Book review: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

 Well hello to you my reader chums! The new year is here and that means, I'm going to try to make more time for reading as it truly is my favourite thing. I started off the year by reading The Midnight Library and it was the best way I could kick start 2022 if I'm honest.

This post contains affiliate links.

If you're looking for a positive reminder or struggling with your mental health, here is my full review of The Midnight Library.

Book review: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Plotline

The plot follows Nora whose life has been going from bad to worse lately. On her last night on earth, when the clock strikes midnight, she is transported to the Midnight Library. Once she arrives, she realises that she has the opportunity to undo any regrets and try out all the other lives that she might have lived. As she experiences all the different lives, it raises the ultimate question, what is the best way to live?

Characters and relationships

The protagonist Nora is a character I related to and I think all of us can relate to in some ways when we've been in a dark place and we can't see the light. She represents a human, a human that's experienced highs and lows and thinks the only way out is leaving the earth, a human that is also dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts. Because of all this, it was so relatable, she was so relatable, especially when she was living all her lives. And the more she lived, the more she realised what's important in life and how she actually wants to live.

Mrs. Elm was a character that was technically a part of Nora's imagination but the person in charge of the Midnight Library and one I loved to read with all her wisdom and advice. Each life of Nora's had different characters but the main people that meant the most to her including her parents, brother, and best friends were all there somehow, and it showed how their connections are the most important things, and it's how nurturing and valuing them is what life is all about.

Overall thoughts

Overall, I'm putting this up there with one of the best books I've ever read. It's eye-opening and has that change in perspective that we all need to read to offer us that reminder that everything will be okay. Also, life isn't about what you do or where you are, it's how you feel in that moment and the love for yourself and those around you that'll make it all worthwhile. Seeing Nora's journey of learning this and falling in love with life again really warmed my soul and gave me hope for the harder days in my life or the times I'm lost. We're all living this rollercoaster that is life and it's about how you express gratitude, kindness, and love which will help get you through. 

I would highly recommend this book to everyone. I can see why it's a bestseller because it's a book I wish I read earlier in life, or in the times where I was struggling. It's a book everyone needs to read for a change in perspective, a better outlook on life, and really a novel that could change the world. It opened my eyes and it's a book I'll never forget. We all need a glimmer of hope, kindness, and gratitude to get us through. Life really can be a wonderful thing.

Ending

The ending wrapped the book up nicely, in a way that I closed it feeling motivated, content, and happy not with only the storyline but with my own perspective on life. I think as I've gotten older, I'm getting wiser about what life is all about, but this book really highlights that, offers hope and love, even on the darkest of days.

Love the sound of this book? You can pick up your copy here.

I hope you enjoyed this review. Have you read this book?

Thank you for reading <3

Top 10 tips for first-time travellers

 Well hello to you my reader chums! The world is wide and there is so much to explore, that's what makes travelling exciting for everyone. Travelling can open your heart and mind, whether it's a long-term venture or a short trip, you deserve the opportunity.

Everyone is a travelling newbie at some point and if you're a first-time traveller who is looking for advice or reassurance, here are my top 10 tips for first-time travellers.

Top 10 tips for first-time travellers

Map out your expectations

Travelling is an exciting prospect but it's different for everyone. Some people like to travel to have a break away from normality for a week, some people love to travel to experience a new culture in short stints, whilst others like to travel in long-term, embracing the slow travel way of life. We all have our preferences and this may change as you begin to travel, but it's good to set expectations for your trip. For instance, you're going on holiday for some relaxation or you're heading abroad for a couple of days to experience a new city and see the sights. 

Finding the best deals 

One of the biggest misconceptions about travelling is that it's expensive. Travelling can be done in whatever type of budget you have, whether you're a budget traveller or a luxury holiday kind of person. Either way, a deal is always needed to help you save cash. There are many ways to find deals when planning your travels. Seasonal sales, signing up to travel website's newsletters to be alerted of the deals, booking way in advance or booking last minute, being flexible with your dates, and much more. Find out more about money-saving advice here.

Do your research

Research is the key when it comes to travelling. I always say it's best to be over-prepared than under-prepared. Every destination is different in the world, and that means different laws, a different culture, different language, cuisine, and rituals - and it's important to be aware of that. Before you book or start planning your trip, immerse yourself into the safe side of your destination and what you need to be aware of and look out for. Know the laws so you can be respectful of local's religion and way of life too. 

