectedly and I don’t account for what I can realistically get done.


Anyway, that’s all I have for todays post. I hope that it was perhaps somewhat interesting? Hopefully next week there’ll be a better post. But for now, thanks for reading, don’t forget you can contact us via Instagram, and

Bye!

~ April

Posted in Blog Post

Blog Post #40: Motivation

Hey readers!

Sorry our posts have been so sporadic and scarce recently. I’ve been struggling with a lack of motivation – to post, to work, to do anything productive really. I’ve recently begun using Tumblr again and have spent hours just sitting and scrolling, not really enjoying myself but doing it anyway, because I lack the motivation to do anything else.

Lack of motivation is actually proving to be a bit of an issue, as we’ve just entered the part of this year where Alice and myself will be having to do a lot of self-motivated studying. However, I’ve found a couple of ways to help me get motivated, so I thought I’d share them with you today. They’re probably tips you’ve heard before, they’re pretty standard, no real breakthroughs, but I always find that hearing them from someone who’s found they actually work helps to convince me that y’know, maybe they do?

First of all, I’ve found that a good way to motivate yourself is to push through and force yourself to keep going. The best reward for me is being able to tick things off my to-do list at the end of the day and see myself making progress. Once I’ve made progress, I automatically want to make more progress, so I do more work, if that makes sense? I’m not sure if it’s like that for everyone, but that’s what works for me.

Secondly, giving myself rewards is another thing that I do to motivate myself. “Finish reading this chapter of the textbook and you can have a cookie”, “finish making these notes and you can watch YouTube for half an hour.” I’m well aware that I’m in charge of these things, I could just decide to eat the cookie without doing the reading first, but I find it just taste so much better as a reward, don’t you agree? Again, maybe that’s just me, but maybe if you’re struggling to motivate yourself you could try it out and see how it goes.

Thirdly, this month in particular I have found that giving yourself a specific time to do something, and writing it down, helps me to get things done. For example, if I want to do some history work on Wednesday at 3:00pm, then I’ll write down “History, Wed 3pm”. If it’s written down with a space to tick it off I’m more likely to get it done, as it seems more ‘set in stone’, if that makes sense? Another example is Blog Posts. On my habit tracker in my Bullet Journal I like to include making a blog post every Sunday. As it isn’t a daily habit however what I did last month was just draw 4 little boxes, as there were 4 Sundays in March, and I’d colour a box in when I made the post. However, as they didn’t have a specific day, sometimes I’d get lazy. “Oh, I can’t really be bothered to write a post now… I can just do it on Monday, it’ll still count on my tracker”. So what I’ve tried in this month’s tracker is giving myself a specific day. So rather than just having 4 boxes for my blog post habit, I’ve got a box on the 8th, a box on the 15th, a box on the 22nd and a box on the 29th. And lo and behold, here I am today, writing a post.

Anyway, that’s all I have for today. I hope that maybe if you’ve been struggling with getting motivated then this has maybe helped out a bit. If you have any other tips on how to get motivated, I’d love to know them! You can either leave them in the comments on this post or head over to our Instagram or even our Tumblr, @writeaweek and www.write-a-week.tumblr.com

Thanks for reading, bye!

~ April

 

Posted in Blog Post

Blog Post #39: Disappointment, Optimism, and Perseverance

Hey readers!

Apologies for this post being late, but a lack of inspiration, motivation and time meant nothing went up yesterday, and I thought better late than never, right? Besides, I had nothing to talk about yesterday, and a couple of things have inspired me now to write this post. Those things? A bad test and an English text about optimism.

I went into my lesson this morning not looking forward to getting the results back of the test we’d done last lesson, but I wasn’t dreading it either. I knew I hadn’t done too well as not much of the stuff that I’d studied was on there, but I didn’t think I’d done too badly. And too be fair to me, I didn’t actually do that badly, but unluckily for me I got the exact mark needed to have to retake the test. Yay.

