5 Small Changes I’ve Made and How They’ve Helped Me

This year, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to practise more self-care and look after myself. I’m so convinced of the importance of the link between the gut and the mind. For me, this awareness has been hugely beneficial in dealing with my IBS. Over the summer I was very busy but also had more freedom to try out new things and be more in control of my own time. I realised I’ve actually made a few small changes, without really putting much thought into them at the time, that have made a positive difference in my life. They’re all very small but I don’t think that matters- anything positive is still positive, right?

1. Turning Off Social Media Notifications

Social media apps are a great way to stay in touch with people and keep up to date with what’s going on. However, I probably waste far too much time on them too. I turned off notifications for Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram on my phone (I kept my BBC Breaking News updates on Twitter) in June when I went to Barcelona, just to save my phone battery during the day. I’ve never bothered to turn them back on and I much prefer being able to have a look when I want to. I’m not super up to date all the time but, honestly, I don’t mind at all.

2. Tracking My Daily Habits

I thought I’d try tracking a few daily habits in my journal to see if it made me any better at sticking to them. I used a printable from The Petite Planner as I’m just not artistic enough to draw something pretty. It’s pretty cool to see an overview of my month. I can get quite caught up in the day to day and forget that even thought I didn’t manage to do something today, it’s not bad going that I’ve managed it three times in the week. It’s also been handy for keeping track of my tummy. I’m delighted that the majority of the month it’s actually been fine and there have just been a few days where I’ve had problems.

IMG_4751

3. Only Eating Lactose During the Day

In trying to appease my digestive system, I’ve been doing a lot of fodmap trialling. Lactose seems to be fine in small amounts but the later in the day I eat it the worse the symptoms are. I can have a wispa at lunch time and be totally fine but if I have one in the evening then my gut goes into panic mode. If anyone knows anything about why this could be, please let me know! I’ve started only eating lactose pre-dinner time and this seems to be working much better for me and I can still enjoy a wee bit of lunchtime chocolate.     

4. Not Wearing Makeup Every Single Day

I don’t really wear much makeup anyway, but I feel more confident with it on. Over the summer I hardly wore makeup at all. My skin felt so much better for it and I loved that my bedtime routine was quicker. But the most surprising thing to me was that nobody ever mentioned it. At first I felt like I was so conspicuously not wearing makeup that my friends and family would surely comment, but no-one ever did. Lesson? It’s not a big deal. I am back to wearing it most days now I’m back to work and I’m enjoying having some makeup free weekends. I realise this is not a big deal to a lot of people, but I’m now more confident that I’m wearing it because I want to and not because of self-pressure. Any reduction in any type of self-pressure is great for me!

5. Writing Down My Highlight of the Day

This is very self-explanatory, but basically I’m writing a sentence at the end of every day with whatever I enjoyed the most about that day. It’s a lovely positive note to end my day on. I love being able to flick back through them, especially after a hard day. There’s something good in every day, pals.

Have you made any small changes that have helped you? I’d love to hear anything you’ve tried in the comments below.

Signature

April Favourites | 2017

I’ve got something a little bit different today- I love reading these kind of posts on other people’s blogs so I thought I’d share the things that have made me happy this month!

 

 

  • Seeing my best friend (and eating our favourite ice cream)

I finally made a trip down to see one of my favourite people for the first time in about nine months. I was feeling so unwell but since Katherine is an absolute gem of a friend we had a lovely relaxing weekend. We even managed to squeeze in an Amorino ice cream (all their sorbets are totally lactose and soy free, including the chocolate one, hooray!) and it almost felt like we were back in Paris. 

  • The return of PLL

Pretty Little Liars is back and I’m delighted. I’m happy because I love PLL, excited because there’s finally going to be an ending, and a wee bit sad because this is the final half season.

  • Fodmap friendly baking

Craig has made this absolutely delicious fodmap friendly cake not once, not twice, but three times this month.

It was recommended by a fellow low-fodmapper, and how very grateful I am. It’s quick and easy (so I’ve been told) and it’s seriously yummy. The recipe is here if you’re interested- it’s gluten free but Craig used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to make it low-fodmap too.

  • Dawn O’Porter’s book signing

I took a trip through to Glasgow and met up with another Paris pal to go to Dawn O’Porter’s Glamour Book Club event for the launch of her new book The Cows. Dawn O’Porter is such an inspiration. It was a fab evening and I loved listening to Dawn talk about female solidarity, the pressures of being a woman and why we should be taking YOLO seriously. And that brings me onto…

  • The Cows by Dawn O’Porter

I finished reading The Cows in two days and would definitely recommend it. It’s a bit lighter than anything I’ve read recently, as well as being intelligent and very funny. The themes could be considered quite provocative and I think that’s the point- Dawn O’Porter wants to challenge us to think about how we judge others.  

  • Bryony Gordon’s Mad World podcast

I’m always looking out for new podcasts to listen to. I was very excited to hear about this, and even more so when I found out the first guest was none other than Prince Harry! Bryony Gordon’s podcast is basically encouraging conversations about mental health. I think it’s a huge deal for someone as high-profile as him to advocate looking after your mental health and I was amazed at how open and honest Prince Harry was in his episode.

  • Trip to Alnwick Castle

Craig and I had a fab day trip to Alnwick Castle, via Lindisfarne. We stopped at Lindisfarne on the way down since neither of us had been before.

Unfortunately the castle is closed for renovations at the moment, but the island itself was still very interesting to see. We then drove down to Alnwick and spent a rather chilly afternoon there exploring Alnwick Castle.

It’s absolutely beautiful and a must for any Harry Potter fan! The last time I was there I was young enough to take part in the flying lessons on the lawn used for filming the scenes in the Philosopher’s Stone…I’m maybe a bit too old now but it’s still pretty magical.

  • Submitting my final piece of PGDE coursework

My final piece of academic writing has been submitted! Keeping all fingers and toes crossed that I’ve passed everything. I’ve just got one more placement to go!

Signature