Thursday, 25 May 2017

How To Have A Digital Detox

How To Have A Digital Detox
If you find yourself religiously going through Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat every morning like you're reading The Sunday Times or your Netflix account is asking if you are still there 4 hours later, then you may be in need of a digital detox. Now I know you all probably sat thinking Katie, I am not ready to break-up with my phone, but unplugging and winding down away from technology is more beneficial than you actually think.

Some of you might remember I set a goal in 2016 to step away from my keyboard every evening and to put my time to better use. Since then I can honestly say I've had a much better nights sleep and I've found that I'm a lot less stressed before bed, so my little brain is able to close all those stressful tabs and totally relax. 

I've put together a post on simple ways to give yourself a digital detox and whats worked for me.

1. Step Away From Keyboard - As difficult as it is, detaching yourself from your laptop around 6-7pm and taking a long bath or winding down with a herbal tea is much more beneficial. When I was at university I'd get into a habit of studying until right before bed and end up not being able to get a good night's sleep. I know it's easier said than done, but if you detach yourself from your screen you'd be surprised at how well you sleep.

2. Read In Bed - I am the worst for hopping into bed and checking all social media apps until I fall asleep, however, I've recently been getting into a routine of not going through all my apps 50x and instead, I have been picking up a book and reading - I know, shocker. I personally love being snuggled in bed with a good book it can really help take your mind off reality.

3. Leave Phone At Home - If you've got plans to go to the gym, walk the dog or pop to the shops, it's worth leaving your phone at home. Your mind is a lot more open and focused on the task at hand if you know your phone isn't near you. Plus, it's nice to not always feel as though you need to check your phone when you're in the middle of doing something.

4. Delete Social Media Apps - I sometimes find social media can trigger my anxiety or change my mood, therefore it's sometimes worth deleting the apps for a couple of hours every now and then. I went through a faze of deleting my Facebook app and I can honestly say it really changed my mood, I was a lot more focused on myself. It does sound a bit extreme, but having a social media detox does more good than you think and you quickly discover you don't need to keep a tab on everything going on in the world.

5. Use Paper - Writing to do lists on our phones isn't as restorative as writing on paper, what I mean by this is keeping all your thoughts onto one device isn't healthy. I like to keep all my lists in notebooks and I find my brain isn't as distracted or tempted to do other things, whereas it is when I write them on my phone.

6. Give Yourself Deadlines - I actually learnt this technique from my therapist, but basically, if you write down what you want/need to do, give yourself a time frame on that specific task. So if you want an evening watching Stranger Things on Netflix, then give yourself a time of 2 hours and stick to that. Sounds tedious, I know, but you appreciate things a lot more when you do this and have more motivation to do other things.

How do you unplug from technology??

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

5 Ways I Control My Anxiety

5 Ways To Control Anxiety
Anxiety is a bitch. There, I said it. I haven't really touched upon anxiety on my blog - my reasons why? 1. So many people communicate about it now, which is amazing, but I didn't want to seem as though I was following suit. 2. I was only technically 'diagnosed' with it 6 months ago, so it's still really raw and personal to me. However, I told myself I wanted to document situations in my life like this to look back on and who knows hopefully help someone along the way. 

I am in no way an expert on mental health these are just what I've found work for me. It has taken me just under 5 months to have my anxiety under control, of course, some days it spirals out, that's normal, but those moments I can feel it building up I try to prevent it with these simple ways before it escalates.

Long Walks
I always read articles and blog posts on how people cope with worry and 9 times out of 10 walking is always mentioned. I can 100% see why. It wasn't as easy walking much during the winter, but since flowers are starting to grow and the sun is shining, I find walking a lot less hassle during the warmer seasons. Recently I've walked that 40-minute journey home from work and going on nice long walks on my days off down the beach. When you go for a walk you surround yourself with nature and concentrate on the atmosphere around you. If I am feeling anxious or stressed walking really helps eliminate their thoughts and opens my mind to other things.

Break Up With Phone
I can't really percentage how much my phone can give me anxiety, but it definitely has in the past and I'm sure it has for most people. Social media, the news, not being able to contact someone, all these things can trigger worry and stress. If I know I haven't got a busy day I tend to reach for my phone a lot more than when I am, so what I like to do to avoid repeatedly checking is leave it across the room from me and focus on something else. I've been reading more in the bath and leaving my phone in the bedroom, or I've turned notifications off whilst playing a game, just little things that let your brain focus purely on one thing. This might not work for everyone, but a digital detox definitely helps with anxiety (I have a post on digital detox soon).

Write It Down
Another way to control the anxiety that people suggest is writing down what is causing your anxiety and how it can be prevented. Saying things out loud or writing it down gives you a different perspective on what goes on inside your brain. I had a couple of therapy phone-calls when I was suffering badly with anxiety and depression, and from those sessions, I learnt a lot. Writing down the date, the time, what triggered the anxiety and questioning will it be relevant next month? can really open your mind to the core of what's worrying you. Keep a notebook just for your thoughts and look back on them, you'll be surprised to see the difference. Don't write them on your phone though!