Now, I am generally a good student. Being told I had to retake the test made me think, and I don’t believe I’ve ever had to retake a test before. The problem is that recently I’ve been slacking a bit in this particular subject, evidenced by the fact that I’ve not done too well in the past couple of tests. My teacher is the kind of teacher that sets a lot of tests, we tend to have a small test every week. And what I’ve been doing is just not thinking about them then only picking up my book to check I know what I need to know the night before, usually quite late at night as well. It’s not the best method, I know that, but it’s just what I’d gotten into the habit of doing.

So I have to admit, I was feeling a bit down when I walked into the lesson after, which just so happened to be English. We did a quick starter activity, then were given a text and had to answer a question on it. The text was an article, from a newspaper I think, about optimism, and optimism lessons. Naturally, my initial response was “What a load for rubbish”. I personally think that optimism lessons sound like a bit of a waste of time, but that’s not what hit me. No, what I really took note of what some facts and figures that the article included about optimists vs pessimists. According to scientific research, optimists are less likely to have to take days off sick, less likely to quit a job, and more likely to live a healthier lifestyle.

So what I learnt when reading this articles was that it’s all about attitude.

Yes, I am aware that this is the kind of thing where adults say all the time, and kids pretend they’re paying attention but are really just thinking about how untrue it is and that adults don’t understand, and it turns out that the adults are right and the kids are just stubborn. So yes, I have been told this a billion times before. But reading this article after being disappointed about my test, that’s when the truth of it really hit me. I guess sometimes we just need to learn something ourselves rather than just be told it to truly understand.

Anyway, that’s the backstory for this revelation I’ve had, and now I’m sat at home having finished studying for my retest and feeling really optimistic about the next test I have later in the week, and thinking about the fact that I’m actually going to work for it. I’ve got it planned into my week so I’m going to look at the work two or three times before the test, rather than just glancing at it the night before. It’s strange, but I’m actually weirdly excited to start studying. How about that then?

I’m struggling to put the message of this post into words, but I guess what I’m trying to say is something along the lines of this: keep going. Work hard at things, even if maybe you’re not enjoying them, because you’ll get rewards for the work you do, and who knows, maybe you’ll even start enjoying it soon. And try and be optimistic about things. Instead of thinking, “Oh, I have a test on Thursday, how annoying”, flip it on its head and think “Oh, if I work hard I can do well in my test on Thursday and feel really good about myself!” That probably doesn’t make much sense, but if you can understand what I’m trying to say then try it out, see how it goes! What’s the worst that can happen?

Normally when I get this sudden optimist drive of academic excitement it wears off after a day or so and I go back to studying things late the night before the test, but this time I’m determined. I’ve had a realisation, and I am not going to waste it. And perhaps this drive is not actually me being optimistic, it’s just me wanting to make up for my bad test, but either way, does it matter? No, all that matters is that I’m determined to be optimistic and persevere.

If you’ve read this far, congrats! I probably wouldn’t have aha. Don’t forget you can contact us through the comments on this site or our Instagram (@writeaweek) if you have any questions, suggestions for posts, or just want to talk. We’re always happy to hear from you. And until next time,

Bye!

~ April

Posted in Blog Post

Blog Post #38: Rereading

Hey readers!

This week I’d like to talk about rereading. I’ve just reread one of my favourite books of all time, Blood Ties by Sophie McKenzie. I can’t remember exactly how many times I’ve read it now, but I can telly you it’s a fair few. I don’t know what it is about this book in particular, but I just love it so much and would definitely recommend reading it if you’re into young adult/teenage fiction and adventure and thriller stories.

I don’t often reread books. Aside from Blood Ties, the only books I can think of that I’ve read more than once (not including baby books, my family not-so-fondly recall how many times I insisted on reading the Little Yellow Digger book as a small child)  are a younger kids book called the Witch Trade by Michael Molloy, and the Harry Potter series. I’m sure there might be a couple more, but not many. I tend to prefer to read new things, it has more excitement about it I feel.

