How to deal with anxiety in the workplace

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Anxiety is something I've dealt with for most of my life but it became more of a prominent issue in my teen years and then throughout my adult life, where I've learnt to cope with it a lot more.

Anxiety is something that I've experienced in all areas of life including the workplace. Over the years, it has gotten better, but I've had many jobs and it has always been up and down, but there are some techniques that I've found to help with work anxiety.

Dealing with anxiety at work

If you're experiencing anxiety in the workplace and unsure how to deal with it, here are my best tips on coping with anxiety in the workplace.

Prepare for meetings

Anxiety is all about staying in control as change and uncertainty are often the things that can trigger or cause it. However, it isn't feasible to always be in control, we can't control how life will pan out sometimes and that's okay. Saying that there are ways to keep it at bay and have some level of control over your anxiety in the workplace, and one of those ways is preparing for meetings.

This is a tip that has really helped me. I'm one of those people who get really anxious for meetings and speaking up in front of people, so having some level of preparation can keep those thoughts at bay. This can be listing some initial ideas I've had prior to the meeting, looking at the agenda and writing out what I need to say, or simply practicing what I'm going to say to myself. All this prep helps me speak with more confidence as I have the assurance my mind is less likely to go blank if I have points written on paper.

Take the time out when needed 

Mental health days are important and this is something I've only taken seriously this past year. Before, I felt guilty taking time away if my anxiety was bad or I wasn't feeling right as physically I looked normal. However, the effect my mental health was having meant I couldn't work at my usual pace - and really, my work and overall outlook at work would be impacted.

This is why it's so important to take the time out for yourself. A job isn't worth your mental health and I can understand that's quite a privileged statement to make as some people can't afford to take sick days or to quit when things get hard. However, taking time out doesn't necessarily have to just mean sick days away from the office, it can mean, stepping outside on your break, talking to your manager to pull you out of a meeting or asking to be put on other tasks. Obviously, this is all just ideas as each working environment is different to the next - but what's important is you have the time away to look after yourself, in whatever form that can be.

Write a positivity log

This is something a colleague mentioned to me quite recently as my anxiety has been bad at work and I thought it was a genius idea. Anxiety often stems from not feeling good enough and that's why things such as affirmations and being kinder to yourself can help.

With a positivity log, it's a great space to fill out all the nice things colleagues or managers have told you about your work or yourself, and when you're feeling anxious or not good enough at work, you can read it as an important reminder.

Talk to your boss about how you're feeling

Your boss or manager is there to ensure you're happy and content in your role, and that means if anxiety is causing you a problem at work, speak to them. They may be able to offer you different ways to help cope with your anxiety or simply, just be someone to chat to so you don't feel alone. Help is different for everyone when it comes to anxiety so don't be disheartened if they suggest something and it doesn't work for you, keep trying as you can find the thing to help you cope with it.

Keep hydrated

Keeping hydrated is very important for every part of life. But a healthy body is a healthy mind and although it's not necessarily going to help you deal with anxiety, it will help your body feel nourished and taken care of as you pace through the day. 

Practice breathing exercises

I know the worst thing to hear when you're anxiety is bad is 'just breathe and you'll be okay' but it can help, if done right. There are so many breathing techniques that you can use and mediation apps which help enforce that. My favourite is the 5 rule, which a colleague actually told me about. It's to look around and spot 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This should help to ground you and bring you back to the present.

Map out your day

With anxiety, excessive thoughts fly about all over the place and that doesn't help when you need to focus on the task at hand. One way to conquer this is to make a to-do list of things you need to get done that day, what your main priorities are and then also noting in the meetings you have too. With a plan of the day, you'll have a clear focus of what to do and then, you'll have less time for thoughts to sway.

Find a way to get into your zone

We all have that one thing that helps our anxiety and gives us clear focus. It could be shutting the world out with music, working with someone else or going out for a clear walk. Try and figure out whatever that thing is for you and implement it as much as you can to lessen your anxiety in the workplace.

