How I will be practicing self care in 2019

Last year I posted this self-care post and it had hugeeee views. Self care is something we are all engaging with and thank christ! For so long we have all sub-consciously felt guilty for taking time for ourselves and looking after our general well-being.

If you’ve read this post, you’ll know that this year I am becoming a little more selfish in my manners. Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn into a raging bitch, but in a not so rude way, I’m ridding of negativity and just starting to put myself first.

And that comes down to my general well being too – like self care!

Self care, if you’re not completely sure what it entails, is what you make it, but focus’s on caring for yourself. Everyone has different ideas of what self-care is for them, and there is no right or wrong way to do it.

But we are all similar in what we need to make us happy, relaxed and ultimately content, so I thought I’d share some of the things I will be embracing and encouraging myself to do over the next 12 months.

Doing more of what I love

It was only last week that I went to the first concert of the year (although I don’t tend to go to many anyway ) and I mentioned that I had always wanted to see The Wombats live. It was then that I researched and found tickets for a gig of theirs in a couple of weeks.
And I booked them!

I do want to start doing more things, overall, that make me happy and enjoy. Things like concerts, days out, travelling and exploring cities. I am already making more steps to do these kind of things and I’m really excited to see what else I will enjoy over the year.

Tip: Consider what you really love doing, whether it be walks, trips to the cinema, exercise or reading. Whatever it may be, try and do more of it this year. Whether you schedule it into your days, weeks or months, try and focus on doing more of it.

Yoga

I LOVE YOGA – And have done for some time, and yet last year I just didn’t engage with it as much as I had hoped. I am currently on the look out for a good yoga mat and intend to do Yoga once a week from the comfort of my own home.

I hope that I will stick to it this year, as I can’t find the time around blogging and work, to get to a yoga studio during the week.

Tip: Yoga is super easy (kinda) and can be really relaxing. It can help you sleep better and tone your body overall. If you are keen to keep active and moving, Yoga might be just for you. Especially if, like me, you don’t like to do anything that gets you real out of breath. If yoga’s not for you, consider some activities at home, that you can practice when you have the time.

Socialise

I’m going to sound like a right old women, but sometimes I just don’t socialise as much as I could. Socialising, chatting, mingling with friends. These are things that can distract me from the pressures of life and something I want to do more of this year.

Tip : If you are wanting to spend more time with your pals and you just don’t seem to have time, why not pencil in a regular meet up. Whether it be for coffee or even a Netflix binge, pencil it in and make it a regular occasion.

Enjoy being alone

Whilst I am married, and live with my husband, there are times I am left alone. I really want to start enjoying those moments, mainly because I manage to watch the TV that ali despises ( like masterchef & the walking dead ). I’m not tryna boot him out the door or anything, just should be having a little me time occasionally, you know!

I really want to start giving myself love, from the inside and out. This year I am being more conscious of what I am eating, doing, using and ultimately my mental health. We are susceptible to anxiety and other issues, so it’s really important to take care of ourselves before these issues take hold.

Will you be practicing self care this year? Do you have any tips for those wanting to embrace it more? As always, share your thoughts in the comment section below.

The Yoga book to buy!

If you lucky fellows follow me on instagram, you have probably caught all the posts and stories raving about a certain yoga book. Because honestly, it has changed my life!

I have always loved yoga, but with budget being a little tight and very little time after work to get to a decent class, I haven’t managed to go for a long time! So, when I was asked whether I would like to give this certain Yoga book a try I thought what could I lose?

Read : After work activities for the desk job gal.

Thanks to a beautiful book called Thrive through Yoga kindly sent to me by Nicola Jane Hobbs, I have finally found space and time at home to practice Yoga. I even manage to do poses more easily and others that I never could! I can find sequences that will help with how I’m feeling including anxiety, depression and lack of sleep. And what’s even better is, it has given me sooo much confidence. 

One of the great things about it, is its super easy to read and use. The pictures of the poses, and a detailed encyclopedia type reference at the back makes it sooo user friendly. You really don’t have to be a Yoga fanatic to pick up this book and give it a try.

I have honestly raved about this book to many of my friends, all of which have grabbed their very own copy! It has been a godsend and the perfect antidote to help aid me into a baby like sleep every night of the week.

