I turn 22 tomorrow. Part of me is excited because, you know, presents but the other part of my wishes everything would just SLOW DOWN. The little 8 year old inside me still can’t quite comprehend that she’s an adult now, going to work and renting her own little house. When I first moved in I wasn’t ready for it, but I had no choice but to learn and learn FAST. That has often been the case with most of the lessons I have learnt throughout my 22 years on this earth. Life comes at you quickly and sometimes you just have to go with it and hope for the best. 

mum-2-

Started from the bottom…

37717581_896629300525615_4799862971050229760_n

Now we’re here.

  1. Always have a sanitary towel in your bag. You never know when mother nature is going to come-a-calling and you should always be prepared. After a few accidents and more than a few girls asking me if I had one spare in bathrooms, I learnt my lesson.
  2. You’re not going to ‘like’ everyone, but that doesn’t mean you cannot get along. Back in year 8 if I didn’t like someone they were automatically my worst enemy. As I have grown up I have learnt that I don’t have to ‘like’ someone to get on with them. It doesn’t mean they are bad people or that we have to be enemies, it might just mean we’re different and that’s okay – you’re not going to like everyone.
  3. Not everyone is going to like you. Following on from number 2, not everyone is going to like you and guess what? That’s okay too.
  4. Bitching says more about you than it does them. When I was younger everyone bitched about everyone. It was cruel and unnecessary. I learnt overtime that bitching about people said more about me than it did them. If you have a problem with someone the only way to resolve it is to speak to them.
  5. Pee after sex. This came as a shock to me but yes, pee after sex. Nobody wants a water infection.
  6. Relationships should be 50/50. You should never have to bleed yourself dry to maintain a relationship. Relationships should be an equal balance of give and take.
  7. Always have a bottle of water in your bag. Hydration really is key! Plus, bottled water is expensive and bad for the environment.
  8. Water looks a lot like vodka and lemonade – just keep your mouth shut. If you don’t want another drink just order tap water. Trust me, no one will notice and you’ll thank yourself for it the next day.
  9. Endings are a part of life. Endings aren’t always nice but they are a part of life and symbolise growth and change.
  10. There is no shame in vulnerability. I used to think that in order to get anywhere in life I had to be hard faced and emotionless. Remember all the Facebook quotes glorifying this? Turns out, there is no shame in vulnerability. In fact, I have grown up to find it an endearing quality in others. Without vulnerability I found that life was very lonely.
  11. Sex and self respect do not correlate. When I was younger I firmly believed that sex and self respect went hand in hand but overtime I have learnt that that is not the case. People have both self respect and sex – the two do not correlate. If they are happy and safe then it really doesn’t matter how many sexual partners an individual chooses to have.
  12. You’re going to need anti-ageing creams sooner than you thought. Okay so I haven’t got wrinkles and I’m not greying just yet BUT there is no harm in erring on the side of caution. I have recently brought myself an anti-ageing eye cream to help with early signs of ageing. Kind of expected that to be a purchase I made closer to my 40’s but there you go…
  13. Coffee is cheaper if you just make it at home. Yes I know this is obvious but honestly you will save SO much money if you cut down on your coffee shop habit and just make it at home.
  14. The laundry is not going to wash itself. Turns out it was Mum who did it! Who knew?
  15. You are your own priority. I spent a long time trying to be a people pleaser and it got me nowhere. The more I tried it seemed the less I was liked. I learnt that your happiness should be your first priority. The more I put me first, the more I found people like me who loved and supported me for who I am.
  16. Things hardly ever go to plan. Literally EVER. You really have just got to roll with every new opportunity. As a self confessed ‘planner’ this came as a shock to the system but hey, that’s life for you!
  17. Not everyone has the same heart as you. Sometimes people can be cruel and work from a different moral compass to yourself. Take lessons from these people should you come across them and remove them from your life. Do not sacrifice your inner peace for anyone.
  18. Mum knows best. It didn’t take me long to learn this but it did take me a long time to accept it. Mum’s really are always right. My Mum knows me better than I know myself and her advice always come from a place of selfless love.
  19. You don’t owe ‘looking pretty’ to anyone. Don’t want to wear make up? Don’t. Can’t be bothered to wash your hair? No worries. It took me a long time to learn this but you don’t have to ‘look pretty’. You do not owe being ‘visually appealing’ to someone – you are worth so much more than that.
  20. Heartbreak hurts but you get over it. I have had my heart broken. One time I never thought I would EVER get over it but I did. I still think about that person from time to time but it is usually with fondness. Heartbreak is a part of life. It sucks but you’re going to be fine.
  21. Dry shampoo is a gift from the gods. I thank the gods for the day dry shampoo was invented. Honestly the day I learnt I did not have to wash my hair every single day was a wonderful one.
  22. You’re never alone, even if you feel like it. There are times when I have felt very lonely but I have learnt that I am never alone. In a world where anyone is just a phone call away and friendships with your online pals are as real as friendships with those you have known in person you really are never alone. I promise.

