space theme bullet journal spread

5 Steps to Get Through a Creative Crisis

I’m having a creative crisis. By this I mean that I was hit out of nowhere with panic over what I’m doing creatively with my life. More specifically, I’m lost in my blogging journey. It’s not writer’s block as such, I have plenty of ideas for posts; I have all the wood I could ever want to build a bonfire. What I seem to have misplaced is the matches. What I need to light the spark of desire to create content has temporarily slipped out of sight. It scares me; it upsets me. Most of all it makes me question everything I’ve created before and if any of it was ‘meaningful’ at all.

And so I’ve taken a step back. It might seem like I’ve only had a few days away from blogging to an outside viewer, as I had regular content going up on my blog until last Wednesday, but in reality I’ve taken a couple of weeks off and relied on scheduled content to get me through. In this time, I’ve become a little distant from the blogging community and haven’t been interacting as much as normal. There are excuses for this – being on holiday, getting ready to move to uni – but my gut instinct tells me these excuses aren’t the reason I’ve removed myself from the online world for a bit.

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coloured background minimal speech bubbles

Learning to Run – Conversations with Anxiety #11

Conversations With Anxiety is a series which aims to convey what it’s like to live with anxiety. These dialogues are snapshots of the debates I have or have had with anxiety: the things we fight over, the discussions we take part in and the struggle to reason with irrationality.


Me: Let’s go for a run!

Anxiety: Huh?

Me: It will be good for us.

Anxiety: Us? No no no, you know I hate physical activity – especially physical activity which other people can observe!

Me: Fine, you won’t like it but it will be good for me.

Anxiety: You’re trying to get rid of me aren’t you. You’re doing all of this to push me out.

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6 Hacks to Start Shooting Street Photography for Anxious People

I recently put out a post about shooting street photography, which included several tips and tricks for beginners to get stuck into the art of capturing spontaneous, real moments. Lots of you seemed to enjoy that post, and several people expressed an interest in getting started but feeling anxious about having to shoot on the street with people noticing you. Worry no more, I’ve got you – this is what we’re going to be discussing today.

Now, who would be a good person to turn to for advice on such a subject? A highly socially anxious individual who has a bit of experience with taking photos on the street, I’d assume. Hmm… can you think of anyone? Yeah, that’s right, you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll definitely have come across content centred around anxiety – even if you weren’t looking for it. I’ve talked before a lot about how standing out in any way at all has given me crippling irrational fear in the past.

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5 Creative Hobbies To Reduce Anxiety

Recently, I’ve started creating art (if you can call it that) to try to combat feelings of stress and anxiety. You hear a lot about the therapeutic impact of creativity, but I think many of us feel a little too overwhelmed to give it a go. After all, the art we consume on Pinterest and Instagram is often amazing, and that in itself can be daunting.

But we can try to take that flood of other people’s creativity and turn it a positive way: we can see it as inspiration. So I thought I’d talk about some of the things I’ve tried to get involved in creatively, that aren’t too hard to pick up and could be used as a good distraction for negative feelings.

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september bullet journal spread

September Bullet Journal Setup

This is possibly the most excited I’ve been for a bullet journal setup post because I’m starting a new notebook this month. Yep, that’s right, I’m stepping on the Leuchtturm 1917 bandwagon for my new bullet journal. And it’s bright orange.

orange leuchtturm 1917 bullet journal

I wanted something that was going to cheer me up when I looked at it and I think this just about fits the bill. Cracking the spine of a new notebook can be a little daunting, and I definitely had a blank moment staring at the first page. As soon as I got into it though, things flowed a little easier.

As this is the beginning of a new bullet journal, I’ve added a few extra pages before my September spreads which will hopefully be helpful throughout the academic year. I know many of you mainly clicked on this post to see the photos, and not read paragraphs of writing, and so I’m just going to get straight into it…

Title page

2018/9 academic year bullet journal title page

I’m hoping this journal is going to last me through to at least the end of the academic year (and perhaps over next summer too) hence this title page. I’ve gone for quite a neutral plant theme, as I didn’t really want the start of the journal to define the vibe of the whole notebook.

Future Log

minimal six month future log

This is my first time creating a future log – I figured it could be helpful for term dates, university events, birthdays, holidays… anything and everything. Basically a quick overview of the next six months. I have no idea how frequently I’ll use this, or if I’ll find it helpful at all, but I’m willing to give it a go.