I love doing yoga at home and I cannot wait to start perfecting some of the poses featured in the book!

Have you used a yoga book before?

Ever thought about it?

Have you even tried yoga before?

As always, leave your comments and thoughts below!

 

Charlotte x

*This was an item kindly gifted to me. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Healthy Living | Five things to KICK start you year!

With the New Year also comes the New Year’s resolutions ( which by the way, mine are posting tomorrow! ). But, as always, by the end of January most people, including me, simply don’t stick to them!

So, how can you make sure you stick to the resolution to be healthier this year? Well, there are a few things to consider, especially if you want to get fit and healthy in 2018!! 

Read more

How To Create The Perfect Bedtime Routine


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If we’re being honest with ourselves, then most of us aren’t getting anywhere close to the recommended about of sleep per night, and although this isn’t going to be a big issue if we’re having the odd late night here and there or getting up a bit earlier than we’re actually ready to, if we’re not allowing our bodies to rest properly on a regular basis, then it can definitely have negative long term consequences.

Of course, it’s not always us who are to blame for the lack of good sleep in our lives – conditions like depression and anxiety can bring on insomnia, which is a horrible thing to deal with, so if you think this is starting to affect your life in a big way, then it could be time to seek the advice of a medical professional who will give you some treatment options to get it under control.

However, if you’re not dealing with a major insomnia issue, and just need to get better at resting, then one of the best ways to do this and get into the habit of getting a good night’s sleep is to cultivate a good night time routine. We all know the benefits of having a morning routine to set us up on the right path for the day, and a good night time routine works in exactly the same way by helping our minds and bodies wind down properly to prepare to sleep and fully rest so that we can have the energy to start our day fresh again.

In this post, we’re going to share with you some tips on how to create the perfect bedtime routine that works for you. Of course, it’s important to mention that you certainly don’t have to do all of these – just pick a few from the list or mix them in with your own if you have any. There’s no right or wrong way to create a bedtime routine, so it’s simply about finding what works for you and then sticking to that.

Switch off technology

We spend so much of our time consumed by our phones and other technology, but they really need to play less of a role in our lives, and this can be hard to do when we’re already in the habit of using them so much. Phones are just another form of visual stimuli that our brain doesn’t need when trying to rest, so a few hours before you go to bed, then it’s always a good idea to switch off the phone and other forms of technology that are fighting for your attention. This can be hard to do, but you’ll soon see the benefits in your sleep pattern.

Exercise

Exercise is a great way to help you wind down and make you sleepy, so even something like a brisk walk or run about an hour or so before bedtime is a good idea – plus if you’re getting some fresh air, then it’s also never going to be a bad thing and will help you relax far more than you would by just sitting in front of the TV.

Make sure your room is tidy and clean

This is something that most people don’t think of when they’re having trouble sleeping, but your environment is everything. Your bedroom should be clean and tidy and free from clutter and bright lights. Invest in some quality bedroom furniture if you need more storage to prevent things from lying around and you’ll see what a huge difference it makes.

Fitness | Workouts to do in bed

Wouldn’t it be a nice world if we could get fit and toned in bed, whilst sleeping?

I can’t say that is completely possible, since sleeping and working out is simply impossible…I think??But, I can tell you, there are some routines you can do from the comfort of your own bed!

Yes you heard me right. And well, it’s completely turned my home workout routine on its head!!
So whether you’re working on your legs, bum, tum or arms, there’s something you can do before you even jump out of bed!

Bicycle crunches

I much prefer these crunches to any other as it works both your tum and legs. With the softness of the mattress, it eases on my lower back and makes it much more bearable doing my target amount.

Here’s How : 

  • Lie flat on your lower back  (pull your navel in to also target your deep abs)
  • Put your hands behind your head, then bring your knees in towards your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground, but be sure not to pull on your neck.
  • Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow towards the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
  • Now switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep.
  • Do three sets of 20 reps.


Donkey Kicks

These are a personal favourite of mine. So simple yet effective. Once again, the softness of the mattress makes it much easier to work through my target. I like to vary my kicks with pulses and keeping your leg raised and making small circles.

