July Reflections: Holidays and Undoing Stress

I’m writing this post on the first day of proper rain in a long time: not like a light drizzle, or a sea fret, but a downpour. A deluge from the heavens. And I’m welcoming it with open, now soaking wet, arms. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ve missed the rain. I have enjoyed the sun over the last few weeks too, though.

July kicked off a little unusually – I was in New York, 3474 miles from home and having a wonderful time. I was feeling so much better than at the start of June, that’s for sure. I was coming to the end of a nearly-month-long adventure with my friend that took us across 5 (and a half) countries from two continents. I had a great time and really loved New York. I’ve started sharing the photos from there, as well as the rest of my travels, over on Instagram if street photography is your thing.

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July Spreads: Getting Back Into Bullet Journalling

Shock horror – I’ve taken two months off from the blogger’s essential hobby that is bullet journalling. But don’t worry, this isn’t as disastrous as it sounds. This time away from rigorous planning was, ironically, planned in. I was travelling for (nearly) the entirety of June and half of July and so it felt ridiculously redundant to set up bullet journal spreads I wasn’t going to use – trackers, to-do lists, goals… I wouldn’t find a use for any of these pages!

I could have set them up anyway, as they’re fun to design and relaxing to draw (not to mention writing posts about them pull in more views than many of my other posts) but that wouldn’t feel authentic. If I knew I wasn’t going to use them I’d feel fraudulent creating them. So if there’s one thing you learn from this post is that I’m keepin’ it real, 24/7. But if you’re a regular reader I guess you already know that from the eclectic mix of happy/motivated/life-completely-sorted posts, sad/anxious/where-is-my-life-heading material, and down-right-angsty content that appears each month. Don’t mind me, riding the rollercoaster of every single human emotion possible in the space of thirty days.

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19 Things I’m Too Anxious To Say (In GIFs)

No matter how confident we are, we all have moments in which a tightening stomach warns us not to open our mouths and share our thoughts. Well, most of us anyway (Trump I’m looking at you). This intuition normally kicks in for good reason – to avoid a social faux pas and/or hurting other people’s feelings in some way. Yet for the socially anxious ones reading this, I’m betting your list of times you’re mouth has remained shut when a thought has popped into your head is a lot longer; it’s like having a stronger brain-to-mouth filter, one which can sometimes resemble a brick wall. Nothing is getting through there; no words seem safe enough and silence feels secure.

But are the phrases that get stuck in our throats the same the world over? This is what I’m curious about today, so I thought I’d share some of the things anxiety has stopped me saying in the past – and what better way to do this than through the power and humour of GIFs…

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How Society’s Attitude Towards Introversion Can Be Damaging

The reasons why someone develops debilitating levels of anxiety can be extremely complex and down to a range of seemingly small things. To the person suffering, it can sometimes seem mystifying; I remember being struck by the thought one day, ‘how did I end up in such a mess?’ Over the years I’ve thought a lot about my mental health journey and my relationship with feelings of anxiety: these ideas have often led to an attempt to figure out possible causes for the intense feelings of fear and discomfort I’ve experienced. One of these is the relationship between growing up introverted and society’s perception and reaction to the traits associated with this.

What is introversion?

Introversion is the tendency to focus on internal thoughts and feelings rather than seeking outside stimulation; and introverts gain their energy from time spent alone or in small groups. According to Susan Cain, author of ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking‘ these are people ‘who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams’. They generally prefer to listen in groups and often like to share their ideas in writing, hence why there are so many introverted bloggers.

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Reviewing My 2018 Goals

We’re more than halfway through the year now, can you believe it?! You probably can as that’s perhaps the most oversaid sentence around the beginning of July. As well as being the perfect moment in the year for grabbing an ice cream or acquiring a sunburn, the start of July is a great time to pause and reflect on how your life is being lived and whether this matches up to your expecations and wishes from January.

At the beginning of 2018, I wrote a post about 18 things I wanted to focus on for the year, kind of like a list of resolutions but also not really. Resolutions aren’t particuarly my thing, but I thought by having a few aspects of my life to hold in mind over the months I would find it easier to define my priorities.

Stating all the wonderful things you’re going to do is all well and good until life take over and you forget all about them three weeks later. Which is why this check in of sorts could prove useful. Throwing it right back to my school days, in which I had to identify bits of my work that went well and skills that could be improved in some way, I’m going to evaluate the good, the alright and the not so good aspects of my progress with these goals since January.

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June Reflections – Illness and Travelling

Well it looks like we can all breathe a little easier as this post is going to be a lot more positive than May’s Reflections: otherwise known as the episode in the series in which disorder is the star of the show and no one knows where the plot is heading next. I would say head on over to check out why May was like rooting for Germany in the 2018 World Cup (on paper it looked like it was going to be a celebration but in reality it was a stressful disappointment) but that post is pretty depressing. For that reason I’d recommend sticking with this one (which has been more like the Russian football team: everything surprisingly and impressively pulled together in the end, and no matter what happens now no one can deny the excitement and success so far).

If football references aren’t your thing – and believe me, they’re not really mine either, that’s just what happens when you spend a month travelling with a football fan – then don’t worry as that was the last of them.

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Small Ways To Be Kind To Yourself by Johnzelle

Today is an exciting day – the first guest post on my blog! As I am currently travelling and have less time to create content, I was very happy to accept Johnzelle’s suggestion for a guest post. I love the topic of this post so I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did…


Hello everyone! My name is Johnzelle and I write a mental health blog. I reached out to Alys who gave me the go-ahead to write a guest blog for y’all! Today, I’ll be talking about being kind to yourself.

We all learned in kindergarten about the Golden Rule, right? “Do to others what you want them to do to you.” The majority of us try to live this out daily to maintain some sort of social courtesy. A lot of mental health discussions focus on our environment. We try to be mindful of how we interact with others, how we take care of ourselves, and how we think about the world around us and our experiences within it.

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