I’m sure many of you may have seen those posts on Instagram and other social medias where you get to pick between different scenarios, eg visit the past or visit the future, or pick where you’d rather visit: Hogwarts, Narnia, the Tardis or Middle Earth. (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here to see an example) Alice once sent me one and the answer I chose was to be able to reread a series again without knowing anything, as though you were reading it again for the first time. Her reply was ‘why?’ I suppose there’s something just exciting about reading a book for the first time, anticipating what’s to come and not knowing what’s going to happen, and sometimes I really wish I could have that again, so I could reread some of my favourite books experience the magic again.

However, I’ve recently found myself wanting to reread more books. I’d quite like to reread The Maze Runner series by James Dashner and the Matched Series by Ally Condie among others. Perhaps over the coming summer I’ll try to reread some of the books I’ve enjoyed the most over my life, it could be a fun learning experience and brain refresher of the plots if nothing else. 

Anyway, that’s all for this post. If you have any comment/opinions on it, or just want to contact us in general, you can let us know through the comments on our site or via Instagram (@writeaweek). If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading, and

Bye!

~ April

Posted in Blog Post

Blog Post #37: 15 minutes

Hey readers!

So today I’m afraid this is just going to be a little blog post about nothing really. I have a few more interesting blog posts planned but I’m in a little rush to write this so I don’t have time for any of them, so here we are.

So because I’m in a bit of a rush (busy day today, haven’t already written a post for this week, promised myself at start of year I would become better at posting weekly but have already missed one post and it’s only week 4) I’ve decided to make this post into a little challenge of sorts. Starting from when I wrote the title I’m giving myself 15 minutes to write this post. I’m also giving myself 5 minutes to check for spelling errors after that 15 minutes is up too, but that’s just because whenever I type anything it’s always full of all sorts of selling mistakes and probably really difficult to read if you don’t know what I’m trying to say.

Uh, so, what to say. I’ve actually had quite a bad week in terms of reading: I’ve not read anything (other than school textbooks and other work related stuff) all week. Oops. I think it’s because I’m currently halfway through an audiobook so don’t want to start another book while doing that, but I’m kind of struggling to get through said audiobook? It’s because when I sit down in a chair or on my bed at the end of the day wanting to read a book, I’d prefer to actually read something rather than listen to it if that makes sense? I never really know what to do with myself while listening to it because I don’t have anything to look at so I find myself getting distracted by things in the room then missing whole chunks of the book because I zoned out. So I might save the rest of the book for a long car journey I’ve got coming up soon (as I can’t read in moving vehicles).

Speaking of, can any of you read in moving vehicles? when I was younger I used to be able to, but since I’ve got older I can’t do it any more. I can read for a little bit but as soon as a begin to feel a bit queasy I then feel like that for the rest of the journey, so I tend to just not read. it’s the same with looking at a screen or a map – I think it’s just the looking down and trying to read or focus on something bit that makes me feel not so great.

The book I read the week before this one was Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs, which I got as a present. It’s technically the prequel to the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series, which I haven’t read, but you didn’t need to know the story of them to understand it and I still really enjoyed it. I quite enjoyed the fact that it was a collection of multiple short stories rather than one big one too, as I don’t get to read many books like that.

Anyway, I’m getting really close tot he end of the 15 minutes so I’m going to have to finish here. I hope you enjoyed reading it, sorry it’s a bit boring and uninspiring, but hopefully next week I’ll have something better. Don’t forget you can always contact us through the comments on this site or our Instagram, @writeaweek, and we’re always willing to answer an questions or accept any suggestions you may have. Thanks for reading,

Bye!

~ April

Posted in Blog Post

April’s Top 7 Books of 2017

Hey readers!

So at the end of 2016, both Alice and I did “top 10 books of 2016” lists. This year, I decided to do it again, but only pick 5 books. Then of course I couldn’t narrow it down to just 5 books, so here’s my Top 7 Books of 2017!

Please note: these books are not in order of which I liked best, they’re in the order that I read them in over the course of the year.