I'd also recommend researching the area you're staying in, how to get about, emergency numbers, and the top things you want to do so you don't miss out. A quick Google can go a long way when you're planning your travels.

Ensure you have all the documentation in place

Visas, passport, insurance, Covid passes, these are all things to be aware of. When you're researching your destination, find out which documentation you need before you go and for when you arrive at the destination - and organise it so you can travel with ease. For instance, in some countries, after you've stayed over 30 days, you may need a visa to extend your stay further. Or, for countries in the UK like Scotland or Northern Ireland, you won't need a passport to fly there. 

Prepare for the airport in good time

The airport is one of my favourite places to be, I love the bustle of it all and the stories it's filled with; it fills my heart with excitement. But, for newbies to the airport, it can seem a bit daunting and uncertain at first, with the hundreds of people and many signs of where to go. My best advice is to give yourself time, you need to arrive two hours before your flight anyway to check in your luggage, go through security and get something to eat. But if you're new, maybe give yourself another hour so you have the time to find your bearings.

Get travel insurance

Travel insurance is the most important thing you need before you depart for your trip. You never know what may happen when you're away, you could fall ill, need to cancel your trip, or cut your trip short. That's where travel insurance comes in, it puts the protection in place to offer you emergency medical care so you're not caught out with a huge hospital bill and it can also help you out with many other instances.

Packing light is key

The key to packing is to pack light. One of the biggest travelling mistakes is to bring too many things with you, overfilling your suitcase or backpack and paying more at the airport. The best hack is to write a list of things you think you need and then half it. Only bring what's essential because when it comes to toiletries, you can always buy them there, and there's no point overpacking clothes if you know you won't wear them. And, don't forget to use packing cubes to help you organise your luggage. Check out my packing tips for more advice.

Back up plans are important

You can never be overprepared when it comes to safety. Ensure you keep someone notified of where you're going, prepare for the worst by getting travel insurance, download relevant apps, be aware of scams and also have a backup plan in place. What I mean by this is always bring spare cash or enough money in case the unfortunate happens. They always say you should have double the amount of cash available of where you're going - e.g if you're bringing £300 spending money, ensure you have the same amount available in your account so you can replace it if it gets lost.

Learn a few phrases of the destination's language

It's always handy to speak the language of where you're going. It's not only handy to help you speak and communicate with the locals, but it helps if you get stuck in a situation where nobody can speak English. If you familarise yourself with their language, you'll find communicating a lot easier, even if it's just a few common phrases.

Enjoy the new experience 

Travelling is the most incredible thing any of us can do. It opens our eyes to a new place, new experiences, new culture, new people, and new food. We should all have the opportunity to travel and when we do, value and appreciate it. Enjoy every single moment as one day they're the stories you'll be telling.

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

Thank you for reading <3

Calmigo review and experience | Gifted

 Well hello to you my reader chums! If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'd know I talk about my anxiety a lot, how I deal with it, and my tips and tricks that have worked for me. Living with anxiety isn't easy, after making so much progress, I can sometimes end up doing five steps back instead of forward and it's an awful feeling. However, it's all part of anxiety, and every day, I'm learning new things about my own triggers and how to cope with them.

Calmigo review and experience

With my anxiety, I also have a lot of panic attacks. They used to occur more when I was younger, however, over the last 2 years, I've experienced them more often, and it's something I've been trying to find a way to cope with again. When Calmigo got in touch and offered to send me a device, I was more than excited to find something that could potentially be the method I've been looking for.

AD - This item was gifted but all opinions are my own.

If you're living with anxiety or dealing with panic attacks and looking for a solution to help, here is my full review and experience of Calmigo.

What is Calmigo?

Calmigo is a natural, portable device and drug-free solution, designed for moments of anxiousness, stress, and upset - and is used for both immediate relief and for long-term effectiveness. It looks like an asthma inhaler and is the same sort of size. 

Calmigo review and experience

How do I use Calmigo?

Calmigo is really simple to use once it has all been set up. The device has different elements including the scent attachment you clip on, which can add to the sense of calm, and the vibration switch, which you can either have on or off when using the device. The first thing to do is set up the device by adding in the batteries, clipping on the scent attachment, wiping down the mouthpiece, and switching on the device. Once you've done that, you're ready to use it.

You'll see the battery light flash on when you've switched on the device and then you're set to go. Simply begin by exhaling into the device and it will flash all three lights once you've reached the optimum length of exhalation. I like to keep on the vibration option as it gives me some comfort when breathing in and out of the device. The scent I have is lavender which again, is an extra comfort as that's the one scent that instantly soothes me. The best way I can describe how to use it, is by practicing breathing techniques to calm me down but with guided help. Watch this video to help - it gave me all the advice I needed.