38011877_902647176590494_861512023727407104_n

My last celebration living at home. 

I hope I never lose the little 8 year old inside of me who still jumps in puddles and will go out of her way to do the hop scotch on her route home from work. I might be an adult but I always want to be a child at heart. I always want to keep hold of that youthful, carefree fun whether I’m 22 or 82. Happy Birthday to me. 

crete 7

“We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public’ – Bryan White.

Jamie x 

header-1440x480

I am honoured (and also a little but shocked) to have been nominated for another blogging award. Since beginning to get more and more involved with the blogging community I have met some online ANGELS and I feel so lucky to be sat writing this post today. I was nominated for The Real Neat Blogger award by the lovely Imogen. She is an excellent blogger and has such a big heart so go and check her out. 

the-real-neat-blog-award

As with the last time I did one of these, there are certain rules. These are as follows:

The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is… wait wrong thing. 

RULES:

  1. Thank & link the blogger who tagged you
  2. Answer the 7 questions they asked you
  3. Nominate 7 bloggers for this award
  4. Ask 7 questions for your nominees

That’s better. 

Now for the questions the lovely Imogen asked me:

Why did you start your blog?

I have always loved writing (cliched blogger opener right there!) and I was looking for a creative outlet to share my ideas and thoughts. It started off as a predominantly fitness blog, which I try and make sure I still write about often, to help others on their journey to a healthy body and mind. When I started I was a complete fitness newbie. The gym had been recommended to me by the Doctor to help deal with anxiety and depression. I guess my blog became a way of making me accountable. As more and more people joined my journey and told me how much it was helping them I became more and more inspired. I grew in confidence in all aspects of my life, conquered my demons and made friends for life along the way.

What is your best tip to newbie bloggers?

Don’t be too harsh on yourself. It is really easy to compare yourself to other bloggers and feel like you HAVE to fit into a certain mould or criteria, which I promise you is not the case. Enjoy it and allow yourself breathing space if you need it. I have always found that when I enjoy my writing other people enjoy it more too!

What has helped you grow and progress the most?

My Mum. When I think about the person I was a little over a year ago to the person I am now I am unrecognisable. For a long time I was a difficult person to be around and pushed people away despite needed them more than ever. My Mum stuck by my side through every single moment and thanks to her I ma the happiest I have ever been.

200_d (1)

If you could have any three course meal what would it consist of?

Ooh this is a good one!

For starter I would have to go for something with prawns. I absolutely LOVE seafood and so if it’s on the menu it’s going to be in my belly.

My main course would probably be something like a surf and turf with sweet potato fries and a delicious, cheesy sauce.

And finally for dessert I am a little torn. I love a cheesecake but I also love brownies and donuts and pretty much every single dessert that has ever existed EVER. Wagamama does an excellent white chocolate and ginger cheesecake, which would certainly be up there BUT if I could guarantee a gooey chocolate brownie that would probably take it. I’ll pick up some Krispy Kremes on the way home…

Health. 

What’s your favourite colour and why?

This depends a lot on my mood and what the colour is there for. If it’s clothes it is very different to if it’s decor. If I had to pick just one colour though it would have to be rose gold. I know, I know, it’s about as #basic as you can possibly get but it is so SO PRETTY. If a thing comes in rose gold you can guarantee I’ll have it in rose gold.

If swimming is good for your shape, why do whales look the way they do?

WHALES ARE BEAUTIFUL.

200_d

Have you ever broken any bones?

I broke my little finger once. I was playing netball at school and someone threw me the ball and me, being the athletic child I was, caught it on the tip of my little finger. It puffed up to about 4 times its size but there wasn’t a lot to hospital can do because, well… it’s a little finger.