Also, I’ve tried not to include any spoilers, the only information I’ve included are my personal opinions and as little information as possible about the plot of the book while still providing enough to interest you and persuade you to read them.

The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give is a real-life book about a girl named Starr Carter who is the sole witness to the unjust shooting of her best friend Khalil which becomes national news and a highly debated topic. The only person who knows the truth about Khalil’s death is Starr, but what she says could change her community and her life forever. I absolutely loved this book – it was a change from what I normally really, as my preferred genre is fantasy or dystopia, but I still loved it. I read this book a good few months ago so I can’t remember a lot about how I felt while reading it, but I would definitely recommend reading it, even if it isn’t the type of book you normally enjoy.

Perfect – Cecelia Ahern

Now this is a book that – pardon the pun – was absolutely perfect. It’s actually the sequel to Cecelia Ahern’s first teenage book, Flawed, which I read back around November of 2016. After finishing the book, I immediately texted Alice (who had leant me it) asking if I could borrow the second one and she replied with the terrible news that it hadn’t been released yet. Perfect was finally released in march this year and I have to say, I don’t think it could have been written better. I loved the storyline and what happened, and I especially loved that it had a nice, rounded-off ending. Sometimes authors try to drag series on for too long, wanting it to be a trilogy or longer, but I’m glad Cecelia Ahern decided that two books was long enough and provided us readers with a satisfying ending. I’m trying not to say any details about the book as it’s a sequel so it could ruin the first one for anyone planning to read it, but I’ll provide a quick summary of the first one. It’s about a girl called Celestine who lives in a dystopian world where everyone is expected to be perfect and people are punished for their flaws. It’s a great read and I’d definitely suggest it to anyone who enjoys dystopia and fantasy books like me!

Goldfish Boy – Lisa Thompson

Now if you follow us on Instagram (sneaky plug – @writeaweek) the you’ll know that I really love this book. I picked it up cheap at a supermarket one day not realising it was quite a newly released book, then I read it and was hooked. I loved it! I also discovered that the colours of the cover mtched perfectly with some stationary I had, so it provided some nice bookstagram photos, which I posted and then the author commented – making my day to be honest. Anyway, enough about that, let me tell you about the book. It’s abot a boy called Matthew who spnds all his time locked in his bedroom due to his OCD, but one day has to step up and face his fears following the disappearance of one of his neighbours whre he’s the only one who can figure out what happened. While reading the book you really fall in love with Matthew, and when his neighbour disappears it really grabs you and draws you in, wanting to know what happened and find out the truth. Again, this is a real life book, but I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who likes this genre as well as anyone who doesn’t normally read this style of book

Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon is yet another real-life book (despite saying that dystopia is my favourite genre, I’m noticing a rather large amount of non-dystopian books on this list) about a girl called Madeline who is allergic to the outside world. She’s perfectly content with spending her entire life inside her house until she gets some new neighbours, and she wants to be able to speak to them not just through messages via the internet and paper stuck to the window. This is another book that Alice leant to me having read it a while ago (in our first blog post, there’s actually a quote from it that she put in at the end, that I didn’t get at the time!) and I’m really glad she did. I picked it up one morning to read and didn’t move for the next hour and a half until I had finished it – quite literally, I read it all in one sitting. So if that doesn’t give you an indication as to how good it was, I don’t know what will! The film of it also came out back in May 2017, so if you’re not a big fan of reading books but this has intrigued you, then you could check that out!

Bombs on Aunt Dainty – Judith Kerr

Where to start with this book, where to start. Bombs on Aunt Dainty is the sequel to one of my favourite books of all time – When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. It’s a partly autobiographical book, as it’s based off the events in Judith Kerr’s own life, but follows the story of a little girl called Anna. She was born in Germany and lived there for quite a lot of her childhood, but her family had to flee from Hitler as her dad was very vocal about his opinion of him – and it wasn’t good. The first book, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, follows her childhood moving around Europe and dealing with the struggles life throws at her, but this book picks up in her teenage years and follows her through to the end of the war. Honestly, this was a great read and I’m so glad I found it, and would definitely recommend it to everyone as I think everyone should read it, no matter what you normally like to read.