Know those bad anxiety days are okay

Again, this is one point I've only been able to stomach recently. I always felt so guilty when my anxiety was bad or I was triggered easily as it affected my work and the performance I gave. However, when living with anxiety, it's normal to have good and bad days, and on the bad days, it's important to look after yourself with a little bit more tender loving care and asserting the ideas that it's okay not to be okay.

Remember your progress 

When I'm having an anxious day at work, something I like to focus on is my progress. I've come a long way in terms of my anxiety and I'm sure you have too. It's important to acknowledge that and know you're on the healing journey to becoming your best self.

Use essential oils

I love essential oils, they can do so much to help your anxiety. Although you can't always bring essential oils in the workplace with you, you can have a diffuser up in your home at all times, circulating the scent around and giving you a sense of calm. If you're looking for what essential oils to buy, this essential oil guide is for you.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other tips do you have?

Thank you for reading <3

5 daily habits that'll help you feel more fulfilled

 Well hello to you my reader chums! As I've gotten older and dare I say it, wiser, I've learnt more about myself, about life, and really, what's truly important. Status, wealth, and having 'things' aren't the source of my happiness and honestly, I think that's the same for a lot of people. The source of my happiness is the love I have for myself, the people I have around me, the little things in life, and pursuing activities that make my soul happy.

Broadstairs beach Kent

With learning to change my mindset and discovering what really is important, I've also learnt to feel more fulfilled every day, and that I don't need to be dressed to the nines and surrounding by an exciting setting to feel fulfilled. Don't get me wrong, I love adventures, dressing up, and hanging out with friends in a more social setting, but what I mean is, there are things in life that can help you feel fulfilled without all the flashy elements.

Whether you're feeling a little unhappy with your day-to-day life or looking to feel more fulfilled, here are 5 daily habits to implement in your every day.

Doing some form of exercise

Since I've gotten back into an exercise routine at the beginning of the year, I've felt so much better, mentally and physically, and it gives me some sense of fulfillment. When you exercise, it gets the blood around the body, reduces stress levels, and stimulates the production of endorphins which are the body's natural mood elevators.

I'm not saying you need to run a marathon but finding a form of exercise that suits you will be beneficial to your everyday routine. Whether that's doing a hit dance workout, practicing yoga, going to the gym, for a run or simply, taking a stroll around your local area. Exercise is good in all forms and as long as you're getting your body moving, it'll do you the world of good.

Getting outside at least once a day for some fresh air

Similar to the exercise point, fresh air is so important for your mental wellbeing. It has been proved that getting some fresh air can help improve your blood pressure and heart rate, strengthen the immune system and help to digest food.

Whether that means utilising going out for a walk, or if you don't have the time in your day to make full use of the fresh air, try and pop out in your garden for a couple minutes or out of your front door. It doesn't have to be for a long time, but taking in a fresh gulp of fresh air can give you a moment to pause and take in the surroundings around you.

Mediating/affirmations

I wish I knew more about affirmations and meditating growing up, and the benefits that both of them have brought to my mental wellbeing, and helping me become a more confident individual. Meditating doesn't have to be a very long practice, you can do it for 5/10 minutes when you wake or spend a good hour doing it after work to unwind, it's down to you. But what will help, is to let you remain in a positive headspace, be at one with yourself and practice the art of calmness.

Affirmations go hand in hand with mediating, in terms of they can help you think more positively about yourself, your day, and life in general - and help you align with your true self. I love to practice affirmations regularly as they really help reinforce a positive message into my mind. The way I do it is to hold my crystals, and chant my affirmation for the day with my eyes closed so I'm really able to focus on the words. The daily practice has really helped me feel more fulfilled as it means surrounding myself with positive and calm energy.

Reading or listening to a podcast - educating yourself

One of the biggest ways to feel more fulfilled is by learning and growing every day - and that can come through educating yourself. I have a big love for learning, I love to learn new things and grow my knowledge on a lot of things. As they say, knowledge is power, and the more knowledge I have, the more I can help others.

