Posted in Self-help

Skin confidence II: Guest blogger: Sheedah blogs

Living with a skin disease is not easy. In fact, that’s an understatement. It’s a nightmare! No one truly understands the impact eczema has on your life until you have experienced the severity of it. The constant scratching, sleepless nights, painful showers, the stress of finding what food triggers your skin, a restricted diet, losing your hair, depression, anxiety…the list could go on. 

My health journey has had a massive impact on my mental health. Since people with skin diseases are more prone to mental illnesses, it’s essential to put measures in place that will encourage you to not give up. Being stressed all the time is not giving your body the energy it needs to recover. I try to prioritise my well-being because I know it will help with the healing process. Below I share 7 ways I practice self-care to cope with eczema.

How to Practice Self-Care 

1) Be Positive As Often As You Can

You’re human so you’re not going to be positive all the time but this doesn’t mean you have to stay in a negative state. My counsellor made a good suggestion about managing negative thoughts. Rather than combating it with a positive thought which suppresses the negativity, try to find a balance by adding the word “BUT”.

For example:

  • “I hate how restricted my diet is BUT at least I have food to eat”
  • “Life’s shit right now BUT it will get better”
  • “Having eczema sucks BUT I am going to heal”

It’s important to try to shift our focus from how bad our problem is to how much better it’s going to be. This is a great technique to practice optimism, what’s life without any hope anyway? Sometimes it seems impossible to escape our problems but obsessing over something you can’t change overnight is such a waste of energy. I need a constant reminder of this. Just take every day as it comes and try your best to get through it without worrying.

2) Repeat Affirmations 

Start your day off by calling in what you want into life. In the morning, I say multiple affirmations for good health:

  • “I am healing”
  • “I am accepting myself as I am”
  • “My skin does not define who I am”
  • “I am letting go of any conflict I hold in my skin”

Remember manifestation is real!

3) Limit Your Time on Social Media:

When you’re going through a bad flare up with your skin, the last thing you want to see is everyone living their best lives. Don’t deliberately torment yourself by looking at everyone’s story on Snapchat and scrolling endlessly on Instagram. You’ll start comparing yourself which doesn’t help you at all. Spending time away from social media stops you from thinking about all the things you’re missing out on.

I made an Instagram account for my eczema journey and I never knew there was a huge community for eczema sufferers on there. I would suggest following people who are going through a similar experience because it’s nice to know you’re not alone.

4) Watch a really good comedy series or film

Having a good laugh helps! My go-to series right now is Black-ish which doesn’t fail to lighten up my mood. Finding a good comedy to watch can get you through a bad day. 

5) Do Things You Enjoy 

Most eczema sufferers reduce their sugar intake which inevitably impacts our moods. So no crisps, chocolate, sweets, cakes, ice cream, takeaways, etc. because they make us itch like crazy and it causes inflammation. We can’t get a quick dopamine shot from food which means we need to find other ways we can feel good about ourselves. Whether it’s reading, painting, listening to your favourite album on repeat for hours, do whatever you need to do that brings some joy into your life.

6) Practice Gratitude 

Life’s hard but we still need to practice gratitude and be thankful for what we have. Wake up everyday grateful that you are able to see a new day. Your situation could be worse (even though it’s hard to believe!) but it’s not. This itself is something to be grateful for. 

7) Exercise 

If you’re not sweating, the toxins are never going to be released from your body. Make sure you get your blood flowing to open your pores. Not only does exercise help your skin, it also does wonders for your mental health too. Sweat irritates eczema but there are light exercises you can find on YouTube, even a short jog or a long walk works.

Although I haven’t got rid of my eczema yet, I’m still trying to find the cause and find ways I can improve the state of my skin. Eczema sufferers are warriors and I commend anyone who has a skin condition because it’s really hard to deal with. If you are trying to heal, don’t give up hope and keep pushing. You are so strong!! Believe it’s temporary and it can only get better. As you patiently wait, make sure you take care of yourself and prioritise your well-being.