Calmigo review and experience

How have I found using Calmigo?

Initially, I wasn't too sure what to expect of Calmigo and if it would actually do anything, but I've been beyond surprised with the outcome. It's something I wish my eighteen-year-old self could have had when I was having panic in nightclubs, on the tube, or in crowds, as it really has brought me a lot of relief.

I've found in moments when the anxiety is rising in my chest or I feel a panic attack coming on, that reaching for my Calmigo does the world of good. It allows me to focus on my breathing for a few moments and the scent of the lavender on the device adds that sense of calm. As it vibrates as I breathe, it kind of gives me a reminder that it's there which is a weird sense that is reassuring too. It's like a little pal with me cheering me on, especially if I'm alone panicking and there is nobody to calm me down. 

Calmigo is definitely something that has come with practice because at first, I didn't really get the knack for it but once I knew how to use it, I could really reap the benefits of what the device does. And, knowing I can carry it with me wherever I go, helps me have a little reassurance that I've got something to always make me feel better.

Would I recommend Calmigo?

I would 100% recommend Calmigo. I didn't expect to love the device as much as I should as nothing has really been completely effective with my panic attacks and anxiety. However, this little beauty is everything I've been needing in moments of anxiety. It's a little on the pricier end, but it's definitely one of those things that'll be worth the investment as I have the assurance of knowing, I have an actual thing to calm me down now, rather than relying on my friends, mediations or apps. It's a physical device that is there for me.

Use code dellaaaaxx for $30 off your device! You can find more information or buy your device here.

Calmigo review and experience

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other methods help calm you down when you're feeling anxious?

Thank you for reading <3

My goals for 2022

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I cannot believe I'm typing out this post and a new year is here. 2021 seemed to flash by and it's safe to say, it was a year of ups and downs. Starting out in lockdown, to life going back to somewhat normal and achieving many things I didn't think I would, my emotions have certainly been all over the place for good and bad reasons.

With another year, I always love to set myself new goals, new things to focus on so in the next year I can look back and reflect, and see what I've accomplished. I'm a big dreamer and there are many things I want to do in the new year - here are my goals for 2022.

My goals for 2022

Become a published author

I set this goal last year as it's something I've been dreaming about since I was a little girl. I want nothing more than to see my books on the shelves in Waterstones, laid out with my full name printed in bold. I've written 5 novels, two adult fictions, and 3 middle-grade children's books and I can't wait until the day a literary agent says they want to help publish my book - I manifest it every day. Even though on average, it takes authors years to get a publishing deal, I'm going to work at it this year to hopefully make my dream a reality.

Get back to the travel way of life

The pandemic has really stopped all my travel dreams. Before it happened, I was away at least 5 times a year, exploring new cities and countries but that has been limited the past two years and I miss it more than anything. I was lucky enough to go on a few staycations including Brighton and getting away to Italy last year, but in 2022, the plan is to get fully back at it, if the rules allow. I want to go backpacking again for a couple months and plan out trips for the rest of the year. I want to experience the full freedom travelling gives me.

Spend less time on social media

This is a big one for me. I work in social media and I'm always on my phone and if I'm honest, it can be completely draining and mind-numbing, and sometimes I don't know when to stop. But, it's an ultimate goal for me to spend less time on social media and my phone overall, and try to be in the present more, and with my thoughts, rather than scrolling to district my mind.

Care for my skin more

My skin took a bad turn towards the end of this year and if I'm honest, I'm not used to it as I've always been quite lucky to have nice skin. I'm going to aim to get back into a proper skincare routine that really works for me and hopefully get it back to being healthy.

Continue to prioritise my needs

Something this past year taught me was to put myself first and listen to what I needed, rather than putting other people's needs before my own. I've learnt that once I take care of myself, I'm able to help others better and it also boosts my confidence, mental health, and happiness. I want to continue to say no when things don't feel right, prioritise my mental health when my body is telling me to rest, and cancel plans if I need to. Learning to not feel guilty doing this is hard but it has helped me care for myself a lot more.

Go full-time freelance

I've been dreaming of becoming a freelance writer and travelling around the world for years and it's a dream I'm craving more than ever. In the last half of 2021, my freelance writing and social media work has come on leaps and bounds, and I'm incredibly proud of the opportunities I've been given, and the clients I have worked with. I'm really enjoying the freedom of freelance life, growing my skills, and picking up new projects; it thrills me. I hope next year, I'm able to increase my clientele and work towards a position to make it a full-time gig.