Surrounding yourself with positive people, objects and atmospheres do change the way you view everything around you. It can be as simple as refreshing your room with some daffodils, treating yourself to a slice of cake or repeatedly play The Beauty and the Beast Soundtrack. Just whatever works for you it doesn't have to be anything 'out there' just open your mind to simpler solutions. I am easily pleased and simple-minded, it doesn't take much to make me happy if I choose to be positive. A book that helped me rethink my way of life is The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving an F*ck By Sarah Knight.

Remove Toxins
I saved this one for last because I know it's probably the most challenging and something we all try to avoid and that's changing things in order to be better. Sometimes this is easy, deletes off Snapchat, done. Other time's it's a lot harder to remove toxic things from your life. Things like stressful jobs, harmful friendships, bad diets, regrets, jealousy, etc, all these affect your mental health. If you have toxic influences and bad habits, you are not going to be happy. I have a quote "nothing is permanent, don't stress yourself too much because no matter how bad the situation will change". You may not realize it now, but in the long run, changing and removing toxins from your life as I'd argue from personal experience has the biggest effect on your well-being.

I hope this post was helpful to anyone going through anxiety or for anyone wanting some personal insight.

How do you control anxiety??

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Trialing The Ordinary Skincare

Trialing The Ordinary Skincare
If you haven't heard of the skincare brand The Ordinary, then you need to get yourself out from under that rock and venture onto Deciem website. This cheap and cheerful brand is all over the internet so I let curiosity get the better of me as always and decided to see what all the drama was about.

This skincare brand is abnormal and offers active ingredients at drugstore prices. It offers quality skincare formulas such as Salicylic Acid or Retinol, at a price so cheap you will be wanting to add them all to your medicine cabinets, or at least I do. I like to think of this brand as erratic, as they don't use any random ingredients and they don't test on animals. In fact, there are hardly any ingredients in most of the products, it's very 'back to basics'. I was kindly sent two of The Ordinary's Primers to trial and was really impressed I decided to buy two more products from ASOS, as they also stock the brand.

As I have oily skin, silicone primers tend to keep my base in place a lot longer than a creamy primer would. This formula uses advanced adaptive silicone's to act as a matte, hydrating, blurring primer for makeup that looks higher in a definition. You can also use this formula alone as a non-greasy Hydrator that reduces the appearance of pores and imperfections. Whilst I think this primer definitely reduces the appearance of any imperfections and large pores, I personally don't think it keeps my makeup blurred on a long day. On days where I am wearing makeup for 4-5 hours, my base is flawless and blurred without having to touch up. However, I have trialled this primer on 12-hour makeup and after a while my makeup starts to melt around my nose and on my chin. This could just be my skin type as so many people rate this product, so I am going to continue to try this out on good skin days.

This lightweight serum-like formula increases the spread-ability of subsequent complexion makeup to help avoid the unnatural and uneven accumulation of pigments especially around the eyes and on dry skin. The formula also acts as a light, non-oily surface hydration for a natural dewy look. I LOVE this primer, it has quickly become a new favourite of mine knocking down Laura Mercier and The Body Shop. This primer has a thick fluid texture, that glides onto the skin so smoothly. It does what the Adherence Primer claims to do: blurs my makeup, hydrates and mattifies my makeup. If I am wearing this primer all day, after a couple of hours I start to see a dewy glow, which just makes my skin look so healthy and flawless. I personally prefer this primer to the Adherence as it has changed the way my makeup looks.

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG £5.80
Have you ever heard of eye contour? Nope me either, but this light-textured formula contains an extremely high 5% concentration of caffeine, supplemented with highly-purified EGCG from green tea leaves. This formula can help reduce puffiness and dark circles in the eye contour. Additional studies have shown that caffeine can also reduce the appearance of cellulite, which makes sense when you read about coffee body scrubs reducing cellulite. I have been applying this both AM and PM and can really see a difference in my eyes. I've noticed on those nights I get a rough sleep, my eyes don't look as though I've been beating up in the morning. I've surprisingly not applied as much concealer under my eyes thanks to this product, which is amazing as this has never happened before!

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% £5.00
Niacinamide or in simpler words Vitamin B3, is indicated to reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. A high 10% concentration of this vitamin is supported in the formula by zinc salt to balance visible aspects of sebum activity. I bought this when my skin was having a bit of a breakout, in the hope it would help calm it down. I have only used this product a couple of times before bed and it definitely helps calm down my skin. I don't like to use this too much so every other evening I will apply this directly onto spots and by morning they have visibly reduced in pigmentation and size. I can't really say this is a miracle worker but for £5.00 it definitely is worth trying.

Overall, I would definitely say The Ordinary Skincare has created such a difference to my skin, especially the Eye Contour and the Fluid Primer. The price is amazing and always leaves my banks heart unbroken. I am wanting to try the Rosehip Oil next!

Have you tried The Ordinary? What would you recommend??


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