A picture containing bird

Description automatically generated

Blog: http://www.sheedahblogs.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rashidahbeatson

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/rashidahbeatson/

Instagram (eczema page): https://www.instagram.com/tsw_sheedah/

Instagram (main account): https://www.instagram.com/rashidahbeatson/

Posted in Self-help

“Why isn’t my skin perfect?”- How to develop your skin confidence!

Guest blogger | Afia Kufuor, Presenter & Acne Activist

#Acneawarenessmonth

Over the last 10 years my self-confidence has seesawed because of my skin. For as long as I can remember ‘good’ skin days meant I was bubbly and talkative whilst ‘not so good’ days saw me purposely avoiding social interactions. The frequent stares and the unsolicited advice became unbearable. Having acne and constantly researching how to control/clear acne is a difficult and tiring process. I’ve tried a plethora of products with the hope of finding the miracle product and that journey still continues today. For a while my happiness and confidence depended on the condition of my skin. It wasn’t until last September (2019) that I decided to accept my acne. Instead of lamenting the number of spots I had I decided to start an Instagram page (@DontPopThatSpot) to document my journey of trying to improve my skin. Since starting the page, I have become much more confident and accepting of my skin! Here are 5 tips on how you can become more confident too:

  1. De-clutter your Instagram feed: It’s so common for people to use numerous photo editing apps to edit their photos for Instagram. I’ve watched videos where influencers explain the process of uploading a picture and specifically showing how they remove the eczema from their arms and the blemishes on their face. Following people like this will ultimately make you feel inadequate because they appear completely blemish free, which in reality is not the case. Declutter your feed and unfollow these types of people who go to lengths to ensure they portray themselves as ‘perfect’ all the time. This isn’t realistic and is unhealthy for you to constantly consume.
  2. Join the acne-positivity movement: Since joining the acne-positivity movement I’ve been warmly welcomed into a community of people who aren’t afraid to talk about their imperfections. You don’t have to make your own account but with your personal Instagram, follow pages like @barefacedfemme, @_alicialartey, @skinpositivitymovement, @ivyblooms and @dudelewami. These lovely ladies will help change your mind set on your skin with their infectious confidence and real, raw posts.
  3. Take control of something else in your life that will make you feel confident: Whilst skin is difficult to control, take control of something else! Try that new hairstyle that you’ve always wanted to do, pitch that idea you’ve been sitting on for months, start that blog!
  4. Quit the comparison: Everyone’s skin is different. Certain products that do wonders for some people may not work for you. Focus on your own journey. This applies to everything in life. Once you accept and embrace your lane, you will fly!
  5. Accept that not everyday can be a ‘good’ skin day: My skin is very temperamental! I’ve had months of completely blemish free skin highly contrasted by months of irritated, congested and painful acne! With learning and accepting life’s ups and downs I have learnt to view my skin is this way too. Life can be a rollercoaster, and your skin is part of that.

Love,

Afia x

Connect with Afia on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dontpopthatspot/ | https://www.instagram.com/afiakufuor/

Posted in Travel

Faith>Fear

  • Fear of uncertainty/ the future
  • Fear of loneliness
  • Fear of change
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of getting the coronavirus

Are any of the fears listed above something you’re fearful of? Fear is a very normal feeling for us humans to experience but if not kept under control, it can really stop us from reaching the next level or stage of our lives.

Can I share a little secret with you? A big fear of mine has been not reaching my full potential. At one point, it was something that bothered me so much that I was scared to even try new things out of the fear of failing at them. Sounds counterproductive doesn’t it? But that’s how fear works, it can make you avoid doing the necessary things that need to be done to make that plan come to life, to start a new venture, to reconcile with a loved one or to move on from past situatons that do not benefit us in any way.