Generation One – Pittacus Lore

Generation One – the book nobody asked for, but everyone needed. If you’d read the I Am Number Four series then I would definitely recommend reading this. It’s the first in a new series by Pittacus Lore, about what happened after the war, and normal people developing legacies. It took me a while to get into but once I eventually did I raced through it. And the ending, oh, the ending. I’m not going to say anything more other than  I can’t wait for the next one to come out, I might implode from excitement if it’s too long. Aaaaaaaaa.

Turtles All The Way Down – John Green

I was gifted John Green’s latest book this holiday, and after receiving it in the morning, I had finished it by the evening. The book follows the story of a girl called Aza who struggles with some mental health issues and a mysterious disappearance of a billionaire who just so happens to be the father of one of Aza’s childhood friends. I really enjoyed this book, I enjoyed the plot and the themes it explored, and I also really loved the origin of the title (you’ll have to read it to find out!). Again, a real life book (which five out of seven books on this list have been) I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys real life books, any of John Green’s other books, mystery stories and stories about friendship.

Anyway, that’s all for my Top 7 Books of 2017. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading it, and that maybe you’re going to go and read some (if not all) of the books I’ve recommended. I really enjoyed reading all of them and would suggest you give them all a try as they’re all great books worthy of your time. Don’t forget you can contact us on our Instagram – @writeaweek – where we’re most active if you have any questions or suggestions or want to discuss anything. Again, thanks for reading,

Bye!

~April

 

Posted in Blog Post

Blog Post #36 – New Years Resolutions

Hey readers!

April here, back again after quite a long time off… my last post was just under 3 months ago – oops, sorry about that. But here I am again, with yet another rambly blog post about, well, not much.

Now hopefully this should be the last rambly blog post like this for a while, perhaps even forever if I can be creative enough. That’s because one of my new years resolutions this year is to get better at blogging. That means get better at posting regularly, and get better at actually writing decent posts, rather than mumbo jumbo like this, and so many other blog posts I’ve written.

I’m not normally the type of person to make new years resolutions, simply because I don’t normally have any resolutions to make. That’s not because I’m perfect, not by any means, but because normally if I want to improve something about myself I don’t wait until the new year, I just start trying to improve it right away. There’s no point waiting till new year for self improvement, that’s just procrastinating and putting it off.

But this year, wanting to get better at something has coincided almost exactly with the new year, so I decided I might as well make it a resolution. The day I’m writing this, and the day I’ve decided I want to get better at blogging, is the 30th December, so I’m only 2 days off the 1st January. So this basically counts as a new years resolution, doesn’t it?

So, (hopefully) expect some better, regular content coming to writeaweek soon from me. I’m hoping to start posting on here every Sunday again, like I had been doing for about 2 months back in September and October (before dropping off the face of the planet until now), but I’m not going to set a specific time of day that the post should be out. Just that it’s going to be out on a Sunday.

I’ve also got a few ideas of things I want to do, but I’m not going to say them yet (just in case they don’t happen). I have, however, already written next weeks post so I can tell you what that is. Last year, me and Alice both wrote “Top 10 Books of 2016” lists, and I decided to do something like that again this year. I was just going to pick 5 books this year, but I couldn’t narrow it down to 5, so next weeks post is going to be April’s Top 7 Books of 2017.

If you have any suggestions or requests of things I could write about, please do let me know (as my blog ideas list is currently only 4 items long, and one is going to have to wait a few months before it can be done). You can easily contact me through the comments on this blog post, or any post on our site, or through Instagram – our username is @writeaweek. Speaking of (shameless plug), you should definitely check our Instagram out! We’re more active over there than we are on here (although hopefully activity levels are going to increase soon) and also post some cool stuff sometimes, such as a cool drawing of a book Alice did a couple of days ago.