Life in pixels

life in pixels bullet journal spread for tracking wellbeing and pain

I’ve seen this method used to track many things related to wellbeing – mainly mood. The idea is to colour in each day of the year with how you felt that day. I’ve decided to draw two grids – one for general physical and mental wellbeing (graded good/okay/bad) and the other to note down if I felt any pain that day. As I’ve had on-and-off stomach problems, I think this could be useful for me to try to identify any patterns. It seems a little ambitious for me to think I’ll remember to fill this in every single day, but I’ve decided it’s better to have it there so I can use it when I want to – no pressure.

September calendar

september toadstool bullet journal spread

And now we’re onto the monthly spreads for September! I’ve decided to go for a toadstool theme as it feels fittingly autumnal and toadstools are very easy to doodle. As I don’t have September on my future log, I can use this page to note down any upcoming dates of importance (like moving to university!)

Line a day

toadstool line a day bullet journal spread

This is another new spread for me – although not so different to the gratitude pages I’ve kept before in previous months. I want to record a sentence or two about each day here, so that I have something to jog my memory.

Goals and finances

goals and finance pages bullet journal spread

This one is pretty self-explanatory, really. The first page is the things I want to work on in September, and the second is divided into areas I’ll be spending money on this month.

Tracker page

habits tracker bullet journal spread

This one is a little different to the usual grid I draw of habits I want to encourage myself to do. This month, I’ve split it into things that are important to consider each day (and so the list acts as a reminder) and then the things I’d like to do more of but don’t necessarily expect to be daily activities. The toadstool drawings indicate the goal amount of times I’d like to have spent on each activity by the end of the month. I’ll colour in a row every time I do one of these things and hopefully I’ll reach the top of the toadstools!

Everything blogging

blogging stats bullet journal spread

For the next spread, I’m carrying on the blogging stats page I introduced into my bullet journal last month. This page is helpful because it helps me to see which platforms are growing better than others, and which need a little more attention. On the opposite page, I’ve left space for brainstorming blog post ideas.

Food diary

food diary bullet journal spread

And we’ve finally reached the last spread, for which I have a small confession: I really don’t like keeping a food diary. I find it tedious and a little obsessive and I don’t think I’d choose to do this normally. But, because of the stomach problems I’ve experienced, it could be helpful for identifying trigger foods (although my attempts at this have been unsuccessful so far). And so I’m going into September with the gritted teeth and the intention to fill this in every night. Wish me luck.

Washi tape tabs

 

To make filling in all these spreads a little easier, I’ve decided to use coloured strips of washi tape to indicate which pages need to be updated daily and which can be left a little longer. I think I’m being quite ambitious this month with the number of spreads I want to keep updated – but September always gives me a burst of energy to be a little more ambitious. So I will do my best!


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Time, Space and Vulnerability: August Reflections

Normally when writing these reflection posts, I sort of know what I want to say as I begin typing. There’s a theme that comes to mind, or something I’ve learnt about myself or the world. I’m not sure August has held such monumental realisations as I haven’t been travelling, working or studying (but I’m sure at least one will emerge as I type). It’s been more like a collection of moments, all coincidentally held together by the fact that they occurred within the same month, and all surrounded by a bit of time and space.

This is definitely something I needed – a month in which to process things and prepare myself for what’s to come. Perhaps some will see this as pathetic (maybe it is), others will see this as a clear show of privilege that has allowed me to have this time (and that’s certainly true). Either way, I’m so grateful to be in a position that gives me these freedoms.

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potrait of girl in dungarees dress

12 Things I’ve Learned in the Past 12 Months

A year ago today I was probably walking home exhausted and over-heated from my full-time job at an ice cream shop in town. I was in a totally different place then, to where I am now. Not just in terms of work, but in all areas of my life. I guess the same can be said by comparing any two months a year apart, but I think I become particularly reflective around autumn, and this past year has held a lot more change than most.

Coming into September always feels like a new beginning – the start of a fresh academic year breathes a renewed wave of energy into everything, even if I’m not personally attending school that year. And so this seemed like a good opportunity to reflect on the last 12 months – the good, the bad and the lessons I’ve learnt.

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