For example, last September, I had a manual driving test. Mind you, this was my second attempt as I had previously failed my first one in Canterbury (Kent) just 4 months before, a day before my last final year exam (silly I know but I did try to reschedule it). On return to the Canterbury test centre, I hadn’t turned the steer enough and would’ve hit the wall if I had been driving at a faster speed. The examiner stopped the car and of course, that was a fail.

Fast forward to September in London now, my second test went well and I was quite confident throughout it- until I got back to the test centre and had a flashback of what happened in Canterbury. Fear suddenly gripped me and I couldn’t focus, resulting to the car stalling as I was still in gear 3 but hadn’t realised because of this. The stalling made me panic even more, and it happened another time. Fortunately, I had one of the best examiners (according to my instructor) and he reassured me that everything was going to be okay and to take my time. So, I took a deep breathe and finally figured out that I was in the wrong gear, put the car in gear 1 and drove into the test centre. I passed with a few minors! One of my best achievements to date.

Notice how a minute of fear distracted me from putting the car in the right gear; almost ruining something that was going well for me? Fear is not to be encouraged, but to be overcome and controlled- I’ll share with you how I’ve managed to.

Regarding my fear of not reaching my full potential, I noted down all the things I’d like to achieve and the steps I needed to make to get there. And with each idea, I try to take the necessary steps that will get me closer to my goals. But before and during it all, I pray about it to ensure that this is aligned with God’s plan for my life and ask for his strength so that doubt doesn’t throw me off and I can continue to persevere. This is probably the most important step- having faith in God that what he’s allowed me to start, he will help me to complete. Just before my driving test, I did just that and to his glory, things went well. Having that reassurance now, has helped me to fear less about what could be and to focus more on what I should be doing.

Fear doesn’t change anything, but it does delay them. Life has been put on pause right now and evidently, life is very much unpredictable. So unpredicatble that there really is no point in holding back on anything, take reasonable risks! No-one has ever got this thing called life perfect the first time. Life in itself is an uncertain journey so there’s no harm in taking risks which won’t kill or harm you. If you fail, it really isn’t the end of the world , it’s just a detour.

Remember, FAITH>FEAR

Proverbs 3:6In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success

With Love,

Jeffna x

Posted in Travel

Quarantine chronicles: Have a clear out before you get your card out!

Guest blogger|Chxllestyles- Stylist

Spring is known as the season of growth, new beginnings, having a clear out and pretty much renewal on a whole. As we are currently in quarantine, I feel like it is the perfect time to start things afresh, re-charge ourselves and to prepare for post-lockdown life. For my own sanity I’ve stopped thinking about all the negatives like not being able to see my friends and being able to freely go out but to make the most of this time- how I please to.

However you want to spend your time in lockdown is completely up to you. A lot of people are encouraging being productive, picking up hobbies and checking up on friends etc, which is nice, but don’t feel forced to do anything you don’t feel capable of doing right now. This is a very stressful time for everyone and if all you are trying to do is stay sane, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. Just do whatever you want to do. Personally, I am using this time for self-reflection, growth and development in all areas of my life, literally just having me time. That’s also involved quite a bit of online shopping as I find myself at my happiest when it comes to clothes, trainers and anything fashion related. I’m ashamed to say how many pairs of trainers I’ve bought this month, but I don’t give a heck.

On that note, before we order new items, we shouldn’t forget about old clothes that we could re-wear. While being at home, this is the perfect opportunity to sort out your wardrobe. Whether that be reorganising, decluttering or throwing away clothes. It’s a task that I tend to put off doing so much but since there’s nowhere to go… you might as well, just to make life for your post- quarantine self 10x easier.