Anyway, that’s all for todays post. I was going to entitle this “Rambly Rambles” but rather usually it’s actually had a topic, so instead I think I’m going to name it something to do with New Years Resolutions. Maybe this is the start of becoming a better blogger? If you’ve managed to read until here, thanks for reading and

Bye!

~ April

Posted in Blog Post

Tips for being more positive

Hello, Alice here. I have simultaneously a lot to say and nothing at all, so here goes.

Neither of us have posted in about two months; sorry. I don’t have an excuse, other than mountains of work and stress, but I’m going to skip the apologies and carry on as normal.

It has been scientifically proven that a good routine has a positive mental effect, so I have decided that I am going to do a post at least once a week on here, and have a set time for me, everyday (I downloaded the app ‘headspace’ and believe it or not, after one use this morning of the most basic, free package, I felt more positive). As you’ll know if you have read some of my last few blogs, I haven’t been doing so great, and I want to change that, so hopefully this will help.. I’ll keep you updated.

I think (hope) that the cause of at least some of my stress and stuff has been from school pressure. This year is the first properly important stage, and there is a lot of work and exams to get through. We have the first lot coming up in the next few weeks, and stupidly, to try to avoid the panic and stress, I have hardly done any work (with ten days to go until my first exam, there are eight subjects for which I have done nothing at all, and two others, one of which I have completed notes, and the other, I have done about half of). Not good. Alice of the present moment is pretty annoyed with Alice of the past few weeks. Anyway, there’s not a lot I can do about hat now, other than work really hard for the remaining days.

On a slightly more serious note, there is actually some stuff that has been helping with my general mental stability that could maybe help someone, if they happen to read this and take my advice:

• Bach (original flower remedies) rescue pastilles – I don’t know, they taste nice and are satisfying to chew, plus the fact that they help me relax and stop stressing, even if it is just for a while.

• Water – as stupid as it sounds, Water Is Really Really Important. Not only is water good for your skin and your body, it makes you more focused, and puts you in a better mindset. I nearly never drink enough water, but can really tell the difference when I do.

• Time for you – take some time, everyday, even if it is just for a couple of minutes, to sit and reflect. Concentrate on the things you never pay attention to: your breathing, how the ground beneath you feels etc. It might sound pointless, but really, a few minutes for you to relax and concentrate on you and you alone will have a positive impact, especially if you do it regularly.

• ‘Scentered’ aromatherapy balm – there are quite a few different scents that do different things. I have only used mine a couple of times, but putting a little onto your wrists and temples and then taking a few deep breaths is great to achieve the desired effect of whichever scent you have. Also, the size is really useful as it will easily fit in a pocket or bag. Examples of what they do are: be happy, de-stress, sleep well and focus, though there are more, also available in different forms to the balm.

• A tidy and well-organised environment – again, another seemingly obvious one, but if you’re looking for a sign to have a sort out, here it is. A tidy space really does equal a tidy mind, or at least offers a welcoming place where you can work or relax. De-cluttering your work environment allows you to focus better on the task in hand, and can lead to a better quality of writing, or more accurate answers.

• Animals – this one is only really for people with their own pets, or access to somewhere you can spend time with animals. Science has told us that the simple act of stroking a dog releases a number of hormones, including serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin, which are all ‘happy’ hormones. This is a great way to be more positive, as your brain is literally releasing the hormones which will help to make you feel good.

• Trusting relationships – perhaps this is another obvious one, though I feel it is somewhat underrated. Having somebody to talk to, whether it be a friend, a family member, a therapist, or even a tiny blog on the internet (though you should always be careful with what you share), is such an important thing. Somewhere or someone who you can confide in, talk things through with, and just have be there for you when you’re in a tough spot is maybe the most important thing to help you change things for the better.

• Be open to change – one of the most common human traits is opposition to change. Nothing would ever happen if nothing ever changed, so trying to embrace new things, rather than pushing them away is crucial. If things aren’t going well, the only way to make them better is to make changes. They don’t have to be huge differences; even drinking enough water has a positive impact, as I explained earlier. This one is difficult, and is something I know I need to work on, but I’m sure that if I stick at it, get into a positive routine and make sure I take care of myself, things will look up.