There are a few ways to educate yourself and widen your knowledge, whether that's reading a book, listening to a podcast, reading a blog, watching a documentary, or learning a new language. The list is endless but spending an hour a day on this can really help give you a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment, as you're building to become a better and more well-informed version of yourself.

Writing a gratitude list

The art of gratitude is ever so important. I like to think I've always been a very grateful person and feel very privileged in the life I've led so far, however, since I've actually actively begun practicing gratitude, I've become even more grateful. It may sound so simple but writing three things you're grateful for every day can really reinforce positive messaging into your mind, especially if you're having a bad day and suffering from your mental health.

It's also great to keep a log as when you are having a hard day, you can go back through and read through the list. Realising the good things in your life will help outweigh the bad and overall, help you feel more fulfilled.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other daily habits would you recommend?

Thank you for reading <3

How to save money whilst travelling

 Well hello to you my reader chums! It's no secret that I'm a bit of a travel addict and prior to the pandemic, all I would be doing in my spare time is either planning my next adventure or jetting off on my next one. Travel thrills my soul, it makes me happy and opens my mind to the wonders of the world.

money saving tips for travelling

A misconception about travel is that it's expensive or not everyone can afford it. And, although parts of travelling can be expensive and you do need some money to do it, a lot of travelling can be done on a budget. The majority of my trips are done on a budget as that way, I have more money to stretch across to more trips and I can travel more often.

Whether you're money conscious or looking to travel more with a budget when things are back to normal, here are my tips on how to save money whilst travelling.

Set a daily budget

I've never gone travelling or on a holiday without having a daily budget. It has always helped me travel within my means and have the assurance of knowing what I have to spend each day - and over the course of the week. It also helps prevent me from overspending or dipping into the next day budget as I know, I'll be limiting myself for the rest of the trip.

A daily budget is there to help you figure out how much money you can then put towards food, transportation and activities for instance - and is a method I've found to be the most effective. When setting a daily budget, you'll want to take into consideration your budget for the entire trip, how costly the place you're travelling through is and how you're looking to spend your trip. All of these factors would weigh into how much the daily budget should be. For instance, on city breaks in Europe, my daily budget is generally around the £50 mark, whereas in Asia, that budget will probably be less (not including accommodation as I usually book that in advance.)

Opt for street food options 

I love street food; it's one of the best ways to get a true taste of a country without spending a shed load of money. Street food is available wherever you travel, however, is more prominently cheap in places such as South East Asia where you can get a meal for about £1. Saying that I've been to cities in Italy and all over where the street food was a hell of a lot cheaper than any restaurant I've been to.

It won't only save you money, but it can also help you immerse in the culture, talk to local vendors and have a different eating experience.

Walk as much as you can

I can understand that not all destinations are accessible by foot and some people may struggle with a lot of exercise due to health conditions, however, when you're able to, walk as much as you can. Many locations are pedestrian-friendly and a lot of tourist sights can sometimes only be in walking distance to each other that you don't need to splash out on transport to get from one place to the other.

Also, walking around can give you the opportunity to explore different parts of the area, you probably wouldn't have seen if you hopped in a taxi from off-the-beaten-track streets to restaurants.

Or, utilise public transport rather than private

If you're not a fan of walking or aren't able to, public transport is your best friend. Although it can be hard to navigate in a new place initially, once you get the hang of it, it can be a blessing - and another way to see the destination in a different light.

Public transport varies in prices depending on where you're travelling to, however, in general, it's significantly cheaper than taxi hopping - and a budget-friendly option.

Rent your own vehicle

Another transport option is renting your own vehicle. This all depends on where you're going and who you're travelling with. For example, if you're travelling with a family, it may be more cost-effective to rent a car, rather than paying for public transport for you all. Or, if you're solo tripping in Asia and you're looking to explore further afield, then hiring a motorbike maybe your cheapest bet (as they're very cheap to hire.)

Shop around for tours/excursions

Similar to how you try and save money prior to booking the trip by searching for flights and accommodation, you want to do the same with tours or excursions. You can book tours prior to your trip, however, if you're travelling and looking to book whilst there then this point is for you.