So here are some tips on how to do just that. Put on a film, a show or some music and get organising! I start by taking all my clothes out of the wardrobe and put them on a clean surface (e.g. your bed or the floor). I then create 3 piles, one for clothes I’m definitely keeping, might keep and no longer wear:

  • The ‘definitely keeping’ pile should include things you wear on a regular basis (when in doubt I just ask myself if I haven’t worn it in the last year, if not it goes in the maybe or not keeping pile).
  • The ‘maybe pile’ includes clothes that I haven’t worn in a while but can still see use for them.
  • Things to go in the ‘not keeping’ pile include clothes you haven’t worn in years, clothes that have holes or buttons missing that can be visibly seen and clothes too big or too small for you. Or if you’re like me, clothes that you haven’t been bothered to return and still have the labels on them and will not wear. Literally anything you cannot see yourself wearing again.

Now here are some options for the maybe and no pile that could even provide you with a small income while indoors:

  1. Charity shops or an organisation that donates clothes to those less fortunate abroad
  2. DEPOP or VINTED (buzzing right now as no-one can actively go out to purchase clothes and shoes)
  3. Or why not try turning your old clothes into something else! For example, an old pair of jeans into a pair of shorts! Or if you’re feeling fancy and have a sewing machine why not try something more adventurous like turning a pair of jeans or trousers into a top or 2 piece.

If you’re like me and find it hard to part with old clothes and trainers, I tend to reward myself once I get rid of something, especially if I’ve managed to sell it on DEPOP. You can also save some coins by taking advantage of online sales, promotions (there are loads right now) and discount codes on apps likes Unidays and Student Beans.

As a fashion stylist, I’ve got so many outfits I’m ready to wear after all this. And if you’d like some post-quarantine outfit inspiration, follow my Instagram @chxllestyles https://www.instagram.com/chxllestyles/ for all things fashion related. I’ve got some new content coming up too so stay tuned!

Hope everyone is staying safe and sane,

Love Chevelle x

Posted in Love & relationships

Gratitude

Definition of gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Just a week ago, I celebrated another year of life. Didn’t get the chance to enjoy my birthday the way I had planned to due to the current circumstances but I was full of so much joy and gratitude regardless, from the day before up until now.

Thankful for being alive. Thankful for being a blessing in the lives of others. Thankful for the amazing people in my life. Thankful for the character growth I’ve experienced over the past year. Extremely grateful to God for everything. Ive mentally been listing and thanking God for all my achievements up to date and what I’ve been able to give and share with others, including my blog.

During these turbulent times, it’s easy to focus on what’s going wrong, what we can’t do, who isn’t making effort with us or supporting us etc. But it’s more helpful to focus on what we do have, what is within our control to change; to do and who is matching our energies. In fact, when I attempt to list the negatives and positives, there’s so many more good things that come to mind compared to what isn’t.

As you read this, someone has lost their battle with death and are longer capable of doing anything. You though, you have life. And whilst you still have life, there’s still hope. Celebrate the big wins and also try to appreciate the little things you don’t often perceive as a privilege- the ability to breathe, access to resources like food and water and even somewhere to call home. Someone dreams to have these things.

I’ve promised myself to live life to the fullest in all areas once this national lockdown is over. Why? Because I want to live a life of contentment and not of regrets. Life’s too short and very much temporary to spend most of it miserable and worried about what I can’t change, especially when there’s many things to be thankful for.

I’d like to end this thanking everyone who has shared a post, shared words of encouragement, supported in any other way and of course, you, the readers. Jeff’s corner has now been up and running for 6 months (officially on the 1st of this month, woop!) and I’m enjoying every bit of it and most importantly, love the fact that it’s encouraging and helping a lot of you. If you happen to be bored in isolation, pop over to the Jeff’s corner instagram page where I post my daily thoughts, questions, reviews, cooking and other random snippets of my life: https://www.instagram.com/jeffs_corner1/

I wish you all the best for the forthcoming months, please stay safe and STAY INDOORS.

With love,

Jeffna x

Posted in Travel

Social media is a scam!

