Helllloo, Happy Sunday. Omg, what a week. I have never felt so tired in my life but I have had the nicest week. One of those weeks where nothing extraordinary happens but everything just feels pretty good. I think I appreciate it all more because it really has been a bit of a ride to get to this point, in every sense.
I think the extreme grey weather has got me geared up for full autumn mode, even though I am full-on sweating from every body part when I arrive at work in a wool coat. Apparently, the temperature isn’t quite ready for autumn yet.
This weekend I was hoping to still be in London but I needed some overdue time at home. Instead, I have woken up in Leicestershire this morning and whilst it’s not the place I want to be I feel better for it and I have the perfect wholesome Sunday planned. WELCOME TO MY AUTUMN.
Instead of recommending new places every week (I cannot afford to eat out as much and I end up slogging away at the gym for the rest of my free time) I have decided to share my favourite recipe my sister makes for me instead. It is a Hello Fresh recipe she started to rustle up over a year ago and I am still not bored of it. It is a sour cream and leak sauce which usually goes with pork and potatoes but she swaps the pork out for me to make it vegetarian. It is honestly the perfect dish all year round and relatively cheap and easy to make (not that I have tried to make it). The recipe is here if you want to give it a try.
I had a bit of a mental health wobble at the weekend. A turning point for me and my friends I think. I am at the stage where I can laugh about it now whilst counting my lucky stars I have such incredible friends. I realised this week I needed a bit of a shakeup if I ever want to get out of this anxiety hole of mine. If you are reading this as someone who too is so tired of feeling this way these steps have massively helped me this week.
Firstly, this may seem a little drastic but my week needed me to focus on work so I cut out all caffeine and sugar. It is something I am going to keep going with because I really think this has been the biggest contributor to feeling ok again. I had a six-day week ahead of me so it wasn’t the best time to trial it but I am so glad I did.
I took the blue ticks off whats app. This was not because I was waiting for anyone to reply but because I always want to be readily available to my friends if they need me. It was becoming exhausting trying to reply as soon as I read their messages. I didn’t want them to think I had read something and not cared. I know the blue ticks are only psychological but it has helped me. I reply when I have time and I can give a better response and actually be there for my friends. I am no longer rushing and also it helps my friends know they can do the same.
As someone who doesn’t like letting people down cancelling plans doesn’t come easily to me. I like to see friends, I like to be busy and I like to go out but I knew I needed some sofa time, dog cuddles, reading time and some good nights sleep. Sleep is not something which comes naturally to me either but with some well scheduled me time I have slept so well all week, I feel so good for it.
I haven’t had as much time for gym as I would have liked but I have dragged myself there and I made sure I was out and about and as active as much as I could be this week. I have taken long walks and made the most of being outside. Never underestimate what exercise, nature, fresh air and a good old walk can do for you. Lastly, I made time for hearty seasonal meals. No more quick dinners here and there, I went shopping and I cooked the foods I liked. I drank lots of water and ate loads of fruit and vegetables and honestly, the anxious mess who was saying she didn’t want to feel like this any more feels so far removed now thanks to the help of some good friends and a bit of environmental budge.
Home & beauty
I read a really interesting article on refinery29 about fast home wear products. Whilst I don’t think this is quite the epidemic fast fashion has become as we are not buying a cushion sitting on it once and then throwing it away, this week it has made me a little more mindful of what I need for the house.
This week my home update is going to co-inside with a bit of beauty and cover my much needed pamper time. Rituals are not something I do often enough so this week I cancelled all my evening plans after my mental health dip and instead I made plans for myself. I made an effort to enjoy my shower time instead of racing through it. I made loads of time for my skincare morning and night but most importantly I got my Temple spa night time products out which made me feel so much better. My friend Abi bought me the sleep spray back in June and I honestly swear by it. Placebo or not the Temple Spa relaxation range helps me so much. The sleep spray travels with me on all my trips. I have been spraying it around my room before I snuggle into bed and I have slept like a log this week. The other product is the Repose moisturiser which I use morning and night. Again I don’t know what scientific value this product has but I instantly feel calmer once I put it on. It also leaves my face feeling so soft and well hydrated. So always remember the importance of little rituals.
As it is still second hand September until next week, I am coming at you with more second-hand stuff. Although I am really lusting after this pea-green coat from & other stories. My well-mentioned friend Fliss has set up a new Depop page called Theharperproject I know I need no excuse to mention Fliss on one of these posts, embarrassingly it’s becoming a weekly feature, but what is the point in having a super styled bff if you can’t brag. Fliss has the nicest clothes and has literally saved my style over our last few nights out so check. her. out.
I am also still obsessed with Manifesto Woman, they sell all the clothes I could want without the guilt of fast fashion. I mentioned them last week but if you didn’t catch them then check them out.
I am hooked on the new series on Netflix called Unbelievable. The series is based on a true story of a young girl who recanted her statement of a brutal rape after being made to feel as though she was not telling the truth. I am only partway through this series but I am so hooked, it is all I want to watch at night. If you haven’t started it already. GO.
I am still slogging away at nine perfect strangers. I have to admit it is picking up but since my mh slump the other day I have dusted Notes on a nervous planet by Matt Haig off the shelf. I have read all Matt’s mental health books, they are incredible. They have the ability to say exactly what you need to hear but I have to admit Notes on a nervous planet resonates with me the most. For anyone who struggles with their mental health, I couldn’t recommend this book more.
Anyone reading this who struggles with anxiety or has a friend who struggles with it (Sorry I realise this post is very Mental health heavy, but I’m not actually sorry at all) and you are just not sure how they feel you have to listen to Camila Thurlow on Elizabeth Day’s podcast How to fail. I have never listened to anything which articulated exactly how I feel, I even suffer from the same failures as her, apart from the driving test in that instance, I am just a bad driver. Camila managed to encompass exactly how excruciatingly hard it is to live with anxiety whilst turning the weakness it causes into humorous failures. I have never related to a person so much in my life as I did in that short hour, or two because I put it straight back on as soon as I finished it. I am so grateful for people like Camila who can put her weakness and failures out there as she did.
I am going to mention the Happy Place podcast again because this weeks episode with Billy Monger was so inspiring. I first heard of Billy on the Sports Personality last year and I was instantly inspired by his determination and tenacity to not let his life-changing injuries affect him. To be back racing within a year is mind-blowing but once you hear how positive and motivated he is when he speaks to Ferne you begin to understand how his story was possible. An incredible man who will do so well. He has a mindset I would pay a lot of money for.
This week was a great week for music because I finally got my hands on Cage the Elephant tickets at Alexandra palace in February. I fell in love with this band when I was on holiday in America and I have been obsessed since. I am so excited to go see them.
I also came across another band this week called The Band Camino which I love. They are an American indie band which I can only describe as a cross between Snow Patrol and The 1975 which I know sounds like a mix which never needed to happen but stay with me because they are incredible and I really think they are really cool and you will enjoy them.
In the podcast with Camila Thurlow and Elizabeth Day, Camila said that ‘to test a friendship is when you are willing to make a complete fool of yourself and they will still like and love you’. This resonated with me so much. For such a long time I have always cared far too much what other people think of me, and because of that I often (unless I have had a drink) cultivated a persona that doesn’t allow people to see all of me, or at least the worst bits of me especially my friends. After this week I think it’s so important that I drop that barrier and just own my flaws and show them. Often we are missing out on the help we need but more often than not we are missing on some of the best of times by holding ourselves back. So I am going to try from now on to drop some guards, be a bit braver and try to be a bit more myself.