A lot of tourist centres will be available around your destination (depending on where you are of course) and the beauty of booking things when away is you have the advantage of people. Whether you meet them in hostels or on the go, they can recommend the cheaper tours they went through and who to book with. Recommendations and research are key when shopping around.

Haggle at markets

You can't beat a haggle when shopping in a market, whether it's for clothes or trinkets. I'm pretty sure haggling happens in a lot of locations, but it is something you should ask about before attempting to haggle.

Trying to lower the price of the asking price may not save you hundreds, but it's a couple of pounds you can put towards something else and still buy what you're after.

Self-catered accommodation

There are many benefits to self-catered accommodation. Firstly, it's usually the cheapest accommodation type as you aren't paying for additional food charges. But, in the spirit of saving money whilst travelling, self-catered options, give you the opportunity to buy in foods and store them, which can save you money in the long run. For example, you can purchase a box of cereal for breakfast that'll last a few days instead of having to buy breakfast every day and that'll only be a few pounds.

It also gives you the chance to make lunch or dinner or buy lots of snacks which you can store and then pack with you as you roam around.

Take advantage of free things to do

Wherever you go in the world, there will always be free sights and things to do available. Before you head off on your trip, do a bit of research and make a list of the free activities that you're able to do - and put them in place on the days money is running low or your budget is smaller.

Also, one of the best free things to do is simply explore: walk around your area and off the main tourist path to see what you can find and discover - you'll make many different stories that way. The best things in life are free as they say.

Eat away from the tourist traps

This is probably quite an obvious point, however, where the main sights are, restaurants and shops around that are usually the most expensive. When on a budget, sway away from the tourist trap path to the quieter and family-run restaurants - not only will they be cheaper, usually, the food is a lot more authentic.

Be money savvy in every sense

All of the above tips are great methods to save money but the main thing is to have a money-savvy mindset. Think about the areas you don't need to spend, where you can spend less and if you really need it and I can assure you, it'll do wonders.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other money-saving tips do you have?

Thank you for reading <3

How to take care of your mental health and why it's so important

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Mental health is a topic I like to speak about a lot and in recent years is finally getting the recognition it needs to have, and why it's so important to look after yours.

Mental health and mental illness are completely different. We all have mental health but not all of us have mental illness and sometimes, the two can get confused. Caring for your mental health should be as high a priority as you do your physical health and if you suffer from a mental health condition on top of that, the level of care should increase, the same way if you had a physical problem. I've suffered from anxiety for years and I've learnt how to take the right steps and care to look after myself in the way I should.

How to take care of your mental health

Whether you're looking for some tips on how to care for your mental health or don't know where to begin, here is how to take care of your mental health and why it's so important.

How to take care of your mental health

Take mental health days

I'm guilty of not doing this and the effect is then detrimental to my mental health. Mental health days are just as important as physical days - and that means when you're not feeling 100% mentally, you need to take care of yourself the way if it was a physical problem. This could be taking the day off work, having a lie-in or simply postponing your to-do list for the day and having a rest.

It's necessary to give your body and mind the chance to recharge if you're feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or down. You can't do your best work when you're not feeling right and that's why it's incredibly important to take days out. I've only done this recently, and honestly, it made the world of difference to my overall mental health - and made me realise, these days are okay to take. It needs to be normalised more to have mental health days.

Live intuitively in terms of what your body wants

This is something I've learnt to do after the past year as I pressed fast forward on my self-love and healing journey, to grow into a better me. I'm constantly learning but something I've found to really help and care for my mental health is living intuitively. 

Living intuitively can mean a variety of things but my best way of describing it is doing what your body in mind wants - live through your feelings. If you're feeling motivated, use that energy in a good way through work or exercise and if you're tired or hungry, take a nap and nourish your body. It's about listening to your mind and rolling with it - and I can assure you, your body gives out more signals than you realise on how you really are. I know now if my stomach flares up, it's because I feel really anxious or if I'm getting an earache that I've been overdoing it - it's my body's way of telling me I need to stop.