Coronavirus this, coronavirus that. I cant lie, I’m tired of seeing articles and tweets mentioning it. I’m tired of seeing miserable headlines and devasting stats. Social media can be beneficial for networking and staying updated with what’s going on in the world but sometimes I feel as if the cons of it outweigh the pros. Social media and the news have been used to instil fear within everyone, to the point where people are greedily panic buying? Don’t get me wrong, this virus should not be undermined and the situation as you’re probably aware is very serious. However, the way headlines and news reports about it have been exaggerated really does make me question the reliability of the way news reports are presented and social media altogether.

It can be easy to let social media get the best of us but there are ways to not let it get to that point. For me, I always remind myself that social media is simply a snippet of one’s reality. When I come off of my phone, laptop or turn the tv off, I have to actually live my life and deal with the good and bad parts of it- alone. Some people are so focused on watching other people’s lives and what is said or done on socials that they completely forget to focus on watering their own grass. Please don’t let that be you and if it is, here are some tips on how to remove yourself from social media when you feel like its all too much to take in. Especially during this period where it’s very easy to fall into the trap of feeling down, miserable and speaking negatively.

1. Keep your life and plans private; I’m definitely a strong believer of doing this. Announcing plans prematurely can put you under so much pressure to prove yourself to others and if the plan fails, everyone now knows that L . That’s unnecessary. Only announce things once they’re stable and even then, only announce things that you feel you need to. I’m very private and there’s things even my closest friends may not know but that’s my way of protecting what I value.

2. Don’t compare yourself to others; let’s be real, no-one documents the bad situations they may experience and even if they do, it’s usually once they’ve gotten through the storm. Whatever you’re going through, remember that it’ll all pass away one day and become a distant memory. Also, you’re not in competition with anyone, so why should you care about what anyone else is doing? Don’t wish for what someone has, you have no idea how many obstacles they were faced with to achieve that goal- worry about how YOU can overcome your own obstacles to reach where you want to get to!

3. Make the block, mute and delete button your best friend; For example, if you’re trying to move on from an ended relationship, have a certain someone who’s constantly trying to keep tabs on your life or don’t want to see images or videos of things, mute, delete or block whoever you need to , to maintain your peace of mind. I’ve had to mute and unfollow a few people simply because they were constantly posting negative things and I really didn’t want to internalise any of it. The people I follow on all social media platforms are aligned to what I want to see which is why I personally don’t find any of the apps ‘toxic’ to use although I understand how it can be for others. Your peace of mind is everything, protect it at all costs.

4. Limit how often you’re on social media apps for. Set limits and spend some time off socials so you’re not constantly watching what’s going on in other people’s lives. That’s not healthy at all and can definitely result to detrimental comparisons. Try and keep yourself entertained by doing something that doesn’t require the use of our phone every now and then.

5. Don’t get lost in the social media world, you still have a life to live off of the screen.

2020 hasn’t had the best start but I do believe that the latter half will be a lot better, fingers crossed. Don’t let what’s going on force you to speak negatively over your year, there’s still another nine months left- it can still be a good year for you.

With love,

Jeffna x

Posted in Travel

You are enough!

International women’s day edition👩🏾‍🤝‍👩🏻👭

Growing up, I’ve always been a big dreamer. Anything I want to do, I believe that I can and will do. And so far, I’ve done just that. But I must give great credit to my parents, my mum in particular , for constantly reminding me from a young age that I’m capable of doing anything. But I know for other women, this may not have been the case and maybe for you, you had and may still have negative influences around you trying to suppress your dreams, aspirations and even who you are.

Society can sometimes be that negative influence. Women are constantly labelled and told what we can and can’t do. Thick, slim thick, skinny, fat- just a few of the many labels society use to increase insecurities. Society criticises natural body shapes but hails surgically-enhanced bodies and then criticise the same women for getting surgery. Women really can’t do anything without being judged!

But I’m here to remind you that you are enough. You don’t have to look or be a certain way or be like that other girl, just being you is what makes you special. You are more than just your looks or abilities, the real power lies within your personality and character. So don’t allow this to determine who you are or want to be. True beauty surpasses the outward appearance, being yourself is your strength. So regardless of the rules and regulations society may try to force upon you, be who YOU want to be. Do things because you want to, not to abide by society’s or anyone’s expectations.