I set out for this to be a random, apologetic blog post where I perhaps talked about Christmas and holidays, but this post is something I feel strangely proud of, and I am going to try my hardest to improve my outlook, so hopefully my mishmash of tips will help somebody else to become more positive too. Let me know if it does, as it would mean the world.

Thanks for reading; I’d better do some studying

~ Alice

 

Posted in Blog Post

What I think

Hey Readers, it’s Alice here for another blog.

So, if you’ve read my last post you’ll know I’ve been feeling quite down, especially recently. Anyway, that isn’t what this post is about, it’s about ‘what I think’, and if you like it, maybe I’ll make it into a little series??

On with the blog:

My thoughts and moods recently have led to me being withdrawn, quiet and less sociable than usual (which, let’s be real, isn’t very sociable anyway). This has meant I’ve spent a lot of time in my head, almost unable to get away from my thoughts.

And yeah, some of the thoughts haven’t been so great, but like I said, that’s not what this is about. Those thoughts have made me realise some things, and that is good.

Pretty soon, April and I have some big decisions to make, that will potentially determine what we end up doing for the rest of our lives (logical, to make teenagers decide these things, I know). People have tried to help, and they’ve said how the choices really aren’t super important and I should choose what I enjoy, that I don’t need to worry about the future for now. I believe them, and understand the points they are making, but it’s still a hugely important decision for here and now, and it will influence what I do for the foreseeable future.

I don’t know what I’m going to choose (these are subject choices by the way for exams that will determine careers / university) and that terrifies me, as I have around a month, maybe even less, to make up my mind. And, on top of that stress, this year is also an important exam year, so there’s more pressure from that too.

Anyway, there’s the context, and here’s what I think:

All the time I’ve spent getting stressed and emotional and withdrawn and the like, has made me realise that I cannot do something just for the sake of it. The next years of my education will be for the most part, self driven and self motivated, so it’s important that I do things I want to do, and things I’ll enjoy. I’ve had no time to do the things I enjoy, and hardly done anything other than work. This is not good, and it is not healthy.

Sometimes, you have to know when to stop, and you have to leave things for the night, because if you just keep pushing and pushing, eventually you’ll fall over the edge and make things so, so much worse for yourself.

It might seem impossible, but if you’re anything like me and literally drowning in the sheer amount of stuff you have to do, too awkward, stressed and scared to miss a deadline or ask for help, please do. Just talk to someone, a teacher, a friend, a parent. If you can’t do the work, for goodness sake, ask for help instead of sitting at your desk and crying.

Yes, this first half term back at school has been as emotional, stressful, tiring and trying as it possibly could have been, and I didn’t deal with it in the right way at all, but I still got through. You need to make time for yourself, give yourself time to relax and actually enjoy your childhood (teenhood?) for once. This constant standing on the edge of disaster is not who I am, it’s not who I want to be, plus I can’t imagine it’s who you would want to be either.

So, what I think is that you shouldn’t let stress define you. You shouldn’t let work take over, and you should do things that you enjoy! I still have no idea who I am, who I want to be, or what decisions I will make when the time comes, but I know that I can’t keep going on the way I am without everything giving way beneath me. I’m going to make changes; I need to make changes. Yes, this time of my life is important for school, but it’s also important for spending time with friends and family and making memories. I don’t want to look back on my life and see myself as someone who never stepped out of their comfort zone, always put work ahead of happiness and only focused on school. No. I want to look back on this time as amazing. I am a teenager, and there is so much out there that I have yet to experience, and I’m not going to let my thoughts get in the way of that.

~ Alice

(thank you so much for reading, literally each and every view on here makes my day a little brighter. i’m always here to talk, as a friend or whatever, just send a dm to writeaweek on Instagram and one of us will reply as soon as we see the message (address it to one of us in particular if you want) hope you’re all doing okay and feeling good, bye!)