Do what makes you happy

One of my favourite points and something I preach regularly, doing what makes you happy is a key to a better life and caring for your mental health. You need to follow your passions, live your days for you and create a positive environment for you as that way, your mental health is likely to remain in a calmer and happier state.

Set boundaries and learn to say no

Setting boundaries and learning to say no is something we should learn growing up and really needs to be normalised more. Learning to say no and setting boundaries doesn't make you a bad person, instead, it's teaching you to respect yourself more to make you feel accepted and happy in every situation.

This could be saying no to a social event, telling someone they're overstepping the mark when diving into your personal life or simply not wanting to talk to someone. It's your life and your choices, having boundaries in place will help you shape a happier environment for you to be in and flourish - and those who respect that are the right people for you.

Cut out toxic energy

This leads me to toxic energy and toxic people. I've spoken about this loads in previous blog posts but knowing that people are the right people for you will have the right effect on your mental health. Learning who to trust and realising who will support and encourage you is a hard but essential life lesson to learn.

Not everyone in your life will be kind and supportive to you, that's unfortunately how it is. However, there will be exceptionally wonderful people who will boost you up and love you for you and your decisions - and those are the people you need. Anyone who surrounds you with negative and toxic energy needs to be sliced out of your life in a bid to care for your mental health.

Know when enough is enough

This can mean a lot of things such as working, socialising, pulling yourself in different directions, and not really focusing on what you really want. It's important to know when something is causing you to feel unhappy, unwell, or unmotivated that it's time to quit and move onto something else. Whether it's a job that you need to leave or a relationship, quitting isn't a bad thing if it'll benefit your mental health.

Get out and about

The fresh air really is a blessing and it may sound really obvious, but going for a walk or getting out and about can do wonders for your mental health. It gets your body moving and being away from screens or your home gives you a new environment to focus on. I've learn to adore beach walks even more over the last year and they've made me feel a lot more grateful and boosted my mental health on days when I needed it.

Eat well

Eating well means different things for everyone but what I mean by this is eat well for your body and what you need. Dieting and being restrictive are bad for your mental health and can lead to disordered eating or eating disorders. It's important to listen to what your body wants, eat in moderation, and indulge when you fancy it - food is for enjoying and shouldn't be viewed as the enemy. Food is the fuel to keep us all going.

Nourish your body

Eating well is one way to nourish your body but other things such as hydration, exercising, meditation, and skincare are all other things that can help nourish your body. Your body takes care of you and you need to take care of your body and all of these different things can do just that. By practicing nourishing your body will have a positive effect on your mental health - and it's more simple than you may think.

Enrich your mind

Our minds are wonderful and complex things and require top-notch care. My final tip on looking after your mental health is to enrich your mind. This can be through books, podcasts, documentaries, and mindfulness. There is so much information out there these days and it can be hard to know what to research and read. However, to look after your mental health, it's important to digest the right information in order to grow and what will have a positive impact on your mental health.

Swap up your social media feed to be filled with those who are real and inspiring, practice affirmations and mindfulness before bed, talk to yourself like your best friend, be the love of your own life, and read as much as you can to grow your knowledge. The world is an amazing place and there is always something to learn. 

Why it's so important to look after your mental health

Your mental health should be your top priority in life, and even though it's taken me years to understand and digest this, I'm so glad I've come to the realisation. Your mind has so much power over everything you do and if you're not looking after it, it can take a negative effect on your overall happiness in everyday life.

It's important to look after your mental health because your mind is a powerful thing and you want to create a safe and loving space within yourself so you're able to spread that love and happiness into the world - and live a life that's best for you. You deserve every happiness.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other tips do you have?

Thank you for reading <3

5 reasons I'm grateful for my travels

 Well hello to you reader chums! Travelling is my biggest passion in life; I love nothing more than jetting off on my next big adventure, experiencing new cultures, seeing new sights and meeting like-minded individuals. It fulfils my soul, it makes me happy and I'm raring to go to get back to my travel way of life.

Whether you're an active traveller like me or love to holiday often, here are 5 reasons why I'm grateful for my travels.