Here’s How : 

  • Get on all fours on mat (hands under shoulders, knees under hips).
  • Keeping right knee bent 90 degrees, flex right foot and lift knee to hip level.
  • Lower knee without touching floor; lift again. Do 15 reps.
  • Switch legs; repeat.

Knee Touches

They seem so simple, yet they work your abs massively. Similar to sit ups, ‘sit-up’ to a position where your finger tips reach your knees. They work your lower back muscles and can work wonders on those looking to strengthen those muscles.

Sit Ups

Is there anything worse that sit ups? They are slightly more bearable when doing them from the comfort of bed however, much for the same reason as many of the above, it’s a little more comfortable on your lower back.

Fire Hydrants 

Knees can really hurt with this exercise, especially when doing them on a hard surface. That’s the beauty of doing it from your bed!

Here’s how :

  • Start on all fours, knees directly under your hips, and hands directly below your shoulders. Keep your back and neck straight and look forward.
  • Keeping your knee bent, raise your right leg out to the side until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Keep your pelvis stable.
  • Slowly lower your leg back to starting position.
  • Perform desired reps and switch legs.

Bridge Raises 

I love this one the best. So simple and yet so effective. Little to no burn, sometimes, and so easy to do from the comfort of your bed! 
Here’s how :  
  • Lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with your palms down.
  • Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. …
  • Hold your bridged position for a couple of seconds before easing back down.
** Step this exercise up a notch and raise a single leg when raising**

Leg Lifts 

Another one of those that look so ruddy simple and then after 5 you’re thinking how on earth will I ever do more. But trust me when I say the more you do, the easier it gets. 
Here’s how : 
  • Lie on your back.
  • Place your hands, palms down, beside you.
  • Raise your legs off the ground (Exhale as you go).
  • Keep your knees locked throughout the exercise.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, or as long as you can (with some routines, there is only a short contraction/holding period).
So if you’re a little lazy bum like me and always searching for a more effective, less intrusive and a lazier way to get lean, fit and toned, here’s a routine that doesn’t require much movement before settling down for the night, or getting up for the day ahead.

Are there any exercises you do from your bed? 

Is this something you’d consider? 

Let me know and comment below. 


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Admitting Anxiety

This is a tough one. This is something I never thought I had.

Yes I have a nervous deposition for job interviews, meeting new people, going to new places, but it’s now that I finally realise this is for real. This isn’t something everyone suffers from. This isn’t ‘normal’.
It’s not ‘normal’ to feel sick in the pit of your stomach to get up and just go to work.

It’s not ‘normal’ to suffer from stomach aches and pain because you are so anxious of upcoming pressure.

It’s not ‘normal’ to have so much self doubt that you feel like nothing is possible and you will fail at whatever you try and achieve. Despite knowing, from your heart that you are capable of whatever you set your mind to.

It’s not ‘normal’ to feel like you’re pissing everyone off with your mood swings, lack of confidence and sadness because you just aren’t feeling happy right now.

It’s not ‘normal’ to feel stupid because you think you’re being silly and over the top, but just can’t shake the doubt nor talk yourself round to feeling better.

But it’s started to be my normal.

I have never felt so alone, scared, worried, panicked, doubtful, sick, tired and unsure in all my life. It’s through no fault of my own, nor those around me. I receive so much support and advice from friends, family and my fiancee, which works for some time whilst I’m around the encouragement. But as soon as I’m alone and left with my own thoughts, It goes a little AWOL and I’m right back where I started.

It was only last weekend, when I had a really hard decision to make, I was feeling down, upset, panicky and doubtful I really started to see the true effects of anxiety. For the first time, I couldn’t make a decision for myself that I felt confident in. I was completely doubting my own ability and decision I needed to make for myself, running around in circles on what I should or should not do.

The knock on effect resulted in a catastrophic amount of emotions, tears and worry.

Whilst researching for mental health awareness week, planning to do a blog post, I started to read up on the infamous anxiety effects and treatments. I started mentally ticking of most if not all the symptoms, relating to the feelings I was getting more frequent than before. That’s when it became clear its not ‘normal’, to feel the way I had been feeling. I had been suffering for quiet some time, and that made me more sad. How did I not know this was effecting aspects of my life resulting in unhappiness and borderline depression.