So that’s enough waffling from me. Now for the bloggers I want to nominate: Ruth, Emily, Sophie, Mia, Clem, Soph, Samantha

MY 7 QUESTIONS:

  1. If you were a biscuit what biscuit would you be and why?
  2. What motivates you to keep blogging?
  3. What is your biggest pet peeve and why?
  4. If you won £1 million what would you do first?
  5. What achievement are you most proud of?
  6. Which one place in the world do you want to visit most and why?
  7. You’re on a night out: what are you drinking and what song are you requesting?

These bloggers are such inspirations to me and I cannot wait to read their answers. Thank you so much for reading this and a huge thank you again to Imogen for nominating me. Until next time guys! 

Jamie x  

header-1440x480

2018 has been something of a moment for mindfulness. The mindfulness market generated huge $1.2 billion in 2017 alone and 4 in 10 of our American buddies over the pond say they meditate at least weekly. A recent study from the University of South Carolina has shown that mindfulness is more than just a hipster trend to be practised by Instagram #fitspos – in fact, we could all use some mindfulness in our lives. The study has revealed that practising mindful movement can play a role in reducing stress, anxiety and depression. “When people were both more mindful and more active than usual, they seem to have this extra decrease in negative affect,” said Chih-Hsiang “Jason” Yang, who conducted the study. With around 2/3 more women practising mindfulness than men, where are all the mindful men and why are fewer men than women jumping on the mindfulness bandwagon to better mental health?

Is it time to hold off on the weight training?

Maybe mindfulness simply does not work for men?

A study conducted by Brown University back in 2017 revealed that men might not get the same benefits from mindfulness as women. The study showed women experienced increases on scales measuring mindfulness and self-compassion whereas men did not experience any measures of experiential or self-acceptance. However, how much of this came down to the different emotional expectations placed upon the genders? Dr. Willoughby Britton, reflected upon the disparity stating how, “while facing one’s difficulties and feeling one’s emotions may seem to be universally beneficial, it does not take into account that there may be different cultural expectations for men and women around emotionality.”

It seems, therefore, the problem is not with biology but with culture. Whilst women are expected to be honest and open about their emotions, men have been condition to well, ‘take it like a man’ making it no surprise that man are less likely to be diagnosed with a mental health issue, despite the fact 3 our of 4 suicides are men. With women being encouraged to weight train as much as they’re encouraged to roll out their yoga mats and downward dog, men have a much more prescriptive work out routine deemed as acceptable. A man heading to the gym to practise mindfulness and yoga begs the question do you even lift, bro? Yet, in their research, the University of South Carolina noted no discrepancies between the genders – both reaped the benefits of mindful movement.

Perhaps, it is time men joined the mindful movement?

Fear not, being ‘mindful’ does not have to mean sitting under a tree with your legs crossed in search of the elusive meaning of life. Who has time for that? In fact, previous studies have highlighted how we need to rethink our approach to mindfulness so that men can enjoy the same results as seen by women, Dr. Britton noted. Simply opting to take a walk can provide a good opportunity to be more mindful of your breathing and surroundings, which has been shown to boost the wellbeing of both men as well as women. According to researchers, participants reported being less stressed while they were on their feet and moving than those who remained sedentary and those who took the time to practise mindful thinking saw an even greater benefit in their mental wellness.

Mindfulness doesn’t have to be complicated in order for you to reap the benefits. Even just one introductory session has been shown to encourage not only psychological but also physiological benefits in men, including helping to monitor heart rate, blood pressure and aortic blood pressure. Mindfulness has also been shown reduce seizures and to help men suffering from prostate cancer, with a study conducted by the Northwestern University how intervention from mindfulness medication led to significantly greater resilience and less anxiety when going through treatment.

Culture has dictated that men should avoid emotions, however, perhaps it is time to look beyond gender stereotypes and begin embracing the benefits of mindfulness. The real question now is; do you even Bandha, bro?

Jamie x

header-1440x480

Sources:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180621112007.htm

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00551/full

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170420113801.htm

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180423135048.htm

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160526185426.htm

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180215110337.htm

http://businessresearcher.sagepub.com/sbr-1946-105603-2878495/20180129/the-meditation-industry