Continue saving

I feel very lucky that I've managed to save a lot this year and I want to continue that savings plan to work towards my dream of buying a house/getting on the property ladder and going backpacking again. I would love to be in the position one day where I'm financially free and this is something I'm working towards in every possible way. 

Write another book

Writing books is something I adore with my whole heart and I definitely want to map out a plan and get cracking on another book this year. I have a few ideas and I'm excited to sit down and see where my creative mind takes me. 

Grow my business

My sister and I run our home baking business, Twinnies Bake and we love it. It's a way to show our creative side of baking to the world and share our baked goods with everyone. Due to the pandemic and my sister having a baby, we took a step back in 2020 and this year, however, we've relaunched again and I'm hoping 2022 will be the year that we go big. We offer everything from our famous brownies, celebrations cakes, cupcakes to brownie slabs, stacks, cookies, and more. Plus, our brownie postal service is available all around the UK.

Fall in love with myself again and again

I've been on my self-love journey for a long time now and every day, I'm learning more about myself, who I am, and striving to be my best self. I learn to love bits about myself that I used to hate, I accept the mistakes I've made and flaws I have to ultimately reach the goal of loving who I am, completely. It's a journey, one that has its ups and downs but I'm excited to see what another year of it looks like and see the position I'll be in by the end of 2022.

Live in the present 

Life is a wonderful thing and often I get so caught up capturing it that I forget to live it. I've really tried to focus on being present a lot more this past year and it's a goal I want to improve on over and over again. Things go by so quickly and I want to be more present in every way I can.

Rest more

I'm used to always doing a million things at once, it's normal to me but I know this busy lifestyle isn't good for my mental health and I've really been trying to focus on resting more and taking regular breaks, and over the next year, I want to make it a top priority so I'm actually able to relax.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What are your goals?

Thank you for reading <3

5 lessons to take into the new year

 Well hello to you my reader chums! 2021 has certainly had its challenges but also, there were many achievements and wonderful moments I'd love to relive over and over. Most importantly though, it has been a year of learning, healing, and lessons, many of which I want to take into the new year.

Whether you're feeling anxious or excited for the new year, here are 5 lessons to take into 2022.

5 lessons to take into the new year

Your body is the least interesting thing about you

I have written post after post about diet culture, body image, and body confidence as it's a journey I'm still on, learning more and more each day, accepting myself and my body. The diet industry is one that I fight with every day, wanting to stop how they promote and advertise the way we eat. Food is fuel, it's essential, and we deserve to enjoy it without feeling guilty. I could talk about this topic all day long and how we can do our bit to change our attitude around food - in a positive way for ourselves.

This food attitude leads me onto the mindset of our body and learning to love, and accept it. Your body is the least interesting thing about you. It doesn't matter what shape or size you are, it's not the thing people are going to remember about you when we're gone. We're all so fixated on how we look, we often forget to enjoy a dessert without feeling guilty, not wearing an outfit as we don't look perfect, or being present at the moment as we're so obsessed with what others think of us. It's the societal norms that enforce the idea of being skinny and perfect as we live in a fatphobic society but that's not what life is about. You deserve to feel comfortable in your own skin, you owe it to yourself. As soon as I accepted that my body was the least interesting thing about me, I could learn to love the other parts of myself and focus on the things that bring me joy. It's a thought I want to implement into the new year more than anything.

Change your thoughts and you'll change your world

This quote has got me through 2021 and something I will bring into the new year and forevermore. For me, it's really been a year of healing, learning, and mindset changes. Once you switch your mind to think in a more positive way, your whole world can change. The phrase 'mind over matter' is a very true statement as your thoughts can control everything you do in your life and how you feel. You can manifest the life you want through journalling and positive energy and that's something I've been practicing throughout the year - and it has really helped me work towards the things I want in life.

Negative thoughts and feeling low are normal, especially if you have a mental illness, however, it's how you deal with those thoughts and pick yourself back up is what really matters. And, this is something I've been learning to do more this year, changing my thoughts, to give me more of a positive outlook overall. This positive energy has really helped me in more ways than one and allowed me to enjoy life a lot more.