There are a lot of things to be happy about in my life, and I feel ever so silly and over dramatic to be claiming I’m so unhappy that I am suffering from anxiety and possibly depression.

The first thing I have been wanting to do is let someone in to how I am feeling. Make people aware. I am so conscious of shutting myself off and ultimately climbing into a imaginary shell. I do not want this to be a ongoing, frequent occurrence for me. I do not want to be feeling like this, or worse for long periods of time.

I am aware what has put me here, what has made me feel like this. I am changing aspects that should eradicate and ultimately put me on the straight and narrow to feeling happy, confident and content.

The first progress of it all has been this post! Opening up to more than just my poor fiancee who has to cope with my tears and stress every other day. Whilst I haven’t shed any light on tips and advice in this post, I just hope some know they are not alone. There are many of us out there battling self doubt, stress, worry, panic, sadness and ultimately anxiety.

Remember – you have a 100% track record of making it through the day! 

I start my first day at a new job Monday. I will do well. I will be fine. I am capable. 


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Eating yourself healthy – The little changes

I received the best compliment just the other day.
‘You’ve lost weight, I can tell’.
Oh the pure joy that swept across me when hearing that!!

I’m all for being body confident, but when you have a wedding day looming, and wedding dress shopping edging closer, you really do have to take a closer look at the double chins, wobbly arms and spot prone skin from too much choco.

Just a couple of weeks ago, me and Ali decided to eat far more fruit and veg, as well as cutting carbs and swapping to low fat and fat-free.
I thought I was being a little far fetched when I noticed the jeans a little loose since its only been a couple of weeks, but it confirms your thoughts when someone else notices.

Not only has the compliment given me a confidence boost, it’s also given me a bigger drive to keep at it and continue. Of course, the odd meal out, a box of chocolates are a little setback, but it’s worth it.

So what have I swapped, dropped or changed? Here is goes:

Over night oats
Nothing better than some overnight oats in the morning. Personal favorite includes banana and chocolate.  Sets me up all morning, and stops me from snacking on those fatty alternatives.

An apple a day 
Refreshing and healthy snack mid morning keeps me from reaching the sugary snacks, or munching on lunch much to early. 

Fruit & Muesli  
Another pre-morning prep. Frozen fruit, fresh yogurt and muesli, topped with honey and cinnamon. Refreshing, simple and super tasty. Even better, fills you up and gets those 5 a day packed into your lunch too. 

Cut the crisps 
Just a no go. Completely cut the crisps, and for the better. Salt intake is down and so are my calories. 

Smaller portions 
I was always piling it onto my plate, not wanting to waste. Now I have cut the portions completely, I finish dinner satisfied rather than rammed and bloated.

A side salad 
Serving salad wherever possible is a must. Added taste and gets the greens into every meal. I try and keep it free from any dressing where possible.

Less pasta
I love pasta. So quick, so easy but oh so fatty when eating it frequently. I’ve tried to subconsciously limit the amount we eat within the week. By cutting out one meal of pasta, we have seen a huge change in our weight. Crazy!

Treats
You should treat yourself, in moderation. With us, that’s a Ben & Jerry’s tub every month. Knowing you have that treat makes it that little easier when you are craving something oh so sweet!

I have in no way been serious about losing tons of weight. For me, it’s all about a lifestyle change rather than a fad diet to lose a couple of pounds in time for a big event. The smaller changes are always the most valuable.

Have you made changes and seen a huge difference? Any advice on what else I could change? Let me know and comment below, I am determined to change more for the better!


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#REALJUICEREBOOT 1 month of juicing

The start of the year is like any other for many of us as we bid to take a healthier stance on life. Diets, healthy living and gym routines seem a priority for most of us, including myself!

If you have been keeping updated, you’ll notice a lot of my content has been fitness and healthy eating orientated, so this latest post won’t look out of place in the slightest.

A couple of months ago I got sent the amazing Philips juicer, to try out some tasty juice recipes in conjunction with their real juice reboot campaign. As I am always keen to try something new, and it being healthy I thought I’d be stupid not to.

A month after using this product a couple times a week, I thought I’d share with you how I found it!