God has made you like this for a reason. You are unique and have so much potential within you. Psalm 139:14 in the bible states that each and every one of us are “fearfully and wonderfully made”- God made no mistakes when he created you.

Remember that you are amazing not just because of how you look, who you know, what you own or can do but for simply being you.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

With love,

Jeffna x

Posted in Travel

Post-uni diaries II: Ultimate guide for your final year of uni | By guest blogger, Rashidah

It’s crazy to think that in a few months time we’ll be walking in our graduation gowns collecting our scrolls. Time really does fly. I remember being a freshers like it was yesterday and here we are, living the final moments of being a student (unless you’re going to do a masters). Third year is quite intense. You work on your dissertation, complete assignments, revise for exams, in addition to other responsibilities that requires time and commitment. Even though it may be the hardest year we’ll all face, there are many ways we can make it easier to get through. I’m sure everyone is aiming for a specific grade they want to achieve. The great thing is that we’re all capable of achieving it! If you put the correct measures in place, work hard and focus, final year will be an absolute breeze (well…kind of).

How Can I Get Through Third Year?

– Organise Your Time

Do you ever ask yourself where has the time gone? It’s so easy to get through a whole day and not even remember a thing you did. Plan your day accordingly; know what you need to do, when you need to do it and how you’re going to do it. A lot of people fail to understand that you’re going to need organisational skills in the future. When you have multiple tasks to complete at your graduate job, it’s essential that you’re able to organise your day to make sure you complete everything that is expected of you. This leads me to my second tip

– Schedule Your Days

Use a google sheet or an Excel spreadsheet to schedule your days daily. Plan your schedule a night before to be prepared for the day ahead. First, list all the things you need to complete (be realistic, remember you’ve only got so much time in one day). Don’t underestimate how much time you need to complete a task. Once you know the things you need to do and how long it will take you, you can start allocating time slots for each task.

– Save Your Coins

What’s the one thing you spend most of your money on? Food. It’s convenient to just order a quick takeaway on Uber Eats but sometimes we need to remind ourselves there’s rice at home. There’s cereal at home. There’s bread at home. Ask yourself, what would Julius from ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ do? Eating out all the time will drain your bank account. Uni culture doesn’t have to involve students going broke! Start making lunch at home and bring it to uni. There are loads of different recipes to try so we can never get bored of cooking for ourselves. Why not meal plan for the week or learn how to cook a meal you’ve never tried before?

– Eat Healthily 

Treating yourself to a restaurant occasionally doesn’t hurt but eating fast food consecutively isn’t a good idea Reduce the sugar and fatty food, instead eat more home-cooked meals, veggies and fruit. If you want to do well in your final year, eating a healthy diet is essential. You need to have energy throughout the day and remain focused on your work. This is only possible if your brain is functioning at a high level which happens when your body is getting the food that it needs.

– Stay Motivated

Many students struggle to stay motivated throughout university. Sometimes it’s worth taking a step back and asking yourself, “Why am I doing this?“. “What amazing things is this going to lead me to?”. Even if you don’t like university, you are still receiving something great out of it. Whether that being your degree, meeting amazing people or finding yourself.

3rd year is your FINAL year as an undergraduate. Let that sink in for a moment. You are so close to the finish line, it’s only right that you finish this race with the best possible performance. Watch motivational videos, surround yourself with people who work hard and most importantly read sheedahblogs.co.ukDo all 3 things and I promise you, your motivation levels will increase to a level you’ve never reached before.

– Make Time to Do the Things You Enjoy the Most

Sure, it’s a busy period but you are not going to be studying 24/7. If you love writing poetry and performing spoken word, make sure you have some time in the week that is dedicated to that. Make time for the things you love to do. If you let studying take over your whole life you’re going to burn out. You’ll eventually feel unmotivated to push yourself any further. Make time to see your favourite people and socialise. Organise one day in your week to do something fun so you have something to look forward to.