Choosing yourself should be your no1 priority

You need to not only be the love of your own life but the priority in your life. People come and go, jobs come and go, relationships change but the one thing that always remains is you. This is why you need to learn to put yourself first. Being selfish is seen as such a bad thing, but it's not if you're selfish for the right reasons. For example cutting out a toxic friendship, quitting a job that's right for you, saying no to an event to stopping communication with someone. Life is far too short to be endlessly selfless and go along with the crowd when it doesn't make you happy.

2022 is the year to choose you and put your needs and happiness first. You deserve to feel good in every decision you make and it's this attitude that means you can be your true self, live the life you set out, and improve the friendship and relationships around you. When you're choosing yourself, it'll help you choose the right people to surround yourself with and better everything in your path. It's all a mindset after all. And, this has to be one of my favourite lessons I've learnt.

Friendship is about quality, not quantity

I'm incredibly lucky to have loyal, trustworthy, and incredible friends, friends who have stuck with me through everything and always want the best for me. It's something I'm very grateful for every single day and everybody deserves this level of true friendship. But something, I've learnt this year is how it's more important to have a few good friends than lots of mediocre ones. It's something I've always preached anyway but this year especially, I've cut many friendships off which aren't bringing me joy and the small number of friends I do have are the ones who offer the ultimate level of joy, that they fill the gap of having lots of friends.

Healing isn't linear

2021 has been a year of healing, more than I expected it to be. I've learnt a lot about my past trauma and what I've been through, and how I'm able to heal from it. It hasn't been easy and I've certainly learnt how much healing isn't linear as I've experienced highs and lows. Days where I've been on top of the world, and other days where the trauma hits so bad and I've ended up taking a few steps back, But, that's all to do with the healing process and I'm excited to see how another 12 months of focusing on my healing journey turns out to me, to better myself.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What other lessons have you learnt?

Thank you for reading <3

Reminders to hear before the start of the new year

 Well hello to you my reader chums! 2021 has flown by, I'm not even sure where the year went? It certainly has been a very up and down year for many of us but we've made it and the new year is nearly here. When a new year arrives, there always seems to be a huge pressure to reinvent yourself, set 10000 goals, get fit, be healthy and really change your whole life. However, that doesn't need to be done. it's all a societal construct. 

Reminders to hear for the new year

If you're anxious about a new year or feeling the pressure to set goals, here are some reminders to keep you smiling.

You've achieved so much already

You've made it through another year, you're here, learning, growing, and thriving. You've achieved so much already in your life and you're doing so well. Wherever you may be in this moment, appreciate how far you've come and what you've achieved, and remind yourself at this moment if you're feeling anxiety.

Your happiness is the most important thing

This is a self-explanatory reminder but one that needs reaffirming time and time again. Your happiness needs to be the number one priority in whatever you do in life, from your goals, relationships, career to everyday moments. When the new year approaches, that's what you need to focus on, you don't need to focus on the big pressures and big goals but the things that are going to make you happy in the now and in the future.

You have your whole life to achieve big goals

We often forget that even though life goes by quickly, it also paces slowly and you have so much time to achieve the big things in life. You don't need to do everything in your twenties; you can find love in your sixties, have kids in your forties, buy a house whenever and reinvent yourself when you retire. Life doesn't stop the day you turn 30 and if that's the age you turn next year, don't focus on that, focus on the things you can aim towards and the feeling you're experiencing as you work towards them.

Age is really a number

This brings me onto age. Age is just a number; there isn't a timeline to when you should achieve things but a societal pressure to do so. We're taught that everything needs to be done in our twenties, otherwise we're a failure, but that can be further from the truth. Your twenties are a time where you're just starting to learn about yourself, you shouldn't be trying to achieve everything on your life goal list, you should be enjoying yourself and starting to figure things out. As the new year calls in, focus on this, focus on the fact that your age isn't important and it's about doing what brings you joy.

You are worthy

You are good enough. You are worthy. These affirmations need to be reinforced every day of your life, but especially in a time where comparison is high in the air and everybody is making these huge remarks about what they want to achieve. You are worthy because you are wonderful you and you deserve wonderful things to happen to you.

You don't need to compare yourself to others

Comparison is the killer of all joy. Whatever other people are doing in their lives, shouldn't compare to yours. We all measure success differently, we all want to achieve different things and we've all gone through different struggles. You need to focus on yourself, your goals, and what you want to achieve in the new year. There's no point comparing it to someone else's goals if they're bigger and better, or you think they're bigger and better. Your goals, what you want to achieve, and who you are are just as valid and important.