Train street hanoi vietnam

It's helped me grow as a person

I wouldn't say it's solely down to travelling for my growth as a person, however, if it wasn't for travelling, I wouldn't be the person I am today in any sense. Travelling gave me the confidence to visit new places without fear, the new experiences have opened my eyes and I've learnt I have the strength within myself for whatever I put my mind to.

Travelling has helped improve my anxiety, overcome personal hurdles and learn all about new people and places. It's educated me in so many different ways and given me more worldly knowledge which I can share with the people around me. All these factors have played their part in helping me flourish into a happier, healthier and more positive individual.

I've made the best ever memories

I'm one of those people that values time and experience than gifted possessions as the art of storytelling is such a powerful thing and something I adore. It means I have the power to share those stories with others I meet along the way or online through my blog, and books I've written.

By travelling to 20+ countries, it has given me the opportunity to create the best ever memories, either with my friends, family or strangers I've met along the way. And I've seen and experienced so many things I never thought would be possible. From meeting the elephants in Thailand, going to Broadway in New York, experiencing the heart of Italian culture (where my family are from), to temple hopping in Asia, eating street food in Vietnam to visiting some of the most incredible sights across Europe and finding hidden gems wherever I decide to roam.

The memories of all those counties and plenty of cities I've visited within them will stay with me forever. And, I know whenever I'm down, I can sit back and think about everything I've been able to do so far in my life - and scroll through the endless photos and videos. 

florence tuscany

I've overcome personal challenges

Travelling wasn't always an easy ball game. I used to have the biggest fear of flights, crowded places like airports and my anxiety was so bad I couldn't even leave my own house. However, taking the leap with my first two trips and falling in love with the beauty of travelling, I made a vouch to myself, to push myself with every single obstacle.

I can now fly freely without worry, my fear of heights has gotten a lot better, I kayaked on open water for the first time and have gotten better with my fear of water. I've improved with meeting new people and talking to strangers, and my confidence/anxiety in general in new places, doing new things and pushing myself out of my comfort zone has vastly improved. Without travel, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to grow in the way I have and would probably still be too terrified to enter a crowded space.

I've become a lot more open-minded about the world

This point is so important to make. I had a very sheltered and traditional upbringing in a lot of ways, and feel like I only actually learnt about the world and myself as I went into my twenties - and started to experience life in full force.

As I've travelled around, I've heard stories, I've experienced things but I've also educated myself a lot through blogs and books which have opened my mind in a lot of ways, and made me more of a worldly person. I sometimes don't recognise the way I used to be and think but at the time, it was all I knew. Now, after experiencing new cultures, meeting lots of different people and immersing myself in different experiences, I have a deeper understanding and empathy for others and have this active thought of wanting to change the world for the better.

I've caught the travel bug

As I said, I love nothing more than travelling and by doing it so often, I am pretty addicted to the whole process of planning my trips and heading off on a new adventure. In 2020 and 2021, it has been strange for me not to act on this hobby of mine as it's something I did as regularly as going to work. I was constantly planning and researching trips of envisioning where I next want to go. And then, I was also always on holiday or not at home at all.

The travel bug is truly a part of me and I cannot wait for the day when things are fully back to normal and I can jet off with freedom and have the opportunity again to visit new countries, eat street food and be at one with the world.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What are you most grateful for?

Thank you for reading <3

Let's talk about consent

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Consent is a topic I've wanted to talk about for a while for a few reasons. It's a topic that I personally didn't have the right education around growing up - and is something that needs more awareness and voice around it.

Trigger warning - This post contains the topics of sexual assault, rape, and sexual harassment.

It's one of those things that has now received a lot of attention and education on social media as it should, especially for young, impressionable teenagers - and I wish that level of education was around when I was growing up. I wanted to write a post to put my two pence into the situation to share my views and experiences around the topic of consent.

Consent definition

What is consent?

By definition, consent is permission for something to happen by agreement. However, when it comes to consent in a sexual nature, these lines and definitions are often blurred and subjective to allow others to get away with not asking for consent. And that in itself is not only a crime but it's horribly heartbreaking and traumatic for the individual who was taken advantage of.