– Getting in Touch With Your Faith 

One of my biggest regrets about university was not going to church in first year. Being surrounded by like-minded people who have similar values can uplift you and remind you that you are not alone. Strengthen your faith by joining a prayer group or a bible class. If you want to get better at practising your religion, do everything you need to do to make it happen and get closer to God.

 – Start Working Early

Don’t leave your workload until the last minute. I don’t know about you but I don’t like stress…why bring stress upon yourself if it can be avoided? Third year is a different ball game so unless you like stress, you should try to get your work done as soon as you can. Give yourself plenty of time to get the best possible grade.

– Sleep Well

Messed up sleeping patterns might seem like a “student thing” but it doesn’t have to be. Fair enough, you won’t sleep early all the time because you might go out or have friends over, but waking up after 12 pm every day is a complete time waster. You’ve spent the majority of your day sleeping which can be really frustrating if you want to get a lot done. If this sounds like you, try to change this habit. Sleep at a reasonable time and wake up at a reasonable time.

– Stop Thinking About the Future Too Much

It’s important to plan and figure out where your life is going, but constantly overwhelming yourself with what’s going to happen when you graduate is not helpful. Focus on the here and now – the present moment. Do one thing at a time and try your best not to think about all the things you need to do at once. People often scare you and say “life only gets worse when you graduate” which is not true. Amazing things will happen to you now and they will keep on occuring no matter where you are.

Not everyone makes it to the final year of university but you did! Be proud of how far you have come on your educational journey. You’ve nearly made it. Appreciate how much you were able to learn, not just in your degree but about yourself too. There is no doubt that university is a life shaping experience. Let’s enjoy it as much as we can because it will be over before we know it.

You can find me on:

My Blog: http://www.sheedahblogs.co.uk   

Insta – https://www.instagram.com/rashidahbeatson/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/rashidahbeatson

Posted in Travel

Post-uni diaries: Part 1

Six months ago, I graduated and I’ve finally adjusted to being back home and no longer being a university student. However, not being able to see your friends as often as you used to, swapping the lectures for a 9-5, having to make several financial decisions are sudden changes that can make post uni-life and entering the working world daunting, lonely and for some, depressing. But it’s not all doom and gloom and after being in education since we could talk, this is the opportunity to start doing all the things we’ve wanted to do but couldn’t do because education was in the way. Whether that be travelling, starting up a new business, moving out of your family home , our twenty-somethings are the years of trial and error and finding our feet so we’ve got to make the most of this stage of our lives whilst we can.

To help encourage someone who may still be on the hunt for a graduate job, someone who may have found their grad job but is finding it hard to adjust to the full-time working life , anyone unsure of their next step and to prepare those who are yet to graduate, I’ve asked several friends of mine to share things they’ve learnt since graduating:

  • Focus on your own journey and run your own race; it’s very easy to compare your current stage to someone else but remember that every individual’s story is unique and where you’re at in life now isn’t the end but just another stepping stone. try and be patient with yourself.
  • Don’t be scared to try new things“Take risks and prosper” and enjoy the current stage you’re at: in years to come when you’ve become a mother/father, have started families etc, you won’t have the privilege of thinking about yourself alone. So whilst you can, take reasonable risks, try new things, start new ventures and see where it takes you. If it doesn’t go to plan it’s not the end of the world and it’s more rewarding to say you’ve tried than to look back and regret not doing something.
  • Can be a lonely, humbling experience: The cosmopolitan reported that at least 49% of graduates experienced a decline in their mental health. With this being said, I think it’s necessary to friends and/or family who you can be open with and express any worries and fears you have. I for example, can be very hard on myself and luckily, I have friends and family who remind me of what I’m capable of when I may feel low https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/worklife/campus/a22575047/post-university-depression/
  • Use your time wisely: Now that you may have more free-time or have a 9-5 job, this is the time to organise yourself so that you have time to work and still be able to have time to relax. Read my ‘ 2020 will be my year’ post to get tips on how to find this balance.
  • Network more
  • Learn to block out the voices of others ; don’t let the opinions of others influence your career-related decisions. Do things according to your own timing and things that you actually want to do. Taking on something half-heartedly will only result to a poor outcome and dissatisfaction.