You don't need to change your whole life 

Don't be pulled under the pressure of thinking you need to reinvent yourself with the new year. Choose what you want to do and focus on that. If you have no goals, that's completely fine, it's not necessary to be inspiring or make a statement with what you want to do or prove it to everyone.

A new year doesn't need to be a new life

You don't need to change everything just because we're heading into a new year. Your life right now is incredible as you want it to be, a change in date doesn't have to change that if you don't want to change. Do what's right for you. And, if you do actually want to reinvent yourself and go on a new journey, then roll with that. A new year is your chance to do exactly what you want to do, whether that's change, continue life how it is or go with the flow. The main thing is that you're happy, healthy, and doing you.

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

Thank you for reading <3

Top 5 tips on how to deal with social anxiety

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Living with social anxiety hasn't been easy and with age, it's something I've learnt to deal with and improve over time. I'm a lot more comfortable in social situations now, and I think that's a mix of self-confidence and learning how to deal with social anxiety as a whole.

Top 5 tips on how to deal with social anxiety

Whether you suffer from social anxiety or are have recently been diagnosed, here are the top 5 tips on how to deal with social anxiety.

Realising and understanding your triggers

With any form of anxiety, there is always something that triggers you off to feel anxious. As they say, anxiety isn't the cause, it's the symptom and that's why it's so important to realise what is triggering you, to help deal with your anxiety.

The best way to do this is that every time you feel anxious socially, note down when you started feeling anxious and the things that made you anxious. Then, you'll be able to tally up the things which are causing your anxiety and figure out ways to tackle this, and what you're able to do in those situations to make you feel better.

Gradually ease yourself into social situations

You're not going to be socially confident overnight, like with anything, dealing with social anxiety can take time. The first step with anything social is doing what you're comfortable with, whether that means only hanging out with your best friend or your mum. Then, from there, slowly give yourself the push. This could mean adding more people to the group to hang out with, saying yes to a big event, making that phone call, or speaking up in a meeting.

If you set yourself little goals regarding your social anxiety, gradually you'll build up the confidence to do things and be okay with socialising, and feel more comfortable with your anxiety and how to deal with it.

Plan as much as you can beforehand

Anxiety is all about staying in control and that's why planning and staying organised is one of the best things that can help you deal with anxiety. Obviously, when it comes to social anxiety, it's a lot harder to control what can happen and what the social situation will be like. However, there are things you may be able to plan beforehand which can help you stay in some level of control and potentially, not trigger off your anxiety.

For example, if you're planning to go out with friends, whether it's drinks or a meal, try and go somewhere that is familiar to you or a place that you've been to before. This way, you'll have the safety of something familiar and happy to you, that can help ease how you're feeling. You can plan an outfit that you're vibing in, bring someone along that'll make you feel comfortable or simply, read the menu before you head to the restaurant. Little things like this can put your mind at somewhat ease before you head out on your social venture.

Always have a code P plan

My friends and I came up with the 'code P' idea years ago where basically if we're on a bad date, we can text each other 'code P' and they will ring us to get us out of there asap. However, the same kind of principle can be applied here. With anxiety, it's always good to have a 'get out' plan for any type of anxiety as that way, you will feel safe. And with anxiety, it's so important to have that safe element.

With your social anxiety and the plans or things you're doing which will trigger you, you need to put things in place that'll be a 'code P' plan for you. This could be having someone to call to get yourself out of there, having a code word with your friends to know you're not comfortable, or simply driving to the venue so you always have a mode of transport to get home.

Praise yourself for your accomplishments

It's important to praise yourself with anything in life, especially when it comes to anxiety. Anxiety is hard to live with, it's a constant voice that questions everything you do, and that's why you need to be your own cheerleader for the little things. Smashed that phone call? Amazing. Didn't get panicky at a social gathering with friends? Well done. Went on a spontaneous date? You're incredible. All these things, you need to praise yourself, the same you would your best friend.

By praising yourself, it'll give you more confidence to push yourself with your social anxiety. And, over time, you'll then find yourself in situations you never thought you would be in. I used to be absolutely terrified of talking to new people, making phone calls, or ordering in restaurants. Now, these things come a lot more naturally to me as over time, I've built the confidence to do all of those things so they're not a big problem the way they once were. 

Time, praise, confidence, and determination will help you deal with your social anxiety. It's a long road but once you take the chance to try, you'll get better and better and I'm so proud of you for doing it. Anxiety is up and down and some days are harder than others, but always look back on the journey you've made and you'll realise how far you'd come.

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

Thank you for reading <3