Consent isn't just asking if you want to have sex with someone, but it's making it clear whether the answer is a distinctive yes or no. Often or not, 'no' or 'stop' is often dismissed or coerced into being a yes so the other person can continue in the sexual act without actually having consent. But sex without consent is rape. It's as simple as that.

When I was growing up, I thought consent meant agreeing to sex and if you had said yes then it's fine and consensual, but that's not always the case. And, if you were in a relationship then it was okay for them to expect sex (which isn't right in any sense.) If you say yes, and then decide you want to stop halfway through and they continue, it's rape. If you say yes but you're too intoxicated to clearly give a distinctive answer, that's rape. If they ask to have sex with you and try and convince you when 'you're not feeling it', that is sexual coercion and a form of sexual assault. None of this is right and legal. Which as hard-hitting as it is, it so important to know.

Why is consent important to talk about?

Spreading awareness about consent is important for many reasons. The sad thing with consent is, once it is fully understood, a lot of people (especially women), come to realise that they have fallen victim to sexual assault and it's a trauma they then have to live with and heal from.

Consent is important to talk about because it helps victims understand that what they experienced is a crime and is wrong in every sense - and helps them come to terms with it's not their fault. After experiencing sexual assault, rape, or harassment, the victim will often feel shameful and blame themselves for what happened. When in reality, they did nothing wrong.  The abuser did and they should be held accountable for their actions, rather than victims taking the wrath for being taking advantage of or hurt. 

Sexual trauma is awful and can mean many consequences, leading to PTSD, distrust in people, and worsen mental health problems - and that's why by bringing awareness to consent, those who have gone through sexual trauma can begin their journey to healing and can get the help they need.

It's also important to talk about consent so people can be aware of what is consensual and what isn't and to further education. Some perpetrators do not realise that what they did was non-consensual (again this is only some because for the most part, they know it's wrong and rapes occur as a form of control and abuse - I don't want to not dispute that fact) and that's why by teaching them, they will understand what they're doing is illegal and wrong.

Teaching needs to begin at a young age before society and rape culture has the opportunity to be learnt and seen as okay - as it's not. Joking about rape is wrong, encouraging your friends to sexually harass someone is wrong and thinking rape victims are 'asking for it' makes my skin crawl. Nobody asks to be raped or sexually assaulted, the only person who should be blamed is the rapist.

What can you do to help?

This is a huge question and not really a simple answer, but the best thing you can do is talk and spread awareness. With anything in life by having those hard-hitting conversations, it gets people to listen. You don't have to be an influencer or someone famous to start change, it can begin in your family and friends circle and go from there.

Often or not, those victim of rape or sexual assault are people around you, whether it's a family member, friend or work colleague and talking about the topic will allow people the opportunity to open up and not feel shame about what they went through. And the same goes with children or teenagers, reinforcing the idea and education around consent will help them as they get older to either speak out or have a better understanding.

It's important for us to talk, educate and help those who have experienced sexual assault. As someone who has their own story, I want to help others out there and that's where starting a conversation can really benefit someone. 

If you're someone who has experienced sexual assault or rape, please know, you're not alone and what happened isn't your fault. If you need additional help, you can phone the Rape Crisis team on 08088029999 or visit their website.

I'm also always here to talk, either DM me on Instagram or Twitter. I'm not a professional but sometimes it's reassuring to have someone to talk to. I know how hard this can be and want to be there for anyone experiencing the same thing. It's going to be okay in the end, I can assure you.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you for reading <3

Must-have items for travelling sustainably*

Well hello to you my reader chums! Sustainability and being more eco-friendly is something I talk about a lot on my blog. I'm really passionate about the planet and doing my bit in order to help the environment, from the little to the big changes I can make.

This post contains gifted items from S'wheat, gobambu and Heiko but all opinions are my own. 

I'm a big traveller (prior to the pandemic) and it's something I can't wait to get back to, however, travelling isn't the most sustainable thing to do. Whether you're planning a trip soon or love to travel, here are the must-have items for travelling sustainably.