In all you do, remember that nothing remains the same forever and every moment will become a memory eventually. So, take each day as it comes. Have a blessed week.

With love,

Jeffna x

Posted in Travel

“2020 will be my year”

But will it?

As the new year’s approaching, everyone’s running around screaming that 2020 will be their year of success, will be different from previous years and how they plan to do things differently. One thing I’ve learnt, particularly during this year is that you can talk about all the things you hope to do but all that talk will be in vain if your actions don’t match your words. You know that phrase ‘actions speak louder than words’? That applies to so many things in life including your goals and plans. We can all say that we’ll do this, that and the other but it’s all really down to what we do behind closed doors; the amount of time we dedicate to the goal we plan or hope to achieve.

I won’t act like it’s easy to work towards your goals though, especially when life throws so many obstacles at you, fear and self-doubt grips you and makes you think that you’re incapable of fulfilling your goals or makes you downplay your achievements. However, making small progress daily can slowly bring you closer to achieving your goals without feeling overwhelmed and losing all motivation.

This year, I had to accept that I was a professional procrastinator (PP for short) who’d delay things until the last minute. Fortunately for me, although I often procrastinate, I am well-organized so this helps me to get things completed before it’s too late to. As the year went by, I had to accept and challenge this flaw of mine and have made every effort to use more of my day to do more productive things. I managed to achieve all but one of my 2019 goals (yay me) but I’m still slowly detaching from my dear friend procrastination who’s the biggest dream killer that exists- i’ll explain how I’ve managed to do so.

The five tips listed below are effective measures which have increased my daily productivity throughout 2019:

  1. Having a personal planner/ yearly planner – I have purchased a yearly planner for the past three years and honestly, this is one thing that keeps me in order. I use this to plan what I hope to do every day , to note down my weekly spend and budgets and obviously, to keep note of any upcoming meetings or link ups during the month. I recently purchased one from Amazon which allows you to break down your goals into smaller goals to make it less overwhelming: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07WFQ9XCW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  2. Having a notepad – Alongside having a planner, a notepad is also very helpful for noting down your goals for the year, your achievements and any other ideas you have for the year. This can help with reflecting on how close you are to achieving your goals and remaining focused.
  3. Monitoring your screen time/ how long you spend on social media– I started doing this from last month and noticed that when I’m not busy, my time is usually spent on social media such as Youtube and Twitter (my guilty pleasures). To reduce the amount of time I spend on such platforms, I have set myself a time limit of 6-8 hours a day depending on the day of the week to increase productivity and to encourage myself to fill up my free time with more wholesome activities e.g: Meditating on the Bible, reading a book or cooking
  4. Finding new hobbies ^
  5. Asking for God’s help – As I was completing my final year of uni this year, I found it very difficult to stay motivated to complete important tasks at times. However, God continually used the people around me and his word to remind me that so long as I trust in him, ask for his help and don’t rely on my strength alone, I can overcome anything. By God’s grace, I graduated with an upper second class and achieved a first for my dissertation and for me, this was only possible with his help. In the same way, I’ve noticed that by asking God to help me manage my time more effectively, there’s been an improvement and I can do this with ease/ Proverbs 3:5-7.

Overall, my 2019 has been an amazing one, full of growth and many life memories. I’m going into 2020 with the plan of being more productive in everything I do and I hope you all manage to do this also. I wish you all a productive and joyful new year.

With love,

Jeffna x

Socials:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jkm_xo Insta:https://www.instagram.com/jeffs_corner1/ Personal blog: https://jeffscornerblog.wordpress.com/