Having never used a juicer before, I was a little skeptical on how it works, how I would find it, a how It would live up to the sugar riddled store bought juice I am used to. So you can imagine how utterly shocked I was when I found out how stupidly simple it was to create some amazing juice in the comfort of your own kitchen!

I will admit, the first juice I made was not to my taste, however as I started to experiment and trial some of my own recipes, I started to realise how this could be my new favourite aide in living healthier and losing my tum!

Simply popping in any fruit you can think of and away you go. There’s no mess, and no need to de-pip, core or de-seed any fruit. After creating your juice, its even easier to clean, which is always a added bonus for those who like less fuss, like me!

But the biggest added bonus for me would be how great I feel having just swapping the juice I have. I am seeing not only a better waist line, but I’m feeling more energised, focused and willing to exercise and loose more and more weight!

This product has become a staple in my routine and will be in my new kitchen too! I am always looking for new and exotic juice recipes to trial and often making my favourite recipes, instead of buying my old sugar filled favourites from Tesco.

I have so many favourite recipes to share with you over the next couple of weeks, so keep posted!

Have you tried the Philips juicer? Maybe you have some recipes you think I should try? Let me know and comment below!

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**This product was sent to me for PR / Review**

Lifestyle | The Flexible Working Campaign

It wasn’t too long ago I was contacted to take part in the powwownow flexible working campaign to get us thinking and moving in between hours at a computer desk.

Whilst I can be pretty slack and happy to sit in a chair all day, there are moments after staring a screen for a couple of hours straight, that I need to get my head out and into some clean air.


One thing I always make time for is a quick stroll around the block to get a little fresh air. Fast paced or casual stroll, it gets me a little peace as well as de-clutter from a busy morning.

I also love to have a good stretch at my desk. My neck always seems to get cranky after a couple of hours being hunched over my key board. Its vital to keep your back straight and your posture correct. It might feel a little strange, but pushing your chest out and rolling your shoulders back is the ideal posture.

Finally I always jog up and down any stairs I stumble across at work. One of my offices has a nice flight of stairs to get up just for a cup of tea so I’m always making sure I’m running up those whenever I am parched.

I think its easy to stay fit when you’re in a job that restricts you to a desk. What do you do whilst at work to keep yourself flexible? Will you be doing any of the tips I have mentioned?
Let me know and comment below!

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Yoga – My favourite online videos

So, as you may well know, getting back to the gym and over all becoming a lot more healthy this year is a big new years resolution for me. I have been trying to get a lot more motivated, and since posting my post on how to (its here if you’d like to check it out), I have started to take it a little more seriously and looked to Yoga too!

I have heard so much about how good yoga is to keeping fit and becoming more flexible and all over toned, so I thought I’d try it out. Whilst going to a class would probably be the best option, I opted for the ample amount of room in my gym and my Ipad.


Yoga for beginners was the first yoga video I watched, and stands to be my favourite. This 20-minute session gives you a real taste of yoga and gives you a good grounding to get to grips with yoga!

Yoga for bedtime is another favourite of mine as it really does help me get a good nights sleep. During the days of late nights and stressful days, sleeping became that little harder to come by. This yoga routine however will get you sleepy eyed!

Fat burning yoga workout is a 40 minute routine that will get you wondering why you haven’t used yoga for weightloss before. Its one of the longest routines I endure, but It’s worth it. I make it a staple routine twice a week when going for weight loss.


Strengthen and Lengthen is another weight loss gem and really works on strengthening those staple areas. This another favourite and a must try for weightloss.

Total body work out is a hour long complete work out. Its abit lengthy but trust me it goes quick. Another must try for weightloss and to excersise your yoga technique.

Yoga for butt and thighs is naturally another favourite of mine because I love anything that can work on my bum and thunder thighs.

These are my most used and abused yoga routines I use from home. I do have some others I like to follow every now and again too:

Yoga for weightloss abs and arms


Yoga for weightloss hip and hammies


Yoga for weightloss yoga core workout


Power yoga

I love doing yoga apposed to a sweaty work out and find home the best place to roll out a matt and follow and work on what you’d prefer.

Do you do alot of yoga? Are there any videos you enjoy watching? Let me know and comment below!

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