Must-have items for travelling sustainably

S'wheat water bottle 

A water bottle is the number one thing to think of when travelling around as it's so important to keep hydrated. The founders of S'wheat got in touch recently about trying their new sustainable bottle and gifted me their beautiful light blue one - and honestly, I couldn't be more excited. Their bottles are entirely made from plants, are reusable and for every bottle sold, the equivalent of 20lbs of plastic is taken out of the ocean. They also plant a tree with every product sold and a % of profits is donated to protect wildlife and sealife all across the world.

S'wheat is a sustainable brand that gives back and I absolutely love that mission. The bottles are of amazing quality and have the ability to keep drinks hot or cold with their eco-thermal wall. And, they have a little hook on them too which means you can hang them onto your bag or self when on the go. If you're interested in joining the waiting list so you'll be the first to get your hands on this bottle then sign up using this link. By joining the waiting list, you will receive exclusive discounts, rewards and free products. You can also share your unique link with friends to earn free rewards and products.

swheat bottle

I've been using this recently and have been loving it when I'm out and about! It looks cute, my water stays cold all day long, it's easy to refill and I have the assurance of knowing that I can use it over and over again. I love the design and the mission and feel so grateful to be gifted one of these beauties. 

Bamboo cutlery and straws

When travelling on the go, that means eating out a lot and buying from takeaway shops too. Often from these places, a lot of disposable cutlery and staws are given out and that means a lot of unnecessary waste. By bringing along reusable cutlery and straws, you will save on wasting excess plastic and always ensure you have something to eat your food and drink with.

Reusable coffee cups

Similar to having reusable cutlery and a water bottle, for any hot drink fans, reusable coffee cups will come in handy more than you think, especially if you buy drinks on the regular. They're great for hot drinks but they are also really good for things like soup and quick noodles if you're cooking something up in a hostel. I love my Bamboo cup, but a collapsable coffee cup is also handy or Keep Cups are really handy too.

Tote bags

I'm a huge tote bag fan, I always bring them wherever I go, in case I need to carry or buy something. They're the perfect bags for travelling as they can be folded up really small which means they take up a small space in your luggage. They have multiple uses and are available to buy everywhere. Tote bags are also a lot stronger than plastic bags and last a lot longer.

Shampoo and conditioner bars/solid soap and toothpaste

I've never turned back to regular shampoo since using Lush's solid shampoo and conditioner a couple of years ago. The bars make my hair look and feel incredible, they last forever and the best part, they create no waste. I'm obsessed with them - and they're completely natural too which is good for your hair and the environment.

There are many other eco-friendly and solid products you can invest in including hand soap, body soap, solid toothpaste and perfume. 

Reusable cotton makeup pads

I don't know why I didn't use reusable cotton makeup pads sooner. They work very similarly to the disposable cotton pads, but of course, you can wash them and reuse them all over again. The cotton pads come in a laundry bag so when you're done with them, you can pop them in the bag and wash them with your usual laundry load.

Reusable sanitary products

There are plenty of different reusable sanitary products on the market today from menstrual cups, fabric pads to organic tampons and period underwear. It's all about what's right for you; I'm a huge fan of menstrual cups but I also love the idea of reusable fabric pads too. A lot of the products can be washed the same way your laundry is, the cups just need an area for sterilisation and for the disposable ones, they can be disposed of as usual.

Bamboo toothbrush

We all know that millions of plastic toothbrushes end up in landfill every year and don't decompose for years afterwards. Making the switch to bamboo will give you the chance to recycle your brushes, unlike the plastic kind.

Microfibre towels 

When travelling, we always need a towel and the beauty of a microfibre towel is how they are condensed down into something small and can be transported easily. And, they absorb a lot of water, reducing the amount of water used.

I'm not the perfect person when it comes to sustainability and sometimes I forget to bring these items with me and buy the disposable version instead (which I always get annoyed with) but these items, whether you use them all the time or part of the time can make a big impact on the amount of waste you produce.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other sustainable products would you bring?

Thank you for reading <3